I Miss the Village by Bunmi Laditan. If only life was still that simple.
And if you haven’t read her blog, The Honest Toddler, DO IT.
Any blog post that compares a day with kids to “a huge goat rodeo” is gem. My house has felt like a goat rodeo all summer.
Goat Rodeo days. These involve multiple kids, all mobile and past the napping years, seemingly bent on devising complex plots to undermine your attempts to even start any item on the day’s to-do list.
On days like this, I can’t wait to hit the Sweet Spot. When the kids are old enough to entertain themselves. When no one needs me to give them a snack or a juice, or a band-aid, or even a hug.
We’re not there yet. I yell a lot. I have butts to wipe. I hear mamamamamamamamama ALL. DAY. LONG. And sleeping through the night means I fell asleep putting the boys to bed and decided not to bother getting into my own bed.
But all these things that drive me bananas mean that they need me. And someday they won’t.
I realize it’s been forever and a day, but there is so much truth in this post from Glennon Melton at Momastery that I had to share:
My boys are wild things. After they’ve danced on my last nerve, I still have supper waiting for them when they come back from the land where the wild things are. That’s what love is.
“In plain terms, a child is a complicated creature who can drive you crazy” Sendak told the AP in 2009. “There’s a cruelty to childhood, there’s an anger. And I did not want to reduce Max to the trite image of the good little boy that you find in too many books.”
Rest in peace, Maurice Sendak.
~ via Huffington Post
Having lived through the sad, lonely cycle of eating disorders, distorted body image, and low self esteem, I am hyper-sensitive to the pressure our media puts on new mothers to “lose the baby weight” and get their bodies back to “normal.” The Academy Awards, and the accompanying red carpet cattiness, elevates this superficiality to a truly obnoxious level. Those voted best dressed — Gwyneth, J.Lo, Michelle Williams, et al — by the ubiquitous fashion police have gorgeous figures, no doubt, but they do not represent what the rest of us should deem normal. I’m not the first to say that we need more realistic representations of women’s bodies featured in the media. I loved seeing Maya Rudolph’s voluptuous curves, a stark contrast to Angelina Jolie’s bony limb(s). Here’s a refreshing perspective on mom-bodies in this post via momfilter.
Getting pregnant, growing your baby in your body, giving birth, breastfeeding and nourishing your newborn — these are life-changing events that redefine “normal” for us. Why can’t we accept that these are body-changing events as well? I admit, I don’t always love my stretch marks, mommy pot belly, and muffin top, but they are signs of the physical metamorphoses I experienced during pregnancies. My C-section scar is a badge of honor for what I needed to go through, mentally and physically, to birth my babies.
There is strength in motherhood, and our changed bodies should remind us of the amazing things we are capable of.
Thanks to my network of amazing moms, I came across this NPR story from 2008: Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills. Listen to the original airing of the show here. Researchers say that unstructured play not only helps children develop creativity and imagination, but also self-regulation.
It turns out that all that time spent playing make-believe actually helped children develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function. Executive function has a number of different elements, but a central one is the ability to self-regulate. Kids with good self-regulation are able to control their emotions and behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline.
I’m a huge fan of giving kids space to do their own thing. Coming from a family who restricted my activities to avoid injury, failure and conflict, I want my boys to have more freedom than I did. Freedom to play, imagine, invent, make messes, be loud, and yes, to fall.
One of the best parenting books I ever read is The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel. Whenever I see H doing crazy things like hanging upside-down on the monkey bars, I remember this book. And I remember that these are things I never had the courage to attempt as a child.
On this particular day, I fought against my over-protective mothering instincts and encouraged H to let go of the bar with his hands so he could just hang by his feet. He didn’t want to because it was too scary, but he said he’d try it when he’s 6. Whew, was that a sign of self-regulation? Maybe I’m doing something right as a parent.
First and foremost, cafe au lait made with chicory coffee for me.
Next, a field trip to the MFA for some culture (they look thrilled, no?) …
… and mask-making! That’s Dale Chihuly’s lime green icicle tower behind them.
More about this stunning sculpture here.
We ended the day with jambalaya and hot dogs. It disappeared so fast I didn’t get a picture.