Thursday, February 28, 2008

Treasure Hunting

Yesterday evening Perry and Daisy were playing in the living room. While walking through I heard Perry tell her, "Daisy, you are my little treasure." Which is something their father says to them often.

Daisy's answer? What else. "Noooooo."

She responds the same way when I tell her she's beautiful. It's a game for her--to say "no" to whatever you've just said, and then you say it again so she can say it again and grin. You can read the happiness in her smile, the knowledge that she's loved. I'm ruing the day when we tell her she's our little treasure or that she's beautiful and she doesn't believe us. They mean so much to us, our little children do! I want them to always know and feel it. In some ways I wish we could shelter them from every negative thought. But I guess going through the self anxious period is just part of growing up. At least I have a few more years before that sets in.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mommy: The Indoor Slide (a.k.a What I Want to Be)

I made curry for dinner tonight. It turned out to be too spicy for the children, so after they had their second helping of rice they scrambled out of their seats and ran into the living room to push each other in the stroller (Stroller in the living room? Don't ask.). David and I let out a sigh. We tried to keep them in their seats for a little while, but really dinner tonight was just so much more pleasant when it didn't include the entire family.

"I just want you to be happy, but you seem miserable," David said.

Miserable wasn't quite the word I would have chosen. But I was unhappy. These past few days have been really difficult. I tried to think hard about why.

"You know, it's much easier for me to be patient with the kids when they're not whining. I can talk to them, play with them, read to them, whatever...but when they start whining, It just breaks down all my defenses. It's like torture. The CIA should ban whining!"

"Maybe we should start disciplining them for whining."

So we told them. We told them about how our house had turned into an unhappy place because of their whining and that there wasn't going to be any more of it. This was their warning. The next person who whined was "in for it."

This decision made me feel a lot better. I suddenly felt like I was in control of the house again, rather than it swirling through chaos.

A little while later Perry pulled me into the living room to play with him. I had such a weight lifted off me that I was able to really have fun with them. I sat on the sofa while they jumped on me and tumbled off. Then Perry had the good idea of sliding down my outstretched legs onto the floor. They must have done this for ten minutes. It was really a riot--for me too. These are the moments I love. These the ones I want to have more of and remember. Hopefully, with our new household rule, we'll have more of these moments and less of the whining children and yelling, stressed and bummed out mommy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Public Nurs-ance

A little while back we went to David's art opening. The gallery is a long, narrow, one room space in down-town Murfreesboro called The Alley. The joint doesn't open until 7:00PM and we thought long and hard beforehand on how we were going to attend this thing--since the kids' bed time is 7:00. The last time I didn't go to one of David's openings because of the children he was really bummed out about it--and understandably so. I make a point of going to them now, unless there's a really good reason not to. So our options were:

A) Get a sitter for Perry and Daisy while David, Calvin, and I go to the opening.

B) We all go.

Here's the clincher... The Alley doesn't close until 2:00 AM and we only have one car. Because David's art was there, he had to stay for at least most of the evening in hopes of selling some. In the end we wound up all going. The kids and I left at some sort of a reasonable hour and a friend stayed with David and brought him home much, much later. (Sorry for continuously commenting on how late this place is open, it's just so mind boggling to me why anyone in their right mind would want to be up that late, let alone be out).

We are always nervous when we go out in public at time intervals when the kids would otherwise be asleep. Will they melt into little puddles on the floor? But the kids behaved wonderfully.

While we were there, I had to nurse Calvin. I'm really used to nursing him in public and so it doesn't bother me. I just throw a blanket over my shoulder and the top of his head and we're good to go. No one has ever asked me to stop or to leave and I've got a quick come-back if they ever do.

Most strangers who see a woman sitting with a blanket over her shoulder know what she's doing and just ignore her. That's most people, I guess. While I was sitting there two men walked up and stood two feet in front of me to look at a painting hanging on the wall behind me. I thought they would quickly realize what I was doing and come back to the painting later. They didn't. I guess they were really engrossed. They stood there talking about the painting for a little while before I apologized for being in there way, thinking they would then see that I was nursing and move. They barely noticed that I said anything and continued talking. I just looked down in a sort of sheepish way. Then, one of the men walked right up to me and hovered over my shoulder to examine the painting further. He couldn't have been closer to me if he had been sitting on my lap! And he just stood there, right in front of me, leaning over my shoulder. I finally told him that I would get out of his way and got up and moved. They must have stood there a half an hour more looking at that painting. If only it had been one of David's paintings they were enraptured in I could have forgiven all.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Funny Little Things That Happened Today

When Daisy gets up in in the morning she's a little grumpy--for that matter, so am I. If I don't get into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face before I get Daisy and Calvin up, the whole morning is a blur.

Anyway, back to Daisy... When I put her on the changing table first thing in the morning, she really doesn't like it. She'd rather me just hold her and take her into the kitchen and get her some oatmeal. However, she really (and I mean really) needs changing. So I try to speak sweetly and gently to her.

This morning I laid her down to change her diaper and said "Hi sweetheart! Did you have a good sleep?"

At hearing this her frown disappears and she says "Yeah!" the way only she can say it.

Me: "Let's have a good day today," trying to be really enthusiastic about it.

Daisy: "YE-ah!!" nodding her head vigorously.

Then she stuck her little foot into my ribs and kicked me--rather hard.

I was stunned.

This evening Perry came into the kitchen where I was washing the dishes.

Perry: "I'm going to sing '2 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed.'"

Me: "Ok, great idea!"

Perry: ........"I'm going to sing '2 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed.'"

Me: "Ok, honey, go for it."

Perry: ............................

Me: "Are you going to sing it?"

Perry: "It's loading."

I looked at him in amazement. He repeated that "it was loading" and then proceeded to sing the song--but slowly--as though his little internal computer was having a hard time with such a bulky file.