Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I met my friend Peipei and her son Matthew at the park on a misty fall day. There were only 6 people there, including us, and the number quickly dwindled down to four when one mother and child gave up and headed for someplace drier.
So that left four of us: Me and Molly and Peipei and her son. I think she asked the first question: "How old is your daughter?" I told her that Molly was a year and a half. I returned the question and found that her Matthew was the same age. So we had something in common.
Then she asked me is Molly was Chinese. I said that she was from Guangdong. She told me that she was originally from Beijing, although she had lived in the US for several years. So we shared something else in common.
That was the beginning of our friendship. We met at the same park on several more occasions and as time went on, expanded to other parks, museums, and libraries. We just sort of clicked. Our kids liked playing together and it was great having someone to hang out with everyday. And we did hang out everyday, or almost everyday.
We celebrated our kids' birthdays, played at each other's homes, talked about children, husbands, ourselves. For the next year our friendship grew. And then it happened.
She told me that they were moving. Can you believe that? She had the nerve to put her kids, her husband and herself before my needs. I needed her. She was my best friend. And now she was moving. To Washington. State. Other end side of the
It took me a while to get over. A long while. But we had phone calls and email; An inadequate replacement for daily interaction, but better than nothing.
Until now. Peipei and her family came into town for a quick visit. Fortunately, Molly and I were able to meet up with Peipei and Matthew for an afternoon at the zoo. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with them in person.
The kids didn't remember each other and they were hesitant to engage for the first few minutes.
"Who is that kid and why
does he have a sticker on is head?"
"I'll sit for a picture but I don't have to like it."
Getting to know each other all over again.
Obligatory merry-go-round pic.
This is the view Peipei and I saw most of the day.
The kids enjoyed seeing all of the animals.
Matthew acting like a gorilla in the gorilla house.
Apparently Molly thinks he is acting like a dog
and is patting his head. Good boy!
Princess pose in the gorilla house.
Matthew, who has no sisters, seems oblivious.
I miss this cute face!
"Hey, ya know what?"
"You're kinda fun!"
Molly, Matthew and Peipei
check out a digital picture.
Can't explain it, but this picture
gives me a warm fuzzy.
Reminds me of the good ol' days, I guess.
Bonding over Dippin' Dots.
Molly still princess posing,
Matthew still oblivious...
but having a great time together.
The day went by waaaaaay too fast.
I already miss them...
all over again.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
When I was a kid, I lived for holidays. I counted down the days. I spent hours dreaming of the gifts or the candy or the party or the whatever.
The anticipation was so great that it was impossible to sleep on Christmas Eve; I was so giddy with excitement that I ran downstairs to take inventory of my Easter Basket at six in the morning; I planned my Trick-or-Treating route for weeks before Halloween. Bottom line: I loved holidays.
As I plan for Molly's holidays, I somehow slip back into my own childhood. I expect her to have the same emotions. But she doesn't. Her reaction is much more guarded. She's cautious, even apprehensive. I expect unbridled joy but see a nervous, quiet little girl who is not sure how to react.
Molly's build up to the holiday is all good. She talks the talk and walks the walk. She seems eager for the actual event. But then it arrives and she isn't. You think that I would learn. Or at least be more sensitive. But every time I get the reaction, I am surprised.
I really need to get better at this. I need to stop planning for me and start planning for her. Someone remind me of this the next time a holiday rolls around.
So...was our Easter happy? Of course it was. As soon as I dropped back, called an audible and changed the game plan, Molly did enjoy her Easter. After all, when all was said and done, what's not to enjoy: lots of princess stuff and lots of candy.
Well...the candy. Sigh.
I was the kid who ate all of my holiday candy in one day. And short of a stomach ache or minor/major weight gain, I was fine. At least I think I was. My parents may be able to tell you different, but I never had a huge reaction to sugar.
But, alas, Molly does. Too much sugar and she gets ugly. Big green monster with slime dripping from her fangs ugly. So I have to make a decision: ration the candy and be the big, bad mean mommy, or let her eat whatever she wants and watch the monster transformation while hiding behind the couch with a tranquilizer gun.
And as only I can do, I managed to do both. I rationed the candy despite the loud protests from the monster-in-waiting. But then felt guilty so gave her a little more here and there until the whole slime-from-the-fangs things happened.
Nothing says Happy Easter like putting your kid in timeout because you gave her too much candy. Since I was to blame, I would have been happy to go sit in timeout but that would leave the monster free to seek me out and unleash her wrath upon me. So I had to put her in timeout and feel guilty for every. single. minute.
I will eventually learn from my mistakes. I will plan holidays for my daughter. I will learn to set boundaries on treats in a way that we will both be happy. I will. I really will.
I just hope she hasn't graduated and moved out of the house by the time I finally get it right.
But back to the happy.
Pictures don't lie. Molly did have a Happy Easter. Check out those smiles. And I only had to coax a few
dozen of them!
Coloring Easter Eggs! Woo Hoo!
This is going to be great!
Can't wait to see me eggs!
Gee, this whole coloring eggs thing takes a while.
I must find other ways to amuse myself.
A princess pose and a basket of colored eggs.
Mommy's excitement is unleashed
in the assembly of the Easter Basket.
Molly's apprehensive approach to said Easter Basket.
Eventually she lightened up.
Afterall, there is Snow White
stiking the pose on this nifty bucket!
Obligatory Easter picture with Daddy.
Obligatory Easter picture with Mommy.
The Easter bunny prior to hiding eggs in the yard.
Tony did not wear the ears outside of the house.
"That tricky Easter Bunny!"
was Molly's mantre during the hunt.
More out front? Tricky!
Tricky? Looks a bit obvious to me.
Molly and her loot.
Posing in her Easter dress.
This dress was brought back from China
by our dear friend, Peipei.
Looks nice with Crocs, right?
Four-year-old fashion sense.
Contemplating the timeout that
consuming this M&M will cause.
And here is the reason for the title of this post: