January, 2011

Jan 11

Cookie-cutter Kids? Not!


If no two pregnancies are alike, why should siblings’ personalities be the same? I understand this concept and yet, for some reason, I am always caught off-guard if my kids respond differently given the same situation.

Don’t get me wrong. By no means do I want my children to be cookie-cutter kids. I want them to have their own thoughts, experiences, and feelings. They each need to grow to be their own person. But, sometimes it would make life so much easier if they would simply respond robotically in certain instances.

Child-rearing would be a breeze if we had cookie-cutter kids, wouldn't it?

Campbell, our first-born, is a pleaser by nature. He was an easy-going baby who has grown into a polite and courteous pre-teen. The funny thing is, for the first few years of Campbell’s life, I actually thought that I made him this way.

Then along came Ava. Even before she was born, Ava kicked and punched if she felt the least bit constricted. During her toddler years, I used to tell people that Ava was short for Avatude. Thankfully, Ava “settled” just as she entered Kindergarten. She is lovely.

With Hayden’s birth, my motherhood slate was wiped clean. Again. Hayden marches to his own beat. He’s like a little bull with a heart of gold. Now in first grade, Hayden and the principal are getting to know each other. Yup, the principal. I am the chair of Parent Council and my youngest is keeping the principal busy. Sigh.

If you are a first-time parent, don’t get discouraged when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Instead, think of me. I’m a parent three times over and I’m still learning how to parent.

My three little penguins: Thanks for keeping life interesting--and for keeping me on my toes!

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, they went and changed the rules on me. Again.

Thanks for stopping by,



Jan 11

Gumballs and Voodoo Dolls

Hello and Happy New Year,

I was lucky enough to spend a little mommy-daughter time with Ava this afternoon. Nothing fancy. We simply headed to Blockbuster to rent some movies. As the mother of three, it isn’t very often that the opportunity arises where I am able to spend one-on-one time with any of my kiddies. Most of the time, I feel like mother goose with my gaggle of goslings trailing behind.

Car rides are a great way for parents to bond with their children. Both parents and children are strapped in their seats with no outside distractions. Wait. That didn’t come out right. But, I digress…

Since school had only been back in session for a week, I took this opportunity to ask Ava how things were going—in class and with her friends. Gift-of-the-gab Ava’s response? Suffice it to say that my eight-year old did not disappoint. She was in top form! For the rest of the drive to the video store, my vocal chords were at rest except for the occasional oh, ah, wow, or really?

When we got to Blockbuster, we wove our way through the aisles, chose our movie rentals, and paid for them. On our way out, we passed a gumball machine that was taller than Ava.

Ok, this isn't Ava, but it was a very tall gumball machine.

Next to the gumball machine was another money trap that housed tiny dolls made out of tightly wound string. What were these tiny dolls made out of tightly wound string? Voodoo dolls. Yup. Voodoo dolls. Apparently these dolls can be used on key chains and are a hit with teeny boppers. But, like, seriously, what twisted soul would create these dolls and sell them to kids?

Is this a joke? Why would anyone call a kid's toy a voodoo doll? Seriously!

I gave Ava a quarter. She collected a gumball and we headed back to the car. I could practically see the wheels turning in Ava’s head. We had barely closed the car doors when the questioning began.

Ava: What is a voodoo doll?
Me: Hmmm…, well, a long, long time ago, a person would try to hurt someone by sticking a pin into a doll. The hope was that this action would cause pain to the person represented by the doll.
Ava: Why would someone want to hurt someone else?
Me: Well, there are some nice people and some not-so-nice people who sometimes get jealous of the nice people. These not-so-nice people sometimes go on to do bad things to the nice people.

Ah, the innocence of a child. Ya gotta love it.

Naturally, all this voodoo talk led to a barrage of Ava questioning. Each question felt like a ball being shot out of a canon. I was definitely in the line of fire. Would I survive to tell the tale? I won’t bore you with my responses but, here are Ava’s questions on the drive home from the video store:

Ava: Why do people celebrate Halloween?
Ava: Why do people dress up in costumes for Halloween and pretend to be something they’re not?
Ava: Why do other people give out candies?
Ava: Are there real witches and zombies? Or, are they all fake?

I tried to answer each question to the best of my knowledge. I have to admit, I was pretty relieved to see our street sign. Ava’s questions were getting increasingly difficult to answer. We pulled into the driveway. I hit the brake and put the car in park mode. I reached for the key and shut off the engine. Phew! This cannonball run had left me parched and exhausted.

Just as I placed my hand on the door handle to open the car door, I heard Ava suck in some air. I exhaled. One… final… Ava question to end our little outing shared only by mother and daughter.

Ava: Can I have my gumball now?

Ava’s stream-of-consciousness questioning never ceases to amaze me.

Ah, the innocence of a child. Ya gotta love it.

Thanks for stopping by,