Monday, April 14, 2008

Pre-parenting Statement Retraction #54

Before I was a parent and knew everything- and I especially knew everything about children because I was a school teacher and had been educated about children. And really how much more could having a child teach you than could be learned in a book! I mean I had a college degree and to quote my sister-in-law, "Stupid people have babies all the time!" Anyway in this enlightened phase of mine I had seen parents at various places with young children on "leashes." I was shocked to see this. "How inhumane." "They are treating their children like an animal." "I would never be caught dead with a child of mine on a leash." These were some of my self- righteous thoughts. And I held fast to this position for a long time. Enter child number four and baseball season. Guess what you would see if you came to the baseball diamond on Monday or Wednesday nights during April, May and into June. This:

Okay- so I have had to eat a little bit of humble pie, but it wouldn't be the first time and I can guarantee it won't be the last. But please don't judge me! I was desperate to be able to sit and watch my 9 year old bat at least once during a game. Otherwise I spend the whole game chasing Suzie in and out of all the dug-outs scattered across the fields. Deciding to purchase this "leash" was definitely a battle between my pride and my desire to keep my sanity and as you can see my sanity won out. I was a little self-concious when I walked through the ball park holding onto the tether of the harness that attached to Suzie's backpack, but after watching other mothers struggle with their little ones I came out looking like a genius! And if someone does judge me I have decided one of three things:

a. They don't have any children.


b. They only have 1 or 2 children.


c. They aren't on their 3rd red-headed, willful, stubborn, active, independent girl- who by the way keep getting worse with each subsequent girl. Ummm- could someone please pass me the birth control!

But really I have decided this is a great purchase. She can be self-sustaining by carrying her own treats, sippy cup and diaper in her backpack. Finn even suggested attaching it to a pole like they do dogs. Brilliant! - Just teasing- I tried that and Suzie figured out how to shimmy the tether off the pole. She ain't no dumb bunny! It is funny to observe and hear people's reactions to her. They either smile knowingly or look a bit puzzled or disgusted. Either way-as my sister and I like to say- "They don't have to drive it." The only problem so far is when Katie takes the reins. Katie wants Suzie to come wherever she tries to take her, and funny enough Suzie doesn't always want to go. Welcome to my world, Katie!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book Tag

I've been tagged by Julie and this one is a bit different- a Book Tag. Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages.)
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog.
5. tag 5 people.

The closest book I have to me is "These is my words" by Nancy E. Turner. I have been reading it for Book Club. I was hoping to find a really profound sentence but unfortunately this is what I found:
"Jimmy went to town."

That sentence does not do the book justice. I really like this book. It is just the kind of book I enjoy. It takes a little while to get into and to become attached to the characters, but once you do it is awesome. You have to put in a bit of work to get rewarded. Kind of like a monkey opening a coconut. Where did that analogy come from?!? Anyway here is another quote from the book that really does do the book justice:
"Taking up marriage is a good excuse for taking up cursing, I think."

People tagged:- Michelle, Natalie and J.J., Finn and Amber, Kate and Amy

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Order out of chaos

This past week I had a few days where I wasn't feeling so well, so my mom felt sorry for me and came over to help. She even helped with my spring cleaning and detoxed the fridge. I have mentioned this before, but my mom is honestly amazing when it comes to cleaning. My sister and I talk about this often because when she comes over to watch our children she will frequently have the house all spic and span by the time we get home. It is usually more sparkly clean than I seem to be able to make it. (And this has rubbed off on my dad as well. When he watches our kids, he will also do the dishes or straighten up. Impressive!) Anyway my sister and I have discussed whether my mom can make the house so clean because she doesn't have other things to think about while at our houses -like what to get at the store or what her next post will be on her blog- or if this is truly one of her talents. I believe it is the latter. When I watch her clean, I am in awe at what she accomplishes. She really should teach classes. Even as a child, I don't remember our house being dirty or even cluttered which is quite a feat with 5 kids in 10 years.
A few months ago I was talking with a dear friend who I have known since I was 6 years old, so she grew up around my family. She has wonderful, warm memories of being in my home when she was child. She remembered things that I couldn't even recall. Many of these things were centered around something my mom had done to recognize each of us kids. Things like us all being members of the "Smarty Pants Club" when we got good report cards and having a special dinner to celebrate this. Or whenever we had been away for awhile, there would always be a sign on the garage welcoming us home. Or getting the "Sunshine Room Award" to hang on our doorknob when our room was the cleaniest, which I must admit I got alot! I could go on and on about all the things my mom did for us to make us feel special, but the point I want to make is that as I have become an adult I have realized that not everyone had a mom who did these things for them. Now my mom wasn't perfect, and I know there are many ways to nurture a child and every mom does it differently. But I am so grateful that my mom chose to nurture us in ways that were true to her. I haven't truly come to appreciate the healthy childhood my mom- and dad created for me until recently. Being a mom now, I have come to the conclusion that one of the jobs that a mom has is to create order out of chaos for their children. And unfortunately there is a lot of chaos out in the world. I am constantly trying to do this for my children and I still rely on my mom to do this for me. My mom can especially do this with a messy house and she can do it with a messy heart. And that is a great blessing for me. My only hope is that I can do the same for my children. Because someone did it for me, I have the ability to do it for someone else. So thank you mom. I love you.

This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my mom. It is at my college graduation. If you look closely you can see my dad in between our faces. It is like my dad is saying, "Look at me! I'm pretty too!"