These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Game On


No more conduct reports - it seemed to be a two day thing for that - but the "testing of limits" game continues with me. Lately you seem to be a reluctant sweetie pie. As though, if we were acquaintences, you might say - "I think we need a break", but since you can't, you will say "Mommy, you're stupid. (pause for affect, then...) IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'mmmmmmm Sssssssssssssssooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" in a sing-songy voice that tells me you are anything BUT sorry.I've tried time outs, ignoring you, talking to you, getting angry and asking you how you would like it if I did that to you, and taking away toys.
Nothing seems to be working. Instead, it seems like you are curious about what I'll do next. Maybe what I need to do is land on one punishment and repeat it until you are thoroughly bored with the constant sameness of the punishment and simply stop the behavior for fear of the boredom that follows.

Hmmmm - I think that idea might work... :)

Guess what we're going to try?

As for Audrey - she is getting her teeth in and is about as sensitive as she can be.

I can't leave the room and if someone talks to her and she is in anyway overwhelmed by their inflection, Audrey will break into heart wrenching sobs.

I've been seeing a lot of this face lately.
I can't wait till those teeth come in and those moments become moments like this:


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Little black rain cloud


The past two days have been very hard on you.

Both yesterday and today you received conduct reports for bad behavior at school and I can't figure out what is going on. You seem to be angry and bothered - you walk around with a complex and clouded expression on your face and, if this were a cartoon, I would imagine a little black rain cloud following you around and pouring down on you as you went through your day.

I wish I knew what was wrong and how to make it better.

I suspect it has something to do with Daddy being gone and wishing you were with us during the day and not wanting to go to school, etc, but we deal with that at the beginning of each week for the most part, so I can't really figure why it's been so hard for you the past couple of days. I think last week when he was home all week was so nice for you that it made this week especially difficult.

Still, as much as I sympathize with you feeling sad about this, your actions have me racking my brain about that I need to do next. You've been speaking disrespectfully to me and your teachers, you have been acting out with friends - hitting and kicking and even one biting incident - I know that we need to get this under control now.


You have been having a difficult time, too. I don't know why - a growth spurt? Teething? I'm unsure, but you have been clingier and therefore I have less time to give to Jack one-on-one. This difficult time seems to be harder for you in the evenings and when you wake up. Lately you become unconsolable at these times. I don't know if it's brought on by pain from teething, frustration with not being able to communicate, hurt feelings and sadness from being separated when I put you down at night or have to do chores around the house that I need two hands for. Bottom line is that you are precious to me and I feel just awful when you cry. I know it's okay for babies to cry, but I wish you never had to.

I think the hardest thing about being a mother of more than one is that you want to give 100% to both kids. I know that's my biggest challenge - and I try like crazy to accomplish this. To find a way to do two things at once, if that's the case or find a way to involve one child in another child's interest so you can really spend time with both of them.

I'm extremely fortunate that the two of you are so enraptured with each other even now. If Jack runs towards Audrey, Audrey will shriek with excitement so much so that she jumps into my arms and grins so widely at Jack, that it looks like her face can't possibly hold all that happiness. It's really fantastic to see!

So, while I know there are ups and downs and things can't always be sunshine and sugar, I am always on a search for that return to harmony.



Monday, April 05, 2010

Family Picture

Jack and Audrey,

I wanted to get a new family picture - I called it a birthday present so that everyone would feel compelled to go along with me. :) Worked like a charm. So, we got our pictures taken - it was fun, minimally stressful and I think it turned out wonderfully - the actual picture taking that is....
Okay, so these are the BEFORE pictures. I don't actually have any AFTER pictures because the fallout which happened approximately 20 minutes after these pictures were taken was so drastic that if I had so much as suggested that we take a picture, I think Daddy would have removed my head with a plastic spoon. :)
Let me start over - so the pictures are taken - all is well. The picture people told us to come back in 15 minutes to view the pictures so we headed to the mall playground. We watched the kids play for 15 minutes and they were having a blast even though there were a couple of moments when my heart stopped because big kids were dashing about with no regard for Audrey, but all was fine.So, I went to view the pictures while Daddy watched you guys on the playground.
I was there making the picture choices for about 5 minutes when Daddy comes around the corner with blood all down the sleeve of his shirt saying "We have to go. NOW."
I'm alarmed and notice that you, Jack, are standing next to Daddy crying with blood caked on your nose and face, and your shirt, pants and shoes covered in splattered blood - making for a very dramatic picture.
I start trying to get checked out as quickly as possible, and trying to calm you down with hugs and dabbing at your face with a wet towel, but there are simply too many people and too much chaos. Daddy is holding napkins sturated in blood and cups with cold water and ice that helpful people brought to him in an effort to try to assist in this situation and which he is now stressfully holding while Audrey tries determinedly to get her hands on and pull from his grasp.
Apparently you were playing on the playground when a little girl who was running ran smack into your nose. You tend towards nose bleeds anyways but when you really get smacked, your nose bleeds like a faucet. You were covered in blood, as was Daddy and Audrey was all wide eyed with everything that was happening. I had a little from the assuring hugs and attempts to calm you.
Jack - you got really pale because you had swallowed blood from holding your head up to stop the bleeding which actually caused the blood to go down the back of your throat and you became nauseous - so we were carrying a box for you to puke into as we all limped back to the van in our bloodstained clothes and our faces stressed and worried from the whole situation. If you could have seen a picture of all of us in our white clothes, stained with blood afterwards, you would have thought we had just gone through a war zone. Amazing how much things can change in just 20 minutes.