There is much written about how TV watching affects children. But, how does watching children’s show affect their parents? Here is one thought…
I don’t mean to start belting “Sunrise, Sunset”, well if I had a voice I would, but lately I’ve been struck by a discordant thought. I see Rex and I can remember going through these stages with Vivien, and yet can hardly remember that this spunky, beautiful girl was ever my big chubby baby. And she was my only baby so I know she was the CENTER OF MY WORLD. Now, I have to two centers, and she is so independent, it’s hard to remember when I held her everywhere.
Everyone tells you, “It goes so fast”, but it doesn’t feel like that when you are in it. But I realize I have not aged that much in her lifetime, yet she is a totally different person, so yes, it goes so fast. I still wear shoes and clothes that I wore when she was born, or before she was born. Yet, here she is this full person.
So, when I go out to eat with friends and I get this pang of guilt that I have missed a night of Rex’s babyhood, or of this sweet preschool side of Vivien. Why did I leave? Why did I go for two hours? Before I was a mom I would have thought me crazy to worry about a few hours.
But, then I think of how Vivien looked here…
and how she looks now…
(And sidebar, I gaze at this photo of these two cute siblings even when they are right next to me. Put that in the take to the rest home with me box. Will also pull out when years from now they have a conflict and I remind them how they must always stick together.)
Is that the same person? Sure, you can see the shape of the eyes, and the rosy cheeks, but what a difference 3 years makes. At my age three years barely adds a crows feet. Not that different.
It’s a person who TOTALLY depended upon you and while they still do, they can now wipe their own butt and put food in their own mouth, so it’s different.
And your first kid changes your brain chemistry forever.
I so get my parents gazing at me growing up. And me thinking, “I’m not that great”, when they would praise me. But, now I can’t help myself from gushing to Vivien how much I adore her.
Maybe I should write a song.
A friend said, “When you have one child, it’s all about the first born, then when you have a second, it’s all about the first born.”
So I decided Rex needed something that was just for him for a change. Not his sister or his dad taking him along to the restaurant, or mom dragging him along to work or exercising or what she needed to do, but just him. Although he does enjoy the post workout time with the babies and moms at Stroller Strides.
By the time Vivien was 6 weeks old she had been attending four classes and was ready to teach one at the Learning Annex (maybe that’s overstating it, I don’t know, those days are a blur) But, with Rex, I’ve held off. Partly due to money and also I just didn’t see the need.
But he is almost walking and getting very active. So I took him to Fit for kids, a place that Viv had enjoyed as a kid. It’s a big, safe, carpeted room and the babies can amble around the ramps and slides while fun music plays.
It’s adult music like 80’s tunes and classic rock. Not kiddie music, which helps parents not go koo-koo. After the initial free play there is a circle time…a generic term for forming a circle and at some point singing and/or clapping. Then the instructors lead the kids through obstacle courses or bring out push toys. When they get older there is a mini zip line and more complex activities.
Rex loved it. He loved looking at everyone and trying to go up the slide and he loved when he went through the facilitated tumbling. But most of all the value was that he was in a large room. So much of his life now is being hemmed in or being steered away from something he shouldn’t touch, well here he could push a plastic lawn mower across a room the length of our house and nothing would break. You have to watch out for the toddlers who might bonk one another, but they have little chubby arms so it’s not that hard.
I ran into a friend of a friend which was nice, and best of all there is a place that sells espresso across the street, which I think is a key to motherhood. I remember when I took these classes with Vivien I was a tad lonely.
And I use to want the other mommies to be my friend. Never really happened. But, now that I do have parent friends, strangely, everyone seemed so friendly. Maybe I was needy.
Rex is now standing and NEARLY walking. And we know what that means? He clears everything in his path. I’d like to think that the shelves in my office cubby at home would have been organized if not for Rex clearing the lower shelfs causing us to move our papers and such out of Rex reach. But, truth is, it would still be a mess, just a mess on more shelves. So that’s cool Rex, have at it!
I would have posted this earlier, but I was playing “Rexy Monster” with my daughter and her friend. I hold Rex as he chases the girls. It’s tag with a different name. I think why not play with my kids. Only way I’m going to get any exercise. Actually, I really adore Lenore from free range kids. I met her when we were on Dr. Phil together. I think she is spunky and not shy with her opinion which is great because in the mommy blogging world in the fear of offending people can get very muted and have the variety of a Spanish tiled roof home in Orange County. While I do play with my kids I don’t think you HAVE to. You can still be a great parent. In fact the RIE school of thought is that you get in their way if you direct their play in any way.
And speaking of tag…, I’m still learning this posting thing. One thing they say is to tag things in your blog or vlog so that search engines find you and then you get more hits on your site. So, Sandra Bullock, Justin Beiber, The Jonas Brothers…um, who else is big these days? 😉
No offense to the seriously religious here, but my favorite part of Easter is a new dress. For me, when I was little, and now for my daughter. I well remember that excitement of my new spring dress. Of course back in the day, white gloves and bonnet also went with it.
I was feeling not super pretty myself as somehow during my vacation my skinny jeans shrunk. Don’t know how that happened. (quizzical face)
Vivien got right into the spirit of the day, even though it was the coldest Easter in LA I could remember. We were at my sister’s house for the egg hunt. I also decked Rex out in his Easter finest, but unlike Vivien he didn’t seem to be that into it.
Isn’t this what all moms look like at work?
Vivien and Rex were part of our Spring Fashion show. It re-airs Monday at 7pm and repeats during the week. DVR “The Fashion Team” to check it out. Vivien charged into the studio full of pluck but shrunk down when I got her in front of the cameras.
“But these are all mommy’s friends; it’s ok.” She clung to me. “You get to keep the outfit if you face the cameras”. A window into what I would be like if I entered my daughter in pageants. Smile! She faced the cameras but looked stern the whole time. She was first on TV when she was 10 months so I thought she might have gotten use to it, but I guess not.
Strangely Rex was perfect. Sat down and faced the camera and didn’t cry or crawl. He played with the candy boxes. The clothes are from Old Navy and are inexpensive and cute.
Very funny to be all dolled up holding my kids. So not the norm. Would love to strut into pre-school drop-off in that get up. I also had huge gold Michael Kors platforms. They wouldn’t recognize me.
Also on the show is Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame.
Nice girl. She has a mini empire now. On the show we discussed her line of clothes for Kohls and a book she wrote. But off camera I broke the ice the best way I know how.
“Poor Sandra Bullock!” We were off to the races. She agreed. How humiliating, and she didn’t even get time to enjoy her Oscar win.
This is not the best framed video, but Rex is so precious and perfect (my bias) that I didn’t want to redo it. I knew if I did and got the camera angle just right so my forehead wasn’t chopped then he might change his mood, cry, crawl away. And I’ve had my fill of me anyway. Much better to see more of him.
Rex has a few words now. “Bye-bye”, not at every departure, but sometimes. “Uh-oh:” his first words. And “momma.” Before you say “awww” here’s the rub. He says “momma” to me, to Dolly our babysitter/nanny/my wife, to Mark, and a little to Vivien. I get it. Saying “momma” is easier than “caregiver” or “bigger person upon whm my very survival depends on in this moment.” Really, maybe when he is 16 months, but not at 13 months.
If I had had this issue when Vivien was little it would have cracked me. I probably would have stopped working, dialed back Dolly’s hours and been real snitty if Mark took any parental control.
Oh wait. I did do that.
In Viv’s first year I didn’t work. I had a less help, and I did grab Vivien out of Mark’s hand sometimes in a “I can do it” way.
So, that’s why when Rex says “momma” to someone else I resist pulling down my pants and showing him my c-section scar and my droopy boobs. I take a breath know this is the trade off of getting to walk out the door and make some money or go out to dinner with a friend. And for him bonding with his dad.
“Da-da, da-da:” That’s me in the morning pointing to Mark. So far, it’s not working.
It’s the small things that can make up a good life. Just being with your baby while they do their thing and you do yours. How a baby is perfectly content to play and explore as long as mom, or dad, is nearby. If mommy isn’t there, they cry and race to find you.
I love this time with Rex. We play for a bit and then I jump on the phone or the computer for a little bit and he is fine. My house looks like a small bomb went off, but that’s ok. As long as we are together.