Saturday, March 28, 2015

Momma's in Timeout

I hate being a parent today.  I despise it.  I was stretched too thin today, especially since I had to work ON A SATURDAY and take Sidekick with me for a few hours.  That was fun (insert sarcasm).  Sidekick has just done everything wrong today.  It started with him peeing on his carpet (he has never had an accident!).  I stripped him down naked after he woke up, and he was supposed to go potty instead of play while I was getting ready.  About five minutes later, he asked me to wipe him, so I assumed all was good until I stepped on a few big puddles (13 hours worth) of pee when I walked into his room to get him dressed!  Really???  I switched to an earlier soccer class because I had to work, and he didn't listen very well to his soccer coach. He did a pretty good job while I worked, but he enjoyed being loud in the echo-y school cafeteria and didn't want to use his "inside voice".  After all of this and a short nap, I was looking forward to going to church so I could get an hour break and just sit and listen.  Wouldn't you know it... his class at church did not have room for him so I had to sit in the lobby while he enjoyed all of the space to run and be wild, and I pretty much missed the entire service because I was too focused on him.

If there is anything cute and funny about the day... since Sidekick couldn't go to Kids Ministry, I took him into the church with me to listen to the music before we moved into the lobby to watch the actual service.  He enjoyed jamming with the band and listening to the "bootiful music".  When the music was done, everything was quiet, and we headed out to the lobby. Not once, not twice, but three times, he yelled, "Goodbye, everybody!" and waved excitedly. Sidekick has left the sanctuary.  I'd be lying if I didn't say there were plenty of people laughing. 

We got home and I found myself yelling at him... he wasn't eating dinner fast enough, he was being too messy, he wanted to play and not eat, he wanted to walk Dog before dinner, not after, etc.  Seriously... I lost my patience big time.  I yelled and yelled and yelled, and then I felt guilty.  Big time.

I finally put myself in a timeout (literally) on the stair where Sidekick's timeouts are.  I put my forehead in the palms of my hands and breathed deeply. Timeouts really are good.  They are kind of cathartic.  I finally asked Sidekick to come over to me, and I told him that I was sorry for yelling at him and making him sad.  I explained that being a Momma is sometimes hard.  What did he do?  He gave me a big hug and told me he loved me.  Tug at my heartstrings. 

I don't know what my problem is today, but holy shit, I hated today. Hated it. I hated the parent I was.  I know that Sidekick's "job" is to do just what he did today.  He's a normal 2 1/2 year old, but because he is typically so good and so easy, I just can't hold it together when he has a day like today. I don't know how to handle it. 

I am thankful for tomorrow... for new days... days in which we look at the present and forgot the shitty past that was today. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reassurance from a 2 1/2 Year Old

I think we all wonder and worry if we are doing a good job raising our kids. Since Sidekick only has one parent, I am especially cognizant of the pressure I sometimes feel to teach him how to make the right choices, to demonstrate the right ways to behave, to raise him to be a happy, polite, and successful man, to feed him the right foods, to expose him to the amazing things in the world, to make sure he is getting enough of my undivided attention, to make sure I love him enough each day, etc. The other night after I laid him in his crib and was closing his bedroom door, out of the blue he said, "Momma, you doing a good job." Wow! I don't know how I got so lucky, but damn, this little boy just melts my heart. Even at 2 1/2, our kids know that we are doing our best and trying our hardest to make every day a good one for them.  It's nice that someone acknowledges this.  : )

I haven't wanted to "rush" fun and special things with Sidekick so that he can be old enough to appreciate them. We have yet to go to a movie, bowling, Build a Bear, etc. because I want him to appreciate these things, spread them out, and make the excitement of things last longer. If I do it all one after the other, what will be left for him to do? I see so many friends just doing one fun, exciting thing after the next with their young kids, and I wonder if their kids even remember that they did something.  Plus, I don't want Sidekick to think that these "special" things are a regular part of our lives. 

But I digress... Last weekend we went to Lego Kids Fest and Sidekick had so much fun!  He was so excited because it was different from our "normal" things like the park, children's museum, soccer, etc. He had so much fun building things, and I discovered that he liked to take things that other kids made and left and claim them as his own (while taking credit for the work).  Smart little dude.  What I realized is that as he kept doing this from "station to station", his creativity got better and he began to build things on his own. Pretty intriguing.  It's like he needed a little inspiration to get the juices flowing.  All of a sudden, he became a great builder!
At the same time as Lego Kids Fest, the convention center also had a trade show for Halloween.  The people that attended it are people who put on the big haunted houses. Sidekick was so interested and wanted to see the scary things, so he poked his head into the exhibit hall to take a peek.  Imagine all of the massive displays, people dressed in scary costumes walking around, etc., and my child so excited to see it all and squeal with delight!  The crabby old lady "manning" the door didn't seem very entertained by Sidekick's enthusiasm, and I'm sure she thought I was a horrible mom for letting him see that stuff. However, people were laughing at him because I think most kids would have been terrified by it all.  Not my kid!  I think he may have had more fun there than Lego Kids Fest!  Four days later, he still likes to talk about the "scary monsters" he saw. 

On a side note that crosses my mind every single morning... Sidekick will be three in July.  He's been potty trained since December and has been dry every morning since before he turned two.  I still put a diaper on him at night.  Is it safe to assume he doesn't need one anymore? The kid is a camel and can go 12+ hours at night (even though he drinks quite a lot of water before going to bed) without needing to go potty.  Why am I such a freak about NOT putting a diaper on him? Should I continue with the diapers or just stop using them?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Strangers (and St. Pat's Day)

It's funny that Sidekick thinks that St. Patrick's Day is a birthday party.  At 2 1/2, I guess every celebration is like a birthday party.  He kept singing "Happy Birthday" all morning long.  I love skull and crossbones, and so does Sidekick, and when I saw this shirt last year, I had to buy two!  It's fun see how he's changed in one year:

 
 
There was a kidnapping last week in the neighboring town, and that got me wondering when is the right time to talk about strangers without scaring Sidekick?  I started giving him scenarios and asked him what he would do.  For example:
 
Me:  What if a man/woman comes up to you and tells you he has a lot of puppies in his car, and he wants you to see them?
Sidekick:  I say NO and run to my momma.
 
 
Me:  What if Hunter's mom sees you outside and asks you if you would like a cookie?
Sidekick:  I say yes please.
Me:  Why?
Sidekick: Because she is nice and our friend
 
 
Me:  What is Ms. Lisa (teacher at school) is at the park and asks if you want some juice.
Sidekick:  I say No.  I can't have juice.  Can I have milk please?
 
Hahahahaha!  Just when I think I'm ahead of him, he proves me otherwise.  Anyway, he loves playing this "game" and wants to do it all. The. Time.  I'm running out of scenarios.  "Strangers" scare me, and while I know the likelihood of someone taking Sidekick is so small, it is something that truly worries me. 
 
While I was getting Sidekick ready for bed the other night, he said in a very serious voice, "Momma, look at my eyes." (This is what I say to him when I really want his attention.)  "We do not. Talk. To. Strangers. Ever."  Wow!  Out of the blue he said this to me.  I'm impressed that he thinks about it. I guess things I teach him do stick in his little brain.  :)
 
The days of being gone until the sun sets is so far away from the reality of where our world is now.  Our children are losing their innocence, their sense of adventure, and their freedom to experience everything we were so lucky to do as kids.  I don't think the idea of being snatched up on the street ever crossed my mom's mind when I was little while riding bikes, walking to school alone, going to the park alone, etc.  I know that Sidekick is never out of my sight, and when he's older, our discussions will get "bigger".  The truth of the matter is, if Sidekick was ever in one of the scenarios, someone could easily pick him up and run, but at least he is learning that we don't trust everyone we see even if they have puppies, cookies, candy, etc.  Ugh! I hate thinking about this.  I really do.  It just makes me sick to my stomach.
 
I remind Sidekick all the time that it's my job to keep him safe, happy, and healthy.  When I really think about it, it's such a big responsibility.  He has no idea what a responsibility that is, but he knows that I would do anything to protect him.  His newest thing to say after I tell him I love him: 
 
"I love you 'too' and a half."  because he is, after all, 2 1/2 and not just 2!

Monday, March 9, 2015

In a Groove and Having Fun

We are in a good place right now.  A place in which Sidekick listens to rules, doesn't have temper tantrums, is super sweet and funny, and our weekends are full of fun things to do.  If we are in such a good place, then why the hell am I so damn tired?  Seriously. I'm exhausted.  All. The. Time.  I'm sleeping through the night (I sound like a baby, but I normally have bad bouts of insomnia), and I'm actually getting more sleep than I normally do because I'm falling asleep faster and sooner.  I'm working out more and eating better.  Apparently everything good that I'm doing is NOT good for my body because it's reacting the opposite way than it should (haha). Rebellion at it's finest. Go figure.

This weekend was gorgeous!  We were outside a lot and loved the fresh air. We were both happy running around at the park, drawing with chalk on the driveway, and blowing bubbles.  Last weekend we got hit with a big snowstorm and went sledding.  Before the snow came in, I searched several stores for a sled and could not find one!  Lo and behold, right when I was about to give up, I stopped at a mom and pop hardware store and found a large selection.  We were set and Sidekick had so much fun!  Who knew that carrying a 30 pound toddler up a huge hill over and over again would be so exhausting?!


























Sidekick's little brain never ceases to amaze me.  Things that come out of this kid's mouth make me chuckle.  Here are a few recent conversations:

Me:  "I love you, *Sidekick*"
Sidekick;  "I love you too and a half, Momma."  (Because he is after all 2 1/2 and not 2 anymore!)
 
It was "Wear Blue or Red" at school the other day.  I explained this to Sidekick and dressed him in a red and blue striped shirt.  Here was our conversation:

Sidekick:  "Momma, I have to wear purple today."
Me:  "Why?  Today is blue and red day."
Sidekick:  "Because blue and red make purple!"
 
In addition to "Wear Red and Blue" day, he had crazy hair day that same week.  He wanted purple and blue stripes, "Like a zebra, Momma."



 
 
Finally, while I was frantically looking for Sidekick's shoe this morning because Dog loves to carry our shoes around, Sidekick said in a loud, whiny voice with a mouth half full of oatmeal, "Momma, *Dog* is licking my paw!"  I guess I've done a crappy job distinguishing feet from paws.  :)
 
It's my "busy" season for work, so I've had later than normal work nights.  Fortunately, Sidekick has been able to go home with a friend from school, and I've made it to pick him up from school two minutes before they close.  Phew!  I feel badly and I miss him, but fortunately Sidekick just rolls with the punches and nothing seems to bother him. So... life is good, we are happy, and spring is (almost) here. What more could a girl want?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"I'm keeping it warm"

Sidekick has always been a kind, loving, giving boy.  He likes to "take care of" me and Dog.  He likes to make people happy. Apparently, he likes to make sure his fruit is taken care of as well.  Love his sweet concerned voice. 

video

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Table for Two

I don't know how I feel about past lives, but many people who know Sidekick, have commented that he is an old soul and he's "been around" before.  I have to admit that there are times when he says or does something and I think to myself that he shouldn't be doing/saying that at 2 1/2 years old. He tells me at random times that I am beautiful (and it's usually when I need a shower!).  He'll do something and immediately asks me if it makes me happy.  He is an outgoing, yet cautious, gentle little boy who is so aware of the world and the people who live in it.  He just seems to know too much.

I've taught him to set the table with his dishes at a pretty young age.  I have all of his dishes in a cabinet that he can reach, so he likes to pick out the colors of his plates, bowls, and cups.  I had had a long day and was trying to get dinner ready for us.  Sidekick was working on puzzles and his ears must have been broken when I asked him to set the table because he hadn't moved from the puzzle.  I was getting a little impatient while finishing things up, so I asked him again with a little firmer, louder voice.  He got up and did what I asked him to do.  When I turned around, I found two sets of matching dishes at the table.  My sweet boy, had set the table for me also:



How could I not use the dishes he got out for me?  He was so happy and excited and said, "I set the table for you, Momma.  That make you happy?"  Of course it made me happy and I happily served myself using his dishes and filled the small cup with water.  He has learned that the world doesn't revolve around him.  He has learned that it's nice to help others.  He has learned how to be loving and kind.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy Singles Awareness Day

aka Valentine's Day. It's a day I've never really gotten into, but seeing the flowers, gifts, etc. on Facebook that friends got makes me feel a little jealous. Why is it so hard to find a guy?  Oh yeah!  Because dating sucks!  I've tried online dating sites with no success.  None.  Zero. Zilch. I haven't been on a date since before Sidekick was born, and I'd sure like to go on one. Soon. Seriously, as much as I hated dating prior to Sidekick, I'd really like to have a date now. I'd love to sit across the table from a guy and have a great conversation, while drinking a glass of wine and laughing.

Sidekick had soccer yesterday and he brought Valentines to some of his friends on his team.  It was fun and he was so excited to give them to them.  We were going to go bowling for the first time with my friends and their two sons, but when we got there the wait was close to two hours, so we quickly changed our plans and went to Chuck E Cheese, which was a new place for Sidekick.  He had so much fun and quickly learned how to put the coins in the games/rides.  He was so happy. Watching him reminded me how much I just adore my boy, so screw Valentines Day!  If I had waited for that guy to come along, I wouldn't have Sidekick. 

Although Sidekick informed me that his friend at school, H, is his Valentine, after I gave him a kiss, he said, "I like hugs, Momma.  Kisses are not great.  But I love you."  So whether I have a grown up Valentine or not, I have my boy, and he is the greatest, most amazing part of my life.  I'd hate to wonder where my life would be now if he wasn't part of it. 

Below is a picture of three Valentine's Days in row. It's fun to see how he's changed. This boy is by far my favorite boy in the whole wide world.  Maybe a great guy will come into our lives someday soon and grow with us.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

That Ex-Neighbor-Friend!

Remember that neighbor friend that "broke up" with me and Sidekick? 

Breaking up is Hard to Do

Momma Sad

Awwwww-kward!


I hate living by her. I really do. I tried to be the big person and reach out again when I sent them a Christmas card.  In it I wrote, "New year, new beginning..."  Again, the door was wide open, and nothing!  Finally, I sent her an email a couple of weeks ago with the subject line "Goodbye".  I told her I was officially saying goodbye to her and our difficult, painful friendship where I was totally and completely used.  I told her that I was trying not to hate her, but because of what she did with no explanation, I do (which I don't make a habit of doing).  I told her I was hopeful that by now she would have strapped on some balls and explained but because she didn't, I was done. I wouldn't have wanted her to be my friend anymore, but at least because we would have hashed things out, we wouldn't be completely uncomfortable around each other. 

I explained that whenever her son, T, sees us, Sidekick hides behind me and will not talk to him no matter how much T tries to talk to him. It's so awkward. When I talk to Sidekick about it later, he tells me that T is not his friend anymore. I try to do the right thing by explaining that even when people aren't our friends, we still need to be nice and say hello to them.  He asked me why... ugh!  I don't F'n know!  It's just the right thing to do. It makes me sad that E has ruined a sweet relationship between T and Sidekick.  It's so unfair to them.

So, guess what? I told her that I'm not going to be nice to them anymore if we see them.  Why should I?  She is such a messed up woman, and I do not condone her behavior nor do I want to teach Sidekick that that behavior of hers is acceptable.  Yes, we'll say hello, but that's it... no more BS talk with her son, especially since Sidekick will not interact with him anymore.  I told her that she has created such an awkwardness in our neighborhood, and that totally sucks.  How's it going to be when a bunch of neighbors are outside and everyone is talking to each other except us?  Because I'm the newbie to the neighborhood, who knows how this will go.

While I the premise of my email was to say goodbye because I thought it would make me feel better, it didn't. It was a beautiful weekend, so we were outside playing a lot. We were in the cul-da-sac where all the kids gather, which happens to be where their house is.  E's husband came out to leave, so I grabbed Sidekick's bike to get it out of the way, and we didn't even glance at each other.  I just wanted to yell, "You two need to grow the F up!"  If they didn't live just doors down from us, I wouldn't care, but their presence in our neighborhood is really hard for me.  We are very outdoorsy people, so we are always out.  It makes me sick. 

Here's the thing... I know she is f'd up (her words), she admitted it to me many times.  I know she had a lot of shit to deal with.  I get all of that, but being used like I was and then being dumped is so incredibly hard and totally sucks. Seriously, who does what she did?  In my entire life, I honestly can't think of anything remotely similar to what she did.  Ridiculous. 

I'm dreading spring when we all tend to be outside and at some point, we'll actually be in each other's presence.  I feel like I'm in middle school again, but this is actually far worse.  Is she truly happy that she's done this?  Does she feel as awkward as I am being outside in our neighborhood?  This is so incredibly stupid and so incredibly immature. They wanted to move a while ago but were afraid that they wouldn't get what they needed to out of their house.  Every day I hope I will see a "For Sale" sign in their yard.  That would solve everything.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Friendships

I always thought that it would be easier to "find" new friends and connect with them once Sidekick was old enough to go out an about and do things.  Having him has put me in activities and outings that I wouldn't normally do. What I have found is that it's tough to connect with people as a SMC because my world is different than a more "traditional" family.  I wonder if it's because some women don't want to leave their husbands out of outings with the kids especially on the weekends.  Weekends are family time, not hang out with Sidekick and his mom time, so I struggle with this which makes me feel lonely sometimes. 

Since Sidekick has been playing soccer, I have become friendly with a couple of the moms.  One of the moms (we'll call X) and I had an interesting conversation the first time we talked at soccer.  The kids are now on the soccer field by themselves, so I get the opportunity to talk to some of the moms and dads.  After a little chit chat, X asked me if "we" have any more kids.  When I said no, she asked if "we" are going to, and like I usually do, I explained that I am a SMC.  She got so excited for me and told me that since she had found her husband later in life, she would have done the same thing had she not gotten married.  I asked about her family, and she hesitated and said she does have a son, but he died 1 1/2 years ago!  Good Lord, talk about an awful thing to hear.  From what I have gathered in the short communication and random thing she says at times, he was in surgery and the anesthesiologist messed up. He was about 2 1/2... Sidekick's age. How does one respond to that???  I just wanted to lean over and hug her. Their daughter was nine months old at the time, and I can only assume that she kept them going every day.  At that moment, I looked at Sidekick running around on the soccer field and couldn't imagine losing him. My heart was heavy for this family. I don't think I would ever survive if something happened to Sidekick.  I couldn't.

X is getting a Golden Retriever puppy in a couple of weeks. Last weekend, she invited us to go visit the litter. Sidekick was so loving and caring towards them and was particularly drawn to the runt (on his left in the pic).  He literally sobbed when we left after almost two hours. 


 
 
But I digress... X and I had fun and for just getting together with her and her daughter for the first time with a really long drive to the dog breeder, it wasn't awkward at all.  What I struggle with is that after any outing with a friend and her child, while they go back to their family that consists of more than a mom and child, Sidekick and I go back to Dog. It kind of tugs at my heartstrings, and I go from this upbeat feeling about life to a little bit of loneliness.  Will Sidekick ever feel this way?
 
I want to get together with people for play dates and activities, but I find that it's awkward when a dad is thrown into the mix.  Why leave a Dad behind because in a "normal" family, both dads would come along for the adventure? I have no problem with the Dad being there, especially if he's a good role model, and actually welcome it because it puts a man in Sidekicks' present world. However, I'm not so sure how he feels about hanging out with two women.  Ha!
 
So anyway, my world feels lonely somehow.  Does this hit home with anyone else?  Am I the only one that thinks/feels like this? 
 
Last night before I laid my sweet boy in his crib, he said, "It's just you and me, Momma. You make me happy."  Did he know that I needed to hear something like this?  I just gave him an extra hug or two, kissed him on his forehead, and told him I loved him.  And then I remembered that without him, my life would be really sucky.  : )

Friday, January 23, 2015

Business Travel and an Incredible Conversation with my Boy

I was out of town all last week for business.  My mom came in town to take care of Sidekick so I knew he was in good hands.  I had been preparing him that I was going to be gone for a few days and that Grandma was going to take good care of him. Each time he said, "Don't leave me, Momma."  Boy, did that tug at my heartstrings.

I wasn't sure how to handle communication with him during my absence.  I wasn't sure if Skyping with him and/or talking to him would be harder on him, so we played it by ear.  If he seemed sad or needed me, we would Skype or I would call.  He didn't care that I was gone!  A couple of times he asked my mom about me, but my absence didn't seem to bother him.  So, I went five full days of not seeing/talking to my boy.  I appreciated my colleagues' interest in where Sidekick was and if I was doing okay without him.  I laughed every time and told them I was totally okay (and I wasn't lying).

I hadn't seen him since Sunday night, and didn't see him until I picked him up from school on Friday.  That was a long time!  When I showed up, he was playing with something.  He looked at me and went back to what he was doing.  He took a double take, yelled "Momma", ran towards me, wrapped his arms around me, and told me how much he had missed me.  There is nothing better than that!  How can I love this kid so much?

In all honesty, I didn't really miss him (which I feel guilty admitting).  I knew he was in good hands, and I honestly enjoyed being away from him and being "free".  Yes, I was stuck at a sales conference and in meetings all day and events each night, so I wasn't doing anything fun, but I didn't have feed my kid, get him ready and out the door for school, bathe him, walk the dog, etc.  I felt free, and I loved it!  When I got home, it was a bit of a transition and was thrown into our regular lives once again.  Every once in a while, out of the blue, he'll say, "Don't leave me, Momma."  I have to reassure him that I'm not going anywhere again for a long time.

We had an interesting conversation the other night.  My best friend and her family are coming in town this weekend.  While we were talking about seeing them, for some reason this is how our conversation went:

Sidekick:  We don't have a Matt (husband/dad).
Me:  That's right, Buddy. We don't.
Sidekick:  We don't have a Lauren, eeder. (one of my friends' daughter)
Me:  No, we don't. 
Sidekick:  It's just you, me and Ah-mee! (what he calls Dog)

He was so proud of himself for his realization of who/what our family is.  He was so happy!  I had to take a deep breath during this conversation because I never thought we'd be having a conversation like this as soon as he turned 2 1/2.  I'm amazed that he is so aware of the world around him and that our family is different than 98% of the families he knows.  I'm also grateful that he is weaning me into this difficult conversations to come about how our family came to be. I guess my idea that we wouldn't be talking about this for a couple of more years was wrong.  I've always been an open book with everyone about how Sidekick was conceived, so I'm certainly not going to hide it from him, but Wow!  I wasn't expecting the questions/conversations to start so early on in his life. 

For my fellow SMCs... when did your kids start realizing his/her family is "different"?