Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rally, Rally, Rally

On Saturday morning, I  joined thousands of other North Carolinians in witnessing a piece of history.  I had to stand in a line at least 10 city blocks long in a steady drizzle without an umbrella.  While standing in this line that moved a distance of one block during the first hour, I had to entertain, rock to sleep, feed, and change the cloth diaper of a 15 month old.  All this had to be done without the convenience of a diaper bag, a changing table, a nearby trashcan, or even a 2 foot by 2 foot span of space.  It also had to happen through the shouting of street vendors, the grumbles of fellow citizens, and even the pounding of drums.  To say it was a challenge would be an understatement.  This was extreme parenting.

I would be lying if I said I wasn�t a bit put out.  I was battling a cold, a weak bladder made worse by a Venti Starbucks,  and my own general dislike of public events.  There were many times where my will was weak and the comfort of my home beckoned, but I persevered knowing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  This was history and this was absolutely worth it.

As the speeches began, all the challenges of the wait melted away.  I was listening to one of the greatest orators of our time.  I was surrounded by a diverse group of  people, African-American college students, a bilingual family of four, a group of septuagenarian  women, and a priest among them.  Yet we were all there for one common cause.  We were all there with one common belief�

Yes we can!

Crossposted at My Sweet Babboo. In addition to being an active participant in the political process, Abby is the mama of a one year old who blogs at her personal mommy blog, My Sweet Babboo.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Music to His Ears

I cannot wait for Christopher to start singing. I'm beyond excited for him to learn those first few notes on the piano. He is only 8 months old, but I'm ready for the musician inside my little baby to come on out and play.

He does love music. His Music Together class is the highlight of our week. We've been going since he was 7 weeks old, and he has gone from observer to participant in just these few months. It is amazing.


So when I got an email from Lindsey, who I had met at BlogHer, asking me if I would like to take him to the Raggs Dance Party at the Carolina Theatre in Durahm, I took her up on the offer.

We aren't really watching TV with him yet, so Raggs isn't a character he's really that familiar with. We did meet Raggs at BlogHer, but I have to admit, Christopher was much more entranced during his rendezvous with Abby Cadabby. I didn't know what to expect from our little guy at the show.

 I really didn't know if he would love it, hate it, or simply be scared out of his mind by the giant technicolor dogs on stage. 

He loved it. Crazy dancing baby scream with glee loved it.

Of course, he loved it before the dogs even got onstage. He loved the music that was played pre-show, and only got more excited with the addition of the great big dogs onstage after it started.

So what did we do this past weekend? We took him to another concert. This time, we went to Koka Booth Amphitheater to see The Connells and Arrogance. We went armed with his little baby headphones, because I'm super protective of his hearing, and a couple of diaper bags full of extra clothes, diapers , and toys to entertain him if he got bored.

Headphones_2This time? There was no crazy dancing baby. He was content during The Connells, and actually slept through Arrogance.

I am surprised to say, there might just be something to "kids' music" being for kids.

I thought this wo uld bother me. The six CD changer in my Jeep has slowly, but surely replaced my Amy Winehouse with a Music Together CD. My Wilco with They Might Be Giants. My Damien Rice with Elizabeth Mitchell. The children's music is taking over my car.

However, I really don't mind. I actually enjoy most of the music, and I get a big kick out of the responses it garners from my son.

We are still teaching him the basics. Crowded House and U2 and every Paste sampler from the past several years all rot ate through the iPod playlist as Christopher and I make dinner together in the kitchen. He also loves to listen to me and his daddy sing together with daddy's guitar.

Sure. I have three different versions of "Lil' Eliza Jane" in the car right now. It's a little annoying at times.

But honestly? As long as the only large colorful singing animals that Christopher falls for are in the Raggs ba nd and not some big purple dinosaur? I'm considering myself pretty lucky.

An original Triangle Mamas post.

*I can't miss the chance to mention that Raggs is produced a stone's throw away in Charlotte 
. You can see it Sunday
 mornings at 7:00 AM on UNC-TV.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tot Spot Frustrations

One of my biggest pet peeves are people who don�t think rules are meant for them.  This annoyance probably has something to do with my inability (at least post college) to really defy any rules. 

Take for example our recent trip to the Greensboro Children�s Museum.  The Greensboro Children�s Museum is a fabulous, if slightly expensive,  place to spend a day with your child.  There are all sorts of stations to truly pique your child�s creativity and keep their interest for an eternity.  I mean, I don�t understand how any parent gets out of there without a complete meltdown from their kid.  �No, Mommy, I don�t want to go. No, no, no.�

One of my favorite things about the museum is that it is set-up to provide entertainment for children of varying ages (0-10 years).  There are Legos, train sets, and gymnastics equipment for older kids; a play kitchen, school, and theater for preschool, early elementary, and really all age kids; and there�s even a toddler-only Tot Spot with tunnels, balls, and ride-on toys.

Of course, it�s that Tot Spot that sits at the center of my frustration.  At the entrance to the toddler section, there is a sign that clearly states, �For children two and under.�  Now, I know any child under 6 years of age cannot be expected to read this sign but their parents should.  So why is it, that while Linus and his other 13 and 14 month old friends are safely enjoying their play zone, in come children who are definitely not 2 and under.  They look to be around 5 years old.  They are accompanied by their parent but they are definitely not being supervised.  Now in fairness to the rule breaker, she has  brought a toddler along and is standing near the toddler gabbing with another adult.  I, of course, understand that the parent cannot be in two places at once.  I understand that the older child needs to be nearby.  What I do not appreciate, is the crazy and rowdy behavior that the parent is allowing the 5 year old to have while in a toddler area.  These kids are running at top speed narrowly missing and even sometimes actually knocking over the early walkers.  They are leaping in front of the crawlers and pushing them aside to go through the tunnels. 

My breaking point was almost reached when one of the 5 year olds came up to Linus while he was pushing a ride-on toy around.  The child placed a hand on the toy preparing to yank it away.  He paused just a moment to see if his Mommy would say anything and then started tugging.  Linus, not ready to be finished, yanked back and fearing domination belted out a loud, �Grrrr�.�  Luckily, this scared the 5 year old away and allowed me to avoid having to intervene.  I was rather proud of my little man for standing up for himself.

That mini confrontation only increased my frustration at these older children being set free to terrorize the littlest of visitors. 

I know this sounds very sanctimommy of me but with the way the museum is set-up, it is possible for parents to situate themselves in a location that allows them to play with a toddler in the toddler-zone and still supervise the older kids while they explore other parts of the museum.  I mean, from the toddler zone, a person can see into all the make believe play zones along "Main Street".  At the very least, I wish this parent would have explained to her older children that they would have to play calmly with their younger sister for a set amount of time and then they would all go and explore the other parts of the museum together.

Am I wrong to be frustrated?  Is this just my ignorance as a parent of an only child?  Do I not understand how difficult it is to manage more than one child while playing at a children�s museum? I hate to pass judgment on other parents for their parenting style but when it affects my son, I guess the protective instincts just kick in.

An original Triangle Mamas post. When she's not passing judgment on other mommies, Abby usually has other things to say about motherhood on her personal blog, My Sweet Babboo.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Impromptu Trip to the River

Last week, I had a day where I was desperate to get out of the house.  I wanted to be doing something, anything other than folding laundry and picking up toys.  So while two-year old Logan was emptying the contents of his sippy cup again, I asked him if he wanted to go play in the water.  I meant the pool, of course, and he quickly scrambled into his car seat.  As we passed the entrance to the Eno River State Park, Logan started pointing and saying �Wav-ver, Mom-mee.  Right there.  Go Wav-ver!�  Logan had his own idea for our outing.

�You want to go to river?� I asked.  I was surprised he remembered how to get there and that he had a word for it.  I turned the car around and to the river we went instead.   Once there, I knew that Logan had the better plan.

The Eno is considered to be a �slow� river as it passes over some fairly flat land.  It meanders more than it rages, making it the perfect place to find some quiet - unless, of course, you are visiting with a toddler.  For Logan, there was too much to discover to be quiet as we spent the next couple of hours feasting on nature with all of our senses.   

I watched Logan methodically tossing rock after rock into the water.  Splash.  Kirplop.  He squatted in the water trying to catch small fish. He groped around on the dried area of the riverbed, unsuccessfully grasping at tiny toads as they hopped out of reach � his chubby little fist closing just a little too late.  Without hesitation, we wandered into the water, giggling as the water trickled over his feet.

I stood next to him, feeling the water running over my own shoes and wishing I had the camera.  I wanted to document the dappled light dancing on the blue-green moss.  I wanted to catch the sunlight highlighting each movement of the water.  I wished for a way to record the music of the water lazily trickling over the rocks.  I wondered how I could save the scents of the dirt, the mossy rocks and the decomposing plants in the water.  Instead, I could only savor the moment right then � making time stop and freezing it forever even if only in my mind.  I took a breath.  I took it all in, letting it feed my soul.

I am always pleasantly surprised to come to the river and find myself feeling this way � at peace.  To find myself simply being in the moment with my son rather than worrying about all those daily life distractions was a much-needed gift.  It was a gift given by a perfect summer day and the toddler who knew a better way to enjoy it.


"An Impromptu Trip to the River" is an original post for Triangle Mamas.  When Susie is not enjoying the river with her three sons, she keeps a personal blog titled At Home With Me.

Labels: , , , ,