From the Mommy Files…

Archive for the ‘3 year-old’ Category

MACA

Today, around the US is the Million March Against Child Abuse.

In cities across the country, people will gather to be a voice for children.

For years, I’ve been saying, who’s protecting the children?

I’d hear these awful stories and wonder why something more wasn’t being done.

Kids can’t protect themselves.

They look to adults for protection, for shelter, for everything.

Sure kids can be rambunctious.

Sure they can drive you nuts.

But to abuse them?

I’ve often said, anyone who abuses a child should be punished to the maximum penalty of the law.

And released to the masses to be tortured.

A child?

I look at my own kids and I know, if someone threatened or actually harmed them, I’d go crazy on them.

What about all those kids who don’t have anyone to protect them? To shelter them? To give them love?

As a community, as a society, as human beings, we have an obligation to be a voice for the children.

They need us.

We can’t allow anymore abuse to take place.

Today, we are asked
TO BE THERE, TO BE A VOICE.

TODAY
Americans across the nation in over 100 cities and 45 states will gather to raise awareness of child abuse and crimes against our children.

TODAY
We gather to put an end to the enormous amount of lenient sentencing passed down from judges.

TODAY
Please join children’s organizations, churches, all child advocates and groups in this never before history making event.

Our children are screaming out for help!

The peaceful walks will take place today, all over the US.

Who will protect the children?

Will you?

Join MACA even for one hour.

On Facebook, search “Million March Against Child Abuse.”

Info on Chicago event is here.

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Boo has always been a very sensitive, very spiritual child.

She fully recognizes the role of God and saints and angels in her life, and she embraces them.

We’re starting to see this in Bebs as well, as evidenced the other day when she asked me for a meeting to discuss Jesus’ love for us.

This morning, Boo asked me if I knew what she did before she was my baby.

I didn’t.

Intrigued, I asked her to explain.

This was our conversation.

Boo: Mommy, do you know that before I was your baby I was a little angel? I lived in Heaven and had these teeny, tiny little wings.Image

Mommy: Really? What did you do in Heaven?

Boo: Mostly I flew around, but I got ready to be your baby.

Mommy: How?

Boo: Well, I got my wings and then I flew around, then I met my saint, St. Eleni.

Mommy: Did she talk to you?

Boo: Oh yes! She told me what my name was going to be, and that she was my saint and she’d watch over me too. She told me that Jesus was getting me ready to send to a mommy and daddy.

Mommy: What else did she say?

Boo: She told me that Jesus had been building me and getting me ready, because he chose the best mommy for me.

Mommy: Then what?

Boo: Then St. Eleni sent me off, and I flew over your wedding, and watched it.

Mommy: You did?

Boo: Yes. That was the first time I saw you. You looked so beautiful! St. Eleni told me you were going to be my mommy, and soon I would go down to Earth to grow in your belly.

(I got pregnant with her at the end of our month-long honeymoon)

Mommy: Then what happened?

Boo: Then I came into your belly. My little wings disappeared because I didn’t need them anymore.

Mommy: Did you see your sister in Heaven?

Boo: No, because Jesus was still building her. He was getting her ready so you could be her mommy too.

Mommy: Wow. Did you ever see her before you were born?

Boo: I did. But I just got a peek.

Mommy: Hey, Bebs, did you fly around in Heaven before you were my baby?

Bebs: Yes. But I will save that story for another day! (giggles)

Boo: Mommy, you see, Bebs loved to fly so much. She flew for long periods at a time. This is why it took so long for her to get in your belly.

(Hmmm. I never told the girls that it took me 8 months to get pregnant with Bebs.)

Mommy: I see.

Boo: Then when she got in your belly, her wings disappeared, because she didn’t need them anymore.

Mommy: OK. Anything else you want to tell me?

Boo: Well, we saw Baby Dimo flying around with his little wings. He came down to your belly, but his wings didn’t go away, because Jesus called him back up to Heaven. That’s why he isn’t here with us.

(I named our lost little one Dimosthenis, after my father-in-law, which would be his name even if he were here with us. It was a way to verify his existence, however short.)

Mommy: Do you see Baby Dimo anymore?

Boo: Sure. He checks up on us sometimes. I wish he was here with us. Then we’d have a little brother. But Jesus knows what he’s doing.

Mommy: He does.

Boo: Mommy, I think we should save some for another time. This is not stuff that mommies usually learn about.

Mommy: I’m so glad you told me. It’s a nice story.

Boo: Jesus made me just for you. He told me He chose a very special mommy for me and He did. I love you.

Mommy: I love you, too.

Bebs: I love you too! And my sister and little brother angel!

Mommy: I love you, too, Honey.

Interesting and revealing conversation.

It touched my heart in so many ways.

I do believe that things are predetermined by God.

Boo’s revelations are stunning.

Could that really have happened?

Lord only knows.

Many mysteries are revealed through the eyes of a child.

These stories are precious.

I’ve heard people say that children are innately spiritual, and somehow it gets “beaten” out of them as they grow older.

Some say that children regularly commune with angels and saints.

Their innocence, pure love and faith allow it.

I hope she will continue on her spiritual path.

It brings her such joy and it seems to ground her.

What amazing little girls I have and what a blessing to learn these things that most mommies “never do.”

So you’ve read that and thought perhaps this was a crazy parent who promised her child for future wedlock.

While I have teased my girls that there would be no dating, and between all of our friends, we should be able to find a suitable husband for them, I had no hand in this “engagement.”

Earlier this year, Bebs joined Boo at her school.

After one of those first days at school, she came home to announce that she was in love and was going to marry a boy in her class.

Now at this time, she wasn’t quite 3.

She’d known this little boy for a couple of years, as his older sister and Boo were in the same class.

Bebs would get very excited when she knew she’d see him.

We’d post a picture of Luke, but Bebs doesn’t want anyone to get any crazy ideas and try to steal her man. 😉

Talk about a school girl crush!

One day in the car, we were listening to a song called “Eroteftika,” by popular Greek singer, Elli Kokkinou.

Boo looked over at Bebs, and proclaimed, “Eroteftika means ‘I fell in love!’”

To which, Bebs promptly responded, “Ego eroteftika me to Louka!” (I fell in love with Luke!)

So there you have it.

They’d play together at school sometimes.

Occasionally, Luke and his sister would come to our house to play.

Talk about excitement.

This summer, we arranged a play date, after a monthlong separation.

Bebs waited at the door for her beloved to arrive.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

They got out of the car and she began to literally jump for joy.

“He’s here! Here’s here!! YAY! He’s here! You know, I’m going to marry him!”

I asked her when.

She said, “When I’m a bride.”

He walked in the door, and she blushed like I’ve never seen before.

They hugged each other.

It was a nice play date.

When they were leaving, Bebs reminded me that Luke was her intended.

I asked Luke if he was going to marry Bebs and he smiled.

He’s 4.

I think we have some time yet before we have to plan the wedding.

At least we know he comes from a good family.

Luke’s mom and I joke and call each other “Simbethera,” which is Greek for in-law.

Yesterday we saw them at a party, and there was great anticipation in the air.

He came in, she hugged him, and then he bee-lined to the bathroom.

She waited outside the door.

I asked if Luke had arrived.

Bebs replied, “I love Luke! He’s in the potty right now.”

The pair was indeed happy to see each other again.

As they went off to play, another guest asked us about this impending wedding.

“What are you offering for a prika? (dowry)” she inquired.

Gosh, I hadn’t thought about that. It is 2012, you know.

Luke’s mom overheard and said, through a chuckle, “Oh yeah, how about that dowry?”

Wow. What would we offer?

Quickly, I told them what I had jokingly told my husband’s cousin in Greece, when he asked about my own dowry.

I said, “How about some olive trees and a couple of goats?”

The woman who asked said, “What do you think is the going rate for a goat in Greece these days? A few thousand euro a piece?”

I had no idea.

She brokered the deal, and there you have it.

The kids are officially engaged, to wed at some (very) distant date in the future.

(Hold on, I can’t stop laughing)

We asked Boo what she thought of all this.

She was thrilled, since Luke’s sister is her good friend.

I asked her if she had fallen in love yet, and she responded as usual, but with a new caveat:

“I’m too young to fall in love. But when I get married, it will be with a REAL prince.”

(Pause for more laughter)

So there you have it.

I guess one arranged marriage down, one more to go.

Many of you know that I experienced a molar pregnancy in September 2010.

It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the birth of my 3rd child, only to have my world decimated by the revelation of the molar pregnancy, and of course its aftermath, wrought with complications.

And then there was chemo.

As I struggled to deal with it all, I proclaimed that I was now the mother of 2 daughters and 1 angel baby.

Since the day of that earth-shattering diagnosis, I have prayed for that little angel baby.

He’s visited me in dreams.

Ok, you’re saying, “Stop the truck! HE?”

He’s come to me several times in dreams and pronounced that he was a boy.

So I finally got my boy, but he’s an angel in Heaven.

Many times I have contemplated how and when I would tell the girls about their baby brother.

There was never an “if”. I would share it with them someday, somehow.

That day came much sooner than I expected.

A few months ago, the girls were arguing about who was the big sister.

Bebs was not satisfied to be just the “little sister.”

I tried to explain to her that I was a little sister, too.

“But you’re a big sister too!” she retorted, with all her 3 year-old wisdom.

I am.

And she kept repeating, “But I am a big sister! I am a big sister! Mom, will you tell her?”

I paused for a moment to ponder what she meant by that. How could she possibly know?

I recall talking to her about the baby when I first found out I was pregnant.

She was 18 months old. I figured she wouldn’t tell anyone.

I never told Boo. For some reason I thought she’d run to school and tell everyone.

This was strange, because I hadn’t kept any of my pregnancies a secret.

 Foreboding?

A subconscious safety mechanism for what was to come?

Who knows?

Then I wondered, could Bebs actually remember that, on some level?

I thought the best thing to do was to go with it. After all, she really was a big sister.

I sat the girls down.

Mommy: Yes, Bebs is a Big Sister.

Boo: And who is this other person?

Mommy: It’s an angel baby. He lives in Heaven with Jesus.

Funny, there were no other questions.

Good thing, cause I wasn’t sure where to go from there.

From time to time, the girls mention their little brother—but only as Bebs refers to him—as the BABY ANGEL.

Last night, after one of Bebs’ monster tantrums (it’s tough to be 3, after all!), she started talking about the baby angel.

Bebs: I’m sorry, Mommy. The Baby Angel said I am a good girl, and I should be one.

Mommy: Did you talk to the Baby Angel?

Bebs: Oh yes, Mommy!

Mommy: What did he say?

Bebs: He said not to have tantrums. That I’m a sweet girl.

Mommy: Yes, you are a sweet girl. Can we see more of this sweet girl?

Bebs: OK.

Mommy: Do you see the Baby Angel a lot?

Bebs: Yes, Mommy.

Mommy: Does he look like you?

Bebs: No.

Mommy: Does he look like Boo?

Bebs: No.

Mommy: Does he look like me or Daddy?

Bebs: I’m not supposed to tell you.

Mommy: Why not? I’d really like to know. (I’m curious, after all!)

She paused for a moment.

Bebs: Well, he looks like Jesus!

Mommy: Really? Does he have dark hair?

Bebs: Mommy! OK, well, he has white hair…

Mommy: Really?

Bebs: I can’t tell you that. It’s a secret.

Mommy: What else does the Baby Angel tell you?

Bebs: It’s a secret between a Big Sister and her Baby Angel.

Wow. I guess she’s right. I’m really not supposed to know.

Not to be outdone, Boo chimed in.

Boo: I know what the Baby Angel looks like!

Mommy: Tell me.

Then she presented me with a small painting her godmother gave her, of an angel watching a baby in its cradle.

She pointed to the baby.

Mommy: This is the Baby Angel?

Boo: No, Mommy. We are the baby, and the Angel is our Baby Angel, watching over us.

 5 year-old wisdom.

As a tear came to my eye, I thought this would make me sad.

But somehow it did not.

It’s actually comforting to know he’s here with us.

Knowing the girls acknowledge him too, and he’s part of regular discussion.

This morning, Bebs was acting up again.

Mommy: What would the Baby Angel say?

Bebs: Oh, I don’t think he would like it.

Mommy: Then you should be a good girl, a good big sister.

Bebs: You’re right, Mommy. I’ll be better, for the Baby Angel. I have to teach him things. That’s what big sisters do.

Yes they do.

And if he can help with behavioral issues too, A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

I knew losing a child could change a parent forever.

Who knew the influence that angel child would have on his siblings.

Bebs turned 3 more than a month ago, and boy, she’s really giving us a run for the money.

I remember vaguely that Boo had some issues too when she first turned 3.

After a couple of months, she just kinda mellowed out.

I recall asking her teacher about it.

I said something like, “I thought 2s were supposed to be terrible. They haven’t seen 3s!”

She agreed. She did have some advice. But I can’t remember.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the brain cells I lost during chemo.

Or the lingering mommy brain, that I’m told you never quite recover from.

It’s Selective Memory.

I believe that when it comes to our kids, God gives us selective memory, so we forget a lot of the bad stuff.

If we remembered all that awful stuff, we probably wouldn’t have any more kids.

And we’d share all the horror stories with others, causing them to skip procreating.

It’s about survival of the species.

Our lovely Ms. LaRoux has turned into a beast – a beast in frilly dresses, of course.

I joke when I call her a beast, but let me tell you, these tantrums are about to kill me.

There was the 30-minute one (no exaggeration) the other day, when I told her to put her shoes on herself.

One day, she had a 15-minute tantrum, because the panties she wanted to wear were in the laundry hamper.

A few nights ago, she carried on for about 20 minutes because her blanket didn’t cover the ENTIRE bed.

On my last nerve, I reached out to my Facebook and Twitter friends, and asked for suggestions on how to tame our 3 year-old beast—and save my sanity.

Overwhelmingly, the responses were to share the info when I got it.

Well, I never got any suggestions.

Unfortunately, none of us knows how to tame the 3 year-old beast.

So I guess we just ride it out.

Get some earplugs.

Maybe I can learn selective hearing to go with my selective memory.

We’re talking about Bebs, so surely you aren’t surprised.

We were planning to transition Bebs to Boo’s school after the holidays, so the principal suggested placing her in the three year-old class a couple of times during that last week before Christmas.

The kids were practicing for the Christmas show, so Bebs went with them on stage to rehearse.

I stayed at school that day, “just in case,” so I peeked in from time to time to see how it was going.

The class began by holding hands and circling the Christmas tree.

She followed every direction, often better than kids in the class.

Then, each child went to the microphone to recite a poem.

Bebs asked the teacher, “Hey, when’s it my turn?”

So they gave her something to say.

She went to the mic, they brought it down to her and she said her line, “Irthe o Ai Vasilis!” “Santa came!” (in Greek)

I happened to witness it and I couldn’t believe it.

Later, I snuck back to an area outside the gym so she couldn’t see me.

I heard the teacher say, “Ok, last song, guys.”

Bebs knew all the songs, as Boo had brought home a CD so she could practice the song.

I thought she’d sing along.

The song started and the teacher brought the mic to her, and held it in front of her.

Much to everyone’s surprise, she sang the entire song (O Come All Ye Faithful in Greek) and with feeling!

The tears began rolling down my cheeks.

I couldn’t believe how well she sang it.

Later, I asked the teacher how she did that day.

She reported that Bebs knew all the songs, took direction very well, and we should dress her in her Christmas best and bring her to the program.

Huh?

She was in the program.

Two days later, she came back for another trial day, mostly consisting of rehearsal.

Be sure to bring her tomorrow,” the teacher said.

I asked Boo if it was OK if Bebs was in the program.

She thought it was pretty cool.

So we were on.

I asked Bebs to practice her line.

The stinker.

She made the sign of the cross, and said in Greek, “Holy God, Holy Mightly, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us!”

I told her I didn’t ask for the prayer, I asked for her line.

She laughed and she said it again.

That’s Bebs.

The next day, I called Bebs’ school.

Hello. Bebs isn’t coming to school today.”

The director asked if she was sick.

Um, Angeliki’s been hijacked to perform in Boo’s Christmas program,” I said

The director laughed and replied, “I’ll bet Bebs took over the program.”

Ahhh, they know her too well.

Watch that kid,” she told me. “She will go far!”

So Bebs was in the show.

She said her line softly, and not into the mic.

I heard her, but not sure anyone else did.

The teacher asked her to say it again in the microphone.

The response was so Bebs: “I already did.”

Sometimes she sang and sometimes she didn’t.

She was so little compared to the other kids – heck we’re all little.

She looked so cute, and really, if I must say, she stole the show.

Yup, Bebs, the show stealer.

There were lots of oohs and ahhs, and “look at the little one!” coming from the audience.

Of course everyone knows who she is.

She has a way of making her presence known.

Bebs officially starts at the school next week.

Surely, she will keep it interesting.

Happy 2011!

Christmas came and went, and of course, there was never a dull moment in our house.

Usually after I put all the gifts from Santa under the tree, I fill the stockings.

I typically put a little something in my own stocking, just so there is something in there.

I was so sick this year, I almost forgot to fill the stockings.

Needless to say, I forgot to put anything in my own stocking.

I felt awful and I barely made it up the stairs to bed.

I didn’t think anything of it.

On Christmas morning, the girls opened their gifts and played with their toys.

We had breakfast, and forgot about the stockings.

Afterward, we sat in the family room, and Boo caught a glimpse of her stocking.

She said, “Mommy, we forgot to check our stockings!”

I passed her the stocking. I gave Bebs hers, and my husband his.

I remembered there was nothing in mine, so I just left it.

Everyone mused at the contents of their stocking.

About 10 minutes later, Boo realized I hadn’t looked in my stocking.

She glanced over and realized my stocking was empty.

“Mommy!” she shouted.

“Your stocking is empty! What happened?”

“Oh, it’s no big deal,” I said and quickly tried to change the subject.

Boo quickly changed it back.

“Umm, Mommy, maybe you weren’t so good this year.”

“No?” I asked.

“Maybe you yelled at me too much, and that’s why Santa didn’t fill your stocking!” she replied.

I had to come up with a quick retort.

“Well, if I had yelled at you that much, Santa would not have come here at all!”

Boo had no response for that.

We went to Christmas dinner with family.

Later, when we returned, we got the girls ready for bed.

I went to tuck Boo in her bed, and then she began to speak.

“Don’t worry, Mommy. I think that Santa was just in a hurry when he came here and just forgot to put stuff in your stocking. Remember, he didn’t finish all the cookies? Trust me. Cause I’m 3-1/2 and I know these things!”

“Trust me?”

“Cause I’m 3-1/2 and I know these things?”

Interesting.

But oh so cute that she felt she had to console me.

Guess I better watch myself.

Santa is already watching for next year.

Boo told me so herself.

Cause she’s 3-1/2, and she knows these things.


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