Big Nose

I was recently reminded of a time years ago when my kids put me in an uncomfortable position.  I was at the hospital for my pre-op testing and paperwork a week before my third was about to be born. When we arrived at the hospital the administrative offices were under construction so there were these small makeshift cubicles instead.

When it was my turn to go, a woman came and brought myself, my four-year old and almost three-year old toddled in behind me. We sat down in the confined space and the representative started to ask me questions.  She turned to her computer to enter the answers.  Her computer was on a side desk, so she turned and gave us her full face profile. Oh Boy!

My son then says (as loud as possible), “Mommy, that lady has a really big nose!” Then it starts, the sweating.  I can feel my body perspiring, my heart starts racing.  What can I do? What can I say?!?! I’m trapped in this 5 x 5 cubicle and I can’t leave! There is just silence from the representative, silence and a scowl. Then as if she knew, my daughter pipes in “Mommy, you have a big nose too!” Aaaahhhhh! Thank you I think to myself. “Yes I do have a big nose, big people have big noses and little people like children have little noses” I say.

My son was just stating the obvious. The woman really did have a very big nose. To him at four years old, it was just an observation, no ill intent. To the adult hearing it, it was an insult. I assume the representative was not thinking “kids will be kids”, since she soon stated that she had to go to the printer and get paperwork. Well she left the three of us in that tiny cubicle for over a half an hour! Unless she had to take a bus to get to the printer, I am pretty sure that this was her passive aggressive way of sticking it to me.

When my grandmother had dementia and alzheimer’s, she would often blurt out things. She told one person they had a fat belly, another she said looked stupid in their glasses. She even laughed at someone’s outfit. These were all young child like statements. They are the statements made before your child learns censorship (though some never do). My mother now is making her own observations. She told my daughter not to cut her hair because she won’t look good. (she was on her way to the hair salon to get eight inches cut off). She also told me I shouldn’t be wearing “those” shorts , they do not make me look nice. So now when my Mom makes these “observations”, I think back to that uncomfortable position in that cubicle. Then I say to myself  “kids will be kids”.

The Real Milestones of Life

To all you new parents out there the birth of a child brings excitement for the future and all of the milestones they will hit.  Milestones are not always what you have been told. Yes, there is the first time your infant rolls over, their first tooth, their first steps, they are the ones you read about in all the books. Those are the ones you are supposed to write down in the baby book (which you say you will get to next week and before you know it they are eighteen).

Here are some true milestones that are really important:

The first time your baby sleeps more than a six hour stretch in a night. This can take months to happen, and even then it can be sporadic. The thing is, once it does it is like heaven. These past few months (or more) you have been in a constant “not enough sleep hangover.” Gone are the days of your youth that you would have to drink alcohol to feel like this, you feel hungover every day. After one night of close to six hours of sleep you will wake up panicked and disoriented. You will quickly check on your child to make sure all is okay and once you see it is, a feeling of exhilaration will come over you. Check-milestone #1

When your toddler can start to “help”. Now its not a “change the world” help, but nevertheless something. Your toddler is usually so happy to please (unlike the future teenager that they will one day be). They will pick up some of their toys and put them away. Perhaps not in the correct spot, but its a start. You can now give them simple chores that will keep them busy sometime up to a whole minute! “Put the paper in the trash, ‘close the closet door” and the favorite, “bring Daddy his drink”. Check-milestone #2

Now your child is fast approaching preschool age and they are moving on to the next milestone. Chances are you have had your run in with dreaded stomach virus. Ugh! And the hours of laundry and floor cleaning that ensued after each bout with it. The next very important milestone is when you lovely bundle of joy can use the puke bucket. Yes, I said it, the puke bucket. You can now rest easy that you will be tossing out a plastic garbage bag and deodorizing the bucket instead of the hours of cleaning that used to happen. Can I get an AMEN?!?! Check-milestone #3

This next milestone will give you hours at the park to sit leisurely on the bench with the other moms and save on back aches. It is the swing leg pump. You will not be the mom getting your arm workout by trying to push your child to the moon. They have now mastered the back and forth leg motion which will give you a few minute break before you have to hear “I’m hungry”. Check-milestone #4

There are more milestones to come down the road, but lets face it, these are the early ones that matter!

Times are a changin’

As the song goes Times are a changin’.  Yet another year of many milestones.  Last August I sent my oldest off to college.  This August, I send another child.  While my “baby” heads into middle school and my baby girl becomes a Sophomore in High School. I have spent the past few weeks looking through baby books and thousands upon thousands of photos. Getting them out for various milestones that are happening in my family’s lives. I am so happy that I have kept a visual documentation of the past.  It triggers memories, good, bad and some real funny ones.  I am reminded of moments sitting reading a book to a little one, seeing the first hit in baseball and snuggles with a departed grandparent.  All these visual memories would do me no good if never printed. 

I am reminded while looking through these photos, that times do change.  Good or bad, it all adds to experience. Preparation for my children to conquer a new step in life.  And seeing these photos reminds me that there is a lot of good.  And we can face new challenges.  And we grow. And we survive.  Life is good. So bring it on!Image