There are certain nights, tonight was one of them, when I really feel like my 6-year-old and almost-4 year old have all the power.
Why must a 3-year-old take 10 minutes to brush his teeth? Why does he have to drink water from the exact same cup with precisely 3 cubes (because that’s how old is)?
Why do you have to ask your 6-year-old repeatedly to do a simple task? Why must she insist on doing it in her own sweet time? Is it because she knows it infuriates her mother and it’s her only source of power?
Why do I have to read the same bedtime story every.single.night for weeks on end? I can practically recite Herbert the Timid Dragon by heart. “Take that, you varmint!” “What’s a varmint?”
When and why does the obedient, smiling toddler become the infuriating and disobedient child? Is it to drive parents to drink? I’m starting to think so.
I have several families in my practice who have delayed vaccinating their children. (Don’t get me started!)
One such family came in today for the final vaccination of the childhood series. The little boy is 4 years old and he was receiving his second dose of MMR and varicella (conveniently packaged in a single dose vaccine called MMRV). He was a little scared, of course and asked me a question as I was preparing the vaccine.
“Can you put it right here?”
I turned to look at him as he pointed to the inside aspect of his forearm.
“Well, the needle has to go in the fatty bit of your arm and there isn’t enough fat there. How about we put it up higher on the back of your arm?”
He agreed with a nod of his head.
I cleaned the back of his arm with a swab of alcohol and gave him the needle. There was not a whimper. He took it like a man.
As I was back at the desk, finishing up the clinical note and completing his immunization record he walked over to me and said “Thank you, Doctor” and gave me a hug.
A hug! For giving him a vaccine.
Well, I’ll be damned. He just made my day.
(Stumbling out of bed headed to the baby’s room). “N…. N….!!!”
“Time to get dressed for school!”
(Groaning) “Awwww… but I just started playing!”
“Get dressed please.”
(Walking into the baby’s room) “Good morning, little man!”
“Babba dadda mama mama mama hi mama mama!”
(Daughter walks in, naked) “Mommy, can I wear a dress today?”
“No, sweetie. It’s very cold out. Put on pants and a sweater and warm socks.”
“Okay. Oh and mommy, this is my friend Lily.” (She gestures to the empty air beside her.)
“Lily is my imaginary friend.”
(Changing the baby’s bottom) “Okay, honey. Go get dressed please”
“Can Lily stay and watch you change J’s bum?”
“Sure. Lily you can stand there while I change J’s bum. Wait, is Lily dressed for school?”
“Okay, well you go get dressed and then head downstairs for breakfast.”
(Daughter leaves the room)
(Son walks in, gesturing with his imaginary bow and arrow) “Hi Mommy.”
“Hi honey. What have you got there?”
“Oh this is my bowen arrow.”
“My bowen arrow.”
“What are you shooting at?”
“Hmm… can you put it away and take Lily downstairs for breakfast?”
(Without a pause) “Okay Lily, let’s go downstairs.”
(Meanwhile on the change table) “Baba dada mama mama mama buh buh buh hi.”
“I need coffee.”
Day 16. National Blog Posting Month.
Ah, the soothing sounds of children screaming and squealing in delight.
The coffee is extra special strong this morning.
Can I go back to bed now?
Day 2 – National Blog Posting Month.
Where I live, daylight savings time ended last night. Gone are the days when an extra hour of sleep was something to look forward to. Since having kids, any extra hour of sleep is appreciated but this return to “normal time” sucks.
Because instead of waking up at 6:30am, my kids were all up today an hour early – at 5:30am – and when I say they were awake, they were AWAKE.
Bright eyed and bushy-tailed awake.
Meanwhile, this was me:
I think it’s going to be a long day.
I spent a wonderful Sunday with my children today. Husband was busy working on the backyard reno I wrote about last week, and the kids being cooped up from being indoors all day yesterday, needed to burn off some energy and were getting in their dad’s way. So, daughter put on her helmet, got on her scooter and with her little brother (not the baby) in the stroller, off we went to the park at the end of our street.
You could see the energy just dissipate from them – they were outside, in the fresh air, life was good. After a good chunk of time spent at the park, the kids announced they were hungry, so we set off for home. Their snack of choice was more breakfast cereal. They decided they wanted to sit in their chairs, in the driveway, while I tended to the baby who was just waking from his morning nap. Ten minutes later, when I went outside to see if they were still hungry, I found this:
A heart melting moment, for sure.
Shortly after their snack, son clearly needed a nap. He slept for about an hour and a half. When he woke up he announced he wanted to go to the “big park”. Husband was still working away on the patio and by this time the baby was back down for another nap, so daughter got on her bike this time and off we went.
I love the neighborhood we live in – there is a park within a 10-15 minute walk in every direction around us. Living in this city is awesome.
Daughter made sure to load up on some snacks. She brought crackers to the park but decided the squirrels were hungrier. She came running over to me, sitting on the bench soaking in some springtime sunshine, squealing with delight that she got really close to a squirrel and he took her cracker from her. She said he was back up on a tree branch and I just had to come see. I was skeptical that she was able to actually feed the squirrel, but I played along and followed her. Her brother caught wind of what was happening and joined us.
To my delightful surprise, up in the tree, we saw this:
Now that I am back to work, I don’t have a lot of strictly one-on-one time with the kids anymore. Today was such a treat for me – the kids were so happy to be outside and running in the park, and I was so happy that I could share it with them. Then to see the squirrel eating my daughter’s cracker, ahhhh… she and her brother were so thrilled. It really doesn’t take a lot to make a kid smile.
I have to say though, that I am spent. My best friend came over with her son for a few hours and chaos in the house ensued. Loud, fun, adorable chaos which halted for a few moments while the three kids demonstrated this:
Seriously folks, is there anything cuter than three kids doing the downward dog?
Then, while husband put the kids to bed, I went outside to have a look at the patio he was so tirelessly working on all day long. It’s not quite finished yet, but I love it.
Just when I thought this day couldn’t get much better, I received an email notification from WordPress. I just logged my 200th follower. 200!!! I am speechless. Thank you to each and every single one of you for taking the time out of your busy life to stop by here and read my journey in motherhood and medicine. I am truly grateful.
Day 26 – January Daily Blog Posting Month
I feel a little strange writing about this topic, but here goes.
Today, I visited the jeweler that made my engagement ring and our wedding bands.
To start the process on making my “mother’s ring”.
I had one made a few years ago when it was just the two kids, but it was shoddy craftsmanship and the stones fell out a lot and eventually, a few days after I found out number three was on the way, I got the ring caught in the top of the washing machine and it broke.
So, once it was official that the third little one was indeed on his way, I was secretly thrilled to discover that his birthstone would be my favorite gemstone.
My daughter’s birthstone is imperial topaz (or citrine), and my first son’s is diamond. We all know what a diamond looks like, but in case you didn’t know, this is what imperial topaz looks like:
The original ring I had made a few years ago had both lab-created citrine and white sapphire stones. At the time, the idea of getting a diamond seemed a bit too much given I wasn’t getting an imperial topaz stone. I also wasn’t interested in spending a lot of money. Maybe deep down I knew I wasn’t quite finished having kids? I’m not sure. It was a pretty ring and I wish I had taken a photo of it, but sadly, none exists.
In any event, when I saw my jeweler today and showed him what was left of the ring, he chastised me for wasting my money. Ha! The man is good at what he does and knows it. Fair enough. Lesson learned. If I want a high quality ring made, he is definitely the man to do it.
Someone once called me materialistic. She had just gotten engaged and to demonstrate my enthusiasm and excitement for her, I asked her what was the carat weight of her diamond. Her response was that I was being materialistic, since I didn’t even like diamonds, what did it matter? In my defense, it was a question in response to her stating that the diamond was “top of the line”. [Granted, I didn’t think much of diamonds back then, until my now-husband presented me with one a few years later.] Needless to say, the comment hurt deeply and even now, as I’m writing this, I worry that you, my readers might roll your eyes at this post.
Is it materialistic to want a nice ring to commemorate the birth of my children? Is it materialistic to want something to represent the three surgeries and recoveries, and the postpartum depression I suffered? Is it materialistic to want to have a future family heirloom I can pass down to my grandchildren?
Day 13 – January Daily Blog Posting Month
Most nights after a 4 AM feeding, I am wide awake and can’t fall immediately back to sleep. So I will often browse Pinterest.
I found two gems the other night that I thought I would share.
I’ve written before about the almost daily purge we have to go through to keep our house in some vague semblance of order. And I do mean vague. At any given moment I am tripping over a piece of LEGO or a mega block or a dinky car. It takes everything I have not to pick it up and toss it in the garbage. Inevitably there is a child afoot who screams bloody murder at the thought of their precious ending up in the garbage. So much so that this epitomizes my plight.
On an Internet forum I often frequent there was a thread about life with 3 kids. Most of the posters talked about how crazy their life has become. With 3 kids, it’s just louder, busier, and impossible to have any time for yourself. I’m not sure I entirely agree. Sure, I’m only a few months in and the baby is a blob right now, so perhaps I am deluding myself, but it hasn’t been all that bad. It probably helps that husband is also home with me. We both make time for our own hobbies. Sometimes this means the kids put a video on and watch a movie. Is that bad? I tend to think not. Happy parents = happy kids.
Honestly, I couldn’t handle it if my husband worked. There. I said it. I have it easy, I know. Still, can’t help but think this might be me in a few years.
Day 5 – January Daily Blog Posting Month
The kids woke up at 6am this morning. Now, normally they are content to play in their room for the better part of an hour, sometimes more. Today was not that day.
By 7 am both kids were headed down to the basement. Rather than be the delinquent mother I normally am, I hopped out of bed mostly because we got a new piece of exercise gear from my parents and I had visions of the kids trying to play with it and disaster ensuing. But, when I got down to the basement, they were playing with the keyboard and dancing. Good kids they are!
Yesterday I got out for my first run of the year. When I started out, I felt amazing and thought I could get to 5km but by 20 minutes in and my 4th or 5th 4:1 (run/walk) interval, it was pretty clear to me that 5km would not be feasible. I managed 4.15 km in 33 minutes. Still, I noticed a big difference in my endurance and the feel of my legs after only just 4 days of the squat challenge and pilates. Muscle memory must be real because I certainly felt stronger and if I do say so myself, I think I am trimming down inch by blessed inch already.
The kids have been cooped up a lot this week. Between the ice storm, Christmas, frigid cold temperatures and visiting their grandparents, they need to get out. So, we are off this morning to do some grocery shopping and after that to the indoor park at our local mall. I am seriously hoping I can squeeze in a nap.
Wish me luck!