Wading Pool.

This is something that happened this summer.  I’m not proud of it.  But it happened, so I’ll put it out there.

I pretended I wasn’t Pippi’s parent the other day.  Only for just a brief moment.  Not exactly my shining moment as a parent.  Well to be more exact.  Parenting FAIL.

It all started at a park this summer.  I was there to meet a group of girlfriends.  Only none of us realized the park had a wading pool.

Said pool opened an hour after we got to the park.  Pool warden “Mr. Frown” took his job very seriously.  The rules: No kids in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children)

No feet in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children)

No throwing rocks in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children. specific children. children crying now.)

No smiling/laughing/screaming/looking at or near the pool, whilst filling. (more yelling)

It took 45min to fill the damn 1/2ft pool.  Surrounded by 48 kids under 3, and their scrambling mothers. To keep them all out. of. the. pool. (yup you guessed it…more Mr. Frown yelling.)

Then they were allowed in.  But more rules from Mr. Frown.  And his now whistle (and yelling).

We got to play for a total of 30min.  Which included the stripping down of wet clothes to underwear. (Had to try and dry them before jamming them in a carseat.  And the underwear was a last minute, group effort of all girlfriends following the herd mentality: Mr. Frown can’t kick all our kids out of the pool if everyone is in their skivvies – right?)

Only just as we were leaving, Pippi slid down a slide.  In her white underwear.  The “top of the nature trail, down the dirt path to the wading pool area” slide.  And ended up with mud on her behind.

I coyly mentioned maybe she should go for one last dip in the pool before we go.

Mr. Frown (again) began to yell at the children, a child, my child.  I turned around to see my diligent daughter in the pool, her underwear off and now in the water, and not covering her bum.  I continued to turn and face my girlfriends.  We were all horrified. (Not sure if I was more horrified that it was my child in the nude, or that Mr. Frown was yelling like a banshee again.)

Then he began yelling at her to show him her “momma”.  Dear Lord. And I was singled out as I ran over to my daughter, who was more angry at this mean, large, loud, power-tripped man than she was scared. As a matter of fact, I was SCARED of this mean, large, loud, power-tripped man.  When we got out of there Pippi spoke.

“That man was RUDE Mom.  He shouldn’t talk to people that way.  He isn’t nice to kids AT ALL.”  I agreed with her.

Parent fail.  Child win.  Way to go Pippi.  My heart sings for this child who has a true north within herself that guides us both some days (nude or not).

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Naughty.

I’m trying this new thing out with my hair.

It’s fabulous and totally natural.

Fabulous in the way that there are no preservatives, it’s totally kind to the environment and biodegradable.  A great piece for my health and wellness blog. (Sandalwood Life)  It’s non-toxic and doesn’t contain any of the commercial cancer causing chemicals of the regular drugstore brands.

Natural in a way like a wild animal.  Crazy and tangled and OUT OF CONTROL.

Seriously.  Everyone of the 8 blogs I looked up about this product raved about this. EIGHT! (That I’ve consulted this morning…I’ve looked into others on other days, figuring maybe I just didn’t have the mix right…they raved too.)  Maybe raving mad?

I don’t know.  But I’m ready to pull my hair out.

All the now super-thick-feeling, tangle of natural wavy curls.  It sounds almost beautiful.  But the only thing beautiful here is the kindness to the environment.

I’m going to stick with it.  At least until the end of the month.  The biggest complaint people have about this is how your hair goes through a transition period where some people say it gets greasy.  My hair seems to be defiantly skipping that process and is just being naughty. knotty. Ugh.

Instead of a pony tail I try to put my lion’s mane in an elastic to hide it.  Cage it up like an animal.

At least it should make my halloween costume easy this year.  I have my pick of 80s hair, lion, Mogli (think Disney’s jungle book) or lady-from-a-madhouse.  Then again maybe the madhouse thing isn’t that far off.  Think the hospital would take me for an all inclusive, food included, housework free vacation?

Sigh.  But then what would my kids do?

Elastic contained hair it is.

Maybe if I put on makeup people won’t notice.

(Yes the non-natural make-up.  This whole thing is becoming so counter productive…)

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Bananas.

Today was bananas.

I awoke at 5:30am to calls (read shouts) beconing me.  More leg pain from growing pains.  Medicine administered with a silent prayer (to a God that I may or may not believe in, but was really hoping for this morning) that both kids now awake from the yelling, would silently retreat back to slumberland.

No God today. (Maybe sleeping?)

So up we got. And my son immediately pointed to his mouth.  He gets sign language. In that way that a terrorist gets a bomb: Point to trigger, deploy device and BAM! The pointing to the mouth indicates hunger. IMMEDIATE. LIFE THREATENING HUNGER. Once the finger points I have .2 seconds to disarm the device or BAM.

Bananas work well for this.

Only today, it wasn’t just one, but two hairpin trigger devices I was working against.  (Usually it’s just the one…the other one has somehow had a patience delay for the last year or so.) But not this morning.

Thank god for bananas.

Or so I thought. (Remember the god part earlier…) She didn’t want HER banana, she wanted HIS banana.  This is the red wire/ green wire situation where no matter how much training you have you just don’t know which to cut.  Do I take his away? Try for a swap? Maybe he won’t notice half go missing?  I went with the half theory, successfully.  Only then the demander had raised the stakes.

“NO, not his half banana, I want my own banana!!”

In the background, mentally I start to go bananas.

I pass her a whole one back.  Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that this last attempt will work.

And it did.

Phew. Crisis averted.

Go bananas!

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Screamers.

Somedays I am a rockstar.  I feel like I should have a fan club of adoring people who love ME.

Today was NOT one of those days.

Somedays I feel like I should share my genetics with the world.  Because they are just THAT good.  You know, when your kids are rockstars and everyone wants their kids to be just like yours…

Today was also NOT one of those days.

Today was the kind of day where I wish I could feign illness at work half way through the day.  I would have faked a fever for today.  Or made myself vomit all over the floor, just for quarantine alone time in my room.  But nobody was here but me.  Me and the screamers.  No point in naming them.  Hushing and loving and hugging didn’t change them.  Yelling and time outs didn’t fix them.  They just wanted to be next to me.  And scream.  For hours.  Not consecutively though.  It was intermittent screaming for hours today.  Between the diaper rash and the meltdowns due to lack of sleep, lack of timely food, lack of nap, and lack of motherly patience after hour 4, I wanted to escape.

The diaper rash, despite changing immediately after the “grunting face” worsened through the day.  Up to the point that thing 1 was in her room screaming (time out for screaming).  At that point thing 2 was mid diaper change when the legs started flailing and the poop started flying.  Okay not so much flying as: all over mom and the diaper, and the clean up cloth trying to contain said mess.  And more screaming.  So into the tub.  Followed by thing one emerging from the bedroom. And more screaming.

And dinner.  The wrong type apparently. More screaming.

And Mom eating dinner, without Dad.  More screaming.

And baby playing with dinosaurs. More screaming.

More screaming.

More screaming.

More screaming.

The windows in my house were closed today.  Despite HOT temperatures.  Sweltering heat which I’m sure resulted in…you guessed it. More screaming.

At least the neighbours only got a muffled version of what sounded like me murdering my small children.  Slowly.  With dull spoons.

That is all.  There is no happy ending to this story.  Unless you count bedtime.  Shortly after hubby got home at 7:45pm.

Some days suck.  Even for rockstars.  And I am a rockstar.  Minus the drug and alcohol problems.

Tomorrow will be a rockstar day. (Minus the drug and alcohol problems.)

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Road Map.

I love silence.

I love peaceful mornings and sleep.

I like s-p-a-c-e away from other people.

Was I truly meant to be a mother?  In this day and age where everything is a choice I sometimes wonder, reflecting back if I took the right road.  Naivety made me think I could have it all.  No, that’s not what I mean…because I do have it all.  I thought I could DO it all.  And be happy, and at peace.  The doing in the having of the babies, and the keeping up with a career, and maintaining self interests like yoga and running and friendships.  I did it all for a year before my second child was born.  What did I learn? You don’t get more fulfilled.  You get busier.  And in the business, you become more organized, to create more time, for more STUFF.  It’s a never ending spiral.

Forget the rat on the wheel.  Society leads us to believe that we as families can get on the wheel…and it will be fun like the carnival.  What they leave out is that it’s the scary kind with those mean, overly painted masked clowns who pop out from behind hidden doors and walls.  Instead of yelling “Boo!” It becomes: “Dayhome cancelled 6am the day of and you have to be at work in an hour! Figure it out!” or “Wham! Car parts need replacing! Can you figure out the logistics of living without a car while having work and appointments and affording the extra $1000 this month!”

So I quit my career.  And we moved internationally.  And I switched from one carnival ride to another.  This time it was having a second baby.  The rush and excitement of caressing my new little one.  Taking in all the sweetness of the way a baby smells and hearing little sniffles and the soft, soft snuggle of skin to skin. This time it felt like one of those rides that spins.  Slowly at first.  So much fun; feeling the fresh breeze of something new in your face.  Then after a while the dizziness starts to seep into your pores.  Sleep deprivation. The bank of patience is dipped into again and again without ever getting replaced and weeks later you find yourself weeping, just wanting off the damn carnival ride.

But that’s not where I was going with this.  I won’t wallow in self pity. There are still hard days but they are fewer and far between.  Everything is getting better and the patience bank is replenished. It took a year, but life is starting to feel normal.  Equilibrium has been set.  Has my body and mind just adjusted to the ride as normal?  My question now arises from a recent houseguest we had.

Everything about their lives was leading them towards kids.  The kindest, gentlest people filled with hope and love and light.  And despite the wanting, and the trying, and the trying, and the trying. Kids weren’t in the cards.  So why us? Jack and I?  I’m not even really sure Jack was for having kids.  He was on the fence with two feet on the green DINK’s grass (dual income, no kids).  And then it just happened.  We weren’t trying, but we weren’t not trying.  Kind of a funny russian roulette.  And although I wanted kids, I didn’t have a good understanding of what that would mean.  Did I evaluate what type of person I am? Nope.  You see I fear people don’t know me for who I really am.

I am filled to the brim with ego.  Which gets triggered into power struggles with a 3 year old.

I love silence.  Have you been around any kids? Ever?

I like everything in it’s place.  Ummm when was the last time you met a child whose play didn’t include the entire living room with throw cushions and coasters and the winter box of scarves and mittens and toques (in the middle of summer)?

I like everything clean. Mashed avocado on the floor and pasta sauce on the walls isn’t the decor that suits my style.

So why me?  I feel so undoubtedly inadequate.  I feel like I need a parent or a teacher or something to teach me how to do this that is my life now.  I love my children.  More than anything else in this entire universe.  More than I love my own life

and my sense of self

and my yoga

and my running

and my silence

and my cleanliness

and my tidyness

and my sanity.

But how on earth did it happen that the universe gave me such a wonderful gift.  To open my eyes.  To open my heart.  And to create a change in my foundation.  When these people that stayed with us were already prepared for it all?  Where  is the fairness in that?

I believe the universe is friendly. Correction. I try to always trust that the universe is friendly.  But it certainly isn’t fair.  And I feel like I’ve won the lottery.  But I don’t deserve it because there were people out there who were hungrier than me.

But what if it isn’t about deserving, or even needing? Maybe it’s not about taking the right road.  Or any road at all.  Maybe it isn’t a choice.  That is just your road. And if we just keep our headlights on, we can see the next few feet.  And if we follow the next few feet again and again it will take us farther until the sun rises and we can look around and see where we have come.  It’s a good place and I am lucky to be here.

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Rock My World.

I have no idea what is happening to me.

I remember a time, back in my preteens when I felt emotionally stable, and had the ability to reason and was humble.  Just this morning I welled up with tears reading about how someone else’s kid had won the kid’s marathon she competed in (this was a complete stranger by the way).  And yesterday when a friend contacted to me to say I’m just not the same recently, and seem less caring and available, I welled up.

It’s like I set myself on some sort of path early on that just didn’t end up where I thought it would.  I followed the path, and instead of ending up in a meadow I seem to be surrounded by stinging nettle and wild blackberry thorns.  I followed the goddamn path! So what happened?

In my search for answers I am devouring anything that comes my way.  Reading Stroke of Insight currently, I am convinced my left brain has hijacked my sense of path.  (It is the side that defines us, holds our ego and provides me with my constantly babbling judgey voice.)  So Left Brain as much as I appreciate your ability to help me rationalize, reason and find my body in space, I am only allowing 1/2 of your input from now on.  Right Brain bring it on.  Let’s be in the moment and be one with the earth (or something).  I’m tired of feeling alone and insecure.  I want to be more connected, to everything.

And all the recent crying…I think it’s my soul wanting a change in direction.  Good thing I am an overly organized/ nurse background/ plan for anything type.  I’m sure I must have packed hedge clippers for the blackberries and Benadryl for the reaction to the nettle. Way to go left brain!  Now shut up so we can get going.

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Happy Day.

Today was a good day.  A happy day.  Or maybe it was just an average day on account of all things in comparison to yesterday.   Oh yesterday where I feel like I lost my mind with my three year old intentionally pissing on the newly cleaned floor (3.5 hours after the cleaners had left) for the second time.  There were three “accidents” yesterday.  I sometimes wonder if these accidents aren’t the world’s way of “pop quizzing” us parents to see how far we’ve come with our own control of emotions (or not) and how much we’ve learned in parenting (or not) and which new tools we’ve developed (if any.)  Today was happy.

Maybe it is in light of the recent 3 broad-daylight steal-the-3-year-old-from-his-family kidnapping attempts in the last 24 hours.  I am cherishing my children and holding them extra tight today.

I even tried to impose some education on the eldest of my troop.  The conversation went something like this:

Mommy “Pippi what would you do if a stranger told you to go with them?”

Pippi “Nope.  Not unless they were nice mommy.”

Mommy *sigh* “Okay if anyone EVER tells you to go with them other then Mommy or Daddy you come to us quick so you can ask if it’s okay.”

Pippi “But why Mommy?”

Mommy “Well sometimes they aren’t nice people, and only Mommy and Daddy can tell if they are okay for you to go with.

Pippi “Oh but I know who is nice Mommy.”

Mommy “hmmm.  You have to ask ask before you go with anybody okay.  Always have to come to Mommy and Daddy to ask before going with anyone right?”

Pippi “Yup.  But it’s okay if I go with Susan (neighbour) She’s nice!”

Mommy “No, that isn’t okay.  You always have to ask first, so we know where you are.”

Pippi “Okay.  But Susan is nice.”

Mommy frowning in exasperation

“Okay, so what would you do if somebody told you to come with them in their car?”

Pippi “No way! *big grin* I’d never get in their car.  That’s just silly.  Only if they had a carseat Mommy.  It’s not safe for me in a car without a carseat.”

Mommy (beginning to realize this concept might be out of Pippi’s developmental grasp for the time being) “No honey don’t ever get in a car with anybody either.  Only with Mommy or Daddy okay?”

Pippi “Okay Mommy. But if they have a carseat I’d be safe.  Then if they get in a crash and ask where I am I can say: I am here, safe in my carseat!”

Mommy “No, not even if they have a carseat.  Or if they offer you candy.  You always only get in a car with Mom or Dad okay?”

Pippi “Okay Mommy.  But that’s silly.  Candy is for Halloween, and birthdays only.”

Sigh.  Will keep a close watch on my kids.  And hug them extra tight tonight.  Their cuteness and naivety are only a few of the million reasons they are so special to me.

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