Defiance

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Recently it was one of those beautiful late days of summer where it is still warm and sunny enough to swim and I took the girls to the pool to play date with their best buds.   After a lengthy swim, my two-year old wanted a snack and demanded I take her puddle-jumper off to enjoy her goldfish crackers.  After a lengthy stay in the sun, Baby Bird decided she wanted to get back in the pool.

“Ok, but you have to put your puddle-jumper back on,” I explained.

“NO! I do it!” she loudly replied.

“No, Baby Bird, you have to put in on, you don’t know how to swim,” I patiently intimated.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!  I DOOOOOO IT!” she wailed.

This is when I thought to myself that this may be an excellent learning opportunity for Baby Bird.  Natural consequences friend, natural consequences.

I stood back and said, “By all means sweetheart, YOU do it.”

Confidently, Baby Bird approached the pool stairs.   She strutted her stuff down, one, two, three stairs, and then confidently strutted herself straight under the water and sunk like a rock.

I was standing right nearby and snatched her up and out of the pool in seconds asking, “Do you see now why you need your puddle-jumper?”

“Uh-huh,” she sputtered.

Since then, I have thought about my relationship with God.  I wonder how often I am standing there like a toddler with my fists balled up screaming, “I DO IT!”  I wonder how often he stands by and lets me suffer the natural consequences of my actions.   I am so grateful he is always standing by to pick me back up when I sink to the bottom.

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Maple Syrup?

MAPLE SYRUP

                Z started swimming lessons this week. It has taught us a couple of things. First of all, a toddler absolutely can scream while standing in a pool for a half hour straight. Secondly, screaming for a half hour is more exhausting to a child than actual swimming. This practice resulted in Z taking a three hour nap and going to bed at seven. Hurray! Cocktail hour!

                Hubby has had the pleasure of taking Z for her daily screaming sessions this summer except on Wednesdays which is my day off. I took her swimming this Wednesday and had perhaps one of the best moments of my life.

                She started off with her characteristic screeching. It was so bad, that I was starting to doubt my parenting. I was starting to think that maybe we should put off this swimming thing for another year while the voice of my husband saying, “I don’t care if she likes it. She has to learn this. It is a life skill.” I was just about to scoop my precious angel up and take her home declaring failure when she paused from her wailing to declare, “Mommy, you’re my very best friend ever,” with a broad grin. Then she immediately went right back to bawling.

                I could feel the tears of joy welling up in my eyes and started crying right there in the pool with her. Luckily the water hid my tears pretty effectively.

                After the pool, Z and I went grocery shopping. Z acts like she is a movie star at the grocery. She waves to everyone like she is in a parade, or a beauty pageant with a slight turn of her hand so as to not wear herself out.   She greets everyone with a loud, “Hi, I swimming,” or, “I blew bubbles,” as if they are interested in her aquatic adventures.

                There is something satisfying at the grocery store about actually getting everything on your list. I had almost accomplished this task when I realized that I had forgotten the pancake syrup. Hubby only likes real maple syrup and I was going to get the economy sized jugs because it is a bargain and that is when I met with my grocery store nemesis. I was wearing a bathing suit with a soggy cover-up over it pushing a toddler in a bathing suit covered in Cheetos dust waving like a princess, and there SHE was. She was wearing what I can only describe as formal wear. It was red, and possibly chiffon, accessorized with expensive, chunky looking jewelry and strappy sandals.

                But that was not the worst of it.   She swooped down in front of me and loaded up all ten jugs of economy sized maple syrup into her cart. I was stunned…. too stunned to speak. She cut me off and took ALL the maple syrup, and then when I looked in her cart, it was full, but completely full of nothing but maple syrup and large flats of grapes. At this point I am a little freaked out. What is she doing with all of those grapes and maple syrup? I was rendered speechless. Oh, how I wish I had asked.

                So, in lieu of actually knowing what she was doing with these select items, I have been taking a poll to see what people think she was doing with them. Here are the top answers:

  1. Homemade Canadian Wine
  2. Some weird diet cleanse
  3. Freaky pornography video
  4. Brunch?

                What do you think she was doing with them? It is driving me crazy.

 

 

grapes

Professional Mom

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                On Thursday nights we go to pottery class. It is what I would do for a living if I were good enough to do so, but sadly after many years of lessons, I am not. My Hubby tolerates it out of affection for me. I believe about four years ago we made a compact. If he would come to pottery class with me, I would go shooting with him once a month. It is now two babies and four years later and I am pretty sure I have only been shooting twice since then (although there have NOT been any definitive research studies done on the effect of lead exposure on nursing or pregnant women).
                The Hairy Potter’s wife, Jillionaire keeps Z for us on Thursday nights. Baby Bird who is still nursing flies to pottery with us, and Neurotic Beagle (Neurotic Beagle MUST go with us to avoid property damage) also joins us. Jillionaire is one of those moms who makes me feel inadequate. Her three girls, Braintrust, Fashonista and Sweetie Pie are always dressed in clean, stylish outfits. It seems like every week they have just gotten a new hat that is perched charmingly atop their freshly trimmed or braided hair. My child has never kept a hat on, EVER. Everything in her house is always clean and is arranged with an expert touch. Martha Stewart should really talk to Jillionaire about how to arrange and organize because Jillionaire could teach her a thing or two. She does all this while managing to look perfectly put together every time I haul my bedraggled kiddos, and my yoga pants clad self across her doorstep. But you know, professionals make things look effortless, and I am clearly a poser mom.

                A few weeks ago I could feel my face flush with frustration as I argued with Z as we were about to go to Jillionaire’s house. Last time we were there, she played with Braintrust, Fashonista, and Sweetie Pie in a kiddie pool. Of course, they were all stylishly dressed in complimentary but not quite matching bathing suits. When I told Z that we were going to their house, she immediately retrieved her bathing suit and started struggling off her clothes, saying, “I wear swimsuit.”

                I glanced outside at the rainy sixty-five degree day with skepticism and ventured, “Sweetheart, it is really cold outside, I don’t think the girls are going to be swimming today.”

                My arguments were to no avail in her two year old brain. She managed to get her swimsuit on, so I tried to compromise by getting her to put her clothes on over her swimsuit to camouflage the situation. This resulted in a meltdown, and an angry toddler yelling, “I no like pants anymore!”

                We were running late, so I tucked her jammies in her bag and threw her in the car in her turquoise bikini, sunglasses, and sandals.

                I prepared myself for the judgment of Jillionaire. I have NEVER seen her girls inappropriately dressed for the weather. If it is raining, they have cute patterned matching galoshes. If it is cold they have mini-infinity scarves tucked around their adorable little necks. I dropped her off in red-faced shame. I remember being embarrassed of my mom when I was a teenager, but no one bothered to tell me that your children can embarrass you.

                Jillionaire met us at the door and greeted Z with calm aplomb. She led Z in where indeed, Sweetie Pie, Fashonista and Braintrust were dressed appropriately and performing calculus in the floor with quiet politeness. Z seemed a little shocked to find, that her mother was right, and they were not in swimsuits.

                When I picked Z up later that night, she was tucked warmly in her jammies that I could not struggle on her using either love or money. I asked Jillionaire how she got Z out of the coveted swimsuit and into her jammies. Jillionaire nonplussed reply was, “I just gave her popsicles until she got cold.” Well played professional mom. Well played indeed.

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