Sunday, August 14, 2016

I can't sleep

I'm home with Oliver, after a week of being away from Oliver. This is familiar. This is my space, this is what I built for myself and my family.

It's almost 3 a.m. I can't sleep.

I had lowered the thermostat to 72 when we got home; the sounds from it downstairs made me a nervous wreck upstairs. I even walked the entire house with Oliver's Louiseville slugger. There's nobody in here. The house is alarmed,".

Yet, I cannot sleep.

I have emptied the dishwasher, emptied my suitcase and filled the washing machine.

And I still can't sleep.

Every little creak the house makes, every little sigh I hear ... I can't sleep.

I don't have this problem when Jeff's here.  But, without him, I'm imagining all sorts of things. Want macabre? I even imagined the pleadings with an intruder to not kill me because I didn't want my 5 yo finding my body!

Am I crazy? Overly anxious in a huge house without Jeff?

I don't know! All I know is I can't sleep!!!

I just heard a beep. I'm not even kidding you. I have 2 more nights of this bridge Jeff gets home and I'm not sure I can do it without going nuts!

Because I can't sleep!

I close my eyes and hear hordes downstairs, creeping up the staircase ... Maybe I've read too many true crime novels because I can way too easily imagine my fate. Yet, the house alarm is set and all the  doors are locked. So, if somebody were to breach a door, it would lead to a cacophony of sirens!

So, why can't I sleep?

I don't know and I fear I might go insane before I get my answers.

Because sleep deprivation as torture? I totally get it now.

Because I can't sleep!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Never not be afraid

We just watched the movie Croods. Where the patriarch of the prehistoric cave family, what's his family to be afraid of anything new. He doesn't understand or like his daghter's need to discover something new. He wants them to be afraid so he can protect them.

Does that sound familiar?


Think again!

You might not be doing it in as many words, but do you hover over your child at a public playground?

Do you never leave your child at somebody elses's house for a play date by him or herself?

Do you not let your child play in your front or back yard without you being attached to him or her?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you are teaching your child to never not be afraid. Because, subconsciously, you are passing the message to your child that they can never be ok alone. Which is so dichotomous to what we want them to be - independent, strong, confident individuals who have the building blocks to become successful adults.

I don't think I may saying leave your kid in the middle of the woods, ala Hansel & Gretel,  but I am saying we need to stop being another appendage for our child(ren).

Let them walk a couple blocks by themselves.,

Let them scrape their knees at the playground.

Let them shed a tear because of that scrape.

Let them grow up like they are supposed to.

While I hang out behind a tree, hidden from Oliver so he can be confident, without knowing his mother's a weak as ;-)

don't teach your kids to never not be afraid! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I can't ignore it anymore!

When FaceBook throws an old post in your face and makes you cry at work, you can't keep ignoring the fact that your child just turned 5 and could technically have started school! Oliver didn't start school because he's a late birthday, but still.

So, as he turns 5, his father and I are amazed at the things he does and learns and the ways he grows.

Some things haven't changed though. If he's awake, he's in motion. Constantly. No wonder the kid doesn't gain weight, even though he's outgrowing his pants, even the ones I just bought 2 months ago and that were 2 inches too long back then.

This photo is just so him.

He wants to help, he wants to carry things, he wants to push the cart, he wants to scan the items, he even wants to run my card and sign my name! Those last 2 things, I am going to have to keep my eye on!

But honestly, at 5, this one is helping out around the house. He has a list of chores - setting the dinner tables, getting the dog food & water, he puts away his folded laundry, he straightens his playroom after he & his friends have torn it apart at a play date, he uses the hand held vacuum cleaner to clean up small messes, he makes Jeff's coffee & his hot chocolate using the Keurig, he helps me cook!!!

I hope his wanting to help stays through his adulthood and his eventual future life partner will just repeat "I can't thank Oliver's mother enough for teaching him this well." Because, I thank my mother-in-law a lot for Jeff, who's not a helpless husband in any shape.

INDEPENDENT! holy moly, he's so independent! This morning, he informed me that in the middle of the night last night, he peeled a scab off his forehead, so he got down, got a band-aid and went back to bed. Jeff apparently heard him, and managed to get a photo.

On one hand, we are happy to see him grow and learn and not need us. On the other hand, my heart skips a beat at the thought of him one day not needing me for anything, and my lungs start to lose the ability to breathe and my eyes start to blur.

Parenthood. Always a dichotomy. Happiness & sadness at every milestone. Wanting to hold him tight and whisper, "don't stop being my baby," and screaming, "argh, if I hear mommmmy one more time!!!!"

We love you so much, our loud one, our adventurous one, our friendly yet randomly shy one. This last year has brought out your love for dinosaurs and questions of extinction, including when we'll go extinct. And some concerning conversations of our death ... but hey, we'll try to answer everything to the best of our abilities. We can't wait to see what the next year brings with you, but hopefully, you will not let go of the snuggle time in the morning that's become our tradition, or the random kisses and hugs you ask for.

We love you, we are proud of you, and you are our favorite child ;-)

yes, yes, I can already hear you yelling back at me, "But, mommmmy I am your ONLY CHILD!"

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Why we don't scream at each other

Jeff and I went to a family counselor a few months ago. I was very proud that coming from a culture where corporal punishment for kids was the norm, I would never raise a hand against my child ... but I found myself raising my voice. And, research upon research shows that yelling has the same effect on a kid's psyche as hitting. So, I dragged Jeff and myself to a professional to gain insight into ways to deal with a headstrong child without losing it every time.

Then, I started reading articles like this:

And, I realized it's not just about yelling at the child, it's also about yeling in the household. So, Jeff and I decided we would NOT yell at each other in front of Oli. Why that distinction? We know we shouldn't yell at each other at all ... however, we are human and sometimes we fail. But, we don't want to fail in that capacity in front of him.

Now, don't get me wrong. We disagree in front of him, we have our discussions. There is no way I want him to think a marriage is all roses and sunshine. There are compromises, there are disagreements, there are disappointments. What there isn't is disrespect, what there isn't is name calling, what there isn't is inequality between the partners. We treat each other as equals who decided to join each other in creating a life together and then bringing another life into being. We re responsible for this new life together and while we might not always agree on ways to deal with his headstrong life form, we do not disrespect each other's opinions and ideas.

Trust me, we infuriate each other all the time. What we don't do is insult each other or each other's opinions. We don't show Oli that it's ok to attack your partner verbally in any sort of agreement. What we don't teach our child is that it's ok to disrespect or insult the one person you've chosen to live the rest of your life with, with the words you chose or actions you make.

What we do or say in front of our children make a deeper impact than we might think in our daily lives. That single harsh word at our partner for loading the dishwasher wrong or the hands thrown up with an intake of breath because I don't like how the bed was made - that kid watches and learns and takes it with him to his future relationships.

Bottom line, I like, love and respect the man I've chosen to live my life with and raise a child with. If I didn't, I wouldn't stay with him. We've needed professional counseling a couple times, no shame in admitting that we are HUMAN, but we're going strong and hopefully showing Oli what a strong, cohesive relationship looks like, whenever he's ready in about 50 years to look for a partner for himself ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why I serve ...

I saved this from our Intranet site ... I submitted this a while ago, it just got published recently. I didn't even know, somebody in my office just told me yesterday :-D. Sorry, it's an image, so it might not be the easiest to read.