About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Doubty Mustafah

A while back (before kindergarten started) Elie posed a shocking question while we were driving in the car (oh yeah, the car is where the most painful of conversations take place, it's like a vacuum where children are only allowed to ask hard questions, seriously). She asked if the tooth fairy was real. WHAT??? Oh yeah, out of the mouth of a little girl who hasn't even LOST a tooth yet, a little girl who witnessed the magic that a house full of adults created for her cousin when he lost his first tooth, a little girl who just a few months ago was PLANNING on being a tooth fairy when she grew up. She had it all lined up. She was going to be a teacher during the day and at night she was going to go to fairy school where she would learn to make herself so small she could sneak into houses at night and gather teeth. Then we she was done with school, being a tooth fairy would be her nightime job.

When she asked me this question I was shocked. I was amazed. Why is she asking this?? Why can't she be asking about why the sky is blue? How do cars work? Where do babies come from?????? I hemmed, I hawed, I finally reached back to my parents' wisdom and said "What do you think?" "I don't think she really exsists. I think she's imaginary. Am I right?" HOLY COW! It's come to this!!! "I think we'll have to see what happens when you loose your first tooth." "Yeah, we'll just have to see."

So she doubts the tooth fairy. But then, just last week they talked about Noah's Ark in Religious school. I happen not to believe that every single story in the Torah really happened. Call me a heretic if you like, but I just don't. She came home in quite a funk and when she started talking she told about a video they watched, told the whole story of the flood, and says "And it REALLY happened." Oh. My. Gosh. It didn't happen, God didn't flood the earth, Noah didn't have a giant boat with all the animals, I'm pretty darn sure it didn't go down like that AT ALL. The worst part was she was in tears. So I talked with her about how it is a story with a moral and that it didn't really happen. I'm not sure she really believes me, but I sure hope she does.

Am I the doubter or is she? Who knows? Life is so complicated and hard to explain. It's so clear to me how my beliefs and perceptions shape what she is going to see and do for the rest of her life, but I don't want them to over ride her thoughts and experiences. Do I insert my own beliefs? Do I always give her the whole truth? How do I teach her to question and challenge, without becoming someone who believes in nothing? What do I believe in? Magic? God? Science? Who are all these questions really about? Do I not know the answers because I don't know what I believe in? That might be part of it. I want her to believe in the tooth fairy, magic is, well, magical. Maybe her belief in the tooth fairy today might spark in her a desire to seek magic in everyday occurences later. But will NOT believing that God flooded the earth, in anger and dislike, cause her to later doubt the exsistence of a being with higher powers?

What the hell are the answers to all these questions? Can I push pause, go on a spiritual search and then come back to the game?

I believe in love. I believe in a higher power. I believe in the power of nature. I believe in the power of science. I believe in the power of questions and of knowledge. I believe I can give my children the tools they need to live good, fufilling, amazing lives. And I might just, still, believe in the tooth fairy.

One is the Loneliest Number

Last night things were a bit chaotic, as you can probably imagine, with three kids running around supposedly getting ready for bed and one pre-crawler rolling around shrieking. In addition, Adam is gone and so I'm all by myself in the adult department. I was in the crib room with the girls and asked Isaac to go in and get his toothbrush ready for brushing. It was awfully quiet and so I poked my head into the bathroom to see what was going on. As I stuck my head around the corner I saw Isaac put a GIANT glob of toothpaste on his toothbrush, pop it in his mouth, and SWALLOW. That's right: he was eating the toothpaste. GAH! BLAH! ARHGHGHGH! I am a TERRIBLE mother. My son is eating fluoride filled toothpaste. He is going to have stunted growth and discolored teeth. He'll be deformed for life; all because I am the frenzied, harried, discombobulated mother of four kiddos. Why, I asked him, are you eating the toothpaste?!?!?! "It was too much!"he responded with some fear. As I tried not to laugh about the ill-logic of the situation (we say it's too much because too much is bad for him, but he's consuming it when it's too much, make sense?), I told him that toothpaste isn't food and that it isn't good for him to eat and so when it is too much he should dump it off in the sink. BLAH!

This is what it has come to. I'm officially the mom of too many. I don't know what my kids are doing, what they are consuming and/or what is really going on because there is just too much to keep up with. To top it off, Isaac and Elie are increasingly concious of the LACK of attention they are recieving from their mother. Both of them, seperately and at different times, this very evening asked to have special "mommy time" tomorrow. Elie wants to snuggle and get a chance to read books. Isaac wants to sit on the counter and hang out with me. Leila crys when I put her down and Talia was walking around half the day today with her sandals on the wrong feet because she did it herself.

Of course, there's nothing I can do about all the children. And truth is, I'm not sure I would change it. I love having such a big family. Today when we stopped for a potty break during our crazy busy afternoon, we had a dance party in the bathroom. Everyone was clapping and dancing, it was GREAT! Then after we got Elie all caught up on her immunizations we had a Dunkin' Doughnuts treat and were silly and had such a good time. Whenever we do something that is fun, to me, it is fun magnified. But I am busy and stuff does fall through the cracks. I just hope I'm not deforming them for life by making them wait in line for each other.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Leila Noodle

Wow. Leila is six months old. She is actually six months and one day. The time has gone by so very, very fast. It is so strange to think of never dealing with the infant stage again. In some ways I am sad, but mostly I'm not. For instance: currently we are in the throwing oneself backwards and arching the back when oneself is not happy about random and mysterious goings on in oneself's world. Oh, I dislike this stage. I dislike it immensely. We'll be happily sitting while I read to the olders or help Elie with homework (WOW!) and all of a sudden life will turn ugly and the arching of back, screaming and throwing of body will commence. BLAH. I usually just put her down until she seems to calm down a little (or until she screams louder) and she's ready to be held or nursed again. And then there's the waking in the middle of the night. There's also the pulling mommy's hair, scratching and biting that is going on right now.

But it's not all bad. Really. There's tons and tons of cool stuff. Leila loves to smile and laugh. She has started to babble almost constantly. The olders love to make her laugh and she loves to catch their eye and get them to slow down for half a second and talk to her. She's been rolling around to get places for a while now, but has recently been trying to push herself up on to all fours. She managed to do it for about 1/2 a second the other day, but since then she can only get one knee underneath her and then she does a face plant to the floor.

The other developmental stage she's into now is feeling her world. I actually LOVE this stage because it is so fun to watch her little hands explore. She takes a piece of fabric (usually my shirt while she's nursing) and holds it in her fist. Then she deliberately takes her pointer and thumb and pinches a bit of shirt. After she has her pinch, she slowly rubs her fingers together, feeling the fabric AND learning about control of her digits. Then she lets go and does the whole experiment again. Of course sometimes her extremity control experiments wander into the wilds and she waves her hands up and down vigorously hitting whatever is foolish enough to be in close proximity: my breasts, her own head, her siblings' heads, the cats...you get the picture.

But she really is such a sweet babe. She is soft and smells delicious. Her eyes light up in a most amazing way when you are talking to her. She loves to laugh and be tickled and she is even starting to play games. (I was pretending to eat her hand the other day and she was giggling and giggling....plus she LOVES peekaboo.) It is amazing to see the little personality coming out of the nursing, pooping, demanding constant attention and holding machine. I love it and I am in love with seeing my kiddos grow and change.

TaTaForEver Infant stage, we're moving on. See you later baby lumps and urp rags. Catch you 'round tiny, sweet, miraculous brand new little people. We're moving up to the entirely potty learned, totally mobile, question askin', food eatin', sleepin' through the night (okay okay these aren't happening RIGHT away, but they sure seem close) land of the Big Kids and Toddlers. But I won't forget you and I'll visit, however briefly, whenever a wee one enchants me for a few short whiles.