Tag Archives: children

Screaming, Flying, Monkeys…

Kids are great! *forced smile*

No really, kids are amazing. I have 3 of my own & many whom I proudly “momma bear” even though they are not of my womb.

My oldest, “R”, is nearly 16 years old. He is on the autism spectrum, a sophomore in high school, loves video games, Godzilla, zombies, rock ‘n’ roll, goofy youtube videos, & those silly inflatable dancing guys that the used car dealerships use.

Next in line, “JON”, is almost 13. He won a fight with lymphoma a couple of years ago. He loves comic books, The Walking Dead, Mine Craft, riding his bike, Smosh videos on youtube, listening to music on his iPod, & comedy. Here’s one of his favorite’s (keep in mind that he’s 13, don’t judge):

This brings us to number 3…my screaming, often flying monkey…”CC” will be 3 at the end of April. She is adorable and loud and opinionated and funny and sweet and today, very, very 2!

Image

I like to think that I am a patient person.

I like to think that I am a good mother, a funny mother, I generally enjoy my children. We have fun together. But I have to admit…the toddler years can be hard! There are days when these funny little sweeties go from angel to freak show 30 seconds. These are the days when this mommy needs a time out!

I think that there are things that experienced moms often fail to convey to expecting or new moms. This is one of the areas where we, as women, fail each other!

This morning while my sweet baby girl was transforming into a possessed howler monkey because I was working at my laptop for 10 minutes while she was enjoying her favorite show on Sprout & I didn’t notice that her show was over and she was ready for lunch. Then we got calmed down with a small snack (because I really had to finish what I was doing before I could make lunch), when Daddy came home on his lunch break, one of the perks of working 5 minutes from home. She, naturally, was excited to see him! She was not very excited that he couldn’t spend his whole lunch hour (about 40 here) holding her due to the fact that he did need to eat. So…the screaming resumed!

ALRIGHT!!! Lunch time it is!!! We heated up some soup, put it in a bowl, sat her at the table, next to her Daddy, & enjoyed 5-8 minutes of relative quiet before Daddy had to prepare to leave the house to go back to the office.

This pattern continued while I attempted to complete a few other tasks, including a phone call (that was enjoyable with her wrapping herself around my legs & trying to stuff her head up my shirt!).

These are the things that we should be sharing with other women! (These & the scream I just heard from CC’s bedroom while typing! HA!) I don’t do the toddler years well, there I said it! It is H-A-R-D! While I’m being honest, let me talk about other things that we’re not supposed to say out loud…I am not good at potty training!! I have all of the tools & skills, I just suck at it! I am not patient! Once I know that a child KNOWS I lose my mind when they refuse to use the bathroom! Occasional accidents I can deal with, but let me give you a fun little example. CC is starting to recognize the feeling in her tummy pre-poop. She tells me that her tummy hurts, I ask her if she thinks she needs to go poop in the potty, she says yes. It’s a pretty good system! A couple of weeks ago, all signals were go…she’s sitting on the potty, I’m out in the hall, outside of the bathroom.

She says “Me all done!” She has only been in there a minute. I know she hasn’t gone yet. So I say, “I don’t think you’ve been in there long enough yet honey, why don’t you look at your book again?” She hops down, pulls up her leggings, hides behind the door & starts to close it.

I stop the door from closing, “What are you doing?”

“Me pooping!” I look at her pants behind her & sure enough, she has a lump in her pants!

“CC! You were already on the potty, honey! Why did you get down to poop?”

“Cuz that’s how big girls do it!”

“That is NOT how big girls do it!”

I lost my fricking mind! So, she went down for a nap…I had a cup of tea.

Ladies, you need to be able to lose your mind, put your child in a safe space (whether that’s a crib, swing, playpen, or gated safe room) & know that they will be fine more than 10 feet from you for as long as you need to find your mind again. And please find a friend that you can admit your imperfections to! None of us are perfect! The lady on the block whose home looks immaculate ALL OF THE TIME is hiding something crazy in a closet somewhere & probably needs someone to talk to too, I guarantee it!

People tell you all of the time to savor these precious years….they told me that with the boys too…I get it, I do…I savor the totally done with potty training, don’t need gates on the stair anymore years! I admit it! I hate touching bodily fluids, when that sweet baby girl can blow her own nose, I will not miss wiping it! I don’t miss wiping the boys’! There has never been a day when I’m wiping her snotty little (adorable) nose & thought “I miss when I had to pick boogers out of R’s nose”…NO! Thank God they grow out of certain stages! Potty training, 2’s, boogers, throwing unwanted food on my floor….get me past these years with whatever grace & dignity I have left, then I will savor the rest!

I don’t want to discourage any future mothers out there. Being a mother has honestly been the biggest joy of my life, & I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything. I couldn’t imagine the person I would be if I hadn’t become a mother. But its okay to be honest about the days that we struggle. Its okay if everyday we don’t feel like we’re doing everything right. Its okay if some days you gotta put that screaming monkey in her (safe) cage (crib) & let her scream it out for a minute so that you don’t lose your mind. We’re all on the same team here.

Raising future adults is an important task. These are the people who will one day take care of us. If we don’t take care of ourselves while taking care of them, what does it teach them about valuing themselves. We learn by example.

I think CC’s finally asleep. I better eat some lunch before round 3 starts!

Have a wonderful day.

If you are out there reading this, & your day is anything like mine…stay strong, take a break, talk to who you can, & know that you are doing your best.

Shalom

Week 1 of “30 days of Love”. . . did you know?

There are so many things happening right now! Martin Luther King Jr. Day was yesterday. There are many wonderful organizations that have decided to use his legacy to remind us to be a better, kinder, more tolerant, more just, & loving society.

Image

I love GLSEN! They do SO much for gay & lesbian youth. This week, they are promoting “No Name-Calling Week.” http://www.glsen.org/nonamecallingweek . It is an effort to help stop bullying, primarily in schools.

Image

Let me talk about bullying for just a minute. I am not a fan of bullying, but many of the zero tolerance, anti-bullying campaigns have been backfiring the past couple of years. (Remember what happened with the DARE program of our era?) If you put an all encompassing umbrella over bullying, give it a lot of publicity, & then make a zero tolerance policy….you draw attention, sometimes to things that kids weren’t even thinking of & you sometimes give existing & potential bullies ideas.

The zero tolerance policy means that your own policy forces you to punish kids for behavior that doesn’t warrant the punishment simply because if you don’t, you’re not following policy. I don’t think that it’s okay to allow children to be mean to each other. I do think though that, depending on the situation, there is a certain amount of age appropriate push & pull that goes on between kids & youth. That is not the same as being mean, but with these “zero tolerance” bullying rules that schools are making, it doesn’t allow for normal behavior. We can’t expect everyone to always act “just so,” a little push in line, not wanting to sit next to the stinky kid, not wanting the kid who is really bad at math on your team during a math drill DOESN’T make you a bully! It makes you a normal, age appropriate kid. Should the teacher tell you that you get what you get? YES. Should the lunch lady yell out, “No pushing in line!” from behind the counter? YES. Should someone remind your kid that it’s not nice to call that kid “stinky”? ABSOLUTELY, should that same someone call the stinky kid’s parent’s & investigate why he’s so stinky ABSOLUTELY.

I think focusing on one aspect of bullying, like GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week. is a nice way to handling it. You aren’t teaching these kids a new behavior. Kids have known how to name call since they were 2 years old! Focusing instead on how that behavior effects people, what that feels like (even for adults), instead of talking about bullying as if it’s 1 act, 1 punishment…that’s something I can get behind.

Image

Many UU’s around the world are jumping on board with Standing on the Side of Love’s “30 Days of Love” campaign.

http://standingonthesideoflove.org/30days2014/

Day 1 was Saturday, January 18th. I cut & pasted below what it says on their site for week 1:

“Week One: Living the Dream

Sunday, Jan. 19: Suggested worship service themes include honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and recommitting to racial justice work.

What to Expect: Kick off the week with MLK Day and set aside time for congregational self-examination and reflection. Look for resources on furthering your racial justice work.”

I think I can do both of these campaigns easily together! Living in small town Montana, you’d be surprised how many racial slurs, comments, & names one still hears (especially when people are talking politics, it seems).

I vow, to do my part to not only not “name call” (which is a rule in my home anyway, one that I only seem to break when speaking of myself…), but to be verbal when I hear others. That takes care of GLSEN. For my UU contribution this week, I’m going to concentrate my ears on those racial slurs, jokes, & “name calls” that I hear when I’m out & about. I am a small woman & usually when I hear these things it is a group of men speaking (although not always) & my habit has been to give a look, much like a disappointed mother or school teacher would give a disobedient child.

Image

I vow to use my voice this week. I will speak on behalf of my children (& others’ children) who don’t deserve to hear it. I’ll be honest, we are a mostly white community, but that is no excuse to allow the racially ignorant folks in our community to feel like they run it.

This is my commitment to my faith community, my family, GLSEN, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, & most importantly…to myself.

Image