Yin Yang

by Leslie

Normally, I’m a pretty sunny person – happy, upbeat, optimistic.  Today, I’m feeling a little spicy, though.  Maybe it’s the rain.  Maybe it’s my period.  I don’t know.  Anyway, I’m offering up what could serve as my worst enemy’s how-to manual: 

Random Things That Annoy Me
(Keep in mind, this is not an all-inclusive list because the internet just ain’t big enough, baby.)

  • Lip-smacking.  It actually involves more than just lips.  There’s some tongue and saliva in the mix, too.  You know the sound.  It’s that moist, suction sound you hear when someone is really enjoying their food or can’t decide whether to keep their mouth open or shut.  Ick.   
  • References to “balls” by women as if they have them.  As in, “Don’t bust my balls!” or “I’ve got the balls to say it.”  Ummm, no ya don’t.  You do not have balls.  Come up with another way to say what you mean.
  • The fact that my husband glanced over my shoulder at the first two items and thought it was “hot.”
  • The use of the word “irregardless.”  It should be “regardless.”  Look it up.
  • The songs “Butterfly Kisses” and “Christmas Shoes.”
  • The common question that often follows the statement that I’m a stay-at-home mom: “So, what do you do all day?”  Regardless (ha ha, see what I did there?) of what some may think, stay-at-home moms don’t necessarily spend their days eating their weight in Bon-Bons, having internet sex, and watching Oprah, Dr. Phil and Soap Operas.  Some of us, who aren’t satisfied with plopping our children in front of the television all day, actually care for them, which is a full-time time job if you’re doing it right.  Even children who have a working mother require someone to care for them through the day.  Do you ask daycare workers or nannies, “So, what do you do all day?”  A paycheck doesn’t equal worth.

Okay…I wrote the bit you see above, then saved it because Julia woke up from her nap.  Now that I look at it again, I feel like the evil, negative Mommy monster.  Since I’m just a bit of a freak and will feel all twitchy until I balance it out, here ya go:

Random Things That Make Me Happy
(Again, not an all-inclusive list because your screen would explode if I unleashed all that sunshine.) 

  • Slipping between fresh, crisp sheets on a newly made bed.
  • The song “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. 
  • My husband’s soft kisses on the back of my neck.
  • My daughter’s laugh.
  • This…particularly at 1:34.
  • The comic strip “Baby Blues.”  Now, those guys get it.

This morning, I was moving around in the room when Julia’s eyes popped open and she jumped out of bed.  She went straight to her vanity, put on about ten bracelets and started to dance.  She jumped around a little, then quieted herself, gracefully lifted her arms up over her head and rose up on her tip toes.  She turned and turned, losing her balance a little as she said, “Ballalina, Mommy.  I do ballet.”

What a way to start the day, huh?  I can’t remember the last time I jumped out of bed and welcomed the day with a dance.  (In fact, it’s been a long time since I “jumped” out of bed.  Now, it’s more of a roll and a crawl to the nearest caffeinated beverage before I can start jumping.)  Most of Julia’s days start out and are filled with dancing.  I enjoy watching her dance and I love dancing with her. 

Dancing…well, it’s kind of our thing.

Since Julia was born, we’ve danced together.  It started simply.  I’d sway and rock with her to calm  her during those first weeks of her life when we were just getting to know each other.  Soon, I discovered that bouncing her up and down, moving from side to side and spinning around made her wiggle and smile.  After a few months, those wiggles and smiles became giggles.  Once I found a surefire way to make her giggle, I wanted to do it again and again.  So, I did.  Dancing with Julia quickly became a daily ritual.

We’d dance to relieve stress or stop the tears.  As she grew, it was a great way to illustrate concepts like fast and slow or up and down.  Eventually, it became a way for us to communicate what we weren’t able to express verbally.  I mean, can you really just tell someone they fill your heart with joy?  It’s better to show them.  Our way was by jumping, twisting, shaking and grooving to a funky fresh batch of tunes.  Dancing together helped us relate to each other and it became a special bonding time.     

We still dance together, pretty much every other day.  We call it “Dance Party Time,” and do it when no one else is home.  We put on our Dance Party Mix and let loose.  Really, we get pretty crazy.  It is sort of a mental and physical release, for me.  I love it because for that short period, I’m not worried about money, how I look or what other people think.  I’m just having a great time with my girl; it’s just the two of us with no distractions and no judgements.

Dancing with Julia helps me remember what’s important and that life is supposed to be fun.  Seeing her dance around each day makes me feel like I just might be doing something right.  She’s such a happy child.  I’d like to think that our time dancing together is teaching her something about expressing joy, loving life, sharing with someone and feeling good in her own skin.  Or maybe she’s just learning to play wicked air-guitar and pull off some kick-ass robot moves.  Either way, it’s time well spent.


by Leslie

Just because I predicted it yesterday doesn’t mean I was prepared. 

Today, Julia threw my toothbrush in the toilet, ate half of a yellow crayon, chewed on the zucchini I purchased for tomorrow’s dinner (Mediterranean Strata), and pooped on the floor somewhere between getting her out of the bathtub and trying to get her dressed.  

Exasperated, I asked her, “What is with you today?”

“I’m 2-years-old!” 

“Yeah, you are.”

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