Thursday, February 22, 2007

5 Years to Life for Spanking

Rant of the Week
Good thing I live in deep South where many folks still smile upon the practice of spanking, because if were were still living in CA, I might be doing a little jail time. I was at the gym on Monday with the girls and Jaley had a dirty diaper. As I was getting out the diapers and wipes, Sarah, who definitely knows better, just grabbed one of the little garbage bags I use to contain the toxic mess and promptly put it over Jaley's head. I am not a spanker, Sarah tush has felt the "joy" of a good whoopin', but I was too stunned to speak. I just slapped Sarah's hand, so she would let go of the bag. The entire incident only lasted about 3 seconds, and Jaley wasn't even phased, but I was horrified. The vision of that plastic bag over Jaley's face, is still haunting me.

And then to make matters even worse, Sarah screams at the top of her lungs, "My Mommy just hit me and hurt me." So now, I have an entire room of kids, parents, and babysitters staring at me. PERFECT, I look like the abusive parent. I start yammering to anyone who would listen the full tale, but basically I was now horrified and mortified. The truth is sometimes you can talk things through with a 3-year old, but when life and limb are being risked you just have to solve the problem first. So I hope those folks in CA proposing to make spanking illegal, but in an exception if you are saving the life of another child...

For the record, Sarah and I have now had at least a dozen more conversation about the dangers of putting anything over any one's face or around the neck. And I hope not to revisit that scene ever again. We parents do the best that we can. I am not perfect, but am hoping that how much I love Sarah and Jaley more than makes up for all my mistakes. And now I will get off my confessional / soap box

Tales from Stroller Lane
So what else is happening here...

Nana was up for a few days and had a great time with the girls. She, of course, made cookies with Sarah. And she help me repaint the neon green bathroom to a much softer and palatable shade. Unfortunately, she hasn't been inoculated to as many kid germs as the rest of us and spent part of two days in bed with a horrible stomach virus.

Then the next week Grandpa Perry came into town. His trip at Christmas was canceled at the last minutes, so we had Christmas in February. We even still had his Christmas stocking waiting for him.

Scott's work travel is heating up again and spent the first half of this week in NYC. While he was away, we girls enjoyed some time outside. The weather here is beautiful and we are soaking in all the warmth before Mother Nature remembers it is still winter.

And best of all, Jaley is happy. As many of you know, she spent her first 6 months in various stages of "colic." The poor thing was never comfortable and she let it be known to everyone in the vicinity. I truly believe something was a little off with digestive system. But whatever it was, she finally seems to have outgrown it. We have said she was "better" before, but this time it seems for real. She is a happy baby. She even had an ear infection this week and was still happy.

She is also learning lots of new tricks. She is sitting all by herself and almost crawling. She kind of does a commando move scooting around on her belly. She cut her first two teeth. In fact, Jaley cut her first baby tooth on the same day that Sarah cut her last one.

As for Sarah, she has hit the thrashing threes. Everything has to be her way and only her way. If not, her world crashes into an atomic sized tantrum. A tantrum so large it makes those of the terrible twos seem like a whisper. Although I try to accommodate as best I can, the truth is I can't change the laws of nature. Toys that are dropped will fall. Cups that are tipped over will spill. And sometimes it is going to rain, whether Sarah wants it to or not. But, when things are going Sarah's way, she is so much fun to be around. She jokes and plays and invents and explores and is constantly learning about everything.

Those are our tales from Stroller Lane. Lots of love to each of you.

Monday, February 5, 2007

You painted what...

It is now February and according to Punxsutawney Phil spring is on its way, but that ain’t the case here in NC. We had snow on Thursday and the forecast is even colder for the next 10 days (without any of the white stuff). There wasn’t much snow, probably just 2”, but it was enough to sled on. School was out and Sarah (and I) had a great time racing down the hill at the end of the street. It was Sarah’s first time sledding and my first time since I was 8.

But I am getting ahead of myself. It is time for a quick catch up on all of the happenings around our house. Sarah is now three and her birthday celebrations are still underway. It started with a party at Daycare, then a party with her friends at a Chucky Cheese’s type place, then cake on her actual birthday, and free ice cream a week later, and now Nana is on her way bringing up Sarah’s gifts so that she could be here when she opened them. Plus she has been to 4 birthday parties for friends and celebrated Mimi and Scott’s birthdays too. She is starting to think that every day is a birthday celebration.

While Mimi and Poppa were visiting, we also Christened Jaley. Sarah was the baby who rarely cried and she wailed during her Christeing. Jaley who has cried enough tears to fill a river was the perfect smiling baby. Go figure. As soon as the service was over, Scott and I raced out of town to beat the bad weather to The Homestead in Virginia. The weather won the race. It was sleeting long before we crossed the VA line. As hard as the Protégé tired, it just isn’t a bad weather kind of vehicle. We drove past Roanoke and then had to double back and find a hotel in the dark. But once we arrived at the Homestead it was worth it. The hotel was wonderful and since the weather was bad, there were no guests. We had the place nearly to ourselves and just loved a few days of near silence. A huge thank you goes out to Mimi and Poppa, who took care of the girls. There were flat bushed by the time they went home.

I headed back home and Scott continued on to CA for work. So, I had the girls solo for the next couple of days. Let’s just say, it wasn’t the smoothest run. On Friday Sarah painted Buford green. Not all of him, just his tail. He was not amused and raced through trying to escape further damage from Sarah’s brush. All the while leaving a green trail behind him. I am still trying to clean it all up. It was thankfully washable paint, but the label should mostly washable, because there are traces of green on most of the walls. Then that evening, I was up 6 times in 6 hours. Yes, 6 times. Jaley was up twice. Sarah was up twice. Delta called at 1AM to inform Scott he was going to miss his connecting flight. This was a completely stupid call, because if was stuck at the airport delayed, he wasn’t going to be home to answer the phone. Then Scott was home on from the airport at 6:30AM. It turns out he didn’t miss his connection after all and the call from Delta was all the more idiotic. At that point, I just gave up any hope for sleep and got up for the day.

Last week was Scott’s birthday. He celebrated by working a 12 hour day. The big event was a 20 minute break for home-cooked dinner. However, I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve. On Saturday, I surprised Scott by having his buddies over to play poker. I set up a huge spread of guy food – ribs, chips, dip, and LOTS of beer then banished myself to the upstairs. The partying went on until 1AM, and Scott paid the price yesterday. But there is no rest for the weary. This morning he was up before the sun on his way by to CA for work.

So I am flying as solo parent again this week. However, after the last foray we decided to bring in reinforcements. Nana is arriving tomorrow with a suitcase full of crafts. Sarah is stoked to see “her Nana” and I can’t wait to get some time with my mommy.

That is the news from Stroller Lane. Lots of Love.