Monday, October 14, 2013

How motherhood has changed my movies...

One of the most unexpected changes of becoming a Mom has been to my movie and TV preferences.

While previously I enjoyed horror flicks, scary movies and every single crime show God and Jerry Bruckheimer have created, I just can't seem to stomach them now. I still DVR Law & Order SVU, but it is mostly out of habit at this point. Most of the show is spent with me cringing and wincing.

Because everything I see on that TV screen is everything I am trying to protect my children from.

I am watching safely from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy couch, my kids tucked safely into their non-recalled, completely safe beds, and I have the urge to run into their rooms and measure their breathing, to make sure they are still there.  My irrational side needs to see that it IS just a TV show and nothing (NOTHING!) in that show is every going to touch my kids. Ever.

I want to shout at the screen, warning each child away from the danger around those corners. I want to hug the mothers who have lost their children, console them, for my heart is breaking for their loss as if it is a child I have actually known, not an actor in a role.

While I do still watch Law&Order, my heart isn't into it. I tend to veer more towards what my life looks like now (or what it would if I was witty and beautiful and had a stylist picking out my clothes, home and friends). Modern Family. Parks & Recreation. The Office. Funny, family comedies.

So when The Hubs fell asleep at the late late hour of 9 pm a few nights ago, I settled in to watch something he would never watch with me. Something safe, with no law and no order and no thinking required. A chick flick. An old chick flick I had never seen before about dancers and young love.

Oh yes, I'm about 10 years late to the party; I watched the movie Step Up. (You know, that one with that one actor. .....What's his name?.... Oh yeah.... Channing Tatum.)

I was enjoying the movie - the triteness, the simpleness of it all. A love story we have seen played in countless movies countless times. And then - BAM! A child dies. (Spoiler alert! Except, I don't think it can really be considered a spoiler, since the movie has been out for seven years. If you haven't seen it by now, someone was bound to spoil it for you at some point. Might as well be me.)

That's right. In the middle of this chick flick about dancing and love and being true to yourself, a child DIES. I was so unprepared for it. Just sitting there, ho-hum, tweedle-dee, look at Channing, he's so cute, wow, I wish I could dance like that, and then - Tears. Quiet, sad tears because in order to make the lead character realize what is really important in life, the writers had to have a child die.

I think we need to tweak our movie ratings system. Keep the old ratings, but we need to add something for Mothers. Bambi could get a G-M. Meaning: Rated G, but a Mother dies. (Again, spoiler alert..... and did I really spoil that for anyone?!)  Step Up could get a PG-13-C. Meaning: Rated PG-13, but a Child dies. That way at least I get advance notice of a child's death.

It is really not safe for me to watch anything anymore.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Something so Big Kid about that

I feel like I'm behind on most of the "typical" Mom things. Namely, my son is 4, and not in preschool yet, and I forgot to enroll him in baseball before the season began. I normally get around to doing things about three weeks after I should. Procrastination at its best.

I want him in preschool, I really do. But finding one that works with our schedule is hard. See, we need full time daycare/preschool because I work three days a week. But my work days vary between weeks, so I need care that will let the kids come three different days each week. And, no, I don't want to put my kids in all FIVE days, just three. I'm selfish and want those other two weekdays with them. Most places told me, "Sure! You can bring them only three days - BUT you have to pay for the other two days in order to guarantee them a spot." Uh uh.

I also wanted a place where both kids could go. They are the best of friends (Peanut routinely tells Bjorn "You my bestest fwiend EVAH, Yah-Yah!") and I want to hold onto it as long as possible.

Sadly, most preschool daycare's are only for 3 and up, so those were out. Also, the cost of some were ridiculous! $1200 for ONE kid? $2000 for two? I think they might have been teaching the kids Chinese and gluten-free baking and how to start their own business, but, seriously? I could send my kid to private Catholic school for that price!

Except that the private Catholic school around here has a school day that ends at 3 pm and no after care. Oh, and they are also only 3 and up.

My options got slimmer and slimmer, and ever since his two daycare buddies went off to kindergarten, Bjorn has begun begging for school more and more.

So I finally found one. At my gym, of all places. 

It's reasonably priced. They are flexible with my days. They won't take Peanut, but that is OK. I'm using this preschool in addition to daycare, not in place of it. Peanut and I have our girl time, and Bjorn goes to school.

I didn't think the first day would be difficult - I had been sending him to daycare since he was 7 months old.  But it was. There is something so Big Kid about letting your child walk into a schoolroom (even if that school room is actually a squash court and that reading nook is just a beanbag chair thrown in the corner). There is something so Big Kid about him walking away from you, sitting in a circle with 11 other boys and girls and watching him watch the teacher.

Don't even get me started on when the day is over, and he walks out the door with a folder under his arm, asking if we can go home right now because he has homework to do.

He went to preschool on Monday, and every night since he has sat at the kitchen table and asked to do his homework. He gets out his colored pencils, opens his folders and says, "OK, Mom. What are we going to do first?"

Every night we practice his "i's" and his "9's" and all the I sounds, and we write in his reading log, and when we are done, he puts it all in his little folder and places it next to his bed for safekeeping.

I thought Peanut would be upset, seeing her "Best friend EVER" walk away from her to go to school, but she waved goodbye to him happily, grabbed my hand and walked away so we could do our thing together, her and I. I, on the other hand, can't believe I have a comfortable, strong, capable son in Preschool.

There is something so Big Kid about that.