A Week of Firsts

After homeschooling her whole life, my youngest had her first day of school away from home at college.  It’s SO quiet, even with three little ones in the house, with her gone.

My middle child had the first day of her last semester in college.  (WHEW!)

My oldest had his first day of full time college.

Max asked for TEA instead of coffee.  He also got a Little Tikes tractor.  Because every farm kid should have their own tractor.

Nick stood up all on her own at the McDonald’s playland.  It only lasted a split second, but I *saw* it!

Gus found his feet.  And discovered they can go in his mouth.  But not at the same time.  He also learned that he can stick out his tongue. So, he does.  A lot.  He also decided that he likes avocados mashed with plain kefir.

Mostly I just sit here and revel in the joy each one brings me.  But there’s always the bittersweet…  my first babies all grown up and living their lives apart from me.   And the bonus kiddos’ parents missing out on so many firsts.  So many smiles.  Hugs.  They filed a complaint saying we won’t let them talk to their kids.  I want to scream at them, “Don’t you know I’m doing this for you as much as them?!  Don’t mess it up!”


Oh how the mighty have fallen…

No, it’s not cheeseburger.  Or a McDouble.  It’s a double (more MEAT!) quarter pounder with cheese.  And I may even have eaten some fries. 

It took not eating at McDonald’s for eight months before it would make me sick when I did indulge.  It’s took about two weeks to get used to it again. 😐  Today, I didn’t even pretend I don’t eat there and went straight for the MEAT. 

So what does that have to do with humility?  Once upon a time I felt that people only ateat  McDonalds because it’s cheap (big families gotta eat, too) or because they weren’t as enlightened as those of us who were intelligent enough to recognize how awful the place is.  Same with whole foods cooking. 

I. was. wrong.  

It’s survival.  And I realize now that I would still feed my first two “crap”, because that’s what I have time and energy for. I would also still buy paper plates and napkins, despite my new environmental awareness. And the stack of cloth napkins under the sink. (Which were really cheap Walmart washcloths, and they are awesome for washing the babies at the sink.)

I need to remember this the next time I want to beat myself up with all the parenting “mistakes” I made in the 90s. 

Shape-o-Toy:  never out of style!

I finally, after 24 years of parenting, fully understand the design concept of the Shape-O-Toy. 

The precocious one year old can’t remove the shapes without help.  Which means he can’t throw them into the farthest reaches of your house never to be seen again.  Or undo all your hard work picking up the shapes and putting them in the box by throwing them back out just as quickly.  

The Melissa & Doug wooden shape box is cool looking.   And I love that it’s not plastic.  But sometimes survival and sanity come first.  

Feed ME!

I am certain that God wired mothers who are home with their toddlers all day with an important survival instinct.  When the body discovers that there is no toddler energy in the near vicinity it screams at you:

EAT! NOW! Real food if you can find it! Steering wheel cover will do nicely in its absence!

It’s not the same…

In my heart, they are the same.  When we are awake, they are the same.   We eat.  We play.  We make messes.  We go for walks.  We clean up.  We watch silly things on television.  And then it’s time to sleep.

And it’s NOT the same.   When a child wakes up in fear, unable to go back to sleep, we have to sit together in a chair.  Me praying for peace for the little one.  And then I put him back in the crib, only for him to wake again in a few hours.  We repeat the same steps.  Because he isn’t my own and I’m not allowed to let him sleep in my bed, his little feet touching me just barely, enough to know that mom or dad is there.  Enough to not fear.

I’m reminded of a night a very long time ago, when a frazzled and tired young mom decided to follow “expert” advice.  She put the child gate up across the door of her 2yo’s room after putting him to bed.  “Let him cry it out!”  That’s what the experts said.  The experts didn’t tell me how my heart would break when I found my sweet, red-headed little boy sleeping in the doorway, tears still fresh on his face.

Now I cry in remembrance of his broken little heart and for these new little hearts that will also break just a little.


Thoughts after three weeks with the little boys.

  1.  Parenting young adults is emotionally exhausting.  Parenting toddlers is physically exhausting.  I am now fully exhausted.   I found the cure for insomnia!
  2. Love grows every single day together.
  3. I have no clue what they should call me.  I’ve been thinking “Mia”, short for Mama Mia.  No, I don’t really like the song.
  4. I’ve rediscovered all my favorite Veggie Tales sing-along songs.  And I still don’t know the words to The Hairbrush Song.
  5. The combination of chasing toddlers and eating with them just might be the best weight loss plan ever.  Until you start remembering to add enough french fries and chicken nuggets to the tray for yourself.
  6. Be careful what you diffuse… you might put yourself to sleep instead of the toddler.
  7. I can’t stand shopping at K-Mart.
  8. Tiny little clothing is pain in the rear to move from the washer to the dryer, the pieces tend to stick to the side of the washer… on top, where I can’t see it, and they take FOREVER to fold.
  9. I wasn’t prepared to feel so much empathy for their parents.  I want them to succeed!  I want this little family to be reunited.
  10. I have so much I want to write in this journal and so little time to actually write it.