Friday, March 28, 2008

A Good-Weird Feeling?

Have you ever had the strange empty feeling when the kids are not around, yet feel relaxed at the same time?
I'm not talking when they are away at school (or pre-school)...something longer - a few days perhaps?

It happened to me a couple of years ago...

My sis-U and bil-A magnanimously offered to take T1 and T2 with them on a road trip to the Berkshires.
For a whole Week! Some guts they had to even make the proposition!
Of course my parents were going with them too...
...but still offering to take 2 year old T2 and 5 (almost) year old T1 was a gutsy move on their part! They have two girls of their own, S1 and S2 (6 and 3 at the time).
We had no idea how T2 would react to not seeing us for a whole week.

We had quite a few years alone before our biological clocks started sending alarms to have a baby. Time and again, we miss that carefree life, just like anyone else. Now we were given a chance at that for a few days.

We took them up on their offer and drove with them to the Berkshires, stayed overnight and then took a train back home.
The strange feeling started soon after we got on board the Amtrak train! We terribly missed our darling girls and any conversation we had seemed to find a way to end up being about them!
At the same time we were able to value our time alone.
Having an uninterrupted conversation or meal felt very unrealistic...We stopped at Target on our way home. There was no pressure to rush back home like we always do. I cannot even explain what that felt like! I almost feel guilty writing about it.

Before we knew it, the week ended and we were back on the Amtrak. Strangely, it was T1 who was asking for us every once in a while (when she wasn't at the pool or the mountains or a show or a hike or making up silly songs with S1 and S2...).
We were really worried about T2 giving them a hard time. She apparently had taken very well to my bil and he was her designated "ootufier" (yeah, made up that word - the one to feed her). She wanted my sis for everything else, but gave her a cold shoulder when it was time to eat!
I think it turned out not so bad...!
Thanks guys!!

Overall it was a good time away from each other, but we were all SO GLAD to be back together. The whole week gave us a mixture of feelings - of missing, being missed, solitude, and not to mention the Guilt...but I think it made all of us appreciate each other so much more, even if it was only till the next time-out!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Summer Daze

Yes, the Summer Days are coming soon and with them they bring in a whole lot of daze!
I’m talking about the daze I’m in while planning for summer camp!
It’s not even funny! The hours are 9-11AM for good Tennis camps (what is that supposed to mean!?!), or 5-6 hours a day for other speciality camps.
Some of them don’t even offer aftercare, and the ones that do, offer it for an exorbitant amount!!!
Of course, there are the county camps which cost the least AND have great hours.
But we weren't totally thrilled with them last year. They are managed by older teens for the most part, the kids spend a LOTTTTTA time playing in the scorching outdoors and come home B A K E D! There's also the marks (literally) from "pityriasis alba" to think about...!
Also, they stay in a mixed age group setting, which comes with its own set of pros and cons.
The best pro about it was T1 became very independent and responsible during the brief time she attended the camps last year.
That was a huge change for us!!

But the downside is she also learned language and words that she shouldn’t learn yet!
We’ve still not heard her say the real taboo words, at least not when we’re around!?
It’s not just bad language, it’s the “I may be five, but I’m running 25” attitude and the body-language that comes with it.
I’m not ready for that – not yet!

For now, we have decided that we will keep the County camps as a last resort.

This year, we have narrowed down to two different mostly-indoor camps. A few of us have planned to sign-up our kids together, so they won't be alienated. Both camps are a little out of the way, but I hope it works out better than last year!

Maybe in another couple of years, I'll know exactly where to sign-up and just have to be prompt when the registrations open!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

And A Partridge in a Pantry…!

…That’s how “The Twelve days of Christmas” ends, at least according to T2.
As much as she amazes us with her knowledge of things as a 3-year old, she amuses us constantly with her baby-talk!

Ever since I wrote the Stay-At-Home Post, I’ve realized how much I dwell on the sighs and sobs of motherhood. Also, I haven't yet written an exclusive on T2 - bad me.

So, I’m going to take a moment to think back about some of T2’s clowning around before she gets all “growed up” on us…
I see it happening already when I see her mature comments –

“I can’t believe we’re going out again”
she sighed, when we stepped out of the house for the nth time on a frenzied Saturday!
Or, when the other day, when she heard a song on Radio Disney, she cried out loud,
“That’s the Jonas Brothers, amma!” SAY WHAT???
Then again, she sings about a partridge in a “pantry”.
We’re finally at a point where we can bravely eat out and come back in one piece…(Spewing out some anti-jinx “Thoos” here).
The other day we were dining at a relatively quiet restaurant when all of sudden she sang out loud:
“Two Turtle Ducks, and a Partridge in a Paaaantryyy!”
(If you haven’t heard it before, the song actually goes – “…two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree…”

She can talk about a lot of amazing things, but gets stumped when she’s asked a question.
Her classic answers include “Snack” (Question: What did you eat for lunch today?) and “I’m fine” (Q: How old are you?)

Have you heard toddlers mix up the contexts of “you” and “I” by precisely reproducing what we say to them?
Both T1 and T2 have kept our laughing bones busy so often with questions like “Can I help you?” (Can you help me?)
T2’s timeless one when she was about 18 months old was
“Can I you me?” (Can I have what you have?)
The most unique gibberish from T2 is the way she adds a “T” –
She loves to add a T to words – brush = brushT; wash = washT; juice = juicT
But then, a few months ago she heard a rumble and said all terrified,
“Appa! I hear HUNDER!!”
Ever since V-day last month, she loves wishing us "Happy Valentine's Day!"
It's become synonymous to "I love you"...
When I get back from work these days, I get greeted with a beautiful smile, a big huggie, and she says,
"Amma, I'm so glad you're back...Happy Valentine's Day!"
In your own words, Happy Valentine's Day to you too honey-bunch!