Bouncy Ball Mystery

Yesterday I took the kids to get their hair cut at a place called Snip-It’s, which caters to children. If they are good during their haircut, they get a card to put into a slot and a prize comes out. The prize of the day were bouncy balls, and both children were ecstatic!

As soon as we got home, CW had to throw his ball across the house, and instantly lost it. We looked and looked, but couldn’t find the thing anywhere. After his bath time, I noticed that he was clutching Leah’s ball in his fist.

“Bud?” I asked, “What are you doing with Leah’s bouncy ball?”

“I wanna hide it from her, so it can be mine.” he replied.

I explained to him that I knew he was sad over losing his own ball, but that it doesn’t mean it would be okay to steal Leah’s without asking. I asked him how he would feel if Leah took one of his trains and hid it from him. He agreed that he would not like that very much!

So downstairs we went, and Chris went to return his sister’s ball to her, but my surprise she told him,

“It’s okay, Bud. I know you lost your ball, so you can have mine.”

My heart melted. Both of my children learned an important lesson yesterday. Chris learned that it is not okay to take things from others without asking, but that honesty can be rewarding. And Leah learned that it feels good to put others before yourself. And as for me, I could not be more proud of these amazing little humans that I am raising!

Solidarity

I have never felt more alone in a room full of people than I did yesterday morning. We were at Christopher’s preschool sports class, and he was the only one refusing to participate. In fact, he was trying to escape, which is not unusual for him to do when he finds himself in an uncomfortable situation, which is often.

In the past few months Chris has tried to run away from me in an eye doctor’s office, a house party, and many stores. The fight or flight response is strong in him, and he tends to choose flight!

So, as other moms bounced younger siblings on their knees and chatted over coffee, or even joined their children in chasing bright green tennis balls around the gym, I sat on the floor next to the door, poised to run after him if Chris managed to actually push open the heavy door. I tried gently coaxing him into playing with the other kids but his response remained steadfast- a firm “NO!”

As the other children gathered in the welcome circle and began to sing, Chris plopped himself into my lap and put my hands over his ears. I saw Coach A glance over at us and then whisper something to Coach M. I felt my face redden a bit, after all I was the mom of THAT kid. The one that wanted nothing to do with all the fun that was happening and rudely kicked at the tennis ball that had been offered up by Coach M. Still, I was determined to stay. Having just turned three, I feel that it is time for Chris to participate in activities with kids his own age, and to step outside his comfort zone. Even if it takes a ton of effort on my part.

Toward the end of class, the coaches set up the obstacle course, and that is when Chris decided to join in the fun. At first he held my hand tightly and I walked with him through the hula hoops, over the balance beam, across the rope ladder, and zig-zagging through the cones. Soon, he let go and began racing through by himself. That is when Coach A approached me.

Oh no, I thought, now is when he is going to tell me that maybe this class isn’t right for Chris.

Instead, Coach A came up to me and told me that he was going to let Coach M take the lead because she is more soft-spoken and he noticed that Christopher doesn’t like loud sounds.

“Don’t be afraid to remind me, either!” He said, “I’m naturally loud, but we will adjust to fit his needs.”

Grateful does not even begin to describe how I felt in that moment.

“Thank you so much!” I said. “He is being evaluated for a possible sensory processing problem and he gets overwhelmed very easily.”

“Yeah, I figured it was something like that,” Coach A responded. “Don’t worry. Just do what you’re doing and let him join in at his own pace. We will try to adjust to make it more comfortable for him, but he can join in or sit out as much as he wants.”

And from there, Coach A gathered up all the kids to say goodbye and let Chris hold the special hand stamp. While the toddlers waited in line for their stickers, another mom turned to me, shaking her head at something her own little guy was doing, and remarked on how unpredictable children are at this age.

“When you come to a class like this, you never know how they will react on any given day!” she said.

And so, I wasn’t alone. An awesome coach let me know that my son would not be excluded, no matter what. And another mom reminded me that toddlers are unpredictable, no matter what problems lay beneath the surface. It means the world to me to know that when I am the lone mother sitting by the door to keep her kid from escaping, I am not truly alone, but in solidarity with mothers of toddlers everywhere, and with people who just understand that kids aren’t easy, and that sometimes-extra care must be given.

Life is Happening

So much of it, in fact, that I can’t slow down long enough to write about it much! I still love to blog, even if it is just for myself and the few readers that have stuck by me and put up with my sporadic posting. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this!

Leah just started the second grade! She is such a good student and always does her homework as soon as she gets home. She is at a 4th or 5th grade reading level. She is into so many things! She does horseback riding still, and next week she will get her horse up to a trot without her teacher holding a lead line for the first time. She also plays soccer and has a part in a local community theater production of Mary Poppins.

Christopher is a joy. He is so mischievous and funny. Have you ever heard the poem that goes:

There once was a little girl, 

who had a little curl. 

And when she was good, she was very, very good,

but when she was bad, she was very, VERY bad. 

That is Chris in a nutshell! He is such a sweetheart, handing out hugs and kisses, offering to help with chores, and just being kind. Until he’s not. And then he throws things, hits, kicks and screams. I am working with him on that, but I love that he feels things so intensely!

The hubby and I just celebrated six years of marriage! It is hard to believe, but they do say that time flies when you’re having fun. 2016 has been a year of many wonderful changes for us, and they are still coming! We are looking at houses right now and hope to be spending Christmas in our forever home. I finished school this year and did remarkably well. And finally, one last piece of news. No, I am NOT pregnant. I have begun on a weight-loss journey. After experiencing some medical issues throughout the past year, this summer I made the decision that I have had enough. Enough of struggling to lose, enough of feeling lousy, and enough of hating myself. So, I am going to be having a Sleeve Gastrectomy to help me change my lifestyle and habits and live a better life.

I am not going to promise that I will update more. I will try, but sometimes life is important as it is happening, and you have to focus on the present moment rather than reflecting after it has passed. I am trying to write more, to do more of what I enjoy, but I will just say “Until next time.”

Thanks for reading.

Sibling Love

I love watching the complex relationship that is forming between my two children. Sometimes, they love each other. They cuddle. Leah reads to Chris. He holds out a hurt finger for her to kiss it.

Other times they are co-conspirators, and I can hear them whispering plans, no doubt for some mischief. I was frosting a cake for a party the other day and Chris walked over and looked up at the counter.

“Mama,” he said, “What that?”

“It’s cake-” but before I could finish to say that it was for later, he was off and running to find his sister, yelling, “Leah! Cake!”

And then there are times, which come more often now as Chris gets older, where my kids are enemies. I referee endless arguments over who had what first. I punish Chris when he hauls off and smacks his sister. She purposely pushes his buttons, sure, but I have to teach him we can’t react with out hands (or whatever toy he whips at her head. The kid has great aim.) Even during these times, I have to turn my head away, to hide my smirk.

These children are so lucky to be born with a lifelong comrade. They may have periods where they are not friends, or even where they decide to hate each other. But still, they will always have a special bond, forged by being raised in the same environment. They will always have one another to fall back on. And deep down inside, they will always love one another.

Stop the Hate

Instead of judging other parents and jumping to conclusions, all I can do is hug my babies close and feel so utterly grateful that nothing bad has ever happened to them. The recent tragic events at Disney have left me feeling heartbroken for the family that lost their little boy. He was the same age as my son, and I can’t even imagine their grief and horror. I can’t even fathom what it’s like to be on top of the world, taking your family on the perfect American vacation to Disney and thinking that things couldn’t get any better than that, only to be beaten down by what was really a freak accident.

Try to understand that most parents want to protect their children. Most parents realize that our babies are our most precious possessions and would never want anything bad to happen to them. We go to great lengths to keep them safe, but it doesn’t always work. We can’t keep them in a bubble, tucked away from the world, no matter how much we wish that we could. Accidents happen, and instead of placing blame when you weren’t even there to see how things unfolded, instead of tearing them down when they are already devastated, just show support. A fellow mother and father out there are going through the most devastating loss that anyone can ever endure right now. My heart just breaks for them.

To the family of the sweet little boy who lost his life this week- I am so sorry for your loss. No words can express the grief that I imagine you are going through right now.

 

 

 

Morning Mischief

This morning as I was fumbling my way through the coffee making process I heard Leah screech from the living room, “Ewww! Chris stole a half of my bagel and licked it!”

I headed toward them to see if I needed to intervene, but by the time I got there Chris was giggling maniacally and trying to shove the contaminated bagel into Leah’s mouth and saying, “Want some? Have some!”

And that is why I am constantly torn between protecting Leah from too much torture by her little brother and just being thoroughly amused by his antics!

It’s Been Too Long

I can’t believe that it has been over three months since I last published a blog post, and before that it was July. I truly apologize to those who enjoy and (hopefully) look forward to my posts. Life has been so busy and I have been living in the moment. That being said, I want to share some of those moments with you- be they funny, heartwarming, frustrating, or simple observations about life and motherhood. I also feel the need to record things here so that I can someday look back and remember these things.

Leah is still her smart and sassy self. She recently told me that she is “polytheistic” and she knew that it means to believe in many gods. She told me that she plans to leave sparkly things out as offerings whenever she needs to ask her gods for help! She is so smart and has a beautiful mind and heart! I am so proud of her.

Last week we got her long hair cut to just above her shoulders. At first I was apprehensive about letting her make such a big change, but then I reminded myself that it is just hair. Leah deserves to make decisions like that. And I have to say that her new style looks absolutely adorable!

Christopher remains my little mischief monkey and he gives us a run for our money every day! He is always getting into something, and doing it with that big mischievous grin and a sparkle in his eyes that I love. He is also a little sweetheart. We have all been sick this week, and the other night I had a coughing fit while holding him. He put his little hands on either side of my face and asked, “You okay, Mama?”

And as for me- well, I am hanging in there! I am working on my final semester before I will graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. I have decided to take a little break from school before pursuing my graduate degree. As I have told my mom, I need one holiday season where I am not scrambling to write final papers right up until Christmas Eve!

For those who follow me, I appreciate your patience. I will do better.