A personal online journal of truth.

Archive for June, 2010

Hot Potato, Cold Spaghetti, Mashed Bananna

If you have ever heard the Hot Potato song by the Wiggles, you surely have never hummed another song. I cannot get this song out of my head. I’ve tried. I’ve listened to other music. I’ve tried singing country music. I’ve tried nursery rhymes. My brain refuses to acknowledge any other tune except “Hot Potato, Hot Potato!” Therefore, I am giving in and letting go. I’m going to sing this song as many times as I possible can for the remainder of the day. I’m using the same strategy as my grandmother used on my uncle when he caught him smoking. She made him smoke until he was sick. He is not a smoker and never has been since that day. I am hoping that I will make my brain “sick” of this song.

Do you think it will work? How do you get those annoying tunes out of your head?

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A Leap of Faith

We recently had a pool installed in our back yard and I must say that it is a pure delight. I feel like I am on vacation every time I step out my back door. Having breakfast by the pool on Saturday and Sunday mornings is becoming a habit. Arriving home from work during the week has become a race to see just how quickly I can transform myself and my son into pool attire. I’ve even been know to take a quick dip after my son goes to bed. Yes, we are truly enjoying having our very own pool.

However, my 17 month old son has been struggling with some fear issues when in the pool. I have been patient with him and slowly helping him to feel secure in his life jacket while within my reach. He does really well as long as I am holding him. But the second I let go, he starts crying even though the life jacket is keeping him afloat. I try to keep him entertained so that he will have fun while swimming but it gets so frustrating when all he does is whine and cry the entire time. This was the situation last night in the pool. Finally, I sat him on the step and told him to watch mommy swim. As I was making my way to the other end of the pool (backwards), he boldly stood up; gave me one of those “watch this” smiles; then proceeded to “jump” off the steps into the pool by himself. He didn’t reach for my hands. He didn’t cry. He didn’t whine. He laughed and laughed and laughed.

My son took a leap of faith, literally. I am still in awe of his bravery. Here is a lesson for us all concerning our fears. Make the decision to jump in, feet first, and face them. Believe that you can. Stop thinking about it. Stop whining about it. Stop crying about it and simply jump.

Where Are You (What Aisle #)?

 

Where are you? I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. You are so late! How in the world will we ever catch up?

I’ve been looking for love and ultimately, a husband, to no avail. I tried the online dating adventure and have met several men but no husband material. My most recent experience with online dating was disappointing. Actually he seemed very promising in the beginning. In fact, after our first in person meet up, I announced to my family that I had met my husband. Yes, I know, I jumped the gun just a little. He was educated, smart, cute, funny and he wanted more children. He had a nice home and had already retired from the military (at age 39). He appeared to be a really good catch. Our first couple of dates went really great. Then came the first offense.

My prospective husband asked me politely to join him one evening for a simple date. I politely declined and explained that I had too much going on but would love to another night. This led to him declaring that I am only busy because I make my life busy. That’s right, how could I possible be busy? I work 40 hours per week and am the single parent of a toddler! But in his eyes, my life should not be so busy. Mr. “prospective husband” quickly turned into Mr. “de-facebooked” and Mr. “no more information required”, I was done with him and with online dating for a while. That was 2 months ago.

Since then, I’ve stepped back and reflected on my wants and needs in the husband department. I’m confident in knowing exactly what I am looking for. I’m just lacking confidence in where to find him. At my age (40), is the internet the best and most practical place to look? Should I pay the membership fee and sign up for one of the more “elite” online match-making services? My personal preference would be to meet someone by introduction of friends. However, that hasn’t happened yet and probably won’t. The club scene isn’t even an option. I’m done with going to clubs. They only make me feel old and out-dated (no pun intended). My only other options are church, the grocery store or a chance encounter. First, the church that I attend is very small and does not have any single men. It would be a sin to take another woman’s husband, especially at church, right? Just kidding. I’m betting that the grocery store will never pan out either. I’m yet to find the aisle for husbands and every time I ask the little boy putting away the stock, he looks at me like I’m crazy.

In all seriousness, I really do want a husband. I want a companion for myself and a daddy for my son. I want a family. I’m not a bad catch if I do say so myself. I’m educated. I’m attractive. People always mistake me for being much younger than I am. (That’s right, I’m going to brag a little.) I have a really good personality. I’m adventurous and fun. Somebody better snag me up quick, uh? Perhaps he’s out there. Perhaps he just read this blog. Then again, perhaps he’s at the grocery store.

My Son’s Mamaw (a.k.a. My Mom)

 

She is the first person I run to for advice. She is the first person I call to share good news (or bad news) with. If I forget the last ingredient in a recipe, yes you guessed it, I call her. I go to her for everything. She is my mother. But sixteen months ago she took on a new and even more important title. She was crowned my son’s “Mamaw”. The relationship that’s growing between her and my son holds more magic in it than all of Disney and MGM put together. It’s better than a weekend full of sappy Lifetime movies mixed in with a little Barney and some Wiggles. My heart leaps almost out of my chest with joy when I see my mother’s face light up brighter than the Fourth-of-July in the simple presence of my son.

Since having “my little miracle”, the relationship between me and my mom has taken a new and better direction. We are closer and relate to each other more than ever before. It’s as if we were just introduced to each other for the first time the day of his birth. Perhaps I am the one who has changed the most, resulting in a deepened and humbled respect for her as a mother and a woman. I am in awe of the absolutely incredible job she did in raising me and my brother. In retrospect, I do not know how she managed at times.

When I was 12 (and my brother was 4), my parents divorced. My mother did not even have her high school diploma at that time, but she was determined to be able to support us on her own. She obtained her G.E.D. and went to nursing school. I remember seeing her studying a lot during that time but she never allowed it to interfere with her role as a mother. She managed to care for us flawlessly (cook, clean, do laundry, etc) and earn excellent grades in unison. She graduated as an L.P.N. within one year (an accelerated program). She went on to have a very successful career in the medical field and we (me & my brother) never lacked for anything. She maintained and re-enforced the value of the family by keeping a respectful relationship with our dad. She attended our school functions. She spent quality time with us. She was everything a mother should be while still devoting a lot of time and energy to her career. If there is some sort of award for “super-mom” out there, this woman deserves it!

Now, it’s her turn to relax and soak up all of the love a toddler has to offer. I am honored to be a part of this. She continues to amaze me with her capacity to love and care. My son is a very lucky boy to have her as his Mamaw. And I am a very lucky woman to have her as my Mom.

“A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do.”  ~Lois Wyse

Wait For Me….Wait For Mommy

And there he goes, onward bound without even as much as a glance backwards at his mommy. At 16 months of age, his desire for independence is already peeking through (to put it mildly). He doesn’t want me to hold his hand or climb the steps with him. No, he wants to do it all by himself. Where is the “dislike” button for this? “Wait for me,” I beg. “Wait for mommy,” I plead to no avail. The strong desire to “do it on his own” has unraveled me a little. I want him to “need” me. I need him to need me. In a sense, I feel like a love-struck teen age girl chasing after the love of her life. He certainly has me wrapped around his little finger just the same.

I don’t have to ask. I know it’s only going to get worse. He’s going to continue to grow and demand more and more independence. He’s going to need me less and less. And my heart is going to break over and over. I thought I knew what being a mother was all about before I became one. I thought being a mother meant giving bottles, changing diapers, cooking dinner, cleaning, doing laundry, saying yes and mostly saying no. I never factored the emotional equation into motherhood. Sure, I always heard the old saying, “when they’re young, they’ll walk on your toes, but when they’re older, they’ll walk on your heart.” I thought I was safe at least until he turned 16.

An article on Parents’ website refers to this as a <a href=”“>”Toddler’s Declaration of Independence”. The article goes on to describe how my son, as a toddler, is attempting to balance “what he wants to do with what he can do,” and how this is an internal battle for him. I had not really considered this aspect of the power struggle and corresponding temper tantrums until now. Although I doubt it will calm my nerves at the onset of these occurrences, it does give me better insight and understanding of how his little brain operates. (Bless his heart!) Seriously, it must be tough trying to remember that he can’t touch the hot cup of coffee but he can touch the cup of juice. There are so many things to learn and understand that of course there are going to be moments of frustration and struggles between parent and child. However, this “declaration of independence” should have come with a warning label, “may cause excessive weeping and/or screaming”.  I’m not ready to begin “letting go” at such an early age. But, ready or not, there he goes.

UPDATE: I just read an incredible post about cultivating a kind, gentle voice. It’s funny how often I’m led to just the right post at just the right time. Considering how much my patience has been tested as a direct result of my toddler’s new found independence, I desperately needed to read this!

Sperm Donor Vs. a Dad

My dad is an awesome man. He is smart, successful, and highly intelligent. I ask his advise on a daily basis. I love him and I’ve always been proud to call him dad! But I don’t have his genetics. That’s right, I have a separate sperm donor who is not and has never been a part of my life. I know who he is but choose not to have a relationship with him. He is not my dad even though a DNA test would state otherwise. I do not even carry his last name. I have my dad’s last name. Today, as a grown woman, I am very comfortable with this part of my life. But that was not always the case.

I remember, at age 12, when my mother sat me down and explained to me that my dad was not my “real” dad. Uh? What? Say that again! How could this be? I call him dad. He’s the only dad I had ever known. I was so very confused! I lost my identity. I struggled with this for years and years. I resented my mother for a very long time for her lies regarding my birth father. I just didn’t understand how she could have lied to me for 12 years. She allowed me to build this father/daughter relationship without ever considering I might need to know the truth. How could she lie to her own daughter?

Today, the tables have turned. I am now a single mother of a 16 month old, which I shall call “T” hereafter. T’s biological father (sperm donor) is completely aware of him and in fact is due to begin child support soon. However, T’s sperm donor does not want a relationship with him. Therefore, it’s just me & T for now. But I do hope to meet a nice man one day who would be a “dad” to T. He deserves a dad and I feel guilty that he does not have one. I pray that God will send someone into our lives so that we might have a real family one day. When and if that ever happens, I will be faced with the exact same situation my mother was so many years ago. What will I do out of love for my son?

I know my mother loved me. I didn’t understand this at age 12. I know she wanted me to have the best life possible and I am thankful she met my dad and brought him into my life.  Anyone can contribute sperm in the conception of a child, but not everyone is a “dad.” I love my dad whether or not we are genetically related or not. I want the same thing for my son.

What are your thoughts about step-dads standing in and taking the place as the “real” dad in a child’s life? At what age do you tell the child about his/her biological father?

CHAIRS 4 SALE

Walking on my heart

I’m selling all the chairs in our house! Why not? We never use them? Having a toddler in the house means there is never a chance you will be sitting down. If you’re lucky you might get to sit for a minute or two at dinner. Otherwise, the first time I sit down is when I get in my bed at night after putting my little miracle to bed. I’m not really complaining about it. I’m just being realistic and thought I’d make a little money off of things not used. Okay, I’m being sarcastic. I’m not really going to sell the chairs. Perhaps one day, many, many, many years from now, we’ll use the chairs again.

I sometimes wish my little miracle had happened when I was younger. Being a mother of a toddler at 40 years old is physically exhausting. I consider myself in fairly good physical shape. I can spend 45 minutes on the elliptical machine easy. However, caring for a toddler is more of a workout than the elliptical could ever demand. I would have never believed this until now. Honestly, I have so much more admiration for all you mothers out there. This is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Mother’s are amazing souls! Every single one of you out there deserves recognition for all that you do! I salute you all! (Now, do you need a chair?)

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