My kindergarten bird and her crazy Mama

My oldest baby bird has shown some hesitation about flying.

Last year she threw fits at preschool hoping her Daddy would come fetch her and take her to the farm. He didn’t….and after three long months she gave up.

I told her a month or so ago that if she does that at kindergarten I will lay next to her on the floor and scream because I am not getting what **I** want. (Which, I explained to her was a daughter who doesn’t throw fits) She looked at me wide-eyed “But MAMA! They will see your panties if you laying the floor!” I shrugged, “Well Caroline, they see YOURS. What’s the difference?”. She sighed dramatically.

Later she told me she would definitely not be pitching any fits because she didn’t want me to embarrass her. Hmmm. Note taken.

“Besides Mama. It’s not appropriate to have fits at school”.

I couldn’t agree more.

Lynn has seen some tears the last couple kindergarten drop-offs. Not fits, just tears and associated clingy sad, drama-ey drama. Which is harder on a parent that a fit. Especially a nice, calm, rational and sane parent like my husband.

She is happy at pickup. She is excited the night before. She is thrilled when she wakes up. Morning drop offs have just started being a bit of a problem.

So I took her this morning…and it was obvious…my baby bird needs a little less comfortable nest.

We were a few miles from the school when I started hearing sniveling in the backseat.

I tried to talk to her, sing with her and get her to say a prayer.

Not interested.

Goodness gracious. What am I going to do?

Desperation makes you do strange things, and as I flipped the radio station inspiration struck. It was Coolio and his rap song Gansta’s Paradise. (Yes, I know I’m old)

I leaned my seat back as far as I could. I threw my wrist casually across the steering wheel and started bobbing my head along with the beat. With satisfaction I saw wide little eyes in the back seat stop tearing up and start staring at me in disbelief.

I turned up the radio as loud as my decidedly NOT gangsta car’s radio would go. “Mama! Stop it!” She gasp.

Me cackling “No. I want em all to notice MY baby!” I rolled all the windows down and locked them open.

People were noticing my dressed-nicely-for-work-self acting strange. I’m glad a nice responsible policeman didn’t pull me over for suspected drugs or something. (Disclaimer: I have never used illegal drugs, nor will I ever)

“Look! They can all SEE you! My baby! I’m SO PROUD! Whoo-hoo!” I slowed my slightly smelly mom-car down to about 5mph and bellowed out the window to cars going the other direction “Look at my baby! She’s going to KINDERGARTEN!!!!”

“Woo! Look at Caroline! I am SO PROUD OF HER!” I hollared at a man sitting on his front porch. He waved a confused hand at us. (Sorry about that, stranger man)

Caroline crouched down “Mama!” Her voice was stern and not at all sad “You are embarrassing me! PLEASE STOP!”

Apparently I am indeed crazy because I was somewhat disappointed that my fun was ending.

I lowered the cheap tinny radio and righted my seat.

“Ok Baby. If you need me to cheer you on some more I don’t mind a bit. I’ll even drive around the SCHOOL PARKING LOT so ALL YOUR FRIENDS can see me and you! You think your principal would be impressed??”

Caroline shook her head. “Goodness NO. Please. Just let’s go to school.”

When we went in this morning she seemed rather relieved to arrive at her classroom. And she started right on her coloring page.

As I walked out the door she asked for a kiss. So I grabbed my sweet Caroline and blew rasberries all over her face and neck. For some reason she didn’t want me to linger any longer.

Poor kid. It’s hard to have a Mama that’s crazy.

She should know.

King the collie

Caroline told us “all her dreams came true” this weekend.

This is King, a wiggly rough coated collie pup (like Lassie) bought with her money from bottles calves she’s raised.

She’s been saving for a dog since she was going on 3. I thought it was phase and she would forget about it. I was wrong. When people would give her birthday money…it went into the bank “for a dog”. When she found spare change “Gotta save it for a dog. Dogs are expensive.” At some point Lynn and I felt like a dog needed to happen for her.

She loves him. And he has selected her as “his person”. They run, snuggle, play and she reads sight word books to him.

We have started teaching him a couple basic obedience things, but of course that will take time.

On the other hand…Claire despises the thought of any animal touching her. (Which is a rough lot in life for a farmers daughter.) She especially despises the thought of a dog licking her.

So if you were out in front of church this morning and heard Claire shout “LICK-HER” that is what she was shouting about. She was NOT talking about liquor!!!! I saw several people notice, so I just wanted to make that clear. Our kids are not booze-hounds.

When Caroline and King are near Claire, she either climbs to the top of the slide or runs in the house and slams and LOCKS the door screeching “Don’t let him lick me! Nooooo!” Yesterday she spent most of the day at the top of the slide, and had Caroline bring her snacks and things to drink. (Again. NOT liquor. I’m talking juice boxes.)

When I hold King with both hands Claire will pet him. Otherwise, nope. Not gonna happen.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes her to come around. She was like that with the cat, “Kitty” but finally decided she loved her.

Caroline is on cloud nine. Lynn and I have so much enjoyed watching her. Claire has provided some amusement too with her “I’m just going to stay in my castle then” attitude. (She calls the top of her slide the castle)

Have a great week!!

Kindergarten Mom

This is my first rodeo.

I have been dreading Caroline starting kindergarten since I was on maternity leave with her. Y’all already knew I am crazy like that. No surprised there.

Everyone told me I would cry. It would be hard. I would miss her so much. And they look so little when you walk away.

I must be a bad mother because I felt none of those things.

When her Daddy and I left her at Kindergarten on her first day, I looked over my shoulder and saw a kid that would be a-okay.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen her flourish because of fantastic preschool teachers. Or perhaps its because I have the special privilege with my job to be in the school she is attending on a regular basis and I have been impressed with what I’ve observed. Or MAYBE it’s because I have a small army of spies at the school willing to sneak by and check on her and text me updates on the regular.

At least that’s what I told myself, to make the mom-guilt from the lack of worry subside.

The Mom guilt is the WORST. You feel guilt for everything…not feeding them home cooked lunches made from scratch, not making constant eye contact, being a working parent instead of a stay-at-home mom, not painting their fingernails every time they ask. All the things cause mom guilt. And if you don’t feel guilty, then you feel guilt for NOT feeling guilty. Mom guilt is from the devil, I have no question.

I had a moment shopping alone for school supplies that my eyes had a little mist thinking of how much she would accomplish this year….

But beyond that?

I remembered the pure excitement of the grand new adventure that kindergarten provided for me when I was 4. And Caroline is a whole year older than I was and probably 10 years more responsible than I was at that age.

I am so proud of her progress so far. And proud of the kid she is with her strong opinions, boundless confidence, and tender heart.

I am excited to see what kinds of things she learns from her teachers.

I am challenged as a person and a mother daily by this kid. She makes me grow in ways I never would have if I was not given the gift of being her Mama.

I am tasked with helping her learn to show kindness to those around her. This year, at the tender age of 5 she will get to begin learning to show kindness to those who themselves might not be kind. Because she will meet those people this year. And that will be new.

What a challenge. What an opportunity for growth.

It is daunting. But she is so much more than prepared, and so much more than capable. And I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help her with that challenge.

I might be am a a Pollyanna…but I truly believe that in order to change the world – you have to be a kind and compassionate person. Even more so for leaders. Even though I am her Mama, and I know for a fact I am biased, I see a lot of leadership potential in sweet Caroline. She has in her little heart a drive for fairness and is already so passionate about making things better. And we get to start that process together beginning now. Honestly, up until this point it has been exhausting parenting her. But now, she will get to begin exercising these skills. She is going to thrive.

Of course she will learn academics. That’s the easy part. Despite my lack of math skills even I know 2+2 will always be 4. But when a friend hurts her feelings about something… responding kindly, firmly and being willing to move forward will be a much bigger task. Plus, Lynn is smart so I plan on making him “homework boss”. (I haven’t surprised him with this bit of information yet. Ha!)

So yes. I am excited, and happy and a little nervous about the challenges this year of new beginnings will bring.

Sad? No.

Scared? Definitely not. I have a lot of confidence in my sweet girl.

Intimidated? Nope. This kid can handle it. And if not she’s got me as backup.

I have no doubts she will fail at things. She won’t be able to read chapter books by Halloween. She will ruin a few art projects. She will without a doubt boss around her classmates too much. There will be tears, and meltdowns and belligerence. But this is a learning time. And it is a challenge my girl is so ready to take on.

Thanks for reading friends.

Kid leashes

“I’ll never put a leash on MY kid”….my pre-kid self thought smugly.

I’m pretty sure God shook His head at me that day

And then I had Claire.

Good golly day that kid is wild.

In the past 24 hours she has

  • Danced on the AC unit outside while playing the kazoo
  • Leapt off a swing and bit a hole in her tounge (she didn’t cry, just yelled in frustration when I wouldn’t let her stand on the swing again to “finish her trick”)
  • Walked up and down the back of the couch multiple times…twice backwards with her eyes closed
  • Jumped off the dining room table
  • Jumped off the kitchen table
  • Climbed the chain link fence using her toes and fingers
  • Tried to touch the ceiling on the back porch

And that’s just what she’s done while I’ve been watching. I can’t imagine what she does while I’m distracted.

I have repented of my judgemental ways and I need a kid leash…though she would probably just chew through it and run off. Just kidding….kind of.

I love her little free-spirited wild self.

My Mema’s recipe

Here is my favorite recipe of my Mema’s. One that brings back wonderful memories and I enjoy making with my girls.

Ready?

Ingredients: 

  • Graham Crackers
  • Frosting

Directions

  • Put frosting on graham crackers
  • Store in a Tupperware container (tupperware container required)

That’s it.

Family traditions don’t have to be fancy to create great memories. 

Which is good, because I am not good at fancy. 

Lowering the bar takes off the pressure of unrealistic expectations (I can’t work and cook elaborate meals and keep an immaculate home and finish the laundry and remember to grocery shop….and stay sane all at the same time) and allows me to just enjoy my family.

Just a friendly reminder to relax and enjoy those you love.

Thanks for reading friends.

Sunset

While picking up the living room I saw an orange glow outside….afraid something was on fire I went out on the back porch to look. 

The sunset was absolutely magnificent, photos can’t compare. 

I took a moment to enjoy a wonderful peaceful moment to end the day.

Presently I heard little voices (that were supposed to be asleep) bleating for attention. And so I headed back inside to responsibility.

Thankful for reminders that I’m not in charge of everything.

Father’s day for farmers

We won’t have a big celebration for Father’s Day. There isn’t time for that in a farmers schedule.

The girls have requested to help with a dinner they planned of salad, fried chicken, onion rings and fried pies. They will make Lynn a card, and I got him some new work pants. Beyond that, it will be business as usual.

But really it’s the simple thing that matter most…like tonight Lynn began to teach Caroline (who loves numbers) about how to calculate soybean population. (Here is the formula he was using https://www.agweb.com/mobile/article/calculate-soybean-populations-with-the-hula-hoop-method-naa-sonja-begemann )

We will spend time together after church doing chores.

And we will get to enjoy views. 

We will get to spend the day together and together is what we enjoy.

Happy Father’s day!

Late for Church

The girls and I have been chasing rabbits out of our garden. (Maybe one of us is pretending to be Mr. McGregor…)

We are trying to leave for church now after changing our shoes on the back porch.

However….

Claire Grace has locked Caroline and I outside on the back porch (I left my car keys in the house) and we can hear Claire belly laughing at us from inside the house. 

I’m paying for my raising with that kid. 

Little stinker.

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