A Year of Trying to be a Better Mom

Day 15: Super Top-Secret Post May 4, 2010

Filed under: flowers,playground — Erin Brambilla @ 12:17 am
Tags: , ,

The next few days will be interesting when it comes to posting. I debated how I should do this. You see, there is a very special holiday coming up. It’s called Mother’s Day. You might have heard of it. Well, Zach and I have been working on some very special projects for this holiday to send to certain grandmothers we know. And, well, these grandmothers read this blog (so they tell me 🙂 ). We wouldn’t want these certain grandmother’s to get a sneak peek at what may or may not arrive in their mailboxes, possibly on time, for Mother’s Day and ruin the surprise, now would we??

But, I DO promise you all that after certain grandmothers have opened said special projects and it’s safe to let the cats out of the bags, I will post FULL updates and tutorials on said super top-secret special projects.

Aside from that, today was GORGEOUS outside. Zach asked me very nicely to “Walk, stroller?” and I had to say yes. It was definitely a playground day. So, the three kids and I took off for the park to enjoy the weather.

Before we left, Zach did pick me yet ANOTHER dandelion bouquet.

Better than a dozen roses! Unless you are my husband, in which case, you are not allowed to give me dandelions and call it a day

And then I tried to teach him about the other fun things his favorite “flower” can do. But well, teaching a kid blow on something is hard! He’d “pretend” to blow. Like, purse his lips and make a blowing noise, but not actually push out any air. In fact, he pretty much just spit on it. I will have to make it my goal to teach this kid to blow on a dandelion this week. And then, it will later be our goal to pull all the weeds from our lawn, but hey..I may end up desperate for ideas for activities. So I’ll just call it “lesson planning”.

What do you mean this does something else?

Pretending to blow on the flower

After several failed attempts and finally getting bored of the dandelions, we went to the park for a sunshine filled day of swings and slides. Today, Isaac decided to not sleep through it and join us. And since I’m SUCH a good mother, I forgot a sun hat for him. So, I let him wear Zach’s because Zach got sick of wearing it himself. Isn’t it cute on Isaac?

Isaac wearing Zach's hat. It's the perfect accessory to footed PJs.

What did Zach learn today? That dandelions turn from fun yellow flowers into something else. Hopefully he’ll figure out how to blow on them soon!

What did Mommy learn today? That teaching someone to blow is kind of hard. He knows how to blow into his whistle and harmonica toys, so I’m not sure what’s not translating here. But we’ll get to the bottom of it, don’t worry!!


Day 11: Playdate April 29, 2010

Playdate: Noun, \ˈplā-ˌdāt\–: a play session for small children arranged in advance by their parents. (That’s straight from Miriam Webster).

I was going to say that playdates are the socialization of young children. But then, given the current political environment these days, “socialization” might be taken the wrong way. You might think I’m raising a 2-year-old communist. When actually what I’m doing is trying to get him to make friends.

Playdates are important on many levels. 1.) They provide a social outlet for children and this helps them learn to behave in society. 2.) They provide a social outlet for MOMMY. It’s a good hour or so of time where we moms get to talk to other adults, even if it is about our kids. We get to chat with someone who will respond to our queries with more than. “No. Want cookies!!!” Though sometimes I do want a cookie. 3.) They (hopefully) provide a bit of physical activity for our children. The “PC” reason to be thankful for that is the exercise it provides. The REAL reason–it tires them out enough to take a good nap!

Today Zach, Emily, Isaac and I met our friends at the playground. I won’t list their whole names, in case they don’t want to be mentioned on a public blog on the internet, but it was a fun day with K, E1 and E2. There’s not a whole lot to say about the playground itself. I mean, it was a playground. We swung on swings. We slid down the slide. We ran and jumped and yelled and laughed. We stole shared snacks with other kids. All around a good time. Though this particular playground did have something different from others I’ve been to. And it was something that, of course, instantly attracted Zach–A FIRE TRUCK playscape. He spent quite a bit of time steering the truck, making the siren noise and climbing all over it.

Driving the fire truck (another one)

Instead of elaborating on the playground itself. I thought I might enlighten you all on what it’s like to actually GET to a playground with Zach these days. People often assume that it’s the babies that make getting somewhere tough. But really, it’s 2-year-old curiosity. This is how our 2 block trip from the car to the play ground went.

About to start our walk from the car to the park

Me: “OK buddy. Let’s start walking! Time to go to the playground.” I wave my arm toward me to beckon my child to follow me.

Z: “Yeah! Playground! Slide! RUN!!!!” Zach begins to run as fast as he can down the street. His running pace is actually pretty quick and requires me to walk briskly beside him to make sure he doesn’t run into a street. At this pace, we’ll be to the playground in just a few minutes. Which is good. Because as per usual lately, Mommy is running late.

Z: “Run! Run! Run! I running Mommy. Mommy, I running! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”

Me: “Yes. You are running. You run so fast. You…” I stop and turn around, realizing he is no longer next to me. And now I see that distraction number 1 has been found. DANDELIONS. And they are EVERYWHERE. You see, it’s the time of year where dandelions litter lawns and the grass along the side-walk. You can’t walk 2 feet without seeing one. And you know what that means? Zach is going to stop at every.single.one.

Z: “Fwower (that’s flower..in case you couldn’t tell). Fwower mommy! Fwower. One, Two, Fee, Four, Six, Semen. Semen Fwowers Mommy.”

Me: “Oh! Did you find flowers. Wow. Those are pretty flowers. Thank you so much for picking…..”

Z: “Run! Run! Run! Run!” Runs off, no longer interested in flowers, dropping all but one.

Me, struggling to keep up: “Zach! Wait! Please don’t run ahead of Mommy!”

Zach, slows down enough for me to catch him. We are now walking at a reasonable pace together.

Me: “Are you excited to see your friends E1 and E2? Are you excited to play with th…” I stop. Turn around to see what is distracting him NOW.

Zach: “Twee. Twee mommy. Twee.” He is hugging a tree. Literally, physically hugging it. Not in the “hippie-cloth-toilet-paper” sort of way, but in the “I-have-my-arms-around-this-tree” sort of way.

Me: “You’re right! That’s a tree!” I Wait a few seconds to see if he’ll move along. Nope. Still hugging the tree, “OK buddy. Let’s keep walking. We have to keep walking if we’re going to see our friends at the playground.”

Zach: “Run! Run! Run! Run!….AHHHHHHH!!! FWOWER! FWOWER! FWOWER!!!” He had begun running, only to realize a few steps in that he had dropped his beloved dandelion somewhere between there and the tree. He is now devastated. Luckily, I spot a patch of 3 dandelions just 2 steps ahead (and 2 steps away from there).

Me: “Oh no! Did you lose your flower? I see three more right here!”

In true toddler bipolar fashion, he goes from screaming to giggling in .02 seconds with this news. Then Zach runs over and picks the flowers, “Run! Run! Run! Run!”

Phew! Good thing I spotted the next 3 flowers!

And…it pretty much goes on repeat cycle from there. We’re lucky we didn’t spot something so interesting as dog poop. Or cigarette butts. ::shudder:: 20 MINUTES LATER, we arrive at the park. PHEW! This is already exhausting! And THAT my friends, is why going anywhere with a toddler (with or without the babies in tow) takes 3 times longer than it ever would without the toddler. So, if you do not have children, take it easy on your friends who do. You never know how long these things will take.

What did Zach learn today? Social graces such as sharing and waiting to take a turn (especially on the swings). I also hope he’s building a bond with kids who will be his friends.

What did Mommy learn today? That as much as it slows me down, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of him picking me dandelions. And I certainly enjoyed hanging out with K. Getting that little bit of adult time in during the week is SO necessary. Oh, and the world is FASCINATED by twins. Ugh! This may be a topic/story for another post. But sometimes I do tire of feeling like we all exist in a fishbowl these days.