Sunday, March 4, 2012

Just Like My Mom...Only Better!

From our Saturday Visit
Finally! A week were no one was sick or tossing cookies away in the toilet or getting their noggin stapled back together! Geez I was really starting to worry my gang was literally falling apart!

We had sometime to spend with each other and to spend with friends. The big girls were out of school on Friday. Saturday was busy busy and Sunday was lazy lazy. Just the way we need it sometimes :)

Thursday we were supposed to meet some friends at Disneyland to celebrate Grayce's staple removal that afternoon. For some very Hollywood reasons they were going to be unable to make it. Although I hadn't told the girls yet I had my heart set and my plans made to go after the doctors visit! That's just what I did...making Thursday quite a full day for this mama. The Handsome Pilot was laughing at me by the time I went to sleep/went into full body and mind failure just like the Sunday previously.

 A not so quick journey.... Thursday morning I was up with the roosters getting dressed and ready to see my adoring fans who awaited Ms. Starr's reading of One Fish Two Fish at the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast for Dr. Seuss's birthday celebration. Followed by a round of reading various books to various classrooms school wide. Interrupted by a plan to go pick up a nice piece of wooden furniture for the baby's new playroom. Back to the school to help clean up (a little) and to enjoy the 8th grade improvised play of The Cat In The Hat. Then off to the doctor...

NOW A SMALL INTERJECTION of how much I do NOT enjoy the girls doctor. We have seen him a few times now and he is just not a fit for us. He is a young doctor and full of one line of opinions. He will probably not stay in pediatrics seeing as though I am not the only parent that feels this way. I will blog more on this experience later! Anyhow he was not in the office that day and we got the pleasure of seeing another doctor at the office. Grayce really enjoyed him, more importantly he seemed to actually like kids and connected with me as a parent.

Then we left the office certain she was fine and that she had lost none of her smarts after the head injury fiasco of NEMO 2012! Headed home made snacks to take with us...seeing as though I was the one that ate my way through DL the first time through. Got some lunch. Packed our bags headed out. The beauties&I rolled into The Happiest Place On Earth 4 deep! WITHOUT A STROLLER. WITHOUT A DADDY. WITHOUT STAPLES. WITHOUT FEAR.

Tearing Into a Turkey
A few times I was offered a ride switch pass. Which if you don't know it is what they give out to people there with kiddos that can't ride. This pass allows one parent to sit with the child that can't ride...THEN they can go on the ride without waiting in the long line. I respectfully declined seeing as though there was no one for me to switch with. BUT a few of those happy Disney workers were persistent...after I expressed that I was the only parent there I got a response of 'YOUR BRAVE'!

HUH? I am not 'brave' I am their MOTHER!

Now we don't have much of a problem on 90% of the rides because they have few height restrictions. On one ride Grayce rode in the plane behind me with a nice Mom who got outed of her own kids plane because she wanted to ride with her cousins. So it all worked out :) Other than that the girls really wanted to go on the Star Tours ride. I didn't know what that entailed so we hopped in line to find out. Baby was too small and after a 30 minute wait I wasn't going to not let them go...thank goodness I did...apparently it is AH-AH-AHHHH-MAZING! The ride is a simulator that takes you on a 3D voyage through Star Wars planets and such. The beauties enjoyed it while baby and I waited so impatiently on the other side with other kiddos not tall enough. Through out the day I got some 'Your Crazy'...'Ohh I'm Sorry'... and a pretty overwhelming number of GASPS. Don't get me started on the 'where's your stroller?' because that is a blog of a different color. I may be crazy. You may be sorry. Yes, I am breathtaking. But really all never imagined I was alone because I was so calmly enjoying myself with my THREE beauties. Laughing, dancing, and chasing Pinocchio. I only TOLD you the scenario because you were inquiring about my vacation while we stood in line together and you felt the need to talk to me while your kid narrowly escaped staples in the head.

I am uncertain if I am lucky to be their mother or if me being a good mother is the cause of such perfection in my girls. I won't say that they never melt down. They do. I won't say that they have never been rude. They have. I won't say being a mother is easy. It is not. I WILL say I am a good one. I am. I can't say though that I am a perfect one. I am NOT. I wouldn't even say anyone else is a bad one. You aren't. We merely catch glimpses into one anothers time as parents. I do try to avoid attempts in judging the parent of a melting down kiddo, Lord knows that has been me before.

What I will say is that their Dad and I knew what kind of children we wanted before they were born. With time patience and the practice of three we slowly figured out how to get our children to handle any given situation that may come up.

Grayce 6mos
Mostly, we wanted happy, healthy, and secure children.  To be independent while still knowing they could depend on us. Wanting to allow them to be children with all the fun and wild that comes with it, but we wanted to be able to take them into public. We didn't want to give up our dinners out, fishing trips, camping, travel, pick up and go, stay home and keep it low...ya know our 'lifestyle'! We wanted those things. So we raised our children in a way we could do all of that. Grayce first went fishing with us when she was 2 months old! AJ was sitting in college classes with me the day after we got out of the hospital from her birth! Dru and I climbed a waterfall in Oregon (600+ feet up) about 9 days after she was born! I have taken road trips alone with them. Daddy has done so as well...nearly all the way across the country. We are blessed with children that 'go with the flow' because they are confident that they have parents that will tend to their every need along the way. I guess it helps we have never forgotten them anywhere--I am looking at you Grandma 'Stones' (The Garage Sale Fiasco of 1982). Hope I haven't spoken to soon...better do a head count before I go to bed!

Most simply put... 

We wanted children like us, but better.

We wanted to be parents like our own, but better.

Granted we have slowed down a bit with the addition of each child...but the girls weren't the main cause of that. Our careers are in a full swing upwards and it makes for a really busy time. Two of them are in school so it makes it harder to just pick up and go. BUT man oh man when it is GO TIME we hit it head on!

Camping Summer 2007
I must admit there was a panic when the Handsome Pilot and I separated for some time and I was a true single mom. A small period of time we stayed very close to home. Not at home...but never too far! I was not sure how I would handle a meltdown from AJ, boredom whining from Grayce and breastfeeding an infant all at the same time! A vision in my head of running topless through Hollywood trying to catch a screaming kindergartener and an emotional 7 year old while forgetting where I set down the baby had crossed my mind. Sounds crazy, but HEY with 3 girls at very different ages of development and temperaments you never know! I give AJ the most credit in the transistion. Up until Dru she was the baby...she was breastfeed longer than Grayce. AJ demanded more attention than Grayce (even true today). AJ was at home with me longer. Just overall Ava Jo was a very different experience than all the laid back that Grayce was and still is. AJ demanded to be held...demanded to sleep with me. Even still sleeps with her sister. Thinking back on her now it was like she was born a middle child. Sometimes she can challenge me to no ends, but the way she loves and needs love is so genuine. I have caught slack for 'spoiling her' from other people. I let that get to me a few times and tried to adjust the way I parented because of that idea. In the end it just didn't feel natural...AJ needs what AJ needs. Attending to those needs has made her more and more confident, secure, and yes...INDEPENDENT! Makes me wish I could take back all that time I tried to force that independence on her. Why would her needy attitude bother someone else? Why would I let that it did bother me? I don't know the answer to either one of those questions. I do in fact know that neither one of those bothered me for long and has helped me with all 3 of the beauties today.

Living and learning I know now is the key to being a better parent.

Besides people I didn't go to Disneyland ALONE...I was there with THREE girls. My crew. My gang. My family. My TEAM! We rolled in 4 deep...we took your parents rolling around strollers with melting down kids and made them look like chumps! As the park closed we rolled out hand in in the sling still awake and clingy to the Meme Mouse from the previous trip. We were all a little tired, yet not melted away. We were all happy at the short lines for rides. We were all ready to see Daddy. WE WERE ALL IN A GREAT MOOD!

Sleepy Dru
Oh and don't think it was because I bought them a million things or bribed them with prizes for good behavior. WE DIDN'T SPEND A DIME! AJ came close to one bout of tears. Grayce and I talked her off that calmly and easily. I didn't lecture once. I didn't lose anyone. Mostly, I didn't think anything of it at first. I only think about going 'alone' now because it was mentioned so many times through the day. Their daddy didn't really think much of it either. For me or for himself. I only said I couldn't see him wanting to do it because he would have to skip some of his favorite rides...not because he couldn't handle the kids. Our parents survived us. We certainly will survive these three.

My mother taught me to be unafraid when it came to motherhood. She told me as long as those babies are coming first then everything else will make sense. So between their daddy and me everything is making sense. His mother didn't let kiddos slow her down...she was active and always on the go with kids right next to her. His father traveled with them a lot never questioning if he should be doing that alone. My parents were so young they had such few choices but to tote me and my bro around everywhere. My Mama K often wrangled five of us at a time PLUS our cousins, I can not recall a time that being with ALL of us stressed her out. With all of that watching and learning from our parents we grew into the kind of active parents that they were. Trust me this little story in comparison to what my own parents and my in-laws did with us will make me look like the chump!

What are we doing better than our parents? Probably nothing at all. But we are still their kids...which makes us more right than them! HA

I am in forever debt to our parents for raising us well and always supportive in the raising of ours. I know a parents job is never done. For that I am thankful because my heart breaks a little to think that my beauties would ever not need us to guide them. Even if the guidance comes from a childhood of memories. Watch and learn baby girls. One day you are gonna have to do generations of good parenting...only better!