September 21, 2004

Busy Days

We had a great weekend all told, but I'm tired. We decided to go up to Kentucky to visit Justin's grandparents and his parents, who are evacuated from Pensacola for a while. We left Friday night and came back Saturday night. The kids had fun picking muscadines that Justin's granddad grows -- even though neither one likes them. The Girl kept sticking them in her mouth, chewing for a second and then spitting it out with a loud "Yuck" and handing the nearest grownup the remains. We brought some home and made juice though and that's a hit though. Some lemon juice and sugar improved the flavor immensely.

Sunday morning I was really dragging and a mom, who teaches The Girl's Sunday School class, offered to take both kids for the whole afternoon. I fell guilty taking such offers, but Justin had no such qualms. So we sent them off, came home, ate lunch, went to Supercuts and got haircuts -- Justin hates the actual getting of a haircut, so he has to be strongarmed into doing it -- and then I took a nap and he vacuumed out the car.

By the time that and a few loads of laundry were done, it was time for evening church. The Girl was glad to see us for a few minutes and then wanted Ms. 'nise again. The Boy asked to sit with them for worship, but showed up and cuddled with me halfway through.

The Boy had school yesterday and again today. So The Girl and I did grocery shopping yesterday -- a task that isn't nearly as bad as the meal planning and grocery list making -- and then came home and folded laundry, put away laundry, sorted through the clothes in The Boy's dresser. He's shooting up now, unlike his sister who can still wear almost everything she was wearing a year ago.

Yesterday when The Boy came home from school, he was being so whiny about one thing and another at lunch that I finally (after warning him) told him he couldn't watch a video today (a normal weekday after lunch tradition) which produced stormy tears, promises to try again and pronouncements that he didn't love me any more. After The Girl finally fell asleep for her nap -- she keeps pushing it later and later -- I read him a book, which put him in a better mood.

The Boy's school had a parent alliance meeting tonight, I went and Justin stayed home with the kids. It was interesting. They were describing what the various grades were doing and it sounds so cool -- in various classes they are knitting, carving wood, learning to write, botany, mythology, studying Roman law and a number of other things. When I hear what the kids are doing, in general, I always think that this is exactly where I want my children to go to school. But I do wonder if a place where I don't feel like I have much in common with other parents is so great.

Anyway -- then I came home, it was time to put the kids to bed -- Justin and I normally alternate nights reading, but he was worn out, so I said I'd read. The Boy wants his dad to read all the time and so he told me if I didn't "let" Justin read, he wouldn't love me any more (it seemed to have been the theme for the day) and so we took away the priviledge of bedtime stories at all. More weeping and crying ensued and he told us that we'd made him say those mean things, because he just doesn't like it when I read. So really it was our fault. He can be so sweet, but he sure has a mean tongue at times -- as we all do.

After the kids went to bed, we finally finished sorting through outgrown and out-of-season clothes, something we'd started doing about two months ago. I think that was the last big thing I needed to do before the baby arrives. Now I should be able to just pull out baby clothes, unfold the bassinet sidecar thingie and be done with it, when the time comes. It seems like there should be more to this, but I guess there really isn't. I'll pack a hospital bag in a couple of weeks and a bag for the kids, but things seem less stressful this time around than in the past, which is nice.

Today, The Girl and I dropped some stuff off at Goodwill and I decided to go in and look around for a few minutes. As it turned out, they had a double jogging stroller in almost perfect condition (though a bit sun faded) for less than half the price of a new one -- plus I had a $20 off coupon. So I snapped that up and am very pleased. Not that I jog, but I have wanted one for some of the longer walks we take and this one fits the bill and the price was right.

It will be time to get The Boy in a bit and I'm hoping he will have a less grouchy day today. I'm not trying to win any popularity contests with him, but I'd like a little less whining and "I don't love you" talk.


Have you tried giving the Boy some cheese with his "whine"? I remember we had a hard time with the whining for Li'l Tater awhile back. Now it's the faces and eye-rolling. Who knows what we'll get in the future (hopefully nothing violent).

Sounds like you're getting the hang of the baby arrival process. It would almost be a shame to stop at 3.

It's funny how we teach our children about love, and when they first start to get it they think it is something they can give and take away on a whim. Teaching them about the unconditional aspect is the difficult part.

Posted by: MarcV at September 21, 2004 11:40 AM

Just tell him that you do love him, but that you're still going to have to cook him in a big pan with gravy for supper. This will have two effects--first, he will be taken off-guard by your silliness and might lighten up a little bit, and then when he goes to school and says his mommy was going to cook and eat him, it will confirm all of his teachers' suspicions about you conservatives. Win-win, eh?

(In case someone misses the humor, I do not actually advocate cooking children in gravy. They are much better with a black bean and chipotle salsa.)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 21, 2004 12:08 PM

Remember when they were tiny and loved you unconditionally?

Because Daughter is an adopted child, I not only get "I don't love you" I also get "I hate you and you're not my real mom anyway!" There was a time when that remark, delivered with just the right amount of hatred and vitriol, would reduce me to tears. Unfortunately, I've now heard it so many times that I'm immune to it. Mostly.


I am told that at the age of about 23, girl children turn back into human beings. I can't wait!

Posted by: Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady at September 21, 2004 08:39 PM

Hmmm. Our daughter is about to turn 23. I'll keep you posted ;-)

Jordana, about being in a place where you do not feel like you have much in common with other parents, I'm sorry to tell you that such was my experience throughout Daughter's 19 years of formal education (so far!). It may be that you usually feel "in place" more easily than I did, or it may be that there really are not a lot of kindred spirits with kids your age.

We actually had our daughter (whom I wanted to home school, but she had a FIT and we had some intervening family circumstances; please do not get the idea that the kid ran the show at our house *grin*) enrolled in Catholic school before Catholic schools got kewl again. Even there, I frankly did not find many people who shared our values and our ideas about faith being something lived out day in and day out. (And boy, do I have my "days out"!) There were a few people, but really not more than five or so for all those years Miss Priss was in school.

Perhaps your experience will be different. But I am _very_ grateful for the Internet because it has, in a sense, helped me find a community of women whose values I share and whose senses of humor are a little whacked, like mine. I would have liked more sense of community and, being in a Catholic school, I had certainly expected more.

I have come to think that if a school is a reasonably good place for children, that's probably about as good as it gets. This might be in part because children are usually less snotty than adults. But maybe not ;-)

Posted by: Patricia at September 21, 2004 11:59 PM