Sammy can swim. As in the crawl. As in across the pool–from one wall to another-something he couldn’t do in June. It is a new skill, and one that we’ll keep practicing all year. But one that makes all of us so happy.
Mommy can cuddle. Had the realization many times over this summer that in a blink the “Mommy can you cuddle?” requests will be replaced with; “Mom can I take the car to…” so I stopped everything and cuddled on call. Not easy for me, when I am in my doing something really important groove. Really important like writing a blog post, or folding the laundry?
This is of course a piece of a larger summer success of spending much more time with the boys this summer–by design–and although I lost some much needed personal time–we deepened as a family. Sam and I had a Mommy-Sammy day to ourselves almost every week. This involved something he wanted to do, and something I wanted to do. We had some rough patches–but I have to say–we are humming along at the moment. We had the kind of shift that I think came with so much time together we had to make some big changes in order to make it all work. OK, I had to make the changes. As ah-has go my biggest in terms of parenting were:
Sam is a boy. Let him be a boy. Let him chop chop-light saber-farty noise in his arm pit-splash water in your face-screech and slide and tackle you. Stop trying to make him into a mini me. It won’t work.
Yelling never accomplishes anything.
Every time I praise, hug, kiss, or smile at Marcel, go out of my way to make sure Sam gets the same attention. (Thanks to Marcel’s new teacher N for this one!) Talk about noticeable results almost instantly. Example; I walk in the door and Marcel comes running to me with a hug. Sam is with babysitter playing. I say; “Sam, come over here–I need a Sam hug to balance me out.” Sam drops everything and offers a giant hug. it is not his style to run over. It is his style to hug when invited.
Marcel can talk and talk and talk. Like me, he has the gift of the gab. Like me he is a processor. He loves books, and takes them everywhere, has them in his hand all the time. He can keep up with his brother’s physical life when he wants to–but as much emphasis needs to be put on his love of the non physical. The move to his new school continues to be a giant success, and he is feeling very seen there for all of his skills.
We can all be thankful. Took this tip from a post on a something somewhere: In the evening go around the table and ask everyone to report on one thing they are thankful for. We go around, say ours, and I stick it on this huge wall board painted thing that only a picture one day will do justice to- on scraps of clear removable sticky paper–the stuff window decals are made of when we are done. The goal: Fill up the board. A few highlights:
Sam is thankful for: Uncles’s Michael Jackson moves, his friends at his preschool, being born, and having two moms.
Marcel is thankful for: cows, chickens, tomatoes (which he hates by the way), his teacher from his old school who comes to babysit.
Mommy is thankful for: water to play in, cooperation, ease, and ice cream.
Both boys are asleep in my bed. Earl’s rains woke us all. Thankful for Earl’s rain minus his winds.
Sounds like it was a summer of great growth =). I hope the Fall is just as fruitful for all of you! I’m taking in your thoughts and actions around praise and cuddling btw =)
LOVE the idea of capturing thankfulness! We usually say a little thank-you before meals – especially as a way of remembering all the people in the world who don’t have the things we take for granted – but it would be very cool to be able to actually SEE it written down like that…I think I’m going to steal that idea!
the thank you board sounds just perfect! i love that it’s visual, and noticeable. i can’t wait to see a picture of it.