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Archive for the ‘mom’ Category

I battle a special kind of kryptonite. My weakness is small boys in the night time.

They come, sometimes sneaking and sometimes padding on quick feet, to my side of the bed. If I know they are there, I lift the covers and invite their warm sleep bodies in. Often, I will feel their warmth on my back or their breath in my face after they are already snuggled in deep and back asleep.

The youngest one is still soft in the way only young children and babies are. That intoxicating smell of infancy clings to him with a fierceness and I breathe it in every chance I get. The oldest one is lanky already, but his cheeks hold kisses as easily as ever.

I never have the heart to send them back to their bed, with tears in their voices and Momma on their lips. I make their dad do it. His heart is harder than mine. I would rather wake with a crick in my neck and an ache in my back then send them back to their own room.

One day soon, they will sleep all night and never make the journey to my bed. They will grow to be taller than me and only kiss me when prompted. When they lean down to kiss me, I will breathe deep and remember what they smelled like when they were small in the night time.

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I know lying is wrong. It says so in the Bible. It was important enough to be in the Top 10 things To Do and Not Do, according to God. However, any good mom knows a little subterfuge is all a part of doing the job and doing it well.

Here are some examples.

Example #1

Over the year, my kids get a lot of candy. It all goes into gallon bags with their names on it in the pantry. Whenever they remember it exists, which is not every day, they ask to have some. If it is appropriate timing or I can use the candy as a bribe (eat all your kale), I do. My kids do not eat candy frequently enough to ever eat all the candy in our bags and I am certainly not going to eat all of it since I do not want to weigh 500 pounds.

What’s a good mom to do? I can’t just throw all the candy away. They would notice that. Kids are smart and sneaky, just like moms. We have to be smarter and sneakier.

I throw the candy away a little at a time. That way, the volume reduces gradually and they never know. You must be careful, though to throw the candy away in such a way that they will never know, which brings me to Example 2.

Example #2

Kids bring home two categories of trash. Stuff they make that is “priceless” and they want to keep forever and trash people give them. You know what I mean by the latter. Cheap toys that break within 5 minutes, decks of cards with cards missing, rocks, broken rubber bands, twisty ties, jar lids, and kid’s meal toys. You know, all the stuff they never want to get rid of.

If you are not careful, your house will be like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout‘s and you will drown in garbage. To avoid this, while your kids are out of the house, choose a handful of the trash items and throw them away. Warning: Do not simply toss them into the trash can. You have to bury them under other trash or put them in a bag and throw them away.

People without kids are now thinking I am one crazy, paranoid lady, but let me tell you that every time a kid throws something in the trashcan, they spend a looooong time peering into that can. They know something fishy is going on in their house. If they see even the spec of some beloved item/piece of trash actually in the trashcan. All. hell. will. break. loose. Bury that stuff deep and put some smelly garbage on top of it for good measure.

I am not even going to cover all the things we regularly tell kids which are out and out lies: Santa, the Easter Bunny, or why they can’t watch Thomas the Train. My friend hated Thomas so much she told her two-year-old Thomas was not on TV anymore or Netflix or anywhere. I laughed and was sorry I did not think of that first.

Happy Parenting!

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Some things you know intellectually, but you do not know until you are neck deep in it. Parenting is like that. Before you have kids, you hear stories and you think you know, but you have absolutely no idea. None.

Before you have a baby, people tell you all kinds of things about how much you will love them and think they are perfect, wonderful, intelligent human beings even when all they do is blow spit bubbles all day. You think you know.

But then you hold them and your whole world explodes. You finally know what it is to love something in a visceral way. You know that you would do absolutely anything to give the moon to this tiny person. Anything.

Eventually, you realize that being a parent is a whole series of not really knowing things. It is a thousand moments of your world exploding: when they take their first step, when they reach for you after being separated, when they hug you for the first time, when they say “I love you” in that tiny voice, when they pick you flowers, or draw you a picture.  Every time you come to know something new, your heart crumples.

As they get older, you start to know different things, things that make you crazy, make you pull your hair out, or make you wish it was acceptable to drink at 10am. It is still not OK to do that, right?

Before I became a mom of two, I knew there would be extra whining, fighting, and mess. But I did not know.

There are days that I know I am crazy, when the laundry never gets folded, there are matchbox cars literally everywhere, when I have wiped each bum in this house multiple times, the dishes are overflowing from the sink, I manage to write some words, and dinner only gets made by some miracle.

Even on those days, at the end we will be snuggling into bed to read and sing and I will feel little arms around my neck and small lips meet mine. Then, my world explodes and I know how blessed I am to be the mom of two small, wonderful, amazing, and intelligent boys and I would do anything to give them the moon.

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I recently shared with you that Gideon believes that Mom does “all the things.” I have further evidence to support this idea.

Wash is an adorable 18 month old chap. He does everything his brother does (no matter how naughty), eats like a man determined to gain weight (he IS growing), and still only has 5 teeth (though he is working on two more). What he does not do yet is talk. Much.

He says some words: Ma. Da. Daw (dog). Mo (milk). Sna (snack).

Every once in awhile, he will say a word, like “down’ or “papa”, but then not repeat it again for a week or two. What is the most amusing, is his use of the word “ma.”

“Ma” means a lot of things. It means Mom, obviously, but it also frequently used to indicate the following:

  • Hey, look at me.
  • Look over there.
  • Put on my shoe.
  • Put this sock on my foot.
  • Gideon won’t stop laying on me.
  • Gideon won’t stop tackling me.
  • I want some milk.
  • I’m hungry.
  • I want a bath.
  • I’m ready for bed (this is accompanied by him man-handling my chest since bedtime is the only time he is nursed).
  • I’m excited! And yelling!
  • I peed in my diaper, please change me. Also, there may be poop.
  • My hands are dirty because I got tired of using my spoon for the yogurt.
  • My water is gone, please fix that.
  • The TV is not on. That needs to change.
  • Look at the ridiculous thing this Elmo kid is doing! Mr. Noodles is an idiot.

Ma can mean many things. Why? Because Mom does all the things.

This would be sad and tragic if I had a husband who was uninvolved in the house and our boys. That could not be farther from the truth. I am blessed with a man who does many, many things around our house and who adores spending time with his boys.

It has become the family joke, that I do all the things.

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Our children are so smart. I give you exhibit #231 a conversation between Gideon and Ries:

 

Gideon: Why does Mom do all the things?

Ries: Doesn’t Daddy do things too?

Gideon: No, Mommy does all the things.

Me: *fist pump* That’s right ALL THE THINGS.

 

 

 

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Attention children! Getting up before the sun rises, a.k.a. before a decent hour, is annoying in the least and uncivilized at the worst. Please refrain from doing this. This had been an announcement of the Parental Mental Health Association of the Smith Household.

This morning at 6am, Gideon joined the already full bed, so that all the humans were squashed together, snuggling. I had Wash next to me with Gideon next to him. Neither of the boys was going to go back to sleep, but I was letting them talk to each other while I pretended I might get to sleep for 10 more minutes.

I had my arm across Wash and resting on Gideon, whose side I was patting. Gideon said, “Mom, can you keep your hands to yourself?”

Sheesh.

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Now that we have two children, the times when I can choose to do something uninterrupted is virtually non-existent. It does happen every other week or so, for about 20 minutes. Mostly, I have to catch small moments during nap times, when one of the boys is asleep. At this stage, having them both asleep is like the Holy Grail of parenting and we have not achieved that yet.

That being said, this past weekend, Ries went out of town (on a boys weekend to Colorado, jerk) and I sent Gideon to his Oma and Papa’s for the weekend. I felt like I was alone, with only the Wee Wash to look after. Well, and the huge slobbery dogs. Saturday, Wash took a long nap and I was able to sit down and write over 3600 in my new writing project, the most I have done in one sitting, I think, so far. It felt great and I was very happy.

It was quiet here, without Gideon, and I was happy to go pick him up yesterday night. When I arrived, he was playing with some wrenches from Papa’s tool box. I walked up to him, holding a Sonic LemonBerry slush. He took one look at me and said, not “Hi, Mom!” or “Mommy!” or “I missed you.” with a huge. No, he said, “Hey, did you bring me one of those drinks?”

So, on the grand scheme of things, I rank somewhere lower than a Sonic LemonBerry Slush.

Ries on the other hand, ranks higher than both the slush and me because today at lunch, Gideon and I had the following conversation:

Gideon: Our family is missing something.

Me: Oh? What?

Gideon: Daddy.

*eyeroll* Moms are never appreciated. Perhaps it is because we do not come with that fabulous Sonic ice. 🙂

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