A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Pity for a Fool?

My children and I participate in few paid activities.  They are expensive, and I want to avoid overscheduling him just because it’s harder for me to organize activities and keep him otherwise engaged and occupied.  One class, however, has become a mainstay for the most part.  This international music class for young ones varies in quality depending on the instructor, but I managed to find one with a man my son adores.  Little Man is more gregarious these days, but while I wasn’t thrilled with this man’s personality initially, he cracked my son’s quiet shell immediately.  I can’t argue with that.

We recently finished our third enrollment in this program, and toward the end of this go around, the instructor pulled me aside as we rushed out to meet my son’s speech therapist.  I remember the music teacher double taking something Mr. Man said, although I forgot immediately after what it was.  There was something else of note I noticed as well, also lost to memory.  I know nothing of music or other typical toddler benchmarks and capabilities, so generally think nothing of my first’s skill acquisitions.

It isn’t so much that I think negatively of his abilities or doubt his natural gifts; I choose not to think much of them either way.  My world view in this arena is that one can be simultaneously homeless or useless in society and brilliant or gifted.  I have no control over my children’s natural gifts, but I have some control in helping them learn to be productive and positive contributors in society regardless of their innate skills.  I don’t question my ability to set high expectations, but for me it is more about helping them make the most of their life.  For that I prefer to have a blank slate in my mind that forms an image of increasing detail as my children age.

When this skilled musician and teacher informed me of my son’s perfect pitch and possible gift in music, I immediately felt a wave of panic.  I still can’t conclusively say why fear washed over me at that moment.  Some time later I still ruminate over questions that spontaneously come to mind at random intervals.  What do I do with this information?  Obviously, all of it depends on my son’s interest in the area, but aside from that, what does a parent do with a possible exceptional skill, especially at such a young age?  It’s been weeks with no reveal, but like so much of my life in the last two years, I suppose at some point I’ll know what the next definitive step should be.

But, for now he sings songs I recognize immediately even without complete utterings of lyrics.  While I have no concept of what’s next, I’ve given myself permission to laugh with my whole body when he rounds a corner strumming his ukulele sized toy guitar in nothing but a diaper; draped in his nine dollar store multicolored Mardi Gras bead strands and kitten ID card carrying “necklace.”  For the moment he can’t play anything, but maybe some day he will.  Even if he decides music is not for him, I will forever cherish my husband walking into the room gazing at my son in his current preferred get-up asking, “Why does my son look like Mr. T?”

Image result for mr t

(Hey, if Mr. T is telling me it will be A-Okay, I know everything will be alright.)



Tales of the Water Spout

I’ve reached that post baby delivery threshold where the glory of growing a human fades and the time of taking inventory of the aftermath begins.  At thirty-eight I consider myself an attractive woman despite not recalling the last time I even considered donning make-up.  Some of it is effort.  I try to exercise, sleep, eat well…wax.  Some of it is genes; approaching middle age I could probably easily pass for thirty.  On a good day possibly twenty-eight, but it would have to be a very good day after my daughter has been sleeping nine consecutive hours for a century and my son stops throwing every imaginable toy in the kitchen sink.  That said, I’m not terribly photogenic, which is evident in my published headshot.  But, to be fair, it was taken after another lackluster haircut at the very sunset of my gloriously heinous pregnancy with the Warrior Queen.

My body is starting to shrink, albeit not fast enough for my liking, but shrinking nonetheless.  It isn’t so much a vanity thing as I miss my lovelier clothing, and it would be even more lovely if I could wear a bra that fit.  But, returning to a type of pre-pregnancy body is a gradual thing, so periodically I try on wardrobe odds-and-ends.  This morning was a shorter dress just above the knee.  Since I birthed Warrior Queen, everything I wear has been ankle length, but I’m small, so ankle is kind in many instances.

This dress is a favorite.  Something about it is cozy and fun, even if my extra ten pounds doesn’t make it as fun as I remember.  Sometimes cozy is enough.  Draping this black number over myself I surveyed my legs in detail for the first time.  It seems every pregnancy brings about some type of physical godsend.  Surprisingly, my belly stretch marks disappeared after Little Man’s pregnancy.  Maybe their reincarnation will do the same this time; maybe not.  My spider veins, however, multiplied at Tribble-like frequency.

   (This is how I looked at my legs this morning.)

Such a statement says quite a lot because my spider veins were fairly plentiful prior to, and full out flourished after my son’s pregnancy.  I get that I’m supposed to love my goddess body and feel the pride of what it can do.  That sentiment certainly hasn’t escaped me, but I’d be lying if I said I was pleased that my fair, okay, pastey legs grew even more of these blue marvels.

A strange thing, though, as I scrutinized every inch of my stemware.  My younger pre baby me screamed that I should not go out in public with such arachnids visibly coating my lower half.  I even removed my cozy, fun dress for a moment.  Maybe it’s because of the comfort that pairs with the realization of my officially impending middle age.  Maybe it’s because my body, spider veins and all, did, in fact, create two pretty incredible humans who vomit…everywhere and throw toys in the sink.  I ardently tried to care about the appearance of my legs, but it just didn’t matter.  Sure, I’d love to walk on stilts worthy of the best airbrushing, but that will never happen.  So, while I forget to hold my breath, I will be wearing my shorter garments, making peace with the proliferations of spiders that climbed on my spouts again.


Wake-up Call!

It’s been a grueling time, but I’m not sure why.  Other than a whole mess of sick, things are not that bad, but I’m finding longer gaps between posts than I’d like.  I have my list of topics, yet time escapes, and nothing produced but a couple unfinished pieces and penned wish lists.

But, yesterday was a moment taking its slot at the front of my noted scrawled lines.  Warrior Queen at four months was sleeping after her first feeding of the day.  My son descending the stairs with his newfound boisterous chatter.  I understood a fraction of what he said, but he was so excited for his day to begin, I didn’t need to understand more than his vacillations between eggs and toast and lotta poop.

Little Man always seeks his sister immediately entering our main downstairs living area.  This morning no exception as he hovered in front of Warrior Queen shrieking, “Baby sleep!”  I was too late shushing him, and my fierce one woke with a startle.  Immediately, though, she saw Little Man beaming at her, and there were smiles abound.  My daughter just so excited to see the two of us stalking at her feet that her jazz legs began performing their gyrations, and gummy grins engulfed her face.

Mr. Man danced and pointed.  I laughed and tended to the eggs and toast.

Is SAHMing a Gymnastic Event?

I had a morning the other day that left me feeling as though I absolutely kill it as a stay-at-home mom.  My daughter woke up just shy of 6.30, making almost nine hours of straight sleep.  She is pretty much four-months old, and if this is what her regression will look like, I say, “Yes, please.”  I managed twenty minutes of exercise before the Warrior Queen requested her breakfast.  Unfortunately, I fed her just as Little Man greeted his day.  Thirty minutes of bottle time, left my son on the edge of his patience.  I generally shower before retrieving him, but not this day.

The morning routine was all over the place.  All the required tasks before our outing were completed with amazing efficiency, but in such a random order I felt like surely we would be late leaving the house.  My son behaved himself with independent occupation for the duration of my tasks, and  not one toy was launched into our kitchen sink that rivals Mr. Man’s dog stuffed animal that missed its calling as a Center for Disease Control sample.  Usually when I have the capability to complete all of the mundane tasks that a toddler finds excruciatingly boring, there is a gift waiting for me in his diaper that I pretend isn’t there, so my immediate chores can be completed…or so I can use the restroom.  But, with increasing frequency, my son will be wonderfully behaved without harboring a fugitive.  Maybe the plethora of time-outs he’s earned over the past several months and the end of the nap stand-off finally allow me to reap some reward.

Even taking my shower with the almost two-and-a-half year old Little Man roaming the upstairs somewhat freely was reasonably uneventful.  He only flushed the toilet once while I was scouring baby residue off my person, and helped me restore his entire bookcase of literature and toys he emptied onto the floor with marvelous efficiency.

But, my unicorn of a morning did not end there.  I managed to feed Mr. Man freshly made eggs and toast and throw together a spur of the moment pasta salad from scratch.  For those new to my work, food is extremely important to me, and knowing that I was flowing through my discombobulated morning without delaying incident, yet highly aware I missed my breakfast, motivated me to take along something a bit more tasty and substantial than my usual gallivanting feast assortment.

After each accomplishment around the house, I waited to be hailed upon by other shoes.  The snoozing Warrior Queen was bound to awaken suddenly and spew the contents of an entire bottle, and provide an additional far reaching spray all over me just after I change her, right?  Little Man would surely manage to open the bathroom door for the first time and dismantle the toilet I forgot to flush, right?  I kept waiting for my luck to end, but it never did.  I loaded all of us into the car, and we were off precisely when we needed to be.  I even managed to purchase my favorite tea beverage, at a drive-through, of course.  When we arrived at our magic play place without incident, I couldn’t believe the car accident I anticipated didn’t materialize.

But, as I changed Warrior Queen’s diaper with my son roaming the family style restroom; his still small, but growing hands plunging into the toilet water and his sister increasingly unhappy with her lady parts exposed, it occurred to me my miraculous morning wasn’t idyllic.  Some might call it a rushed shit show.  Upon further reflection, either I’ve adjusted to having two small blessed beings in my life to the point of ignoring the annoying mishaps that otherwise would prompt me to tear off my face, or my threshold for happiness is pathetically low.

Breakfast of Champions

I’m still sick, but reverted back to my pre illness state of coherence, so I vaguely make sense in brief conversations, but I can’t actually remember the conversation once I’ve journeyed ten minutes from it.  It is a pretty wicked cold that passed to my husband…because of the, “what’s mine is yours,” jazz.  So, as the less sick spouse, I took the kids out early this morning for breakfast before a visit with my parents.

My cold is well into its second week, but I can’t remember exactly how long I’ve had it.  Existing in the throws of early infant days hits my memory profoundly, leaving me to feel as though I’ve always been sick.  Taking my children to breakfast this morning reminded me of my real life, not this current experience of me periodically in tears from exhaustion and frustrated with my poor husband who certainly didn’t ask to share my earlier misery.

While the first reasonable night’s sleep in almost a week greatly improved my homicidal perseverations toward humanity…and the idiots sharing my road; preparing breakfast wasn’t something worth tackling.  We ate at a local diner with questionable interior design, but the best vegetable omelets I’ve ever eaten; even the mushrooms are fresh among the impressively plentiful variety of roughage.

Our trio entered the virtually empty space and chose a seat.  My son in a high chair looking at the traffic along the rotary outside, pointing and unintelligibly discussing the various trucks passing.  But, I hung on every word.  My daughter sleeping in her bucket.  I ordered my meal and my son’s blueberry pancakes (The blueberries are fresh and the amount almost ruin the integrity of the cake!).  The service is usually slow at this establishment, but I soaked every piece of this morning.  I basked in one of the wait staff commenting I had beautiful baby boy, even though I changed her out of her brother’s pajamas…because Warrior Queen is an infant and resembles this:

(Pat has a better hairline, but this is the identical facial expression just before spit-up seeps from her mouth or she is about to take a dump.)

I reveled in my son’s excitement of having a return to a typical peaceful and low key outing.  I felt exuberance anticipating my omelet…my son was equally invested in the arrival of his food.  The meal arrived.  My son expressing his excitement with his mouth agape in an “O” that wraps around and hugs his teeth.  Eyes wide, he waited patiently as I cut his stack of pancakes, but really he was transfixed by the bacon.  I completely understand his reaction.  Bacon is fabulous, and I would sign any petition enacting it as a superfood.  Yeah, I get that it has fat and yadda, yadda, yadda, but who isn’t so happy they almost wet themselves while eating it?  But, maybe it’s me.  I have twelve more baby pounds to lose, so my order arrived with the Canadian counterpart cooked well.  It’s a deficient alternative, but kept me from snatching my son’s pieces out of his hands and mouth.  We all have our strategies.

My daughter woke, so my attention vacillated love between my blissfully eating son and my daughter who also seems to relish our typical togetherness atmosphere.  My meal was rewarded with smiles, and I barely missed my breakfast lacking the salty magnificence of regular bacon.  My fierce girl is almost laughing, some of her smiles so large gasps sporadically escaped her mouth.  My son occasionally looked down and pointed.  Maybe he would smile or comment on his sister’s excitement.  He looked back at me after each gesture with his fist of bacon or fork of pancake, before cramming the selected food in his grinning mouth.  He looked at me with all the love I’m tickled he still has, seemingly every tooth on display in between mouthfuls.

It was such a simple morning, and some day these simple moments might be more difficult to come by.  Even though my children won’t remember, I hope I can always replay every expression of theirs in my mind, cementing anything from having the chance to wipe my mind’s eye clean.

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