Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some days having kids can be compared to

a tiny headache approaching, the kind of headache that won’t stop you from doing what needs to be done but still feels faintly bothersome. Having children can be, at certain times, just like somebody grabbing your big toe and pulling really hard – it doesn’t exactly hurt, just rather unpleasant. It can also be like waiting ten minutes for the shower water to heat up, until finally realizing the pilot light is out and running to the basement, while cursing your husband for not showing you how to light the pilot and freezing your feet on the concrete floor because you didn’t wear slippers. Having kids can be like that some days.

But most days? Having kids is like getting a birthday present months after your birthday has passed. On most days having kids around is like licking a glob of real maple syrup off clean snow or playing tug-of-war with a fuzzy puppy. Generally speaking raising my kids is like my favorite pancake recipe (the one that’s wrinkled with overuse and brown from egg stains): they turn out right and we like to eat them a lot – the pancakes not the kids. Incidentally I refuse to admit here how often we eat pancakes for supper.

I don’t often have a ton of confidence in my parenting choices because I’m usually a second-guesser. (I suspect we’re all second-guessers to some extent but showing the chink in your Mama armor can be intimidating.) I might act like I know what the hell I’m doing but I regularly make it up as I skip along, avoiding the cracks so I don’t break my mother’s back. That’s one more reason why I like blogging - I can always refer back to my insecurities or convictions to get a bit of justification. I’m not as crazy as I anticipated? Fabulous!

I got a chewy little morsel of homeschooling awesomeness today, and yes I realize how often I mention homeschooling but saying those words aloud somehow make it feel more existent and substantial.

It’s not that I wondered if my Little Boy (I can no longer call him Toddler despite me wanting very much to ignore his very untoddler-esque qualities) could or couldn’t write his name - I just haven’t focused on those skills with him because he’s a loud, busy boy. A loud, busy boy who just wants to move constantly. Letter recognition seems to come in short bursts of rare quiet time (like, say, him having a fever?) and matching sounds with those letters must somehow be associated with tractors and fire trucks racing to the rescue. And no sooner do I write his name on a piece of paper, he is compelled to destroy it with glitter glue and pom-poms because, well, that’s what one does when destroying monsters and saving the planet. I assume.

He brought this to me:

After sitting with her:

He was grinning with pride because of Mama’s apparent gush fest (OH BABY LOOK WHAT YOU JUST DID! OH MAMA’S SWEET BABY BOY! DID YOU DO THIS?!) and she was proud because that’s what she does so astonishingly well - teach small people with patience and perseverance. If given time alone with a small person and without any competition, she’ll love, teach, love and play.

There was the occasional moment today when it felt like my big toe was being pulled, but these kids never fail to do something that reminds why I’m home and why I’m grateful to be home.


Blogger mama said...

That's so awesome. Wow. They grow up way too fast. Geez.

I LOVED this.

9:28 PM  

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