November and December previous entries

November 25, 2005

We’ve been here over 3 years and there are many a time when I am still in awe of the beauty of this place. This morning as I was cleaning off the car to go to the market the snow was falling in those big fluffy flakes – the ones that look like Christmas snow, except the stuff that is fake. This was real and the cedar branches are thick with fluffy snow. The trees, the snow, the sun – all crisp and fresh and beautiful.

Later on while out with the kids I still marvel at the beauty of the day. The water flowing by in the stream with the occasional blobs of snow that fall in and create ripples. The cedar trees that form a tent over the stream with the fresh green and white. The winter is still fresh – the snow is new and hasn’t been rained upon and packed down or mixed with the slush and dirt of the road.

Paco loves the shoveling. He is so excited when the snow comes and for the first snowfall even though there was just a sprinkling we had to go out for a walk and try to capture some of the snow. Now he goes to the shed first thing and gets the big snow shovel and uses it for paths, the laneway, and any other area that has snow. Our walk to the compost is through deeper snow and Linsy got halfway then had enough. Paco shoveled the snow out of her way to create a path for her to get back to the plowed area of the laneway.

Linsy is less excited by the cold and snow. It’s a struggle to get her to put on her jacket but that is soon relinquished but the struggle for the mitts is constant. We aren’t outside for long and her mitts are off. Not long after that she is whining and I’m guessing it’s because her hands are cold. I get so frustrated and just don’t understand why she doesn’t keep them on in the first place.

Speaking of frustrating – well actually I could go into many areas of my life but deep frustration and Linsy are around potty issues. It hasn’t been long since I’ve written about my frustration with Paco and his potty issues (or perhaps more accurately it would be my potty issues – similar issues between two kids and I see the common denominator is me). At 18 months she was out of diapers. By 19 months I noticed more and more accidents. Then I realized she wasn’t making any more efforts to get to the potty. Back to me paying attention to avoid having the carpet (and the table, one of those preferred pee areas) soaking wet with pee. Another favourite was on her chair in front of the sink. Making puddles on the chair, spraying the cupboard and streaming onto the floor and running down under the dishwasher. Ughhh! So back to diapers again – easier said than done. A big struggle to get her to keep diapers on her. I think she’s safe on the table because she has diapers on. Next thing I know she’s taken off her diapers and peed on the table. Getting them on in the first place often involves tears. Or perhaps I come and offer her the potty and she say ‘no, no, no way’ so I try for diapers and that’s a no go. So I leave her be for a few minutes – just long enough for her to pee on the carpet. Arghhhh!

A new trick for her but an age old one for Paco that I had no patience for with him was the wiping the bum on the carpet scene. She’s quite happy to use the potty for poo. She’ll walk over pull down her pants and use the potty for poo. Yeh! There have been times now, where, instead of waiting around for me to wipe her bum she’ll walk to the living room and sit down on the carpet. Paco used to wipe his bum on the carpet. Crazy making stuff this parenting scene (or perhaps it’s just the deal of dealing with your own demons put in your face by your kids).

December 4, 2005

Ha, ha, ha (crazy laughter with demonic face on a crazed mother)!! Did I actually say Paco didn’t do this stuff anymore? The day after writing the above he started scooting across the kitchen floor after taking a poo and before having his bum wiped. Luckily his bum wasn’t really messy and I had the chance to mop later on (not an often enough occurrence) but that didn’t stop me from saying some not so nice things to Paco and behaving in an unpleasant manor. He knows better. Unfortunately a threat has become that I will lock him out of the house. I really don’t like using a threat of any sort but there are times where I feel so backed in a corner that I lash out verbally.

Realistically speaking I don’t imagine there are too many parents out there that have never done things with their children they regret. Didn’t take long after Paco being born before I learned more and wished I had done some things differently. And I’m not generally the kind of person to have regrets (then again as I write this I think of many situations in which I do). Geez. Don’t ever assume you know how things are because nothing is as it seems.

The crazy kids! They chase each other all over the house. Paco was just standing in the doorway with his legs spread telling Linsy to run (i.e. you can’t go into the room here) and instead she starts to go under his legs. Then of course he sits down on her and I get a view of her naked bum up in the air.

Yes it’s December and I said naked bum. Not only naked bum but nothing on her at all. Those who have been here in the winter will shiver simply to think of walking around in this house with no clothes on (the temperature in here is thus that you want to wear layers and at least one warm sweater). Often I will feel colder and colder and want to put more layers on myself. I try and offer socks, pants and a top. Ever so often she will take an item of clothing. Sometimes it’s just the socks. Then shortly after I get something on her she will pee and off it all comes. She’s drinking a glass of water and spills a drop on herself and off the top comes.

She just came to me and chewed in front of me showing me her mouthful and slapping her bare legs back and forth. Then off she runs again. Really quite agile on her feet yet so klutzy. She dances around and often walks in a dance. Runs with speed or hops and skips. Too many falls and accidents have happened to her. She does have pretty good balance and moves around pretty good but corners of desks and tables seem to beckon her head. Those weird moments where the chair goes out from underneath her. And of course when the two of them start going crazy around the house it’s not long before she’s crying. Though she can get quite the bonk, really be crying in pain, come for a hug and then be off again to play with Paco even though she’s still hurting and crying.

Paco has been coming more into his own lately. More verbal with outside people and will tell folks all about things. If confronted by someone trying to be cutesy with him and get him to talk he still just gives them a strained look and says nothing. Depends a lot on the person I guess. He can be quite courteous and polite and he can also be completely oblivious to things around him. He is more aware of changes in emotion and feelings that he is in the concrete objects around him.

December 11, 2005

I noticed how last week I felt like I had stolen some precious moments to take the time to write. Sad really that I felt like I was stealing time from some other more productive task. I then thought that it would be nice if I could get paid to write things – but only the way I want to write them. I’m not the type to be told what to write or even to have to write on demand (though if I had free reign on subject content that could easily change). So perhaps if I put that out there I will find a way.

Finding a way to bring in money has become a real source of ‘interest’. I have experimented with food stuff but one of the problems with that is the ingredients cost too much to make it a viable option (however I’m still open to working on that one). Realistically though nowadays you need a properly inspected kitchen to do public food prep in. Too many regulations and not child-friendly.

Here I can do work in the kitchen – whatever it may be and the kids are welcome to join in if they so please. They come and go. Making muffins has a row of us doing different things at the same time. Paco measures and mixes the dry ingredients and Linsy the wet ones. Cracking eggs is a source of competition (lots of those around here – whatever she wants he must have immediately) and so the eggs will be separated so they each get a turn. Though Linsy isn’t quite able to crack an egg properly yet. Sometimes she will just bang it on the bowl until it cracks and then give it to me to complete the process. Other times she will bang it on the bowl and then proceed in sticking her fingers into the egg to pry it apart. Egg gooping into the bowl along with various shells. I prefer the first scenario.

Paco will make mountains and valleys in the dry ingredients. Piling them up as high as possible against the side of the bowl. Creating holes to add other ingredients. I make the sure the counter is clean and dry before this starts as it’s sure to spill over the edge. After a while he starts to get a bit antsy and then is more likely to start flinging the spoon more carelessly while ingredients go flying. If I’m lucky he’ll move onto something else. Linsy has the fork and flings it around in the bowl mixing up the wet stuff and adding anything else that I may place in front of her. I don’t promise she doesn’t taste her mixture and the fork ends up on the counter and liquids end up all over as well. There’s another bowl which is used for whipping egg whites. We have a manual egg beater that they can also take turns with but I do the most of it. I also get the pan ready and various other projects – a lot of wiping. sometimes I get to finish up quickly on my own and scoop the dough into the muffin cups and other times Paco is there to help out – not so much Linsy (though now that I’ve said this she is going to be determined to do it and I cringe at the though of the dough going all over the counter and muffin pan).

My patience wears thin after a while of this. It takes much longer with help and I get concerned depending on the amount of food flying all over. The floor will need to be swept (a good mopping doesn’t hurt but I’ve avoided that with the kids lately) and counters wiped near and far and other assorted messes. Problem is I am not the neatest person either in the kitchen or elsewhere (honestly speaking in some ways Paco is neater than I am!). So of course I add my own mess to the mix. That idea of cleaning up as you go along – haven’t mastered that yet.

The other day we went to a friend’s house to make some Christmas ornaments and though she seems so calm and really is great with her kids she admitted she has limited patience for these type projects as well. Even her impatience seems relaxed however.

The kids both like to chop veggies in the kitchen as well. Onions are a source of stress and obviously will result in Linsy crying. I try to do those when she’s not around. Paco’s more into cooking and mixing on the stove. I can tell him what number to turn the stove to and what to add and what to stir. He likes that.

Mopping. As I wrote the above that we don’t do it together anymore I realized it may now be possible. What has happened in the past is that Paco will mop here, there and everywhere and then Linsy will slip and fall on the wet, slippery floor and then we add tears to the mix and I just want to stop this ASAP. Now that she is sturdier on her feet it may well be possible to try again. Twould be nice if I didn’t have to try and find the time when they are in bed because I have enough to do at that time as it is. Then again I feel like I have too much to do at the best of times. I wonder about working. How would I fit any extra stuff into my already stuffed days?

Washing toilets. Another project that gets done without kids. Back when Paco was much younger Thomas would do it weekly with Paco while I was vacuuming. Takes a long time. Now that there are two of them to swish the brush it takes that much longer. Not to mention the uncomfortable feeling to see toilet water flying all over the place. Ugh!

Speaking of toilets reminds me of an incident a few weeks ago. We just started doing a parent/child yoga class together. Great! I’ve wanted to have a class like this for a long time. Before class we use the washroom. Paco lifts the toilet seat and pees. Linsy is walking to the toilet and stumbles and falls hand first into the toilet. Her shirt is wet up past her elbow. The smell isn’t terribly pleasant and Linsy is crying and pretty upset. We survive and enjoy the class but – ick!!

Overall I can see the class is mostly for me but the kids enjoy it. Paco will participate for about the first 5 minutes or so and then he hangs out, does the occasional stretch and does his own thing. Linsy starts the class sitting all nice and straight on her mat and before long is climbing all over me while I do poses and nursing as much as she can. I just keep going and she hangs on if need be. Sometimes Paco will also climb under and over me.

Paco’s friend Michael gets all upset that Paco isn’t following the teacher and isn’t doing what he’s being told to do. He’s so concerned about Paco that he isn’t paying attention to the teacher either and is being more disruptive to the class. The two of them get along in a back and forth kind of way. They both like to be in charge. Paco can be abrupt in his speech and Michael is very sensitive and takes all to heart. Michael tells Paco what to do and Paco ignores him and then the opposite while Michael ignores Paco and does his own thing.

December 18, 2005

This morning I saw Paco doing some typing in the word program on the computer. Come and see what he’s doing and he’s written a bunch of letters and numbers. Then I look up and see the title of the document – December 2005. WHAT!!!!!! That is the name of the file that has the previous pages written on it and his document is only a few lines long!!! I pick him up and put him down on the floor in a rather abrupt way ‘What have you done??!!??!!’ Luckily I am able to close the document, not save the changes and get back my typing but, whew!, was I mad! For once I didn’t raise my voice to him but he did get the point that you DON’T DELETE what I have written, any of my stuff. One time before he went along and deleted a bunch of saved emails I had. I showed him what he could do if he wanted to do typing and then I read the writing to him.

Linsy is not sleeping on my lap. After a major meltdown – crying and screaming and ‘moy mommy! Moy mommy! No, no, no! No way!’ I could go on for 20 minutes. ‘Moy’ is Linsy’s word for ‘more’. We were decorating a birthday card and she wanted to do more of a particular sticker. I gave her more of other stickers but she wanted a particular one and that wasn’t going to happen. Finally got her on the boob and she was asleep shortly.

I wrote above about Michael losing all concentration when he got upset with Paco and I see similar traits in Paco. One big thing with him is talking. He will walk around, pacing back and forth and around in circles, talking. Talking about what he will do, what he is doing or what is going on. Problem is he is too busy talking and walking to get anything done. He’s willing and wants to do whatever it is but he’s just talking. ‘Paco! Stop talking about it and do it already!’ Nope. He just has to keep talking. Sometimes he’ll just keep talking like this until he puts the boob in his mouth to fall asleep. Upstairs getting ready for bed he’s bouncing around on the beds or walking around in circles and bouncing. I keep reminding him to get dressed or whatever. A task. And I get to sound like the horrible nag mother. There are occasions where I will just turn out the light. If he’s not dressed then he can either do it himself or go downstairs and Thomas will help him. Sometimes I can just laugh at him (not in a rude way) and other times I get soooo frustrated (thus turning out the light gives me a bit of a reprieve.

We had a baking party this week. Two other moms and three other kids here to make some cookies. The five kids sitting around the table with their respective bowls and measuring out the ingredients. Chaotic and crazy and messy. However of course it wasn’t too long before they were off messing up the house, playing and basically being loud kids having fun. So they left the three moms there to finish the task. Fine by us. Some did come around to help roll them into balls or to put chunks of cookie dough on the trays. I think we all had fun and apparently the cookies turned out ok as well.

I am ‘mommy’ to Linsy however more often than not it seems to be ‘no mommy’ and Thomas is ‘daddy’ and Paco is ‘Gacko’ and Linsy is ‘me’. The words change so quickly the vocabulary grows and pronunciation becomes clearer. Frustration eases and then the tension grows. I beat myself up when I lose my temper and hear myself yelling. Scaring these poor beautiful kids. They love and say beautiful things and do destructive things then kind gestures. Just kinda like the rest of us – up and down and great and annoying.

A journey to equanimity…

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