Tuesday, June 19, 2007

All the world's a stage, as long as Mommy is in the audience

Dear Andrew & Abigail,

Just a quick note tonight, a ballet update from last week. If you remember, Abby's first ballet class was a bit short, thanks to a scheduling error. That means Mommy wrote down the wrong time, in case you weren't clear.

So last week, when Mommy was away, we had to make some other arrangements. Andrew had baseball practice at the same time as Abby's ballet class, and Daddy helps with practices. So we called in for backup in the form of Fairy Godmother Jody. She and her daughter, Alyssa, agreed to meet Abby and Daddy at ballet, stay to watch Abby during class and take Abby back to their house until baseball practice ended. Of course nothing happened much according to the plan. I'm sure that's because we did not clear the plan with Princess Abigail before hand.

Daddy ended up staying for the class, after all, and when class was over, Abby refused to go home with Jody and Alyssa. So she went back to baseball practice with the boys.

And what about class? Well, I'm glad you asked. Remember how we talked about dance class for over a month before it started? Remember how Abby practiced dancing on her toes and moving like a butterfly for weeks before class started? Remember how, when we got to the first class 25 minutes late (yes, for a 30 minute class), Abby jumped right in and joined the other girls? Well, apparently, even though Mommy has no skill at getting to class on time, Mommy has some other magic that is what allows Abby to dance. Without Mommy, there is no dancing. None. Abby refused to join. When I got home, she informed me that she would never dance if I wasn't there. Wow. I am humbled by the bestowment of such power from the Princess herself. I will do my best to live up to the station into which I have been blessed.

OH! And I forgot - even though we were only there for five minutes, I did manage to get a couple of pictures from the first dance class. Prepare yourself for all the pink you can stand:

Serving at the will of the Princess,

Friday, June 8, 2007

As if there was really any doubt

Dear Andrew and Abigail,

My life as your Mommy is full of many things. I am full of hope for your future, full of laughter at the things you say and do, full of love for your little mushy squishy faces, full of prayer for peaceful bedtimes. What it is not full of is accuracy. Or awesome displays of my parenting skills. Or, oh I dunno, remembering things.

I have a planner. Daddy actually referred to it as the bible the other day. I thought I was the only one who did that. So, this planner - Franklin Covey, by the way, live above the line, kids (do as I say, not as I do)! - this planner holds all of our activities. Everything from doctor appointments to baseball games to school vacations to grown up nights out. And when we signed Abby up for ballet class, I promptly wrote down on each and every Thursday "Abby ballet 5:30." As the first day of ballet class approached, we talked a LOT about ballet class in our house. Abby has been practicing dancing on her toes and waving her arms like a butterfly since the first day we went and watched our friend Autumn at her dance class, and that was over a month ago.

Thursday was the big day. I left work a little early (but not quite as early as I had planned), rushed home to get the special ballet clothes and shoes, then back to the baseball field to pick up Abby from while Daddy stayed with Andrew at practice. We got up to the ballet studio and I changed Abby into her beautiful pink ballet clothes in the van before we went inside.

When we got in the studio, I noticed that a lot of the kids waiting looked like they were there for the tap dance class, not ballet. I thought that was just a little odd, since tap class didn't start until after ballet. As we went upstairs, I got a few odd looks from mothers. When we got to the top of the stairs, things finally started to click into place in the dilapidated shack I call my brain. There was a cluster of small ballerinas - all dressed in pink, looking like a flock of peeps, all squishy and sweet. They were, um...finishing up the class.

Yep, Mommy blew it. We were 25 minutes LATE to ballet class, which started at 5:00pm not 5:30. I quickly shoved Abby's ballet shoes on her feet and shoved her out onto the floor so she could "leap over the pond" with the other girls. And I looked for a place to hide. Happily, since Abby is three and doesn't yet have much concept of time, and Andrew wasn't there to rat me out by explaining how much of class she missed, I don't think she noticed that she was lacking anything much at all. On the up side, there are about 25 mothers in our town who are feeling a WHOLE lot better about their parenting skills this week.

Daddy and Fairy Godmother Jody will be taking care of ballet class this week. I know I told you that Mommy will be out of town for work, but the truth is that I had to call in some experts to manage this ballet project. Let's hope they do a better job. It shouldn't be too hard, since I've set the bar nice and low. Your mommy is nothing if not supportive of helping other people feel good about their accomplishments.

Your clock-challenged Mommy

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Manic Mommy

Dear Andrew & Abigail,

Today, I come home to you. I left you on Friday evening with your Grandma Dottie who babysat for Daddy and me so we could go to a wedding and to a dinner theater (the Wizard of Oz at Beef & Boards, it was Mommy's birthday present finally!). Then I left Sunday on a plane for Texas for work. While Daddy was picking you up, I was checking my luggage and getting on an airplane in the sky.

We have had a pretty rough couple of months. Mommy has had some struggles within her own head that have not helped. The fighting and screaming at bedtime almost every night has been hard for Mommy to handle. I dread bedtime and have been very frustrated with the situation, my inability to make this work, and your insistence on behaving in a way which makes me want to run screaming into the night. I hate to admit it, but I was not completely sad at the thought of escaping the bedtime battle for a few days. But then you left and then I left and I have missed you terribly ever since I pulled out of the McDonald's parking lot. Okay, actually, I went to the bookstore first and I really didn't miss you too much while I wandered down the aisles in the peace and quiet of the bookstore without chasing you or hearing your voices throughout the entire store. But right after I left the bookstore. Then I missed you.

It seems that Texas also has small children about your age. Amazing, I know! And apparently, they all were out on display for me because I saw them EVERYWHERE. And every time I saw one of those small children, I missed you a little more.

I am sitting in the airport right now, nearly giddy with excitement to get on the plane already and fly home to you. Of course, by the time my plane lands and I actually make it home, you two will probably be asleep. But that will not stop me from snuggling and kissing and smelling your sweet sleepy smells as soon as I get home. And I guess it will be nice to see Daddy, too.

Next week, I'm going to do this again. I will be leaving for Texas very early Monday morning (before you are awake, probably) and coming home late Friday night. And then, hopefully, I can stay home for a while. This trip has confirmed, in more ways than one, that I am not meant to be a traveling consultant. I really am happier in my own space, even if I have to share that space with two small people who do not like to sleep.

miss you like crazy, love you like crazier,