Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Noah!!

It's my baby's birthday. I scanned both photos, but I couldn't successfully upload them onto my blog so I took pictures of my photos. Can't say I'm not a good thinker!
My baby is 10 years old. How can he be ten? That means in less time I've already had him, he will want to move out and not need me anymore. Noah was the best baby. He was so cuddly and happy. He never cried except when he was hungry and that was exactly every two and a half hours, so if you did a preemptive strike and fed him, he wouldn't cry at all. I wrote in his baby book when he was four months old that he went a whole day without crying. He crawled at five months and walked at eight and a half months. So he didn't see like a baby for very long. From the day he was born until I had to leave him to return to school the following late August were the best days of my life. I waited so long to be a mother. I told him today, that 10 years ago was the most important day of my life because I became a mom. However, since then I've noticed I can't remember a time when I wasn't at least kind of tired. Noah was a good toddler. I can only remember one time he threw a tantrum in public and it was the night my mom died, and we were shopping for a suit. You could always reason with him. When he'd lose things he thought the moon took it, and when he found it again, he'd run to our big picture window and hold it up and say "Thank you moon! Thank you!!" He was so easy to potty train. I told him a week before Ethan was born, when he was two-and-a half, "Mommy can't buy diapers for two babies. Here's some Bob the Builder underwear. Don't pee on Bob." "OK Mommy," and he was trained from that point on. When he'd ask for his "bobble" (usually when he was tired) I would tell him all of his "bobbles" were dirty. He'd run to the dishwasher to find that they never left their same spot. He wouldn't pitch a fit, but say, "You should wash my bobbles tomorrow mommy." There never was, or is any food he won't eat, he's not picky at all. He was a great pre-schooler and school age kid. He is so generous and thoughtful and smart. I know- it sounds "braggy", but if you knew Noah, you'd know it's inborn and has nothing to do with me. He's always loved babies. His cousin is three days short of being exactly one year younger than him and when he met her he was enthralled with her. Even now in church he entertains himself by looking for a baby to watch. He is such a good big brother and has been since Ethan was born. When they were little I'd put Ethan in the stroller to go for a walk and Noah would ask, Do you have his bobble? His "pasipire"? His shoes?- as if Ethan could get up and walk, but oh well. Even now, I rest assured that Ethan is more likely to make good choices if Noah is with him. Maybe I can convince Noah that he, like me, goes backwards in years on his birthday? That or lock him in his room so he can't ever escape.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Exactly nine years and 363 days ago I was about to be a parent. I wasn't scared at all. I couldn't wait to have a baby! I knew how to take care of babies, how to deal with toddlers and what to do with grade school kids. However, I really wish someone would have told me about the other stuff.
1. When I was pregnant with my babies, no one told me someday some kid will say or do something to hurt their feelings, or they will physically hurt them and I will feel so angry that I will literally see red and want to physically hurt that person back.
2. No one told me that I will live vicariously through my children.
3. When they were babies, I didn't realize that every decision I'd make from that point on would be centered around their well being.
4. Bedtime will come as a relief because you are so tired by 8:30 you could fall on the floor and go to sleep and finally the house is quiet, but it will also be a little disappointing because your time with them that day is over.
5. No one told me how children have no tact. Especially when they ask for the tenth time, "Are you having a baby because your tummy is sticking out", then they come over to "measure" in the air how much it sticks out.
6. You no longer sleep soundly, and you understand how when you hear about animals that can find their offspring's voice among thousands of others.
7. It breaks your heart to realize everything you do for them, yet they say something mean to you, or they can't wait to go to college or move out.
8. That you will feel regret for telling your own mom when you were 18, 19 and 21 "Good God! I can't WAIT to move out!!!"
9. I was very worried when I was pregnant that there would be something wrong, that I'd lose the baby, that something would go wrong when they are born, that I wasn't eating/sleeping/exercising enough. No one told me one day I'd remember the feeling of being pregnant and think, "At least then I knew who they were with, the choices they were making and no one was treating them badly".
10. I didn't know how amazing it would be. How one day there is this basketball that moves around under your shirt, then the next you have a whole new human being. That the baby will grow to a child who has your good and bad traits.
11. The majority of my paycheck will go to sports related things; sports gear, shoes, clothes, camps, new clothes, different shoes, etc...
12. That I should have bought stock in a sock company, and it's really hard to find quality socks and pants that don't get holes in them.
13. If you get the vibe that a kid is a punk or bully, you are right. Don't give them the benefit of the doubt.
14. You are excited to wake up in the morning if you know they are already awake.
I wasn't worried about childhood, but the teen years terrify me....

Monday, April 5, 2010


Last night we were watching a great show on Discovery that's on Sunday nights. I even told my students to watch it. It's called Life and it's narrated by Opera. It's about animals in their natural environment. Anyway in the middle of the show, Ethan asked, "How are babies made anyway?" Like the good parents we are, Scott and I ignored him and silently prayed that something spectacular would happen on the show to distract him. He asked again. Again we prayed, more desperately this time. The third time, Noah responded, "You'll find out when you are older, you're too young." I asked Noah if he knew, because as far as I know he thinks the mom and dad have to pray really hard to have a baby- I've told him this several times. He replies, "Well, I have an idea..." I asked where he got his information and he said they will get to watch a movie at school soon. Two things made me laugh. Earlier in church that morning, Noah whispered to me that he wants a baby sister like the one in front of us and wonders if I could make it Chinese. The other thing was a movie in school? I wonder if they taped it off Showtime? Later, when Noah was reading to Ethan and I we were talking about personification (no we are not the nerd family)- it's when inanimate objects are given human like actions. As in the "ax bit through the wood". We somehow ended up giving lots of examples and Ethan said, "oh like if the toilet talked and when I'd pee it'd say, 'hey you- turn down that hose'. " Yes. Exactly.


Lately I've been feeling old. I watched a commercial where Addy McDowel tells us "You'll be proud to say your age, if you use this product..." and it goes to a "50-year-old woman who looks 30". That's 20 years younger. It's never crossed my mind that maybe she really is 28 and just saying she's 50, so I bought the product. I can't say I look like a teenager. I play this game with myself and the Sunday paper. I did it when I was thinking I'd be an old maid- even though I got married very young. Back then I'd look at the engagements and look for people who were older than me (to give me hope that I won't die alone as a barren woman). Now, I still play the game just to see if people my age- or older, still find true love. The way you play it is, everyone you see and think "Oh! They are older than me!" you read their announcement. I first scan to see when they graduated high school/ college. Six out of six that "qualified" for the "they are older than me" round were not. In fact two of them graduated from Fargo South in 2004, which technically would make them old enough to be my first students!! Do I look that old? I realized this year, I am no longer considered the "young" teachers, but one of the "old hags." I completely skipped the "middle of the road". Last year I was young. This year, I am old. I have more than likely lived over half my life already, yet I feel like I've haven't done that much. I spent a great deal of it looking for the damn "blue handled scissors" that never existed, and now I spend it looking for Andy Panda's pencils. When I look at the "old" teachers- who really aren't that old but think they are, and think of my mom who thought she was old when she was 30, I notice they are feeble. They can't carry in their own school bags- that's on WHEELS, so they make their husbands do it. They can't be expected to teach (not even a classroom of kids, but short little classes that are constantly canceled) AND be responsible for calling Jimmy Jon's to put in an order of subs because "that's too stressful". So they take the morning off from seeing classes to get the order ready. They think microwavable soup is a "new wonderful creation" and they read the directions on how to make it out loud just so you know it's easy. They are scared of technology and think all of the students are out to get them. Then I look at me. Yesterday the backs of my knees hurt so much from playing basketball with the boys on Saturday, I could barely walk. It even crossed my mind to make Noah carry in my purse to church. Last year, I was sure the fifth graders at my school were out to get me. I don't use the TV in my classroom because I think if I touch it, it will fall from the ceiling!! My students asked me how old I was the other day, when i told them to guess one kid said "60" one said "21". After I reminded her that I would have only been 17 when I taught her in Kindergarten, she said maybe I was 25, but this is the girl who tells her ma, "she don't like it when you says ax." Oh well. I better go put some Ben Gay on my achy knees before I put on my "house shoes".
Thoughts I think: Kids like April Fools jokes. They really think it's funny when you tell them you're taking them to Disney Land and then drive to an old abandoned parking lot of a burned down warehouse and say, "damn, Disney Land burned down..." They'll cry and cry, but deep down, they'll think it's a good April Fools joke.