Sunday, January 23, 2011

Smartphone Heartbreak

To the cellular phone (and all it's inconsiderate users):

You have broken my heart. You've stirred up an anger in me so strong, I've never felt anything like it. And it feels strange to be so incredibly mad at an inanimate object. You've snuck into millions of peoples' lives under the guise of being efficient and convenient, yet that's trumped by your ability to make people rude, inconsiderate and self-involved. They can't keep from being curious every time you ring with a phone call, ding with a text, or alert that there's a new email, and so they stop and drop everything immediately to give you their full attention, making them ignore the people they're with, or the places they're at. Damn you, cell phone, for turning wonderful family moments into "Shhhh - So&So is on the phone!" or for interrupting important conversations, to finish with a half-focused participant with one eye glued to the messages coming through on the phone, or for forcing mealtimes into a great internet surfing opportunity instead of enjoying the company of those around the table.

I have never had a cell phone, nor will I ever in my lifetime. To my grave I will go having never been held hostage to this ridiculous addiction to be constantly within contact of the rest of the world. I have experienced first-hand the hold cell phones can take on people, and how it affects the ones closest to them. I have felt second-rate, unimportant, disrespected and just plain ignored and I refuse to ever involve myself in what the world views as such a resourceful tool. There's something to be said about being unreachable for awhile, to give the person you're with the undivided attention they should receive, giving them the impression that they're the only one you want to be spending your time with at that moment. That's what our world has been missing since the birth of the cell phone: the value of time spent with others uninterrupted. And I'm certain, we'll see how it changes all of us and our relationships over the decades to come.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I got the flu on Monday. Like, really bad. I NEVER get the flu. Once a decade is my average, so when I get it, it hits me hard! It's Thursday afternoon and for the first time since Sunday I have an appetite, and can actually eat something. I tell ya, it really affects your energy level when you can't eat. Especially when your 24/7 job of taking care of your kids doesn't stop. I've said it before... someone could make a killing offering sick days to moms: coming into their homes, taking care of their kids, cooking, cleaning house, etc. I'd pay for that.

Monte seems to be fighting this flu too, because yesterday we were both just toast by 4pm. He was on the couch and I was curled up on our bed while our kids watched one TV show after another. It was one of those evenings where you kept looking at the clock, counting down how many minutes til bedtime. And there were always just too many minutes. So after the dinner I made but couldn't eat because of nausea, we tossed the boys into the bath for so long they were all pruny and shrively. And this is when family moments happen - when you're both sick and exhausted, and wondering how you're going to make it through another day all by yourselves...

Our half naked boys danced up a storm in Nate's room to some cranked Imagination Movers tunes while Monte & I laid on the floor, killing ourselves laughing. It was just the best medicine ever, and made those last few minutes before bedtime pass so quickly. There's something so wonderful about little kids just losing themselves in music; Nate with his crazy moves and intense facial expressions, and Cody furiously stomping his chubby little legs, trying to copy what Nate does. It was one of those moments where you just wanted it to keep going so you wouldn't ever forget it, cause you know you'll never get it back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Screamer and The Liar

It's amazing what we forget, as parents - all the various phases of infant/toddlerhood. I'm pretty sure we were designed intentionally to not recall these frustrating memories; most parents would probably stop having children after the first one if we could vividly remember the not so fun times.

However, I'm trying my hardest to think back to Nate at a year and a half, and I just don't remember him having the kind of temper that Cody seems to flare at us all day long... every day. The kid HAS to have everyone around him know just how angry he is at whatever is bothering him by letting out raging screams at the top of his lungs. It's embarrassing to go out in public with him, because he gets mad about everything! There is no pleasing this child. And I'm on the fence as to how to discipline him... He's very much aware of when he's in trouble and knows the word 'no' but he doesn't seem to be ready for time-outs yet. For now I've resorted to flicking his hand to reprimand, after several failed attempts to have him obey by just using words. But, man, this kid has a temper like no other. I'm frightened for the future.

And Nathan - my sweet firstborn - has learned to lie. And I don't mean those really obvious toddler fibs, I mean full-on stories that he repeatedly sticks to. I never knew how difficult it could be to explain as simply as possible the difference between lying and telling the truth. And I hate having to constantly suspect that he might be lying to me. It's just so sad to watch such a pure and innocent child dig himself deeper and deeper into our terrible human nature!

Yep - we're a real treat, our household. I guess I've got my work cut out for me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

To Preschool or Not to Preschool?

That is the question. And apparently I should've been making this decision way back in the fall, when enrollment began for 2011. Who knew preschool was such a big deal?

I was wrestling with this question last night as I laid awake in bed. I pictured myself dropping Nate off at school, leaving him to his own activities completely independent of me - and my eyes welled up with tears. "This is it," I thought. If we go ahead with preschool, this begins the start of his gradual independence through school. Am I ready for this? Even as I think about it now, my stomach starts turning and I don't feel so well. Oh boy. Am I going to be a treat on the first day of kindergarten!

Neither Monte nor I went to preschool, so it wasn't even a discussion when we first talked about having kids. But now that kindergarten is a full day, five days a week, I could see the argument for preschool as a stepping stone to ease kids into the routine of school. So now begins my search for a potential 'right fit' for Nate... Should we opt for preschool. Montessori? Wind & Tide? Church-based program? 3 day vs. 5 day, morning or afternoon? Sheesh! Wish me luck.