Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Checking Off The List

I woke up at 4:18am again this morning.  Thankfully this time I fell right back to sleep.  I was startled awake again at 7:04am by the sound of laughing happy kids - such a lovely way to start the day.  I jumped out of bed thinking about getting out the door for 8:15 so we could be at school in time for the kids meeting with their teacher and I realized that the days of waking up without an alarm are almost at an end.  For six years I have been basically alarm free.  Sigh.  One more change in this season of changes.

Anyway.  On a positive note, the kids' teacher seems great.  She was kind and engaging with the kids and seems like she'll be a lot of fun.  I feel good about leaving my kids in her care.  It was also nice to be able to have the answer to some of those questions that were keeping me up yesterday in the wee hours.  I now know which door to drop them off and pick them up at.  I know what time school starts and ends.  I know which door they will use to go outside at recess.  I know they do in fact need a snack for Friday.  All this knowing is very relieving.  So relieving that I have a massive pounding headache from the emotional letdown.  Though I'm pretty sure the headache started in the middle of the grocery store this morning.

In hindsight, planning to do a big grocery shop after the kids' first meet and greet with their teacher was probably not the best idea.  Which I decided in the middle of my shopping trip after Ava had spent 10 minutes hugging her stomach and crying, Tristan had been arguing with me for about 10 minutes about lunch snacks and Sebastian had been crying because I said no to gum since we were so close to the cookie aisle.  I haven't been that hot in a store in a long time!  You know the kind of heat I mean right, moms?  That agitated, need-to-remove-extraneous-clothing, lost-control-wish-you-could-make-your-kids-stop, wish-you-were-anywhere-but-here kind of feeling.  I admit it, I caved.  I gave everyone a piece of gum to make them be quiet so people would stop glaring at me.  Shortly after the gum we got to the cookie aisle.  I could see the light at the end of the hellish shopping trip tunnel.  And that was when I ran over two sets of toes with an overflowing cart because the kids kept darting in front of me while I was pushing. 

And then we had to pay. 

Do I need to say more?  While I was bagging my groceries - can I just take a minute and say how much I HATE bagging - Tristan climbed up onto the metal bag holder things at the end of the checkout lane and was balancing precariously on them.  Ava bumped into a lady with a walker because she wasn't watching where she was going and Sebastian was crying because he lost one of his Littlest Pet Shop characters somewhere in the store.  I asked the kids if they wanted to retrace everywhere we had been in the huge store to find it.  They choose a moment of silence.  I'm sorry you got left behind Pet Shop Pig but in every war there are casualties.  I honour you for your commitment to the battle of staving off boredom and tears and I thank you for your sacrifice.  May your new home treat you well wherever it ends up being.

So here we are.  First school experience done.  Next on the list is their half-day Friday when I will drop them off and leave.  Weird!  All I need to do before now and then is pull out their Fall clothes, quiz them on our street address and tell them where babies come from.  Piece of cake right? 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Somehow my stomach wasn't getting the message.

Tomorrow morning is Tristan and Ava's Kindergarten orientation.  They start on Friday.

I haven't pulled out their fall clothes yet!  "Do not be anxious about anything...."
I haven't bought them new socks yet!  "Do not be anxious about anything..."
I haven't put their names on their backpacks yet! "Do not be anxious about anything..."
I don't even know what time school starts! "Do not be anxious about anything..."
I don't know what time it ends either!  "Do not be anxious about anything...."

I don't think the kids know our phone number! "Do not be anxious about anything..."
I have never taught the kids our address!  "Do not be anxious about anything..."
Sebastian doesn't have a backpack for preschool!  "Do not be anxious about anything..."
What if Tristan pees his pants at school?  "Do not be anxious about anything..."

What if the kids don't like their teacher?  "Do not be anxious about anything..."
Am I supposed to send a snack on Friday for their half-day? "Do not be anxious about anything..."
What if Tristan poos his pants at school?  "Do not be anxious about anything...."

I haven't had the sex talk with my kids yet! They still don't know where babies come from! "Do not be anxious about anything..."

"Morning Mom!  I am so hungry!  I want peanut butter and jam for breakfast.  No! I want just peanut butter in bread not toast.  No! I want cereal with blueberries and bananas.  I am SO hungry!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

In the Book of My Life this chapter is entitled "I'm Not Ready!"

In the week leading up to the birth of my twins I was hit by a sudden attack of nerves.  What had we done?  Were we really prepared to be parents?  Really prepared for life as we knew it to change and change forever?  Once you bring a child into the world you can't just send it back saying, oh sorry, this crazy exhaustion? this greasy hair and these spit-up stained sweats? this feeling of isolation and constant sense of guilt, of not being enough? Yeah, that's not what I ordered.

I always say that I like change.  And I do.  Right after the blisters of breaking it in have all healed up into nice strong callouses.    In the week before the babies were born I had the terrifying realization that there would be no "getting back to normal" after they came.  We were going to have to find a new normal and I just couldn't picture it.  I had so many questions.  How was I going to breastfeed two babies?  How was I going to go grocery shopping?  When would I make dinner?  When would I sleep?  What were my days going to look like?  What if I didn't like being a mom?  What if I wasn't any good at it?  When the glow of delivery wears off and people stop bringing meals and gifts and your husband goes back to work you can't pass off the babies to their real mom and say well, that was fun, what should we do next? This was it, life permanently and irrevocably shifting.  I was terrified.

Fastforward six years.

Tristan and Ava will be starting Kindergarten next week.  They will be going two full days a week and an additional half-day every other week.  Life again is permanently and significantly changing.  This shift feels more momentous than adding another baby to the mix.  That was a change.  That altered our family dynamics.  But the fabric of our daily life remained largely the same.  I was still at home raising small children.  I had done the baby thing before. I knew what to expect.  I could picture what my days were going to look like.  As I look ahead to next week I realize there will be no "getting back to normal".  We will again have to find our new normal and I just can't picture it.  I have so many questions.  Where will I park to drop them off?  Who is their teacher going to be?  What am I going to make for lunches?  What will their days look like?  Are they going to like it?  What if someone is mean to them?  What if they get hurt and I'm not there to kiss it better?

Last Spring when we went to our Kindergarten orientation the three Kindergarten teachers did a little presentation about "A day in the life of your Kindergartener".  It was adorable and I walked away feeling so good about the upcoming year, so excited for the kids because of all the new and wonderful experiences they were going to have.  Now that it's a week away I am realizing what this change really means.  It means that our small little family circle of influence will have to increase and I will have to share my kids with new friends, teachers and coaches and that I won't always like what those influences will say to my kids.  It means I will no longer know everything that happens during their day and that I will know less and less the older they get.  It means a growing number of backward glances over their shoulders as I stay behind, waving them off.

I realize they are only just starting school, that we will have thirteen years of it before they fly the coop.  I also realize that this new phase of life means I will have one morning every week (Sebastian will be going to preschool one morning a week this year while the kids are in school) entirely and gloriously to myself which I'm definitely not sad about! It's just that this shift signals another permanent shift, one where the end goal is not just to have well-mannered, well-behaved kids.  The end goal of this phase is to have raised strong, confident and independent individuals who are ready to take on their own grand adventures, make their own life decisions and live with those consequences.  The days where I can make them do anything will be long gone.   Which is as it should be.  Which is what I want.  Tomorrow.  Today, looking at Tristan and Ava's open faces unmarred by the pain of a friend's betrayal; their bright eyes not carrying the shadow of hurtful words; today, hearing the pure joy in their laughter, I just want time to stop.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Where to begin...

So we went on holidays.  But before we went on holidays my rash and whatever it was did settle down.  Not so much Tristan's stomach.  I ended up cleaning up having to clean puke off Tristan's bedroom carpet, his bedding and his bedside table.  He had had cheerios with blueberry yoghurt, blueberries and raisins for breakfast.  Need I say more?  He puked one more time just after getting out of the tub, had one episode of explosive diarrhea and then slept the rest of the afternoon.  We threw an extra pair of jammies (and underwear) in my purse and gave him a plastic bowl with lid just in case and headed out.  We got into our hotel that night at 2:20am and were on the road again by 8:20 the next morning.  And that's how we began our "restful" vacation.  In 16 days we drove 4500 km, slept in 6 different cities, 1 hotel, 1 tent trailer, and 4 different houses.

To start, we camped with three quarters of the AOGG club. at Tchesinkut Lake near Burns Lake, BC. (Thanks Billie for the loan of the tent trailer!) Tanya and her fam were VERY missed!!!

We visited Hugh's brother and family.

Beesh cuddling with Auntie Cara
Do you think he did it?
When you're out of colouring pages Uncle Aaron is very handy.

We had a 60th birthday party for Hugh's dad and spent a lovely afternoon on their sailboat.

And finally we visited my parents.


By this time all the kids had been sick.  Nobody but Tristan threw up but Tristan went from throwing up sick to sore throat, cold sick.  Beesh got such a bad cough that everytime he coughed he would wince and cry and Ava got a really bad sore throat. At my parents house it was Hugh and I who got sick.  Despite the sickness that sort of followed us around we still had a really fun vacation with lots of good visiting and great weather all around.  Now all I need is a vacation from my vacation so I can actually get some rest!