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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

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

Glitter Jar!

O.M.G! I am completely and utterly smitten!

I am always a little hesitate about recreating something that I have seen on Pinterest but this one grabbed my attention awhile back and had been thinking about it again for a week or so – I decided to take Phoenix with me to the shops to go and buy all the goodies {fingers crossed behind my back that this would actually work – she doesn’t take disappointment very well}

My main reason for wanting to do this was because Phoenix can be explosive and volatile when she is upset so I wanted to find something that she could redirect her attention on and that would calm her down … seems we have a winner for both her and I.

It turned out so well that I am going to make more – and maybe one for my desk at work … makes you forget about the world and makes your heart smile like a childs… so beautiful. And I am SO going to be doing the glow in the dark one this weekend too! {cut open a glow stick – throw the contents in the jar – add glitter – close jar – DONE!}

It’s a swirling vortex of glittery paradise!

Check out the instructions on instructables.com and remember you can use ANY colour glitter! {We didn’t add any food colouring either}

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xoxo

A mother’s prayer…

 

I may not be religious but Tina Fey is awesome so I will post it!

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. {I will sway on this one … but ONLY when she is 18}

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. {Damn straight!}

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.

555387_10150822237386728_1139916088_n *excerpt from Tina Fey’s book Boosypants? It’s called “A Mother’s Prayer for her Daughter”

Before I was a Mom …

So with Phoenix being a defiant and treacherous 3-year-old and pretty much sawing away at the last bit of dental floss that is keeping from falling into a complete and utter meltdown, I found this earlier and it made me tear up a little bit … it made me realise that she is only 3 and she is going to test my patience and put me into survival mode on more than one occasion and that I do need to just take a step back and remember that under that folded arm, eye rolling, ‘I dont have to say please and thank you’ demon child my little Monkey Girl is there … somewhere … faraway … very faraway sometimes, but there nonetheless…

Before I was a Mom …
I made and ate hot meals,
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.
Before I was a Mom …
I slept as late as I wanted and never
worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom …
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom …
I didn’t worry whether my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom …
I had never been pooped on,
Spit up on,
chewed on,
Peed on,
Or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom …
I had complete control of myself,
My thoughts,
My body,
And my mind.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom …
I never held down a screaming child so that
doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom …
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn’t want to put it down.
I never felt my heart-break into a million pieces
when I couldn’t stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom …
I didn’t know the feeling of having
my heart outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond between a
Mother and her child.

Before I was a Mom …
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every ten minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
The joy,
The love,
The heartache,
The wonderfulment,
Or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn’t know I was capable of feeling
so much before I was a Mom.

~ Author Unknown ~

xoxo

Myself as a Parent…

With Phoenix’s birthday around the corner I am starting to realise that I am more nervous about this age than I was when she turned 1 … it’s the whole ‘where the hell has the time gone’ thing, or better put ‘when you have kids, only then will you realise how precious time is.’

I have been reflecting a little on how I have been doing as a parent and heaven knows I am not the Mother Of The Year but I think I deserve a medal of some sort – even a thumb sucked noddy badge will do and I think that most mom’s will agree.

What got me thinking about this again is that I had a little stand-off with Phoenix last night and my mother’s words and tone came out of my mouth … it made me shudder and giggle at the same time. Phoenix has a VERY bad habit of whining for stuff or on the flip side having a very demanding tone “I. WANT. A. YOGURT. NOW” so I constantly have to remind her that she needs to ask nicely for stuff so while we are getting ready for bath she demands a yogurt so I say {with my mother’s words} “Two things Phoenix. Firstly, you need to ask nicely for stuff and secondly the answer is no.” and I carry on doing what I was doing leaving her standing there terribly confused at what just happened and then says … ‘I sad’ – now before you sigh from the cuteness let me tell you where that little Trump card comes from…

In my house I am the disciplinarian where Justin is the one that is wrapped so tightly around that little finger. I am the one that won’t give into the millions of reasons why she doesn’t have to go to bed, from ‘I need water’, ‘I need to wee’ , to ‘I want to say goodnight to the fish’ but the other night that wall was smashed down with the biggest, saddest blue eyes … she was giving us a hard time at bed time and after a lot of back and forth and fighting about not watching TV, the last time she stood by the door and when I walked up to her she looked up at me and says ‘I sad’ … *crumble* Three guesses as to who got their way and watched some TV with mommy… since that night every time she doesn’t get her way she gives me those Puss In Boot eyes and quietly says ‘I sad.’ This little lady sure knows how to play her cards.

She not only testing me as a parent but as a human being and she is doing a damn fine job and although I am still waiting for someone to burst through the door and say ‘GOT YA!’ because even after {almost} 3 years I still haven’t wrapped my head around the fact that I am  someone’s mom and as much as it keeps me on my toes I am DAMN privileged to be a parent, especially hers!

I might not be the ‘soccer mom’ but I think I am doing a fairly good job, I love her, I set the right boundaries, I have rules, I will not tolerate bad manners, I kiss all the ‘owies’ better and after all is said and done, Phoenix is a beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed little human with the softest heart, sweetest cuddles, a smile that will stop you in your tracks and a sharp sense of humor who came into this world 3 years ago and set my whole world alight!

xoxo

NO! MINE! DON’T WANT!

Phoenix is generally an amazingly happy child. A mind filled with wonder, a hand filled with sweets waiting to swallow the healthy piece of fruit I have basically shoved down her throat. She sleeps well(ish), she eats like a champion and those little stolen moments of tenderness are heart warming but then….

… out of the darkness creeps this two eyed, two-legged, two armed, blonde monster! The days when it’s all about what is HERS, about long, {dragging on the floor}, sulky lip, batting eye lashes, crocodile tears and a constant flow of the word NO! *deep breath*  It’s times like this when I take a step back from her, tilt my head to the side and wonder “who {or what} exactly are you?

It’s very rare that you come across a mom that will voice the moments when you want to shake the daylights out that monster child – why? cruel? no, what is cruel and which I DO NOT condone is the action of doing it – to all the mom’s out there .. say ‘I’ if you have had this thought, even once. {although we all know it’s more than once}. I have locked myself away in my bedroom once when she has gone on her fire-breathing rampage. true story.

When Phoenix was still a baby I just couldn’t wait for her to start talking … brings me to the quote “be careful what you wish for – it just might come true” – although I do love it when she gets excited about something and she is able to express it, it makes life easier when they aren’t feeling well or they have hurt themselves because instead of a mad scramble to try to figure out what is wrong, they can now tell you where it hurts. I love how she sings and her impression of an elephant which is by far the funniest thing under the sun, but when that lip starts then the {what I call Toddler Profanities} such as NO! MINE! DON’T WANT! come streaming out her mouth I want to run away to a tropical island while being served drinks by a tall, dark, handsome (and topless) stranger … instead I am stuck in a house so I am forced to tear out my hair strand by strand while trying to explain to her that she is not being nice… if you are not a parent, you will have NO idea how hard it is trying to reason with a two-year old.

Reminds me of another quote: “Don’t teach your child not to get angry, instead teach your child how to get angry” and that is a big lesson that I am ‘trying’ to teach her.

Image from bit.ly

After that little vent session I take comfort in knowing that there is no such thing as a perfect parent and the fact that I know that I am doing the best I can for her. So when I get frustrated and confused at her temper tantrums, mood swings and stubbornness {I have absolutely no clue where she gets that from} its ok to feel like that and I won’t feel guilty about it – after all, even though they are your child, it’s still a whole new personality that clashes with yours from time to time – it’s life and it does not make me love her any less, not for a single moment!

xoxo