May 2007


Joelle, the avid non-swimmer, took a dip today in a pond during her day camp at Camp Tadpole.  She told me that she had fallen all the way in the water and that she had her eyes open under the water.  She said that all the fishes had swam away.  I couldn’t believe how unphased she was by all this, so I surmised that her head hadn’t really gone under the water.  It’s a really shallow pond at the Audubon “forest” near our home.  When I vocalized that maybe Joelle hadn’t gone all the way under water to Nana, she triumphantly delivered the fact that her hair ribbon had been curly and was now straight.  It’s amazing what these kids notice!

Apparently, one of the junior counselors scooped her out and then she was given special privileges (first to get a popsicle).  She was also dubbed the “pond princess.”  A title that pleased her.  Josh, her buddy at Camp Tadpole, didn’t miss a beat and decided that he would be the “sweat king.”

We’ve decided that Joelle is eerily “one upping” us.  I had minor surgery on my head last week to remove a benign cyst.  It was minor, but enough to warrant a prescription for pain medicine.  That evening, Joelle had the worst accident she’s ever had.  She was running home with me from a friend’s house and took a full face plant on the concrete.  I still can’t get the sound of her precious head hitting concrete out of my head.  We still wonder if she should have had a stitch.  I carried her halfway down our block with the blood streaming out. 

Nana started her water aerobics last week with a swimming pool incident.  She got caught twisted on her noodle and went under water.  For those that don’t know, Nana can’t swim.  So, a lifeguard had to dive in after her.  Does little Joelle hear these stories and somehow conjure up ill fated fortune?  She needs a lesson from Tia Maria on how to envision positive things!  (Although she seems peculiarly ok with having taken a dip in the pond.  Maybe she’ll swim yet…)

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“And with all the party invitations stuffed into parents’ mailboxes these days, making her children’s birthday parties the ones that parents clamor to place on their youngster’s social calendar is definitely a priority.”  (Absolutely! Memorial by Kathy Suerth)

No, I’m not making this up.  It was taken from an article about throwing birthday parties for your child(ren).  I hope that if I ever get this crazy, someone will shake some sense into me.  Or, tell me to find a job.

Which leads me to something else that has been on my mind…  I’m reading a new book for book club:  The Feminine Mistake.  The author asserts that women should not stay home with their children because it makes us economically vunerable.  I think she says we are making a “willfully retrograde choice.”  For obvious reasons, this put me into a bit of a foul mood for a few days.  Who likes to hear that they are ruining all the work done by the feminist movement and are putting themselves at risk if their husband divorces them, is disabled or dies? 

Luckily, Bennetts arguments haven’t dazzled me thus far.  I will concede that it is true that if something were to happen to our marriage, I would definitely be more vunerable.  It is Chris who has gotten his MBA and continued to make strides in the working world.  If I go back to work in 10 years, I will be starting over.  I’m ok with that.  I am confident that I would always be able to provide for myself.  It may not be at the same level as I am now, but even working women would find themselves at a lower income bracket if they divorced.  Isn’t that the biggest drawback of divorce?  If I am worth $138,000 a year (quoted on the Today show), as a mom who stays home, wouldn’t Chris find himself economically setback if we were separated?  Certainly, his quality of life would suffer if he didn’t start paying someone to do all the cleaning, cooking, etc.  I would rather enjoy my 30s now with my children and have to work when I’m 40-60.  I honestly always felt that I didn’t want children if I couldn’t enjoy them.

She says that we’re letting down women by not fighting for better workplace environments for families.  Wouldn’t I be letting down myself if I didn’t stay home?  This is my choice.  Maybe I’ll be encouraging more leniancy towards women who have taken a hiatus to raise kids and want to return to the workforce.  Maybe companies can have aggressive training programs for those who haven taken a decade to raise kids.

It’s strange that I consider myself a pessimist and can so easily dismiss the tragedies spun by Bennett’s forecast of my future.  I guess I have complete faith in Chris and in myself. 

Although I have a dreaded cold (hate colds in the summer), I enjoyed my mother’s day.  I got to see one daughter dance and snuggled with the other for a marathon nappie.  I love falling asleep to the sound of that binky being sucked. 

*I recently asked Joelle if she wanted to take cheerleading or soccer this fall. She seriously contemplated my question and responded, “I’d like to cheer for a soccer team.” Maybe she can start attending Uncle Danny’s ultimate games and cheer? Would he be too embarressed?

*Last night, Joelle was devastated when she lost one of two stickers from her hand. Chris and I should not, at this point, be amazed at what children prize and treasure, but we are still suprised. Before Joelle broke out into sobs, Chris told Joelle that, “sometimes stickers fall off.” I’m not sure if his gem of wisdom inspired her sobbing or if it was already coming…

*This morning, Joelle climbed in bed. She had been sent back once at 6:30 (too early for mommie). She always asks for a banana story. I have no idea how it got started, but I make up a story about a banana every morning… and an eggplant. This is why I have to send her back if she comes too early. Try making up a banana AND an eggplant story right when you wake up in the morning. Anyway, the eggplant story today was about an eggplant who traveled around to different countries and visited a McDonald’s in each country he visited (sound familiar, Chris?) I started making up funny things that each McDonald’s served. Maria, you’ll be happy to know that the eggplant did visit Colombia in his worldwide McDonald quest. Joelle specifically made sure I included Colombia. When I got to Germany, I said, “they serve beer!” Joelle laughed at that and said, “Beer instead of chocolate milk for a happy meal!!”

After dropping Joelle off at school today, I lingered to catch up with some of my mommie friends.  It’s only recently that I’ve been able to participate in the Joelle drop off with Elise in tow and everyone is anxious to see little Lisey Pie.  Elise was sitting on my lap because I was trying to get her to finish off her bottle that she started before we left.  Her tiny girlfriend, Elizabeth (5 months), was sitting on her mommie’s lap.  Elise let out one of her complaining chit chat sequences.  I think the translation would go something like this, “mommie, I’ve had enough of the bottle.  Kindly take it away from my face.  now.  I don’t want to tell you again.”  Her talking caught baby Elizabeth’s attention and she cooed back to Elise.  Elise immediately copied the same tone and repeated back what Elizabeth said.  I almost didn’t realize that it was Elise talking because it sounded so identical to what Elizabeth had said.  I only knew because I could feel her little chest vibrating when she talked and because all the other moms saw it and said how cute it was.  Anyway, the two girls carried on a tiny conversation back and forth for a bit.  Then, Elizabeth tried with all her might to reach out and grab Elise and Elise couldn’t take her eyes off of her friend.  It was really hilarious.  Joelle probably didn’t even see another baby until 9 months!  Meanwhile, Elise has quite a social circle already.  (Baby Riley was also there (2 weeks older than Elise) and Elise got to catch up with baby Caroline at lunch (6 weeks younger than Elise.)