September 24, 2008 at 8:12 pm (Growing Up, Sunshine)

It’s been a tough few weeks with Sunshine, on top of a tough few months.  She’s turning 4 on Friday.  Sometimes it sounds like she’s turning 14.  We try very hard to speak with kindness in our home.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect, but we try very hard.  That’s why it’s so hard to hear the incredibly sarcastic tone that currently comes out of my daughter’s mouth.  

We give her a “do over”.  She gets a chance to try saying what she wants to say another way, in another tone of voice.  She almost always gets it right the second time.  I really just wish she would say it nicely the first time.  All in all, this is not a bad problem to have.  We’re working on it, and she’s getting better.  I think my problem with this is that I don’t know where she’s picking it up.  Is it us?  We really do try to speak kindly.  I don’t think she’s hearing it at school.  It’s not the Montessori way.  
Maybe my biggest problem with this is that it seems like a little preview of Ms. Sunshine, the Teenage Years.  And it scares the hell out of me.   

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I thought I had a while before this happened…

September 23, 2008 at 11:31 am (Growing Up, Sunshine)

Several days ago, Sunshine and I were waiting in line to say good morning to her teacher.  Along the way we pass a lunchbox featuring some music group.  I wasn’t sure who it was.  

Sunshine:  Look Mommy, It’s the Jonas Brothers.
Mommy:  Who are the Jonas Brothers?
Sunshine:  SSSHHHH, Mommy.  You’re embarrassing me.  
I think I stood there with a look of shocked surprise on my face.  I still don’t know who the Jonas Brothers are.  

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Ahhh…The Wonders of Walmart

September 22, 2008 at 8:48 pm (Sunshine)

So it’s been pretty quiet here.  On Saturday, Sunshine and I left for a bit while Daddy watched the Notre Dame game.  That’s generally a safe decision, especially if it looks like the Irish might play down to their opponent.  It saves me from having to explain to Sunshine why she shouldn’t yell at the TV or repeat the colorful new language that she’s learned.  

We needed some groceries, and I thought we’d head to Walmart.   I’m generally not a fan of Walmart.  The stores are dirty, the help is lacking.  But the economy being what it is….Walmart is far cheaper.  Anyways, it’s also a good place to kill a little time.
We had the best time together.  Ladybug was napping, so she didn’t join us.  We got there, and spend almost 30 minutes swinging in the garden center.  She laid her head on my lap, and we spent that time just talking about what we were seeing.  Then we moved on to the fish.  We looked at every tank.  Then it was on to the clearance aisle.  We’d spent almost an hour there by the time we hit the toy section.  She loved it.  Just Mommy and Sunshine time.  I got a lesson on what accessories princesses need.  She showed me how almost every toy within her reach worked.  She rode a bike.  And she talked to me.   We talked about everything.
Sunshine has been fairly quiet lately.  She clams up a lot, especially since school has started.  But just walking with her in Walmart, she really opened up.  She talked about everything.  Her friends at her old school.  Her friends at her new school.  Her teacher.  Colors.  Her favorite food.  We spent 20 mintues talking about what kind of candles she’d like on her birthday cake.  She was a totally different kid.  I’m thinking that it was the one-on-one time that sparked it.  We don’t get much of that lately, and it’s so incredibly important.  I need to keep reminding myself of that.  We killed so much time just talking to each other at Walmart that the game was over by the time we got home.  Talk about a Win-Win situation.  

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For the Love of God, Why Octopus?

September 15, 2008 at 10:39 am (Sunshine)

So after an incredibly busy Sunday, the family sat down to dinner at one of our favorite Cuban joints.  The black bean quesadilla is out of this world, but the Hubby is crazy about the paella.  You know the dish; rice, chicken, andouille sausage, lots of squid, shrimp, and octopus.  Small, but whole, octopus.  Sunshine has been sharing this dish with her Daddy for a while now.  It’s still unnerving to see her pop one of these whole octopi in her mouth.  This from the kid who won’t really touch chicken.  All in all, it’s kind of neat.  Until we’re standing in front of the Octopus exhibit at the Aquarium and she tells everyone how good it tastes when you eat it.  

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Protecting the Nurslings and Their Mommies

September 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm (nursing)

I’m angry.  I’m appalled.  Anyone who has ever nursed a little one, or followed Her Bad Mother’s saga, has come across people who think that breastfeeding an infant belongs in the bathroom or beneath a filthy airline blanket.  How unbelievably archaic.  How unbelievably sad.  

I nursed both of my little nurslings for more than a year.  Sunshine was 16 months old when she decided she was ready to stop nursing.  Ladybug was closer to 13 months old.  I couldn’t get either of them to even look at a bottle.  I loved nursing my kiddos.  I am so proud of myself for getting through that difficult beginning to nursing (read thrush).  I am so proud of my husband for being so incredibly supportive of me.  For me, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  They were my constant companions, and I’m proud to say that I nursed them in public, in private, on a plane, and in a car (while the car was stopped, of course).
 Having said that, I usually did try to find a quiet place.  FYI, Nordstrom’s has some of the nicest rooms for this.  But that’s not always possible.  Babies are unpredictable, and you can’t always be in a private place.  My little nurslings couldn’t stand to be covered up.  So there goes the blanket.  I think I showed more skin trying to keep the blanket on and the child latched.   I think every mother tries to be discreet.  No one is waving their breast around saying, “Look at me, I’m nursing.”  
Anyone who even remotely suggested that I might want to take my child to a more appropriate place (read filthy, disgusting public restroom) was usually met with a withering stare and a don’t mess with me attitude.  But what about the women who do need to nurse gasp in public, and don’t have the energy to stand up for their rights?  For the rights of their hungry children?  Why does society see nursing as something shameful?  Why do so many nursing mothers feel like they have to take their precious children to absolutely appalling places to simply feed them?  THAT’S WHAT BREASTS ARE FOR, PEOPLE.  They are there to nourish babies.  I agree that they are also there to have a little fun with.  But their primary function is to nourish babies.  I will defend, with every fiber of my being, my right to feed my child where ever I want, whenever I want, in the manner I see fit.  
I am tired of hearing that nursing mothers are being asked to move because they might make someone else uncomfortable.  That they might offend someone else by doing something that is so natural.  I’m tired of hearing it compared to urinating in public.  I’m tired of hearing people say that nursing mothers are “sexually abusing” their children if they nurse them past six months of age.  So all those people who think that breastfeeding is gross or disgusting, and should take place in a bathroom can go straight to a Hell where nursing mothers are EVERYWHERE.  
I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not my problem.  If someone is insecure or offended by the fact that I’m breastfeeding, it’s not my problem.  It’s theirs.  They need to deal with it.  If someone thinks that what I’m doing is shameful, it’s not my problem.  Feeding my child is my problem.  And I will nurse them where and when I want.  They deserve nothing less than the best, and I can provide them with that.  

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