Friday, April 25, 2008

Illogical Desires

My friends are very impressed that I know all the words to every Music Together song ever written. This is because I have done MT just about every semester since Sam was 9 months old. First with Sam, then with Jack, now with Ben.

My boys seem to get bored of the music classes by 3 years old, so I figure I have one or two semesters left with Ben. Today, I was twirling him around and around to the music, totally soaking in his squeals of laughter and delight. And all of a sudden, like someone through a brick through a window and it hit me square in the chest, I had a wave of "I don't want this to be the end."

Trying not to get choked up, I was present with the thought that Ben is more than likely my last baby. He starts preschool next year. He moved into the big boys' bedroom where there is no rocker so I don't rock him to sleep anymore. He'd rather be riding bikes in the driveway with his brothers than snuggled up on my lap reading a book.

Over and over, the "I don't want this to be the end" tape played in my mind. But EVERY SINGLE logical reason tells me that we should be done. The truth is, at some point we have to be done. What if we do have another? That little guy is also some day going to turn two. He too will grow up and grow out of music classes and being rocked and laptime cuddles. I can't just keep having babies forever.

But if you are done, should you really feel such a strong tugging at your heart? Should dancing with your two year old really make you cry? When you sit down to dinner with your family, shouldn't you feel some sense of completion rather than noticing the empty chair at the table?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Schoolyard Kisses

I volunteer in Sam's classroom or on the school playground whenever I possibly can. I love the bird's eye view of him in action.

Last year (when he was in K), I was in his classroom helping out for one hour every week. He absolutely LOVED my classroom days. In first grade parents aren't given the option to volunteer so frequently. I asked his teacher why and she told me that kids don't usually want their parents around as much. "Ha," I thought, smugly, "Sam and I have a very close relationship. He would love for me to be around."

I first noticed a slight shift at Sam's Halloween parade this year. I had to catch him as he was parading by to get a hello out him. No more of him peering through the crowds to find me. This little dance, of him pretending his doesn't see me or want me to come over to him has turned into a big laugh between us. So today as he was running laps during recess, I ran up to him and grabbed him in a big hug, while he wiggled away, laughing.

I picked him up from the bus stop as always this afternoon and made a joke about him trying to avoid me during recess. Usually we get a good laugh out of this together, our own little game.

But today, after he laughed, he said, "Mom?"

"Yes, Babe?"

"Would it be okay if you don't kiss me anymore at school?"

"Sure, honey. That'd be okay." (Deep breaths.)

He grabbed my hand and we continued our walk home. "But can you please still lie down with me at bedtime until I fall asleep?"

Fly little birdy, fly.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Husbands and Wives

I have to say, as much as I adore husbands, they also baffle me. I am sure they say the same about wives. Today my husband and I had one of those communication experiences that confirm that women and men are indeed from different planets.

You need only the following background: our laundry is in the garage. We have two baskets - one for colored laundry, one for white laundry. (My mother insists we need a third basket for light colored laundry. I disagree. Thoughts from the blogosphere on that???)

Tonight, after Ben is bathed, dressed in his jammies, the books are read, his lights are out, and we are rocking in the rocker together, he looks at me with that unmistakable face, grimaces a bit, and proudly announces, "Poopy!"

Getting Ben to the point of lights out and rocking quietly is a looong process, so I am a bit dismayed that we have to turn on the lights and no doubt start the whole routine over. I open his door slightly so as not to disturb the other boys, get A's attention, and ask him to bring me the wipes. "What?" he says. "The wipes," I say, yelling in a whisper voice, a bit annoyed that he didn't hear me the first time.

There is a longer pause than I expect before he comes to Ben's door. He is carrying a full laundry basket.

"WHAT is that?" I ask.

"The whites," he says. "You asked me to bring you the whites."

"NO! The WIPES! Not the WHITES."


This little episode reminds me of our first fight in our first house. We were newlyweds, having our first dinner party at our new condo and I was a nervous wreck. I so desperately wanted everything to be perfect. I was running around doing 10 things at once while Aaron sort of stood back and watched me turn into a lunatic. The fact that he was standing there while I was taking multi-tasking to a whole new level was excruciating for me.

Our conversation went like this:

Me: A, can you please find something to do to help?"

A: OK. (Pause) Like what?

Me: I don't know. Go make sure the bathroom is clean.

A comes back less than a minute later.

A: Looks clean to me.

I go in the bathroom to inspect. While it is in fact technically clean, there is evidence of life in the house, such as soap not properly placed on a soap dish, hand towels not lying properly on their hook, etc. When it's your first dinner party, you care about these things and I couldn't believe my husband didn't see these "glaring" offenses.

Me (voice growing a bit shrieky, eyeballs starting to bulge): It is not clean. Will you please take care of this bathroom?

I went back to my million things to do and was busy for a while. We had about 10 minutes until the guests were to arrive and I was feeling just about ready. I then realized that I hadn't heard from A in a while. I walked in to the bathroom and saw him........ grouting the tile.

Me (ready to explode): WHAT............. are............. you............. DOING?

A: I don't know. The bathroom looked clean to me but you clearly wanted me to do something in here. I wasn't going to come out and ask you what to do so redoing the grout seemed better than nothing.


Now, it's funny. At the time. Not so funny. Now when I think about that story, I realize that I am insanely lucky that my new husband did not walk out the door and run for his dear life away from his lunatic wife.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Je t'aime Paris

I have always loved Paris. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the people (seriously, i love their attitude), the buildings, the arts. I secretly dream of moving there so that all future Timm generations will be Parisians.

In the meantime, I love Paris because they have put on the most effective protests to date over the Chinese human rights record and treatment of Tibetans. The Olympic torch traveled through the street of Paris today. The French athletes who carried the torch did so wearing protest patches of the Tibetan flag on their uniforms. The Paris mayor ordered a banner to be hung from City Hall reading "Paris: City of Human Rights." The French President has not ruled out boycotting the games. And so many French protestors took to the streets that the flame had to be extinguished, the torch put on a bus and driven through parts of the city.

I love it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I just found out I am pregnant with a GIRL!

April Foods.....

Raising Boys

Lately I have been trying to soak up all of the information I can on raising boys. I picked up a silly parenting magazine in the doctor's office yesterday with a two page article on raising boys written by a mom who has five. This little article was worth much more than all of the more intellectual books. Here is my favorite quote:

"You can raise your son any way you want and he is still going to burp the National Anthem the first chance he gets. You can raise your son as a Quaker, a vegan, or a pagan; he's still going to fight with his brother over an unused pen cap as though it was the Star of India. You can kiss him every night and sing to him of milkweed and nightengales and give him his own doll and play kitties with him instead of Navy SEALS. Go ahead. He's still going to make a gun from a toaster waffle and fire it across the table. He's still going to run through the house whipping a metal tape measure around his head."

Let's hear it for boys.