Sunday, January 22, 2012

Injustice on the playground

I was saddened by something I saw today. Something, in fact that I saw several times. I took the owlet to an indoor play area to burn off some energy before I snapped, but they closed early and he still had oodles of energy to burn. So, we went to my library because I knew they had lots of stuff for kiddos to play with.

The owlet did great. He was calm and didn't run off, like I half expected him to do. He walked around and checked stuff out, and over and over again, bigger kids ripped toys out of his hands, or told him he couldn't play with things.

Like, the kitchen set.

A girl no more than 6, was completely guarding the little pretend kitchen so that my son who only wanted to open and close the cabinet, couldn't play.

Part of me REALLY wanted to say something. And maybe I should have. At what point do you step in and parent someone else's child? I see this type of thing every day in the library. Kids running rampant, pulling books off the shelves, wrestling, or whatever, while their parents sit on the computer, zoned out. Or on their Nintendo DS, like one mom was today. Yes, it's a library, but that doesn't make it a parent free zone. But it's different when my kid is involved. At one point I did step up and say something, when the owlet pulled a block out of a wheelbarrow that another boy was using. (This kid, by the way, had now taken every single block, tool and other such thing, so there was barely anything left to play with. Plus, with the kitchen being barricaded by another lovely, I was half expecting the owlet to say "eff this" and take off.)

Where was I? Oh, right. The other little boy almost ripped the toy out of the owlet's hand, and I said, "it's ok if he plays with that for a second. He's just a little guy." The boy looked at me like how DARE I tell him what to do, but he let the owlet play with it.

It's interesting. Because the other day I was at one of those play areas in the mall. It was very small and VERY crowded, mostly with moms of several kids of varying ages. I think they were having a playgroup. Anyway. These moms, for the most part, were much more vigilant about watching their kids. I heard them say several times, "watch out for the little guy," or "wait your turn." What made this different than the library? The lack of other things to do? These moms could have zoned out just as easily as the ones at the library. They could have been on their phones, or been gossiping and not have noticed. Maybe it was the difference in safety. The kids in the library can't go that far (even though the library is big) whereas at the mall, they could take off and be gone in a flash.

I don't really know. All I know is that when I am out anywhere with the owlet, I watch him like a hawk. Or, a momma owl. Either way, my eyes don't leave him. I want him to know that I'm watching him. That I'm present, even if I'm sitting back, letting him explore.

And if one more of these little beings thinks they can be rude to my child because their parent can't even be bothered to be in the same room as them, they best be watching out. Because Momma Owlet is going to come down hard on them and teach them some manners and a little word called "Sharing."

Friday, January 20, 2012


A while back, like when the owlet was just a wee little thing, instead of the almost 2 year old he is now, I realized that I do not do well on minimal sleep.

I also realized that when I don't get enough sleep, or am awoken in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, I become a very, very terrible person.

The kind of person who, albeit briefly, understands why some people get to the point of hurting their children. It needs to be said, however, that in my fully awake, caffeinated, rational mind, I would NEVER dream of hurting my child, and that the very thought makes me sick. HOWEVER. There are times, like at 3am, when the owlet has flopped around for an hour and a half and refused to go back to sleep, both in his crib and in bed with me, that I have come close to losing it.

On more than one occasion, I have actually lost it. Although I have never struck my child. And I never will.

Yes, I have screamed, and yelled. I even said the title of that book. (You know the one.)

And the following morning, after I looked at my little sleeping guy, all peaceful and breathing deeply, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of love, and of sadness and anger at myself. No one deserves to be yelled at like that. Yes, he's 16 months, and no, he won't remember it. But I will.

The day after this happened most recently, I apologized to him. I told him that I was sorry I yelled at him. I explained to him, even though he couldn't understand, that Mommy does not do well on very little sleep. I told him that I don't ever want him to be afraid of me. That I don't want him to think that anger is the way to solve problems. Because it's not.

But we inch ever closer to the Terrible Two's. To the days of wanting to rip my hair out. To the days where I am going to be tired of telling him "the dog is not for hitting." "We don't throw our cup at the tv." Where it will be easier to smack his hand after he slaps me in the face instead of explaining to him that hitting hurts and is not ok and sitting him on the floor.

Which reminds me. Why do people hit kids after they hit someone to tell them that hitting is wrong? I never understood it. And maybe, if nothing else, that will be the reminder in the back of my mind to not smack his hand after he smacks me.

Because I want him to go into life being able to express himself in healthy ways. I've been trying to model healthy expression of feelings to him. I say things to him like "I know you're frustrated, but we don't throw our toys."

But its hard to remember this at 3am. It's even harder to remember it when he's smacked me in the face a bunch of times, and fussed for no reason.

What's not hard to remember though, is that this little guy is my world. The center of my universe. Temper tantrums and all, and I love him no matter what. Face smacking and all.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


It's been an eventful however many months since I last posted. The owlet is now 16 months old. He's into EV-ER-Ything. He doesn't listen to the word "no", or "uh-uh" or "we don't touch that." I am amazed that I still have hair, and that it's still not grey.

We took our first plane ride on Christmas Eve day (because we are crazy and gluttons for punishment, and because it is way cheaper to fly on Christmas Eve). The owlet did amazingly well. I, being the worry wart that I am, was worried that he would do his annoying car scream the entire plane ride and that our fellow passengers would give us glaring looks and kick us off the plane, but, nope! He did fabulously. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that his grandparents were on the flight, and they got to entertain him. Plus he didn't have to feel me tense up as the plane took off (that's my least favorite part) or landed (my second least favorite part), which I think helped.

Why'd we fly? Oh, right! I finally decided that I should see some of my family on Christmas this year, and we actually had enough money saved up to buy our plane tickets, so, we had a good ol' fashioned New Hampshire Christmas. It was a great Christmas for the owlet, who got not one, not two but 5 Christmases total! I'm glad he's still so young, I don't want him to think that he's going to get 5 Christmases every year. But it was great. He's adorable, and family that had yet to meet him were instantly in love with him. How could they not be?

I am pretty proud of myself too, because I managed to make a felt quiet book in my spare time, while also making Christmas gifts for family members. Yup. Me. I don't sew (and didn't really have to sew much for this book), and it didn't turn out half as good as I wanted, but I did it. I'll do another blog post soon with the details.

So, other things have been keeping me away from blogging. Namely, DOCTOR WHO. Oh my gosh. Do you guys watch this show? Because, holy crap. You should. I started seeing all these pictures on pinterest (are you on pinterest, by the way? You should be.) and I thought, hmmm. This show seems quirky and weird (and who on earth is that foxy man?)
And so I told the hubs I wanted to watch it, and after he stopped looking utterly surprised, he told me that he had the first series of the NEW Doctor on his computer, and after 1 episode I was Hooked, with a capital H. Seriously. I am obsessed. I can proudly say that I am a New Whovian.

I've also been reading like my life depends on it. I've made a goal for myself to read 30 books this year. That's more than 2 a month, for those of you not good with the maths. So far I've read 3, so I'm doing pretty good, as its only January something. And seeing as how I work in a library and constantly find more books that I want to read, I think I'll hit 30 with no problems.

So, that's what I've been up to for the past 4 months. What about you? What's been keeping you busy, sane, or insane?