Friday, August 26, 2011

Off to School

 I love fall.  The changing leaves, cooler temperatures, apples, pumpkins, clean notebooks and pencils all inspire me to make of a fresh start.  I still think of the year in terms of the school calendar.  That may be because my super-smart husband is entering his seventh (and final!) year of graduate school before entering an academic profession.

The school year took on a whole new meaning for me as of yesterday.  I dropped my first-born baby off for her very first day of school.  I swear we brought her home from the hospital just yesterday.  How did this happen?  Samuel must have sensed by neediness and compensated by insisting I rock him to sleep for his nap.  With no toddler holding his foot to her chest because, "his foot is my baby and I hug and kiss it" causing Samuel to squirm and giggle and fight sleep, he drifted off in no time.

As for Eleanora, she had a wonderful morning.  After some initial nervous clinging and crying, she got right down to the business of playing with all-natural toys, baking bread, listening to stories with handcrafted puppets, and playing outside (oh how I love you, Waldorf).  When I arrived to pick her up, she noticed me, then turned back to her circle of friends to calmly explain, "that's my Momma".  Way to play it cool, my dear.

"Lambie" was a mandatory companion for school today

Today was a much tougher morning.  From her first bite of pink pancakes (pureed beets + ricotta cheese = delicious and little girl friendly), she explained that "you stay at school with me today Momma, ok?".  Drop off was rough, rough, rough and left me standing outside her classroom door hiding tears behind my sunglasses listening to screams of, "Mooooomaaaaa!".  I forced myself to the car, while clinging to Samuel a little too tightly, and called Ben to convince me not to run back in and take her home.  

As tough as it is to be apart from Eleanora, it is such a gift to have the chance to miss her.  And as much as sweet Sammy loves his big sister, the one-on-one Momma time is so good for him too.  He is already vocalizing more, or maybe I just can hear him better in the quiet? 

I know that school will be good for Eleanora, good for Samuel, and good for all of us.  But right now, I'm counting the minutes until I scoop up my precious girl and bring her home.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Loving Touch

It's not easy being the little brother.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sloppy Kisses

I often get caught up in the next thing.  Dreaming about our next house (and its green lush lawn), the ten thousand homemade lovelies I long to have the time and talent to create, planning details for the next big event.  I struggle to be perfectly content in the moment and be fully present in the precious fleeting childhood of my littles.  Why?  Why do I struggle to quiet my racing mind and just be?  To be fully engaged, to be fully present, to be fully available.

As a wise and wonderful friend admitted years ago, no one tells you that a lot of motherhood is boring.   

It's true the joys are endless, but sometimes the days feel endless too.

The first 5 times we read a new library book are fun, but reading number 2,876?  Boring.  Playing cars for billionth time?  Mind numbing.  Building the same exact tower of blocks again and again and again just to be knocked over?  Snooze fest.  I can feel myself checking out mentally.  I go to another place as my eyes glaze over and my body goes into autopilot.

Another lovely Momma friend and I have founded an "Anti-Apathy" support group.  We are bound and determined to fight the boredom and be engaged and fully present mothers.  Oh, but how I fail.  Time and again I fail.

The best way to bring me back?  A dose of the same medicine that caused my condition.  My sweet littles.  Yesterday, I lay on the floor in a stupor of exhaustion, boredom and frustration.  Samuel was busy crawling over, on and around me, content to have a personal jungle gym.  I was staring at the ceiling noting the strange shape of a lizard in the plaster while mentally counting the hours until bedtime.  Suddenly, a wet, open mouth was pressed against mine in a fit of giggles.  I snapped back to the land of the living and realized I was just given my first, uninitiated kiss by my little boy.  He pulled back, smiled at me, and kissed me over and over and over, both of us giggling all the while.  

Boring?  Not a bit.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fluid Count

In the last 24 hours, I have cleaned the following...

As in "Momma, I made water in the potty", only this time it was in two other hard-to-clean locations.  Oh if only it were just water, my dear.

Dubbed correctly by a very descriptive Eleanora.  Take my word for it, cloth diapers + diarrhea = doubly disgusting disaster

Bad news is he had just finished his bottle.  Good news is more landed on me than on the carpet.

This all accounts for SIX baths, mountains of laundry (thank you Lord for washable slipcovers), and one tired Momma.

It's a good thing they're so darn cute.

Lipstick?  Don't mind if I do.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It was just one of those mornings after one of those nights.

Thunderstorms, torrential rains and a leaky diaper made our usually peaceful sleeper restless.

Morning brings the need for bedding to be washed.  A little girl with shockingly strong lungs is having a tantrum because beloved blankie has disappeared into the washing machine.  She is equally angry to be taking a very necessary shower.  All this while a fussy baby is crying for his nap.  I think back wistfully to the days my college roommate and I had a "no talking before coffee" policy.

I wrap the yelling, kicking child up in a towel and send her off with a stern warning to be quiet while I lay down the baby.  Later, I tiptoe out of the nursery and close the door behind me.  I steel myself for another battle with a decidedly stubborn two year old.  But as I turn the corner I see that the angry, screaming child is gone. Instead, my sweet girl is sitting cross-legged on the floor with a newly discovered library book in hand.

Read it to me, Momma?  Please?

I wrap the towel tighter around her bony little body and pull her onto my lap.  She turns, gives me a kiss and says,

Momma, you the best whole world.

With that, I am slayed.