A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: happy children

Life as Pictures: colorful heart in winter

Something about this time of year is inherently dreary. But, winter has a beauty in its perpetually damp and icy death. It’s been a blurred confusion for a bit; suddenly I’ve caught a partial breath, and we are at the doorstep of spring…or at least the end of the driveway. I find March the worst of the months, as it always feels like it should be progressing quicker than it ever does. It’s a weird chilled season this year; the past two or three winter drudges had us slammed with snow well into an established false sense of security approaching February. Even with the trilogy of storms the past couple of weeks, things melt quickly this time of year as the world presses on.

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I feel an initial obligation to remove the color from some of these scenes. Isn’t that a prerequisite for attempts to pass something off as artistic? But, it’s winter; this picture from the heart of February. It’s so easy to forget that the sun shines when the air crumbles around from the heaviness. I know this these images so well. We attend the same library music class, and this is the library’s very own enclosed sunken patio. In the spring it’s sprouting with a complex collection of life and hiding book character cut-outs. I’ve always been one for textures, so while my children do their thing I survey the debris and think about nothing worth remembering.

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The almost four-year-old Little Man is a sorter, committed to arranging things…anything. He will spend endless time organizing meticulously rambling about some kind of story that makes little sense to me. Periodically he’ll communicate whatever jargon he’s created, only requiring me to nod and smile. He has this verbal crutch that I hope never vanishes, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Unexpectedly within his conversational story chatter, he will flow into a deliberately pronounced and unaffectively uttered, “He he,” or similar notation of amusement before he flows into the remaining portions of his story.

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The almost two-year-old Warrior Queen idolizes her brother in between the times when she dramatically attempts to get him into trouble. She’s a slick one. It’s hard to say what she’s envisioning during these kinds of above musings. Sometimes it’s an attempt to be an asshole by wrecking something her brother built and loves. Sometimes she wants to take part in something her brother created…adding her piece to be closer to him. In this case she’s moments from adding a stone of her own. It’s something of an interesting note about my son. For all of his care and deliberations to have things just so, he’s never particularly disturbed when something he’s spent a good deal of time on is altered or destroyed entirely. He’s not a particularly anxious kid. It’s almost as though the monument is not as important as the process. Sometimes he rebuilds, sometimes not. Sometimes he sits aside and watches the enjoyment on his little sister’s face as she stomps around in a chaotic blur of destruction. When her task is complete, he’ll rise and begin some other activity. At times it’s reading or “building pipes.” On other occasions it’s destroying our sofa by flinging pillows throughout the room despite my consistent ardent pleas for him to desist.

 

I suppose winter is one more span of time, but my life consists of minutia after minutia that I could easily forget before moving onto the next bit of nothing. Little Man notices everything; remembers everything. If I assert that an event will happen at a designated time and say nothing more, Mr. Man will note the task the very second it comes to pass. I suspect Warrior Queen is similar. She often stares, taking everything in. Her speech is developing as it should, unlike her brother’s at a similar age. Some day her thoughts will become clearer. But, until that day her brother will fill any silence with blustering cacophony of sound.

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My son loves color, I guess. We’ve been frequenting the same eating establishment of late because the cost of food in comparable to anywhere else I’d take them, and the eating area was designed to entertain children. I’ve even managed a solid five minutes of conversation with friends before someone darts off to look at cakes or something. Perhaps it lowers the credibility of my disposition, but looking at food is a bit like porn to me. And, don’t get me started on cakes! When my son was old enough and capable of stringing complex sentences together, he began to rattle off a favored statement of mine in grocery stores, “Let’s go visit the cakes!” Fortunately, my son likes studying all kinds of things, the above flowers have become a preoccupation for him. Every week, sometimes more, he has to stop and examine them, asking me for my favorite assortment. Sadly the last visit had some of the arrangements looking a bit sorry. But, it’s still the rare bright color in winter…even if somewhat artificial in its design.

 

I mentioned Little Man’s structures and garages. Warrior Queen enjoys the same towers. Sometimes I can tell she misses her brother when he is at school for those two mornings a week, as she will inquire for me to build similar structures that my son presses on infinite building loops. Otherwise her default is to stack balanced blocks, holding her breath with wide eyes and smiling open mouth as she places bricks almost beyond her reach. I hope to hold the delight stretched across her face when the tower doesn’t topple, to keep that memory during moments I’m trying to escape.

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Sometimes they work together. Mr. Man expands out while Warrior Queen builds up. Often they hand each other parts, and my fierce sprite of a girl is quick to utter a garbled, “Thank you,” even when she offered the gift.

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Aside from the portion housing books, my husband and I have virtually abandoned replacing toys on the shelves; opting for the stylish cardboard boxes we’ve managed to bring home from a grocery store. I suspect we are perpetuating this catastrophe because the kids can’t find anything, but by the end of the day I’m too tired to care. In the random box it goes! And, sure enough come morning, Little Man dumps out each and every box for no other purpose than for shits and giggles. Warrior Queen, however, enters the room on an explicit recovery mission for an envisioned car or truck originally gifted to her brother that he only cares about when he sees she wants it. My feisty girl has her process. She retrieves and jams on a blue fishing cap so that it obstructs most of her vision. Then she hunts for and drapes each and every haphazardly beaded necklace her brother made in school before he can notice the theft. Finally, she adorns her small, expressive hands with my bright, fuzzy socks. The remaining morning routine she spends clutching a chosen stuffed animal or car. I watch with great care so I can note her preferred toy for the day. It will be the best chance I have changing her diaper without a foot to my throat.

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Returning to a relatively warm winter day on a desolate, mostly colorless patio, Warrior Queen only has eyes for her brother…attempting to see the world how he sees it. Most of the time his goal is to preserve the world for her as he believes it should be.

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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.

I’m ready for my close-up…

Today was a glorious day, yet that seems like such a weak description for the sunshine and angel hailing trumpets blessing the morning’s events.

Sure, my son is still cute and loving, maintaining a healthy consistency of affection throughout the day with nary a hint of fussing.  Yes, the Warrior Queen at 19-weeks is still ambitiously maintaining her existence in my belly.  My volunteering and writing are still running strong.  I even managed to continue the crochet project that, until recently, had been steadfastly keeping our shelves company for so many months.  All of this quite true, but none are attributed to the magnitude of what a fabulous day it’s been.

In fact, this day could only be better if the tenacious smell reminiscent of Seinfeld’s “entity” taking up residence in the room that harbors our generic version of the Diaper Jeanie would dissipate.  But, even thinking of that kind of perfection is just plain crazy talk.

I took Mr. Man to my town’s library for storytime this morning.  The plan was to meet a friend for the program and go to a local restaurant for an early lunch afterward.  We were early, so I was chatting with a couple of other mothers in between my son’s exalted dashes to another room, beckoning me to follow and thereby interrupting any coherent conversation.  In a brief exchange two mothers commented that I was tiny, and, in fact, one of the mothers described that I was one of those pregnant women she hates.  I’ve never been a “one of those” type of woman, but I blessed both of them for hating me and charged after Little Man who was already hovering at the top of the stairs impatiently urging me to help him down.

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