Question of the Day

Why is it the most mundane of statements or the simplest of questions can reduce me to giggles when they fall out of the mouth of my two and half year old?

Tonight while the baby was still protesting her removal from the bathtub (I think the child would lay peacefully in the bottom of that basin all night if we let her!) young Mr. Logan located me in the kitchen. I was bobbing and swaying hoping the motion would soothe Megan into peace. Logan, still slightly dripping from his bath and naked as can be, stared at us for a moment and then said:

"Cuse me Mommy. Are you available to read?"

"Ummm. . ." I said, fighting back my giggles. Available to read? tee hee! "Well, if Daddy can take Megan I am."

Logan smiled back in response and said "Great!" Then he ran to his Dad and declared "Daddy take Megan, Mommy gotta read me. Let's go Mommy!"


Oh Please

As the red-headed mother to two red-headed children I have but one thing to say to this article recently appearing on CNN's website: Give me a break.

Says the article:
Redheads face challenges from the sun as well as society, according to some Redheads Society members. Easily spotted in crowds and classrooms, redheads are sometimes the objects of "carrot top" jokes and other teasing.

"You get some attention and hopefully you learn to use it for the better," co-founder Rosenthal said. "For one thing, I think it's one of the reasons a lot of redheads develop a good [and often somewhat sarcastic] sense of humor."

Whine, whine, whine, whine. Someone want to tell Mr. Rosenthal that if he got to college with the worst teasing being the nickname carrot top he was lucky.

Having grown-up a strawberry blonde I can honestly say that I have never ever felt 'discriminated' against by my hair color as implied by these kids and the Princeton professor writing her red-headed book. In fact I've always loved my hair color because it was different. I have sat in countless salons getting a trim next to women that point to my mane and say to their stylist, "That's it! Make my hair THAT color."

And for the record, not all redheads burn at the thought of the sun. I personally get nice and pink the first day I spent time outside for a prolonged period. The pink fades back to pale, pasty white by the time I get to bed that night and then the next exposure I tan nicely - that is, of course, back when I was into tanning. Now we're all so slathered up in suntan lotion I'm lucky I get rosy pink cheeks by days end. I have no idea what my kids would do as Logan has never been out in the sun for long without heavy amounts of thick white high SPF sunblock on his tender tot skin.

Geez, I clicked to this article link thinking it was something fun and interesting. Instead I find something that could be fun but seems somewhat 'woe is me.' I do hope my red-headed children don't grow up looking to blame all their ills on their locks.


Damn them and their coupons

So I'm so very much NOT a Black Friday shopper. In fact, in my former life as a non-crazed, stress-laden, childless gal, I used to pride myself on the fact that the 98% of my holiday shopping was completed PRIOR to Thanksgiving leaving me plenty of time to enjoy the pending yuletide cheer without the panic of finding the right gift at the right price.

But folks, they have coupons. Damn them. Damn them all and their fancy sales.

Wednesday night when my head hit my pillow I was laughing softly to myself at the thought of all those fools who would set their alarms early and rub sleep from their eyes just to make it to a store before the sun rose while the sales were at their hottest on Friday. And then Thursday Mom lowered the axe on my smug neck. . . she had the newspaper and in it *they* had 60% off coupons. SIXTY people! Sixty percent off! Of courre in order to get this deal I had to shop between 6-8am.

*They*, by the way, would be Michaels and that means that I could have myself a Thomas and Friends item under my Christmas tree for 60% less than it retails for. That is unheard of. That is something you don't mess with no matter how smug you were the day prior, nor no matter how long your non-Black Friday streak had been. That is so haul-yer-butt-out-of-bed-and-go-shopping. And so I did. Yes.

I hang my head in shame. I was one of those insane Mothers throwing on jeans and praying the sweatshirt she dug out of the closet had no spit up stains on it. I was one of those fools driving my minivan to the store just after 7am (See, I'm not be there when they unlock the door insane.)

But I got my bargain. Granted it wasn't *THE* item I had hoped for. Santa is bringing the Roundhouse - $80 of train housing fun for a 2 year old. Nope. Craft stores aren't stocking that one, at least not the ones around here. That will come from the sleazy train shop near the office that will give me 20% off because it cost so damn much. I did, however, get an expansion kit so that when boy has his giant Roundhouse he can actually connect his existing track to it without leaving a loop out of wack. All this track-building joy 60% less than the $40 it normally would have cost.

And then I got just a wee bit wackier. Its addictive, friends. These bargains will make you do things you swore you never would. See not only did they offer up this 60% gem, they also had a 50% coupon hanging out there for the gluttons amongst us. This one needed to be used between 8 and 10am. I plopped my worn out self back in my van and zipped across the street to Target -- the sales there so not deserving the overflowing carts stuffing each aisle. That, however, did not stop me from picking up a few things, but hey, as long as I was there why not.

I checked out and climbed back into the pilot's seat at 8:05 exactly. Back across the street to Michaels and up the aisle to the half-empty shelves of Thomas stuff. I pondered. I shared notes and tips with a father clutching an engine in one hand and his third coupon in the other. I debated myself some more. Then I selected my prize -Gordon, the fastest engine on the Island of Sodor for 50% less than I'd find him anywhere else.

My day was complete, but alas, should the craving strike me again they have yet another 50% off coupon for tomorrow. God save me.


Thankful for. . .

I am thankful for. . .

. . .my family - both the one I was born into and the one I gave birth to. These people touch my heart, my soul and my every inch of being in so many glorious ways, how can I not be thankful?

. . .my faith - it sustained me through the hard times and given me extra reason to celebrate during the good times.

. . .my friends - so many of them are mere extentions to the aforementioned family. How wonderful is it to have people love you and to love by choice, not by blood.

. . .our good health - need I say more?

. . .the freedom to disagree - coming off such a hot political season its good to remember that as much as we may vehemently despise the other view point, we are blessed to have the freedom to say as much. Its a God-given right so many young men and women have fought for us to keep access to. I'm thankful for those fighters too.

. . .the beauty of nature - being a Jersey Shore girl I always feel at such peace near the ocean. The sounds and smells of the Atlantic can soothe life's rough edges.

. . .technology that allows reach beyond borders - so many beautiful people have entered my life through the border busting Internet. Friends that I'd never have known if it hadn't been for technology.

. . .food on my table - even its too tempting to eat in light of pound dropping dreams or something icky like brussel sprouts because at least its food and its mine to access.

. . .my job - as much as it can drive me insane, its work I do enjoy to do and it allows me to earn my income and have my time with children.

. . .the ability to dream and do despite gender, race, creed and so on - regardless of your politics, you must admit that its pretty damn great an African American woman can take the important, high-powered mantel of Secretary of State. It wasn't all that long ago such an appointment would have been a pipe dream. I am a moderate that leans right. I like Condalezza Rice. I dislike Hillary Clinton. Regardless, I hope someday my daughter will look to these women and others like them and realize that she can be anything in the world she wants to be.

. . .for my struggles - Its said the best quilts are like life. They balance dark fabrics with light just as life balances hard times with happy. Its only with the dark fabric included that we can truly appreciate the beauty of the the light ones. When the quilts that fail to include both the light fabrics look washed out and blah. The hard times in my life make me realize how blessed and lucky I really am. They make the good things/times that much more spectacular.


I am a snob

I admit it.

I am a snob.

I am.

Its simple really. I hate Walmart. It makes me feel dirty. I go in that place every now and then after listening to the umpteenth person tell me what a great place it is and I leave there feeling like I need to find one of those emergency "wash the nasty chemicals off you" showers.

I'm sure its a terrific place if you're looking for home supplies or other "how can you screw it up" products. I'm sure its got great prices on brand name toys or other brand name products. I just can't get past the first few 'departments' to really look hard enough at that stuff to know.

Today I went in looking for little girl outfits. My women's group at the church is sponsoring a family for Christmas. The gals in my group were raving about the deals they could get at Walmart on kids clothes. "The way kids grow! Geez, I buy all my son's outfits there!" one woman bragged. Great prices. Good clothes. Why not?

I pass a Walmart on my way into the office. It opens at 7am and so I went to look for one outfit and a toy for a little girl. First, let me say this - you can find nicer clothes cheaper at other places. The first outfit I picked up looked to me like its be dust rags after the first washing. The second outfit just looked beyond tacky. I found something finally that was decent and tossed in my cart. I decided maybe the baby clothes would be more promising. Nope. In the small (and I do mean small) department I found only three outfits in Meggie's size. Cute enough on the outside....rough and uncomfy feeling to the hand on the inside. No way.

I finally just left the store. My little girl outfit still in the cart left in some miscellaneous aisle. Instead I will use my lunch hour to search out great deals at Target. See, Target I love. Target I adore. I buy my kid's clothes at Target...and well the Children's Place because they sell sweaters that don't fall apart when you wash them...and Old Navy because their kid clothes are just so darn cute. Oh, and the Carter's outlet because I really do adore their clothes. But, I digress. Target I love. Target has a way of making me spend 3x the money I intended to spend when I walked in the door. Target is dangerous.

And, if you're keeping track (which I'm sure you're not), I may also buy my little girl outfit at the cheesey kid's clothes store NEXT to the Target up here. They have whole outfits for $7. Cute outfits at that! My cheapest option at Walmart was $17.

Yes, I know.






Say it Ain't So. . .

This week I have seen at least FOUR houses within say five blocks or less of my house with Christmas lights not only up, but on. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS PEOPLE!!! A week prior to Thanksgiving.

There's a gal in my local mom's group bragging that all her decorations are up already.

What the hell?

Can someone tell me when Thanksgiving became nothing more than a speed bump between Halloween and Christmas?


Things that matter most

I had a lot of things swirling in my head that I was going to blog about. Yup, there's actually too much cluttering my brain right now and I figured I'd take the sanity break to spit it all out on the screen. Then my children got in the way and they did something that touched me so much I had to just write about that.

Its been going on for quite some time now actually. I mean really, the big one is inching towards 2 and half so really this 'thing' they do has been out there for nearly that long. The little one has been doing it for the better part of her two months...really almost instantly...but others have been noticing it lately and pointing it out to me. I don't know why, but it never sinks in until that happens. I mean I notice...but it doesn't really "hit" me until then. At least it doesn't hit me as something uniquely mine until someone else points it out.

Yes, I am fully aware that I'm being vague and annoying by doing so, so let me clear up the fuzziness for you. I'm talking about the look these two give me. Its easier to describe in terms of the non-verbal one - the look is anyway. Its like this:

This morning Meg and I got up at 5am. My plan was to wake her at the point if she wasn't already up. (Yes, I know...enjoy the sleep, but folks, she had slept 9 hours at that point and I KNEW she'd start making noise the moment I got in the shower and since today is my first day back in the office, I knew that was trouble.) I went in to get her and she was just hanging out all sorts of awake and content.

We settled into the recliner and she, the one that can't even roll herself over yet, wiggled her way towards me, leaning to the side as it were before I could arrange her myself, so she could eat. Her meal complete, I moved her back into my right arm and laid her so that she faced me - her left side being pushed gently up so that her head was straight...sometimes we're to do to help those tight muscles work themselves out. Her big wide eyes were roaming the dimmly lit room as she searched for something to study. She settled on my face and when she did so every inch of her glowed. She smiled. She cooed. She kicked her feet and flapped her arms. She was so incredibly happy and content that her body vibrated with the pleasure. This little squirmy creature that can melt my heart when I merely look at her uses this full body response to tell me the feeling is mutual and man, does that just put me on Cloud 9.

What's even more wonderful about it though is that this look - this transparent gaze of adoration, the full body response of pure, unadulterated love - is just mine. This is what doesn't hit me until others notice. She loves others. She coos at her Daddy and her grandparents. She obviously adores her big brother. But that response is reserved for Mommy. She has her own special response to her other people, but that one is mine, all mine.

The big one has his own thing too. There is nothing he says as wonderful as "I love my mommy." Even bigger then the loving part are those two little words "My Mommy." Who knew being owned would ever feel so darn good. When I have a bad day there is nothing that fixes my soul better then feeling those two strong thing arms warp themselves around my neck as the that red mass of hair tickles my nose when Logan buries his head on my shoulder. There is nothing that soothes a restless spirit more than hearing his 2 year-old voice say "Mommy, want to snuggle with me?"

And even when he's hurting or sad, there is nothing that makes me feel more needed, more important, more heroic almost, then to hear him say "No, I want my Mommy." Its again this affirmation that the total and complete sense of adoration and admiration I feel for him is sent back my way as well.

These two beautiful, perfect beings - they are mine. I am theirs. Is there anything that makes a person feel more valued than that?


Kick in the pants please

Once upon a time I wrote a few articles for a magazine and got paid to do it. This is what allows me to say "I'm a full-time mom, a part-time marketing consultant AND a freelance writer" when folks ask me about my day job. I wrote, but then I got lazy about pitching because I was looking to avoid deadlines around Meggie's arrival and those subsusquent sleep deprived nights.

Yet now she sleeps decently and I'm still not pitching. Why? Its easy:

a) I'm lazy and don't take the time it takes to research, compose and draft a good pitch because I'd rather use my precious moments of "me" time doing something silly like blog surfing, email responding or yes, I admit it, watching sometime like The Apprentice and (don't think less of me) Charmed.

b) The time I *do* get on the PC recently has been dedicated to the other half of my income and trust me when I say, it sucks up a lot of my energy and time.

c) I'm feeling chicken.

Yes, chicken. You know, I felt great when I got those assignments. I felt paranoid when I finally submitted them and then elated when the editor didn't write me back saying "Geez, you call yourself a writer? What's this drivel?!" I was ecstatic when the magazine showed up in my mailbox with my article mentioned on its cover - both times!

But (yes always a but) that was then and this is now. I've not pitched anything in months and I feel that old lack of confidence riding high. I don't take the time to pitch because I am just too chicken to do it.

Someone just find my cyber butt and kick it hard. Please and Thank you.


Real-parenting Part Two

Recently I had this great mushy pseudo-ephinany about parenting a two year old. (Yeah, go ahead, if you missed it, click the link and read it. Honestly, I can be quite profound when I have no caffiene and no sleep.) It dawned on me, however, that I left some important things out.

Real parenting begins at two because that's about the time the hard questions start popping up - at least in our household. No, we're not into birds and bees quite yet, but real meaty issues are starting to poke their ugly little heads in my peaceful existance. Its the curse that comes with verbality and awareness - something that comes as your child leaves infancy and early toddlerhood and starts to take on the mantle of real-live-little-person.

For example, as a two-year old, Logan goes to a 'real' Sunday School class - as opposed to just playing trucks in the nursery. Now granted, there are days the teenaged teacher for the 2-3 set fails to do much more than let them play and eat animal crackers, but more often than not they read a story. This means that more often than not on a Sunday night we re-read the story or we read something from his 5-minute Bible Story book. One such night Logan looked to his father and said "Where is God?" IF you want to know what he said, you'll have to ask Daddy. ;)

Ahh, just kidding. The answer was something about God being all around us and in things like nature. IT was not an answer that satisfied inquiring young minds. "But where is he?" Logan asked. Mommy finally settled it by saying "God is in Heaven. Up there. (pointing above our heads) He's up there in Heaven." In turn Logan said simply "Oh. Ok."

Another example? I came out of the shower one morning to find Logan sitting on my bathroom floor with his shirt pulled up to his chin and a finger poked into his belly button. He looked up at me with a puzzled little face and said "Mommy, what my belly button do?"

Being the kind of Mom that thinks honesty is the safest policy I tried to explain the simplest way I knew how that when babies are inside their Mommy's bellies they are connected by a long cord to the Mommy. The cord connects to the baby at his/her belly button and the baby gets food through said cord. I then explained that when the doctor helps the baby come out of the Mommy, the baby doesn't need the cord anymore so it falls off and leaves behind the belly button. Then we talked about Megan's button since Logan had noticed her cord stump and how it one day fell off.

"What's a cord?" he asked me. So, stumped for a good response, I explained it was sort of like a rope.

"Where the rope go?" he said. And so again, we talked about when the baby was born...blah blah blah.

He thought about it some and then, with a soft "Humphf" sound eminating from his satisfied little head, he got up and started marching down the hall. . .still holding his shirt up to his chin. "Where are you going?" I asked him.

"I'm going to get some food to put in my belly button," he said back apparently determined to make that button useful.

And these are nothing compared to the day he wanted to know why the people that go to the Synagogue we have Gymboree at each week don't believe in Baby Jesus. I just stared a moment and said "I don't know Logan. They just don't. There are many ways in this world to pray to God and worship him. We have our ways and the people that go to that Synagogue have theirs. We just have to respect everyone else's way to pray and ask them to respect ours."

"What's respect mean?" he asked, so I tried to explain in terms he might understand - concepts we delve into often - be nice. "Respect means share?" he said.

"Well, sort of," I said. "Sharing is one way to respect other people." And again, we did the be nice thing.

He was quite a moment and then said back to me. "Hmm, God's up there," and he pointed to our ceiling. I'm hoping he's referring to the aforementioned "heaven" discussion and not my attic.


The Christmas Story According to Logan

Sure it early, but why not settle yourself into a comfy position and listen closely to the Christmas Story:

Once upon a time the Mailcarrier left a book of joy in our mailbox. This book, also known as the Fisher Price Holiday Catalog, fascinated young Mr. Logan Daniel. He flipped through pages, made a list and checked it twice. On the back page he found a Little People Nativity and he gleefully requested it make an appearance in his toy collection.

"But Logan," said his Mommy patiently, "you already have that toy."

Logan said "I no have it. I want it."

And Mommy smiled back at him. "Logan come here, let me show you." She opened up the old blanket chest now working as a toy box and she dug beneath stuffed dogs and behind plastic trucks until she found a small plastic stable, squat little people, a handful of barn animals, one small angel and a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes molded into a manager.

"See, here it is," she said, somewhat wishing she could say "See, I told you so!"

Well despite the fact that it was only November 5th, young Mr. Logan decided to put out his Little People Nativity for display - and why not, the same day Santa Claus showed up at the mall on a fire engine and now sits in his big plush chair amongst fake snow, teenage elves and a big old train at Centercourt.

"Mommy, what's this called?" he asked as he held up the stable. So Mommy told him its name and then added "See, that's where Baby Jesus was born."

"No," said Logan with complete sincerity. "Babies no born in stable. This Baby Jesus hob-it-bull." (also know as hospital because after all that's where baby sister Megan came from...its where all babies come from.)

"Ummm, well, ok Logan, but its really a stable...a barn."

"No," he said "Its a hobitbull barn." Then he held up a wiseman and asked "Who that?"

"That's one of the three kings that came to visit Baby Jesus," explained his Mommy.

"No Mommy! That silly. That not a king. That a queen," said Logan

"Well, ok, but its really a king or a wiseman." said Mommy. "Why do you think its a queen?"

"She wear a dress!" said Logan as if Mommy should know this. He held out the squat figure in his hand to prove his point.

"That's a robe Logan. When Baby Jesus was born long, long ago men didn't wear pants, they all wore robes."

"No," said Logan, "She's a queen. She bring Baby Jesus milk," he added as he pointed to the gold colored vessel in the figure's hand.

Satisfied he had won the debate, he turned back to his "Baby Jesus set" as he referred to the entire scene. He placed the golden haired angel on the top of the "hospital" and pressed down - an action that starts the music playing and lights up the star on the front facade of the little building.

"Ohhh," said Logan as if he finally got it all. He pointed to the glowing star and said, "That Baby Jesus nightlight."

The Fun is Over

I go back to work in a week from tomorrow. Not that I haven't been working, actually, but I've not worked in the office since mid-August when the OB agreed standing on my feet for 12 hours at a trade show the following day wasn't the best use of my then 8 months pregnant body. Instead I worked from home and as such have taken just a single week off from doing anything money earning.

For those new to the game here, I am technically self-employed. I quit my day job after my son was born 2.5 years ago and returned as a contracted consultant working two days a week in the office of my now "client." Any projects that require more time than those two days allow I get to do from home. Occasionally I pick up work for other clients or some freelance writing work.

Just prior to starting my leave that never was I had ranted on this blog about the job. I had started to think of alternatives and yet here I am 8 days away from going back to it. I have looked a bit around & I have found nothing yet that meets my needs - scratch that - that meets my wants.

Instead I have spoken with my immediate boss who basically says he doesn't want to loose me to another place and is now looking for ways to increase my work load through more at home hours on various projects. He wants to keep me happy and employed there. I'm coming up with various options to go over with him - all of which would make me happy. SO we'll see.

As I pondered all this though, I got to thinking about bosses in general. It was a walk down memory lane that had me laughing again over the worst boss I ever had and then missing the two best bosses I ever had - the ones that helped me grow professoinally in ways I can't ever repay them for.

I'll share those stories at another time, right now my big boss (the baby) is yelling for me to get to work so I must wrap this up. Share a story in the comments field about your best/worst boss ever.


Want traffic?

Who but a crazy, attention starved web addict would say yes to that? I mean normally I'm not into traffic - I like my driving unimpeded by other people who slow me down. But when it comes to a blog, its sort of neat to know that your ramblings don't always exist in a vaccum.

If your online ego needs stroking, check out this traffic building tool:

Blog Explosion

No personal input on whether or not it works yet as I just surfed over there myself, but hey.


Pet Peeve Redux

Mandy recently wrote a list of some of her pet peeves and invited folks to join in. (Its fun, really head over and give it a whirl!) Well today I have one more to add and instead of just whining in her comment fields, I figured I'd whine here.

So here's my newest peeve. Idiots at work that make mistakes and then use the word "we" to describe WHO made the error. As in "Oh, I just looked at the invite/agenda again and we misspelled this guy's name." Ummm, no. WE did not because ME merely used the spelling THEE provided ME in the original email listing speaker content for the invite. (Yes I know, not grammatically correct but I'm ticked and I'm on a nice little rhyming kick. This is what happens when your child wants to learn to read and you find yourself immersed in books like the Cat in the Hat Wants to Cook. "Look, Look, a Book. The Cat has a Cookbook.")


Real Parenting Begins at Two

Now honestly, if someone had told me that a year ago I'd have smacked them upside the head. I was a parent the day they handed me my son all bundled up in bloodied hosptial receiving blankets. I was a mother the day I felt him kicking in the womb. I may have even qualified, depending on your point of view, the day I saw him on an ultrasound. Yes, I was a parent long before he hit two.

But did I parent? Sure I was his caretaker. I taught him. I guided him. I kept him safe and well nourished - both body, brain and soul. I comforted him. I humored him. But did I parent him. I used to think so...then came two.

Now I don't want to dimish the work parents do prior to the 2nd birthday. Its all incredibly important and wonderful stuff. Its all part of being a parent. . . all the stuff we do to help our children find their way to milestones, all the sickness we cuddle them through, all the boo-boos we kiss and the wobbly steps we help support - its all important work of a parent.

Two years old, however, is all they say it is and more. Now honestly, for the most part I love two. I love watching my son learn because when a toddler learns its so very clear what's happening - you can all but see the connections meeting up in those little heads. The Aha! moments are written all over their faces. I love listening to his throught process because when Logan works his way through a problem he often does outloud. I love having conversations with him. I love having to figure out ways to stiffle my laughter when he expresses his deeply profound two year old logic. I love hearing the little misprounciations that disappear quickly. (Although he's had trouble saying Yogurt for the longest time. It always comes out Yodurk) I love when he really gets a concept and shows he understands it by expressing it through his words later. I love when he hugs my legs and says "Mommy, I love you so very much." or "You're my best friend."

What I don't love is the other side of two. The testing of limits. I don't love when I tell him not to "Cook" with the dog's food only to watch him reach back into the bowl saying to me as he smiles "No Mommy, its good. Its funny." I don't love the incessant paging for me for no real reason:
"Yes Logan?"
"Logan, what do you want?"
"Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy"
"What Logan?"
"Mommmmyyyyyyyy, mommy! MOMMYYYY!"
"That's it, I'm ignoring you."

I don't love the mischief even though I know its part of a necessary evil - a part of learning his limits, learning what is acceptable and learning there are consquences. I don't love feeing like a kid that can't even tie his own shoes can push my buttons worse than anyone else. I don't love having to be the heavy that sends him to his room. I don't love knowing that part of it all stems from a physical inability to control impluses that all two year olds struggle with.

Parenting begins at two. The part of the job that means setting boundries and enforcing them comes at this age. Yes, this age ushers in the serious issuing of consquences when the borders are breeched. I've sent Logan to his room to 'ponder' his actions more times in the last week than I think I've ever had to do anything to correct his behavior in the last two years. Sure, part of it stems from adapting to a new family member...but most of it is just that he's two.

I find myself doing those things I used to just read about in parenting type magazines as I thought "Gosh, how hooky. Do I really need to sit down and bear hug my child at a playdate?" Yet just last week at the Mom's Group Halloween party I found myself in someone's den sitting on an overstuffed couch and holding a hysterical Logan on my lap hugging him tight and whispering in his ear "Hush now, you're ok. Just relax. That's not your toy. Its Billy's toy. Its not yours. You weren't even playing with it when Michael took it. Logan, honey, I know its hard, but we have to take turns." Of course when you're two everything IS yours and sharing just sucks rocks.

That's when parenting comes in. Its when you hold your child tightly knowing that a small part of you just wants to go tackle Michael to get the toy for your son and yet you tell your kid that he just has to let it go and share.

Parenting is when your kid is standing in the center of Toys R Us on the verge of a tantrum because he really, really, really does NOT want to leave the train table and you manage to pick him up and distract him with carrying your bags from another store. Parenting is when he's about to smack some other kid upside the head with a friend of Thomas the Tank Engine and you whisper in his ear with some bite to your tone "We do NOT hit other people. Put that down right now, I mean it Logan Daniel!"

Parenting is when you have a "discussion" with your child over the merits of not sticking dog food in his infant sister's mouth and manage to control yourself long enough to keep from raising your voice too loudly or using words the FCC forbids use of in broadcasting. Its when you tell him not to climb up on his stool that close to the countertop and then resist sticking out your tongue or saying "I told you so!" when he smacks his head on the edge of it (which is what you have done in the past to your kid brother when he did similar things.)

Parenting is also the good stuff though and perhaps, as I let this fall from my finger tips, the truth is only "I have to displine parenting" starts at two. Real parenting is also when your child succeeds at a task and you puff up with pride. Its when he tells you he loves you and you manage to hug him tight saying "I love you too!" without melting into a ball of tears. Its when you get excited about a holiday you've not been excited over in more than 20 years because its his first (and this would refer to Trick or Treating on Halloween...) Its when you're more excited about seeing him open his gifts at Christmas than getting yours.

Parenting is knowing you can only drift off to sleep tonight when your children are tucked in snug and you've looked in to make sure they're breathing and safe. Its when the thing you miss the most about not being home are the little arms that wait to wrap themselves around your neck - the soft breathe that falls on your cheeck as they nuzzle into you. Parenting is about loving enough to know that its more about being Mom than being that best friend. Parenting is knowing that sometimes scolding makes you feel worse than it actually does him - but you do it anyway. Its knowing that there is nothing that little person can ever do to make you stop loving him. Its knowing that a piece of your heart walks around on its own two legs outside your body with its own little mind.