Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Funky, Funky

These are my Funky Shoes, so named by Sweetie (okay, okay, so named by me -once - but Sweetie quickly picked up on it and hasn't let go).

Aren't they ADORABLE?! I LOVE them. And I always get oodles of compliments whenever I wear them. They are totally, absolutely, funky cool.

They also, unfortunately, do a number on my feet. As you can plainly see, they've got a good deal of wear on their insides. But in actuality, what you're really looking at is the residue left from the duct tape roll I had placed inside to help keep the dang shoes on. The tape adheses both to the shoes and to the bottom of my plastic braces, thus keeping the shoe securely on my foot.

The tape recently wore out, though, and so I've been wearing them sans tape for the last few wears. This makes wearing them both physically difficult (to keep on and walk in) and dangerous. Allow me to explain.

As you can see from the photo below, my braces are designed without a strap atop my feet to keep them in place. That's what my shoes are for. But, as you can also see, my Funky Shoes don't do this. And so I wind up with sores.

Sores on my ankles from rubbing up and down against my braces with each step I take.

Sores on my toes from - I don't know what. Squeezing? Rubbing? Who knows.

I even have a bruise on my right lower leg from sitting with my legs bent beneath me, therefore my weight pressing, and rubbing, my leg into my brace edge. I guess. Again, not entirely sure how. But there it is. A bruise. And it wasn't there before I wore the shoes last.

One good thing, though (if you can call it that) is that I can feel the bruise. Not all the time, but certainly when I press on it. This is pretty new for me, this feeling below my knees business. I wrote more about the phenomenon here. (On a related note, I've also noticed the last few times I've shaved my legs that I can now feel the coldness of the shaving gel when I put it on my right lower leg. Not so much on the left one still. Sorry, that may be TMI. But I thought it was interesting, so just deal, okay?)

Now - back to my point - if, in fact, I actually have one with this post.

My favorite, funky, cool shoes that I love so much are a pain to wear. They're difficult to walk in, as they too easily slip off my heels, and they create sores and bruises on my legs and feet. Putting new duct tape in them, I admit, would help the first problem. But I'd still have the rubbing and bumping problem. So pain and injury are pretty much a certainty with these shoes.

My mom always told me it hurts to be beautiful - but I never thought she was talking about this!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mama Monday #6

Theme: Blue

Sometimes I feel blue when I think about the things I cannot do for or with my Sweetie.

I've never been able to carry her and have only been able to easily stand up and hold her in place when she was an infant.

I'm not able to run with her, or skip, hop, or gallup.

I can't even easily dance her silly dances with her that she so loves to do.

I can't play outside alone with her, for fear she'll run off.

Likewise, we can't go shopping alone together, or any other extra curricular activity without other, familiar adults around.

I'll not be able to teach her to ride a bicycle, roller skate or ice skate.

But, mostly, I'm alive and happy, thrilled to realize all that I am able to do for and with her.

I can stoop down to her level and squeeze her tight if she needs comforting.

I'm able to sit and rock with her in my arms - and I typically soothed her infant cries more successfully than anyone else, sitting, rocking and humming softly in her ear.

I can play my own version of piggy back ride with her - me crouched down low on all fours, she on my back and we bounce, bounce, bounce to a simple tune I sing.

I'm able to bathe her on my own.

I can tuck her in tight in her big girl bed, doling out big hugs, kisses and wishes for sweet dreams.

We can go visiting on our own, to the houses of friends and family.

Most of all, I'm able to love her with all my heart, all my soul, all my being. She is the joy in my life, and the light in my day.

I'm thankful every second of every day for the loving, sweet, curious, vibrant, silly, adorable little lady I'm privileged to call my daughter.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Lumpy Day (Second of 2 Posts Today)

Yesterday my husband went out to have a "man - date" with one of his good friends. So he's out in the world, watching movies, going out for lunch, snacking on frozen yogurt. And Sweetie and I are home.

I don't like going outside with her when I'm by myself because I can't guarantee she'll stay where I need her to be. Besides, it's still too cold out.

And she didn't want to go to my mom's house either. So we stayed home.

As you all know, she and I have had plenty of days alone together. And we always end up having a pretty good time. But yesterday just seemed very 'blah".

I kept asking her if she wanted to do activity books, color or play games. No, she didn't.

I personally would have been content to blog-hop, frittering away my time staring at the computer (which, I admit, I did spend some time doing). But I also didn't want to ignore Sweetie, letting her more or less fend for herself.

Alas, I feel that's kind of what happened. Oh, we spent plenty of time together - watching T.V. And not good T.V., either. Pretty much anything that was mildly entertaining and created some background noise in the house.

I hate letting the T.V. be a babysitter. I try not to let that happen too much. But there are some shows she absolutely loves, and her contentment with watching them allows me to get chores done or spend some time doing what I want to do.

And, of course, if I'm watching right along with her, then I can't say the T.V. is "babysitting" her, is it? Well, let's go with that anyway.

The T.V. wasn't on all day, though. There were times that she and I were each doing our own thing - Sweetie playing "barn" or making "tea" for her animals. Me web surfing or reading a magazine. Just two lumps trying to get through our day.

Then Daddy came home and - pow! - Sweetie was ON! Time for the silliness to begin - it's Daddy Time!

I told him about our quiet day and he couldn't believe me, considering how jazzed up Sweetie currently was. I simply answered that he's the silly, active one. I don't know how to be silly. (Obviously, I was feeling a bit down on myself - after our lumpy, sleepy day - for not being able to do the more active, physical things with Sweetie that she loves to do).

What?! You don't know how to be silly? That's a tradigery-doo if ever I heard one! Sweetie, Mommy doesn't know how to be silly! We need to teach her!

What followed was a "lesson" from my two favorite "teachers" in silly faces, silly words and silly songs.

It looks like I have a lot to learn.

Sweetie-isms of the Week (First of 2 Posts Today)

Upon arriving home one day this week - she with me in my car, Daddy arriving on his own with a car full of groceries:

Um, do you think Daddy bought me an avocado?


The same car trip from above, when I'm asking her about what she's learned in school this week (her note from the teacher said they learned about the 5 senses).

Did you learn about tastebuds at school, Sweetie?

Yeah! Tastebuds - that's so funny!

What do tastebuds do?

Tastebuds are on your tongue. You taste with them.

That's right! What about your ears? What do your ears do?

You find potatoes in your ears! Hah!


Bringing the cinnamon into me in the living room...

What's this, Mommy?


What do cinnamon mean?

Well, it's something to eat. You can put it on toast. It's a type of spice. (confused look on her face.) Here, let's take a look (I unscrew the cap and we look inside.). See, it's like a powder.

Ooooohhhh! It's a powder for my bum!


In the bathroom one morning, Sweetie is upset from a cold she has

Does something hurt, Sweetie?

No. Something's in my mouth.

Do you have a hurt in your mouth?

No. Something is in my mouth. (I take a look - nothing's there).

Does anything hurt inside your mouth or neck?

Um, no. (major look of exasperation). Um, I... Mommy, you say the words.

A little later she says I have a sore throat.

You do? Well that means it hurts. Does it hurt?



Sweetie and I spent the day together yesterday while her Daddy went to visit a friend. I kept asking her if she wanted to go visit Nana. She always answered no, she didn't. So we stayed home.

Cut to yesterday evening, close to Sweetie's bedtime.

I need my Nana. (squeezing her Teddy, such a sad little voice)

You do, why?

I miss my Nana.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

She's Got A Life

It's official. Sweetie is growing up. She's got a separate life from ours. A life all her own - if only for a small part of her week.

I first noticed it about two months ago or so when I had to meet my mom at Sweetie's school at pick up time. Don't ask me how, but somehow all three of the carseats that we own ended up in my one car. I had to meet mom so that she could get her rightful carseat back, and thus take Sweetie home with her.

Since I was there, and because this was during Sweetie's morning drop off freakout phase, I wanted to go inside with mom so I could see a happy Sweetie enjoying school. What we found was Sweetie and a friend running around, laughing while the rest of the classroom tried to settle down for nap time. This didn't strike me as odd, though, as much as seeing Sweetie's little cohort in mischeif stop in her tracks, take one look at my mom, and announce to Sweetie (who was still looking the other way) that her Nana was here.

It was just really weird for me to have this little girl - whom I had never laid eyes on before - know exacty who my mom was. Wow - Sweetie has friends and I don't even know who they are!

This spontaneous visit was also funny because, when Sweetie finally turned to see us, she was fully expecting to see Nana there. She was just about to excitedly exclaim "Nana!" when she saw me standing there too. Instantly, her smile turned to confusion and, I swear, she stood there for a good 5 seconds or more, trying to process in her brain why I was along to pick her up - totally unorthodox. It was really funny - just as quickly as her smile turned to confusion, it turned back into a huge grin. Instead of saying "Nana!" she came running at both of us saying "Mommy! Nana!" That was great!

I also get glimpses into Sweetie's big girl life when she sings songs to us from school or engages at home in practices she's picked up at school.

- One recent Saturday I was trying to tidy up a bit for some company. Sweetie wondered what I was doing and I told her, "Cleaning up. I could use some help please." So she said, "Oh, sure." and proceeded to sing the following as she picked up some of her toys:

Clean up, Clean up
Everybody, Everywhere
Clean up, Clean up
Everybody Do Your Share

Obviously, this is a song regularly sung at school. A simple thing, really. And only another parent may be able to understand this. But I felt simultaneously very proud of her for learning about such good behavior and responsibility, and heartbroken that she's growing up, learning things from someone other than myself or my husband. And I only find out what she's learning by accident whenever Sweetie decides to divulge some information (which is a very rare occurrence).

- Just last week we three were sitting home, watching a movie, eating some popcorn. Sweetie grew tired of the movie, though, and got up to play her own thing. Soon we found ourselves being tapped on the head with an empty paper towel roll, and being told "Go wash your hands now." Ahhh, another peek inside Sweetie's school day. An idea of the rules she must follow and the routines she's gotten used to.

Lastly, here's this story. Two weeks ago we both took Sweetie to school one morning. It was an "iffy" day for her - she was happy to be at school, but not sure she wanted Daddy and I to leave quite yet. So to distract her attentions I took her over to the Circle Time area of her classroom and started asking her about the posters on the wall. There was a teacher-drawn calendar and various posters about the weather. There was even a large weather-related pie chart with a movable arrow in its center so that you could point the arrow to the proper illustration for that day's weather.

So, I'm asking Sweetie what everything's all about and she points to the makeshift calendar and tells us matter-of-factly, "This says 'March'". Guess what - it did! Then she moved the arrow on the weather chart to point to the grey clouds. "It's a cloudy day today." she tells us, as she looks out the window for verification. Why yes, it certainly was.

Don't laugh when I tell you that my husband and I both nearly had tears in our eyes from pride. How cool it was to see the fruits of Sweetie's time in class. Hey, they really do teach a thing or two here!

But again - this immense feeling of pride was tainted with just a smidge of sadness at the further realization that Sweetie is becoming more and more independent every day.

Why do they have to grow up, anyway?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mama Monday #5

Theme: Foundation

You could say that my foundation, literally, is my braces I wear on my legs. They keep me stable and enable me to get around and move forward through my day. They're the first things I put on every morning and the last things I take off each night. Without them, I can't do much more than sit on the couch, asking others to bring me what I need and do the things I should be doing for myself (hey, that actually doesn't sound too bad, does it? Maybe I should try that someday).

But I digress....

Sweetie has never really paid much attention to my braces. Or anything else about my physical disability (my pronounced limp, my walking stick, the fact that I can't carry her around, can't run, etc.). I'm just Mommy. On one hand it's very interesting to me that she doesn't question my abilities more. Especially now that she goes to "school" part time and is that much more exposed to "healthy" people. But on the other hand, I guess she just knows enough about people in general at this point to know that everyone is different and this is the way her Mommy happens to be - not a big deal.

I'd love to get into her mind for a minute to find out what's really going on in there - about this in particular, and many, many other random things as well.

Well, she gave me just a small glimpse this morning. After she woke up I told her to go downstairs to find Daddy - I had to get dressed. She wanted to stay with me instead. So off to the bathroom we went and I sat down to start putting on my braces. Sweetie sat and watched, and even helped.

"Here you go, Mommy. I got your braces for you."

Then she commented that she wanted braces too, to which I said she didn't need braces because her legs were good and strong.

"Ooooohhhh", she said. "But I think Daddy will go buy me some braces at the store."

"You do?"

"Yes. Daddy needs to buy me my own braces."

"Well, we'll have to see about that then."


I would have debated with her more that she doesn't need braces herself but, I assure you, that would have only resulted in a long, repetitive Abbott and Costello-type moment.

I know she'll continue to ask questions, appreciating my differences as she grows and observes each day. And that's a great thing. After all, observing, questioning and accepting are great foundations to a happy, interesting, purposeful life.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Have to write - But....

I have to write today - a lot.

- An Audacity article

- Sample blog entries for this (BTW - could be a wonderful opportunity for all you Mom Bloggers out there - why don't you give it a shot too?)

- And this here blog entry.

Oh, I've got a plan. And lots of ideas.

But not much umph. No pizzazz. No motivation.

Sweetie wants to: play Play doh, watch Madagascar, play outside, eat Jello, be a butterfly, dance to Nana's favorite song, run around, play, sing Numa Numa, watch Lady and the Tramp, eat granola, etc., etc., etc....

She's plum tuckered me out just from listening to her! Who has time to write when we've got Daddy yogurt to eat and Cinderelmo videos to watch?

So - please consider this my sorry excuse for a blog entry for the day. I promise I'll take the article and the sample entries more seriously in just a little while. For now, though - it's off to the Sweetie Races!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Make A Connection

Again with the quick, mid-week post. Time continues to slip away from me, leaving me with not enough time to endlessly, blissfully, blabber on in Blogland. Oh well.

That being said, I did want to write to tell you all about a great new site that has been brought to my attention. Connecting Moms went live just this week and I hopped right in. For ALL moms who want to make new friends and connect with old friends, this is the site for you. It just takes a few minutes to register (for FREE) and then you're on your way to setting up your very own network of moms. Get your friends to register too, add to your network, establish blogs, join an on-line group (I've set one up for Disabled Moms - come on in and join me!), chat, take advantage of great shopping discounts, meet new friends from other moms' networks, etc., etc., etc. The possibilities are endless!

So check it out! Take the on-line site tour to truly see what Connecting Moms is all about. And don't forget to tell all your mom friends about the site too! Join today - the more the merrier.

See you there!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mama Monday # 4

Theme: Hunger

Hmmmm, which way to go? "Hunger" as in the physical pangs felt when you need to eat or "hunger" in the more philosophical, spiritual way? Well, I'm not feeling very philosophical today, so let's go with the food thing, shall we?

I worried about gaining weight once I had my daughter. Not being able to lose the baby weight, plus more focus on baby/less focus on myself sounded like an equation for fat. However, I actually didn't gain all that much during pregnancy (only about 27 lbs.), so that weight quickly vanished after giving birth. And, while it's true that I focus more on Sweetie's needs than my own now, I find that this is actually making me lose weight.

I've never been a big eater. I honestly forget to eat sometimes. Food is just not a top priority in my life. Ironically, my husband and I have planned many a vacation solely around the types of restaurants we want to visit, and whenever we come into just a bit of extra money, the thing I most want to indulge in is a trip to one of my favorite restaurants. Not for an evening out alone with my husband (we often take Sweetie along with us) but because I just love going out to restaurants. Even Applebee's - I'm not that picky.

I've always loved going out to eat. As a teenager I would often "decide" for my parents that we were going to go out to eat on a given night. Then they'd come home and tell me how wrong I was, and I was crushed. I mean, literally, my whole evening was ruined because I had to stay home and eat my mom's (actually pretty good) dinner instead of going to the local food establishment of choice. What a tough life I've had.

Now I'm blessed enough to be married to a man who loves to cook. I don't cook. Oh, I'll stir up the frozen-stir-fry-in-a-bag, put the popcorn shrimp and french fries in the toaster oven, or even prepare a killer grilled cheese sandwich. But that's about it. My husband actually enjoys cooking, seeks out great recipes to try and improve upon, and has been known to hold long, indepth conversations with one male friend in particular discussing the subtle nuances and health benefits between vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, whole foods and "flexitarian" styles of cooking.

So, my husband primarily cooks and we all sit down - whether at the dining room table or in front of the T.V - and enjoy our delicious, nutritious meals. Sometimes, to make clean up easier (my job) we'll only dole out two servings and have Sweetie share with us. This means, though, that I'm basically eating a little less than I ever had before because Sweetie is eating part of my serving. Hubby tries to give me a larger serving so there's more for she and I to share. But somehow I always feel like I'm being gipped out of a full meal. Maybe gipped isn't the right word, because I don't neccessarily feel slighted enough to seek out more food. But somehow I just don't think I'm getting my fair share of the meal.

Then the weekend comes and I make Sweetie her lunch. Typically, this is macaroni & cheese or 2 "teddy bear sandwiches" (a PB&J sandwich cut with a teddy bear cookie cutter - one sandwich makes just under 2 teddy bears). What I often find myself doing is eating her remains as my lunch. The crust of the sandwich that didn't make it into the teddy bears? My lunch. Her cold, congealed mac & cheese remnants? My lunch. I tell myself that I'll eat something else too. But I don't. These bites are enough to satisfy any immediate hunger I feel. Then, like I said before, I just "forget" to eat anything else. Too much laundry, writing, bill paying and kitchen cleaning to do. Too much other stuff cluttering my mind for any left over hunger pangs to reach through to my brain.

It's not a good lesson, but it's one thing my experience as a mother has taught me. My own hunger is not as important as making sure my child doesn't go hungry herself.

Hmmmm. Maybe I should really rethink this. I should teach Sweetie that food - nourishment - is important for everybody. And not just nourishment of the body, but nourishment of the mind and spirit as well. One should treat herself right in all manners of growth and development, physically and mentally.

Well. I guess I've covered it all then, haven't I?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

It's Hard Out There For A Shrimp

I haven't got a clue what I want to write about today. I wanted to use this title though. I had grand ideas about equating my life as a short person in a tall family to the lives of the family on TLC's Little People Big World. Plus I think this Academy Award winning song is kind of funny. Funny in an "Okay, so I don't really think this deserves an award, but at least it's got a good beat and, hey, look at the other two songs it was up against anyway" sort of way.

But, nope. I've got nothing. I only caught the end of LPBW last night, so I don't know much about this family to talk intelligently about their situation. From what I've seen, though, they seem like an interesting, fun-loving family who are getting along pretty well in their daily lives.

Yes, I'm short, but I manage just fine. I can't reach the olive oil in the over-the-stove cabinets in our kitchen, but I'm "miraculously" able to get a wine glass down from the top shelf almost every day without any help. And I'm not looking forward to parenting a moody, irrational teenage daughter who happens to be about a foot taller than myself. But that's life. Being short is just one more thing on my list of life challenges. One more thing that makes me different from the "norm". And different from what Sweetie is destined to be.

Other random things Sweetie can/will be able to do that I'm not able to because of my spina bifida:

Enjoy as much chocolate as she likes. Every day for months now Sweetie has insisted on having chocolate milk instead of white milk. That's fine for her, but if that were me I'd be having some serious, daily tummy troubles. I don't know why exactly, but I can only have just so much chocolate before my body decides to revolt. On the plus side, I've experienced such extreme "tummy aches" in my life from too much chocolate that when childbirth came around, I was more or less familiar with the type of pain that went along with it.

Take dance lessons
. We don't currently have plans, or the finances, to sign her up for classes yet. But she is physically able to dance. Loves it, in fact. She is the resident dancer in her "school". Just the other morning I took her there and her foot started tapping to the music despite her anger that I had to go to work. This girl is simply incapable of letting a good song pass her by!

Iceskate. Again, we have no plans for this, but I imagine it's something she could do if she wanted to. However, seeing as neither myself nor my husband nor anyone I know very well regularly takes to the ice, I don't know if this is something Sweetie will want to pursue. But if she wants to, great! More power to her!

Wear high heeled shoes. As a teenager it was my dream to have adjustable braces made so that I could wear flats or high heeled shoes. But, no such luck. I'm forever stuck wearing flat, wide, boring shoes. I hate going shoe shopping because of it, in fact, because finding a pair that I'm able to wear is near impossible. Hate it! Sweetie will be able to wear whatever style of shoe catches her eye, though. And I plan to give in to some of her wishes regarding this (nothing too crazy, mind you, but the girl should have some fun!)

You know what? There are probably a ton of other things, but I can't think of any right now. I'll add more if/when I think of them.

I've been lucky. I've not been deprived of opportunities to at least try many different activites in my life. In return, I plan to give Sweetie every opportunity to achieve her own dreams and test the waters in many different activities and learning experiences throughout her life.

I can't wait to fly along with her, then proudly watch her head out on her own, as she stretches her wings and soars toward her goals.

(Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go kitchen-counter-climbing so I can have me a nice glass of wine.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Just here to write up a quick mid-week entry directing you to this. Pretty cool, huh? What a nice review of my site! While I didn't get the requisite 10 points out of 10 to earn a Bloggy Award, it sure is nice to get this Honorable Mention. Thanks, Mr. Bloggy, wherever you are!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mama Monday #3

Theme: Create

What a perfect theme for this cold weather winter Monday afternoon.

Perfect because it's the first day of my first on-line course with Barnes & Noble University. The class title? "The Best Year of Your Life"

That's right. Starting today, I'm heading out on a new adventure, a new chapter in my life to create for myself the best year ever. With the help of instructor/author Debbie Ford, her wonderful, inspirational books, and the motivation, encouragement and camaraderie of my fellow on-line classmates, I am going to do everything in my power to create the life I've been dreaming about for so long.

As I approach the one year anniversary of this blog, I must admit that many wonderful and exciting doors have already opened for me because of it, creating the beginnings of an awesome time in my life. I've gained so much through this site. Everything from writing experience, discipline and opportunities to new friendships and a satisfying sense of purpose. Even though I'm just telling my one story of being a disabled mom raising a healthy, active toddler, many of my amazing readers have let me know how much I've touched their lives. From women with spina bifida or other disabilities who have only dreamed of parenthood for themselves, to single, healthy women who are interested in learning my story and realziing our similarities dispite our physical differences - every one of you means so much.

Here's to creating! I wish you all the best in friendships, happiness, purpose and satisfaction. I for one can't wait to put my creative juices to further use to help me realize and obtain a truly wonderful year ahead.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Promises, Promises

My husband and I are having a difference of opinion lately.

He's annoyed that, every night, after we tuck Sweetie in, say good night and leave her room, she always gets out of bed one time.

I think it's fantastic that she typically only does it this one time, then she's good for the night.

Okay, so it does seem to be a "game" with her. And maybe we shouldn't be accepting her game play at bedtime. But, like I said, it's only this one time and then she's done. Easy beans.

At any rate, we are trying to make her understand that she needs to stay in bed from the get-go. We talk to her and explain that she needs to wait until her clock says "6" (which, by the way, is working great in terms of middle-of-the-night visits!).

She seems to understand our request that she stays in bed. We ask her if she promises to stay in bed, and she says she does.

Then she gets out. Of course.

I know she doesn't understand what it means to make a promise. We've tried to explain it to her, but yet she still struggles with understanding it all. So, in an effort to explain-through-actions, I've been trying to get better about coming through on my promises to her.

It's much harder than I thought it would be.

Example: She asks to watch one of her longer videos less than an hour before her bedtime. So I tell her no, but I promise we'll watch it tomorrow. But the next day she may or may not even remember that she wanted to watch the video in the first place. Am I obligated to remind her so that I can keep my promise? Because I know if I don't then she's likely to not remember a thing about the video until, again, it's too late in the evening to watch it.

There are lots of other promises we make to her - candy if she cooperates with Daddy when he buckles her in her car seat, a stint at the computer playing or once I'm done working on something, or Play doh time after lunch, to name just a few.

It's also tough to hold firm on my not so nice promises. Earlier today, for instance, she wanted to watch a silly video she knows from the internet. So I interrupted my writing so she could watch it just once. She agreed - just once. Then she threw a fit when I wouldn't play it again for her.

I knew she'd stop her crying and screams if only I'd let her watch the video again. And I knew she's just playing us to get what she wants. But she needs to learn she can't always get her way.

Like yesterday at the grocery store when she cried and screamed to get out of the carriage. She promised she'd walk and stay with us. We said okay, but if she ran away, back in the carriage she goes. She ran, we buckled her back in. She screamed. Carrying on like a maniac in a public location. But we had to do what we said we'd do if she didn't listen to us.

We want her to learn and appreciate what it is to make, and keep, a promise. Whether the consequences are good or bad, she needs to understand the power of a promise.

I just wish I was sometimes smarter about which treats and/or punishments I agreed to dole out depending on our surroundings, time constraints and my personal tolerances.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Did It All By My Self!

No, this entry's title isn't a quote from Sweetie (although it is something she's rather fond of proclaiming as often as possible). I'm talking about myself here.

That's right - I did it all by myself!

And what exactly is the "it" I'm talking about? Well, for starters, I took Sweetie to school this morning all by myself. This was my second attempt at this (you can read about my disastrous 1st attempt in the March issue of Audacity Magazine - due to post soon). Today's excursion went much more smoothly.

Oh sure, she was still clingy and would have rathered I stay with her to play instead of go to work (heck, I would have preferred that too). But she at least willingly walked herself into the class and was, in general, happy to be there. When I had to finally leave, I simply diverted Sweetie's attentions toward a little boy in her class who was also unhappy that his mom had to leave. I told her to go with her teacher and help him to feel better. She went off, and I scooted out. So, all in all, not a bad experience. I even showed up to work on time. Good for me!

I also got Sweetie home and into the house all by myself as well as off to bed - earlier than usual, in fact, and with very little drama. Yep, this is one of those Thursday nights I mentioned a couple weeks ago, when Hubby is working late and Sweetie and I are left to fend for ourselves. We've stayed over at my parents' the last two Thursday nights. But this week I wanted to try it on my own, figuring it would make for a calmer, more comfortable night - snuggled tight in our own beds. It's been fun at my parents', but it can get crazy there. Home is where we need to be.

We did great! Sweetie didn't fight too badly when I changed her into her pajammies, and she even asked to go to bed about one hour earlier than she usually goes. I kept her up a bit (not wanting to pay for an early bedtime with an early wake up call on the other end), but she was soon dozing on my lap as we watched American Idol together. So off to bed it was. As expected, she did her usual thing of getting out just once, almost immediately upon my leaving her room. But I quickly walked her back, tucked her tight, and left. And that was that. No tears, no fight, nothing.

That was about 1 1/2 hours ago and I haven't heard one peep from her since. Thank Goodness.

So - it was a good day. Not that I'm proclaiming this as a beacon of hope for the future. I know only too well just how fickle Sweetie can be and that tomorrow may be an entirely different story. Better not look at Sweetie cross-eyed! She's liable to snap! But then again, maybe she won't.

She's unpredictable, that one. That's for sure. But at least we're through today. She and I succeeded together - all by ourselves!