Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who's the Brat Now?!?

After ranting and raving in righteous indignation, I learned that my darling L actually hit his little friend. And threw a book at her. (Seriously? Not just throwing things, but books? Those are practically sacrosanct at our house!)
We had a looooooong talk about it - mostly me talking and him doing a reasonable impression of listening - and today he had the chance to redeem himself as we had two different playdates at our house.
As a redemptive measure my son threw Legos at Z and mere hours later slammed the door on his other little friend's fingers.
Innocence lost indeed. Mine, of course. He seems so sweet. If being dumped by friends is genetic, then what is this?!

I still feel bad for S who still has not been found guilty of any crimes that merit his friends dumping him. At this point I am hesitant to inquire, though...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hey, brat, that's MY HEART you're stomping on!

I realize it is not good form to call children - even other people's children - brats. I suppose I could chalk it up to the fact that my state shattered its record for temperatures today and my childhood near the balmy North Sea didn't prepare me to cope well with 98° F - in May or any other month of the year. But reality is it hasn't been a good week for friendships in our house and it's hurting my heart.

It all began when S told me some of the kids at recess push him back in line so he never gets a turn at kickball. I get it; recess can be a jungle. Life will deal him harder blows. But how can my heart not ache, when I told him to just push back and insist on his turn and my tender little boy teared up and said, "But I don't want to be mean."
Then, L told me that he and his little friend Z "used to be best friends but aren't anymore. Well, she is still my best friend, but every time I sit next to her, she moves to a different seat."
And finally, the clincher was today, when S mentioned that his best friend of two years doesn't want to be his partner in projects, etc. at school anymore.

Fortunately, nobody was mean to Baby S this week, or I might have lost it entirely, but seriously!! I have to of the sweetest, kindest, most precious boys and I am hurting for them. Yes, they can be brats too. Yes, they can be loud and boisterous. Sometimes they are selfish. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes they drive me up the wall and down again, but they are good people.

Yeah, I get it. Life hurts sometimes. It's all part of the deal. My children will be dumped and pushed and knocked down many times over and my heart will break a little each time. And they will learn and toughen up and move on; a little bit of innocence lost each time.

All the while, writing this, thinking about it; there is that ever-present maternal guilt nagging in the back of my head. Is it somehow my fault? Were playdates at our house not fun enough? Did I somehow mess up somewhere? Did I not have enough playdates? Or too many? Did I teach the boys something that just rubs everyone else wrong? Not exactly the social queen bee myself, would I even know what the wrong was?

And finally; is it genetic?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

O Sleep, O Gentle Sleep

Sleep is elusive around our house these days but the fact that both boys turned out to be solid sleepers gives me hope that one day in the future I will go to bed in the evening and wake up when the sun is up again.
Until then, I find comfort in the fact that Baby S is ridiculously adorable when I am up with her and this period of late night snugglings is so short. Soon she too will be sleeping all night (right?!?) and off and running all day. I will be well-rested but missing the sweet baby moments...Do I seem fickle yet? It must be my lack of sleep.

A few shots of the little monkeys for your entertainment:

Baby S after performing her latest trick - belly to back flip:

Baby S has been a belly sleeper since she was a few days old. Every time we put her down, she would spit up and finally we decided that choking on recycled milk is probably not very safe either - so belly sleeping it was. This made the little lady perfectly content and she has slept well since - until she learned to flip over. Now, as she is unable to go back to sleep on her back, we wait for her to learn to flip the other way.

I walked in to check on the boys the other night and found this:

He really is asleep, although how he can sleep with his leg up is beyond me. Long plane rides should not be a problem.

And finally, L:

Sideways in the bed - just like I used to sleep.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Love My Minivan. No, Really!

I remember driving down the street one day a little while after we bought a minivan and suddenly coming to the realization that driving this car meant I was no longer young and cute.
Don't get me wrong, I still think I am adorable - I am just not that carefree, swing-your-hair-around-shampoo-commercial-style chick any more. And the minivan solidified that. It screamed that I am somebody's mother. In fact, I am somebody's mother so many times that I need a van to fit us all in. Granted, the number of kids I had didn't change with the purchase, but if you squeeze your family into a sedan, you can still convince yourself that you are hip like you were in your early twenties. (Or whenever you thought you were hip...)
Once you have a minivan it's over. Minivans are large and they are very useful. They are also very much not sexy.

Lately, however, I have started to love my van more and more. I don't have to listen to kids complaining about their sibling touching them. I can load all my groceries in, still have room for the kiddos, a stroller, all the sweaters that somehow end up in the car and a guest or two. I can open the doors with the push of a button when I am herding two boys and a car seat through a rain-filled Target parking lot. And I am that much more intimidating when someone won't let me into their lane while driving.

Then today I saw this commercial:

It's absolutely awesome!

I'm cruisin' to their play dates looking all slick. In my Swagger Wagon.
I got the pride in my ride...And I'm kinda a big deal....

Yeah! I love my Sienna. And I've come around - it's totally sexy!

Dear Laura

When I first met you, I was probably eight or nine years old. I lived in an apartment, in a busy city and my exposure to nature consisted of playing on the lawn in front of our building and visiting my aunt by the beach in the summers.
You invited me into your world and showed me the wonders of a different life. I saw the woods and the prairie through your eyes. I churned butter, sewed calico dresses and taught school through your pen. I laughed and cried as your life unfolded before me.
I cannot thank you enough for sharing your life and leaving your legacy.
Now my seven year old is reading your books and I see the wonder in his eyes as he learns about your adventures and the world as it was when you lived. It is vastly different from his world of Nintendo, soccer games and easy access to information, and yet he connects to you just as I did.
Thank you for that magic.

And by the way - 25 years later, I still cry when Jack dies.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Sometimes the days are long and the floors are dirty - okay, the floors are often dirty - but the looks from these eyes melt my heart.
I like my life in the motherhood.