Friday, July 12, 2013


Napping has been the bane of my existence for the past four years.  When Pumpkin was born, Peanut immediately stopped napping.  She stopped being a super easy sleep through the night kind of kid too, but that's neither here nor there.  So I had this brand new baby who screamed a lot, and a two year old who had never screamed a lot who was now pretty much always tired and kind of pissed about her little brother taking up all of the attention.  So all of that nonsense about sleeping when the baby sleeps was out the window since no one slept and if they did it was one or the other.  I think we had a few days where both kids slept at the same time, but nothing spectacular. 

We have gone through lots of ways to try resting - quiet time, me sleeping on the couch while the kids put stickers on me or drew on the wall, me screaming at them to rest then crying about what a terrible parent I was...  We tried family naps where we all lay down together.  Room darkening shades, sound machines... We tried everything.  Every now and again I'd think I had hit upon the answer and we'd have a blissful week or two of glorious resting.  And then boom.  It would be over and it felt worse than before because then I had a taste of the elixir that is naps and me time. 

I have been sleep deprived for years now.  I almost don't know what it feels like to not be tired.  Now, I think the sleep deprivation would not have been so bad and forced me to obsess about naps if Pumpkin had ever slept through the night, but that seemed to be elusive as well - really it still kind of is.  We seem to be making some progress in the overnight department - Pumpkin has been sleeping until 7:30 in the morning instead of his usual 5am or bust.  And more often than not for the past few weeks he has woken up once or less a night which is really amazing. 

But napping.  Oh napping.  I know people with 5 year olds who nap every single day.  I am beyond envious.  These days we have been doing rest time where we all go in our rooms and rest.  Typically this is about 5 minutes before someone comes out of their rooms and starts asking me questions.  Or just making noises.  Or goes to the bathroom and yells for assistance of some kind.  Just enough time for me to begin to drift off and then have all possibilities of actually sleeping dashed in an instant.  Today we even did a guided visualization - which I enjoyed but the kids started playing rabbit hole where they burrow down to the bottom of the bed and pretend to be bunnies.  Sigh. 

Someday, I am told, they will be teenagers and I will struggle to wake them every day.  They will sleep and sleep and sleep and I will be trying not to nag them to get up.  This, my friends, is really hard to believe, but I'm going to bank on finally getting some sleep in about 6 or 7 years...  

Thursday, July 11, 2013


We've always been pretty straightforward about bodies and the differences between boys and girls around here.  With all the breastfeeding, watching birth videos, and using the "proper" words for parts, we figured getting to the actual "how a baby is made" part would be fairly simple.  So far, we have fielded questions as they come, answering them briefly without going overboard. 

A few weeks ago, Peanut began to ask about how the baby gets in there.  As we answered her questions we realized that she got all the precursors and was just trying to figure out the missing link.  We had seen this book and thought it was well done, so we just started using it as a bedtime story.  It took a few days, but when we did get to the chapter in question, I just read it through without comment.  Peanut looked a bit surprised, but Pumpkin didn't even blink - I don't think he caught it at all. 

We finished the chapter and as we were getting ready for bed, Peanut said "you have to snuggle with me.  I might have some questions."  Yeah - I figured that sweetie :) and had clearly planned to stay while Honey put Pumpkin to bed. 

So she confirmed what she had heard, and then asked a bunch of questions about having your underwear on or off, and whether daddy and I had done that.  Then - and this from a girl who has always wanted nothing more than to care for babies and have her own - she says "I think I might not have a baby."  We giggled like best buddies as we talked about how crazy baby making sounds, but how when you get older it doesn't sound so weird. 

What is so hard about talking about sex with our kids?  I'm sure there are a million questions and a million hurdles we have yet to jump but there are facts and answers and discussions to be had that will help our kids be more comfortable with their bodies and sexuality than we were.  We should share what we know and be honest with them. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Like Granite

As a mom, you want what is best for your kid.  But what the hell is that really?  Does anyone know?  Is there anyone out there who feels like they always had what was best for them?  I don't think so.  Sometimes, I think we need to be reminded of this.  When parenting is stressful and things aren't going the way you planned, and when you are second guessing yourself at every turn, and when facebook and pinterest make you feel like a totally incompetent boob, I think we need a reminder.

I need a reminder. 

My job is to be their support.  It is to be their rock.  To love them no matter what and show them that I love them no matter what.  It is to put my own stuff aside and foster their own true self.  I look around and every single person I know has some stuff, some baggage, some issues.  It can't be avoided I think.  No matter what we do or don't do, our kids are going to perceive the world in their own way and there will be something that they wrestle with now or later. 

Perfection in parenting is a myth.  Perfection in anything for that matter.  I am good enough.  They are good enough.  We are solid.  And that is the truth. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What You Really Need

You will note that I have been a tad bit MIA.  I've been feeling the need to get back to writing - it helps me process without burdening other people to hear my same epiphany over and over again.  This afternoon, we had some pretty intense happenings, and so here we go!

Peanut turns six tomorrow.  I know right?  How is that possible? Well, in addition to all of the festivities, we have been prepping for the presents.  We had the kids (Pumpkin turned four last week, so this is a double birthday scene) wish lists on the kitchen board and have been adding and taking things off for a bit now.  We've have several rounds of "let's clean up this room and by the way since you are having a birthday soon maybe we can make some room and give some of this stuff away" which results in maybe a book and stuffed animal each time but never makes anything neater.  Over the past year or so, Peanut's room has gotten more and more cluttered, and she has become more and more reluctant to let go of things.  This is kind of foreign territory - she had previously been really happy to pass her things along to kids who needed them.  So Honey and I have been discussing how to handle all of this wanting and keeping, and we have been doing the best we can, but know that something needs to give.  Over the past week we have each had conversations with her about needing vs. wanting, and how too much stuff can make it hard to focus.  We talked about making her room (and all bedrooms) a toy free zone.  About only having books and making it super calming.  But really, this is a one sided conversation. 

Anyway, she unwrapped lots of fabulous things this weekend, and added them to the melee.  And over the past two days there has been one meltdown after another over really really minuscule things that wouldn't ordinarily make her fuss.  This afternoon, we all went our separate ways to have a rest, and after a bit I came to check out what the kids were up to.  She was crying, and when I went to see what it was all about, the flood gates opened up.  Peanut was distressed and so so sad.  Through her tears, she expressed that she has too much stuff and she got too much more and she is overwhelmed and doesn't know what to play.  And she can't figure out what she should do with some of her presents.  And she wants to give it all away, but she really loves it all and, and, and.  Wow. 

So I sat with her, held her, and reflected back what she said.  I had a feeling we were at the cusp of something huge and I didn't want to interject my opinions here.  She continued to say how sad she was and how there were some things she knew she would never give up like her lovey that she wanted to "keep until she is old even if it is falling apart".  She said that she sees things and loves them and wants them and then when she gets them they just take up space and she doesn't know what to do with them.  She said she wanted to put it all in a bag.  After a while of her processing through her feelings and how her room made her feel frustrated, I offered some thoughts.  We could give things away, return some of her gifts, make her room a no toy space, just clear it out for a bit and see how it feels... She was game to try.  We took all of the toys out of her room and put them behind closed doors.  You could almost feel her relief as I lugged stuff out. 

We even simplified the bed - her big present from us was having her room redone so I have been painting and redecorating for the past month, and the walls are done (blue sky and water) but the bedspread was the exact opposite of the rest of the room (hot pink geometric craziness).  Once we got plain white sheets and a teal blanket on the bed, the room was like a spa comparatively speaking.  Of course, all of her toys were now in my room which had already started to make me twitch. 

We'll go through the toys a few at a time, and give her some time to decompress before we do even that.  I just find this whole thing fascinating - her coming to this place and not only acknowledging it, but articulating her feelings.  I know that I like things to be simple, but I can get easily swayed from that path.  I'm not sure when I learned that you can enjoy things without owning them, but I know that is the next lesson that needs to be explored around here.