Saturday, September 13, 2008

Then again, maybe not

Being a parent myself now, I appreciate my mom at a whole new level. I recognize the sacrifices she made so that I did not have to go without. I am thankful for the boundaries she set for me and I realize they were truly put in place for my protection. I understand in a whole new way that my mom was never out to get me, no matter what I believed as a teenager, and that she never once made a decision without agonizing over if it was the right one, only wanting to do the best job she could and not having the luxury of a crystal ball to tell her if it was the right one. I appreciate this because now it's my turn to agonize and set limits and boundaries and wonder if I'm doing any of it right or if I'm scarring my children for life.

So it was with great delight and surprise, after wiping Tristan's hands and face after lunch a few days ago, I heard him say "Thank you Mom. You take good care of me." I scooped him up into a great big hug, and rained kisses down on him while he giggled, my heart full and soaring, he gets it! All the things I do for him, he gets it! He appreciates it! I let him down to go play and savoured the deliciousness of that comment for hours in a happy little bubble of joy and fulfillment.

Sometime later that day I saw the kids playing together on the floor with a talking My Little Pony that Ava got for her birthday and I stopped to watch. This pony comes with a stethoscope, a thermometer, a medicine spoon and a box of kleenex and was currently sneezng up a storm. After much bossing from Ava and negotiation from Tristan one of them finally got to wipe the poor pony's nose with a special mini kleenex. Just as I was about to commend them on their kindness I heard the pony say, "Thank you. You take good care of me."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Things I have learned planning Tristan and Ava's 4th birthday party

1. I do not like the taste of icing. I used to like it. Until I had to ice 6 cakes in the shape of balloons. It's shocking how much icing you end up ingesting while doing this.

2. How to do a proper crumb coating so you don't get cake bits in your icing. After doing it wrong and getting cake bits in my icing.

3. My kids have more friends than I do. 17 of them are coming to the party tomorrow.

4. My oven is not level. The front of the cakes came out significantly higher than the back which made my "balloons" very lopsided.

5. How to make paper kites. I made 19 of them for the kids to decorate tomorrow during the party.

6. Hugh needs a deadline to make him go gang-busters in the yard. He's been working every night after work until dark to get the underground sprinklers hooked up and buried so we can set up the trampoline we and the g & g's bought the kids. Sprinklers are done, unfortunately there is a large pile of fence boards in the way.

7. I am all about the easy way out. We're doing a Teddy Bear Picnic themed party so I googled teddy bear cakes and how to make them. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! As if I'm going to that kind of effort. Twice. I decided to use stuffed teddy bears holding the ribbons up to cakes in the shape of balloons. Cake and a present all in one place - what could be better!

8. Tristan and Ava have a much sharper level of awareness than I have previously been used to. This morning I brought down the Care Bears that I bought for the cakes. (I was looking for old-fashioned teddy bears but this is what Wal-mart had, GOOD ENOUGH!) I was hiding them behind this huge board when Ava said in a singsong voice, "Oh Mo-om! I think I see Care Bears in your hands!" So much for that.

9. The dollar store is cheap crap heaven on one hand and parental purgatory on the other. "Keep your hands on the stroller and stop asking me to buy one of everything we see. No, you don't need a book light as YOU DO NOT READ!"

10. Despite how chaotic and insane it's going to be I'm looking forward to the party itself. And not just the part when it's all over. This might mean I'm crazy. But crazy or not, Tristan and Ava are 4 and it's time to celebrate!