Bye Bye 3’s

A few more hours left of my heart being 3 years old. I had a little bit of a meltdown on Sunday night as I had her fall asleep, head on my shoulder while reading Princess Pigsty …

3 years ago feels like a few minutes ago but yet at the same time, it feels like 100 years ago – 4 years of sleepless nights does that to a person … 🙂 I was watching video’s of Phoenix today and couldn’t help feel my heart stop every so often – almost begging time to stop for just a moment. Yes, I can ‘savour’ the moments but the moments go by so quickly that you blink and they are gone.

Every day that passes she becomes a little to big to fit into my arms at bed time and a little to big for Princess Pigsty stories. I made a promise to her that I will keep her childlike innocence inside her – to make sure that she never loses the wide-eyed wonder while going through life.

I know I am being totally selfish but I am struggling to let go of the little girl that fits perfectly in my arms at bed time, the one that wakes up with cuddles and stories, of the naked bum that plays in the garden without a care in the world. As much as I will nurture her care free nature, I am not as powerful as what ‘should’ be in the world and what is ‘expected’ of us … that terrifies me – I don’t the world to get its nasty claws in her … I know – she is only turning 4 but it’s really big for me …

I am finding this year a lot harder than the previous ones, mainly because she is changing SO fast, SO quickly.

But after all is said and done, I look forward to watching her grow and to take on the world with both hands – her devilish wit and sharp sense of humor is something worth watching improve! 🙂

She is my proudest moment everyday!

Dreams for my Daughter…

From the second my daughter was born, I felt an intense need to dream for her. When she would keep me awake at all hours as an infant, I’d rock her to sleep for the umpteenth time and think to myself: “Maybe I’m rocking the future president, or the next Eve Ensler”. Those notions of the future would motivate me, through those vomit-filled and sleepless nights.

As she’s grown up, all too quickly, those dreams and ideas have changed. But, there are a few things I will always want for her, and I hope she will lead a life rich in texture. Every parent wishes only the very best for their babies, but the truth is that life sometimes gives us the best perspectives, by giving us some of the worst times. It is most often through rocky times, that we find the truest joys of life.

I want you to fight with me. Yes, I do mean slamming of doors and yelling. Not when you’re a teenager though – let it be when we disagree over what you’re going to study once you’ve finished school. I want you to learn to stand up for yourself, and be willing to fight for it, at any turn. Your life dreams will change as you grow up – that’s okay. I want you to know those dreams, and have to defend them at some point. Even to me.

I want you to have your heart broken, once. Only once, and may it be because of something that will – in three years time, be inconsequential. May whoever does it be remorseful for a long time (don’t worry, I’ll help them be haha!). And may you get over it, so that you can learn how resilient your spirit is.

I want you to mess up, so that you know that it’s okay. Nothing illegal, or life-threatening, please. Just a total screw-up that leads you to come running home, cry on my shoulder and ask me to help you to fix it. I promise you this – I will, to the best of my ability.

I want you to fail a test, once. Just so that you know how it feels to fail. Failure is not the end of the world – it is a way to learn. Just don’t fail a grade or your final mathematics examination, please. I failed a science test in Standard Four (that’s your Grade Six). If I close my eyes, I can still see the test paper. It sticks with me, not because I failed, but because I knew I could’ve done better if I’d just studied for it (I didn’t). That failure taught me that I needed to want to try, even if I hated doing something.

I want you to desire something so dearly, and have to work really hard to get it. Let it be a pair of shoes, or a shiny car. Heck, let it be a trip to Paris that you save for. On that note, if you do go to Paris, bring me back some hideous memento, because I will treasure it just like I do every Mother’s Day card you make me.

I want you to lose a friend over something. I don’t want either of you to get hurt, but I want you to lose a friend, at some point, because it’ll teach you about the value of true friends. Let that friend be transitory, and not someone who has known you since you were born. Trust me, the people who knew you when you were still pooping your pants, are the ones you will come home to in your thirties.

But, mostly, I want you to live with the magic of childhood for longer than you should. I know that seems silly, and it’ll seem so ridiculous to you at nineteen that I let you do it. We’ve lost the Easter Bunny now to reality, but please can we hold on to Santa for just a little bit longer? Please be the last kid in your class to let go of that little sparkle of mystery. You’ll thank me for this, one day.

By Cath Jenkin on Parent24.com

Another Letter…

I really love this letters that mothers right to their children and I am so glad we have this thing called the interweb where we can save such things for a ‘rainy day’

MESSAGE TO MY TEENAGER ~ (author unknown)

1. Yes, your freshman AND Sophomore years count towards your GPA for college entrance. Screw it up and you’ll work for crap wages your whole life.2. No means NO. In every possible circumstance….

3. Join every sport, every club, every after school activity no matter what the cost. It’s cheaper than bail.4. Repeat after me: I am never in that much of a hurry…I am never in that much of a hurry. Now say that every time you get behind the wheel. It will save your life and that of your best friend in the seat next to you.5. Don’t do drugs or drink – it is so not worth the trouble.

6. Don’t get a credit card. You earn it or you live without it.

7. If I yell at you, it’s because I love you. And also, because you pissed me off. To avoid the latter, don’t be an idiot. And don’t disappoint me. More importantly, yourself.

8. Make a vivid picture inside your head of every great moment of your childhood. You’ll need those to get through adulthood.

9. Make snow angels as often as possible. Make a bucket list. Check it off!

10. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

11. Be always benevolent. Yes, that’s a word. Look it up.

12. Call me for a ride even if you are so drunk you barely know my number. I’ll probably be mad for a while but I’ll respect you for calling and I won’t kill you. Riding with someone who is drinking will. (PS – remember #5?)

13. Be a leader, not a follower. Unless you are following the kid with the highest GPA and (s)he is going to a study group, then by all means be a follower!

14. Love your siblings, even when you don’t like them. Some day you will be trying to get them to take care of me in my old age. If they are mad at you, you are stuck with me.

15. I’ve been there, done that on more things than you can imagine. I’m not stupid and I know what you are doing. I was once you (times ten).

16. Work hard at everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

17. Cover it. (Enough said.)

18. When I tell you to clean your room, do not point at my messy room and raise your eyebrows. I’m trying to raise you to be better than me.

19. Learn to type; to budget; to spell correctly and to pray. All are equally important.

20. Never be sedentary. Someday soon you will no longer be able to move like that. Enjoy it.

Hell Hath no Fury like a Four Year Old…

My tiny human will be turning 4 in November and she already started this ‘behaviour’ a few weeks ago so wish me luck, and keep me a spot in the corner where I can rock myself while wiping drool aka crazy froth from my mouth…

Yes – I am TOTALLY blog stealing again but when I read this I nearly hugged the laptop in sheer relief … so it ISN’T me, it ISN’T just Phoenix and it ISN’T my failure as parent …

Warning: Parents that think their one-year old is just the sweetest thing under the sun … watch out *dun-dun-duuuuuun*

The F#%¥ing Fours!

God grant me the serenity to accept my four-year old,

The courage to deal with the tantrums
And the wisdom to know which battle to choose 
 
No doubt you’ve heard about the terrible twos. Some of you might even have experienced it or are going through it at the moment. 
But let me tell you about the f#%^ing fours. I’ve recently mentioned to a few people that Phoenix* is a ‘little’ unmanageable at the moment, at the age of four, and they’ve all agreed that hell hath no fury like a four-year old. 
 
Not too many people talk about it because it’s as if your sweet child has been replaced by a doppelgänger. It’s scary and it’s horrible and it’s like having satan’s spawn in the house.
 
Two was a manageable age. Temper tantrums were ‘easy’ and disciplining was a walk in the park. Dealing with a feisty four-year old is similar to a terrifying run in the woods, late at night with shadows and sounds and a haunted house your only refuge. 
 
I’ve been told by my daughter, when I’ve said no to something, that she will no longer be my child. She now says things like ‘if you let me do so and so I’ll love you more’ and ‘if you don’t let me do so and so I’m not going to give you cuddles’ not excluding ‘you are NOT my friend’ and ‘you are NOT coming to my party.’

 She has muttered under her breath ‘you’re stupid’ when she’s been reprimanded for something and made a gruffled throat sound when asked to repeat what she just said. She has the sleeping habits of a teenager as well as the angst ridden existence of one.  She slams doors (though it occasionally backfires when she needs to ask one of us to open the door for her cos the handle is stuck).
 
She tells us to leave her alone and shouts NO if asked to do something. She defiantly stares you down at times or rolls her eyes so far into he back of her head it looks as though she’s been possessed. 
 
Phoenix* will ask a question and then argue with the answer or she just disagrees with everything I say. She pushes buttons I didn’t even know I had. And she does it on purpose. 

I understand it’s a phase and I’m doing everything I can to manage it the best way I know. But sometimes that haunted house at the end of the scary woods seems like a great getaway.

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Original post by the brilliant Diaries of a white mother raising a black baby {I can’t thank you enough for this post}

*name from original name changed

Be Courageous!

Came across this quote today which sums it up to the T…

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Radmacher

It’s pretty damn awesome right?! RIGHT!

This morning I was thinking about my Meh… post and I actually wanted to kick myself for feeling like that … yes, it happens but gosh you could swear I had lost a limb or something even worse … it was just a little bump in the road. A lot of people slither back into a dark corner when they are struck with disappointment but it’s the person that is battered and bruised from the day but still gets up the next morning just to try all over again … that is courage!

Courage is facing Goliath – YOUR Goliath! No matter how many stones have been thrown your way. Everyone faces a different Goliath, but the fact that you are brave and bold enough to stand up means you have courage.

Let the stones, bumps and bruises come … you just tend to your wounds, shake it off and get right back out there.

Have courage in everything you do today!

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xoxo

Live Your Dash!

*Tissues please*

Doing my daily, ok, hourly browse on Facebook and came across this video which made me smile from ear to ear…

Only to then find another video of a poem called The Dash {below} which made me sob uncontrollably yet at the same time sparked a determination to make sure that I fulfill my dash before it is carved in stone…

The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

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xoxo

Dear Less-Than-Perfect Mom

I know – I am making a terribly bad habit of kindly borrowing other posts but once you have read this one you will have thanked me … got me all choked up and stuff …

For all the moms, dads, aunties, uncles, grannies, grandpa’s, godmothers, godfathers and any other person that has mini humans in their lives …

Dear Moms,

I’ve seen you around. I’ve seen you screaming at your kids in public, I’ve seen you ignoring them at the playground, I’ve seen you unshowered and wearing last night’s pajama pants at preschool drop-off. I’ve seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them. I’ve seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the cross walk.

I’ve seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee. I’ve seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic four-year old. I’ve seen you wiping your kids’ boogers with your bare palm, and then smear them on the back of your jeans. I’ve seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball.

I’ve also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving, or whatever it was. I’ve seen you close your eyes and breathe slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk. I’ve seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off you best designer purse. I’ve seen you pacing in front of the house.

I’ve seen you at the hospital waiting room. I’ve seen you at the pharmacy counter. I’ve seen you looking tired, and frightened.

I’ve seen a lot of you, actually.

I see you every single day.

I don’t know if you planned to be a parent or not. If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into the world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly. I don’t know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined “motherly love” would feel like for your child. I don’t know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth. I don’t know if you created you child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

But I know a lot about you.

I know that you didn’t get everything that you wanted. I know that you got a wealth of things you never knew you wanted until they were there in front of you. I know that you don’t believe that you’re doing your best, that you think you can do better. I know you are doing better than you think.

I know that when you look at your child, your children, you see yourself. And I know that you don’t, that you see a stranger who can’t understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you.

I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager’s head sometimes. I know you want to toss your three year old out the window once in a while.

I know that some nights, once it’s finally quiet, you curl up in bed and cry. I know that sometimes, you don’t, even though you wanted to.

I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever.

But it never does. The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges. Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights. And every day you do what you need to do.

You take care of things, because that’s your job. You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner.

You drop everything you’re doing to moderate an argument over who’s turn it is to use a specifically colored marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what kind of lipstick Pinocchio’s mommy wears.

I know that you have tickle fights in blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I’ve heard that you dance like a wild woman when it’s just you and them. That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese.

I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you’re doing and trim the fingernail that your three-year old insists is keeping her up. I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party. I know you fed your kids PB&J for four days straight when you had the flu. I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch Super Why.

I know you didn’t expect most of this. I know you didn’t anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired, or being the mom you’ve turned out to be.

You thought you had it figured out. Or you were blind and terrified. You hired the perfect nanny. Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat packed baby furniture. You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an impostor was wearing your skin.

You’re not a perfect mom. No matter how you try, no matter what you do. You will never be a perfect mom.

And maybe that haunts you. Or maybe you’ve made peace with it. Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with.

No matter how much you do, there is always more. No matter how little you do, when the day is over your children are still loved. They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything. No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in play group, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy, and wise as could possibly be hoped.

There’s an old Yiddish saying, “There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it.”

Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents. Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you. They will grow up certain that they won’t make their kids take piano lessons, or they’ll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all.

No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think.

Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at church and concuss themselves on a hand rail, and somebody will still walk up to you and tell you what a beautiful family you have. You’ll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully.

No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt this one thing:
You are not perfect.

And that’s good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience. Nobody knows what your child’s squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying, better than you do.

And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for Best Mom in the World.

Congratulations, Best Mom in the World. You’re not perfect.

You’re as good as anybody can get.

*written by Lea Grover – writer and toddler-wrangler

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xoxo