New Year’s Resolutions:
-Spend Less Money
– Eat Well
– bla, bla, bla
For 2014 I want to:
– Laugh more
– Love More
– and just stay positive.
I’m looking forward to all that the following year will bring to my family.
On Monday Ale slept later than usual. I had to wake him to get ready to go to daycare. As we were getting ready I reminded him of where we were going and who he was going to see, “Ale, we are going to daycare. Today is music class. Your friends Max and Emily are waiting to see you.”. He responded with a big round “No!”. The no’s continued through out the morning rush.
We arrive at the daycare. Sure enough Ale’s friends Max and Emily were there at the door to greet their little buddy. I kiss Ale who had started crying and point to his friends. Ale then goes over to Max and pushes him. I was mortified and felt so sorry for Max who took the push with surprise.
This was the first time I had ever seen Ale do such a thing. Everyone had always commented on Ale’s sweet and mild nature. I had my head in the new mommy sand. I thought that we were for some reason immune to this behavior.
Ale is a toddler and is still pretty much pre-verbal. He wants to express himself more. Throughout the morning he was telling me that he wanted to be with me. When he saw Max he pushed him as if to get rid of him so he could stay with me.
It’s hard to be a working mom. The guilt I left with was enormous. I know that daycare is the best solution for my family. When I picked him up later that day he was happy, dancing, and gave kisses and high fives to all of his friends.
Ale is a toddler. New challenges are ahead for all of us. Discipline is rising to the top of the list.
This is a view from the toddler bed. My son’s new favorite toy is a strobe light flashlight. This little light casts huge multicolored prisms on the walls, and our faces in dark rooms. Tonight he wanted to take it with him to bed. Night night!
Last week Ale had a cold with a fever. He walks around our apartment barefoot. My husband and I decided to get him a pair of fun slippers. I went to Macy’s children’s shoe department and saw a pair of Stride Rite firetruck slippers. They were perfect for Ale! They even had lights that flash when you walk. He would love them! I could hear his little voice “Fire Fight! Fire Fight”. Sadly, they only had one pair and it was a size much too big for him.
I left Macy’s on a mission to get Ale this pair of slippers. I scoured the shoe stores in Midtown Manhattan and I had no luck. On my way home feeling defeated I passed by a shoe store in my neighbourhood. I entered. The wall in the back had the entire line of Stride Rite children’s slippers. It was a children’s slippers paradise. They had the firetruck slippers! Whoot Whoot!
Me (Heart beating fast with excitement ): Hello. Can I have a pair of the firetruck slippers in a size 7/8?
Shoe Seller (Looking through the firetruck slippers) : I’m sorry ma’am I don’t see them in that size.
Me: Can you check the back?
Shoe Seller (Climbs a ladder to reach a box precariously placed on a high shelf. He goes through the box while the ladder shakes): I’m sorry we don’t have a 7/8 here either.
Me: Really? Can I look through the box?
Shoe Seller: Ma’am we really don’t have that size? How about the Elmo slippers, or the puppy dog?
Me (rolling my eyes): No! My son does not like Elmo or puppy dogs! My Son loves firetrucks! He would be so happy with the firetruck slippers! Ughh!
Shoe Seller looks at me blankly.
I run out the store, whip out my iphone and buy the last pair off Amazon. Why did I not think of that earlier? Silly me!
Two days later the firetruck slippers arrive!
Ale wakes up from his nap. I have the box in the living room waiting for him. He peers into the box. “Wow!”, he says. I take them out of the box, sit Ale on my lap to put the firetruck slippers on his feet. He starts screaming. “NOOOOOOOO!!! FEEEEET! No Feet!!!” My husband and I wrestle him to the floor and put the slippers on his little feet to keep them cozy and warm. He runs away screaming, “NOOOOO!!!!!”. He is not even impressed by the flashing lights. He suddenly stops and is frozen. He wants those dam firetruck slippers off. He is still screaming “No! Feet!”. Tears are running down his face, snot is pouring out of his nose. I reluctantly admit defeat and take off the slippers to put Ale out of his misery. With his feet out in the open again, he smiles and lifts his right foot toward me and says “Feet!”. He walks off as if nothing happened.
That night, at bedtime we read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”. Ale apparently saw a lot of feet. He pointed out the “feet” of each of the animals and wiggled his toes in my face when imitating the sound of the horse.
I have come to the conclusion that my son has a foot fetish. He likes barefeet. The firetruck slippers have subsequently been placed into the closet in the hope that I can reintroduce them in the coming weeks. Will I succeed……?
Wait, my toes feel a draft. Oh, its Ale. He has pulled off my socks. “Feet! Mama! Feet!”
I gotta go…..
The siesta time is taken very seriously at my mother-in-law’s home in Sevilla. In the morning you get all that you have to done. By 2:30pm you must be at home. This is when lunch is ready and on the table. Lunch is usually a delicious feast- gazpacho, lomo, jamón Serrano, salad, boquerones en vinagre, meatballs, shrimp, cheese, bread, wine, beer and water. For dessert there is fruit and some times ice cream for special occasions. After we are sufficiently stuffed my mother-in-law ushers us out of the dining room and tells us to “echar una siesta” – take a nap. She takes hers in an easy chair in the living room where she will dose off for about thirty minutes. For the rest of us we go to our bedrooms and we can happily sleep for up to almost two hours.
Ale, my husband and I are on vacation so this is a great welcome. Our first day here the three of us climbed into bed and passed out for an hour and a half. We all slept deeply for that time. We were exhausted. Exhausted from the trip to Spain from New York, but also exhausted from our lives in New York. We don’t stop. We just keep going, and going. Even Ale who naps all the time sleeps better here. He is not picking up the stress of our daily routines.
When the siesta is over it’s like a new day begins. We might have a cup of coffee and a piece of pound cake to get us going again. Then we are off to the park, or strolling around the city. We finish off the night with conversation and a dinner that was meant to be light. My mother-in-law wants to make sure we are all well fed and jolly. Then it’s bedtime again around midnight. Ale goes to bed around 10pm instead of his usual 8pm. He wants to join in the fun as well and play with his cousins and laugh at his uncle’s jokes, (Mama, he’s funny!).
It’s impossible to replicate the Spanish way of life in bustling New York but I can learn from this. We need to just stop, rest and take time for ourselves to recharge our batteries. To take a moment or two to just stop moving, running, planning, thinking, or whatever. Just stop and breathe and have a siesta moment. It’s ok. The planet will keep spinning. I have to record my mother-in -law her to remind myself- “Venga! Hala! Iros a dormir!” (Go, go on! Go to sleep!).
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