Monthly Archives: September 2014

That 70s Season

Fall is here, everyone. That’s right—it has descended upon us in all of its soggy, brown glory, whether you and I like it or not. I personally like to think of Fall as the “‘70s” of the seasons. You know—with all of the oranges, browns, golds and reds, and the fact that the pants we put on our children all have a short, flared “bell-bottom”-like quality because we are just now realizing that they need to wear pants again but that they grew out of all those pants during the summer. Also, we keep trying to attempt wearing that one turtleneck we have, even though turtlenecks will never be in fashion again. (Okay maybe it’s just me who wants that. But I look good in that turtleneck, darn it!). And we keep trying to wear sunglasses, even though the sun is GONE, people. You agree with me now, don’t you? It truly IS that 70s season; all it’s missing is Topher and Ashton.

I really like many elements of Fall, actually. I love the cozyness of staying inside with a book and a warm drink, and the excuse to not exercise (“Well, I simply CAN’T go for a run, NOW!? Thanks a lot, rain!!” (Winks at the sky and whispers, “No, really, thank you.”)) Of course, Jac no longer has that excuse, because she joined a GYM. Foolish, foolish woman. But I digress.

Fall is cozy. And Fall presents the opportunity to consume way more delicious, hot beverages per day than were ever socially acceptable to consume in the summertime. (Me: “Hey, everyone, why don’t we go out for coffee?” Everyone: “Coffee?! Yuck! We’re going for Gelato, because it’s summertime. We’d invite you, but you’re clearly crazy.”)

In addition, being PALE is more acceptable in the fall! As a very pale, nay, nearly translucent, human being, this is exciting for me. I can hide my pale legs under stockings or leggings on the rare occasions that I wear skirts. I don’t have to stand beside those tanned people in all my ghostly glory, while others comment on the stark contrast. I should clarify—I don’t want to be tanned ANYWAY, okay? Sun protection is where it’s AT—I’m not jealous of your J-Lo glow.*

Also: mulled wine. You can drink mulled wine in the fall, while wearing your turtleneck and your flared, too short, out-of-date pants, all under your crocheted blanket and NO ONE will think that you are a weird, old hippie, because it is FALL. It’s the ‘70s, my friends.

This is what Fall looks like before children. Notice that this woman looks like she could have stepped straight out of the 70s? It is the 70s season.

This is what Fall looks like before children. Do you notice that this woman looks like she could have stepped straight out of the 70s? It is TOTALLY the 70s season.

However, if you’re like me and you have small children, Fall, and the reasons for enjoying Fall, have changed somewhat. Hot drinks, when finally consumed, are rarely still hot (unless you hide in the closet—that’s a little trick for you, you’re welcome, use it sparingly.) And if you are like me and feel that it is a crime to microwave coffee (or wine, for that matter), having children has taken some of the fun out of hot drinks.

Sitting under a blanket in front of the fire and reading a good book is not really the same anymore, either. This is because if any part of you is even slightly horizontal (such as your lap. Or your shoulders. Or your head), your children will clamber upon you, arms full of their own books and blankets and stuffies. You will be putting down your own riveting book before you know it, in favour of reading Angelina Ballerina to your four-year-old. And you will find yourself becoming irritated because Angelina always gets the best role in the ballet. What about her faithful companion, Alice? Or Penelope, for that matter? Penelope may be mean, but she has good reason to be—she is always put in the chorus, and never centre stage! But, again, I digress.

So Fall has changed for me, as it has for all parents in this season of life, the season of family-with-young-children. Finding indoor activities that will allow me to be cozy and in front of the fire and not climbed upon is currently the best scenario, but not always what I get to experience. Today I was up and about playing Ursula to S’s Ariel, and it involved a lot more energy than I had counted on expending (Me: “What I want from you is … *cough, cough*… your VOICE!” S: “No! You can’t have it!” (Runs away) “Chase me, mommy!”)

But the neat part is that I am finding myself enjoying Fall for different reasons, now. For one thing, it is so nice to feel a little head, resting on your shoulder and listening to you read while the rain rages outside and the lamp light is warm, and the blankets are soft. It’s fun to sit on the couch with my family and play video games or watch a movie, and laugh together while we stuff popcorn in our faces. I like to watch the cheeks of my kids from behind, curving into smiles as they experience for the first time the humour and joy, warmth and laughter of the movies that I loved when I was a kid. There is even some joy in being Ursula, tentacles flailing around while following the frantic giggles of a bouncing blond-headed Ariel around the house. At least I’ve got Ursula’s paleness down cold.

So it’s a different season this year for me, Fall, as I’m sure it is for others. But I hope we’re not all so bummed out by not being able to send our kids outside (as much) that we can’t embrace what Fall has to offer. Just put away those sunglasses and pull out the mulled wine, my friends! It’s the ‘70s of the seasons—let’s make it groovy.

IMG_2278

Fall after children. Playing in leaves  – another unexpected bonus.

 

*Okay, I am a tiny bit jealous of it.

Moments at the Applebarn

IMG_1936

I’m a part of a Facebook blogging group (YVR Bloggers), and we members of this distinguished group got an opportunity to visit Taves Family Farm (a.k.a the Applebarn) for free! The way the day worked out with my family’s school and work schedules, I ended up being able to go with just my two-and-a-half year old. This is kind of unusual for me, to say the least.

I expected that I would have a funny story to write about—something would go terribly wrong, R would do something infuriating, it would be pouring rain and I wouldn’t have an umbrella—and a hilarious blog post would basically write itself. But, unfortunately for you, the two of us had a simply lovely day! It was sunny, there were lots of great things to do with no time pressure, I was not distracted by other kids or adults; we really just had some very nice one-on-one time. It turns out that perhaps some days are just too nice to make fun of.

Basically, our day was a series of memorable moments, but I did take pictures of some of these moments. So I guess this post is kind of writing itself after all!

“Selfie on a Hayride!”

IMG_1912

 

“Hey Mom! There’s a peacock in here!”

IMG_1928

 

“Should I get on the car or just push it?”

IMG_1962

 

“Excuse me, why are you looking at my apple slushie?”

IMG_1947

 

“Hold my hand so I can go down the slide again!”

IMG_1931

 

“Don’t mind me. I’m just chilling on top of an enormous bouncy pillow.”

IMG_1923

 

“I’m gonna grab Mommy’s camera and accidentally take a picture of my boot!”

IMG_1915

 

“Oh, did you say apple picking? I heard something else.”

IMG_1919

 

If you’re looking for a pumpkin patch this fall, or an apple-picking experience (or both!) and you are near Abbotsford, Taves Family Farm is just wonderful.

One final picture for your enjoyment. These are some crazy-looking squash, am I right?

IMG_1943

More Parenting Hacks!

One of our personal favourite posts so far has been Juli and Jac’s Parenting Hacks. We offered you the simple solutions to everyday parenting problems that you were looking for. We are certain that all of your lives are better since you read that post. But are they perfect? Probably not quite. So, here you go: more parenting hacks for your enjoyment and improvement. You’re welcome.

parentinghacks2

 

*If you don’t know what what “Blow yourself to Bermuda” means, read this post here.

Pocket protector sold separately

Almost two years ago I decided to take my son A to the eye doctor. We had received a note from his Kindergarten eye and ear screening that something was up with his left eye, and I finally got around to making the appointment. I hadn’t rushed to make it, because at the time I was sceptical about their assessment. I had observed no squinting at the TV, no struggling in school, no complaints of headaches, etc. But mother’s guilt worked it’s magic on me after a while, and so we went, just to “make sure.” And that was when I learned that my son has something called “Anisometropic Amblyopia,” which is just a fancy way of saying “feel guilty, mom, because you should have gotten your child’s eyes checked when he was 6 weeks old.” Actually, Anisometropic Amblyopia is an insidious form of the lazy eye. It is a lazy eye that never acted like a lazy eye, so we would never have known had we not gotten him checked. As a parent, don’t you love hearing about invisible things that your children could potentially have that could ruin their lives without you ever finding out? Me neither.

The optometrist, who was obviously NOT a mother (her hair and clothes were too perfect and unstained for that to be a possibility), looked at me, a very disheveled and exhausted (in contrast) looking person who was also busy wrestling a two-year-old, and said, “It’s bad, mom. It’s bad.” You know, the kind of words that make your heart drop into your stomach, and make the voice inside go: “You have failed as a mother. And while I’m at it, you look terrible.” In retrospect, she COULD have started with the good news, which was that there was a good chance for him to recover with immediate treatment. Also, she could have worn something a little baggier and her hair could have been a touch messier, to make me feel better. But I digress. She informed me, basically, that A’s left eye was so bad that his brain was depending on his right eye for vision, and discontinuing the use of his left eye, rendering the left eye legally blind. She also informed me that we just barely caught this early enough, because by age seven, vision is set, and there would be nothing further we could do to correct it.

And so we learned that we would need to get glasses for him, like, yesterday. Also we would need to begin a series of specialist appointments and a patching program, which would patch his good eye for three hours a day to try to teach his brain to use his left eye again.

And so we launched into all of it, my heart still in my stomach, that inner voice still ringing in my ears: “Good job, mom. You’ve ruined your child’s vision. And while I’m at it, you look terrible.”

Through this nearly two-year-long process, I have learned several things, not just about the process of recovery for A’s eye, but also about myself. I had to quickly get used to the idea of having a kid with glasses, and it brought up all of the insecurities I had when I was a kid with glasses. The biggest thing that I worried about, initially, was how much having glasses had suddenly defined me. All of a sudden I was “that girl with brown hair and glasses”. Now I feared that my son would be “that kid with glasses,” instead of that boy with the big, brown eyes, dimples, thoughtful eyebrows, charming smile and great sense of humour. I also knew that people would be commenting a lot on the fact that my kid has glasses, because it’s not that common to see a kid so young wearing glasses. Not to mention that for three hours of his life, every day, he would be wearing an eyepatch! I wasn’t even sure how to prepare him for this, but I did my best. I went to his school and discussed this with his class, teaching them that the patch was there so his left eye would learn to “wake up” and start working. I figured that the biggest potential for teasing would be at school, since that is where I experienced most of my teasing, as a kid with glasses.

And yet, to my surprise and delight, the kids turned out to be great. They have often been curious, but never unkind. The most awkward and unkind responses have come from adults, actually. When we were out and about and he was wearing his eyepatch, adults would often come up to us and say, LOUDLY, “What’s wrong with his EYE!?” Or, even worse, they would make a joke at him about him being a pirate, and nudge each other. This made me furious. I had several choice words in my head that I would have liked to share with these people, but because A was right there I’d force myself to respond politely and informatively, so that he could learn how to deal politely yet firmly with ignorance and plain old rudeness. But he was a champ, through all of that. He recovered much quicker than I did from those incidents, to my delight and surprise. He rolled with it all, and even better, he embraced the patch, the glasses, all of it. One of his best friends ended up getting glasses, too, and the two of them started referring to themselves as “the glasses guys,” prompting another friend to come to school wearing sunglasses, so he could also be one of the “glasses guys.” During my speech to his classmates, A came up to proudly show off his glasses and patch, telling the kids that the doctor had told him that he got to play “LOTS of video games” during his patch time, to train his eye. The kids responded with envious oohs and ahhs, while he beamed with joy.

My funny boy has found many clever uses for his glasses, as you can see.

My funny boy has found many clever uses for his glasses, as you can see.

All this made me realize that I, like many other adults from my generation and older, have been unnecessarily clinging to the archaic notion that glasses will envelop your identity and make you a nerd—pimples and a pocket protector sold separately. Clearly, my son’s identity as a boy with big, brown eyes, dimples, thoughtful eyebrows, a charming smile, a great sense of humour and glasses is just fine by him.

A's uncles helped him to create this awesome  gingerbread likeness of himself last Christmas, eyepatch, glasses and all.

A’s uncles helped him to create this awesome gingerbread likeness of himself last Christmas; eyepatch, glasses and all.

After a year and a half of patching, the doctor finally took him off the patch. His left eye, which started out legally blind, is now at a 20/20 with his glasses on. It’s just a perfect, fully activated and hard-working eye. I cried the first time he saw a 3-D image popping out at him, and his face lit up with joy. Because he has helped me see that this was always about him, and how he sees the world, not about how I see it through the tint of my own experience. And he is seeing the world better than ever now—bright and clear, bigger and more beautiful, all through his perfect brown eyes and his cool blue glasses.

 

IMG_1454

Why I Vandalized Target *

Dear Target executive, or whoever is in charge of designing the aisles in your store,

This, right here? Is ridiculous:

10712920_10154693524410294_2738315427429997557_n

 And this? Is unacceptable:

10418434_10154693529390294_827674590857098099_n

To illustrate why (if you actually don’t already know, which I doubt) I’m going to ask you to use your imagination while we talk through a little scenario. Imagine with me that you have a four-year-old boy, and he really wants a pet dog. You are his parent, and you do not want a pet dog. As a compromise, you decide to get him an awesome toy dog, one that walks on a leash and comes with a food bowl and barks with the push of a button. You go to the Target toy section with your excited son and peruse the aisles. Where is it? Oh, over here! In this bright pink section between the Barbies and the Easy-Bake oven! You awkwardly behave as though this is not noticeable and find your son an adorable brown spotted puppy with a white leash. But, guess what? He doesn’t want it anymore. Because he’s “not a girl.”

Kids are not dumb, Target. They can usually hear what you’re saying when you’re not being explicit about it, so they can definitely hear you when you are obviously trying to tell them that they are only supposed to like certain things. So I’m simply flummoxed as to why you insist on such clearly defined gender labels for children’s toys.

One of the jobs of childhood is learning how to be an adult. Kids learn this through play, and they learn this from the way those of us are who are already adults speak and behave. Here’s a Newsflash for you, Target: adult women often drive cars and adult men often have puppies or even—brace yourself—BABIES. So when a little girl plays with a remote control car and a little boy plays with dolls, they are not acting against gender, they are learning how to be grown-ups. Or, perhaps, I am over-analyzing and they are simply playing. Either way, they should not be made to feel that they are doing something wrong or even different.

I can hear you now, though: “Stop being ridiculous,” you say. “People are allowed to buy whatever they want for their kids, and boys almost always choose the boy toys, and girls almost always choose the girl toys. It’s just a simple way to organize it.”

My response to this is that even though my girls do usually choose the girly toys, I don’t want them to feel that they have to, or that they are making some kind of controversial choice if they want a toy from the blue section. And I also don’t want my daughter to feel totally unoriginal and boring if she genuinely prefers the My Little Pony (which she probably does).

Maybe blue and pink rows make for a simple way to organize the toy section, but it’s also a lazy way to organize it. Aren’t you better than that, Target? Aren’t you a store for the young people of 2014? Or are you a store that’s happy with the gender stereotypes of the 1950s, telling kids that their imaginations should only run within the confines of either pink or blue?

I can see why this isn’t a big deal to you, though; you’re still selling toys. Well sure. It’s probably not a big deal until you’re the parent of a boy who wants a battery-operated puppy and a trip to Target makes him feel ashamed of that.

But I’m not the type to complain about a problem without offering any solutions. So, Target, I present three options, starting with my obvious preference.

Option 1) Reorganize the toy section. Maybe dolls and action figures could go next to each other because—let’s admit it—they’re actually very similar. Put the Barbie cars next to the remote control cars, craft supplies next to building blocks, Easy-Bake ovens next to tool kits. It can still be well organized, but just into different categories. In this system, maybe even my “girly” daughter will choose something she never would have considered before.

Option 2) Keep it organized exactly as it is and change the background panelling. I know that the panelling comes in white, because you have it in white. See? It’s right here, behind the gender-neutral baby toys.

1525467_10154693671975294_2641606726738565212_nI’m glad to see that Elmo is acceptable for boy babies OR girl babies to slobber all over. Thanks for that, at least.

Option 3) Do nothing. I’m assuming this is what’s going to happen, regardless of how many people complain. But it’s okay. We parents trying to raise well-rounded children can take our kids elsewhere. Or else take care of this problem ourselves.

boystoys

 

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
One Usually Fun But Occassionally Annoyed Mom

 

* Okay, I didn’t actually vandalize a Target. I’m way too chicken for that. That picture is photoshopped. 

Dressed to … be dressed. And no one’s impressed.

One of the things that I find difficult about parenting is keeping my children in clothes, and then keeping those clothes on my children. There are many reasons for this. One of the reasons is that my particular small people are weirdly shaped, I find, and so buying clothes that fit is a bit of an issue. Picture having a triangular object and trying to put a pair of pants made for a sphere on that triangular object. If you are like me you were distracted by how funny the idea of “pants” on a sphere is (I’m picturing a tiny, bowl-shaped pair of jeans. Hilarious. Perhaps a potato is wearing them. I’m L-ing O L* right now).

My son, A, is six years old and is size 4 or 5 around the waist, and size 6 or 7 in length. This makes for either Original Star Trek-style shortpants (google Star Trek Original Series, you young’uns, so you can LOL along with the rest of us) or VERY waist-cinched but long-enough pants. But as most sweatpants for kids his age don’t have waist-cinch capabilities, and as he despises jeans of all varieties, most of his pants are ridiculously short. And that is just what we’re rocking right now, since the alternative is not being clothed. Sometimes I will find a pair of pants that is just, JUST long enough, and the waist fits, and it is about the best scenario we can ever hope for. But then something that’s kind of annoying is how he keeps growing. In one week those pants will be ridiculously too short, to the point where it’s just … No. He can’t wear them. He just can’t. And yet his waist remains the same size. I believe his waist is the same size as it was when he was one, nay, probably smaller. I had a pair of size 18-month shorts that he was wearing until last month, I kid you not. Because the kid has a ridiculously small waist. And no hips. And no bum.

Here are my children, posing for a picture this year on what should have been the first day of school. Besides the fact that they look slightly evil, note the short pants. That is what I am working with on the reg around here.

Here are my children, posing for a picture this year on what should have been the first day of school. Besides the fact that they look slightly evil, note the short pants. That is what I am working with.

And then there is my lovely, round four-year old girl child who does have a waist that pants fit properly, but who is also just so darn long, and who also keeps growing rapidly. I am not beyond putting her into her brother’s now-too-short-for-him pants, and have on many occasions, but she is so close to his height now, and much meatier around the waist and in the butt region, so that really doesn’t work. And getting her dressed is complicated because she is in a “dress” phase, where everything MUST be topped by a dress. So, together, we will select a pair of sweats and a sweater, and then she’ll decide, and insist, to top it all off with a sun dress. Because that makes sense and won’t make her look like a colourful and eccentric hobo whatsoever.

Here's my colourful and eccentric hobo-child, who chose this outfit, and then refused to let me take this photo unless she could hold up these cocktail swords and make this weird face. This picture is from almost a year ago, which will give you a general sense of how long this has been going on.

Here’s my colourful and eccentric hobo-child, who chose this outfit and then refused to let me take a photo unless she could hold up these cocktail swords and make a weird face. This picture is from almost a year ago, which will give you a general sense of how long this has been going on.

Also, with her, there is the underwear dilemma. I recently bought her an 8-pack of lovely, cottony little girls underwear in bright, pretty colours—pinks and purples and blues, the kind of underwear that one might imagine any little girl would love to wear. But if you imagined that you’d be WRONG. Because since she has become aware of the existence of princess underwear, NO OTHER UNDERWEAR WILL DO. S has some princess underwear that is too small for her and has been worn far too often, so it is basically in terrible shape. On The Little Mermaid pair, Ariel looks like she’s been in some kind of terrible boating accident—half of her tail is gone and there are alarming gaps all along both arms where the picture has just crumbled away. But still she holds those broken arms outspread, and her smiling face is right beside these cursive gold letters that read: “Dream!” That’s the spirit, half-Ariel. Keep dreamin’.
Cinderella, also, is just a mess—there are holes all over her torso, and her extremities are fading away as if someone has gone back in time and is trying to prevent her from ever existing, “Back To The Future”-style.
Sleeping Beauty … I can’t even go into it. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

I have tried to sneak those nice, comfortable, cottony ones onto my daughter while distracting her with something else, such as my own, hilarious brand of “Mom-banter.” Needless to say, it doesn’t work. “Hey!” She’ll say, after promptly investigating her nether-regions. “PRINcess underwear, Mommy! PRINcess underwear.” And often, to make her point more strongly, she will whip off the nice, still very brand-new pair that I have put on her and toss it contemptuously into her dirty clothes pile. I have chosen to fight this battle before, and sometimes I have “won,” and with tears streaming down her face she will re-apply the forsaken underwear, but nobody really “wins” when that happens. Because underwear, as it turns out, is not worth the energy that another battle might be worth, like the “eat your vegetables” battle, or the “don’t lick your brother’s bum” battle.

And so the battles continue (or not) to get my children dressed and ready for the world, so that we can all continue to live in a decent society where people are required to be clothed when they enter the public forum. This is my gift to you, humankind! I will dress my children in too-short pants and falling-apart underwear, and you WILL accept them and allow them to live among you. It very well may be the wave of the future after all (google “Original Star Trek” again. See what I mean? The future MAY involve shortpants, if Gene Roddenberry is to be believed).

 

*Jac pointed out to me, early in our texting relationship, that LOLing doesn’t make sense, because “laugh out louding” is clearly incorrect. It should be Ling O L. So now we text that instead. Shut up. We’re old, and we think we’re funny.

WIN A SAVVY MAMAS GIFT CERTIFICATE!

Hello readers! We like you all. A lot. But we do wish there were more of you! So we think all of you should be liking our TwoFunMoms page on Facebook, which would mean you would be up-to-date with new posts, getting our daily status updates, seeing funny pictures, and just joining our social media fun in a simple way.

To sweeten the deal, TwoFunMoms is very excited to be partnering with Savvy Mamas Sales for a fun giveaway! Savvy Mamas Sales is a great online shopping site that offers amazing deals on all kinds of products for families—from handmade, local artisan products to popular worldwide brands! And we want to give one of you money to buy their cool stuff; all you have to do is “like” us on Facebook! Check out savvymamas.ca to check out the goods there; you’ll be impressed with the selection and the prices, we just know it.

To be entered to win a $30 gift certificate to Savvy Mamas sales, just “like” our TwoFunMoms facebook page—that’s it! We will do a draw when we reach 500 likes, and announce the lucky winner on Facebook!

To help encourage you to share our page with your friends, we will give away TWO $30 Gift Certificates (so you’re twice as likely to win!) if we reach 500 likes within one week. This could get you a fat (and phat) amount of stuff from Savvy Mamas, considering the great deals they have there.

And … IF we reach 1000 likes … We will do something that we can’t tell you about right now, but it will be amazing. Or, more likely, embarrassing. But hopefully amusing? You’ll have to decide. But you will want it to happen. You need to trust us on this.

So like our page, and share this post, and enjoy our blog!

10273743_10154268577670294_3249676608231490947_n

This is us, being excited for YOU! We hope you WIN! Yes, we’re talking to you!! You’re our favourite!

Four Kids Under Six? How do you do it?

As you can probably imagine, I get this question, or some form of it, a lot. I usually smile and say something like, “Well, it’s busy!” but there are a lot of more honest answers I could give that would make me look a little less “together” than I sometimes appear. For example:

My honest answers to the question, “How do you do it?”

Not always very well. Continue reading

Cool cloths, Warm hearts

Last night my husband and I were sitting on the couch, hanging out and enjoying a late night game night with a few of my brothers. Bedtime had gone relatively smoothly, because poor S had been battling cold and flu symptoms all day, and had fallen asleep quickly. We could hear her coughing sporadically throughout the evening, and that was sad, but then came the moment that is always particularly bleak for any parent: hearing the gentle click of her door opening, and the soft padding of her feet as she makes her way toward you, and the very miserable whine-cry that clearly indicates to you that your baby is really sick. You have been hearing that same feverish cry since she was an infant and got sick, and it always makes a pit form in your stomach.

And you run to her, and she says, “My tummy hurts!” In the saddest, sleepiest little voice, and you just want to make it go away for her right there, but you can’t. Give her water, sure. Electrolytes, check. Take her temperature. You consider medicine options—will this pink stuff make it worse or better? Who knows. Also, do I have to brush her teeth again if I give it to her? Who cares. So you do all of the things that you can think of: offer her a bath, or a bathroom trip, or a bowl to puke in—none of them particularly appealing options. “N-N-… N-nnno…” She says through her tears, hand pointing to her sore tummy. “Do you want me to wrap you up in a blanket and rock you?” “MMMMmmm-hmmmm” She says, weakly, indicating yes. You grab a big blanket and run back to your tiny, sad, precious girl. You wrap her and grab her up in one big swoop, and then sit with her in a quiet room, rocking back and forth, whispering sweet nothings to her, about how she’s your girl, and you’re her mom, and it’s going to be okay. You’re worried, though, that your mind will betray you, because it’s filled with thoughts like: “What if it won’t be okay?” “What if she has a terrible, incurable disease?!” And also, “I’m so tiiiirred … How long is this going to be…?

Her dad brings a cool cloth for her forehead, and you keep flipping it to make sure the coolest side is always on her head. And she drinks in your eye contact, and you drink in hers, until her eyes finally begin to roll back and flutter and start to close. And you notice that she looks exactly the same as she did when she was a baby in this moment—same little sleepy face, same chubby hand which has made it’s way up to rest on your chest, right over your heart, just like it always did when she was a baby. You had forgotten about that.

This picture is from four years ago, but that sleepy-time pouty face has never changed.

This picture is from four years ago, but that sleepy-time pouty face has never changed.

And so you enjoy your sleepy girl in your arms for a few minutes, until you carefully walk that bundle o’ blankets back to her room. She wakes up a little bit, of course, and says a few weird, delirious things, something about a chipmunk and her Nana. You soothingly affirm that yes, indeed, you agree with her about Nana and that chipmunk; whatever it takes to get her little brain to turn off for the night. And then she asks you to take “that hat” (the cool cloth) off of her head, because it will make her pillow wet. You oblige, of course, thinking about how weird it is that your tiny, sleepy baby can speak. You tell her you will lie with her until she feels better, and she attempts to micro-manage your cuddling (“You lie there, Mommy, but not there. And just until tomorrow, Mommy, NOT today.”) You stroke her hair and forehead until she falls asleep, for good—an oh-so satisfying deep, solid sleep. Sweet relief, for both of you.

You leave, closing her door gently, and notice that now your tummy hurts—perhaps from that time that you wished you could take her pain into yourself so you could feel it for her? Perhaps just from the stress and sadness of the moment? Perhaps just a symptom of not enough wine? You resolve to correct that last problem at least, post haste, and head into the kitchen, hoping that for tonight your work is done. May she sleep a sweet, healing sleep and dream of her Nana and as many chipmunks as her little heart desires. And may tomorrow, please, be a healthier day.

Cuddle Friday

Cuddle Time. That’s what I call it when I don’t feel like getting off the couch but the kids are all needing things and Super Why is over. I tell them it’s cuddle time, and they lay on top of me. Due to the number of elbows and feet they have between them, this does not usually last long, but it buys me a few more moments of quasi-nap and then it motivates me to get moving, because I need to get away from the general squirminess of the situation.

Last week, though, G was off on a playdate and both of my smallies were napping, so E and I were having some lovely one-on-one time. I informed her that it was “Cuddle Friday” and so we spent a long time together chatting and hugging while she played with my face. You know what I mean, right? That thing where kids poke your eyes and pull your lips and pinch your nose, but they’re being quiet and you’re lying down, so you let them? That. She’d say, “Mommy, are we gonna get off the couch?” and I’d say, “Nope! Because it’s Cuddle Friday” and give her another squeeze. (I do feel the need at this point to remind you that I have a baby, and she had not slept well the night before. Had hardly slept at all, in fact. And I’d already done breakfasting, and clothing, and teeth brushing, and kitchen cleaning, and playdate organizing, and toddler re-directing, and nap commencing … Basically, I’m defending my lazy couch hour of TV time and cuddling.)

E is a marvellous hugger. Here she is hugging her Mommy, her Oma, her biggest sister, and her littlest one.

E is a marvellous hugger. Here she is hugging her Mommy, her Oma, her biggest sister, and her littlest one. (I am enjoying her snuggle, but that picture was taken in the middle of  a cool hike/climb we were doing and it was rather difficult. I’m trying to look relaxed, but my forehead vein is betraying me.)

We did eventually get off the couch, though, and one of us started to make messes while the other one cleaned them up. But throughout the rest of that day, every time she passed me on her way to wherever it is five-year-olds go throughout the house—probably to make another mess—she would remember, “Oh! It’s Cuddle Friday!” and come running to me for a quick hug along her way. And thus, a lovely, weird family tradition was born. Now we regularly shout, “Cuddle Friday!” before we pick up a kid for a snuggle, or maybe we even whine, “But it’s Cuddle Fridaaaaay!” if our Mommy says she can’t hug us right now because she is making everyone lunch.

The next day, I asked E for a cuddle, but then I sighed and said, “Never mind. It’s not Cuddle Friday anymore, so we won’t cuddle today.” And then she said, “Don’t be silly, Mommy. Every day is Friday!”

If only that were true, darling girl, if only that were true. But come on over here and give me a hug anyway. For another chance to cuddle you, I’m gonna enjoy all the Fridays I can get, even the Saturday ones.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...