Sharing the Spotlight (written July 12, 2010)

31 08 2011

The title might make you think that this post is about the challenge of juggling two kids and making sure that each gets the attention they need. When BA was only a month or two, I might have written that post, but as he’s grown, an unexpected development has occurred. I find myself on the outside looking in on a quickly blossoming relationship.  A relationship between my two boys.

During Drew’s entire infancy, I was the light of his world. He clung to me, and although it was at times exhausting, I secretly enjoyed the fact that when I went to get him from his crib, his arms would swing ecstatically and the most exuberant smile would break out all over his face. Drew was infatuated with me. Naturally, when BA was born, I expected the same. But the apple of BA’s eye is not me — it is his beloved big brother Drew.

From his first days, BA has intently watched his sibling.  As BA developed, the intent stares changed to laughs and chuckles and antics and an obsession with Drew that has put me firmly in second place.  Sure I provide BA with food and he’ll throw me a smile, a laugh, and sometimes even a squeal of joy, but if big brother is anywhere nearby, his attention is quickly redirected.  It’s gotten to the point where he will fuss and start to cry if he can hear Drew in another room, but he can’t see him.  BA won’t nap if Drew is anywhere around, and toys become useless accessories if big bro strolls by.  I guess I half expected that this might happen, but what has really surprised me is that Drew is just as enthusiastic about his baby brother.  Suddenly, Drew has a undivided audience, and he absolutely loves it.  “Mommy, how about Baby A watch me racing cars? Mommy, how about Baby A pway wiff me?  Mommy, how about Baby A watch me pway baseball?”  (Everything Drew says these days begins with ‘how about…’)

Yesterday, I watched the funniest scene unfold.  BA was in his walker in the living room, but Drew decided that he wanted to show BA his room (as if BA hadn’t ever been in there before).  Drew knows he is not supposed to push or move BA while he’s in the walker, so he stood in front of him calling him as if he were a puppy till BA scooted towards him.  If Drew noticed that BA wasn’t going in the ‘right’ direction, he would say, “OH, Baby A, are you stuck?  Let me help.” And he would reposition BA to head where he wanted him to go.  Finally, they reached Drew’s room, and I heard him say, “Look BA, this is my room.  Here’s my bed.  Here’s my toys.  Look over here at my train.”  The whole time, BA, in true second child form, went smilingly along with his elder brothers manipulation.  I was amazed.

The Insanity of the Moment

28 08 2010

I put in a Nicole Nordeman CD.  I needed peace.  It was the CD I used to listen to long ago when I was single and alone and enjoying a quiet, sunlit Saturday morning.  “Maybe if I turn it up loud enough, ” I thought, “I can find my  happy place.”  Then I started unloading the dishwasher.  Then I began planning out the evening .  Then I started calculating how long it was going to take me to catch up on school work.  Then I wondered if I could skip the grocery store this week.  Drew tore around the kitchen making spaceship sounds while flying his Yoda birthday card in death-defying loops.  The card creaked out the theme to Star Wars over and over and over again.  Baby A barreled through in the walker crashing into walls and cabinets and human beings.  I practiced evasive maneuvers trying to save my already scarred feet.  He screeched with glee and took aim at his brother howling his battle cry.  The two circled the kitchen amidst sounds of light sabers and squeals and scraping walker wheels and screams and clanging dishes and Nicole Nordeman belting out ‘peace’.  I stopped and looked and huffed — and then laughed out loud to myself.  And my peace came back amidst the insanity of the moment.

My T-Shirt

13 07 2010

At noon, I took a shower and put on an old white t-shirt.  Seven hours later, it bares eight new stains.  #1  Coffee – I had to survive this day somehow.  #2 – A ring of chocolate from Drew’s M&M kiss. #3 Curry from my curry coconut chicken dinner. #4 Urine – we are pottytraining…pray for me.  #5 A spot of dark chocolate – I had to survive this day somehow.  #6 Sweet Potatoes – from Baby A’s dinner.  #7 A wet spot from an impromptu bath – we are pottytraining…pray for me.  #8 I have no idea, and I really don’t want to know.

Catching a Train

28 05 2010

The boys and I went train hunting last night.  A sport that requires no weaponry.  It was a Thursday, and Tim leads a college Bible study elsewhere, so being alone with the young ‘uns I am constantly looking for ways to GET OUT.  Drew loves trains, and asks to see one everytime we cross the tracks.  Of course, the trains around here only run in the evening or over night so spotting one during Drew’s waking hours is rare.  But yesterday, I found a website for the Florida Train Chasers (who knew they existed?!).  The website has tips on when and where to see trains.  It also lists radio frequencies for listening to conductor chit chat for extreme enthusiasts.  We’re not that extreme.  I decided to just find a good parking spot and wait to see if we got lucky.

Before parking, I swung through the Chik fil A drive thru.  I had a coupon.  I am madly in love with CFA coupons.  It’s the only fast food Drew will eat, so it makes an easy, inexpensive meal that I do no have to make or clean up after. It’s a beautiful thing.  The coupon was for buy one get one chicken sandwiches and I added fries and a strawberry shake to the order in honor of our train chasing adventure.

Once parked, I invited Drew to join me in the front seat, and I wrested Baby A from his carrier to sit with us as well.  Drew went straight for the fries, requesting bbq sauce for dunking, and I unwrapped the scalding chicken sandwiches holding them in front of the AC vents to cool them enough to eat.  I had pictured this whole scene as a wonderful and peaceful bonding experience – the three of us enjoying an easy meal while watching the lengths of a freight train disappear into the setting sun.  But sadly, my imagination forgot to consult reality.  My imagined version of this event did not include a bouncing two year old and buttons and gears and bbq sauce and a strawberry shake with whipped cream and my arms too full with a four month old and scalding chicken sandwiches to halt the freight train of a mess that was about to rock my poor car.  Next time we train watch, Dennis the Menace WILL BE firmly restrained in his seat.

Well, we ate, then I cleaned up the bbq sauce, then the whipped cream, then the bbq sauce that was spilled while I was cleaning up the whipped cream, but still no train.  It was almost time for Baby A to eat so I reluctantly strapped the kiddos back in and headed out of the parking lot.  Just as I pulled out, a horn blared, and I looked up to see a big yellow CSX engine hauling a never-ending line of cars.  I yelled for Drew to look and heard the gasp of awe come from his seat.  The road I was on ran parallel to the tracks, so we ‘raced’ the train for a few blocks till we hit the section of tracks we had to cross to get home.  Then we sat with dozens of other cars waiting and watching the massive line steam by.  Drew pointed and named every train car he knew amidst exclamations of “Mommy, look at the wheels!” and “Mommy, it’s a train!”.

“Yeah, Buddy.  It is.”  Sadly, Baby A just screamed.  Evidently he was not satiated by the bbq sauce that I’m pretty sure he sucked off my finger during the whole feeding fiasco, and he was not impressed by the train that he could only hear but not see.  Several minutes and dozens of cars later, the final boxcar crossed the street and echoed into the distance.  It had been a long one, but it wasn’t enough for Drew.  “Follow it, Mommy?  Follow the train, please, Mommy??”

“Sorry, Buddy, we can’t do that tonight.”  I think he just might have a future as a South Florida Train Chaser.

I’m Back…Maybe

27 05 2010

I decided today to begin blogging again, although I admit this decision might last for about 24 hours.  The decision came from a variety of sources.  First, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately in a desperate attempt to avoid work of any sort, especially the domestic type.  As I read those blogs, I continue to think, “Wow, I would really like to chronicle my life like this.”  So, I thought I’d begin chronicling.  Also, Facebook has gotten to me.  I find myself as a friend said ‘thinking in Facebook status’ all day.  I mentally go through dozens of Facebooks statuses throughout the day, but usually only one makes it on my page.  All the other little snipets that I’d like to write are forgotten in the insanity of a normal day.  So, for today at least, I’m blogging again.

I realize blog entries usually have a general focus, but for today, I’m just going to talk about today.  Oh, where to begin…

I ran for the first time today in over a year.  I would have laughed at my sad little attempt, but that would have required me being able to catch my breathe.  Drew piped up from the stroller, “Mommy, what are you doing?!”  He was amazed to be moving at anything faster than a saunter.  The bad news is he will probably now expect me to run all the time.  Nothing like a toddler to hold you accountable.

Once home, I showered while Drew watched the second half of Nemo and Baby A dozed in his swing.  Yes, Drew has a little sibling now.  The last time I posted, Baby A was not even a twinkle in our eye.  Actually, that’s not quite true – we were wanting another, but were struggling.  But that’s for another post.  Baby A’s birth is for another post too.  Man, I need to keep blogging – I have way too much to write about.

In the shower, I once again lost the equivalent of a long-haired chihuahua from my locks.  I am hoping this postpartum hair loss ends soon before I have to opt for extreme measures.  Once out of the shower I chose a skirt and tank top rather than my usual sad t-shirt and gym shorts.  I had worked out; I was feeling good.  And I thought it would be nice to look attractive decent when Dr. Daddy arrived home.  I tried to ignore the bulge I saw in the mirror.  Oh, that wretched bulge!  You’d think I was pregnant again –

Sadly, the outfit only lasted an hour or so.  Baby A hit me with poop soup, and I was forced to don the sad t-shirt and gym shorts again.

I spent much of my afternoon playing with the boys.  They are so much fun.  Even though Baby A is only four months old, Drew loves playing with him.  And Baby A is fascinated with Drew.  It’s an amazing phenomenon to watch.  I should have been working instead of playing, but I am so over work.  Work is always there.  My boys won’t always be here.  I cannot even handle that thought…

This post is so dull and boring.  It sounded much wittier earlier this afternoon when I mentally wrote it.  At that time, I still had some caffeine running through my veins.  But now, the clock has just crossed over 10 pm, and if I don’t hit the sack, I will not be functioning tomorrow.  For today, I’m back.  I hope to see you tomorrow –

Things I learned this week

26 04 2009

Things I learned this week:

1.  Eating only almonds during South Beach Diet, phase one is not at all effective.

2.  Pointing fingers during an argument always makes the situation worse.

3.  When living with a toddler – the real mess is always being created while the decoy mess is being cleaned up.

4.  Playgrounds in South Florida in April can be dangerously hot by 10:30 AM

5.  Change poopey diapers immediately

6.  Watching temper tantrums from an undisclosed location can be more entertaining than a blockbuster film.

7.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick – Proverbs 12:13

8.  Our future hope should place us in submission to the will of God.

9.  I have the best husband in the world.

10.  I don’t tell my husband that he is the best often enough.

11.  The five second rule cannot apply to my kitchen floor in its current condition.

12.  Fire ants are bad and should all die.

13.  A hard day’s work that is dreaded beforehand can be very fulfilling afterwards.

14.   My son thinks his name is baby. (We are now working to correct this)

15.  A few intimate, quiet moments with my family can wash away a week’s worth of hardship.

The Darling of Heaven

13 04 2009

The last time I remember singing the song “Worthy is the Lamb” was at a church service when I was over nine months pregnant.  At the time, I only knew Drew as an alien being who did consecutive somersaults when I ate chocolate and who daily practiced punting my bladder.  While singing this song, however, one aspect of my parental relationship suddenly became absolutely clear.  The chorus of the song begins with the words “Worthy is the Lamb, Seated on the Throne…”  and it resolves with the line “The Darling of Heaven was crucified – Worthy is the Lamb”.  I remember distinctly belting out the first few words passionately with as much breathe as I could muster from my pregnant lungs.  But as I began the final line, my hands resting on my swelling stomach, I had to halt quite abruptly.  “The Darling of heaven crucified…” – that thought echoed over and over.  The darling son of God was crucified by God’s own choice.   I choked on the words and the sudden spiritual reality that God the Father had given his one and only son overwhelmed me.  My tears fell uncontrollably over the bump that was my baby.   Sacrificing His only son – what had God been thinking??  Feigning fatigue and not wanting to sing anymore, I quickly sat down…

This Easter morning at church, we sang “Worthy is the Lamb” again.  And I was again reminded of the absurd love of the Father God.  My entire maternal being revolts at the thought, yet at the same time, I stand in stupified awe.  Over the course of my single life I’ve had a few moments that I have naively claimed as “Abraham and Isaac” moments.  Times when God called me to sacrifice the thing I most loved or most wanted for His Glory, and on several occasions (including my relationship to Dr. Daddy) God has provided the ram in the bushes and given me the things I love back with an even a greater love for Him.  Since Drew was born, however, I’ve realized how far off I was to ever consider those as Abraham/Isaac moments – none of those circumstances ever required me to sacrifice my son – to give him up or to watch him suffer.  How did Abraham do it?  How did God do it?  My ferocious maternal love that wants to throttle the kid who pushes Drew down at the playground seems a force too strong to ever sit by and watch my son suffer and die.  But I guess that just exaggerates the greatest paradox of the Greatest Love of all.  I cannot fathom it.

Oh the Wonderful Cross, O the Wonderful Cross

Bids me come and die to find that I might truly live.

Happy Resurrection Day!