Archive for the ‘toddlers’ Category

So Jakey has become extremely proud of his “big boy” status and has taken to reminding me that certain activities are reserved for big boys. This week, while he was digging a hole in the wood chips around the swing set, he told me, “Mamas no dig; only big boys.”
“So what can Mommas do?” I asked the boys.  Cody decided to join the conversation.
“CLEAN,” he said.
“Oh really?  That’s nice.  Anything else?”
“Swing on swings,” Jakey added.  Well, at least he sees that I can have fun too.
“So what do Daddies do?” I asked, curious about what gems of insight they’d toss my way.”
“Daddies sit on big chairs,” Cody declared with pride.
Brilliant.  My children are brilliant.

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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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