Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It Won't Be Like This For Long

One of these days, when there's a movie made about my life -- and I'm in the starring role and Derek Jeter plays himself as my second husband and there are a lot of hot and steamy love scenes *ahem* - the soundtrack of that movie will be made of mostly country music. Not that I don't have a soft spot for gangsta rap and 70's rock but, let's face it, when you need to tell a story . . . you turn to country.

Plus, there are a lot less f-words.

And substantially fewer hoes.

Wow. I've managed to make a sexual innuendo AND used the word "hoes" all in the first few sentences. Classy.

Anyhow.

There is one story-telling country song that just fits this chapter in my life, the one I'm living right now. Darius Rucker's (and, I'm sorry, but he will ALWAYS be Hootie to me) It Won't Be Like This For Long.

I remind myself of that all the time.

When I've just changed two dirty diapers and a tiny voice yells to me from the bathroom, "I needa be WIPED!" When I stub my toe stumbling around in the dark kitchen to make a bottle - for the third time - in the middle of the night. When my not-quite-four-year-old has an attitude that would put a teenage girl to shame and my two-year-old is in full on tantrum mode and the baby wakes up every two hours.

It won't be like this for long.

When my Kykers wraps his arms around me and says, "I yuv you Mommy." When K2 smiles her gummy baby smiles. When Jaybird tells me I'm his best friend.

It won't be like this for long.

It really won't. The time goes by so fast. J is already nearly four and, I swear it, I just gave birth to the boy five minutes ago. The years are zooming right along and I know that I'm going to go to sleep one night and wake up and they'll all be in college.

And I'll be heartbroken. (And just plain broke - three kids in college, hello?).

It won't be like this for long. And that's why I wonder why more parents won't let their kids just be kids.

When we were at the zoo a couple weeks ago, we took a break from all the lions and tigers and bears (oh my) to climb around the playground equipment. The boys were doing typical boy things: running UP the slides, swinging from the monkey bars, running from place to place, yelling and laughing and just having fun. We'd only been there a few minutes when a woman and little boy showed up. The boy looked to be in between J and K1's ages. I would put him at three years old, but on the "just turned three" side. The poor boy - his mother wouldn't just let him be and let him play. She followed him EVERYwhere on the playground equipment. She wasn't playing with him. She was keeping him from actually playing and enjoying himself. J and K1 tried playing with the little boy a couple times and finally just gave up and kept shooting the mom their best "WTF?" looks.

The very next day, we were at the play area in the mall when something similar happened once again. J found a couple of friends -- a little boy and little girl right about his age. J and the little girl were hiding in one of the "tunnels" in the play equipment and every time the boy would run over they would shout, "BOO!" at him. Giggles would ensue and the whole thing would start over again. This went on for a few minutes when the little girl's mother came over. "Macy! STOP YELLING! You are being TOO LOUD." This time, I was the one sporting the "WTF?" look. Because, really? WTF? It's not like they were in a library. No one was being hurt. No one was complaining. And, let's be real, they were shouting "BOO" and giggling. Obviously, this lady hasn't made it a habit of being around three preschoolers because they can - and do - make a helluva lot more noise than that.

Why can't we just let them be, let them have fun? Let them play and be loud every once in a while and giggle with their newfound friends. Why can't we cherish the days when they can run into a play area and, five minutes later, find themselves best friends with someone they've never seen before and will probably never see again? It won't be like this for long. A few years from now, that play area will be a thing of the past and so will the instant-BFF phase that preschoolers are so good at.

I don't get it. I don't understand it. I want my kids to be safe and happy. I want them to be respectful and I don't want them to annoy other people or get on their nerves and I don't want them to be "those Walker kids."

But.

I also want them to live. I want them to enjoy their childhoods, to embrace being small.
I want them to skin their knees and to fall down while they're playing. I want them to get dirty and to play in the rain and make mud pies and have grass stains on the knees of their jeans (just not their good jeans please -- I have to be realistic here!). I want them to climb trees and not worry about falling and breaking an arm. I want them to explore and discover and learn by doing. I don't want them to be afraid or be held back or be so sheltered and so over protected that, all the sudden, they're 18 and can't remember ever hanging upside down from the monkey bars. Or jumping up and down in a mud puddle. Or just being a kid.
 
It won't be like this for long.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Toddler

I originally wrote this back in early '09, when Jaidan was pretty much the same age that Kyan is now.

Back when I thought there was no way possible than any two year old ever in the history of the world could be as, well, two as my Bird.

I learned my lesson.

Oh, I have learned my lesson.

It's why I'm fully expecting Karis to be stealing cars and mugging old ladies once she hits the Terrible Two's.

Anyway, since we've already had a morning. And since I'm thinking I'd rather be working at freakin' Lowes again than be a stay-at-home-mom. And since Kyan woke me up at 7:00 this morning begging for pancakes and then spent 45 minutes yelling, "BUT I DON'T WANNNNN EAT PANNNNNCAAAAAAKES." Since all of that . . . I'm going to share this with you.

I tweaked a few things, but it's mostly the original that I wrote a year and a half ago. Which is why it says "baby brother" rather than "baby sister" and "Wow Wow Wubbzy" instead of "Yo Gabba Gabba." And if I were to write it now it would also include wrasslin' matches with Big Brother. But other than that? Two year olds? They're all pretty much the same.

A Day in the Life of a Two Year Old

Any random Tuesday
1:30 a.m.: Awake from the floor beside your toddler bed that your parents spent three hours, buckets of sweat, four f-bombs, six GD's, at least 13 other "unsavory" words, and a few drops of blood putting together. Take matress off of said bed and prop it against the bed frame. Proceed to "slide" down it while yelling "wheeee" at the top of your lungs.

If this action has not awakened your parents:

Proceed into Mom's bedroom and tap on her forehead while whispering, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" until she wakes up. When she opens one eye and growls, "WHAT?" say somethign totally off the wall. "I scratchy my butt" is a good example.

2:00 a.m.: Climb into bed with Mom. Even though you are significantly smaller, make sure to turn your body in such a way that she has about 6.2 inches of bed. Snore. Loudly.

7:30 a.m.: Wake Mom up by climbing on top of her and pulling her eyelids open. Make sure to shout "Get up, Mommy" at the top of your lungs four or five times.

7:35 a.m.: If Mom is still asleep, go wake your younger brother up. Steal his binkie and stick it in your mouth so that he'll scream and Mom will have to get out of bed.

7:37 a.m.: Mom can't go to the bathroom without you! Hightail it back to her end of the house so you can accompany her to the restroom. Bonus: Ask at least 13 times if she's going "pee pee or poo poo."

8:00 a.m.: Refuse to eat the pancakes you told Mom you wanted for breakfast 15 minutes ago. Demand a poptart instead.

8:22 a.m.: The Backyardigans just went off! Throw a fit and demand Mom bring "Pablo" back. As soon as she hunts down your favorite recorded episode, run to your room and play for the next several minutes.

9:15 a.m.: Ask for a cookie.

9:17 a.m.: Ask for a cookie.

9:18 a.m.: Ask for a cookie

9:19 a.m.: Ask for a cookie

9:20: Climb in the pantry and get the cookies yourself. Stuff two in your mouth before Mom realizes what you've done. Sidenote: Coordinate with baby brother so that he knows to throw a fit at exactly 9:21 a.m. It's important that Mom be sidetracked so that you do not have to serve the full sentence of your timeout.

10:15 a.m.: Physical Fitness Time! Pull all the sheets, comforter, and pillows off Mom's bed. Jump off the bed and into the pile repeatedly.

10:30 a.m.: Climb on Mom's bathroom cabinet. Take the tube of toothpaste and squeeze it all over the sink. Make sure to get some on your hands and rub it all over the mirror.

11:30 a.m.: Convince Mom that the ONLY thing you'll eat for lunch is hotdogs and salt and vinegar chips. Offer her lots of breathy kisses.

12:00 noon: Make Mom kiss Handy Manny, Puppadog, and your stuffed sheep nite-nite a minimum of three times each.

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.: Refuse to nap. Instead, sing "Single Ladies" at the top of your lungs for an hour and half straight.

1:30 p.m.: As soon as Mom gets you up from "nap," demand fruit snacks. Ask for "Spotchapants snacks" (or however *you* happen to pronounce Spongebob Squarepants fruitsnacks) a minimum of EIGHTY BAJILLION TIMES.

1:45 p.m.: Insist on "helping" Mom pour your drink.

2:30: Art class! Find a stray highlighter and/ or Sharpie and continue decorating Mom's mousepad. Get the blue -- you used pink last time.

3:15 - 3:45: Tell Mom you need to go potty at least nine times in this half hour. Once she drops everything and runs you to the bathroom, refuse to go.

4:30: Just in case she really meant it when she said she was going to put up a "free to a good home" ad for you on Craigslist, give Mom a break. Sit and quietly watch Wow Wow Wubzy for the next 22 minutes. Sidenote: This is a good way to get an extra afternoon snack. During the commercial break, climb into the pantry, retrieve a bag of chips, and say "Pleeeeeease, Mommy?"

4:52 p.m.: Baby brother has been down for a nap approxomately 15 minutes. Go wake him up.

5:05 p.m.: Ask to go to Wal-mart.

5:06 p.m.: Ask to go to Target.

5:07 p.m.: Ask to go to Wal-mart.

5:08 p.m.: Ask to go to Target.

5:09 p.m.: Ask to go to Wal-mart.

5:59 p.m.: Tell Mom you're sooooo hungry.

6:00 p.m.: Refuse to eat your dinner.

6:30 - 7:00 p.m.: Bath time! Keep in mind: Your bath is not over until every single square inch of the bathroom is covered in water.

7:30 p.m.: Insist that you want to watch those god awful Wonderpets. Ignore Mom when she mutters things about Ming Ming under her breath.

Bonus: If Mom's favorite show comes on between 7:00 and 8:00, make sure to ride your fire truck repeatedly through the living room at top speed with sirens blaring and you yelling "iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeee!"

7:52 p.m.: Insist on brushing your own teeth. They are not truly clean until you have sparkly blue raspberry toothpaste covering every inch of the sink.

8:00 p.m.: Climb into bed and make Mom bring you your baseball blanket, football blanket, Lightening McQueen blanket, Diego pillow, Handy Manny doll, and every stuffed animal you own. Ask her to kiss each of these things no less than four times each. Bonus: Wear one sock and a backward baseball cap to bed. Double Bonus: Insist on taking a hard, metal toy to bed with you. Triple Bonus: Make Mom give it a nite-nite kiss.

8:02 p.m.: Every time Mom tries to turn the light out yell, "Wait! Just one more kiss!"

8:07 p.m.: Throw just enough of a fit to make Mom feel bad for not giving you the 97th "one more kiss."

8:08 p.m.: Drag your toy box over to the light switch, stand on it, and turn your light on. Begin to play.

8:20 p.m.: Run and dive for your bed when Mom comes to check on you.

** Repeat the previous two steps at least twice. **

8:49 p.m.: Fall asleep in the middle of your toys.