Thursday, October 28, 2010


Recently I have:
  • been crushed from weeks of uninterrupted hours tending two chronically sick kids
  • felt privilege that comes only from being their primary nursemaid
  • googled "croup" so often I'm pretty sure I have stridor

  • cursed preschool germs
  • praised preschool for everything else

  • incurred black eye from orchestrating holiday photo
  • come to understand poetic justice

  • met kind stranger who paid my way through DC
  • attended engagement party because of kind stranger
  • enjoyed night-out @ Cavas Tavern with dear friends due to engagement party
  • renewed joy and taste for tzatziki

  • been ecstatic about new buttery soft black low-heeled boots
  • thought they screamed men's department very next day

  • inhaled Sadie for comfort and peace
  • watched daughter move furniture to get her brother to sit next to her
  • watched brother sit next to her even though he really wanted to play

  • lost five pounds
  • gained back six

  • wondered why good underwear is so hard to find
  • realized I may have to look farther than Target

  • had two dreams come true: 1. find laid back friend in neighborhood with whom to share tea and 2. hear Mom play the same made-up games with my kids as she did with brother and me. (She does Batman voice surprisingly well. Oddly enough, Hulk even better.)
  • been so thankful for parents
  • thanked moon and stars for grandparents

  • missed daily blog posting and reading
  • realized I'm okay with that

  • reconnected with someone important
  • made plans to meet with her soon

  • watched our wedding video
  • attempted to make more "me time" as a result
  • failed on the first attempt
  • stayed up too late on the second

  • trapped stinkbug underneath Abby's port-a-potty
  • come to believe Snapper the fish is lonesome in Grayson's room

  • really tried not to curse so much
  • said "sugar" and "ding dang" like my grandma once did
  • found new respect for my healthy body that refuses to catch anything preschool throws at it (yes, realize am fated to karmic puke-fest before spell checking this post.)
  • stopped writing cutesy little love notes on Grayson's napkins
  • eavesdropped on room parent's violin concert for preschoolers
  • felt very proud when she later told me how engaged Grayson was
  • laughed when hubby said, "I hope he didn't dance."
  • emphatically hoped that he did

  • been so hung up on maintaining the perfect
  • had to keep reminding myself that is a self-induced state of mind
  • stopped raising bar before kids couldn't reach it for themselves
  • fallen back in love with messy, noisy and chaos a tiny tiny bit
  • not denied adoration for order, peace and hottest shower two shoulders can handle

  • hired a maid
  • found amazing new babysitter
  • raked leaves
  • changed light bulbs
  • stuck to a menu for two weeks straight
  • gone decaf half of the time
  • completely dug ride the other half

Monday, October 25, 2010


"There is magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits." - Robert Southey

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wrong Shoes

Two nights ago was Back-to-School night at my son's preschool. This is the first Back-to-School night I've attended as a parent and not a teacher. I had butterflies while blow drying my hair. My hands shook as I attempted eyeliner, then nixed any and all future plans of mascara. I was rushing around trying on shirts then flinging them to the mattress because they were too low cut, too high waisted, too 90s. My son came up to me and asked why I was in such a hurry. I glanced at the clock, saw there really was plenty of time and wondered why I was in such a hurry.

"I'm going to your school tonight," I told him.
"To talk to your teachers and sit in little chairs like you do."
"So I can see what you do every day."
"I play with magnets."
"Then I will find the magnets."

There it occurred to me why I was so nervous. I hadn't realized yet that I was showing up to this event as someone's mom and not their teacher. My nerves were in automatic (granted, four YEARS ago automatic but muscles do have incredible memory) while my body was stuck in overdrive like I probably was a few years back getting ready for events like this.



"You're on the other side now," I told myself.

It feels good to have finally arrived.

But I must admit I could not shake the urge to write on a wipe board or lead the discussion on Reggio inspired philosophies of education. Some day I will once again scurry and hurry as a teacher in vain to meet parents who are every bit as nervous as I am. But for now, I will try to enjoy being one of parents and keep my highlighters and sticker charts filed away for the future. A future that is beginning to beckon me back like an old friend with a warm cup of soup and a beautiful brand new Sharpie.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Smile & the Rest of Your Body Steps in Line

I have very good reason to believe the Twilight Zone white streak of oddness here at our house is over. Good things are ahead of us, I can feel it in my keyboard.

The proof is in the puddin'.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Know Your Kid

Grayson turned four on Saturday.

I turned inside out.

Not because he is getting older or I am getting older or the fact that he asked me if people's arms fall off when they go to people heaven (???) or anything close to that.

I turned inside out because I threw a huge family superhero birthday part for myself and not for him. I forgot who he was. I even asked people to dress up like their favorite superhero. Because I thought it would be fun. We had cake, decorations and beautiful bags filled with presents family and friends thoughtfully picked out for him. For my little four year old who completely freaked out when everyone showed up. As in ran upstairs to his room, closed the door quietly and locked it. It took me 11 minutes to realize he was gone. Eleven minutes to notice the guest of honor had taken leave of his own party.

If I had paid attention to the past, oh I don't know, FOUR years of his life I would've known there could be no other response from this child. If I had really thought about it, I would've realized the fight or flight instinct is stronger in children than in adults and mine is still kicking pretty red hot most of the time. I should've known he would have no choice but to run.

When I finally sweet talked my way into his room I was met with a mirror image of all my own insecurities, just in little boy form. He was in tears. Soft, steady tears of confusion, fear and even hope that maybe he would be brave enough to join in soon when nobody's eyes were on him and nobody's voice around him.

After a short pep talk, we walked downstairs to find Pop. In his broken state, Grayson searched for the one person who would help him weld himself together again by building a shelf in the garage. Something real and tangible that made sense instead of mixing and mingling with 15 of Mommy&Daddy's closest family and friends. So that is exactly what they did. Pop and Grayson worked on a small wooden shelf they started building the day before while our friends and family tried to ignore the fact that birthday boy was MIA.

It was pretty awful. For us. For him. For poor Pop who didn't know if hammering nails was an acceptable grandparent thing to do while others socialized and carried on inside the house. In my opinion, it was the only thing to do.

Grayson is shy. He is painfully, awkwardly, sometimes socially unacceptably shy. But he is also so many other fantastic things. Fantastic things strangers, distant family members and most friends never get to see. His shyness should not define him at such a young age but still it seems to so much of the time. It is colossally unfair and I try to protect him from it the best I can by helping him choose more socially acceptable behaviors but then I ask myself if I'm doing more harm than good? By protecting him from his natural inclination to be introverted am I making him feel bad for the way he feels? I tell him he should make eye contact with people, he should engage in conversation with other little boys and girls, he should play next to them if not with them on the playground. Is this the right message to send so early on? Or am I really telling him I don't accept his longer than usual warm-up period, his super cautious demeanor. In effect the one person who should love you unconditionally is saying "I don't accept you for who you are and (worse yet,) I want to change you."

The truth is, Grayson was born shy. It may sound ridiculous but anyone who met him will say the same thing. From the day we took him home, he was this way. During my first (dreadful. oh Lord do I still despise 'em) experiences with playdates, he was this way. Visiting his extended family and our close friends, he was this way. We tried to roll with it and embrace it but ultimately we treated his sensitivity and introversion as a disability.

"What are we doing wrong?" My husband and I would ask ourselves.
"Why can't he just be happier?" I'd wonder when we went outside his comfort zone.
"Why is he so clingy, so surly, so upset all the time?" we'd ask each other when we tried to go to new places or socialize with friends who Grayson wasn't quite familiar.

The truth is that it is difficult to embrace certain qualities about your child all the time. There's a fine line between accepting the inconvenient "as is" characteristics while not making them feel guilty for not intrinsically knowing more socially acceptable behaviors. Society is fickle. They can be unkind to people who are not dynamic, even at the ripe age of four. There have been enumerable times I have felt the scorn of people (sometimes people close to me) as they witness less than desirable behavior from Grayson. They may have shown it in their eyes, in their curled up lip, or even in their "helpful" advice to "just get him involved in more activities with children his own age." Oh, parent of gregarious child, I hope you get a shy one next time. You will understand then.

And yet, I let Grayson down on Saturday. I failed to fully accept him for who he is and instead planned a big party with tons of commotion, food he doesn't even like and people (he is just now starting to know) fully dressed up like someone else in their superhero costumes. I threw him the anti-birthday party.

And yet, he rallied. It may have taken solitary confinement, a new wooden shelf, and hiding in the bushes (true story) for two hours but he braved up and joined the party. He even had himself a pretty terrific time once the initial sting wore off and his sensory palette became less assaulted with the unfamiliar.

I believe he will not always run away or want to hide in new situations or with new people. There are lots of little ones out there who are just like him who grow up as well adjusted people. His preschool teacher, in fact, has a grown son who just volunteered to read a story for Grayson's class today. I got to meet him. He didn't hide behind his mom. He didn't grunt wildly and flee for a smaller space. He met my eyes, smiled warmly and shook my hand with the confident grasp of a well adjusted (and rather outgoing) young man.

"He used to be just like Grayson," the preschool teacher whispered to me, inferring the obvious and hoping I'd get it. "They are really so similar."

And we, as their mothers, are very lucky to have the honor to watch and help them grow.

Next year? We will plan a quiet day on the lake with one of his friends when our awesome four year old turns five. And nobody dresses up.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Preemptive Strike

Sorry you guys, I may have freaked out a bit.

I'm going to keep this blog public until I get another one going that will be more private and will personally invite you all over to that one, if you're interested.

The thing is I have been wanting to privatize this blog for a while and unsure how to do that without losing all my readers. I will figure out a way, however, and we'll make a smoother transition than the lockdown I created yesterday. Seriously. Fort Knox. Not even my mother could get in. But T figured out the secret code. I knew he would.

So again I thank you for making enough requests that I raised the curtain to share the noise and bring the funk.

And oh do I have funk to bring.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Securing the Perimeter

Hi all. For undisclosed personal reasons, I have elected to make this blog private and probably very soon discontinue this particular blog altogether in the near future. For my personal friends and family, I will let you in. For everyone else I will recognize (ie: I know and visit your blog, we went to prom together, you sell pretty jewelry, etc.) I will also let in. Anyone else? Sorry, no dice. I hope you understand. If I didn't think it necessary, I wouldn't take such a big step. But it is necessary and it is time.

I want to thank you all for your readership.

I want to thank you all for giving me this blog to look forward to each day.

I want to thank you for being patient with me while I figure out a way to secure my own perimeter.

I want to now invite only my family, friends and personal acquaintances back to One-Sided Momma until she retires for good. If you don't receive a personal email from me inviting you back on and I know you, please send an email to my personal account letting me know you'd like to be added to the list. Wow, there's a list. This is Big Time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Merry Christmas

Saturday was a day to stretch out.

None of us talked much.

Because working together was enough.

And because sometimes the work was intense.

Mothers were nursing in public and nobody cared.

Children were playing with wires, wood, and big rubber pillows without fear of losing an eye, splinters, or rugburn.

(Some adults too.)

We counted our chickens before they hatched.

Searched for needles in a haystack.

(Did you see the peacock?)

And posed for our Christmas card photo to no avail because I do weird things with my mouth when smiling for a camera.

Take One.

Take Two.

Take Three.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Sometimes you get lucky and the face says it all.

"I'm scared but I'm going to do this anyway."

"Nobody makes me laugh like you do."

"I'm happy to see you."

"I have so much to tell you."

"My belly tickles!"

"I love you."

"I'm faster than anything in the world."

"We can do this?"

"Yes, we can."