Blue Frosting

When I woke up, I was filled with anticipation. This day would be my son’s very first birthday party. The list of things to do was long. I needed to get the cake, feed my kid, get everything into the truck, meet up with my parents, get the room set up and greet the guests. I was hoping that everything would go off well. I imagined my poor 5 year old, sitting at his birthday table surrounded by his family and disappointed because there were no children in attendance. I couldn’t let his happen. So I worked hard, chasing down any child I knew between the ages of 3 and 6.

In the end, it paid off. My son sat in at the end of his birthday table looking at 7 other children. He shared cake and popcorn and got presents and lots of laughs. His party was held at an indoor facility which houses half a dozen bounce houses.

So the kids came. We sat in a tiny little room barely big enough for our group. The kids played with their goodie bags stuffed with small toys and stickers. They shouted—oh boy, were they loud. They sang. And they jumped until my son came, collapsed on the floor in front of me and declared that he was too exhausted to continue on.

1. Never get 8 children under 5 in a small room all at the same time.
2. Bounce houses are great prerequisites to naps.
3. Kids under 5 are AMAZINGLY loud.
4. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never get those stupid little pieces out of the box before they hand you a different toy to get out.
5. Blue frosting does not “wash right off.”
6. No matter what your 4 year old tells you, he does not acually want a cake without frosting.

Not YOUR Momma

I know it is sometimes confusing for the people I work with. I am a Mom. They are barely past the stage of living in their mother’s basement. Sometimes, they aren’t past it at all. Just because I am a Mom doesn’t mean I am your Mom.

That is the part they have trouble with you see.

So when a guy I work with sent me a message on facebook yesterday saying “I might need a ride in to work tomorrow” it infuriated me. We aren’t married. We aren’t friends. We don’t hang out after work. And I’m not your Momma!

Perhaps his mother failed to teach him manners. Your coworkers aren’t your personal limo drivers. Nor are they people whom you can simply summon to your door. If you need a ride into work, you should ask.

I know. Crazy concept.

I suppose this is the consequence of working with a bunch of people who either just graduated college or high school last week. They are very young with zero responsibilities. They live in bachelor pads, with cars in their parents name, insurance they don’t pay themselves with no children or girlfriend to speak of. So, they summon up their equally irresponsible friends when they want them to appear at their service. Unfortunately, this does not work with a 30 year old single mom who has grocery shopping to do, library books to return and a house to clean.

Sorry bucko, but if you need something from me, you’ll have to stand in line. Oh, and try a “please” on for size. Like I tell my five year old, its amazing what those magic words will get ya!

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A quiet bath

Any mother out there knows what happens when you try to have a quiet bath. It starts off well. You gather the towels and bubbles, run the water and prepare for just a few minutes of quiet escape.

And then it happens.

The door creaks open and tiny feet pitter patter directly through your peace and solitude. It starts innocently enough. Usually a “mom what would happen if…” Which somehow ends in “would you mind if…” That if typically leads to those tiny feet tossing off his socks and climbing in.

Somehow, there isn’t enough lavender in the bath to make having your leg used as a matchbox car ramp seem peaceful.

On a positive note, the bath did end in a science lesson about density. His heavy metal car sank while his wood car floated. Point for me!

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The last day

So today is the last day of my baby boy being 4. I don’t know what is so magical about turning 5, especially since my son won’t start school until the fall. But it feels like the end of an era. He will no longer be a baby, a toddler or a preschooler. He is school age. This birthday will bring the end of him being just mine. This is the end of having our little home be the center of his universe. After this birthday, he will have to go out into the world. He will go to school, he will meet lots of people, he will learn the values that someone else thinks is important. He will become a citizen of our city, our state– the world!

I still have time, not much but time. School doesn’t start until the fall. But this birthday marks the beginning of the end. What will (or have) you done to prepare for your little one turning 5?

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My life, Unplugged…

Fun Time

Life is busy. There is always too much to do and too little time in which to get it done. That is just the life of being a mother, especially when you have a small child. With that in mind, I spent this last weekend completely unplugged. No, I don’t mean that I ignored the computer for a couple of days. I mean I took my son, drove to the mountains of Tennessee and spent the weekend in my parent’s cabin in the Smokies. The cabin has no phone, no internet and no TV. When I say we were unplugged, I mean we were UNPLUGGED!!

It was nice to be out of the hustle and bustle of the world I am used to living in. When my son randomly decided to walk out the front door, I didn’t worry. My parent’s cabin sits in valley, on a private hill which is actually the highest point in the valley. In the warmer months, there are black bear and coyote to worry about.  In the middle of a snowstorm, the only thing I had to watch for is my son’s insistence that he play outside without his hat and coat.

We spent time cooking together, reading, coloring, talking about the world and his concerns for turning five on Thursday. We watched as a HUGE snowstorm came across the mountain tops, up the hill and up and over the other mountains. We went into town, had lunch, played games at an arcade, ate fudge and wandered through town. We found pinecones, cool flat rocks and ladybugs (oddly enough).

We also were able to meet my sister’s daughter. My son was able to hold his 3 week old cousin, showed her how to use a bow and arrow, and offered to take her to the toilet. He was very helpful.

I’d forgotten how distracting and loud the T.V. is (which seems to always be on, whether we are watching it or not). I’d forgotten how much time I waste perusing the internet, whether there is anything to look out or not. I’d forgotten how bland store bought eggs taste in comparison to fresh eggs.

I think unplugging is the way to go. Having that child-focused weekend, where you are either asleep or being a family is very important to staying in touch with your child. And while you can always turn off the TV at home, it is usually just too tempting to finish the laundry or check your email for that important thing you are waiting on.

My goal: Try to make time every month to unplug—completely! Even if I have to rent a small cabin out at Point Lookout or camp in the backyard. A day or two for just me and my boy, where I can forget those million and one things that HAVE to be done and worry about the one important thing that NEEDS to be done—being a mom to my precious boy.

Cakes without Frosting

My son will, very soon, be turning 5. What wonderful way should we chose to commemorate this event? I thought a trip to the indoor water park would be nice. We went last year for my son’s 4th and he had a marvelous time. My little social butterfly shot me down.

“No mamma. The Wolf Lodge is fun, but I want a birthday party with my friends.”

Okay. One tiny problem. While yes, my son has friends everywhere he goes, we don’t have that many kids that we know you know? Trying to track down kids he has played with at the park is a little challenging. Of course my brilliant son has a plan.

“Let’s invite the library ladies and the police men to my party. Oh, and the fireman too.”

My sweet and precious boy doesn’t understand that while all of those people are his friends, they aren’t his friends. I guess this is what happens when you spend so much time taking your child to the Library and police and fire stations.

So, we’ve chased down some children, reserved the venue, ordered the extremely hard to find How to Train Your Dragon party supplies (after talking him out of a bloody zombie party.) This is when the real challenge was to begin. What kind of cake?

“Mom, I want a yellow cake with Terra on top with no frosting.”

WHAT!?

Are we sure you are four? After working tirelessly to try to talk him into ice cream cake or any other kind of cake, he won. So, there will be two cakes at said party. One with Terra and frosting. And one with no frosting.

I’m already exhausted and the party isn’t for another two weeks!

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Wouldn’t it be nice…

To be a kid

Remember when you were in school, and reading was something you had to do because it was an assignment? Remember when you were 4 and your Mom had to fight with you to make you take a nap? Or a bath? Why is it that so many of the things we railed against as children become things we wish for as grownups? Personally, I would love to get long bath and a nap in now and then. And to read an entire book? It takes me forever.
I can’t concentrate like I once could. Besides the “Mommy I needs” coming right in the middle of the first sentence I read, there is also the problem that my brain has so many random things racing through it that I can hardly get through a paragraph without thinking “did my insurance payment get sent yet? I should check on that.” Or, “when were the books due back at the library? Perhaps I should look it up.”
Better still, “I wonder how much it would cost to take a train to the Grand Canyon.” Yeah, those are the ones that usually end any hope of getting anything done.
That “mom-thing” doesn’t stop because I am at work for eight hours. I still think about all those mom things while I should be worrying about an overdue aircraft or the lat long of the crane NOTAM that I am putting in the system. Somehow, I keep it all straight.
But wouldn’t it be so nice to just be a kid again? To play in the yard, read a book, take a nap and lounge in a bath?