He has a suspicious mind, that one.

It is no secret that my Paxton loves him some apples. Like, he LOVES apples. All four of my smalls do, but Pax, in particular, is the most emotionally invested in them. Our household will easily go though 20 or more pounds of apples in a single week. Raw.

But right now, it is also the second-coming of teething season here at headquarters, as all four of them are now in one stage or another of losing baby teeth and growing ‘grown up’ teeth to replace and displace them. So, biting into an apple, at times, becomes an issue. Particularly if the apple is lovely and crunchy the way I prefer and the way they used to prefer our apples.

So, being the mindful and caring momma that I am (stop snickering!), I starting to set a bowl of apples out on the counter for those of them who either were in the ‘sensitive to cold’ or the ‘it’s wiggly and hurts to bite down’ stages of his or her teething journey. And Paxton, seeing the apples so readily available on the counter, just started to default to the bowl instead of the refrigerator every time he wanted an apple (often 6-8 times a day – no lie).

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But one day last week, he by-passed the bowl and opened the fridge. He found himself eye-to-drawer with an entire produce drawer full (15 lbs, give or take) of freshly washed and ready-to-eat apples. He dug around for the largest one, closed the fridge and took a bite. Then he turned to walk out of the kitchen, shooting me the side-eye and saying suspiciously, “Oh, I see you’ve been hiding apples from me. Huh.” He took another bite and sauntered out of the room, clearly a changed boy whose trust had been compromised on the deepest of levels.

He still tells me he loves me everyday but I wonder, if, in the back of his mind, the idea now lurks that I’m just not quite meant to be fully trusted.

He’s keeping a close eye on me now. I can feel just it.

EDITED TO ADD: I don’t know WHY the picture is sideways. It appears to be right-side up on my screen, in WordPress, in my previews and in my media library. But here? On Facebook? It’s freakin’ sideways. The universe is messing with me again. Like I really need outside forces playing with my fragile grip on sanity. ????

February life lessons from my kitchen table

Late again. I know. But I needed to make sure that February was well and truly over. And when I figured out that it probably was, we were blessed with a legitimate, can’t-get-the-cars-of-the-driveway-busses-are-cancelled snow day. After a brief attempt by one small to attend school, everyone was home and time slipped away from me again.

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???? this day – everyone safe and sound at home.

???? this day. Miss M. wanted to go to school to show off her new smile (lost tooth) so we walked over, only to find out she would be THE ONLY student there. Managed to convince her to come home again. ????

???? this day. Miss M. wanted to go to school to show off her new smile (first lost tooth) so we walked over, only to find out she would be THE ONLY student there. Managed to convince her to come home again. ????

So here we are, March 4th, finally wrapping up February and putting words around what I learned this past month.

1. As good as my intentions may be, I make more mistakes than I do meals a day. And often times I make the same mistakes over and over and over again. Until one could honestly wonder if I am doing it intentionally or spitefully or without regard or care. The answer is no. I’m not. I walk through my days honestly trying my very best not to upset, insult, offend or maim anybody. I came to terms with the fact that I fail more often than I succeed and the result is shitty. I do not have a dull mind. I’m not stupid, oblivious or otherwise simple. Yet somehow, I manage to say the wrong thing, the wrong way at the wrong time almost daily. It’s exhausting. I’m sure for everyone, but definitely for me.

2. Parenting hurts my head. When I think about it too much, my head and my heart ache. From both sadness and happiness. Being a mum, my children are not perfect but they are perfectly mine they each create a prism of joy in my life that is uniquely their own. I find that I often must stop myself from wishing they will never grow up, that they will stay small and close to me forever (too late for that now though, ages 5 thru 22, so no real babies here anymore). All the while still wishing for and working on helping them to grow and achieve and follow their own life paths. I’m a mess of contradictions. As much as we all say “enjoy this time, it flies by far too quickly” and no matter how many children I have had, I never feel like I have fully appreciated and cherished each age and stage enough. I always have a list of things that I wish I would have done differently or better or more, and I worry that my children may feel cheated that I did not do those things with them. I just hope that they know that 1) they are my favourite and 2) I always have their backs no matter what.

3. My super power is losing and gaining the same 10 pounds indefinitely. Not 8 pounds, not 12 pounds. No. It’s 10. That’s my pound number. I feel like if I broke out and lost 15 pounds, the spell would be broken and my excess weight would vanish over night. Then I could choose a new super power. I’m thinking along the lines of a healing superpower (like John Coffey in The Green Mile ????) or telekinesis (like Matilda). I think those would be way better super powers to have instead of being the master of the same 10 asshole pounds.

4. I need to learn how to let things go, even if someone else is holding on. Or maybe I have to learn how to separate my feelings from those of others. I’ve only learned that I need to learn how to do this, not that I already have. My moods, feelings, motivation, happiness are, to my dismay and horror, very intertwined with that of those around me. If someone I love is in a terrible mood, unhappy, angry or down, I fall down that hole with them rather than staying ‘up’ and being okay, able to help them out of it. This does not apply to young children. I tend to  be able to lend them the support they need to feel better. Although that may be because their needs are less complicated? But with adults, like my eldest son or husband, this can quickly become a vicious circle with no end because he may need something from me to help him to feel better but now, I’m in no position to help him because I’m upset and lost inside my own head and feelings. That is not the person I want to be, but in all honesty, it’s who I am right now. Any ideas how I can disengage myself and let someone else have feelings without adopting their moods or feelings as my own? Maybe how to stop taking everything personally and be an objective listener rather than defensive listener?

5. I liked being an only child. And by liked, I mean, I loved it. But I am so glad that my children have each other. I loved being a family of three when I was growing up. It sounds terrible, but I loved not having to share my toys, my clothes, my parents love. I know that I was taken to more places, given more experiences and attention, went on more vacations all because my parents could afford it – because there was only me to provide for. But now that I’m older and they are getting older (as much as I HATE acknowledging that), I realize more and more how nice it would be to have had a sibling to remember a shared childhood with, to get our kids together with, and who would be like having another part of my parents around longer.

Well. February certainly appears to have brought about my inner maudlin. So, good-bye and good riddance February and hello March, you fierce and sexy minx. Let’s make good shit happen, shall we?

I've also come to realize that I talk about killing people an awful lot. But don't worry. I'm highly unlikely to follow through. It's just my twisted mind at work.

I’ve also come to realize that I talk about killing people an awful lot. But don’t worry. I’m highly unlikely to follow through. It’s just my twisted mind at work. That, an I find all the wrong and inappropriate things hilariously funny, so I share. Because I’m a giver.