Friday, June 22, 2012

Wet Happened?

Mackenzie is a human sponge lately... absorbing more than I ever thought a 2 year old was capable of. She's repeating everything she hears (not so great when she has a mother who still needs to curb her potty mouth), remembering small details from throughout the day (not so great when she tells daddy that mommy tooted that afternoon), and asking a million and one questions (not so great when mommy is sleep-deprived and the patience tank is running on empty).
As we were leaving a restaurant last week after a nice family dinner where all the chips seemed to fall into place and the four of us actually managed to join the rest of the world for an hour of normalcy, Mackenzie ever-so-sweetly pointed aimlessly and asked, "What's this, Mommy?"
"What's what, Mackenzie?"
"This," she said, again pointing at nothing in particular.
"This is life," I half sighed, for no reason other than lack of a better answer.
Doug laughed, shaking his head. I guess I wasn't very convincing.
I thought about my answer.
Seemed to me like a reasonable response. Then I thought about Mackenzie's question and I thought about my answer again.
Why wasn't I clever?
Why didn't I take her breath away with some fairy tale explanation?
Because I'm a mom just like many of you. And sometimes we don't have all the answers despite the cold, hard fact that moms are supposed to have all the answers.
It dawned on me that before long Mackenzie will be asking why the sky is blue, why the grass is green, why, why, why...
And I realize I'm going to need to polish up on my storytelling skills.
You'd think that I would've worked on them in the week since the big "life" lesson.
But you know me better than that.
This afternoon Mackenzie helped me water the flowers... a little ritual we've started together. The only issue is that watering the flowers basically translates to Mackenzie watering her clothes and shoes.
She watched herself pour the water onto her feet, and immediately turned sour realizing that she had nothing left in her can.
"Wet happened?" she asked, looking confused and sad.
Of course, she wanted to know WHAT happened... but in her darling little toddler voice the "what" was "wet".
I explained that yes, in fact, wet happened. Wet happened all over her feet which were still soiled from the playground. And now we had to clean her feet before we tracked mud through the house. And we had to do it quickly because her poor little brother was all alone inside taking a nap.
Like she cared.
All she wanted was more water to dump all over herself.
Which is exactly what I gave her.
And she was a happy little girl again.
And I realized that I may not have all the answers all the time. That I might take the lazy route sometimes because I'm too tired to use my imagination. That I may be cynical sometimes because I miss the days where dinner out on a Saturday night meant great adult conversation paired with enjoyable adult beverages... and it didn't involve coloring between courses or counting the cars that passed out the window.
But I also realized that more often than not I love teaching an inquisitive and curious little person about the world and all its wonder. And I love seeing the look on her face when she discovers something new.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

#needtounplug (10 Signs You're Raising Kids in the Age of Social Media)

1) You often wonder why you're looking at pictures of someone else's kid on Facebook when your own child is sitting right next to you.

2) You've missed epic events, such as first smiles or first steps because you were waiting for the camera on your smart phone to focus.

3) You search Pinterest hoping it will help you become a more creative and innovative parent.

4) Your toddler can navigate YouTube on her own.

5) Google has become your go-to parenting guide.

6) You tweet your baby's birth stats from the delivery room.

7) Instead of calling the pediatrician's office when your child has a fever you ferociously search every open forum ever created on Baby Center looking for answers.

8) All 587 of your closest friends have seen your cervix, thanks to those 3D ultrasound pictures you posted on Facebook.

9) Your 2-year-old has figured out how to unlock your password-protected iPhone.

10) Instead of creating an intimate and private baby book to track your first born's milestones, you started a mommy blog to share the most intimate details of her young, innocent life with the general public.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dear Mackenzie,

It's only been two years but I feel like I've known you forever.
Looking back at old pictures, I realize how quickly time flies. In a matter of months you have blossomed into a little girl who - on most days - takes my breath away. Despite your tender age, you've already shown what a sensitive, affectionate and caring person you are. I take pride in seeing how well you share with others, and how truly charismatic you can be.
Then, of course, there are the days where you remind me how everything is "mines" and you stubbornly refuse to give me hugs and kisses. The days where you choose to kick your bedroom door rather than nap. The days where nothing I do is good enough.
But oh... dear, sweet Mackenzie. I love you. I love you more than you'll ever know.
I love the way you laugh. I love your beautiful smile. I love how you feel curled up next to me reading a book.
I could never imagine a life where I wasn't able to watch you sleep or splash in the bath or run around a playground. And although there are days when I think how being back at work would make my life so much easier, I would miss making pork chops in your play kitchen and eating lunch by your side... despite the fact that nothing, not even my lunch, is mine anymore.
But with everything you've taken from me... my sanity, my freedom, my body... You've been the best thing I could ever have asked for in life.
Happy birthday, munchkin. I'd give you the world if I could.