Evening baths to morning showers

I stood there staring at my face in the mirror wondering what just happened here. A moment ago I stood in the shower preparing for a day at work. Without any notice at all I found myself standing on the other side of the shower curtain while my little man happily took my place under the warm flow of the water. As I listened to him behind the curtain, chatting to himself, singing, my heart swelled with both pain and pride. Is that possible? To feel such an overwhelming feeling of sadness right along side a beaming sense of pride?

He peeked out the side of the curtain and smiled at me, scrubber in hand. I smiled back, my bottom lip quivering slightly. I wanted to hug him. I wanted to wrap his little wet body into my arms and beg him to stay small. Just for a little bit. I wanted to plead with him to still need me.

As I overcame the shock, I continued to dry my hair and realized that this is in fact a good thing. My little man is becoming independent just as I want him to be. My heart may want him to need me forever and ever but my head wants him to be confident in his abilities on his own. This is how it begins. Every step into independence he’s taken so far has made me unbelievably proud, but every time my heartstrings are pulled along with the pride.

It feels like it was just yesterday that I sat beside his little incubator vowing to fight with him every step of the way. Yet somehow I blinked my eyes and he’s gone from bedtime baths with his batman to morning showers on his own. His determination makes me so very proud. This is how I know he’s going to be successful. He is never going to rely on someone else for anything and my job now is to encourage him to become more and more self reliant.

While every day I shed a tear for the baby that I’m losing, my heart also grows in pride watching him become a wonderful little boy.

I’m keeping the promise I made him just days into our journey together, I will continue to fight with him every step of the way. It’s just that now I need to start doing that from the sidelines.

Every single day he takes a tiny step away from me but then, in a moment of tenderness, he will lay his head on my shoulder during bed time stories and remind me that he will always be my little man. For the rest of our lives he will always be my little man.

 

 

The scent of a baby

I held a baby today. A week old baby. All sleepy and warm and cozy in my arms. On the drive over all I thought to myself was “this is going to make me want another baby so badly”. Mr C. and I have not been able to come to a final decision in regards to adding to our family. We flip-flop and go back and forth, usually ending up on opposite sides. Just when I think I’ve made up my mind that I’m over my baby days, Mr. C. decides he wants to go for number 3. When my heart makes the switch and I’ve warmed myself to the idea of a new little one Mr. C. huffs that he’s too old to do this again and declares he’s done!

I thought the moment I laid eyes on this new precious little bundle my uterus was going to skip a beat. She is beautiful and peaceful and pure perfection. She felt so warm and angelic in my arms. It’s been a while since I’ve held a baby that new and it felt so natural. She smelled heavenly! Without a doubt my favourite thing about babies is their smell. I used to sniff my babies like a wild dog. Their little heads, their faces, their toes, they just smell magnificent. I took in her powdery scent and my heart swelled a little.

Yet despite all of this, it seems as though meeting this new precious addition to our family may have actually had a completely different effect on me and solidified in my mind that my family is complete.

It reminded me that life with a new baby can be difficult. Sleepless nights and constant breastfeeding make your life revolve around this new addition. Breastfeeding did not come easy to me and did cause me a lot of stress and confusion. You can read about my experience here http://wp.me/p1oMIA-7f.

Planning your day around nap times and nursing schedules limits when you can do things and where you can go.

I realized that I will never again have the magic of a first baby. Our lives are different now, adding a new baby to our family would change the dynamics of our day-to-day life. Realistically it would probably be more chaotic than peaceful.

While looking in this new baby’s eyes I realized that I am happy with my family just as it is. My children are perfect and healthy, my husband is wonderful. I don’t know if I want to change what we have right now. Adding a new baby to our lives would definitely take my focus away from Mr.T. and Ms. J for at least the first little bit.

Saying goodbye to my kids babyhood has been very difficult for me but I’m almost out of it. Ms. J is going to be 3!! I blinked my eyes and my kids grew up. We are in a place that doesn’t include diapers, naps are no longer an absolute necessity, nursing is long gone. We are able to go on day trips and longer trips without huge amounts of fuss. We can play together. WE go on bike rides to the park and play soccer. We paint and bake together. Movie nights are great now that the kids are old enough to stay still. Watching the wonder in my little one’s eyes has given Christmas its magic back. There is so much joy to be found in my children that I think I can let their baby selves go.

I’m still not ready to close the door on the possibility of more babies for good. You never know what life has in store for you. If I’m meant to have another baby my love will multiply and grow. Ms. J. and Mr. T. will love having a baby around. If that’s the path I’m meant to take.

Meeting the addition to our family made me think it might just be time for me to pass on the baby making torch. I may have to get my baby fix through friends and family. My days may be over but I think I’m ready to move on to the next stage of our lives. I look forward to building our wonderful family memories and spending as many moments as I can with my two little blessings.

Why I’m jealous of the Royal Couple

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know  all about the Royal Couple and their new little baby. I know it’s silly and they really aren’t more important than any of the other couples that had babies yesterday or any other day but I have been super excited! I must say it is wonderful to follow a nice story rather than all of the tragedy that is going on in the world.

I will admit it. I’m jealous and not for the reasons you think.

I’m jealous because what they are living right now is the best moment of their lives. The moment you first meet your baby. Those first few moments, hours, days when you get to know the little being you created. Oh to be in those moments again.

When I think of it my heart swells with the joy and inexplicable amount of love I felt the first time I saw both my children. It was two very different experiences but they were both equally as glorious. I gasped when I first laid eyes on both my babies. It felt as though my heart was going to beat through my chest, my voice caught in my throat, my eyes filled with tears. I had never before seen anything as beautiful. Their beauty literally stopped my world, if only for a moment. I gasped and when my voice finally escaped I had no words, all I could say was “Oh my God”. I said the same thing both times.

It was two very different experiences. With Mr. T. they didn’t lay him on my chest right away. They whisked him away to the table beside me. They worked on him while I desperately just tried to see him. To meet his eyes. My soul knew that something was wrong. I felt it in my heart. It was an odd feeling. I was in awe at his perfection and amazed that I created him, nurtured him, grew him inside me. At the same time I felt an emptiness. They tore him from my body and took a part of me away. It was the first time in 9 months that our hearts did not beat together. He was only feet away from me but I felt like a part of me was gone. When they finally laid him on my chest I felt whole again and I felt him relax. He was afraid and all alone on that table. Then they placed him naked on my skin and he settled into me as if he was exactly where he was supposed to be. I continued to ignore that tug at my heart that told me something wasn’t right. I ignored it because he seemed so utterly perfect, how could something not be right with this?

I didn’t realize until Ms. J was born how much I missed of those first moments. When Ms. J came out I felt nothing but sheer bliss. She was here and she was perfect. While I was nervous because of my last experience my heart knew there was no trouble with this one. I watched her come out of my body and in one swift movement she went from inside me to laying on top of my chest. I felt her confusion but as I wrapped myself around her and spoke to her quietly I felt her uneasiness fade away. She, in turn, took away my fears and eased my mind. I didn’t want to ever let her go. We stayed there for what seemed like an eternity. The whole world around us faded away. I kissed her, whispered promises to her, I inhaled her scent. There was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be. When they finally brought us into our room, I slept peacefully with her safe beside me. I whispered to Mr. C. “we did it”.

The difference between Ms. J and Mr. T. is that I got to spend the next few days, weeks, months getting to know my princess. I slept with her beside me. I nursed her in the chair in her nursery just as I had planned. There were no wires or incubators blocking me from feeling every inch of her. I bathed her for the first time in our own bathtub. Not in a basin inside an incubator. Her cries woke me from sleep whispering my name “mama I’m hungry” she called. I happily, although sleepily, nursed her in the quiet darkness of her pink nursery. It was our time together. There were no feeding tubes pumping her with my breast milk, she gulped until satisfied and then her little eyes faded back into a milk induced sleep. I couldn’t have been happier.

Don’t get me wrong. I did bond with Mr. T. just in a much different way. We formed our relationship through wires and tubes. Our touch was through the walls of an incubator. We were apart for more than any mother should be from her newborn baby. Yet I could still pick his cry out even in a room full of crying babies. He still grasped on to me and his breathing slowed and relaxed while we rocked. It didn’t matter if we were rocking in a borrowed NICU rocking chair. It just mattered that we were together.

My relationship with my babies has continued to grow and change. The roots settled during those first few moments. They were the best days of my life. Holding a newborn baby has got to be the most magnificent feelings one could ever experience. You never get those moments back. It can pass in a sleep deprived haze and before you know it it’s over. Cherish every moment of it. Don’t miss out on any of it.

My heartfelt congratulations to the Royal Couple. My well wishes to any new parent. It is the most sublime, magical time in your lives. Breathe in every baby powder scented moment and hold them deep in your soul for safe keeping.

The importance of mummy mentors

I think my generation is missing out.

In past generations women got married, had children and stayed connected with each other. They were pregnant together. Had children together and battled the toddler years together.  They had a social network of women going through the same life experiences at the same time.

Things have changed. We all have different lives, different paths to take. While some of us married and/or had children in our younger years, others chose to wait maybe to further their education, travel, focus on their career or hold out for the perfect partner. Some had our children in our early 20’s while many of us are well into our 30’s before it’s even an option. I’ve mentioned that I was the first person in my close social circle to have children. This meant I did not have anyone to pose my questions to. When I felt odd pains in my side I didn’t have anyone to ask if they had felt this before. When my mind raced with worry over the health of my unborn child, keeping me up at night, bringing tears to my eyes at a moments notice I turned to the internet. I had my mother, true and even my mother in law who had successfully survived pregnancy and giving birth. Who were well versed in the whole baby making business and gladly offered their thoughts and reassurances. The only downfall was that the last time they had gone through labour and delivery we were still using rotary phones, cell phones didn’t exist and the men folk waited in hospital waiting rooms smoking cigars, instead of cutting the cord. Time has a funny way of dulling your memory. While I know there are certain aspects of pregnancy that one never forgets, ie: throwing up in a plastic bag in the Go Train parking lot, there are certain memories that cloud over with time. They sit there, somewhere deep inside, and while you may feel them with every beat of your heart your mind doesn’t always remember them as clearly. Things change. Recommendations change. It’s just not the same as discussing with someone who is going through it at the same time or for whom the experience is so recent they can still hear the sound of the Doppler as the Doctor searches for baby’s heartbeat.

I realized early on that this was in fact an important part of motherhood that I didn’t want to miss out on. The need to have someone to relate to didn’t stop at pregnancy. I very quickly began to search out other mothers and I met some wonderful women. Women whom have become my mummy mentors. I am so very lucky to have formed relationships with women from all walks of life. We all have different parenting practices and beliefs, but we are in the same place. We are just a bunch of girls trying to keep our sanity while raising our families to the best of our abilities. We may not always agree and we have different parenting philosophies but I know when I turn to one of them with a question about some change in MR. T’s behavior or a suggestion on how to get Ms. J to sleep in her own bed, they will listen without judgment and give me their honest opinions and heartfelt suggestions. Sometimes the suggestions are life savers other times I need to go back to the drawing board . I must admit it feels wonderful to have people to turn to when I’m worried, frustrated or at the end of my rope. I don’t feel alone. On the flip side when my own mummy mentors come to me searching for advice, experiences or just for an ear to vent to, I love being able to be a mummy mentor to them.

Surrounding yourself with your own circle of mummy mentors is something that I think is an important part of the journey into motherhood. Can you do it on your own? Of course you can! Women have been raising children since the beginning of time. But trust me it’s much easier and even a lot more fun to do it surrounded by others who are in the same boat! If you enter into motherhood being closed-minded and isolating yourself you are doing yourself a disservice. Sharing stories, swapping tricks and just having others who can relate is such a fantastic part of the journey! A deep and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of my mummy mentors, I think you all know who you are. Know that you have made my adventure even better than I could have imagined.

First year of school, check!

Another huge milestone. First year of school is done and gone!

Where did it go? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was swaddling him in soft fleecy receiving blankets? Wasn’t I just rocking him to sleep, quietly singing lullabies as his little eyes fought the sleep? These memories feel like they were just moments ago.

I walked him to school for his very first day and the first year has flown by! I watched him grow this year into a little boy. Gone is the chubby little baby who overcame such huge obstacles. I said goodbye to the curious and mischievous toddler and I welcomed a real little boy. A little boy who loves to run and jump. Who played basketball at recess with the new friends he made. A little boy who came home excited to tell me how he learned about butterflies. A little boy who occasionally got into some trouble and needed a little reminder that hands are not for hitting.

While I know that this is just his junior year of kindergarten it is so important to me that I pass on my love of school to him. I adored school.  I was one of the strange ones who was sad when the school year ended. I loved classrooms and chalkboards. Those school hallways felt safe to me. I can still hear the sound of lockers banging shut. To this day the smell of a library book makes me smile especially when paired with the crinkly sound of the plastic it comes wrapped in. As an adult I’ve returned to school and I still get the same giddy feeling when walking into an educational institute.

I want Mr. T. to have that same love of school (with the exception of chalkboards since now they have smartboards). I want him to get up on the first day of school excited to meet his new teacher and classmates. I want him to feel at home sitting behind his little desk, pencil in hand eager to learn.

I think I am starting off well as I seem to have passed along my love of reading. Mr. T. can sit for hours reading books with me. He’s learning to read himself and is able to read some of the simpler books on his own. He will snuggle up tight, head on my shoulder, and listen to story after story.

While I do want to pass along my love of education and instill the importance of schooling, my biggest fear is that I will take it too far. I want to encourage both my children to pursue further education but I need to ensure that I support them in following their dreams. I need to be able to pick out their passions and direct them down their own path. I do not want to make their education about my dreams. I don’t want to push them into going down the path that I didn’t take but perhaps wish I did. I want to avoid pushing them into something that I feel might make them the most money or have a lot of perks. They need to understand that doing something they love is what will make them happy in the long run. Following their passion is the beginning of it all, the rest will fall into place. I hope, as they get older, I can remember that money isn’t everything. They will succeed if they are doing something they love. I hope I can look at them and see their strengths as well as their weaknesses and help them get to where they want to be based on that.

It took me a long time to find where my love lied.

It was never a question for me if I would attend a post secondary institute. The question was more what would I take. I didn’t follow my dreams. I took what was expected of me, what I was good at but not necessarily what I loved. I didn’t have the internal strength to be honest about what I wanted. I was afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of disappointing, afraid I wasn’t good enough. Would I be in a different place if I had pursued my passion for writing from the very beginning? Possibly. To be honest I didn’t even consider writing as a profession then. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. Maybe I wasn’t ready at the time. The important thing is that I’ve found it now. I need to continue to work on improving myself and not give it up, if only to show my children that it’s never too late to find your place in the world.

This is just the beginning for Mr. T. I have a feeling he’s destined for greatness. Whatever his greatness is meant to be. I want to encourage him. To support him. One day I will stand at his graduation, teary eyed, cheering him on. Most importantly I want him to know that as long as he’s giving it his best and being true to his own heart I will be one proud mummy.

How do we measure our grief?

I often speak, on this blog, of the emotional trauma I experienced when Mr. T. was sick. It’s probably one of the few places where I have been completely honest about how it impacted me. How the whole experience caused my entire world as I knew it to collapse around me. How in the almost 5 years since, I haven’t fully been able to rebuild my world to where it was. I’ve come to realize that I don’t think I was ever supposed to go back to where I was. I have permanently changed.

In a conversation recently I was explaining to someone why I began writing again. This of course, required me to explain Mr. T’s illness and hospital stay. I prefaced the story by explaining that he was ok now. The person who I was speaking with said to me “Don’t do that”. At first I wasn’t sure what she was referring to until she said “Don’t minimize what you went through” It was like a light went on inside. She was right I don’t have to minimize it.

I had never before realized that I did this but I did! Almost every time I speak of the experience I almost sweep away the pain by explaining that Mr. T is ok now. I sometimes feel such a sense of guilt over my pain. To explain my guilt simplistically is that I feel like I don’t have a right to anguish over any part of my experience because Mr. T. is ok. Yes, there are some complications that we have to face and some scary possibilities for the future. But he’s here. He lives a normal life. Who am I to distress when there are mothers out there who have to continuously watch their children suffer? When then are mothers out there who had to say goodbye and had to let their angels go?Who do I think I am? I get to kiss him every night. I read him stories and I tickle his back before bed. I watch him play soccer and play house with his sister. He gets to push my buttons and get into mischief. I have always felt like I didn’t have a right to feel sadness.

Throughout the past years I have become aware that there are people who tired of hearing me talk about the experience. They didn’t understand why I was having trouble dealing because to their eyes Mr. T. had no lasting effects. Yet I still felt the need to talk about it. I couldn’t shake it. I couldn’t let go. There was a constant ache in my heart. Yet as I continued to try to verbalize that ache I could feel the judgments. I could almost hear “Oh my god not again” It was when someone mentioned that I needed to get over it that I stopped talking about it and started to write about it.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we feel like there is a chart for our grief and in order to make it onto this chart there is a list of criteria we must check off? We compare ourselves to others out there and think that because someone has it much harder than us that we aren’t entitled to feel sadness. Is this where our world has ended up? That even grief has become a competition? A sad little reality show where there is only one winner and only the most distressing story wins the right to openly grieve. Why would someone think they have the right to judge my feelings? Or to dictate how deep my worry should venture?

The conversation that started my whole change in thought was, as Oprah calls it, my light bulb moment. I will not apologize for feeling the immense anguish that I have felt. I do grieve. I grieve for the loss of that magical first baby experience. My heart aches a palpable pain every time I sit with Mr. T through another test, x-ray, needle…My wounds are my wounds to heal the way I need to heal them. They don’t need to be compared to anyone else’s heartbreak. We are all walking our own path and are climbing our own mountains. This is my mountain and with Mr. T, Ms. J and Mr. C by my side I will make it to the top. That I can guarantee.

Adventures with Mr. T.

He’s starting to ask questions. Our adventures to Sick Kids aren’t just him trailing along for the ride, waiting for the treats and surprises, dealing with the unpleasantness in stride. He’s remembering. He remembers last time he was here he had to have needles, blood drawn, tests that hurt him. This time, the entire drive, he asks “no needles this time right Mummy?” “No needles this time Mr. T.” I assure him.

He makes me proud. He smiles at the child in the wheelchair, he says hello to the bald child pushing the IV around, he doesn’t even flinch at the severely disfigured child in the elevator as they both peer out the window marvelling at how high they are going. He makes me proud.

We sit in the exam room waiting for the Doctor with the results of his xrays. The xrays we just had done down the hall. We play I spy. We tell stories, each of us taking turns telling one line of the story at a time. An hour goes by. I let him play with my phone and he teaches me the game on his leap pad.  Another hour goes by. He’s tired and bored. He lays on my lap and asks me to tickle his back. I don’t know when it happened but at some point his body has turned into the body of a little boy. No longer the chubby little baby or even toddler that fit quite snugly into my lap, his gangly legs now hang over the side while he tries to figure out what to do with his torso, eventually settling with arms around my neck as I rub his back. I’m in heaven as these moments don’t happen as often as they did when he was that chubby little baby. As the third hour approaches the first doctor comes in. She asks us questions, tells us things look good, assure us she’ll be back with the other doctor. The next doctor comes in, examines Mr. T. Again, I’m proud. He does as he’s asked. With no sign of fear. The doctor speaks to the intern. Showing her; “see minimal change, which is good” he says. I smile and breathe a little sigh of relief. He looks at me and says the same but then adds “there is quite a good chance he will need surgery again in the future” My ears ring, as though I’ve been slapped in the side of the head. My head spins as I watch his mouth moving but barely hear the words coming out of his mouth. I hear “we can’t know yet” “‘everything as is for now” but I’m stuck on “surgery in the future”.

We get up and I thank the wonderful doctors.  With an awkward smile on my face we shake hands. Mr. T gives them a high five.

As is our routine, we go for lunch, Mr. T. opting for a cheese bagel and cream cheese and a fruit smoothie. We chat. He asks questions. “What room was I in Mummy?” “That room right up there” I say pointing at that 3rd floor window that was my home for countless hours. “And I was very brave when I was a baby in that room wasn’t I Mummy?” “You were one of the bravest boys I ever knew” I respond watching the smile spread across his face.

As we eat I remember those hours spent in that room. I remember each night I had to leave him there and how horrible I felt doing it. I watch his little face oblivious to my memories or my fears for his future. I realize something sitting at that table. That every moment of those first 6 weeks of his life has shaped every decision I have made since where he’s concerned. Mr. T. is four and a half years old and has never slept anywhere without us. Not that there hasn’t been offers, the grandparents would love to have him. Mr. T. and Ms. J. just haven’t seemed to want to. What I realized sitting there in that hospital looking up at that room, is that I’m ok with that. After the pain that I felt leaving Mr. T. in that hospital every evening, my heart tells me his place at night is with us. Sometimes I would like to sleep in past 7:30am but it’s a sacrifice I agreed to make when I had children. If the time comes and either of them want to have a sleepover I will have a decision to make. Until then I will snuggle them goodnight every night that I have with them. For all those weeks I had no choice but to leave him all alone, and go home feeling an emptiness inside. If I don’t have to do that now why push it?

For now I hang on to each second of this beautiful ride. It’s flying by. Gone is my baby. He’s been replaced by this incredibly strong, intelligent, beautiful little boy and is morphing, as we speak, into a young man. What the future holds I don’t know. My heart wonders how I will get through another surgery but if that’s the path we are meant to take we will get through it together. He is strong and he makes me stronger.

Until we get there we will continue our adventures and I will answer his questions. “Which Doctor saved me Mummy?” “Dr. C. and she was amazing” I say. As his questions grow more complex so will my memories. They will intertwine with each other retelling him his own tale. Together we will put together the pieces of his puzzle.

Learning to accept myself;the good, the bad and the ugly

I recently blogged about seeing my own flaws through my children, more specifically Mr. T. who is so much like me it’s scary. Thinking through that post, writing it and now re-reading it has caused to think about my flaws from another perspective. I am finally beginning to not only accept my flaws but to be ok with the world knowing what they are. I am beginning to lose the need to be perfect all the time. I haven’t quite figured out if this is another side effect of having children or if it’s just a normal part of getting older, perhaps it’s a little of both?

I’ve spent much of my life focusing on my flaws in some way or another. From analyzing them, obsessing about them or trying to hide them, my weak points have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. While I think this is probably quite a common by product of ‘growing up’, I really do think that seeing my failings reflected through Mr T is helping me to accept myself for who I am.

When I look at Mr. T, I don’t automatically focus on his weaknesses. I am aware of them and I do see them when they rear their ugly heads but I don’t think any less of him because of them. I kind of look at these parts of his personality and think so what? They are a side bar to his positives.

For every part of him that isn’t at it’s strongest he has multiple wonderful traits. He whines, true, but he is also extremely caring and generous. He will not think twice about sharing anything and everything he has and he always thinks of others. He is emotional which can be so trying at times but his passion transcends to everything he does. He loves with every breath he takes and he makes sure you always know just how much he loves you, never shying away from showing his affection.

Examining Mr T, and seeing myself in him, made me realize that if I am perfectly aware of his flaws yet I adore him with everything that I am then why am I so concerned with other people seeing my own failings??? Those who truly love me will not stop loving me because I’m not perfect and those who can’t accept my weaknesses will just have to move on.

I am not perfect. There I admit it. There are so many things about me that are so very far from perfect. Who cares?  Yes I am sensitive. My feelings get hurt easily and sometimes I will lash out because of that. I am a bit short tempered and have been known to get quite snippy and sarcastic. Sometimes my anxities can cause me to say and do the absolute wrong thing in certain situations and I spend alot of time trying to get people to think I am without flaw. I have too many shortcomings to even begin to list.

To that I say oh well!

Just as with Mr. T. for every fault you will find a positive.

As I get older I realize that perfection does not exist and I have wasted enough time struggling to try and achieve the unachievable. I am who I am. You gotta take the good with the bad. I’m am learning that the complexities of our imperfections mixed in with our accomplishments is what makes us beautiful, what makes us interesting, what makes us human.

I don’t want my children to beat themselves down for having faults. My hope is to teach them to own who they are blemishes and all. I want them to know that their downfalls will not define them, they will in fact make them even stronger. To try and learn from their mistakes, build on who they are and be the best that they can be, is a lesson I want to impart from early on. I will always love them and anyone worth anything will not allow the imperfections to blind them and miss out on their beauty.

 

Silence is Golden

I’ve often heard many parents speak of things they miss from their lives pre-children. Some miss partying, late nights, drinking and clubs while others miss lazy Sunday brunch, Saturday morning sleep ins and full nights of sleep period. Not me. Oh no. Not that I don’t have moments where I wish I didn’t have to cut an evening short so that I could relieve a babysitter or where I could open my eyes on a Saturday morning and realize that it’s after 8:00am and I have woken up naturally rather than by a toddler shaking me violently and demanding me to make them breakfast. I have moments. For the most part I have accepted these changes that children have brought to my life.

You know what I miss the most about my single life?

Silence. The lack of noise. Hearing a pin drop.

This isn’t something I really noticed when there was just one of them. The noise seems to have grown exponentially since Ms. J joined our brood. I’m not exactly sure why the chatter in this house seems to have grown 20 times with just one little tiny addition but it did. At times it’s exhausting. These two tiny little beings will try to speak over each other attempting to be heard over the other. THeir little voices become an almost indistinguishable frenzy of high-pitched noises piercing my ears while my brain tries to determine the actual words so that I may respond to each of them appropriately. There comes a point where they stop actually speaking and are just trying to outscream each other. Eventually it will turn physical and one will decide to either jump on me or grab my face roughly forcing themselves into my line of vision. I am fully aware they are competing for my attention. I try my best to give them both equal amounts of attention but the uproar becomes deafening.

Then there is the fighting. I’ve written about the fighting in other posts see: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/family/kids/20121122/sibling-rivalry-will-end-right. The screams that exit their mouths are alarming and are not easy to just ignore. Now that Ms. J is becoming older it has become worse. They don’t yet have the vocabulary or patience to solve their disputes reasonably so their attempts at resolution are extremely loud. It is like nails on a chalkboard. As their arguing intensifies in both decibel level and heat my stress levels rise. My heart races. My mind searches for a way to get them to just stop! They are going to disagree, they are going to fight and I know they have to sort it out themselves for the most part but it is..just…so..loud!!!

Mr. T. talks non stop. From the moment my eyes open until the moment his eyes shut he’s chattering away. He tells me stories. What happened at school, what his daycare friends told him, what he dreamed last night. He has got quite the imagination and will tell me wild tales of things that were in his “nightmare” as he calls it. He’ll ask me questions about what our plans are for the day, what he wants to do, what he doesn’t want to do, what he wants to eat for breakfast, the toys he wants to play with, the games he wants to play, if he wants to play with me or Daddy. Then in jumps Ms. J. who wants a little piece of the pie. She will chime in giving her two sense. Usually retelling the same story that Mr. T just told but passing it off as her own 🙂 It’s amazing. It’s adorable. It’s beautiful. Does it make me a bad mother that there are moments, just moments where I just want some peace and quiet? 99.9999% of the time I love it. I love hearing their little voices. I love listening to the tales that are floating around Mr. T’s little four-year old mind. I must admit I have actually thought to myself that perhaps he’s a writer in the making, with his imagination and vocabulary it wouldn’t surprise me. There is, however, a moment every now and then where I just want to just walk into my room, lay down on the bed and close the door. I want to turn down the volume on life.

THe thing with me is that before I got married and had children I was a bit of a loner. It was on purpose. I just like my own space. I like to be alone. I like the quiet. My mind races…alot…and the quiet helps me slow my mind down. WIth all this noise and chaos in my life it’s difficult for me to turn off my thoughts. It’s one of the reasons I write. The cacophony of life in a home with children isn’t easy to just flip off so if I am able to keep my eyes propped open long enough I find that writing helps me to calm those racing thoughts.

I do miss the silence. I miss Sunday afternoons laying on the couch watching cheesy old made for tv movies dozing lazily, the only sound coming from the barely audible tv playing in the background. I miss showering without two little people begging me to let them come in then fighting over who is getting more hot water flowing onto their backs. I miss quietly cooking dinner, folding clothes in silence and using the bathroom in peace. I miss the silence. But I wouldn’t trade the noise for the silence in a million years. THeir chattering makes my day. I love listening to their little stories. Hearing about their day. Learning about who they are. I love knowing that by listening to what they are telling me; as mundane and monotonous as it may seem, I am helping build their trust and confidence. I hope that I am teaching them that they can tell me anything and I will listen. I don’t want to take for granted their little spirits.

Perhaps one day I will check myself into a hotel room and enjoy 24 hours of peace and quiet because I do know that silence is only golden when it’s broken up by long periods of beautiful noise. And my children provide me with the most beautiful noise there is.

2012 Blog of the Year

I am a little shocked but truly honoured to have been nominated for my first blog award. I was nominated by Darlene, the fabulous writer of the Notes from Meme blog. http://darleneglasgow.wordpress.com/

I have to say that receiving this nomination was such a wonderful surprise. As my regular readers know, I started this blog simply to express my feelings, frustrations, thoughts and opinions regarding my journey through motherhood. When I started this blog it never really crossed my mind that someone, other than my own mother, would read it. Turns out not only is someone reading it but I have inspired! What a wonderful treat.

Thank you Darlene! Now onto my reponsibility as the recipient of the award:

The Rules:

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post

(please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

* * * *

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

My nomination is:

http://michaelaevanow.com/2012/11/30/celebrating-the-heroes/

I am nominating Michaela for her beautiful positive expression of dealing with a child with special needs, health issues, complications. I myself, have a a child who was born with life threatening health issues and although he has so far overcome every obstacle he’s met, the experience has changed me forever. Michaela seems to capture the exact emotions that I have experienced and her ability to focus on the positive through on her journey is amazing. Keep it up MIchaela, hopefully you can help someone who is travelling, this sometimes difficult road, with your beautiful words.