Tag Archives: kids

Peter Pan and Pixie Dust!

10 Apr
Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods

Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are days I love being a single mom.  This past Easter Sunday was one of them.  My son has been into Peter Pan since we returned from Disney in October.  He saw Peter Pan during one of the productions and at Magic Kingdom he just related to this character so much!  We’ve read the original story of Peter Pan before bedtime and  watched the guest appearance of  Peter Pan on Jake and the Neverland Pirates last month. 

The Easter bunny left some chocolate for him in his Easter basket but the highlight this year for my little guy was not the chocolate bunny from Lindt or the Peanut Butter Easter eggs – it was a Peter Pan costume.  He immediately decided to put it on and act in full character for me.

Later that day we had dinner with family near the beach and my son and I went for a walk on the beach (with Mid-Western Boy, as well).  My little guy was dressed in his Peter Pan costume and was an amazing sight to see as he searched for treasure on the beach and threatened to fight Captain Hook (aka. Mid-Western Boy) with “one hand behind his back!” 

It’s his imagination and creativity that I love!  I try my best to nurture this part of him because I know at some point I lost my imagination and find it hard to create – I want my son to know the importance of being creative and thinking freely.  I know that it is as a single parent that I am able to do this…the man I was married to, whom I conceived this beautiful child with , also known as DB, would never permit this in his home.  In fact, his father has repeatedly asked  me why I allow my son to run around outside the  home in costume.  My son has also confided in me many times that when he is at his father’s house he cannot choose what to wear on his own – his father choose his clothes for him….

Allowing my son to dress himself and wear his costumes and act out his favorite characters, I believe, allows for the full development of this little person — without interference from me or anyone else (except for maybe correcting on manners and other social skills) and allows him to be free from judgement, negativity and helps develop his confidence.  Something, that I think an overbearing father, like DB, would not allow to have happened.

My only regret is that I didn’t bring my camera along to capture this very special afternoon!

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An Inspired Breakfast by Haagen-Daz

4 Apr

I have been totally inspired by this exquisite bowl of ice cream. 

  Mid-Western Boy keeps bringing me a pint of this Haagen Daz ice cream. It is white chocolate raspberry truffle.  There is something so delicious about the sweetness of the raspberrys against the richness of the truffles with a sweet taste of the white chocolate ice cream.  I’m addicted to it and I”ve been eating it almost every night after dinner. 

I didn’t think much about this new indulgence until Sunday evening as I watched one of my favorite television programs, Mad Men.  Betty Draper (Francis) has been depressed and it appears that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  One of the last scenese of the show is of Betty eating ice cream with her daughter after dinner.  Her daughter didn’t finish her bowl of ice cream and so Betty pulled it to her and finished it as well as her own.  At that moment, I stopped breathing – hadn’t I just done the same thing with my son’s bowl of my new indulgence?    I knew I had to stop eating the ice cream every night but I can’t stop thinking of about the raspberry and chocolate combination. 

And so, this morning, I figured out how to satisfy the craving with a much healthier version for BREAKFAST!  On the weekend, I usually prepare some steel cut oatmeal and leave in our refrigerator and then warm it up during the week to vary our breakfast.  I usually simply toss in some almond milk, chopped almonds and some honey or cocunut to sweeten it for us.  Other times I toss in blueberries and brown sugar.   This morning – – I created my newest addiction — I warmed up the steel cut oatmeal with some almond milk, mixed in a a teaspoon of local raw honey and tossed in some frozen raspberries and dark chocolate chips and ……I’m back in heaven – with a lot less calories and guilt and my four year old can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

A Date with My Four Year Old

1 Apr

My little man and I spend at least one day a week (usually a saturday afternoon) on a date!  One of my very favorite things we have done together recently is enjoy New York City’s generous music/art scene designed specifically for children.  

We attended a performance by the Little Orchestra Society of Cinderella and the Prince who Slayed the Magic Dragon at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.  A few weeks later, we attended the performance of Lucky Duck at the New Victory Theater.   For both events, I spent last then $25 on our tickets combined!   I usually choose the cheaper seats in the house and then politely request to move to better seats if the show is not sold out  (this has been successful on almost every single occasion – except one so far – event was sold out).   I also almost always look for discount codes before I purchase tickets.  Every performance I have taken my son to was purchased at a discount – including these two performances.

Finally, one of the keys to saving money on this type of event – we always take public transportation (in our case the subway or bus) and pack our food.  I usually pack my son’s favorite meal – peanut butter and jelly sandwich – cut into fours apple slices, a squeezable yogurt and a thermos of ice-cold water.  We always arrive to the performance early so we can find a place to sit and eat our “picnic” lunch and use the restroom!

I hope that exposing my son to music and theater at a young age will help him to appreciate the arts as he grows into a young man.  I hope you have a chance to enjoy a performance with your little person in a city near you soon and see how it impacts their imagination and view of the world! 

My Wise Four Year Old

1 Apr

I was enjoying a little Saturday Morning Dance Party in our living room with my four year old son.  When we were done grooving to LMFAO‘s “I’m Sexy and I Know it” and Rock Party Anthem – I told him I loved spending time with him and that he really is a blessing in my life.  Then I impulsively asked him – “are we best friends, goose – goose?” 

He replied in his sweet little voice (I wish I can record it forever) – “Mommyyyyy, we can’t be best friends – You’re my mommy and I’m your son!”

My wise four year old.  He reminded me of my place in his life  – I am his parent and I don’t want to be his friend – I need to be his parent so he can grow into a well adjusted gentleman.

The Request for Some Digits

4 Feb
PHONE

Image via Wikipedia

I have a secret stress weapon that lives in my building.  Her name is M.  She is 14 years old and charges $8 an hour to babysit.  She is the  best deal I found in Manhattan.  My son adores her.  She is almost always available when I ask her to babysit.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably would not have been able to develop my relationship with Mid-Western Boy.  She stayed with my son on almost all of our dates in the early part of our relationship and she even watched him last weekend so we can go out on a Friday night. 

I responded to her advertisement  in the laundry room of our building and we have been developing a nice relationship.  I learned recently that her parents are divorced and that her dad lives 4 blocks away.  She understands my need for help.  She is the oldest child and her mom has three girls. 

There is a very friendly neighbor in my building who always offers to help me (although I haven’t asked her to).  She has two sons and one of them is my son’s age.  She and her husband have been incredibly kind and even invited my son to their son’s birthday party.   We went “trick or treating” together on Halloween.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her when my son joins her son at the local elementary school.  I’m sure the boys will get along well.  It will be great as the boys get older and can spend time together.  It will be nice for me to have a friend in the building – if a relationship develops between us.

Earlier this week she asked me if I had babysitter. I said “yes”.  She asked me who? I said she is 14 and lives in the building.  She said I can’t believe “”you” already have a babysitter in the building!  You have to give me her number!”

I paused.  It was as if she asked for my boyfriend’s number.  I don’t want to share it.  I became really quiet.  My friendly neighbor is a psychiatric nurse practioner, she sensed my closing up.  She said “I’ll run my dates that I need her by you first if you give me her number.”

I didn’t respond.  I just don’t want to share this secret weapon with anyone.  She is the only outside help I have.

My friendly neighbor has a lovely full time Nanny that even comes on Saturdays.  Her parents and her husband’s parents live within walking distance of the building and fill in gaps when her Nanny isn’t available.  She has ALOT of help.   She makes her own hours for her business.  She works 4 days a week (my other fantasy),

She asked me how the heck I found a babysitter in the building – “I told her I do my own laundry.”  It was her turn to be quiet.  It proved my point, I need the help and I can’t share this little help that I engage.   I know my friendly neighbor’s Nanny better than I actually know her because we spend time together in the laundry room with the kids.

This is the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  I need to fend for myself.

Would you like Some Cheese with that Whine?

7 Dec

I don’t usually rant about being a single mother.  I know I have a great situation with a great kid.  I like being able to make decisions for the both of us with little involvement by his father.  However, lately, I’m feeling like my son is exhausting me and I wish I had someone else to help, to intervene.   I don’t know if it is him being a normal developing four year old or if I’m just literally exhausted from doing this on my own for his entire life.

ISSUE #1.  He has begun whining – a lot.  It is driving me crazy.  I don’t know how to deal with the whine.  He whines about anything of whiche he doesn’t get his way- his result.  He wants water when we are walking home from school, he wants to watch television while we are eating dinner, he wants to play with puzzles when it is time to go to bed.  He has never whined before and now it is incessant.  I give in. I think every parenting book probably says don’t give into this behavior but at the end of a long work day, I just don’t want to hear it!  I am not a saint.  I am exhausted too!  I sometimes feel like I had somebody to whine to after a long day.

 At the end of the day, I need quiet time to decompress.  This time of year, I need that quiet time even more than ever because of how busy I am at the office with end of the year projects.  In addition to the end of the year projects, we have Christmas and holiday stuff to prepare for – so when I’m not thinking about work, I’m thinking about Christmas presents and how I’m going to fit it all in (although most of my shopping is completed online).

ISSUE $2. He doesn’t listen.  I need to repeat myself several times for him to do something. Pick up your toys from the floor, put your coat on, we are leaving for school.  He deliberately ignores me and has already developed selective hearing.  I have bcome a nag to my four year old son and I can’t take hearing myself.  I just wonder if other parents have this same issue with their children?  I feel so alone in it and I don’t share much about it to anyone. 

ISSUE #3. Beating himself up or Manipulation? The other thing that is driving me nuts is that when I do lose my temper or raise my voice to discipline him, he throws a total crying fit.  His words are hurtful.  He says to me – “you don’ t love me mommy”, “you are not proude of me”, “I think I’m a bad guy” and “Someone should kill me I’m so destructive.”  Upon hearing this language, I immediately run to him and start holding him and kissing him telling him that Mommy loves him very much and thinks he is a good boy but just would like for him to listen to me better and control himself.  I kiss him and hold him and wait for him to stop crying.  I even start to tear up when he articulates these thoughts outloud.  I just wonder if he is trying to manipulate me and distract me from his behavior that I am trying to correct?

Last night I just wished I had someone else to tell him to listen to me.  I wish I had someone in the house to defend me – to help me – to be the bad guy for once.  I feel like I’m always the bad guy because I am the only one that disciplines him on a regular basis. He even told me I’m a bad guy because I yell at him!

What other choice do we have as a single mom?  I guess we just have to hope and pray that our kids turn out alright and they look back on their life and think about how lucky they were to have a mom  that sacrificed so much to give him the best possible life she could.

I think that’s a long time to wait for a return on this investment.  So, instead, last night I did what any frazzled mom would do, I turned on the television, went into the bathroom, lit a candle and took a warm bath by myself while he was occupied with Go, Diego, Go.  I did feel a bit better before our bedtime story.

F-A-M-I-L-Y – “When you are in my heart, you’re in my family”

14 Nov
Family Photos 1999-2002

Image by IvanWalsh.com via Flickr

My son and I love Laurie Berkner.   The Laurie Berkner Band is like a rock band for pre-schoolers.  Her tunes are catchy and fun for parents and children.  She even has cute videos which you can watch on YouTube.  She sings a song called Family.  When I first separated from my husband the song always brought tears to my eyes.  I was sad because Family is the most important thing in life and here I was initiating a divorce when my son was an infant breaking up a new family.  I couldn’t get it out of my head that my son  would never know the meaning of this song.

Yesterday we celebrated my niece’s christening and I realized yesterday that my fears were just nonsense.  I watched as my son had the same life I had with my cousin’s children.  I was raised with my seeing my cousins and my grandparents on a weekly basis.   Although we don’t see my extended family anymore on a weekly basis, we do get together at holiday time and for family events and catch-up with each other.  We remain in each other’s life – not because we have to – because we want to.

It was beautiful for me to see my son run around with my cousin’s children.  They had so much fun together and spent the day playing – just like I did when I was his age with my cousins.   In my life, Family is not just mother, father, sister,  and brother.  It is all the people  that have come and remained in our life to support us as we evolve on this great journey.

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