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    I want to move forward. But I don’t know how.

    April 30th, 2012

    This might be a bit all over the place, because I’m struggling to formulate my thoughts well.

    I worry about my relationship with the boys when they reach their teens and beyond. I observe S with G, especially and realize that he has strengths in his ability to dissolve escalating tantrums (coming from G) that I just don’t. I can see how fights can play out with our teenagers, and I see S handling it well (handling it right) and I am not. I am jealous of this. Primarily because I know this will mean they will always approach him first, trust him more, and confide in him more. I have a great relationship with my mom and I want that for myself with our kids. I just don’t know how to “get there”, and I feel that if I don’t figure it out soon, it will be lost on me forever.

    I realize that I project my emotional coping skills to my kids. I wouldn’t say I’m unemotional towards them, but in the grand scheme of things, I know I’m reserved toward them. Of course, I hug, and kiss, and tickle, and tell them I love them. But I don’t profess my love to them in overt-displays of affection. When they fall, I don’t rush to them straight away, unless I feel that want they went through is truly cause for concern. I want them to internalize what happened, and decide if they can manage that experience on their own, or if they really need me. I will always be there for them of course: I will pick them up when they fall from tripping, and kiss all necessary boo-boos. But now I wonder if that’s bad. If it’s not enough. If it’s too much on the reserved spectrum.

    For the record, I am not doing this because of their gender. I would treat a girl the exact same way.

    Since initially writing this, I realized that it wasn’t my reservation that I find to be a problem, as much as what I expect from that reservation. I use my reservation to process my feelings such that I can verbalize them coherently later, and also to make rational choices (the whole count to 3 before you say something in anger thing?). I know it’s unrealistic for me to expect my 3.5 year old to do the same, but it just come down to the fact that I can’t relate to someone who acts on every emotion instantly. And that I don’t know how to handle that sort of expression.

    Then there’s discipline. I feel that I’m the harsher dispenser of discipline at home. Granted, I pick my battles, but S, again is far more creative on this than I. I wish I can say I know exactly what he does, so I can watch and learn from it, but it’s not any one thing, so it’s hard for me to see. He almost senses when G is heading for a melt-down and at level 2 of the hot-head meter he intervenes. On my end, we’ll go up to 10, spend half an hour in shriek town, and then achieve house-hold sanity again, albeit shot nerves and a lot of tension. He’s a perfect partner in that regard. But here, I don’t just want him to be a partner. I want to be able to do the same.

    Have I read parenting books? Yes. Maybe not the right ones.

    I’m feeling stuck. And lost. I want to move forward. But I don’t know how.

    Update: I’ve gotten a lot of positive pats on the back since writing this yesterday among the lines that kids will come back to you and get it later. And while this helps, a little, I honestly don’t want to wait until my kids are in their 20s to realize that we have a good thing going. I just want them to know I can be there for them to sort things out. And I’m worried I’m not building on that trust too much.

    My kid is a genius!

    April 27th, 2012

    You gotta watch this video!

    In G’s class-room, one of the activities they set up is a fine motor skills building exercise, where you can pick up tiny little doggie bones from a little bowl, using pincers, and transfer them into a doggie mouth. It’s supposed to be an older kid activity, but S2 walked in there today (he’s determined to graduate early), and to illustrate he’s ready walked straight up to the table, picked up the pincers and deposited a bone in the doggie’s gut. 1) I didn’t even know he knew what to do; 2) I was really impressed he did it so well. As were the teachers.

    Here’s our boy — being extra advanced for his tender age. Next up is reading, right?


    Movie Monday: … went down the hill

    April 15th, 2012

    There are certain kid-things that I am slowly making my way to. For example: first time I had rice crispy treat? College! (Same goes for onion rings and mozzarella sticks). Today I realized I have never rolled down a grassy hill. Something I remedied… and S captured to commemorate.

    We had a really fun lunch today: we had a picnic of McD’s chicken nuggets (I said fun, not nutritious) , played on the crazy playground and took a long walk/bike ride to hopefully induce a good nap-time. While eating I saw a couple of kids just roll themselves down one of the hills at the park, and I realized I’d never done it. On the way back to the car, I convinced G to try it.

    I asked S if there were any special instructions I needed to know. His response? “You’ll figure it out”. It was definitely fun, but Man, does it make you dizzy. Here’s me, and G playing Jack to my Jill. Thankfully no crowns were broken ;p



    Hide and Seek

    April 15th, 2012

    G is a big fan of Hide and Seek. It’s one of his favorite games at home (next to “I Spy with My Little Eye”, which has to be said with it’s full title; and racing)

    The trick with playing this game with him, when it’s my turn to hide, is that I can’t go to the good hiding spots. I would totally hide in the bathroom or laundry room behind the door, except for the fact that my old hiding spot becomes the kids next hiding spot, and the last thing I need is for them to run off on me when I least expect it and have me loose my mind. No thanx! So instead I’m choosing the extra obvious hiding spots, you know…

    – behind the learning tower

    – behind the art easel

    – behind the black living room chair

    – under the couch side table (as S2 is demonstrating)

    – and the pièce de résistance: under a blanket behind in between our couch pillows

    As it turns out I’m apparently a pretty good “hider” because G was not able to find 3/5 of my hiding spots and had to be coached by S to find me. The hardest part on my end was to not giggle. This is actually kind of amusing, because G totally laughs when he hides (his biggest give-away), but when I’m in the same shoes it’s hard not to do the same.

    S2 on the other hand is a very good seeker. Kid must’ve been an blood hound in a former life or something. He and I joined up forces in the seeking-part. We’d count together, I’ll put him on the ground and he’d lead me straight to G. Like I said, G’s giggles may be tipping him off, but the kid is good!

    Just another week-end…

    Best FB exchange

    April 14th, 2012

    I wanted to document this because it was honestly one of the awesomest FB exchanges I’ve had.

    I made Easter Bread. I bought brand new yeast, used fresh ingredients. Things were going really well. Until I had to let my dough rise. 30 min. Nothing. I put my bowl on top of a heating pad on low, and covered it, in case the house was too cold. Another 30 min still nothing. Another 60 min. Same.

    So I posted “What gives Easter bread? Why you no rise???” (truly not meaning anything past my frustration with my yeasties being lazy). And I got this:

    TN: LOL
    Me: Actually no pun was initially intended. But now I’m going to pretend I was witty and meant it.
    TN: It’s the unintended sacrilege that makes it funny
    TN: Did you buy Jewish yeast? They don’t rise during Passover
    Me: Ha! It was Fleishmann’s.
    TN: another mystery solved 🙂

    Happy Easter!

    April 8th, 2012

    Happy Easter from all our house bunnies

    This was my first year doing eggs with the wee ones (actually one, because you couldn’t pay me enough money to put S2 in front of cups full of staining liquid), and it was fun. G thoroughly enjoyed himself, and he was actually helpful, and patient. And we got to play my family’s traditional egg  battle. I’m even considering making Easter Bread next week-end… you know in honor of Julian Easter 🙂

    Here are some photos leading you through our Easter adventures.

    ‘Cuz I’m a good looking guy!

    April 8th, 2012

    G: Mommy, I saw a helicopter
    Me: That’s right bud, on the way home from school the other day, you saw a helicopter
    G: And you didn’t see it
    Me: Yes, you saw it first
    G: That’s cuz I’m a good looking guy!

    Yes, kiddo, apparently your looks improve your eye-sight too!

    Shoes? Who needs shoes?

    April 6th, 2012

    Little S2 is a BIG shoe hater. Or something.

    Actually, it’s not so much that he hates shoes, as much as he loooves taking them off… and tossing them.

    He hasn’t lasted a car-ride with his shoes attached to his feet in weeks, and has also recently decided that as long as he’s not STANDING on his feet, and utilizing said shoes… they gotta go! Makes for fun trips to the grocery store, and most recently outdoor buggy rides.

    On Monday as I went to get the kids from play-school (I’m adopting this term from Caillou), I was greeted at the door with a sad-faced Ms. J who told me that one of S2’s shoes is a no-show, and the last time it was seen was when they left for their afternoon buggy ride around the neighborhood. They had gone back to look for it to no avail. I’ll be honest, hearing this made me a little irked. Yes, it wasn’t the teachers’ fault the shoe was missing, but at $40 for a pair of shoes (that he outgrows every few months), I wasn’t looking forward to forking over more money for more things S2 can loose.

    The next day, S2 came home sporting blue masking tape over the straps of his shoes. Tacky (ha! get it?), but  hey — effective. For the day following, I found a pair of Size 6 Carter’s shoes G never wore. They were brand new, hard-soled, still velcro strapped, but tighter around the ankle. They stayed on all day… even though S2 felt like he was wearing a boat around his foot (he’s a size 5-5.5).

    Meanwhile, I called one of our local kids-shoes stores: it’s where we’ve been buying the boys’ stuff for awhile, and talked to the owner. She’s fantastic, and I’ve always felt in good hands with her. We talked over the phone — I told her my sad story, and she empathized, because she raised a shoe thrower too. Alas, she said, there were few solutions to my problem, and the primary one would be laced shoes. While a pain in the rear, I’m willing to commit to laces, if it will mean both shoes come home.

    The next afternoon I finally had a chance to take the monkey to the (same) shoe store. The owner wasn’t there, but I had enough of our conversation together to tell them what I was suggested to look at. They measured his feet, in case he was tossing his shoes for being too tight: they weren’t, but was worthwhile doing anyway. The kicker, is that because he’s little, not many brands make shoes with laces in his size. As a matter of fact,t hey had NOTHING on-site to try. They did bring out two other pairs though: one from Jumping Jacks, and another from Keen. The Keen were a no-go right off the bat: they were sandals, and I’m not confident enough we’re done with rain for the season. The Jumping Jacks??? Well, lemme tell ya’

    I put them on S2’s feet. Hard soled, and he’s still getting used to the idea. Yet, he waddled around in them just fine. They were Velcro, but it was a single Velcro closure that had to be opened by 2 tabs, each facing a different direction. At $48 for the pair, I wanted to be sure these would stay on. So I asked him “Hey, bud! Come over here and take off your shoes!” I sat him in my lap, lifted his leg up and watched him go. Kid took off the pair in no time flat, held the shoe up in his hand and waved it around. Thanx for saving me $50, buddy! We weren’t getting you those shoes 🙂

    So all that was left was shopping by catalog. They showed me one pair from Stride Rite, whose shoes I love, and the kids have worn for years, that comes in laces. I ordered them that evening. Now we wait. They should arrive tomorrow. Perhaps they’ll stay on too.

    Movie Monday

    April 1st, 2012

    Also known as “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”

    S2 has gotten into the habit of getting onto the couch, by flipping onto it via the little IKEA kid’s armchair. And then, of course, run the track of the couch, invariably tripping and then hitting his head on the table. Watching over him, makes you wish they made helmets small enough for his dang head. So… today, I realized that while I like our coffee table, we don’t use it as a coffee table anymore. We don’t put things on it, since it immediately gets used for tossing practice (thanx, G!) or taken off to some hidden toddler-treasure spot (i.e. black whole). We don’t eat on it, because the last thing I want is a pre-schooler that wants to eat in the living room and yogurt flying onto my carpet. SO really, it’s used as 1) extra seating; 2) injury magnet.

    So today, I just decided to move the table out of the way, and since I can’t keep the boys off the couch, maybe I can keep the couch away from where their heads land. It’s now off to the side of the couch. Where it was instantly used as a launching pad…