Search This Blog

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Animal Trainer

The other night The Senator was looking rather bored. He had tired of playing blocks, tired of playing “Choo-choo” (though that was short lived), and clearly wanted to be with Mr. X and I who were too “busy” staring at the TV in utter exhaustion.

Whenever I run into a wall (figuratively speaking) with entertainment ideas for my kids, I try to think back to those childhood days when life seemed a lot larger, buildings and people were taller, the days, weeks and months went by much more slowly, and the possibilities were endless. I put my feet back into those size 6 toddler shoes and ask, “What would I do if I were 2 years old and was bored with my toys on an ordinary xxxday night?” On this particularly ordinary night, in our unassumingly ordinary house, watching ordinary nighttime TV which replaces our need for thinking or talking out loud, having just eaten another underwhelming ordinary meal, I decided to introduce the Senator to the extraordinary life of imaginative play.

I leapt to the floor and growled at my son. I started with low growl churning up from my stomach, the way one’s cat or dog might moan when they hear a noise outside. I scrunched up my face and clawed at the floor, wide eyed and threatening to charge. The Senator looked at me with a puzzled expression at first, wondering what planet his mommy had just returned from. I clawed the floor again, rolled my head back and “roarrrrrrrred” like a lion and looked him square on in the eye. His expression grew from puzzled to concerned as I let out another roar and began to step forward, still threatening to charge. I cocked my head to the side with another belly growl and waited. I watched as the spark of understanding began to pour over my son’s face, realizing that a game was afoot. Understanding quickly turned to acknowledgment of the rules of engagement as he sank to the floor on all fours, ready to pounce back towards the mommy lion standing before him. We reared up on our hind legs and galloped around the “Saharan Desert” dining table roaring and giggling to our hearts content.

We metamorphasized into jungle snakes and plain rabbits, hopping around the dusty kitchen plains, and then became eagles soaring high above the cloudless living room skies. We spent the better part of an hour imagining that we were animals, airplanes, trains and cars, zooming around the house, laughing until we were so tired that we collapsed into a mother-son ball on the living room carpet, back to the ordinary room where we had begun our evening adventure. My son’s eyes sparkled with joy as well as with a hint of gratitude that his mommy is both willing and joyful to join him on the floor and engage in playtime. My heart grew as I realized that we had just turned an ordinary day into the extraordinary without leaving our home or spending even a penny. This was indeed a day that will live with me for the rest of my life as a reminder that these moments, the kind I forget to photograph or write down in my journal, are the ones that make up a life less ordinary. These are the moments, collectively, that makes my life miraculous and blessed beyond description.


The number of times I have been vomited on in the past 30 days - 6
The number of times I have had to clean up vomit in the past 30 days – 10
The number of times I wiped or suctioned noses clean in the past 7 days – 105
The number of times I have changed a diaper in the past 2 years and 3 months – 1,986
The number of stubbed toes, bruised elbows, head bumps, scratches, my-shirt-is-caught-around-my-face boo-boos that I have kissed in the past 7 days – 25

The number of temperatures I have taken, clothes I have changed, tears I have wiped, medications I have administered, band-aids I have placed…I lost track

The number of times I hear “I love you” each day – PRICELESS

Monday, February 22, 2010

Temperature Monitor

I think that most moms who read this will be able to relate when I say that you really spend the first three months of your children’s lives just trying to keep them alive! You feed them as much as possible, watch them intently to ensure that they are sleeping, eating, burping, pooping, peeing, smiling, crying, suckling and breathing exactly the way the books, and the advice from your mother, your girlfriends, the internet, your coworkers, the woman down the street who’s name your forget but she-raised-four-kids-so-she-must-know-what-she’s-talking-about, and your neighbor’s concrete contractor say they should be! With our first child The Senator, Mr. X and I literally spent the first three weeks just staring at him until 1 in the morning, and then waking every two hours to “make sure that he’s still breathing”! Those of you who have had two or more children are laughing out loud at our utter stupidity, because you now know as I do that we will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN! With our second child we had much less anxiety and decided that our daughter could be in bed with us. That meant that we slept on the very edges of the mattress with her in the middle and spent the majority of the night concerned that we would roll over and crush her in bed until we finally moved her to a bassinet (This was somehow better than having to get up and nurse in the middle of the night).

With two children, I am constantly at battle with the temperature in our home, convinced that they will freeze to death if it is too cold, or sweat to death if it is too hot. (Are you noticing a death theme here? It is really very morose once I say it out loud!) Our house was built in 1925 and has a floor furnace which nicely heats our dining room while leaving all other rooms at varying degrees of cold, and in the summertime, window air conditioners which cool both the dining room and The Senator’s room to perfection, and leave all other rooms at varying degrees of MISERABLE. I have calculated that I spend, on average, a minimum of 6 minutes each day “managing” the temperature gauge in our home. That loosely calculates to 42 minutes per week, 3.033 hours per month, and 36.4 hours per year adjusting the temperature in my home! Over the course of a lifetime if we are to stay in our current home, I could end up spending over 2000 hours or upwards of 12 weeks monitoring temperature in my home! I think we need to invest in central air!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweet Roles

The roles of my lifetime continue to grow with every year. From the more mundane yet somehow fulfilling exercises of certain glamour-less roles that muddle my daily routine such as Temperature Monitor or Recycling Commissioner, to the never-ceases-to-be-extraordinary title of Mommy, my many roles in life seem to compound together like some brilliant chemistry equation in order to conceive this one remarkable (and I say remarkable because I believe that each gift of life is remarkable) life.

A wise friend recently told me that he was struggling with the desire to achieve all of his life-aspirations immediately, when he realized that if he lives his life as an authentic man, a man who is confident in himself and in the integrity that he holds so dear, a man who is true to himself and others, the aspirations of his heart will surely come in time. I too strive to live my life authentically, to be true to myself and to others, and to value each role that I have the honor of playing in this remarkable life that I have been given. I have finally come to understand what my friend already discovered, and this wisdom has empowered me to make a new commitment.

My commitment: I, “Mrs. X” (aka. “Everywoman”, have decided to make a commitment this year to myself, to my first fan who has promised to read my thoughts even if no one else does (Minkey- you know who you are), and to anyone who stumbles upon this blog, that I will document these roles that I play, with the purpose of finally embracing the craft of writing which I hold dear to my heart (I am actually ok if there are no other souls who hold my particular writing dear), of documenting my perspective on a few authentic and most precious moments in life, and to pay homage for the silver lining in every cloud that I see. For in spite of many tireless efforts to try and prove to me that the glass is half empty, I, a Pollyanna-inspired Everywoman, will always believe the glass is half full.

I dedicate my words to my greatest inspirations: My husband, “Mr. X”, My two year old son, “The Senator” (as I fondly named him in the womb for God-only-knows-why), and to my 3 month old daughter, “Parsnip” (also fondly named in the womb after a favorite root vegetable).