“Mom, I have your Mother’s Day present in my backpack. I’m so excited. I think I have to give it to you now.” I knew it was pointless trying to talk him into waiting; he’s so much like his dad who bursts at the seams with excitement when he’s found, or made, the perfect gift. It’s pretty fun to watch, and, I like getting presents so I didn’t mind.
Before I knew it, Jackson had placed a sweet painting and beaded necklace next to me on the front seat. “Do you love it, mom? Do you love it?” I did.
Lily who had been patiently holding onto her gift for days yelled ‘I’M GIVING YOU MINE WHEN WE GET HOME!!!” She ran upstairs and pulled the pink tissue paper wrapped “Spoon Full of Kisses” card from under her bed where she had been hiding it. I opened my arms thinking she was trying to give me a hug too but realized just in time that she was only trying to nab my chocolate kisses.
Mother’s Day beats out my birthday for favourite occasions that are all about me. On Sunday, I might get to sleep in, I’ll definitely get breakfast made for me and we’ll all be together. We may not do anything much but on Sunday I’ll be spoiled with time, hugs and kisses.
Truthfully though, as much as I love seeing the kids excitement giving me their gifts, I don’t hold out much hope that they will actually be able to give me the one thing that I’ve asked for this year: just one day of not having to referee their continual bickering. That, I think, may be asking too much.
Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you get to enjoy a little pampering.
Filed under Life, motherhood
It seems to have become a bit of a new year tradition for us to pack the car and say goodbye to the snow as we drive to South Carolina.
Yes, that’s twenty-one hours in the car. With two kids. And, we’ve been doing it for the past four years.
This year, we loaded my phone with movies to help pass the time for the kids, but, to our surprise, they watched one movie in twenty-one hours. To my horror, that left more than nineteen hours that I needed to fill.
It was a last-minute trip this year so I didn’t have time to do much planning. We played car bingo which the kids had a love/hate relationship with (we’re still working on patience and delayed gratification). The front-seaters got a little tired of the ‘when are we going to see a dooooog?? When are we gonna see an airplaaaane??’ whining from the back-seaters. I found a fantastic website for mazes and games that kept the kids busy as well as introducing Jackson to the world of Sudoku. Everyone’s favourite car activity though was a little something I threw together just before we were leaving. I’m a big fan of imagination so I made a few pages with random shapes for the kids to turn into art. They loved doing the same sheet over and over to come up with something new each time. One of the sheets had a circle and stars at the top which I was sure would be turned into a moon but in the four versions they did, never once did those stars become part of a night sky.
We had a week away in a beautiful place where the weather was perfect. We saw nature, ate well (honey almond ice-cream = going back next year ) and played, yet, some of our favourite memories are of the drive. There’s something to be said for being stuck in a confined space together with no choice but to make the best of it. Okay, to be honest, the drive home is never fun. There’s nothing new and exciting to look forward to at the end so everyone’s nerves are a little more prickly (yes, by ‘everyone’ I mean ‘me’). For the last five hours of every drive home my husband and I commit to flying next time…
I love notebooks. I love the feeling of them and the potential the empty pages offer me. My intention is always to fill them with literary genius (I have lofty goals) but they end up filled with scribbles, untouched story ideas and little moments that I don’t want to forget.
While cleaning my desk I found a few forgotten ones at the bottom of my drawer. I found a page, apparently written while in need of a little me time, full of dreams of my perfect day.
Family struggles, pressures and mom guilt all wait patiently outside my bedroom door not making a sound, leaving plenty of room for my butler to come and go as required. I catch up on television shows, geared at an audience over seven years old, on a big screen TV that has magically appeared at the end of my bed. A steaming cup of coffee starts my day and my husband will deliver a pumpkin spice latte later in the afternoon (oh pumpkin spice, I love you).
A gentle breeze sifts through the window screens, carrying just enough chill that I have to snuggle under the blankets to keep warm. The kids are close by ready to be called at my whimsy for hugs, giggles and cuddles while my husband is available for jaunty banter whenever boredom strikes.
I have the freedom to stay in bed all day long with not a worry in the world. No lunches to make or laundry to put away. Just me and the precious few I decide to let in for a few minutes…
What does your perfect day look like?
It worked! It worked! My last post with all it’s mooshiness inspired (I like that word better than guilted) my sister into writing about her experience signing with her niece and nephew.
I think my dear sister could have been a bit more mooshy. The more flattery the more effective the guilt.
Kathy is right about one thing, though, I am a fantastic Aunt. Jackson and Lily make it easy. I adore them. If I were to be honest, I probably adore them more than all of my favourite people combined. They are sweet, smart and very funny.
I remember when Kathy first told me that she was going to teach Jackson baby sign language. To say I was skeptical is an understatement. Cynicism practically oozed from my pores right up until the first time I saw Jackson sign. That’s all it took to make me a believer. It was a learning experience for all of us. As Jackson learned new signs so did I. There were times when I couldn’t keep up with his growing singing vocabulary and had to have regular refreshers from Kathy. To be able to communicate with Jack before he even spoke a word was inspiring. Signing supplemented Jackson while he was learning to talk. It was thrilling to hear his little voice, especially once he learned to say “Yoey”, my nickname, and would chant it and charge at me for a hug. Once he stopped using signs altogether I did find myself missing his wee hands talking to me.
When Lily entered our lives, I, along with the rest of the family, was eager to begin the signing process with her. Miss Lily’s journey with signing and speech was much different than her brother’s, however it was just as exhilarating. I can still hear Lily’s giggle when she’d sign and know that you understood her. It made my heart happy.
Jackson and Lily’s signing reflected their individual and unique personalities. Jackson was deliberate and accurate whereas Miss Lily signed with wild abandon. Both of them left me in awe. Kathy introduced signing to their young lives and I truly believe that she opened up a whole new world for them, and for me.
My favourite sign is milk, simply because it makes me laugh. I may be the older sister but that doesn’t mean I’m more mature. The speech that Kathy referred to was aptly titled “Squeeze the Udder!”. To anyone considering signing I would wholeheartedly say go head, jump in and squeeze the udder! Not only will you be changing your babies life, you’ll be changing your own.
My sister is a fantastic aunt. She treats my children like they are her own (only without getting them in trouble as much as I do). She showers them with attention, playtime, crafting, and hugs. It’s obvious how much she adores Jackson and Lily to anyone that sees her with them or hears her speak about them.
I don’t say this solely to make her feel guilty about her reluctance to write a blog post for me but if it’s a byproduct of my being openly mooshy, so be it.
Anyway, I will tell her story.
My sister attends Toastmasters and her speech this week was about my kids and sign language. I wasn’t there to hear her talk but she’s a great public speaker and speech writer so I can only imagine how well it went.
Jackson and Lily haven’t signed very much for about two years now. We all sign ‘I love you’ regularly but other than that it’s really only the odd ‘please’, ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’. It’s more common to find me signing to them across a busy playground to get the message across that I’m watching.
Even with the lack of signing for a couple of years, the experience was important enough to my sister that she wanted to write one of her speeches about it. She even remembered quite a few signs that she showcased on stage.
People often ask me whether it’s worth it to sign with their kids, some having family and friends who aren’t keen on the idea and may not participate. With her speech, my sister reinforced the advice I’ve always given: people will be hardpressed not to smile or sign with baby once they see a wee one communicate using sign language. So, go ahead, try it. Even if no one else participates, you’ve still been able to see the world through your baby’s hands and that is something special. And, it will become just as special to friends and family.