Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lazy Days with the Daddy

Did I mention that Daddy is home with us all week? He's taking the week off work, and we are all enjoying it immensely. Yesterday, I was trying to think of something fun we could do without running into the Labor Day crowds, so we went to a park Maeve and I hadn't been to much this summer. It was totally worth it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Well, Shoot, There Goes That.

You know how kids will try out a phrase, just to measure its emotional affect on a parent?

Last Friday, Maeve got so angry with me (because I asked her to try on the potty before she went to school) that she dropped this one on me: Mom, I am NEVER going to marry you now!!!!!!

I didn't realize how much of parenting consists of not laughing when you're sorely tempted to.

I managed to say to her: I'm sorry to hear that, honey, but you still have to try on the potty before school.

So I guess that engagement is over!

Happy Monday, happy Labor Day!

She still loves Patches, though.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Adventures in Virtual Goat Domestication

What I will not be able to satisfactorily explain to you is why Daddy thought Maeve would enjoy the Goat Simulator game in the first place. Sometimes Daddy is just a nut, and that's all there is to it. But he downloaded this game, let Maeve play it, and now...

The Goat Simulator is mostly what it sounds like: you play as a goat. You get to move the goat around and do funny things with it. Its tongue sticks to things, with hilarious results. Maeve's favorite entertainments with the goat initially just involved sending it backwards down water slides, throwing it off a giant crane, and tossing it gleefully, over and over again, into a combine harvester.

I know, you just made a face. But this game has no yuck factor, the goat does not bleed or get banged up in any way. Although Maeve discovered that if you toss it into the combine often enough, it develops glowing eyes and a halo. But nothing icky.

However, I heard from Daddy last night, that Maeve has officially domesticated the goat now. No longer fodder for jokes, he has his own house, bed, bedside table, lamp, and "stuffed animal" to sleep with. (It's a statue, the best Daddy could find under the circumstances) She demands that the goat must sleep when he gets tired, and apparently she makes Daddy sit in silence for five whole minutes while the goat sleeps in its bed.

Then she will insist the goat wants to take a walk, so she perambulates him around outside, then insists he's tired from all that walking, and insists he comes back in and goes to bed again. So Maeve has effectively turned the Goat Simulator into the Sims.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

She's So Game for Anything

Something I really love about Maeve at this age is how she's so game for anything. I mean, not absolutely everything, but she is happy to accompany me to almost anywhere so long as I can make it sound reasonably fun. I don't have to deal with the teenage eyerolling and sighing and general unhappiness that happens when older kids don't want to go somewhere. I mean, she may stomp her feet and argue with me for a minute or two, but usually once we get in the car, she happy just to be going somewhere. I try not to take that for granted.

I took her yesterday to a physical therapy facility where Daddy's grandma is staying after her knee replacement, and I was just thinking how lucky I am that she's four and loves to go places with me. She bounced all over that facility like a bouncy ball with a smiley face painted on, and I could tell she was cheering up everyone as she went.

She was perfectly entertained by getting rides in Great-Grandma's super cool hospital bed, and by the assortment of hard candies at her bedside, for a whole half an hour or so. Plus we got to wear badges and ride in an elevator, that's really plenty of amusement for a kid her age.

I just wanted to remember this moment, how grateful I was to have my daughter with me, happy and uncomplaining. She can be such a little ray of light some days.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You'll Be a Pioneer, Yourself

I was suddenly pulled back by a memory this week, of when I went to see the lactation consultant, back when Maeve was just a few months old.

We were not doing well with nursing, to say the least, for many reasons. Maeve was constantly fussy, constantly feeding, not sleeping well or napping well, and I was exhausted, emotional, and feeling like a failure. So I went back to the place where I'd gotten my nursing bras and signed up for a consultation with their LC.

The woman very kindly showed me some techniques for getting better production, weighed Maeve before and after a feeding to see how many ounces she was getting, and gave me some advice. But the best thing she did was listen to me.

I was telling her how my mother was really a pioneer for breastfeeding in her day, because the 80's was really the height of the formula companies trying to dissuade women from breastfeeding. My mother, however, kept both my brother and I on the breast for a year each, because she had grown up with terrible food allergies and wanted to try and prevent the same thing from happening to us - which she did.

The lactation consultant looked at me with gentleness, and said, "Honey, you're going to be a pioneer in your own way."

I almost cried the other night, thinking of her kind words to me. What a difference that made in my early months of parenting! I was so grateful for those words, I clung to them like a life preserver on my worst days. And not a month after that, we discovered Maeve's milk allergy, and everything changed.

I never became a super successful breastfeeding mom, but I did stick it out for 5 months despite having to pump for three of those, and being in pain every darned minute of it. And you know what? The consultant was totally right, she's totally right about all of us parents. We all have to do it ourselves, nobody can do it for us, and we all pioneer our own way of doing things, the best we can.

The early days