I'd like to introduce you to a very important member of our family. His name? Monkey Buddy.
Monkey Buddy comes with us on all trips to theme parks, museums and other large gatherings.
MB attracts attention where ever we go. People smile, point and sometimes, grimace and shake their heads. We tell him to not mind THOSE kinds of people as they just don't understand.
Do you know who does understand our good friend MB? Anyone who has ever, even for just one teensie tiny moment thought that their child was lost.
It happened to us once when our oldest was about 5. We were at the Children's Museum in Boston. We were on the elevator, not because we were too lazy to walk a few steps but because son # 1 was in a stroller. Up we were going when the elevator stopped to let someone out on floor #2. We were going up to floor #3. We were all there... everything was good. Then, just as the doors were shutting, our 5 year old went through the doors and they shut! It was the longest 30 seconds of my entire life! ( why'd he do that? He saw someone leaving and at the last second thought it was us.)
Instantly we could hear him crying in panic. We tried yelling through the elevator that we were coming. My husband bound through the 3rd floor opening and bolted down the stairs. Thankfully the floors are open so when we got out and started yelling to him, he could hear us. Some nice lady saw what happened and stayed with him until my husband got down there. For a while, I never thought I could take my kids to places like that again - I had been far more frightened than my son because I was far more aware of all that could of happened (but didn't, thank you Jesus!!) than he.
Another time at the super market after making new friends in the isles as we went a shoppin' (you know how you keep seeing the same people even if you're going in different directions?) we heard a mother's panic in the check out line. Our 'friends', a young mother with her 2 year old son and newborn baby, were a few people behind us in line when the mother noticed that the 2 year old was gone. The panic in her heart broke voice sent chills down my spine. "I know this feeling" I thought. This was a very rare occassion when I was actually shopping with my husband and both children. I told my husband - 'stay here with them!' and off I went.
I went running to the far end of the store yelling for Andrew and asking folks in the isles if they'd seen a small boy (everyone in the store was at a standstill as they could hear the mom yelling - even though they really didn't know what was going on. and... can I just say that Shaw's did NOTHING to help!!! they didn't have employees help, they didn't stop people from leaving the store - NOTHING!! and the manager was well aware of what was going on!). Finally an older lady said to me 'I did see a boy by himself down there climbing into a shelf' pointing down the paper goods isle. Ok - #1 - you see a 2 year old by himself and that didn't raise a red flag?! #2 - He was climbing on a shelf, and again...nothing?
Speaking of #2, when I got down to little Andrew, I do believe his reason for seperation was that he was at the age where he was about ready to potty train and wanted a little privacy if you know what I mean. I scooped the little man up in my arms and started yelling for the people at the end of the isle to tell the mom I had him!
By the time I got into the car, I just sat and cried. Not my kid - true! Didn't even know them (other than saying 'hello' and warning the mom that he was filling her cart with frosting) - true! But I'm a mom. I knew her terror!
So, Monkey Buddy.... Don't get him? Don't really care!!! It keeps my child safe in situations where he could become easily lost and I love my son just as much (read 1000 x more!!) as another loves their animal (I like animals too). So I will go on using our dear Monkey Buddy until age/behavior render him no longer necessary.
But I will say that as we were leaving the Museum of Science yesterday, a police officer pointed to us and said "Love those!! They make my job so much better. Thank you for using one of those lady!" So there scoffers!!!
Raising boys means that you sometimes have to go where you otherwise would never go.
One such place, the barber. (please read this as though I were Jerry talking about Newman)
I really dread going to the barber. I even subject the boys to my pathetic attempts at wielding the clippers in hopes of prolonging the inevitable next trip to ... the barber.
It all started about 5 years ago...
Picture it, townie barber shop decked to the hilt in Boston sport paraphernalia. In walks a mother with her 2+ year old son. Mother is prepared with toys and a drink to entertain young son. What this poor unsuspecting mother does not know, is that she needed to plan over an hours worth of diversions. One barber shop in town - you take a number like at a deli and an hours wait is considered pretty quick! The moment she walked in, glances were exchanged between the men. Conversations are obviously being redirected. While woman struggles to keep child amused, more glances and smug smiles are exchange. Comments about wives, girlfriends and the 'inferior sex' in general are being tossed about as woman wishes she could body check the next beer bellied client from his spot - get child's hair cut done and get out!! After what seems like an eternity in testosterone hell, their number is called. Son is lifted onto the cute horse seat in preparation for the cut to begin. Mother explains to barber (again!) that son has sensory integration issues. (hate the sound of nails on a chalk board? imagine that all loud sounds are amplified and the annoyance you feel with that sound is multiplied a hundred times over and you'll get the idea of what it is to have auditory sensory issues.) The child wont freak out, but does squirm and wince. Mother assures barber that she'll be happy with him just doing the best he can - not worried about imperfections due to squirmy child. Cut begins.... squirming begins (again, not crying or trying to get up - I've totally seen worse!) chastising begins... "Come on buddy - this is nothing".."Stop acting like a baby and sit still".. to the mother "Just tell him to not move his head"... There's now an murmur through the shop that begins increasing in volume making situation even more unbearable....
This uncomfortable situation has been played out many a time over the last several years. Not always the same circumstances (son #1 has mostly outgrown sensory issues and now sits beautifully, although his eyes may be shut tight through a lot of it) but always, super uncomfortable.
I feel like I'm walking into the men's lodge and have no business being there. And I tell ya, I really don't want to intrude on their sports talkin, female insulting, crass humor bonding time!! But... the hubs wont take them....
So if it's not challenging enough to be the Ladyofthehouse (a challenge that I love 99% of the time)- I also have to be the lady of the barber shop too!!
*Note: There was another woman at the barbers today - but she doesn't count. This is because she was a size 4 blond with fake nails and heels on. Women who look like that are warmly welcomed into the barbers! Go figure! ;)
I was in bed last night by 8:40 (completely unheard of!) so I was not up to usher it in - but alas, it came anyway as it always does.
I've never been one to get greatly excited over the new year. I don't go out and party. Never loved the whole 'resolution' thing.. Didn't even like watching Dick Clark count down the ball in Times Square. (no offense to Mr. Clark)
Yet even with this, the older I get my views on this time of year have changed. The year seems to wind down in a series of celebrations (halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) before it ends, welcoming in a 'fresh start'. I believe that is what most people find so attractive - the idea of a 'fresh start'. Let's face it - even as adults there are times when we'd like a 'do-over' - but alas, that can not happen. So what's the next closest thing? How about a new year?
You open your new calendar and all of the squares are blank. What will you choose to fill the boxes in with - and what will be chosen for you? What plans will you make? What surprises do these days hold in store? What trials may come? What great joys shall over flow your cup?
Many things we can not control - but as I've said once and I'll say yet again - our attitude is one thing that we can at least attempt to control.
So - to that end, I have thought and thought, and prayed and thought, and bit my nails (I haven't bit my nails since I was a child), and ate some chocolate, and thought and ate more chocolate and drank cup after cup of tea and finally... I was stuck on 2 words. Which would become my 'theme word of the year'?
drum roll please.......
As with all of my 'words of the year', this too has many meanings.
Of course your first thought may be "yea, yea, you wanna lose weight like everyone else" - and while there is some truth to that - FIT is representing so much more for me.
When considering this word for me theme - I went to visit my dear friend Mr. Webster to consult with him. Here is what he told me:
1. adapted to an end or design; suitable by nature or by art. acceptable from a particular viewpoint (such as morality)
2. put into a suitable state, to make ready. being in such a state as to be or seem ready to do or suffer something.
3. sound physically and mentally
So now that I was equipped with the exact meanings of my theme word - I am now ready to apply it to my life this 2010.
1. My faith is of tremendous importance to me! I feel however, that I am frequently trying to 'squeeze God in'. This is not 'acceptable'. I need to make God 'FIT' into my life and make my faith life "FIT". Weather it be a whole chapter or section of a study or simply one verse from the Psalms, I know that I must begin each day with God's word. It is the only thing in this world that is unchanging and without error! For all else to go right in my life - I must make my faith FIT.
2. 'To put into a suitable state"??? are you kidding? I could write out a whole list that would take an entire roll of Charmin to record it all! But rather than an exorbitant amount of time detailing all areas this applies to - I'll just write a few key areas: my business, my educational/career goals, finances, the kitchen, my office, etc... I'll take them one task at a time and FIT them into my schedule as to make them a priority in my life - without stressing myself out so much that I become unFIT. :)
3. Lastly - 'physically and mentally FIT'. I have already taken a few steps to begin my journey down this road. On many levels, this will be the hardest application of my theme word. But once again - although I will FIT time in for me, to take better overall care of myself, I will take this one step at a time. Offering praise for each victory and humbling myself to ask for help when I need it.
This will be a journey my friends - an uphill one at that at times.
To help me on my journey, and maybe you as well, I will be starting a new blog entitled