Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What am I going to do with this kid?

Connor sat on my lap as I checked my email this afternoon.

"What's that spell, Mommy? G-O-O-G-L-E."


"Oh! The 'E' is silent."

Good lord. He'll be three in late May.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'll hold them a little tighter tonight.

As is often the case, another blog has inspired the content of today's entry.

Monday the kids and I went to Vandergriff Park to meet up with a playgroup. Despite the weather being a touch on the chilly side at first, by the time we had crammed our cold fries and clammy McLunch down our gullets (let she whose hungry-past-reason children can allow her to drive past those Golden Arches without outcry cast the first stone), it was downright balmy. A more perfect day for a park outing there never was. Two busloads of Georgia kindergarteners thought the same. I'll admit it was crowded. Connor was a little disappointed that all the swings were occupied, even the toddler ones (how those leggy little monkeys got back out of them I'll never know. Big kids are extra bendy.), but it was a nice opportunity for a lesson in turn-taking, so he motored around the rest of the equipment, trying his best not to get trampled by the herds. Mia was Mia, just content to be observing, and there was so much to see! She just perched in her little wagon seat, craning her neck this way and that as they all buzzed by. After a few minutes I spotted a vacant baby swing, and we jetted for it. Success! We did the patented "tandem" maneuver, where I sit Connor in the front side of the swing, and then wedge Sissy behind him, facing the opposite direction (This "swing sharing" technique will very soon render itself obsolete--I don't remember it being such a tight squeeze the last time I put them in together...). Two blissful babies for an entire ten minutes until Connor decided he'd had enough. I let him out while I continued to push Miss Smiley Face. I'm a sucker for that gummy grin. A few more minutes and I noticed the little girl beside us had slowed her swing and was watching us shyly. She had a messy brown ponytail and adorable little wire-rimmed glasses. "Would you like to push her?" I asked. She nodded. I resisted the urge to resume control as she hoisted Mia a little higher than I would have liked. "Ooh, gently! She doesn't like to go too high," I told her. She pushed softly now. "I have a little baby brother," she said. "Oh really? Is he at home today or at daycare?" I smiled. "He's with another family," she replied. "We were taken away from my mommy."
That hit me like a punch to the gut. I wanted to ask her what had happened, but I wasn't about to. I wanted to take her home with me and brush her hair and tuck her in. I realized the little girl who'd been watching my little girl so longingly probably wasn't simply hoping to push her swing. She was admiring the whole picture. Mother and child enjoying each other.

It was about that moment when one of the chaperones blew a whistle and the kindergarteners lined up to board their bus. I watched her blend in with the rest of them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Real Mama Drama

TLC has devised another delightful means of making the At-Home-Mom suffer more guilt (and they said it couldn't be done). It's a wonderful program they're calling "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom." It's hosted by Tracey Gold (She's still working?) and its basic premise is giving the "Housewife" a taste of the life she gave up to raise her family. They take a mommy, whisk her away to re-visit her abandoned career, all the while telling Daddy and the kids that she's at a spa all week. At the end of the week, Mommy is enticed away from her drudgy home life with the offer of a full-time position. Will she take the job or go back to full-time home status? The episode I saw featured an ex-chef whose passions were rekindled successfully, but who ultimately couldn't justify shelling out most of her new paycheck in exchange for child care. Tack on a husband who's now feeling horrible because he's watched his wife have to abandon her dreams TWICE and he can't afford to quit his own job to trade out for hers. What a feel-good hour. They're all so glad they came on the show. Granted, I've seen just one episode. It's my sincere hope that the rest of them feature moms who come out of the other side of the experience with increased resolve about their original decisions to put careers on hold. After all, it's not necessary to remind a woman of what she gave up for her family's sake. Chances are she's aware of that. It's always gratifying, however, for her to be reminded of why she did. We need to steer away from this stereotype of the "Desperate Housewife." Not all of us are huddled in front of the television in our sponge rollers, straining to hear "As the World Turns" over the wailing of toddlers, waiting for our lives to change.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The bees and I are rolling in the clover

Today I want to drive with the windows down and hang my arm out. Scoop and dive my outstretched hand thru that delicious warm air and just DRIVE. Blast that stereo. Beach trip, anyone?

It's apparent I've got a severe case of Spring Fever. I doubt I'm alone, since as far as I have been told, the rest of the free world has been smothered under a blanket of rampant flu for the past two months. We haven't had it that bad, but we're coming to the end of a second week of sniffles, coughs and subsequent troll-like attitudes in our household. And what was with that freak snowfall last weekend? It's March, for crying out loud. This misery has got to end soon.

I get this way every year. Steve will back me up on this. You'd not think it to look at me, a fair-skinned, freckly cave bat who spent the majority of her childhood slathered with Vapo-rub and dragging on an albuterol inhaler...but I love this time of year. Bugs, pollen and all.

I had a monumental "me" day yesterday (the last one was sometime in 2001), and left my snoozing little ones in the care of their sneezing father (or were they sneezing and he snoozing? It doesn't matter.) in search of ONE new garment to wear to a wedding on Saturday. I'm in love with this season's fashions, since they're all Empire-waisted and loose-fitting, and I am hanging onto about thirty pounds of pregnancy blubber (ok, I won't blame the kids entirely here), and the last thing I want to see when I gaze in the mirror is that Uniroyal tire around my middle, desperately trying to muscle its way right past the fabric straining to contain it. I found an adorable dress. It's even nursing-capable. I'm not mentioning what size I had to purchase, however. I resisted the urge to buy myself an entire wardrobe. Perhaps staring at creeping double digits on the garment label will be the impetus for a health overhaul in my life. Still happy I got to shop! Later that evening, I made a second escape and had a delightful dinner with girlfriends, sipping chai tea and telling stories on my two-year-old. Despite my having suffered a marathon of nights filled with broken sleep and weepy babes, I felt more energized than I have in such a long time. If we had a porch swing, I'd be on it right now.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here are four generations of Medlin: John Albert, John Paul, John Steven and John Connor. Granddad wasn't wearing his wedding ring in the photo; I hear he's also pretending he doesn't know Granny at church. Foxy.