Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Moment of Reflection on Childhood

Don't let the picture fool you; although it seems we've managed to capture Isaiah asleep in his big boy bed (a race car Nemo bed... what a clash of themes, Natalie), he rarely makes it through the night. Now I know we impressed toddlerhood on him prematurely, as Braylon needed the nursery for himself, but I'm longing for Isaiah to realize that sleeping through the night is unbelievably fantastic. (My, how I miss it!) It is a song and dance routine to convince him of sleep in the first place, and I'm unwilling to return the soother to him that we've successfully taken away. I'm anxious to take away the bottle too, but I think too much change is overwhelming for someone that age. However, the pitter patter of feet running to my side of my bed (and, on top of the fact that it is, I reiterate, MY side of the bed each night, it is oh-so-conveniently in-between one of Braylon's feeds, so I'm just nicely getting into deep sleep again) has got to stop!

Let me take a moment, though, to also praise him as a big brother, a role which he was meant to play. It amazes me at how gentle and loving he is with his little brother at a time when he is being forced to share our time, attention, and love just as he was realizing he was the star of the show. When Braylon wakes each morning, Isaiah is quick to say (well, perhaps say is not the appropriate word as Isaiah is slightly delayed in speaking; rather he shows a clear preference for a more kinesthetic apprach) hello to him, and relishes in the reaction he receives, typically a big gummy grin on Braylon's part. In fact, it is astounding to me how well they interact with one another already. Isaiah loves to play peek-a-boo with him, hiding just out of Braylon's line of sight, usually ducking beside his chair. He quite often plays "tickle-tickle" with him too (though I'm fairly certain that only I am able to decipher him saying tickle-tickle as he reaches his hand toward Braylon's ribs... I'm truly beginning to understand that parents really are the only ones able to decode toddler speech). I am hoping that they'll continue to grow up close; that's ideally why you have them so close together in the first place. Of course, in my case, I do remember countless incidents whereby my teeth were chipped or my forehead split open on the raw end of a physical fight with my brother, 13 months my senior, but I also know that we were and are still friends and I hope that holds true for my boys.

Anyway (I'm notorious for getting caught up in random tangents, should you be reading my blog and not really know me in person), back to praise. Braylon too is worthy of some serious doting; he's an unbelievably good baby. Okay, so he's not quite sleeping through the night either (my kids just aren't meant to sleep, nor reward me of that luxury), but he's a million times better than was Isaiah at it (although every time I praise him, he tends to do the opposite the next night... so who knows what I'm in for tonight?!). He's just a very happy-go-lucky baby. Sure he cries, and sometimes it is very difficult to calm him down, but he tends to be good natured, even when Isaiah is putting far too much weight on him in a hug or accidentally hitting him with a toy or book. Must be why he gave me such an easy time pushing him out in comparison to Isaiah (let's not relive that horror on here... or ever for that matter).

Very often people ask me if I'm crazy to have kids so close in age, but I wouldn't have it any other way. At times I cannot help to acknowledge how difficult and trying it can be, but it is so much more than that. My children are a blessing (though I'd hesitate to say from God, since my faith in that direction has long since wavered). They are my pride and joy. We've had growing pains along the way, but we're really coming into our own, fulfilling the roles we've been cast in. I'm certain my grade 11s from last semester would be quick to say how much I love being a mom, as witnesses to a teary-eyed message from me about parenthood during one of their presentations, and it is true. I can't even picture a world without my rugrats. I am not a perfect teacher, nor am I a perfect wife (I just can't seem to comprehend the drop-everything-and-play-poker itch) - in these roles I am growing all the time; I am not a perfect mother either. But I think I'm a pretty good one. Regardless, I cherish those three roles above all else right now.

Anyhow, before I get off on a completely different tangent (since it seems I'm headed in that direction), I think I'll sign off for today. That, and Braylon's head has grown rather heavy resting on my arm (just so you know, I've had to finger type with my right for some time during this post), dead weight as I've coaxed him into a longer afternoon nap that he'd originally intended to take. So, until next time, whenever that may be (when I should, someone remind me, take a minute to praise my husband, who is equally deserving as are my sons).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Blatant Disregard of Parking Perk

Although ideally I should lodge a complaint via an editorial in the London Free Press, I think for now I'll rant my annoyance via my blog. So without further adieu, here's what I think one particular London-nite:

To the man who took advantage of premium parking at the mall, even though he was not with child;

Just because you had a car seat in the back of your car, that does not entitle you to the "Expectant Mothers and Parents with Infants" parking spots at the mall. Your ignorance is intolerable. Those of us with young children such as I - 2 under two, in fact - really do need those designated parking spots to load and unload our children. You stealthily snuck into the last reserved location today and I watched as you surveyed for witnesses who might notice you did not have a child with you. You did not see me, but I noticed you. I saw you. I watched you wait in your car until the coast was clear (not so clear afterall, though, eh?) and then quickly walk into the mall (emphasis on the walk - you could physically tolerate parking further down the row, that I know). Instead, you clearly disregarded the purpose of those spaces so you could park in a prime location, as close to the mall door as possible. It is true you are not alone in doing so, I well know others are guilty culprits of this violation, but your action is rude and wrong. And you were caught in the act. I hope you know how much you put us - expectant mothers and parents WITH infants - out by swiping one of the few spaces made available. Next time don't be surprised if a black Equinox is blocking you in.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Boys

So it's funny... if you ask me what I'd like the third child (and no, I'm not pregnant yet) to be, I'll say without hesitation that I'd like a girl, ideally. I'm dying to buy pink (so I'm very glad, Kelly, you had a girl... because a little pink is headed your way!), and I'm anxious to have a mother-daughter relationship of my own. But I must say that my two boys are the best two boys a mother could ask for. We have our moments - usually when Isaiah is "trying," pushing the limits, and Braylon is asking to eat far too soon after his last meal - but we have countless loving moments in between.

Isaiah, if you've never met him, is a ham. Take today - Greg tripped over his lawn mower (we may have a million toys in our living room, so simply walking through is at times a challenge) and Isaiah immediately made fun of him. He's always trying to steal the attention and he's got a laugh that'll melt your heart (that, and the piercing blue eyes are going to get him into some serious trouble, I'm sure). Braylon is equally funny - cooing, squeeling and grinning if you give him an ounce of attention. He may in fact be talking long before Isaiah slips out a sentence (for now, everything is a ball). They are my pride and joy.

And so I'm very grateful to have a year at home with them (and then, fortunately, two months not long after as I return for second semester next year). And it also reminds me how astonished I am at those who choose not to have children. It is such an amazing gift. I'll save the sappy sentiment reflected with my Grade 11 students in the last few days of teaching in January, but I feel so very blessed to be a mom.

Mom duties call, though, and take precedence over blogging (which is why I so rarely find time to enter something these days), so adieu.