Thursday, May 29, 2008

My soon-to-be four year old son has turned the corner

And it’s not the corner I was hoping for. The terrible 2’s that he totally missed, and that his sister started at 18 months, is setting in. But as a soon-to-be four year old, here is what it sounds like:

“You want a piece of me?” Incidentally when I asked him where he heard that, he named some new kid at school. Great!

“You are the worst mommy EVER!” A title I am very proud to hold.

“I’m going to poop on you.” And every thing else that crosses his path.

He says to Jonathan and I, as we try to help him put on his pajamas because you know sometimes it is so painful (and time consuming) to watch. “Stop it, you meddling kids!” He got this one from Scooby Doo. Note to self: This is precisely why some kids are not allowed to watch TV. Some thing to think about.

Though to be fair, I have to say, some times the sweetest things come out of his mouth like, “Mommy, you dress so beautiful.” And thus is how he gets away with all the other stuff. That and those dimples!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother's Day to Remember

And not for any of the reasons you might think. What started off as a wonderful, low key morning, where I slept in until 7:30 (yes, that is sleeping in at our house), and enjoyed coffee with my family while opening some mother's days cards and presents, turned into a mother's day disaster.

After opening my presents we ventured upstairs to get dressed and head out for a special mother's day breakfast at our favorite breakfast spot. The kids needed baths since, well let's just say, it had been a bit too long since their last bath. Sweet Pea insisted on a bath, as opposed to a shower which would have been much easier and faster, but it was mother's day and I did not want to argue with her. So off to the tub she went. When she was done, Jonathan and JJ were getting ready to take a shower. I went into Sweet Pea's room to help her pick out an outfit. (Not that she needs the help, but that never seems to stop her from wanting it.) As I walked into her room, which is right at the top of the steps, I heard running water - LOTS OF RUNNING WATER. And Jonathan had not yet turned on the shower. I froze. All I could get out of my mouth was, "Jonathan, something is wrong down stairs." Jonathan came to the top of the steps, took a moment to listen, and blotted down the steps. In that one moments, I knew the relaxing day I hoped for was not going to happen.

As soon as Jonathan got down stairs he yelled, "I need a plunger! Get the plunger." I ran to the upstairs bathroom and threw the plunger down to him. (I don't know why I didn't bring it to him. I think I was in denial about what I knew was happening but couldn't quite bear to see it.) I then made my way downstairs, and what I saw was water (and other various materials) pouring out of the toilet.

"Turn off the water!" I screamed. Still, water is pouring out of the toilet. "We need to shut off the main water. Do you know how to do that?" I asked Jonathan. "Yes, but we need a plumber NOW." "Yes, I Know. But we first we need to SHUT OFF THE WATER."

We headed down to the basement, where water is pour down from the ceiling right below where the bathroom is. At this point we're not sure if a pipe has burst or if the water is simply seeping through the floor. It is also now clear that sewage is being back up through the pipes out the toilet. I burst it to tears. It was one of those moments I just wanted to cry....and so I did. But I quickly pulled myself together. And by this time, the water had stopped pouring out of the toilet.

We got the phone and called a plumber. We got a recording which included a number to call in the case of an emergency. This was clearly an emergency. Jonathan called the number and got an answering machine. He left a message. Not a good sign.

So now, here we are, not dressed, no running water, and shit all over our floor. Jonathan looked at me and said, "Get the kids. Take them to your parents and I'll deal with this. I don't want you cleaning shit off the floor on mother's day." I think that was one of the nicest things he has ever said to me. Though the truth be told, that's just my husband - he would have never expected me to be the one to clean that kind of mess up. And of course I love him for that.

So off I went with the kids. Jonathan made a couple more calls and got someone at another plumbing company who said they would be out to us within the hour. So, long story short (if it's not too late for that) the plumber got there lickedy split. The problems was, as Jonathan described it to me, the perfect storm. The washer was running, the toilet had been flushes several time, be various people over the course of the morning, and the tub had drained. Those things combined was enough to back up the pipes, which over time had become slightly more clogged and corroded.

By noon, and several hundred dollars later, the problem was fixed, and my house was cleaned and disinfected, thanks to a saint of a plumber and a saint of a husband.

We managed to salvage the rest of day, despite Jonathan and I (particularly Jonathan) being exhausted, though he never complained. We had a lovely mother's day lunch out and casual family dinner with my parents, sister, cousins, etc.


On another note, sort of. I did get an unexpected mother's day gift from my daughter. You know how you have those moments or days even, where you yell because no ones listening and you just completely loose it and practically scream your brains out? (And hopefully this is not just me!) Then after the fact, or sometimes as the words are flying out of your mouth, you wonder if this is the way your kids will remember you? Or if this is the one moment they will remember about their childhood? I have finally received some sign that those moments, that really are few and far between but for some reason feel, to a mother, feel like they will define you forever, will not.

Sweet Pea came home from school Friday with her mother day's gift; a hand sculpted beautiful piece of pottery she made in art class, and the MOST AMAZING card. The teachers had prepared fill-in the blanket cards where the children had to complete several sentences. Here was the card Sweet Pea wrote for me. (Here responses are in bold).

My Mother

My mother is very special! She always sings around the house.
She never has enough time to do what she wants.If my mother could be anyone in the world; she would be a famous singer.
She's as pretty as a rose.
She loves to cook for us.
She hates to yell when we don't listen.
When my mother is happy she plays games with me.
I wish she would play outside with me every day.
One thing I love best about my mom is that she is great!
I wouldn't trade my mom for a piece of pottery.

It brought tears to my eyes. For some reason this card hit a nerve. She gets more than I give her credit for.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Calling all moms of 3, 4 or more....

I need input. How do you decide whether or not to have a third child? I know this is a personal decision - and for some, perhaps simply a product of circumstance, but I'd certainly welcome ANY thoughts or advice.

I am VERY torn about whether or not we should have a third child. On the one hand, I cannot imagine having another child. On the other hand, I cannot imagine NEVER having another child. I'm thirty-five; young enough to be feel like I do not have to be done, but old enough that if we're going to have a third, we'd better get on with it already.

Here is the problem: We are finally at a point where things are easier. I don't have to dress anyone in the morning. We no longer need a stroller when we go to the mall, or travel. Can I really go back? Or rather, do I want to go back? Sometimes I think I do. But then I remember how tired I am ALL THE TIME. Will I have the energy for a third? Will I have the patients for a third? I am not a calm, patient, laid back person. Should people like me have three kids?

And then there's the financial issue - will we really be able to afford to send three kids to college in this day and age, and still live the way we want to live? And should even we make our decision based on this?

Jonathan is another issue. He does not think he wants another child. But his rationale is really more like, "where would the third kid sit in the car." You know, really deep thoughts about the issue. (Not to mention we have an SUV - so it's not like this is really a problem.) I just don't think in his mind he ever pictured a family with three kids. He comes from a family with two kids, and his parents each came from a family with two kids. Same with me. We'd really be breaking the mold. But he knows this is an issue for me and so he is willing to discuss the possibility. And of course any decision we make, I strongly believe needs to be a decision we are both comfortable with.

I love being a mom. I don't want to look back and regret not having a third because I was afraid. But I also want to do what is right for our family. I just don't know what that is.

She's a poet - and I didn't even know it!

Yesterday I took the kids to the playground. I sat on the bench while they skipped around from one structure to the next, because you know, it was HOT. Not that I’m complaining or anything – I’m just saying.

Anyways, Sweet Pea came over to me at one point, and we had the following conversation:

Her: “You know I’m a poet?”

Me: “Really?”

Her: “See like a scientist would look at that tree over there and see leaves. But a poet would look at it and see a big green balloon.”

Me: “Um. That’s very interesting. Do you know what a poet is?”

Her: Silence….(I think she thinks she has just explained it to me and she does not understand why I don’t get it.)

Me: “A poet is someone who writes poems.”

Her: “Well there are two kinds of poets.”

Me: “Ahhhhh.”

And she’s not wrong. I mean, I know what she was trying to say, even if she did not quite put it into words. I thought it was very insightful. It will be so interesting to see what she decides to be when she grows up. She is very creative and artistic – something I am not, but also logical and systematic – which I tend to be. Put the two together and I guess that explains why she’s such a pistol!

JJ missed the conversation. He was too busy telling anyone on the playground who would listen about his super powers. He has already declared he will be Spiderman when he grows up. I wonder if one needs to attend college to become Spiderman? Think of all the money we could save!