Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just One More

Lola and I had another small "go around" last night while getting her ready for bed. We read a story in bed, while she brushes her teeth. It was past her bedtime and she wanted anther book to read. "Sweetie, mom just read Bad Cat, it's time to settle down and be quiet. Time for night night." "But mom, I just want one more story I promise, just one story!" I hear Gibson skooching in his crib across the hall. It's humid tonight. We have his bedroom door open so the AC will cool the upstairs.

"No, Lola, let's go to sleep." She starts to whine even louder. She throws her toothbrush on the floor and cranks the tantrum to 11. Now she's trying to wake Gibson up with her meltdown. "Lola Rose (God, I'm using her middle name, I'm turning into my mother!) be quiet. I say what goes. I'm not telling you again. Let's settle down and get some sleep!"

There is some theatrical sniffing and asking for a tissue. "Mom, can I have an ice pop in bed?" No. "Mom, I think I'm hungry, can I have some crackers?" NO. "Mom, why are you the boss?" "That's my job. Your job is to be a kid, have fun, play with your brother, go to school. My job is to keep you safe, feed you, take care of you, make sure you're happy, having fun, and that you get enough sleep so you're not grumpy in the morning." "Mom, I've got a great idea, why don't we have two bosses!"

I should have just read her a 2nd story. It's an hour past her bedtime. "Lola, there is one boss and that is me, actually daddy is the boss too. I have an idea, I will let you be the boss of things that matter to you! You can pick out the clothes you want to wear to school, you can pick out your breakfast, and you can choose one fun thing to do on the weekends!" She loves this idea and is telling me she wants to wear her Who tshirt with a pink sparkle belt to school.

Peace again settles over her butterfly sheets. The fan in her room is gently moving the wind chimes above her bed. "Mom, it's so hard being a kid. Someday I will be the boss." She nudges my arm over her shoulders and shimmies under my chin to lay as close to me as possible. That day will come all too soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm Praying For Patience

I think I may have won the Worst Mom of the Year Award this morning.

I've read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Fascinating book! His premise is we're born with a certain level of intelligence/IQ. This can get people far ahead in life. Goleman believes the human view of IQ is far too narrow and society/parents are overlooking the benefits of empathy, patience and understanding that our kids need to be taught. He argues "emotional" intelligence in not fixed at birth. These facets of self awareness, self discipline and empathy can be nurtured and grown from childhood to adulthood.

Four year olds, at least mine, has a hard time understanding "In just a minute!" "Wait till mommy puts Gibby to bed, and then we'll read under the covers with the flashlight." The most trying for me, when I'm on the phone!!!!! "Honey, you see Mom is on the phone, wait until I'm done and then we'll ride your scooter on the sidewalk." Patience. I'm teaching her if she waits, there is a reward.

Lola usually accompanies me to Mass on Sunday. She enjoys having her time with me and loves the choir. She's now kneeling and moving her mouth to the music. We bring coloring books and stickers to keep her occupied. I now let her go to the "potty" by herself at church. I can see the bathroom door down the hallway from the pew I sit in. She proudly marches back with a big grin on her face and a "thumbs up!" which makes the family behind us snicker.

She wanted to stay home with Daddy this morning, so I thought I'd take Gibson. He's come a few times and is always fidgety toward the middle of mass. It's a distraction to me and those around me. Worse comes to worse there is the infant room with toys in the rear of the church and speakers to hear mass and large windows to see up front.

I dressed Gibson and asked Sean to put the car seat in the convertible. Lola heard my heels clicking in the dining room. "Where are you going Mom?" "Mass honey with Gibson." "But I want to go!" I was running a bit late already. "You said you wanted to stay home with Daddy?" "But I want to go now!" It's 10:13 and Mass begins at 10:30. "No, you wanted to stay home, and I don't have time to get you dressed and brush your teeth! I'll be back soon and I'll make blueberry pancakes."

She's standing in her Tinkerbell underwear, her hair in a bedhead wavey crown cascading down her shoulders. Her lower lip balloons out and the tears begin. "Lo, I'm sorry but Mom's got to go!" She races upstairs and starts pulling clothes out of her armoire. "Lo, NO! I don't have time to get you dressed!" She's screaming/crying now. "Alright come on, get up here, but we have to hurry!" I grab the clothes off the floor and start to dress her. She pulls away and heads for the stairs. "Lo! Where are you going?!" She turnes to me, such hurt and anger in her four year old blueberry blue eyes. "YOU ARE MAD AND I DON'T WANT TO GO WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MAD!" Her accusatory finger is still pointing at me. The polish I painted on her nails last week is wearing off.

She's in Daddy's lap sobbing, her head buried in his chest. He looks at me with disappointment, not as infinite as Lola's but still a look that says "Way to go." I feel like crap, no I feel like shit. I've wounded my little girl and know I am the worst example of patience. My God, she is only four year old! I drop to my knees and hold out my arms. She comes immediately. "Mommy is so sorry, I didn't mean to make you sad. I'm late for church and that is not your fault, of course I want you to come with us." Sean holds Gibson and Lo and I go back upstairs to get dressed.

We're late but I don't care. I buckle them into their car seats. Gibby is sucking on his paci and reaching for Lola across the seat. We sit in the driveway. "Lola, I am really sorry. I don't have patience. It's not your fault and I'm happy you're coming to church with me! I'm sorry I made you cry. You have better patience than Mommy and you are teaching me to be more patient. It's OK if you're upset with me."

I pull the car in reverse and feel sick to my stomach. I look at her in the mirror, she's putting her orange sunglasses on, the wind is whipping her ponytails around. "Mom, I just want to go where you go, that's all." I reach behind me and tickle her knee. "I love you baby, and I'm sorry."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Need A Good Techy...

I'm crazily trying to figure out why the *!#^ I can't upload photos to this blog! I've done it only once or twice and believe that was a fluke??? I have no problem uplaoding pic to Facebook and several Mail Art sites that I belong to????? Anyone with advice or suggestions, or a baseball bat would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Movie Doubt. My Review.

Watched the movie Doubt last night. We love, love, LOVE Netflix! Watching movies on line is also a pleasure. We usually watch the documentaries and horror films on line and order dramas and kid's dvd. We usually squeeze in a movie a week, not bad with two children!

I could not wait to see this movie! Philip Seymour Hoffman! Meryl Streep! Priest vs Nun! This movie was like chewing on a piece of gristled meat! You slice in, raise it to your mouth and wait for that moist meaty sensation to kick in......


The movie was based on a play. Can't recall the playwright's name. You've got a Catholic school set in the Bronx mid 60s. You have Sister Aloysius (Streep) who's been at this nun game far too long. She's stern, a stereotypical bride of Christ with a lemon puss and educating by way of fear. An "old school" gal. No gum chewing, no barrettes in the hair, and no transistor radios! And in this corner, Father Flynn (Hoffman) who wants to lead and teach with kindness while yucking it up with his compadres over smokes, booze and back slapping.

A third nun is embroiled in the plot. She's young and wants to love her teaching as much as she loves truth and honesty. She is told, as are all the other nuns to "keep an eye" on Father. Sister Aloysius suspects unwanted attention from Father Flynn towards an African American student, the only black student at the school.

At this point the dialogue is still somewhat decent. You still like Father Flynn and hate Sister Sourpuss. What if she's wrong??? You as the viewer are to have doubts about Father's innocence? Get it, DOUBT. I felt the movie ended hurriedly and the ending such a let down. Big drama scene at the end where Streep delivers the whomping dialogue to sum up the movie....her declaration seems so out of character with who she portrays.... I won't give away too much. I can only say "Father forgive me for I watched an incredibly boring movie all the way to the end!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

All Work And No Play

Did I tell you I was offered a job! Actually two jobs! I've been a touch "moody" lately and feeling unbalanced. I've worked since I was 16 and often had two jobs through high school and college while nailing down 22 credits per semester. Dean's List every time, no, I'm not bragging....well yes, I am!

Anywho....I was "laid off" about two years ago from a job as Retail Floor Mgr, Buyer, and Designer of a furniture store. I've been in this business for about 15 years and honestly loved it! Prior to that, I was a Fashion Merchandiser for a handful of well known department stores along the East Coast. Prior to that, I was a News Director, and in the humble beginnings of my radio career; the girl sidekick at a rock station, a bit of a morning zoo if you will. Throw in Burger King Drive Thru Cashier in my teens and Makeup Artist for Lancome and that about rounds it out.

There were medical complications with my pregnancy with Lola. For the last five months I was ordered to strict home bed rest. It was an intense time for me, not used to not working, feeling cut off. My new job was to grow this baby and have her arrive when she was supposed to. Everything went well. I stayed home with her for seven months, enjoying NOT working and falling in love with her more and more. The go back to work feeling was tugging at me though and my employer eagerly wanted me back. I was in a position to make demands and I boldly did! I wanted to work only three days a week and asked for an insane amount of money. On the drive home from that meeting, they called me on my cell and asked "Can you start tomorrow?"

I worked that glorious schedule for two more years and then was "laid off." I use the quotes because their way of "terminating" me was less than ethical. I hired a lawyer, and won. This was a huge learning curve for me. I loved this warped little fringe family of mine and was deluded to think I was irreplaceable. I lost friends in this battle. Lines were drawn, sides were taken because they felt threatened (and were!) that they too could loose their jobs if they sided with me. Obviously these were not my friends. When a door closes, a window opens. My vindication paid for about half of Gibson's adoption!

Cosmically amusing how things just work out!!! We adopted this beautiful baby boy, and I had the luxury of being ASAHM (a stay at home mom!) But, alas, the tug of going to work began its pull on me again. We all know the economy is in the crapper. I knew I couldn't land a job that paid me what I was making then. Interviewers would look at my salary and do a double take. I interviewed for a sales/manager position at a little downtown store. I was told I was far too over qualified. The hours weren't conducive to my family's schedule. I was offered the job and declined. I interviewed for a bank teller position. I nailed the interview and was called back. Again the schedule did not work and I wasn't willing to work on Saturdays. The pay didn't come close to covering daycare for Gibson.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm lucky to not have to work! I'm lucky that Lola is in an amazing pre school where she flourishes four days a week. I'm lucky, blessed to be a mom to two whirlwind children. Lucky to have this stay at home time with Gibson. Incredibly blessed that my husband leaves the house every morning to fight the good fight and bring home a paycheck. I have these gaps in my day, when Gibson is sweetly sleeping to write, blog, be creative, clean, organize, and focus on my collage works. When he's awake, we play, go for long walks downtown and through the neighborhood taking advantage of green grass, trees, the buzz of lawnmowers, the chorus of birds. We go to the park and I push him in the baby swings. We go to the local creamery and we share a small vanilla cone. We go to the library, post office, grocery store.

This is a job! I'm still managing and using my creative skills. And, this job has the best perks of all. I can stay in my pajamas all day if I choose. I go to the grocery store without makeup on. If I choose, I can brush my teeth at noon! I can play all day if I want! I always did relish a job well done and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of my work day! I enjoy having a clean house, having a gourmet meal made, baking something special. There is satisfaction in a neatly folded stack of warm laundry, organized kid's rooms, mowing the lawn so Sean doesn't have to. I'm multi tasking, managing, organizing, creating. I am the CEO and Domestic Goddess of my empire! (and to think those poor souls are still slaving away at that little furniture store!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cukes, Kale, and The Missing Pup Pup

Our weekends are jam packed with summer fun. Trying to squeeze every ounce of it into our mouths and not let it run down our chins! I've been eating lots of great peaches and sugary corn on the cob. Last weekend we walked to the farmers market with Gibby and Lola. Our first stop on Main Street was Brad's Place, a little dive breakfast joint resplendent with Red Sox mania tacked everywhere! After pancakes and eggs we continued our journey to the market. The sounds of stand up bass and high hat waft down the sidewalk. Lola clambers out of her stroller and is giddy with buzz of market life.

We're on the hunt for spicy mustard greens, kale, and some local goat cheese. I smell crepes bubbling slightly on a grill as local blueberry jam is sacrificed to its innards! The table next to it is selling local honey and shortcakes. There's a glorious display of cukes, tomatoes, and zucchini with the sun shining lovingly upon them. I can't resist and run my hands over their sensuous shapes. We buy a bag of greens, kale, and creamy, buttery organic Dutch Gold Cheese. I ate so many samples I just had to buy some!

Lola made friends with a little boy and they're running around having a game of tag in front of a band playing music. Lots of kids are running around having their own little Woodstock. Shoes are off, blankets are on the ground, kids eating peaches out of the back of a pickup truck. Lola finds a sunflower on the ground and tucks it behind her ear.

It was a great morning. We loaded Gibby and Lo back in their strollers and headed home. THEN IT HAPPENED! "Oh crap! Where is Pup Pup?" Pup Pup is Gibson's favorite lovey that he sleeps with. PP goes wherever Gibby goes. "Are you sure you took him with us?" Sean senses a manic storm coming on, not from Gibby, but from me! Sean's mom bought PP when news of us adopting a baby was to happen. Gibby rubs PP back and forth across his face when he's sleepy. Sean drove back downtown and retraced our steps. Meanwhile I put Gibson down for his nap. He wailed and cried for almost 25 minutes. Sean pulled in the driveway. "Any luck?" "Nothing, I even went inside pup pup."

After about half an hour, Gibby fell asleep. "Come on Lo, let's take a walk and look for Pup Pup." She felt sad for Gibby and suggested we make Missing Pup Pup Posters. I had taken a picture of the kids in the driveway that morning. Lola is dressed in her Hello Kitty t shirt and multi colored polka dot skirt, sun visor on with piggy tails sticking out the sides. She's leaning into Gib's stroller and he's laughing at her. Pup Pup is there in his arms. I scan that photo and the information and we post them on a few telephone poles along Main Street.

It's been four days and no word of Pup Pup. Lola gave Gibby some of her dearest stuffed animals to sleep with. Gibson knows they're not PP. They don't smell like him, bark like him, or snuggle like him. I've ordered another Pup Pup replacement, same make, same color. It should arrive in the mail by this weekend. Hopefully Gibby will see the resemblance and fall in love all over again with Pup Pup Jr. Maybe someone picked up Pup Pup, maybe he's in the arms of a child who really needed him. Only Pup Pup knows.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Splatter Control

Gibson is such a "boy!" That kind of vroom vroom, throwing, smashing, pounding, make lots of noise kind of boy. He's almost 14 months old and not yet walking on his own. (This may be a godsend!) His crawling prowess is unbelievable! He moves at Tasmanian Devil speed, leaving smoking little knee tracks behind him! He happily cruises along the sofa, to the coffee table, to the leather chair, begs to be picked up, then wiggle worms himself back down to the floor.

He's bored with baby food, I don't blame him. Lately he prefers organic yogurt, macaroni, carrots, buttered toast, noodles, and much to Lola's dismay Popsicles. More for him, means less for her! Mealtime has become a raise the spoon, dodge the splatter kind of battle. Unlike Lola, who ate everything in front of her and placidly took her bottle, this little guy is flinging, throwing, and blowing raspberries as I feed him. August is way too hot to wear a head to toe Hazmat suit!

I have found if I give him his own spoon he's content for a bit. If his hands are busy he's more likely to eat what I give him. I think I have his number. He throws his food over the highchair tray and watches for my reaction. If I say "NO!" he laughs and lobs more over the bow. This is a triumph for the family dog Newman. He was wondering when this kid would start treating him like family.

I never had to use outlet safety covers with Lola, she was curious as a baby, but knew what NO meant. Gibby is fearless. "NO" to him means, "Yes, yes, go see what this wonderful new strange thing is!" He will dive off furniture if he has the chance. He will pull on cords, hoping the magical thing attached comes crashing down so he can have a better look. He will leap from our arms to see what toy is on the floor. He will grab hands full of Newman's fur and stuff it in his mouth and clap for himself.

It's fascinating to watch him play. He loves anything on wheels. He'll roll his toy cars along the rug and crawl behind them. Lola had no interest in cars, or things with wheels. One begins to think about gender and how these babies are wired. I don't like to categorize baby behavior by gender, though to me he's showing, at this stage, stereotypical "boy" behavior. Friends of ours have a little boy who enjoys wigs, dressing up, pretty feminine shoes, and theatrical behavior. He is one of the sweetest little guys and he has great, creative parents who allow him this outlet.

I can't help but daydream ahead, and wonder what paths my children will take, what kind of adults they'll turn out to be. For now I'm living in the moment (OK, trying to) and enjoying every bottle throwing, food lobbing, sweet, belly giggle minute.