Tuesday, September 30, 2008

you say today is saturday?

My fourth-grader calls me at LEAST three times a week from school because she "feels sick and almost threw up".

Sometimes I let her come home, after which I make her sit on her bed. After a nap (that she needs because she stalled for three hours at bedtime last night, a fact which is neither here nor there), she gets up and "FEELS FINE!" And then the remainder of my afternoon/evening is spent reminding her that the reason she can't go outside is because she's sick...remember?

I'm done letting her come home.

Today when she called, I told her to go back to class and Take It Easy, and to come home when school is over. I figure that if she was really sick, a nurse or a teacher or someone other than Herself will get on the phone and tell me about it.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Zero to Sixty and Back Again

Yesterday Dora was talking about what she wanted to be when she grew up. She turned to the audience and yelled "What do YOU want to be when you grow up?" And Jooj answered "Jooj wants to be a mommy!"


A few hours later when watching it again, Dora turned to the audience and yelled "What do YOU want to be when you grow up?" And Jooj answered "Jooj wants to be a ChooChoo Twain."

And we're back.

I really hope that the recording angels were paying attention EARLIER on in the day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad, bad mommy!

My 17-year-old son has his first girlfriend. He made me swear to him I wouldn't blog about it, so that's all you get except for the fact that the worrier in me now works overtime.

So am I a bad mom for hoping things don't work out, even if it means he gets his heart broken?

Better him than me, right?

(Don't tell him I said that.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I still got it...

I dropped Oldest off at driver's ed this morning.
He leaned over and gave me a sqeeze and said, "I love you, mom!"
And then...

He kissed me on my cheek!

He's very affectionate but hasn't been into kissing his mom for quite a while now.
And, if you knew how much we've been on each others nerves lately, you'd know why it meant so much to me.

I love that I'm still his Queen Mum.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where did I go?

W and I are in the process of applying for our second adoption. One of the last things we have to do is write the "Pick us!!" letter to the birth parents. We are using the old one--because it is good and in the three years since we wrote it Jooj has made my brain hurt a lot-but updating it to reflect our current situations. (Like the part that says "We will never spank." Oh, the laughter when I re-read that part!) The format we used was: I wrote a paragraph introducing W, he wrote one for me, and then I wrote the rest about our belief systems, etc. It worked.

When W wrote the paragraph about me the last time it was all "Jen is so educated!" and "Masters!" and "Smart" and "Hot!" (Not really, but I read between the lines) and "Strong and Capable!" and "REALLY smart!".

He just emailed me the update and here is what it says now: "Good mother!" "Preschool and Playgroup!" "Takes kid to soccer!" "Mom!" and "Jooj's Mom!"

Apparently I have vanished in three years.

I don't know where I went (I certainly haven't gotten any smaller physically) and I don't know when it happened. There was a point where I desperately wanted to be someone's mom--anyone's mom! And it is not like I want to go back to that place (although I am often tempted) but there has got to be a place where "Mom" and "Me" co-exist.

Have you found that place? Where is it? How did you get there?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm doing it wrong

Last night I came home from ward temple night and then had to go run a couple of errands and do my grocery shopping. Which meant it was after 10 p.m. when I got home and found my nine-year-old just starting his homework and my 13-year-old yet to start. Argh! I felt like one of those people at Wal-Mart who take their kids shopping after 11 p.m. and then are cross with them because they're misbehaving.

Obviously that's much too late for a nine-year-old (even the youngest child nine-year-old who is used to later nights) so he was cranky and then I got cranky. I was frustrated with him for not doing it earlier (but also frustrated with myself for not being home to encourage him) and frustrated with my daughter for not doing hers earlier and just frustrated overall that my life doesn't run as smoothly as the freaking Brady Bunch show.

So I declared martial law and ranted and raved a bit--I'll say this for myself, there was no actual yelling, but what good did that do when yelling was perceived--and then things got worse.

Does this sound familiar? "Why should I even try when I'm going to get yelled out anyway?!"

I have to admit that despite the phone calls from the Foods teacher that L~ is being disruptive (to be fair, she called almost every parent in the class because the whole class is disruptive, but I know L~ and am sure she is one of the leaders of the band), L~ has been doing a much better job this year. While I still have issues with her (namely her attitude and her occasional bold-faced lies), I recognize she is making an effort. While having a 4.0 just two and a half weeks into the school year isn't a big deal for some, it certainly is for her. And, having been 13 before, I realized immediately I made a big mistake getting after her for something she was really doing well.

Huge mistake.

What did I do about it? I apologized. And I told her she was doing a good job.

Let's just say she did not accept it gracefully.

This morning when she got up she was a little more cheerful (mornings are another thing she has been doing better). I told her, "When I was your age I would have given the world to hear my parents apologize to me when they were wrong. And they were wrong sometimes. And sometimes so am I. I am proud of you, but I do make mistakes. And when I do I will apologize. You need to learn to accept an apology more graciously."

I don't know if she really got it, but it needed to be said.

It also needs to be said that kids do need to be caught doing good. Especially teenage kids. Sometimes you have to look a little harder to see the good, but they need to hear about it when you notice it.

I'm going to work harder to see and acknowledge the good.