Walking On The Grass

Ever since The Don was able to walk, he always liked to walk on the grass.  I don’t know what attract him to walk on the grass but when I tell him not to walk on the grass; he would try to walk on the grass anyway.  I try to explain to him that you shouldn’t walk on the grass because you might step in dog poop. Stepping in poop is disgusting.  It’s mushy under your feet, hard to clean, and if you’re not careful, you can tract poop into the house spreading the smell and bacteria.  When The Don seem so persist in walking on the grass, I would let him and show him to be careful not to step in poop.  As The Don grew, he learned how to walk on the sidewalk and rarely ask to walk on the grass.

Bam Bam now wants to walk on the grass and I still get uneasy because he might step in poop.  I have to watch Bam Bam to make sure he doesn’t step in anything. I am teaching him to walk on the sidewalk where I was taught to walk, where I taught The Don how to walk.  On the sidewalk, it’s not only the proper way to walk, you can see if there’s something in your way like poop and you can move to avoid it.  The concrete walkway is safe, no dirt, and no mess.  Everyone walks on the sidewalk and you shouldn’t walk on the grass because you don’t know if there’s poop in it or not.  Sometimes poop is hard to see in the grass. At least on the concrete pavement you can know what’s there. 

One day at our usual indoor play spot, Bam Bam decided to pull me over to the grassy area.  The Don asked, “Can we walk on the grass mama?”  I fought with this notion for about a minute. “What harm would it do if they walk on the grass?”   So we walked on the grass.  The interesting part is that it’s shorter to reach the indoor play spot’s door than taking the concrete path.  The kids enjoyed walking on the grass and I kind of loosen up a little because there wasn’t anything on the grass that I could see that can be harmful or landfill of poop lying around.  The Don says, “Watch out for poopy.”  I said, “Yes, watch out for poopy.”



Image from Bing.com

There is a time to be proper and walk on the concrete sidewalk and there are times that you have to walk on the grass. Sometimes walking on the concrete won’t get you anywhere especially if the person in front of you is walking too slowly.  If you want to get ahead and take risk in life, you have to walk on the grass.  Yes, you may have to deal with poop on the way but if you happen to walk on poop so what.  Just clean off your shoe and keep going and watch out for it next time. 

Life isn’t always straight and narrow as the concrete walkway portrays. Sometimes the concrete sidewalk has cracks and are uneven and in order not to break your neck, you have to walk on the grass. The thing I would like my kids to learn is its ok to walk on the grass.  The grass can be fun, a quicker path, or a temporary route you need to take to get back on the concrete sidewalk if they choose.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that you can’t walk on any grass like grass on someone’s property or a forbidden area and you have to walk on the concrete.  I want my children to learn when to walk on the concrete walkway and when to walk on the grass. In other words, don’t be afraid of the shit that might happen in the grass because the concrete walkway isn’t always the right routine to go. I want them to learn to think for themselves and take risk when necessary.  

So whenever I can, I encourage my children to walk on the grass and help them understand that they don’t have to go the way everyone else goes.  As long as their getting where they need to go in life, it’s ok to go a different route…just be careful not to step in poop.  

9 Ways Pregnancy Prepares A Woman For Motherhood

When I was pregnant with my second child, I had an epiphany.  I realized that being pregnant was preparing me for the physical, mentally, and the emotional roller coaster that I will have to endure in motherhood for the rest of my life.  Let me explain.  Pregnancy can be a beautiful and wonderful experience.  It can also be tiring, painful, and downright unpleasant just like motherhood.  So, these are my 9 observations on how pregnancy prepares a woman for motherhood:

 
1.         The Worrying-When you find out that you’re pregnant, worry sets in:

 “I hope the baby is healthy.”

 “I hope the baby doesn’t have my eczema.”

“I hope the baby doesn’t have my husband’s nose.” 

Either way, you mind starts to worry about your unborn child but it doesn’t end there.  After the baby is born you tend to worry more: 

“Is the baby eating enough?”


“How come he didn’t poop today?” 

“She feels a little warm. Should I go to the hospital?”  

“My child can’t keep still.  I wonder if he has ADD.” 

Worrying about your child doesn’t stop there either.  Even when your child is forty years old, you will worry about your child for the rest of your life and it starts with pregnancy.

2.         The Pain-When you’re pregnant, you start to have pain. Some pains are aches and some are felt to the bone. Pain from cramping during the first trimester as your uterus grows to pains in the third trimester when your back is hurting from carrying a seven to eight pound butter ball.  Pain from the baby’s head pressing against a nerve in your spine and no matter what you do, the baby won’t move. Did I forget to mention the excruciating pain from giving birth?  It doesn’t stop there. Children can bring you pain too.  They can be a pain in your ass and they have a knack of getting on your nerves! From talking back to you to not listen to you because they think they’re right, children can be a pain in your ass and it started at pregnancy.

3.         Getting up to go to the bathroom-Remember when you had to go to the bathroom every hour or two? Well, this just prepares you for what’s to come after pregnancy because every hour or so you have to get up and feed the baby and change the baby.  Then five minutes later they need to be changed again because this time they peed and pooped. Thank goodness that this stage usually happens in the first couple of years of diapers and doesn’t last forever.  But the getting up doesn’t stop there.  In the middle of the night you have to get up to check on them if they’re sick or getting up in the middle of the night because heck you’re paranoid and you just have to “check” on them.  From time to time we check up on our kids; whether to see if they got home safely or calling them to see if they are ok when they are out of the house. Checking on your kids never ends.

4.         When things are fine-In the second trimester when everything seems fine and the pregnancy is going smoothly, you’re the happiest, confident, glowing human being on the face of the planet. It’s the same after the pregnancy.  There are days when your child is the best and can do no wrong.  There are days when they are smarter than you thought.  There are days where motherhood seems to flow like an even stream.  It goes so well that it feels like a dream.  You couldn’t be any happier…for you and your kids.  These are the days when being a mother is the greatest feeling of all.

5.         Emotional-During pregnancy, you tend to get emotional. You are emotional because your husband didn’t get you the right ice cream.  You’re emotional because things didn’t go your way.  Emotional because your body is changing in ways you never imagine.  Being emotional doesn’t stop at pregnancy.  You’re emotional when your baby reaches a milestone, or when they cry in pain from a needle or hurt themselves when they fall.  You’re emotional when they graduate from school or emotional when they have their first heartbreak.  Being emotional towards your children never ends.

6.         Sleeplessness –Did you get much sleep in the third trimester?  You’re lucky if you did, but most of us didn’t.  If you’re belly was really big and you couldn’t find a comfortable position to sleep in, then you probably had some sleepless nights. There’s a saying when you have kids that you would never sleep again. I wouldn’t say that, but for the most part at least at the beginning, you will have sleepless nights; Refer to observation 1 and 3.

7.         Patience-Patience is the one thing you have to be while pregnant.  You have to wait nine long months and some old hours of labor to meet your baby.  Patience doesn’t end at pregnancy.  You have to have patience when teaching your baby how to roll over, crawl, walk, and talk. You have to be patient when they’re learning how to dress themselves or when they are taking their sweet time finishing their dinner because they don’t want to go to bed. You have to be patient in teaching them how to throw a ball or to ride a bike.  Sometimes you want to say “hurry up and do it already!” But you can’t because they have to learn in their own time.  Patience is learned early and you didn’t know it.

8.         Eating right-During pregnancy, you have to be concerned that you are eating right? You can’t eat junk food because you don’t want a fat unhealthy baby. Now you have to make sure that your child is eating healthy and the person you were before; who would drink soda everyday and stuff their face with donuts any chance they get are now watching what your child eat even when they are grown.  Wanting your children to eat right doesn’t stop at pregnancy.  

9.         Protecting/Sacrificing-When your baby is in your womb your body is protecting your baby and providing a warm home to grow in.  As your baby gets bigger in the womb, you would shield your baby from anyone who may accidentally bump your belly or want to touch your bump without permission.  You would do anything to protect your baby and would sacrifice your perky breasts and firm body to do it.  It doesn’t stop there.  You would do what it takes to protect your children and would bring out mama bear if you have to.  You would protect them from the cold, the heat, physical or mental harm.  You sacrifice your time, energy, and sleep to make sure your children get what they need and it starts at pregnancy. 

Pregnancy is a great teacher of what to expect when becoming a mother. I say pregnancy taught me about motherhood before having my kids and I didn’t even know it.

9 Months Pregnant with Bam Bam
 

 

Last Snowfall…Hopefully

Just when I was getting use to the warmer temperatures in Philly, BAM, snowfall again.  If you read about the sledding incident or my thoughts on snow in general, I don’t like it very much.  It’s cold, messy, mushy, and dirty.  Not a fan of snow.



Bam Bam not liking the snow
 

So my husband mentions  to The Don that maybe after breakfast he can go outside and play in the snow.  Thanks hubby for throwing me under the bus again.  If I don’t go outside with The Don, then I look like the bad guy who ruin the fun.  I don’t like to be the bad guy no matter if I hate the task or not.  I had to put on my big girl panties on and take the kids out in the snow.

We went out in the backyard which didn’t seem like a bad idea because if there’s a meltdown with one or both of the boys, I can take them right in the house instead of dealing with stares and driving with crying and screaming kids in the car while I try to drown out the noise by turning the radio up super loud.  I try to make fun in the snow by showing The Don how to make a snow ball and throwing snowballs to hit the tree.  It seem like it was fun for The Don to make snowballs and even Bam Bam was trying to throw some.  With Bam Bam, I expected him to meltdown like he usually do because the cold snow doesn’t mix well with him.

We haven’t built a snowman this winter so I decide to do a mini snowman which was actually fun. Then it happened.  Bam Bam started to meltdown while in the middle of the second mini snowman.  So we had to cut the snow adventure short.  The Don was disappointment because he couldn’t stay out longer.  I had to explain that Bam Bam couldn’t tolerate the cold and snow like we could and when he’s a little older, he can enjoy the snow too. I feel bad for The Don because he wants to stay and play and his play time is timed by whether Bam Bam is going through a meltdown or not.  I would like both of them to have fun.

Bye Bye Snow…Hopefully.

I just hope this is the last of the snow.  I can’t stay I will miss you.  Bring on the warm weather so both the boys can go out and play.

My Mini Snowman

I’m Going To Have To Separate You Two!

I never thought I would have to say those words…well not so soon.  One of the reasons that we had a second child is so The Don could have a playmate.  Lately however, The Don and Bam Bam, although both of them are like night and day, have the same silly qualities which pretty much make them inseparable.  The Boys laugh at the same things, scream at the same things, run after the same things, and they love to copy each other even if it’s loud and annoying.  The thing that boggles my is when Bam Bam do something that is unacceptable and then The Don does it and you’re trying to stop both of them and nothing works what do you do?  I have to separate them two.

Yeah, this has been a phenomenon of epic portions.  This usually happens at the dinner table while I’m cooking dinner.  It would happen so suddenly.  The kids would be looking a YouTube educational video and all of a sudden if The Don see something that he like in the video, he would get excited and would scream…loudly.  I would tell The Don to stop.  Then Bam Bam would jump with his own scream.  It would be a be like their battling to see who can scream the loudest all the while I’m telling them both to be quiet.  Telling the boys to be quiet don’t always work the way that I would want it to.  After about a couple minutes of the scream and non stopping, I have to separate time them two.  I would tell The Don to go into the TV room and keep them separate until the screaming stop.

This reminds me when in school when kids act up or they talked to each other too much, the teacher would separate them two by moving them to different desk way across the room.  I guess I could look at the bright side; it shows that they like each other and they have fun together.  What could a mother ask for?

Dynamite Duo

Cracking the Shell

Last Sunday, I didn’t feel like doing anything.  I just got over my period and I was feeling shitty.  I looked forward to a day where I could get some rest and maybe take a nap because I just felt so tired.  The day before, the husband and The Don went sledding that afternoon and I just wasn’t up to it.  The first time I went with the kids, The Don sled into a trench and the following time we went with the hubby, it was snowing and Bam Bam was tired and cold and wasn’t feeling it so I had to take Bam Bam back to the car crying and screaming which lasted for thirty minutes.  Selfish to say that if I wasn’t going to have any fun, I wasn’t looking forward to go sledding. 

So my husband asked The Don does he want to go sledding Sunday.  The Don excitedly said yes and then he said, “Mama, do you want to come too?”  I ignored the question because I really didn’t want to go.  The Don asked the question again and I said to him, “I don’t know.  I have to see how I feel.”  The Don gave me an “Oh” look that broke my heart. It’s like he was saying,“Why doesn’t mom want to come play with me?” 

For the past hour, I was debating with myself should I go.  I kept remembering the disappointment in The Don face when I said, “I have to see how I feel.”  I then asked my husband when they were planning on sledding because I decided I will go after all.  I told him that I may not sled but I’ll go because The Don asked me to.  I figure that The Don just wants me to be there at least to share his moment with him.



The guys on the toboggan

We went about an hour later to the dreaded hill where The Don fell slid in the trench.  The husband when down on the toboggan board with The Don.  Then he went with Bam Bam.  Then he went down with both of the kids.  I stood there thinking that I was being supportive because at least I was there.  The Don asked me, “Mama, you want to sled too?”  Damn it!  I wasn’t expecting to sled.  The Don gave me those sad eyes like he was saying “PLEASE!”  I gave in.  I sled down the toboggan board and slid with The Don in the muddy edge.  I told myself, “I’m not doing it again.  Then The Don asked me again to sled with him.  So I sledded about three more times.  You know what?  It had gotten more fun every time we sled. 

I told my husband that I actually had funny that day.  My husband says, “I wanted you to come and sled you didn’t want to but when The Don asked you went.  What’s up with that?”  I said, “Well, because I don’t want to break my son’s heart.  I did it for him.”  It’s amazing what I would do for my sons even doing something I really didn’t like but eventually it wasn’t so bad.  My son is slowly cracking my shell.  My boys are the only ones who can.  They help me grow as a person and I love them for it.  Would I sled if I didn’t have my boys?  Probably not but with them the limits are endless.  I just have to get ready for the ride.   

 

Who’s The Boss

The oldest child is known to be bossy, sometimes extremely bossy.  They tend to throw their weight around and feel entitled to show their authority over their younger siblings because they are older and they been there and done that.  The older sibling figures that their younger sibling is their responsibility and they have every right to tell them what to do (which is true) and reprimand them if necessary (which is not true).  For those who may say that I hate on the eldest sibling I’m not because I’m one of them.  My point is as the oldest sibling; I didn’t have authority to reprimand my little sister but was responsible for looking after her.  Kind of confusing isn’t it.  As soon as your younger sibling does something on your watch, your parents will get on you when they screw up and your punishment seems harsher than the one they gave your younger sibling.  If I don’t have the right to punishment my sibling, what’s the point of me looking after her like she was my child?  Noticing how The Don try to reprimand Bam Bam really made me uneasy because he is not the parent and The Don is trying to be.  I think some guidelines need to be addressed.

One day the family was eating dinner.  Bam Bam started using his fork but after awhile, he started using his fingers.  The Don told Bam Bam, “Use your fork.  If you don’t use your fork I’m taking it!”  Now I think to myself, “Oh, that’s how I sound like.” 

When The Don does something bad, I usually say, “If you don’t stop doing (fill in the blank), I’m taking it.”  I usually take a toy away if The Don is misbehaving.  So when I heard The Don talk to Bam Bam like that I told him, “Don’t worry about what Bam Bam is doing.  You focus on your food.  I’m the parent and I’ll handle Bam Bam.” 

Maybe The Don feels that he wants to assert some power over his brother because he feels I assert power over him.  So to explain to The Don what his roll is as big brother. I had to let him know that he has a responsibility to protect his brother but he doesn’t have a right to punish him.  I told The Don, “I understand you want to make sure that your brother is using his fork.  You can encourage him to use it but it’s not your place to make him.  If you feel Bam Bam is doing something wrong, you need to tell Mommy or Daddy and we will handle it.  Your job if you’re alone with him is to make sure he doesn’t do anything to hurt himself and he is doing the right thing.  You can encourage him to do the right thing if he doing something wrong.  If he doesn’t listen to you, then you let mommy and dad know and we will decide to reprimand him or not.” 

As an older sibling, I understand what The Don is going through.  As older siblings, we are taught to look after our younger siblings and if the younger sibling doesn’t listen to you, we are the blame instead of placing the blame on the real person…the parent.  The parent is the boss and if the younger sibling isn’t listening to the older sibling, it’s the parent’s responsibility to let the younger sibling know to listen to their older sibling if they are right. 
 
When The Don tells Bam Bam not to do something and he’s right, I tell him good job in telling Bam Bam what the right thing to do.”  This way, The Don can feel like he’s has a say in regards to his little brother without feeling he’s being punished for looking out for him.  I think The Don likes protecting his little brother.  Giving him the right tools to do this will make him a great big brother.  I believe he’s a great big brother already.

Competition is fierce! Lesson in Fairness.

Having two children close in age isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  When people say, “It’s good to have children close together,” they fail to say it’s good for the kids, not for you.  It’s good for the kids because they would have another person to play with who is around the same age.  But for the parent, it’s not good right of the bat. You have to be referee, the mediator, and the peacemaker.  If you agree with one of the children, then the other child would get mad at you and at the ages of three and a half and almost 16months, trying to explain what’s fairness is a bit of a challenge because they don’t see fair they see “My way or no way.” 

The boys are very competitive.  I don’t know if it’s a boy thing or siblings of the same sex or maybe siblings of the opposite sex are this way too but there’s a sibling competition: who has most toys, who has the most food on their plate, and who gets the most attention from their parents…especially from mama. Although The Don and Bam Bam are two and a half years apart, their goal is the same, “I want to steal all the attention from the other. I want the most stuff.  I want my way!” 

 To teach them fairness, I try to make things equal as much as possible.  When I distribute snacks to the boys, I have to make sure the amount looks as equal as possible.  I notice The Don looks at how much Bam Bam gets to his amount.  I’m waiting for the day when The Don says, “Hey, Bam Bam has more than me!”  If I give one something, the other one wants it too.  The only exception is if The Don does something he’s not suppose to do or if Bam Bam can’t have something because he’s too small to have it.  I explain to them why although they look at me like, “I don’t care!  He get’s to have it.  I want to have it  although I didn’t eat my dinner.  I want some ice cream too!”

It’s very interested how they both try to get attention from me.  I could be sitting enjoying my cup of tea when both boys come out of the TV room.  Bam Bam is running towards me and then The Don speeds past Bam Bam and try to get on my lap or lay his head on my lap.  I have to tell him that it’s not nice to take the attention away from Bam Bam especially if Bam Bam needed me for something.  If Bam Bam sees The Don sitting on my lap for any reason, Bam Bam gets upset and what’s to sit on my lap too.  I have to explain to him as much as he can understand that The Don can sit on my lap and need hugs and kisses too and he’ll get on my lap when The Don is done.  

It’s not easy to teach fairness because at this age, they see it that they are being wronged.  The boys are so competitive that they don’t see that if they steal attention from the other that this not fair.  When they want more snacks than the other that’s not fair.  If one of the boys take toys away from the other, then they are not being fair.  Hopefully if they see that they see me treating them fair and equal that they will treat each other that way too.  That’s all I can hope for.