Monday, December 31, 2012

new year, new attitude, new everything.

new year's eve in 2012. what can i tell you about today? well, not much. c and i are still in our jammies. we've had our warm oat-raisin muffins, i've sipped away at my coffee which now sits cold as usual before i've finished the first cup, we've colored with colored pencils and told made up stories. the day is cold and i think we will find ourselves inside. e is at work, testing for another promotion in his new dept. and hopefully sneaking out early to spend the rest of the day with us. i have little planned for today. it has been a few years since i've 'gone out' on NYE, let alone dressed in more than PJs before midnight. 27 years old and i am as exciting as most 90-somethings. i do so enjoy my sewing and knitting...

but beyond today, there's a whole new year of possibilities. this year, i hope for new everything. no, not in the 'new cars, stainless steal high tech appliances, a bright and shiny makeover, greedy greedy greedy' kind of new everything, but just the kind of newness that comes from moving in constant forward motion. i have to say that this is not a year i would eagerly relive. i need forward motion in 2013 to take me further from the tears that came with 2012... as this year came in with such a horrific bang and it's going out with a whimpering fizzle as the last of my bitter, hardened, tear stained memories just suck what's left of my emotions dry. okay, melodramatic much, but you get the idea.

2012 began with my dad's skin cancer and nose-removal surgery (surgeries). it followed with my grandmother's aortic aneurysm surgery, my other grandmother's shoulder and later knee replacement surgery, an aunt's repeated heart surgeries, a non-blood cousin's breast cancer battle, another extended cousin's bladder cancer and now multiple heart attacks, funerals of friends parents and loved people, and other smaller things financially and emotionally based right here under our own roof. i can, at the very least, report very positive outcomes for the majority of the tragic news that flooded this year, but it was still a hard year to smile through. i did my best, but at the end of this year, i let everything get to me. to think that i started out so strong, only to break down in the end. i just have little energy left to do this again. i have been irrational, angry, temperamental, stubborn, standoffish... but all the while still caring far beyond normal reason because i simply cannot help it. i did try to mend some holes in the end, knowing full well that i had let everything that has happened this year build until i took all of my stress out on, well, anyone i could. it was a big venting year, but really, nothing more. my bark is always worse than my bite, and i usually choose to do my barking behind closed doors merely for the fact that it's all hot air and rarely how i really feel about anything. but none-the-less, i don't want to find reasons for venting in such great rants anymore. i don't want to be frustrated, saddened, angered, infuriated by people in my life anymore.. and.. well.. anyone not in my life who wandered through it and maybe got a tongue lashing in passing.

so i guess that's a good way to come around to my biggest hope for 2013: CALM. i really want to find ways to stay calm this year. i am not a patient person. let's just call that old news. but if it's not old news to you then, well, i'm not. i get worked up quickly, say things i never mean, and immediately regret my sharp tongue that is always too fast for my lips. if you ever see me walk away from an argument, shut down in a fight, and seemingly ignore what's happening.. it's not that i DON'T want to participate, it's that i CAN'T. i can't because i am going to say something hurtful, i am going to get heated and yell, probably cry, and i am going to possibly ruin whatever relationship i have with that person. e can attest to my immediate departure from most of our 'fights' (i use quotations, because i honestly think we've only had one or two REAL fights.) i normally separate myself for a few minutes to steam myself out. to let the smoke billow out of my ears while i run over every possibly way i could respond. you know, the knee jerk response, the sarcastic response, the down right below the belt response, the taking the high road response, etc. once it boils over and i stop steaming about it, i am almost always thoughtful and calm in response. but lately, i haven't been so good at that. i've needed to rant and rave and vent and snap at c and e and be a bitter, miserable grouch. for this, i am sorry. i was doing so well and then i just lost all hold on my patience.

i was raised that way, you know. not to be impatient and tempermental (i get that from my father-- sorry dad, you know that one's true), but to really let my feelings show. to yell and rant and argue and let it all out. but that's family, or at least my family. and that's what families do. i have said so many things to my parents over the years, most of which i never meant, and i know there have been times where they have said things to me that they never meant. but we never hold a grudge. never. why? because we're family. and like it or not, we love each other more than anything. those fights are what taught me to walk away. to hold my tongue until i was sure it was safe. to say 'i need a minute' before i say something absolutely inappropriate. would you like to know the thing that really gets my temper boiling? lack of consideration and manners. i could rant all day about people's lack of both these days, but i won't go there. not now. i just know that nothing really rattles my cage more than someone who doesn't say 'thank you' when someone holds the door for them, or someone who doesn't even think to hold the door for the person behind them with an armload of groceries. people who are rude to their waitresses, cut in front of someone trying to park at the mall, or expect certain treatment that they never earned with simple, polite behavior. i am no stranger to saying a loud 'WHY YES, EXCUSE YOU' when someone slams into me in passing at a store. it's not in good taste, but it's not gone unsaid at times. i was raised to always respect people, always be polite, always consider someone else first and myself second, and be embarrassed of my poor actions. people aren't like that these days and it's been a really hard adjustment for me. everyone is looking out for themselves, and i'm still looking out for everyone else.. and never saying no. yes, i have a really hard time saying no. really hard. i know, you wouldn't think it the way i just explained my temper, but i hate, hate, letting anyone down. so, i rarely have the guts to say no, no matter how much i really should. and the fact is, i would not likely be letting most of those people down had i said no in the first place. most people don't weigh favors so heavily that it would upend their universe for me to just throw out a 'no, i'm sorry i can't' once in a while. doesn't mean i do it.. heck, i say yes to some foolish things. i have gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to go out with friends who insisted on it when i really had no interest of partying that night, all because i didn't want to let them down and ruin their fun. for this fear i have only called out of work once and only asked for two days off in the14 months i've worked there because i simply hate thinking coworkers or bosses will be mad at me or that i will be leaving everyone short handed. the truth about that: they are all capable of operating without me for a day. why i feel the need to make myself suffer out of, what, guilt? i have no answer. old habits die really hard.

so, this year, in 2013, i'm going to find outlets for my temper, my anger, my stress. i need to. it's unhealthy to be this emotional ball of mess all of the time. doesn't mean i won't break down ever. doesn't mean i won't be mean or cry or lose my temper ever. but maybe it will keep the balance and there will be less need for all of this build up to an utter meltdown. this year i am going to learn to harness my calm. i won't call it a resolution, because it's not just for this year. if i wanted to make a resolution, i would resolve to cut back on sugared treats so my butt can fit in my jeans better. no, this is a life goal. and, to give myself a little credit, i am about half as temperamental as i was in high school.. so ten years of bettering has come a long way. which means in ten years from now, i may be half as temperamental as i am now. that would be a pretty huge accomplishment.

i hope your 2013 is brilliant with new and wonderful things. i am going to take active measures to make my own so. here's to out with the old and in with the new! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

christmas miracles

okay, my blogging leave of absence was much needed. i felt that, although so much happened this year, i just didn't have it in me to write about it and make it come to life in the way i want to. so here i am, overcome with christmas spirit and an onslaught of emotions, ready to write a little.

biggest news first: we have a new cousin!-- a sweet baby boy i will call 'apple-blue' as is his dedicated nickname by big sis 'little bits.' dear baby boy was born in august, but i have yet to make an announcement here to his arrival. beazy also turned TWO in november. it's been a big year full of growth and change and busy days.

now, i have to stray away from the updating, as i could ramble for days about all that i've failed to write. i am only writing now, watching the snow falling, then turn to rain, then back to snow, and a mixture of something in between, because i am feeling a wee bit heavy minded. not about christmas. christmas and i are on good terms this year. i have been plotting and planning and budgeting and i am nearly done all that i need to finish before the big day. no, this is not a complaint about christmas at all. this is brought on by an outpouring of emotions. my heart just wants to reach out to everyone today, to touch their lives and uplift them. i feel there has been much sadness this past week for me. everything from bidding a heartbreaking farewell to my dog after her increasing confrontation with our older dog which led to us returning her to the shelter, family altercations which just added to my misery (i don't know if we are even speaking which is so, so sad right before christmas), and the horrific tragedy at the school in connecticut where the world lost 27 lives, most of them far too young. i have had a heavy heart, puffy and tear filled eyes, wet cheeks, and a permanent lump in my throat. but that's not what i want to write about. i want to write about the thing that turned it around for me today, as i was letting myself wallow in my sorrow once more: my mom.

last year i wrote a similar post about my dad. about his battle with skin cancer and the removal, then reconstruction of his nose from his cheek tissue. which, while i'm touching on it, is going well. three reconstructive surgeries and he's finally starting to get where he needs to be with the healing process. but this is about my mom. this year i was a bit discouraged to hear that my mom was having one of those years where she's out of touch with christmas. normally, on any given year, my mom is done shopping long before now and has her gifts wrapped and under the tree. not this year. she admitted she's done little, to no, shopping and isn't really feeling it. it was a bit confusing for me, as i'm not at all used to her feeling that way, but we all have those years and this is her's.  i guess the thing that made me realize it's all going to be okay is that, no matter what is happening, my mom always makes christmas feel special. she always keeps traditions going, creates new ones, and makes the whole christmas season magical. she's kept the magic alive for me for 27 years, i have no doubt she'll do that for beaz, too. so, even when she's feeling uninspired, i am inspired to keep the magic alive and to create some new traditions for my own child in true mama fashion, just as my mom has done.

i guess that's really something that i take away from my mom; her love of tradition and family. no matter how much we fight, no matter how many times she and i haven't seen eye to eye, i still hold the same things dear to me that she does. she's successfully engrained her christmas spirit in me, and if she isn't feeling it, then i will feel it twice as much to help her through. because it doesn't matter that she hasn't done any shopping. gifts are never what's important, cheesy as that sounds, it's about family and friends and everyone we love coming together and feeling the christmas spirit alive and well. so now i brush away my tears that i've cried for a week and i embrace the challenge of lighting the candle in the hearts of my friends and family to keep our love alive and overlook all of the bad, sad, unfavorable things that have happened this year. because, really, what's more important than getting some love and forgiveness for christmas? i hope you feel my love and offer me forgiveness, any of you, that i may have hurt at any time this year. i also wish for you to share that love and forgiveness with all people in your life today. we all need a little cheer, so here's mine.

merry christmas to you.
and as always, thoughts of a happy new year.

Monday, August 6, 2012

in the garden

okay, okay, i have neglected our wee blog for months not because i dislike writing, but because i am in a perpetual writer's block. and it's not for lack of material; beazy mccheesy is just exploding with newness. i just have felt uninspired to write about it. so, apologies!

this morning is turning out to be another hot one (and boy, have we had our share of heat this summer!), and my little guy and i wandered out to the garden to inspect out crops. i'll catch you up to speed on my gardening venture: this year i was determined to have a raised bed garden and e made that happen for me on mother's day. it was not without it's... complications. we had originally planned for two 8x8 raised beds and ended up with a double stacked single 8x8 bed with a gap in the sides which allowed my coveted pumpkins, big max (50-100lbs!) and pie pumpkins, and my golden, as well as crookneck, summer squash to grow out the sides and away from my interior veggies. the only other things in my garden are sugar snax carrots and provider green beans, and recently new corners designated to my black seeded simpson lettuce. nothing overwhelming. i do have another corner bed next to our porch with some cucumbers which took very late and more summer squash. c and i spend mornings and evenings in the garden most days. he recently acquired mammoth sunflowers which are planted in his dirt bed. yes, dirt bed. nothing will grow there and we've allowed him to dig it up as he sees fit. he and his dad planted the mammoth sunflowers there this weekend. i am not convinced they will grow, i highly doubt they will even blossom, but it was a fun project for our little dude even so.

so out to the garden we wandered to pick snails off the leaves and watch the busy honey bees in their busiest hour. we find them here each morning while the day is still cool and the blossoms are open on the pumpkins and squash. beaz is so unafraid of bugs but i try to remind him not to touch the bees. i have no idea if he is allergic and i'm not really interested in finding out any time soon. i think i even prefer the spiders and other miscellany of insect he brings to me. i take a little time to poke around my beans, which we've been harvesting every couple of days, and the summer squash, which we have already plucked two fat fruits from and a third is nearly ripe. i have never been so excited to pick my own veggies. then again, i've never grown my own. sure, i spent some time in my dad's garden as a kid (not much time, unless it was on my chore list to do the weeding or it was green bean harvest time...), but i haven't had my own garden until now. amazing how satisfying it is. next year i will go bigger and expand the number of crops i plant, but even my limited crops this year are just enough to feel proud.

beazy is about to have a new cousin, essentially any day now, and we all feel so blessed to have a new baby boy entering the family. he's also enjoyed some time with his big cousin, emma, whom he greatly looks up to. he's been a bit jealous of emma's chickens and her new kittens, always talking about them! but this morning i found him reading his new dinosaur book his nana gave him to isa, our 100lb staffordshire, and i figured that will have to do for now. he's been talking so much lately that it has been catching me off guard. this month he will be 21 months old *nearly two!?* and he's got short sentences happening. when i entered his room this morning he asked me 'momma, drink of water?' like he's had his words all along. 'drink of water' is a new one. his sentences are still choppy, but a three or four words sentence is becoming more common. after he breakfast he asked isa, the aforementioned dog, to 'read dinosaurs me?' which i assume meant 'read about dinosaurs with me?' and he remembers everything! i can tell him something and days later he will remind me of what i said. whether it involves some imparted knowledge or something far simpler, he will remember and repeat it to me at a later date. he knows who lives at each grandparents' and aunt/uncle's house, who has what for pets, what he does at their houses... children are incredible sponges. i only wish i still had such brain capacity for learning. i feel i can hardly hold my own thoughts in most days.

a little secret: i am plotting second birthday themes already (did i just say that?). it's so hard to believe my baby boy is going to be turning two this year. but i do look forward to all of the adventures we will have with him as he grows and grows. for his birthday this year, think BUGS!

Friday, May 25, 2012

time out for sunshine

we have been in a perpetual state of damp this month as the greenery is exploding all over our pretty state under the clouds and rain. though we love it's helping hands in bringing forth the leaves and flowers, the rain leaves us often trapped indoors twiddling our thumbs and praying for a break in the clouds.

a few days this week the sun graced us with it's shine and we stole away to take full advantage of it. packing a bag, not unlike the famous "everyday bag" from my childhood, we snatched up our sunscreen, pail & shovel, and my good camera, and headed for the ocean. my e, more native to our town than i, has brought us to a stretch of beach before and so i set course for this secluded spot. when we arrived, i parked the jeep and gathered our bags and buckets and my little beaz and headed down the foot path to the beach, delighted to see someone had replaced the washed out drop off with tire steps filled with stones for safe footing.

my wee wren was so excited to be at the 'oshan' that he dragged me along until i found a nice shaded spot under an outstretched patch of trees to lay our blanket. we loaded ourselves with sunscreen, i plopped a brimmed bucket hat on my excited boy, and he quickly made his way to the water's edge to toss stones into the lapping waves. over and over we walked the shore, picking up empty seashells, sea glass, little rocks, and the occasional vacant crab shell. we later found ourselves in the sand, making a poor attempt at a sand castle. i do know better, my father taught me well how to make a sandcastle and would have shaken his head disapprovingly at my breaking all of the rules. sandcastle building then turned into a game of burying our feet and escalated into c pretending to be either swimming or then napping in the sand. i paid little mind to the sand that encrusted him from head to toe, enjoying his giggles and fascination. there really is something magical that happens when children find sand or dirt. i can't explain it, but how can you mind shaking out the three pounds of sand when they had so much fun collecting it in their shoes and pants?

when beaz finally lay his head in the sand and said "night, mommy," i knew it was time to wrap up our fun for the day and head home. we returned for a windier go of it yesterday and found a massacre of crabs, big and small, all along the shore. beaz had great fun picking them up and dismantling them as i gagged over the stink of their not-yet-empty insides. i patiently removed them from his grasp each time, telling him we should return them to the ocean instead of tugging off their legs... i don't think there's any way, yet, to explain that pulling apart dead crabs is quite gross.

having a whole beach to ourselves on a sunny afternoon is my new favorite pastime. i am sure, as tourist season approaches, it will be less and less likely to find it secluded, but we will return as often as we can to wander the now familiar shores. we are ready for you, summer, whenever you arrive.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

naturalizing my modern world

okay. it's time to let you in on a little secret: i am very clearly wild-born. by this i don't mean i was raised by wolves, but more raised my the environment, state, and parents who believed in letting children be children, nature be nature, and stains, cuts, and bruises paint a picture of active minds and bodies.

the reason i state my 'wild-born'ness is that i have been slowly sculpting an image of naturalizing my lifestyle and that of my family. in a modern world, plastic dominates multiple industries, electronics replace imagination and the written word, and children sit more than run. i can't say i am not guilty of including all of these things in my life regularly, but i am inspired by a wind of change to better our choices to create an environment drawn from nature and not solely from industry. there are things we can't truly escape, and i am a realist. i am not looking to adapt myself into a waldorf lifestyle, an ideal i find hard to embrace and educationally agree very little with as a whole. if i was looking for to do away with modern society and the growth we've made as a nation, i would be more interested in being amish. but what i would like to do is wipe the slate clean and become more in touch with things that need no frills, bangs, pops, or whistles. i am beginning simply: plastic & non-stickware. no more tupperware, no more non-stick pans. glass storage containers & jars, stainless steel, copper, or cast iron pots and pans. if you have to ask why, then i recommend looking up the links to cancer and the toxins that can be released. it might make you rethink them, too.

we are also in the process of a true gardening project this year. our 6'x6' beds are built and we are planning our crops for planting. i hope to be successful in our endeavors in growing our own food, for i am looking to learn canning, pickling, preserving, and freezing foods. in line with that, i also have a real issue with the grocery store breads being full of preservatives and corn syrup and other nonsensical things that do not belong in our food, and do not get processed well by our bodies. i am looking forward to digging my hands into my own doughs and breads this year. i am trying to do away with most pre-packaged, over-processed, dyed, enriched, and falsified foods "healthy foods" as much as possible. i think certain things will be good for our wee wren to learn to appreciate and get involved in at a young age. i look forward to his help in the gardens, tiny shovels, buckets, and imagination in hand. i then look forward to teaching him how to turn our hard work into delicious eatables & edibles.

bigger and more distant longings include chickens, beehives, goats, a family cow, wool sheep, and pigs.. let's face it, i want a farm. a small, manageable, self-sustaining farm. i would like to get back to the roots of mankind and make butter, milk a cow, bottle honey, eat our own grass-fed meat, felt wool, and numerous other things. yes, this would likely qualify me as a hippy, except i do love my deodorant and i shave my armpits. but the idea of self-sustainability is something that's slowly taken hold over the past few years and i find that i am really tapping into that passion. in time, i would like to see some, if not all, of this come to fruition. of course, i will have to get e on board first... it could take a bit of pouting and stomping my feet.

i am not looking to live without electricity, plumbing, or netflix (oh, how i love a good movie!), but simplifying our waste and consumption, and finding a more traditional way of doing things sings loudly in my heart. it brings me back to childhood days of foraging in the woods, imagining i was laura in my favorite book series: little house on the prairie. i suppose the pioneer in me never truly left, and i see no reason not to embrace my inner wild-child as an adult. finding your passion is what makes life more appetizing, so we should all embrace it no matter what it happens to be.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

a case of the in betweens

with our little c now at seventeen months old, i find myself at a crossroads in toddlerdom. not quite old enough to do many of the things that would be easy to occupy our day with, and no longer so immobile as to have patience for many of the other things we used to do.. i find myself on a never-ending quest to satiate an appetite for learning at this age.

i have discovered quickly that my child has my busy-body genes and will only happily sit to any activity for an average span of ten to fifteen minutes before moving on to the next. being that most of his energy is spent trying to get mommy to hold him, read to him, entertain him, i really want to encourage and provide a sense of self-efficiency and imagination in him. i stumble a bit with this and find that it's not the simplest thing to instill in a child who has relied on mommy since day one for essential needs. that i am all-too available to him puts us both at a disadvantage at times, but i must continue to encourage his sense of self and confidence.

our child cannot be what he is not, therefore we must embrace who he is. knowing how busy his body and mind are, i am now set to task to find activities that engage both, while promoting his own exploration without holding my hand. so begins my own homework for this summer. let's see what grade i get when it's all said and done.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

welcoming the vernal equinox

today is the vernal equinox; the first day of spring! the weather greeted us warmly with sunshine and we wanted to spend our day outside enjoying the turning of the seasons. beaz and i packed up our chalk, some toy trucks, his scooter, and our smiles and headed to our driveway with a mission to redesign it's blacktop. i admit, it was mostly me who adorned the tar, but little c did his best to add to my scribblings. he was a bit more concerned about hoarding the chalk than actually using it, but i digress. it was quite perfect, sitting in the sunshine doodling with chalk, a medium i haven't used in far too long. how i went this long without picking up a stick, i can't possibly imagine, as it brought back delights of past art projects and filled me with the whimsy of a young child again. i see many more fun projects like this in our future as our wee wren grows and becomes more skilled in his artistry. what a blissful way to bring spring into 2012!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

in like a lion, out like a lamb

march, true to it's lion & lamb reputation, has brought us some unpredictable weather as always. as little c would put it, "rowwwrrr & baaaahhh!!" we began our first few days with 6-8 inches of snow and a week later we find it's all but melted away in the 50 degree sunshine. i, personally, have no bones to pick with march's unpredictability. growing up in maine, i have little complaints about the weather; as the saying here goes: "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute." in this case, a week, but the point still rings clear.

so beaz and i began our month with hats and mittens, sledding in the accumulating snow, and ended up outside in tee shirts, planting our very first seeds to begin our gardening for the year. we have been happily busy, though i cannot say unscathed in this germ season. we all managed to catch a nasty stomach virus, beazy making out better than i, and e ending up sick as a dog, and now i have been suffering a cold that has lasted over a week and shows little signs of letting go any time soon. but we mustn't let illness drag us down, though it may have slowed our roll a bit.

our wee wren has been talking up a storm and oh the things this guy can say to us now! it is quite remarkable, when you first understand the words your child can say, only to have it sink in deeper that not only are these words your child is speaking, but that your child is communicating with you. our sweet boy understands far more than even we grasp at times, until the light bulb moment when we see it in action. he is readily able to identify what he wants and certainly what he doesn't want. i feel lucky that 'no' is usually applied to things such as 'would you like more?' as opposed to it's inevitable progression into direct disobedience. all children must find their way, and i have a solid notion that mine will be a stalwart in all things desired or undesired. stubborn and somehow still sensitive, he's tapped into the best of both worlds and i must love every ounce of him more each day for it.

bruiser, as he should have been named at birth, has proven to us that little ones bounce back much quicker than we who have begun to bid adieu to youth. sunday he managed two black eyes from two separate incidents, and yesterday he nearly stopped my heart as he fell from a chair he is not supposed to stand in, causing me to worry for his first broken arm or leg. after a few minutes of crying and clinging to me, i managed to assess that he was indeed okay and the tears were easily dried with cheddar bunnies, raisins, and juice.

i am having more and more fun by the day, growing and learning right along with my little boy. beazy teaches me more than i could ever learn on my own about what it truly means to be a parent, and the lessons we both provide for each other are ones to keep forever in mind. it's a simple kind of magic, but one that i don't feel can be replicated without becoming a parent yourself. of all the joys i've had in life, this is certainly my greatest. but whether it's the joy of parenting or the joy of traveling, we must all find our bliss in this world. for what is life without it?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

trouble is his middle name

let me clarify, before i even begin, that i knew the moment that little stick showed two pink lines i would have a child just as stubborn and mischievous as his parents. i make no excuses about what he was going to be naturally born with. and with two middle names already, adding 'trouble' has become quite a mouthful.

yesterday was a true example of the trouble little c can create when he's given just a moment to get into it. painting the scene: mom exits the living room/play room to pop a casserole into the oven for dinner. while gone, one little boy takes advantage of the missing momma to pull out the xbox, daddy's prize possesion, from the tv stand and drag it to the middle of the floor where he turns it on and attempts to put a dvd case, not dvd itself, into the tray. reenter mom to the scene---

i quickly surveyed the room and made my way to the center of the destruction to the mistreated gaming unit. i put on my best stern face and voice and proceeded to scold my son about playing with daddy's xbox, when we have asked him not to touch it on many an occasion. while crouching over it, picking up the scattered dvds and righting the unit, my sweet naughty boy put his hands on his knees, caulked his head to the side, and smiled at me. trying not to break my disciplinary tactic, i frowned and told him that it was not funny and mommy was not happy. he knows better than to touch what's in the tv stand and what he did was naughty. to my utter surprise, he then walked the few steps to my side, crouched again, rubbed my back, made an 'aww' sound, and leaned in to kiss me smack on the mouth, smiling the whole time. my reaction horrified me, as every stern bone in my body shattered into a thousand pieces and i found myself smiling and laughing.

following this incident, once all had been righted in the living room, i turned around to find him missing again. knowing just where he would have gone, i made a hasty move to the kitchen to see what he could possibly be putting in the dogs' water bowl this time. (let me backtrack a bit by saying that nearly all toys end up in there at some point and i had honestly thought that, after a few days of him steering clear of it, that the fascination was over..) well, to answer my pondering, he was seated cross legged in the bowl (not the first time) and was using my cell phone as a boat. i quickly grabbed my cell phone and set it on the counter and stood back to survey the scene, all the while repeating 'that is naughty! what has mommy told you about the dog water?! yuck!' and all the while the reaction i received was smiling and laughter at what he clearly felt was a funny stunt. again, i broke. again, i laughed. how will i ever discipline my child if he can break my defenses down so quickly? i must learn, somehow, or the results will possibly be unfavorable as the trouble escalates with age...

but, for now, i share this as a light-hearted story. i'll get back to you in six months when he paints the dog red or throws a bag of flour all over my kitchen. then there may be more tears than laughter.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

lessons in language

breaking the language barrier with little c has been both a rewarding and frightening experience. he repeats nearly everything and doesn't hesitate to dish out some requests of his own. just in the last few weeks we are actually noticing he's entered a stag that generally starts at the age of two or three, or more commonly starts when children are around other children: "mine, mine, mine!" i noticed it a few weeks ago, but chose to ignore it in hopes i was hearing incorrectly. but last week he began an insistent repetition of 'mine!' and i know now he's starting to identify with other children and the want for things (toys, his drink, snacks, me..) to be only his own. being that he's never been really made to share, we didn't think that he would become so 'me-centric' at only  fourteen months of age, but spending more time interacting with other children has a way of bringing that out in almost all little ones. so we are now trying to focus his 'mine-ness' into 'our-ness' in hopes that the phase will be outgrown shortly.

next in his early identifying is knowing what we mean by 'no' or 'stop' and choosing to directly ignore it. or, in more recent cases, repeating it like a mockingbird back to us. just yesterday he was pulling papers off my desk and reciting 'no, no, no-no, no no no...' as he strew them about the floor. trying not to laugh, i just responded with 'that's right, those aren't for playing...' and picked them up, moving them out of his reach. later he discovered he can climb into the berkline rocking chair all on his own. not a big deal, save for the need to then stand in said chair, which i quickly had to push against the wall to prevent from rocking and launching my wee boy headlong to the floor. once the rocking had ceased, he resorted to standing on the arm of the chair to see the 'fisssss' in the fish tank. after a chorus of 'caleb, please sit. caleb... please sit in the chair... okay, caleb... you need to get down, please.' he then looked me square in the face, yelled 'down!' sat for a brief moment, then sprung back up to put his foot on the arm of the chair, yelling 'down!' and taking his foot back off. this continued for a minute or two before i swiftly removed him from the chair. i was, however, quite unsuccessful in keeping his out of the chair the rest of the day and it only began anew this morning. to this i recite to myself a mother's mantra of 'patience. just breathe. i must have patience.'

the one thing beaz will not repeat, at least to me, is 'please.' naturally he will say it for his grandparents, and even e gets him to utter it quietly, but for me... no. i get a prize-winning tantrum, gritted teeth, a crooked jaw, furrowed brows, and many tears before that word gets uttered. and i'll be honest, a weak mother's moment has me not standing my ground enough to get a 'please' at all before i hand over a cracker or toy. yup, i truly am guilty of a weak constitution in a moment of shear mental anguish when i just want the screaming to stop.

walking. oh that's next, yes? we have finally moved out of crawling phase (okay, "finally" may be a bit over-stated as it certainly has not brought relief) and into running phase. our rocket powered hands-and-knees boy has become a jet fueled, two legged escape artist. not only can he scoot from room to room in near silence and manage to, i dunno, take a bath in the dog's water bowl the moment my back is turned, but he has learned that our baby gate at the bottom of the stairs has never latched tightly. yes, that means that our curious beaz now pushes that gate open and climbs the stairs to explore the bedrooms upstairs. a few heart-stopping moments have come to call as a result. no tumbles, yet, and hopefully with our plan to revise our childproofing, we will have none to follow.

with all of that said, mistake me not for an exasperated mother at the end of her apron stings. these new discoveries about himself has had our little c entertaining his buns off and causing a great deal of laughter and praise in our household. the incredible charm and humor of this dear boy can cause even the worst of days to fade into the happiest. we are so very lucky to be graced with such a wonderful boy in our lives.