At long last the video is ready. I’ll let it speak for itself. Welcome to my world.
At long last the video is ready. I’ll let it speak for itself. Welcome to my world.
The cloud that hung over me the past two days has lifted and I’m once again feeling optimistic. Self-destructing negativity has fallen off the cliff and took with it those familar lonely, unworthy feelings. I’m left at the edge of something great. “This too shall pass” is the promise, and so it has.
Where do I go from here? Back to my usual self. Full of the stuff that makes life great and worth the struggles we face.
While I was held hostage by empty shoes and unzipped jackets, KD said, “Ok Mom, tell us for certain, which one of us do you love the most?”
“I love you both exactly the same. That’s not a fair question. That’s like asking who do you love more Mom or Dad?”
The choir was shattered glass. “We love Daddy more.”
“Because he listens to us better,” KD says.
“Because he lets us ride our bikes on the road,” says JB.
I’m the one who lets them ride their bikes on the road, but only when I’m outside with them and can yell, “CAR COMING.”
So, I listen to their requests and give them safe room to roam, and Dad gets the love.
All in a day’s joy.
Watching the kids play in the empty lot behind my house, I decided to finish the spring yard raking and donned my baby-blue gloves to scrape up what’s left of Mandy’s winter elimination along with the misguided leaves from last fall’s cleansing. It feels good to take care of your property. Something sprouts from within, perhaps pride.
The boys tottled back home when they spotted me working and JB immediately wanted to help but only if he could use my rake, which left me with a plastic two foot lawn tool not much good for anything but scooping up the debris. Butterscotch, a neighbourhood cat came to my rescue and relieved me of toiling with the indequacies of a child’s toy.
My meditation turned to thoughts of a condominium where yardwork and maintenance are nevermore. But quickly a vision of the kids with no place to play entered in and zapped the reality of carefree homeownership. This is my home and my intentions are set to create a more beautiful atmosphere, especially in the backyard.
Once inside the kids began their cross-eyed nightime ritual of button pushing and steadfast reluctance to mom’s way. JB’s rant went something like:
(JB sobbing) “I want a bedtime snack.”
(Mom) “Ok. Your brother is having crackers with peanut butter and banana. I’ll make you some.”
(JB sobbing louder) “I don’t want that. Don’t you know I want pancakes?”
(Mom) “I’m not able to make pancakes tonight. Another time.”
(JB sobbing) “Then I want a peanut butter sandwich. But I want to help. I want to put the bread in the toaster.”
(Mom) “Go brush your teeth then come down and you can put the bread in.”
(JB sobbing hysterically) “But I don’t want it toasted.”
(Mom silently walks away)
It’s times like these I wish I had someone here with me to backstop the foolishness. Divide and conquer. One on one, even the playing field a bit. I’m sure there would be more humour and less frustration if the odds weren’t stacked against me.
Someone to help with the yardwork would be nice too.
Over the long weekend I shot some video of the kids. It’s in the editing room now and I’m having a hard time with it. I think it’s all superb, but sure it would bore the rest of the human race to tears.
The shots are candid. Two little boys playing dinkies and gearing up for the big race. JB the filibuster, holds up the starting gun creating new roads and combing his hair with a vacuum attachment. KD’s patience is tested and he loses focus. The tables turn and it’s JB who complains about the time being wasted. Two boys, 2 brothers, 2 years apart, close in adventure, inside my heart. Coming April 4, 2008.
They are playing 2 player Lego Racers now. Fortunately my laptop keys are not ergonomic enough to win any major victories, so it’s fallen out of favour. The novelty of Mom’s computer worn off, it was only a matter of time. I’m grateful.
But wait, JB’s Christmas list includes his own laptop with the keys in front. Fortunately I won’t be able to find one like that.
For the past few days KD has been talking about this new trick he wants to teach Mandy, but we never seem to get around to it.
This morning, I woke up late and began the usual morning rush. I told the boys to get themselves dressed and then go pick out some cereal while I had a quick shower, which was rudely interrupted by screams from JB that KD was hurting him. I yelled, but only to get their attention over the water. After my shower, I quickly dressed JB who didn’t quite understand the instruction and then headed down to oversee the milk pouring.
In the meantime, KD was gearing up the trick. He greeted me downstairs with a piece of string, tape, a milkbone, the kitchen stool and big eager smile. “Tape this to the ceiling and we’ll get Mandy to jump for it,” he said. “Where did you learn this?” I asked. “I just made it up,” he grinned.
So, here I am, running late, kids are dressed but not fed and I’m standing on a stool, naked, taping a piece of string to the ceiling and tying a milkbone to the end. I smiled watching KD take his role as spotter so seriously while I teetered on the stool.
Mandy couldn’t reach the bone. She tried but the string was too short. I held the bone up over my head, close to the end of the string and she managed to snag it. KD was ecstatic. The glee in his eyes was worth it. All that’s left now is a rogue piece of tape on my living-room ceiling and warm memories of being a Mommy in the moment.
The other day I dropped JB off at the sitter’s. Another little boy there asked me for a kiss.
JB ran interference, “Yuck. Don’t kiss him Mom.”
“Oh, I’ll just give him a little kiss right here on the cheek.”
With the strangest look on his face, JB said, “I don’t think that’s ok with me.”
Great line buddy, I’ll have to remember that one next time I get a booty call.
JB wanted to wear a pull-up tonight so I obliged. I know, I know, it’s regressive and not “allowed” by many manuals. But do you know how many months I regained watching him run around in a diaper and a sweatshirt? KD told him he was going to tell everyone. JB didn’t think that was too cool and made him promise not to say. But, it didn’t deter him and he asked for a clean one after his bath, not that there was anything wrong with the first one, except that KD had ripped it open a bit.
He’ll often ask me to hold him like I did when he was a baby. It’s comforting to him and to me. A second chance really. He’s sleeping now with a “fresh” diaper. I’m sure it will be dry in the morning. If not, I’ll slap my fingers.
At night we’ve been watching this show called, “In the Night Garden“. It’s bedtime Teletubbies and starts with a child being put to bed with a gentle massage of the hand and then moves to a wonderland full of little characters and strange happenings. KD and JB love it and it settles them for a good night’s sleep. It’s actually aimed at young children from 1-4, but KD (almost seven) thinks it’s really cool. Perhaps JB can counter KD’s diaper tale. I have to admit, I don’t follow it so well. I’m usually asleep by the time IgglePiggle is finished his waves and giggles.
The yelling has been silenced these past few days. I’ve resorted to slow, low, deep, whispered requests. Yesterday KD pushed JB off his chair and in my best Horatio Caine, I said, “KD. K-D. You could have hurt him badly. KD. K-D. Don’t. Do that again.”
I scooped up my boys today after two nights with their dad. One had been replaced with a bucket of sauce, sharper and spicier than I ever remember. And, I was not in the physical mood to lay down any harsh correction. I chose to ignore it, at least until bed time when I told him I loved him no matter what but didn’t like his behaviour today. In an act of self pity, he sobbed that nobody loved him. I said that wasn’t true. You don’t like yourself right now because of the way you treated Mommy today. Drop the sauciness and you’ll feel better. They are both resting now, the first quiet moment all day which was filled with lots of boy adventure. I love to watch them and listen to their discoveries. I wish I had the energy to participate more.
Tomorrow night we’ll have a party for the kids while the mommies relax under the talented hands of our estetician. My affirmation got me through a tough day, although it fell short momentarily. There is only so much sauce you can take before you slip on it and I wiped out big time. But, it was short lived and the rebound was full of hugs and kisses.
The book 1-2-3 Magic still sits in my bathroom. I need some magic right now.
A friend and I performed an autopsy on our birth charts last night. Interesting stuff. I’m going to delve into this for my children to help me better understand what makes them tick. They are both Geminis, birthdays exactly two weeks apart and neither one an annoying person “on the cusp”.
But they are completely different on many fronts. KD (almost seven) is a quick thinker, likes to keep the peace, has a very rational mind and not prone to expressing his inner most feelings, publicly or privately.
JB (almost five) rants, raves, explodes and covers his emotions with humour…hmmm sounds like someone in my mirror. Unlike his brother though, who seems to side-step emotional stuff, JB absorbs it and it surfaces during the quiet times. This past Saturday at the museum, an Osprey exhibit (the Osprey is Nova Scotia’s provincial bird) included a male and female Osprey waked under glass. Their little legs were crossed and pins held their beaks back.
At one point I spotted JB hanging around the exhibit, staring intently at their faces. That night in bed he choked out his thoughts, “remember those birds at the museum? That was sad. How did they die?”
Don’t get me wrong, KD is no cold fish. He is warm, loving and affectionate, he simply diverts himself from troubling emotions. Last summer when their paternal grandmother was sick, KD’s reaction was to say, “everything will be ok.” Whereas, JB wanted us to hold hands and pray for her and he sobbed himself to sleep with worry.
With a pretty clear understanding of who I am, it’s time to start focusing on my kids. I likely won’t share my findings with them as I don’t want to peg them into neat planetary compartments that create limitations in their minds.
I believe we are impacted by the stars but our thoughts and intentions can bump them out of orbit to create the life we want.
The past few weeks have taken me on a pretty sweet ride and I want to acknowledge that I’ve had some help along the way. Many people in this blogosphere and those peddling their soulful wares online have taken me someplace new. A place where I dared not tread before. The sweet smell of confidence is my perfume and I’m grateful to those who churn away day in and day out to bring forth their truths and share their lives and learnings. I’m tickled that I’ve come this far in such a short time. Only six months ago I was lost in despair, desperate to understand the meaning behind everything and completely attached to things out of my control. Now, I’m content, relaxed enough to enjoy the universe with all is subtleties, nuances and suprises.
Yet, I still yell at my kids. Why is this? They haven’t done anything wrong. I need a mantra to repeat when I’m losing my patience so they can be spared the confusion of someone they love flinging such nonsense at them. What I’m doing to them strips me bare. I’m aware, yet not able to command myself to breathe through it. I took six breaks this morning, at least, to separate myself from them. I know they are kids and kids don’t always listen. I know they respond better to whispers. I know they love me and I love them unconditionally. What they do isn’t the end of the world, but it has a disrespectful element that irks me to the point of ire. Logically, I know it will pass. I know they test me, that’s their job and they are good at it. I hate failing the test.
An affirmation brought me something wonderful. Perhaps a new one will bring me more patience with my children.
“I am a patient mother. I offer love and respect and receive it in return. Our home is a happy one.”
That should do it. I’ll let you know how I do.