Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The first day of school...not.

It happened today...the big yellow school bus rolled down our street and all the school-aged neighborhood kids got on. All except mine, that is. For a brief moment, Erin stood looking at it, wondering about her friends, but then we loaded her bike up into the car and she came with me on my morning run. As we were driving down the street behind the bus, I saw the moms all standing on the curb waving good-bye to their kids and, I admit it, I felt a little pang of jealousy. Just a small one. See, those moms kind of get a break for today. A chance to do their thing, a chance to go shopping alone or maybe spend one-on-one time with a younger sibling. A chance to not have to be 100% "on" for the whole day. And yes, I admit, I would like that.

But we have chosen a different life. So off Erin and I went for our morning run and then since it was so hot I took the kids to the lake for a swim and picnic lunch which we followed up with ice cream. Yes, it is a different life and yes, sometimes I think the grass is greener elsewhere, but today was a good day. I wouldn't trade it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Little Slugger

This morning Evan went out to the garage, picked up a ball and bat and wouldn't rest until Megan was "pitching" to him. He would nick the ball slightly with the bat, go get the ball and throw it back to us. Then he would clap for himself and say, "YEAH!" So should I: (A) just be amazed that my little guy is getting so big or (B) start planning my multi-million dollar retirement estate that he'll buy us when he signs his first major league contract?

Definitely B....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Argh...bad day

Some days parenting SUCKS. Here I am, the mom of a baby who died and I know all to well the feeling of despair and wanting a living child more than anything...I remember thinking that I'd never be around to watch Sophie throw a tantrum in the grocery store (silly thing, but there you have it). And now, for some reason, our family is going through some major issues and the tantrums are coming on hard and fast and all I can think about is what my life would be like without kids. Which, when you are the mom of a kid that never got to be a kid, is an awful thing to think about! But here it is: Megan is whining non-stop, Evan is not sleeping at all (therefore, neither are we) and Erin has these completely unreasonable outbursts on a semi-regular basis. When I sit back and think about it, it is all very age-appropriate...but when it all comes together in a Perfect Storm of emotion, I admit, I sometimes don't handle it well.

Take Erin, for example. Today we have been telling the girls for HOURS that we are heading over to a friend's house after lunch to help them with a house project. We made it clear that we were ALL going (i.e. she doesn't have the option to stay home) but that she had choices once there. She could sit and read, she could play outside or she could help. About an hour before we had to go, I suggested that if she wanted to help dig, she needed clothes that could get dirty. She did nothing. 30 minutes ago I suggested that if she wanted a book, she should get that. She did nothing. (Meanwhile, of course, Megan is completely not listening and playing naked in a mud puddle, but that is a different issue) So now it is time to go and we are asking her to get in the car. As usual, when faced with an absolute, she flung herself on the floor and shouted, "I'M NOT GOING! I REFUSE!" Now, if I were a good parent (as I am most of the time) I would use empathy, help her not feel so stressed about the time limit, talk about making better choices next time and yaddy yaddy yaddy. But not today. Today I took the relationship-destroying, I'm-out-of-patience-you-will-do-as-I-say-RIGHT-NOW route. Not so helpful. Now she is crying, I'm yelling and I know (as I'm yelling) that I'm doing the wrong thing. I know this, deep deep down...I get it. And know what? I can't help it. Because sometimes, I'm just mad.

Megan is the same thing--she is 5, about to start school again, feeling a little disconnected from her surroundings. So when she gets into a fit about something, and starts to whine or whatever, we try to hold her, cuddle her, give her some extra attention. Lately, she has thrown fits over EVERY LITTLE THING. It is very, very trying. Even on good days. Last night I found myself arguing with her. Actually trying to make a point while she was flailing about on the floor. Again, not a great parenting moment...because let's face it...she probably didn't get my point.

So where does this leave me? I find myself with reasons for all of it--Chris has been working far too hard lately and classes start next week for him, so he's stressed about to his limit. We are having major issues with our girls playing too much with the kids in the neighborhood with whom we do not share many similar values. This means we are working very hard to keep them happy and entertained at home--which can be a challenge--or we try to go somewhere with them to keep them away from the house--also a challenge. Me? Well, I'm sleep deprived from Evan's needs (normal, nothing I can do about it) but there is so much more weighing on me. I'm supposed to start a job this fall and I'm not sure where to find an extra 20 hours a week for that, I'm not feeling prepared to home school this year (though I'm sure I am), and, to top it off, I have that good friend I told you about who is dying of cancer. She is nearing the point where more care will be necessary and it all just scares me and upsets me and makes me want to scream at everyone all the time. Who gets the brunt of that? Yup...my wonderful husband and my phenomenal, albeit occasionally annoying, children. My children, who in truth, could not be expected to handle this family stress any better than they are doing and who look to me to know how to handle set-backs. Know what, kids? This isn't how you handle set-backs. Find another role model while I go take a hot shower and wish there was a way to do today all over again...the right way.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Off On Vacation

Sorry I haven't posted a bunch here lately. I've got all kinds of ideas for posts rolling around in my head, but things here have been very busy and I haven't had a chance to really get them out and organized into coherent works. Now I'm busy packing up my family for our week out on Smuttynose Island (look up Isles of Shoals if you are interested). One week with my family and no phone or internet access...just some fun games, some good books and beautiful sunsets every night. A nice way to round out the summer. Maybe I'll have something deep and meaningful when I get back--or at least some good pictures!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This One Is Gross--Sorry!

This morning Evan used the potty--really really. He had a bit of pee come out on the floor and then he said, "PEE!" and ran to the potty and peed in it. Not bad for a 17mo old! (Don't worry, I'm not even thinking of really "training" him right now!) Anyway, a bit later, Chris takes the kids swimming for a few hours. When they got home I was in the kitchen making lunch and Evan was just wandering around naked, munching on whatever he could find in the snack cabinet. Chris came inside and picked up the little guy and Evan began to tell us what he wanted for lunch (more blueberries). All of a sudden, we hear this splashy sound and I look down to figure out what Chris had just dropped that made a sound like that. You guessed it! Projectile poop from the little guy whose bum-bum was hanging over Chris's arm. It was on Erin's blankie (which is now in the wash and I'm hoping will dry before Erin knows it is missing!), all over the floor and (my favorite), the dog.

Then Megan said, "What's for lunch?" as she came into the kitchen.

Ahhhh the joys of parenthood! Definitely one of those times that you just have to laugh and know that, as Erin's science teacher often says, "It all comes down to pee and poop!"