Currently Browsing: Little Guy Lessons
Sep 4, 2013
What you do for your bosses, husband, and children they’ll come to expect.
I coined this expression when I used to clean houses for a living. I was kind enough to wash and redistribute towels in a client’s bathroom. And the next time I cleaned for her, she was indignant that I’d not done this again. I had never agreed to it as part of my cleaning services to begin with. But somehow, my kindness had turned on me and become an expectation.
Now I am married with children and, at this very moment, I am listening to my little 6 month old red-headed daughter scream and shudder because she thinks I should be retrieving her from her nap. Except, if you’ve napped enough, do you scream? I think not. Death Nap Match of the Fall of 2013 has begun. Rule of thumb is that a well napped child is not screaming and is pleasant to be around. I’m in for the penny and pound as I see this tactic through.
Mother’s have a horribly hard time allowing their children to do things for themselves. And by rushing in, we rob them of many opportunities of creating competency. In this instance, comforting and putting themselves back to sleep. But I could include in this generality, and you’d agree, wiping their butts, cutting up their meat, tying their shoes, and speaking for themselves. Not only will they expect you to continue to do so, they secretly believe you are telling them they’re incapable of doing it themselves. That’s no good.
As for the husband? Save maybe 6 hours, I’ve spent these past 180 days straight with the daughter. He’s panicked at the thought of spending any alone time with the “baby” for fear he’ll do something wrong. She seems to cry when he’s alone with her. If we don’t create the opportunity for them to bond, how will they? It may be a rough ride but they’ll live through it. He’ll create competency and I’ll get some alone time.
Oh, you want to know what happened with the screaming baby? Of course I went and got her. After her hollering for 40 minutes straight, she was getting hoarse with no signs of letting up. I picked her up and held her silently rocking her. And after a few minutes I laid her down to change her and there were no apparent hard feelings from either of us. Her eyes are bleary and it’s as if nothing ever happened. Until next nap time.
Be careful what you choose to do because you and the world, and your child, may expect it of you ever after. We are all entitled to our boundaries, to our needs, and to being proud of them when they learn they can do without us.
Aug 27, 2013
Thankfully, we had a reprieve in the weather here in Maryland in August. Usually so ridiculously hot and humid that we all huddle inside our air-conditioned houses and pray our children survive to see the first day of school. Because the lack of exercise, except for the McDonald’s playland , makes them, and you, punchy and annoying and in need of being removed. Summer Death Match 2012 wasn’t pretty. But this year, we were all spared by the mild lovely weather.
During the week of Y camp, Fiona and I visited our friend Amanda on Kent Island at Mowbray Park.
Mark hung his chandelier for the first time and didn’t break it.
Fiona sometimes slept and sometimes grew.
And Summerfest, usually a nasty hot event we secretly just call Simmerfest, wasn’t. Eamon had planned, or rather we had planned for him, to have a lemonade stand.
Sunday morning sandhill fun.
Eamon checked out who his teacher would be.
And was very happy with his assignment.
And a drive to drop off our cable box in Cambridge gave us a needed day away from the house and some playtime at the super cool playground at Sailwinds Park at the wider stretch of the Choptank River. Here it’s a river. At our house, it’s a big stream.
We had not taken a vacation this summer and the day brought to mind the meaning and necessity of vacations. To be somewhere else with the ones you love playing and not having to do anything. If we’re at home, we find stuff to accomplish.
And last week, a library lego event was great for Eamon. Fiona just wanted to fuss.
You can see Eamon’s piece displayed in the entry area of the Caroline County library. I saw it today complete with “scorpion circle of time” and name tag.
And so it all ends with the first day back to school.
Me and Fiona are going have special one on one bonding time. Prepare for the Fall Naptime Death Match of 2013.
Aug 2, 2013
Eamon came home from a playdate and proudly announced that the Mom had allowed them to use some bad words. I was curious since I know she’s been taking her children to a Catholic church. So I queried the vocabulary in question.
He said, “Wee wee and pee pee. And dumb, holy, and crisis“. I thought I would bust out laughing.
Someone once told me their kid knew the big bad word. It was Ship. God forbid you have a crisis on the ship if the head is occupied and you need to wee wee. That could be a cause for crisis.
And that’s one of the ways you know you’ve got good kids. The other verboten words at our house? Stupid. There are far better ways to express this sentiment. Bored. I’ll give you something to do. And hiney because I think it’s an ugly word.
And then we let our kid watch a Star Trek movie the other night. And just like when we watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit, you don’t remember the “bad” words until there’s a child there with you. And they used every one of those throw away “bad” words. We just ignored it.
We figure if he wants to ask us about them, he will. This is the kid who asked me what ‘diabolical’ and ‘reign’ meant while we were checking out at the Food Dog. So watch your language. Or at least be creative.
Jul 28, 2013
I was aware that the plein air festival was going down in Easton as it does every July. I’d seen some of the artists out painting as I visited Moonvine. When I got wind that Sunday was a kids classes day, I took the opportunity to create a field trip with my little artists,Eamon and his friend Brianna, who have been friends since Kindergarten.
On the playground in Kindergarten
He’s mentioned he wanted to do more arting and Miss Briana had a piece in the art show at the library recently. So they were up for the challenge. And they did a wonderful job of rolling with the day.
We showed up early, signed up for Abby Laible’s ‘See it….Simplify it….Paint it!’ class. It was plein air festival after all. And they had a chance to chat with the teachers aide ahead of time.
They chose to paint Mason’s restaurant. And did so sitting in the street, “en plein air”. I don’t think either of them had ever had experience painting with acrylics.
Fiona and I sat back and watched their process.
I discovered I had no diapers in the diaper bag. And we ran into our old friend Selene who asked to hold the baby.
We rolled back by Moonvine to say hi.
And as we strolled the streets, Easton seemed to be looking her best for the event.
M. Randall’s new digs.
The day began to get hotter.
So we headed northwards to Denton for lunch and a romp in the air conditioned McDonald’s.
And Eamon woke up the next morning so excited about arting, we thought we’d do more of it. This time our medium was watercolors.
I present the masterpieces.
A Slice of Watermelon and A Study in Ninja Fish with Pencils in Perspective.
Community and Art are what make the soul feel extra swell.
Jul 21, 2013
Ah, are these summer days dragging on at lightening speed or what? The joy and the pain of recent events are as follows.
Our oven died. I freaked out when the chicken still wasn’t done by 8 in the evening. Thought I was blinder than I had imagined and upset, I reset the oven. Yah, No. The bottom element was cold. So the first week we replaced that. Then we replaced a switchy relay thinger. Then we called in a fix it friend. And now we’re waiting for the Sears repair guy between 8 and 5 on Tuesday.
Tried making oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies in the narrow side oven. All that fits are these pans. Eamon called it an “epic failure”. It was a soak and scrape endeavor.
Fiona got a present from Mum Mum. Exer-saucer!!
The garden gave us some stuff to pick. Figs and a cucumber and grape tomatoes.
We beat the heat by hopping into Brianna’s pool.
Or sliding into it.
And we got to reconnect with some long time friends. Grateful.
There were a couple other “events” that were good enough to require their own posts. Stay tuned. And pray for my oven.
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