Monday, February 25, 2013

fix it

Claire came home from school in tears today. Unknown to me, Claire's carpool companion who does the afternoon drive didn't go to school today, but had planned on coming to school later in the day. She didn't, but her parents called the school and asked them to tell Claire that they would still be picking her up anyway. The office relayed to Claire that HER dad would be picking her up after dance club. This delighted Claire as her Daddy is always at work after school, and she anticipated some sort of a fun adventure. When school was over and her normal carpool showed up, she assured them that her dad was picking her up. The carpool called me to confirm this after school---it was the first time I had heard anything of it. I was pretty sure Taylor would have mentioned to me that he was picking Claire up, so I told them to take Claire home. She held it together all the way home, but teared up the second she made eye contact with me.

I couldn't get her to tell me what was wrong. Through her tears she told me about the misunderstanding, but insisted that that wasn't the problem. I held her for a long time, but she would not tell me what the problem was. The longer we sat, the more tears fell. I prayed that she would tell me. I prayed to know how to ask her to get her to tell me. Finally I asked her if she could write down the problem. She agreed. I provided a pen and notebook, and she provided the answer:

"Somebody stole my cookie." She was clearly upset as she wrote that sentence because she usually does so much better at spelling. Apparently she unpacked her lunchbox at lunch, had a bite of cookie, started on her sandwich, chatted with a friend, and when time came to finish up her scrumptious, homemade peanut-butter-chocolate-chip/chocolate-chip cookie it was gone. She's certain it was stolen. I'm leaving room for eating without knowing or dropping it all together. It was devastating.

This experience, however, represents two victories to me.

First. I'm glad that she can write about what is bothering her. This, to me, is an invaluable skill. I can't tell you how many blog posts I have written and never posted because when I finished writing, I realized that I just needed to write it for ME, not for the world. Same with facebook posts and comments. I seriously erase half of what I write on facebook before I press enter. That's a skill I wish a lot more people could harness! I'm glad that Claire is brave enough to write when she cannot speak.

Second. This was easy to fix. In ten minutes she had cookie dough. Fifteen more minutes and she was dunking a warm cookie in cold milk. Problem solved. Mom's the greatest. And now with the new batch of cookies, there will be another cookie tomorrow! [Some for me too!]

I realize that all of her problems are not that easy to fix. She's already experienced quite a bit of friend drama in her 2-year stint in public school. In kindergarten she had a best friend, but there was a poor girl who always wanted to be the third wheel. Girl #3 wasn't nice in her antics (she had older sisters who no-doubt taught her some interesting tactics on friendship). This year, in a new school, while Claire has friends, she's yet to find anything as solid as she had last year when she knew that no matter what she would have Hannah there. I know this is common. It still hurts my heart a bit.

I know that there are bound to be many more days that she walks through our door in tears. And her problems will get more complex as time goes by. But today I am the hero. And know what? I'm going to bet that writing and warm chocolate chip cookies will probably solve problems in the future.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And after that unscheduled break...

You know how they had that long, unplanned half-hour break in the Super Bowl? My blog just had a long, unplanned break. It was mostly caused by pregnancy, and then a baby with colic. And then when the colic was gone he slept less during the day, and my life just kind of fell apart. The baby is obviously more of a priority than the blog. And getting dressed. And cleaning the house. And folding the laundry. And making more than one dish (if that) for dinner. Just keeping it real here, folks.

Anyway, I hope to write more. I blog in my head all the time while I'm nursing the baby, but it hasn't quite ever made it to the computer---for above-mentioned reasons, and also because I'm just getting past that "I'm suddenly stupid" postpartum stage. Does that happen to you too? Words don't come, ideas don't make sense, and the only thing you really know for sure is when the baby needs to eat next.

Gray is 6 months old now (the above picture is today). He's a hard baby. I thought I'd had a hard baby before, but he's reached new heights on our measuring stick. He likes to be entertained. He likes to be held. He does not like to be put down to sleep at all. We do put him down though. Every time. He just doesn't like that. That said, he is my best eater. As long as you smile while you force "garden vegetables" into his mouth, he smiles back and hungrily eats whatever is offered. He's affectionate. I was showered (literally) with kissed for a good 30 minutes upon returning from Relief Society tonight. He is happy, happy, happy. He giggles just looking at Kyle. He'll contently watch cartoons with Claire. He'd happily chew on my hand all day. He's good natured and bright.

I'm still grateful every day, even though he's hard and an awful sleeper. With the exception of maybe 5 days that I've been too busy to really think about it, I think I have had a moment or two every single day in the last six month where I have been in tears or near tears with gratitude for my baby. I think of the daily fear I felt last year at this time when we didn't know if the progesterone would actually stop my cycle of miscarriages. I think of the years before where my arms longed for a baby. I hold that baby and hear his breath and feel his warmth and my heart overflows. Every. Single. Day.

Call me a sentimental fool. Or maybe a hormonal fool. But I do think about it every day. And it's not that I didn't love my other babies. I just appreciate that I get to have Gray a little more. Maybe it's that I'm older and wiser and know how quickly time will pass (and oh, how it has passed too quickly already!).

Now that 6 months have passed, my house is finally coming back together. I've cooked a little bit more. I took the last Christmas wreath down today (and it really is a WINTER wreath), and we're ready for Valentine's day. I see the light at the end of the newborn tunnel. I've loved the tunnel, but I'm excited to get back to normal---or at least to discover our new normal with 3 kids.