Friday, November 14, 2014

Thoughts While Washing the Dishes

There I am, standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. The boys are running circles through the house playing tag. The noise and energy levels are much higher than I'd like them to be.

A few years ago I probably would have harped at them to calm down and quiet it, but not today. I've come to the realization that, as long as they aren't encroaching on anyone's body or property, they're not doing anything 'wrong'. The noise level is only loud to me because quiet is my preference. Same with the energy level. The house is just as much their place to live freely as it is mine.

I can certainly voice my preferences to them. I try to do so sparingly. I try to keep in mind how often I get to have things the way I like, and how out of control they are about so much in their lives. When I do express my preference for whatever I may want at the time, they almost always honor it. It's amazing how considerate they are.

And so I decide this moment is not one of the moments in which I'll ask them to be quiet. Instead I do my best to focus on their laughter, and when I do I wonder how I could have ever wanted the house to sound any other way.

Fun Quotes Friday

A collection of notable quotes from the week, only I have been terrible about writing them down so there's only one this week.

I'm in bed, reading, nude. Josh (10) comes in to chat and crawls under the covers.

Josh- Mom, are you naked?

Me- Yeah, hope that doesn't bother you.

Josh- Why would it bother me if you were naked? I used to be inside of you.

While Making Mac n Cheese-

Josh- (squeezing cheese pouch into pasta) "Oh no, doctor, what's wrong?! My poo is all yellow! (In doctor voice) That's okay, as long as it goes in this macaroni."

Bug's Mucus Mulling

Bug (3) has had a cough the last couple of days. Yesterday it turned mucusy. We got a terrible night's sleep and everyone was pretty grumpy throughout the day yesterday. The thing I was most clinging to was that Bug would likely fall asleep on our way home from babysitting that evening, and I would be able to go to sleep with him as soon as we got home.

We're driving home. He's eaten and gone to the restroom. Everything is in place for an easy, early bedtime. He nods off in his carseat. Yesssssss. The moment which has been my source of hope for the last 10 hours has finally arrived.

But then... Then he starts coughing. A couple coughs. Bigger coughs. Then just as I'm trapped in between cars at a red light, he coughs up some monstrous amount of mucus, but REFUSES to spit it out! He's gagging. Then he's choking. I'm watching helplessly in the rearview mirror. I'm flailing at Josh to push Bug's head forward. Josh is yelling back that he can't because of the car seat harness. Finally traffic moves and I'm able to quickly turn into a parking lot, jump out, and rip off Bug's seat belt just as he vomits mucus all over his coat.

I pull him out of the car and attempt to wipe him off. I had nothing to clean him up with except a wrap, my beloved Natibaby Oxitocin hemp blend. Ahhh, wrap misuse at it's finest. He coughs up more, and again refuses to spit it out. In a rare moment of encroachment, I shove my wrap covered finger in his mouth to sweep out the contents. Delicious. By the way, it's 29 degrees and windy the whole time we're doing this. Josh is pacing around the car trying to keep himself from being sick. Bug does not want to take off his soiled jacket before getting back in the car.

We all calm down, get back in the car and drive home. Bug does not fall back asleep. It is several hours later after cuddling in bed watching quilting videos on youtube (Bug's choice, he is in love with them as much as I am) that he finally drifts off for the night.

He coughs occasionally in his sleep, still refusing to spit out anything that comes up, and I am left to doze to the sounds of him mulling over his mucus like a cow with her cud. Needless to say, I don't sleep well, but he seems to be doing better this morning.

Josh's Coat Exchange

Josh (10) didn't have a winter coat as of Wednesday. Tuesday night the weather decided to drop (what felt like) 60 degrees overnight. It's freezing here. Literally.

Some back story about Josh- He is always cold. He thinks 95 degrees outside is splendid. He has often said he wants a face mask to wear outside in the cold.

So we leave lunch with my grandma (post below) and head to the coat store. I'm a little emotionally distraught. I wait patiently as he tries on two-thirds of all the coats in his size. He decides he likes this letterman jacket style one. It has no hood. I point that out to him and suggest a bright green, Antarctica ready parka, complete with hood and velcro to close the hood over his face. He declines in favor of the letterman jacket. Okay. We go pay for his new coat. He immediately rips the tags off and wears it out of the store.

Well, almost out of the store. There are those quarter gumball machines at the door and the boys spend far too much time longingly staring at them, asking me over and over again if they have any quarters in my purse (they don't).

I should note here that Bug (3) got a terrible night's sleep and is coming down with a cough. He's all sorts of grumpy at this point. We make our way through the frigid wind to the car, and wait a painstaking amount of time for Bug to navigate his 5-point harness with a coat and gloves on. The instant his last buckle clicks, Josh says, "Wait, this coat doesn't have a hood. Man, I want to go back and exchange it for the green one."


Deep breath, in and out. I contemplate telling him he made his choice and he'll just have to suck it up until next year. But that's not how the real world works and that's not how I want to roll. So in we go to exchange for the green one. He handles the whole transaction and then comes to me with the best, "Thanks, Mom" I ever heard. He knows how much self control and patience it took for me to handle that situation gracefully, and he really appreciated it.

Talking with Grandma About Christmas

So, who's ready to be bombarded with posts?! I'll first share something about me personally, then update you on Josh (TEN NOW!) and Bug (Still 3).

Without getting too much into it, my dad is totally dysfunctional. He is married to his third wife (who is my age), and they and their daughter live across the country. I haven't seen him in years, and the last time we talked on the phone he asked "Do you hate me or something?" and I replied "I'm indifferent toward you." That was in January.

My paternal grandmother and great-grandmother live just a couple of hours away. Last year for Christmas my grandma really wanted to get everyone together, all five generations of us. We were all to drive to her house to celebrate. I reluctantly agreed because I didn't know how to tell anyone I had no interest in being in the same house with my dad. All December I stewed over how to get out of it (because, you know, just coming out and saying it was too difficult). It ended up my dad's family couldn't come at the last minute, so I avoided the awkward conversation. Phew!

Until this year. It started all over again last week during a phone call with my grandma. I mentally resolved to speak up this year. We went to lunch together Wednesday and had a lovely time. Christmas plans never came up. There I was saying goodbye at her car, thinking I may have simultaneously missed my opportunity to stand up for myself and avoided the dreaded conversation for another day, when grandma asked, "So, can we plan a date when we'll all get together? You and us and your dad?"

The look on my face must have given me away, because grandma looked surprised and a little hurt before I even answered. All I managed to get out was, "Grandma, you know they're dysfunction junction over there. I'd really rather not.... I mean, we'll come see you and Granny, but..."

She made a few pleas, and I just kept answering "I'd rather not."

"Well... okay...." she said, looking upset. It pained my heart to see her so disappointed.

After we got home I got a phone call from grandma letting me know she'd gotten home alright. "And about Christmas..." Then she let me know that she was proud of me for standing up for myself. "I can't tell you how many times I just went along with something I didn't want to do because I was afraid to speak up. I'm really, really proud of you."

And some more nice things were said, but that's the take-away.

Mourning the Loss of my Anonymity

I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record over here. It's been a while since I've posted anything.

You may not care to hear ALL of my inner ramblings, but I've come to find out how much it really helps me to dump them all out. And if just one person out there feels something, a connection, like they're not alone, then its worth it to me to share things so publicly.

One thing I've been grappling with for the last while is that I've made in-person friends with people I've met here, and that some already real-life friends have discovered it is indeed me, the lady sitting across from them at the peaceful parenting meet up where they've just shared an intimate story, writing these posts.

Losing my anonymity here is more difficult than I'd expected. The things I share about our family can be very intimate, and occasionally I'll share my thoughts about something I see happening with other people. I want to always be honest in my writing. And honestly, the prospect of looking into the eyes of another mom at a play date and knowing she knows all about the inner struggle I had the night before is terrifying. It's worse than being on stage naked, I've bared my soul. I worry that people who know us may feel differently about the boys because of something I've shared instead of by their own interactions with them.

Also, I don't want any of my friends to feel they can't be comfortable around me in case I may choose to write about a situation I share with them (not that I think this blog is THAT big of a deal, and not that I'd cast anyone I care about in a negative light, but I do care about their feelings).

And so I haven't written. But I find that I'm missing out on something by not recording the moments that move me, so I've decided this is important enough to me to continue and invest more time into. I really appreciate all of you who have been here since I started writing, everyone who has supported me and helped me grow, and I look forward to sharing our journey with you some more.