Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

Archive for May 2012

Dear Mom.

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Mom, I was thinking about you today.  Avery and I were having a chat on a yoga mat in the living room (long story).  I asked Avery if she would always be my little girl.  She quickly corrected me that she would always be my big girl.  I asked her if she would be my girl even when she grew up and got married.  She said “I’m not going to get married.”   Sigh of relief.  “I already got married.”  Sigh of  a different sort.  I’ll spare you the details – the conversation got weirder from there.  It made me think how easy it is to hold my little girl and listen to her and love her.  It’s like breathing.  The reason I know how to do this is you.  You’ve never said “this is how to love your little girls” but I’ve learned from a lifetime of being loved and supported by you.

We didn’t have our chat last night.  And we won’t have it tomorrow, either.  But we don’t need to talk or be together to be together.  When I pick myself apart, I always find you.  In high school, which was a sometimes tumultuous time in our relationship, I came and leaned against the bed and talked to you in the dark when I got home from being out with friends.  Sometimes it was just a recap of the night.  Other times, I was crying over a heartbreak.  But it was a calm time.  A time when I had to tell you everything in order to understand it myself.  And that’s where I go when I need you.

I wonder if mothers need daughters in the same way we need you.  The day that Claire was born, I remember how much I needed to see Avery.  I felt restless until she walked in the door.  I somehow needed my less-than-three-year-old there in order to know it was going to be okay.  So I have to think that maybe you need me sometimes to be okay.  Either way, if you need me, I hope I’m there with you tomorrow.  You’ll be with me.

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May 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

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How Not To Move.

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The packing and moving is underway.  I’m pretty sure that somewhere out there is an article or a blog post detailing the most efficient moving techniques.  I’m also pretty sure that we are in violation of each and every tenet of proper moving.  Below, Exhibit A of how not to move.  In case you are not easily identifying what is happening in this picture, that is a large vase strapped into one of my children’s car seats.  What?  Does this not seem like the ideal way to transport breakables?

When you have two, small children in tow whilst moving, survival is the goal.  Thus, the breakables are having to fend for themselves somewhat.  On another note, moving does provide some insight into what items in my house I truly cannot live without.  Our kitchen is basically cleaned out, except for a few essentials.  Plates?  Nope, we’ve moved to paper.  We have, however, kept the pizza cutter, the coffee maker, and the wine opener.  I will let you draw your own conclusions.  If that doesn’t win me “Mother of the Year,” here is what my kids are doing while we’re packing.  Happy Monday!  If you need me, I’ll be stuffing breakable items into the crevices of my car.

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May 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

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Hope To Cope.

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You might be surprised to know that we are moving.  Different house, same city.  Yes, I realize I haven’t exactly mentioned it, which is because I have basically been acting like it’s not happening.  We just signed all the papers, and yet I sit in my house (old house), which looks remarkably the same as ever, not the dishevelment you would expect on the cusp of moving.  I wouldn’t say that we’re packed and ready to go.  I chalk this all up to my failure to cope. 

I come from a long line of copers.  We plow forward with smiles on our faces, full speed ahead, to address whatever life throws at us.  Admittedly, I am less talented in this department than my predecessors.  My grandmother is a class A coper.  A force to be reckoned with to be sure.  She would have had this place packed up weeks ago.  She would probably be serving dinner in the new house this evening.  I normally lean towards avid coping.  But for some reason, I find the sum of everything overwhelming.  Moving, plus life and its typical trappings, is proving too much to process.  It’s all happy, and yet, I can’t force myself to move forward.

When I allow myself to think about what not coping would be like, it seems decadent.  My not-coping fantasy involves crawling into bed and watching tv.  Not sure where the kids are in that daydream.  Life can be beautiful, but it is also relentless.  There are, unfortunately, no sick days from life.  But, fear not, I have full coping blueprints laid out in my mind.  Packing will commence, it will all happen, and I may even do it all with a smile on my face (no promises, packing makes me grumpy) .  Step one, start mentally coping.  Step two, pack. 

To end on a happy note, here’s a picture of my littlest, future coper and her own coping mechanism.  Sassy-pants.

 

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May 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

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Cousins, Two Of A Kind.

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Avery and her cousin, Katee.  Does anyone else start to sing the theme song to the Patty Duke Show when they say “cousins”?  Nick-At-Night?  Anyone?  I digress.

When I was a kid, a lot of my extended family lived in my hometown.  I saw my grandparents everyday.  I had three cousins that were all within three years of my age that I saw weekly for many years and then saw daily when we went to high school together.  I didn’t give it much thought then, but now I know that growing up with all that family around was a luxury.

Not a single member of our family lives in our current city.  Before having children, I hadn’t given it much thought.  Having family in town would be nice on many practical levels – having an emergency phone call, for example, or just having a sanity check from time to time.  The thing my heart really aches over is not having the routine presence of extended family in the girls’ lives.  The more people around to love your children, the better.  Period.  There’s no substitute for the unconditional love provided by family.  There’s something so poignant and needed about having the people you love around to love your children.

Which brings me to the main point of this post.  [Have you noticed I always need a long lead-in to get to my main point?  I suppose I truly am destined to be a lawyer.]  It did my heart an extreme amount of good to see Avery playing with her sweet cousin, Katee, while we were visiting Jerrod’s parents last weekend.  These girls were born just seven weeks apart, and Avery likes nothing better than uninterrupted time with her cousin, especially when they can run wild all over their grandparents’ land.  When I asked AJS what her favorite part of her visit was, she said “Katee.  She’s my friend.  I love her.”  Cue the instant melting of my heart.  When watching these two, I can’t help but think of running all over my grandparents’ backyard with my own cousins when we were kids.  There was nothing I loved more than that time.  And, again, I had no idea how lucky I was to have access to them so constantly. 

Being the same age and gender, they have all the important things in common.  And most importantly, they both like to chase chickens.

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May 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

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This Girl. Those Arms.

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Thing 1,713 that I love about warm weather: fat rolls in flutter sleeves.

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May 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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Avery’s The Boss (of Chickens).

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Although I think she lives a charmed life, I also think that it must be somewhat frustrating to be Avery.  Really, I think any three-year-old probably deals with a certain level of daily frustration.  Three-year-olds are basically fully functioning human beings, and yet, their days are spent hearing about all the things they cannot do.  I’m rewinding just what I have told Avery not to do thus far this morning: don’t take toys from Claire, don’t fake cry, don’t put your hands in your pants, don’t bother Wilson (our Scottish Terrier who is easily offended) while he drinks water, don’t ask me that question again, etc.  And that is only taking into consideration the things I tell her not to do.  The amount of things I tell her to do are endless.  So I think there is a certain amount of baseline frustration inherent in being a three-year-old. 

I think Avery likely experiences a little more than average frustration because her tiny heart yearns for control.  Avery wants to be the boss.  She would love to be the boss of Claire, but Claire’s not on board.  We have seen Avery’s desire for control manifest itself lately in daily reminders from her to use our manners.  We have been working on getting Avery to not say “ya.”  Today, as Jerrod left for work, Avery said “bye Dad, have a good day, be a good boy, don’t say ‘ya’ at work today daddy.”  And I won’t even get into the story behind Avery loudly telling me not to pick my nose while we were in a crowded aisle of the grocery store .

Thus, I arrive at my main point.  Last weekend, Avery got to be the boss.  And it was glorious.  We were visiting Jerrod’s parents, a.k.a. Avery’s dream vacation.  Avery very hesitantly went to visit the chicken coop.  Although she really wants control, sometimes she lacks the bravado to take it.  Jerrod’s mom told Avery that she could chase the chickens and that they would run.  That was all it took.  For the next two days, Avery chased those chickens within an inch of their lives.  As she chased, all we could hear was gleeful laughing and indignant clucking.  The moment she woke up from her nap, she requested to chase chickens.  After she ate dinner, she wanted to get in a little chicken chasing before bedtime.  It was endless entertainment.  Avery loved being the boss.  Of poultry.

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May 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

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Claire, My Gifts To You.

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Some of you may have noticed Claire is someone’s doppleganger.  And, alas, it’s not me.  I search Claire’s face for a trace of me, and I come up with nothing.  If she hadn’t occupied my uterus for a solid nine months, I might question whether she is mine.  But I have come up with two pieces of solid evidence that Claire and I do, in fact, share a gene pool.  Exhibit A, check out that fair skin.  Jerrod isn’t that pale on his sickest day.  Exhibit B, bed head.  Claire wakes up with a mad case of bed head every morning and after every nap.  Jerrod and Avery both wake up with every hair exactly where it was when they went to bed.  I, unfortunately, can’t say the same.  So there you have it, fair skin and bed head.  You’re welcome, Claire.

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May 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

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