Monday, April 6, 2009

How Do ‘Fishies’ Poop?

Well, well, well. I wish I knew the answer to that question, because apparently my children think I’m a font of endless knowledge. I am prone to knowing useless trivia, but mostly I’m just really good at sounding like I know what I’m talking about. I often wonder at what age my children will think to themselves, “Sheesh. I think mom just fudged her way through that answer. She just fed us a pile of you-know-what. That lady does not know what she’s talking about.” Honestly, I’ve never thought about how or why ‘fishies’ poop. They just do. But my 4-year old son needed an answer, and gosh darn-it-all if I wasn’t going to give him one. So I answered him in the best way I knew how. I said, “Well, ‘fishies’ poop through their ‘fishie’ butts. They’re kind of like our butts but without cheeks.” He bought it too. Hook, line and sinker. (pun intended)

This is my first blog entry and I’m exceedingly proud of myself for finally getting my act together to do what every self-respecting modern mom should do: blog. All the “cool kids” are doing it, right? I finally got a Facebook page, so I must continue my jaunt along the highway of modern technology; thus I now have my very own blog. And I can say whatever I want! Choppy sentence fragments and all! My life is frustrating, exhausting, chaotic and exasperating. But in a really good way. I feel that it’s worth documenting, if only for the purpose of giving my kids a few laughs some day when they are older. I guess I picture us sitting around the table in some future scenario and yukking it up about the all the times they drove Mom crazy.

I have four children. These four little people have been my biggest joy and on some days my biggest headache. I strive not to be a “complainer” mom. Yes, I’m tired, but so are all mothers! Yes, I’m bored some days, but so are all mothers! Nobody wants to hear about this. At least I don’t. I do, however, love hearing stories that I can relate to about motherhood that make me laugh, and make me feel a little less crazy. I consider myself both a realist and an optimist. In other words, I do complain, but I try to do it in a funny way, because I know this job is tough, but it’s also great. My husband Bill and I wake up every morning wanting to do the absolute best job we can raising these little “blessings” of ours. Some days we feel like we fall short. But all in all we can’t and won’t give up. Every day is a lesson. I have always had a pretty good sense of humor and I try not to take myself too seriously. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart or humor. I can laugh or scream. I choose to laugh. (Well, most of the time. I have been known to scream in exasperation.)

Here’s a little background info on our children:

My oldest son, Charlie is 8 years old. We named him Charlie because Bill said, “Who doesn’t like a guy named Charlie?” And he was right. He’s friendly, helpful, a good student, and relishes his role as our oldest child.

Our second son, Henry came along 16 months after Charlie. He is 7 years old. Henry is inquisitive, smart, and has an amazing memory for the most intricate details.

George is 4 (and ‘a half’ as he likes to say—he loves to give himself those extra few months of age. You’ll never catch me saying I’m 34 and 1/2. I’d love to say I’m 25…plus 9.). He is our third son. He’s smart, energetic and loyal to those he loves. If you ever need a spontaneous hug, he’s your man. He’s a true Gentle Giant.

Annabel is 2 years old, and she is our fourth child. She also has the distinction of being our one and only girl. Now let me just say that I was never one of those mothers that HAD to have a girl. I never prayed to God to bring me a little pink ballerina. I just always prayed to God for healthy children, and I’m a firm believer in the preschool mantra, “You get what you get and you don’t have a fit.” Besides, I have five sisters, (yes, I said FIVE) and they are my best friends. That being said, I’ve lived with enough women in my lifetime to know that estrogen is great in small doses, but in large doses…well…it can get a little scary. (If you’d like me to regale you with stories of hair-pulling, stolen sweaters and sister subterfuge, then I’ll save that for another day. By the way, the thing they say about women’s menstrual cycles lining up when they live together? Totally true. PMS times 4 or 5 at a time is not a pretty sight.) I figured that if I never had a daughter, but if I ever needed some girl time, I could call on one of my sisters. I also adored being the mother of boys, and did NOT need the pity of people who felt like my life would be incomplete without a daughter. So when I was pregnant with my fourth child, I honestly started to worry, “What if this one IS a girl? Will I know what to do with her? Will my boys try to toughen her up by throwing her to the ground in a headlock? And most importantly,where am I going to fit the Barbie Dream House with all this Star Wars crap we’ve accumulated? ” I was also getting sick and tired of people asking me, “Are you going to try for that girl? You need a girl! Every mom needs a girl! What are you going to do if this one is NOT a girl? What are you going to do if you have a fourth BOY?” (One lady even said the word “boy” like one would say “vomit” or “feces”.) So when I was pregnant with our fourth, we brought all three boys with us to the 20-week ultrasound. The technician rubbed the cold gel on my tummy with the wand, poked around for awhile, and then said definitively, “It’s a girl!” As soon as he said that, I cried tears of joy. I just knew instinctively that this was meant to be, and I couldn’t wait to see how a little girl would add a totally new dimension to our family. I looked over at Bill, and my usually calm, not-easily-surprised husband kind of had a face like, “Huh?” But it was Charlie who broke our stunned silence by saying, “NOOOO! I want a brother!” Henry and George echoed in chorus, and Bill assured them that girls are fun, and they would love their sister. To which Charlie replied, “Girls talk too much.” (True, Charlie, very true, but that’s a lesson for another day.) Apparently I had just cursed them with the worst thing of all: a sister. Fast forward two years later and Annabel is the yin to their yang. She’s the perfect balance of girly, with a little tomboy thrown in for good measure. She leads her brothers (and Bill) around on her own little “leash”, and they love every minute of it. That gal’s got moxie. I know I’m making her sound like the "moll" in some 1930’s gangster flick, but she’s got spunk in spades. She softens their rough edges, and they toughen her up in just the right way.

I love watching my kids all together when they are getting along. It gives me a glimpse of their future as adults. I always tell them that they are each other’s best friends, because no one on the planet will know them in the way their sibling does. No one knows you from birth or understands you like a brother or sister. They know all your “stuff” and why you are the way you are. The relationship can be contentious and competitive at times, but I hope that they can look past that, and appreciate the differences they each bring to the relationship. If Bill and I raise four healthy people who love each other, who actually enjoy each other's company, who root for each other, and who are there for each other in support, then I will be a success.

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