Thursday, February 21, 2013

Holding Hands


The other day I took LP and AK for a swim at the JCC and from an observation room high above the pool, AK's class clustered at the window to watch us swim. Both AK and LP relished the attention and showed off their swimming and jumping skills. I tried to keep as much of my body under the water as possible.

I know that there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when my babies are embarrassed to be seen in public with me. They will no longer hold my hand or even wave at their friends when I am in the vicinity.

I also know there will be times when they don't want to even look at each other, let alone spend time together. Right now I don't mind that LP occasionally requests AK in the morning, instead of the me (or the Hoos). Sure, AK typically refuses to help and I have to bribe her to kiss her sister, but still, they love each other.

Some mornings I lay in bed with the girls when they are just waking up and I whisper, "Mommy will always love you. Mommy will always give you hugs and kisses when you need them. I am proud of you everyday." I also use this opportunity to remind them that they will never be too big to cuddle with me.  




Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lack of Focus

We just had our house painted. It looks great and now it is time to unpack all of the decorative items we stowed away during the process. I was determined to get it done, and here is what really happened:

  1. Headed upstairs to get bins of breakable items from their storage space on the third floor.
  2. Atop on second floor and realize washer has stopped, so I should put stuff into dryer.
  3. Realize dryer is full.
  4. Realize laundry basket is overflowing with other clean, unfolded items.
  5. Start folding sheets in basket.
  6. Realize basket is too full for me to make immediate impact.
  7. Remove stuff from dryer and put it on our bed.
  8. Move wash to dryer.
  9. Continue folding sheets.
  10. Fold all 3 loads that fill basket and cover bed.
  11. Try to put sheets away.
  12. Realize linen closet is bursting.
  13. Empty linen closet.
  14. Refold and reorganize linen closet.
  15. Leave out sheets for the unmade trundle bed on third floor.
  16. Head up to third floor.
  17. Put sheets on bed.
  18. Realize blankets for trundle are in LP's closet.
  19. Go down to second floor to get blanket.
  20. Notice girls' folded clothes.
  21. Put away girls' laundry.
  22. Bring blankets to third floor.
  23. Put blankets on bed.
  24. Locate bin I originally came upstairs for...
No wonder I can't accomplish anything! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

LP in the House

Yesterday, LP came to work with me. In honor of Martin Luther King day, she had the day off. I did not.

While I could have made alternate plans for her for the day, she was adamant about coming in to the office with me. She had big plans. She wanted to spend the day with Maggie, the yellow lab that LP fell in love with over the summer.

I am sure that Tim, my co-worker, was sick of me verifying that he would, indeed bring Maggie into the office to entertain LP. I shouldn't have worried. He brought her in, Maggie bounded over to LP and a long day of indoor ball-throwing, outside potty breaks, and bonding began.







Friday, January 4, 2013

Face Time

This is what happens when your children steal your phone.








Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh, the Indignity!

There are lots of things about being a parent that require you to give up a little bit of yourself.

  • Modesty and Privacy. More than five (FIVE?!?!)  years ago, I posted about giving these up. That hasn't changed. In fact, I think it is worse. Now my children will knock on the door and then walk right in if I am in the bathroom. And if I am in the shower, they will just pull up a stool and chat with me. 
  • Alone Time. Alone time? What is that?! HA!When I get to go to the grocery store sans children, it is freedom I am not used to. I can't decide if I should pick up a mocha before I go to the store and then have to carry it around or if I should get it after and then have to race home to put away the groceries. (Sad, sad alone decisions, I know).
  • Humility. When you are wiping butts - however adorable they may be - several times a day, there is just no time to be proud. The most recent reminder of this was earlier this week when LP squeezed her nose shut and shouted, "Mom! can you clean out Humphrey's wheel?" Did he poop in it, I asked. "I don't know what it is, it is just icky!". And so there I was, scrubbing nasty, sticky hamster pee out of his silent wheel.
While this list is not all inclusive - I can't even imagine how much more I could write about humility if we got a dog - I did say you just give up a little bit of yourself.

The girls remind me every so often that I "am the boss of the house."

I am hoping they mean that I am not just the boss of the cleaning up and laundry and cooking and grocery shopping and planning and instead I am the boss of the inhabitants of the house as well.  And then I find myself picking hamster poop out of Humphrey's fur and start to wonder...

I just couldn't go all sad again, I couldn't. I hope this and some of the links back to old posts makes you laugh.

Monday, December 17, 2012

When There Are No Answers

In case you didn't guess from the url of this blog, I am a Connecticut mom. And this week at least, we are all Connecticut moms. Moms and dads and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and siblings who love our kids and will give them dozens of extra hugs and kisses over the next few days and weeks.

It doesn't matter how close geographically one lives to Newtown, CT. We all might as well live in Newtown. There is not a single person unaffected by this tragedy. Even those that are blissfully unaware, like AK, who we decided not to tell.

I am not a political person. And, yet, I do think, hope, feel that perhaps some sort of legislation would make something like this less likely to happen. Mental health? Gun control? I don't know the answer, but I sure would like one. Or maybe I would just like to know that there is an answer for how to avoid it, because I do not think we will ever get an answer to 'why?'.

Like everyone else, the Hoos and I struggled to process. We grappled with if and how and how much to tell LP. As a six year old first grader, she felt too young to tell, but too old not to tell.

A few weeks ago she came home from school and told us about the drills her class did in case of a tornado. We giggled along with her as she described how 22 kids and pregnant teacher would cram into the closet-sized bathroom in her class and one kid asked, "What if I have to pee?"

We aren't giggling anymore.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quicker Picker Upper


Kids are such perfect blanks slates. Well, maybe not completely blank- there is some "nature" in the whole "nature vs. nurture" thing...

Perhaps a better metaphor is that kids are like Bounty? They really do absorb everything.

Yesterday LP told me that a boy kissed her 10 times. On the hand. And that she "sucked them into her heart" and she is in love with him. Now, I am not saying that I ever said these things. As those who know me can attest, I am not exactly a romantic. But did she hear them somewhere? Read them somewhere? Or is this "nature"?

And there there is AK. Sweet little AK who removes her clothes and walks around the house in my high-heeled boots and preens in front of the mirror. Again, I DO NOT DO THIS. And, actually, no one other than AK does (in our house at least). I am going to chalk this one up to the "nature."

AK also asked me the other day to tell her she is pretty. I said, "AK, I tell you that you are smart and beautiful all the time. You are beautiful." And her response? "I know." When I told her the appropriate answer was "thank you." She told me that she had just seen the same exchange on TV and wanted to "try it out." Obviously not nurture. Maybe anti-nurture, since she was watching Disney Channel instead of reading a book with me? Dang you Cece and Rocky!

While these are not necessarily things that will scar them for life (I am not going to put those in writing so my kids can't hold it against me in 15 years), they clearly demonstrate that:

  1. I am in over my head.
  2. There is no way to filter a child's entire life experience.
  3. Even if they don't LISTEN, my kids HEAR everything that is said around them.
Please, tell me I am not alone. What crazy things have your kids said or done recently that scares the bejeezers out of you?

Monday, November 26, 2012

All the Time in the World

It is amazing to me how time flies. While I grin with glee when I talk about how this is my last year of day care, on the inside I am also remembering that it means my baby will soon be five. I remember when AK was Bun - the nameless, sexless baby that I carried in my oddly pointed belly.

If that isn't bad enough - My big girl is losing teeth! I remember when she didn't even have teeth.

As time goes by, I am also coming to terms with what a big job it is to be a mommy. To be a parent.

At times I forget. I see my role in the mundane - slurbing on bellies, washing dirty clothes, collecting toys from scattered places, packing lunches and reminding and nagging.

And at other times, it seems as if being "the mom" is an enormous task.

Teaching them about inner beauty, self-confidence, body image.

Reminding them that they are smart and beautiful and good.

Gloating when they do something nice unprompted.

Hurting when they are hurt by others. 

Cringing when I see them do the same thing.

Realizing that even if I am there to try to "fix" it and educate and remind, it doesn't make it go away. It might help them temper the response next time, but I can't make it go away. And I can't be there all the time.







 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Been a Month Since My Last Confession

The post title seemed fitting considering the previous post and the stark reality truth that I am just not so good at this blogging thing anymore.

Consider the facts.

This is a list of how many times I posted to this blog since its inception:
As I haven't gotten any angry emails protesting my lack of posts, I can't imagine too many of you are too upset. 

But anyway...

Somehow it is already Thanksgiving 2012. I am not exactly sure that happened, but between a hurricane followed by a week without school followed by a week-long trip to Denver time apparently passed me by.  In that time:
  

LP lost TWO TEETH. And had lots of communications with the tooth fairy. In fact, she continues to leave notes under her pillow for the tooth fairy, but since the tooth fairy only comes when you lose a tooth, the questions about how big she is and what her name is remain unanswered.

We had Halloween. We actually had several Halloweens since it was postponed twice in our town. A big highlight was that we were "ghosted."  It means that people know we live in the neighborhood and are making an effort to include us in neighborhood activities. Woo-hoo! Of course, we immediately ghosted two other people (as per the note included in the ghosting package. We also took it upon ourselves to "snowball" our across the street neighbors. Since the instructions were written by LP, we are not sure the neighbors understood and perpetuated the snowballing, but we will just have to try again.

We had a hurricane. We were very fortunate and barely lost power, but we did lose several very large trees in our yard. They didn't hit any people, powerlines or structures (except decimating our dock), but they did create the potential for damming up the creek that runs in the back of our yard. So a lot of money and a totally destroyed yard later, we have doubled the length of our water access! The Hoos has big plans.

We had school conferences. Both girls are doing just great academically and socially. LP has a tendency to talk and AK's form said, "She has great communication skills and is a leader." We figure that is a nice was of saying she talks a lot and is a bit bossy. 

I am struggling to believe that they are both growing so quickly. Can you all even believe that she is almost 4.5? I will have to register her for kindergarten in a few months!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The One Where We Talk About Religion

Yesterday as I buckled the girls into the car after our weekly trip to Target, LP asked, "Mom? Can we talk about Jesus?"

Alrighty then. Not exactly the topic I had planned to discuss."Sure, I don't know too much, but what would you like to talk about?"

"No, I don't mean I want to talk about him now. I just mean in general. Is it okay to talk about Jesus?"

Good grief. Does everyone have this conversation with their children? "Well, if you have questions about him, you can ask someone, but, no, it isn't nice to..."

...Picture the wheels turning in my head: I don't want to say "take the Lord's name in vain", because, being Jewish, we don't believe he is our Lord, and I don't think LP would understand what that means anyway...

"...it isn't nice to just yell out 'Jesus!'"

There! I think to myself. Conversation shut down.

HAHAHAHA. Gullible Mommy.

LP goes on, "Jesus is G-d's son."

Honestly?!Where is the Hoos when I am dealing with these questions?!?!

"Well, LP, since we are Jewish we don't believe in Jesus. We don't believe G-d has a son like that."

Please, please, please let this conversation be over. I know there are lots of people that cherish these opportunities to talk religion with their children. I am not one of them.

"But, mom? Who is G-d's wife?"

I now mentally smack myself on the forehead.