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Last night, we attempted to have a family portrait taken. We went through all the effort of getting everyone in matching outfits, and showed up for our appointment just to find out that the appointment was 30 minutes later than I thought.
30 minutes right about dinner time is pretty much a deal breaker when you have a 1 year old. We tried to put Little Man in my lap, but he got really mad when I tried to hold him there. I also paid to get a picture of the 2 kids. By that time, Little Man was so distracted by the lights and the photographer’s props that we didn’t get ANY pics of the two kids together. So much for having an adorable pic of the two of them for Christmas cards!
Anyway, here are a few pictures I took while we were waiting for our appointment, and one of the kids after we got home. I think I might have gotten a better pic than the professional!
And here is Little Man’s true personality:
I have a big day at work today. I needed to get to work early, and to be on my game. I told Little Miss about this last night, and this morning, everything was on track until it was 2 minutes until I was ready to go and we needed to do her hair.
I quickly spritzed her hair with water and combed it, figuring she could go au natural today. But then, she grabs a pony tail holder and insists that she wants a pony tail.
So, I obliged, though there was much fussing because she had tangles and I was in a hurry. I made a quick pony tail, turned around to put my shoes on, and then see that she pulled the pony tail out. She says, “I want a braid.”
At this point, I’m now running late, so I tell her she has to deal with no pony tail or braid. Then the melt down ensued. Not a good combination to have a stressed mother and a 4 year old melt down.
I finally wrangled her into the car, and she started wailing in the back seat. Needing some Zen, I simply turned up the radio hoping to drown her out. She finally said she’d be quiet if I turned down the radio, and then I got the silent treatment the rest of the way to her school.
Having a little girl comes with such drama. I just never expected such drama at this early age.
I recently read Anna Quindlen’s book A Short Guide to a Happy Life. I’ve been contemplating some professional changes of my own, and the below passage really spoke to me. So, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy. Happy Friday.
“Here is my resume. It’s not what my professional bio says, proud as I am of all that:
I am a good mother to three good children. I have tried to never let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself at the center of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.
I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make my marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.
I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them I would have nothing of interest to say to anyone, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.
I would be rotten, or at best mediocre, at my job if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.
So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about these things if you developed an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast while in the shower?
Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines. Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby as she scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finter.
Turn off your cell phone. Turn off your regular phone, for that matter. Keep still. Be present.
Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time I look at my diploma, I remember that I am still a student, still learning every day how to be human. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your mom. Hug your dad.
Get a life in which you are generous… And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take the money you would have spent on beers in a bar and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Tutor a seventh-grader.
All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.”
Little Man has been moving and a shaking lately. It has been so fun to watch him develop and compare him to his sister. So far, I’d say he is much more courageous and physical, and much less verbal.
He is walking everywhere now, and it extremely curious. His latest trick is to crawl on top of our coffee table, stand up, and then start clapping. Although this makes me nervous, so far (knock on wood), he has managed to then get back on his knees and dismount from the table with no major event or trauma.
He is an expert at crawling up the stairs. This is a good and bad thing. We have to be extra diligent about the baby gates now, which isn’t so easy when a 4 year old is the primary user of those gates. With Little Miss, I taught her to slide down the stairs on her bottom, which helped us avoid any tumbles down the stairs. I keep trying to teach him the same trick, but he is NOT interested in learning how to go down the stairs, and gets mad every time I try to teach him the bottom trick.
Little Man has three words. He uses them often and in different contexts, but still — only three. He knows Momma, Daddy (often pronounced Dadoo), and Doggy (also pronounced Dadoo). Balls are “Da”. He usually calls for me when he has a poop in his pants or he is looking for me. I have to laugh at how the kid will search me out if he has a poopy diaper. I swear at this age, Little Miss had a ton of words. Her brother resorts to a lot of grunting and fart sounds, all accompanied by pointing. For instance, I put up Halloween decorations this weekend. Monday morning, after finishing his milk, Little Man methodically pointed and grunted to acknowledge each of the decorations. He especially loves the skeleton I bought that is covered in glitter (he shakes it and we get glitter all over the floor).
At this age, Little Miss was barely learning how to walk, and would never really venture more than a few feet away from my side in public places. Her brother, on the other hand, wants to be set down, and wants to explore on his own, without anyone holding his hand. I totally understand why my brother called his sons “suicidal midgets” when they were this age. I feel like the next year and a half will be spent focusing on keeping him out of the danger that he will inevitably seek out.
And speaking of shaking, Little Man loves to dance. He does this dance where he shakes his bottom and it is truly adorable. He’ll be walking along, and then will stop to bust a move, and then keep going. His sister loved to dance at this age, too, but she simply turned in circles.
He also loves to put things on his head. His favorite toys right now are the dive rings I bought for his sister this summer. The kids raided my swim bag, and these dive rings now litter our house, and serve as a hat most nights for Little Man. Who would have thought? The kid loves dive rings and coasters… So much for the plethora of toys we have for him!
My daughter lives for Show and Tell. Show and Tell is the first week of each month, and she asks me all throughout the month if the next day is Show and Tell. She plans and plots way in advance what she will bring.
Why, I ask, must preschool schedule Show and Tell for MONDAYS? Monday mornings are always crazy, and I actually thought I had everything together this morning until I showed up and saw all the kids’ show and tell items in their cubbies. Knowing Little Miss would be crushed, I started racking my brain as to what I could come up with in my car.
“Do you want to show off your pink cowboy hat?” This was a novelty a week ago, but did not make the muster for Show and Tell.
And then I came up with something she liked, and I dare say she’s excited about. Yesterday, I took the kids to the Race for the Cure, where I ran 5K pushing 70+ pounds of kids. Little Miss cheered me over the finish line, and told me that the race was her favorite activity we did this weekend (I really couldn’t believe it beat out going to see Beauty and the Beast with her cousins in the theatre).
Anyway, I ran back to the car, grabbed the race number I had thrown onto the floor of the car when I was done with the race, and came back in to prime her for Show and Tell. “OK, so we did this race where everyone pays money to give money to doctors who will find a cure for cancer.” Not sure what her presentation will include, but at least I avoided tears from her and guilt from me for the rest of the day!