I watched a video this evening showcasing how a handful of mothers view themselves in their maternal-ness. You’ve probably seen it — I believe it has gone viral. If it hasn’t, it will soon. But here’s a link for the heck of it.
Anyway, watching the video was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching for me. In the clip, the women tell at least one fault they see in their mothering. The most used? Patience. Or, rather, the lack thereof. It hit a nerve, you know? I am notoriously impatient. I am a Type A, perfectionist wanna-be momma who would probably rush Jesus if I could. I am a ball of nerves at nearly every point of the day — especially where my boys are concerned. I just can’t wrap my mind around how things can be done so slowly or so disastrously. I often forget that the reason I can do things (semi)flawlessly and with greater precision and speed is because I’ve been doing these things for 21 years. I have had a literal lifetime of practice — on things that I still screw up daily. I have done these things for so long that I take for granted that I, too, had to learn how. I have forgotten what it’s like to enjoy learning and experiencing newness. I have forgotten the pride in learning a life skill — because I have acquired them all… or most of them. I have long since forgotten what it’s like to take childlike time and just be… just be slow. Take time. I don’t remember the last time that I haven’t rushed about. I don’t remember what it’s like to enjoy my time instead of scheduling it.
The video got me to thinking: is that what Gabe and Connor will think of me? Will they see me as some Nazi-esque scheduler who is impatient and high-strung? Will they see me as that momma who never thinks before she speaks? Who is more concerned with how a pre-schooler’s turkey project looks than having fun and enjoying the time? What would my four year old say about me? What does he think?
When I was young I cared incessantly about how others saw me — and they knew it. I was walked on and pushed around. Eventually, I stopped caring. Until I had children. And then I cared so much about what other people thought about me and how others saw my kids that I became the mother I swore I’d never be. I became the mother that, when my children are older, will see my name on the ID and reluctantly answer. I’ll become an obligation because that’s how I’m making my little ones feel. When in reality… my desire to love and take care of them far outweighs the obligation. But they seldom see that. I’m sure Gabe knows I love him. But I shudder to think what else he believes.
What would my boys say? Would they understand that my crazy strictness is meant to protect? Would they know that my persistent tries for perfection are so they could feel proud? Would they know that I love them unconditionally… no matter my impatience and hurried ways? My head is hopeful; my heart hurts to think not.
Oh, progress. What a stress relieving thing it is. As you know, we’ve been struggling to figure out what is wrong with my oldest, Gabe. We have been mind-boggled for years, actually. But time after time Gabe has been cast aside as if nothing is wrong and he’s just an uber knucklehead and I have been chucked away as that mother without parenting skills. While that last bit may hold partial validity, I’m also sure (and have always been sure) that something just isn’t quite right. That Gabe is so smart and so bright — but is still so off and so behind on things I’m really shocked at. My little backwards boy. Even when he was tee-tiny he excelled at things beyond his level and behind on things that should be right at his fingertips. Almost like his little mind had a serious case of the Benjamin Button’s — but in comprehension, not age. Obviously. I’ve known for a long time that something was not right. But I’ve constantly been put off as one of “those moms.” You know the kind. They want their kid(s) doped up and tout d’suite, please, because they cannot be bothered. No. That’s not me. Gabe’s a little boy, and wild though he may be I’ll not zombiefy him for the sake of a little peace and quiet. There are too many risks involved and I’m not big on medicine anyway. But until recently, we were left to our own devices. Left to shuffle through the mounds of “could be” disorders and to figure out where we went wrong. Left to translate what my four year old has been trying so desperately to communicate, and screaming inside what I wish he would understand.
I’ll admit, after being told a hundred times over that, “You’re the problem,” you really start to wonder if that is the case. I don’t mean to make this about me so let me do a little closet cleaning; I’m not saint and hardly a good momma. I’ve done my fair share of yelling and screaming, spanking and cussin’. I’ve muttered under my breath and daydreamed about getting in a cold beer to let some of the aggravation off. I’ve wished the day would just end already and I’ve dreaded the drives home knowing that I wasn’t doing the right thing. Knowing that all the sand raising wasn’t right. Knowing that following my gut was what I should have been doing and wasn’t. Knowing that my actions, and the lack thereof, were positively vile. As much as I love that child, I’ve been equally a terrible mother and a virtual no-show on support because I didn’t understand.. or because I was being told that I wasn’t doing right. I couldn’t physically or mentally understand the child I carried and gave birth to. I loved him, and love him still, with every heartbeat that pumped within me. Yet, I couldn’t muster enough patience with him to see past my own shortcomings to help him fix his. It was too easy to label him “disobedient and unruly.” Just as everyone else had done. Great momma, right? Hardly.
It took a teacher complaining about her possible loss of career (a crock, by the way) and pretty much hating on my kid that made me call bullshit and seek more help. Thank God I stumbled on the right path with the right people. And thank God my faith and patience are being restored. I almost gave up on my kid. And I hate myself for that.
My boy is thought to have SPD; a sensory disorder that can mimic ADHD, Asperger’s, and some signs of Dyslexia. It not only mimics those disorders but can also coincide with them. With help from a speech pathologist and occupational therapist he can learn how to deal with his issue and how to advance in spite of it. We too can be taught how to help him grow and live to his greatest potential. I will not allow myself to be that crippling mother that tells her challenged child to sit back and just “get by.” Gabe will be expected to thrive and push — just how any challenge should be handled. With dedication and commitment. I will continue to be the same grumpy momma bear because (with some exceptions) because I know that he absolutely can. Of all my short-comings, I’ve never once truly doubted his abilities. He is bright and imaginative and I really believe that with a little extra effort he’ll soar. And really, won’t that little extra effort make the pay-off so much more rewarding? I think so.
If he is willing to play a little hardball then Evan and I will be his hard-nosed but deep down rooting for him coaches. He has an amazing support team made up of great friends and family who are already offering support and shoulders without question. This little “disorder” might be exactly what the dr. ordered for this little family!
And so our journey begins. Keep us in thought, y’all. There are a lot of changes to make!
As my blogger name plainly states, I am a momma. I’m a momma to two beautiful little guys — one of which is in pre-k. I’m also a momma who has not long been out of the school system, herself. As a matter of fact, I was enrolled in high school when the, “No Child Left Behind” act came into being. Let me be the first to say, that the phrase is nothing if not less than accurate.
Also, allow me to be the first to say, that even though I played the school system (and it’s educators) as a joke during my time as a student, I’m also a parent who tolerates no bullshit from her children and expects them to be on best behavior while in teacher’s and fellow pupil’s presence. I do not expect, nor do I desire, that any educator cater to and lift my child up above any other children. I expect them as teachers and mentors to communicate with me on my children’s behavior — whether it be good or bad, amazing or appalling. I also demand that said educators never, EVER give up on my child or children because of problems, issues, hardheadedness, or an inability (whether it be self-induced or accidental) to learn.
I do not view the school and it’s educators as a glorified daycare. Absolutely, if my child is misbehaving please contact me and my husband and I will deal with it at home. We’ll set up conferences, meetings… whathaveyou… to get the matter resolved. I do not expect any teacher to take my place as parent because, quite frankly, parenting is a role I take pretty damn seriously. This is why I’ve long since left behind partying, drinking, and the like: to take care of the children that I have produced. It is not at all my intent to withdraw from my kids and turn them over wild to the world so as to escape the sometimes dreadful and always tiring task of parenting. I brought them in this world… I’m going to go to the greatest depths to see them through it until they can go it alone. Believe me when I say that far too many people these days view the education system as a convenient mini vacay from their hellions. Very seldom is school viewed as it’s intended purpose: to teach and be taught. With that being said, it is also fully on the teachers to take the job that they were educated for and are currently being paid for (no matter how little) seriously, thereby taking on their task at hand: tackling and winning over even the most stubborn child.
Now, I’m not a teacher. I don’t want to be. To those of you who are good teachers: I salute you — no sarcasm intended. You guys do what I could, and would never, do. Those of you who take your professions seriously, thank you. I’ve had a handful of great teachers and I loved them. They pushed me where I needed and pulled me back when it was best. They helped me get from point A to point B and taught me how to get to points C through Z on my own. They set a path — the believed I could. To those educators, I am forever grateful. I’ve also had teachers who couldn’t pull their own heads out of their asses — and to those glorified babysitters I say, “Piss off.” To those of you who have given up on me and so many others because we needed a different lesson — or made your day just a little bit harder for you? Yeah. You guys need a new career choice, because teaching obviously ain’t your forte.
I’ve said all that to say this: Gabe is, as most of you know, in pre-k. And he is so excited. Gabe is also, as most of you know, difficult. He is hard-headed, strong-willed, and has a tendency to be downright defiant. He has a temper like his momma and can show it off, to boot. He wants it his way or no way and by God you better give it to him. But amazingly enough, even with all of those obnoxious traits, he is also one of the sweetest hearts I know. He’s smart, and he knows it. He’s tender, and funny, and loves to laugh. He’s a cuddler and a truly loving little soul. Hardheaded or not, he’s certainly not a child that should be given up on. He’s got potential for days and it’s just as evident as his stubborn attitude. Again, I will clarify — I will not allow my child to terrorize a class or his teacher. I expect him to behave and to learn. I do not want people to see him coming and think, “Sonuvabitch, Gabe’s coming.” I want people to see his potential and his sweet heart. I want him to learn how to use that strong will with wisdom. But I also want his teachers to work with me and Evan. To work with Gabe. Not to cater to or ignore his problems. Someone who will help us figure out how to work on these issues and how to help Gabe grow and thrive.
His pre-k teacher is a genuinely good heart. I believe that or I’d have pulled Gabe out of school after our conversation this afternoon. But today I was given an ultimatum: either he starts to listen or he’ll need more “mommy time.” Code for, “We can’t handle your son — we might kick him out of pre-k.” If this were the middle of the year I might be a little bit on board with that train of thought. But we’re only a month in. And I’ll be honest, I”m a bit peeved that already they’re giving up on him (but not admitting it), and hurt for him because he was so excited about this new adventure. I’m also aggravated with Gabe. Because even though he’s too young to know it, he’s setting himself up for failure after failure after failure… just because his way is better. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known a four-year-old’s way to be better. Usually, it’s stickier, sneakier, and all-around messier. Believe me when I say I’m equally as aggravated with the system as I am my child. But to throw your hands up already? To say my kid just isn’t going to cut it? I call bullshit. I’m not one of those parents to demand exceptions for my child. If he’s misbehaving then we’ll work together to find some kind of discipline to get him inline. But please don’t act like I’m that back-alley, hands off parent that threw him into school to be done with him for a few hours a day. And don’t leave my child behind. He deserves better than that. Granted, he also deserves a couple of good spankings. But throwing my kid to the curb is not going to solve the issue(s) at hand; it will only intensify them.
I’ve watched for years, as a student and now as a momma, these kids who are constantly catered to. Revered as golden objects even though their behavior and intelligence is average at best. I’ve witnessed kids behave like a horse’s ass and still move ahead in school. Whether they’re simply getting passed on to the next victim or not is besides the point: they’re moving up. They’re being given some form of “privilege” whether they merit it or not. All I ask is the same for my kid. My kid’s not a bully. He’s not hateful. He isn’t a holy-terror and hasn’t tied up other kids. He’s difficult, for sure. But difficult kinks can be worked out. That hard head can be transformed into a good kind of strong will that will compliment his potential; not blemish it. I am hoping for better news in the near future. That maybe someone will have the heart and mindset to handle my boy. I am also hopeful that Gabe will come out of his own kinks. That Ev and I can help him maneuver away from these awful habits. I don’t expect the school system to raise my child; that’s my job. I do expect them to see his potential and help him learn how to mold it into his own greatness. I expect greatness out of Gabe because I believe he can deliver it. I expect these teachers to be great mentors.. to help shape him into what I know he can be. Everybody needs that great teacher that just believes in them. I wish that for him.
Ohhhhh, y’all. I swear to goodness I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet. Although, to be honest, there have been a few days in the past few months that I’ve wished that were a possibility. Things have been stir-crazy, man. Like, ridonkulous.
For starters, Gabe started pre-k. That, my friends, was a nightmare in and of itself. I’m a total newb in the “send your kid off to school,” thing. Yeah, sure, Gabe’s been in daycare since before he was even walking. But daycare and pre-k? Totally different balls of wax, dude. Totally. For one thing, uniforms are mandatory in our school district. Translated: Goodbye, wallet! Because not only am I buying
uniforms not at all uniform khakis and polos, I’m also chucking out moolah for honest-to-God street clothes (jeans and shirts, guys — I’m not equipping him with do-rags and chains, yo). Secondly, why the hell is bloody pre-k so expensive?!
- Obligatory t-shirt fees (no shit).
- Memory book fees (again — no shit).
- Field trip fees (already).
- Lunch fees (RIDICULOUS, by the way).
- School supply fees.
- School supplies.
I’m dying, man. DY-ING. And hey! Why we’re at it, why not throw in a fundraiser! ALREADY! Good God Almighty!
But before all the money-throwing woes, there was a fear that Gabe might not get into pre-k. Which we needed. Gabe thrives off interaction from other kids and I felt that this would be a really good experience for him. Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue at all and I was given the go-ahead to start throwing money at Target and various children’s clothing stores. Oh, did I tell you? Target has made me their new mascot in replacement of the cute little dog. It’s only fair being that I’ve spent a fortune at the store in the past few months on school crap and that little sawed-off dog bastard hasn’t bought a damn thing. Cheap ass.
Anyway. Gabe’s in pre-k and loving it (they made applesauce yesterday and he was beyond excited) and I’ve only gotten
one two phone calls from his poor, exasperated teacher. Ms. Rose has no idea what’s she’s in for. God bless her. Also, my big kid is riding the school bus every morning and it just tickles him to death. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous letting him ride in the mornings, but he was so excited and so I figured what the hell. Thankfully all has gone well on that spectrum. He thinks it’s just the coolest thing ever (next to fire trucks and the ambu-lance), and to be honest? I think he’s pretty cool for being a big kid and being all fearless and stuff. I’m both proud and grieved — my big boy is growing up and my baby is taking off. Sigh. Guess it had to happen sooner or later, right?
In other news, we’ve had Connor! And he has stolen our hearts. Gabe just loves him and Evan is as proud as he can be. I kind of like him, I suppose. I mean, he’s cute and all. I guess we’ll keep him. He’s such a tiny little thing (compared to Gabe, anyway, who was a total chunk) and is so quiet and laid back. He very nearly sleeps thorough the night already (what what!) and has a smile (and gas) as big as Texas. He’s pretty much perfect and healthy and completely loved. And I’m totally digging that I can see my toes again. In keeping with the on-going changes in our lives, Evan and I are getting married at the end of October. Just a JOP thing for now — we’ll have a wedding in a year or so. But we figure why wait? I’d rather have a great marriage than a nice wedding any day. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a wedding eventually. I’ve been planning my wedding since before I was out of grade school. But if I’d rather not wait on a name change just because we’ll be weddingless for the time being. Mrs. Paul has a nice ring to it. Plus, I can get a new Hasting’s card and not have anymore late fees to contend with. Bonus! Only kidding, guys. It’s the library’s late fees that I’m really excited about dodging.
To wrap things up, we are still in the Money Pit. We’re beyond ready to be out, and in five more months we can kiss this garbage goodbye. We’re hoping (key word there) to buy our first little place in February or March, so fingers crossed. Since last I wrote, we’ve (still) had major issues with plumbing, septic systems, and general maintenance that shouldn’t take an act of Congress to get fixed. No kidding — at the beginning of the month I let our property manager know that our sink in the kitchen was leaking pretty badly and the toilet in the guest bathroom was running constantly. I let her know when I paid her our ridiculous rent in hopes that she would maybe move her ass and get on the ball. Yeahhhhh, right. Two weeks later I call her to inquire as to when we could be expecting someone out, to which she admitted she had forgotten and she would get the “maintenance guy” out. Yeah, he came out. And he put a friggin bowl under our sink to catch the water. Swift thinking, guy. Unfortunately that won’t lower our utility bill. So fix your shit! Eventually, it was fixed. Eventually. As in last week. So you can bet your big toe that we’re ready to get the hell out of here. Maybe if we do pick a fight with Syria they’ll send a nuke over to land on this place. Only kidding, government. Don’t get your panties in a wad.
This Mother’s Day I am being hurdled through a wave of emotions. I am overwhelmed by so much — just as we all are. I am especially overcome, however, with the seemingly accelerated on-coming of August.
August, Sarah? Really? Yeah. Really.
August, because my oldest will start “big boy” school.
August, because he’ll be four.
August, because that is his biggest step towards independence.
August, because he’ll need me less and less.
August, because we’ll be celebrating a new life in Connor.
August, because as one child lets loose, another will cling.
August, because my two greatest blessings and challenges will be on my heart and mind endlessly – as if they’re not already.
August will be the closing and beginning of chapters.
Any other time the days would roll by as slow as molasses. But now? They hurdle through time at suffocating speeds.
I say all of this as if it were awful. Honestly, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited. I most certainly am. These “chapters” — they are phenomenal advancements in my life. Truly beautiful little lights that I swore I’d never possess; amazing adventures that I will get to watch unfold. And now, here I sit, captivated. Taken by all the good that has swept me up in nearly four years. Frustrated — and yet, smitten with my life.
And it is still so overwhelming. Such a curious thing. Yet, I know as bewildering as it all seems now… come the fall it will just be a vivid memory. Bittersweet in it’s very essence.
I am ready to have both of my boys in my arms — regardless of time’s terrifying rapidity. Ready to see the only two little souls that have shared my heartbeat. And, yes, ready for my August time fears to dissipate. Ready to see the three loves in my life — all at once — that let me know this life is worth living and giving.
This Mother’s Day I am overcome with a medley of feelings, yes. Both satisfying and excruciating. But I have been given a life I have never deserved because of the lives I, too, have given. And, truly, I am blessed to feel this way. I feel these things, all of these things, because I am a momma. And there is nothing in this world I’d take to replace its intensity.
Ohhhh, Lord. Lately, our house has been
lovingly irritatingly deemed, “land of the Walking Dead.” No, we’re not hosting a “hug your favorite zombie,” event. Gabe has, for quite some time now, had some pretty intense nightmares (involving favorite cartoon characters, no less), and I have been suffering from a severe case of pregnancy-induced insomnia. Also, we have a tomcat that pretty much calls our side yard “home” and howls… bellows… hell. He’s just loud as shit until ungodly hours of the night. Our cat “found” him and the two correspond in nerve-wrenching cat speak until we have enough and put her out of our room (yay for simple solutions!). At the risk of angering anyone from PETA, I’m about ready to put the other cat out of our his misery. Because seriously… clam up.
But my boy. It’s pitiful, really. He’ll get up between 11:30 and 2 and just stand in the hall, audibly upset. Sometimes we find him on the couch, and occasionally he’ll come get one, or both of us, up. Until recently, we couldn’t put our finger on what was giving him these nightmares. We’re pretty careful about what we watch in front of him and he doesn’t watch anything that would give him night terrors.
Or so we thought.
Finally, a few weeks ago, he clued us in that the “ghosts” in his room –ready for this??– are Scooby Doo ghosts. Hold on, say whaaa? I’ve let him watch the old Scooby Doo’s for a while now. I loved them when I was a kid and, even though there’s no “value” to the cartoon outside of sheer entertainment, I thought it would be something okay for him. Something he’d enjoy. Because, really, what little guy doesn’t adore that speech-impaired dog? But, nevertheless, we cut out Scoob. And still the nightmares continued.
One night while we were still up he came to get Ev to remove the ghost. So, in they marched. Equipped with a spray bottle of water, Evan and Gabe hollered, “Get outta here, ghost!” It seemed to work for a few nights, but to no avail, picked right back up. Once again, Evan went in to calm Gabe down and it must have dawned on him the problem (thank God, ’cause it never would have occurred to me): the “ghost” could be the white fort Gabe had in the corner of his room. So down it came.
And voilà! Ghost-be-gone. Gabe has been nightmare free for a week now. Thank GOD. At least someone in the house is sleeping. And, to be honest, hearing a the faint noise of a child crying at 2am? That’s pretty frightening in and of itself. Now if we could just solve, “The Mystery of the Sleepless Mommy.” Maybe my insomnia is just bracing me for sleepless nights when Connor arrives? Good lookin’ out, self. Good lookin’ out.
And to all you other momma’s out there: Happy Mother’s Day!
I really must make it a point to stop reading MSN’s front page — or paying attention to anything “news-worthy” from any media at all, for that matter. I’m sure you’ve heard about the mass-stabbing at a Texas school that took place today. Soon, we’ll also hear about the outlawing of knives. Won’t be long, and another jackass, trying to make a statement, will violate others in a mass slingshotting episode. And again, there will be an outlawing. I’m not sure if the “gentleman” that so boldly stabbed what I last heard as fourteen people was trying to make a political gesture or if he was freaking about mid-terms and simply cracked. There again, I don’t care what his reason was. Whether it be point proving or what-have-you, the media, of course, jumped right on it. Now our fearless leader, too, will jump right on it. In no time at all we will have a mass banning of something else because another genius saw fit to ruin basic defense tools for everyone else.
To this individual, I say congratulations and piss off.
It will never cease to amaze me the things that are put under ban. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a super gun or weapons enthusiast. They scare me to death, to be honest. BUT. I am in no way, shape, or form against the owning of guns for simple home defense and other recreational, valid use. Guns, among other weapons, fall into the wrong hands every day. They have for decades. And just like every other weapon known to man since the beginning of man, guns have been destructive. BUT. They have also proved to be good, useful tools. Do you really think that guns in the hands of certain government officials are being used wisely? Or with merit? No, sir! And back to knives. Again, because I am one gigantic pansy-girl, knives freak me out too. Do I feel knives should be banned? Um, no. I am a young mother to what will soon be two small boys. As hopeful as I am that I will never have to defend us in our home or on the streets, it is a disturbing “if” that one day I might have to. I hate to tell you, but if my only defense is my hands and feet, we’re done for. It is a basic human right to protect one’s self and his or her loved ones. It is a basic human privilege and right to bear arms. I should be able to, if I feel threatened, protect my family the way I see fit. If I am being come at forcefully and violently, you better believe that I want a gun or other defense mechanism at my disposal. Will I shoot or throw to kill? Honestly, probably not. I have terrible aim and would more likely make them dance than do them damage. But they would sure as hell get the idea that I will not be messed with – nor will my little ones.
The government on the larger spectrum has not yet stepped in and given its infinite thoughts of wisdom on the events at hand today. For that I am glad, but am waiting for it. We are watching our own world fall apart. Our overall “virtues” have clogged the figurative Morality Toilet and we are currently waist-deep in its mess. Frankly, I’m sick of it. American politics and “ethics” reek of bullshit. We are as rearwards a country as we could possibly be. We bury our heads in the sand when the government says, “bury,” and also when being accused of being “politically incorrect.” Our children fall victim to violence in schools, and instead of offering defense we point fingers and remove defense. Our families become prey to random violence on the street – and instead of offering shelter and a stronghold, we offer up words of disdain and judgment. I am tired of the fight. I’ve long since grown weary of the argument. So go ahead. Remove weapons from the hands of innocence. Take away armament from the lives of just. Just know that you’re not taking away killing sprees; instead, you’re adding to them. Do you really think the wrong and immoral will cease in acts of cold-blooded hatred just because the majority becomes unguarded? Reverse psychology, in this instance, becomes null and void, and we as a people become just as guilty as the wrong-doers themselves. Why? Because we are allowing doom to take over. We are stepping aside and becoming the beaten down dog that our Master would have us be. We are succumbing to our end.
On a different topic, but same level of violence and hate, people such as this are allowed to murder the undeniably innocent; the small ones who have not yet taken in our polluted air to be called anything but blameless. We give “walking rights” to those of us who murder clinically or otherwise due to, “acts of insanity,” or, “lack of proof.” We are far more concerned with celebrity wrongful death and demise than we are the destruction and devastation of our children, our homes, and our overall well-being. I have written of these things before, and I will continue to until my fingers lose their agility. I will continue to speak of it until these lungs cease to have breath within them. America, you are sorely backwards. In this age that we’ve been granted such great potential of prosperity and justice, we instead turn to desolation and unethicalness. My heart aches for what will be. My heart longs to keep my own little ones safe from your grasp. Your day is coming, Land of the Free. Our New World will crumble beneath our feet if you continue to allow the bane of earthly existence to let loose its havoc. I sincerely hope that your “washing of hands” removes any trace of guilt from your hearts as it has quite obviously removed any sense from your minds.
I’m just full of news lately, y’all. Evan and I are GETTING MARRIED! And I am pretty late on clue-ing you in. He proposed on Good Friday, which he said I’m officially allowed to call “Great Friday” (har har) and very nearly sent me into a state of shock… of both the sugar and heart-attack varieties. He came home with two Easter baskets — one for me and one for Gabe. While Gabe was distracted with, “OMIGOSH! MOM! CHOCOLATE!”, Ev kept my attention with a few goodies of my own. He either kind of likes me or really hates me, because in the basket was my single most favorite Easter candy ever (Robin’s Eggs) and a Storm Trooper “Easter bunny” (don’t judge). In addition to the sugar-y goodness was a single pink egg. He said it was a special egg and had me open it. At first all I saw was Laffy Taffy. And then I picked it up.. and there it was. I was thrown for a mile, so at first it didn’t occur to me that he was proposing. My response? “Oh! That’s pretty!” God love him, he must have realized that I was confused, and so because I am a few bricks short of a house, he asked. I accepted in truest Sarah-response, “You jerk! Of course!” I am such an adult, I know. But I can honestly say there’s no one else around that I’d rather fall asleep on during movies. I’ve finally met my mutually weird counterpart, and now he’s stuck with me.
The rest of our Easter “break” was just as nice, although relatively busy and not at all break-ish. We had our families out for lunch and enjoyed our Sunday afternoon complete with more Easter bunny festivities. Connor is getting bigger and stronger, as is evident with his kicking, and Gabe is doing so well with his potty training. I’m so proud of my boy! I think we’re rounding a big corner. I took him to Target the other night and let him pick out his own “big boys,” and now he is even more excited to keep those undies in tip-top shape. He’s growing up, y’all. And as bittersweet (and long over-due) as it is, I’m ECSTATIC. And just as soon as it’s ended, it’ll pick right back up with munchkin number two. Sigh. Ah, well. It is what it is.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it, but in case I haven’t, we have so much going on in the next few months. And as nerve-wracking everything is and will be, I’m excited to move on. Gabe starts PRE-K in four months, which will be a big transition for him. Who am I kidding? That’s a big thing for me, too. Around that time, Connor will make his grand entrance — another huge progression for the fam. That’s an awful lot happening already between a (newly) four-year-old pre-k’er and a newborn. Add to that the start for finding a house to buy — not rent. We have roughly nine months to make that magic happen. Somewhere between, we get married. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it. But it’s beyond worth it. Even though I know there will be some speed bumps along the way, I am confident that we’ll make it all work. I’m also relatively confident that Evan and I will be needing a vat of Red Bull by the time this is all said and done. And with that I say, “Bring it on!”
…it’s a BOY! We are the proud and expectant parents of another little guy. I actually wrote about this last Thursday thinking it was a girl. We had been told it was a girl last Monday, but I had another appointment on Thursday which debunked that chromosome fib. A shocking sonogram actually showed Thursday that… well, you know what it showed. It’s probably for the best; Evan handled the news well, considering, but I’m pretty sure we’d have been any gunmaker’s best friends if you catch my drift. Between Evan and Gabe that would have been one well-protected little lady.
Anyway, it’s a boy and we are all very excited. Evan’s excited for the obvious. I’m pretty much just thrilled that there is only one baby in the oven and that it seems to be coming along rather nicely. Gabe doesn’t know what’s going on, which of course makes him positively giddy — although he does like seeing little brother in mommy’s belly. So, until we hear any different, our little one (or Connor Grey) will be here in four short months. Which is crazy ridiculous. I have exploded, although thankfully only in the belly region. I’ve gained a total of ten pounds (whoopee!) and am feeling fantastic. By this time with Gabe I had already packed on a whopping thirty-five (yep. thirty-five) pounds. So help me Jesus, I’ll not do that again. Daddy is fine and much less red-faced now that he knows he can stop looking on Amazon and eBay for chastity belts (I only wish I were joking) and Gabe is very nearly potty trained! Thank God. I totaled up just how much money I would be spending on diapers and Pull-Up’s the other day and very nearly fell out. Seriously, I couldn’t even afford to give my checking account a proper funeral.
Hopefully soon Mr. Gabe will be fully potty-trained and I’ll have a brief reprieve of diaper-buying. He’s pretty excited to be wearing big-boy underpants, and we’re making a huge (probably too big) deal out of it. But I have no shame and would walk around with tighty whities on my head if I thought it would get the point across. No lie. I’d even wear them bad boys to work, dude. Desperate times, desperate measures — don’t judge.
Right now we’re getting ready for the weekend. We’re having Easter dinner at the house with my parents and brother and Evan’s dad & step-mom, Rita. I’m pretty stoked for it since this is the first time we’ve ever had both sets of family over for anything. The apartment was just tiny… hell, there was barely enough room there for the three of us. I’m glad that we’re in a place where we can have company over and not have to worry about what our neighbors are going to say. You know. Since we’re no longer inches from their living area. So we’re taking advantage of our added space and will be bar-b-que’n and whatnot. I have some family coming in from out-of-state that we’ll be seeing, and I’m pretty excited about that. They haven’t seen Gabe since he was very small, and now that I’m expecting my second I’d say it’s well past time.
If I’m not back before Sunday, Happy Easter. Fingers crossed for us on the potty training spectrum.
Ahhhh, confessional posts. I am about 4.5 months pregnant (no, that’s not the confessional bit) and a sea of dumb emotions have begun to crash in. I’m pretty much all over the radar on this one, guys. I’m excited and nervous.. and happy and terrified.. and pumped and exhausted. And frankly? I’m pretty much just ready for August to get here. I mean, damnit. Move, August! Move!
Those of you who know me personally (and have laughed at my current situation) know that, if the due date is spot on, Gabe will be exactly four years and a day older than the baby. I know… really should have timed that better. And we would have… had it not been a complete accident. Sigh. At any rate, August just got a lot more costly and a helluva lot more busy. And as much time as I have left to prepare, I feel like the clock is winding down pretty quickly. I mean, it seems not all that long ago that I let everybody and their momma know that “We’re expecting!”. Four and a half months of not that long ago. I just don’t know what happened. I went from not looking pregnant at all to, holy shit… who blew up Sarah?! And I am FREAKING OUT, y’all. Fuh-reaking out. I have valid reasons… I promise.
Gabe will only be four. Granted, that’s thirty-eight months longer than was placed between my younger brother and myself, but still. Gabe has largely been by himself for three and a half years. I think he’ll be an excellent big brother — don’t get me wrong. But I feel so… weird. Most momma’s, if not all of them, who have multiple children have probably felt conflicted about the “favorites game”. Y’all know what I’m talking about. The new baby is, naturally, given more attention because… well, it’s pretty much a lost cause until he or she can move about without much assistance. And even then, they’re on lock down for a while. Every move is watched, leaving older kids to fend for themselves mostly. Which, most bigger kids can do quite well. Generally speaking. But the older kid, unless he or she is a total oddball, feels left out and unwanted for a spell.
I am so worried that Gabe will feel unwanted or unloved for a while… and that is killing me. Evan and I both are trying to remember to refer to Peanut as “our” baby.. as in everyone’s. Because, in reality, it will be. Mine, Evan’s, and Gabe’s. And while Gabe is excited now, and he kisses my tummy every morning and hugs it tight every night… I’m afraid once the reality of a little bitty thing being a.. well, a thing.. Gabe might get scared. And think he’s being replaced? I don’t know. I’m sure I’m giving too much credit for an almost four-year old’s mental process. But little ones are smart. And they are super insecure right about now. And Gabe…. well. Gabe is very smart. And stubborn. And already pretty territorial and protective. And I’m terrified. I’m equally terrified that my youngest will feel the same way. That he or she will watch big brother do things that they cannot yet do. Or whatever the case may be that could be cause for potential “favoritism.” Why do kids have to be such a pain in the ass?!
Someone who shall remain nameless asked me the other day if I was worried about playing favorites… or rather, being accused of playing favorites. I tried to be as cool as possible and answered with a (semi)firm, “No. Favorites isn’t a game we’ll be playing.” And I was serious. And I am serious. But although I know that, “So-and-so is your favorite and that’s not fair!”, is a cross every momma on the planet has to bear… it freaks me out. Because I was an insecure kid. And so were my other siblings. And it wasn’t so long ago that I was putting my own mother through that bullshit (I do apologize for that, by the way. Now, if you could kindly lift that curse…). Someone, and I forget who, but someone explained once that no child is a favorite, but within them lies certain attributes and traits that parents relate to or like a bit better. And that it doesn’t make them bad parents… only human. I think I grasped hold of that wisdom pretty well, considering.
Gabe is and was my first-born and my first little love. Up until this point he was the only little body that knew my heartbeat from inside-out. I carried him without knowing his face for nine months of my life. I carry him still and will carry him until he needs me no more. Unbeknownst to him, he pulled me through postpartum – the most terrifying, life-shaking moment I’ve ever gotten to experience. We have pushed and pulled through mounds of garbage already in his very short lifetime. His mere existence has made me stronger and wiser… more courageous and bold. He softened this cold old heart in ways no one else ever had before. He is my grumpy, popcorn laugh little man… my joy and frustration. I delight in his intelligence and happiness, his determination and sweet heart. I curse silently at his bullheadedness and temper, but these things let me know that he is his mother’s child.
The sweet one that I carry now… I have yet to see its face or hold its sweet, small body. But he or she will share the same bond as my oldest — they too will know this momma’s heartbeat. They too will have my blood coursing through their veins (God bless ‘em). I will love this child with the fire — just as I have loved Gabe. I will be glad in their achievements and scowl at their less-than-fantastic moments. He or she will also alter my life for the better. My old heart will, once again, be softened, and I will gain more courage and wisdom. I will also be granted a few more gray hairs and fewer sleep-filled nights. I will carry him or her now and until they no longer need these arms. I will curse once more at all the “uh-oh’s” because, they too, will be their mother’s child.
My love for them is limitless; boundless. My frustration…. never-ceasing. I will love them as hard as the day is long. And at the end of it all, with my final breath, they will be my loves. They will be my fire.
I hope they both know that.. either now or in time. That this momma is imperfect and cranky and cantankerous. But that they are and will forever be loved differently — but the same.
I suppose only time will tell.