Thursday, November 29, 2012

As Good As It Gets

I took Anea to the Health Unit yesterday for her 12 month shots.  Yes...a year and a half late...we all have our reasons.  And with years of experience, we came prepared with full arsenal of toys and snacks. Four shots later and we were sentenced to the waiting room.  
As we were serving our 15 minutes of post-shot time, I watched Anea, who was clearly disturbed by the stress just induced upon her.  Bouncing around the room pretending to be Tigger, she was yelling at the children who kept eying up her stuffed animals (what kind of waiting room that provides shots for children has absolutely no toys in it anyway?!), and i could hear her sigh an "Oh MAN!" whenever the other kids tried to rearrange her chairs she had ever so strategically placed.
 After the uncomfortable wait time, where other parents have nothing else to do other than observe your wild child and silently judge you, I decided there wasn't going to be an allergic reaction to the shot and did the unthinkable...something only a mother who has done this a billion times would do this.  And I swear the other moms were timing me!  After attempting to put her jacket on, I apologetically gathered up Anea's toys from all the other children who had stolen them.  After appeasing her anxiety that her  that we would not be leaving without the stuffies she had just cleaned the well trafficked floor with, we got her jacket on and left the clinic three whole minutes before the designated 15 minute time.  *gasp

She bounced her way walking all the way home and on through the rest of the morning, and when asked by her dad how it went, she exclaimed "I ha' fun, Dad!".  The rest of her day was full of bouncing, bossing, more bouncing and more exuberance than I would ever have even if you combined my last 10 years into one day.  

The shots finally kicked in around 2 a.m., and Matty, making himself indispensable so I will always eke
 Him I'll always keep him around, stayed up with her most of the night as they bonded over Advil, cold cloths and Pooh movies, until 6:30, where he plunked her with me and she finally slept.  For an hour.

Before leaving for school, Matt, forseeing the inevitably long and trying morning that would be had, suggested I stop at Starbucks and get a drink for her and myself before coming home and snuggling on the couch for a movie morning.  Brilliant.  See?  He's a keeper.  So on our way home, we stop at Starbucks for a dose of liquid patience.  Anea's first Christmas, as far as she would remember.  She was awestruck by the lit trees.  Wow'd at the decorations.  Awed by the beautiful colours and some random puppy that only she could see.  So I bought her a cookie with her drink.  With that curly bedhead, those elephant pj's and those adorable pink cowboy boots, how could I refuse her anything!  She wanders over to a table and says, "Shit, Mom!  Shit down!".  We've already established that today, she's the boss.  We get our drinks and a cookie and sit.  

Four minutes later and I'm bored out of my mind.  A two year old is not much for conversation.  Then she licks the hat of her snowman cookie.  Then she eats the hat.  We laugh.  She wiggles her shoulders to the music.  I wiggle back.  She points out the imaginary puppy.  I'm in awe of it.  I sit there drinking my chai latte and watch as she sits there, massacring her snowman, her blue eyes alit with amazement as she takes in the wonder that is Starbucks.  Then it hits me.  This is as good as it gets.  Life may never be as good as it is at this very moment.  I will never have a bed headed, cowboy booted, bright blue eyed feverish 2 year old dancing her way through a snowman cookie and giving me cheers with our coffee cups again.  So I chilled out.  I boogied my way through my latte, giggled as she ate the eyes out of the poor snowman, fetched her napkins so she could take care of every little crumb that had fallen, pointed out random Christmassy items just to hear her ooh and aww, reassured her that my drink and scone were very good, each of the 50 times she asked, and reciprocated the offered cheers with a little "thunk" of our cups.

And she was not finished after that.  She wanted to go shopping.  After an hour and a half of following her around stores as she spread her Christmas cheer, I was finally able to bribe her to come home and watch Peter Pan with me.  

There's something to be said about slowing down, allowing yourself to not be entertained, and to seeing the world through the eyes of a two year old.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If You Give A Mom A Chore To Do...

It's Tuesday.  My cleaning day.  I whip around the house, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning glass & windows, and if there is still time, mopping the floor.

Matt always teases me about how I never get anything done because I get bored and distracted.  But the truth of it is this.  Today I planned on starting with the glass and windows in the house.  My friend cleans houses and swore that the best way to clean glass was with an old flannel baby blanket.  So I had cut up an old baby blanket to try it and it works great - no fluff or streaks left behind and no paper towel waste.
But I couldn't find my flannel rag, which means I am a week behind in my laundry from last week when I used it.  Hoping it's at least been washed and in one of the 5 baskets of unfolded laundry, I start to look for it. 
I sort everyone's clothes into their own basket and fold all the towels, cloths and sheets.  I find my rag in the third basket but finish sorting the laundry any way.  I can't hang anything up in the closet because I left the ironing board out to finish a sewing project.  I could finish the 2 minutes of ironing I needed to complete that project, but decide to stay true to my laundry task and just dump the "to be hanged" and "to be ironed" stuff on the ironing board.

Since there are now empty laundry baskets, I might as well throw a load in the washer now that I can reach it.  I hate the giant Tide soap dispensers where you lay it on it's side and push the button and the soap comes out.  It gets the floor soapy, the cup soapy and my fingers soapy, so now I have to wash my hands.
While I'm washing my hands, I notice the boys left their toothbrushes out, so I put those away and wipe up the giant puddles on the counter that always occur from the simplest tasks of a 4 and 6 year old.  I notice the cupboards are sticky and make a mental note to wash all the cupboards in their bathroom.

The kids are busy watching tv downstairs, so I quickly put away the folded towels and sheets before Anea climbs on my bed and throws it everywhere.  While putting sheets away in the boys room, I see their "made" beds drooping on the floor, waiting to be caught in the vacuum (which, as it is Tuesday, I plan on doing today) and reminding me I hadn't straightened their beds yet.  They make their own beds, but when they aren't around to catch me, I remake their beds for them.  They have incontinence pads ("pee pads") on their bed that need strategic placement and I don't want to insult their bed making skills by making them feel incompetent, so I try to be sneaky about redoing their beds.  They never notice.

While leaving the boys room I find some garbage and toss it in the garbage bag.  Tomorrow is garbage day.  I might as empty the garbage out upstairs while I'm thinking of it.  However, there is so much junk in the garage right now that I won't be able to make it to the garbage can without tripping on crap.  So now I am at crossroads.  Leave the garbage until later, or go tidy up a path in the garage so I can take the garbage out.  By now it's been 40 minutes and I still haven't even cleaned a single window.  Feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of tasks that are yet to be accomplished, I figure I need a break.  This blog is my break.  Now it is close to lunch time.  I will be feeding the kids and then it will be nap time.

And so I ask you, did I really do nothing all day today?  Because my house sure looks like it and nothing on my list got done!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not A Creature Was Stirring

The Hawkins Christmas December 4!  Yes, I ran out of time this day.  I was planning on yelling and freaking them awake, but they looked way to cute and peaceful, I couldn't bring myself to...yet.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Parade, Dec. 3, 2011

December 3rd's video.  We spent the evening with friends, family, cousins and grandparents watching the Christmas parade.  Watching Anea's face and holding her back from joining the parade was my favourite part!

Christmas Parade 2011 from Debbie Hawkins on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Little Elves Hard at Work

Here is our newest video!  Elves working hard for our December 2cnd video!  (Took a while getting it uploaded.)

Little Elves - December 2, Christmas 2 from Debbie Hawkins on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas At the Hawkins

A few years ago I did a video every day in December.  I thought I'd try that again this year, so here it is - our Christmas starting December 1st!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fear of the Dark

"Mommy, will you stay upstairs for a while?"  It's been Keyon's request the last few weeks after I've tucked them into bed.  At four years old, night worries and fears seem to have started setting in.  Most bedtime excuses I am abrupt about and ignore them or give them ultimatums if they bring it up again, but fear of the dark is something I still remember vividly, and have alot of patience for.

As I was reminiscing, I remember when I was younger with my family ever expanding, my parents built a room in the basement for my sister and I to share.  Feeling all alone down there and in the dark, I remember making a quick dash from the stairs to the safety of our bedroom, worried about what could happen that late at night in those 15 feet of space between those two places.  Even having my sister sleeping across the room, I would lay awake, straining to hear any noise of life upstair, trying to block out the strange creaks and groans that a house seemingly makes only at night.  Most nights, my dad would be in his workshop down the hall, and though I'm sure it drove my mom nuts that he spent so much time down there, it was relief for me.  Once that table saw started up, I would be able to relax and fall asleep.  To this day, the smell of sawdust and the sound of a table saw is a favourite of mine.

We moved to Chilliwack when I was a teen where we built a room for my 2 sisters and I to share.  I sure missed the sounds of the workshop, but we had our own stereo then and fell asleep every night to the soundtrack of "The Last of the Mohicans".  Even then, being in the same room with two sisters, I would wake up scared in the middle of the night and try to make noises to wake them up, hoping to be invited to share their bed with them, which never happened.  For some reason I never felt able to just crawl in their bed on my own accord.

At 18 I remember waking up in the night and being too terrified to move or call out as I watched a shadow creep across the room, seemingly to "get me".  Even once I was married, I was so thankful for the neighbours dog (and I hate dogs) which made me feel safer, as Matt was gone alot of evenings.  To this day, I have to have a curtain open or a nightlight on, or I will freak out if I wake up during the night, and when we are camping and it's pitch black, I have to sleep with a flashlight turned on the entire night.

All these memories have resurfaced now that I have to teach my own children how to handle their fears.  This last year, they were terrified to go upstairs alone, and as much as it drove us CRAZY, I could also understand it, because I remember going down hallways and being so scared to look into dark corners or dark doorways, or even to close a door and see what might behind it or in a closet.  I would picture a scary or ugly face and was so worried that when I looked in those dark places, I would suddenly see that horrible face there, even though I knew how ridiculous it was.

Now with my own children, I put my laundry on when they go to sleep so they can hear noise.  I leave nightlights on and the bathroom light.  I put music on a sleep timer for them and let the light from the cd player act as a nightlight for them.  I promise to check on them in a little while to see if they are ok.  And most recently, I will occasionally make myself busy upstairs for a half hour so that my sons can fall asleep more easily.  This being said, I don't accept any crap from them at bedtimes, complains, fake injuries and random requests are ignored.  Discipline is given and privileges are taken away if these things and my patience with them and their fears are abused.

I only share these things with you all because I think alot of people don't understand childrens' fears of the dark.  You can't rationalize fear away, you can't force or discipline it away.  I think you can just give them ways to cope with and handle it until they grow up to use self control and their brain is developed enough that they are able rationalize themselves through the moment.  So happy bedtimes to you, and don't ever lock me in the dark or I will attack you like an animal and probably bite your face off!