Monday, March 3, 2014

Song For An Eleventh Child

It's Monday, which means my thoughts are usually a hodgepodge, reflective of the state of our house after the weekend. It's not that everything comes completely undone- we make a huge effort to keep things flowing on both Saturday and Sunday, so that Monday doesn't smack us all upside the head ...

but still, it's Monday.

The kids are (for the most part) done with school today, which means Abigail still has to do her spelling, Tyler has to get on the computer (because he worked all morning), and Jackson probably still needs to do his math. They're all on recess right now -playing ping pong, baking cupcakes and shooting hoops - which is what I love about homeschooling. When mom needs a break, she just yells "RECESS" and kids go flying in eight different directions. No questions asked.

By the way, the pictures above were taken a few weeks ago. They just fit in with my mention of cupcake baking, so I inserted them in. The real cup cake baking going down right now is filling my home with such an amazing aroma, pictures wouldn't do it justice.

Sam is hosting a Corvallis Chamber of Commerce breakfast tomorrow - as a businessman he attends these fairly regularly. He comes home telling me about the yummy goodies that he devoured while pretending to listen to speeches about products and services and the like. Yeah, I'm onto those people - Chamber of Commerce meetings are all about the food.

SO, as tomorrow's host, he is providing 65 cupcakes and beverages to all of Corvallis's commerce people (or whatever they're called) and guess who is doing all that baking ??

You would be correct if you said Caleb and Abigail ... our resident bakers. As I type, they are whipping up 65 of these glorious beings:

* Maple Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Frosting

* Espresso Cupcakes - half with Whipped Cream Frosting and the other half with Creamy Nutella Frosting

* Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

They came up with the menu themselves, and I am the lucky taste tester. Drool. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. We wouldn't want any Chamber People turning down Sam's business because of a less-than-scrumptious cupcake, now would we ? So here I sit, with Creamy Nutella frosting on my fingers and some carrot cake batter dripping down my chin... just savoring the fact that I have several more recipes to "test."

Life is rough.

In other news... I turned 46 yesterday.

From here on out I will be counting backwards each year, so if you send me a card for future birthdays, please remember that fact, okay ? Can't wait to be the big Four Five next year ... and when I enter my thirties again, look out- because I never did the whole midlife crisis thing when I was there the first time. I think it's worth a shot the second time around, don't you ?

No birthday pics of me, because I was having a bad hair day yesterday, but here's a cute one from a few Saturdays ago...

... oh wait, I was behind the camera on that one.  My bad.  But LOOK at that little cutie pictured above !

 Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure this isn't a dream- I had not one but TWO babies in my forties. Talk about happiness.

When I was in my twenties I always dreamed about having a baby in my forties- I saw friends who had babies later in life, and they just looked so relaxed as parents. It seemed they were so much more laid back than I was in my twenties as a new mom... if their child didn't sleep through the night or start eating solids at "the right time", who cared ? They were just enjoying their baby, and they didn't really enter into the whole parenting competition thing.

And now that I'm here, I get it. Hayden is nine and a half months old and just now wanting to sort-of-maybe-possibly try baby food. That might have freaked me out a bit with Jason and Josiah. After all, so-and-so's baby was eating three different kinds of pureed vegetables at six and a half months, and what was wrong with my child ?!?

Because these were the kinds of things that kept me up at night in the early days of my parenting.

Was I wrong to trust my instincts on letting my babies nurse when they wanted to, or was Sister Schedule right to make sure her baby ate precisely every three hours on the dot ? Would my baby turn into a co-dependent adult because I let him stay sleeping soundly in my bed with me at eleven months, rather than wearily trudging back and forth between the nursery and my bedroom ... or was Sister Sleep Through The Night going to produce the next president of the United States thanks to her diligence to be Baby Wise and more.

You want to watch a brawl break out, just ask a group of moms about their opinions on breastfeeding vs. bottle, co-sleeping vs. crying-it-out, circumcision vs.... not...  Forget Republican vs. Democrat, the real cultural divide in America is whether or not to immunize, or when.

And don't even get me started on potty training - I lost count of how many mommy wars were waged amongst my circle of 20something friends over precisely what age was too old to still be in diapers.

Today I have a whole different philosophy ... because they all eventually get potty trained, and I don't know any 17 year olds who are still slipping into bed with their parents ... so what's the rush ? I just want to enjoy this time in my baby's life when he is completely dependent on me for everything.

There will come a day when he does all those things on his own, and I'll be wondering to myself - so what was the big deal about co-sleeping, anyway ? If my toddler still wanted to crawl in bed with me at three in the morning, was it that crucial that he learned to sleep solo at age two ? And so what if a few of my kids were three and-a-gasp-half before they made it out of diapers ? Before you know it, they are living life on their own, without even a thought to what age they started solids... just blink, and the baby days are gone.

Well, recess is over, and that little charmer with the bald head and twinkle in his eye- the one who kept me up late last night and woke me up early this morning and is wanting to nurse for the 26th time today.... he's calling my name again.

I'l end with this poem, and although it's titled Song For A Fifth Child, I think it works for the eleventh as well.

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby. And babies don't keep.


Barb said...

LOVE the little smiling face photobombing Hayden and Abigail (?) in the kitchen shot, and the bright yellow box that says, um, SMILE!

Kathy McElhaney said...

Happy birthday!

I spy Lily photobombing the Abby/Hayden picture, but where is she??? Looks like she's in the sink!!

Unknown said...

I had this very thought today and had it all written out...... and then it refused to post. My thoughts of throwing out all these silly rules and expectations i had for myself. Like if my child isn't perfectly disciplined by age 2 they will be a menace to society. Or if their not siting, crawling, walking, talking, potty trained by such and such age they will forever be delayed. Because after all i am the master of their development and if they dont get it, i must not be trying hard enough. So silly, and so sad that we spend the first few years stressing over..... nothing. Who cares. I'm sure sometime before teenage years they will be self functioning. Lol (small sarcasm there) Whats amazing is now that i don't think about all those little details and just love on the little guy (which may mean holding for a while day because its a sad day, or co sleeping or whatever he needs) he is actually right where he needs to be on the charts and ahead. Love and time is mostly all they need. (to clarify some do need teaching and pushing and therapy*. My second did, and still does, but the mind set is still so different)

Ahh sorry for the paragraph. Loved your post.

lindley said...

Awww, happy birthday late!! Sweet post! I know I love soaking up our babies--so good to remember to just enjoy these days!!

vaneelynn26 said...

I needed to read this tonight! My little guy is almost 10 months. He JUST (like in the last week or so) started showing more of an interest in solids. He's not crawling. (Although he scoots on his bum which is so cute!) And I still nurse on demand (yes, sometimes all hours of the night too.) He's my first, and I'm surrounded by people who parent differently than I do. So it's hard not to stress sometimes. But I love your approach and I took this post as encouragement. So thank you!! :)

Danielle said...

love the poem at the end! Good reminder for the mommas in their 30's too!!

Tanya said...

I am the lucky Mom to 5 beautiful kids. My first 2 I had in my early 20's my next 2 we adopted in my later 20's and my last was born when I was 34.

I was such a different parent with the oldest 2. Everything was just so, a timetable for everything and I took great pride in potty training, babies sleeping all night, no soothers, after all I was raising my kids to be completely self sufficient. At the age of 2 months and up :/

Can't believe the wasted worry and the insane amount of time I spent micro managing every.little.detail.

by the time the next 2 were adopted. I had learned to roll with the punches, give cuddles instead of worrying about a schedule, getting up every time Brooklyn cried, even though she was 11 months old. I didn't worry about missed sleep, I just cuddled and loved on them no matter what hour it was.

With my last baby, I so enjoyed our late night nursing sessions, the co sleeping was a wonderful way to enjoy him all night long :) I cherished those times.

my youngest turned 7 today :)

enjoy your later in life loves <3

crystalkupper said...

One of my mom's best friends gave me that poem in the card at my first baby shower. It's good for me, because I'm NOT a "slow down and enjoy everything" type of person! Although now with 3 babies and still a 20something I am MUCH more relaxed than I used to be! :-)

Mary Lou said...

Yeah, I always took FOREVER to finish my schoolwork in between dealing with attention deficit disorder, needing Mom's help, and daydreaming!! Especially, especially, especially math. Oh how I hated that subject!! Writing, vocabulary and grammar on the other hand....? ;)
I love, love, love your recess method!! Crack. Me. Up!! ;-D
Did you write that Caleb and Abigail are baking cupcakes?! Mmmm!! Dad, by the way, would love a maple bacon cupcake with maple syrup frosting!! ;)
Well, happy, happy, happy birthday!! {Better late than never!!} Here's to many, many, many more!! ;-D
Wait. I am thirty. You supposedly go through "midlife crises" during that decade?! I thought this only occurred to men....? Should I be worried?! ;)
Mom has told me that with her first two children {I am one of them} she was not nearly as relaxed as when her second two came around, so I wholeheartedly get it!! ;-D
Valid point!! Yet, as we are all human, no matter how hard Moms attempt their very best at raising children "their" way, mistakes are still made.... ;)
Just blink and the baby days are gone!! So true, so true!! ;-D

cara said...

First of all- HAPPY, HAPPY birthday!!!!! I hope your day was truly blessed and special! I know your sweet family must have filled your heart with all things you love. :)

And I have to say that every new mother MUST read this post. I am saddened when I see new mommies so worried and anxious about SO many things. And I really think that they need to balance social media today with ALL of the articles that fill our minds with an overload of information. Some of it I am very thankful for and have learned so much from. But it must be balanced or turned off if somebody is struggling with anxiety. I have met a new mama recently. There is deep stress in her eyes. She is a mess over all the decisions she is facing. I could be wrong, but she seems to have some pressure from her husband to do things "on time" like wean the baby, etc., etc. I talked to my hubby about this, and he said if that is the case, the guy needs to relax and let her be mommy. But it is really sad. She can break down at any minute. She heard that she should now let her baby "cry it out." Isn't it amazing how much we learn after experience. And we learn how to cherish a baby!!! Yes, I still am faced with many decisions. I have learned to pray first and seek the Lord's Wisdom. Yes, social media can be overwhelming to me with all of the info out there. I have learned how to filter through it. But I have learned to not worry about when to stop nursing, etc. They will eventually quit. I have learned to not rush the next milestone because it will be over before I can blink. And potty training??? What is that, ha!! I don't potty train. I just wait until they go. Although I may have to start working with Benji. :)

SO glad you wrote this. I would be so grateful if I am able to have babies when I am in my forties. I have heard many women say this. xoxo

Christine - Party of Five said...

I could not agree more. We have a 19 year old and a 17 year old and a sweet God planned (surprise to us) baby girl who turned 4 last Saturday. She was born when I was 40 and we have savored every moment of these "little" days. Blessings to you and your sweet family...
Christine :)

nicole said...

I like the way you think about things.

Elle's mommy said...

This is perfect and I'm crying...thank you