Monday, May 31, 2010

Biting the Parental Tongue

Being a grown up sometimes means biting your tongue when you really want to unleash a tirade on someone. Especially when you're a parent. Here are two situations I've encountered in the last week that I assume are fairly common. What would you have done?

Situation 1:
We were at the park with my friend and her daughter. Anna was approaching a larger slide and had waited her turn in line (I was really proud!). As she sat down another little girl, I'd assume about 3 years old, came running up behind her, sat down and started pushing Anna down the slide. Not only was Anna scared, she was also being touched by some stranger, which she didn't like.

At this point I stepped in because the little girl's mother wasn't paying attention and said "excuse me, please don't push her" in my nicest, I'm-sure-you-don't-mean-to-be-doing-that voice. When she didn't stop, I tried again, "HEY! Stop pushing her!" At which point the mother noticed, came over and told her daughter to knock it off. I was pleasantly surprised to then see her talking quietly to her daughter off to the side after she came down the slide (I assume it was to talk about taking turns but it could have easily been to talk about what a mean, nasty lady I was to yell at her - who knows).

At what point in a situation like that should the parent of the non-offending child step in? I chose to because I was worried about Anna get hurt from being pushed the wrong way onto the slide. I think if Anna were a bit bigger and able to really speak for herself I would have bitten my tongue and let her handle it.

Situation 2:
We were at the zoo on Sunday and I had consumed too much coffee prior to our departure. We found a bathroom in the Apes of Africa and I rushed inside, only to bump (literally) into a mother with her son who was AT LEAST 11 years old. In the ladies room. Um...?

How old is too old? I'm not a parent of a son so I admit that I haven't had to deal with the "Do I send him into the men's room with possible gross dudes in there or do I tell him to close his eyes, shut his mouth and drag him into the ladies room with me?" dilemma. I do think that 11 is too old to be in the ladies room. If I as a woman feel uncomfortable using the facilities while your kid is in there, maybe it's time for you to switch to the "family" restroom. Or ask a respectable-looking stranger to check to see that the men's room is clear and then stand outside the door until your kid is finished.

Is my opinion out of line? I chose in this situation to bite my tongue, especially since they were washing their hands and on their way out when I entered the bathroom. Again, I haven't been in this situation with my kid yet, so I may very well change my tune. What do you think?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Recap

I know it's been two weeks since my last post. I'm sorry. No excuses, I'm just sorry. There have been at least 15 times I thought, "I want to write a post about that!" but just never got around to it. So this is going to be a long one. I hope you will bear with me.

Last Weekend
Hubby has been working a crazy amount (so we can Live Like No One Else) and was planning to be at the office all weekend. I decided to make it a super fun weekend for Anna so she wouldn't feel the stress from the "Grownups" in the house.

We started our Saturday morning with a trip to the local bagel joint. Shared a blueberry with light cream cheese, in case you were wondering. Then we headed to the grocery store. I came prepared with a big baggie of cheerios and several of her favorite little toys (just a few of my grocery store survival strategies. We made it all the way to the checkout before she started getting fidgety. Made it out of there pretty much tantrum free (a small miracle)!

Since Hubby had been at work until 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning (yes, from Friday morning - he logged 22 hours that day...), I decided I needed to keep Anna out of the house a bit so he could get some sleep. Since it was nice we packed up the wagon and walked the 5 or 6 blocks to the park. What should have been a fairly quick walk was made QUITE longer because Anna insisted on pushing, no pulling, no pushing the wagon most of the way. Oh well, the point was to give Hubby some quiet time, right?

Finally we made it to the park (I'll skim over the part where some obnoxious teenager had pooped on the big curly slide and smeared it all over the place - SICK), and played for an hour or so on the (non-pooped on) slides and swings.

Anna repeated her push/pull performance on our way back from the park. When we got back Hubby was just getting out of the shower. Anna seemed to take this as her cue and began (for the first time that I've seen) to peel all her clothes off.

Ahh, my little nudist. I drew the line (and replaced the pants) when she came running into the living room, with her diaper pulled down below her butt, chanting "Poop, pee, poop, pee!" Um, no, I think not.

Sunday Anna and I took a trip to the zoo for an hour and a half. Our second trip of the year, her third. I LOVE our zoo membership! We really just walked around a lot, trying not to get run over by the crazy masses of people. Anna was cranky and needed a nap so we cut out of there around lunch time.

My mom came up Sunday afternoon and we walked to get ice cream. Later when Hubby got home from work, he sent Anna into the kitchen to ask if we had any ice cream for him. Her request came out something more like "I-seem daddy?" I sent her back to ask him if he wanted chocolate or vanilla, emphasizing vanilla since I didn't think she'd ever heard the word before. She took off running for the living room yelling, "GORILLA, DADDY?!" Close, honey, but not quite.

This Weekend
Saturday we had a playdate with friends at a park in Waukesha. We had a picnic by a pond and it was a beautiful morning! Oreos, hummus, strawberries...all were pleased.

Today we went to 8:00 church so our day was relatively open. As soon as we got home, I filled up Anna's kiddie pool and got her and myself slathered in sunscreen and ready to play. We headed out a little while later and, well, I'll let the photos and video tell the rest of the story because it's taken me a really long time to write all this (because I'm also watching the Lost recap at the same time) and I'm falling asleep.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why Being a Mom is Amazing

It's 7:30 on Mother's Day and I'm in bed. I'm supposed to be sleeping in, but the sun is shining and I can hear Anna in the other room with Hubby and she's making me laugh.

At first she amazed me just by being. Her noises, her facial expressions, her tininess...I could have (and often DID) just watched her for hours.

Now, she's speaking in sentences (granted, small sentences), terrorizing our cats by chasing them around the house yelling "C'mere, Mac, Hi, Zacie (her name is Macie, but the mispronunciation is cute)," and now she tickles us back when we tease her ("Get you get you get you" squealed at a pitch only a dog can hear while she pinches and scratches - but it's so funny that she has turned the tables on us that I don't even mind the little bit of pain).

Being a mom is amazing because I created this strong-willed, smart, compassionate human being.

And now I'm going to get my butt out of bed and go make her some pancakes!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Top 10 Reasons my Mom ROCKS

Some of you may know the wonderful woman known to Anna as "Gamma Hoobie" - known to most others as Hootie McJowls (no, that's not her real name), and known to me and my siblings as "mom." For those of you who don't have the pleasure of knowing this wise old owl (ha, mom, get it - hootie/owl...ha...ha. Ok, sorry), here are the top ten reasons she ROCKS:

10. She used to make little hot dog people for us when we were small by cutting arms and legs into the hot dogs before microwaving them, then drawing ketchup and mustard faces. They always tasted better like this.

9. She let us destroy the front lawn with our slip and slide (remember those??) and never complained (at least not that registered with me) when we left our wet towels on the floor.

8. She taught us to road trip early. And she showed no fear, packing all three of us from toddlerhood on up into the car for 8-10 hour drives at a crack.

7. She totally took my dad up on his offer after one of our road trips out west to let her fly back while he drove back across country with the three of us in the camper. I actually applaud both of my parents for that one!

6. She partied with all my college friends back at her hotel room after my wedding. Until 4 a.m. Yes, she IS that cool.

5. She always went out of her way to make the magic of childhood real for us. Whether it meant elaborate letters from the Tooth Fairy or staged sooty footprints on the hearth from Santa's boots (that thoughtless man - clean your feet!), we believed!

4. She let out the biggest WHOOP of joy when the nurse told her Anna had arrived in the hospital. I heard her all the way from my room, which was down the hall from the waiting room where she was.

3. She listens to my whining and complaining on an almost daily basis without telling me to shut up and deal with it. She's my sounding board and that frequently means listening to me moan and complain about the water temperature of my shower that morning (and other irrelevant things of that nature).

2. She drunk dials/texts me when she's with her friends (rarely) and they're far more hilarious than any drunk dials/texts I got in college.

1. She has seamlessly transitioned from nose/butt wiper to homework checker to taxi driver to sound adviser to trusted friend in a mere 28 years.

You wear a lot of hats, Mom. And they are all awesome. Thanks for being a great role model and also thanks for not rubbing it too much in my face that I'm getting my just dessert for a lot of the crap I pulled on you as a kid! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pity, Party of One Your Table is Ready

Broken record here.

I don't even know if this makes any sense, but it's so much harder to go back to work after a tough weekend than a good one. I feel like I spent most of today talking Anna down from tantrums, trying to find a reserve of patience that just wasn't there and feeling in general frustrated with her behavior. And now my weekend is done and I have to wait 5 more days before I can spend more than an hour at a shot with my daughter.

I thought this would get easier. I thought if I gave it some time the whole working mom thing would stop feeling like I was ripping my heart out of my chest every morning on my way out the door. I thought I'd stop spending Sunday nights crying on my couch. I know I've said it before, but I HATE being a part-time mom. I hate it. (The "part-time" part, that is.)

We're working on getting out of debt. I think that's part of what's got me feeling crumby. We've still got at least two years left. We crunched the numbers and it's going to be at least that long before we're finished paying off the rest of our debts. Problem is that I can't stay home with Anna or even think about having another baby until that's paid down. Anna will be almost in Kindergarten. I'll have missed everything with her by then - heck, I've already missed most of it.

Ugh, I hate when I give in to thinking about this stuff. Most of the time I can keep it out of my mind by staying busy, but sometimes, especially after a rough day, it's hard not to let myself go there. And once I'm there it's hard to pull myself out of the slump that inevitably ensues.