Teaching ourselves and our kids. A thought.

January 15, 2013

Jacob’s new phrase is “Go Away Mama!” This is followed within the last couple of weeks of “No fair!”and “No way!” All of these phrases said with the stamp of his chubby little foot as he waves a finger at me. With two older sisters who think he is the cutest thing ever, he copies all their good and not so good phrases and actions. Part of me wants to scoop him up and laugh but the other part that has gone through this twice before, will not succumb to the little smirk on his face and twinkling hazel eyes. Putting on my best “Mom is serious” face, I sink to his level and ask him to look at me. In a firm voice I say, “Not nice Jacob, we do not talk to Mommy like that.”

“Ok.” He responds in his little voice and proceeds to fling his arms out, “Huggie?” After a quick squeeze, I quickly leave the room to laugh out loud. For the life of me I can’t remember laughing when the girls were toddlers and said things like that. Perhaps it’s the third child syndrome. You just have a better sense of humour about things like this.

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Mr. L was home this morning having a nearby meeting so I had an unusually easy time managing with breakfast and bus drop-off with his help. I love these mornings. Once upon a time Mr. L had promised he would try to work from home or arrange meetings weekly to help in the mornings at least once a week. This hasn’t happened yet. The odd time I’ll bring it up and he brushes it aside stating how busy it is at the office. He owns his own business and I do know how busy it is so it’s just one of those things that I’ve let slide and enjoy the times he can be here.

Our neighbour came over this morning for a playdate. Apologizing for the yet put-away Christmas and birthday presents that have been piled in a corner of the front room and thanking her for picking up Starbucks, we proceeded to chit-chat in between managing the toddlers. Thank goodness for our basement which is kid heaven with toys, colouring and is the room I care about the least as long as the toys are reasonably put away at the end of the day. Our two older kids are at the same school so it’s nice to compare notes on how they are handling the transition to Grade One and French Immersion.

Interestingly, she is contemplating what to do when her daughter goes to kindergarten and this has been something that rolls around in my brain in when folding laundry at 11:00 pm as well. The possibilities are huge. Each of us are both mainly responsible for the kids education, health, extra curricula activities and the majority of the home stuff so it’s a concern thinking once we get into the middle of actual homework for the older kids and increasing demand on being a taxi service, does it make sense to also put time into more schooling, or does a part-time local job seem a better fit? We both seem to want to do something “when we grow up” but figuring out what that is can be a challenge.

My mother had three children as well and worked. I was on my own watching my brother and sister by the time I was twelve. We did not have very many activities that weren’t doing school hours because of cost and frankly we had no one to taxi us around. When I was younger, my memories are laced with babysitters after school and visits to my grandmother’s house on the weekends. It is also very different in schools these days. Homework is more intense and parental support is expected. Generally my homework was all done during school hours or at recess in the school library. Very rarely did I have things to bring home. Our children’s experiences with schoolwork and thus my own compared to my mother’s experiences will be very different and require a much different role. Thank goodness we are not at this point yet!

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