Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sick Day Fit for a Princess

Last Monday I woke up as normal and got ready for work and then went in to your room to get you both up and ready for the day. Except, Lucy was hot. Really hot. 103 degrees hot and you had been complaining about your ears being clogged for days. After trying to finagle another option, I finally bit the bullet and took my first sick day all year. After a doctor visit and some new allergy meds, nasal spray and nebulizer treatments for Lucy, we had the whole afternoon to ourselves. Nora, you found this princess dress in the playroom, put it on and proceeded to have a royal adventure. Missing class is never ideal but we needed this day. We needed this day to rest and to pretend we were princesses together. 

Our adventure awaits
Approaching our castle.
Riding a flying horses like Sophia.
Our carriage takes us all over the kingdom.
The royal toes. 
Careful of the mud puddles. 
Adjusting the heels. 
Having a consultation with the local gnomes. 
Ballroom dancing.
A boat ride. 
Creatures of the kingdom.
Princess and the frog: no kissing allowed.
Eating a non-poisonous apple. 
Taking a walk in the rain forest.
By the end of the day, someone inspired another princess to join in our fun.

It felt good to have a sick day with the two of you. I would do it all again without the fever and wheezing and fluid-filled ears.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zipping Along

It's been over a month since I have written here. It has been a good spring. For the most part, the weather has been beautiful and our afternoons are spent outside. I always look forward to picking the two of you up after work you little bodies running full force toward me. I cherish each embrace. 

On Tuesday, when I arrived to pick you both up, you, Nor, were upset. Apparently, sometime during your third year, I was suppose to teach you to zipper your own jacket. You didn't know how to zipper and it caused you to become upset. What happened over the afternoon into the next morning was so difficult for me but a critical parenting lesson. 

We went home and practiced zippering. I gave you some pointers and used the mantra: "Top to Bottom" that you repeated frequently. I cheered you on and tried to help. But Nora, you were so determined to figure it out. To zipper by yourself. More than once when I moved my hands to grab your zipper or jacket you would yank it away and say rather firmly, "Ms. Patti told me to do it by myself." It was so hard to sit and watch you struggle. To try again and again. To get frustrated. To see you almost get it but then the zipper not latching correctly. To see your fingers struggling with the intricate maneuvers  It took ever fiber of my being not to intervene. I can zipper like a champ! I can help you! But, you have to learn and experience and try things on your own. It sounds very easy,to allow you to just figure it out. In practice, it is so much harder not to step in. 

Fast forward through the night, where I am pretty sure you dreamed of zippering techniques. You woke up more eager than ever to zip up your own coat. The only issue was that yesterday was one of the most insane work days for me. 14 hours straight, no breaks, a theatre arts show, graduation meetings (my school has 3 separate graduations for each school), I teach two block periods a day, one where my high school students were launching water rockets with kindergarten, the other in middle school, I had to supervise and run the sound/music for rehearsal for the show that night. I had to build a slideshow with music for that evening. I didn't walk into our house until 9:30pm last night. But this is 7am and I need to leave NOW to make the 7:30am stand up meeting but you wanted to zipper. So in another parenting lesson, I stopped rushing and sat on the couch and spent the next fifteen minutes, supporting you as you tried to zipper your jacket on your own. The time ticking away, but I took a deep breath and knew there are more important things in life than making morning meeting. There are zippers to zip, without any help from Mommy. I thought it wasn't going to happen, you were going to give up. But I should have known better. You kept at it, methodologically  redoing, re-attaching, trying to zip. Finally, I closed my eyes put my hand on your knee and prayed. Prayed to VJ that she would guide your hands and your little fingers. I opened my eyes and you got it! You were zippering your jacket all by yourself!! Lucy and I started screaming and cheering and we all embraced. It was 7:15am by the time we got to the car and I didn't get to work until 7:37am, 7 minutes late. It was worth it. Every nail biting second. Every urge that I had to suppress to jump in help. Although I did not get to see you that afternoon / evening, I called while running between buildings, and you excitedly told me you showed off your new zippering skills at daycare and for Trish. You zippered for Daddy and really for anyone who would sit and watch. You were so proud of yourself. But not prouder than I was of you. 

Now the irony of it all is now 24 hours later, it so blasted hot, no one can even fathom wearing a jacket! 

I want to remember this story for awhile. I want to remember how hard it is to sit by and watch your child struggle. How utterly difficult it is to not intervene. This is not the last time we will have this dynamic: you struggling to learn a skill and my struggling not to help and to let you figure it on your own.  

For your patience of my winding tale, a few pictures for your fancy. 

Afternoon swing
Animal cracker feeding.
Pinwheels for Prevention Project
Daddy got her dressed that day. Look harder. 
Chitty Love. 
Nor, you and Chitty and all her people, deserve an entire post of their own. 

The corn is coming in!
Dinner time!
We had to say goodbye to Mary! 
Someone's best friend turned 4. 
She took you to open gym at her gymnastics school. 
Jessica, this pic could have been us 26 years ago!