Bests and Worsts

So, this is basically going to sound like me giving myself one big pat on the back, but what I’m about to transcribe was a very genuine moment provided by none other than Little Miss.  For those of you who know her, you know that LM comes with a lot of sass.  And by a lot I mean A LOT.  She has a comeback for everything and combined with her weird and wonderful creativity and intelligence, well, it all equals up to sass.  As others of you who are close to me know, we have our struggles.  She is entirely demanding in a way that is hard to explain.  She is very well behaved and a good listener but she talks constantly, and asks for things constantly, and has to be encouraged (and I use that word politely) to spend any time entertaining herself.  It can be a real emotional drain.  But alongside that same temperament comes a sweetness that is pure.  It almost seems naïve but I prefer to think of it as wise and selfless and truly loving.

The story I’m about to share requires some background and here it is:  Sometimes we are good at gathering for family dinner, recently not so much.  For one reason or another (end of summer, back to school transition, Jim’s travel schedule) we just haven’t been able to meal plan, grocery shop and have the energy to present and serve a dinner.  The kids have been eating whatever I can throw together and we’ve been eating tuna, soup, cereal, frozen meal, etc..  This week we’ve had two family dinners.  We’re on a roll.  One of the things that Lucy reminded us to resurrect at our family dinner is a game in which we go around the table and talk about our “bests” and “worsts” of the day.

Me:  My best moment was feeling good at my job.  My worst moment was a 45 minute tantrum thrown by my last client.

Jim:  My best moment was a good morning at the gym.  My worst moment was a work problem.

LM:  My best moment is having this family dinner right now (and my heart melted).

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Sisters

LMJ has just taken off with her communication.  She is beginning to have rudimentary conversation and what is about to follow is 1) not articulate to anyone except maybe me and hubby, although once translated it makes perfect sense and 2) about the longest train of thought she’s had.  Also important to the context is that LM has just started preK in a public school and while the transition goes well there is a lot of additional emotion coming from all sides and, although LM is always dramatic, her tears are bountiful right now.

Me:  The babies on the bus cry “wah wah wah”.

LMJ:  I’m a baby.

Me:  No, you’re not a baby; you’re a…

LMJ:  Big Girl!

Me:  That’s right.  You’re a big girl.

LMJ:  Babies cry.

Me:  That’s right.  Babies cry.

LMJ:  LM’s a baby.

Hahahahahahaha!  She was not trying to be funny – just literal.  And, as a side note, I condone crying at all ages for many reasons.

Dear You, Love Me

Recently I saw this link cycling around facebook:  http://carolynee.net/a-letter-from-a-working-mother-to-a-stay-at-home-mother-and-vice-versa/

I liked the idea.  Its intent seemed to be one of support and non-judgment.  Something about it rubbed me the wrong way, though, and it took me a couple of days to realize that it seemed that both mothers were talking to the other as if they were always at their best.  Something along the lines of “I know you made the choice you made for all the right and best reasons and while you are either working or at home you are doing it perfectly.”  So I started to think of my own version and here it is – from one mother to another.  Love to you all…

Dear You,

I am so fucking tired.  Are you so fucking tired?  Let’s just rest our eyes for a moment and then acknowledge the mom in each other.  We are both moms and being a mom is fun, and hard, and all-consuming and a primary role.  I’m certain that we both take it very seriously and that nothing in the world is more important than our kids.  I’ll make you a deal – I promise not to hold you up to a perfect standard and you do the same for me.  We’re so imperfect.  Let’s be imperfect together.  Better yet – let’s show our kids, our partners, and the world how imperfect we are so we can take a deep breath and step out from under the anvil of pressure put on us every day to be supermom.  I don’t want to be supermom.  I don’t want you to be supermom.  I just want to support each other.  I want to be kind to you when you’ve got disheveled hair, mismatched socks and a toddler hanging on your hip while you try to push the stroller through a door with one arm and a foot.  Let me open the door for you.  I want you to be kind to me when I use my “very annoyed” voice because my older daughter has said the same thing 15 times in a row while my younger one smacks me in the face.  Shoot me a “can’t young children be the most annoying ever sometimes?” look and wink.  Let’s try not to worry about who spends how much time with whose children when and where.  Let’s try not to let our children carry the burden of reflecting our perfection.  Let’s just be friends.

With love,

Me

Flying Time

Time literally feels like it is flying.  LM turned 4 and we celebrated in classic over-the-top, all-in-good-fun, she-deserves-it-because-she’s-such-a-good-kid Crim fashion.  Thanks to all who joined us by wishing her a Happy Birthday, calling, sending a note or gift, and/or coming to one of two parties 😉  Now that she’s four, and LMJ is a full-blown toddler, time seems like it’s slipping away.  In an effort to control this passage of time I come up with creative ways to slow time down (What if I stop working?  What if I pull LM out of daycare? What if I just give them something that will keep them this age forever but also give me the joy and privilege of watching them grow?)  None of these, of course, is a real possibility.  I love my job.  LM thrives in daycare.  And I’m fairly certain the existence of the aforementioned pill does not exist.  So, I apologize for my brevity, but I have to join my daughter running and dancing around the living room while watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates because I have to indulge these moments now.  Have a great week

To Work or Not to Work

To work or not to work – that is the question.  There doesn’t seem to be any right answer or a good balance of any kind.  I love my work.  It feels meaningful and satisfying.  I am good at what I do.  I say that not to toot my own horn but to demonstrate that my work gives me confidence.  I am good at what I do because I am thoughtful, I studied hard, I do my research and I take good enough care of myself to be able to take good care of others.  This sounds fabulous, right?  And, it is.  So, what’s the problem?  The problem is that recently, I miss my kids.  I hate leaving them in the morning and think about them all day.  Right now, LM is getting sick and I want to be the one staying home with her tomorrow – bringing her water, giving her hugs and determining whether or not it’s time for Tylenol.  All of a sudden their childhood seems to be flying by and I don’t want to miss it – I don’t want to miss them.

On the other hand – work gives me the opportunity to miss my kids.  I run in the door on Monday nights looking forward to bath and bedtime when I can spend a few quiet moments with them at the end of the day.  I like being a role model of a working woman to my girls.  I think what I do is important and helping others is a value I can teach them by doing it.

At the end of the day I have made the decision to work part-time.  This also allows me to be home part-time as well.  While this may seem like the perfect solution – absolutely nothing is perfect.

Parenthood Lately

It’s Sunday.  It’s Sunday already and Sunday again.  I am just going to do a snapshot in the week of parenthood:

LM is a very passionate soul.  She has definitely continued to develop her sassier side and I have gotten a lot of sass lately.  Today, as a natural consequence, we didn’t go ice skating as we had planned.  We are entering a new phase of, “how do we deal with this behavior?” and it’s unchartered territory for us.  She has started to behave in a certain way for a certain period of time until she gets what she wants and then she is back to sassing it up.  Longer term consequences may or may not make sense to her – I don’t know.  We are having a treat-free week so we will have to see how that goes.  I hate to be a consequence monster but she has responded really well to the limits today.  I believe she (and all kids) needs them.  It’s hard though.

LMJ has been so super sick L  Her blood work is great (phew) but she’s been feverish for 5 days now (high of 104.0) and we’ve been to the doctor, the hospital, and the doctor again.  We’ve switched antibiotics and once again we find ourselves in a position we never were with LM.  I am sure she is fine and she just has a bad ear infection and virus, but it’s difficult to be in this place given what we’ve been through with her.  I never even knew how healthy LM was, or how grateful I should be.  She’s barely ever gotten a fever and then never over 102.0.

In any case – that’s parenthood this week.  I look forward to hearing about yours!

LOVE

LM is watching BRAVE.  It is the end of a long holiday break where we have spent a bunch of time with family and friends.  There arestill even a couple of days coming up but I go back to work tomorrow and LM back to school on Thursday.  Wake-up times will be pushed earlier and life will resume.  That’s good too.  It is good to have a rhythm to break so that you can appreciate that break even more!

So, Lucy is watching BRAVE and Dad-E and I are enjoying the opportunity to not pay direct attention to one or both children.  Actually, he’s paying bills and I’m writing this blog.

I was upstairs for a minute and when I came back down there is a folded up piece of paper towel on the table.  It has letters on it.  DULTHOO.  I look at LM and say, “Is this a note for me?  Dulthoo?” And she says, “Turn it over”.  I turn it over and very carefully written out is Lucy’s first word other than her name.  LOVE.  I said, “Love?  Lucy, you wrote love?”  And she replied, “I wrote love?  I wrote that for you.”

I am very lucky and I have done something good in this world by bringing her into it.  LM is a source of very pure love and that’s an invaluable contribution.  Believe me when I tell you that I know her well – all of her strengths and areas to strengthen.  I know that she can be passionately obstinate at times.  Everything about her is passionate.  I think, for the most part, I see her as who she is.  I’m probably tougher on her than most people.  But I know for sure that she has a very special heart and an ability to love that is admirable.

So, baby, I recorded this story for you.  I love you too – so much.