“Does the baby say, I’m ready to come out? two and a half year old Theo asked his expectant mom recently.
Oh, the innocence and logic of a toddler! I mean, how else will this baby ever appear?
And with the passing days and weeks, even the rest of us begin to wonder – and wait – for this new little one to make an appearance – to hint, at least – I’m ready to come out.
For when a women is close to her delivery date or days beyond that date, the waiting game feels endless, the well-meaning inquiries tiresome, and those who really care, a bit helpless to do much.
As for me, I am in awe of pregnant women everywhere who share this universal journey – most especially those who are mothering another child or more at home besides.
So kudos to all the pregnant moms out there, wondering if today or tonight or tomorrow will be the day – and especially to Theo’s mom who might be listening extra hard, just in case, she hears “I’m ready to come out”.
The interview was over – all the questions answered – but one. “Do you have any questions for us?”
And during this particular interview recently, I was struck by the poignant question the candidate asked of us.
“Do you take care of each other?”
Wow! That response has resonated with me since.
Because that question is really the question for all of us to answer in whatever relationships we find ourselves in. That’s what families are about – and friendships – and hopefully even places of employment.
For taking care of each other means being tuned in to one another’s needs, it means sharing, it means supporting, it means belonging, it means kindness, it means strength, it means security.
It is a powerful question to ask ourselves – not just once, but as we continue to grow in our significant relationships.
“Do you take care of each other?”
Tuesday mornings at The Parenting Place is always a busy one.
Moms and dads, arriving for Parent Connection with their young children in tow – hang up their jackets and hats and enter the playroom, always heartily welcomed by Miss Nancy.
It’s been many years now that Miss Nancy has been with the children in the playroom on Tuesday mornings. There have been too many children to count whose gentle separation from mom or dad has happened under Miss Nancy’s help and encouragement.
Doing childcare during Parent Connection, however, was not Nancy’s main job at The Parenting Place – but it might have been her favorite. Her real job was to instruct and support other childcare workers in La Crosse and surrounding counties to learn, understand, and value the significant work they do with children.
But … Tuesday mornings were hers – to get a fresh dose of young children’s energy, wit and spirit.
And Miss Nancy loved every minute!
Miss Nancy is retiring at the end of May and she will be dearly missed by everyone at The Parenting Place for her long-time commitment to The Parenting Place, her caring and appreciation of young children, and her support and knowledge shared with caregivers over the years.
Miss Nancy – my long-time friend and co-worker – Thank you!
You will be missed.
Mothers’ Day – it’s always a bit nostalgic for me.
I think about my mom, my mother-in-law, my grandma, all passed away now; my sisters and my friends who mothered with me when we had young children; all the moms I know and have worked with in my role as a Parent Educator; and now, my own special daughter-in-law, loving mom to a two- and- a- half- year- old and ready to give birth to their second child.
We can acknowledge how mothering has definitely changed over the years in so many many ways – but what always remains so powerful, I believe, is an intrinsic bond that weaves among moms of all generations.
For it is mothers who share such a special experience and understanding of the joys and the pain, the demands and the gentle love, the fatigue and the exhilaration that each of us have known.
And so, I warmly remember and celebrate the mothers in my life- and encourage you to celebrate yourself!
Happy Mothers’ Day!
A dad was telling me a humorous story about his two-and-a-half-year-old son. When this little guy’s mom picked him up and told him “it’s time to use the potty”, he spoke firmly into his mom’s ear “no potty” and then turned her head and repeated his declaration “no potty” in her other ear – just in case he hadn’t made himself perfectly clear.
The strong universal “NO’ that a toddler can project can reverberate throughout a room.. This dad recognized and appreciated what he knew to be his son exercising his developing ” assertiveness muscles”.
And just as we are thrilled with our children’s first smiles, first steps, and first words, these shows of independent thought, determination, and ownership are also to be understood and celebrated.
We can choose to react with a matching response which often intensifies the exchange between us – or we can just hear our child, acknowledge we hear him, but …we need to carry on anyway.
Except when we don’t.
And that’s the time when it works – the times when we are able to offer our yeses – when we can offer the space for independence and growth to take place. Yes to help with the dishes – yes to baking, yes to dressing, yes to putting away the groceries, or washing the car – whatever it is that these focused little spirits want and need to do and we can say yes to – in their continuing exploration of the world around them – as they find their own place in it.
As parents, we can understand their striving, provide for it whenever possible, and love them for it.
Enjoy the ride!