Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little things matter

I found out just last week that when Tulip's kindergarten class is lining up to go outside for recess, Wolfie's second grade class is lining up to come inside and she gives her brother a hug as they pass.

Maybe it's the only child in me, but it sure warmed my heart to know that my children have an opportunity to connect, no matter how briefly and coincidentally, with a sibling on a daily basis while at school.  What a sweet thing for that little girl of mine to look forward to each day.

Then there's this.  Yesterday I checked Wofie's assignment notebook like I do everyday but I noticed that he had written down the first and last name of a boy whose name I hadn't heard before.  At dinner, he told me that he made a new friend at school - guess who.  He told me that he was sitting next to a boy he didn't know at lunch and then the principal came by to chat with the kids.  She asked them what kind of video games they like and Wolfie and this boy both said Skylander.  So they started talking about Skylander all through lunch and out onto the playground where they played Skylander all during recess.  Wolfie told me at first he couldn't remember the boy's name but asked him on the bus what his name was and that's when he wrote it down.  At home Wolfie looked up his new friend in the school directory to make sure he was listed and we had his phone number.

I don't know if the principal planned to bring new friends together with her simple question, but that is the result of her attention and connection to her students.

It's those little things that matter so much in the big picture.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Birth control

Wolfie has two winter coats and he seems to be more fond of one of them.  I asked him if he thought he'd ever wear the other one or if we should get rid of it (which he knows to mean take it to Goodwill or to Once Upon a Child).

Wolfie said, "Well, maybe we should just hold onto it in case you have another little baby boy and then he can have it when he's bigger."

"Oh, Wolfie, I don't think we are having any more babies," I responded.

Then he asks, "Can a woman control whether or not she has a baby?"

Are you kidding me?  The boy has not asked where babies come from yet but he asks me about birth control?  And he really did emphasize the word control.

And all because I asked him about his spare coat.  Well, that'll teach me.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I yelled at a grumpy lady

I took the kids to their school's holiday book fair at Barnes & Noble on Friday night.  I pulled the van into a rather tight spot, but that's the way it goes.  I opened the door on the passenger side for Tulip and Wolfie to exit.  They know to stay by the side of the van until I come around to their side.  In other words, stand there and don't run into the street.

I was getting Luna out of the driver's side and I could hear a person kind of hollering.  I assumed it was a mom barking orders at her own children as they traverse the busy parking lot.  When I rounded the back of the van, I saw a lady standing there between her car and my van and she said, I quote, "Move it already!  Get out of my way!  I have to get in my car!"

She was yelling at my kids.

So I said, "Hey, why are you yelling at my kids?"

She said, "They're in my way!"

I said, "Well you don't have to yell at them, grumpy lady."

Then she said as we were walking towards the store, "You didn't have to park so close to my car.  You didn't leave me any room..."

I thought, "I parked in the exact center of a pretty tight parking space.  Maybe you are the one who parked crooked..." but that was too many words so instead I said, "Why don't you cheer up a little."

I entered the store, to the aid of a very nice man who said, "Here, let me get the door for you," feeling rather proud of my choice of words in front of my children.  I used "grumpy" and "cheer up" when I could have very well used different sets of words.

But hit me.  Did I just model very bad behavior?  Did I just show them how to talk back to someone?  I felt like I was defending them and letting them know that the grumpy lady should not have yelled at them like that but couldn't I have just quietly ushered them inside the bookstore and then told them?

So as I began to doubt my perfectness as a mother, I was reminded of a time my friends Jackie and Ann, Melinda and I were visiting.  Jackie and Ann had just recently adopted their 2 1/2 year old son.  Melinda was the experienced mother of the group with daughters age 6 and 8, and I had not begun having children yet.  Jackie and Ann were navigating the world of new motherhood and asked Melinda the rhetorical question, "As a mom, what do you do when some other child is behaving badly toward your own child?  Do you step in and discipline some other mother's child?  Do you wait for that child's mother to step in?"

These are tough questions no matter in what stage of mothering you are.  Melinda, the wise and wonderful, said, "No matter what, I am my child's advocate.  That's my job as a mom.  So if another person is causing some harm to my child, I step in.  Likewise if my child were behaving inappropriately toward another, I would step in."

Sage words, mama.

I decided that grumpy lady needed to be disciplined as she was in the wrong.  Also, it probably wouldn't hurt for her to know that she was acting grumpy.  I mean, really, "cheer up!" is the reminder we all could use during this festive holiday season.

What I'm hoping my children took from this interaction between their mama and a stranger is:
1.  Their mama loves them and will protect them from grumpy people
2.  NOT that the lesson is to talk back at someone, unless they deserve some redirection on behalf of protecting a beloved family member
3.  Most importantly, to have a sense of humor when faced with people like the random grumpy lady in the parking lot.

I've Done This

I've purposely given my little ones instructions, while they were naked, that caused them to run off in another direction, just so I could look at their butt.

Usually, it goes like this.  I take off a pull-up.  I hand it to the little one.  Then I say, "Go put this in the garbage can" knowing that she will pivot and skip down the hall.  Then I get a good view of her bare bottom bounce away.

I could dress her first and then tell her to put the pull-up in the garbage can but then I wouldn't get to see those little biscuits now, would I?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fairy cards smuggler

Some very special big girls gave Luna a box of fairy cards when we visited them for a weekend.  She loves these cards so much.

This is a picture of Luna, as I found her when I went to tuck her in to sleep, and she can't hide her sneaky smile as she smuggles her fairy cards to bed.

The previous two nights I found her still awake at 10:00 playing with her fairy cards in bed.  Ten minutes before this picture was taken she was reminded that the new rule is that she can't take her fairy cards to bed.

Sometimes our friends move a little too far away, but we are happy for them nonetheless.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

green-eyed giraffes can fly

I haven't blogged in a few weeks.  I admit, I kind of forgot that I have a blog.  My mind and hands have been so busy elsewhere.  Oh, and I've been tired.  So maybe I just didn't feel like blogging for a while.  Maybe I lost my inspiration.

Though many, many times a thing would happen and I would find myself composing the blog post about it in my head...

Also, sometimes I think my blogging is silly.  I've got friends who are facing great challenges in their lives and others experiencing very interesting changes in their lives and even others doing these incredible things to make the world a better place and my life is just chugging along at a steady predictable pace, making my days busy and making me tired.  What phenomenal story could I possibly write about my life?  Our excursion to the Touch a Truck today?

But then Luna told me that green-eyed giraffes could fly.

I did resist the urge to get up off the floor where we were playing with those Littlest Pet thingies to go and blog about it right then.  Of course I resisted because something else would happen.  Are you kidding me - Luna wanted me to know that only green-eyed giraffes could fly and I wouldn't dare leave her side until she told me more secrets of the world.  These secrets are often revealed while Mama is on the floor too, and now I know why I've been so busy and tired.  But my heart is full and that's worth writing about.