Inquiring Young Minds Want to Know March 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 12:45 pm

Hyperlad is one of the most inquisitive five-almost-six year olds I’ve ever known. He asks some very interesting questions, so I thought I’d answer a set of them right here.

  1. Yes, everyone dies.
  2. That’s right, you won’t get hurt in heaven.
  3. God makes them, with help from Mommy and Daddy.
  4. No, I don’t really want to tell you that part right now.
  5. It’s called decomposition.
  6. No, your new heavenly body will not be made of metal.
  7. Just don’t worry about how babies get there for now, ok?
  8. No, I’m not dying yet. It will be a long time from now.
  9. Would you please stop asking how babies get there? I”ll tell you later.
  10. Yes, that’s right, worms eat it.
  11. Yes, that’s right, they do poop it out and make better soil.
  12. Yes, you may have oatmeal for breakfast.

All of which leads me to a question of my own: just what do they teach on PBS Kids?

 
 

Wubba Sesame November 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:15 pm

In the spirit of Christine the Soccer Mom, and My Charming and Patient Husband, I will celebrate Sesame Street’s birthday by posting a couple of my favorite clips.

I guess you could say I have a soft spot for the big cast all star numbers.

I still miss Kermit, though.

And I chuckle to myself when I remember Jane Curtin disrobing on Point Counterpoint, Pee Wee Herman getting arrested in an adult theater, and the Frugal Gourmet… well, let’s not go there. Such role models!

 
 

A Curtain Climber by Any Other Name April 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:30 am

I’ve been thinking about names for Curtain Climber, and have wondered if we should come up with a new name for him. So far, we’ve thought of:

  • Rocker Climber
  • Counter Climber
  • Table Climber
  • Cabinet Climber
  • Computer Monitor Climber
  • Television Climber
  • Mom Climber

All in all, I’m not convinced any other name would make much of a difference. The funny thing is, the curtains are about the only thing he hasn’t climbed. But to make up for it, he occasionally makes me climb the walls.

Ah, motherhood: it’s not a job, it’s a vocation. It has to be… a job would be too easy to quit!

Have a happy week, all!

 
 

Marry Well! December 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 11:08 am

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I hope you’ll bear with me for a moment while I pat myself on the back. I married one of the kindest, smartest, funnest, manliest, and most fertile men I have ever met. And despite three well-rehearsed “You! You did this to me!”s, I have never, even for a two-second pause, regretted it.

So in the spirit of annual tradition, I would like to share a few words about how to marry well.

Choosing a partner:

  • Don’t expect change. A husband or wife might change over time, but you can’t expect it or force it. Don’t marry anyone who isn’t just what you want to be married to right now. A boyfriend or girlfriend who manipulates you is not suddenly going to become honest after the wedding date is chosen. A fiance who belittles you is not going to miraculously discover what a gem you are after rings are exchanged. Your loved one will have faults, yes. But you have to ask yourself if these are faults you are willing to live with for the rest of your life.
  • Don’t approach marriage thinking “if it doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced.” People who think of divorce as an option are not likely to try very hard to make things work.
  • Don’t marry someone who doesn’t think you are the best thing that has ever happened to him or her. You deserve to be appreciated, and not just loved but cherished.
  • Do communicate. If at all possible, take a marriage prep class, or attend an engagement retreat like Engaged Encounter, or go for premarital couples counseling. There will be areas where you think or assume that you are on the same page and it turns out that you are not. Most of these are minor hurdles that can be worked out with just a little bit of communication; but if it turns out that one of them is a deal breaker for one or the other of you, better that you should find out now, not after you’ve established a life, started a joint checking account, and bought a car together.
  • Do make decisions together about finances and children. Before you marry. Even if your decision is not to decide yet, make sure you both agree on it.

Keeping a spouse:
I like to tell my sons that the best way to have a happy marriage is to treat their wives the way my husband treats me. For the benefit of those who don’t know my Charming and Patient Husband, I will elaborate a bit here.

  • Accept your spouse. That doesn’t merely mean pretend to tolerate. Really accept him or her for what he or she is. There is nothing in the world that will help a person blossom into the best they can be better than genuine, unconditional acceptance. It heals past hurts, it raises future hopes, and it makes life a lot smoother.
  • Appreciate your spouse. Don’t merely overlook faults. Look, actively look, at qualities. And then express your appreciation verbally. Let him know that you are grateful for his hard work. Let her know how her smile warms you on a bad day.
  • Never let the kids get between you. Your kids will one day grow up and move out; hopefully your spouse will not. Don’t fight in front of the kids. Don’t contradict them publicly about child rearing. There will be times you disagree about how to handle something, but discussion should always be respectful of the other person, and private. The kids do not need to see places where they can drive wedges to get what they want. Nor do they need the insecurity of wondering if they will have both of you in their lives in the future.
  • Be the best person you know how to be, even in the areas of your life that don’t affect your spouse. It inspires admiration. Don’t just be generous with your spouse; also be generous with others. Smile warmly at the whole world, not just the person you love. It affects your entire outlook for the better, and it really can help your spouse to want to be a better person, too. I know that when I see my husband being kind to strangers, it reminds me to be kinder. When I see him being generous, it makes me feel proud of him. Don’t deprive your love of the opportunity to be proud of you.
  • Don’t be afraid to be weak. Yes, keep on trying; but don’t think that means you have to hide your weakness and vulnerability. That’s what a life partner is for! This is the one person who will back you up when your backbone doesn’t feel very strong. Let your spouse know how much it means to you that he or she helps you through your moments of weakness.
  • Most of all, remember that love is not just a noun, it is also a verb. It isn’t just a “thing” that you feel, it’s an action that you do. And like every other action, it requires that you make a decision of the will. You are not a victim of love, you are an active participant. Keep on loving. Decide each and every day to give of yourself. Remember each and every day how much you love this person.

I pray that you will experience the kind of joy that I have in love.

 
 

Note to Monkeytot November 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:58 pm

Remember when I said you couldn’t put a bandage in your nose? I’m sorry, but you can’t put one in your mouth, either. It just won’t work.

 
 

Define "Slow Learner." October 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 8:00 pm

Is it a person who has multiple children?

Only if the children were a mistake. Ergo, no.

Maybe the slow learner is the one who has a blessing… or is fortunate enough to have multiple blessings and still thinks only a slow learner would want to be so blessed.

Oooh, people who assume that children are a mistake really steam my Irish potatoes.

 
 

Note to Monkeytot October 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:40 am

I don’t think you’ll have much success slicing the cheddar cheese with a plastic wrench. Sorry. And no, you may not grab a sharp knife to do it with instead. And NO, the hunk is not for biting directly into.

 
 

Note to Hypertot July 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 8:55 am

Convention holds that the “magic word” is please, not abracadabra. Really.

 
 

Detachment Parenting July 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 4:40 pm

I have a twelve-year-old daughter who is a firm believer in Attachment Parenting. She reserves the right to hold the household baby at any time that a) she wants to, or b) there is something else I want her to do. If neither of those circumstances exists, it is her responsibility to make absolutely sure that I am holding him. Especially if I’m eating, typing, or using the bathroom.

Attachment Parenting, you see, is a parenting philosophy based on the concept that a baby must be held or cuddled at all times, preferably with expensive devices. The most important of these devices is called a Sling. It is a piece of fabric that can be very attractive and/or cute, which holds the baby on the mother (this is called “Baby Wearing”) so that the mother can cuddle the child when she is not in the mood for skin or eye contact. The second part of this parenting method is what occurs during sleep time, called Co-Sleeping. This involves having the baby act as a method of birth control, sleeping between Mommy and Daddy, so that Mommy does not have to wake up or give the child any conscious attention while nourishing the baby during the night. For parents who have what is known as Lactational Amenorrhea (the cessation of fertility that some breastfeeding mothers experience), this birth control is not necessary. In this case, an optional device may be used, a special cradle that attaches to the side of the bed for Co-Sleeping, so that baby may be considered to be in the same bed, without lying between his parents, and without suffering the indignity of being in a cradle separated from the adult bed by two inches.

Despite my daughter’s strong feelings on the subject, I do not feel I can live up to the ideals of Attachment Parenting. For one thing, I only own one sling. Although I very much enjoy using it for outings, I don’t get out much, and frankly I find it easier to hold my little son in my arms. I worry a little that I’m doing him psychological damage by allowing him so much contact without the aid of the device, but the truth is I’m behind on laundry, and I can’t really afford a second sling. Besides, despite the distance it puts between our bodies, we just enjoy playing “Super Baby” too much to stop.

As for Co-Sleeping, a third person would never fit on our full-size mattress, and I have a perfectly good handmade wooden cradle right beside my side of the bed. I just can’t bring myself to toss it out.

Oh, there are other things, too. Like the fact that my husband likes holding the baby also, and I have this pernicious idea that it might be good for both of them to form a relationship; or the fact that I have a preschooler and a toddler who also want Mommy time. Or the niggling worry at the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, love and good instincts might do more good than a book or a method.

So here I am, feeling guilty because so many people have said that Attachment Parenting is the most loving, best, most psychologically uplifting method of baby rearing, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t seem to convince myself that the quality of parenting depends on what devices you use. And most of all, I can’t seem to accept the idea that I have to be the best, or that I have to have the approval of a group of people or a book, to be a good and loving parent.

I finally came up with something that alleviates my worry about inferior upbringing: just find a new method… or in the absence of one that fits us, make one up! Thus was born Detachment Parenting. The idea behind this method is that many parents have to make their methods of parenting fit their lives rather than a book, and that Nature did a pretty good job teaching most of us how to love our little ones. It is based on the rebellious notion that my skin is just as cozy as a sling, and that I may as well wake up when I feed the baby in the middle of the night. It centers on the notion that when a book supplants common sense, whether the book demands Baby Wearing and Co-Sleeping, or on the other end of the spectrum, Feeding Schedules and Discipline, the middle ground might just give a baby what he needs, and give the rest of the family what they need, too. It doesn’t give the same level of confidence that knowing you’ve followed all the rules of your chosen method gives; but it gives parents the chance to use their own minds and hearts in figuring out how to meet the individual needs of real people. And in the final analysis, babies aren’t theories or methods… they really are people.

 
 

Note to Hypertot May 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:50 pm

Honeybunch, you are indeed “allowed” to go to your room, and I suggest you go when told, regardless of your misconception. No, sending you there doesn’t make Daddy a bad person, nor a bank robber, as you so eloquently stated, and I seriously doubt he’s going to go to jail as a result. But nice try.