My Personal Deprecation

This morning we had a wonderful experience with Davey. I have to admit the kid continues to surprise me and he NEVER ceases to amaze me. Today was no different.

While scrambling up a couple of eggs for Davey, he stood at the fridge where we keep his magnetic letters. I’ve worked hard with him to learn his alphabet, to recognize the letters, to say the letters, even if he doesn’t say them all in order yet. At one point, he started doing what I call “droning”, or perhaps it was just me. You see, we’ve become accustomed to him constantly “talking”; however, we don’t always know what he’s saying. I figured this morning was the same or maybe he was just talking to himself, something else he seems to do. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that it dawned on me what he was doing. He was pulling the letters off of the fridge and saying what the were. I was thrilled! I was so ecstatic that of course I called my husband.

My husband was so proud of Davey, even listening to him as he told his daddy over the phone what letters he was holding up. Of course, my husband had to just trust that Davey was picking the correct letters since he couldn’t see him. I was so excited I had to call another family member and tell that person as well. Before I go further, I’m not going to name that family member here. I don’t want to air out my or I should say “our” dirty laundry.

The family member picked up the phone after a couple of rings and I told them what Davey had just done. The response was far from the level of excitement I was hoping for. Maybe Davey’s behind at this point, but for 22 months, I think he’s doing very well being able to say his letters as well as recognize them.

I prodded and tried to encourage the family member by explaining that Davey is only 22 months old and wasn’t this just wonderful? The family member tells me that Davey is a busy body and that’s why he’s learning so much. Of course, I wanted to toot my own horn just a bit since I work with him relentlessly on a daily basis. My response, “Well, don’t give me any credit for it.” The family member’s response, “Hmmm. OK.”

Naturally, I’ve hit a downward spiral since the conversation this morning. I’m back to doing what I do best, self deprecation. Am I not doing a good enough job? Am I doing more damage than good by staying home with Davey? I’m really starting to think I am and it really saddens me because it makes me feel like I’m a failure.

There are a lot of other stay at home moms out there and I can’t help but wonder, are you guys in the same boat as me? Are you constantly feeling ridiculed by family members, feeling that you’re inadequate or that you just aren’t doing a good job? And if you are, what do you do? Wanna know what I did? I put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on for my son and then came upstairs and cried.

I suppose I should just say “screw you” to that family member (which I would never be able to do) and be proud of my son. And I am proud of him. I’m very proud of him, I just can’t help but wonder sometimes if he could be more without me, do more without me. Am I holding him back?

It’s just another day in being a mother and maybe I’m weak for letting this family member get to me. I’ll bounce back, but I’ll still constantly wonder if I’m really doing a good job. I suppose that comes along with motherhood or maybe just my personality in general because even if I was a working mother, I’m sure I would be doubting myself and my choices.

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Kiss

I don’t think I’ve really understood the magically powers of a kiss. At the risk of sounding slutty, I’ve had my share of kisses in life. I can still remember my first kiss and how terrifying and awkward it was. I can recall my first “true love” kiss and how my entire body seemed to tingle. Then of course there was “The Kiss”, the one I shared with my husband when we were pronounced husband and wife. That kiss has been the most phenomenal one to date, but I suppose it’s the kisses I receive from a three foot little boy who calls me “mama” that really just sets my entire body on edge.

Kisses with my husband have always been wonderful. They’ve been passionate and powerful, sweet and doting, and even angry. Kisses with Davey can basically be summed up as little gifts from heaven, far greater than what I’ve ever experienced before. A kiss, to a child, means something much more than what it ever could mean to an adult.

I love how he randomly walks over to me and says, “kiss, mama”, while closing his eyes and puckering up. When he falls, he runs over to me, and with his crocodile tears, says, “kiss, mama.” He holds up wherever his boo boo may be and once it’s been kissed, I get an “all better, mama”.

Each morning, when he wakes he has to offer up a kiss, not just to me and his daddy, but also to our dog, Dixie. It’s endearing and melts my heart. To him, a kiss fixes everything and just makes the whole world better. Too bad that’s really not true. If a simple kiss could fix the problems of this world, then imagine the possibilities. To my baby, it IS as simple as that.

A kiss heals a boo boo or scrape. A kiss starts the morning out right. A kiss makes it easier to sleep at night. A kiss before leaving says, “be safe”. A kiss in the middle of the day says, “just because.” A kiss is the most phenomenal gift given especially when it comes from your child.

I count my blessings every day. I’m fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to experience this little treasure. As a matter of fact, kisses from Davey have even influenced the kisses my husband and I share with each other. We’re a little bit slower about it, a little bit more deliberate, and actually realize the true meaning behind our kisses. I thank my son for that.

And if it’s a Girl…

Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

I’m not so sure about that, after all I am a girl and while that may be quite the cute little poem, little girls aren’t necessarily made up of everything nice. Ok, well, they may start out that way.

Yesterday, my husband and I were pontificating about if we had a little girl. I don’t know that my husband really has an opinion or a vision as to what our daughter may or may not be, but mine’s pretty strong especially considering how lately my parents enjoy telling stories about me.

I admit it, I have this innate fear that my daughter will turn out to be the exact replica of me, perhaps ten times worse. I can only pray she’s my opposite, at least in personality, because the looks department doesn’t worry me quite so much. You’ve seen pictures of Davey, after all, he’s quite the handsome little kid.

Will she be as manipulative as me? I was the type, especially as a teenager, who found ways to play my parents against each other. I quickly learned out who to go to and when, in order to get what I wanted and in most cases, if I timed it right my parents were completely oblivious to my shenanigans. Suppose I’ll be smarter than that, especially since I know the tricks? Maybe.

I knew my daddy’s strengths and weaknesses. I played on the fact that he called me his “gal”. I called him “daddy” in my sweet, Southern girl voice and it would melt my daddy especially if I needed money. I could get almost any amount I wanted out of him. As for the dating and curfew? Forget that! I didn’t stand a chance with him.

As for my mother, one would think since she grew up with most anything she wanted, she would be free with giving out things. Not the case. She would; however, let me have a later curfew and smooth things over with Daddy when I wanted to start dating, which by the way wasn’t allowed until I was 16. So, I would go to one for the money and then the other for the later curfew. It was easy.

What wasn’t easy was my teenage years. I was awkward and yet eager to fit in. I was a highly intelligent kid, but I didn’t put forth the effort in school because I was more interested in finding ways to fit in with the popular crowd or to hang out with my friends. Looking back, I certainly regret that. I wished I’d been more focused on my schoolwork. Perhaps my husband and I still wouldn’t be paying back my student loans if that were the case!

But, if it’s a girl, which we find out on Wednesday, I know I will love her all the same. Admittedly, I’m terrified at the prospect of raising a daughter. I LOATHE the color pink. I hate tutus and bows. The poor girl will likely have “bowl” cuts her entire life, since I’m not exactly capable of styling hair. I won’t be able to take her to her version of New Kids on the Block concerts because I’m not able to handle the screaming hormones now, I definitely won’t be able to when I’m 53. And then there’s the whole “dating” fiasco as she becomes older. It terrifies the #$@^ out of me!

It will all work out in the end, I know it will. But, pray for me (well, more so for my husband!), if we have a little girl just like me. It may be the end of the world as we know it.

Baby 2.0 Being Jipped?

My husband actually brought this up two days ago. It’s very rare to receive a phone call from him during the day unless it’s an emergency or he’s coming home early. So, when my phone rang at 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon, I thought “uh oh, something’s happened and it ain’t good.”

“Hello,” I say a bit perturbed. I was actually considering taking a nap when he called, so I really didn’t want to talk.

“I was thinking,” he says quietly. “I think we’re jipping this new baby.”

Great! Was the thought that came to my mind. He’s been reading and has thought of some ridiculous and trendy way to already begin coddling this new baby. He’s going to want me to do something absurd.

“We’re not jipping the new baby,” I retorted.

“At this point in your pregnancy with Davey, we were already letting him listen to music through headphones on your belly and we were reading to him. We haven’t done any of that.”

As much as I hate to admit when my husband is right, he is right in this instance. So, it really got me to thinking. Is it because the “newness” doesn’t exist with this baby or are we just really being much too lazy?

I’ve blogged about this in the past. The whole not going overboard with Version 2.0. I don’t have a room for this baby right now (I don’t need it, but Davey already had a room at this point). I haven’t really been speaking to this one like I did with Davey. I’ve actually relished the fact that people have been unable to tell I was pregnant this time around, whereas with Davey I wanted to start showing IMMEDIATELY.

I don’t think there are in repercussions to this baby as of yet, even though I did tell Davey shortly after I found out I was pregnant with Version 2.0 that he needn’t worry about the new baby, because he would always be my favorite. Gah! What was I thinking!?!?!?! What if Version 2.0 heard that? Not to worry, I’ve quickly amended myself since then.

In an effort to show Version 2.0 that he/she is just as loved as Davey and worth every ounce of effort, I’ve started multitasking (more so than usual) and finding ways to give Version 2.0 the same amount of love even in the womb.

Davey can’t exactly read right now, but he has a few favorite books that he already knows the words to. So, I’m encouraging him to help mommy read to the baby. It’s actually quite endearing and sweet to watch him get on his hands and knees while on the couch and look at my belly and talk. When Davey goes down for his naps in the afternoon, I’ve begun taking my iPod with classical music and putting the headset on my belly. It was actually quite relaxing for me today and I think I had the best nap I’ve had to date.

Last night, my husband rubbed my belly before bed and for the first time during the pregnancy, talked to Version 2.0 and said “good night”. I’ve even dug up the old Dr. Seuss book, “Baby, Oh Baby, The Places You’ll Go” (which my husband read EVERY night before bed to Davey while he was still in my womb) and have it prepped for tonight.

Don’t worry, Version 2.0! You’re just as loved as your big brother and you’re daddy and I are going to start showing it!

Truth…Straight from a Child’s Mouth

Last night I was given a little piece of wisdom or maybe it was insight. It came from someone who’s been around long enough to really observe and understand the inner workings of a child. I was told that you’ll learn more about a parent directly from the child as opposed to either hearing it from the parent or watching the parent. I reflected on that statement for a moment especially in light of what one child in my Vacation Bible School class said to me, and it had me thinking…I wonder what my child really thinks about me?

For those of you unaware, I am teaching 4th grade girls this year at my church’s Vacation Bible School. It’s been an awakening for me especially since I don’t have much experience working with young girls. It’s actually made me secretly (not so secretly now that I’m sharing it with you all) hope that this baby I’m carrying is indeed a little boy. Little girls are a lot more talkative than their gender counterparts. Even at the ages of 8 or 9, they seem to be willing to gossip, to share insight, and apparently the truth.

The first night of VBS, I informed the girls I was pregnant. They were all super sweet and said they couldn’t tell (I attribute this to my genetic makeup) and that I looked really pretty. In light of what was said to me last night; however, I’m unsure if I’m really being told the truth.

As the girls arrived last night and I took my seat alongside them on the floor, one of the little girls said to me that she still couldn’t believe I was pregnant. I asked her why. She said it was because I was able to sit on the floor, and play games in the gym, and walk around with all of them. I just smiled at her as she continued on to tell me that when her mother was pregnant she didn’t do anything but lie on the couch all day. OK. I explained that I take naps in the afternoon, but she still insisted that her mother was in the little girl’s words, “lazy”.

I had another little girl tell me that her mother didn’t have any worries. The “worry” comment stemmed from last night’s Bible verse. I asked her why she thought her mother didn’t have any worries and she said her mother was responsible. I said that’s great, but most mother’s have worries especially when it comes to their kids. She quickly retorted with a “no” because her mom let’s her walk down the street by herself where cars could run over her (her words not mine). OK.

As the girls played their games in the gym, I sat alongside one of our older churchmembers, a father and grandfather himself. I relayed the stories from the girls to him and he chuckled. That’s when he said, “you learn more about a child’s parents from the child than you do the parents.”

Hmmm….That had me thinking all night and even into this morning, hence the reason for the blog. I wonder what my child thinks about me. I wonder what he “sees” in our day-to-day activities. I wonder what he’ll say about me when he’s able to coherently form sentences. It’s actually placed me on my toes. I can only imagine the things that will be said about me one day and what sort of liberties will be taken with the truth.

I certainly hope that one day Davey will talk about how I cleaned up after him or took care of him when he was sick, not that I put him in front of the television so that I could have a few minutes to myself. I hope that he tells the stories about how I sat and read to him daily and not about the fact that I told him I was going to lock him in the coat closet if he misbehaved. I hope that he tells people that I was pretty when I was pregnant with his sibling and not a fat cow who moaned and groaned.

Only time will tell what sort of “truth” spouts from my son’s mouth and let’s not even think about the second one on the way.

Shout Out to all My Fellow Stay at Home Moms!

I spent a lot of my spare time perusing through Flipboard. I had more spare time when my son was an infant and I was nursing him. These days, I’m just trying to keep him from climbing on the roof and sky diving off into his wading pool, so needless to say my spare time is waning. I did; however, stumble across this little blog post during a spare five minutes I had yesterday and I felt the need to share it with all of my fellow stay at home moms out there.

If you’re a SAHM, you’ll probably be shouting “AMEN” to most if not all of these. If you’re not, I still think you’ll feel some empathy. Here’s a little hint of the blog post and the actual link. Enjoy and AMEN!

http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.camppatton.com%2F2013%2F06%2Fyou-know-youre-stay-at-home-mom-when.html%3Futm_source%3Dfeedburner%26amp%3Butm_medium%3Dfeed%26amp%3Butm_campaign%3DFeed%253A%2Bblogspot%252FwZMyj%2B%2528Camp%2BPatton%2529&_back=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogher.com%2Fsnippets%2Fyou-know-youre-stay-home-mom-when

It’s summer and the livin’s easy, right? Mmmmm … sure but no. The kids wake up with the sun (4:58 am) despite your best efforts to seal their windows with 89 layers of 30 gallon black garbage bags and duct tape. You feel guilty if you’re not outside enjoying the sun and shine but the second you get outside someone’s wet and dirty swim diaper needs to be changed and you’re positive the garden-happy neighbor is going to call the cops if he hears one more of the kids’ scream fights over who gets control of the hose aka control of the fun. The kids don’t understand why “bedtime” happens during daylight because according to the sun 8pm = 4:30pm and they fight you. They fight you hard.

So. You know you’re a stay at home mom (etc!) WHEN …

1. You get your 2-year-old dressed before noon and she asks “um, where we going?!”

2. You’re positive your husband didn’t hear you when you said, “the baby finally cut that tooth” …

I’ve started following Camp Patton! You should as well!

Patience, Young Grasshoppers

I’ve said it over and over…I’m not a patient person. I knew motherhood would be a test since patience was never one of my virtues, nor did I ever strive to attain any. What was the point? Well, there is a point to it especially when you become a mother. That point being, if you don’t develop it quickly you’ll go insane.

One of the things that has really bugged me about my son is the fact that he seems to be a little late in the talking arena. I feel he’s late, but everyone else says he’s right on schedule. “Right on schedule” doesn’t exist in my lexicon. You’re either early or your late. There’s no in between. So, basically, he’s late. And of course, add to it the fact that I’m an overachiever and competitive by nature, then my poor son doesn’t stand a chance. Or at least he used to no longer stand a chance.

I’ve begun to adopt a level of patience especially since I’ve become a mother. And what I’ve found is that the patience has paid off.

Davey is picking up so many words every day, words that seem ridiculously impossible for a child to say, words like “octopus”. He’s putting words together and creating sentences like, “Mama, I see Dada pee.” I completely astounded every day at the level his brain is expanding. On a side note, it would be super awesome if he’d learn to say “mimi”, at least for my mother’s benefit!

These days, I’m no longer concerned about how quickly he’s speaking especially in comparison to other children. These days, I’m actually a little bit jealous of the moms of those children who aren’t speaking a lot. They’re getting peace and quiet.