Monthly Archives: April 2011

Hands Are For Holding

I am a lucky Mom to have two happy, loving, wonderful little boys. Even luckier is that I am able to stay home. What comes with staying home is that I am the one who inevitably gets to wipe the poopy bottom (hey let’s just jump right in!). And, inevitably, my call to duty always comes at dinner time. Now I’m not talking about my younger son, Brayden. He’s still in diapers and can’t really control the “timing” of things. Zackery, on the other hand, is fully potty trained.

We’ve had the discussion about “going” before dinner (so that he doesn’t have to sit and wait for me to come tend to his bottom; he hasn’t quite got the wiping himself down yet). Every day, as I’m about to start dinner, I ask him “do you have to go potty?” And every time, he responds with “No Mom, I’m okay. I’ll go poop after dinner.” “Are you sure?” I ask him. “Yes, I’m fine,” he assures me.

I could go on and on about the wonderfully (in)appropriate dinner conversation, but instead fast forward to Monday at 3:30pm. Music class starts at 4:00pm – it’s 10 min away. The car is warming up, Brayden has a clean diaper, I’m getting my shoes on, and I ask Zackery to go potty before we leave. He does his business (number one – sorry if this is TMI…), we wash hands, get his jacket on and hop into the car.

We arrive at music class in plenty of time, but the teacher is not there yet. We hear that he is on his way (he had a sick kid right as he was getting ready to leave – we’ve all been there), and to just please wait patiently. That in itself is hard with a room full of kids, but they all did great playing with the music sticks, bells and scarves.

About 10 min later, Zackery tells me he has to go potty. I find it odd, given that he just went at home, but I took him to the bathroom anyway. Of course there was no kid-sized toilet (and I didn’t see the step stool until we turned around to wash our hands), so I pick him up, squeezing his bare little bottom between my legs to help keep him steady, aim him at the toilet, and tell him to go. Mission accomplished.

Back in the music class room, just as the teacher finally shows up, “Mommy, I have to go poop.” In a state of shock, knowing this day would once come, I gather myself and my plan of attack. I ask a friend to again keep an eye on Brayden (luckily he’s still pretty content just sitting in one spot), and armed with the wipes from the diaper bag, Zackery and I head once again to the rest room. This time we go into the handicap stall – I need room to maneuver. I grab the step stool and have a quick talk with Zackery – telling him this is a big toilet, not like his little potty seat at home, and that he can’t sit all the way back or he’ll fall in (how scary is that thought!).

With fear in his eyes, standing on the step stool with pants pulled down, he turns his little bottom around, prepared to sit down on the paper shroud I created over the toilet seat. “Mommy, hold my hands!” I gripped him tightly as he lowered into position, then slowly I put one hand behind his back so he wouldn’t lean too far back and fall into the dreadful abyss. Phase one – complete!

Lucky for me it was a quick release (I really don’t know how else to say this). We then resumed normal routine: stand up, bend over, wipe bottom, flush toilet, pull pants up, wash hands. Proud of Zackery and proud of myself, we both let out a big sigh of relief as we headed back to class. Once again, mission accomplished!

As much as I love holding hands with my husband and children as we go for walks or while crossing the street, it makes me laugh every time I think about Zack’s panic (and mine!) in the rest room. Whether it’s “mommy duty” or just for a little love, either way I am always happy to hold his hand.

He said “Ma Ma!”

There’s not much more thrilling than the sound of your infant son saying those 2 little words. He’s been babbling for months, and of course calling everyone and everything “da da,” but when he finally got that “mmmm” sound – it was enough to make me jump out of bed, literally!

I was enjoying a morning nap while Brayden napped in his crib at the foot of our bed (my Tuesday morning luxury). I could have slept for hours, I was that tired (more to come on that later). As most Mothers I know, I had one ear and one eye open, on alert for the first sounds of stirring that signaled nap time was over. There were some happy squeaks, a couple whimpers, and then the usual babbling. I waited a few moments to see if he would go back to sleep, but instead I hear with as much crispness as a beautiful fall day, those two most precious words… “ma ma.” In less than a split second, I was awake with a grin on my face from ear to ear. I lift my head up off my pillow, and there’s Brayden, on his tummy, looking at me from his crib with big, happy eyes. I smiled back, and he responded once again with “ma ma.”

It was a special moment that I will remember always. They weren’t his first words, but to me, they mean the world. I wasn’t there the first time my older son, Zackery, said “ma ma,” so to hear Brayden say them right to me… well, it just fills my heart up. Since then, every time he wakes up from a nap, he proudly says his newly learned word. Being his Mother, I am just as proud, and even if no one else ever hears those words, I know that he said “ma ma.”

The Plague of Perfectionism

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am definitely a perfectionist. Actually, this is something I’ve known for quite some time, but today I’ve decided to own it! I have so many stories I want to share and so many parenting topics I want to write about, but I just can’t seem to get started. I am plagued with wanting to write the “perfect” blog post. Well, to that I say… “so long! Here I am! Take it or leave it!” There is no “perfect” when it comes to parenting.

The other day I was painting with my 3-1/2-year-old, Zackery. I had asked him if he wanted to help me paint a piece of cardboard black for one of Daddy’s projects. Excited as always to do a project with Mommy, together we got out the box of art supplies – the paints, the brushes – and the little paper doggy cups to put the paint into. He chose probably the biggest brush I had, and we squirted some black paint into the cup. Away we went. He did most of it and I just helped him get all the edges and smooth out the brush strokes. It didn’t take long and since we were already set up to paint, I thought what the heck, let’s paint some more for fun!

As he sorted through all the paints, picking each one and the accompanying brush to go with it, in the back of my head I was thinking “okay, that’s enough,” but I let him keep going, assuming he’d be done soon. We’ve done painting before, and usually after a few minutes he wants me to take over while he supervises which color goes where. Well this time, he boldly said “Mom, don’t help me.”  Ummm, okay. Part of me was happy that he wanted to do it all himself, and part of me was worried he would mess up. Really? How could I think he could mess up??? I’m his Mother, I should LOVE everything he ever does, right? Shame on me for letting that thought enter my mind, because what he ended up creating was the most beautiful painting I have ever seen! He used every single color I had, every single brush, and probably 20 little paper doggy cups. If he had already used green, well he wanted all the shades of green. He was so proud and happy, and having the best time creating his masterpiece. Was it “perfect?” It was to him, and it is to me. It’s so perfect that it’s awaiting a frame so I can put it up on the wall and show it off.

My lesson learned: back off a little and let my little ones have a try for themselves. I might be pleasantly surprised at how “perfect” things turn out when they do whatever it is all by themselves.

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