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Posts Tagged ‘girls’

After L’s gymnastics class, we all sit around on tiny chairs at short tables and give our kids a snack. Snacks are L’s favorite food group and generally nothing can distract him from the task of eating. Turns out, that’s only almost nothing.

Yesterday, as he was collecting snacks brought by other moms for their own children, (he’s a master at begging for food,) a group of 10 to 12-year-old leotard clad girls was lining up behind him. A shiny blue leotard caught his eye, and he abandoned his snack and stood directly in front of the girls, staring unabashedly, mouth agape.

This was a very cute sight. He’s a good foot smaller than these girls, and knows no shame. He just stood there, staring. We then had this conversation:

me: (laughing) L, what are you doing over there?
L: (right in front of them, still facing them) I’m just looking at these girls.
me: Oh yeah? Why is that?
L comes over to me with a new kind of expression on his face. A mix of mischief and thrill, with a pronounced blush on his cheeks.
L: (whispering in my ear) I’m looking at their butts.

I could not divert his gaze from said butts and he left the building walking backwards. And so it begins?

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There is so much about being a parent that you couldn’t possibly guess at until you’re there (and then it’s too late). There’s the big stuff: how in love you can be with a baby, how endearing it is when your toddler says he loves you, how fun it is to see your partner’s traits coming through in your kids…. But there’s also so many small things every day that take you by surprise. Like the time I wanted to beat up a group of 5-year-old girls. I never would have thought that I could be so angry at such little kids, that I could really think they were mean, horrible little people. But I did.

About a year ago I went for a walk with my then completely adorable, happy, sweet 2-year-old L. He was nothing but awesome in those days. (T is convinced I’m remembering it wrong, but I swear, there were a few months right at 2 when L was perfect.) He was infectiously enthusiastic about everything, and had a smile that could make your day. On this walk last spring, we saw a group of girls, about 5 years old, playing on a front lawn up ahead. Although we had never seen these kids before, L exclaimed, “My friends!!” and took off running to see them.

When he arrived at the group, the evil little ring-leader said “Ew, run away from the baby!” And run they did. L thought this was a great game. He ran after them, thrilled. I didn’t love seeing him being made a fool of, but it got worse.

The ring leader noticed that he thought they were all playing together, and worse, that some of her friends seemed to like playing with this little kid, so she came right up to him and said, “We don’t want to play with you, you’re a baby.” And ran off. Confused by this obvious error, L continued to run after them calling out, “Me not baby! Me big boy!”

At this point my heart broke. How freaking cute is that?? He just wanted to clear up the confusion. He was not a baby, but a big boy who wanted to play! I had to drag him away from there. I explained that some kids are just mean, and that those were mean kids. (I know, I know, they are not mean kids, it’s normal etc etc, but I still hate those girls.) He looked bewildered; “Mean kids?” he asked, as if the concept were crazy.

I did not know before having kids how my heart could break so easily, how my maternal protectiveness would have me kill anyone who so much as dismisses my baby. What am I going to do when L meets real adversity? What if there’s a bully who picks on him? A girl who dumps him? A teacher who doesn’t see what a delightful, kind and smart person he is under his often entirely dis-likable demeanor?

Whenever I’m having a hard time liking him myself, like at dinner tonight for example, I can just picture him as his 2-year-old impish self, repeating “Me not baby! Me big boy!” and I remember how sweet he really is. Somewhere in there.

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I take it back. I said that S was no longer my favorite age because she became more mobile. While it’s true that she is no longer the world’s easiest baby, she’s still close. Her increase in difficulty is no match to her increase in adorable.

I thought I was jaded. I thought I was so over that head-over-heals, can’t-believe-how-in-love-I-am thing for a baby. I’m not. I’m in it. I got it bad. Her giggles, her head diving “hugs,” her sloppy “kisses.” I can’t get enough. And the best part, the part I never could have guessed at, is her relationship with L.

For all his [insert euphemism for pain in the ass here], he is really incredible with S. When she cries, he goes right over and sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star;” when she is fussing because she’s bored or waiting for food, he dances around to entertain her; in the car he plays peek-a-boo, tells jokes, and plays tug-of-war with her from his carseat. And the very best: early in the morning, when she cries and wakes him up, he goes to her and entertains her. While I’m in bed cursing at the early hour, he is not annoyed; he is in big-brother mode and his mission is make the baby laugh.

And laugh she does. The sound is intoxicating. If I could bottle it, I swear we could achieve world peace. Who could wage a war when there are babies out there giggling? She is a delight and I am not even ashamed at how ridiculously enamored I am. That’s right, world, I love this baby! This is the kind of baby who makes you want more babies. (Funny, she does not have the same effect on my husband.)

I’m no fool. I know that soon she’ll break my heart and become a willful, defiant, whining child and I will have lost my perfect baby forever. So, I’m drinking it in. I’m relishing this time I have while she’s smack in the middle between infant and toddler. I’m hoping against hope that her disposition is a lasting one. Maybe she won’t give me as much trouble as a toddler as L? But, then I know that I’ll have mine coming in the pre-teen and teen years. Lord help us if she stays this adorable! Thankfully, she has a protective older brother who I plan on enrolling in Karate immediately.

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About Girls

So I’ve had L and Niece 1 and 2, (5-year-old twin girls,) at my house for a couple of days. I am now going to make sweeping generalizations based on this time with 2 girls:

  1. Girls have tiny bladders. The two of them hit the potty at least 3 times to every 1 trip for L. How do moms of girls get anything done? Potty at home, and then again in the market immediately following? WTF?
  2. Girls have the capacity to be still and quiet. Honestly amazing.
  3. Because they can sit still for so long, girls are able to eat an enormous quantity of food in one sitting, provided the food is to their liking, which is no easy feat. (L is a fantastic eater and can pack away a ton of food, but because he doesn’t have anything resembling an attention span, he can’t actually sit down to eat a big meal.) I made a batch of pancakes and actually had to make more batter because they just wanted to keep eating them. Neither one is overweight, but niece 2 is especially skinny and she ate more pancakes than I could possibly.
  4. Although they are able, girls don’t often choose to be quiet. Instead they’d rather talk loudly, giggle or sing. Lots of singing. More singing than I could have imagined.
  5. If given a box of markers, a pad, and a bag of stickers, girls can sit still and play nicely for hours. Weird!
  6. Girls say the girliest shit. No joke, yesterday Niece 1 said “My heart is full of love. My eyes are hearts. Can you see the hearts in my eyes?”
  7. Girls are afraid of things. Riding bikes, walking down a steep staircase after looking eye-to-eye with a giraffe, being in a crowd in a new place – these things made the girls skittish, (sensibly so, L’s lack of fear corresponds directly with his lack of sense). I did a lot of hand-holding and I’m not used to that. The same hill that had the girls reluctant to step off of their brakes, saw L screaming down it, legs outstretched on either side of his bike, pedals wildly circling, whooping his little happy war cry.
  8. When girls fall down (at least these girls) they cry. It does not matter if they are hurt or not.
  9. Girls stay right underfoot and are most of the time touching me in some way. I’ve never had my toes stepped on so often, nor have I tripped over a kid or two as frequently as in the last 2 days.

I also learned something about L: he will do anything a big girl tells him to. He spent the day yesterday dressed in a skirt, hair up in purple clips, happily announcing that he was a “girlie girl.” This attracted some attention everywhere we went.

I even learned something about myself: I miss my baby S!

In the end it was a successful visit. The girls and L had a wonderful time. I am exhausted and will be happy to have my “peaceful” home back with just L and S. Oh, and baby S looks huge to me after 2 days away.

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