Category Archives: On Motherhood

When I Stop And Think It Over

When I Stop And Think It Over

During Mama’s funeral I begged God for mercy. I fully understood all the reasons she had to go. But it was so painful thinking of a world without her. A world she had softened for me (all that she could), a world made better when I thought of her, went home to her, embraced her.

From day one all I can remember is my grandmama loving me, teaching me and showing me everything for this life. She even introduced me to the man himself so I’d have everything for eternal life. I would never wish her to suffer here and I do believe to be absent of the body is to be with Christ. But I hurt because she was gone and because I was still here.

I cried because I had grown up in her home, under her watchful eye and in her love. I had a rich and wonderful childhood even though we didn’t have much material stuff. And it’s not to say we had nothing or that I ever went hungry. No. She worked and God provided. I wept when I realized that I was blessed many times over by having my grandma who acted as a mother and a father, because she was truly that. I didn’t cry because I disappointed Mama in my rebellious years or when I was simply disobedient. I cried because she knew all about me and could have guessed even worse that I’d done. Yet knowing me she still hoped out loud, the best things for my life. Mama prayed for me and continued to love me regardless of my faults.

No one has ever affected me like that woman. Never, never a hurtful or discouraging word from her. Later she even admitted her own mistakes and regrets to me as if I were an equal and guided me to the point where I am today. After grieving I realized that if my grandma being human could love me like that, so wholly and completely, then how much more does God love me? I think that was her point all along. Now I get it. So no more tears. Just joy.

How I Can Tell The Kids Are Growing Spiritually

How I Can Tell The Kids Are Growing Spiritually

Setting: The kids and I were having storytime afterschool one day when suddenly Orion passed gas. That lead to an interesting debate between me,  him (5) and his 6 and 7 year old sisters.

Orion: Excuse me.

Me: Excuse you for bumping my arm or did you just poont?

Orion (nonchalantly): I passed gas.

Me (leaning away from him): Orion! Oh my goodness!

Orion (angry): Well I said excuse me. Everybody poonts, Mommy! Including you and Daddy! So why are you acting like that?

Me: Cause you stink, that’s why!

Lauren: Daddy poonts? I have never heard Daddy poont. I don’t believe he does that.

Lainey: Well, Mommy sure does. She stinks too.

Me (nodding): It’s true. I have. Orion’s right, everybody does it. Including Daddy, Lauren.

Orion: See!

Lauren: Does God poont, Mommy?

Me: Uh…

Lainey (smirking): What about Jesus?

Me (thinking out loud): Well maybe when he was here on the earth in human flesh… because that’s what our bodies do. But he’s gone now, right? So not anymore.

Lainey: Yeah, he’s in heaven now. I wouldn’t poont if I was in heaven.

Me: Me neither, Lainey.

Lauren: But does God poont?

Me: I don’t think so, Lauren. They are not human like we are. So why would God do that? I don’t think he would go around lighting up heaven when he can keep it nice with fresh air. No. God, Jesus and the angels definitely do not poont.

Orion (walking around): Well I know for sure that Abraham poonts up there.

Lauren: Abraham Lincoln?

Orion: No, Lauren! You know, Abraham from church.

Me: Are you kidding me? We just said nobody is poonting up in heaven, Orion!

Orion: How do you know? I still think Abraham does. I bet he walks around poonting everywhere. (Orion wiggles his butt like a turkey and makes a pff,pff noise.)

Me: You mean like you do?

Everyone: laughter.

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Those kids crack me up. They also question everything and challenge me. Here are some of their other mysteries:

Does God like chicken nuggets? If God made everything who made God? Does God sleep? What is the Holy spirit? I don’t mind answering.

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs

Since tomorrow is Monday and in my mind, the first day of the week, I am making an effort to start it off right. Last week , I overdid it and I admit it. It was my youngest child’s birthday and although we had celebrated over the weekend, I just had to make him feel special on the actual day he turned 4 years old. So I baked and made ice-cream from scratch. Yes it was delish, but I learned my lesson. The point of a weekend celebration is to keep the week from being crazy.  But somehow I missed that point.  I’ve got to learn to let well enough alone. Really, kids don’t need so much. It’s just mommy guilt kicking in all the time.

That was Monday. By Friday I was back on track and for the second week in a row, I had the kids help sort, wash and putaway their clothes. It was a great accomplishment. However, it was quickly negated when I ignored my middle child’s warning that she had a cold. She didn’t seem sick so I let her play in the beautiful fall weather for about an hour on Saturday –lightly dressed. Then it turned cool unexpectedly while we were still out. Now she’s down with a nasty cold and will not be able to go to school tomorrow.  I feel bad about it, really I do. But at least her brother and sister are still well. I can manage with one being ill and perhaps focus on the TLC that she deserves. Inevitably, kids get sick. I thank God for being able to care for her with minimal distraction. Before too long she’ll be back in her kindergarten classroom; happy, healthy and smiling.  I’ll be smiling too, while all three go to school. Hey…they don’t call me Pollyanna for nothing. Be optimistic!

A Rumble in the Jungle

A Rumble in the Jungle

POW!

I was in the pediatrician’s office last week with two of my children. While waiting to be seen by the doctor a soldier came in with her son. She was wearing her fatigues and combat boots and was taller than any woman I’ve ever seen. She had a nice short haircut, pretty face and muscles bulging from under her rolled up sleeves. As the door closed behind her a baby girl slapped the glass and peered into the office. I looked up to see an older lady in fatigue-patterned jeans scoop the baby girl up and take her back to a bench in the lobby. I was like…”Geez, they are all hard core. Even grandma is in army gear?”

Everyone in the office seemed to quiver just looking at the soldier. She was new to the office and already telling them she didn’t have whatever card they had asked her for but she wasn’t about to leave.  They would look up her info and serve her. The receptionist, who could at times be very assertive with other parents, went straight into “extra polite mode”. She even came from behind the counter to return her id and pick up the completed paperwork from the mom/solider. In over 4 years, I’ve never seen the receptionist do that. The whole office seemed afraid to breathe.

My kids were quietly playing with an abacus in one corner as I sat near the soldier-mom awaiting our turn. While neither of us were looking, her son went to play with Orion and Lauren . Suddenly, he came back over to her looking distressed. She immediately, put the clipboard down and got serious.  She started pleading with the child. “What’s the matter baby? Tell me what’s wrong. What happened, Taz?” I looked up slowly and saw my littlest one staring at the boy. Realization came over me and I could sense there might be trouble afoot. I know my son. He wouldn’t have hit the child but most likely Orion, pushed his hand, shooed him away or somehow discouraged him from playing. I blinked slowly. ” Aw, hell” and I gave a sigh.  She was mad and continued pressing the boy for answers as he stood there rubbing his little hand like someone had hurt him. Taz seemed about 2 years old and was unable to communicate with her. I kept focus on my children because I didn’t know what would happen next. This woman was huge! And a legally trained killer! She was practically begging the child to verbalize what happened so she could open up a can of whoop-azz. (I pictured myself sailing through the glass window of the pediatrician’s office).  So I got ready. She could have crushed me under her big combat boot. And even though she wanted to fight over her son, and had a right to do so, no matter how petty the crime — there was no way I was going to abandon my children. Right then and there I embraced the fact that sometimes mommies have to take a beating.

Taz didn’t answer his mommy in time and the nurse called our names. If you could have seen me getting my kids and getting out of dodge you would have laughed. I paused to mention to the mom that there was a large playroom in the back of the office. (A he, he, he). She snarled and I said,”Well allrighty then. Let’s go children.”

Once we were in private, I asked little Billy Bad-ass a.k.a Orion why he didn’t share the toy. “What are you trying to do? Get me killed?” I said.  My 3 and 5 year olds didn’t understand all of it, but I had to make them understand a little. The moral to them? Play nice and don’t put your mother out there! Never thought I’d say it but, it felt really good to run away.

You Can Call Me Crazy

You Can Call Me Crazy

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Over the course of 20 hours I’ve managed to purchase 6 pairs of shoes for my three children. I did it. It’s done. I’m alive and so are they. Hurray! 

The first time I tried to buy shoes for all three kids I ended up calling Eric to come help me out at the store. I was in over my head. The kids all needed their feet measured and apparently they did not want to cooperate at all. At the time (about 2 years ago) I had a triple stroller, and I couldn’t get around the aisles quickly enough to get the job done and get out.  Talk about being unprepared.  After that first time I was sore from the abuse they gave and I thought I’d never do it again.

But they don’t call me Polly for nothing.  I’m forever optimistic, even when it’s a losing battle. It’s a sort of self-hazing I put myself through to enter the realm of motherhood… I guess.  Besides, who else is going to buy the shoes? Eric is their father and the vovious buyer of all clothing, even my clothes, everything —except shoes.  When he has picked up a pair of kicks, the kids weren’t with him.  I look on knowingly now, seeing how I’ve been played year in and year out. (It’s all right, he’ll hold down the fort the next time I speed away from the house in our sedan, leaving kids behind and clinging to my last piece of sanity.) Besides, I like getting this sort of  stuff done while the stores aren’t too busy.

All six pairs of shoes came in at $102. My secret? Comparison shop. I have no brand loyalty. Eric looked in Target and Walmart without the kids so I’d know whether to go there or not.  After the anwer was no, I hit up Payless Shoes in the mall and then comparison shopped some more with Penney’s and Sears just in case they had surprisingly good deals. I was able to get some swimming shoes on clearance and other bargains from the department stores. It was a little work since I ended up going out again today to search a different Payless for Orion’s dream tennis shoe, which the other store didn’t have in his size. But we struck out again so, second choice will have to cut it. 

Overall, I’m proud of myself for saving money and getting it done. Choosing things like shoe strings over velcro, clearance styles and early season shopping made all the difference.  The kids are all happy, well until that new shoe smell starts to wear off.  Then it’s back to normal!

What do you think about shoe shopping for yourself or the kids? Is it fun or too much work?

The Mommy Fairy

The Mommy Fairy

Surprising myself, I actually did know my password today and logged in on the first try.  I was a little worried after having taken some mental vacation or something like that from my beloved blog.  So, things have been a little bit crazy with the three kids in school and having parties and other happenings at the same time.  But I don’t care to complain too much.  I just want to be in your presence.

loving preschool

loving preschool

Last week Lauren lost her first tooth.  She was so excited, even though the new permanent tooth was, as she put it, “coming in hard.” And it was.  It hurt my poor little baby for more than a week.  You could actually see the tooth sticking up akwardly behind a few of the others.  She’s only 4 years old.  So I guess it’s true that if they teethe early, they lose teeth early.   The dentist says, my oldest child, Lainey’s mouth is that of a 6 1/2 year old, but she’s just 5.

Well, when Lauren pulled on the baby tooth and it finally came out she was estatic! We had to call Daddy immediately so she could tell him. Then she began her whole fantasy of what the tooth fairy would bring.  Okay, I know it’s seems sort of funny.  I don’t do Santa, but the tooth fairy is on and popping in here…or is she? I’ll explain in a minute.  We’ve done the money under the pillow for Lainey, as she’s lost 6 teeth in all so far. But some nights the “tooth fairy” has forgotten. 

Sometimes, Lainey wakes up the next morning sobbing and distraught because the tooth fairy didn’t come.  When I come to the realization that Eric and I have both forgotten, I tell her to calm down because I’m sure there’s some mistake.  That’s when I tell her to go wait for me in her room then I’ll come help.  It takes a second and then I grab the nearest few coins I can quietly find.  I enter her room and begin a mad search under covers, etc.  All the while the coins are concealed in my hand.  As I’m looking, I make Lainey look too and sooner or later the coins are found right beneath the bed or somewhere nearby.  Then we laugh and hug and I tell her she shouldn’t be such a wild sleeper, knocking the coins out all the time. It works like a charm. I always feel horrible afterwards, but relieved that it worked. I remind myself that that’s exactly why I don’t lie about Santa Claus.  So that’s how I deal with Lainey.  But, little Lauren; well she’s a totally different child.

I didn’t forget Lauren’s tooth fairy money, even though she had asked for a lollipop instead.  And let the record show, I’ve only forgotten Lainey’s money twice.  So anyhow, the tooth fairy gave Lauren the standard 75 cents for that first, precious, baby tooth and Lauren couldn’t wait to tell her preschool teacher that morning.  At school, the teacher asked if the tooth fairy actually came because she tells her kids that sometimes the tooth fairy gets really busy picking up teeth from kids all over the world and she doesn’t always make it that night.  According to her, the kids must keep putting it under there until she remembers, I mean until the tooth fairy comes for their tooth.  So once Lauren was out of earshot, her teacher and I had a good laugh about that.  I also shared my version of explanation when I forget.  Hey! Moms have to stick together. 

So over dinner, I retell this story to Eric and the kids so they will know that sometimes the tooth fairy can’t make it. I wink at E as I think smugly on my instant alibi.  Lauren listens quietly, then calmly says, “Well, you know what I think? I think there can be a Mommy fairy too.”  I did a double take, “Huh?”  I said. She repeated herself in a louder voice, “I said, I think there can be a Mommy fairy too. A tooth fairy and a Mommy fairy. Just incase the tooth fairy gets busy.”  She lifted her nose into the air and smiled at us. I raised an eyebrow, “Is that right?” I asked.  “Uh, huh.” she said, swinging her feet.  I said, “You hear that Eric? So is there a Daddy fairy too?”   “Yep,” said Lauren.  I chuckled, “Okay big girl. We hear you loud and clear.” 

I couldn’t believe it.  Lauren had just told us both— look ,I don’t care if the tooth fairy is or isn’t real — cause you already said there’s no Santa, no mermaids and I’ll never be able to fly like a bird.  So I don’t want to hear that “bleep” about the tooth fairy being busy when I lose a tooth and not giving me my due.  You and Daddy better do what you need to so that I wake up in the morning with a smile and yes… a few coins or a lollipop under my pillow. You dig?

So there you have it.  How ya like them apples?!  She’s four years old, people!  I don’t know how I’m expected to survive this kind of situation.  These kids are something else!

Spoiled for a Spell

Spoiled for a Spell

I’ll be the first to admit that I never pictured or planned this style of motherhood for myself.  I just knew I’d put my all into them and they’d be well cared for.  I couldn’t have dreamed of all I would give up and the many hours of worry I would edure while trying to know if I had made a good decision, the best decision or if they would be all right under my guidance.  I still sit here hoping the world hasn’t warped me so much that I don’t know what to teach my children.  But I digress.  For even though it is hard being a mother —-I’ve had one hell of a week with all 3 of my babies being sick.  Even still, I have really been enjoying the past month and this period of them being 3, 4, and 5 years old.  It’s sweet.  And the reason I’m now calling myself spoiled is because of the two hour window of free time 3 days a week. I have totally been enjoying it. But since it was taken away this weekwhen were all too sick to go to school, I was just looking crazy, wondering if I could survive.  On top of that I had a deadline to meet for Polly&Meek business.  Plus, I didn’t order out on my takeout night because the pediatrician had said to watch their diets closely until they were better.  So I cooked.  Well in all honesty, I complained to E before the illness jumped off and he chose this week to hook me up with some extra help and a couple of meals.  He actually turned the stove on! Of course there was a fair trade involved for those favors.  But not what you think.  Sex is cheap here, instead I had to pay big time by taking the kids out of the house so he could have some downtime —-after I had already spent way too much time with them. 

Sounds crazy but I did it because he did it for me while I sold books two weekends in a row.   Also can’t forget last week when I turned 35 and got surprised big time. He called at 9:30am to say he would come home and get the kids while I went out for a spell.  Unheard of right?  I felt guilty, but I let him go through with it since it was my birthday.  I told Meek the whole thing was such a euphorific high that it gave me a tremendous migraine.  I had to give up on shopping and come back home. Our plans included dinner later, but I eventually cancelled with the babysitter cause I was still feeling so bad.  I took in L in the eating seafood column. Hey, it’s not everyday that your dreams come true.  Oh! It was an awesome birthday!

As for today, Eric dressed and ate quickly this morning and it looked like a gym date, only he informed me that he had to go study.  I did my Scooby-doo sound, then I remembered — oh yeah grad school!  I was growing so accustomed to the extra help and stuff so I didn’t know what to think.  I said, Just take all the time you need and go to the gym to if you want.”  I had totally practiced that line so it wasn’t even hard to say.  You know why I did it?  Cause there’s no such thing as just being spoiled in a marriage.  You’ve got to give some to get some.  It’s easy for me, cause I like where I am right now.  And when all the germs are gone and they’re back to normal I want to enjoy some downtime — by myself!  If I’m happy they’re happy.  Isn’t it the truth?

The Beginning

The Beginning

 Last week Orion and Lauren both cried when they couldn’t go to school and still had to wait while Lainey had all the fun in kindergarten. But no more!  They sung the “going to school song” today on the way to school.  Today was the first full day of preschool (which is only 3 hours).  No mommy and no daddy today, just them rolling with their respective teachers.  The kids didn’t miss us. I couldn’t believe it was actually our two little ones— excited and not afraid to go to preschool for the first time. 

Orion hated me leaving him at camp over the summer and I thought for sure I might have some issues with him today, but no.  He’s not quite 3 yet and is the youngest in his class, but he is ready.  Lauren fakes, shyness but really and truly is quite social.  She has a few worries about school like other children teasing her or being able to sing in front of the class; otherwise she had dreamed of this day for a year now.  Nothing awful happened at preschool so far and it probably won’t.  Yesterday she cried when it was time to go home. Today I wonder if she’ll spread eagle across the doorway so they can’t put her in the car.

I was without them for 2 whole hours today.  I took advantage of the time and went to Lainey’s classroom.  On back-to-school night I’d volunteered to do whatever her teachers needed help with in the class, while they handled the whole bunch of five-year-olds.  God bless ’em.  After what I saw today —wouldn’t want that job.  I don’t think I have the patience. If I have to turn to substitute teaching in a few years, it just may kill me.  Maybe I could start with grade 2.  Before I knew it school was over and it was time to leave. Lainey and I arrived at home with a full hour to spare before picking up the other two from their paradise.

So with everyone in school but me, it feels sort of  weird.  The kids keep asking me when am I going to go to class like daddy does.  I told them I didn’t know.  I am still considering taking another writing course this fall.  But school, it definitely is not.  Honestly, I’d love a masters in journalism, creative writing, English or whatever people who love to write get an advanced degree in.  But it’s just not the right time for me.  I need all my dependants in full time school before I zoom in closer on that goal. So for now it’ll be just a class here and there. More learning and honing of skills is a must.  I know that now after inquiring about contributing articles to various ezines and being asked for a resume and writing samples.  Hmm. Seems I better get to work.

And so it begins…

Hard At Work on Labor Day

Hard At Work on Labor Day

Yes we did! E and I worked as a team to get our crew in bed and lights out at 6:30pm. That’s due to Lainey going to morning kindergarten starting tomorrow. We’re thrilled and so excited over the new schedule. Tonight was the first 6:30pm bedtime but we’ve been moving it up and practicing as best we could. All the kids happily complied and even though the girls didn’t pass out right away, they stayed in bed until I went to check on them.

This is going to be a healthy change for our family. I’m so happy!