Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some Camping Lessons

Memorial Day weekend was our first camping trip of the summer. Here are a few short lessons I learned:
  • Just because your baby hated, and I mean hated (!!!!!), the pool recently, it doesn't mean he won't be jumping in to water over his head the very next time.
  • Watching your 6yo be the leader of a gang of kids will provoke feelings of pride, wonder, and a little nostalgia.
  • Your baby, who loves to eat rocks at home, well, he will still love to eat rocks while you're camping.
  • If you're going to spend a few hours at the pool and your hair is in pig tails, you should apply sunscreen along the part. Or just plan not to brush it or use the hairdryer for the next few days.
  • Melatonin is still a wonder drug, even when you're camping.
  • Having your mom there to help watch the kids makes this whole camping with 2 kids thing a lot easier.
  • Watching a family who has 4 little kids camp will make you feel silly for complaining about camping with just 2 (and want to take lessons from them about how to pack and organize everything!).
  • Camping is a fun way to spend your birthday (although a spa day would be great, too).
Today's Lesson: Doing all the laundry after a camping trip is still the suckiest part.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Safety and Independence

As a social worker, I tend to have this internal fight with myself all the time. I want my children to be independent and make their own way in the world. I want them to not be scared of their world. But, at the same time, I am occasionally paralyzed with fear because I know there are parts of our world that aren't safe. I know there are people who would hurt them if given the opportunity. It's a hard thing, this parenting stuff, isn't it?

So, it was in that light, that I wrote this post last week. And then got some interesting comments (here, on FB, and in person). People had strong reactions to that post, y'all. People brought up all the children who have been kidnapped in the last 30 years who we all know from seeing them in the media. They said "tell so-and-so that the world is a safe place" or "I'm sure so-and-so's parents wouldn't agree with you at all". And I'm not negating the horrible, tragic, awful experiences of those children and parents. But, and I repeat myself, these things are so very rare.

And - of course - they happen. I just looked it up - 115 children a year are abducted by strangers. Out of all the children who are abducted every year - apparently somewhere around 800,000 - 1.4% of child abductions are by strangers. My children are more likely to be killed in a car wreck than abducted by a stranger. They are more likely to die of cancer than be abducted by a stranger. They are more likely to die by my own hands (due to abuse/neglect) than be abducted by a stranger. They are more likely to die by their own hands than be abducted by a stranger.

And again, I am not downplaying the horror of a child being abducted. Even one child is too many. I see and hear about the awful, horrible things children experience. Every. Single. Day. I get the fear and the overpowering desire to protect our children. I'm just pointing out that of the thousands of things I have to worry about, the plethora of things that could happen to my children, being abducted by strangers is about the least likely thing there is.

Also, what I am saying is that when we shelter our children too much, we prevent them from being able to adequately prepare themselves for the world we do live in. We keep them from knowing how to interact in the world in a capable and safe way. What we communicate to our children is that not only do we believe the world to be unsafe and untrustworthy, we believe that they themselves are unsafe and untrustworthy. We can tell our children all we want how to behave and handle themselves in the world. But children do not learn by simply hearing what we have to tell them. They learn by doing. Trying, failing and trying again. And by us not giving them the chance to do, we do them a disservice, perhaps making them even less safe.

So, I guess what I'm saying is overall, I get it. I feel the same fear. But I also fear what happens to my children if I don't allow them the opportunities to experience the world and learn how to interact in it on their own? What happens if I don't help them feel capable? What happens if I am always there? Will they be able to know what to do when I'm not there? Because - of course - that day will come. Does this mean I plan to drop my 6yo off at the park by himself for the afternoon. Hell, no. But that, really, has little to do with other people. It is because there is no telling what that child would get into at this point. He isn't yet capable of keeping himself safe (i.e. keeping out of the road when he sees a pretty butterfly on the other side). But I hope, then the day comes that he is ready, I am able to overcome my own fears, and show him that I trust him.

Today's lesson: Parenting is not static. The way we do it can, and should change. As in all things, we should take time to occasionally consider whether there is anything we can/should/want to do differently. As people we evolve. So do our children. Thus, so should the way we parent them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


It's my birthday. Yup, sure is. Birthdays really aren't a big deal for me, well mine isn't at least. I don't want a big celebration, or a bunch of people singing to me. It's fine if it's just another day. As long as it's one that involves a tasty cake (or two), that is.

Last year I wrote what I thought was an innocuous post, 33Things. A list of 33 things for which I was thankful. Apparently, though, it hurt MIL's feelings. She felt slighted that I hadn't included her on the list. Now, there were a lot of people who I didn't include on the list, so I'm not sure why it was such an issue for her. But it was. Enough that she specifically called hubby to tell him it hurt her feelings.

At the time, I blew it off. Rolled my eyes. I mean, really? But, for some reason, in the last couple of weeks, when I've thought about my birthday, I've remembered that more and more. And it's been bothering me. I think it's because as difficult as things were between us at time, I was/am thankful for her. And I'm sorry she didn't know that.

So, this birthday, I'm putting it out there that I'm still thankful for all that stuff from last year, plus MIL. And that makes it a list of 34 things.

Happy 34th Birthday to me.

Today's lesson: Cake is yummy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kindergarten: A Year in Review

Subtitled: Everything I ever need to know I learned when my child was in Kindergarten.

Y'all. Man. This year, the kid's first in public school, has been a roller coaster. From the trepidation about his switch to public school after our love affair with Montessori. To the first teacher who obviously does not actually like children (or at a minimum mine). From the meetings with the counselor and principal. To the wonderful teacher he had the 2nd half of the year. It's been exhausting. For all of us.

As I think back on my kid's first year at public school, here are a few of the lessons I've learned.

First, I must listen to my gut. I had a bad feeling about Mrs L at Kindergarten night, before school even started. I had a worse feeling about her as the weeks mounted. I am glad I listened to my gut that said she was not working for my son. I am glad that I pushed away the words of people who (admittedly) were trying to be helpful, telling me to ignore my gut. Because it was right.

Second, I am my child's best advocate. If I sit around and wait for things to work out, or for someone else to also see the problem, it will be too late. Or, at a minimum, more damage may be done. There were a lot of meetings, and they weren't particularly comfortable for me to sit through. Certainly not enjoyable. But it is my job as his momma to stand up for him. And, by god, I am proud of myself for doing it.

Third, there is no perfect solution. In hindsight, I wish we'd decided to keep him at the Montessori school for at least this year. However, it would have been hard logistically (the round trip hour trip twice a day, with a toddler), and lets not even mention the cost. On the other hand, it's inevitable that he'd have had to make the move to public school eventually. There is no situation that solves all our issues, meets every single need. All we can do is try to make that which we are left with work as well as possible. I think, by switching to the lovely Mrs M, that did happen.

Fourth, never underestimate the power my child's teacher has to make his life enjoyable and happy, or stressful and miserable. A child's teacher has extraordinary power over him. Mrs L set things up and interacted with the kid in such a way that he responded by feeling incapable - both academically and emotionally. Mrs M, in contrast, reminded my child that he is smart, loving, and good at many things. The smile he comes home with most days and the immense progress he has made in reading make this blatantly obvious to me.

Fifth, change is inevitable. I can hardly express how much we will miss Mrs M next year. I feel like just when we finally feel good about the kid and school, it's done and we're going to have to start all over again next year. We've been able to tell the school our preferences about the kid's teacher for next year, but there's just no telling what it will look like. I'm terrified he'll end up in another bad situation. But I guess that's where I go back to lessons 1-4.

So, as much as things change, the same lessons seem to apply. Here's hoping I don't have to relearn them again. And here's to an awesome summer.

Today's Lesson: While your own kindergartner may be difficult at times, other people's kindergartners are quite lovely. Ages 5 and 6 are really very nice. Especially when they aren't yours and tell you you're pretty, and have sparkly eyes, and a nice voice, and...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Free Range Kids

You've all seen them - those statuses (wait, what is the plural of "status??), or little pictures, or whatever, proudly announcing, "I used to run around outside from dawn til dusk with just my friends. My parents kicked me out and we didn't come back inside all summer. I rode my bike 18 miles one-way to the park every day, when I was 5, all by myself.". You get the point. The idea that when we were children, we played outside. A lot. By ourselves. And that we're all proud of this. And why the heck don't kids get to do this now? What's wrong with society??

And then there's the whole, "hell no -  I'm not going to let my 4yo play in the backyard by himself - something might happen!!!. No way am I going to allow my 7yo to ride his bike to the park with his 7yo friend - someone might abduct him! No my 4yo can not use a knife - he'll cut off his arm!" mentality. This fear that many of us have of letting our kids just go and do those things that we ourselves used to do when we were children.

Did you know that this past Saturday, May 19th, was the third annual international “Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There Day” (TOCTTPALTT). Yes, that's right. Take your child (ages 7 and up, please), to the park AND LEAVE HIM THERE. WITHOUT YOU. And, yes, I did need to YELL that part because I'm pretty sure most of you - like me at first - are confused and also probably are thinking, "surely that is not what the social worker just said.

And yet, it is.

Lately, I find myself challenged with all those beliefs. I have all those same worries you do, but here's what I know from my experience as a social worker. Most any accident that might happen to him in the backyard, are going to happen whether I'm 3ft from him, or 15ft inside the house (for example, a child recently died from a simple fall off a swing in her backyard. Her parents were right there). In more than 12yrs as a social worker, I have never - I repeat never - heard of a child being abused in any way (sexually, being abducted, etc...) in a public restroom by a stranger. Also, I don't know any preschooler who has cut his arm off with a knife.

There is this urban myth, you might say, that tells us as mamas that if we're right there with our children, we can protect them. We hold tight because we want them to be safe (of course we do!). We don't let them go in the backyard by themselves. We don't let them walk the block and a half to a friend's house. We take them into the women's bathroom with us until they're 10. All because we want them to be safe. Which is, of course, our job.

But what are we teaching our children? What am I teaching my children?

I'd suggest that what that these things actually do is teach my child that I don't believe he is capable. Because if I don't trust him to do (x, y, or z), then how is he to trust his ability to do it himself. I suggest that what I'm also teaching him is that the world is a big and scary place, one where he is not safe. And neither of those are believes I want my child to hold. That is not how I want my child to approach the world - believing that he's not capable of handling himself in the big scary world.

So, what's a mama to do?

Again, I go back to my experience. Which is this: Accidents happen, yes. But hoovering around my child isn't going to prevent them.

So I'm working on this. I'm working on letting go of the knot that forms when the kid wants to go into the public bathroom by himself. I'm working on not checking on him every 10minutes when he's in the backyard playing solo. I'm working on letting him cut up his own apple with a for real knife. I'm working on letting my kid be more of a Free Range Kid.  And I'd love to hear what you do to help your kid be more free range, too. Or how much it stresses you out to do that. Because would make me feel better, too, lol.

Today's Lesson: Discomfort is often a sign of growth. And even mommas experience growing pains.

If you're interested in reading more about TOCTTPALTT, here ya go:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Things I wish I had pictures of..

  • My kiddo when he got his first medal for running his 2nd 5k (in 37min, nonetheless) a couple weeks ago
  • Baby E drinking/slurping/licking water off the pavers in the backyard...downstream from the dog
  • My own face witnessing these two things things
  • The camping trip we took with MIL and FIL just before she died last summer
  • My boys dancing around together, hand in hand, a few days ago
  • My mom's face when she found out - on the same day the kid was born - that my brother and SIL were expecting their first baby
  • Myself in Greece - as in, I want to go there, and then get pictures of it
  • Hubby watching cartoons - he sits, in rapt attention, twiddling his hair. It's kinda cute
  • The boys' birth families as kids, teenagers, etc...

Today's Lessons: Sometimes those everyday things we don't think to take pictures of, are the things we wish we had.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tantrum of the Year

The kid has never been a tantrum thrower. To this day, if he is to have one (which, seriously, is really rare - as in I can only think of 5-8, total, he's ever had), I mostly just am too shocked to respond. We made it through the "terrible two's" just fine. Not a tantrum to be had. We thought we were superb parents, to have parented our child in such a way that he didn't need to have a tantrums to communicate with us. We were awesome.

And then he turned 3. And, as I've told others, it was like the devil moved in.

The week of his 3rd birthday, I took the kid to our local children's museum. We had a family membership that year and frequented it particularly in the yucky weather. We went in to the museum and he headed - as was typical - to the "tractor" and played around on it for awhile. He then headed over to the water play area. Also typical - those were his 2 favorite spots. He tried to leave the water area with water toys. I told him he had to put them back. He tried to run away from me.

And that was when it happened.

All hell broke loose. I put him in time out. He wouldn't stay. I held him on my lap to complete the time out and mostly to try to help him calm down. He kicked. He hit. He tried to bite me. He spit. He screamed bloody murder. And then he vomited all over the both of us. Large quantities of vomit. Dear lord, how I hate vomit.

I picked him up and carried him into the bathroom. I am quite certain that everyone thought I was taking him in there to beat him - and, in truth, part of me wanted to. Really, though, I was going to get us both cleaned up. Though for some ridiculous reason, there were no paper towels in that bathroom.

I cleaned us up as best I could, with toilet paper, and him still screaming and sobbing. Then I calmly walked us out, got our coats and started to walk back to the car.

About halfway there, and between huge, gulping sobs (the screaming fortunately had ceased the moment we walked out of the museum) he said, "". All I could say was, "I don't know, baby, I don't know". I could tell he felt embarrassed and guilty about the awful tantrum, which caused a fresh wash of tears. From both of us. As we were walking down a very public downtown street .

The cause became quickly apparent, as he fell asleep before we were even out of the parking garage. He must not have slept well the previous night and was exhausted. He didn't wake up when we got home and I took him out of his carseat, had him pee in the toilet, and then put him in bed. He slept for more than 3hrs. And woke up his happy, non-tantrumy self. ThankyousweetbabyJesus.

Now, to be fair, let me say it again. The kid has had fewer than 10 tantrums ever, that I can remember at least. They did all happen either in public, or when social workers were in our house (I feel like I blogged about that once, but I can't seem to find it. A story for another day). I am beyond grateful for this. I am fairly certain that we will not be so lucky with baby E, who has at least 10 tantrums a week (not that severe or long-lasting, thankfully. Yet).

Today's Lesson: We should offer to help each other. Not a single person in that whole museum offered to help me when my kid was losing it (figuratively and literally in the case of his breakfast, which ended up all over the both of us). Not an employee. Not another mom. How nice it would have been to see a gentle smile of empathy from another mother, instead of pointing and whispering to mommy friends (seriously, that did happen). Or an offer to help us clean up, instead of staring and then turning their backs (yes, that's what several employees who were together did). A small act of kindness can go a long way, friends.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Good Husband

This conversation took place in a couple of parts (different times/days), but here's the gist of it.

Kid: Poppa, you're not a good husband.
Me/Hubby/My mom: What? Why not?
Kid: Just 'cause.
Me: Well, what makes a good husband, kid?
Kid: Well, a good husband has to have his financials all in a row.
Me: (trying not to bust out laughing, for he is quite serious) What does that mean?
Kid: Well, momma. You know. I don't need to explain it to you.
Me: Okay. So what else makes a good husband?
Kid: (sighs in exasperation insinuating that obviously I should know this already) Momma, you know he has to have good politics.
Me: Of course. What do you think makes good politics?
Kid: Well, how am I supposed to know that!?! I'm just a kid. But I just know it's important. Duh.
Me: Ah, right. Okay, so what else is important?
Kid: That's it. I've explained this to you. And, really, you should know already, shouldn't you?
Me: Probably. But, just so you know, Poppa is a really good husband. And you know what's super important that you left off your list?
Kid: What, momma?
Me: Love. A husband should love his wife. That is of the utmost importance in making a good husband.
Kid: Oh, well, in that case, Poppa is a good husband, isn't he?
Me: Yes, yes he is.

Today's Lesson: Love. A husband should love his wife. That is of the utmost importance in making a good husband. And I am blesses with a wonderful one.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers' Day

Mothers' Day is an emotional one for many. For those who aren't raising the children to whom they gave birth (for whatever reason)...for those who are still waiting to become pregnant or have a child placed with them through adoption...for those whose mothers have died...for those who are estranged from their mothers...for so many reasons.

This year, it's a difficult one in our house, too. It's the first without MIL. It's hitting hard. It's odd. Usually this is a day where I am kind of the center. But this year, that doesn't seem quite right. Hubby has been trying, but in many ways it's him who our little family needs to focus on. He so misses his mother. And days like Mothers' Day, just come as a slap in the face sometimes.

This Mothers' Day I am thankful. For my own sweet mama. For all the birthmothers in my life (including the boys' beautiful birthmoms, L and R). For my Grandmother (seriously, y'all, she is one amazing woman - remind me to tell you about her one of these days). For the women who care for my boys when I am not with them. For all the other countless women in my life who have mothered me or my children when we've needed it.

And I'm sending out a special prayer for all of you who have arms aching to hold your babies. And for those who are aching to be held in the arms of your own mothers.


Today's Lesson: How lucky I am, how lucky my children are, to have such wonderful mothers in our lives.

Also, for those of you waiting to adopt, or even TTC-ing, here's a great blog post for you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

BirthMothers' Day

I first heard of Birthparents Day (or is it actually BirthMothers Day - not sure which), when we were going through our classes with the agency. I thought it a wonderful way to honor women and men who have made the choice to place their babies for adoption. I thought, "how great that they have a day just for them".

But in the last couple of years, as I've read the blogs of more and more birthmothers, I've realized something. Most of birthmothers don't want this day. Most just want to be honored and remembered on the same day as the rest of us mothers. They want Mothers' Day to be theirs as much as it is any other mother's.

And I think I now agree with them.

It sounds like Birthmother's day was created by a birthmom with good intentions. But the impression I've gotten from birthmothers themselves, is that they feel it's a way to marginalize them, and make them less than what they are. Try to say that they aren't the same as the mothers who are raising children.

But that makes no sense. There is no one kind of mother. There are stepmothers. There are mothers-in-law. There are mothers in waiting. There are mothers who have lost their children. There are mothers who gave birth to their children. There are house mothers. There are mothers who adopted their children. There are honorary mothers, those women who have stepped up for us when we've needed it. There are grandmothers. There are the friends who mother us. There are the mentors who mother children.

There are so many women who serve as mothers. And simply put, we are all mothers. No more. No less. All of us, mothers.

And I will celebrate us all tomorrow.

Today's Lesson: Good intentions certainly don't always turn out that good, do they?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The TIME magazine debate

Okay. I had to do it. I had to post a response to the TIME cover photo and the related article. Too many people have asked my opinion. Admittedly, I've only seen the cover, haven't read the article (when I've tried, it said you had to have a subscription). But, here are a few of my thoughts.

First, TIME magazine is the media. It's job is to sell magazines. This is so often achieved by sensationalism. And I'm pretty sure this picture has been quite successful at getting attention and getting people to talk about TIME. Well done, TIME, well done. My hope is that it would have been able to facilitate an honest conversation about nursing older children and attachment parenting. I don't know that that's happened, but a girl can hope.

Second, the title itself  ("Are you mom enough?") is inflammatory and only further sets us up as moms - and society as a whole - to judge and be combative with each other (which does no one any good). Let's be honest here. For some god-awful reason, moms attack each other about our parenting choices. We're judgemental when moms don't breastfeed. We're judgemental when moms/babies are breastfeeding past some arbitrary number of months. We're judgemental when baby sleeps with his parents. We're judgemental when baby sleeps in his own room from day 1. We're judgemental when moms stay home with their babies. We're judgemental when moms work outside of the home and their children attend daycare. To name a few.

I think one of the reasons this happens is because many of us are insecure about the parenting decisions we've made. And so, if another mama makes a different parenting decision than we do, we take that personally. We think it confirms our worst fears that *we* have made a poor parenting decision and not done the best for our children.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. (And really, I probably have said it at least a thousand times.) We all do the best we can, at least in that moment. I don't know any mama who wants to be a shitty parent and screw her baby up for life. She makes the decisions she feels are best for her child. End of story. There is no room for judgement in that.

Third, most people who are commenting/freaking out about it, are completely uneducated about what attachment parenting and "extended breastfeeding" actually are. People have asked me if "extended breastfeeding" leads to children who are over attached with their mothers. I don't think one can be "over attached". I think relationships can become enmeshed, but that has absolutely nothing to do with breastfeeding.

In truth, most children who are nursing at age 2, 3, 4, or even later, are nursing only a couple of times a day. These aren't moms who are still (generally speaking) pumping 2 or 3 times a day at work. They're nursing their children at nap time, bedtime, and sometimes as a comfort at some other point throughout the day. Baby E is nursing from once a day to up to 3x a day. That's it.

Fourthly, the "normal" age of weaning around the world is between the ages of 4 and 7. You know, about the time the baby, also known as "milk", teeth fall out. Coincidence? I think probably not. In other words, I think nursing a 3 or 4yo is normal. It may not be comfortable for many people (thus socially "normal"), but that doesn't make it abnormal (i.e. biologically) or in any way harmful to child or mother.

In short, do I think baby E and I will be nursing by the time he's almost 4? Probably not. But who knows. And I'm not opposed to it. And certainly not offended by it. And, truthfully, I don't believe that the quality of our relationship (or his future mental health) will be affected by whether or not we are still nursing at that age.

But, friends, that's just me and the way I mother. You do it your way. No judgement here.

Today's Lesson:  Way to go mama. Do what works for you and your child. What's right for one mama - or child - isn't for another. It is not for us to judge.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

I know I owe you some updates. About what we did on Pay it Forward Day, for one. But today I'm going to give you an update about baby E and weaning.

I am, once again, touched by the kindness of my fellow human beings. Because of a several women, we have enough milk to continue nursing for now. For at least - hopefully - another couple of months. My heart is full and overflowing that these beautiful women have offered baby E and I the opportunity to continue our nursing relationship.

A friend had some milk in her freezer that she offered to share with us. Also two complete strangers have popped up. One read my post on a FB local babywearing group asking for milk. The other was connected to us through our local natural parenting store (who has connected us to many other women throughout this journey). They're all our angels. As are the women who connected us to them.

I feel silly for worrying. Because, in truth, every. single. time. we have almost been out of breastmilk, more selfless women have stepped up, shown up with frozen bags of goodness, to share this unique gift with us. There is so much to be said for just asking for what you need.

Just so you know, we did try the almond milk. It was complete no-go. I mean, as in heeeeellllllll NO, woman, do NOT come near me with that devil juice. I will continue to try, though, because it just seems like a good idea (in case/when we start to run low again).

This is truly how you pay if forward, people. In a small and yet immensely meaningful way. I am honored to be the recipient of this gift. Although, truly, baby E is the ultimate recipient. We both thank you.

Today's lesson: Really, there truly is so much to be said for just putting it out there, letting the universe know what you need.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Almost so sweet

Baby E is standing on the floor in front of me. I'm all dressed and ready to go to work. Hubby is home with the boys today, there being no school and all (for some reason). I'm sad to be leaving. But I consider whether to pick up baby E. He seems to have reminents of breakfast still on him and I don't want that all over me and my work clothes.

Baby E reaches up for me. "Up, pease? Up, pease, Momma?". He kisses his little hands and then puts them together, palms up, near his face like a little bouquet of cuteness. I pick him up. He has a serious look on his face. He slowly takes his little hands and rubs my cheeks with his palms, saying, "awwww".

My initial reaction is also, "awww, sweet baby". But about the time I get to the "swee..." part, I realize his hands are wet. And then "awww" quickly turns in to "ewwwww!!!!!!!!!!!" as I realize he was not kissing his hands, but spitting into them.

I put him down. Quickly. He runs around the room, laughing hysterically. Thrilled to have gotten spit all over me.

Giggles, giggles, giggles.  Ew, ew, ewwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today's lesson: I don't know what the heck to do with boys.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Water Babies

My boys love the water. Well, let me rephrase that. The kid loves all kinds of water. Baby E loves just the bathtub. Apparently.

For Spring Break, we went away for a night to a local state park (seriously, our state has the best parks!). We took the boys to the indoor pool. The kid stripped off his shirt and shoes before I could even get inside the gate. Some teenage boys thought he was about to drown and offered to save him. But that's a different story. Anyway, I got baby E all ready for the pool (FYI - we just use some of his diaper covers instead of those disposable swim diapers - work great!). Hubby jumped in with the kid and I passed E to him.

And then all hell broke loose. E started screaming. And I mean screaming, y'all. As in, someone is about to kill me kind of screaming. I took him from hubby and he clung to me like a little, terrified, sopping wet monkey.

I sat with him in a chair until he finally stopped trembling. Then hubby got out and came over to him. And it started all over again (the screaming, shaking, terrified bit). This happened a couple of times.

Finally, I was like, "kid, you gotta get over this. We are a water-lovin' kind of family". So I walked with him (attached to me like a koala bear) over to the hot tub. Finally the shaking stopped enough that I stepped on to the top step. Shaking resumed, though calmed after a few minutes. Then I sat down. And he tried to climb up my front (i.e. my neck and head) like a bear. Eventually he calmed down. So I started dipping his toes in and out and in and out. This only caused mild protestations, probably helped by the little girl who had now joined us. He was flirting too much to get too terribly upset. Then I stood him up in it. And - finally!! - I got him to sit. Though only on the very top step.

I was so confused by all this, because that baby loves, loves his bath. And then I started thinking about last summer. Last summer he loved the pool and the lake. Or did he? I mean, he'd go to sleep every time we put him in. I thought it was just because he was so relaxed in the water. But maybe it was his defense mechanism. Maybe he was freaked out by it then but didn't have any other way to let us know than to go to sleep.

Cue theme music for EPIC PARENTING FAIL. Or at least that's what it felt like.

At any rate, that baby's gonna have to get used to the water, because, really, we are a water lovin' family. I was on the swim team. Hubby was a life guard. The kid's been going off diving boards since he was barely older than E. I'm not saying that he has to love it just because we do. What I'm saying is we do lots of things in the water, so it'll be a lot easier on all of us if he can at least not have a major meltdown every time he smells chlorine.

Today's lesson: My kids know what to do when there's a camera around. For real.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


April flew by. I can hardly believe it is over. I have declared May to be "Momma month" at my house. Between Mothers' Day next weekend and my birthday at the end of the month, it seems appropriate. Not that anyone else necessarily has jumped on board with this. But I'll keep thinking it in my own head at least.

So, I'm supposed to reflect today on HAWMC. Overall, I'm glad I did it. I feel like I wrote some good posts this month (as well as some mediocre ones, lol). I think my favorite prompt was the one where we wrote a memory in 3rd person. That's one I think I'll use again in the future.

I also really (really!) like the prompt to write a post in 6 sentences. Not that I loved the post I actually wrote so much, just that I think sometimes the reason I don't blog something, is I feel like I have to come up with this long thing. But, I think that prompt seems to have given me permission to do some posts that are just short, sweet, and simple. I'm pretty sure after some of the super long things I've written lately, you'll appreciate short, too.

I'm also a bit blogged-out for the moment, so don't expect me to everyday blog again any time soon.

Today's lesson: Boys like to eat mud. You can tell them (over and over) that it's gross and they're going to get sick, and yet they're still going to eat mud. Let. It. Go. And then wash out their mouths. Again.