My 2-year-old son has a new word in his vocabulary: Mom.
I was surprised at first, since I started as “Mama” and have been “Mommy” ever since he was about 9 months old. ‘Mom’ sounded kind of … well … weird to me and I’m not sure I like it.
I always pictured being “Mommy” until he was in about 6th grade or at least until he started worrying about what his friends thought. But at 2? It’s too early. Especially for me.
I know he’s probably just trying out something new and he probably got the idea from that Kenmore refrigerator commercial where all the kids are yelling “Mom! Mom?” that seems to be on all the time. But it makes me a bit sad, like things are going way too fast.
When did your kids start calling you Mom (or Dad) and did it hurt … just a little?
Let me know here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to know I’m not alone on this!
According to a story by The Associated Press, the head of a prominent cancer research institute is cautioning people to limit cell phone use because of the possible cancer risk, especially to children whose brains are still developing.
I’m sure my family would go through cell phone withdrawal if we had to do without the cell phones simply because it is a way for us to stay connected when we are physically apart.
But cancer is, well, cancer.
I think I can go back to using the land line for most of my calls. I could also do some more letter writing or I could catch up on my e-mail correspondence now that I think about it.
The same goes for my kids. I know they can survive without a cell phone if their very survival was at stake.
I’m sure I won’t be the only parent on the look out for more information on this topic.
Not outside of course. It’s hot there! But in a tent in the middle of the living room.
My 5-year-old has been learning about camping at preschool, and so we thought it’d be fun to actually break out the tent stored in an unopened box in our attic.
Putting the thing together was fun for my husband because there were no directions. Bravely, he managed and we soon had a bigger-than-I-expected igloo-shaped domicile. My daughter collected an array of snacks for our “camping” trip and I turned on the Discovery Channel (the TV was right there) to find some scenery.
Despite the whirl of the ceiling fan, it was fun to imagine we were actually on a great adventure. Our dogs became “bears” prowling for snacks. We made fire-free S’mores with chocolate marshmallows and Ritz crackers.
But did we sleep there? Of course not, the floor is hard after all.
Next my daughter wants to go fishing. Maybe we’ll turn the bathtub into a “pond.” Do goldfish crackers float?
Susan”Scared of Mosquitoes” Simpson
We experienced a big first in my household. My 2-year-old son’s first movie in a movie theater.
At first, I was a bit hesitant … I mean it’s a lot of money to spend and if he starts getting fussy, we’re out $18 plus popcorn. But I have to admit, I really wanted to see WALL-E and I got my son excited enough to want to see it, too.
We wheeled his stroller in, so he could still feast on his food court fare while watching. Not the best idea, however, as the only place to sit him was in wheelchair-access seats, which are five rows from the screen.
As we started watching the “big TV” my son stuck out his bottom lip as far as it would go and said (while in a moment of movie silence) “Scared! Big TV scared!” Luckily we picked a showtime where only six other people were in the theater, so it worked out well. The initial loud noises (there’s a spacecraft that lands on Earth) did get him a bit nervous, but all in all, he loved it. And I loved seeing him watch his first movie.
WALL-E was indeed a great film, another genius work by PIXAR. I highly recommend it and it was worth every penny. It’s filled with love, humor, friendship and even a bit of reality. You can’t help but tear up and laugh out loud at the same time. This is truly a film that all ages can enjoy and want to see again and again.
And as soon as we got home, my little boy wanted to watch it again on our not-as-big-TV and of course he didn’t understand why that wasn’t possible. So he had to settle for some OETA and fell asleep with his new best friend in hand.
In theory, it sounds great. Work four 10-hour days and then get a three-day weekend. Who wouldn’t love that?
But for parents that depend on child care, it can be a nightmare. Many daycares charge the same whether your child is there four days or five. And not all are open long enough hours for parents who travel any distance to work.
I could work 7 to 5, but if daycare doesn’t open until 7 a.m. or later, I’d never make it to my desk on time. Plus, I really wouldn’t want my kid to be class for 10 hours each day.
What do you think? Are four-day and 40-hour work weeks a fit for your family?
What is it with the time between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.? It totally moves at warp speed? Like it’s running for its life from rabid Russian mob bosses carrying venomous snakes and that dancing baby from “Ally McBeal.” Noon to 3 certainly doesn’t move that fast. Noon to 3 is like 6 to 9’s hippie cousin. I need noon to 3 from 6 to 9. Noon to 3 would sit lazily in his beanbag chair reading Daniel Quinn books and coloring with 6 to 9’s 3-year-old, while answering the little kid’s rapid fire questions all cool, calm and collect. Hey hippie cousin why are you wearing Jesus sandals? Because they are made of hemp and it is sustainable. What is sustainable? It means that it will keep things going and if we are not sustainable then we’ll use up every thing and there won’t be any fish left in the ocean for your grandkids to eat sushi. Do you like to fish hippie cousin? Sure I like to fish little dude. Will you take me fishing hippie cousin? Where will we go? What color will your fishing pole be? How come that beanbag chair is purple? …
6 to 9 tends to be irritable, short-tempered and just plain ugly. 6 to 9 says stop asking me questions I need to get X done. I don’t have time to color right now we have to be at X place by X time. No I can’t go fishing with you, I have to go to work. Now go to bed.
But why? Why on God’s beautiful green earth does 6 to 9 move so incredibly fast? It takes everything in me to get home, food down my kid’s throats, baths, books, some semblance of play in and to bed before 9. And really a 3-year-old should probably be in bed by 8.
Some nights I get them all tucked into bed and realize that we didn’t even play. We didn’t laugh. We didn’t just do nothing together. No one chased anyone around the couch and down the hall. No one found a frog or firefly. No one did something for the very first time.
So, Universe here is my plea. Please speed up noon to 3 because you are aware of how much nothing I can cram into that span of time and put the breaks on 6 to 9 so that I have more time to do nothing with my family.
I often think of the myth of Sisyphus that I read about in school sometime years ago.
He was the man whom the Greek gods condemned to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to see it roll down when he reaches his top. He then has to trudge back to the bottom to do it all again. Every day for all of eternity.
I can’t remember what Sisyphus did that was so bad in the Greek legend, but I think of him when I do the laundry. The laundry is my boulder.
When (if) I get it completely washed, folded and put away, I feel like I’ve accomplished a major feat, only to open the laundry hamper to see it already full again. With clothes from the swimming pool, the playground, sports games, the park or elsewhere and with towels from the pool as well as from the kids’ three baths each night.
I know I’m not unique.
I also know that we can find Sisyphus anywhere, in the little things like dishes and laundry and in the big things like child rearing. We get up every day and do it all over again.
Philosopher Albert Camus once suggested that Sisyphus was smiling as he faced his momentous task again each day, and in doing so, he had beaten the gods.
“One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” he wrote.
I like that. I also like what the apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians once:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3 NKJV)
It’s hard to remember to smile in the nitty gritty daily grind of whatever my boulder is that day. I often have to remind myself to “count it all joy.”
But each day is a new day, and I am thankful for the chance to try again with my children, my family and friends whom I love. And with the laundry. And unpacking from our move a year ago. And the dishes. And the cleaning. And …
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning.(Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
Yippee for the Yippee Yi Yo Show!
My family went to this variety stage show for kids on Saturday at the City Arts Center Theatre. The theatre is in the State Fair Park, which made it easy to get to and park. Tickets were $10 at the door (they were $8 in advance) and worth every penny.
Most of the children at the show sat on mats in front of the stage, where they were encouraged to sing along with the performers, which included show regulars Cowboy Frank, Wild Bald Billy and Harmony Jane, along with special guest Sara Hickman, an Austin singer/songwriter who wowed kids and parents alike.
We had a blast, and for only $10 a ticket. Compare that to the price of a Hannah Montana show or Sesame Street Live.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
Anyone who knows me know that I am a picture-taking fanatic. I always have my camcorder and digital camera with me wherever my son and I go. I take a bunch of pictures, upload them to my computer, then transfer a copy to my online photo albums to share them.
So I end up with a copy on my camera (which I am always afraid to erase for some reason), a copy on my computer, a copy online, a backup copy on CD and then eventually I order prints of all of them and if they’re lucky, someday they might make it into an actual photo album.
Does this sound a bit obsessive-compulsive to you? It does to me. But how do I break this habit? I always feel a tinge of guilt if a weekend goes by and I never get to organizing all those hundreds of photos, putting dates on them, putting them in albums. Then buying more albums. Then buying things to scrapbook with, but never getting around to doing it.
If I take less pictures, I may miss out on something remarkable and kick myself later. But if I’m constantly behind the lens of a camera, I feel I’m missing out on the actual experience. Which of the evils is worse?
After a good bout of guilt over a under-productive picture-sorting weekend, I always think to myself ”if I had spent all those hours organizing pictures all weekend, I would have missed out on capturing new memories.” So the guilt subsides, but the pictures multiply.
It’s a neverending dilemma.
Any suggestions? I would love to hear some.
This morning my husband left the house at 6:30 a.m. to take the MCAT. You know the Medical College Admissions Test. Just as he was leaving he said, “Sorry I won’t be here to help out with the girls.”
This was coming from a guy who spent the last two years working a full-time job, taking organic chemistry, physics and other masochistic classes and drove me to the hospital to have a baby in his spare time. Last semester he had class three nights a week, worked during the day and studied for the MCAT the rest of the time. He still managed a trip or two to the zoo and the laundry. Yes the laundry. My husband does the laundry. He sprung up to Colorado Springs to help his mom out when she was sick. And since school got out in May, he’s kept our 1-year-old with him at home while he works and studies. He juggles babies willingly in restaurants and if a child needs a change he is the first to jump. And not that I’m-jumping-to-make-it-look-like-I’m-really-going-change-the-baby-but-know-that-you-will-anyway jump. It is a sincere, honey-you-eat-I’ll-take-this-one jump. He can make pigtails with hair pretties. He can remember to have fun when I’m totally irritated that our 3-year-old won’t listen or the baby is screaming because she is tired. He recently rolled three suitcases and carried one child on his back through two airports, while I carried my 3-year-old’s Dora backpack. And he is always goofey, onery him. No matter what we make him do, he always stays him. This week he climbed onto the roof to clean out our dryer vent thing, did laundry, picked our dog up from the vet, took our 3-year-old to swimming lessons a couple of times, and today he is taking the MCAT. The biggest test he’s taken in his whole life to date. And he says to me, “I’m sorry I can’t help with the girls this morning.”
So this morning honey, I guess I’ll let that go. I’ll get them ready by myself this morning. I think you’ve done your part.
Yep. That’s my husband.
- Lindsey Johnson