Monday, November 29, 2010

i'm special

I've lied to my kids. I've told them that I am very special. I have said that I am a special person because I am their mother. That we are better than friends because I am their mother and I enjoy their company. That I have amazing capabilities like healing owies, calming hurt hearts, putting letters together to make words to make sentences to make stories that take them anywhere they'd like to go. That I am special because I will believe in their otter dens, their dragon houses, their delicious playdough cookies.

I've told you before how my children ignore the bounds of natural laws. Physics, geometry, even genetics are all things that are essentially faulty in their world until proven otherwise with bruises or bloodshed. For example, when asked if they are excited about the baby, if they would like a boy or a girl this February, they reply with a zoo animal of some sort. Often the zoo animal is not from the petting zoo section. A polar bear, a baby elephant, a white tiger, a beluga whale... Thankfully, they usually want something from the placental order of mammals, albeit cetaceans show up more often than I'd like.

I have taken these hopes for a zoo animal as an opportunity to teach my children about the gray zone in which most of life occurs. I tell them that I am special, but not that special. I am good, but not great. But, the lies have grown out of control. They do not believe me. They shrug in defiance, "No Mama, you are that special." I find though, after looking at pictures of these two, that maybe I am that special. That when they say they are hoping for a zoo animal, they are indeed hoping for one of their ilk. A wee babe that will build meerkat dens like they do. A sibling to help them sit on dragon eggs til they hatch, and to swim like a real-pretend-killer-whale in the pool when ready. And, if that is what they are saying, I am sure I am that special and I am thankful that they know I am too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

let go

First, let me provide a list of the what she is wearing. a pirate bandana, my elastic hair band slung under her nose and around the back of her head, a black turtleneck, her swimming suit (under everything), a home made halloween cowboy vest, a pink tutu, green leggings, red cowboy boots and her brother's socks and his boxers.

Second, let me state that this is what she wore for most of a Saturday. She wore it, including the headband just so, outside, to the park, for an hour's long drawing session, building forts in the living room and during lunch. She also, remarkably and impressively, never had a toilet accident despite the layers of removal required for such endeavors. There were no alterations. Suggestions/comments/queries from outside sources were frowned upon with the disdain that only G can muster.

Third, let me offer the above picture as evidence that I am not lying when I say that I do not care what my daughter wears as long as it has been cleaned within the last 48 hours. I know when to stand my ground and when to retreat and really, from the looks of her, wouldn't you retreat into a padded parent corner and sing gospel hymns out of tune too? I mean, what else is there to do?

Fourth, let me ask you to remind me of this picture when I require blackmailing as a parenting tool. You may even say to me, "You know, you might try to persuade her not to x, y, and z, by threatening to show others that picture of her as a 3 y.o. you posted on stubbytoes...." I am asking for your help as I clearly not only need it now. I will rely on it heavily in the future.

Fifth, remember how good it is to let go.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

you stink

I was bullied as a kid. Head in snowbanks, surrounded by kids throwing kickballs at my head, names without games...You say it, I probably had it done to me. As I got older, I realized that some of it was how I saw the world. Simple misunderstandings. Such as in high school, I was asked if I liked toe jam. I thought I would be received with laughter and high marks for humor when I replied that it was yummy in a dead pan, serious sort of way. Nope. I was tagged as the freshman girl with questionable hygiene who snacked on toe fuzz for my first few months there. Luckily, I've always found a quirky soul to hang with and a patient teacher here and there. I've also had the strength to mature and realize that not everyone is out to get me. Just a few people who have bad senses of humor, don't like toe jam, and don't hum their own tunes to themselves in the hallway.

Imagine my surprise, then, to discover this weekend that sweet baby G is out to get her big brother. Though not in a malicious way. It's more of a little sister trying to keep up with big brother sort of way. Yesterday we took the kids' bikes to the reservoirs and when G tired of her bike, she walked. Then she decided that big M should hold her bike and she should chase little M. Then, when she couldn't catch Little M cruising ahead on his bike, she would cry. Moan. Hide her face in her hands, lean against the wall and curse the sky. Little M, kind guy that he is, would stop, turn around and go to comfort her. She'd leap up and run ahead and shout, "Nananna Boo boo," or some such and stick out her tongue and repeat the whole process when he superceded her. Without fail. He would comfort and she would trounce on his kindness. If you have enough energy to pick on your sibling, you're clearly not being worked hard enough. We put her back on her bike to stop the madness.

Even this morning, at breakfast, Little M ate quietly considering the day of rugby and swimming that laid before him. She, frustrated with the quiet, said, "Your bread stinks." For all I could tell - and I do have that hypersensitive pregnancy nose - it smelled fine. It smelled like honey and peanut butter. Little M was worried, how should he respond? I told him his toast was fine and to ignore her. She said, "Your peanut butter stinks." He asked in tears, "Does it stink?" No, no. I am trying to teach him that kids say rude and untrue things about his food at school and now even his sister says rude and untrue things. That these comments are silly and not worth his worry. If he knows the truth, that his bread is unstinky, then these comments have no bearing. G continued, "You stink." Little M sighed, summoned his patience and said, "Stinky bread makes you strong and smart. You want some?" G laughed and finished his stinky toast for him. They then took their stinky selves and made a meerkat den in the living room.

Friday, November 12, 2010

surprise, surprise, surprise

The only thing I miss about being childless is being able to knock around town with big M without regard for time. That's it. Everything else I love more than when I was childless. I love my joys more. I appreciate my frustrations and hopes more. I like being a parent more than I like eating breakfast on the odd Saturday with my husband without kids. I also like and appreciate surprises more. Even though it's been really rough going at times, I've found I'm better than most with surprises like, "Your son will die if he eats any form of milk or egg and does not receive medical attention within 5 minutes of ingestion." I am also good with surprises like, "Your daughter has her own mind and will wear whatever costume she deems necessary: even if it is an impossible mash-up like a princess-ballerina-cowgirl-costume of her 3-y.o. doing that is not based in reality or your motherly desire for the order and tidiness found in other children." I am also good with surprises like, "Your son knows how to raise the roof and line dance." This latest surprise I discovered at the Halloween Party thrown by the school. Apparently, the Scots like to line dance and little M, being a social guy and game for most anything, has no fear on the dance floor. He rallies the boys to join the girls and will "raise the roof" when things get a little dull on the oaks. He will not, however, dance with his gestating mother. But that's I guess that's no surprise.