Tag Archives: Mommy Time

Toddler Friends — She’s Just Not That Into Him

Girl trouble already. Sigh. Aren’t we a little bit young for this?

Spencer and I went out to breakfast this morning with some of my mom friends (yay! Mommy time!). One of them, C., brought her 3-year-old daughter M. and a little girl she watches, 2-year-old Ch. The two girls, who spend one morning a week with one another are clearly toddler friends and sat next to one another during the meal. Spencer sat next to me in the corner so I could minimize any damage, noise, floods, tornadoes, etc. that a toddler could cause in a small restaurant.

When we were finished eating, we gathered up front to say our goodbyes, the two toddler friends holding one another’s hands. Spencer, keen on anybody his size, toddled over to the girls. “Hi kids!,” he said, smiling. Wanting to part of the toddler friends action, he stood next M. and tried to take hold of her free hand. M., just a toddler herself and in a “boys are yucky” stage, was having none of it. She didn’t tell him no, but she wouldn’t offer her hand up to him and she kept turning her whole self away from him. (She was probably unimpressed by his syrup-stained M&M shirt [orange today] and his sticky fingers.)

Apparently Spencer is not a good reader of body language, because he kept trying. Unfortunately, M. kept rebuffing him. My friend C. was embarrassed. “M.!” she said, “Hold Spencer’s hand!” When M. still refused, C. moved on to Ch., but she wasn’t interested either.

I felt so bad for Spencer. He didn’t understand what was going on. He wasn’t upset or crying or anything, but the look of bewilderment on his face just made my heart break. He just wanted to be part of the crowd. When you are two years old, everyone is supposed to be your friend. Everyone likes you. How do I explain to him that sometimes it doesn’t quite work that way? (And that sometimes, girls can be very silly?)

We left not too long after, me happily taking my little guy’s hand as we headed back to the car. He looked up at me brightly. “Hi Mommy!” he said, smiling once more. “We walk together?”

Awww. Who wouldn’t want to be toddler friends with someone as sweet as that?

Want to learn more about Spencer? Check out Shock and Aww on Facebook and my other parenting blog, We Are Both Right. Also, I’m on Twitter too. (Because I have all this time on my hands.

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Filed under Third Year

Mommy Time? I’m In!

The promise of mommy time all started with an e-mail late Thursday night. It was from a friend in my bookclub. It was sent to our whole group and it said that “we” were meeting a local restaurant for breakfast at 9:30 the next morning and was anyone interested in joining in.

My friend has three kids so I figured that was the “we” she was referring to. I was excited to go but wasn’t sure if my own “we” — the three kids and I — would be able to go. The four of us are pretty slow starters in the morning and I wasn’t sure what time they would be waking up as they had gone to bed pretty late. I e-mailed my friend, told her that I wasn’t sure but I’d let her know once the sun was up.

I was excited about spending some mommy time with my friends. T. has been working a lot — a lot — and while I’ve been having fun keeping the busy with the kids all summer long, honestly, I could use a break (even if it was for just an hour over eggs). I do get time to myself at night, but usually by then I’m so tired I just end up going to sleep. Or worse, since I haven’t gotten any writing done during the day, I end up working for a few hours.

Plus, I hadn’t seen my friends in a while and was looking forward to catching up. Mommy time with kids present sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but it actually works quite well most of the time, especially with this group. There are about a dozen of us, on or off, all with kids of different ages. We have perfected the art of meeting as a group, the moms getting a chance to chat while the kids pretty much entertain themselves. Obviously we are watching the children, but with a whole bunch of playmates around to keep one another busy, everyone is able to have a great time.

Generally we meet at someone’s house, the park or the beach, but I didn’t see anything unusual in meeting at a restaurant. I googled the place. I had never been there, and was surprised at the choice — it looked a little small and frankly, a bit too nice for a handful of mommies and their kids — but I figured my friend knew what she was doing.

As it turns out she did, but I didn’t.

Want to read more about Spencer? Check out Shock and Aww on Facebook and my other parenting blog, We Are Both Right.

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Filed under Third Year

I Didn’t Realize Mother’s Guilt Could Extend All the Way to the West Indies

I am laying on lounge chair on a beach. But not just any beach. A Jamaican beach on a private island. One with turquoise-blue waters and the softest, whitest sand you can imagine. The sun is strong and summery on this February day, but not oppressively hot, in part thanks to a warm breeze that has been dancing and swirling since I’ve been outside. To one side of me is a drink resting in the sand — a fruity, alcoholic concoction that tastes as sweet as its pink color implies — on the other, my husband T., blissfully asleep, a floppy hat perched on his head and a book on his chest.

A Caribbean vacation without the children. The ultimate in tranquility for parents.

Too bad mother’s guilt doesn’t do sojourns.

Ninety-eight percent of me is relaxed. Reading a book and stopping when I want to stop, not when I hear yelling from the next room. I’m sleeping and waking when my body tells me to, not when the alarm clock does or a certain toddler I live with demands it in the middle of the night. I’m eating slow, leisurely dinners and having entire conversations with T. and not being interrupted. I’m dancing and swimming and walking and I don’t have to keep an eye out on anyone else. I’m wearing fancy clothes, not giving a second thought to whether or not there are toddler-sized handprints on my rear.

Content.

The other two percent is wishing I were some 1,500-odd miles away, bundling up in freezing-cold temperatures, staring out the window at dirty-gray snow turned slush, making grilled cheese for lunch and treating myself to a hot chocolate where my companion for the day also wants to read before he naps, although he much prefers “Peek-a-Boo What?” and “Baby at the Farm” to the latest on the New York Times best-seller list.

Sounds awesome right? But I miss my babies.

Home. The noise. The mess. The hugs.

My mother’s guilt got her wish soon enough, the respite coming to an end as they always do.

Truly though, I have no issue with going away without my children (or the majority of me doesn’t anyway). I need the break, the chance to take a breath, to eat food that otherwise would be deemed “ewww” by the little people I live with, to go a few days without having to do laundry. After a vacation with my husband (and in this case with good friends too) I am more relaxed, more even-tempered.

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Filed under Second Year

Mommy Time is Very Different Than Ma-Ma Time

This is how badly I need some mommy time. This post is about a mommy time weekend I took with my girlfriends.

A month ago.

I shouldn’t really complain. Because if I’m going to have a limited amount of mommy time, this was the way to spend it. It was a wonderful couple of days. We were just an hour away from home at a resort right on the water. There were 12 of us altogether — a group of mommies mostly sprung up from a playgroup we created when our daughters were young, but some from other activities too — our bookclub, sports, etc. It’s a great lot — one of those rare instances where every person in the group gets along just fine with every other person.

It was strange packing for a mommy time trip. I only had to think about myself. One toothbrush. A reasonable amount of clothing. Snacks that I wanted to eat (read: no Fruit Roll-ups or animal crackers.) My Reader. My iPod. And the funny thing was, I could actually pack those things with the intention of using them so I had to choose my books and music carefully!

We all arrived Friday afternoon, excited and ready to relax. It took me a little while to acclimate. To go to a restaurant and not have to think about what the kids wanted to eat. To start a vacation as soon as I arrive, rather than needing to unpack and making sure that everyone else was settled. To shop and browse without being asked for something or having to stop because someone had to go to the bathroom. Even to just ride in the car to the resort and be able to talk with my friend and not be constantly interrupted.

The best part I think though, was to be able to sit on the beach and not have to worry about watching a child. My whole life, I have lived within fifteen minutes of the beach (for the past ten years, I’m just five minutes away) so it’s a place I go to often. But since C. came along, I have completely forgotten what it is like to go to the beach without having to bring an assortment of toys and swim goggles (that inevitably get left behind), seven towels, two bottles of sunscreen, juice boxes that leak and packages of crushed goldfish crackers that taste *delicious* after they’ve sat in the sand for a little while. Not to mention, when you hit the beach with kids, it quickly turns into a place where you go to relax to a place you are on high alert. The water, the waves, the crowds — I’m a nervous Nelly at the beach.

Not this time. Let me tell you, it was amazing going to the beach with just adults. It’s a good thing this trip was the last of my beach jaunts for the season, because it would have been very hard to hit the sand my normal way (with kids) so soon after. I read. I lounged. I took a nap. It was heavenly.

But as much fun as I had that weekend, Sunday morning came in just the right amount of time though. Although I was loving my mommy time, I missed the kids and T. very much. Usually I’m sad when a vacation comes to an end, and I was, but it was nice to have something — someones — to look forward to.

How do you make time for mommy time?

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Filed under Second Year

Trying to Muster Up Some Interest in Mommy Time

When I gave birth to Spencer I knew I was going to say goodbye to the very little mommy time I had. Let’s face it. Something had to give, and since I couldn’t exactly cut back on cooking dinner or doing laundry, mommy time was the first to go.

Not that I had that much to begin with. But I think sometimes I use Spencer as an excuse not to go out, not to find some mommy time for myself.

I don’t know why. I have a lovely group of friends who go to the movies and out for walks and other things on occasion. In fact tomorrow night my book club is meeting — something I always used to look forward to. But the thought of leaving the house just leaves me so, I don’t know, fatigued, that I’d much rather stay home.

But it’s not exactly about leaving the house either. I do that plenty. Three kids in tow and we are off to wherever — the grocery store, the playground the ecology center. We haven’t been sitting around this summer.

And it’s not like I can’t leave the kids. T.’s amazing and Spencer takes a bottle. I don’t have anything to worry about on the home front.

I know it sounds like a tired old breakup line, but truly, it’s not them, it’s me.

The thing is, when I do go out, when I force myself to socialize, I do have a good time. I love my friends and I always come away from whatever it is we do happy and loose — like my reset button has been pushed. Taking some mommy time for myself actually helps me to relax in other parts of my life.

But lately I just can’t muster up an enthusiasm for going anywhere but my couch.

I feel as if I am swimming underwater. I hear things going on around me and I can see stuff happening, but everything is too blurry and muted for me to make it out.

I wonder when I’ll feel like coming up for air.

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Filed under First Year