The weather has changed and now life has gotten a lot more busier, especially with 2 kids! Here are the last two columns from The Weekender....hope you like them! More to come!! Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.
The “But’ clause
My husband Jim and I aren’t sure who to point the finger at over this one, but our oldest daughter Grace has been talking a lot more like an adult these days and at times that can be very frustrating. Grace has started using the word ‘but’ with pretty much every sentence that comes out of her mouth. Doesn’t matter what she is talking about, she uses ‘but’ as much as she can. Most of the time it’s pretty funny to hear how she joins two thoughts together:
Grace: Mommy, it’s hot outside today, but baby cats are called kittens.
Grace: Daddy, I love you but I like you.
Grace: Leah is four months old, but I am four years old.
Grace: Mommy, I fell down and hurt my toe and knee, because I was walking too fast.
Me: Are you ok? Maybe you shouldn’t walk so fast.
Grace: Yes but I am wearing my striped tights today.
Jim: Do you want to go to the cottage with me one weekend?
Grace: yes but I am wearing my pink skirt tomorrow.
The most irritating ‘but’ time comes when Grace is being punished because it seems as if no matter what offense she is guilty of, she always has a reason for it:
Me: Why did you pull Taboo’s (our cat) tail?
Grace: I didn’t mean to, but he was in my way.
Me: Why are you out of your room, it’s bedtime.
Grace: Oh but I forgot to give you a hug (I know, how you could get upset when this is the answer?)
Me: Grace are you ready for your bath yet?
Grace: oh but I forgot to get something.
Actually now that I think of it, Grace starts many of her sentences with ‘oh but’ – “oh but I just have to say one thing”, “oh but mommy tomorrow I am wearing my black skirt”, “oh but mommy, after dinner we are going to ride my bike”. It’s almost as if she thinks the two of us were having a conversation and she had to add one more thing, but most of the time no conversation had taken place.
With all this ‘butting’ going on it makes me wonder sometimes if this is how Grace is going to be when she grows up:
Me (in 10 years): Why did you fail this test Grace?
Grace: I studied but the teacher made the test too hard.
Jim: Why did you take Leah’s Ipod (or whatever listening device is being used)?
Grace: I didn’t mean to, but I just wanted to listen to one song.
I sense that Grace sort of understands the reason behind the word ‘but’, I know I use it a lot absent mindedly as does Jim, it’s just part of our vocabulary and not in an excuse kind of way, at least I don’t think I use the word for that reason only. Just another example of how kids listen (even if it doesn’t seem like they are) to everything you say. At least we don’t swear around Grace or Leah – that would be embarrassing.
I knew having another child would require me to become an expert at balancing and I think for the most part I have done pretty well, however there are times when I feel a little guilty about much time I spend with Leah, my youngest daughter.
When I had Grace, it was just her and I at home and we would pass the day (in between feedings, diaper changes and sleeping) singing songs, looking at books, tummy times and of course playing and getting to know each other.
But there are some days I don’t spend the amount of alone time that I want to with Leah without having Grace in the background and I am finding that when I try focus on just Leah – Grace is demanding attention as well. Such as the first time Leah tried out her jolly jumper. My husband and I explained to Grace it was the same one that she herself had used a few years earlier and that she somewhat enjoyed it. Leah didn’t know what to make of the jolly jumper and she sort of just hung around, but while my husband and I focused on her sort of standing on her own (with the help of a large spring attached from her door frame) Grace was behind us yelling “look at ME jump!” Both my husband and I tried to praise Grace for her jumping skills as we also tried to give attention to Leah.
Then there was the time before Leah could really hold her head up and when tummy time was most important. I would be lying on the ground beside Leah cheering her on and praising her every time she did a mini push up while Grace would be cheering in the background for at least the first minute and then she would want to do something else, anything that would take the focus back onto her. I tried explaining to Grace that Leah needed a bit more attention and for a while it seemed to work, it seemed that Grace understood and laid down beside me and cheered her sister on as Leah did her exercises. But then as Leah got stronger, Grace’s need for attention also got stronger. So I planned things to do with Grace with Leah in tow and I think it is working to calm Grace’s need for attention but now I am feeling guilty giving more attention to Grace than to Leah. I don’t think Leah minds much, she seems perfectly happy just watching Grace be herself just as long as someone is holding her.
Leah and I do spend time together, we go to Mother Goose classes, we have the odd days alone when my husband takes Grace to the cottage but some times I feel as if these times aren’t enough. I keep telling Leah and myself that my youngest will get plenty of mommy and Leah time once Grace starts school in September but I wonder if it’s ok to wait a few months before my youngest and I can really spend time together just like the way Grace and I got to spend time together.