Thinking about becoming a Soap Dodger…and First Dates

Wednesday afternoon and all is well.  Things are good here and it’s been a pretty mellow week.  We made it back to playgroup finally last Thursday—yay!  It is always good for my mental sanity when I have other adults to talk to, particularly other mothers.  I am learning, though that I do need to relax a bit when it comes to time.  Zach has become so difficult to deal with lately.  I am pretty sure it’s a control issue, in that he wants more than he has, but I do feel Steve and I are doing a pretty good job at giving him choices and being flexible as much as we can, and I think sometimes, he is just being a jerk.  He slows us down constantly, whether we are trying to leave the house, or leave whatever we are doing to head back home, by throwing tantrums over every little issue that comes up.  Our mornings, especially the mornings when we all need to get to school and work, usually climax in me finally losing patience and starting to rant that we are late and need to get moving NOW. That of course results in major waterworks on his part, frustration on Drew’s, and a rise in blood pressure for me.  Once I get where we need to be, I realize that I have time to spare and then feel guilty for the rest of the day…until the next morning when we start the process again. 

I am really impressed with how well the boys are learning to swim.  Drew can get across the short end of a pool on his own entirely and is fun to watch and even Zach is going tiny distances under water on his own.  It is fun to watch their skills progress and it makes me feel much safer to be around water with them.

Friday night, Steve and I got a babysitter and were able to get out and meet another couple for dinner and a comedy club.  It was a VERY raunchy show in parts, but still very funny and of course I learned more Aussie slang and jokes.  It was great to get out! 

That night Steve got a horrible stomach bug or maybe an issue related to food.  We’re not sure, but either way, he had an awful night, and the kids haven’t been sleeping fabulously either, so he especially was pretty worn out the next day.  He was such a trooper though and handled the kids and kept our arrangement for me to meet a friend to shop for clothes for my three boys, have lunch and then get the gift certificate redeemed for the manicure/pedicure he had given me for Christmas before it expired.  😉  In order to do all this I had to drive across the city and back on my own.  The car and I both survived, barely and not without a panicked call to Steve to help me figure out where I was on the way back.  Driving over here is nuts!   Road signs are very few and far between, and in no real pattern.  When it is time to make a turn, if you are lucky and look in every possible place you think a street name sign might lurk, you will usually find one, but it is nearly impossible to find signs to verify the road you are on at the time.  The street names change often, along the same street, and the city is laid out on nothing resembling any sort of grid whatsoever.  Plus streets come in at odd angles and intersections may be made up of any number of streets.

All that aside, the scariest thing to me is that, while driving (I tend to stay in the left, or slow lane to minimize the number of angry drivers behind me), with no warning at all, there will be cars parked IN the lane!  That’s right, IN the lane—no, the lane does not end, the cars are parked IN the lane.  It creates a titillating driving experience for sure!   Plus, as most people know, I do not have a reputation as the best driver in the U.S. and have never been confident in cities or at night, so here I am pretty hopeless.  But I did it! 

Mother’s Day was beautiful.  For the first time, I was pampered and showered with love by my own child on this holiday and it was a truly touching experience.  Drew ‘got’ the holiday for the first time this year, and he could not stop wriggling with excitement over how he wanted to make me feel special.  He couldn’t get past Saturday night without giving me the surprise he had made at school and kind of had shown me every day until Saturday, even throwing an all out tantrum on Friday morning when Steve told him it wasn’t yet Mother’s Day.  Now I know the school created the project and helped guide the kids through it quite a bit, but it had Drew in it, and was personal to us, so I completely consider it his gift to me.  He wrote his own name on it, and drew a picture of the two of us, excitedly pointing out to me that he gave himself three feet to be silly.  The teachers typed up some statements they somehow prompted him to say about us, and the two he had on there were so personal to our relationship.  The whole gift brought tears to my eyes.  I have reached the stage in motherhood where my child can express his love for me in his own unique way, and there is no more innocent or pure way to express love for another person than the way it is done by a child.  It is beautiful.  I have never seen a person more overcome with love for another person than he was that day for me, and I feel so privileged to have that memory.  This is truly a great time in parenthood—not only can he express his love for us, but he also unashamedly knows that he loves us more than anything else on earth and is happy to show it—truly incredible! 

The next morning Steve had them help him make me breakfast in bed, again such a trooper because he had to still be very run down.  Drew was again bursting with excitement at doing something nice for me.  He also saw nothing odd about the fact that I was up doing chores and then getting back into bed for the breakfast.  It allowed him to pull out the bag of mushrooms and shout “Look Mommy, we’re making mushrooms for you, just like you wanted!”  We later took them out to ride their bikes and had a picnic in a park and it was simply a gorgeous day. 

We met two American mothers that day in the park, through Steve hearing them speak and asking where they were from.  The first was actually from Colorado, which was very exciting until she appeared to be quite a snob.  The second was from Seattle and very nice and we all had a good chat.  Then Steve asked me if I had asked for her number and I said no because I was too embarrassed.  He saw her leaving with her sons and told me to buck up and go over and ask for her number.  Making friends is so much like dating!  It’s so scary!  I did and she gave it to me and told me her husband has been telling her she needs to get out and make friends as well.  Isn’t it funny what we all go through and what we may miss out on by being scared?  She told me I had a nice husband to encourage me to approach her—I agree.  Now, I need to get up the courage to invite her and her boys to meet us somewhere… be continued.  😉

This week has been going well.  Zach no longer really needs the asthma puffer for now and he didn’t cry the last two days when we dropped him off at school.   However, he did cry at home when we told him he was going to school that day which was very sad.  And, he is actually starting to participate in the music and story groups we go to, and it is just adorable to watch him come out of his shell and listen to instruction.  We are all trying. 

One funny observation:  it is getting COLD in our house!  The temperatures at night are down in the upper 40s sometimes and 50s regularly, and the house is all windows and no heater.  I have never experienced my own home being so cold!  In the mornings it is colder in the house than it is outside!  I am used to getting cold outside and warming up inside, not the opposite!  Plus our shower door has been broken for ages and it is cold in that darn shower.  I can now see why Aussies say the English are ‘soap dodgers’.  It’s not a nice nickname, but I don’t think they have many heaters in their homes either and when it’s so cold, who wants to shower?! 

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