Every once in a while I turn an average day with the kids into a “yes” day. This means I say “yes” to just about everything (within reason – don’t go testing me – I don’t let them run the asylum) But I do try to say yes to most things they ask for.
I tend to do this whenever I find myself on the crabbier side of motherhood. My crabbier side surfaces when I have spent days of uninterrupted time withmy children. This was the case this past week. Between the weather and the kids being sick, we hadn’t been out of the house(except for the hospital) and I had had no time to take a deep breath by myself. My patience gets thin and I find myself snapping at the kids frequently. So, my solution is the ‘yes day’. It makes me feel peaceful and centered….and like the mommy I want to be.
This means, yes, you can watch one more show, yes – you can paint, yes – you can have some extra Cheetos with your lunch, yes – we can have a birthday party for your doll, yes – I would love to play basketball with you for the 25th time today, yes – Candyland sounds like a marvelous idea, yes – you can have pancakes for dinner, yes you can take the cushions off the couch to make a ‘cushion pool’ and yes – you can play games on my computer when I need to be doing a little work.
And, yes – I would love to have both of you – my little fighting monsters – baking up a storm in the kitchen.
That, my friends, is called getting egg on your face – literally. I couldnt’ see it when I was filming, but up close – egg on the entire left side of his face. In his hair, around his eye…. So, we have now added eggs to the long list of things Cooper is afraid of.
Coop will not be cracking eggs again anytime soon. But he will be eating the cookies we made.
And, despite the egg incident (which, actually made me laugh – hard) the Yes Day was a success.
I am once again feeling normal. Or at least as normal as I usually do.
Clearly, I am Blissfully Domestic! Can’t you see the Bliss on Coop’s face? Or did the yelling drown everything else out? At least I am trying, yes?
Visit some other Blissfully Domestic lovlies here.
Because I am not yet ready to share how it felt to see my itty-bitty sweet girl lying in a great big hospital bed – not knowing if she was going to be ok, (it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and threatening to take my breath away when I think about it) I figured, I would instead focus on the thinks that make me happy and grateful.
Health, Springtime (I know it is coming!), the first sign of tulips, a big glass of ice water, my daughter singing, the smell of cinnamon, baking, getting out of cooking dinner 5 nights in a row (a small miracle), photographs, palm trees, silence, flip flops, figuring out that 80% of my kid’s summer clothes from last year STILL FIT (yet another small miracle), witnessing a friend in love, writing a wedding toast, the colors pink and green, sunsets, 75 degree weather, post it notes, Twitter, catching up on email (this is a pipe dream), American Idol, pure – clean singing voices, my cell phone ring (it makes me dance on my way to answer), a plan free weekend, date night with my husband, organizing, my son saying, “I missed you while I was sleeping, Mommy.”, good doctors, supportive friends, the color of my office (slate blue), the sound of the ocean (and the sight and smell), looking forward to vacation,Disney World, my kids giggling, chocolate and peanut butter, a good glass of wine, Pilates, and these two things: Delaney writing ‘Mom’ all by herself and Coop in a tux!
Tell me – what is making you happy right now?
I resolved this week to appreciate the small moments my children sprinkle into my life – the giggles you wish you could bottle, the mischievous grins that happen for absolutely no reason, the incessant interruptions, the refusing to eat, the basketball games that require ’just-one-more-shot-Mommy’, the non-stop singing (I’m convinced Barbie Diamond Castle could be a Top 10 hit, if only because it is so catchy), even the pushing and shoving )reminds me of my own childhood.
I’ve even found myself hugging longer and asking for more ‘kishes’. I am stopping whenever I am asked to and I am smiling more.
I have been challenging myself to breathe in, to revel in their innocent smell, in their silly faces. I want to remember every moment. I don’t want to take even a second for granted.
And this was all before I even knew Beth’s story. This was before I learned of her heartache – or recognized that the woman I met only a few weeks ago – who smiled the whole time we talked – was stronger than I could imagine. One year ago yesterday, Beth lost twin boys after carrying them for 5 1/2 months and delivering them. I’m certain she lost a piece of her heart that day, but, when I met her, I had no idea. It seems to me, that someone who has experienced that type of heartache (not to mention additional heartache the week before we met) should be allowed to wear her pain like a warm coat. But Beth, well, I am amazed to say, has composure and strength I only dream of having.
She is living for each moment. She is treasuring her family. She is standing strong. Doing the same is the very least I can do.
In fact…I think my ’selfish’ genes are dancing around with all of my pre-pregnancy clothes…they have taken one last glance in my direction, mumbled ‘Sucker’ under their breath and are mambo-ing off into the sunset.
You could call this loss of selfishness: Motherlove. And, I think it just sort of happened. I might not acutally get to take credit for it entirely….
Fellow Mommys will understand what I am talking about. When you have a baby….all thoughts of yourself take an automatic backseat. Most of the time, this happens before you have even realized it. Suddenly you find yourself giving up the last bite of that yummy gooey butter cake you’ve been craving or whipping your own coat off in 40 degree temperatures to make sure your little one is warm enough.
Sound familiar yet? Maybe these moments will: There is one piece of over-cooked chicken in the whole batch…guess who eats it? That’s right, Mommy. There is a last minute need for cupcakes at your child’s school…who stays up til midnight making them? You guessed it. Mommy. Baby can’t sleep…who is camping out on the floor to keep him company? Oh yes, Mommy. Your toddler has the stomach flu….who feels it down her back…and doesn’t even run to the nearest shower, but instead keeps the comfort coming? Yep, Mommy.
Your three year old wants a sip of your water and you know the crumbs from her food are going to end up floating on the surface. You still share, don’t you? You are exhausted, but your son really wants you to sing and dance to ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ just onemoretime, soooo…I know you put on your dancing shoes! You haven’t taken a shower, or, forheavenssake, gone to the bathroom by yourself since 1977, but you still answer, “I’m in here!”….as soon as someone calls your name. A foul ball is aiming for your family and you throw your full body over your child to protect them without covering your own head.
It is like I heard Suze Orman once explain….when the flight attendants remind people to (in the event of a loss of cabin pressure…if the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling) cover their own faces first and then help those around them….they are talking to MOMMYs!! Because you know our first instinct is to protect our kids.
When was the last time you ate your meal hot? When was the last time you watched what you wanted to see on tv? Or listened to something other than Radio Disney in the car? Sure, sure…it is a real party pleaser that we can recite “Dora, Dora, Dora the Exploooorer” at the drop of a hat, and we can tell you who sings “Hakuna Matata”, but since I’m not going to be on “Who’s Smarter than a Pre-Schooler?” any time soon…I can’t exactly classify this as top-notch info.
We give and we love and we give some more. I, for one, have to admit to missing my selfish genes, just a little (well…maybe sometimes alot) but, I do know I wouldn’t trade my kids. (Scratch that….today, I would have, but most days, I wouldn’t let you have them) And I do know we wouldn’t really trade any of these moments. Sometimes you can find the joy in sharing that last bite of dessert…sometimes those late and sleepless nights mean extra hugs and cuddles you don’t normally get during the day. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to have the big, juciy piece of chicken :) Maybe my knowledge of pre-school songs will come in handy some day.
Today…I hope you realize how extraordinary your love, selflessness and sacrifice truly are. Today, I hope you take a deep breath and say, “yes…I am extraordinary.”
(This is actually a post of mine from last Spring, but after spending a weekend in Chicago indulging my ‘selfish side’ with girlfriends (and my sweet, beautiful friend, Erin who is a bride-to-be, I am aware of how truly blessed I am to have the opportunity to give as I do to my family.)
Well…in all honesty – it is the small people in my life who make the biggest impact. Sometimes, I forget this. But not today.
I decided I would make today a day to notice, to observe, to appreciate all of the little things that make my small people special to me.
It is Delaney’s smile and her ever growing vocabulary. She loves to snuggle and can’t ever stop saying, “Mommy, Look!” I love that she still wants to hold my hand, and never gets up from a nap without giving me a hug. She isn’t the best eater, but when she says, “Mommy, thanks for making a great dinner.”, I absolutely melt. I love that whenever I sing-song, “Delaney is…..” , she sing-songs right back, “A fuzzy bunny!” Right now she is a bit under the weather. Her croupy cough makes her seem so vulnerable. It is terrible, I know, but I love it when she is vulnerable – when she needs me. I adore saying prayers with her at the end of the day. She always says, “And thank you for a beeee-you-ti-ful day.” Every day, I can see more of her “baby” leaving, and more of the little girl she is rapidly becoming. She sings constantly – half of the time she makes it up – the other half, she is still singing Christmas carols, punctuated by the odd Barbie Diamond Castle ballad. She works so hard to teach her little brother and loves to learn. She is definitely my little angel.
And her little brother, well, he is 2 and very good at it. But today, I focused only on the fantastic and amazing in him. His smile gets me every single time. He could tell me he just wrote a cuss word on the wall with a Sharpie and I would still have to stifle a smile when he turns that little face on me. I can’t get enough of his hugs. When I put him down for a nap, when I walk out the front door, when I leave him in the day care at the gym, he follows me saying, “You need give me ‘nother hug and kish.” I can’t resist. I love that the first thing he does when he sees me after nap is to wrap his chubby little arms around my neck and smile. Inevitably he then says, “Mommy, I missed you while I was sleeping.” (cue tears) Every night when he goes to bed, we exchange our verbal good night, “I love you, my buddy.” and “I love you my mommy.” I smile from the inside out when I hold his hand and when he asks me to skip with him instead of walk. He always says, “Mommy, will you be my baby?” when he wants me to hold him so he can drink his milk. He always has a ball in his hand: a basketball, a baseball, a football. And he wants nothing more in life than for me or Daddy to play with him. Such a sweet little buddy.
I’ve had a few days lately that have lead me to push my gratitude for my little ones to the back of my mind. I have found myself annoyed by the many big and small things that should bring me joy and remind me of how blessed I truly am.
Today was an exercise. The goal, to shift my attitude and bring me back to the place I belong: the place where the itty-bitty moments of motherhood are Extraordinary.
Do you know how many hugs and ‘kishes’ I get every day from my kids?
Dozens. And I can’t get enough of their little love. There is nothing better.
How do I do it? Simple. I stole borrowed the idea from a friend. Here’s how it works:
Two year old: “Mommy, can I have some more milky?”
Me: “It’s gonna cost ya!”
He puckers up and here comes my kishes!
Four year old: “Mommy, can we play a game?”
Me: “It’s gonna cost ya!”
More Kishes for Mommy!
Two year old: “Mommy, will you play basketball with me? (Inside of course!)
Me: “It’s gonna cost ya!”
Lots of love for mommy.
It is how I get paid for my job. Kishes and Hugs. I deserve it. Who cares if it’s just a touch of bribery? They are young enough and sweet enough to give freely (no eye-rolling yet).
Try it. You might like it.