Showing posts from 2013

The Cure to Pride

There is no better way to recognize the reality that you are awfully prideful than by motherhood.
I am convinced that every single politician out there should be forced to experience motherhood 24/7 for at least three months before assuming any position in public office. You want to see humble leadership? That would do it. Yes sirree. No hiding little areas about yourself that would be best undetected. Not with little ones around to proclaim your failures and shine the light on your pride.
I can't even remember the insane amount of times my kids have revealed my flaws. It's uncanny, really. I am not Catholic, but if I were, I would just send one of my kids to confess my sins to the priest because they sure do know them inside and out. Actually, there would probably be a long line of preschoolers and young elementary kids lined up to speak with the man of the cloth about the sins of their mothers. They know us pretty well, after all.
One such instance of being humbled by my ki…

The Trouble With Literacy

In a former life, I was a school teacher.
I fostered all kinds of educational growth in my students (I hope) and was just so thrilled when I saw the light of understanding in their eyes. It was so satisfying. So fulfilling. So wonderful to play even a small role in their personhood.
So lest I be accused of encouraging ignorance, please keep in mind my past profession and my calling to educate the young people of our world.
But dadgum it, literacy has really become a thorn in my side as a mother. 

Before any of my children could read, things were just so much EASIER. I could spell out things I didn't want their little ears to hear in my conversation and they didn't bat an eye. I could skip long paragraphs of stories at bedtime and as long as I made up something that sounded good in its place, all was well.  When I was hit with statements such as, "Mommy!? There's Chuck E. Cheese's! We HAVE to go there right now!" I could reply with something like, "Oh, b…

Waking Up

Sometimes I feel like I should've been an entertainer.
I should've pursued a career on the stage, and I imagine myself delighting throngs of adoring fans with my many talents. Singing, dancing, being a mime, an acrobat, etc.
But then again, so could virtually EVERY mother out there. 
My talent show is seen daily every morning at 6:50am when I begin waking my sleeping beauties for school.

And fortunately, I take criticism from my audience pretty well and do not let it discourage me from future shows.  It doesn't bother me a bit when they groan and throw the covers over their heads or when they give me the evil eye. 
I set my own alarm for 6:30, giving myself 20 minutes to mentally prepare. I have to get into character, you see. What I really WANT to do is stand at their bedroom doors and mumble, "Get up and get ready," and then walk away. And just like that, they would cooperate and all would be well.

Unfortunately, my children in reality are not quite as coopera…

The Truth About Show and Tell

I want to address a topic that is causing me some distress lately. 
School has started and we are all getting adjusted to a new routine, figuring out teacher expectations, and trying to never forget important things such as signing our young students' homework journals each evening. 
I have been a little resentful that my children got adorable new outfits and shoes when I am the one who feels like I am carrying most of the responsibility since they are still in lower elementary school. I mean, seriously, who's REALLY in charge of making sure homework gets done and memory work gets memorized when your kid is in second grade?
That would be YOU, Mom.

This week, I had to remember to give my oldest daughter $5 for a recorder for music class. Oh, heaven help us all...WHY do we WANT children to learn how to play plastic flutes?! Seems a little cruel to the audience, especially when the concert will be in a large activity room with painted cinder block walls and a painted concrete fl…

Things They Don't Tell You

When you become a mother, there are certain skills you expect you will need. 
For example, if you are a mother it's probably helpful if you know how to do things like make sure bottles are an appropriate temperature for babies, how to comb hair without major battles, and how to make sure different foods on the same plate do not touch one another. 
I expected all this as I held each of my newborns in my arms. I understood the requirements and felt up to the challenge.
Or so I thought.
Ten years into my career as a mother, I still find myself woefully lacking in one very critical skill:

 Labor classes are all well and good, but what we REALLY need is a class dedicated to teaching mothers how to reason with miniature people, how to make deals with five year olds, how to play on the emotions of their children to negotiate acceptable outcomes.
I negotiate all the time around here, but the one area I find most challenging is when trying to talk an extremely hostile child i…

The Runner

It's amazing, really!
Lightning speed unparalleled by any grown up in history. 
For real. Somebody please tell me how she does it. Her and the rest of the miniature people around three years old.
I assume (strictly based upon the existence of leashes for children) that I cannot be the only mother who has experience with a "runner". 
A runner is a child who has a seeming supernatural ability to be in one spot one moment, and in the very next microsecond, be NOWHERE remotely close to that spot. I'm convinced that _____, author of the Harry Potter series, came up with her idea of apparating by observing a young child such as I've described. Apparating, in her books, is when the students of Hogwarts had to learn to disappear from one spot and transport themselves to someplace completely different in a split second. Who knew this wasn't strictly fictional?
Although their giftedness does seem to diminish with age, apparating children are nothing to underestimate. 

The Blame Game

It's all their fault. 
It's almost as if they are purposefully scheming ways to make us gain weight.
Yes, yes, our children are technically responsible for the 25 pounds (ahem) we put on during pregnancy. But we can't really blame them for that part, I suppose. I mean, it's not like they're actually forcing us to eat Krispy Kreme donuts and ice cream. They are confined within our wombs, for heaven's sake! There is nothing they can do to force us to guzzle down milkshakes. 
But we still blame them.
So okay, I can concede that our kids often get a bad rap when being blamed for anything over the doctor recommended weight gain during pregnancy, and most of the time it's probably not their fault.
But man, oh man, once they're out and among us in the world, that's where their innocence screeches to a halt. 
Those of you in the throes of motherhood with anyone under the age of eight will understand. You want to eat well. Really, you do.  You look longingl…
I am officially uncool.

I mean, SO far from being cool that I can't possibly hope for ever being back in the game. 
I thought I had a little more time! I wasn't quite ready for the seal and stamp of being someone's old lady who doesn't know cool from social disaster when it comes to, well, anything.

I mean, we all remember suspecting that our mothers actually hated us based on some of the things we were dressed in as young girls (okay, for me, it was really only when I looked back at pictures and saw ensembles my mother had agreed to allow me out of the house in that I began to wonder if she really loved me at all).

But now? Now I've joined the ranks of clueless mother who would make embarrassing fashion choices for my daughter if given free reign. 
I took my oldest child to buy some summer shoes this afternoon. This is more difficult than you would at first imagine. For starters, she is EXTREMELY picky. This has been a problem with her and footwear since she was …

Mother of the Year

I have a problem. 
Not really even a problem, per se. More like a teeny little issue. Hardly worth mentioning, actually. Certainly not bad enough that it needs real attention. I can stop anytime I want. 
The only reason I even bring it up is because I MAY have begun noticing very insignificant and probably over-thinking-it flags that I could POSSIBLY be passing on this teeny issue to my children. 
Okay, okay.
My name is Sharon and I am an inappropriate laugher.
I can't help it. Without fail, if I witness someone involved in unfortunate events such as tripping, hitting their heads, suffering MINOR, non-life threatening
injuries, or otherwise embarrassing themselves, it just starts happening. A little giggle at first, but before I know it I'm doubled over practically crying and gasping for air due to laughter.
You can imagine how helpful this is when trying to be a good parent and model compassion to my girls.
Take, for instance, the somewhat unfortunate incident I witnessed t…

Summer in the City

The countdown to summer is upon us.

The long, lazy days filled with swimming and cookouts and vacations is nearly here. 
As you will recall, when you were a kid this was the absolute most glorious time of the year. Closing the schoolbooks and packing up all the things in your desk to take home was one of the great events of your childhood. You felt proud about the accomplishments of completing another school year and eager to begin your carefree, lovely days of summer. You were on cloud nine with blissful expectation of the next three months.
Mothers know about feelings and clouds, too. 
The only difference is, instead of being ON cloud nine, sometimes cloud nine descends UPON us, suffocating us in slight despair over what the heck we are going to do with our children for three whole months. Don't get me wrong, we are eager for a break in the crazy schedules of carpool and homework and last minute projects and sporting events, and we really DO want to spend more time with the kid…
There are no secrets once you become a parent.

Do these two look like they can keep ANYTHING on the down low to you?

I've often felt I should just save my children the time and begin conversations with total strangers we come upon by telling them things such as:
*how much I weigh *how long it takes sometimes in the bathroom *how I sometimes use my kids as an excuse to get out of things *that I tell them to go watch tv so I can take a nap
And these are just the short list of embarrassing things my children have blurted out without discretion.
"We're late because my mom had to use the bathroom."
"Mom!  I'm right here! You don't need to get off the phone so you can find me!" (and of course screamed loudly enough that the person on the other end of the line clearly heard every word)
Yep. Kids are terrible secret keepers. And it would be one thing if it were just embarrassing secrets about ME that they blurt out. But more times than not, they've bee…

The Baby Blues

The Baby Blues.
It's not what you think.
I know you may be assuming from that title that I am feeling the ache of empty arms since I no longer have babies in the house.  I am staring longingly at the snuggly bundles of goodness I see with other mommies at Target or being pushed in their little strollers throughout my neighborhood.  You might think I am pining away for another baby and begging my husband for #4.
Sister, you couldn't be further from the truth.
In this case, "the baby blues" is referring to the fact that I am about 99.9% positive that my baby, the four-year-old, is indeed going to kill me before it's all said and done.
I'm serious. If this child had been born first, she would be an only child because my husband and I would be scared to death to risk it again. For heaven's sake! Our first child was totally false advertising. She had us thinking this parenting gig was a piece of cake. What was everybody whining about? Our second child was a t…