Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Staying at home with (these) two kids and working (ha!) is kicking my ass. I knew the past month was going to be rough with less childcare (none!) and Henry at my mom’s less days (vacations and such (and, ok, that is some childcare)), and the addition of more hours of work while my boss was away, but with preschool starting in a few weeks I figured we could use the time together and that I could handle it. I’m not sure I was right. I mean, yes, we have all survived and had some good times but I have been making some far less than ideal parenting decisions in the face of very stubborn and aggressive behavior on Henry’s part. Work has been put aside and I am barely holding onto the appearance of holding it together. Henry is not happy with the time I need to spend with Mia lately and he is going through so many transitions that I can say, only a month into it, that those people who say 3 is harder than 2 are right. Man oh man is it rough. He’s still sweet and smart and amazing and hilarious but he’s also angry and demanding as hell. We are using an “unconditional parenting” approach these days (oh, the posts I could/should/might write on that) so no major punishments or rewards. It may sound insane to those who rely on time outs and such but I have to say that I have seen the light on this one and don’t think we’ll be going back. I feel like a few months ago all I ever used was punishment and reward. It is definitely the right choice for us but at this highly emotional and completely illogical stage it is certainly interesting. So, that’s where I am. In the house mostly and going a little insane. Henry will love preschool (it’s a tiny Waldorf program, just 2 mornings a week) and I have a babysitter lined up for the morning that he isn’t with my mom so things should be looking up soon. Mia is doing great and sleeping (sometimes) and smiling and growing. I couldn’t ask for much more in a baby. Just a few more days (and a stupid, crappy freelance project) to go and hopefully we can all come out the other side of this without too many regrets. It is what it is (good god that sounds stupid but it goes through my head and out my mouth all too often lately) and I know it will be changing soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I found something again I never really knew I had missed tonight. I was just sitting in the dark rocking Mia to sleep, noticing her warm breath on my fingers and chest, her soft, chubby thigh under my other hand, her hand on mine. Under her soft, heavy, warm hand on the back of my fingers, an intense tingle spread up my arm and down my hand. A small part of me was waiting for cues that I could put her in bed but I was overwhelmed by the desire to stay just like that and full of fear that even the smallest movement on my part could disturb the intense perfection of the moment. It was like sitting in a dark movie theater with someone on whom you have a huge crush holding hands for the first time. It has been a lot of years since I have had that feeling. I guess that’s why people say that having kids is falling in love all over again. And again and again I hope.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

searching for meaning in numbers

Henry gets that there is something special going on with numbers but he doesn’t really care about the details. In addition to the recent conversations below, I also overheard him telling Jason that something (a toy I believe) was spinning 50 miles an hour the other day.

Me (way past bed time): It’s really late.
Henry: What time is it?
Me: It’s 9:21.
Henry: Wow! That’s 100.

Henry (on the bathroom scale): How much do I weigh?
Me: 28 pounds
Henry: Yeah. 28. 3. 4. 2.

Henry (on our way to my office in the car): Go that way.
Me: No. You know the office is this way.
Henry: No. That was a mistake (re: my left turn, I presumed). The office is 45 miles away. Ahead.
Henry (a few minutes later): Where is the office?
Me: I thought you knew.
Henry: Yeah. It’s 45 miles straight ahead.


Friday, August 03, 2007

grey area

I have had a bunch of potential posts floating around in my head lately but most of them don’t make it into writing. I realized tonight that they can pretty much be summed up with two categories.

First is, oh my god, my kids are so amazing/adorable/cute/smart/funny/perfect. I can hardly believe how amazing they are and how lucky I am. I want to remember every second of this experience and exactly how they are. It physically hurts to have either one of them out of the room I am in. I love them so much I can’t believe it.

Second is, oh my god, my kids are so crazy/loud/unpredictable/frustrating/exhausting. I can’t believe I have to deal with one more minute of this. How long is this phase going to last? I can't wait until they are more independent. I am so tired and sore I can hardly stand up. I need a fucking break. Now.

I understand from blogs and friends that both of these general sentiments are pretty common in parenting and therefore I shouldn’t be to worried about experiencing both extremes. It’s just so black and white. Where is the middle ground? The problem I am having is that the great and the horrible hit so unpredictably and I never know what to expect. It’s like day and night spontaneously fading in and out thought the days and weeks, never knowing how long one will last or when it will end. I am getting whiplash from all of the back and forth (crappy mixed-metaphor, I know) and try as I might, I can’t seem to hang onto the great ones for long enough (for ever?) no matter how hard I try.

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An unexpected downside of potty training is that Henry now spends a fair amount of time (it is summer after all) walking around in his underwear or with a bare butt. The downside is that "big boys" (well, the 3-year old kind at least) don’t much like to have their butts grabbed and squeezed. I have to spend so much energy holding myself back it is becoming exhausting.