the hood of mother

when you’re bad at that thing you thought you’d be good at

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Yesterday we were at Gymboree when Thane got his leg stuck between two wooden dowels in a rocking toy. It was amazing how my mom instincts kicked in and how quickly I got him out…. I’m kidding. Actually my claustrophobia and panic kicked in, after pulling at the leg with no budging I started frantically looking around for a freaking ax to chop that sucker apart with, and all I could think was “in the movies there is ALWAYS an ax, always. It’s right next to the fire extinguisher. Where is the fire extinguisher? Oh my dear heavens there is no fire extinguisher, if there is a fire right now how will I get all three of us out of here?!! ” Because that’s a normal place for your mind to go.

At this point Tal came over to try to rock the stupid rocking toy. This was not as helpful as he imagined it to be. And as I sat there (for SECONDS!!) trying to figure out what to do and trying to hold Tal off, another mom calmly came over, offered to help, pulled up Thane’s pant leg, twisted things a little and rescued him. And me.

And that’s when I realized two things: we’re hardly ever actually alone. People are almost always willing to come give a hand when we’re sucking at whatever we thought we’d be good at. And second: it had happened. I hadn’t been capable of doing something my kids really needed me to do. I had failed. And the world hadn’t ended. I had really blundered at this whole mothering thing and the sky hadn’t come crashing down around us. In fact, looking around the room everyone was calm and happy. Including my two kids who were now at the top of the slide enjoying themselves.

I thanked the mom and she told me a funny story about leaving her car door open. And that was it. Everything was fine. Except for the fact that the toddlers were thirsty now and I had forgotten the sippy cups. But that’s why God made Starbucks.

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{{Pictures from the park last week.}}

the hood of mother, Uncategorized

monday thoughts on motherhood (because musings was just too precious sounding)

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Monday mornings are such an ego boost as a stay as a stay at home mom. Nate informs the kids that “Daddy is going to work and you’re going to stay home with mommy”. Children greet this news with wailing and gnashing of teeth, words being inadequate to express their horror at this fate and all.

I don’t really blame them. I like this guy too and weekends are the best because he’s in them. Also he took that first picture from our house this morning instead of waking me up to see it. Yet another reason to love him.

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We spent last week camped in our basement and the bedrooms because the floors were being replaced and the spindles on our split level house were out meaning anyone could hurl themselves down at any moment so we had to stay out of the main living areas. It was awful. In a very first world sense of awful. Because seriously, we have a basement to live in. And now that it’s all done the boys pretty much think wooden floors are the best thing that has ever happened. You can roll trucks better, throw balls better (they bounce now!), and run up and down the hallway with an abandon that doesn’t happen on carpet that’s lived through three homeowners and one foreclosure. (Okay, that last part is total projection because the carpet was seriously grossing me out. No matter how many times I cleaned it, it wasn’t ever going to be clean.)

Behold the after picture because I am so happy to have these floors I smile every-time I walk on them. Including last night when I went to get the middle of the night bottle out of the fridge.

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{{I love how Tal looks all confused about where the furniture went. Or maybe he’s just pondering why I haven’t finished staining the railing.}}

The first night when just a tiny bit of the floor was in Nate and I were standing around admiring them and realizing how close we came to a mistake with the other floors we picked out (too orange) and Talron (who was protesting sleeping because… duh and so was still awake at 10 or 11 pm) got mad at us refusing to allow him to hurl himself down the unspindled stairway and expressed this by throwing his toy car from his perch in daddy’s arms. Gave us our first little dent. Which, honestly, was a relief. Mostly because It wasn’t me. And because whenever I see it (which will only be when I’m on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor so what, once a year?) I will think of how cute he looks when he throws fits. Then today his brother christened the dining room floor with a broken plate. I might actually be forced to get plastic plates now. *Cue the motherhood award.*

Tal says bruber (brother) now. It’s what he calls Thane and it is so cute it makes all ovaries within a two mile radius hurt.

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We co-sleep. Have I mentioned this? Depending on who you ask I am creating bonds of attachment unlike anything else OR I’m creating disrupted sleeping patterns that will haunt them for the rest of their days. Oh, also destroying my marriage. That’s one of the best parts of parenthood I think. All the non-judgment from other parents. Also being aware at all times that anything you do could be possibly ruining your child.  Parenthood: keeping therapists in business since 2000BC

Co-sleeping is also hilarious when it’s two babies and two parents in one Cal-King bed. The first night was literally an enactment of “they all rolled over and one fell out.” I won’t mention which one. On account of the non-judgmental parents out there. But I adore the cuddles in the morning. Waking up to a baby kissing my nose. Hearing my first “I love you” from little baby lips. I even love with Tal wakes up and is horrified that Mommy and not Daddy is serving as his pillow and climbs over me yelling “dada dada!”

Lastly, my two year old likes singing “I came in like a wreaking ball”. Which, inappropriate song, but incredibly appropriate sentiment. I love these two. Even when they would rather be with Daddy.

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the hood of mother

what is and what was and what we remember

I don’t think he’ll remember this moment. The night we had smoothies before or maybe for dinner. The first night he sat like a big boy on the bar stool on our kitchen island. I probably wouldn’t remember it if it wasn’t that I was feeling guilty for taking a total of six pictures since Christmas and decided to grab my camera.

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It seems that most of childhood is made up of those kind of moments. The moments that are here and then gone. The moments he won’t remember. The hundred and one times I wiped his mouth or combed his hair or dropped a diaper in the trash. The picking up, the cleaning up, the rocking and soothing. The laundry.

And even the magical moments like Christmas mornings, birthday cakes, blowing bubbles and dandelion seeds seem to mostly fade away with time leaving just fragments captured here on there on film or in some corner of the mind that’s rarely accessed. Even now  I close my eyes and will myself to remember the birthday where mom made me a puppy dog birthday cake, the day she taught me how to sew, the time dad bought me a My Little Pony that came with a baby carriage, sitting around and coloring while my parents read us Christmas stories, dad putting out the baby Jesus each Christmas morning before we woke up.

And I question what I’m forgetting. What moments of wonder have been lost to time and age and replaced with much less sacred information like my ATM pin. I think of my parents who created those magic moments for us. I think of the love that they poured into those moments and I ache for forgetting them.  But I don’t believe the soul forgets. I believe every one of those moments are etched somewhere deep inside me. They helped shape me, hold me together and sustain me. They are less memories now and more a part of who I am, integrated into my psyche and shaping the beliefs I hold about my worth as a person

So I wipe up another mess and look at my son and hope for the same gift for him. I hope that these moments of simple splendor: Daddy giving him a ride on his back, me singing Amazing Grace, the cuddles and kisses and words of affirmation bury themselves deep inside of him and don’t let go. Because there’s how it happened and then there’s what the heart remembers. And this is what I hope his heart knows when all other memories of that night are gone: He is loved, he is wanted, he is treasured. Always.

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{{When I look at the first photograph I think, yep, that’s what happened. When I look at the second I think, that right there is the love I want to remember. (K’s pictures blurred for his safety while he’s not in our custody.)}}

the hood of mother, transracial families

growing up

Thane  has a pretty great dad.  Great as in patient and involved and just an all around amazing guy.  He does this thing with Thane where when he’s  giving him instructions on something  (like not banging the screwdriver against the mirror let’s say) where he gets down at eye level, talks to him gently and then asks Thane to say “yes Dad” to show he understands.  Which comes out a bit more like “yaa daa” and is perfectly adorable.

Then, while taking his bath a few days ago my husband told him not to do something, I can’t remember what, probably not flood the bathroom for the fourth time this week.  And our kid, our sweet adorable  almost 17 month old looks up at him, morphed into a 13 year old before our eyes and replied in a sarcastic tone “yeah yeah.”

Awesome.

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In other news, at Lowes today a lady tried to catch Thane as he ran down the aisle with the intention of returning him to his mother.  Who of course was actually just a few yards away at the time.  So that was funny.  She was a bit flustered when I said he actually went with me.  Which was pretty obvious at that point anyway as he ran away from her and towards me.

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The kid is pretty friendly in public, he smiles and waves like no ones business.  Unless you come within four feet and then God help you because he turns into a screeching banshee.  I kind of feel like I need a sign or something to let people know that because the poor things are just utterly charmed by him and then it all goes south so quickly.  I’m glad he has his boundaries, but hopefully the volume on them will get turned down at some point.

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His language went crazy while we were in CO.  I’m not sure if it was reaching a certain age or the amount of people around or if the conversation was just more interesting (I’m going with the last guess myself.)  All of a sudden he’s more willing to repeat things and I’m loving the ability to actually ask for things instead of playing twenty questions all the time.  Favorites this week are: laundry room, raspberry, and teddy bear (one of our nicknames for him.)  I love when we’re driving around I’ll just go down a list of words for him to try to say.   Context is amusing too.  Like the time his daddy asked him at dinner if he wanted more chicken and he replied “cluck cluck.” Which, yeah, guess that makes sense.

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the hood of mother

we’re the adults now right?

Apparently having children doesn’t grant you instant perfection.

I mean, I knew it didn’t, not really.  But it’s still been a little bit of a shock to me how little we’ve changed with the addition of Thane into our family.  I think deep down I had the subconscious belief that the world would basically start spinning the other direction and we would morph into something that resembled mature, have-our-stuff-together, adults. And… we’re not.

Absolutely some stuff has changed, like evenings have a lot more giggles, sleeping in happens less frequently, eating out isn’t the long peaceful process it used to be, and there are lots more sticky messes throughout the house. But at the core of who we are as a couple I don’t think we’ve changed that much. The stuff we used to fight about we still fight about, the stuff we didn’t fight about we still don’t fight about. We still watch TV in the evenings (just usually after the kid has gone to bed.) We still eat dinner on the couch a lot of evenings (see previous note about sticky messes.) And we still stay up way too late and regret it the next day.

Basically, we’re still the same flawed human beings we were before.  But now we get to pass on our flaws to another human being.  And really, isn’t that what being a parent is all about?

…………..

Last month we went back to Whidbey for the third time this year.  The second trip was in July and I need to write about it sometime because it was the same weekend we first heard about our darling Baby K.  But that’s a story for another day.  For now – pictures!

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{{Pictures from September.}}