Posts Tagged ‘ fall ’

My Preschool Jitters And Fall Feelings

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

The smell of fall invokes motivating emotions in me. On the east coast it is the smell of football season, leaves changing, school starting. It always makes me want to recharge my batteries, clean my house, get a new haircut, find new recipes, exercise more. In other words, that smell inspires me to reset all my buttons and start anew. Except, now I live in LA where leaves don’t change and fall doesn’t kick in until November. Emmett doesn’t go to school and Fia’s didn’t start until this week.

From afar, I’ve been watching all the fanfare of the first day of school. Friends posting on Facebook, their kids posing with lunchboxes and backpacks. I craved that fall feeling, but it just wasn’t happening. Instead, I’ve been battling 100-degree heat in a non air-conditioned house. I’ve been exhausting the options on entertaining my kids while trying to retain my sanity. I’ve been full of anticipation for days, weeks–even months–about Fia starting a new school and our family getting a new schedule down.

Hers is a 5-day a week Montessori program. The hours are 9-2:30 with no nap. You can pick your kid up at 1 if you want to nap them, but for me, that falls right when Emmett is napping. So I opted for the 2:30-3 pm pick up and plan to put her to bed early. I am crossing my fingers that she will still nap on the weekends. That’s our time when she, Phil and I all climb in bed together. It is heaven. (Em naps in his crib still. Soon, he’ll join us.)  Trying to figure out the schedule has created a running puzzle in my mind.  I just wanted to get it underway already. 

So finally, finally today was our turn.

Last night I set my alarm for the first time since having kids. Just in case for some strange reason we overslept. Last night Fia and I picked out her clothes. We made her lunch. Phil put some stickers in her lunchbox as a surprise. I booked a sitter to watch Emmett so we could take her together. We woke to fog and a slight chill. It will burn off and heat up, but it was an auspicious beginning.

I’ve written before about how she sometimes resists change and transitions.  But we’ve been talking about how great this school is for weeks. She kept saying how excited she was on the drive. Then we parked and she said, “Mama, hold me.” My heart dropped. Here it comes. The sobs, the wails, the heartache that penetrates to my core. Phil and I held our breath.

To my relief, as we walked into the courtyard, she jumped out of my arms and went running to her classroom. She shook hands with her new teachers. They showed her where to hang up her jacket, where to put her lunch box, where to keep her snacks. She followed them around with all the glee and giddiness of a preschooler.

I now know I’ve been more anxious than anyone. No surprise. Aren’t we always?

After about 30 minutes watching, Phil and I decided to leave. We hugged her goodbye, she hugged us back, and that was it. Except, I couldn’t just leave. I went back and peeked inside. She was happily playing at a table with her teacher.

Back in the car Phil said, “It’s crazy–growing up. And that it’s our job to make them independent of us.” I nodded. It is bittersweet, but more sweet.

Now I sit, alone, at one of my favorite cafes. I was ravenous and ordered a huge breakfast. My body exhaled. Fall has officially begun, and I feel it, even if the temperature and the air tell a different story. Even if summer shorts are worn in place of fall flannels. It feels good. Really good.



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Do Moms Have Different Instincts Than Dads in Protecting Babies?

Friday, February 1st, 2013

I am sitting here typing with one foot elevated on a bag of frozen blueberries. My butt is resting on frozen corn kernels. Over my elbow is a wine sleeve, typically used to quickly cool down a bottle of vino. My elbow is now replacing wine. How sad. I am in pain. I fell.

But the bigger story is this: I fell while holding Emmett.

It happened yesterday afternoon. I was carrying him down our stairs. I always wear my indoor crocs around the house because my feet get cold; I hate to think of walking on dirt (cue the cleaning obsession) and most importantly, for traction. But yesterday I came in with both kids and just slipped my sneakers off, leaving my socks on.

I was on the fourth step up from our brick landing when my feet simply gave out from under me. Our floors were recently polished, so they must be extra slick. Emmett was in my right arm, against the banister. Fia was at the bottom. As I felt myself falling, I pulled him tight into the crux of my side, falling hard on my elbow (the one that was holding him) and on my tailbone. My left hand went out to the wall to try and slow the fall. Somehow my left foot got jumbled up in the mess too. In the three seconds or less this all happened, so much went through my mind. All about Emmett of course. The theme of thoughts: “Oh god, please don’t let him get hurt.”

When my mom was alive, I told her about an incident in Costa Rica when Fia was 18 months old. Phil and I were walking to the beach from our hotel. It was down a steep concrete road. It had rained the night before so it was slick. He was carrying Fia much like I was carrying Emmett yesterday. He slipped on the concrete, both of his hands went down and Fia rolled out of his arm, head  first on the pavement. I was about 5 feet behind and screamed. So did Phil. “Oh my god, oh my god,” we both said. She instantly started crying, which was a relief. No one wants a quiet, still baby after that. Phil felt truly awful, horrible, terrible. We rushed her to the ER (have you ever been to a third world hospital with your kid?? Yikes. Though I must say, even with limited equipment and supplies, they were so kind) where they x-rayed her, observed her, and after 5 hours let us go. She was fine.

When my mother heard this story she said, “You wouldn’t have let go.” I was kind of defensive. What? Huh? Phil is the most loving, responsible Dad I know. She said simply, “I know he is, but trust me. Moms just don’t let go.”

Now who really knows? Phil did slide down on a slant and his arm was probably only 12 inches off the ground when she rolled hard onto the concrete. It’s not like he instantly dropped her from chest height down. And the same thing could have easily happened to me, or worse. But there is a theory out there among moms that our instincts kick in differently in this sort of scenario.

If an intruder came into our house, I know I’d run and hide (with the kids) whereas Phil would meet him head-on. It’s the protection-of-family instinct that men have versus the protection-of-baby instinct moms carry.  Do you guys agree or am I talking out of my bruised bottom here?

Anyway, I am so relieved to say that besides being shook up, Emmett was totally fine. Before I got up to see if I could walk, I sat on the floor in a stunned state, holding him and calming Fia down too (she had been at the bottom of the stairs and clearly frightened). When Phil came home he insisted I go to the doctor. She only confirmed what I already knew: no broken bones and even if there were, nothing they can do about a toe and a tailbone. (Though you should see my butt bruise. It is the deepest purple I’ve ever seen. Pretty, except…well, not really.)

Thus, here I sit amid frozen fruits, vegetables and my beloved wine sleeve. I feel especially achy today; I think simply from the trauma of it all. Your body and your psyche take a hit. However, my spirits are still up. Probably because when a “what if it had been worse” scenario happens, you are so grateful for your lucky outcome. But it is a good reminder of how much things can change in just one second or just one step. And true or not with moms versus dads, I’m grateful for my instinct that held him close, protecting him from what could have been.


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Why Fall Foliage is Killing Me! Need Help!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

This picture makes me want to sneeze

This picture makes me want to sneeze

Fall sucks. And it sucks that I think this season sucks. It’s not by choice. I would absolutely love it–the way the air turns crisp and the leaves turn vibrant. But sadly, I hate it right now. I think I’m the only New Yorker who is not enjoying this amazing weather.  I watch Lee Goldberg hoping he’ll say those magical words “the first freeze.”

It’s all because of my horrendous allergies. My face looks like a Staypuff marshmallow. My eyes look like I’m a drug addict in withdrawal. I’m 5 months pregnant and limited on what meds I can take. I get shots, so I wasn’t expecting this season to hit me like it has. I have tried the sinus rinse pots and my nose is so stuffed, the water has nowhere to go. So it just goes into my head and gives me a massive headache (it’s as if I sniffed water up my nose while swimming. Am I doing it wrong?) My throat is so itchy; it wakes me up in the night. Why can’t Xanax be a class A pregnancy drug? Then I could just make myself fall asleep and not know what is happening within my sinuses.

I’m now taking Zyrtec and am about to buy Benadryl.  So far everything else I’ve tried (Claritin, Chlor-Trimeton, Qdryl) isn’t helping. Does anyone out there have any suggestions that will give me immediate relief? (I dig homeopathic suggestions, but not in this case where it will take months to build up and work. I want instant results).

I’m making my husband close up all the windows at night. He is rightly annoyed, but it’s either that or my nose blowing like a trumpet in his ear while he’s trying to fall asleep. I seriously fear my nose is going to fall off my face and my eyes are going to swell shut. Help!

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