Friday, August 15, 2008

who me?

A funny thing happened to me yesterday.

The boys and I were at the library checking out the latest Skippyjon Jones book and while they were being good they were also being themselves. Dash-1 was rambling about something and dash-2 was struggling to break free. I was not born yesterday so I held tight to him.

The librarian, who herself was a grandmother to a little one dash-2's age said how cute they were. I agreed and said what great little boys they were, thought I did admit that some days they ran circles around me and could be far less then ideal.

She just looked at me and I thought, Oh shit, I don't think she has a sense of humor.

I was wrong.

She smiled and said and I will quote it for accuracy, "I wish my daughter could see you."

Me? Hmmm... library was empty, no one else that could have been directed too.

Let me recap, yesterday was wicked humid, so my hair was a giant frizz ball, turns out I had a cheerio (oh who are we kidding it was a Toastieo) stuck to my butt, and my struggling child in my arms who at one point pulled the v-neck on my shirt awwwwfuly low.

I asked if her daughter needed a laugh.

Apparently her daughter is uptight about parenting. And she wanted her to see that everyone struggles, no child is perfect, but you need to have the right attitude.

Ah well attitude. That flows freely around here!

I told her that I've been actively working to change my expectations about my kids and parenting altogether. Perhaps that's a crappy thing to have to do but I think its been so important and so far has made a change.

I need to remember the age of my kids, I need to remember the spunk of my kids, I need to remember that it is my job to raise them up fostering independence and strong will but also equally important to raise them to be respectful and mindful of others.

That's quite a task. This could take days and weeks, though I'm told most likely YEARS.

When dash-1 isn't listening, he's not the only three year old not to do so. He's not doing so as some great conspiracy against my sanity (however much it might feel like it at the time). When I ask him to stop playing in the pool he isn't always going to jump right out, come on over, and offer to take the bags to the car.

He's three. He's a boy. He's his fathers child (all right and mine). That sums it up.

Same goes for dash-2. He's at that very tough stage. 20 mths, searching for freedom and independence but not really able to handle any. He just wants to strike out on his own and take on the world. He's very clearly not ready. He wants to walk in the store and doesn't want to hold hands, doesn't want to stay with the pack, just wants to run and laugh. I shouldn't take this personally. When he has to sit in the cart and cries and screams and people look at me like I am a horrible mother, this too shall pass. Surely there is another mother going thru this. Somewhere.

When I see the other mom's put together and their kids oh so well behaved I've been trying to remember that sometimes, to someone else that's me. Just like there are not so great days, there are days when everything flows and motherhood is a breeze. Ok motherhood isn't really ever a breeze per say but you get the point.

Motherhood is no doubt a wild ride, full of bumps, ups and downs, but if I can relax and learn to just go with the flow a little more I think I'll get more from it.

That and maybe I'll sweat less and my hair wont frizz so much.


  1. I agree with the librarian! You have a great attitude and perspective. That is why I am an avid reader of yours: helps me get my perspective (or what I hope it will be) early.

  2. Yep. I think that is spot-on. From my perspective you do a marvelous job. You are actively thinking about what parenting is and how you do it. I might see you in the grocery store with dash-2 screaming away and dash-1 only slightly corralled and feel your pain--but I wouldn't be thinking what I sometimes do--"man, there really should be a license for having kids, that person shouldn't have."

    On the other hand, the frizzy hair? Probably not gonna go away ;)

  3. It's all I can do to remember to put my shirt on the right way some days...or to actually get a shower before my hubby gets home. Yeah, I do spend time on the computer (time well wasted, I assure you!), but I am busy doing all the mommy things as well as the housewife things and trying to build a career (well, mostly editing the photos I take to eventually build a portfolio which will hopefully eventually build my career).

    But you are right on the money when you say that we have to foster not only independence and strong will but respect. And we have to teach them to respect themselves and have a good sense of self-esteem. It's hard, but it's SO worth it.

    (and you've hit upon another series of books my kids love, the Skippyjon Jones books!)

  4. I don't think that librarian was feeding you a line at all. I love reading your blog because it reminds me that boys will be boys and that sometimes we make mistakes as parents. You do a wonderful job :)

  5. love your perspective friend.

    so very true.

    not easy to remember at times.

    but still correct :)

  6. Motherhood is a constant test of our abilities....most of the time we get it are getting it right. Some days I wonder if my children at 17, 15 and 10 will remember the days I got it wrong...

    But children love you no matter what and your boys have a great mother, even if you have a frizz ball for hair... :D

    Have a great Friday, it is Friday, right?

  7. That is such a wonderful attitude to have about parenting. I wish more people felt the same way- we'd have a lot more happy kids (and parents!) out there.

  8. Your 3 year old doesn't listen? Imagine that! My 3 year old never listens either! (well, not as much as I'd like him too)

    You're right, we have to keep in mind that they're just kids- not mini adult robots. I honestly think I'd feel something was wrong if they behaved perfectly all the time. As if their spirits were broken or something :(

    Thanks for reminding me to appreciate them just the way they are in the here and now.

  9. Good luck with the hair frizz! My hair was nice in Montana, but the rest of my body didn't like the lack of humidity so much.

    It IS nice to hear those positive comments about our parenting occasionally! Unfortunately I seem to drown those positive voices out with all of the negative ones in my head...

    You've got a great perspective on parenting...keep up the good work!

  10. What a great kudo from the librarian! You are doing an awesome job and I have a whole head of frizz, so if you figure out how to cure it, please let me know!

  11. Thats some really good thoughts. I need to remember what your saying about your three year old as mine seems to be going through the same things and I get impateient and mad sometimes especially when I ahve cereal on my butt


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