No Bubble Wrap Here

Watching your kids in pain sucks. Whether it’s emotional or physical, it is hard to watch. This past Monday was a day I was mildly dreading for weeks. Twinkle was scheduled to have a minor issue taken care of at the Doctor. A small in-office procedure. Some BIG anxiety. Some hand holding.

It would hurt. There would be some aftercare. The afternoon would take a turn.  Comfort food and awful Disney shows would rule the rest of the day.

Weeks before when the appointment was booked I struggled with how much to reveal. Do I warn her of the certain pain? When do I bring it up? How honest did I want to be?

After talking with a couple of friends in the same boat years ago and getting all the skinny, I was a little more concerned about how Twinkle would handle it.

A homemade card Twinkle received from a friend

A homemade card Twinkle received from a friend

I found myself trying to temper my honesty with some good old-fashioned Pollyanna attitude. Could she see right through it? Was I just making it worse? After all, my daughter gets worked up about stuff. The apple does not fall far from this tree.  The stewing, the worst-case scenarios, the anticipation. Yep, PhD here.

However, it dawned on me…the last few years have produced a few things on my anxiety and worry hit list. I have also had the good fortune to be an observer of some amazing people in my life handle some of their own setbacks, adversity and heartbreak.

It’s a classic “if I had known then what I know now” life would be so much easier. This was the day some of that tried and true Mom wisdom just tumbled out of me.  It really felt like I turned a corner as a Mom too.

Sheltering my not-so-little girl from pain has been my “MO” for her entire life. That is my job, right? Well, as it finally had to hit me someday, it’s not anymore.

Ice likes to make fun of me and say “Bubble wrap…” That’s all he says. And I know he means I have two choices. I can wrap my kids in it. Or let them live – warts and all. Usually I just ignore him and move on with my coddling and helicoptering.

But today the shield came down. It suddenly became this experience that I wanted to impart how much stronger she would be on the other side. How so much of what happens in life comes down to a healthy dose of perspective.  The reality is there are a lot worse predicaments you could be in than this. Blah blah blah. Am I an after-school special now?

It may have fallen on deaf ears for the most part. But wouldn’t it be great it if didn’t?

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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4th Grade Field Trip…a Microcosm of Life?

A tad bit of culture shock as I plunked down smack in the middle of a bus full of over sixty fourth-graders laughing, shouting, giggling and excitable as merrily we rolled along the freeway last week. My first field trip since Little Bee’s arrival. I had kind of written them off since she came along and missed the interaction with my two older kids at school, albeit loud and overwhelming.

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We visited the art museum on an uncharacteristically beautiful (and windy!) Spring morning around these parts.  After all was said and done I couldn’t help but notice what a microcosm of life our little adventure was.

There was the drama of the boys pulling the girls’ hair. Kicking the seats and ducking down when the evil eye of a parent spotted their antics.

“Who me?” their expressions said.

When we got situated and the docent had been assigned to our lot, the groups started to form. Boys separated from girls. Much like many a party I have been at with friends where the men and women cordon off into ESPN vs. kid talk. Work vs. home life. Harmless flirting and jokes.

I was the chaperone for nine kids along with our docent. She was doing an amazing job at holding the interest of the group. Then out of the blue Twinkle Toes informed me she was feeling sick to her stomach.

“This is not the plan. What happens if I have to leave nine rambunctious kids with a highly cultured and very LOW-KEY tour guide??” I thought.

So we veered “off the trail” to attend to the unexpected detour.

Thankfully she was feeling better pretty quickly, we were back on schedule and I was back running interference. Much like many a situation in life where there is worry and unease only to find out it all comes out in the wash and for the best.

Going into it, I am sure the kids were looking forward to a good time, freedom from the classroom and to test the limits to see what they could get away with. Yet there was so much interesting information thrown at us by our guide and so much to see and experience that there wasn’t much time for getting into trouble.

It occurred to me that without a worthy purpose or interest don’t many adults find themselves in all kinds of trouble? Be it financial, moral or vocational?

And this proved to be true in the forty-five minutes that ensued where we were on a self-guided tour.

“Really? Who thought this was a good idea to put me in charge of nine kids at the museum?” I thought at first.

I can barely make it through some days with my three kids let alone someone else’s nine!

I was amazed at the thirst for knowledge that these children had in this setting.  Since I had learned so much and listened along the tour, we circled back to some of those themes and had some great conversations.

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At one point our group needed a note taker to fulfill an activity our teacher had assigned to us.  Two students were vying for the spot.  I was inclined to let the first one who raised her hand be the appointed helper.  The other student was a little bummed and made it known. At which point the first student tried to stick up for herself.  Then she kind of wilted and relented, clearly not wanting to make waves.  However, I could see she was really disappointed and had wanted the job.

In the end, I let the first girl take the lead. She had asked first, tried to stick up for herself and had been very generous in offering to let the duty go to someone else. I appreciated that.  And in adult life, taking the high road hopefully more often than not brings good things back to you.

The children had so many great comments and questions and were really excited about the material they were learning.  Despite feeling like I was dropped in the lion’s den and might struggle to fill that forty-five minute block, I was very proud of how they represented our school and the time just FLEW!

In fact, we were one of the last groups to board the bus.  A couple of kids were asking what time it was and concerned we were going to miss it. How responsible were they?

A reminder that under estimating someone can come back to surprise you.

And then we got back on the bus again.  Cue the noise.  The hair pulling.  The seat kicking. Yeah, that’s more like it.

 

© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

It’s a Juggling Act

It is nothing to look around and find unopened tuna packets on the floor in the living room and not bat an eye. Little Bee just discovered how to open the lazy Susan cabinet where they are kept.  And apparently it is her newest toy. Like the toy’s box or the wrapping the toy is in that is way more interesting than the actual toy itself, this is par for the course when it comes to holding her attention.

I found myself clutching (and eating) a Klondike bar one-handed the other night sitting on the floor of my laundry room changing the wash over to the dryer. My escape for mere minutes of quiet and the inevitable multi-tasking? Kinda pathetic but I am owning up to it!

Visiting the bathroom in the middle of the night I fought with the roll of bath tissue on the wall because it was recently thrown overboard into the shower, got wet and became oh-so-complicated to untangle. Good times at 3am.

Yesterday while taking a shower there was a plastic Fisher Price figurine that was hurled in behind me from the playpen. Her signature is everywhere. This one is no wallflower.

Yesterday she proudly stood (smiling of course) on top of her wheeled Minnie Mouse choo choo train on the ceramic tile.  Moments later she climbed up onto the hearth of the fireplace and while I firmly said “No!” she proceeded to shake her tushy in reply and ignore me.

Knowing these antics will end at some point and move on to other less heart-attack-inducing issues is comforting and a little bit sad. I do so enjoy a good shake of the tushy and a little dance break in my day.

“You Guys are the Heroes…”

I took my weekly Spinning class today with minimal protestations from Techno and Twinkle. I let them bypass the childcare and go straight to the basketball courts to “babysit” themselves while I was in class. They were able to breathe easier with the freedom and I with their lack of whining and histrionics.

Halfway through the class four kids (two of them were mine and the other two the Spinning instructor’s) had their noses pressed up to the glass watching, smiling and waving at us as we pedaled furiously and sweated profusely on the bikes.

The instructor said “You guys are all the heroes to them today not some idiot athletes who are good at lying.” Insert a host of athletes who have fallen from grace – the most recent being the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun.

His comment made me smile.  What a great observation.  I was feeling extra peppy to have my kids take a peek at what we were doing.  Before I tried Spinning I wondered myself what it was all about. But they were standing there for so long. They were either getting really bored with basketball or really enjoying watching us sweat and slowly melt off the bikes.

I thought of all my friends who conquer everything from the 5K’s to the marathons, from Kickboxing to Pilates, to swimming laps, stroller walks around town, triathlons and even the Ironman. YOU guys are the heroes!  What a great example to model for children to help them cope with frustrations or hormones and combat anxiety, stress, social issues, obesity and a whole host of other undesirable things.

Each time a child can see an important adult in their life choose to make their health a priority, it benefits everyone. I need to remember this the next time the whining starts and a cup of coffee and Live! with Kelly and Michael looks more tempting.

Bring on the Bubble Wrap

It is coming back to me now, not in a drip or a trickle but a deluge.  Every day is a new adventure in protecting Bee from herself.

Yesterday we had a plastic part of unknown origin that neither Techno or Twinkle would claim ownership of. I did the sweep and found it in her mouth.  There were two pairs of flip flops being offered delightfully as a snack by my dear friend’s children at the softball game. She just loved munching on those! And the lilacs were so very interesting and tasty to her.

Last week the Lego piece in her mouth was cause for an immediate run downstairs to find the gate to cordon off Techno’s room from her future “digs”.

Today was the coup de gras.  While blow drying my hair she was begrudgingly situated in the play yard in the bathroom grabbing at her toys.  I looked over to see she had grabbed the cord on my curling iron, yanked it into her play area and the iron fell to rest on her arm!  I couldn’t react fast enough to snatch it off of her and find out with the greatest relief that I had not yet turned it on.

After this latest near-miss it really gave me pause.  How DO so many people make it past a year??  It is all I can do to keep her contained.  Her curiosity and clever maneuvers are not unique.  Every Mom has her tales of “can-you-believe-it’s?” and “You’ll-never-guess-what-Johnny-did’s!”.  But when you are witnessing it unfold on a daily basis it’s hard to believe there will ever be a time when you can look away for a minute, let alone an hour.

And yet, it’s been so long and Techno and Twinkle are so much bigger than Bee that I know it will come faster than I can bear. If I am smart I will polish up my disaster aversion tactics. My patience meter will be set to high. And I should really consider stock in bubble wrap.