Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cut It OFF

We love some Christmas lights around here.  Love.  It's the highlight of the evening to walk three houses down the street to gawk at the especially well-lit yard.  We are also trying out a new motivation tactic:  the Energy Drain technique, a la Love & Logic.  So basically, less desireable behaviors drain the energy out of parents for doing nice, fun things, requiring more good deeds to replace the energy. 

This particular brand of manipulation has been working well.  I rode that train all the way through playroom clean-up, room clean-up and putting laundry away.  Putting books on the bookshelf proved to be too much for one three year old.  Too.Much.  When delivered the news that only the little sister got to go see lights, The Regulator lost.his.mind.  Screaming.  Screeching.  Tears.  Topped with the shriek of, "Cut it off, Mommy!"

The intended meaning is either, "Cut it out, Mommy." OR a version of when I tell him that I'm going to put off an injured body part when he's being especially dramatic.  Either way, it's one of those moments where my frustration and anger turned on a dime. 

Merry and Bright. (Dammit)

Mornings where I am responsible for getting 4 people out of the house without help are my kryptonite.  Needless to say is that some go more smoothly than others.  The last 15 minutes are typically made of me rushing around, trying to figure out how many trips I'm going to need to make to the car.  That's the scene. 

Me:  (putting a jacket on Brooklyn)

The Regulator:  (jamming one of our Christmas cards in front of my face) What does this say, Mommy?

Me:  What am I doing?

The Regulator:  Putting Brooklyn's jacket on. (jamming the card in front of my face again)  What does this say, Mommy?  Tell me. 

Me:  Ell, you have to WAIT.  I am BUSY.

Me:  (finish putting on Brooklyn's jacket)

The Regulator:  What does this say, Mommmmmmmmmmmmy?  (shrill whine included)

Me:  (impatiently, with a big sigh, and full-on Mommy voice) It says, "May all your days be merry and bright."

The Regulator:  What does that mean, Mommy?

Me:  (short, hateful tone) It means have a good day every day.  (Dammit. This part was said to myself.)

Yep. I'm a paragon of Motherly Virtue.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Give Me a Hand. They're Like Magic.

When my best friend had children while I was desperately hoping for my own, I was taken by the innocence with which her children grabbed her shirt, her face.  The surity with which they touched her skin anywhere, without inhibitions.  I would lie in bed and feel jealousy over those hands, the special relationship they had with the mother. 

Baby hands. The chubby, grimy, inifinitely sweet hands of my sweet children stop me in my tracks. I think all moms have a body part. The part that they swoon for, the part that melts their hearts.  The hands get me.  Special K grabbing the neck of my shirt while he nurses, Ell asking to hold my hand, certain it will be waiting for him, Brooklyn rubbing my chest as she quiets for sleep.  Nothing  else makes me feel more a mom. 

Now that I think of it, nothing made me feel closer to my own mom.  Her hands were always cool, soft and comforting.  That touch could wipe away pain. My sister's hands are petite, slim, graceful.  My Nanny's hands were wrinkled, gentle, powdery soft.  So maybe I just like hands.  The power of touch.  I think we don't touch enough, there is much comfort to be found, but so much exposure, too.  Maybe that's the magic of a child's touch, the certainty of comfort found in simply reaching out to someone they trust.  AND. . . like most other things, the lessons we need to learn often come from the smallest among us. 

Special K's hands in action.  He puts them together now and it calms him and I love it.
Holding tightly to the edge of his swaddle.  That grasp.