Tag Archives: children

Queen of best intentions

I have the best intentions of playing that game right after dinner, and kicking the ball in the backyard right after laundry, and reading an extra story when we wake up, and practicing handwriting in a fun way.

I have the best intentions.

“Let me finish this work on the computer and then we can do that.”

“This will only take me ten more minutes and then I can play with you.”

I believe children need a lot of unstructured play. They need to dig in the mud and create secret forts with rules only known to them. They need to figure out how to entertain themselves. They need to create games and use their imaginations.

But they also need to know how valued they are.

Of all the gifts the children received from friends and family for Christmas and Nick’s birthday, the gift they wanted most was time. Our time. Time spent with both of the them and time spent one on one.

I ran across a quote in a post by Vodkamom talking about resolutions with her kindergarten class. They were talking about resolutions as being promises and one child said “I know. It’s like when you go to bed, and someone promises they will play with you in the morning, but then the morning comes and they don’t, it’s like breaking a promise!”

Ouch.

I have the best intentions.

I seem to bump whatever my best intention is because there is no apparent deadline, no thing to cross off my to do list. But their needs are just as important as whatever is on my to-do list. Spending the first part of the morning together, being together, starts us off in the right mindset. Then they can wander off to be children doing their children things while I occupy myself as mom/writer/business owner with a clear mind because the most important thing I needed to do that morning is already done.

pilers

After a long hiatus, I never know if I should catch you up on everything I’ve written in my head or just jump in with what’s in my head right now. (My head is a very, very full place.)

My parents have a cartoon on their wall that says “Filers should not marry pilers.” I’ve mentioned this cartoon before. I quote it all the time. What I’m just now realizing is pilers should not give birth to pilers and expect them to be filers.

Did you get that?

I’m having all sorts of drama over school work not coming home, completed homework not being turned in, and general disorganization. The guilty party (besides, well, me) doesn’t care. She has taken a few penalties at school, things that I think bother her, but she finds a way to not let it outwardly bother her.

I even talked to a counselor at school who mentioned one of the most important things:  Lead by example.

My dear piling child and I are screwed.

snow day!

I am pleased to announce that I have joined the Nashville Parent blogging network. Today in my first post I’m talking about entertaining your children during a snow day. Check it out.

my helper

I’ve been reading The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel whom I saw speak last year. She wowed my socks off then and I’m very much enjoying her take on parenting.

I decided to cut myself some slack this morning before Nick and I headed off to the grocery store. But I’m also incorporating the idea that the children need to help more around the house. I hesitate to call them chores, because it’s really just having them help with work that needs to be done. No one is getting paid to do it, we just do it so the house is a happy place to be.

And Nick is a huge help. He helped me strip pillow cases so they could all be washed. He helps unload the dishwasher on a daily basis. He sets the table before and helps clear the table when dinner is over. He carries laundry up from the basement and helps switch clothes from the washer to the dryer.

And he is my grocery helper.

He loves to go the store and has been promoted to cart pusher. He pushes, we pick out fruit together, we talk about food and what’s for dinner. We have a grocery store routine and it works. He likes to help bag, and depending on who is bagging sometimes they let him help. He helps me carry groceries into the house and he helps me put them away.

Don’t get me wrong – I could do all of this much faster without his help, but he loves it and I love watching him.

Today, when we left the store, he pushed the cart across the parking lot and we loaded the bags into the car.  As he was pushing the cart into the cart return, I smiled at the woman who was right next to us unloading her groceries.

“I love watching you with him,” she said to me.

I managed to say thank you and we were on our way. But I floated the whole way home. What a wonderful thing for a stranger to say.

Little victories.

catch up

It’s been too long and too many little moments have slipped by. I can’t possibly go back and recount them all, so I will fill in a few and then go forward with a renewed desire to share the tidbits of our lives.

* Recently at a restaurant, a man offered us his spot on a bench as we waited for our names to be called for a table. We sat for a few minutes waiting. A group of older ladies joined us in the waiting area. Just as I was about to move so one of them could sit, another group was called and a bench opened up for the ladies. All of the ladies sat except one. Nick watched the whole thing. Then he scooted over closer to me and pointed to the woman who was still standing and then back to the seat. She came over and we had a lovely conversation for the next few minutes until our table was ready. I fell in love with my son all over again that night.

* Maggie learned to whistle a week or so ago. When my parents got here, my mom was so excited that Maggie could whistle since they had practiced a few weeks ago together. I made the comment that my mom and dad had one job when they were here and that was to teach the child a song. She knows how to whistle but it’s kind of a tone-deaf ear worm kind of sound. My mom thought I was being dramatic. A few days later, my mom admitted from Chicago that in moments of quiet she could still hear the ear worm whistle in her head.

* We have an appointment towards the end of April to find out the results from Nick’s evaluations. It appears he may qualify for the preschool program, which is great. If he qualifies, that means he would leave the school he currently goes to, which will break my heart a little, but I believe the therapy he will get from the new school will make all the difference in getting him ready for kindergarten.

* Maggie has woken up twice in the last few weeks with leg pain during the night. Nothing to worry about – she’s just growing. Again. Holy Toledo, the child is going to be taller than me before she hits second grade.

* I went to the library today and checked out five books for myself. Hahahahaha.

I guess that’s it for now. It’s amazing how once I felt “behind” it got harder and harder to write. Hopefully this will get me unstuck a little. Though I do have to say, I am having a fantastic time taking pictures. I hope I’m not boring you to tears with all my photos.

Would you rather see seven at a time like I have been doing (even if I run behind) or would you rather see a three or four twice a week? (Or am I the only one who actually cares about such things?)

cherish

Things I will cherish forever:

The look on Maggie’s face when she is beyond excited.

The look on Maggie’s face when she has accidentally hurt someone and is about to break into tears.

Holding my son’s hand as he falls asleep.

The sound of my son’s cry when he feels he has been wronged.

Taking time out to play hide and seek.

Finding they would rather cook breakfast with me than play with new toys.

dinner out

We went out for Mexican food last night.  An interesting choice, since I failed to drink any water during the day, but that’s not where this is going.  Right before our food came, Maggie said she needed to go to the bathroom.

We went.  She went.  I answered 20 questions about the soap dispenser, the paper towel holder, and the potty doors.

We got back to the table just after our food arrived.  (Which is far better than when she used to wait for the food to arrive and then announce she needed to go to the bathroom.)

We ate.  My sodium levels crept up near just plain licking a hunk of salt, but I love, love, love chips.  (I had been thinking about chips and salsa for many days after pooping out on friends after I had chosen the Mexican restaurant.)

Right before we left, Maggie said she had to go to the bathroom again.  The second visit always means get-comfortable-this-might-take-a-few-minutes.

We were the only ones in the bathroom (this is an important detail that must be investigated on each visit.)  Right after someone else walked in, Maggie announced she was going to poop. (Newsflash: I already knew that.)

“You don’t need to announce that, Maggie.”

“Why not?”

“Well, there are other people in here now and they don’t need to know.” (Unlike, apparently, my blog readers. Heh.)

“Is it a girl or a woman or both?”

“She is a woman.” I now am beginning to laugh because this poor woman came in to go the bathroom and now she is being talked about openly, but by a child who doesn’t realize how openly.

“Well, I’m done.  It was only two plops.  They were leftovers.  You know, like when we have leftovers at home for dinner?  Just like that.”

The woman had come out and was washing her hands.  She was laughing so hard she almost teared up.  She and Maggie met at the sinks.

“Would you like to use this sink?” she asked Maggie, leaving the water on.

“No thanks.  I like this one.  You better turn that water off though.  That kills the fishes.”

“Oh!  OK.  Thanks.” She was still laughing as she left.

We continued the killing the fishes conversation and added a little we don’t need three paper towels because that kills the trees and we were on our way to the door.

As we passed our restroom friend, I could tell she had come out and told her significant other a little about her interesting encounter in the bathroom.  She was pointing Maggie out to him.  And Maggie had no idea that she was being talked about or that anything she had said was worth talking about.

As we left the restaurant, there was some great music playing.  Since we were already feeling a little silly, we started shaking our tail-feathers.  Think salsa dancing for the very clumsy.  We were in a patio area that was fairly secluded and we went a little crazy.  Then I realized there was a window right next to us and about 16 women who were having some sort of meeting were watching us.  In that moment, I decided I didn’t care what people thought and we danced our way out to the car.

I don’t know if Maggie will have memories of the rare occasions where fun just happens. But I hope she does.  It’s a lot more likely when you don’t care what other people think.