I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand

I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand
I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Am I too Strict of a Parent?

I've always been cognizant of how I raise Sidekick.  It started the day we came home from the hospital when I insisted that he only sleep in his crib in his room and when I started his bedtime routine when he was four weeks old (I believe both of those made him a great sleeper from day one.  He was sleeping 12-13 hours straight at nine weeks old). I expect to hear "please", "thank you", and "sorry" when appropriate and without being prompted.  I expect him to sit at the table and eat his meals and snacks, no grazing or roaming around with food.  I keep him on a tight schedule, and I don't ever blow off naps and only "break" his bedtime for special occasions.  I do not tolerate whining or yelling from him, and I expect him to be a good, respectful boy with no exceptions.  There are consequences for bad behavior. He doesn't get sweets very often (heck, he's only had ice cream about five times and juice two times in his 28 months of life).  I expect him to be courteous to other people, especially when we meet someone for the first time.  I expect him to walk people to the door when they are leaving our house and to say "good-bye".  He typically only watches TV 20 minutes a day, and that is before he goes to bed.  (Yes, sometimes I've allowed more, especially on the weekends if we are watching a move because we'll watch half of the movie one night and the other half another night).  Ugh!  I just reread this paragraph, and I feel like a drill sergeant!  He's not even 2 1/2 years old, but do I expect too much out of him?  Am I too strict?

I see so many kids having so many (too many?) privileges, and it really bothers me.  I see so many kids with bad behaviors, and I can't stand it.  I see so many kids with poor manners and/or are disrespectful, and that is a huge pet peeve of mine. I hear about and/or see very young kids, many of whom are Sidekick's age, watching hours of TV a day, playing on iPads constantly, and being so spoiled.  It makes me reevaluate my parenting and makes me think that I might suck as a parent.  But at the same time, I don't see a point in Sidekick watching more than 20 minutes of TV a day, I see no point in letting him have free access to my iPad (or even the privilege of playing with it more than every once in a while... that thing is MINE!), and I definitely don't spoil him (birthdays, holidays, etc.) and I never will.  (I cannot justify spending 100s of dollars for Christmas, but many of my friends and family do.)  I walk into a house that has been taken over by toys, and my stomach churns when I see that the kids have EVERYTHING they could possibly want and then some.  I see kids controlling their parents and their parents giving in to them.  I don't want to be able to plug Sidekick into any of those scenarios that really get under my skin. I am avoiding all of that like the plague while I actually have control of him and what he does. 

When it comes to things like raising Sidekick, I am happy that I am a single Mom because I get to make all of the rules and there is no husband to break or bend them.  I can only imagine the fights and discussions that ensue when it comes to dual parenting with regards to everything about which I have written. I've heard from friends how they say/do something that affects their kid(s), and the spouse changes it.  The kid(s) know(s) how to play off one another, and that has to be difficult for both parents and for their marriage. 

But I digress... am I too rigid?  Am I not allowing Sidekick to experience everything that life offers him? Am I a mean parent?  Some people criticize me that I am too strict on him, but at the same time, I look at my respectful, happy, silly, smart boy and wonder if there is such as thing as being too strict to where it is detrimental to his life.  I don't consider myself strict, but my goal as a parent is to raise a happy, respectful, kind, successful (whatever success means to him), respected man, and I believe that starts at this age.  Sidekick definitely doesn't act like he is almost 2 1/2, so I don't treat him like he's almost 2 1/2.  I've always talked to him like I talk to any adult.  My mom reminded me the other day that even though he doesn't act his age, he is living in the body and emotional brain of his age.  It's a good reminder when I get frustrated on the off chance that he is having a rough time and fighting me on something.  He can be stubborn like his Momma and defiant (like the donor... I like to blame him sometimes- ha!) 

Is it necessary to play on an iPad and watch a lot of TV?  Should I be giving him more gifts for his birthday and holidays?  Do I expect too much out of Sidekick?  Do I suck at being a parent?

To be honest (and don't kill me), I don't find parenting that difficult and I never have.  Don't get me wrong, I have moments when I want to hang myself or lock Sidekick in a closet because I'm at my wits end, but overall, parenting is easy for me.  Is it because I am so "strict"?  Am I just lucky to have such a good boy?  Was it a perfect blend of sperm and egg?  Is it a combination of all?  Is this all going to backfire when he gets older, and I'll all of a sudden have a hellion on my hands?

But seriously, I really wonder if I am not being a fair parent and if Sidekick is missing out on things. When I think of the boy he is, he is better than anything I had ever thought he would be.  He is kinder, smarter, funnier, and happier than ever imagined he would be. So I must not be screwing up too much, right?  If that's the case, then why am I questioning things?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Cards Ordered!

Can you believe that I took Sidekick's picture, wrote a poem, and actually ordered our Christmas cards last weekend?!?  I have to say that I am pretty amazed that I got that knocked out this early.  Part of my reasoning is that since we moved, I never sent out change of address information, so very few people know our new address and many don't even know we moved.  (I plan to send them out a little early.) Also, I was inspired by the beautiful moon last week, so after school last Friday, I dragged Sidekick out in the cool temperatures to snap some pictures, and he was a trooper.  This is the outside of the card which reads:  Merry Christmas!  Wishing you "silent" and peaceful nights:

 
The inside of the card:

(To the tune of "Silent Night")

Two and a half, (almost) two and a half
I’m not calm, but I am bright
Happy are we together, Momma and child
Holy toddler I’m tender but wild
I really love my new home
There's more room to make a mess


Two and a half, (almost) two and a half
I now use the big potty            
Defiant and stubborn are things that I am  
Times outs are common and tempers do flare
I love to help Momma cook
I am a bottomless pit

Two and a half, (almost) two and a half
I love to laugh, and I can read
Playin' soccer or goin’ down a big slide
Snugglin’ with Momma readin’ my favorite books
I am sweet, happy boy
Momma is blessed every day

And the back of the card reads:  Being silly (aka not cooperating) with this picture:




While it's difficult to get a decent smile out of this kid, the front of the card is as good as it gets, and I wasn't going to stress about it.  It's done and that's a huge stress off my shoulders! 

On a side note... Sidekick and I will be spending Christmas alone this year.  Since there was a big blow up with my sister last year at Christmas, we will probably never spend another Christmas there again. And that's okay.  I'm not too into the holidays, and I don't want Sidekick to get the idea that Christmas is all about presents.  My nephews get far more gifts than I will ever get Sidekick, and I don't want to compete with that and have Sidekick feel like he got screwed.  So... this year we will start our own traditions.  I don't know what that is quite yet, but I'll come up with something.  What I do know is that there will be no hoopla, no stress, and no big meals that I don't even like to eat.  But, Sidekick will have fun and feel loved, and that is all that matters.   

 

 

 
 
 

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Shocking Read!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Sidekick's most recent favorite book (here).  Today, I shall post about a book that completely took me by surprise!  Sidekick got a little Peter Rabbit stuffed animal and book for Easter.  He used to call Peter Rabbit "Hop" until I recently discovered that there is a show On Demand, so now he calls the stuffed animal "Peter Bunny".  I've never read the book to him because I wasn't sure if he would really like it; however, since he has "seen" Peter Rabbit on TV, I thought he might enjoy the book. I remember the premise of The Tale of Peter Rabbit... Peter doesn't listen to his mom, goes to Mr. McGregor's Garden, lost a button from his jacket, and lost his shoes.  What I don't remember is:

 
 
 
While this didn't phase Sidekick because:
  1. He doesn't have a father and therefore that word doesn't mean anything to him
  2. His two year old brain can really comprehend what exactly that mean
Nonetheless, I was a shocked that this was ever written!  I think this book is just going to "go away", never to appear again, and I am going to get a "rewrite" of the book where Peter's father doesn't get killed and eaten.  Wow!  

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Birthday Blues? Heck no!

I've never been too into holidays and birthdays.  I used to find my birthday kind of depressing as I got older because I didn't feel complete.  I felt like I was missing something (husband, kids, etc.)  However, three years ago, just two days shy of my birthday, I got the news that after my eighth IUI, I finally got pregnant!  My goal was to be pregnant before my 38th birthday, and I succeeded just two days shy of that day.  Phew!  My pregnancy was a secret on my birthday (not even my family knew).  While people were celebrating my special day from near and far, I was celebrating and praying for a successful pregnancy.  Ever since then, my birthdays have just been a normal day mixed with a little spice from an awesome kid. 

Last night before Sidekick went to sleep, I told him that my birthday was today.  The entire way to school today, Sidekick sang this:

video


In typical fashion for the past however many years, I took the day off.  I have a massage scheduled followed by seeing "Gone Girl".  I plan on picking up Sidekick from school, feeding him dinner, and then heading out to get some ice cream (which is something we've only done a few times in Sidekick's life).  It's a time to celebrate and be on a sugar high!

So, on my 41st year of life, I am blessed to have an amazing kid, a successful career, a nice home, and friends and family who love us.  What more could I ask for? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Riddance Neighbor-"Friend"

I'm still having a rough time since the "break up" with my neighbors/close friends.  There still seems to be sense of confusion, pain, and angst in the core of my soul.  After the awkward moment of their son, T, coming down to our house to hang out with Sidekick a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get that irritation out of my head.  Why allow your son to hang out with us if his parents (primarily his mom) are not talking to me? So, even though she told me not to text, call, email, I did.  I did it to protect my son!  Here's what I typed:

"Maybe one day you will explain... not because I want to be close friends with you again (because I definitely don't want that), but because we are mature adults who happen to be neighbors and have kids that like to hang out together..." 
 
Of course I didn't hear back from her. I kind of wonder if she is blocking my text messages (which can be done on an iPhone), or if she is truly not responding.  Either way, she is being an immature, selfish be-atch and I shouldn't care (but I totally do)!  Who would want to be friends with someone like that? A couple of my friends who know about this but don't know her are just as baffled as I am and tell me to let it go.  Easier said than done when you feel like you somehow screwed something up.
 
Anyway, last week Sidekick and I were in the cul-da-sac hanging out with a neighbor and her dog.  My ex-friends' house is in the cul-da-sac which is why this situation really sucks because we are often down in that area.  E (Mom) and T (son) came home, and of course she didn't even look at me when she pulled into the driveway.  T got out of the car and walked towards us.  I was just fuming because once again he was back in Sidekick's life after about a week.  He came to say "hello" and Sidekick didn't really care (loyal to his momma!).  Sidekick used to worship T!  I quickly told Sidekick that we had to go inside and make dinner and abruptly left, leaving the neighbor we were talking to and her dog just standing there a bit confused.  (She has no idea E and I aren't friends anymore.)  Awwww-kward!
 
Monday night was a beautiful night and even though it was dark because we set the clocks back, we went outside for a walk to kill some time before bath. We ended up in the cul-da-sac once again, and lo and behold, E came home.  Ugh!  She was alone, pulled into her driveway, and went inside (the garage door was left open and the door from the garage to house was left open).  It was all I could do to not walk into her garage and yell, "What the F is your problem?! Why are you such a selfish, inconsiderate bitch?  Who cuts someone off like you did with me?"  A couple of things stopped me:
 
  1. I had Sidekick with me, and I didn't want him to see her or hear what conversation might ensue.
  2. I was seriously thinking that she'd call the police on me because she's that crazy!
 
So, Sidekick and I continued to laugh, run around, and play while we walked back home. But, I still find myself caring about the situation.  I just wish they didn't live in my neighborhood because this would be so much easier to deal with, and I would be totally over it.  Does she even care like I do?  Is it as hard on her as it is on me?

Tonight we were outside walking Dog after I picked Sidekick up from school.  While walking, E drove down the street.  We were crossing the street and she had to stop to let us finish getting across.  No eye contact.  Nothing.  Sidekick immediately said, "Dat *T* in da car."  Yep!  He knows her car. Ugh. 
 
And just today I read the following quote: 
"Caring was the only thing I ever did when we were friends.  The minute you turned your back is the minute I realized that I deserved better." - Unknown

And you know what?  I'm over it!  I do deserve better.  It was a one sided friendship, and I didn't get much out of it other than a good male role model (the dad) for Sidekick and a playmate (the son).  Even though she is truly a mess and a unstable, she doesn't deserve to be part of our lives if she behaves the way she did.  There is no excuse for what she did and has done.  She is not worth my energy.  She is not worth worrying about and wondering what the hell happened.  She is not worth the tears.  She's not worthy of being my friend. I'm a better friend than she deserves.  Moving on... I'm done!  Good riddance, E!  <Deep cleansing breath...>

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween!

Sidekick's school had been talking a lot about Halloween, so it seemed as if Sidekick knew what the entire day was all about when we talked about it during the days leading up to the big day.  He's been obessed with Monsters, Inc... so much so that he includes them in his prayers at night.  When I showed him different options online, he immediately wanted to be Sulley.  It was so appropriate!


I had three friends staying with me that weekend, so after Sidekick's school party, we went to the airport to pick up one of my friends.  He ran around outside of security in his costume (pic above) and made everyone smile.  He was so happy to be dressed in his costume.  I ran my friend back to my house, and Sidekick and I ditched her to go trick or treating with my friends and their kids.  (My friend decided not to come with us and was thrilled to have peace and quiet for a few hours at my house.) 

It was in the 40s here, so it was quite chilly trick or treating.  Thankfully, Sidekick had a nice warm costume, and I layered him up so he didn't need a coat.  Plus, his costume had mittens. I couldn't have planned that better.  He would run from house to house with his two friends trailing behind.  As soon as he said "Tank you for da candy," he would yell, "Anudder house!?!?" and take off running.  It was so funny!  He was a pro at this trick or treating thing! 

Each time I see the joy in Sidekick's eyes of experiencing something new, I find a renewed joy myself.  What seemed like a trivial night became a fun night watching Sidekick run from house to house with so much excitment and happiness.  How could I not just smile and my heart not fill with such love and joy for this amazing little boy?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sidekick's Favorite Book

Sidekick has been obsessed with books every since I started reading to him when he was just an infant.  He can sit in someone's lap for an hour (if someone will let him) and read book after book after book with that person. I love how he responds to certain parts of a book:  "Oh no!"  "What happened?"  "What dat, Momma?"  School is teaching him to read, and he can point to words he knows and tell me what that word is.  It's pretty amazing! 

He goes through phases with a certain book that he must read every night before bed.  I try to deter him from a particular book after several days in a row because I'm so tired of reading it, but he usually won't let up.  His most recent favorite book, which he pulled off the shelf and I had never read to him before, is You are my Wish Come True by Marianne Richmond.  I absolutely love the book, so I'm happy to read it every single night.  It's such a sweet book and I find very appropriate for a SMC and her child.  It's a story about a Momma Bear having a conversation with her son, Barley, about how he was her wish come true.  One of my favorite parts:

"A long time ago, a wish started growing in my heart.  At first, it was a quiet wish that nobody knew.  Then it became an out-loud wish that grew and grew and grew.  Until one day my wish came true."

What SMC couldn't relate to that?  (or any Mom for that matter.)  It reminded me of the long thought process in my head while thinking about being a SMC, then talking to a few people about it, then announcing I was pregnant to the world.  What an incredible and really long journey I have had when it came to conceiving Sidekick.

"I had an empty place in my heart that I wanted to fill with love for a special child like you."

While the book takes a strange turn about their fur being different colors and it seems pretty random, I like everything else about it.  It's such a sweet book, and for whatever reason, it is Sidekick's favorite one for a week straight. Does he make a connection to the book like I do?  Who knows, but I love the fact that he loves it so much. 

To end out special bedtime routine, after I close the book, he turns to look at me, puts his hands together, and says in his sweet little voice, "Have to pray."  I love this kid so much. 

Three years and four days ago, I had my eighth IUI that resulted in Sidekick.  Don't ever give up hope. I finally got my wish come true. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Awwwww-kward!

Well, after 11 days, we finally ran into our neighbors/ex-friends tonight.  We were outside playing when E and T drove by.  She didn't even look at us.  Next thing I know, T is walking down to visit which was kind of awkward.  I'm surprised E let him come down.  I've explained to Sidekick that they are not our friends anymore, and he always says, "Momma sad."  So now WTF do I say to him? 

T came down alone, but I had a glimmer of hope that E might join him, but she didn't.  Of course not!  Sidekick normally hugs T and worships him, but tonight he didn't interact much with him.  Was Sidekick being loyal to his Momma?  To make T not feel awkward, I just asked him about school, basketball, Halloween, etc.  I miss that kid!  It made me sad because I wonder what he knows, and I feel like it puts him in an awkward position because unlike Sidekick, he can makes sense of things.  It's not fair to him.

After about 20 or so minutes, E went out to get the mail, and when T saw her, he yelled down asking if he needed to come home.  She yelled back that dinner was ready, so he left.  Sidekick didn't really care that he was leaving.  I was sad about this whole situation, but I think I was just plain pissed at how it played out. She couldn't even wave!  Nothing!  I just wanted to yell, "Grow the F up, E!"  (Gosh, I have been swearing a lot about this lately!)

When we came inside, I asked Sidekick if he played with T.  His response was, "Yes. Momma sad."  I was already so angry with E, especially since she cut off all ties with us and Sidekick was so close to them, but now she's messing with him again by bringing T back into his life.  I want to tell T that he can't play, but that's not fair to either of the boys because they've done nothing wrong.  I also feel like it's very immature of me to act that way, so I will suck it up and be an adult.  Maybe this is somehow is how our prayers are being answered????  Sidekick has mentioned them in his prayers every night.  Tonight he reminded me that we had forgotten to pray. With his hands folded together, he said, "Have to pray, Momma."  E, T, and D were at the top of his list. 

So... when I thought I was getting over this and feeling a bit better about the whole situation, tonight opened up some of the wounds again.  What a mess!  How do I protect Sidekick this time around???  How can she be such a cold hearted bitch when we used to be so close?!?!?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Church and Prayers

I didn't go to church growing up, but I wish I did.  I started going to one years ago and was going regularly and then I stopped going (long story).  I decided that Sidekick and I should start going again.  He goes to Kids Ministry while I sit and listen to an awesome Pastor talk for an hour. It's about the only break I get outside of my home, so I enjoy the time spent there in quiet "solitude".

Now that he is two, they always do a little lesson about God.  After his first time there, our conversation on the way home went like this:

Me:  Did you like going to church?
Him:  Yes.
Me:  What did you learn about?
Him:  God (WOW!)
Me:  What about God?
Him:  God helps. (WOW!)

One hour later, he had learned a little lesson about God.  I was proud of him and decided that together we will learn about who this God is. 

Last night we went to church.  I was hoping I would find some kind of peace, hope, understanding, etc. about the situation with my friend, E.  Boy, did I luck out!  The whole talk was about confession (not in a Catholic kind of way).  We need to confess to one another when we do something wrong.  If we know someone is mad at or upset with us, we need to stop everything and go to that person.  (These were all in verses from the Bible.)  So... the entire time I was thinking about E!  Am I supposed to go to her even though she said not to?  Confusion.

This is a contemporary church, so sometimes the Pastor does really cool things.  Last night at the end of the service, we were able to take a piece of fabric, write whatever on it, and tie it to a structure.  I asked to help me find peace and understanding with this situation and say kind prayers for E. I tied it on the structure, and went to pick up Sidekick.  I was still a bit baffled by the verse about dropping everything and going to that person if we know that person is angry with us.  Do I know/think E is angry with me?  I have no idea! So... Sidekick and I went back into the auditorium to get some clarity. 

I was going to ask an Associate Pastor, but the lead Pastor was just standing there, so with Sidekick by my side, I briefly explained that E is depressed, she relied on me all the time but she ended our friendship out of the blue, and she doesn't want to speak with me, etc.  Am I to listen to her or go to her like the Bible verse explains?  His answer was you pray for her.  Hmmmmm.  But he followed up with not praying that a boulder falls on her head.  Haha!  He told me that is one of the hardest things to do, but it's what I have to do. I fought back tears and thanked him.  I've only wanted peace and happiness for her, and even though I've been sad for almost a week, I still pray for her.  Apparently it's all I can do.

So, last night I decided to talk to Sidekick about praying.  I explained that we pray to God when we need help, when we are sad, when we are happy, when we are grateful, or when we need to be watched over. I asked him who we are going to pray for, and here was our conversation:

Me:  Who should we pray for?
Him:  Momma, Sidekick, E...
Me:  Why E?
Him:  E makes Momma sad.  (Wow!) 
Me:  Anyone else?
Him:  Monsters, Inc!

And with that, I laughed out loud, and I needed that.  Here when I thought I was getting to him, and he adds Monsters, Inc. to the mix!  Nonetheless, I think we will pray together every night because it was a quiet, special time together.

So, today I am feeling more at peace and calmer with the situation. I don't know if time has helped or if Church helped, but either way, I feel less sad, and for that I am so grateful.  We've yet to officially run into them outside, and I hope that when we do, we can be civil, but then I fear Sidekick's confusion with the whole situation because I know he'll want to run and hug them.  In the meantime, I am just going to continue working through this until it no longer hurts. Ever. Again.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Momma sad."

I am shocked that Sidekick acknowledges that I am sad and allows me to be sad.  "Momma sad.  Momma not better."  He then says, "*Sidekick* not sad. *Sidekick* happy."

I'm still so upset about my friend/neighbor, E, ending our friendship so abruptly.  What sucks about being a mom (single or not) is that our responsibilities are still there every day.  I've hated waking up in the morning because for about seven hours, I am able to get away from my sadness.  As soon as I wake up, I need to face another day and take care of Sidekick and Dog when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and hide. I work out of my home and while I should be out meeting with customers, I'm not motivated to do that. Since I've been home a lot this week and work is slow, the days go by slowly, and I have too much time to think about things.  Ugh!

I find myself looking back at text messages trying to figure out what happened, and I can't put my finger on it.  I have done everything possible to help her and support her and have gone out of my way to do so.  This "break up" was a complete blindside which leaves me so baffled... not to mention extremely hurt.

Even though she told me not to email, text, call, I had to.  It wasn't fair to me and she was being selfish.  It was a mixture of sadness and anger and empathy.  I told her how much my heart hurts right now, and how I have never given so much to someone in my life.  I told her how I hated her for doing this to Sidekick because he became so close to them, and how I hated myself for encouraging him to trust them and love them and my inability to protect him.  She always said we were put in each others' lives for a reason, and that we are here to learn lessons from one another.  I told her that I learned to never give so much in a one sided relationship because it only hurts me in the end.  I told her that I will not beg her to be my friend, and if I see any of them, I will not be rude to them.  I was going to somehow take the high road.  I ended hoping that she finds peace and happiness and that is all I ever wanted for her.  I apologized for not being the friend she needed/wanted. 

What is strange is that about an hour later, she forwarded the email to me with no message.  Was that an accident?  Did she mean to forward it to someone else?  Or was my friend right when she said that she forwarded it to me as if it was a piece of physical mail, and she was "showing" me that she didn't actually read it?  That thought makes me so angry!  Who does that?  Why be so vindictive?

I realize that this friendship was so one sided, so I shouldn't be so upset about this.  I never relied on her like she relied on me.  I didn't share my deepest, darkest demons like she did with me. Yet I miss her so much.  I miss the ability to walk a few doors down and hang out with them.  It's been raining for a week, and today is the first sunny day. I wonder what will happen if they are outside also. I'm not one to be anxious, but right now, all I feel is anxiety at the strong possibility that we will all be outside at the same time.

I know that time heals all wounds, so I'm hoping that I will soon feel better and back to my normal self.  This is no way to feel day in and day out. I miss my friend so much, and I just don't understand how someone can just cut all ties with me after she would break down in front of me almost every day and tell me things that were sacred.  Who does that???  I'm trying to respect her request to not email (again), text, or call, but I feel like I deserve an explanation. 

I feel like a shitty Mom because this upsets me so much and Sidekick knows it.  I all of a sudden feel lonely again, and that is an awful feeling.  I am truly, deeply sad.  No matter how much I try to rationalize the situation, accept what happened, etc.  I can't.  It just hurts me to the core of my soul.