Small’s birthday party is tomorrow. My dad arrives today. I spent yesterday cleaning, mostly because I wanted a good, clean house two days in a row. The clutter has already taken over, so I have very little to show for the two days of hard, unpleasant work. At least the banister is clean. The bathrooms need cleaning again. I will work on putting things together, for the sake of my dad.
I have ten RSVPs for the birthday party, not including the parents that are coming to supervise. (Good thing it’s only ten, I only have 14 gift bags.) Parents that stay have a point. It’s a pool party, and even though we have a lifeguard I’ve never bought they were a part of a safety plan. Maybe if I ever saw one do anything more than kick teenagers out of the kiddie pool I would feel differently. We’re also driving to the pizzeria after our allotted swim time. Some people don’t want their kids driving in other people’s cars.
She is going to be seven. It seems so old. She’s already not a baby anymore, she’s a kid. It hasn’t gone so fast as people warned me. I think it’s for two reasons. #1, I practiced a lot of attachment parenting. She slept with me most of the time and I carried her in a moby wrap while she was a baby and an ergo carrier when she got to be a toddler. (I used that until she was too heavy for me. It works up to 90 pounds, though. The ergo helped a lot on cranky days. I’d pop her in the back and she was mostly quiet and content after that.) #2 I was right there with her most of the time. I have the luxury and privilege of being a mostly stay at home mom. What ever jobs I had were only an hour/few hours a stretch. I did take much needed breaks, she was an active, spirited child, and I ‘m not a perfect mom. Often I was an inattentive mom. There were days she woke up looking stretched out – as if she was two inches taller. However, time didn’t slip by. Some days were long, a few were short, but I mostly got to be right there, watching her grow up.
Knowing she is probably my first and last has made me parent and observe more intently. I am sure that my friends with four, five + kids are still attentive to them, but it must be different. I don’t choose who gets to pick the story. I make whatever she wants for breakfast. You can’t carry twins in an ergo. Of course these memories are nostalgia.
Is Small spoiled? I always saw a spoiled kid as one that didn’t accept the final word of their parents. We were in a yogurt shop with a lot of gumball machines. This little girl came in begging her mom for a toy from the machine. She was yelling, asking over and over again and mom said, “no” several times. Mom ordered the yogurt and got her change. Then she gave the money to her daughter to let her get whatever she liked from the machine. “No” did not mean “no”, it meant keep whining and I’ll let you do whatever you want. I don’t want to judge her, but I am a judgmental person, and I saw that as spoiling the child. We make every effort not to do things like this and we don’t listen to whining.
I’m not done raising Small, and I guess in some ways I never will be. This blog is not intended to be a parenting manual, even though it may seem like it, lately. I have a friend, T, who requested parenting information, so here you go! If there is anything else any of you want me to write about, drop me a note or leave a comment and I will do so.