Monday, September 10, 2007

Baby Scheduling Service

Sometimes I feel like I am my toddler's personal assistant, coordinating his social calendar and relaying messages for him. My days go something like this:

(phone rings)
Mommy: "Baby Scheduling Service, this is Mommy. How may I help you?"

Voice on Phone: "Hello, this is Grandma."

Mommy: "Hello, Grandma. Can I interest you in our Tuesday Evening Special? We're offering a complimentary spaghetti dinner with your baby visit, complete with a poncho to protect your clothes from flying noodles."

Grandma: "No thanks. I'd like to schedule a Saturday visit with my grandson...and I'd like the Fuss-Free Guarantee, please."

Mommy: "I'm sorry, but we are no longer offering the Fuss-Free Guarantee due to an unexpected increase in tooth production. However, we are promoting our Proof of Fussy Certification this week, which includes a log of naps that confirm that the reason for his fussiness is not your visit."

Grandma: "Okay, that will have to do. I also have a list of requested maneuvers for my stay. Specifically, I would like to order four smiles, two hugs (upon arrival and departure), several steps (you did say he was walking now, didn't you?), and at least three laughs."

Mommy: "All right, I'll pencil you into his calendar for this Saturday, between his baby food throwing and his rough-housing with Daddy. Will there be anything else?"

Grandma: "No, that's all. I'll see him on Saturday."

Reckless Abandon via Remote Control

Our TV now speaks French.

I consider myself to be fairly tech-savvy, but I can never figure out the three remotes with 100 buttons that are needed to work our TV/DVD/Stereo combo. So, I can't figure out how to switch it back to English.

If I give the remotes to my 9-month-old son, I'm sure it will go back to English. Either that, or he will change something else. I think he likes watching me struggle...or maybe I've just lost the childlike love of pushing buttons and playing with reckless abandon. His joy is priceless, in fact, that I let him play with the remotes.

Maybe tomorrow I'll throw caution to the wind and push all the buttons on the remotes with him. I'm sure it would be fun...and I can blame my son when my husband comes home and can't remember how to turn off the closed captioning.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

He's Got Your Eyes

People tell me that my son has my eyes. I’m happy about that, since everything else seems to have come from my adorable husband. But I started thinking, what would I want him to see if he has my eyes? What if he could see what I’ve seen?

I would want him to see the good in people. I want him to look past first impressions and know that everyone is fighting their own battles. People become who they are because of their experiences, and everyone has good traits. I want him to work to see these good qualities and develop the ability and the desire to see them.
If my son had my eyes, I would want him to see the beauty of natural wonders. I would like him to appreciate the amazing splendor of a sunset or the magnificence of leaves in the fall. I want him to look out upon a desert and see the beauty amidst the barrenness. I want him to see the shapes in the clouds, and know that each day brings its own exquisite attraction regardless of the weather or location.
Most of all, I want him to see the enactment of his dreams and know how possible and likely they really are. I want him to see that dreams are just future events that he can make happen. I would like him to see the power he has to control his destiny and live the life he wants.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What I Learned about Parenthood from Watching Sports Fans

I know you’ve seen them. The face-painted, shouting super-fan who will bear the elements (and the embarrassment) to show his or her pride in a sports team. We may think they’re crazy, but there are actually a lot of parenting lessons to be learned from these maniacs.
Show your colors
You know the type…the guys with bare chests painted in team colors at an outdoor football game in the winter. They are shameless when it comes to promoting their team and being proud of who they support. Family pride isn’t something we see often, but kids benefit greatly from knowing and seeing that it’s good to be a part of this family. So be proud of your family and make that pride known.
Be willing to do the wave
These are the people who do the wave even when it annoys the people around them. They show cheer for every little thing, almost for the sake of cheer itself. Every day you have opportunities to support your kids. Be willing to stand up and show your support in a big way! No matter where you are, your kids should know that you are willing to stand up and support them.
Don’t be a fair weather fan
Kids have ups and downs, and they need you to be there for them even when they do something wrong. It’s easy to support them when things are good, just like it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when a team is having a winning season. It’s harder to support them when they make mistakes, especially when they didn’t take your advice. Those are the times when the sports fanatics may be the only ones in the stands. Be there no matter what, with your face painted and your arms waving.
Display your memorabilia
You know it when you walk into a sports fanatic’s house. The rooms may be painted in the team colors, and there are banners, helmets, etc. on the walls. The closet is full of jerseys and the cars all have team stickers or license plates. When people walk into your house, they should know immediately who your kids are and how much you support them. Display your photos (not just the studio ones!), ticket stubs, art projects, etc. Keep the reminders of family on display for the visitors as well as for the kids.
Buy season tickets
Sports fanatics are willing to wait outside all night to be first in line at the box office to get season tickets. If you go to all of your kids’ activities with that same enthusiasm, they will notice and it will be part of the cherished memories that they still talk about as an adult. Kids remember when their parents didn’t miss a game.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Cousin the Super Villain

Last weekend at a family gathering I found myself talking with my cousin who has three children ages five and under. He was describing the youngest one (3 years old) and her personality. Instead of telling me what she was like, he said “She’s either going to be a politician or a Super Villain.” I laughed at the prospect of a father thinking his youngest daughter could be something of a comic book character. But then I began thinking about how we attribute future careers to our kids.
When I was pregnant with my son, he never stopped kicking and moving. At each doctor’s visit, we had trouble hearing his heartbeat because he was constantly moving away from where the doctor was listening. Each time I told people about that, they would say he was going to play sports or be a gymnast. It’s funny how they always assigned careers to him based on his personality before it’s even had a chance to form. Why didn’t they think he would make a good demolition derby driver? They have to weave around a lot. Or how about a waterslide tester? Or a kung-fu movie actor? They definitely have to kick and move quickly!
So, I never found out why my cousin thought his daughter might become a super villain. But I do know that I will either keep my distance from this little hooligan, or donate a lot of money to her campaign. If I’m going to be related to a super villain, I’d at least like to have her out in front where I can see her.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Glamorous Life

I was rifling through my bathroom vanity (looking for a washcloth to wipe the spit-up off of my arm) when I saw the pretty make-up kit that my husband so lovingly bought me for Christmas. It had gotten dusty sitting there...probably hadn't been opened in several months. I realized right then that I had gone from wearing make-up to wearing spit-up the minute my son was born. This is not the glamorous life I had imagined, but he is worth it all. So every day I fix my hair after my shower (I have to have SOME dignity, right?), put on clothes that I don't mind getting splattered with hour-old baby formula, and prepare to get peed on at the next diaper change. Goodbye heels and business attire, hello sweats and bottles. My glamour lies in being a good mom.