I have washed and dried my husband’s earphones twice already. Business cards have evaporated. Things I jammed in my own pockets to put away later get lost in the machines. Pebbles and shells I was asked to hold onto for the kids have shattered or clogged the lint screen. Dollar bills have been stripped of grime. Coins polished.
I don’t check the pockets. I know I should, but I don’t. One day I’ll learn. Besides, I like finding treasures that I thought I had lost for good, like this charm bracelet.
Oh dear! I hear something clicking in there.
By the time I was 4, I could recite the times table from 1-9 in Cantonese. I learned to help with diaper and bottle duties for my baby brother. Today I can cook Chinese vegetables to bring out their natural sweetness. Multi-tasking is a cinch. I owe a lot of my mothering and craftastic abilities to my mother, but there are a few things I wish she had taught me (well, we never had Lego sets):
1) how to read Lego instructions
2) if I had known #1 I would not have opened all the bags at once
3) how to take apart Lego pieces that I assembled incorrectly (still goes back to not knowing #1)
4) how easy it is to lose a piece to the vacuum and render the set useless
Learning on the fly is ok. At least they’re not the robotic sets. Yikes!
Back when I was expecting, I had read a few pages of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” then realized it was not going to be that way. I have not read that many parenting books overall, but in my 8 years as a mom, I have discovered the following (not sure I would have found these in the books):
1) You will be building LEGO sets again…and again…and again…;
2) When they like the food you’ve got on your plate, (yes, even that morsel you were about to chomp on) you will be looking for a midnight snack later on;
3) There is not just one birthday celebration, your child will have at least three;
4) They don’t want playdates with peers whose parents you really like;
5) Even though it’s “da da” that they say first, it’s “mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy” for the rest of their lives.
You know what? That’s ok.
Big sigh. I won’t win mother-of-the-year this year because I let my kids roll down the grassy hill. The other kids in shorts were having fun, so why not let them have fun? Poison ivy – that’s why not. I guess the only place a kid can safely be a kid is Chuck E. Cheese’s? M either got a bug bite during our hike in the am then dermatitis (urgent care doctor) – day 1 or a reaction called Papular urticaria (pediatrician) on day 2 or she got poison ivy (multiple mom diagnosis) by day 3. Both doctors were reluctant to start oral steroids, but a worsening face rash (my call) warranted a call to the pediatrician for a prescription. It was granted. There was some relief after two doses, and she went to school on day 4. Except I forgot to explain to the authorities that she is not contagious. At 11 am I got a call from the school nurse. Oops.
This Mother’s Day I wanted one of these:
1) a machine that washes, dries, and folds clothes, or
2) a dishwasher that loads and unloads itself, or
3) a chauffeur for weekdays, or
4) a butler, or
5) self-cleaning toilets, or
6) a green thumb, or
7) a personal assistant, or
8) a flying car, or
9) privacy when showering or emptying bladder/bowels, or
10) sleeping in.
Maybe next year, but I did get my favorite cuisine for lunch and I got to spend QT with my family and friends. Oh, and I got to jump in a bounce house. Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day, too!
Kristi Yamiguchi wrote a very inspiring children’s book called “Dream Big, Little Pig” that I have read to both of my children’s classes. A pig tries to pursue all her interests and gets into mishaps, but stumbles upon her true passion with the encouraging cheers of her friends and family. It’s one of my daughter’s favorites, and I think it has influenced her in her life.
You see, M started taking piano lessons as soon as she turned 5 (about 2-1/2 years ago). For a while I was picking up some of the skills she learned as I sat through weekly private lessons with her. I helped her through practices, but then they added the left hand, the pedal, and moved up and down the keyboard. While I was still able to read the notes and decipher them with her, I quickly lost the ability to follow when she actually played. She, on the other hand, does not miss a beat.
When it was time to choose songs for the spring recital, she chose “Think of Me” from “Phantom of the Opera.” It is long, so her instructor modified it. For the second selection, we agreed on “Adirondack Reverie” from the “Empire State” to conform to the American Landscape theme for this year.
It started with simple measures on the first page and then quickly got complicated. It did not help that we were due to have a 2-week hiatus because of spring break. The instructor hesitated, but asked her point blank, “Do you want to learn the whole song or just a part of it?” Secretly I was hoping she’d say the latter because getting her to practice daily was torturous for the entire household, and she always complains that it’s hard. Furthermore, as pretty as it sounded when he played it, I did not think we could come close to replicating that.
She surprised me, though, with her quick response. “I want to learn the whole song.” I think he was surprised, too, but took her on and broke up the song by days. He deciphered some of the notes, but we were left to do most of it on our own. Needless to say, I was stressing. Luckily, I found a YouTube video of someone else’s recital and used that.
After A LOT of tears, threats, and exchange of angry words, we returned to our scheduled lesson and impressed the instructor. He was speechless. Last week, he was still amazed. Heck, I am shocked; I did not know she had memorized it. As I watch her little fingers move, I’m just in awe that they know where to go and when. It’s not perfect, yet, but she’ll get there by June. And after her turn on the stage, she will have proven to all of us that even at 7 she knows her upper limit. I’m proud of my girl for dreaming big and pulling it off.