Archive for ‘motherhood rocks’

May 30, 2010

the laundry can wait

the mountain of laundry will continue to grow.  we’ve got more important things to do…

baby wearing

chalk drawing

piggy nibbling

tomato growing

playground climbing

maybe i’ll tackle the chores when we’re done with our popsicle eating, flower growing, sun soaking, sprinkler running, adventure going, treasure hunting, and hammock swinging.

February 25, 2010

kiddo: 1, mama: 0

do you remember that scene in “dumb and dumber” when one of them asks, “do you want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?” and then makes a noise not unlike that produced by a dying goose being strangled by a cat in heat inside the instrument of a novice bagpiper?  part of you wants to yell, “OHDEARLORD make it stop!” but the other half cannot help but laugh because it’s just so stupidly funny.  my daughter has discovered that that little recipe for humor is pure gold, only instead of obnoxious noises she uses an invasion of personal space mixed with absolute syrupy sweetness to drive me bananas.

tonight she was like a little velcro baby;  climbing on me, clinging to every inch of my body, draping her limbs all over me just to get under my skin.  when i’d ask her to give mommy some space she’d look into my eyes, wrap her arms around my neck and say, “but i love you, mommy.”  no, really baby….mama needs a little room to breathe.  “i love you more than anything, mama.”  child giggles devilishly, marvels at her own cleverness and drapes herself even more insistently across my chest/lap/face until i am aggravated to a point where all i can do is just laugh.  i give up.  i wouldn’t tolerate such annoyance from anyone else but her.  she’s two-and-a-half and she has got my number.

January 9, 2010

caution: i’m about to brag about my kid

there have been so many days lately when i feel like screaming, “THIS!!!  this is why i wanted to be a mom.”  my daughter is approaching two-and-a-half, an age which, according to conventional wisdom and cautionary tales of parenthood, should be causing me to question my decision to procreate, but she is just so damn awesome that i can’t help but feel blessed.  i love that we can have real conversations, i love that we can take walks together and hold hands yet she’s still light enough for me to swoop up and carry in my arms, i love that she’s becoming more independent and confident and proud.  i just adore the person that she is becoming, yet i feel like she’s growing up too fast.  i want to stop time so i can just enjoy these wonderful moments.

before i became a mom i worked as a family counselor and i met a lot of people who simply sucked at being parents.  to be fair, some of these families were struggling in many ways and their limited resources and skills seriously impacted their ability to be good parents.  some of them were just shitty parents no matter which way you cut it, and even under the best of circumstances probably still would have been shitty parents.  i learned a lot of lessons about what not to do from these folks.

these lessons have shaped my entire belief system about how to interact with my child.  i think one of the most profound observations that i took away from my work with these families is that children wither under criticism, and thrive with praise and positive reinforcement.   simple, huh?  totally seems like a no-brainer, but i can recall dozens of kiddos who stand out in my mind as prime examples of shriveled, droopy, sad, little souls whose spirits were snuffed out by caregivers who simply did not (or could not) show any sort of positive attention to their children.  these kids would light up with a simple, “good job, today, buddy” or “thanks for playing with me today.  i had a good time.”  it breaks my heart to think that they never got that sort of affection from the people who should be giving it the most.   i make sure that i never miss an opportunity to let my daughter know that i think she’s a pretty special kid.  every night before bed, when we’re recounting what we did during the day, i always thank her for being a good girl, for being sweet, for being a good helper.  throughout the day i make sure to tell her that she’s doing a great job playing with her toys, or that i’m so proud of her for conquering the big slide at the playground all by herself, or that i admire her confidence when she slides headfirst down the water slide.  (side note: she went headfirst down the water slide today, going under the water and then surfacing with a huge smile…all by herself!)  my heart swells with pride when she smiles and responds with, “i know” to assure me that she feels good about herself too.  i pray that she still feels that way about herself when she’s thirteen, and twenty-five, and ninety-two.

i worry a lot about raising a “good” kid.  i know that the parenting we do now will shape her development and self-image as a teen and as an adult.  i worry that i’m not doing enough to ensure that she becomes a happy, healthy, confident, well-adjusted individual.  that’s a lot of pressure.  it also supports the argument that mental health professionals with degrees in human development and child psychology are overly neurotic parents, but that’s beside the point.  it’s hard to just sit back and realize that i am doing a great job NOW and that she’s a happy, healthy, confident, well-adjusted kiddo NOW, and that i have ten-and-a-half years before she becomes a teenager (ten-and-a-half?!  is that all?!) to keep doing what i’m doing and that she will continue to be an amazing person.

in the meantime, i’ll just try to savor these wonderful days that remind me how lucky i am to be this little creature’s mama.  i’ll try not to dwell on all my fears about what could go wrong if i fail as a parent.  i’ll take advantage of every opportunity to be the best mom i can be, and not beat myself up when i have a less-than-stellar performance.  she’s two-and-a-half and she’s incredible.  i wish i could freeze her at this age so that i can enjoy it forever (except maybe after she’s potty trained).  she reminds me all the time that THIS! is why i became a parent.

October 20, 2009

ain’t nothing more exciting than talking about potty training, right?

potty training.  potty learning.  whatever you call it, it’s not happening here.  i haven’t really pushed it because i don’t want to force my daughter before she’s ready, and yesterday she gave me a very obvious sign that she’s not ready.

i took her diaper off for a change and then told her to run naked for a while to air out.  “just tell mama if you need to go potty, okay?”

she looked at me, frozen in place.

“let me know if you need to go pee pee, baby.”

and then she wailed, “noooooooooooo!  i need a diaper!  diaper, please!”  only when she says “diaper” it comes out as “dahhhpyah” so it’s extra super cute even if she is howling.

okay.  cue, followed.  check.  not ready for a diaper-free tushie.

we bought her a potty at least six months ago and she’s used it successfully two or three times.  mostly she likes to sit on it for a nanosecond, wipe well, and flush the big potty.  actually sitting long enough to use it? not happening.  i don’t want to push it if she’s not ready, she’s only two months past her second birthday so it’s not like she’s way behind or anything, but i would love to have her out of diapers by the time the new baby comes.  maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

got any tips, momma friends?

August 6, 2009

i may not have a 401k, but i get paid in hugs

once upon a time i had a “real” job. it was a “real” job that required about seven years of higher education but it was a job i was eager to abandon in order to become a mom. although i spent four years in college and another three in graduate school, i always knew that motherhood was my true calling. i’m sure if you asked anyone in my old profession they would tell you that i was good at my job, but i never felt that way. my heart just wasn’t in it and i never felt confident in my abilities. i will be the first to tell you that i am a kickass mom, however. i’m not being boastful – well, maybe i am, just a little bit, but shouldn’t we all toot our own horns once in a while? – i just love feeling totally confident in my role as a mother. certainly, like all mothers, i have those days that feel like absolute failures, but most of the time i feel like i am doing a fantastic job. i will likely always have laundry piled to the rafters, 18 zillion items on my to-do list, and toys strewn about every room in the house, but i’m learning to be okay with that. it’s part of the deal. also, my current boss is way cooler than any other boss i had in the working world…even if she is only 37 inches tall.