Monday, February 23, 2009

"Look, Mommy, I do it MySELF!"

My son has taken a fit of getting things for himself. No more depending on mommy or asking for help if it can be at all helped. An “I can and will do this by myself” attitude is cropping up around here like a sickness.

There are definite perks that come along with this mentality. The main one being that he has decided that he is big enough to go to the toilet by himself, although this occasionally means that the paper gets dropped into the tank and pants get put on backwards. Sometimes he comes back from his little sojourn in the bathroom without the troublesome backwards pants and fakes ignorance when asked where said pants have gotten to.

The other day he decided he could not wait for me to finish up a task, that he must have his cup of milk right away, and he delved into the fridge, procured the half empty gallon of milk and poured himself a cup without spilling a drop of it. He was extremely proud of this.

One day a couple of weeks ago I was out with my sister and was told upon my return that while daddy’s back was turned the little man removed the bag of popcorn from the microwave that daddy had popped. My son knows that the microwave is off-limits, but I suppose when a person is tall enough to reach it and their belly is yearning after the buttery smells of popped kernels, they feel absolutely compelled to take matters into their own hands. It would seem that he found himself perfectly capable of opening the steaming bag without being burned, and dumping into contents into the big metal bowl that is used to hold the popcorn during its consumption without dropping any on the floor.

Right now my main issue with this newfound independence is that it is often accompanied by ladder building and the scaling of tall things in order to reach the object that is on top of the television or the fridge, or has been pushed to the back of the counter top. Between him and his sister nothing is safe. It may be time to find a locked cabinet in which to store sharp knives, crayons, scissors, and permanent markers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

La Limonada

My younger sister is spending a week in Guatemala, visiting with a friend who works in a school in the ghettos of Guatemala city. Stop over at her blog to read about her wonderful and heartbreaking adventures.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spring, Don't Be Late

Spring is coming. It may take the long and scenic route to get here, but it's on its way.

The position of the sun is changing. It is peeking into my windows and filtering through the blinds. Springtime shadows are lingering on the house across the street, and I can even hear a bird or two in the trees.

When the furnace kicks off and the sound of its puffy cheeks blowing heat throughout the house dies, I can almost imagine that it is the sunshine through the window glass that is warming my body.

In another month the crocuses will push their spiky leaves through the mulch and bloom in purples, whites and yellows; the pieris shrubs will drip with red and white blossoms.

Yes, spring is on it's way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want To

Today is my birthday. It would be nice if my husband would change all the diapers, wash all the dishes, and make me a hot gourmet dinner. I would like for him to do the laundry and maybe even mop the kitchen floor. But I can’t ask him to do any of these things today because it’s his birthday too.

When we were still single (that is, after we were married, but before we had children) we used to take advantage of our shared birthday and go to a delicious gourmet restaurant for dinner instead of buying each other a gift; I didn’t feel so guilty about spending one hundred dollars on dinner since it was two birthdays for the price of one.

After our first-born came along and I stopped working outside of the home, I didn’t feel that we could justify this kind of expense, so we stopped going to our old birthday haunts. Then two years ago we bought a house, and when I’m tempted to reinstate this wonderful birthday practice I think about how much paint we can buy with a hundred dollars.

However, there is one thing that really stinks about our shared birthday. It is a tradition in my family for the birthday girl or boy to choose what they want Mom to make for their birthday meal. None of my sisters have to negotiate with anyone about what will be served; I, on the other hand, must consult and bargain with my husband. If he does not wish to partake in my selection I must either cry bitter tears and get over it, or lobby and draw up a power-point presentation on why he should agree to my choice. It really isn’t fair.

Even though I am to be twenty-eight today it seems as though I’ve still not learned to share nicely. I like food. A lot. I don’t like having to compromise with anyone in regards to my birthday dinner. I am ashamed to say that I have even been known to stab my husband with my fork if he attempts to take food from my plate without my consent. It’s a primal reaction and I can hardly help it. I guess I should work on that now that I’m supposed to be a grown-up.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Words for All of Your Two Thousand Parts

I sometimes find myself very fearful of what may come out of my child’s mouth in the presence of strangers. Or in his Sunday school classroom. Most parents, I’m sure, suffer from this same fear. It’s bad enough that kids pick up on things so deviously in the first place, but my husband sometimes forgets to use the child-friendly filter that I am attempting to install in his head.

Don’t misunderstand me, neither of us is in the habit of using coarse language or anything like that, but I find that my sensitive woman/mommyness can be easily offended. Words like “butt” and “fart” only sound funny the first time they make their exit from a three-year-old’s mouth.

My husband was gone last week on a business trip, so I cannot blame the following on him. Sometime during the middle of the week my son betook himself from the bathroom, where he had taken himself to the potty, and brought his pants and underwear to me for assistance. All smiles, he handed me these articles of clothing and said, “Look at my butt crack!”

Now, really, I must draw some sort of line here! I felt badly because he was so proud that his command of the English language enabled him to articulate this phrase, but I didn’t feel good about encouraging his use of it.

Awhile back he punctuated his sentences with “fossil poop” after perusing a dinosaur book with Daddy. That went on for some time. Much to my dismay he had no scruples about sharing his knowledge of dinosaur droppings with persons he had just met. After that phase passed the age of “blubber fat” began. (This time after reading a book about whales; I begin to think that learning is overrated).

Most of these phrase-related issues become issues because a certain grown-up boy in our house laughs like a madman when he hears them uttered in the singsong voice of our little Blank Slate. Thankfully Daddy wasn’t home to witness the declaration of a cloven rear-end, and I’m confident that another potential word-sharing crises has been averted.