Archives for March 2010

What Nobody Tells You About Motherhood Before You Have Children…

Nope. Not a once did anybody ever mention to me that there’d be days when I wouldn’t like being a mom. Or that I wouldn’t necessarily like my child…..I would always love him, but I wouldn’t always like him. Or that I would be so past the point of being able to deal with a two year old that I would lock myself in the bathroom just to get away. Or that I’d understand why some species eat their young. Or that I’d have to be “on” all the time….sometimes I feel like the character Bert in Mary Poppins that has the drum/cymbals/horn contraption that he plays in the park. Nope. Nobody told me any of that.

I was a manager for several years and oversaw other managers as well as general employees. I hired and fired people. I helped settle their problems and disputes. I actually trained people how to do “important stuff”, but I can’t get my two year old to pick up after himself or use the big boy potty. I dealt with relatively intelligent and easy-to-deal-with people for the most part, as well as a handful of real idiots. I disciplined people that acted the way two year olds act: they wouldn’t share, they fought with each other, they cried when they didn’t get their way, they could not understand basic concepts and instructions, they acted as if the world revolved around them, and if they did something wrong it was always somebody else’s fault. But the difference between all of them and a two year old is that the employees could be (somewhat) reasoned with, they listened (sometimes), and were held accountable for their actions (they understood that if they did X, Y would be the consequence).

A two year old doesn’t understand any of those things, nor do they care. It’s their way or the highway. Tantrums don’t occur once in a great while, they occur daily – sometimes hourly. I never, ever thought I’d lose 98% of the arguments that I had with a two year old. I also never knew I’d give in so easy to unrealistic demands or after I’d said “NO” 100 times! Or that I’d occasionally think about drop kicking him across the street (as my friend Reyna told me she felt when her sons were little). Or stuffing him down a drain pipe (as my friend Tonya wrote in her blog). I also never considered that a two year old may still not sleep through the night. Or that he would whine incessantly. Or not be the angel I fantasized (fantasy is right!) about when I was pregnant. That I would yell and scream at him like a complete maniac, even though I would never in a million years do that to anybody else.

Our two year old is often referred to as “Little Caesar” or “Little Hitler” because that is how he acts. He wants things….now. He doesn’t care or want to hear my excuses of why I cannot deliver whatever it is he wants. He is unreasonable, moody, will not compromise, and does not take no for an answer, although he freely uses no as an answer to the majority of my requests.

And here is what I found out today….this is 100% normal! And it will probably get worse before it gets better! And that all of the feelings I feel are also normal! How weird is that??! Why does anybody have another child after experiencing life with a two year old??

Because of hearing “I love you Mommy”, watching them sleep, watching them learn to do something new, watching them dance, watching them laugh, making them laugh, getting hugs and wet kisses, seeing the pride in their eyes when they make you a picture, being the first person they run to when they get hurt, unconditional love, and learning that you’re stronger than you think you are because every day you get up and do it all again.

Being a mom is no joke! It is not for the faint of heart! Being a mom is exciting, scary, exhausting, amazing, and can make you feel like a success (and a failure) sometimes within the span of an hour! And even though I complain about it several times a day, I would never change it for the world. But I can still look forward to getting past the terrible twos and threes, right? Some crazy woman told me today that someday I’d look back and miss it…yeah, right. And I still have two more to go after this one….two girls that “they” (who are “they” anyways?) say are a lot harder than boys….aaaahhhh!!!

The Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend! Saturday started with hubby taking Tater to his first air show at the Riverside airport. I thought he’d be afraid of all the noise but he actually loved it. He got to see a lot of planes and sit inside a few of them, and a helicopter! Unfortunately, the wind was blowing so hard that they were only able to see one plane fly and do tricks. Hubby’s going to take him to another one in May.

While they were gone, the girls took their two hour nap, and I had two hours all to myself! It was wonderful!

Later that day, we went to Sister A’s for an Easter egg hunt/dinner/poker party. The kids had a great time collecting eggs, and we had a great time hanging out with friends and family. I love the fact that we still hang out with people we went to high school with 20 years ago, and that all of our kids are hanging out together now, too!

Sunday we spent the afternoon outside with the kids because the weather was beautiful! We had a small barbeque that evening with family.

Life is simple and easy, and I love it that way.

And so it goes…

Random Things I Want to Remember

In no particular order…

Tater’s new thing is telling us “I love you” and “I miss you”. The sweetest words in the whole entire world are hearing “I love you Mommy” coming out of his mouth.

Tater will throw a huge fit – you know the kind – throwing himself onto the floor, kicking, screaming, and rolling around in a huge pool of tears. Hubby laughs because Tater can start crying at the drop of a pin. He cries so hard that the tears start falling and he squeezes his eyes shut (to add to the drama), and the tears actually shoot out of his eyes and off of his face….he gets distance with those tears!

Ms.L scrunches up her nose and breaths in and out really fast. It is the cutest little face in the world, but has yet to be photographed…this is as close as I’ve gotten to capturing it:

Ms.M likes to scream and generally make a lot of noise anytime anybody else is crying. Ms.L will start crying and that’s Ms.M’s cue to start screaming.

The girls already do not want to share with each other. They will sit with their toys, and whatever one has the other wants. And if they end up switching toys, they decide they want the original one back. It has caused quite a lot of commotion lately.

Tater does a guitar dance. He plays his guitar and thrusts his hips back and forth. He looks like an old school big-hair rocker from the mid 80’s (minus the hair). It’s awesome!

Note the Jimi Hendrix t-shirt
Once Tater is finished throwing his fit, he’ll get up and announce either “I’m all done” or “I feel better now”. It’s hard to stay mad at him after he says it. It’s like he recognizes that he needed and had a mini-breakdown. I know the feeling.

Feeding the girls (especially fruit) creates a feeding frenzy similar to what you’d see at the zoo. There’s food flying, screaming, and tears involved. Apparently I need a couple of extra hands because I just can’t get it in fast enough for either one of them.

Tater told daddy today that he is his best friend. It makes our hearts so happy to hear him say that!

And so it goes…

Being a Parent is SCARY

When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.~The Talmud
Yeah, easier said than done. I have told Tater one hundred thousand times not to go in the street. When we go out to get the mail, I hold him at the mailbox so he doesn’t have to step into the street. I am terrified of him going into the street. Yesterday evening, Tater followed me out while I went out to put trash in the trashcan that hubby had already set out at the curb for trash pickup the next day. Hubby was mowing the lawn, and Tater stopped on the driveway to watch him (he is afraid of the lawnmower, but likes to watch…well, he’s afraid of all loud sounds in general). I lifted the lid on the trashcan, threw the trash in, and as I closed it hubby yells “Tater get out of the street!”. I turned to look, Tater was running into the street and a car (far off, but still, it scared the hell out of me) is coming towards us.
Within one second, all of these thoughts ran through my head at the same time: ohmygodwhatifthecarhitshim, Icannot livewithouthim, iamgoingtospankhisbutt, ilovehimsomuch, iwanttothrowup,gagegettinghitbythedieseltruckinstephenking’spetcemetary,
neverhearinghimlaughagain, whyisheinthestreetheknowsbetter, grabhimnow.
Of course, all was okay and the car was nowhere near close to us. Tater got a big swat on the butt from hubby. He was crying because we were both yelling at him to get out of the street and it scared him. When we tried to explain why he can’t go in the street he just kept crying. What do you say to a two year old to make him understand that he could BE KILLED if he runs in the street?! He can never understand the feeling of sheer terror that overcame both mommy and daddy and we can’t explain it to him. I’m sure in the situation, the advice from “them” (the professionals that tell us how to teach our children) would be to remain calm and explain to the child that his behavior is unacceptable, but how do you remain calm when you are afraid your child is going to be hit by a car?
I think all parents know exactly the feeling that is impossible to describe; the feeling of terrible, dread that you feel when you think something bad is or has happened to your child. It is the worst feeling I have ever felt. I had never, ever felt that feeling before I was a parent. I feel small bits of it occassionally when I see him fall or get hurt. The only other time besides yesterday that I have been overcome by that feeling was in June of last year. Our family went out to dinner to celebrate my brother moving back from Hawaii after working there for a year. It was beautiful outside, so we chose to sit on the patio. I was 6 months pregnant with the twins. We were all having a good time, talking and catching up. The kids were running around playing. My dad had to use the bathroom, and Tater decided to follow him though none of us (including me dad) noticed. I turned around, and Tater was gone. Nobody knew where he was. Hubby was running through the restaurant with my brother-in-law looking for him. My sisters and mom were gathering up the other kids. I ran out into the almost completely empty parking lot. Mind you, I’m pregnant with twins and on bedrest, and I am literally running. I will never forget the feeling and what went through my head when I stood in the middle of the parking lot: “this is how it happens”. I thought he was gone, that he had been kidnapped. And the feeling of dread that came over me almost knocked me off my feet. Seconds later, my brother S came running out telling me that they had him. Turns out when my dad opened the door to the bathroom, Tater said “Pops” and that’s when my dad realized he had followed him in. I have never been so relieved in my life! I’ve also never hugged Tater so hard before!

So the question remains: how do you teach such a young child not to run off without telling you, not to go in the street, not to talk to strangers, and all the other things not to do?! I know these are conversations you should have proactively before they happen. But when they happen, how do you remain calm?
I say it again, parenting is SCARY!
And so it goes…

Another Birthday’s Come and Gone

Another birthday has come and gone. Does it seem like they just keep coming faster and faster the older you get? It was a quiet day; we worked around the backyard and then my Sister A and the kids came over for a barbeque. Nothing really exciting.

But overall, I think it was a pretty darn good year…

  • I gave birth to my beautiful girls. The pregnancy wasn’t as easy as it was when I was pregnant with Tater, and I had a lot more doctor’s appointments and monitoring. I also had to have a c-section 5 weeks early because the girls thought that they were done cookin’. We were extremely lucky in that they didn’t spend any time in NICU and had absolutely no problems that sometimes come along with twins delivered early. They came home with me a few days after birth, and they are growing and developing exactly as they should be at this time.
  • Tater turned two and is such a big boy now! He talks up a storm and is learning so much! He knows how to sing his abc’s, he’s learning to count, and he can sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” all by himself.
  • Between July 2009 and now, our immediate family has welcomed four babies into the family, and we are still expecting one more! I have a cousin that also had a new baby, and several friends delivered babies, too. So we’ll just consider 2009 the “year of the baby”.
  • We spend a lot of time together with family. This is such a big part of my side of the family’s dynamic. And now that we have kids, it’s become even more important to me. I remember being little and always surrounded by cousins and how much we all enjoyed playing together. I want that for my kids too! I have more cousins than I can count, and they all have children now, too….several the same age as Tater. I hope that my children appreciate family as much as I do. We’ve also been spending more time with hubby’s sister and her kids. Tater loves it (see my “Tater and Auntie S” post) and it’s amazing to see Auntie S’s kids evolving into young adults.
  • It sounds kind of silly, but we’ve created a budget and we’ve been (relatively) good about sticking to it. I’ve become more frugal; clipping coupons, figuring out ways to save money on things we really don’t need, and trying to be a lot more conscientious about what we are spending our money on. Heck, I’ve even cut down on my many-times-a-week trips to Target because of all the money I wasted there! I have never been a saver…I’m a huge spender. But with three college educations and at least two weddings to pay for, I am starting to feel the need to save. We are very lucky that hubby still has his job and that we can still pay our bills. Not everybody can say the same.

So all in all, not a bad year! I have a lot to be thankful for. I know that I’m blessed. Happy birthday to me!

And so it goes…