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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bear Was Eating Me

We have, by and large, escaped (thus far) with very few bad dreams.  There are the occasional snuffling visits to our bedside in the middle of the night, but I can think of fewer than five times where someone has woken up hysterical because of a nightmare.  I'm okay with that.  I think the only thing worse than being woken up by a barfing child, is being woken up by a screaming child.  All that being said, our family shares a recurring Bad Dream:  A Bear Was Chasing/Eating/Doing Something To Me.  All the children have had it on and off (Noodle even had a series of the bear dreams where the bear was tickling her, but it still wasn't a nice dream) and even Dadam has experienced a Bear Dream. 

Last week it was my turn.  I woke in the morning with the most vivid memory of a very involved Bear Dream. 

We were all together, playing at a large park bordered by a forest.  The children were playing Frisbee with Dadam and friends of ours.  There were lots of people.  All of a sudden, out of the forest, came two bear cubs followed closely behind by a very large mama bear.  None of the other adults were even remotely concerned, but I panicked.  I left the park to find something to scare the bear away with.  Meanwhile, on the advice of another parent at the park, Dadam was standing around, doing nothing, as the children lined up to be mauled by the bear.  (What my subconscious throws up on me while I am trying to regenerate is nothing short of bizarre.)  I reappeared with a large car and proceeded to drive into the park, honking loudly, only to find that the momma bear had been tranquilized and that Noodle had been mauled and taken away to the hospital. 

What the crap?!?!?

I was disturbed enough by the dream that before sleeping on the night following, I looked up what bears in dreams are supposed to signify.  I was trying to figure out what the hell my subconscious was trying to tell me.  I don't often put much stock in woo-woo websites that do dream interpretation, but I also don't want to miss some signal my inner self might be trying to send.  I like to be open to possibilities.  What I found was very interesting.

Being chased by a bear in a dream is supposed to represent conflict and bears in general represent introspection and self.  So maybe, just maybe, this dream is about me; me thinking that I'm not a Good Mom, me being afraid that somehow I am stunting or damaging my children in ways that I don't recognize or understand.  And the part about everyone else standing around and doing nothing about the bear?  This is because the bear is me and no one else sees my mothering as problematic, even Dadam is doing nothing because he doesn't see a problem. 

Which brings me to the incredible amount of mommy guilt I carry around and bring out to flog myself with, whenever the situation seems to call for it.  Laying awake at night regretting choices made when the kids were babies?  Check.  Worrying that the consequence we've established is too harsh?  Check.  Are they in the right school?  Do I kiss them enough?  Am I being a helicopter mom?  Am I neglectful?  Do I expect to much?  Feed them the right foods?  Are they exposed to enough new ideas, thoughts, feelings?  Do I force my will on them too much?  Have I messed them up?

I just don't know. 

I suppose what I do know is that I love them very much; more than very much, tear my heart out, lay down my life, blossoming, beautifully, amazingly, all consumingly.  I know that I try my best every.single.day.  Some days I do A Great Job, some days I do a Not So Great Job.  I know that at the end of every day I try to identify what went well and, well, what didn't, so that tomorrow I can try and do better.  And I know that not only do I love them, I Like them.  That's gotta be worth something, right? 

Right.  The kids are alright.  I can only keep doing my best and hope that they turn out to be alright in the end.  I should probably stop self-flagellating.  That's not very healthy.  Plus, those bear dreams are crazy. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Psst, You Wanna Buy Some Swords?

I like to think that Dadam and I keep the capitalistic consumer experience of being a kid in the 21st century to a minimum.  Trips to the grocery do not usually ever involve the purchasing of tchochkes.  Like I need more small, breakable, plastic s*&^ in my house??  However, we do keep an eye on Woot.com and all its woot cousins (woot!kids, woot!home) and sometimes there are deals on there that are simply too good to pass up. 

Which is how we came to possess four (4) battery operated, extendable, color changing light swords (aka light sabers). 

They came in the mail today and so we opened up the package to great excitement and fanfare.  Then the kids started playing with them.  In the living room.  With all the lights off.  Yes, I know.  Who buys SWORDS for their children, then hands them all one at once and says "here ya go, play with these in the dark"?  Uh, we do, because apparently this is our first trip to the rodeo. 

Hindsight being lit up with those color changing light swords, this didn't seem like the brightest of ideas (haha, see what I did there?  I should get out more).  Happily no one got chopped with a sword and when they were finally done (one at a time, in turn) showing us each of the four light sequences, they were calmly using them as torches (or flashlights for you Americans) to play hide and seek.  It is not mine to question, I'll just thank my lucky light swords they weren't committing acts of violence upon one another with the toys that Dadam and I had sent to them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing with Words

"Don't put any toys in, Mummy. Just letters. I want to make words."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are We Really Here ALREADY??

Within the last few months, PrincessE (who will hit double digits next month with the advent of her 10th! birthday) began asking me some questions about her development.  Never one to shy away from questions, I've been answering them straightforwardly and openly, hoping to set the tone for her adolescence and the journey from here on out.  She seemed content with my answers, but I felt like I wanted to give her more.  I wanted to give her a book; something she could read at her own pace, digest and begin to understand what is happening and what will happen to her body.  I didn't want her getting misinformation from the school grapevine or any other questionable news source she might be listening to.  I also wanted to giver her a private way to get her information, while still remaining a source for dialogue and answers.  A bit of research later, plus some reccomendations from GranEde and a close friend who works with pre-teen and adolescent kids (Hi, Mrs. Greathearted!), and I ordered a few books from Amazon.  I also picked up some books for me and a book or two for PrincessE on standing up to bullies.

{Side Note:  PrincessE has been struggling a bit socially in her class.  The number of girls is small (there are only NINE in the class) and there are one or two who are Not Very Nice.  Unfortunately, PrincessE and her best friend have become targets for some unpleasant behavior.  We are working with the school and PrincessE to get through this rough time.  I wanted her to know that she isn't alone, other people experience bullying, and I wanted her to have some ideas for how to deal with it and handle this stuation.  She is handling the whole thing with such grace and strength; we are so proud of her. And it is getting better!}

The books arrived and PrincessE has been devouring hers.  I'm not sure that all the information was entirely comforting; she spent last night mulling over the idea of menstruation.  I could tell she was nervous/bothered/uncomfortable by the idea that she has no control over when it starts.  I tried to set her mind at ease, in between getting Lu and Noodle bathed, but I think tonight I'm going to set aside some together time for us to talk without interruption. 

I started to delve in to my books about parenting adolescent girls also.  Let's just say I'm pretty well freaked out and not at all sure how we're going to get through the next decade of our daughter's growing up.  From what I read in the introduction the first ten years was cake!  I've got so many questions and most of them are just going to have to be answered as it happens.  I feel pretty much like PrincessE must:  nervous, bothered and uncomfortable by the knowing that it's going to happen and not being able to control when/how! 

I suppose we all survived the journey, some with more scars than others.  And not only am I still on speaking terms with my parents and sibling, we are all Friends as adults.  That's got to be worth something.  So, chin up, no panicking.  It's time to get those ZenDuckMommy skills mastered (or at least better than now) adolescence is approaching.  I think it may well be a wild ride. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sock It To Me

I have a bad habit of refusing to throw things away. If something, anything, has what seems to be an ounce of usability left in it, I will routinely squirrel it away with the thought that someday, somehow, I will be struck with inspiration and create something amazing. As you've probably guessed, it's mostly fabric and cloth that I exhibit this behavior towards.

The Boy-child also has Belonging Attachment Disorder, but of a different ilk. He just gets attached to stuff, mostly clothing. And doesn't want to let it go. We now send all of the clothes he out-grows to a family in America (Hi, Ms.Joy!!) whether they need them or not. This is mostly because my son wanted, no, needed, to know that his clothes were going to another little boy who we know. It is mostly manageable these days, he's gotten slightly less attached. But recently his All Time Favorite socks got holes in them; his black and yellow striped toe socks which he has had for four years now. There were tears when I told him they were too delicate for me to repair so he could keep wearing them.

We were standing in the kitchen, his chin beginning to quiver from the sorrow for his socks. And I said, "Wait, I can make a stuffed animal for you from these socks! You wouldn't be able to wear them, but you'd still have them." He liked that solution. And the girls all asked if they could each have one too!?!? However, none of them had hole-y toe socks. PackratMom to the rescue, I had some!! I had gotten myself some toe socks when we bought for the kids. And mine had gotten holes at a faster rate, but I couldn't bear to throw them away. I also had a pair of socks my parents had sent. They were so cute! And there was so much useful cuteness in between the holes!!!

Now I had a purpose and a project. And I created the sock aliens.

PrincessE's sea-creature.

The Boy-child's toe socks, now in cuddle form!

Lu-lu's sock animal is called "Angel". 

Noodle's two headed "Glitter". 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hairy Situation

The Boy-child hadn't had a hair cut in a really, really long time. Perhaps since the summer? It was very long in back (he has been mistaken for a girl, I don't know how many times, recently) but it was what he wanted. It was also quite long in front and constantly in his face. We had resorted to a top ponytail at swimming and a sweat band at tennis to keep the hair out of his eyes. But he liked it.

Yesterday we had the hairstylist round as The Boy-child and PrincessE needed at least their bangs(fringe) trimmed. But he also said he wanted a bit off the bottom and had pointed to his shoulder.

Mum misunderstood though. And when the haircut was finished, it wasn't alright.

It was too short. Way. Too. Short.

Oh, I do feel horrible. It still sweeps his shoulders (barely) but it is at least a couple inches shorter than it was before. We talked about what his vision for his hair is and what he really wants. I'm now clear on the fact that he Wants Long Hair. So next time we'll just trim the bangs. And thank goodness hair grows back.

Of Kings and Queens

This term the whole school is learning about the British Commonwealth. Noodle was telling us she had learned about kings and queens.

Noodle: "When the King is busy, the Queen is called a princess. And when the Queen is busy, the King is called prince."

Mummy: "What are they busy doing?"

Noodle: "They are busy doing the dishes!"