10 inches of the heavy stuff headed our way
Snow, snow, go away
Come again another day
(...but only after confirming that my husband is no longer in London and will be available to shovel the driveway and front walk. I'm a wuss about this stuff.)
The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom
Snow, snow, go away
Evan crawled up to me this afternoon, arranged himself in my lap and settled in for a snuggle. I stroked his back as he stayed there for a few moments, his head resting on my shoulder and his beloved "sucking fingers" inserted into his mouth. Then, suddenly recharged, he happily crawled off of me and went back to what he was doing without a backward glance. He does this dozens of times in any given day -- it seems that the more independent he gets in the world, the more he needs to reconnect with Mama and feel the safety of my arms for a few minutes. Julia never did this, not that I can remember. It was me seeking out her touch at this age, trying to reconnect with a quick hug or hair stroke before she dashed out of my arms again. Different kids, different personalities. And, I was thinking today as I held Evan, strikingly different kinds of love.
I've been staying away from commenting on last week's Newsweek article on Mommy Madness because I've already ranted once recently about the news media's depiction of mothers and because others have already led more thoughtful discussions on the topic elsewhere on the web. But then the article got passed around a list for alums of my sorority and after watching all of the enthusiastic "me too" griping that followed, I had to weigh in. And once I'd started, I couldn't stop, so I'll (briefly this time, I promise) share my thoughts here, too.
I feel a little sick to my stomach right now. I'm sure that's partially because I just consumed my first fast food meal in well over a year. But I think the circumstances surrounding my meal are actually making me far more nauseous than the food itself.
I started an entry about half an hour ago about my current worries about Julia, about my fears that she's got a deep-seated unhappiness that will always be at her core and my panic that she'll never truly be happy in life. I started to write about how she's always the odd man out, how she literally walks away the second there is any conflict around her, how her preschool teacher says that it sometimes seems like Julia's watching a television show rather than really getting engaged with the class. I planned to talk about how she's funny and vivacious and downright bossy at home but so painfully shy in public that she can hardly smile at another person, about how I'm afraid that the world will never see her as she is when she's relaxed and happy, about how I fear that she'll never really be relaxed and happy. I was going to obsess in a major way.
I think my sense of humor might be a little too quirky for Julia's preschool teacher. She was somewhat less than amused by Julia's tale of naked Purim puppets when I mentioned it to her today at dropoff and launched into an immediate round of "we would never do such a thing" (visions of a lawsuit dancing in her head, no doubt). While I was assuring her that I wasn't actually accusing them of any inappropriate behavior, but was just curious how Julia got it so wrong, her assistant teacher solved the mystery.
I usually get very detailed descriptions of what happens at school from Julia, to the point that other moms sometimes even call me to find out what really happened in class. I know, for instance, that the theme yesterday was George Washington, in honor of Presidents' Day, and that the kids learned all about his adventures with the cherry tree, his inability to tell a lie, and the fact that his face is on a dollar bill and a quarter. (In fact, Julia seemed to know virtually everything about George Washington except for the fact that he was our first President, but that's the topic of another entry.) Despite Julia's detailed descriptions, however, I occasionally know that I simply must be missing something when she tells me about school. Yesterday was one of those days.
I finally made good on my plan to start the "don't offer, don't refuse" approach to daytime nursing yesterday and as predicted, the little bugger didn't even seem to notice. He happily drank his soy milk from a straw cup and even I had to admit that he's (almost) just as cute with soy milk dribbling down his chin as he is when the milk on his chin came from me.
Evan has lived in this house for just over a year now. We've been calling his bedroom "his" since Julia vacated it two months before his birth. His clothes fill the dresser drawers, his lovey lies waiting for him when he's not in his crib. And yet, hanging on the wall over his changing table, there are still 5 charming letter hooks that spell out the name Julia.
Hello, my name is Rebecca and I am raising a public pooper. I realize that I have no right to so much as whisper a word of complaint about this, given how long and hard I worked to potty train Julia, but I'm writing about it anyway because that's what mothers do -- we talk often and inappropriately about our children's elimination habits.
Nicknames Paul has given me over the years:
Last night, Julia lied to me for the first time -- for the first three times, actually. These first lies, delivered one after another in the span of 10 minutes, were clumsy attempts at subterfuge and entirely transparent. Her poker face was nonetheless a little too impressive, and the whole situation left me completely unnerved as I watched my innocent preschooler morph into a defiant kid before my eyes.
It's been asked countless times of me in the past few weeks. "So..." (meaningful pause) "Now that Evan's turning 1, are you going to wean?" I can almost hear the hope in the question -- the underlying note of "you've done a great job here and all, but please tell me you're not going to be one of those people who nurses a 4 year old." Or maybe people are just making conversation (as I myself have been known to do with this topic) and the criticism I hear there is all my own "stuff." Either way, the question puts me a bit on edge every time it's asked of me.
Snippets of Julia this week:
Since I can't remember what I did yesterday, let alone what my kids were doing last week, last month or last year at this time, I figured I should take a moment to remember Evan as he is right now, just after turning 1.
During the long runny-nosed months of winter, I always keep a tissue for Evan in my left pocket and a tissue for Julia in my right pocket. I re-use them as needed throughout the day until they get too gross, at which point I replace them for clean ones and start the process over again (and again and again and again... I'm so done with this winter thing).
She said it. So clearly I couldn't possibly have missed it. "I want to go home now."