Tag: children

C is for Cart- tastrophe #AtoZChallenge

I should have known better. I raised three children. I went through the terrible, tortuous, tricky, trying threes times three. As I like to remind these little boys, “I’m not new here!”

And yet, despite all indications that taking Beej to the grocery store was a bad idea that day, I went. It began with his firm assertion in the car. “I don’t want to go shopping.” He proceeded to punctuate his stand by, well….refusing to stand when I took him out of his car seat.  I was determined to show him who was in charge. I carried him under my arm, no small feat when your baggage is a 34 lb. child flailing about and it’s icy and about 10 degrees out.

We made a grand entrance with Beej kicking and screaming and me trying to to stuff his legs into the  leg holes in the shopping cart. As we made our way toward produce, which was especially crowded for 8:40am, he kicked his crying up a few more decibels and his boots off. I tossed them into the back of the cart and continued walking. Beej decided to rip his hat off his head. IMG_2866The only problem was, it was one of those cute ones with those braided yarn things hanging down on each side and I had tied them into a knot under his chin when he had tried to take it off back when we left the house. (Oh yes, this battle had begun long before the parking lot.) As he tried to pull the hat off, his cries reached hysterical levels when he couldn’t. I tried to slide it over his face but it wouldn’t give. We stood there with him screaming and me picking at the knot that I had tied much too tightly. Once the hat was untied and off his head, he resumed yelling. As I would pick up a fruit or vegetable, he would add that to his never-ending litany. “No, I don’t want bananas! Put them back!!!” (Whoever thought it was cute that he was so articulate ME??? was rethinking that!)

People openly gawked at us as we made our way through produce. I admit that I was defeated at that point but I refused to give in. Over 20 years earlier, with Beej’s daddy, I had walked out of a store or two, leaving my cart of unpurchased items behind. I was more experienced now and I would not be deterred… or obviously defeated.

When Beej spotted the display of toy cars that are on the end cap of every aisle in the store but especially by the snack foods….. you know the ones. The doors and trunk open. They’re $5.99 each. I’m sure you’ve seen them! … well, he drew on newfound energy and reached his peak. “I WANT TO GO OVER THERE!” he yelled, pointing at the cars. I answered in a soft voice (frankly, it was all I could muster), “No, we are not going to go over there. You are not getting a car.”

IMG_2864

 

At that point, he clutched my purse strapped and wailed. I had the strength of a wet noodle and just wanted this ordeal to be over. I wasn’t embarrassed or upset or mad or frustrated. Beej was three years old. He was being three. He did not want to be there and he was making it known to me and everyone in a three aisle radius. I understood.

But we were there to shop and shop was what we were going to do. The only way he would learn boundaries and limits was if I made them perfectly clear. I acknowledged that he did not want to be there but we were not leaving before we were done shopping.

IMG_2871
At one point I stopped and closed my eyes, looking for strength. When I opened them, this was where I had chosen to regroup. Coincidence? I don’t think so. 

As I checked out, an employee helped me bag up my groceries and Beej flipped his switch. The storm clouds parted and sun shined down on him, illuminating his angelic smile and dimples and he even batted his eyes. Of course, the employee gushed and cooed at him. The electronic pony caught his eye and as sweet as pie he asked, “Please, Nonna, can I ride on the pony?”

Just as sweetly I smiled back at him and said, “I’m sorry, sweetie, but no you cannot. You screamed your way through the entire store. Maybe next time.”

And much to the employee’s surprise but not to mine at all, Beej returned my smile and chattered on about how he had been behaving (sometimes with a devilish glint in his eye) and how maybe next time would be better. And in the blink of an eye, the storm had passed and my sweet little boy was back.

Such is life with a three year old.

Although I have been back to the store a number of times since then, I freely admit that I time those trips during my Beejless hours. (Like I said- I’m not new here.)

And I have to admit that the 20-something me would have been in awe of my composure and calm throughout the experience. The now me just wanted it to be over.

Beej’s dad was my first three year old child and he was nearly my undoing back in 1993. In general, I find this little three year old exhausting more than anything else. I can’t speak for the other adults in his life.

Did your kids have an age that was just awful? ( I actually found the teen years to be more trying than the threes- but that might be because I spent 13 years in Teen Town.)

-Kat

a2z-h-small

Advertisements

Favorite Place

Unedited and taken in the moment- anytime spent with this little guy holding my hand ranks at the top of my list of favorite places to be.

29345709_10157518724725620_1932739430_n

 There’s joy and wonder everywhere, when you see the world through the eyes of a child. …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Hope your weekend is filled with joy!

-Kat

Silence of a Different Kind

bw hands
Three years ago, Beej came into the world and changed my life forever. I had become a young grandma when my oldest son married someone who already had a child, CJ. so I was familiar with the fun of grandparenting a child who was already potty trained, out of a crib, off a bottle….an independent child.

And then Beej was born and everything changed. Due to circumstances beyond our control (handy phrase, isn’t it?) Beej and I found ourselves spending major stretches of time together and we created a bond that went deeper than that doting grandma who bounces the baby on her knee, then smiles as she hands him off to his parents at the first sign of tears.

Spending so much time with first an infant, then a toddler and now and emerging preschooler does not make for much silence around our house. The result was me and Beej creating our own kind of silence. Maybe it wasn’t the complete quiet where the only sound you can hear is the refrigerator running or a siren blaring faintly in the distance but it is a silence all the same.

bw beej choosing books

 

Beej was born a lover of books, a future master reader. We share this passion and I know for a fact that I have read more books to him than I could have possibly read to all three of my children combined.

 

 

 

bw beej playing

 

When we aren’t reading, Beej is playing. A lot. His imagination seems to be never ending and I never know what he’s going to think of next. He doesn’t need a screen or even another person to entertain him. He’s happy in his own little make believe world where he assigns roles to anyone who happens to be passing by. I have been Percy to his Thomas, Lightning to his Cruze, and Stacy Jones to his Tanya.

 

 

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Most of my days might not be filled with your “typical” silence but I’ve learned to savor the times Beej and I spend together. Whether the silence is accented with the sound of me reading as pages turn or Beej’s little voice narrating an elaborate scenario, often peppered with whatever song he deems appropriate, this silence is a precious time. It really is an unexpected blessing that never fails to fill me with joy. This grandparenting gig might have come sooner than I anticipated but boy, is it worth it!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Open Topic

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

 

My Three Little Birds

This week’s song, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers (1977), never fails to bring me a renewed sense of determination and a feeling that I can overcome anything as long as I keep my priorities straight. As long as I can remember, what makes me happiest is my family. The combination of this reassuring song and my love for my “three little birds” gives me motivation to keep moving.

“Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)
Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley and the Wailers

 

This post is working double duty for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy and 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

It Never Ends

Near the beginning of this clip from the movie Parenthood, Frank Buckman talks about a time when he and his wife thought their son had polio and the feelings that experience evoked.

Soon I will be celebrating the birthday of my youngest child, my baby, Andrew. He will turn 22 years old. When Andrew was nearly two months old, his doctor was concerned that he might have a narrowed aorta which would be considered a critical congenital heart defect. I will never forget that feeling- I already loved this little guy so much and he might be suffering or at risk for a lifetime of health problems. Oh, my heart. Yes, I understand what Frank meant.

What I felt for Andy all those years ago was just the tiniest fraction of how much I love him (and his siblings) today. I know there are people who do not have more than one or two children because they love them so much, they can’t imagine being able to love more. But love isn’t given to you in a limited quantity to dole out to everyone in your life and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Loving one person doesn’t take any love away from someone else you love. And I’m here to tell you that if you think you have an enormous amount of love for that one child, you don’t have three times that for three kids. It just grows and grows to such an incredible size. And that growing takes place as they grow. That overwhelming feeling of love you might feel for that little guy when he’s two months old is going to expand and fill your life in a way you never thought possible.

It won’t be easy. Their problems will grow with them and sometimes you will have to “be there” but let them handle it on their own and sometimes they will let you help them. No, it won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth it.

And as I tend to do around my children’s birthdays, I’m feeling very nostalgic and very blessed. Oh, and Andrew ended up being the healthiest of all my children- so there you go. Just another reason to be happy.

But a word to those who haven’t reached this realization yet, to quote Frank Buckham- “IT NEVER ENDS!” (And that’s a good thing, right? Right?)

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

 

 

I wish I could freeze time or go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.” – Robert Rodriguez

Don’t Poke the Bear

fierce mama bearI remember the first time someone pointed out my fierceness as a mama bear. Oddly enough, it was my oldest son, Michael. He was 15 at the time. There was a problem scheduling his classes and he warned the counselor, “You don’t want my mom to come in to get this fixed.” What flashed through my mind was, “Who was this mom and could she give me some pointers?” It was with shock that I realized it was me.

I have always advocated for my children since the day they were born. I didn’t consider myself fierce. I just did what I needed to do to get my children what they needed. It was as natural to me as breathing. Upon hearing that Michael saw me in this way, I was overcome. I feared that I could never live up to his expectations or whatever this image of me was. I scoured my memory for times he might have seen me acting in this way. I needed examples. I felt overwhelmed.

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m quite reserved, quiet, shy, private. I tend to not have a huge presence in a room and that is by choice. I don’t speak up in large groups. In fact, social anxiety tends to grip me by the throat and render me speechless at times, ensuring that I remain silent.

Except when it comes to my kids. But I guess I need to clarify- I’m not one of those vocal, loud, pushy parents. When I’m fighting for my children, I do it the same way I do everything else- quietly but persistently. I won’t make a scene but I will press the issue. I won’t attack but I will come to the battle armed with enough ammunition to take out an army, if needed. And if I need to use force, it will probably be so under the radar you won’t know what happened. It’s not that I’m being sneaky or deceitful- I just function much better one on one. This is one time when being an over-thinker comes in handy. Since I’ve probably thought up every possible outcome, I will come prepared with counter arguments.

The thing about being a fierce mama bear is that when your cubs grow up you need to step back and act in a way that goes against every parenting instinct you have. When they are struggling, any advice you offer has to be done carefully so as not to appear to be implying you think they cannot handle things. And sometimes it can’t appear to even be advice, depending on the level of independence of the child.

Helping our children stand on their own is something we begin doing the day they are born. It’s part of the end goal so it’s not a huge surprise when it happens. BUT it doesn’t lessen the sting…. especially when it’s your cub.

As I found out recently, even though your cubs might be grown, maybe even with little cubs of their own, that doesn’t stifle “fierce mama” mode when your cub is attacked- especially unprovoked….. double especially with whipped cream on top when your cub is attacked while going above and beyond what the average person would do to be there for another person.

I’m finding it difficult to hold back that uncontrollable desire to protect my child. Once again, by friendly fire, one of my own has been attacked- completely unfounded- and all I can do is stand by and let him fight his battle. He knows that I’m standing there, just in the shadows…. waiting. It’s one of those parenting moments when I have to stay still and let him pick himself up, but once he’s standing again, I will be there in a flash to help. And if he flounders and needs a hand up, he knows that I’m within reach at all times.

Thinking back to those days when he was a small child and he fell, I remember that instinct to cry out, rush over and pick him up. After the first few times of doing exactly that, which resulted in him crying (caused by my reaction- not the fall), I quickly realized that he needed to get himself back on his feet and determine if this was worth the tears or not. It might be considered tough love by some but I’ve stood by this belief- always close by if the situation warranted assistance and if all was well, calling out “You’re okay!”

It’s not that simple these days. The tumbles are much bigger with higher stakes at risk. My cub is hurting and this mama bear is on high alert.

“Every mom has a mission to love,, guide and protect her family.

Don’t mess with her while she’s on it.”      -Vicki Reece