Monday, November 21, 2005

Template Parenting

I had what could possibly be the best parenting day ever. First of all, let me preface this post by saying that I went out Saturday night and had a few drinsk . . . oops, I mean drinks. So when I went to bed late Saturday night (think early Sunday morning) I was really expecting to have one of those foggy, headachy days when the kids seem to whine extra long and extra loud. Especially since D was running a fever Saturday evening. So, maybe it was the low expectations. Anyway, J crawled into bed at 5:30am but fell right back to sleep . . . and stayed there until 7:30am. Ok, I haven't stayed in bed until 7:30am in years! What a luxury! We went out to the living room and put in a movie which he watched quietly while I leafed through a magazine. Yes, you heard right. I leafed through a magazine!! D joined us early in the movie and since they were being so sweet and mellow, I gave them an extra nutri grain bar. What a treat, right? Then J helped me make the waffle batter and I made waffles. After breakfast, I took them to the Farmer's Market. T's friend Step had dropped by to watch the Eagles game so I figured, what the hell - let's get out of their hair and after we shop at the FM, I'll take the boys to the playground as a reward. They were so good at the market - helped me pick out zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, apples and green beans. They only fought one time but otherwise stayed close to me and listened so well. There was a big bounce house with a rock wall and slide at the FM so we took the groceries to the car, then walked over to the bounce house. J hopped into that house and immediately went for the rock wall. He navigated that wall like a pro and before I knew it, was down the slide and running back for more. It was amazing to watch. D required a little more help. He tried to do it on his own but got scared as he reached the top. I had to go in and help him up the wall a few times but then he "got" it. Frankly, I don't blame him for being scared - that wall was steeeeep!! And when there were other kids at the top it swayed and it was a little disconcerting, even for me. Anyway, they did that for 30 minutes and then it was time to go. They protested for a while but I explained that they got to go up one last time but that their time was up and we needed to take the groceries home and have lunch. Once I got their shoes back on, both of them wanted to be carried. So, I hoisted J onto my right hip then leaned down for D to hook onto my left hip. As we were walking away from the bounce house a woman sitting on the lawn with her infant said "way to go, girl - bravo". I gotta say - it made me feel so good. Sometimes it's so hard to stay patient and of all days, yesterday should have been the worse but instead, it was the best. We went home and T had lunch ready for us. After lunch he and Step took the boys for a drive - code for you need naps!!! I took off for Target and spent the afternoon picking out accessories for my new office. The rest of the day passed uneventfully but just as peacefully. Part of me is really skeptical - like what the heck happened that I could manage things so well yesterday when other days the littlest thing will have me tearing my hair out? I don't know but I hope to take this day and use it as a "template" for the kind of parent I want to be everyday.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy Birthday D

Dear D,
You reluctantly entered the world three years ago today. You were not ready but J was anxious and so the decision was made for you. Your dissatisfaction was expressed with weak cries and whimpering - and it was music to my ears. You gave us a scare the next day when your lung collapsed and you had to have a chest tube inserted. But, you are fierce and determined and were so even then. We used to do kangaroo care with you and you absolutely loved it. I would unbutton my shirt and the nurse would slide you in, then I'd cover us with a blanket and you would nuzzle deep into my chest, curled up like a little kidney bean. That's why we started calling you "the Bean". And when it was time to put you back in your isolette, you would resist - your little fingers grasping to hold onto my skin, your face straining to stay next to my chest. I'm sorry I couldn't keep you there forever.
Sometimes I would walk into the NICU and find you with your finger on your chin, squinting through your eyes as if to ask skeptically, "what is that?". While J wanted to explore his surroundings enthusiastically, you were more wary. And today, you are by turns shy and outgoing, determined and unsure, afraid to change and quick to change. You're a bit of a mystery and I think you like it that way. Your sense of humor is quiet and smart. You're independent but sometimes just need your momma or daddy. Your memory is unbelievable and you have been known to hold a grudge for hours - but then, sweetly you will forgive us, tired of being mad and the energy it takes, with a simple hug.
My little Bean - my excitable, smart, funny, fierce, determined, cautious, lovable Bean - Happy third Birthday.
I love you.

Happy Birthday J

Dear J,
It was 3 years ago today that you quietly entered the world. Not breathing, not crying. I held my breath waiting to hear you - finally after D was born, I heard you. I'll never forget the enormous relief I felt when I heard those weak cries and whimpers. And now, you are 3 years old. I can't believe how fast these years have gone. Over the 2 months that you were in the NICU, your personality began to emerge. Your eyes were always open - those big round eyes wanted to see everything. You always seemed to be asking "what is that?", always straining to see your surroundings. The nurses would frequently take pictures of you because those big eyes would be positively comical in your tiny little face.
And today, your eyes are still enormous and so expressive - dark brown just like your daddy's, rimmed in the thickest, curliest lashes. And you often ask "what is that?", just as you always seemed to when you were a newborn. I love the way you want to hold my hand when we're sitting on the couch watching a movie. I love the way you throw your arms around my neck and kiss my cheek and say "I love you". I even love that you don't want me to leave when I drop you off at daycare, the way you wrap your arms around my leg and bury your face and say "don't go to work". Sometimes you come over to me and just kiss my hand or my leg and then you look up at me and smile. You like when I wear lipstick and want me to kiss you so you'll have some too. And what a helper! Whether it's emptying the dishwasher, running the vacuum, putting the groceries away - you love to help.
So, to my sweet, loving, affectionate, curious, energetic, helpful, wonderful J - Happy 3rd Birthday.
I love you.