Thursday, October 30, 2014

Other Moms

Since being a stay-at-home mom for the last 2 years, I've met a lot of other moms in my situation. A few of them stand out in my mind...

Perfect Mom

There is a woman I see only briefly 3 times a week when we are both dropping off our kids at preschool. But I can't get her off my mind.

In those short 2 minutes of contact (mostly just visual) I marvel at her perfect makeup and beautifully styled shoulder-length hair. She always looks good. Always. Her outfits are casual but very cute and complete with tasteful accessories, of course. And she definitely works out cuz that mama's bod is CUTE. Oh yeah, and she's always genuinely, truly, happy and cheerful.

I know nothing about her except (a) she always looks good and seems energetically happy and (b) she has 4 kids, with the youngest still under age 2.

Those two facts baffle me to no end such that I find myself thinking about her at odd times during the day, randomly. Like my brain is now working overtime, scrambling to resolve this seemingly unbridgeable cognitive dissonance.

My latest theory, she has a full-time housekeeper and cook.

Junkfood Mom

I know a mom who is always feeding her kid junk food for lunch. At first I thought it might be a once-in-a-while McDonald's treat, but nope. Every week her kid is chugging orange soda and munching on some kind of fast food. Somewhere Michael Pollan is weeping.

But instead of feeling superior and judgmental about this, I find myself secretly cheering her on.

You go Junkfood Mom! While the rest of us are begging and pleading our kids to eat some veggies and diluting our organic juices with water, you are feeding your kid crap. In front of all of us. Without any hint of shame.

While I'm a little concerned about this child's future health, I have to tip my hat to that kind of brazen boldness. I admire her chutzpah.

Pedicure Mom

Ok, so this mom isn't a SAHM, but I still admire the heck out of her. She works full-time outside of the home and once had a brutal 10-day work stretch.

When she finally had a day off after that long period, she didn't rush to lavish time on her child (like the guilty mom in me would have done), but she spent the day with me, getting lunch and a pedi while her daughter remained in daycare all day, yet again.

Some may question her priorities, but I envy her ability to feel so secure in her relationship with her child. She told me her spouse complains that she doesn't spend enough time with her kid.

I told her, dude, you're like my hero.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paunchy and Punchy in the Patch

Every year I tell myself that we are not going to a pumpkin patch.

The one near us is kind of depressing (sad ponies, anyone?) and really dusty and we can just get pumpkins from our local grocery store. And at $3 PER RIDE for the rides, well...that says it all really.

But somehow we found ourselves there again this year. I don't know how. I guess deep down I love festivities, however pathetic. If someone says "party" or "fair" or "carnival", I find myself inexplicably drawn towards it like a moth to a flame, especially if the words "no entrance fee" follows.

And if you're going to go, you might as well dress up.

Judah's go-to-face when I say "smile!"
And make your kids take a million photos.

Judah's face when I tell him "Smile nicely, not like a tough guy. Smile for grandma."
Because, heck, they're all dressed up.

And in the very next frame...the superhero is back.
And then you go home and look at the photos and think...

Words can not describe how much I love Noah's pot belly. One day he will be skinny and I will be sad.

That wasn't too bad...maybe we'll go again next year...

Because I'm also a sucker for pictures of my kids in matching outfits in front of seasonal-themed backgrounds. 

That's right. You better believe these pics are going right into my annual Shutterfly photo-calendar for the month of October, 2015.

Yup, totally worth the $9 I spent on lame rides.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pack Man

Judah has started wearing a 10 lb backpack all day long.

And when I say "all day long", I literally mean from the moment he wakes up to the moment he sleeps at night. In fact, the backpack sits right at the side of his bed, waiting to burden Judah at first light.

This is pre-backpack era, but you can already see the seeds of crazy are there.

It started when he got a simple Spiderman 'rope' sack as a birthday gift a couple months ago. He put all his most treasured possessions in there (basically all his TNMT stationary plus scissors) and carried it around everywhere. The problem was he kept adding to it. And adding to it. And adding to it. Until the rope eventually left burn marks on his shoulders.

Well, thinking it was quite serendipitous at the time, I picked up a new Spiderman backpack with nicely padded shoulder-straps at Costco last week, and Judah immediately ditched his rope-burn sack for the cushy new pack.

Problem was, the new backpack is huge. It's sized for a normal elementary school age child. Crap.

Judah already had hoarding tendencies with his tiny rope sack, but now it's become a full-fledged disease. Not only is there stationary in there (notepads, pencil cases, folders, etc.) there is now a full-on superhero costume (plus weapons), crafting materials of all kinds, books, random toys, and God knows what else.

And did I mention it weighs 10 lbs and he refuses to take it off? All. Day. Long?

Often he's running around the house with just undies and his backpack on. Because, of course, everything else is optional.

Doesn't everyone drink smoothies in their kitchen with a giant backpack on? No?

When I try to reason with Judah he just says stuff like, It's not too heavy for me. I like wearing it. It feels good, mommy!

I do not know how to argue with that kind of subjective crazy.

But seriously, how do I get him to take that stupid thing off?!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Noah Whisperer

I really can't complain about Judah's "older sibling" skills. He's a pretty awesome big brother in the following ways:

--He rarely fights for the same toy as Noah. In the rare instance they do, Judah usually gives the toy back to Noah in about 10 seconds because, in his own words--Mommy, I really hate hearing Noah cry. It makes me sad and it gives me a headache.

--He is fantastic at "tricking Noah" (one of the reasons they rarely fight). At just the tender age of 4, Judah is already a better actor than a lot of people I see on TV. Many times a day I hear him whining--Noah, give that to me! I want it! Ugggghhhh! And then he adds, sotto voce--Don't worry Mommy, I'm just tricking him so he'll trade with me. And simple Noah falls for it. Every. Time.

--He is great at comforting his brother when Mommy and Daddy are not around. At various times we've left the 2 kids with one-off babysitters and Noah always has a hard time, as would be expected. But Judah has the "magic belly" touch. Without any training or prompting from us (we heard this first from the babysitters), Judah tells Noah to lay on his belly for comfort.

Judah comforts Noah with his "magic belly" at church nursery.

Judah applies the "magic belly" method while mom and dad go on a rare date night.

Noah hangs on for dear life while Judah watches a movie. For the entire length of the movie!

Noah in turn, like most younger siblings I imagine, adores his big brother. He has to do everything Judah does and copy him exactly, even down to the most minute details. Once Judah got hurt and I kissed his wounded knee. Noah lifted his chubby (uninjured) leg for me to do the same. The amount of mimicry and copy-catting in this house is just ridiculous. Ridiculously cute that is!

Bottom line, Judah is an extremely emotionally sensitive and empathetic guy who truly loves his little brother. Many times a day I hear him talking to Noah the way I talk to him.

Noah, come here! Gimme a kiss!
Hey Noah, do you know I love you?
I love you Noah! Gimme a hug!

The two of them are so sweet together, I daresay it's easier having 2 kids than 1!