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Archive for the ‘Thinking out loud’ Category

Good old days

You know how sometimes you catch a glimpse of that person in the supermarket. The one whose email you didn’t return (umm, 8 months ago). You start to secretly hope they didn’t notice you, and you linger behind the aisle as you watch them walk through the store. Not very mature, but it works.

So, I decided that this is what I am going to do here. Pretend I didn’t just abandon this blog, and hope that no one notices.

It’s been a busy school year so far. Homework, spelling, reading and Rocket Math are taking their toll on me. I am so done with first grade. Not to mention all the swimming, music, and tennis lessons we signed him up for. Because we are over-achieving parents, and we only have one child to focus our energy on.

On our ride to the music lesson, Misha said to me: “I miss the good old days.”

You have no idea, kid.

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My son is growing up among girls – my friends’ daughters. The dynamic of  playdates is an interesting one to observe. 2 of the girls are already discussing marriage plans, to which Misha graciously says: “Ok, whatever you say.” He is constantly reminded to be careful, because they are girls, share and be nice, because they are girls. I try very hard to raise him with an awareness that girls are not for hitting, or kicking, or boxing with. The stuff that you can do with boys, you just can’t do with girls. It’s a double standard that I’ve been drilling into his head for a few years now. Don’t get me wrong, he loves his girl friends, and they definitely love him back.

This weekend I observed him playing with 2 boys. They were digging. They were running, they were shooting each other with pretend guns, they were monsters, bad guys, cops and firefighters. They got wet and dirty, and rolled on the ground. They dragged mud inside the house. They might’ve broken a couple things. I might’ve had a few heart attacks. But Misha had a blast. Now I understand why my husband needs “guy” time with his friends once in a while. Too much estrogen. 🙂

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Summer love

Here’re some things I love about summer this year:

1. Misha getting a TON of fresh air.

2. Grilling (aka: husband making dinner)

3. Water slide!!!

4. Tomatoes growing in our backyard.

5. Pretty flowers.

What do you love about summer?

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Misha made a couple of new friends this weekend. A little boy in our new neighborhood ran over to him, and they started playing. Just as another boy was walking by, he yelled to him: “Look, this is my new friend, Michael!”

It was the sweetest thing. Really. So simple. “Hi. Do you want to play?”

Somewhere between graduating high-school, going to college, getting married, and becoming adults, we forgot how to be open-minded and open-hearted. We don’t trust people right away. Making new friends is a long, background-checking process.

We were dropping off a couple of things at the house today. As I came around to the front yard, I was stopped by 2 curious faces: “Is Michael coming out to play?”

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My coworker had a baby girl today. That’s 3rd consecutive baby girl born in my department.  She is beautiful! I am so happy for the new Mom and Dad!

I don’t think there’s much difference between baby girls and baby boys until they turn 1. Of course, there’s all the pink and blue stuff. But that first Birthday is when it becomes really gender specific. That’s when we started getting cars, trains and airplanes. Everything went from looking babyish to looking boyish.

As the time went on, there was no doubt that a boy lives here. We went through a long Thomas the Train stage, followed by Backyardigans (actually, that one could go both ways). We had Spiderman, Sonic the Hedgehog, Transformers, StarWars and Power Rangers invade our house.

I am a girly girl. I love all things pink. I love dolls, princesses and pretty shiny things. But I go with the flow. I build Lego cities, read StarWars books and search for the green Power Ranger costume online.

But here’s the best thing about having a boy-watching my husband spend time with him. I just stand back and let them be boys.

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It is the highest compliment a Mom can receive from a 5-year old. We are still a few years away from me becoming completely not cool, and definitely not anywhere near “the best”.

So far, all I did today to deserve such praise was get him a new cereal at the grocery store. I know, easy, right? But I can’t help thinking that those days will soon be gone, and things like these will go unappreciated and ignored as Misha becomes an obnoxious, self-absorbed teenager. I want to preserve the relationship we have, and my status of  “best” Mom. But I know, it’s not realistic.

It will be hard and heart-breaking, but  it will also be temporary, give or take 10 years. He will appreciate me again when he becomes a parent himself (whoa, I am really looking ahead). I know, my Mom became the best again as soon as my little bundle of joy came into this world. I gained a whole new level of appreciation and respect for her. She did all of that for me? And there were no diapers back then… Wow.

So, with Mother’s Day coming up, I am planning to soak up all of this admiration and love, as well as give some of it to my Mom, who is truly THE BEST!

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You never know what you’re going to get.

No one prepares you to be a parent. If you are lucky, you’ve had parents who
liked each other and showed you good family values. That’s usually a good
starting point, but not always the case. You watch your friends and family
members raise their kids, you make mental notes of their parenting styles,
and either hope to be like them, or run away horrified, thinking “at least I
won’t be THAT bad”.

You might even fool yourself into thinking that you are ready to be a
parent, b/c a. you are in a stable relationships, b. you have a good job,
c. well, if THEY can do it… Whatever the reason is, no one is ever ready
for when that little person with a big personality makes his or her
appearance.

I firmly believe that every child is an individual the moment he or she is born. Your child has a personality that might go really well with yours, or might drive you completely insane. You can’t change that. You can change some behaviors, scare them into submission, but you can not change personality. You have to respect your child.

Now, stepping back for a second, I will say: I am a “pushover” parent. The
opposite of “tough love”. I believe in positive reinforcement (see:
bribing). I believe in going with the flow, “this is all just a stage, it
will get better” approach. Does Misha know right from wrong? I hope so. Does
he also act like a complete monster sometimes? Yes. But he is an individual,
who is sensitive and kind, sometimes bossy and a little obnoxious. So what?
As long as he doesn’t turn out to be a serial killer, I’ve done my job.

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