Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dear Kindergarten teacher...

Dear Kindergarten Teacher:
   
My kid is special, I know you hear that all the time, in fact I'm sure that every parent things their kid is special, the thing is...  mine is...  special... really special.  Her heart is bigger than you could even imagine.   Her compassion for all things is immesurable.  I know those words are used often so allow me to give you a few examples of my sweet daughter and what I pray happens in your care and loving hands.

Shannie is emotional.  She cries watching commercials, movies, and "The Voice."  she says things like "that lady was so happy it made me have tears."  or  "why did Baby Moses' mom have to give him away, I was so sad it made me choke."  Yeah, she's that kid.  So please be gentle with her heart.  She will feel everything you feel, every frustration, every mean word, and every friend that makes her feel yucky.  But the glorious thing about Shannie, is that she'll get over it, and she's no worse for wear.  She will duck her head for a few minutes, she will shed a tear or two, and then she'll move on as if nothing happened.  You see, Shannie is a forgiver.  In her very nature she's a forgiver.  She is "abused" over and over and over again by big grumpy dwarf (her brother)  she ALWAYS forgives and always gives him the benefit of the doubt.  Don't be fooled, her easy forgiveness doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt if only for just a minute.  Please give her a moment when she's sad, she just needs her privacy to gather the strength for forgiveness, you see she doesn't give it lightly, she means it... really means it.  I pray you honor her request for "alone time."  I promise it will work out in better that way.

Shannie is an expert at abstract art.  you only need to read my blog to discover the never ending possibilities of Shannie's creativity.  I know you must teach her to color in the lines, and to do "color   by numbers"but I pray you give her a blank sheet of paper and allow her to scribble her creations.  Her 5 year old brain cannot communicate to her 5 year old hands how to paint, draw, color knights, and castles and princesses and ponies, and unicorns, and aliens, and the infinite stories that these characters create for themselves.  So to you it may look like scribbles on the paper, to Shannie it's an imaginary world.

Shannon can answer any question you ask her. I know you are required to teach her to answer the question "like the book" or "fill in the blank."  I get that, I don't agree, but I get it.  I pray that you also ask her a million open ended questions this year, because you will get a million open ended answers.  Some will be silly, some will be serious, and most will be a beautiful window into her precious little soul.




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gotta Pee!!!!

I can tell its the start of summer...  long summer nights with nothing to do but eat ice cream and ride bikes/walk/play outside until the sun goes down.  In my house, and I'm certain yours, you can also tell it's summer by the number of tantrums/meltdowns/overstimulated spinning out of control moments you have between 3-5pm.  Please allow me to share this beautiful picture of my sweet daughter and her meltdown extraordinaire.

I was upstairs putting away the 4,321st article of clothing that day, Baby is sleeping, Shannie is happily playing in the living room.  Suddenly I hear tears, not just little tears, the kind of tears that signify something is terribly terribly wrong.  But I didn't hear that tell tale scream...  why didn't I hear the scream?  Is the ceiling fan to loud?  did she go outside alone without me knowing?  I sprint full speed down the stairs, scoop up my sobbing little person and hold her tight.

Mom:  What hurts honey?
Shannie:  wail... .sniff sniff... wail my belly.
Mom:  Did you hit it on something?
Shannie: (with a look that says.. how do you hit your belly on something, seriously mom) no.
Mom: Do you have to go poop (remember we have potty issues, we ask this question a lot)
Shannie: wail, sob, sniff sniff, wail (I must be getting closer)  no.
Mom:  They why do you think you belly hurts?
Shannie: pout I have to go pee.
Mom: well then go pee, there's no one in the bathroom.
Shannie:  giant, make your heart stop wail...  (Wait for the punchline... it's so good)  I don't know which bathroom to use!!!!

It's at this point that she falls on the floor, face first and cries her little eyes out.  There was no consoling (because I was laughing uncontrollably), there was no reasoning, (her bathroom probably doesn't have the toilet flushed, the downstairs bathroom is to close to the basement stairs, which is suddenly scary, and my bathroom is to far awaaaaayyyyyy)

Yes really, I couldn't make this stuff up.

So I sat, and watch my poor child struggle with the most important decision of her day.  I remind myself that sometimes I have had just a little to much chocolate/coffee/activity/children... and I have a face plant meltdown on the floor too.  Mine usually starts with a mad 8 year old who won't practice piano, or a 5 year old who won't leave my side even to use the bathroom.  So I gave her some space, that's what I would have wanted, and I waited... I figured sooner or later the urgency of the potty would supersede the location.

It did, a long time later.  Her sobs slowed down, she picked herself up off the floor, and said "I hate it when I can't stop crying."  as she wiped her little tears and tried to put on a happy face.  I wanted to say "get used to it kid."  Instead I gave her a little hug (I won't lie I laughed) and helped her to the potty.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A note to my Husband this Fathers day...



Believe it or not...  I have a weakness, one that I am so frustrated by!  I am TERRIBLE at letting people know genuinely how amazing, wonderful, beautiful, gifted, etc. they really are.  Sure, I'm great with the little things.  "You are my hero!"  "you did an amazing job at ______"  "you rock...."  "wow, you are great..."   I think I'm truly gifted at the generic grateful recognition of people in my life who do nice things.  But I'm TERRIBLE at the big things, the really big things.  The things that are uncomfortable, telling friends how much I truly value their friendship, telling my children that they really make my heart happy just being alive...  That's where I sit this Fathers Day, I have so much I wish to genuinely tell my sweet husband, but instead I hide behind the generic.  
 
"You are a great dad" seems way to generic for the man who changed my world in the most amazing way possible. The man who picked me for his FOREVER!  Who loves me more than I can even imagine and makes sure I know it each and every day.

A new briefcase (his very deserved and super needed gift this year) hardly seems to say "Thank You" for working so incredibly hard so I can stay home and care for our family.  Nor does it say "I understand how much you agonize over working late or working weekends, and I thank you for wanting to be with us, even when you can't."

A funny "today you can play golf all day" card doesn't really describe how sacrificial he is of the time he's home.  My sweet husband has no vices.  Nothing that takes him away from us.  When he's not working, he's home, navigating the insanity of family life and listening quietly and attentively to the never ending ramblings of all his girls, while playing games with the boy.  Sure, he could take the day and play golf, go to the shooting range, whatever he wishes to do... but he always choses us... how do I tell him how much that means?


A homemade breakfast barely scratches the surface of what I really want to say...  "Thank you for making family dinner a priority."  Thank you for walking in the door every single day, and devoting yourself to our family around the dinner table.  Thank you for your patience with the spilled milk, the forgotten manners, the over excited story telling and the constant interruptions.  Your presence makes me fall desperately in love with you every evening.

That store bought "fathers day cake" which was rainbow colored with sprinkles on top...  was obviously not what you would have chosen...  Thank you for indulging your daughter in her love for all things celebratory.  Thank you for smiling at her party attire, and her excitement for the party, even when there isn't one.

So, I did that...  all that very little nothing, that in my heart meant so very much of something but from the outside really appeared to be a whole lot of nothing.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Go-for

Shannie is known as the "gopher" at our house.
Mom: Shannie can you get me a diaper, my water, that toy for Millie, a burp cloth....
Dad: Shannie can you grab me the screwdriver, a napkin, mom's water...

Well, apparently it's rubbed off on the brother.

We have new neighbors...
New neighbors built a tree house...
Tree house is for boys only...
Boys don't ever (and I mean EVER) leave the tree house... except for sustenance
So I often hear from the back yard...

Brother/Neighbor:  Shannie can you hand me the baseball bat... Shannie can you hand me my water... Shannie can you hand me the ball....

So it was no great surprise when Shannie ran in the house looking for something for the boys to do in the treehouse.

Shannie: I'll bring them monopoly
Dad: Board games should stay in the house so we don't loose important pieces, but you could bring cards.
Shannie: It's okay, I'll just bring coloring books
Dad: I don't know that the boys will enjoy coloring books as much as you do.
Shannie: Hmmm....  but they DO love concerts.

thump thump stomp stomp pitter pat, she sprints up the stairs and runs outside with her pretend microphone.

Dad:  "This aught to be good"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Partly...

Shannie: What does partly mean?
Mom: it's kind of like halfway.
Shannie: but what does it meeeaaaan. i wish you could hear inflection in script, this attempt was the best I could do

She says that a lot.  things like "sounds like, it reminds me of, or kind of like" don't work for her.  She likes specifics

Mom:  It means a little bit of something and a little bit not  I know brilliant right
Shannie: Ohhhh  Thinking about it...

Shannie:  Like in the morning before you've had your coffee... your eyes are partly awake?
Mom: Ha, exactly.

Shannie:  And then in the night after my bath I'm partly naked when I'm just wearing a towel?
Mom: yup, you've got it.

Shannie:  And after I've had dinner but before dessert, I'm still partly hungry?
Mom:  I think you've figured it out.

Shannie:   Or when I've done something bad but it's a little bit funny, you are partly mad and party laughing?
Mom:  Yes, like that

Shannie: Can i tell you a joke?
Mom: sure... curious as to how this relates
Shannie:  Don't worry, it will be partly funny.. 



Friday, May 17, 2013

The honest Truth

So, the honest truth, is that this blog it's my sanity.  There are days, hours, minutes, and moments when my sweet, loving, creative, free-spirited daughter, makes me absolutely crazy for the same reasons I cherish her and love her so very much.  It's in those moments, when she is treading on thin ice, when her creativity has destroyed one more "grown-up" thing in our house, when I have put away her shoes for the 24th time that day, when I have impatiently waited for 15 minutes for her to simply get in the car and buckle her seatbelt, when I have asked, begged, pleaded and yes, probably bribed her to pick up her dishes, put away her toys, be nice to her sister, don't pull on the dog, please don't lay on the dog, please stay in the house when you are naked...  it's those moments, that I take 20 minutes and I write a blog post.

The Honest Truth is that this blog helps me to remember how beautiful she is, what joy she brings to our lives, and what kind of amazing gifts she has to give the world.  I FORCE myself to recognize it, because if I don't, I will lose my mind and you people would have to visit me in that special wing of the loony-bin where they keep road weary moms.  

Perhaps I should start one about grumpy dwarf for the same reason.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Is It hair washing day?

 I'm certain the original transcript of Genesis read "on the 6th day all 5 year olds washed hair, and it was torture."  So on the 7th day, God rested.

"Is it hair washing day?"  is the daily question around bath-time.  If its not hair washing day, she throws a party.  literally there are 8 Barbies, a boat house made from a bucket, old shampoo bottles, 3 different kinds of hairbrushes, watered down conditioner to aid the barbie brush-a-thon, boats, cars... you name it it's in the tub.  She could (and has) spent hours in the bath tub.  But on hair washing day, the merriment is gone.  There is no fun, in fact the anxiety level is so high I even want to cry just thinking about having to wash Shannie's now matted, crusty, paint colored, food caked hair.  I know what you are thinking, we should seriously wash her hair more than once a week.  Yeah...  you'd think so, I challenge you to take on that battle, and see what kind of scars you leave with... then you are allowed to judge.  Until then... zip it.

Shannie: Is it hair washing day?
Mom: It's Saturday, it's hairwashing day.
Shannie: just a little whiny "but I don't want to wash my hair"
Mom: Tough, you have to. I know, I know, not at all helping the situation
Shannie: a little more whiny  Can I play first?
Mom: Nope, if you wash hair without screaming/yelling/fighting/water squirting...  then you can play when we are done.
Shannie: crazy whiny now Please, just for a minute
Mom: standing my ground no, let's get this hair washed

all of a sudden all hell breaks loose, screaming, the kind that make you ears bleed yelling, kicking, more screaming, it was terrible.  So mom, in all my shining glory, grabs that squirming, yelling screaming then 4 year old, and steps fully clothed into the shower.  She was so shocked, she stopped everything and just stared at me.  I was furious, and wet.   I wasn't careful of her "ears" I didn't do the special cover her eyes so the soap doesn't run in them, I didn't even give her a towel when she fussed about the water in her face, I just held that girl and gave her the fastest, messiest hair washing of her life, wrapped her in a towel and put her in bed.

I would say it rivals shannie in impulsivity.  But to this day, it's a great story, it makes us both laugh, and it's a good "threat" when the whining and fighting begins to escalate.  Husband says sometimes it's pays to show off a little crazy, I think in this case...  perhaps it did.