Monday, March 31, 2014

A Window Of Love

Starting last month, every Monday morning after I drop off Henry at pre-K, I'm in charge of cleaning our church's kitchen. As always, Daniel is my companion and my "helper."  At first, I wasn't sure how he would do because as any mom knows - three year olds are the least helpful helpers around. However, I've found that over the past few weeks I've been pleasantly surprised with his behavior. Of course, I'm no fool so I have an arsenal of snacks and toys that I bring to keep him occupied.

He often sits in the adjacent hall where I can see him through cut out windows. And you know what? I've found that there is something magical about those windows. The fact that I had to tell him it was time to get dressed ten times that morning melts away. Him refusing to eat anything on his breakfast plate is a distant memory. His soaked pants from jumping in puddles seem to vanish. His disgruntlement over having to brush his teeth has subsided. The fact that he fought me tooth and nail on just about every.single.thing that morning seems to vanish. In those moments, when I stand there watching him play from a distance, I'm not sure I could love him any more...

Friday, March 14, 2014

That Time I Went Ice Skating

Isabelle was invited to a friend's ice skating birthday party. The invite said that for those kids who couldn't skate, a parent had to go on the ice with them. No problem, right? Well Miss Isabelle has NEVER been ice skating and I've been ONCE in my entire life. I was probably like ten years old. We were destined to be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, the girl whose party it was is not "just" a school friend but a friend and family we have known through town for years. I mean if you're going to embarrass yourself it's always better to do it amongst friends, right? Also, Isabelle had already told all her friends that I couldn't skate and they promised that they could just teach her. Yup, the six year old population had already lost all confidence in my ability to skate.

So Tim left work early so that the future gold medalist skaters could head to the party. After one turn around to get the required helmet that I forgot at home, we arrived at the ice. When we got there lots of kids and parents were gleefully gliding along the ice in skates that they owned. Umm...where were all the people who needed to rent skates and had never skated like us? Those people did not exist except for one other mom and son who arrived shortly after us. But as I told Isabelle multiple times, "It's always good to try new things." Note: I was mainly saying this to myself as she was not the least bit nervous.

And just like that - we were on the ice. We hugged the wall for a few minutes but then you know what? I could totally stand - easy peasy. I could stand and sloowwwwlllllyyyyy move my feet and get all over that ice. And you know what? Isabelle could too! She fell a couple of times but that was mainly when she tried to go faster. I knew enough to stay at a snail's pace.

So yeah, the party was a lot of fun. Isabelle was excited to skate for the first time. I was happy to re-try something new. The kids did a powerful rendition of "Let It Go" on the ice. We both got to enjoy time with our friends and we followed it up with pizza and cupcakes.

So if I'm being honest, I think the gold medal might be out of reach for us BUT the bronze is totally do-able.

Just two ladies on the ice

Monday, March 10, 2014

What Else Do You Do?

I was out not too long ago at a bar way past my bedtime. My husband and I were paying an arm and a leg for a babysitter and pretending to relive our carefree days. I was chatting with a girl that I had never met before and she asked me what I do. I told her that I was a stay at home mom and then she said, "Oh, what else do you do?" I can't really blame her for the follow up question. She was young, newly married, and clearly has no idea what a time suck children are or what my life is like.

She doesn't realize that I'm up before the sun each day and still can't seem to get things off my "to do" list. She doesn't understand that I spend every second of my days taking care of small dictators. She doesn't know about the fights I break up, the toys I fix, and the boo boos that I kiss. She doesn't know that it doesn't matter how many times I sweep the floor that there will always be crumbs. She doesn't know the times that I internally count to myself so that I don't explode when one of the kids is having a tantrum. She doesn't know about the laundry - the endless laundry. She doesn't know how many times I yell "STOP YELLING!" each day. She doesn't know that not one minute of my day is just for me. She also doesn't know that my days are filled with doubt and love - oh, so much love.

So I simply smiled and said, "That's all I do." After all, I know that being a stay at home mom is more than enough and maybe someday she will, too.

She doesn't know that some days I'm the best pillow around.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Giving Up and Giving Back for Lent

With Ash Wednesday upon us, I decided that I should give up something for Lent. Since I've been working hard on giving up diet soda (sadness) I've found that I drink more iced coffee (I don't drink hot coffee). I also never make it at home which means I'm spending money at Dunkin Donuts on it. So I decided to give up iced coffee for the next forty days. In order to keep up with my promise I immediately told Isabelle about it this morning. That girl is nothing more than a little police officer disguised in a six year old's body and I will never hear the end of it from her if I give in and get a coffee.

I also briefly described the concept of Lent to her. I think the whole Easter season is tough to explain to kids. I mean Christmas is all "It's Jesus' birthday - yippee!" and Easter is all "He was killed on a cross for everyone to see." It just doesn't have the same kid friendly vibe to it, ya know? Anyway, she said that she wanted to give something up which I think is great. Although, I also think it's difficult for a child to be able to fully understand and give up something that they love for that long. So instead, we decided that she would do a good deed each day during Lent. She's very excited about it and when I told her she could keep a list she was ecstatic.

So today was day one and her first deed is done and documented. I'm looking forward to seeing all the great things she does over the next six weeks. And really I think the concept of GIVING is way more cool than just giving up something. Leave it to Isabelle to outshine my season without iced coffee!
Thank God Jack dropped all the colored pencils today :)

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