Friday, February 18, 2005

It's not Easy

It's easy to be a parent. It's hard to be a good parent. And even harder to be a great one. Every day, I struggle with the decisions I make with my kids. If I give in to my toddler's demands for cookies this one time, because I'm tired of saying no, will I be raising a child who will forever run this household. Consistency is so important when raising kids, I know this in my head. But sometimes, at the end of the day, it can be so easy to just let them have a piece of candy, to stay up past their bedtime, to let them watch one more show.

When I first had little Boogie, I read all the books, about how to put her to bed while she was still awake so she wouldn't get used to me rocking her to sleep. We've been really lucky that she's been a good sleeper (until she got her big-girl bed and can get out whenever she wants). I knew all about being consistent. I knew all about letting her do things on her own, even if she had to struggle, so she'd know the great feeling of accomplishment. And while I've never been one to let her "cry it out" when she woke up during the night (just five minutes of crying puts me in tears), I knew that sometimes, she had to just fuss a little and get herself back to sleep.

With the second, I find myself breaking the rules. When my daughter gets upset because she can't pull on her socks, I hurry to help her because her crying bothers me. When my nearly three-month-old son cries in the night, I rush to soothe him so he won't wake up his sister. If my daughter asks to watch another video, I willingly oblige because that gives me another half hour of time for myself before she has other demands or the baby wakes up.

I remember what a change having a child made in our lives. The first few weeks were so stressful. But having a second child changed our lives even more dramatically. And not just two-fold. More like ten-fold. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change my life. It's just that I didn't know how easy it was when we had just one. How could I have ever thought it was hard, knowing what I know now.

Eventually my kids will be able to play together (although, I do envision may fights as well), but I don't think their demands on me will decrease. It will just go from diaper changes and feedings to driving them to soccer practices to picking out prom dresses (although, hopefully not for my son!). I just know that I need to try to be the best mom I can be, to raise kids who are respectful of others (they need to know that not everyone will think they're as adorable as I do), who practice good manners, who tell their family members how much they love them, and who are smart, creative, talented, and ambitious in the things they like to do.

No wonder I'm so tired!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The English Language

It amazes me how little kids can grasp the English language. I mean, look at how many words there are for one's middlesection: tummy, stomach, belly, panza (not sure how that one is spelled, but it's Spanish), gut, etc. How can they understand that they all mean the same thing?

But somehow they do, and life as we know it moves forward. But I've started to realize, through listening to my little girl, that it's the little nuances that make life interesting. How did certain words become the norm for different tenses. For example, if you "catch" something today, why didn't you "catched" it yesterday? Who determined that "caught" is the appropriate word?

As little Boogie becomes more adept at speaking, we've encountered several of those types of words. And to be honest, she seems to make sense. But of course, I have to correct her so that she'll fit into what society deems correct. Here are just a few examples of the logic of kids:

I do; she dos (like dos and don'ts). Why should "does" be the alternate form of do?

My self; their selfes. If it's one rose and two roses, why shouldn't it be one self and two selfes?

I'm opposed to do that.
She actually means, supposed, but she actually might be saying the right thing. Like is she's supposed to take a bath, or clean her room, she might actually be opposed to doing those things.

Who buyed that for me? As stated earlier, why should bought be the past tense of buy?

I'm sure there are many other instances of "Boogieisms" that I can't think of right now. But I have to wonder what the world would be like if we just followed toddler logic.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Bring on the Grease

You know what commercial I hate? The Subway commercial where Jared compares the Big Mac to a Subway sandwich. While Jared alone would cause me to hate that commercial, I have a bigger issue. He says that the Big Mac is 560 calories, while the Subway turkey sandwich is only 280 calories. Half the calories, right? But underneath in small letters is a disclosure that says it's a turkey sandwich without cheese and high-fat condiments like mayonaise. Well, who wants that? If I add the cheese, it adds another 100 calories, and if I add the mayo, it's conservatively another 100 calories. That brings me to 480 calories. In that case, I might as well go for the grease and have the Big Mac (although I prefer a double cheeseburger, which has only 460 calories ... less than that Subway sandwich!)

Now, I'm a known fast-food junkie, so of course, I'll rationalize anything to get a good greasy lunch. But let's tell the truth a little. Who really eats a turkey sandwich on dry bread with no cheese? OK, maybe those girls with perfect bodies, but in the real world, I'd rather have a nice juicy burger and fries and live with the extra softness I have on my hips.