Sunday, April 28, 2013

tell me a story

will is my story teller.
he has a gigantic imagination that normally manifests in his conversational stories.
for example,
a few days ago he was eating a slice of watermelon,
went outside to the neighbors yard to chat while he was doing it.
as part of the conversation he said,
"You should see the watermelon tree in my backyard. We have one you know."
(we don't have a watermelon tree. watermelons don't grow on trees. we don't even have a vine.)
the one i love that he said yesterday was to his aunt sarah.
he said:
"My kitty is having 22 baby kittens tomorrow. Tomorrow is also her birthday. We are having a party. We have 2 cakes in the fridge.... 1 for the kitty and 1 for the kids."
(our kitten is not having kittens, it is not her birthday, and we don't even have 1 cake in our fridge for anything.)
his stories are not long,
but they are very regular.
the stories or the frequency aren't even the most imaginative part.
it's his face and voice.
he has almost a dead pan expression and a very convincing voice,
but very nonchalant.
that's what makes one question if this unbelievable story could maybe actually be true.
i need to write more of his stories down.
or perhaps get sam on it.
at this point in will's life i would predict that he will not have the desire or the action to ever publish any of his creative works.
sam has that mindset though.
sam perhaps might be more interested in the process of making the story official,
and will definitely has the story to tell.
i'm going to keep them together on this one,
and our family may actually have a published author at some point.
while they are absorbed in this process,
pete and i will still keep figuring out how to keep will's creativity alive while helping him discern between the truth and a story and when it is appropriate to share each one.

these are my things

since this space serves mostly as an account of my life,
then i must jot down the things that represent these times.
just in case i ever look back and wonder what things were the hardest as a mother for me in this stage,
now i will be able to accurately remember.

hardest things (i have 2 right now):

1. rounding up my kids to leave from somewhere.
i just hate it.
it requires so much physical effort on my part,
but mostly i hate the anticipation that surrounds it with me,
and i hate my lack of desire to be efficient with the process.
it goes about like this:
me: "kids, it's time to go."
no one listens and continues doing what they are doing.
me: "let's go."
no one listens again so i decide to keep talking, too.
30 minutes pass.
me: "ok. now it's really time to go."
no one listens.
i start getting frustrated and rounding up shoes, etc.
me: "ok. i have everything rounded up. let's go."
repeat the above scenario 1-3 times.
FINALLY we somehow manage to all get to the car.
buckle maggie
or try.
she insists on buckling the top buckle which often takes FOREVER.
then i buckle the bottom.
she is normally fighting me saying "no! it's tight!"
me: "buckle up so we can go."
sit. wait. finally.
then we go.

i don't know why i dislike it so much.
i just do.
i could change my strategy,
and it would probably go better.
it's just one of those things that i just don't like.

2. separation anxiety in my children.
this one is more serious.
it gets me on every level,
mental, physical, emotional.
it gets the child, too, on all those levels,
which in turn gets me double on all those levels again.
sometimes i get frustrated,
but mostly overwhelmed with sadness that they are feeling so afraid.
sad they feel so much inner turmoil and embarrassment.
sad that they waste so much time and emotional energy worrying about it.
i hate the inner conflict, too.
are they really needing me this time?
are they just manipulating this time to get what they want?
is this a phase?
are they having an emotional struggle with something that i'm not addressing?
am i causing this?
what can i do?
what should i do?
nothing helps.
then i still feel so hurt for them
and frustrated that i have to be the mom who has to figure out what to do and do it,
even if that sometimes means leaving a kicking, crying, distraught child.
the child recovers much faster than i do.
normally it's about 3 minutes for them.
for me it's about 3 days.
i hate it.
i hate it for them,
and i hate it for me.

oh, and one other thing now that i'm going....

3. losing things.
i understand we lose things/misplace things from time to time.
the rare items that are not used often i understand more and have more sympathy for,
but shoes???
you take them on and off several times a day,
and you have the same spot to put them that has never changed.
when you take your shoes off,
put them away.
when you need your shoes they will be there.
you (and i) should NOT have to search for your shoes every time you need to put them on!
i HATE helping look for lost shoes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

these are the best days of my life

before i had kids,
i didn't 'get' kids.
i was even known to say some pretty stupid things about kids,
(things that i wish i could take back now.)
even my own future kids.
one ridiculous thing i said was that i wanted to send my own kids away when they turned 5 and get them back when they turned 13.
who says that?
apparently someone who has never been a mother.
and someone who has never been a mother of children of those ages.
i have 2 children that fall into that age range now,
and they are every bit as enjoyable as they were in any previous stage,
maybe even more so.
but i have said that every stage so far.
this time i really mean it though.
this is the best stage so far.
they are so much more independent but still respectful.
their personalities are so much more evident,
and they do so much more.
and they can talk!
which means i understand them more.
our relationships have grown.
not that we didn't have a relationship before,
but now we have just had one longer.
i keep loving them more with every stage
because with more time we have more things to love.
but why are these the best days?
i realized it a few nights ago as each one of them made their way into our bed throughout the night.
as i lay awake with all 5 of us wedged into a queen bed
i recognized that there will come days when they may not desire to all be in bed with us.
there may simply come a day when we don't all fit.
i would freeze it all right here if i could.
because right now we all do fit.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the not so terrible twos

maggie turned three on april 1st.
she's an april fools baby.
it fits her,
not because she is full of practical jokes,
but because she is fun,
she keeps us smiling,
and she has a charm and a wit that you would expect from someone born on april fools day.
i've written this blog post in my mind for over a month.
i wanted to preserve just as accurately how she has been this year as i did for the first and second years.
the re-occuring thought about maggie being two is that she was never terrible.
how could a little girl be terrible who didn't speak much for the 1st part of this year
but who laughed and giggled constantly?
and when she did learn to speak she would say things like
"me daddy's baby and mommy's girl."
and who calls sam "bubba" and will "bubbie".
or would answer the question "who loves you?" by listing everyone she knows from daddy to mommy to sam to will to norma to auntie to mackey to emi and on and on until the list was complete.
or who every night at daily thanks says
"me thankful emi and mackey come to my house."
(she recently adds "me thankful emi & mackey come to my house to see my kitty.")
my favorite is when she says "two" instead of "more".

there's nothing terrible about a 2 year old who will still wants to take a 2-3 hour nap every day and still go to bed at bedtime and sleep through the night unless she decides she would rather snuggle with her mom and dad in their bed with a stack of books.

or how could a little girl be terrible who has used the potty far more this year than she hasn't?
and who has the cutest little bottom ever in little undies.
or who has a distinct sense of style wearing her boise state "belly shirt" or her red polka dot shorts with her OKC thunder shirt or red headband that "my daddy got me."or the dress ups.

oh my, the dress ups!
who could argue with a 2 year old who is wearing a princess dress and high heels or tap shoes or pink glitter shoes EVERY SINGLE DAY over her clothes no matter where she goes?
and who changes outfits about 5 times a day?
but who also doesn't mind cleaning them up.

or a baby that walks into her room and says
"my room a mess!"
and then gets busy cleaning it up.
or a girl who loves following rules instead of breaking them
and who also loves enforcing the rules by shaking her head or finger at her brothers when they don't obey.

there's nothing terrible about a girl who can play and entertain herself all day with her "bawbies" (barbies) or babies or her "bus house" or her books or anything that is available to her,
even photo albums that she can pour over while lounging in the living room floor.
i love a 2 year old that lives in a dream world.
her world has many facets,
but she is normally playing the role of "the lost princess" or "little mermaid".
and dancing.
always dancing and singing.
when she's not playing she has a book.
her favorite is "if you give a mouse...." series,
but she will take anything.
if she is tired she will get in her bed with a stack of self-selected books and "read" them to herself until she falls asleep or until she has gone through them all.
at night her lamp must remain on so she can see.

and there's certainly not anything terrible about a little girl who is in love with her dad.
and who cries when she doesn't get to say good-bye to him in the morning.

or who is constantly saying things about him.
"me love my dad",
"i strong just like my dad",
"i ask my dad!" (of course when she's not getting what she wants)
"my hair curly like my dad."
"my eyes not blue. they green just like my dad."

or a girl who also likes her mom
and who wants to take a shower with her every single day and then play in there by herself for half an hour.
and who loves to be right by my side while i'm cooking.
and who loves to dance with me,
if you call spinning her around while her arms are outstretched and head tilted back with eyes half closed while she sings.
that's far from terrible.
i call it magical.
just like a girl who still snuggles up every single night for me to sing "i am like a star shining brightly".
and who can be found saying "me pretty like my mom" whenever she sees a picture of me.

so far there just hasn't been anything terrible about this baby of ours.
(except a teensy tiny sass that comes out on very rare occasions but that you can almost see lurking underneath the surface. who says that is a totally terrible thing?)
i think she's going to have a pretty hard time ever convincing us that she is capable of being terrible.

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