Tuesday, January 31, 2012
We just love him soooo much!
Friday, January 27, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
We are having the best snow day. Besides the usual fun, we painted (I saved Owen from a taste of his fingerpaint while Isaac made a beautiful water color portrait), made a puffer fish craft using construction paper and an egg carton, and now we are on to our afternoon activity: reindeer cookies. Apparently we're also pretending it is Christmas time once more. Hope those of you around here enjoyed your snow day as well!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
To the Mother With Only One Child
by Simcha Fisher Thursday, January 19, 2012 7:00 AM
Don’t say it. Before the words can even pass your lips, let me beg you: don’t say, “Wow, you have nine kids? I thought it was hard with just my one!”
My dear, it is hard. You’re not being a wuss or a whiner when you feel like your life is hard. I know, because I remember having “only one child.” You may not even believe how many times I stop and reflect on how much easier my life is, now that I have nine children.
All right, so there is a lot more laundry. Keeping up with each child’s needs, and making sure they all get enough attention, is a constant worry. And a stomach bug is pretty much the end of the world, when nine digestive tracts are afflicted.
But I remember having only one child, and it was hard—so very hard. Some of the difficulties were just practical: I didn’t know what I was doing, had to learn everything. People pushed me around because I was young and inexperienced. But even worse were the emotional struggles of learning to be a mother.
When I had only one child, I truly suffered during those long, long, long days in our little apartment, no one but the two of us, baby and me, dealing with each other all day long. I invented errands and dawdled and took the long way home, but still had hours and hours to fill before I would hear my husband’s key in the door.
I cared so much what other people thought about her—they had to notice how beautiful she was, they had to be impressed at my natural mothering skills. I obsessed over childhood development charts, tense with fear that my mothering was lacking—that I hadn’t stimulated her enough, or maybe had just passed on the wrong kind of genes. I cringe when I remember how I pushed her—a little baby!—to achieve milestones she wasn’t ready for.
I lived in terror for her physical safety (I once brought her to Urgent Care, where the doctor somewhat irritably diagnosed a case of moderate sniffles) fearing every imaginable disease and injury. In my sleep-deprived state, I would have sudden insane hallucinations that her head had fallen off, her knees had suddenly broken themselves in the night, and so on.
My husband didn’t know how to help me. I didn’t know how to ask for help. My husband had become a father, and I adored him for it. My husband got to leave the house every day, and sleep every night. He got to go to the bathroom alone. I hated him for it.
When I had only one child, I told myself over and over that motherhood was fulfilling and sanctifying and was filling my heart to the brim with peace and satisfaction. And so I felt horribly guilty for being so bored, so resentful, so exhausted. This is a joyful time, dammit! I should enjoy being suddenly transformed into the Doyenne of Anything that Smells Bad.
I loved my baby, I loved pushing her on the swing, watching squirrels at the park together, introducing her to apple sauce, and watching her lips move in joyful dreams of milk. But it was hard, hard, hard. All this work: is this who I am now? I remember!
So now? Yes, the practical parts are a thousand times easier: I’m a virtuoso. I worry, but then I move along. Nobody pushes me around, and I have helpers galore. Someone fetches clean diapers and gets rid of the dirty ones. When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night for the ten thousandth time, I sigh and roll my eyes, maybe even cry a little bit for sheer tiredness—but I know it will pass, it will pass.
It’s becoming easier, and it will be easier still. They are passing me by.
I’m broken in. There’s no collision of worlds. We’re so darn busy that it’s a sheer delight to take some time to wash some small child’s small limbs in a quiet bath, or to read The Story of Ferdinand one more time. Taking care of them is easy. It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, but when I stop and take a breath, I see that it’s almost like a charade of work. All these things, the dishes, the diapers, the spills—they must be taken care of, but they don’t matter. They aren’t who I am.
To become a mother, I had to learn how to care about someone more than I did about myself, and that was terrible. But who I am now is something more terrible: the protector who can’t always protect; the one with arms that are designed to hold, always having to let go.
Dear mother of only one child, don’t blame yourself for thinking that your life is hard. You’re suffering now because you’re turning into a new woman, a woman who is never allowed to be alone. For what? Only so that you can become strong enough to be a woman who will be left.
When I had only one child, she was so heavy. Now I can see that children are as light as air. They float past you, nudging against you like balloons as they ascend.
Dear mother, don’t worry about enjoying your life. Your life is hard; your life will be hard. That doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong—it means you’re doing it right.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Confirmed this morning. Owen has a fractured clavicle (broken collarbone).
We're not sure when or how it happened. The only recent big thing happened a week ago. The boys and I were headed into the basement, they were fighting over something (as usual), and Isaac shoved Owen down the stairs. He did not exhibit any signs of pain until Thursday night before bed. We examined him for swelling, bruises, etc. but found nothing except a little discomfort when we applied pressure. We babied him all weekend, checked and re-checked him multiple times and he seemed ok. Then yesterday, one of my piano students picked him up under the arms (I forgot to forewarn her because I was in the middle of a lesson) and he screamed for a looong time. Last night, it was red, swelled up, and this morning, a nice bruise with some swelling. So, we went off to the Dr. They ordered up x-rays and it was confirmed: fractured clavicle. Right now, Owen's right arm is basically useless. He won't lift it much, and only uses it very minimally. He is already on the mend. The fracture actually already has scar tissue all around it (you can see it in the x-ray). So, he should be as good as new in about 4-5 weeks.
16 months and his first broken bone......we're off to a great start!
Monday, January 16, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.
Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.
This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
We had a wonderful holiday season filled with family and friends. What a great way to celebrate Jesus' birthday. It even ended with Blake and I both battling colds! Hope yours was just as special, minus sneezing, runny noses, coughing, and sore throat!