Thursday, March 7, 2013

We're Baaaaaack!!! The Adventures of Three

Its been far too long since I have had the presence of mind to sit down and share my thoughts. To provide updated news briefs on the adventures of motherhood and the person responsible for all of this, my sweet daughter. I'm not even sure where we left off but I will say this, unequivocally THREE YEARS OLD IS NO JOKE!!!! So the "Terrible 2s"...yeah well we kinda got lucky with 2 years old. She became firmly ensconced in her independence, we got very cool glimpses of her developing personality. It was a pleasure to see her become more socially aware. Then she turned three!!!

Now you have heard about some her three your old antics in previous posts. I assure your things got real (ahem... I mean REAL) around three and a half. She has plenty of personality !! The humor with this kid is NON STOP!!! Seriously, she is a character with stories, jokes and an incredible imagination. She is bossy as hell, and for the life of me I don't know where that trait is coming from... okay zip it!

So updates, the little girl finally is in a school that is challenging her advanced acumen, developing her social skills further, as well as affording her the opportunity to experience various creative outlets- dance, violin, art, etc. We love the staff. Her teachers are very attentive and intuitive. They teach those kids and they enjoy their learning experience. One thing I never anticipated in becoming a mother and working to find the best educational fit for our daughter- I love the way she learns, she enjoys it and  is doing really well. Its astonishing to see a 3 year old read books, write words, begin expressing math principles. That's what these children are doing now. Its a shame that we don't appreciate learning more when we are children, because it really is amazing to "watch" the neurotransmitters of a 3 year older fire away!!

The little girl is a total self contained unit. "I can do it myself"- "I don't need help"- " Do it this way, who taught you this Mommy?"- Now my challenges are on a whole new level. How do I raise a powerful, strong self aware and secure black girl without quelling her spirit and kicking her teeth in? We hope that our children are smart and talented. When they are, the reality is, that fact makes you as the parent have to navigate on an entirely different level.

Less than 30 days until she turns 4! At this point, its a day by day deal. Can I trust that "oh she will calm down by 4"? Do I believe that the more she learns, the more she experiences, the more she matures the more I can handle that she is an individual to be reckoned with? Yes, she came here through me for a reason. For all the challenges the rewards are immeasurable. I am grateful to have a beautiful, intelligent, talented and intuitive little girl. With prayer and my best guidance she will continue to flourish into an incredibly amazing woman. She is capable of nothing less!

Feels good to be back


Monday, June 18, 2012

40+Babies: Growing Pains

40+Babies: Growing Pains: Father's Day was a blast for my daughter. She enjoyed her first real movie theater experience. It was like her " first date " where she sat...

Growing Pains

Father's Day was a blast for my daughter. She enjoyed her first real movie theater experience. It was like her "first date" where she sat with Daddy (too small for the theater seats) totally enveloped by the big screen. It was nice to see the wonder and excitement in her face. Frankly I have always been afraid of the movies but she took it all in stride.

Honestly, lately I have been just marveling at my daughter's growth, the time that has passed, and where we are now. When your baby first comes you have no idea of what the future holds. Watching them grow is incredible. The stages seem like they will last forever when really they are over in the blink of an eye. At 3, she truly makes hilarious jokes. The conversations we have are smart and pleasantly sensitive.  However, recently I have had a slight air of sadness. Each day I watch my child, I realize that all this time I have spent with a baby is coming to an end rapidly. All this time living with all the emotion, love, worry and and ambivalence that has been the motherhood experience since they put her in my arms. Sometimes there is comfort in all that anxiety! Now my girl is transitioning out of "baby" and into "big girl", and guess what all new anxieties arise. She has a friends, although their status varies daily, my daughter has reached the point of discerning who she will and will not be friends with by her own standards. Of course whoever has the coolest toy helps!

Right now we are in the middle of "Mommy, I don't want to wear that!!", "Can we go to the zoo?", "Do you want your face painted Mommy-Baby?"- She is a person with her own identity. At today's pick up in school I learned that, for now, she wants to be a doctor and a mermaid! Essentially, with her own opinions and approaches to situations, its time to realize that pampers and pacifiers are a thing of the distant past. Its all sparkly shoes and tutus for now!

So many mothers have come before me and I love to learn from their experiences. Truly with age comes wisdom. This journey reveals so many things about life, and about  how a new person develops. Right now I just want to share the wonder that is the incredible person I watch bloom daily! She inspires me!


Monday, May 14, 2012

The Price of Being Amazing

Its been a rough two weeks as a parent for both of us. Clearly, its been nothing compared to what my daughter has been dealing with daily for over 2 months. So many times the desire to write out these latest developments have been quelled by the emotional roller-coaster currently my family is engaged in. Simply put, my daughter is 3 years old and she is brilliant! Always petite in her stature, she is the true personification of her name, which in Japanese means "Happy Person". We have taught her many things and so much more to come. She has enjoyed innumerable educational, cultural and social experiences for such a short time on this Earth. Started school very early and always excelling academically, without a doubt I am extremely proud of her development.

Apparently, the act of bullying can begin as early as 4 years old. When a smart, friendly, expressive (yet somewhat timid) 3 year old is immersed in a group of 4 years olds, if she is not careful her self esteem and future confidence could be swallowed up in the constant taunting, childish meanness and social ostracizing of her peers.  My daughter currently is that "different" child in her class. I have to admit I hate it on so many levels. Initially, it dampens my glow of the innocence of children. And for that I am extremely saddened.  Several posts back I talked about watching my child be "treated" a certain way and reconciling that she had some hard and fast lessons to be learned. Social lessons. That would help her grow and learn, There would be no way for me to know that I was just witnessing a window into future events. 

At this point, a once very anxious and excited child to attend school is daily reluctant and apprehensive. She comes up with different attempts to stall going to school daily. In the past she would be jubilant about spending the day with "friends". Secondly, my trepidation about having to confront  the teachers, administration and possibly the parents became a source of internal conflict. I am clear that I am a distinct protagonist. My admiration for the loud brash purveyor of all that is right and just is evident. However, it is not my style. Very much the strategist and insidious attacker, I have been compiling mental "data" since we started at this school. Many days lurking around to witness various interactions and unseen behaviors. I saw my share, my mistake was thinking the teachers saw as much as I.

Bottom-line my child has been identified as the smallest, most immature (compared to the 4s), "baby" of the class. In order to survive she has adapted to some very unlikely behavior that gets her in trouble at home. Now I have realized that she is figuring out her adapting mechanisms. A great deal of this seems almost innate to both the children who antagonize her and my daughter who navigates this daily maze. That's the Sociologist in me, studying the group dynamic!

Here is the irony, last week I had enough and decided to communicate with the school director. It was an awesome meeting where we dialogued about creative solutions to teach the children in the class to better coexist and that the current behaviors will not serve them well in the future. Our daughter expressed her concern not only for her own safety but that of other classmates and that genuinely made me proud of her as a human being. We all left feeling hopeful that this situation would be a lesson for all involved and we would grow while working together, That was last Thursday...on Friday one of her classmates bit my daughter and left an incredible set of  teeth (yes I said TEETH) impressions in her back. The best way to express how I felt when I found out was Seething Fury! I was so quiet with my fury I scared myself a little. Her teacher looked for a reaction while apologizing profusely. She got nothing except "its time we go" in a very stern calm voice.  My main thought was "why would a person think its okay to bite my amazing child". And where is this child/parent for me to totally incinerate with my $25 words I learned in all them schools I have gone to!

When you have idle conversation we say things quite flippantly without much regard. Occasionally words may resonate but for the most part folks are not listening to one another. My daughter's teacher was livid, embarrassed, ashamed, and so very empathetic. I heard none of it! She knew that somehow she had dropped the ball and now this deed was magnified by the dialogue we just had the very day before. What was even more horrifying was that the offending child's parent never stayed around to apologize or discuss the incident when I came to pick up my daughter.

Here is where I go dark....for many years I really had no desire to have children. I find this world to be a very cruel and harsh experience at times. It was much safer for me not to partake in life's endeavors and just observe from the sidelines, that hurt that fellow human beings incessantly were causing one another. Always understanding that children keep the species going and that hope always remains in the heart of a child. For my 20s and the majority of my 30s I had reconciled it wasn't for me. There would be no need for me to deal with the pain and worry of children because I didn't have the emotional bandwidth. This merciless act committed by a child onto my child just brought all those feelings back. The fact that the parent would disregard the pain of a child, not just mine but any child made me livid. 

Then Mother's Day came, and I spent the weekend truly enjoying my daughter. Her laughter, her incredible sense of humor, and her wisdom. You see these children call her "baby" which in turn she has turned into a song and it makes her laugh hysterically. They tell her they don't want to play with her and so she has no problem playing by herself and making something interesting enough that they want to join. On the day of our meeting with the school's director, I picked my daughter up and she ran over to the main bullies and said "Okay my Mommy is here, I am going and you be careful in the park, Okay?" They all held hands and said good bye. Is that resilience or is it brilliance? Really I don't know, but I am grateful that her heart and soul are so magnanimous. In the meantime, I am looking for a Karate or Tae Kwon Do class!!It is more clear to me than ever before that she chose me because she knew I would see that in her, and give my last breath to nurture and protect the fine spirit that she always will be!!!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Busy Thursdays

"Mommy Mommy Mommy, what are we gonna do? And then what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do after that?" Those are daily questions in my house! Our children have grown accustom to ALWAYS being on the move. Going to play dates since infancy. School, extra circular activities, friends, family.. the park playground you name it. Honestly I don't remember being THIS busy as a child. They have seriously intense schedules!

As a parent guilty of this same circumstance I figure why not be yet another resource for parents to find creative ways to grow and cultivate your child's time. Okay yes, I am trying to keep them busy as well! Yeesh!!!

Great resources if you are here in NYC are:


Look for local resources in your area and feel free to share with us here! Happy Busy!!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Mothering of The Mother

How many times have you found the love and compassion you need from your child? My daughter is 3 years old and without pause she is always saying, "don't worry Mommy, don't worry"...So now I wonder (and worry) what has she learned about me that requires her to make sure I don't go overboard on the worry? Is she parroting or am I projecting? These are the burning questions.

Oftentimes, parents feel like their children cant handle the burden of emotional outlet. In my extremely limited experience as a mother I am finding quite the contrary to be true. The unconditional love, constant observation process and expressed intuition of a child is amazing. There have been numerous times when a child has tapped right into my emotional state of being and their capacity to clue in is overwhelming. More so, I have learned to respect that it is possible that a child's gift is to be able to sense whats going on with the adults around them. Dare I say as a coping mechanism. "Mommy is really happy" so the child then acts accordingly. For me its when I am trying to camouflage a deeper issue and my daughter says, "Mommy you want me to hug you?". All I can think is "dude, you are tight with your intuituon, I DIG THAT ABOUT YOU!!!" Is that primal instinct?

It is their innocence that allows them to be so well tuned? Clearly its not learned because then more adults would have the ability for incredible compassion. If you are spiritual, its possible that angels or some unseen force require the child to listen with more than just ears. Really I do not know!

This may be the utter ramblings of a very tired Mommy but this space if my outlet for all things in my head. Lately, I have chosen to respect my child's intuition and ability to sense exactly what I need. Its to be enjoyed now because soon external factors may filter that special quality down. Lets hope not!

Check out this article and hopefully some clarity will be gained. Cheers!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where's My Mojo- She Stoled My Mojo

Spring is here! Ideally it is always the preparation precursor time for Summer. The weather has been interesting here in NYC. In March, we had unseasonably hot weather. The panic of not having my daughter's "warm weather" gear in place loomed. True to my nature, I went into mass shop/recycle (that discussion is touched upon in the Your Journey page) mode. As the month progressed and April hit, some arctic experience that we haven't had all winter is ever-present. We literally are wearing wool coats and hats again.

As I go through the closets, my daughter's as well as my own, I realize that I can NO LONGER use the "I just had a baby" line for the state of my current outward appearance. Granted nothing fits well anymore. Thank God for the JCrew Perfect Tee shirt obsession I have had for years otherwise my wardrobe would consist of hefty bags and Ugg Boots. During the renovation of my home I had to strip my closet bare and put all of my clothing into bins/boxes where they continue to reside to this day. I have completely organized my daughter's wardrobe and sorted out she can no longer be wear. So her closet is in a good place. Hooray for that! My closet unfortunately looks like some television report about one of those bombed out countries with debris (yes I said DEBRIS) everywhere.

The interesting thing about youth is the arrogance associated with your future. When you were younger, how many of us looked at women with children, prior to having any, and said "she looks crazy, that will never be me". Hey, hey, hey now! As an admitted "faller off-er" (yes that is an actual term I made up) I see how being a mother coupled with being an "adult" can lend to a lack of regard for the superficial. Is this denial? Laziness? Or just pure being overwhelmed and tired? I submit, its a combination of many things. Kids require a lot, that is an understatement. For me its been the mental block of "getting myself together". Every month for 3 years I have been starting diet...a cleanse...the list is endless. Then I allowed a friend to convince me that I may be post-postpartum. REALLY?!?! The kid just turned 3, if I'm not over it by now I need to go see Oprah or Dr. Oz! Not to make light of those feelings of anxiety and depression associated with postpartum ailments.

Finally, last night an epiphany! As my quiet moment of solace was interrupted by my three year old crying because she wet the bed (nighttime potty training is the worst) and I haggardly ran my fat behind up two flights of stairs, only for the child to then proceed to pee on me. It came to me in a warm sensation (no not the pee pee). It was the realization that I am resenting the lost of all that I thought made me fabulous. My Mojo has been stolen! Clearly, the violated feeling that is associated with that has been extremely unpleasant. After cleaning her and everything up, I went to my Facebook page and looked at old pics. Ahh the memories of the clearer skin, a flatter stomach and tighter pants (by choice, not necessity). Making the comparison to the old me versus who I am now, I have to say was shall we say....enlightening! Yes lets be kind wont we.

Today, a bit more perspective was in order. Simply, if your mind is vacant your body and reality will show that emptiness. Comparing the present to the past is truly a worthless endeavor. Thus the responsibility for the current state of mental, spiritual and physical is mine alone to shoulder. The only person who stole my Mojo is me! Well, as I grow up just a little more, I am going to have to kindly demand it back. Dare I say an enhanced version is truly in order. Stay tuned!!!!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Sometimes 3 is just 3

Birthday season for my family is officially OVER! Daddy has the first birthdate, then me and last my daughter. We are each 7 days a part and I take birthdays VEEEEERY seriously. This is the first year my daughter seemed to really care about her birthday. Through the excitement of the upcoming party and seeing her friends, I realized that she was totally getting into it. It made me think about the dynamics of the birthday! 

The first birthday is completely for the parents, family and friends. Poor little ones just want to gurgle, take a nap, cruise or sit down somewhere. I get it, I feel that way at most parties myself! Two is about the beginning of mayhem! Watching the little ones run and crash into each other is the deal for the day. The third birthday seems to be a lot cooler. My daughter was happy to greet friends at the door. She was totally invested in the entertainment  (okay, to an extent, not really totally invested) and watching people party because it was "her fun". Being the leader that she is, (okay she is bossy) she  made sure all were playing and participating in the fun of the day. She is a hands on hostess!

As we embark on three years old, I am thinking about all the advancement we currently enjoy. Going to the bathroom independently, choosing what to eat and feeding oneself, so many strides have been made in a relatively short amount of time. However, we have all new phases to learn about. Not used to tantrums, now opinions and feelings can be verbalized. The will power is pretty much insurmountable at times. All of this physiological growth and complex personality development tends to catch me off guard. I find myself looking at my child like she is an alien being. After a really interesting, bathroom "I want to take my own shirt off" tantrum I wondered out loud, "who are you?". Yes I literally said it OUT LOUD!!!  For anyone who knows my daughter, you know she has a very old soul. Many have found themselves confiding in her and seeking advice. She is an extremely easy person to talk to and at times she has an uncanny sense of apathy. Which can draw a person to further share with her. But she is only 3!

Sometimes, when I think of how children are able to selectively express their capabilities. We see them develop with personalities, confidences, fears, friendships, and proclivities. I have said it before, but its amazing to me that these small people function totally and completely as such! I want her to explore and express her genius, while I am pushing for her to absorb every cultural and educational stimuli placed in front of her, I have to remind myself (now especially) that sometimes we have to let 3 just be 3 and love it!

Another year for us has begun...lets see what this 40plusBaby has in store!!!

Happy Easter to you and yours 

This is where we celebrated: 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Terrible Twos Meet Treacherous Threes

When you don't have children and you see them "cutting up" out in public or somewhere with their parents there are a multitude of judgmental thoughts that can flood your mind. "If /when I have a child I will not stand for that kind of behavior!"...Oh REALLY!!!! Oftentimes I admit, "my daughter did this" or "she isn't going for that..." and some of my more seasoned parents inform me that I am the adult. There is truth is that, but the child is a person as well and that has to be respected.

In a different light, for the past 2 years, 11 months my child and I have gone through many life changing events. I have watched her develop a personality from as small as 5 months. Being a responsible parent, I have tried to research and read, study and observe as much as possible in order to stay on top of parenting my child. When she turned two years old she was in school, speaking fluently with great diction. She had no problem telling me what she did and did not want, who her friends were and what she did and did not like to eat. As the months progressed, I thought..."okay maybe two isnt so terrible". We would sing in the car, she was truly a delight! Then we hit 2 and a half!  WOW! Potty training, learning to read and math, extra curricular activities all matured her is ways I could never imagine. She and I were able to talk about the stories and projects in art class. The kids in Chinese class and what they were doing. Still singing songs in the car, "turn that up Mommy thats my song"! Not much by way of stubborn behavior or tantrums.

2 years and 9 months in, she became a REAL PILL!!! I find myself saying at least once a week "who are you and what have you done with my child". No more post-school discussions, at least not until she is ready to talk. She is so obstinate. Stubborn!! A few weeks ago there was...wait for it... dare I say...A TANTRUM!!! I looked at her like "what the flick?!?!?!" She fell out in the front yard about a purple car! The other night she had a serious meltdown about me taking her shirt off for bath time. I thank God my neighbors didn't call Children's Services. The screams alone would have had me on lock down.

As is my nature, I have been in full analysis mode! Why is she acting like this? Is it the school? Partly yes, she is observing the behaviors of some of her classmates and trying to bring that mess home. I got that right away and now I know to ask her, "who in class acts like this?" She answers and then I proceed with my "be an individual and that isn't how we act" speech. Is she having some maladjustment somewhere? Is she ADD? What?!?!?! Then I reconcile that although I will continue to observe and address as much as possible. That chick is turning 3 years old and its about to be ON!!! She is very smart, she is a budding master manipulator, and her MOUTH is a force that I can only say she comes by very naturally.

The sleep-hazed days of infancy are over. The cutesy days of learning to walk sippy cups and learning to hold your own spoon are a thing of the past. Parenting is in full gear right now. Watching her learn how she is going to navigate and move is more interesting now than ever. I used to joke about when I had a child if they did something  I didn't like I would take the child in the backyard and just box with them. Now I have a child, and boxing is the last thing I wanna do but I am definitely going to have to tighten my mental sparring game up!

Keep us in your prayers!