The Dance of Innocence

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Last Friday, I went on my first date with another man: my son. Several weeks ago, I learned of a local mother-son dance, and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to watch my toddler thrash to fun music.

Well, at least this is how I envisioned our night would look. Continue reading “The Dance of Innocence”

To Potty Train A Parent

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It is NEVER a good idea to offer unsolicited potty training advice, especially when your audience is a mother strung out from a long night with a breastmilk addict.

One “sage advice” drive-by at our local grocery store comes to mind. I was staring off into space in the dairy aisle when an older gentleman made his presence known. At least the encounter began friendly.

“How old is your son?”

With these kinds of questions, the response goes one of two ways…

“Nine months.”

I remember readying myself for his next move. Senior citizens love touching babies.

“Wow, nine months! That was the age that I potty trained my son!”

[Insert polite head nods and a weak smile here.]

I remember parting amicably after he began to discuss that same son’s “issues” in adulthood.

Continue reading “To Potty Train A Parent”

The Eyes of March

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When you return from a long road trip with two young children, the last thing you want to discover is that your oldest has pink eye. Inevitably, somewhere between “kissing baby” and the poke-sister-in-the-eye trick, you will lose your mind in trying to confine the infection to just one child. Tears will be shed, sleep will be lost, and you will offer a prayer of thanksgiving for antibiotics.

And, if you are very lucky, you will regain your sanity just in time for your youngest to start rubbing her eyes.

Continue reading “The Eyes of March”

Paradise Lost

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Chipotle is where modern parenting goes to die a deliciously painful death.

Four hours into a 10-hour car ride with our toddler and infant, we stopped for dinner – in hopes that somehow, some way a full belly would translate into sanity. I am convinced that Chipotle preys upon our demographic:

Do you want to eat “healthy”? Absolutely.

Do you want to eat around others who value their own health and, well, social snobbery? Yes, I guess.

Do you want to fight with another equally exhausted mother over a high chair? Okay, I see where this is going…

All of the inconveniences, of course, are forgiven (or at least forgotten) until your child has a messy diaper and you remember that there are no changing tables.

Continue reading “Paradise Lost”

The Kind of Hope That Floats

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It is a myth that parents enjoy every single moment that they are afforded with their children. Personally, my breaking point each day is bath time.

Piles of stories have been read.                                                                                                             Balanced meals have been eaten and, mostly, not thrown at Mom.                                               And, somehow, I have been able to hold it together.

Just when I feel like a victor, my husband runs the bathwater.

Do you hear that?

Yes, it is my soul…crying from fatigue.

Continue reading “The Kind of Hope That Floats”

Chasing the Avocado

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Happiness is a ripe avocado. If you have ever lived in California, you know this to be true.

My daughter, six months young, is learning all about this magical fruit’s elusivity, as she cannot yet grasp avocado between her lusting fingers. Perhaps it is because she is mine or because her blue eyes penetrate my soul, but I find few things more mesmerizing than watching my daughter’s hands seek the promise of satiety.

Continue reading “Chasing the Avocado”

A Raisin in the Son

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They were the words all mothers hope they never have to hear: “I stick a raisin up my nose!”

And so began my first week back in the saddle of employment.

I would be lying if I said my return to the working world was smooth, rested, and joyous. To be honest, most things have an edge of sour when you are not sleeping well. For as excited as I was to teach young people again, I could easily recognize the compounding stress of a full-time job lurking in the shadows.

My toddler son’s triumphant announcement echoed in my ears until the great raisin extraction ensued three hours later.

Expect the unexpected, they say.

Continue reading “A Raisin in the Son”

The Bus That Leads Home

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When I shared with my father that I, a 20-year-old graduate student, would be volunteering in Nicaragua during spring break 2007, his response was, in a word, strong. I explained that I would be working with orphans. No give. I emphasized the poverty that the children faced. No give. I told him that I was ready to see the world. No give.

I couldn’t see it then, but his anger and painful disapproval originated from a place of love.

Continue reading “The Bus That Leads Home”