From the Mommy Files…

Archive for January 2010

My three-year old daughter began taking dance classes a few months ago. She started in a Dance ‘n Play class. I didn’t know I was going to get a workout too! I had to hula hoop, wave a scarf, shake a toy, jump and run in a circle right along with her. Joy! Just what I wanted. Well, I got a workout every Saturday morning! I killed two birds with one stone! More than that, it was something fun we could do together, without the baby. It made my older daughter feel special to have dedicated Mommy Time again.

She was the oldest in the class, so after a month I asked if she could try the Creative Movement class. This required her to stay in class without me. Sure enough, she did great! I now sit in the lobby, catch up on work, read or at times I’ve written thank you or greeting cards. Might as well be productive! She loved it. I actually kinda missed my little workout…Too bad I still have those little songs stuck in my head! “Five little ducks went out one day…”

For Creative Movement, you have to dress the part, you know. So we had to purchase a leotard, a little skirt, and ballet shoes, of course. Add tights and a ponytail, “like all the ballerinas wear,” my little one assured me, and she’s ready to go. The first day she dressed for her new class, she came down the stairs beaming. “Mommy!” she called. “You have a ballerina in the house!” (Woo hoo! Just what I’ve always wanted!) She came down the stairs, did a little twirl for us and went off to her class. This now happens every Saturday when she gets ready for class.

Now the ballerina is not always present in our house – only on certain days – and they aren’t always the same days. And we are not allowed to sing the songs from dance class because my daughter insists that they are “only for dance class.” Every once and a while we get a show. We get the twirling, the chasse’, the running leaps and more. “I’m a dancer!” she shouts. And she’s so darn cute too. The footboard on her bed is now a ballet barre, and she practices her stretches and poses. “Don’t watch, Mommy!” she tells me.

 My daughter had her first recital just before Christmas. She wore a costume, and she was very excited. She didn’t want to get off the stage! A star is born! I had tears in my eyes, from laughing and cheering, and thinking, that’s my baby! Well, not a baby anymore. She’s the ballerina in the house. Did I mention I’m not allowed to dance anymore in the house, unless she gives me permission first? Ballerinas have their rules you know, and divas want to run the show…even three year-old divas…

My 3 year-old started preschool this month. I didn’t realize  just how much I’d have to be involved: parents are required to serve on at least one committee. I’ve been indoctrinated into the society! Since we were coming in at the halfway point, I figured I’d get the job no one wanted. They needed help for hot lunch day. Every Friday, the PTA provides a hot lunch to the kids that stay all day. So, wouldn’t you know it, I’m the Hot (Lunch) Mama. That’s right, I’m hot AND I’m serving lunch! LOL. It was actually kinda fun.


            Another mom gave me the tour of the facility – a full commercial kitchen – with more stuff than we ever had in our small family restaurant. We baked frozen pizza and cut up some cantaloupe. I set up the tables for 30 kids, and then helped plate the food. At noon, we brought out all the plates and served our gourmet fare – hey, it’s gourmet to preschoolers. What kid doesn’t like pizza?


             My daughter doesn’t stay at school all day, so she it was quite a treat for her to get to stay for lunch with the other kids. A little boy sat next to her, and he’s quite the character. So he kept turning around and waving to me, and smirking. As the time went on, he came over and hugged me. “You made a nice lunch,” he said, kinda flirty. Kinda flirty – a 3 year old! Well, he is Greek after all…After a while, I sat down next to my daughter. The young stud had gone to run with the other kids. He came back, put his head on my arm and said, “You’re nice. Will you make lunch again?” If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the little guy was hitting on me. What a little charmer! Look out girls!


             Well, little Casanova is in luck. I’m the Hot (Lunch) Mama every Friday until the end of the year. Well, maybe since he has a little crush, I can get him to stay in his seat and eat all his food. HA! Wishful thinking, I guess! OK I know what you’re thinking – I’m new and this little guy thinks he’s gonna get away with something. I’m onto his game. This is going to be F-U-N! So yeah, uh-huh. I’m a mom, I’m hot and I’m serving hot lunch at school every Friday. I’m a hot mama! And don’t you forget it!

I tried many times to write songs or poetry, but I never seemed to have the knack. Somehow, after giving birth, I have this new talent as a songwriter. You know what I’m talking about moms. You know, you make up little ditties everyday to entertain your little one(s). You sing about poop, teething, them mashing up their food, all that wonderful stuff. Even fun stuff too!

             Some of my first compositions were food-related. I’d decided that I was going to make food fun – those foods that kids typically hate. I started with green beans. It’s still a winner, even with baby #2. The Greek word for green beans is “fassolakia.” So to the tune of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” I sing “Fa-ssola-kia! Fa-ssola-kia! Fassolakia! Fassolakia! Fasso-la-kia!” This tune also works for the girls’ names too and they love it, still. Next, I tackled peas. There are actually two Greek words that refer to peas – bisellia, and arakas. Don’t know where I got the tune, but in a loud, deep voice, I sing “Beeee-sellia! Bisellia!” then in a softer, higher pitched voice; I chime in, “Arakas! Arakas!” So both kids love their beans and peas.

             The most popular of my tunes would probably make Rick James a bit miffed. I’ve re-written his hit song, “Super Freak.” You’ll love this…

 SUPER STINK

She’s a very stinky girl

The kind only loved by her mother.

She will never let your spirits down

When she flashes her big smile.

She likes her toys in her hand

Don’t you dare try to take them from her.

When I make my move to her room, it’s the right time

I can smell her all the way.

That girl is getting big now

The girl’s a super stink!

The kinda girl you read about in Parents’ Magazine

I’d really like to change her

Cause I can’t stand the stink!

She’s alright, she’s alright.

That girl’s alright with me, yeah.

She’s a Super Stink, Super Stink

She’s super stinky, yow!

             This was a big hit with my older daughter. I started singing it one day to distract her as she wiggled around while I was trying to change a messy diaper. It was an instant hit. I sang it every time, and after a while she started to sing along. Even the “yow!” It was pretty funny! My younger daughter giggles through the entire song.

             These are but a few examples of my new song writing ability. I have a whole new talent I never knew I had before. I don’t think I’m ready to call Burt Bacharach to see if we can collaborate, but hey, it’s good fun. Feel free to borrow my songs. I’m sure you have some fun ones too! Hey, whatever works, right?

Ahh…you’re a new dad. CONGRATS! You’re elated, full of pride, a little tired, and probably a little frustrated too. I’ve heard many a new dad lament about being relegated to “roommate” status after baby comes along. Well dads, it’s not on purpose. It’s not that we love you any less; it’s not that we aren’t attracted to you anymore, because we are. We’ve taken on the bulk of the baby duties, and we’re exhausted. And nursing moms are even more worn out. Milk production and nursing will wipe out any mom. It’s hard for us to even think about being intimate when we are sleep-deprived, trying hard to do everything right, and well, postpartum, we aren’t feeling very sexy with the extra weight lingering. Honestly, we feel privileged to get a shower in, let alone put makeup on, fix our hair and then find some clothing that we don’t mind spit up or poop getting on it. Believe me, if we could, we’d be with you all the time. It’s been a while since we could make love without a big belly as an obstacle, or it hurting. So here we are. Yes, I know, you have needs. So what’s a guy to do?

          I have a few suggestions for you. Follow these simple steps, and not only will you not suffer from the Roommate Syndrome, you’ll be declared a super hero in your own home, with the just rewards! 😉

          From my own experience, I can tell you, a new mom is too exhausted to ask you to do things. And we don’t want to be perceived as someone barking out orders. So things don’t get done, or it takes a long time to complete a simple task. So my most important piece of advice is, don’t wait for her to ask you to do something. Be proactive.

DO THE LAUNDRY

The laundry has must done at some point. So just go do it. Don’t make a show of it; don’t say, “Hey, I’m going to do the laundry now,” or “I can do that.” Just go do it, before we do. If you need help sorting the laundry or knowing what temperature to wash in or where something goes, don’t hesitate to ask. Or just pay closer attention. You can even ask your mom, your sister or a female friend. You have no idea how much this helps, and how many points this gets you.

 COOK SOMETHING

A new mom, especially one who is nursing, has to eat well-balanced meals and eat regularly to keep up production. Make her something to eat. Make a meal, ask her if she’s hungry, bring her a glass of water. Presto! You are a very attentive husband or partner.

 KICK HER OUT

            A new mom is in desperate need of a break. We usually won’t ask for one, because we’re trying to be super moms. Sending us to take a nap or banishing us to another part of the house won’t work. As soon as the baby cries or we think she needs something, the break is over. Hand her some shoes and her keys and then kick her out of the house. She needs some fresh air and a change of scenery. She’ll really love you for this. Now you are the most considerate husband ever.

BE CONSCIENTIOUS

             Moms give up a lot. We are virtually tied to our newborns for a while, especially if we’re nursing. We have to feed baby, right? Well, be conscientious of this. Don’t go about your normal routine as if nothing has changed. The addition to the family changes your life too. For a silent show of support, give up some activities for a while and be around to help. We won’t tell you to give up your softball league or not meet your friend for a drink. We made the choice to have a baby, and knew we’d give up stuff, but we will secretly resent you if you continue gallivanting around like you haven’t a care in the world, while it is a production for us to get out of the house with kids in tow. Encourage her to take a night off and meet a friend for coffee. You are now the most wonderful husband ever.

             Give baby a bottle, whether formula or pumped breast milk. The bonding time is great for you and your child, and you are now an involved dad. Seeing Dad holding the baby warms our hearts.

LET HER SLEEP

             One last tip: let Mom sleep. You don’t have to take over the night shift, but every so often when baby cries at night get up before she does. Tell her to stay in bed and get some sleep. Let her sleep in on Saturday. When she is well rested, it keeps her weight loss on target, refreshes her, does wonders for her attitude, and you are a super hero, my friend!

PRESTO!

             Follow these simple tips and in spite of the craziness, the sleep-deprivation and all the work, you have made yourself sexier, more attractive and the best husband in the entire world. How could she not want you more than ever? Did I mention how this extra bonding time with junior has made this journey even more special for you?

             Happy days, my friend! Or should I say, Happy End? 😉

Yes, my friends, you are officially a mom, when without noticing, you begin to perform feats of wonder that you never quite knew you were capable of. Goodness. Maybe we should phone the circus! Just call me the one-armed bandit! Maybe you’re doing some of these things too:

 –          Breastfeeding and going to the potty at the same time: When you gotta go, you gotta go.

 –          Holding a squirmy baby and going to the bathroom at the same time: Sometimes you just can’t put them down or they get into trouble!

 –          Now…taking down your pants to pee and then pulling up your pants while holding the baby: talk about slick moves! Woo hoo!

 –          Holding a baby and lifting your toddler on and off the potty: It’s good family time. Ha!

 –          Removing contact lenses while holding baby: Gotta do what you gotta do.

 –          Brushing teeth while holding baby: See above.

 –          Cooking while holding baby: Sometimes it’s the only way the family will get to eat.

 –          Rocking baby’s chair with foot while doing something else: Multitasking is vital to surviving Momhood.

 –          Balancing baby laying against one leg while changing diaper of the toddler or dressing her: The things we have to do…

 –          Breastfeeding baby and telling bedtime stories to toddler: Multitasking!

 –          Parking the car and then breastfeeding baby in the car in a parking lot: Never thought you’d do this either? Boy, I hope there were no security cameras there, or someone was having a show! I’m still checking YouTube!

 –          Picking up items with your toes: Multitalented, aren’t we? We just need more hands.

 –          Holding a bottle in baby’s mouth while helping toddler with something: I wish I were an octopus.

 –          While pumping, balancing the suction cups of the breast pump on the counter, to free up your hands to perform some other task: Priceless.

 Just think of these times and have a good laugh. You deserve it!

Welcome to From the Mommy Files!

It’s a light-hearted look at the trials and tribulations of parenting, for the new parent, and even for the seasoned parent. Some advice, tips and words of wisdom will be shared along the way. Mostly, I want to give you a good chuckle when you think about some of the challenges and craziness of being a parent to a newborn, a toddler or a preschooler.

Have fun. Life’s too short. Thanks for stopping by.

Maria


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