Wednesday, April 27, 2011

She Pushes My Buttons

Little One pushes my buttons. (Yes, I realize this is mentioned in the title.)
If you are the parent to a little girl you probably know what I mean. Little One (age 6) went back school yesterday after a VERY long week of Spring Break.  I don’t know if it was a combination of getting back into routine or tiredness or “just one of those days” that caused the meltdown, but whatever is what need be avoided at all costs next time. 
Little One and I enter the house to find both puppies out of their pen, toilet paper everywhere, pee and poop on the new carpet. I'm thrilled already to be home. Little One sweetly helped me walk the puppies and clean up the mess. She finshed her Netflix movie in the living room. She started to complain about what was for dinner, but stopped when she realized it was a losing battle.
After dinner, Russ and I started the dishes. The new puppies were quietly chewing on their new bones (as opposed to my computer cord YAY!), so I asked Little One to go play in her room. She just stood there, staring blankly. I repeated myself. “Go play in your room for a little while…” Russ interrupted with “…Or outside since it’s so nice out.” She again just stood there. –Side note: I HATE SILENCE and being IGNORED.
After continuing to blatantly ignore us, she went to time out. When she got out of time out, she started back talking with the “I don’t know what to play with” rant. We went in her room and pointed at the Barbies and their house, her books, dolls, games, etc…”Look around, there is plenty to do.”  I say. “I have too much stuff” she responds, still whining. I’m over it now. As I walk out of her room I offer to remove some of the toys since “there are too many”. She shrugs. So I remove the Barbies, the “art” box, her Polly Pockets, and her Leapster. She cried as I put the stuff in my room. I told her she could think about the stuff I took away and how she we could give it to a little girl who would enjoy playing with it. I went back to the kitchen to finish the dishes; she stood sniffling at my door (next to the kitchen).
Russ sat down next to her feet. He calmly explained why she lost her things and how she can’t act like she was. Then he told her how she could earn her stuff back. Little One ended up continuing to whine and complain, which resulted in a super fast shower and early bedtime. She stopped crying during her shower, but then started back up when she realized she really did have to go to bed early.  She screamed in her bed, called my name at least 30 times. I wanted to rip out my hair, and hers.
She finally calmed down when I told her I was walking with Russ to the mailbox to drop in the Netflix. I asked her to keep her door shut to keep the puppies out of her room, while we were outside. She whimpered an “okay”.  I kissed her head and promised to check on her when I walked back inside. He and I sat outside for about 15 minutes. When I went to check on her, she was asleep (Thank you God).
Why does this beautiful sleeping angel act like such a monster sometimes?

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Best" Days Pass, More Follow

Have you ever thought, “Man, this is the best day of my life.”?
I have, on more than one occasion. What’s nice about those “best days” is they really are THAT great. Those are the days that stick out in your mind, and they’re all the equally the “best” days in their own little life category.  
Of course there’s the day my daughter was born.  I had a fairly easy labor and delivery. I use the word “easy” gently because although I wanted to go home and “do it another day”, I wasn’t in labor more than five hours, and only pushed for a few minutes. Thus, I had a fairly “easy” labor.  This was considered the “best” days of my life because this little 7lb 7oz baby girl arrived bringing more joy and meaning to my life than I could have ever imagined. It’s the day “my” world, became “our” world.
The day I graduated from the university has to be in the “best day” category too.  I can’t explain how amazing it felt to sit next to my peers and wait for our turn to walk across the stage.  It’s like achieving V I C T O R Y with a huge capital V. I had done something big, and right. Something my daughter could be proud of.  Something I could be proud of. Little One wore her pretty light pink shirt with my school’s name across the front in navy blue. What a feeling to see her wave and holler when they called my name. At four and a half she might not have understood why it was such a big deal- but she sure understood it was worth jumping up and down cheering for!
Russell and I had our “Big Day” last June.  My Nana sang a song she wrote during the “Lighting of the Unity Candle”, I sang Steven Curtis Chapman’s “I Will Be Here” to my handsome groom, and my brother-in law Jason Masi (YOUTUBE:  Jubeus) sang “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain for our first dance.  My father’s childhood friend stepped in for the Father/Daughter dance to “Dance with My Father Again” by Luther Vandross.  My father passed away of cancer when I was two- so this song meant a lot to me.  Music played a huge role in our wedding, if you didn’t notice. Everything about the day (besides the DJ from hell-different post) was amazing, making it another “best day” to add to my list. 
We all have our good days and bad days. Sometimes as working parents we have multiple bad days that turn into “bad weeks”, better known as “weeks from hell”. Don’t worry SAHM’s I KNOW you must have “weeks from hell too”.  I have those crap days and bad weeks too, but this week wasn’t one of them, so I thought I’d write about some those happy days that stick out. J
What about you? Do you have more than one “best day of your life”?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Daughter Changed My Life

I became pregnant with my daughter at 17. I know, gasp away. I was unmarried, a high school dropout, not working, and pregnant- damn it, where was MTV’s Teen Mom when I was one?
The day I found out I was pregnant I remember leaving the local fair and talking to my friend about how August had already come and gone. Wait, what? No. The word “September” meant I went an entire month without a period. What happened to it? Where did it go? Did it break? Then my friend uttered the word… “Pregnant”… and to the store we went. Bloom and Bottom Dollar were still known as Food Lion, which is where we went. I was so anxious I ended up taking the test at the store. No sense in scaring the hell out of my then boyfriend for nothing.  
The “three minute” time frame on the instructions is really just the throw it away point. It’s for the women who stare at the test as it reads “positive” or “negative”, and think “Maybe it needs to sit a little longer.”  I say this because about three seconds after I peed on the little white stick two lines appeared. I put it down anyways, waited and paced.
I dropped my phone and watched the battery pop out on the floor when I realized the test did not change. One of those little lines did not disappear. I was definitely pregnant. My friend was sworn to secrecy as we drove to see our boyfriends (who were relatives of course). I knew I needed to tell him that night if I wanted him to hear it from me and not his brother, neighbor, or cousin.
He and I went for a drive. I handed him the box and the test as it still read “positive”. I explained what he was looking at and how I had no intention of having an abortion. I told him he was more than welcome to walk away because I wasn’t one of “those girls” afraid to do it alone, and I certainly didn’t want him around if he didn’t want to be. He said he’d be there, and that was that.
I got a job at Dippin’Dots (glamorous I know), the same week I found out I was pregnant. I was honest with the manager about my pregnancy, and she was understanding. Lucky for me, Motherhood Maternity was right next to my booth and the women there let me borrow pregnancy books to read during the day. I read everything from “What to Expect When Your Expecting” and Jenny McCarthy’s “Belly Laughs” to “Happiest Baby on the Block” and books for Dads. If it had anything to do with children, parenting, and pregnancy I read it. I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
I went to Borders and picked up the thickest, most interesting looking G.E.D. book I could find, and studied it for months. I remember making flash cards and having friends call out words for me to define. I had my uncle help me with some of the math. I was going to pass the test. I had to pass the test. I signed up to take it in June, 2005. Looking back, I wish I realized before I dropped out of high how important it was for me to have a solid education. Hindsight's 20/20.
 My daughter was born the first week of April 2005; I took and passed the G.E.D. in June, and enrolled at our local community college to begin classes in the fall, thank you GI Bill, Pell Grant, and Student Loans. My neighbor helped me snag an interview at a family owned restaurant in town. They were flexible with my hours and the pay beat Dippin’Dots. I worked at the restaurant until I graduated with my Associates Degree and moved on to obtain my Bachelors Degree at the local university.
My life changed from that moment on. The reckless teeny bopper with no goals or initiative became a different person. Over the course of the nine months pregnancy, I developed a plan for my life and my unborn child’s. I refused to be another sad statistic. It’s one thing to screw up your own life; it’s another to screw up someone else’s. It was a long and bumpy road to get to where I am now, but now that I’m here, I’ll never look back.