Not Ready, Not Yet

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I was reading the newspaper the other day and came across a parenting column that looked interesting.

“If you have toddlers,” it read, and my eyes started to glaze over. Nope, no toddlers here, I told myself. Then I read one sentence further and discovered that the article centered on a child who was 16-months-old.

I got a funny feeling in my stomach.

A sixteen-month-old isn’t a toddler, I muttered to myself, that’s just a baby. I then quickly recognized my attitude as that of a mother who is watching her baby grow up a little faster than she’d like. Maybe it’s what we call denial.

Henry turned eighteen months old the other day. If I let myself think about it, I realize that’s approaching something close to being a toddler. I’ll admit that he sometimes acts like a toddler, if by that you mean he climbs on the dining room table and tries to swing from the chandelier. He also wants to drive the truck-cart at the grocery store, and during the Christmas season we caught him trying to light the Advent wreath. I suppose those are toddler-ish behaviors.

But he’s not a toddler. I’m not ready for him to be a toddler. Right now he is The Baby, though I’m thinking this might be the name that sticks with him for life.

We are enjoying everything about Baby Henry, but there is also this bittersweet realization of how fast time really does fly. I am so aware of the brevity of this sweet season that sometimes it is almost more than I can bear.

Instead of eagerly anticipating the next milestone in Henry’s life, I am relishing the present accomplishment. Instead of thinking about next month or next year, I find myself blissfully content with right now. The days are filled with sweet moments that make me pause and think that I’d like to stay here, in this moment, just a little bit longer.

That’s not true of every single minute of every day of course. We have five boys, after all, and life is sometimes much wilder than I would like.

There are still evenings when I wonder if maybe smoke really does come out of my ears. One night, at the end of a particularly long day, I was standing in the kitchen trying to decide if I was going to yell or cry. Laughing wasn’t an option. I suddenly had a brilliant epiphany where I realized that I was the boss of this scene – and I sent the offending parties to their room. Sweet victory.

In spite of these bumps in the road, it is all so beautiful. I’m learning, at this season in our life as a family, that when it comes to the squabbles and frustrations, this too shall pass.

It’s funny how quickly seasons change in the life of a parent. For so many years, I was ready for the next step, the next age and stage and those glimmering peeks at my boys’ independence. So many little boys were fun, but also a challenge. I tended to eagerly anticipate the next milestone, looking for little signs that would prove life would soon be easier.

Suddenly, I’m not so eager for what’s next. It’s not that I don’t look forward to the future – I’m excited about it. I don’t necessarily want time to slow down, but I find myself more willing to just enjoy the moment. This is a wonderful season and I just don’t want it to go by too fast.

Just like that, I have gone from having a house filled with short little-boy toddlers who required amazing amounts of energy – to these entertaining, pleasant bigger boys, who still require a lot of my energy, but in a whole different way.

Four big boys, and one pre-toddler – who will always be the baby no matter how old he may be. 1585″ ,



1584 1584_ () 1584 1584 UPDATE, Friday morning: I’ll leave this open until this afternoon, so all the good folks in all the time zones can have a fair chance. Thanks for entering! May the queasiest man win!

Today at Testosterhome, we are giving away a pair of Psi Bands, adjustable wrist bands worn to help alleviate nausea. The pair up for grabs look like that cute red band in the middle of the picture (just in time for Valentine’s Day!).

According to the press release, Psi Bands are “FDA-cleared to relieve nausea most commonly caused by pregnancy, travel (motion sickness), chemotherapy and anesthesia.”

There is one catch to entering the drawing: if your name is chosen (from a random selection), you have to be willing to let me know how the Psi Bands work for you.

Enter your name in the comment section, and be sure to have a valid email so I can let you know if you’re the winner. I’ll keep it open until midnight. Good luck! 1584″>


He’s a Dapper Dan Man

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“Funny,” says Henry, “this doesn’t taste like mousse.”

Gramma has introduced the boys to the world of hair mousse, and they cannot get enough. They are clamoring to style their hair and get it just. so. before leaving for school. The mousse even holds Henry’s hair for a few hours; every little bit helps. 1583″>


Wheel Power

1582 1582_ () 1582 1582 We are in full Pinewood Derby mode around here, talking, thinking, researching our methods to build the fastest and sweetest looking car for the upcoming competition. Last night the boys were up very late working with Paul on sanding and painting, watching paint dry and then sanding some more.

During a break in all the work, while another coat of paint was drying, we all gathered in the front room for quick family prayers, but mostly to discuss the Derby. At length. Again.

One of the boys had an idea to do something radical to the wheels, and thus began some kind of discussion about the three levels of wheel awesomeness that would be acceptable at the Derby. I wasn’t really clear on most of it, but it seemed to involve levels like turbo, even more turbo, and extreme turbo awesomeness.

“I’m confused,” I offered, trying to enter the conversation. “Aren’t wheels pretty much a standard shape?”

“Yes and no,” someone answered me, and I’ll admit that answer left me a bit confused. The conversation continued, with no more explanations for me, and Paul and the boys moved on to which level of wheel trickery Team Balducci would employ.

“What about the extreme one,” asked one of the boys, “let’s do that.”

“No way,” answered Ethan, “that would be too much. That one would just blow everybody’s minds.” 1582″> ,