The Bubba at rest.
May 27, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
The Bubba at rest.
May 20, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
Lorelei on the rocks.
May 13, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
Luckiest mom ever.
(Lorelei made sure to tell me that she wanted to be the “cookies” part of the partnership.)
May 10, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
For all of you covered in spit-up, poop, or that unidentifiable crusty thing that won’t come off your jeans.
For all of you wipers of bums and noses; kissers of boo-boos; slayers of mythical closet monsters; cutters of crusts and clippers of tiny fingernails.
For all of you who find yourself saying, “What’s the magic word?” and “Elbows off the table, please!” a thousand times a day, with one hundred forty-two of those times occurring in your sleep.
For all of you who live on coffee, stale Cheerios, and whatever the kids demand for dinner and subsequently refuse to eat.
For all of you who consider five uninterrupted hours of shut-eye a pretty darn good night.
For all of you who silently – or openly – curse people who say things like, “Well, you can relax soon because the weekend is coming up!”
For all of you who do what needs doing, day in and day out, even if you don’t particularly feel like it (which is often).
For all of you whose idea of “me time” is a few moments spent in a restorative blank stare.
For all of you who have no clue where blankie went, but are willing to tear the house apart to try and find out.
For all of you who know that the very best kind of “help with the kids” involves removing the kids from the house entirely.
For all of you who know and accept that you will never again, not even when the kids are grown, be completely relaxed and worry-free.
For all of you who know there is no such thing as a “non-working” mom.
For all of you wrangling the (surprisingly strong) tantruming toddler in Aisle 6, taking some small comfort in the knowledge at least a few of those eyes on you are empathetic rather than judgmental.
For all of you who have endured a nasty cold, a stomach flu, or even a minor surgery and secretly relished the small amount of peace and quiet afforded by your ailment.
For all of you who have experienced the phenomenon of “endless afternoon,” when the hours between 1:00 and 5:00 stretch like the world’s largest piece of taffy (which you are not allowed to eat because your children have gotten to it first).
For all of you who have had the misfortune of having Caillou enter your lives.
For all of you who are so chronically exhausted that you no longer have any recollection of what it’s like to feel truly rested.
For all of you who revel in sticky hugs, sloppy kisses, and gummy and gap-toothed smiles.
For all of you who love and cherish your own moms, or their memories, more than ever – now that you have a crystal-clear picture of what you put them through.
For all of you who enjoyed a well-intentioned but inedible breakfast this morning consisting of incinerated toast, bitten-off strawberry hulls, and something that may possibly (hopefully) have been runny oatmeal.
For all of you who know that in even in the thick of the worst, most hopeless, Alexander-esque terrible horrible no good very bad days, there are glimmers of pure joy and magic that carry you through.
Today is for us. Let’s raise our glasses to one another, whether they’re holding coffee, wine, leftover apple juice, or – most likely – some inadvertent combination of the three.
May 6, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
Archaeology: It’s all about the goggles.
May 5, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
If you suffer from intractable shyness and/or introversion, I highly recommend an outing with my two children as an effective full-immersion cure.
**Scene: The parking lot next to the park, Monday, 11:14 am. A young man (early 20s) with dark hair is at the edge of the parking lot, finishing up a repair on a broken fence gate.**
Lorelei [calling over]: “You did a pretty good job fixing that gate!”
Worker [somewhat baffled, yet clearly amused]: “Um, thanks.”
Nicholas [to me]: “What his name?”
Me: “Why don’t you ask him, buddy?”
Nicholas [calling over in inadvertently hostile-sounding fashion]: “What your name?”
Lorelei [delighted]: “Our mailman’s name is Brian, too!”
Nicholas: “I Nicholas.”
Lorelei [bossily talking over her brother]: “He’s Nicholas, and I’m Lorelei.”
Brian [openly laughing]: “Well, it’s very nice to meet you both.”
Nicholas [being hustled into the car]: “Bye Brian! Bye Brian! Bye Brian!”
I honestly don’t know where they get it. Eric and I are both pretty quiet, make-no-waves types. The good news is that the world at large generally seems pretty receptive to my children’s highly spirited brand of social interaction.
(Except for the time Nicholas excitedly pointed to the large woman at the gym and announced, “Her big!” That was a little awkward.)
April 29, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
A rare moment of sibling repose.
April 28, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
Yesterday, upon picking both kids up from the YMCA “kid zone” (which exists so that you can enjoy a pester-free 30 minutes of reading a magazine under the guise of working out as you slowly pedal a stationary bike and ponder your life; that’s how it works for me, anyway), Lorelei informed me that Nicholas fell on purpose and fake-cried for the purpose of eliciting coos and hugs from the cute girls who work there.
I must say, the fact that he’s taking sympathy dives didn’t surprise me at all. Life with a 2-and-a-half-year-old is proving to be a wild, unpredictable ride, full of energy and tantrums and contradictory desires, all of which demand to be satisfied right now but preferably yesterday.
– He rises at or before 6 am every single day, bellowing for Mommy and frosted Mini-Wheats.
– He repeats his demands endlessly but cannot yet consistently grasp the concept of “please.”
– He dashes, without thought or fear, between cars in busy parking lots yet sobs uncontrollably every time I drop him off at school (and then reports back to me later: “I cry like this: Waaaahhh!”).
– He sticks his sharp little fingers deeply into every orifice available to him – both his own and other people’s – proving that there’s a silver lining (namely, orifice inaccessibility) to the fact that he has minimal interest in potty training right now.
– He turns every single toy, regardless of original design or function, into a makeshift hammer.
– He makes mealtimes a study in child psychology. (Last week, I had to dismiss him from the dinner table after he removed one of his socks and casually dunked it into his cup of milk like an almond biscotto.)
– He is an inveterate fashionista, enamored of jackets and hats and dress-up earrings and the glittery gold go-go boots we saw at the store yesterday…but he hates wearing pants.
– He will push you to the very edge of reason and sanity and then charm you back from the brink with his cute smile and big blue eyes.
– He is a tiny 30-lb. ball of muscle and rotund toddler belly that is on the go, without stopping, until he collapses into a snoring heap at naps and bedtime.
Since I have just the two kids, I have no idea if this is typical 2.5-year-old boy behavior or just 2.5-year-old Nicholas-specific behavior, but Lorelei was never like this. She was (and remains) the queen of mellow.
I looked at Nicholas, mid-mayhem, one day a few months back and realized he was the exact age that Lorelei was when Nicholas was born. I then thanked my lucky stars my kids arrived in the order they did.
Had we been dealing with his particular brand of loose-cannon banshee – instead of Lorelei’s calmly smiling placidity – when newborn #2 came along, I would surely have been involuntarily committed by now. (Maybe not so involuntary, come to think of it – a quiet stint in a padded room sounds quite nice right about now.)
It’s an adventure, to be sure.
April 22, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen
The goofballs, playing tourist.
April 15, 2015 by Jennifer Carsen