Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My deep, dark depression

For the love of God, where has the time gone?

Let me admit something to you:  I am not a baby person.  I loved my kids when they were babies, I did.  I loved to hold them and smell them and just be with them. I loved their sweet little voices and chubby little hands and their fine hair.  I loved reading them stories and knowing that I was the one who could comfort them.  I loved the way they looked at me.

But, honest to God,  I love these years more.  They can catch a ball and help me make dinner and talk about Harry Potter.  We can go on vacation and I don't have to stake out the diaper-changing stations, or fill my purse full of graham crackers to prevent temper tantrums.  They actually go to sleep in hotel rooms.

I can converse with them.  And they converse back, using real words and ideas.  You are thinking, "Shannon, they talk back now."  Sure, they do, on the rare occasion.  But I can actually use the voice of reason with them (assuming I haven't gone all psycho-mommy.)  

But, here is the killer.  As much as I love these years, (and I do,  I honestly do) I am fighting off the deep depression that goes hand in hand with the realization of "Holy hell, my kids are in 6th and 4th grades this year."  And then I start to miss the snuggles, the baby-bath smell and the sweet little voices. 

I kind of miss the 517 times a day that KJ asked me "But, why?"  I am sad that Keebles is actually capable of sleeping without Yellowie, her security blanket.

So, please, can I freeze time?  I know that's not really possible, but can I at least put on the brakes?  I want to savor these years between complete neediness and total independence.  

Pretty please?  I want to slow life down and experience these last 6-8 years that I have with my babies.  Even if they aren't really babies anymore. 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For The Love of Ketchup

We took the kids to Riviera Maya last week.  It was our first big family vacation.  We were so excited for a week of relaxation in the sun. There were a couple of things that we chose not to tell our kids about beforehand, to keep the anxiety and whining to a minimum.
Number One:  Saltwater tastes awful and will likely make you want to puke if you swallow too much.  It's funny to me that we can swallow gallons of chemically-treated pool water, but gettting a mouthful of natural saltwater is sheer torture. Especially when you end up with it up your nose.  Yikes, that burns like H-E-double-hockey sticks.
Number two:  They will have chicken nuggets and french fries and all of those foods you love, but they won't taste quite the same.  We let the kids discover this one for themselves.  And we acted all suprised when they said, "This doesn't taste right."  They finally figured out what foods they could live with:  bacon, bacon and more bacon.  The fries tasted ok, but weren't crisp.  The chicken nuggets were fine.  The ice cream was a staple of their diets. 
But, the worst, most devastating part of the "The food tastes weird here" debacle?  The ketchup.  It wasn't thick, red, delicious, Heinz Tomato Ketchup.  It was catsup, thin and runny and orange-ish.  It was a travesty.
Side note:  A little research tells me that there is very little difference between ketchup and catsup; and that people in Latin American countries tend to eat catsup.  But don't tell my kids that.  They are sure there is a major difference and catsup is the equivalent of skunk pee and was invented to torture kids.
When we got to the Cancun airport to head back home, tired and sunburned, but relaxed, we had lunch at that totally American establishment, TGI Fridays.  We had big juicy burgers, crisp, seasoned fries and REAL HEINZ TOMATO KETCHUP. 
It was heaven.