It is time once again for the little Bird to spread her wings.
Her need to share, to make, to give is growing stronger and stronger
Maybe it won’t be as a little bird, maybe she is done staring into the mirror and calling it a ‘friend’.
Maybe she can fall asleep before you throw that blanket over her cage.
There are Days.
There are Days the seasons turn in an instant. Days you oversleep and you can’t seem to throw off the covers. When you run toward school, towards appointments, with a haphazard scarf and just one open eye…
These are the Days of Change.
The Days you notice you’re older. you are colder. your breath takes longer.
and you sit.
and you wait.
and you sit again.
You don’t cry. It isn’t time for that.
Posted in MAMA, poetry
Tagged MAMA, Poetry
The Huz had a very busy start to the year at work. So, the Parakeet and Little O found themselves together most of the first half of this month. They like each other – so it’s all right.
They planned a few activities, Little O went back to school, and they also did plenty of fun things at home.
Hearing of his Dad’s overtime, O often wanted to play “work”. He put on the Huz’ Union button from last year and set to making some scenery. Happy to participate in theater of all kinds, the Parakeet was ready to help. Because they had recently read Goldilocks and the Three Bears at school, Little O wanted to make that play. (they also had a field trip to the Chicago Symphony where the story was told with music – super cool). Little O was methodical about this work.
He wanted a table, chairs, and beds for the whole Bear Family. They found 3 different size chairs. They used 3 different pillows for beds, and then there was the issue of porridge. Little O found some cardboard from their over-crowded back porch. The Parakeet taped it together for him, but the issue of how to make the bowls was perplexing. Little O thought and then said, “I have an idea!” He described to the parakeet how he wanted holes cut in the top of the table. She did it. Then, he drew three bowls of porridge with tabs at the bottom of each one on another piece of card board. He asked her to cut those out and then he slid them into the holes on the table – not bad problem solving for a four-year old.
As he took a bath that night, the Parakeet told him, “Little O, I had so much fun playing with you today.”
“yeah, but you didn’t like when I got bossy with Parcheesi”
“No, I didn’t like that. But I loved making scenery with you. I thought it was super smart and creative how you decided to make those porridge bowls stick into the table”
“I wasn’t sure how we would make that and you figured it out. I just think you’re a cool kid”
He smiled, “O”
“I’m really glad I got you for my son”
“but you picked me, Mom”
“I didn’t get to pick you, but I tell you what — God must think I’m pretty special that he decided to give me you.”
He smiled again, “And God must have thought GB was pretty special to give you to her”
The Parakeet smiled back at him. Little O must think she is pretty cool, too.
It’s only 2:30. Little O woke up at 6AM. He is standing next to his mother’s bed and remembering two promises, “It’s a play-mommy day, right?”
The Parakeet nods half-asleep.
“We’re making cupcakes and going to the playground, right?”
The Parakeet smiles, “That’s right bud.Good Memory!” She high-fives him and rolls out of bed.
The huz says good-bye to them both and heads to the shop. The bird and the O eat a quick breakfast and are making cupcakes by 7:15. There isn’t enough sugar, and with a little convincing, the O walks with the Parakeet to a local convenience store that happens to be open before 8 to buy a bag of sugar. They have to walk to a second one two blocks past the first.
When Little O tries to protest, “How could that store not be open?” The Parakeet quiets him with a “Well, most people are trying to sleep”
They return home and finish their chocolate cupcakes before 9:00. As they bake O fills the sink to play with dishes and the Keet talks to her own mother on the phone.
After that it’s a bike ride to a lesser-visited playground, a chance run-in with a little girl from his pre-school. They play together for an hour just fabulously. They meet O’s old babysitter and the bird’s dear friend for more conversation and walking and playground-climbing.
Little O and the Parakeet make ham sandwiches and eat them in the backyard.
They make pink frosting and their chocolate cupcakes are ready for tomorrow’s baby shower. Little O eats ‘just one’ and covers his in sprinkles left from Christmas.
He plays quietly by himself while she calls the Huz to check-in and reads one chapter of a book to herself.
She reads him a Dr. Suess favorite and he settles in for a nap.
It’s just 2PM and the day has been so full. She cleans the baking dishes and sweeps the kitchen floor with a calm feeling that’s hard to explain. As she tosses the crumbs into the trash, she realizes she is so happy, so grateful. What a Saturday. And only half-way done.
The Parakeet said two things to Little O today she was hoping to never say.
She was sitting at the dining room table and Little O was going to the bathroom. He ran out with his pants around his ankles saying, ” I went a little potty on myself”. He was trying to get a big laugh, so the Parakeet calmly answered, “go get a little piece of toilet paper, clean it up, and pull up your pants”.
She went back to her book. A few seconds later Little O was standing next to her holding the toilet paper he had unrolled all the way from the bathroom. This toddler habit of unrolling toilet paper drives the Huz crazy. The Huz was outside prepping some paint samples for a client before he had to leave for a 4 – Midnight shift. He was ‘on the edge’ and didn’t need un-rolled toilet paper. Before she could edit herself the Parakeet hopped up, “You don’t want your dad to see that buddy! Roll it back up!”
Little O scurried back to the bathroom trying to re-roll and mumbling ” I don’t want my dad to see this…”
Oh jeez. The Bird had always hoped to be a firm parent in her own right and never to make the Huz the bad guy with “wait till your father comes home” talk, but oh well…3 years was close.
Then, as she was getting Little O ready for bed she asked him his favorite part of the day. This is their routine leading into prayer so they can mention the things for which they are thankful. Little O wasn’t having it, ” I don’t want to pray”. Mom leaves right after prayer and the sleeping is supposed to start, so praying is often an “I don’t want to” type thing.
“You don’t have to, bud, but Mom will pray – what should I say was your favorite part of the day?”
Little O reached up and put his hand over the Keet’s mouth.
WHAT??? She was soooo taken aback.
“We don’t do that, O. You don’t put your hand over Mommy’s mouth”
He looked surprised, “Well, ____ does that to his mom when he doesn’t want her to talk.” ______ goes to playgroup with O.
” It’s rude, O”
“Well, _______ does it”
” Well, Owen does not do it. You don’t put your hand over your mommy’s or anyone’s mouth. If you want me to stop talking you say, ‘Mommy, please stop talking’. ”
It wasn’t quite “I don’t care if so and so gets to stay in a hotel after prom, you are going to be home by midnight “…..but she felt it coming, in her gut.
As a parent, the parakeet does want O to be a free spirit – no need for rules for rules’ sake? So this morning, when he thought it would be fun to wear one red shoe and one blue shoe – she saw no good reason to say “No”. They were getting ready to meet a few friends at the beach where he would take them off anyway. No big deal.
Little O had a barefoot blast on the beach and so did his Mama. Who wouldn’t? it – it was 82 degrees at MOST. There was sun and breeze. Just perfect. She had a little trouble wrangling the nearly three-year old when it was time to go. He has a not-fun habit of running very far and very fast when he doesn’t want to leave. This time he also had a large dump truck. She scooped him under one arm, the dump truck in the other and threw all of their stuff in the ginormous red wagon. Little O pulled it himself all the way back to the car. He was sandy from head to toe. Surely – he would go straight to the shower. The Parakeet got some resistance on that front as well and the nap. When he was finally clean and sleeping, she felt accomplished and worn out. She picked up her cell phone to see a text message from her friend, “I have O’s shoes”
OH.MAN. Now, he is essentially out two pairs of shoes – it could be a weekend of one red and one blue. But he will have a bonus play-date in the near future.
This is what a lot of his days look like between 5 and 6 PM. The Parakeet decides she won’t get a real dinner made or if she does it will be ready after the O-ster heads to bed, so he gets PASTA! Little O loves the pasta. She scrambles to either cook something else for herself and the Huz or put on makeup and grab her things to head out for Arbonne as soon as the Huz gets home. Little O follows her with his eyes from his little table in the kitchen. He stuffs his mouth full with a whole-grainy parmesean-y pile of spirals and then trys to talk.
He gets a lot on the floor. He stirs it around. It’s a small thing that his mom would like to remember. This is the way dinner was at this time in their lives.
The Post title references a parenting book the Parakeet just adores. On her good days, that is how she’d like to parent. Some of it must be working, seeping in when she isn’t distracted, over-tired or impatient.
This afternoon, Little O is precariously perched atop the couch back. The Parakeet asks him to be careful. He laughs. She asks him to get down. He grins.
“Little O, you can get down off the couch or you can go to Time Out”
Instant change on his face
“Those are not the choices, Mom”
“Yeah, bud – those are the choices. You can get down or you can go to time out”
“I don’t want to go to Time Out”
“Then I guess you should get down off the couch”
“Oooo…..” he slowly crawls down.
“That was a choice, Mom”
Yes, Bud. Yes it was. “It was a good choice, O. Good Choice”