Wednesday, February 25
So, as I was saying, becoming a kid mom is a big deal.
A delightful, scary, wonderful, exciting and life-changing big deal.
So, naturally, a hashtag is in order.
I had another "becoming a #kidmom" moment today when someone asked me what sports we were signing up for.
Eloquently, I said "Um, huh?"
Add it to the list, my friends! Baby moms don't get asked about sports or dance or gymnastics or science club or computer class or cheer camp or any of those other "extra-curriculars".
So, yeah, there's that. Just prepare yourself. If you are approaching #kidmom-dom, questions about extra-curriculars are headed your way.
Also, there was that time I was minding my own business, just flipping some pancakes, when Laila asked me out of the blue...
wait for it...
"But Mommy!! HOW does the daddy put the baby seed INTO the mommy's tummy???"
Choke, cough, flip a pancake.
Take a deep breath. Flip a pancake.
Give self a mini pep-talk. You're a #kidmom now, Chapman. GET IT TOGETHER.
"Well, my love, THAT is a very good question..."
Stall, stall, flip a pancake... Look over the shoulder to see if she's still there. Yep. Still there. Irritated that I'm stalling (typical KID behavior)...
A little background for you, dear reader. We have SEVEN pregnant friends in our lives right now. Well, actually, three of the pregnant friends have given birth in the last few weeks so we now have 3 tiny babies and four pregnant mommies. For a super observant and analytical 4 year old like mine, this brings up all kinds of questions. So, the "Where do babies come from?" question came, like, 2 or 3 months ago. At that time, the conversation went something like...
LG: "Mommy, where do babies come from?"
Me: "God! God gives us babies and they are precious gifts!"
LG: "Ok, great!"
A couple weeks later, after she had thought about it awhile, she asked...
LG: "So, God gives us babies but HOW does He give them to us?"
Me: "Well... see how Auntie's tummy is getting bigger and bigger? Remember how big (huge, gigantic, whale-like) Mommy's tummy got when Lydia was in there? So, we get babies from all the mommies' tummies!"
LG: "Oh! Ok, great!"
Me: (Yee-haw! I'm rocking this whole birds and the bees thing!)
A few days after that...
LG: "But, Mommy, HOW does the baby get into the mommy's tummy in the first place??"
Me: "Well, a baby seed grows..."
Interrupting - LG: "Mommy!! From where? What do you mean a baby seed?? Who waters it? Who feeds it? What does it look like??"
Me: "Uh, I think I hear Lydia crying..."
Me: "Okay, well, the daddy puts the baby seed in the mommy's tummy, see, uh, and then God plus the mommy's body waters it and feeds it and it grows! It's a really beautiful and wonderful thing!"
LG: "Ok, great! Maybe he puts the seed in her belly button! (giggling) That's silly!"
Me: (RUNNING AWAY. LETTING HER DRAW HER OWN CONCLUSIONS. RUNNING FAR FAR AWAY.)
SO that brings us to that morning... when I was flipping pancakes... and shiz was about to get REAL.
I put down the pancake flipper in order to communicate serious-ness.
"Okay, Laila Grace, I'm going to tell you. But, before I do, I want you to understand that this is VERY SPECIAL and that a LOT of other kids don't know about this. You can always talk to me and Daddy about it but you may not tell any other children about it, got it?" (See, I'm thinking of you, fellow #kidmoms... Don't worry, your time will come, but I don't want it to come any sooner than it should on account of my "convictions" about age-appropriate honesty and, lets face it, my big mouth.)
"AND ALSO, dear one, this is ONLY for a mommy and a daddy who are MARRIED to each other and who are GROWN UP, okay? Like, really grown up, like 30 years old, okay?"
I didn't really say that part about being 30 but ya'll know I was thinking it! I mean, can I get a witness??
Internal panic. THIS IS REAL LIFE.
"It's actually kind of silly, girlfriend, but the baby seeds are, get this, INSIDE the daddy's penis!"
"SO... the daddy... puts his penis... inside... the mommy's vagina... and that is the whole truth about how the baby seed gets in there... okay?"
At that point, Laila looked at me wide eyed and, with utter sobriety, said "Mommy, that sounds dangerous!"
"Yes, yes, Laila, it is. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS. NEVER EVER DO IT!!"
Actually, ya'll know I didn't say that. Because I'm all about the truth (obviously - eye roll) and we all know that the truth is that sex is super awesome and totally so much fun!!
Seriously, I love it.
So, instead, I said...
"Well, it can be, darling, if the two people aren't MARRIED and GROWN UP and in love with each other. IF they are married and grown up and in love with each other, it can be super fun."
Then, I smiled sweetly at her, walked back around to the stove and finished making pancakes. Taking deep breaths all the way.
My very observant and analytical 4 year old ate the pancakes happily and went on with her day. Amazingly, everything was ok and she wasn't traumatized and I wasn't traumatized (too much) and I wondered if it had even sunk in...
Until the next day when Laila declared that she was never EVER getting married because, "you know, the THING about the penis and the vagina???"
So I allowed myself a little giggle and she giggled too and I said "You might change your mind, lovie."
She vehemently assured me that she would not change her mind and I thought... #kidmom.
This is the stuff of becoming a #kidmom.
And I'm sure it is only the beginning.
Tuesday, February 17
"Go home, weather, you're drunk."
Yes, yes, on Sunday I wore a tank top, jeans and wedge sandals to church. This morning, its 28 degrees outside and my tennis shoes and running clothes are sitting right where I put them last night in preparation for my 5:15am wake up call. Because, when I looked at the weather app at 5:15am and saw that it was 28 degrees with a 10 mph wind, I thought to myself "Oh, heck no!" and picked up my computer instead.
Its one thing to run in 28 degrees when its been, like, winter and your heart, body and mind are in the right state but, when you wore wedges to church less than 48 hours ago, your heart, mind and body are just plain confused.
At least, mine are.
Running has been a challenge for me lately anyway, ever since my ankle injury. I'm just not experiencing the same joy, excitement and "high" that I did when I was running in the summer and fall. I think I have to just keep putting on my shoes and getting out there over and over and over and over and over and over and then maybe the joy will come back to me. Maybe. Please?
I hope so.
I'm just not putting on my shoes today.
Instead, I'm here.
Do you know how scary writing can be? And how dang hard it is? I'm reading "Yes, please" by Amy Poehler and she dedicates her entire preface and many, many sentences throughout the first couple chapters to talking about how hard it is to write. So many sentences that it gets a little tiresome... and, yet, my heart was cheering in agreement as I read.
Because you want it to be good.
Because you care so damn much.
Because you want it to mean something.
And, for me, when its been awhile since I've written, I feel so much pressure to really say something. You know? You KNOW? Saying "you know" always makes me think of Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire... "YOU KNOW??"
But today I've decided not to feel too much pressure. So I apologize in advance if I don't say anything today. Maybe we could just be here together for a few moments, you and I. And maybe I won't have to have it all together... or make you laugh... or wow you with my grammar and vocabulary.
Maybe we can just be.
How was your Valentine's Day?
Ours was absolutely dreamy. I mean, seriously, when I was a little girl and I thought about what life would be like with my husband and children, I'm sure that this kind of day is what I dreamt of.
Valentine breakfast with heart shaped pancakes and roses from Trev for each of his girls, time with my love on the back porch drinking coffee while the girls played, a family walk with a stop at the park along the way, Trev sending Laila and I to get Valentine manicures together while he and Liddy napped, getting to take a long, leisurely shower and take my time getting ready for our date and then an amazing evening drinking beer, eating greasy hamburgers (with fries AND onion rings, because duh, its Valentine's Day), cheering the SMU Mustangs on to something like a 20 point victory over last year's NCAA tournament champions, coming home to exchange Valentines and love... It was absolutely perfect.
With all the bad publicity that parenting sometimes gets, remind me to share more of those kinds of days with you. Because, seriously, our children are fun and funny, inspiring, creative, lovely creatures who bring so. much. joy.
The good days far outweigh the hard ones.
They are getting older. Obviously. This is the first season of Laila's life where I don't feel like I'm spending a lot of time looking forward to the next season. She is 4 AND A HALF and I don't know... 5 just seems so big. So kid-like.
Her 5th birthday represents a new batch of experiences for her, kindergarten being the BIG ONE, and it also launches me into a whole new role. One that I've been feeling the magnets of the earth pulling me towards for some time now. Its a role I like to call "Kid Mom".
She'll be a KID, not a baby or a toddler or a three-nager but a real, live kid.
There are a whole host of things that kids do that babies do not do.
Kids buckle themselves into their car seats.
Kids wipe their own booties.
Kids pick out their own clothes and heaven and earth be doomed if she doesn't get to wear what she wants!
Kids reason with their moms.
Kids sometimes out-reason their mom. Wait, yours doesn't? That's just me? Oh, well, ok.
Kids can be expected to sit sweetly at restaurants.
Kids order their own water "in a kid cup, please".
Kids go to bed with little to no drama. HallelujahthankyouJESUS.
So, you see? Newness. New and wonderful and scary newness.
I know that she is up to the challenge.
She is already one super, incredible, amazing kid.
I just hope I'm up to the challenge.
Because there are things that Kid Moms do that Baby Moms do not do.
Kid Moms answer tough questions. Maybe tomorrow I'll have the courage to write about my conversation with Laila Grace in which I told her the WHOLE TRUTH about s-e-x. Yes, yes, that.
I did that. I'm a Kid Mom.
Kid Moms nod encouragingly when seeing their kid take a risk.
Kid Moms stand still with every muscle taut, ready to pounce like a lioness if said risk involves any sort of danger, all while smiling, nodding and saying "You can do it, my love! Go on!" while maybe feeling more like saying "You're too little for that! Come back! You might hurt yourself!"
Because they're not too little, you know. She's a kid now.
Kid Moms pack a lunch and a kiss and send their kids into that big, huge building with a prayer on their breath and a weight like bricks on their chests.
Kid Moms get more sleep but less sleep because science projects and bullies and school field trips and other adults having influence and terrorists and monkey bars and glass doors and pressure to succeed and fear of seeing her kid fail and long division and BOYS...
You can do it, my love! Go on!
Go on. Come back.
Go. Wait, stay. Go.
Go, my darling. Mommy will always be here for you to come home to...
Thank you for sitting with me here awhile.