Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Now we have several stock responses, and even suggestions that aren't predicated by a question, for Rose #1 when she feels sad, or confused, about her "little fin." These are:
1: "You are perfect exactly the way you are." This is true to me, Rose #1's mom, but I pray that the repetition of the line helps Rose #1 to know it before I would have in her shoes. I remember knowing that I was OK in junior high, even high school, even though I wasn't petite, popular, etc. (I'm OK, You're OK - leftover 70's lingo.) Still didn't make me feel better, and I have all 10 fingers and 10 toes.
2. "It is OK to be sad that you are different. Everyone is different in some way." These go together, and they are also true. However, the more different you are, I surmise, the harder it is to come to terms with your difference. Maybe not - maybe it would just be harder for me. Maybe my daughter has unsuspected depths that will help her through the tough times, when kids laugh at her, and ask her questions, and she feels bad and different.
3. "It is OK to ask questions, but it is not OK to tease and be mean." This is a stock line that Rose #1 uses, has used, can use, as a defense when kids tease her about her hand.
But tonight I was stumped. I have never thought about how I should respond to the simple wish that Rose #1 expressed - to know what it is like to have 10 fingers. My response was inadequate, I am sure - I said something like, well, it would be different for you, since you are used to your little hand, and there's nothing you can't do - except maybe the monkey bars, and Dr. Van Heest said that is perfectly normal.
What should I have said? It is so hard to send your child into the world knowing that she will be seen as different, or wrong, or behind, or inadequate. I know that Rose #1 is smart as a whip, beautiful, friendly, fun, helpful and curious. Will other people take the time to know it?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Here is one of the songs with hand actions:
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Rose #2 is her very, very own little girl. She loves to help fold laundry and cook, although she does not like to do her own chores (go figure). She loves to stike a pose, flash a charming smile, flip her hair over her shoulders. She has very small little freckles around her eyes, which I think is very unusual for a child who is part Caucasian and part Asian. I don't care; she is beautiful and she is utterly herself. Oh, she is also a terror, at times. I don't remember too many tantrums this weekend, although I was gone this morning at work. But she is only recently cured of the Terrible Threes and the memories of tantrums are fresh.
Rose #1 is about to graduate from kindergarten (she goes to a year-round school). I can feel the start of the pull of her peers - she talks about things her friends do and want and have, and these are important. When we left the swimming pool this afternoon she said goodbye to a friend we knew from soccer - "Peace Out." (What!!??) Little flashes of meanness surface in Rose #1, as well - she is jealous and gets angry quickly. But she is completely a firstborn, and she reminds me a lot of me. Tonight I had to speak to her about being really quite mean to Rose #2, and her face crumpled and went all red. I can't stand it when the Roses are mean to each other - I read somewhere once, I would credit it if I could remember where, but that your siblings are one of the most important relationships you will ever have because they are people you know the longest. We are all we have - I try to remind my girls of this often. By the way, I was trying to think of a very dire consequence for being mean to her sister - being grounded from Monday Night Dinner was the only thing I could come up with! (Monday Night Dinner is our weekly dinner with my siblings/nieces/nephews and my parents at their house.) The prospect of being grounded from MND caused Rose #1 to shape up.
Sometimes it is important to stop and think about the small things that make my girls what they are, and that explain why (as if this could ever be explained) I love them so much.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Rose #2 really likes to strike a pose. I wish I caught a picture of her with one hand in the potato chip bowl and another hand in the Dorito bowl. She was in heaven. Plus she got to have two whole hot dogs and no one was bugging her to eat her veggies (there were no veggies!).
Rose #3 just charms the pants off everyone wherever she goes. She was playing a game of twirling around a tent post and falling into the rather dry dirt, which got her all grungy and gritty. But she still made lots of friends. At the end of the evening (well, the end of the evening for us!) I told her to wave "bye bye" and to say thank you, which she did in a most charming way. If you look carefully in the photo below you can see the aforementioned potato chip bowl and Dorito bowl:
I have been starting to venture into the Mommy blog world on the internet. I was reading the accounts of several women who had been to BlogHer, which is an annual convention of women who blog. One of these women said that it was really important to send our words out into the world. Even though almost no one reads this blog, I feel the same way about preserving the day-to-day things my kids say and do. It is so important to chronicle their stages and their development so I can know them better and love them for the way that each single cell of their little bodies is developing. Even if hardly anyone else is reading, I am. I am always thinking of them. I remember when I first knew H and his mother was telling me that everything she and H's father do is for their sons. At the time, I thought she was just being martyr-ish or somehow overdramatic. Now, I know.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Rose #3 had to get into the game, saying "Me Too! Me Too!" Her jammie is a third-generation hand-me-down, but it is still cute. It has Dora on it, and Rose #3 calls Dora "Doe Doe."
I want to send a shout out to Uncle Andy and Aunt Tonya for watching our kids yesterday after work. Even though date night did not turn out exactly as we had hoped, we did get to go out to dinner at the Tea House. We decided it was a good idea to ask for recommendations from our server, and he promised food that was only a "bit" spicy. Six or seven chili peppers later, we had our dinner. Which was really quite good. H and I enjoyed our time together, and we are very grateful for the babysitting swap.
Friday, July 18, 2008
How can I bear the time apart? I hardly know my youngest daughter, even though I gave her life and nursed her for 11 months (yes, I would have kept nursing her longer, until age 2, or 3, or even 4 if she wanted...but she had other ideas!). I never see her. When I do see her- all the Roses really - it is all about business - get dinner on the table, get cleaned up, sweep the floor, throw a load of laundry in the washer - and then it is bedtime. If we are lucky we get a few minutes together reading stories.
And what will happen when the kids get busier? Rose #1 is staring first grade in the face at a school that is going to challenge her. I want to be there for her homework. Rose #2 is starting 4-year-old kindergarten! I wish I could go to her classroom to read and help. I am missing so much, and I can't stand it.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
We are always trying to find ways to get out on our bikes with the Roses. Maybe we should accept the fact that they are just too darned young!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
What is the right parenting message when your 4-year-old wants to quit t-ball? Between every inning she is getting a drink, eating chips, visiting us, etc. Tonight the end came when she concluded that her shoes were inoperable (the velcro was really separated from the strap, but they did still work). She lay down in the (somewhat crispy) grass and howled. H scooped her up and brought her home after telling her it was important to stick with things, play for your team, etc. and giving her a choice. She was too far gone to make the choice, and so she had to go home.
On one hand, maybe it should be OK for a 4-year-old to decide that t-ball is not for her. On the other hand, should we stick to our guns? Once you start something, you have to stick it out (it is not like I am forcing her to get an M.D. and she can't stand the sight of blood, or something similarly draconian - it is just 6 weeks of t-ball after all)? What is the right answer?
Of course, of course, I know, I know, there are no right answers. Just sending this muse out into the void.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
We got a pretty close parking space and walked over to the market. Both Roses had bags full of cheezits which were quickly forgotten as soon as we got the donuts! The farmer's market is always quite crowded and Guppy always sees someone she knows (today was no exception - a gentleman from our church greeted her between the honey stand and one of the fresh veggie stands).
I wasn't looking for anything in particular, although I ended up with lots of yummy veggies - tomatoes, green beans, broccoli and of course basil. Guppy got beets for her canning group at church. Guppy also got the Roses little handmade stuffed animals from one of the vendors' tables. They are magical little animals; Rose #2 picked out a snake for herself, and it is very sparkly with two small beady eyes. She loves the snake so much, she made a small bed for it (complete with a tiny pillow) at the foot of her bed tonight.
We had tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves for dinner tonight. I love basil. I love tomatoes. Yum. The only thing that would have made the farmers market better would have been if we could have biked there. In a few years, maybe...
Friday, July 11, 2008
It is very hot here so we set up the sprinkler in the front yard. Rose #3 promptly fell in the dirt and had to go inside to wash her hands. Here she is looking pretty dishevelled:Maddie Kay is very photogenic. Her mama likes to take a lot of pictures, so she is used to it! We loved her frilly pink bathing suit:
After the sprinkler got old (after only about 10 minutes! I thought it would be good for 30 minutes at least!!) we had Davanni's pizza, thanks to H for picking it up. And in a nod to good nutrition we also had grapes. We are rather low on groceries - we had no milk!! Everyone was happy with water. Ice water.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Today was not as hot, although it's easy for me to say that since I was inside an air conditioned building all day! Our house, built in 1916, does not have central air conditioning. We have a window unit in the girls' room, and one in the T.V. room, but so far not on our first floor or in our bedroom. This is partially a blessing: last night all three Roses slept in their own beds all night long!!
Rose #3's vocabulary has been growing by leaps and bounds. Today she learned how to say "Daddy Bike," since H biked to Monday Night Dinner (weekly dinner at my mom's house). The whole way home in the car, Rose #3 said, "NNN, Daddy, Bike!" which roughly translates as "Where is Daddy, Oh Yes, He is On His Bike!!" I can't remember the explosion of Rose #1 and Rose #2's vocabularies. I am trying to enjoy and remember Rose #3's vocabulary development.
Rose #2 has a busy week. I put her into Multi Sport Camp at the rec center (motivated in large part both by the very reasonable cost - $75 for the week - and the fact that it is kitty corner across the street!). So far all I could glean was that she is on the blue team. She gets a t-shirt, a ball, snacks, and 3 hours of fun each day.
Rose #1 is counting down the days until the end of kindergarten. It is sort of a hardship, going to a year round school, when you come to understand that all of your friends have the summer off from school. She will have the month of August off, then she starts her new school in September. We will have to sit down with her new teacher and talk about her hand; Rose #1 has a "little fin" (her left hand did not fully form in utero). It does not hold her back from doing anything she wants (except so far she has not been able to master the monkey bars, but I know it is just a matter of time until she does) but when she encounters new kids, they can gang up on her, and she needs good coping skills. A big part of this is partnering with her teacher to make sure that a no bullying policy is instituted right away.
I have been slacking off on pictures lately. I resolve to do better.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
After brunch we went to REI to buy new sandals. They were extravagant for me, but H reminded me that the last time we bought new sandals was about 6 years ago. So I guess if you boil that down to a per-wear price, it is manageable. Plus they look so cool!
After a period when we are just doing our best to stay afloat as parents, as employees, as neighbors, etc. I am always so happy to find, again, that I really do love my husband very much. It is hard to connect during the day-to-day, and I don't always make the effort that I should to say a kind word, talk about our days, etc. When we have a rare few hours to just be together, I always resolve to do better. I resolve again to put being a wife in the list above.