01 November 2012
Several attempts have been made to organize her room. Once she and I started that task together and I asked her to go through the great big basket with stuffed animals and get rid of the ones she doesn’t play with. Naturally, every single stuffed toy suddenly became a favorite. Watching Lola go through her collection deciding which one to do away with was like watching “Sophie’s Choice.” Gut wrenching.
About two weeks ago, Ryan and Lola went on their customary father - daughter date and I seized the opportunity to take charge of her room. Hardening my heart, I was resolved to recycle a few more toys than the childhood toys of her parents which were the only ones she had been willing to give up. Ruthlessly I went through her basket and the shelves of her room. Three garbage bags later I resurfaced.
We put up more shelves, organized everything in shiny new purple baskets, and rearranged the furniture. You can actually see the floor of her room again. I also went through all of her drawers and purged her summer clothes and the outfits she had outgrown. Walking into her room now is like a breath of fresh air. Lola loves it and has not once asked for any of the toys I got rid of.
Until last night.
Ryan has gone bow hunting with his dad and as always when he is gone, the girls have a Girls Night. This means that Lola moves into my bedroom and we watch a movie together before we go to sleep. Since I have a bigger bed, there is more room for her stuffed friends, and she usually brings a few more than the two or three that share her bed.
“Mom,” I heard her say when she was getting ready for bed. “Have you seen that white bear that I have?”
I knew exactly which bear she meant. It had not made the cut. Not wanting to confess to that right away, I pretended not to know which bear she was talking about. She showed me a three inch version of the bear I had thrown away and told me she was looking for its mother.
Oh no. I had orphaned a baby bear.
I fessed up to possibly, maybe giving its mother away (not true, I threw it away) and suggested Lola could be the little bear’s mom from now on. Big tears rolled from Lola’s eyes as she hiccupped that the little bear could not sleep without its mother. My daughter is very good when it comes to drama. I felt horrible.
So, anyone have a white bear to spare? I know a good home for it.
17 July 2012
I remember this so clearly because I used to rip her posters when I was angry at her. Not full on tearing and trashing, I didn't have the guts to do that, but tiny little tears along the edges of the poster. Just to make a point, albeit a very sad and pathetic one.
Fast forward three decades. I walked into my craft room yesterday where I have a project laid out that I am currently working on. It consists of six felt squares with appliques. Some squares are cut from craft felt and some from hand died, rather expensive, imported all the way from Holland, one hundred percent wool felt.
In one of the cheaper felt squares I noticed a few small cuts along the edge. I was pretty sure the felt was whole when I cut my squares. I suspected Lola or her friend B. accidentally cut the felt when they were cutting up some paper.
I was wrong. As it turns out it was not an accident. My daughter fessed up to cutting the felt on purpose. She was "just so mad" at me. Not that she knew why she was mad, she just remembered she was. And to make her point, she cut my felt. Like her mother, she did not have the guts to really go for it and cut the good stuff, so she went for the cheap felt instead. A wise choice.
Naturally she was reprimanded for this little stunt and threatened with eternal banishment from the craft room (a fate worse than death in our house) if she ever pulled something like this again. But I had a very hard time actually being angry with her.
As I was talking with her, I was chewing the inside of my cheek, trying to suppress a smile. I could not believe she did the exact same thing I did as a child. And all the while I could hear my sister laughing in the back of my head.
Karma is a b*tch. So is payback.
11 May 2012
When Lola returned from school this afternoon, she gave me my Mother's Day gift right away. It was a baby zinnia which she planted herself a few weeks ago at school. Naturally, we could not let the little plant sit in a brown paper bag for three days. While she was at it, she also gave me this:
Happy Mother's Day! I'll be relaxing with my blanket and some tea.
01 February 2012
It’s important stuff. You should go watch it. Go. Now. I’ll wait.
It makes you want do something, doesn’t it? It did for me anyway. So I shared it on my Facebook page, and visited www.missrepresentation.org and pledged I will do anything I can to change the message that is being sent out to little girls and boys today. It’s not much, but it’s something.
What got me thinking were the comments on the original Facebook post by Little Acorn Learning, a Waldorf inspired blog. They boiled down to turning off the TV permanently, not allowing children access to computers, no video games, no cell phones, nothing. While I do understand this knee-jerk reaction, to me it is sticking your head in the sand.
There is no way we will be able to keep our children from the media, and the media from our children. Unless you go off the grid and never return, chances are your child will watch TV or play on a computer at some point. If it’s not at your own house, it’s at school, at a friend’s house, in a waiting room, in a restaurant, in a store. It is extremely hard to avoid.
We do not raise strong, confident, and respectful women and men by ignoring the topic. This approach is very popular with some but teenagers still get pregnant and people still get infected with HIV. Time has proven again and again that the ostrich method simply doesn’t work.
Instead we need to be aware of what we watch, what we say, what we do. We need to talk with our children about what they watch, what they say, what they do. This is how we raise children that are not interested in the current message because they know how limited it is.
So this is me, creating awareness. Please pass it on and help me change the message that is sent to our kids. Thank you.
I’ll get off my soap box now.
17 November 2009
Her thumb sucking is impeding her dental development, though. Her front teeth have not completely come down, and she cannot properly pronounce the 'L' and the 'Th'. The time has come to take her thumbs away from her. For a while now, we have been pulling her thumb out of her mouth whenever we catch her. It works for a few minutes, and then one thumb or the other goes right back in.
Harsher measures are in order. Cutting her thumbs off is obviously not an option. Instead, we have resorted to a nasty tasting nail polish-like solution. Tonight was the first night she could not suck her thumb to help her fall sleep. She did not like it, to put it mildly. She cried and screamed my name for what seemed like a very long time. My poor baby.
I remember so clearly how awful it was when I had to stop sucking my thumb. My sister and I quit together, cold turkey. Of course we were much older than Lola. I was ten years old, and had an impressive overbite. The first night was horrible. To help us fall asleep, my mother laid down between the two of us, holding my right thumb and my sister's left thumb in her hands. Not one of us slept very well that night, least of all my mom.
Lola fell asleep after about half an hour. That's not so bad. I think this is much harder on me than it is on her. It is a good thing she has two parents because I am not very good at tough love. I have some growing up to do, too.
21 August 2009
Lola was very happy to see me but when it was time to go home, she told me "No." She wanted to stay. After going back and forth on the subject for a little bit, I did what I usually do in these circumstances; I gave her a hug and a kiss, said good bye and walked away, fully expecting her to come running after me, as she always does.
It backfired. She was absolutely fine with me leaving. That was NOT supposed to happen. I walked back up to her but no, she really was intent on staying. Carla told me it was fine with her and that I should enjoy the unexpected night alone with my husband. And so I did.
I love having the occasional night off, but this time it didn't sit well with me at all. I felt a little heartbroken. (Of course the melancholic classic rock song playing on the radio the entire way home didn't do much to lighten the mood.) I thought of all the things I do not do with my daughter. We have never been to the zoo together. We do not do crafts together. We hardly ever go to the park together, or go swimming. Lola does all these things, but with Carla. Not with me.
I know this sense of failure I have is self imposed. Not working, or working less, is not an option at the moment. And I am extremely fortunate and blessed in having found Carla. I leave my daughter in very capable and loving hands every day. I do for my family what needs to be done in the best way possible. But that doesn't lessen the feelings of guilt. And that makes me sad. And not just for Lola but mostly for myself, truth be told. Which adds on even more guilt.
Motherhood, it truly is a source of joy. And of guilt, just as much.
02 July 2009
The other day I was trying to get her to empty her plate in one go. The incentive of becoming a member of the Clean Plate Club did not do much. She kept saying she was all done. So I resorted to a new technique: old fashioned bribery.
"Lola, would you like some ice cream?"
"Yes! Ice cream. I love ice cream."
"You must finish your meal first. No clean plate, no ice cream."
Worked like a charm.