Monday, August 10, 2009
I took pictures of some of the little surprises Jack leaves for me. This post has pictures from just one day of life with my tot. There are so many intangible surprises, I am thrilled that I could capture just a few of the tangible moments as evidence of the active imagination that makes having a toddler boy amazing.
So this post is for everyone who has raised a little boy. It's for anyone who hasn't. And it's for anyone who delights, as I do, in finding comedy in the ordinary.
Because Jack is anything but ordinary.
And I love him.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I think the only cure for CLB is professional help. But that's not an option. So, I continue to suffer from this debilitating condition.
You'll be happy to note that shortly after these photos were taken, I did sort the laundry into to-be-folded baskets according to whom the laundry belongs. And then I put another load in the dryer, so I'm just waiting for that to finish before I actually fold it. (Thereby justifying me blogging about how blogging contributes to CLB.) Afterwards, there is no telling how long it will sit, folded, outside of bedrooms.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Anyway, I changed the name of my blog, as you can see. I hear so many people tell me my house is a "zoo" and that I am the keeper. At first, I was a little miffed at the implications, but then I realized that it's a little bit true. And now I realize it's entirely true. Of course, I say this with nothing but love an affection for my "animals".
I think it took me awhile to fully transition from 1 child to 3. I think I fought against it a little bit; I might have been more reluctant than I thought to step a little further away from my "old" self - the high-heel-wearing, fashionable, Starbucks-cup-carrying, Prius-driving, social-event-attending, husband-doting, flirty, up-and-coming young professional (though professional "what" was still to be determined...). Not that I even spent much time being THAT person before I was planning our family of 3 and waiting for my son to arrive, but I enjoyed THAT. I felt like I was getting a little closer to getting back to a place close to that when I got pregnant with the girls. I've always been thrilled to welcome them into our family. From the moment I saw Addison's little face, I knew how blessed I was to have completely shut the door on "old" Melissa. But when they first came home with me, I don't think I realized how far away from not just Starbucks-cup Melissa I was, but from husband-doting Melissa. Even Jack's-Mommy Melissa. Now I'm Mom-of-Three Melissa. I don't have enough arms to carry all the kids, let alone a Starbucks cup.
So now I wear babies in slings instead of the latest trendy shirt from Express. I wear mismatched flip-flops because Jack picked them out for me instead of heels. I attend play dates, not happy hour. I drive a minivan (albeit, a bitchin mini, but still a minivan) instead of my Prius. I am no longer concerned with anything even remotely resembling a profession. Sure, I'd like to make some money to help our family one of these days, but I'm utterly indifferent to the idea of a career. With one child, I still had the Prius, my cup, my heels, etc. I could walk through a grocery store and people would say, "Wow I really like your shoes! What a cute kiddo!" I could HAVE a hair style and actually style my bangs before I left to go someplace. Now, I have a ponytail of varying heights with two headbands that I swap out depending on the pair of sunglasses I'm wearing. I go someplace and I hear, "Oh my gosh, are all those kids YOURS?"
Yes, yes they are. All 3 of them.
And it's not like 3 is a ton! But they're young. I'm young. I look younger without makeup and you bet your ass I rarely wear makeup.
When people passed me and apologetically said, "Oh honey, you have your hands so full!" or asked why I would go through the hassle of taking 3 kids out in public by myself, I used to only be able to muster a weak smile and say, "Yeah... it's tough."
But that didn't last very long. It only took a few weeks before I'd just grin back at the person and declare, "Yep, my arms are full alright, but I wouldn't have it any other way!" and explain that I take 3 kids out in public with me because, well, I need to buy groceries and I don't want to leave any of them behind for any amount of time. I want them near me always. Why? Because I'd like to keep both my feet on my body, my ears... need them to stick around... I'm quite fond of having my nose intact and my fingernails. Likewise, my kids are just as much a part of me if not more-so, and I am not whole without them.
Going from one child to three has meant a LOT more sacrifices - giving up my sleep, time with Justin, dignity (in some cases) and a little more of that "old" Melissa. It wasn't easy, but I'm so there now. And what I've realized is that "old" Melissa was a temporary condition; "this" Melissa has always been who I am, I just needed to add the kids, stir, bake for a few weeks and here I am. I'm happy and content. The chaos that is my house more often than not... well, it makes me smile. Granted, I'm not always smiling when I've put the kids to bed (and, yes, in case you were wondering, for the purposes of this post, Justin is included in the "kids" category) and am cleaning the kitchen or sweeping up the rice that Jack has managed to spread across the entire first floor, but I wake up excited for the day ahead of me.
I really, honestly, truly, have embraced this new normal for us. Despite the challenges, or maybe because of them, I am secure and content in who I am. I feel blessed and proud that my kids
So my house is a zoo... Who cares? I wouldn't want it any other way.