Sunday, July 18, 2010

What I learned today

When the 3-year-old tells you she washed her hands, don't wait for water to pour out of the bathroom before making sure the faucet has been turned completely off.

A foot can be a very long distance for a potty learner.

Two quiet babies could be ...
..emptying the bottle of sunscreen on themselves, the floor and the contents of the diaper bag.
..under the table contentedly tearing apart and chewing up a kleenex.
..eating kitty litter (thank goodness I just cleaned the box).
..discovering the tactile joy of digging in the flower pot. And discovering the flavor of marigolds.

Bibs are useless with babies who stick their fingers in their mouths and then grab their pants, feet and hair. And then chew on the back of the chair.

Even a fall of two centimeters can be fatal for a juice bottle.

It takes 3 minutes and 23 seconds to put all of the DVDs back on the shelves.

Fuchsia crepe paper turns little wet fingers and lips fuchsia.

The sun bleaches out carrot and tomato stains. But you still have to wash them first.

Toddlers understand everything you tell them, they just don't want you to know it.

My daughter is manipulating me with her little round baby eyes.

My son has his father's puppy-dog eyes. And he's manipulating me, too.

What did you learn today?

Monday, July 12, 2010


I'm a mom.

But that's not all I am.

At least in theory. In reality it's difficult to be much else. Like the workaholic who defines his life by his job, the mother has a job that becomes her life - the fullest-time job, a job that she loves without limit despite the pain and anxiety it occasionally brings.

Maybe I should specify that I am a mother of small children, and possibly mothers of older children would claim that because of the reduction of their working hours they find the time to be something more than a mom. To find their selves. The rest of the self that got left behind with the birth of their children.

I mean, their children can walk, feed and clothe themselves, go to school. So much!

But what happens after that - when they start dating, driving, drinking? Then the maternal anxiety returns.

If it ever went away. Because that is the hardest part of being a mom: the worry. We worry about what could happen. We worry about what the children are doing, and what they're not doing. We worry that we're not doing enough, or that we're doing too much. The responsibility is the proverbial weight on our shoulders, and even the most caring of husbands and fathers aren't able to carry a part of this weight.

So who are we moms? Is it different for the stay-at-home-mom than for the working mom? You know, you Rabenmütter, abandoning your children to pursue your own interests (right, or the survival of your family). Sometimes I envy you. But not too often. You have the job that ends at 5pm, but you still have the job that never ends waiting for you at home.

Is it different to be a mother of one? Two? Four? Twins? Triplets? What about when your children are 30 and getting married and having their own children? How are we moms then?

I guess I'll have to wait a few years to find out.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Just a few Chloé-isms (keeping in mind that this is her speaking to me, not to her dad):

Est-ce que daddy's coming?

Benno hurt sur le doigt.

I want auch juice dans my cup.

Maman auch. Maman too.

I cannot.

I too.

Mommy auch is big.

Qu'est-ce que tu mach?

Est-ce que tu fais des courses? Est-ce que tu fa- go shopping?

Poop de chien.