Saturday, February 25, 2012

Team Mom

Whenever I see a kid throwing a tantrum, I always silently thank the mother for taking one for the team.  Like when a 4 year old asks for candy in line at Target and the mom says no and the kid pitches a fit, I think "Well, sorry lady, but thanks.  'Cause at least for today, it's not me."  Or when a toddler throws himself to the floor of the library, taking down a shelf of books with him, crying because all of the Thomas the Tank Engine books are checked out, I say a silent thank you.  Or when I see a mom, sweat forming above her lip as she drags a preschooler to the side of a parking lot, 'cause he's protesting some injustice, like having to zipper his coat in 20 degree weather, I do my best to meet her eye and hope she sees my gratitude.     

Unfortunately, the last time we were at the Franklin Institute, I was on the flip side of the fortune coin.  My kid was the one red-faced and thrashing about, because R made M move to the back of the line in the sports exhibit, rather than allowing him to shove in front of the 5 children waiting behind A, who was taking her turn on the surfboard.  Logically, to a 4 year old, "If my sister is up, it must be my turn next." 
It got so bad, that I had to pick him up and move him out of the exhibit, because kids were stepping over him to get to the surfboard.  I sat him on the floor in the hallway and let him go to town, screaming, banging his fists on his knees, hair wet with hysterical sweat - his sweat.  Not mine.  I remained remarkably, uncharacteristically calm.  And I watched other moms walk into the exhibit, I thought, "I hope you appreciate this, ladies.  I'm taking this one for the team today."

Monday, February 20, 2012

In lieu of flowers, send balloons

We live in what I like to call a "transitional" neighborhood.  The houses are over 60 years old and many of the original owners are still here.  Do the math.  Of our immediate neighbors, we are 3 decades younger than Mcnulty, 4 decades younger than the "Boy Wayne", 5 decades younger than old lady O'hara and 6 decades younger than the Falls.  You read that right.  Mr. and Mrs. Falls are in their 90s!  Well, they were in their 90s.  I mean, Mr. Falls is still in his 90s.  Sadly, Mrs. Falls passed away last week.  And that is what today's post is about.  A woman who I hardly knew.  A woman who I only spoke to twice, since she was sickly and rarely left her home.  Essentially a stranger, who left a big impression on us.

Over the last few months, an ambulance has come to their house and taken Mrs. Falls to the hospital, many times.  The Salad, interested in all emergency vehicles, watched with rapt attention from their hiding spots behind our curtains.  We have some tact here, you know.  2 Wednesdays ago, it happened again.  Then 2 days later, the cars showed up.  Probably 20 of them.  Cars I had never seen before, parked up and down our street.  They stayed for days.  Most of them didn't move at all. 

They had brought Mrs. Falls home and her family had come to see her Home.  They hunkered down in that house for 5 days.  My innocent S, suggested they had brought her home and they were having a party to celebrate.  I didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise.  On Wednesday, when we left the house to take the Salad to school, the cars were gone.  And I knew Mrs. Falls was too.

6 children, 14 grand-children, 3 great grand-children all came to say goodbye.  To an outsider, like myself, it seems a testament to what an amazing mother she must have been.  I told the Salad this morning that S was right.  Her family had come to celebrate Mrs. Falls, but that she had died and gone to be with Jesus.  M said, "This is sad, though.  Why are they celebrating?  And did Mr. Falls go to be with Jesus too?  Who will stay with him so he doesn't get lonely?"  I told them that her family celebrated that she had lived such a long life.  They celebrated because she had given them so many memories.  They celebrated that she had given them each other.

We passed the Falls' house this morning and the Salad lamented the fact that they had no balloons outside of their house for the celebration.  They quickly formulated a plan to decorate their front light post.  I'm hoping they forget, though maybe they are onto something?       

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

True Story

Playgroup went ice skating earlier this month. I was a little nervous about taking them myself. Lacing up all those tiny skates. Only having 2 hands that need to hold 6 hands. Turns out, I shouldn't have worried so much.

True, A cried as soon as her skates hit the ice. True, I had no idea why. True, the crying went on for 9 minutes. True, nothing I said or did helped. True, a strange man told me to put her in the penalty box. True, I daydreamed about tripping said strange man for the next 30 minutes.

But it's also true that M and S took off without me and never looked back.
Ugh, sometimes the truth hurts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Looking for Inner Peace

Last Monday, I was ill-equipped to catch the everyday crap that 3 almost 5 year olds can sling at you. I was a grumpy mommy. So grumpy that I threw a makeup case to the floor of the car. A told me I should never throw things out of frustration.

Noted. Way ahead of you.

In the interest of full disclosure, we were in the parking lot of the library, waiting to go into a preschool yoga class.

Friday, February 3, 2012

So pretty?

S is quite beautiful.  Straight blond hair, blue eyes, button nose, pink lips always in a smile.  Don't take my word for it though.  Just look . . . .

Wait.  Sorry.  Wrong picture.

Here we go.  That's better.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pre-K Pride

Several weeks ago, the Salad's school had parent/teacher conferences.  We got good reviews on all 3, though with a mention that Ms. Robyn still finds S staring longingly at the picture of R and I that she keeps in her back pack and tells her that "she likes school, but she'd rather be at home with Mommy."

I mentioned to Ms. Robyn my only concern was that I have heard from A that there are several little girls who are very exclusionary in their play.  They will only let 3 girls play.  No boys allowed.  You can't play with us today kind of play. 

We have a strict "You can't say you can't play" rule in our house.  Everyone who wants to play, gets to play.  If there is an argument about what to play, I still give them words to find a compromise.  When A comes home telling me these stories, we play act what she should say the next time. 

This hard, awkward work seems to be paying off, because Ms. Robyn paid R and I the highest compliment.  She said she knew just who the girls were.  She said they have been working with the whole class on "filling up each other's hearts."  She said she was particularly sad that A felt that way, because she uses A as an example to the other kids.  She told us that A uses the right words, "compromise" and "include".  That she's a positive leader in the class.

I couldn't have been more proud. 

Keep up the good work, sweet girl.