Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 Million More Mama's Like Me

This afternoon a very kind woman in Trader Joe's overheard me speaking with the kids and said "Your kids are adorable and so well-behaved, we need 10 million more mom's like you."

Can I tell you exactly what I thought about after thanking her and ushering my kids quickly away lest she experience a not so angelic moment to burst her bubble of my apparent awesome parenting?  If there were 10 million more mom's like me there would be 10 million mom's who at that exact moment had worked out twice but not showered once in the last 9 hours....who currently had pee dripping down her leg that wasn't her own due to a overshot by her 3 year old trying to pee into a bag in the car just before entering the store....whose purse was also filled with a little bit of pee and had used a clean diaper to wipe off the pee and then realized it was the only clean diaper so instead of throwing it away put it back in her bag because pee is sterile and you just never know what is going to happen....whose 3 year old smelled suspiciously like fish and decided it was best to just not investigate....whose 5 year old was being an angel because he was promised that if he went all day without whining he would get a water gun (there is no way that child will ever get that water gun, it is an impossibility that any mother with a 5 year old knows)....who realized that her cart didn't hold a single thing that she actually needed but was still going to check out anyway because the 6th sense that mom's have that know when a total meltdown is imminent was blaring loudly in her ears....who was desperately trying to convince her 19 month old to keep her diaper on whispering quieting that she would promise to change the offending diaper as soon as they got to the car and then realized that the only diaper she had was the partially peed on one she used to clean her own leg earlier...who was looking at her watch knowing that there only 45 minutes left in the day before her husband would get home and rescue her...who knew that 45 minutes would probably be about 44 too long....who used the partially peed on diaper anyway, loaded the groceries in the car and then drove around trying to kill 45 minutes because there was no way she was unloading the kids and the groceries on her own if she didn't absolutely have to....

But yes, my kids did say "yes ma'am," when I asked them to follow me without running anyone over with their lethal "shopper in training" carts and blink their gorgeous eyes at the sweet old lady, they are wonderful kids and I try to be the best mama that I can.  But as she was complimenting me, she eyed a woman with two little ones that were in the middle of a tantrum and were being dragged by their shirts to the check out aisle and in that moment, I wanted to tell her that we are all just doing the best that we can and in any single moment that woman who appears to be the best mother ever probably has her 3 year old's pee running down her leg and that woman over there that is barely holding it together and yelling through her teeth at her kids while they run rampant through the store....well, her day probably consisted of more than just a pee accident and suspicious smelling small humans.  These are all just moments and I just hope that if there are 10 million more mom's like me that they take a deep breath, wipe the pee off their leg and pour themselves a nice glass of wine while their husbands unload the groceries they had driven around for the last 45 minutes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Diving In Head First

On Monday of this week, Little Man was moved up two lanes at Swim Team.  I think he had mentally prepared himself to move up one lane, but totally panicked about moving up two lanes.  The first day in the new lane he cried all the way through it.  At one point he got out to use the bathroom and told me that he couldn't touch the ground in the new lane and he was scared and wanted to move down one lane.  I just hugged him and told him how proud I am of him and asked him to keep with it through the practice.  That night he kept telling Papa Bear that he moved up two whole levels but then asked us if he could move down one level.  We talked it through with him and tried to explain that the pool is just as deep in the lane he wants to go into but I don't think he believed us.  We talked and talked about it and the next day he asked again if he could move down a level.  I told him that he had to stay where he was for the whole week (only 4 more days) and if he was still nervous and sad I would talk to his coaches.  Each day he would ask how many more days until he could move down a level.  He was doing great, but still had it in his head that he needed to move down.  Today was supposed to be his last day that he had to stay in his current level and on the way to the pool he told me that he didn't want to move anymore and that he thought he could stay in his new lane but he didn't want to dive in.  I told him that he probably wouldn't have to dive in for a long time because that is only for the bigger kids.  What do I know?  Apparently, nothing.  Because guess what they worked on today.  Diving.  When they told him what he was going to do he turned and found me with the other parents, put his hands on his hips and glared at me.  But you know what he did next?  He tried!  And by the end of our swim day today he was diving into the pool and swimming around over and over.  I am so insanely proud of him.

Knock Knock

The other night we had dinner time comedy theater.  I am not even sure who started it but there were breakthroughs made by all.

Little Man's Joke
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Cow says
Cow say who?
No, cow say moo!

This was the first time that he delivered a joke with an actual punch line instead of random thoughts that he thinks should be funny if they are preceded by the words knock knock.

Peanut's Joke
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana fell out of a tree and bonked his head off.

This is wonderful and amazing because those are basically the words that Little Man has used for the past two years before he learned that there is an actual punch line associated with jokes.  I love that Peanut has enough words to tell his own version of a not so funny joke.

Sweet Pea's Joke
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Head who?

So yes, she is repeating parts of Peanut's joke but it is so darn cute and she really thinks she is funny. She usually follows up a joke with a good knee slap and her wonderful "evil laugh".

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Apraxia Up's and Down's

Peanut is in a period of disorganization and regression.  This is not a bad thing.  Or at least that is what I try to keep repeating in my head as he melts down multiple times a day.  I know from experience that a period like this is always followed by a period of advancement.  I know from experience that this disorganization is his body's way of dealing with all of the new information that he is getting and that once it is all figured out, he will make a huge leap forward.  I know from experience that repeating all of these things to myself over and over again doesn't make it any easier to watch him go through this. 

The major signs of his disorganization are his desperate needs for sensory input.  He is mouthing again (chewing on his hands or anything he can get into his mouth) and constantly asking for his bite stick (chewy) which he bites really hard 10 times on each side of his mouth.  He tells me that he is cold which is Peanut speak for I need you to squeeze me and rub my back and sooth me with lots of touch.  Tonight at dinner time he spent the entire dinner time on my lap crying while I squeezed his arms, legs, and cheeks, rubbed his back and just tried to sooth him.  He is also mad a lot.  Just in general, he seems angry and frustrated all the time.  He is still speaking in long sentences but so many of the words have become unintelligible. 

I am trying to focus on the positive.  This is the first time that he has been in a period of disorganization where he could vocalize what he needs.  He will tell me he needs tight hugs and tells me when it is enough.  He asks for his chewy when he needs it and reminds me to bring it with us if we go out.  I am trying to focus on what I can do for him instead of what I can't do for him.  I am trying to remember that this is but a moment in time and as all moments do, it will pass.  I am really hoping that it passes quickly though because it is heartbreaking. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why ask Why?

Having all three kids home for the summer is wonderful and lovely.  But it is also a wonderful and lovely challenge.  Keeping them busy, keeping them active, keeping them from fighting, keeping them from tearing my house apart couch cushion by couch cushion - takes a lot of my energy.  I am up for the challenge though.  We have our adventures, swim team, speech therapy and lots of friends and playdates.  I have found that what wears me down the most is Little Man's insatiable curiosity.  He asks me questions all day long.  And I mean non-stop.  It is relentless.  The other day he was asking me all about blood.  Why is it in our body?  What does it do for us?  How fast does it travel in our body?  How does our heart know where to send it?  I answered to the best of my ability and each time I answered it spurred a new question.  Finally I asked him why he asks so many questions.  He cocked his head and simply said "Because I don't know everything yet Mama and I want to know everything."  I told him that I didn't know everything and he smiled and quickly replied, "I know, but Papa does.  So you tell me everything you know and he can tell me the rest."


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Trying is What Matters

In exactly one week, Little Man went from crying through his entire swim practice to being able to swim like this.  He didn't want to stay that day but I told him he had to try.  The only thing that got him back the next day was the promise of ice cream.  Tonight he cried because we had to skip practice because of rain.  Trying is what matters in this house because by trying you give yourself a chance to love something that you otherwise would have deprived yourself of just because of fear.  I am so very proud of Little Man and not just because he is turning into a little fish.  They want to move him up to the next level of swim team.  Little Man doesn't want to go.  He is comfortable where he is.  I asked him what he thought he should do.  He smiled and said "try".  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Adventure #1

In stealing the idea of Little Man's preschool teacher (and another friend from the class who started this a few weeks ago with her kids) we have started an Adventure Journal.  I took the kids to Staples and let them each pick out a composition notebook and a special pencil.  And after a quick stop to get the marshmallows for the ice cream social to lure Little Man back to Swim Team, we were off on our first adventure. 

We drove to a park and the boys carried their notebooks as we headed down a wooded path.  We decided that on each adventure we would draw pictures of or write words about things that we 1. Saw 2. Heard 3. Smelled and 4. Touched  (I left taste out for a VERY Peanut specific reason.  We haven't been successful in getting him to stop eating ants and so a taste category on our adventures seemed unwise)

We all walked through the woods and talked about everything around us.  We stopped many times to record things in the journals or just to throw a rock in a puddle (all puddles were referred to as ponds or rivers regardless of their size).  We saw turtles, heard crickets, touched leaves and smelled poop.  Yes, that's right.  When we got to a small dock that over looks a pond there was a pile on the side.  Little Man immediately said "that is something that I smell" and stopped to draw a picture of poop and label it properly.  I wish I could say that it stopped there but of course Peanut decided that it should also be "something we touched".  Yeah.  Awesome. 

Anyway we continued on until we came to a park where we happened upon a ton of friends from preschool.  It was great fun and we stayed and played for an hour which turned out to be a bit to long for Sweet Pea since we had to walk back through the woods to get to the car. 

I am loving the journals and the adventures. I am hoping that this was our first and last one that involved poop, but I am almost positive that it won't be.

(Side Note:  Little Man did great at Swim Team today.  No tears and he ate the ice cream even though he was blue and shivering from the water and the un-June like temperatures.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tears and Perseverance

Little Man had his first day of Swim Team practice today.  He is on the "Minnows" team for the 5 and 6 year old's and has a friend from pre-school on his team.  He has been so excited about going to practice and has been asking "is today the day, is today the day" since last week.  But the poor little guy was a bit overwhelmed at the reality of it all.

He willingly went over to the group and sat with his friend for the stretches and warm up.  By the conclusion of the warm up, he had psyched himself out and the tears were flowing.  He came over to me and told me that he wanted to go home.  I explained that he had to try and he had to be brave.  I felt awful.  I wanted to wrap him in a towel and hustle him out of there.  I hate to see him struggle, but the truth of the matter is that there are going to be lots of things that he is going to be scared to try and I want him to understand that the "trying" part is the most important part.  So I told him that he had to go but if he didn't like it we could talk about not going back.  He hung his head but went into the water.  He did everything they asked and even looked like he was having fun except for the tears that continued to flow the ENTIRE time.  I am a sympathetic crier and it was hard for me to keep it together for 45 minutes of tears and swim practice.  I thought for sure that the second he was out of the water he would insist on not going back.  Much to my surprise the first words out of his mouth after practice were "We have to bring marshmallows to practice tomorrow because we are having an ice cream social".  I bent down and asked him if we were coming to practice tomorrow and he nodded his little head and said "yeah, for the ice cream".  Thank God for Ice Cream socials!

On the way home he rebounded and asked me if I was proud of him even though he cried.  I wanted to pull the car over and yank him out of his car seat and smother him in hugs. I told him that I was even more proud of him because he finished practice even though he was crying.  Papa Bear made him a special strawberry smoothie and he had some gummie penguins too when he got home.  He was happy and regaling Papa Bear with stories from the day. 

I think there is going to be a bit of bribery needed to get through Swim Team this summer.  Who cares?!  He got 3 M&M's every day for his entire school year in the 2's classroom.  A few gummie bears to get him through a summer of Swim Team is a small price to pay and the truth of it is that when he is done being scared and unsure of himself, he is going to love it.