Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leave 'em behind - just for a bit

Nick and I recently got the chance to go on vacation. Alone. For the first time since our honeymoon. Four years ago.

We had five days of child-free heaven. Yes, we missed our kids, but this was the first time we had had a chance to miss our kids.

A friend of mine asked me how I could possibly leave my babies. The truth is, it wasn't hard to leave them because we needed it and so did they. While Nick and I were on vacation, my boys got some quality time with their grandparents and got to do all the fun stuff that we won't let them do.

The thing about having small children is, it can be really easy to forget your spouse in the everyday madness of keeping your wits about you (or not, in my case). You become Mama and little more. The same things happens to your spouse. Time away from our kids reminded us that there was a time that it was just us and we had fun. It also reminded us that there was a time that we could exist in a room without toys and crumbs everywhere.

My point is, it is important to remember that your spouse is more than just a parent. It also helps to remember that you are more than a parent too.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Definition: the uniform worn by mothers making it possible to identify them from a distance, even when their children are not present.

The momiform of old consisted of "mom" jeans, a t-shirt, athletic shoes and a scrunchie.

Looming around shopping centers and elementary schools, you will notice a bevy of women in yoga pants, tank tops (a hoodie if the weather deems it appropriate) and large sunglasses. This is the momiform of the new generation of mothers.

The classic momiform can still be spotted. But it is becoming the stuff of legends. Like Bigfoot and UFOs, they are seen from time to time. Mothers rocking the classic momiform are beyond fashion's reach and probably still wear a double-breasted blazer with shoulder pads on occasion.

Those that don the new, more hip momiform are still capable of wearing non-elastic pants when they step outside of their motherly duties.

Friday, September 10, 2010

C's dangling experience

We have a detached garage that sits in front of our house, so there is no direct door from the house. As you can imagine, getting three kids out to wherever we are going is no easy task. There is coaxing, balancing and, occasionally, some juggling involved. Now that C is getting a bit older, he runs ahead when we head out.

As we headed out the other day, C rounded the corner and I clicked my garage door opener. I was holding M's hand and carrying F's car seat. M stumbled a bit, but I heard C squealing from around the corner. I guessed that C was trying to pull out our wagon and it was stuck on something, so I helped M to his feet and turned the corner to get into the garage.

You get pretty good at guessing what your kids are up to. Mothers can decode cries and read the sound of feet (mischevious movements sound different than just your average running around), so I was fairly confident in my assessment of what was troubling C.

I was wrong.

C was hanging from the garage door by one hand. He was at least a few feet off the ground, which is a lot when you are only a few feet tall. He was flailing around, still squealing.

After I calmed him down, which took several minutes because he was shaking and thoroughly traumatized, I was able to envision the moment that he must have grabbed the handle on the front of the garage door in an attempt to help pull it open. The problem was, he waited too long to let go and he didn't know what to do, besides hang there.

He now eyes our garage door with a hint of contempt.

Monday, September 6, 2010

He isn't going to go to college...

As a new mother, there are plenty of things that you freak out about. What you don't anticipate is that, after you move onto your second and even third (however many you have), there are still things that unnecessarily throw you into a tizzy.

My mother (who is my own my personal Yoda - only without being small, old and green) has brought me back to reality on more than one occasion. See, I have this tendency to blow things wildly out of proportion. She is kind of like my insanity antidote. Wise she is, yes.


When we were transitioning C to a sip cup, I started panicking because he wasn't getting the hang of tipping up the cup. After a few days of sip cup failures, I called my mother to see how she had taught us to drink from a cup.

Laura: (in a frantic, worried tone) He isn't tipping up the cup! He just sucks on the spout and gets upset because nothing comes out! How do I teach him to tip it up?! What should I do?! He shouldn't be using a bottle anymore!

Laura's Mom: (in a calm, Yoda-like tone) Laura, he'll get the hang of it. He won't go to college drinking from a bottle - at least not a baby bottle. Why don't you try giving him a straw cup that he doesn't have to tip up?

Laura: (now starting to breathe normally) Oh, I didn't think of trying a straw cup. That's a good idea!

There have been many similar conversations throughout C's life thus far. Topics have ranged from C not wanting to eat regular table food to potty training C with his refusal to wear underwear. Her wisdom usually boils down to reminding me that he isn't going to go to college eating baby food or wearing diapers.

But I thought that when I had my second and third children, I would know everything I need to know and I would no longer be making these frantic calls to my mother. Silly Laura. That would mean that every baby is the same. New kid equals new challenges equals more frantic phone calls to my Yoda-like saint of a mother!