Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Love Being a Mom

Anyone who has read more than one of my posts knows that I don't find being a parent absolutely wonderful all of the time, or find it easy to parent babies and young kids, or that I think having kids means unicorns and rainbows and roses all of the time.

But do you know what? I love being a mom.

Not only that, I love being a mom of two.

Not just any two, I love being a mom of MY two.

I really, really do.

I love the tough times as well as the good times. I love that I'm the one teaching them life-long skills like how to use the potty, how to get dressed, good eating and health-care habits, how to talk and tell jokes. I love that I (or Londo) am the one they want when they are crying and upset, when they get hurt or sick. I am the one watching them grow and develop and learn. I'm the mom; I am their Mom, Mommy, Mama.

And then there are the moments that really make my heart swell to 10 times its size. The moments that I turn to Londo and say, THIS is why we have kids.

Last weekend, I had the Pookie sitting on my lap facing out. He loves to sit and watch what's going on, and he loves to laugh (much like his mother). Meanwhile, the Pumpkin, who loves to act silly and make people laugh (much like her father), was jumping up and down in front of us and leaning in the Pookie's face going "goo goo goo goo." The Pookie (and consequently Londo and I) started cackling and laughing so hard. And the Pumpkin looked up at us and kept saying, "Look! I'm making Pookie* laugh!"

I love being the mom of these two kids!

*She said his real name.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monsters and (Not Really) Being Scared

Over the last month or two, the Pumpkin has talked about monsters and being scared, although she never actually seems scared. It's more like she is playing with the idea of being scared. I think it's a combination of her current development stage and Halloween, and I also recently bought the book Where The Wild Things Are, which she seems to like.

We talk about monsters being scary and friendly. In fact the other morning at breakfast, she demanded asked me to be a scary monster, then a friendly monster, then a scary monster and then a friendly monster. My scary/friendly monster impression consists of me holding up hands like claws and saying in a scary/friendly voice, "I'm a scary/friendly monster." She gets a kick out of it.

When this talk of monsters first started, she used to say that we needed to watch out or hurry because a monster was coming! (She also has said this about sharks and dragons and other things which were going to "get us.") But she doesn't really sound worried about it. Just pretend worried.

When it started, I used to say, "That's a friendly monster/dragon! Let's invite him/her to have dinner with us/play with us." And she would. We have had monsters and dragons for dinner and tea parties--they are pretty good guests. She accepted them as easily as other pretend friends she "plays" with (we've had Dora, Boots and Benny to tea parties, and we often have Diego in the car ride to school). She seems to act the same way about scary monsters as she does friendly ones.

She has pretended to be a monster herself. My favorite is when she puts a blanket around her shoulders and/or head, holds her hands up like claws and says in a funny voice, "I'm a monster! Grrr!"

The Pumpkin has never really been scared of things. In fact, we had to work really hard to get her to realize that some things are dangerous (edges of things that are high up, for example). In one way, it's nice that she's not scared, even of monsters. In another way, I do worry about how she will develop later when she needs to be cautious of certain things.

For now, I'm just having fun playing monsters with her.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poetry

I used to write poetry.

I used to paint
what I saw, what I felt,
with words.

I used to ohsocarefully decide
where to make
line breaks,
where to place the words and
punctuation marks.

I used to consider my word choices
for days,
weeks,
making sure each word, each phrase,
was just so.

I used to read and analyze and discuss
poetry and literature
using BIG words to describe
deep concepts intended or
unintended
by the author.

I used to draft
write
re-write
revise
my own concepts and thoughts,
my own emotions and feelings
until I conveyed what I wanted
the way I wanted.

I used to agonize over rhyme
schemes, the rhythm of phrases, the
sounds of words,
the structure of content,
figures of speech,
poetic license.

I used to so strongly
need
to write poetry
from my heart, from
my head, from my
soul.

I used to need to express thoughts
in that manner.
In this manner.

I realize now
I still need to write poetry.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Question of the Week - Instrumental

We are a musical family. I have numerous posts in which I describe songs we sing, ones we've made up and ones to calm the Pumpkin down. We also sing songs to get the Pumpkin to do things she would otherwise balk at, like cleaning up toys, brushing her teeth or whatever we come up with words for doing.

I guess I thought it was normal to live in a musical. However, over the last few months, I've had a few people comment on how much we sing and how much the Pumpkin sings. She really does sing all the time, and like her parents, she often makes up words and even music. I remember my parents singing all the time, too, although my mom was one of the people who pointed out that the Pumpkin sings all the time, so maybe we didn't sing quite this much when I was a kid.

The Pumpkin also likes to play the various toy instruments we have, including piano/keyboards, one piano with xylophone, drums and maracas. Londo and I both played instruments when we were growing up, and we've always said that our kids will play an instrument. We'll let the pick which instrument, but there will be music lessons. We plan to buy an upright piano for the house by the time the kids are ready to play music.

You see, Londo and I both come from musical families. My mom teaches violin, as her mom did. My mom's dad was a violinist in one of the top symphonies in the country. My mom played cello in a few local orchestras when I was growing up. My sister is in orchestra management and has played flute and piccolo in some orchestras as well. My dad's mom was very musical and had a grand piano and numerous instruments in her house. Londo's mom plays the piano at their church and also has a room devoted to her grand piano and other instruments. Is it any wonder the Pumpkin is such a musical child?

This week's question of the week is really two questions:
1. What instrument (if any) did you play growing up?
2. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?

Here are my answers:
1. I played the violin and piano for years. I also took voice lessons and sang in my high school chorus and chambers group. I tried to teach myself the guitar once, but didn't stick to it.
2. I always wanted to play the harp. My mom always said I could, but I never gave her the final go-ahead to get me one. I wasn't sure I'd stick to it, and it would have been expensive and heavy to lug around. Maybe some day I'll learn it. For now, I can't wait until we can afford a piano for me to brush up on again.

How about you? Are you or were you musical? What instruments did you scratch away on? What instrument do you wish you could play like an expert?