Friday, June 25, 2010

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Little Meems is 7 today. I can hardly believe it, but isn't that always the case? Where does the time go?

The past 7 years with her have been indescribable. Wonderful, challenging, sweet, exasperating, loving, spunky, unpredictable years.

She's my little miracle baby, in a way. After years of trying with her brother, she just happened -- no plans, no needles, no waiting. I walked into Target, got a whiff of fresh popcorn, and high-tailed it to the bathroom to throw up. Another first...I never even felt sick with her brother. Days on the sofa eating crackers were followed by three months of weekly migraine headaches and an insane craving for Cocoa Pebbles. I thought then that if those headaches were an omen of what was to come...turns out I think they probably were.

She came bursting into our lives with such impatience and assertiveness...another omen. From the get go, she was a force to be reckoned with. From her nursing, to her sleep habits, to her body temperature, to her ever changing moods -- she was much more high maintenance than her brother had been. I thought, well, here's the difference between boys and girls.

And that may be true, but it's also just her. And as much as it makes me crazy sometimes, it's what I love the most about her. She usually knows just what she wants, and what she doesn't want. She is loud and forceful in a way that belies her very petite frame. She stands up for herself, for which I am thankful. She's imaginative and sweet, compassionate and observant. She's sassy and challenging, with a quick temper and an even quicker tongue, but she's empathetic and encouraging and supportive and loving, so much so that it takes my breath away. She has a twinkle in her eye and an impish nature that draw you in. The dimples and bouncy curls are the icing on the (very scrumptious) cake.

She's a treasure trove of stories...and my best inspiration. She's challenged me to be a better mother. A different mother.

Her mother.

Happy 7th birthday to my beautiful Little Meems. I love you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Um, Yikes!

My children are clueless.

I mean, when it comes to uncomfortable information about our bodies, what things are called, and what they do.

Little Meems is especially blissfully unaware, although we're stepping into the advanced world of elementary school and, more importantly, what they learn on the bus. Right now, the Kindergartners are somewhat protected from the big kids, sitting up front. Sweet, innocent, naive...

This won't last long, and I'm afraid of the touchy conversations coming up. I might actually have to EXPLAIN to her what happens to ladies when they become, well, ladies. And give her some basics in female anatomy, utilizing correct terminology.


My sons, however, have had head-on collisions with some of these delicate issues of late. My oldest is 8; they youngest is 4. The 8-year-old found a tampon in my purse, held it upright in front of his face for further inspection, and said, "what in the world is THIS thing?"

At the doctor's office. In the waiting room, which, of course, was packed.

I stumbled upon my other son's introduction to tampons the other day. I found some pieces of wrapper on the floor of my bathroom, but didn't think much about it, considering I had just emptied the trash can. Later, as I helped Little Meems fill the tub for her bath, I noticed full-sized wrappers in the trash can in the kids' bathroom. I called the little one to come see. With big eyes and bent head, he lead me to where the contents of those wrappers were hiding...behind the cushions of the big chair in the family room. With Buzz Lightyear.

Turns out, they make excellent rocket ships, and Buzz IS trying to return to the Intergalactic Alliance in the Gamma Quadrant of Sector 4.

You might think that I was presented with excellent teaching moments for my children that I should have utilized. Us moms are always looking for those! But no. To one son I explained that a lady's purse is her private area, and to the other I explained that he just needed to stay out of mommy's bathroom.

I'll get to that lesson some other day. Hopefully in the far, far, way-off future.

To infinity, and beyond!