Sunday Mom Confessions

This weekend I…

  1. Hid in the kitchen to eat Easter candy.  Twice.
  2. Let Miles play with the drawer full of (sealed) Scentsy bars in the kitchen so I could finish eating a piece of bread with peanut butter on it (moms of toddlers, you know how it is).  He promptly closed the drawer on all eight of his fingers (not his two thumbs).  And I didn’t get to finish my half a peanut butter sandwich.
  3. Also let Miles unroll an entire roll of paper towels all around the dining room, so I could finish my coffee while it was still hot.
  4. Watched my son eat food off the floor that he refused to eat while sitting in his highchair.  Does it taste better off the floor?
  5. Let the cat clean up the spilled milk in the dining room.  More than twice.
  6. Took the highchair outside and hosed it off in the driveway, instead of wiping up the mess.  Work smarter, not harder.
  7. At Rainbow Sherbet for lunch on Saturday.  At 2:30p.
  8. Did not shower for two days, and the only reason I showered today was for church (although Jesus doesn’t care if my hair has oatmeal in it, I’m sure).  There are many, may things I can accomplish in my son’s three hour nap, but showering did not make the list this weekend.

It’s been a heck of a week around here.  Sometimes, you just have to embrace the chaos…because even in the midst of “how did that get on the ceiling?” it’s still sunshine and rainbows and love and magic.  Chaos is still the best thing going.

Amid the chaos, we also taught Miles how to give kisses on the lips – he does it with a great, big, open and drooly mouth, and it is adorable.  He also learned where his nose is, and can even show it to you without picking it!  He has learned new words like: ball, thank you, yo-yo, kitty and tree (so at some point he’s going to intentionally call me mama, right?!)  And since taking his first good steps two weeks ago, he’s now practically running laps around the dining room table, with me following closely behind saying things like “Please don’t eat that!” and “YOU MUST WEAR PANTS!”

Tomorrow is Monday, which means in one more week, our best boy will be one year old.  Weekends and first years pass by much too quickly.

Enjoy each moment,

K

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What parents of young children want you to know…

People without kids, I get it.  I used to be one of you.  I totally understand your uncomprehending stare as I excitedly explain why this new sippy cup is THE sippy cup to have.  I try to converse about things that we mutually understand, but here’s the deal: my life is no longer mine, which means that my brain is no longer mine.  It belongs to the almost-toddler across the hall, snoozing away.

And because I used to be you, there are things that I realize now as a parent that I didn’t almost a year ago (this could apply to some of you with older kids, since I understand the first five or so years of your kiddo’s life ends up as one big blur anyway…thank goodness for baby books, right?!)  There are lots of times that my husband and I will say to each other, “Man, if they had kids, they would totally understand…”

You should know…

  1. I’m not ignoring you.  Yes, I absolutely saw your call/text/email/Facebook message.  Once I get to a stopping point, after laundry, dinner, play time, walks around the block, bath time, and endless story books, I’ll think about responding.  Or watching “True Detective” and drinking wine.  Whatever comes first.
  2. I would love to meet you for lunch.  Does 11am work?  People without kids, do you nap?  Napping is awesome, right?  Once you have kids, the opportunity to nap becomes the most awesome two hours in the history of time and space.  The reality is that naptime often falls around lunchtime; so if you’d like to do lunch, we’ll have to make it brunch, because parents don’t screw around with naptime.  Similar situation for dinner; bedtime is 7:30p.  Meeting for dinner means eating at 5p.  Be flexible with your friends who have young children.
  3. Yes, I’m paying attention.  I understand that you are asking for something as simple as my turkey meatloaf recipe, but understand that if said conversation is occurring while my toddler is in the same room, you may as well be asking me to explain quantum physics.  I hear five out of every ten words you say, because most of my attention is focused on the whirling dervish looking for the floor food that I undoubtedly missed.
  4. I’m not trying to be rude.  If you invited us over, and we came, this means that your level of tidiness is acceptable.  However, this won’t stop me from scrutinizing your floors, rugs, baseboards, and anything else on the floor.  I’m sure you do a fantastic job mopping, but unless you have a  tiny person crawling/rolling/waddling around on the floor constantly, you just don’t know how clean (or unclean) your floors might be.  So I’m not trying to be rude if I stare at your kitchen rug, I just need to know if it’s carrying salmonella before my kid lays on it to pretend he’s napping.
  5. I’m not trying to be rude, part deux.  If you invited us over, we will respect your space and rules if you can compromise and respect ours.  Please do not leave your TV turned to programs/movies that are unacceptable (example: anything with Steven Segal).  My compromise will be not asking you to turn the TV completely off (which you should do, because nothing is more entertaining than my son, trust) but I do expect you to at least make it family friendly or, at the very least, non-offensive.
  6. I’m not trying to be rude, part…three?  We have pets (actually, we have a zoo).  We love pets.  We love your pets.  But if you invite us over, and know your pets do not interact well with children, please give us a kid-friendly space, put the pet somewhere safe, or understand when we politely decline future invitations to get together.  Toddlers love cats, but the feeling isn’t always mutual.
  7. Don’t feel weird if we have nothing to talk about for a while.  You do Cross Fit, martini Thursdays and Gossip Girl.  We have dance parties to Raffi, smash carrots into bits and teach the kid how to gently pet the cat (LOLOLOL).  If you pretend like you’re interested in organic pumpkin-banana yogurt for toddlers, I’ll pretend that I noticed your haircut.  Deal?
  8. We are selfish with our son’s time.  I know you want to hang out/babysit/kidnap my super awesome son; I get it, he’s really really fun.  But when you’re two parents working full-time, the evenings and weekends can become sacred.  Don’t get offended if we decline your offer; sometimes we just want to hang out as a family.
  9. I know what I look like.  Yes, I am fully aware that I’ve been wearing these yoga pants for three days.  As long as the kid looks great, I give not two rips about my own appearance.  This isn’t Fashion Week.
  10. You will hear about how awesome being a parent is A LOT.  Seriously, being a parent is the most awesomely rad and rewarding (yet challenging) blessing that you could ever, EVER imagine.  You may hear about it so much that you decide you’d rather poke yourself in the ear with a green onion than listen to me ramble for one moment longer.  Your life is also important, and full of wonderful, meaningful moments, and you should share them.  I promise not to try and top your story with a, “GUESS WHO GOT HIS SPOON INTO HIS MOUTH!” tale.
  11. One day, should you decide to have children, I will tell you things you don’t want to hear.  Then your child will arrive, and you will tell me I was right.  This is 110% true; many mom friends told me what life would be like, what would change, what would become more important and what would become less important.  And there were things I didn’t believe or agree with back then that I now find to be absolute truths in parenting.  I have eaten humble pie, and I have told them just how right they were.  But it’s a good kind of right.

I can’t emphasize number ten enough; it is the honest-to-goodness and absolute truth.  And, like my awesome mom friends, I will refrain from ever saying, “I TOLD YOU SO!”  I will nod and smile, knowing that now you are also a member of the greatest club in the entire world, and I will invite you over for Wine Wednesdays.  Because, in case you don’t already know, moms are actually pretty cool.

Cheers,

K

SERIOUSLY AWESOME.

SERIOUSLY AWESOME.

Round-Up

The sporadic round-up of things I’m doing when I’m not writing…two weeks late because: kids.  I choose to pluralize the word because pets count as children.

Teen Mom…  I will admit that we are former Teen Mom watchers.  Before kids, it was so easy to get sucked into a Saturday marathon of that show.  I’d sit down after mopping (you know, giving the floor time to dry) and think I’d just watch the end of this episode.  But then I’d need to know if Kaitlyn and Tommy were going to stay together, or if Leah was going to get married again, or if Janelle was still with Kiefaaaah…and before I knew it, the sun was setting.  We gave it up after realizing our continued viewership was one of the driving forces behind the 17th season of the show.  Last week while flipping through the channels, Evan paused on MTV for a split second.  It was long enough for me to see that Teen Mom was on, and the cast that we had previously watched!  So we agreed to just watch a few minutes of the show.

While we were watching, I felt the need to adjust the color/tint/brightness on our TV.  Remember the old TVs with knobs, where you could adjust those things?  Bring it back, because today’s TV technology is not equipped to handle the spray tan/skunk hair that seems to be in style from Georgia to Kentucky.

Ladies, this isn't as attractive as you think.

Ladies: NOT ATTRACTIVE.

Ladies: ALSO NOT ATTRACTIVE.

Ladies: ALSO NOT ATTRACTIVE.

You should also know that I lost a good half an hour of precious napping/reading/blogging time just Google-imaging “bad spray tan.”  If you need a laugh, do that.

The Hunger Games: Craigslist Edition… Let me preface this by saying I’ve never read any of The Hunger Games books, nor have I seen the movies.  But, from what I understand, it’s the story of a contest/battle to the death over something.  Maybe food?  Saving the rain forest?  Not sure, but I needed an example you can relate to, and I know these young adult books are all the rage right now (barf).

Anyway.  Two weeks ago, we finally finished cleaning out the garage.  This is a project that started seven years ago when we bought this house.  That’s what happens when you pack up your existing garage and just move it 20 blocks south.  We had an old entertainment center that was in really good condition, but that I was too lazy to try selling or hauling to a thrift shop.  Enter the Craigslist Curb Alert.  Do you know about the Curb Alert?  If you want to get rid of something super fast, and you’re willing to just give it away, post it there.  People literally sit on their computers all day long waiting for things like foliage, old refrigerators, and 500 pounds of fill dirt to be posted.  Then, they obsessively respond to your posting until you email them back.

Case in point: I posted the entertainment center at about 10am.  At 10:07, I got the first of fifty-seven emails.  By 10:30am, I realized something very important: I had an extreme amount of power.  After reading every email, we decided to determine the winner based on grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Examples of phrases that did not win: “R U still gettin rid of ENT CTR?”, people who chose to type “gunna” in lieu of “going to” or “gonna”, people who responded with “GIVE ME YOUR ADDRESS” (note: I don’t just give out my address to randos, and you’re even less likely to receive it by typing in all caps), and people who emailed more than three times.

The winner composed an email with complete sentences that even featured punctuation.  After Evan spoke with him on the phone, he was awarded the prize…driving from North Fort Myers to mid-Cape to load this beast up in the back of his truck.  By lunch time, my driveway was empty.  It was awesome.

I continued receiving emails in the form of text/broken English for the next two days.  I love Craigslist.

And finally…

The best way to end a weekend, ever…

THIS GUY.

THIS GUY.

Swingin’,

Kristin

 

Let Them Be Little

Earlier this week, while dropping Miles off at school, I noticed a dad who completed his entire arrival-drop off-departure while on his cell phone (obviously a “business” call).  I’d venture to guess that his son is about three years old.  He held his dad’s hand, struggled to keep up with his fast paced walking, and continued smiling while looking up at his dad.  His dad never once looked down to meet his son’s gaze and return the smile.  He shuffled him through his classroom door and waved goodbye, without a hug, without a kiss, without saying, “I love you.”

His son didn’t seem fazed, and maybe he’s accustomed to hurried mornings, but his father’s actions – or lack thereof – bothered me, deeply.  Am I more emotional now that we have Miles?  Most certainly.  There are situations and occurrences we witnessed in our childless life that I didn’t think twice about; now, however, it’s a different story.

Before we had Miles, I would always wonder how parents handle certain inevitable situations that I may have once considered “bad behavior.”  Things like running up and down the aisles in Publix, throwing loaves of bread.  Or taking an entire plate of spaghetti and turning it upside down on the table, while out to eat at a restaurant.  Or talking too loudly during church.  I have witnessed parents discipline in ways that caused me to cringe, and I have witnessed parents portray an obliviousness that left me confused.  And before we had Miles, I wouldn’t have noticed a parent rushing their child to daycare, school, soccer practice, or through a grocery store.  Kids are slow, right?  Seemed normal to urge them along.

Then, we became parents.

I am sure I’ve said many, many times before (and will continue to repeat) that once we had Miles, life as we knew it changed.  Of course there were moments of struggle (new parents are really clueless those first few weeks…) but those are absolute blips on the radar in comparison to the overwhelming love, joy, happiness and general awesomeness we experience on a daily basis.  Not a moment goes by that I don’t look at that kid and think to myself, “My God, we are blessed.”  He is the sun rising and the moon setting in our days.

As children get older, they develop their own personalities.  Becoming their own person brings new behaviors; some are sweet, some are funny, and some are just whaa? moments.  And many, many moments will mimic situations I witnessed before becoming a parent.  I have a different perspective because now, as a  mom, I get it.

Those parents I previously thought were oblivious to their children’s behavior really weren’t (well, not all of them).  I know this because I am not an oblivious parent.  I am fully aware that Miles is “singing” along during the offertory at church.  I know that the instant I give him his spoon to “feed” himself, he’s going to fling zucchini at the cat and stick the spoon up his nose.  There is no trip to Publix that doesn’t end with a toy “dropped” on every aisle, and extra grocery items in the buggy that I’m certain I didn’t have on the list.  Know what?  That’s okay.  Know why?  He’s a baby, bordering on toddler, and these are just the things they do.  He is full of curiosity and wonder (also, feistiness) which we find charming and hilarious, all at the same time.  Miles is free to be Miles, even if it means blowing raspberries at strangers in Target.

We have chosen to let Miles experience life at full sprint…what better way for him to learn?  We have chosen to laugh at the moments that may cause other folks to just cringe.  Just a couple weeks ago, Evan was getting Miles ready for bath time (we call this “nakey baby time” in our house).  After the usual nakey baby song and dance, Evan picked Miles up off the changing table and proceeded to make his way to the bathroom.  It was in that instant that I saw it…poop.  Poop coming out of Miles’ tush, onto the changing table, onto the floor and onto Evan.  Miles was flapping and smiling and waving, per the usual.  My eyes met Evan’s, and we froze…then, we erupted into laughter.  You cannot fully comprehend the humor in poop until you have children.   Life is hysterical.

Rather than become exasperated, we find the joy and humor and absolute silliness that we have in our lives now.  How can I look at that spaghetti smeared face, dumping his sippy cup onto the dining room floor, and not become filled with love and gratitude?

As working parents, life gets busy.  Very busy.  Perhaps “busy” is an understatement for the hurricane of work-errands-chores-parenting that must take place on a daily basis.  But what I’ve learned is that you’re only as busy as you choose to be in that moment.  Sure, there’s laundry I need to fold and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, but I’m going to push those chores off until after Miles hits the hay, because stacking rings and reading books is so much more fun.  And I’m sure you’d be surprised to know that most days of the week, I’m running late for work, but that doesn’t stop me from spending those extra ten minutes with Miles at school, watching him play with the other kids and giving him oodles of hugs and kisses before I head out the door.

You are never, ever too busy to stop for a moment and cherish your children.

We have chosen to never let “life” interfere with our blessings.  There are many evenings we’re tired (or is it exhausted?) but, truth be told, it’s the best kind of tired.  Feeling a wave of exhaustion hit as soon as I close the nursery door at 8pm is just the result of us living the best moments of our day to the fullest extent possible.

Miles is only little for a short while; soon we’ll have a toddler, then a preschooler, then an actual kid, followed by a preteen and (shudder) a teenager.  Before we realize it, Miles will be in college.  Miles will be getting married (after she passes my “marriage qualifications exam”).  Miles will be starting his own family.

I never, ever want to miss a single smile, hug, kiss, smile, or belly laugh.  I want to be present for each and every moment that I possibly can.  And I want him to have complete joy in being little, regardless of how messy or loud that joy can be.  He is only little once.

I came across this print on Etsy the other day, and found it perfectly encompassed the way we have chosen to parent:

“You will never have this day with your children again.  Tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today.  This day is a gift.  Just breathe, notice, study their faces and little feet.  Pay attention.  Relish the charms of the present.  Enjoy today, it will be over before you know it.  Let them be little.”

Unspeakable Joy

Unspeakable Joy

L-I-V-I-N,

Kristin