Tag Archives: kids

Our Christmas List is Growing Up

I’ve been working on Christmas since last Christmas. No, I don’t put my tree up the day after Halloween, or even the day after Thanksgiving. I’m working on the gifts.

A couple years ago, we started doing our shopping the day after Christmas. It might make it sound like a drawn-out, stressful thing, but it has a lot of advantages. It lets us peruse through clearance sales, buying nicer items than we might normally be able to afford. If I want to do some handmade items (and I usually do), I actually have the time to enjoy making them. We also get to slow down and pick out gifts that are meaningful, instead of just, “Oh, crap. I don’t know what to get you. Here’s some lotion.”

I sat down this evening to look over our Christmas list and I realized something: My kids are growing up. The careful lists I keep (coded for what has yet to be bought, what has already been bought, and what has been wrapped) used to be full of dolls, blocks, and other random toys. My kids still have some toys on their lists, but they’re swiftly moving away from the primary-colored plastic Mega blocks and toward finely painted Schleich figurines. More and more gifts are electronics, or accessories for them. My oldest daughter (who is nine) has items on her lists like earrings, a knife, and new boots. Yep, she’s a replica of myself at that age, but it’s strange to see it happening to someone else.

I admit that in some ways it makes me yearn for their younger years. You know, when they didn’t talk back, argue about when they take their showers or what they watch on television, or bring home a surprising amount of drama from school. I can’t help but miss their more innocent days.

On the other hand, it is so awesome that they are finally a bit independent! They are absolutely brilliant (my six-year-old has a gargantuan vocabulary!), and I can have meaningful conversations with them. As far as the Christmas gifts go, it’s nice to know that if I buy them a $30 gift, it’s probably going to last them a few years instead of getting shoved under the bed and forgotten in six months. I think it is so awesome that my nine-year-old wants a pocket knife and is interested in going deer hunting.

As I watch my children and their Christmas lists evolve, it’s nice to reminisce about my tiny babies while I share deep thoughts with my about-to-be-big kids. I’ll go buy the boots that are almost big enough to fit me, and the chapter books that nobody wants to have read aloud to them. And I’ll enjoy it just as much as I always have.

My Christmas Wish List on an old typewriter

 

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November 19, 2015 · 9:22 pm

The Big Red Button of Life

I did it.  I pushed it.  Twice.

How could I help myself?  It’s round, and red, and says, ‘Do Not Push on Pain of Parenthood’.  But once you push it, you can’t go back on it.  You’ve created something that you can’t stop and you can’t control.  That’s a pretty powerful force.

They will grow up, fall in love, get their hearts broken, fall in love again, go to college, get jobs, get married, and probably push that big red button themselves.

There will be so many other things about their lives that I can’t control, such as who they like, who they hang out with, and what they hear and see when they aren’t with me.  Sometimes even when they are with me.

It’s best that I accept this indomitable force right now instead of wondering, later on down the road, just how it all happened.

So good luck, kids.  You’re going to need it, especially if you ever push that big red button.

Big red button

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The Progression of Public Pottying

As a mother of three, I feel like every time we go out in public I spend a great percentage of the time in the bathroom.  No, I don’t mean for myself.  It doesn’t matter that we make the kids try to go potty before we leave the house, or that they had just gone at the last store we were at.  There is always at least one child that absolutely must go to the bathroom, and take their sweet time.  Public pottying with children comes in stages:

Stage 1:  Babies in diapers present an entire bathroom problem of their own.  This is the stage when you realize that you frequent stores and restaurants that DO NOT have baby changing tables in the restroom.

Stage 2:  Toddlers in Pullups are an interesting challenge.  Sometimes they let you know they need to go to the bathroom, and you’re so excited that you don’t mind your steak is getting cold.  Other times, they don’t tell you, and you are stuck trying to figure out how to get them changed when they refuse to lay down on a changing table that they barely fit on anyway.

Stage 3:  Once fully potty trained, a young child is obligated to visit every single public restroom within throwing distance.  Every.  Single.  One.

Stage 4:  The widely-traveled tot decides they don’t want you coming in the stall with them anymore.  This leaves you standing outside the stall and wondering just what the hell is going on in there that takes so long.

So new parents beware!  Ditching the diapers is only a gateway into future bathroom hell.

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photo courtesty of freedigitalphotos.net, by nuttakit

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February 10, 2014 · 8:26 pm

“I just need you.”

My attention was split between my laptop and a late night cable showing of Ghostbusters 2 when I heard the squeak of the door. At first I thought it was the cats, because they like to play around the bathroom door, but a few short seconds later I could see the figure of Violet stumbling toward me in the dimness.
“What’s the matter, baby?”
She said nothing, with her bleary not-really-awake eyes and a good size frown on her face. She just kept walking towards me.
“What do you need? What’s wrong?”
“I just need you.”
She piled herself on my lap, curling up and burying her face in my neck. She said she hadn’t had any nightmares, she was feeling okay, nothing was wrong.
“I just need you.”
My work was calling to me (I can’t ever seem to get caught up) but the weight of this child on my lap was calling me more. My mind drifted to beautiful spring days seven years ago, when a newborn baby girl and I would snuggle up on the couch. She would lay on my legs and we would play and watch TV. Sometimes she would fall asleep and I would read a book with the weight of the sleeping baby on my legs, warm and soft and perfect.
That was my paradise, in days when everything was happy and wonderful. The random and necessary course of life took a lot of that paradise away from me, but I got a little bit of it back tonight.

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Filed under Family, Parenting

November Tidings

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Happy November!

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Filed under Holidays, Parenting