August 30, 2012


Monkey bear is in kindergarten as I write this.  I wonder if she is enjoying herself or if she is scared and missing us.  I am very happy to report that she went off without a tear and I managed not to say, "You're wearing THAT?!" 

It's funny because my buddy starts school today as well, but I have no concerns at all. Maybe because he went to school over the summer or because he is in the same school with a teacher who already knows him or maybe because he has no problems at all leaving me behind and joining his friends.  He is a social guy who loves to be out and about.  In fact this morning when we dropped monkey bear off at 'his' school, he was pissed that he couldn't stay.

Now monkey bear is out in the real world - spending more time with others than with me.  Full day kindergarten.  How did that happen?  Just the other day it was just her as a baby and me.  All day together to do whatever we wanted.  I know at some point she needs to find her own way in the world.  I do want her to grow into her own person. Make her own discoveries and have our relationship change in the way it is supposed to.

But can I just say that I miss her?

August 25, 2012


Recently we were enjoying a morning at the park when my buddy saw a small group of 9 year old boys.  My buddy was so excited and ran over to them shouting, "a lalal lala ahhh lala lala!"  Which loosely translates into, "Hey dudes!  What's up?"  One of the boys stares at my buddy for a moment then turns to his friends and says, "He just said lalalala," and laughs in that I-am-laughing-at-you-and-not-with-you way.

For a minute it stung really bad.  Just like I was back in 6th grade and Beth Palmese taunted me with "stripes don't go with stripes" when my outfit was super cool... even if it was too many stripes.  After the sting passes, I wanted to grab that little boy by the shirt collar and give him a stern talking to about acceptance and being a nice person.  But by then my buddy was attempting to climb the rock wall solo and needed some help.

I've had plenty of kids ask out of innocent curiosity why my buddy can't talk.  I am more than happy to answer them.  This was the first time I have experienced any sort of teasing where my kids are involved.  Thinking about it still makes me want to cry - not because my buddy notices now, but because some day he will.  I finally get why my mom knocked on the door of the neighborhood bully's house to speak to his parents.  (Although I hope never to do that myself.)

I know it is not within my power to shelter my kids from life's little kicks in the pants.  Nor is it in my power to make all other kids be kind and loving all the time.  I guess I just wish it didn't have to happen so soon and right in front of me.

August 18, 2012

out and about

We like to go on special outings with the kids to have some fun and make some memories.  Sometimes they go very well and everyone is happy and engaged.  Other times they go oh so wrong.  I'm not sure if we expect too much of my buddy and just don't know his limits.

It can be so frustrating to plan a trip to the zoo or aquarium and have it be one big meltdown after another.  I think maybe my buddy gets easily overwhelmed when there is too much going on.  I hate having to strap him screaming into the stroller just so monkey bear can enjoy an animal or two.  I don't understand what he wants when he throws himself down - not wanting to sit or be carried or walk - and he has no way of telling me.

Then we visit a children's museum and my buddy is perfect - enjoying the interactive displays, playing appropriately and lasting a few hours before he throws himself down and is done.  Or he will sit and watch the sea lion show and clap with everyone else enjoying the show.  I do not have the magic equation so we always have a positive experience.

I have a small hope that my buddy will get better as he gets older, but I have a feeling we still have a few years left of meltdowns.  For now, we will keep trying and be thankful that monkey bear is so understanding when we need to leave early.

August 8, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I had a doctor's appointment.  She asked me if I had any help.  Well, no, except for when my mom is in town.  She asked if we had a babysitter.  Again, no.  I have people I can count on if I am in a pickle.  I have people who have offered to help that I have never taken them up on it.  And, yes, my marriage has survived the last 5 years without a date night. 

I have lots of reasons why I don't want to drop my kids off somewhere.  Monkey bear is a big help and fun to be around.  I know that leaving her with anyone (other than Daddy and Nana) stresses her out.  My buddy will gladly go where ever with whom ever.  But that whom ever better watch out. Very few people understand my buddy and are equip to handle his various behaviors as well as his never ending energy.  He has moments every day where he is very taxing and there are very few people I trust with him.  And, for now, I am the food wagon for rara.

I feel so lucky that I get to be a stay at home mom.  I was married for 10 years before we were financially sound enough for that to happen.  I truly enjoy spending time with all of my children.  Don't get me wrong - there are those days when you want to lock them in a closet and sit in front of the TV with a stiff drink and your feet up pretending you are single.  Then you have that moment where you just snuggle them and your heart grows even more.

The years of intense child care are short.  Already monkey bear will be off to full day kindergarten.  She will spend more time away from me than with me.  Maybe I sheltered her too much and should have sent her off to people's houses without me.  Before I blink again, she will be a teenager and want nothing to do with me.  I try my hardest to enjoy these years.  Sure I call my best friend every day to complain but that is just what we do.

 I have made it 5 years without help.  The big kids are in bed by 7:00 and some day the baby will join them.  Date night starts at 7:05... on the couch... dress code of pajamas.  Who needs a babysitter?