Monday, April 23, 2018

This Deliberate Parenting Thing!!! Part 1


I had had a really stressful day. I'm still working on Hurricane Harvey recovery and even though it's been eight months, many survivors are still not back in their homes. In my work as a Disability Integration Advisor, I see to it that survivors with access and functional needs, particularly those with disabilities, do not fall through the cracks. It's more challenging than the work I did as a Disaster Case Manager, which I talked about here, and I have had to learn a lot in a short period. It's great that I am a subject matter expert now, and working for a government agency has been interesting. The best thing, though, is that I get to go home everyday. Working away from home was hard, not just on me, but all of us.

As you can imagine, the kids love having me back home. It's interesting though, how being away changed the vibe at home. They are more independent and don't seem to need me so much, which is both awesome and not so awesome. Daddy developed a more efficient morning routine. Also, they don't come to me first like they used to, which... I was going to talk about Friday, not about how I it feels to know I am not indispensable.

So, Friday.

I got home from work at 7:30, and only then did I remember that Alexis had a Girls Scout meeting at 6:30.
In My Mind (IMM) "Ugh! why do I let down this child so much?!"
In Real Life (IRL): "Alexis!! Put your shoes on! Let's go!"

We raced to the meeting location, but there was no one there.
IMM: "When am I going to get my life?"
IRL: "Sorry Alexis, today wasn't a meeting day."
"It's okay mommy" She hugged me and I felt better.
"Lets go check out this new Target that just opened." I said. Thinking about how to make it a good day in spite of my gaffe. So we went in, holding hands and laughing. Turned out to be a really interesting evening.

You see, I'm doing this thing where I'm responding to the natural curiosity of my children with honest age appropriate answers. That may sound simple, but it's hard. The honesty part, mostly. It means I have to say "I don't know" instead of pretending. Also, I can't say "because I said so".

It's hard because it forces me to think about my answers. It forces me to admit that I might be wrong. It's humbling.

It's also tricky, seeing as "because I said so" is actually an appropriate answer. Who has time to explain everything? But the thing is, they are not toddlers anymore. Nathan just turned ten and he appears to have skipped late childhood and gone straight to early adolescence. Puberty is here. And looming for Alexis. They have questions and I want to be able to answer them honestly. David has soooooo many questions, it's unbelievable. But he has learned how to use google and now, he's showing me up. I was talking about him the other day on Twitter. Look, I have my own personal walking and talking encyclopedia. YAY!!!

Yeah, so they're growing and changing and so is how I parent.

I have realized that "The Talk" is no longer a one time conversation. It's an ongoing one. One that requires a proactive approach. Everything that happens is a learning opportunity and I hope I can max as many as possible.

It's hard, but I'm doing it. Because I am trying to parent deliberately.

So, Friday. Target.
First we went to the restroom, which led to a conversation about periods.
Her face when I told her about bleeding for 3 to 5 days was epic 😂😂😂 We talked about eggs and sperm and what happens when eggs don't get fertilized. Pretty simple, yeah? So I thought until she said something that blew me away.

This post is getting long. And I'm sleepy.
Let's make it 2 parts. I promise to finish it tomorrow.

PS. Why did I stop blogging???  This is fun.
Well.... Technically, I didn't stop. twitter is a micro-blogging site after all.
That's where all my blog posts are. Follow me @gbemisoke


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