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Archive for the ‘Surviving’ Category

Do you ever wonder who was the first wise mom who spoke the words, “No swimming for 20 minutes after eating.”?  I think it was first uttered by a pioneer woman who had just finished feeding her brood and finally had a second to sit and scarf down some cold beans, when her youngest shouted, “Ma, swimming…want to go now.” Knowing that would mean forfeiting her chance to eat and relax for a moment, she told him no.  And of course, staying true to toddler traits that stand the test of time, he responded, “Why?”  She paused for a moment running through her index of reasons: “’Because I said so’—no, already used that one 3 times this morning; ‘Because it’s too cold’—no he could care less about that and anyways it’s 95 degrees right now;  ‘Because that’s your last pair of clean trousers’—no he’ll just strip down and jump in.” Ah-ha!  Figuring he couldn’t argue with a threat to his life, she shouts to him, “No swimming for 20 minutes after eating. You’ll cramp up and drown.”  There.  With that brilliant statement, she bought generations of moms 10 minutes to relax and another 10 minutes to clean up before going for a nice cool swim.

I don’t know who said it, but I love her. And perhaps I’m beginning to channel her spirit.  This morning Cody saw his bike helmet on the porch.  He was still in his pajamas and I’d been trying to get him dressed for a half hour.  He wanted his helmet and I told him no.  (Frankly, I didn’t feel like going outside to get it).  When he asked me why, I responded, “Because you can’t wear a helmet with pajamas.” I have no idea where that came from!  Of course that didn’t end the “dialogue.” He asked why again, and this time I came up empty, so I responded, “Because mommy likes to make up random rules that benefit her and no one else.”  Since Cody isn’t quite 2 ½ years old, that must have been too many words for him to absorb, so I didn’t get a follow-up why.  Instead he looked at me and walked over to his clothes and let me dress him.  Mommy One. Cody Zero.

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Yesterday, while the boys napped, I was thinking about how my 1st 30 days as a stay-home mom had gone.  I started typing away, falling back into my director/MBA student speak. It’s no wonder I didn’t get too far and had to walk away after I had written:

“As I’ve learned from both my experience managing in a corporate environment and through my MBA studies, what you do in your first 30, 60 and 90 days in any new role is absolutely critical to your long-term success.  Looking back on my 1st 30 days as a stay-home mom, I find that that principle is holding true for me in my latest transition.  Here’s what I’ve learned.”

Oh my word…I can hear Charlie Brown’s teacher in my ear. Blah.Blah.Blah.

So I’ll skip the dissertation and jump to it (before the boys decide that they really didn’t want to nap, rather they just needed to get their binky, aka baby crack, fix.)

  1. It might have been helpful if I had played a sport growing up.  I don’t think dance and musical theater were good training grounds for raising two soccer/hockey/basketball/football playing boys with a penchant for wrestling.  Yup. I don’t recall any referees or umpires at my dance recitals, but I am learning fast when to blow the whistle or throw the yellow card.
  2. Having a network is more important than ever.  I knew that a strong work network was important for professional development, but I’ve realized that having a social network with other moms is even more important. While a strong work network may have helped me land my next job, my new mom network has already helped Cody land safely from the giant slide while I was off wrangling Jake. (Thank you, Ana!)
  3. Cooking dinner isn’t so bad when you’re not running in the door at 5:45 with two hungry toddlers and peering into the fridge wondering what you can possibly make in 15 minutes that doesn’t involve serving chicken nuggets or pasta…again.
  4. Napping is a beautiful thing….every day that the boys still take a 2-hour nap (at roughly the same time) I thank God.  Not sure how long that will continue, but for now, I’ll savor every quiet moment. Who would have thought that doing dishes and laundry all by myself would be so heavenly?

Well, there’s lots more that I’ve learned. Mostly that I really don’t know much of anything and that my kids are forcing me to live in the moment.  These are both humbling and delightful.  I hope this joy remains and I continue to learn.

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Quick quiz: What do the following words all have in common?  Binky. Milk. Chair.  Mommy.  Hockeystick. Drum. Bowl. Mommy.  Dinosaur.

Before you get any notions that “Mommy” and “Dinosaur” share some kind of age-based connection, let me give you the answer.  Between 6 and 8am last Monday, they were all claimed as “mine” by Jakey Boy.   “Busy morning,” you might say.  “Typical morning,” I’d growl.

I have noticed that Lewis and Clark have nothing on Jake and Cody when it comes to claiming territory recently.  And with twins since there’s always someone to compete with, the claims begin early and continue until bedtime.  Good times.

I thought we were going to be in decent shape with this particular toddler mine field.  After all, the boys should be used to sharing things with each other since their days in the womb, right?  And of course we helped minimize struggles as much as possible by having two of just about everything.  We bought toys in the same color, same style, same character to avoid battles.  But that didn’t matter…of course Jakey wanted CODY’S blue truck, green kazoo, red hockey stick.

Yesterday afternoon as I got them both out of their cribs and picked them both up together, Cody whimpered, “No want two boys. Want my mommy.”  Not much I can do about that one.  I guess they will be learning to share whether they like it or not.  Cody may not want two boys, but I must say I love “mine.”

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