Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Green Dog (109 Weeks)

Since the day I realized I was pregnant—February 12, 2014, I'll never forget it—I looked at our world with new eyes, asking myself the why's and what's, and wondering how I will take part in Ren's discoveries. A couple of days ago, I was reading him his new favorite book, Go, Dog, Go, an old copy that belonged to my kid brother, "This book belongs to: M A T t    d A LL a S    v E La,", and we got to one of the many simple pages, "The blue dog is on top. The yellow dog is on the bottom." Ren turned his head to look up and in my eyes and straight out of a Hollywood moment asked, "Why, Mommy?" I was completely thrown and stumbled over choices in what to say next.

1. "Well, because the illustrator drew them that way for a reason to which I am not privy but probably because he thought it would help the readers your age learn about opposites."

2. "Maybe because the blue dog wanted to be up there on that tree and the yellow dog felt like hanging around on the ground."

3. "Why do you think they are like that?"

Ren had never used the infamous, toddler "WHY?" before. Since I have known I was responsible for a child's life, I have been preparing for the "WHY?" And even though, perhaps especially because, he asked in regard to a cartoon on a page, I was caught off guard. What a huge responsibility, painting the canvas for another being to understand. I don't want to use too many colors off my palate, I want him to pick out his own. When he can. First I have to show him where the colors are, WHAT the colors are. Wait. Why do we need colors? Dad? 

I look forward to the next "WHY?" and I am sure I will have more confidence in answering, but today I am grateful Ren is only two. I was up until three in the morning last night with a terrible stomach ache and a bitter cramp in my jaw. I can't even bring myself to ask "WHY?" because I am so disgusted with myself and people like me who were surprised by the country's choice for our next president. We have so deeply cultivated and insulated our little worlds on our tiny screens in our useless hands that many of us have blocked out the dynamic and instead tuned into constant validation for our constant, personal, selfish "WHY?" We have forgotten that each one of us, each kind of us, is necessary to keep things going and that each of us, is wanting answers to the same questions. We all have a part to play, as we are, already.

Now let us not waste so much time trying to convince the others to stop being others. Let us get back on the path to living our lives together and working together to find answers for the biggest "WHY?"

The blue dog just is and the yellow dog just is. We are equally important and pointless. In this, let us all have equal respect for one another and all living matter on this earth. Stop telling folks how to live their lives. Help out beings in need. Take care of the planet. Educate our kids. Work to keep yourself and your family healthy. Say "thank you" and "I love you" often, and pay your blessings forward.

We are one. That's why. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"You'll not put on your night gown. You'll be sleeping upside-down." —Count von Count

108 Weeks

108 Weeks

108 Weeks

Mommy: "Whatcha got there Bug?" Ren [In a mirror.]: "I'm looking at your baby, Mommy."

107 Weeks

Terrible Twos

106 Weeks

At least twice a day I ache to have Ren in the womb again. I can't possibly see him, hug or kiss him, hear or smell him enough. It must be an instinct to put him back in.

At least twice a day I look at Greg and think, "We. Have. A. Kid." An amazing kid.

At least twice a day I am surprised by laughter coming from my body. This amazing kid is hilarious.

At least twice a day I wish I could put this life on pause and sleep in a beachfront hut for a week. I don't want to miss anything. Especially because I dozed off.

At least twice a day I get choked up because I hear someone innocent met a cruel situation. I want our son to inherently know the wisdom of trauma—not actually experience it.

At least twice a day I wonder if I should be sacrificing things in a volcano to thank the gods for my luck. Salt over my left shoulder also does the trick.

At least twice a day I think about my parents and want to pick up a phone and thank them. I often try.

At least twice a day I remind myself I used to meditate twice a day. And work out. And not eat cereal twice a day.

At least twice a day I distract myself from all of this... thinking at least twice a day...

Monster Mash Up

105 Weeks

I recall the pediatrician telling us to expect Ren to have these energy spurts before bedtime. "It's a Darwinian animal instinct. Before you settle, you check the perimeters for predators. You're at your most alert to carefully protect your environment right before you're the most vulnerable."

Good explanation. Makes sense.

Ren used to run in circles or fling his body on his futon and roll around on the floor. He's gone from a traditional treadmill jog, to producing, staring, and performing in a nightly rave. Before the evening diaper comes on, he instructs one of us to rhythmically chant "Everybody naked, great!" at his nudity while he spins and simultaneously recites, in his very best Count von Count impression, "All I want for Christmas is my two front naked."

Sometimes there are no words. Just stating the facts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Velveteen Count

102 Weeks

Ren's love for his favorite Sesame Street friend, Count von Count, increases daily. Ren counts and famously guffaws, he sings songs in a strange toddler/Transylvanian accent, and Count has had more toys taped to his head (Ren likes hats) than, well, I think there isn't a metaphor here...

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Good job banging, Mommy. It looks ridiculous." —Ren Thomas Skura

101 Weeks

First World Problems

100 Weeks

The Montessori method is an educational system in which we truly believe and have witnessed Ren blossom. It emphasizes respect for a child's independence and support for his natural curiosities. He's learned many new things. Within days of his first few classes, Ren was communicating clear ideas and talking about the other kids in the class. "Mommy, I want a Popsicle please and I want to eat it on the rug." We feel so lucky this program is around the corner from our home and that we are able to send him there three mornings a week.

He's also discovered the inside of his nose.