Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Play-doh Saga

I'm a mommy.  I play peek-a-boo games with my son and dress-up with my daughter. It's hard to do these things on days when Mommy is sick or not feeling well.  Today has been one of those days.  Every now and then, for some unknown reason, I have a spell of vertigo.  I get dizzy and nauseated at even the slightest movement.  Today it started at 10am and finally stopped after I decided to take a nap with the kids.  When I woke up at 2pm I wasn't dizzy or nauseated anymore (thankfully), but had instead (and still have) a headache and heart palpitations.  Nice.  Insert my daughter, H.

H has been asking me all day if she can play with play-doh.  Play-doh for me is one of the worst kids toy inventions ever.  I have a plastic drop cloth that the kids are supposed to sit on while they play with it.  They sit and play on the drop cloth for about five minutes, and then slowly the play-doh makes its way across the carpet (which is/was shag carpeting in our new place).  The play-doh then gets stepped on and sat on and squashed into the carpet and all over socks, pants, and - yes - hair.  Today of all days I do not feel like cleaning up this stuff.

So I tried to break it to her gently the first time she asked me today.  "Mommy isn't feeling well, Sweetie. Maybe we can play with the play-doh tomorrow."  Not good enough.  About an hour later, I got the same question, followed by a promise to help clean up the mess.  A valiant offer, indeed.  But unfortunately, her clean-up efforts always fall a bit short, leaving Mom to pick through the carpet. 

Nap time came and left, and I had briefly forgotten about the play-doh.  H hadn't.  Once again, she pleaded with me. "Mom, can I please play with play-doh now?  I'll be good, and I'll vacuum after.  I love to vacuum!" 


I felt sorry for her, really.  But I was not about to give in on this one.  "Not today.  I still don't feel well, Bug.  I'm sorry.  Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better and we can play with it then."  Apparently three no's to a five year old means "Ask me again later. I might say yes."  So she waited a few minutes and angrily bombarded me with questions of "Why" and "Why not?".  Instead of answering her questions, I asked her a question of my own.  "Don't you care that Mommy doesn't feel well?"  And she answered completely opposite from what I expected to hear. "Well, no. I don't."  WHAT?!  How is it possible that my sweet little angel doesn't care about my well-being?  She doesn't care?

After a little talk about feelings ("Well, how would you feel if So-and-so was sick?"), I realized that my daughter can empathize with others, she was just upset with me.  And after her outlash of anger on me, I decided she wouldn't be playing with play-doh for a week.  She cried for about two minutes, then began playing with her zhu-zhu pets. 

Ah, kids.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What happens next?

I'm sitting here with my almost-two-year-old, who just woke up from his nap.  He almost always wakes up before his sister, which allows us to enjoy a few minutes of mom and son time in the afternoons.  Today, he asked for some "choo-choos" (fruit chews), and as he shoved the first one in his mouth he said "I wan Me-Mouse, Mom."  Firstly, I'd like to note how big he sounds to me when he calls me "Mom" instead of "Mama" or "Mommy."  I rarely get called those last two any more - unless someone's hurt or there's something wrong.  Secondly, for those who may not know, "Me-Mouse" is "Mickey Mouse" in toddler speak.  C has been talking a lot about his Mickey Mouse movie over the past few days.  So, I put in the dvd and he asks, "What's that, Mom?" I show him the case.  "Me-Mouse?!  I rike that, Mom!" (as if he didn't just ask me to put it in.) As soon as the menu screen shows up with Mickey and his pals, I hear him say "Yay! Me-Mouse!" (again, as if he expected something else?) and he is instantly sucked into tv land.  Apparently the sound of Mickey and his friends has lured H out of her room now, because I hear her behind me, trying to "surprise" me.  Of course, I already heard her not only open the bedroom door but tiptoe down the creaky hallway.  I turn around. "Boo!  Ha.. I scared you, didn't I?" she says.  I nod. "YES, you got me." 

I love spending this time with my kids.  They say and do things that both astonish and amuse me every day.  But I've been thinking lately about my future in terms of my career.  What do I want to do?  What do I want to do when the kids start school?  When they get older?  When they go off to college?  So far, I'm not 100% sure of that answer.  I used to have (and a large part of me still does have) the drive to be a nurse, and nothing but a nurse.  Not just a nurse, but an OR (operating room) nurse.  I've spent a pretty fair chunk of my and my parents' money (sorry, Mom and Dad!) and numerous semesters and course hours toward this goal.  It's something I could definitely see myself doing later in life.  But right now, I don't think I'm disciplined enough to be a nurse.  I don't think I'm quite ready for the long hours and the physical and emotional stress involved.  I do long to help people, and I want to do something in the medical field.  But what?  I've thought about getting certified to be a CNA (nurse's aid) after the kids go to school.  It would allow me to work in a hospital setting while getting one-on-one interaction with patients, minus the long hours and with less stress.  I've also thought about just staying at home for a while longer so my kids don't have to come home to an empty house or a babysitter.  That is, of course, if my husband's patience lasts and if our financial situation remains stable on on one income.  I'm not entirely sure what I want to do just yet.  But I'm sure as time goes on and as our lives change and grow, what I'm supposed to do will become more clear to me.  Until then I'm just praying and breathing and reminding myself to enjoy these sweet moments with my kids.  After all, one day soon they won't be so little anymore.