Saturday, July 31, 2010

When you you fee like a good parent?

Every day, as I struggle to rise and face the rigors of the day, I wonder, "Is today the day I will feel like a good parent?"
And most days I end it knowing I fell short of my mark.
I'm not asking to be a great parent, to be the parent who does everything their child could ever dream of.
It's impossible. I'm too selfish, and a think a little dream hunger, a little dream want, is a good thing. It makes the heathens work harder to get that elusive goal.
I'm not the cookie baking, trunk full of play clothes, tea party kind of mom.
The Man is.
I'm the mom who plans for all contingencies, who always has hand sanitizer, wet wipes, spare clothes, a plan.
While I wrestle with my kids and play with my kids, I don't go prancing through the sprinklers in the front yard or eat popsicles on the front porch at nine at night.
Again, The Man does.
(And, yes, it is a competition.)
So I wonder each day if I'm a good parent. If my kids will look back on me with fondness when I finally kick the bucket, or if they will burst into a rendition of "Ding! Dong! The witch is dead!"
I hope my babies remember hugs and kisses and smiles and laughter amidst my organizational frenzy. I hope they see below the compulsion to be prepared to the desire for them to not to have to be incumbered by those things, to be free to run and know I've planned for their safety and their needs.
Because, if I'm weighed against the rolls on the floor parent or the play out in the swimming pool parent, The Man has kicked my ass.
Royally. Thoroughly. And without compare.
He's the fun parent.
But let his need a wet wipe, an intervention, ot hand sanitizer, and I'm all there, baby.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Giggles and girl child

Punk has recently turned into quite a comedian.
One, she has started refusing to answer to her name, instead preferring top be called pumpkin Girl in all situations.
She has also become a fearsome ghost with a towel over her head, scaring her father into purely unmanly squeals of fright.
And she's been a zombie, wandering by with her arms out straight and announcing in a very creepy voice, "I'm a zombie!"
She is finding her power, finding her inner laughter and sharing it with us.
As I write this, she is sitting on her daddy, giggling and throwing her head back, punctuated by occasional indelicate snorts.
All because he's pretending to be a hungry shark.
And then she collapses on him to rest, panting softly, trying to recover from a hearty bout of laughter.
I"m used to boy laughter, loud and raucous and full of boy, but hearing my daughter's giggles and snorts and gasps and chuckles adds a note to the music that I didn't know I was missing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quiet vignettes

As a mother, there are small, soft vignettes I treasure.
These are the moments when the outside world fades and I see my life through a soft filter. It is lit by moonlight or candlelight, soft and dreamy and perfect and still.
These are moments that stick with me, lingering in my mind before sleep claims me each night.
Brushing my daughters hair. After I have gotten all the knots out. When she's sitting in her chair in front of me, her hands and body still as the brush sweeps through her hair. The only sound is her soft breath and the sound of the brush.
Watching my Boo sleep. When I walk into the room to find he's fallen asleep mid action, hanging half on and half off of his bed, some toy clasped in one hand. As I feel the breath on my face when I move him. As I watch his little body settle into the blankets with a soft sigh.
In the still moments with Bug. When he's stopped moving, stopped talking, content to just be, one foot dangling off the side of a chair, book held limply in one hand, his attention caught by something and he just is. When the pressures of his mind quiet, when the malestrom stills, and he simply is that moment of pure contentment.
During the long days, the parenting battles, the feedings, baths, homework, and headaches that come with motherhood, these are the moments I cling to with ferocity. These are the moments I remember before I sleep and in the pristine moments before I wake, before I'm assaulted by a warm solid body demanding breakfast, before the first battle of the day errupts.
These quiet vignettes are priceless.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sob! Slobber! Weep! Sob! (Another one of those mushy posts)

Asa mother, there are times I look at my children and marval at the wonder that is them.
Those times are few and far between, normally buried under the fighting, screaming, and bizarre antics of my offsrping, but the moments are there.
And occassionally, they shine brighter than the sun.
Boo will leave his academic home of the last year and enter the public school system after Friday. He is so excited to be a pee-skooler (his term) that he can hardly see anthing else.
I, meanwhile, can see nothing but my chubby cheeked baby morphing into a lean, no rear ended little boy hell bent on world domination and checking out women's butts. (Walk him past Victoria's Secret and watch his face to see what I mean. I have a Little Lech!)
Bug will be in kindergarten, which is enough of a stretch of my imagination that I can't picture it. All I can see if the squishy baby I brought home from the hospital and didn't know what to do with. (He's no longer squishy and I still don't know what to do with him.)
Punk is getting ready to have her own room, her own big girl bed, her own little portion of the world. And I'm watching my baby diva morph into a little girl with enough attitude to fell a small country.
Some days, they pile on me in a chair like a bunch of wriggly, tooting puppies, each trying to talk over the others, each vying for their favorite spot. As I cringe from misplaced elbows, knees, and heads, I remember what it felt like when I was their entire world, when they swam within my womb and knew nothing but me. (And I thank the gods I was never pregnant with triplets!)
But I am not longer the sun they orbit around. They are setting off into their own worlds, baby steps, yes, but steps that will eventually lead them away from me and into a life of their own making. Each step takes them closer to who they will and farther from the babies I once held.
Each step takes them farther from my arms but deeper into my heart.
And, while I fight the urge to call them back, to hold them back for another second, to feel my arms wrap around them, I know that motherhood also means letting go, one fingernail at a time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How old is old enough?

The Man and I are at an impasse.
We are on opposite sides of our children's ages.
He thinks they are older, more mature, more responsible than I do.
I see small children who have no fear, no understanding, and no concept of anything being unsafe for them.
They are Super Heathens.
Capable of bringing mom to her knees with a high pitched shriek.
Able to bound from couch to couch for indeterminate lengths of time before someone catches them.
But still infinitely breakable and fragile, even as they hang from mutant monkey toes off the ceiling fan.
They are my babies.
And I still see them as such.
So when I feel my mommy sense started tingling, I gather my babies to my breast and start snarling.
At the world. At the universe. At my husband.
My snarling doesn't discriminate.
The Man wants to take our boys camping.
Near water. And woods. And maniacs and bears and rabid skunks and bugs and oh my!
My boys do not know how to swim. It is on my agenda. But construction pushed my agenda back this year. So I start hyperventilating when my kids approach water not contained within a bathtub or a wading pool.
And with Bug's recent foray into AS, I am concerned about his ability to listen and follow directions and not wander off to be raised by wolves.
The Man Doesn't see it. He has no womb, and the man parts just don't clench at the thought of "Danger, heathen children! Danger!"
So we argue. And we debate. And I lay out my reasons in a calm, confident manner that involves clutching my children and backing into a corner where I snarl and foam at the mouth.
Because that's the kind of mom I am.
That's me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ode to Toy Story

Or how I finally gave it up to keep my children happy.
And, no, not that! Ya perv!
I had a bear that was given to me by my parents as a wee hellion. His name is Bobie. Don't ask me. I don't remember how he got that name. I loved him, mauled him, cried on him, and slept with him until I got married. And even then, I still tried.
The Man frowned upon stuffed animal bed partners.
So Bobie was relegated to a shelf to sit.
Last week, seeing my youngest heathen lugging around various stuffed animals, I decided the time had come to pass the torch.
I took him from the shelf, hugged him, whispered that I loved him enough to give him a really great new person, and handed him over to my very excited 2 1/2 year old daughter.
Who hugged him, danced him, slept with him, and renamed him . . . Poopie.
The indignity.
But I know, in true Toy Story fashion, that I saw a little half smile on his worn mouth, heard a sigh as he settled down for a nights rest in my daughter's oh-so-loving strangle hold. There is a bounce in his bear step as she dances him around or tells him baby stories.
My Bobie is happy in his new life as Poopie.
And I've passed a small portion of my old childhood off to my daughter to treasure.
But now I'm stuck with just The Man in my bed, and he smells worse than a ratty, 1970's era stuffed toy ever could.
Bobie never passed gas the entire time I slept with him.
The Man passes it every night I have slept with him.
Oh the things we do in the name of love.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yes, my son has Aspergers and you can kiss my butt

That's going to be my new bumper sticker.
I have a diagnosis.
Aspergers Syndrome.
My son has it.
I am researching and reading and gearing up to be the best mama bear I can be.
I am forbidding friends and family from uttering the words "I'm sorry" because I can't be.
To be sorry, I would have to be sorry that my Bug is the child he is. I would have to want to change this part of what makes him who he is.
And I won't apologize for my wacky, affectionate, brilliant baby boy.
And I won't have anyone else's issues making him think he's anything less than the perfect Bug.
Does that mean I won't be riding his butt to improve just like I do his siblings?
Hellz no!
If I ever let hi get away with something just because of a diagnosis, someone slap me into the middle of next week because I will have lost my ever loving mind.
I will push him, shove him, nudge him, cajole him, and drag him where he needs to go. But I'll do it in a way that he can do.
And I won't take any lip from him or anyone else about it being a disability.
The only disability is the one you let it turn in to.
Bug will be the best Bug he can be, with As, despite AS, because of AS.
And anyone who thinks otherwise can just bite me.
In the AS.