Posted by: Hannah | 11/08/2012

always look on the bright side

Lately, NotMaryP has been posting wonderful stories about her dayhome charges. Seriously, go read this adorable tale of walking home from the park – if you didn’t feel just a little warm & fuzzy, you must be dead inside.

Attitude is everything. I say this to my kids all the time. If you expect good things, good things will happen. If you’re always looking for your pile of sticks to fall down, the wind will never stop blowing. I am by nature a Rabbit, but the past few weeks I’ve been feeling and behaving like an Eeyore.

I have been complaining about the dayhome kids a lot lately – and it’s true, they have been uniquely horrible since Thanksgiving. New Baby Girl has thrown our nice routines all out of whack.

She is a champion napper – in a crib, all I have to do is sing one song and cover her with a blanket and she is out cold before I even get out of the room – but she needs a good solid 90 minutes every morning and at least two hours in the afternoon. Our mornings used to include an hour’s walk every day, but working around her nap and the toddlers’ snacktime means we haven’t been for as many walks as we’d like.

Then she got sick. I’ve been sick the whole time, ditto Baby G. Everyone has runny noses and most of us have coughs, and you add that to the sudden turn in the weather to peevish November rain and short daylight hours and it means I’m as cranky as the toddlers are.

This isn’t fair to them. Sometimes they are delightful little people. I am promising myself to make more of an effort to notice the good things about them, rather than getting hung up on the behaviours that make me crazy (and drinky).

So! A brief interlude to contemplate the things that some of the kids do that make them wonderful. (I’ll save some of the other kids for another day).

Harry – Last night he suddenly burst into song – something about elves and dancing, to the tune of “Blue Suede Shoes”. Apparently it is their song for the Christmas concert. And three kids will be chosen to ‘play’ the role of Elf-is – the elf who just wants to dance and sing rather than making toys. He is very very excited at the possibility of being Chosen. I looked up some Elvis videos on YouTube and he spent a solid half hour last night trying to sneer (with eight teeth missing); do that patented Elvis hip / pelvis thing (even though he really has no rhythm, bless him); and pointing at the audience while going “uh-huh-uh”. If his teacher doesn’t pick him, she’s blind. He’d bring down the house.

Ron – He’s always been the observant one, the detail-oriented one, the one who notices soft textures and nice smells and pretty lights. Now that the terror of Hallowe’en is behind him, he’s happily moved on to getting excited about Christmas. Not the presents so much – the decorating. The baking. The music. Last night at his request I hauled my ceramic Christmas village out of storage and set it up for him. He was entranced. “It is so beautiful, Mummy! Look at the lights in the windows! Look at the people! I love the trees!” I’ve kept it carefully packed away since Harry was born – smashy-smashy! – but today Ron spent a good half hour scouting possible safe locations to set it up. He found a good one, too.

Luna – Her personality is slowly starting to show through, between the more infrequent storms of tears she still indulges in. She is surprisingly kind and gentle with New Baby Girl. And she’s smart, which is part of the problem, I think. Yesterday on the drive here she was excited to be coming to “Ron’s house” – but then when they pulled in to the driveway she said, very matter-of-fact, “we at Ron’s house. I’mma cry a lil’ bit now.”

Louis – Oh, Louis. He’s an extrovert, which means he and I disagree on a fundamental level: he feels that he should be talking ALL THE TIME and I should be acknowledging and responding appropriately to the constant stream of words coming out of his noise-hole, and I feel he should pause for breath sometimes to give my ears a rest. However, he’s a funny little thing, and if you can get him to laugh it’s a whole-body thing; he throws his head back, squinches his eyes tight shut, and chortles hysterically. One day he was here long after all the other kids had gone home; there were still a couple of minutes until closing time, but he was anxious to leave and kept asking over and over and OVER “Hannah, whea’s mah DADDY?” And I kept patiently explaining that he was on his way from work. Every two minutes. For half an hour. Finally I said “he will be here by 5:30. And if he isn’t, that’s OK. At 5:30 I load you into my catapult and send you home that way”. I said it with a smile, but I *was* getting frustrated with him (and with his dad, who always arrives with one minute to spare). Louis stared at me for a few seconds, mouth agape. “Yo’ CADAPULLED??” he asked, slightly horrified. “Yup,” I said. “It’s in the backyard.” He stared at me for another few seconds and then threw himself on the floor, laughing like a loon. Now whenever he’s the last one here, he asks about the ‘cadapulled’ and if I’ll be putting him in the ‘cadapulled’ soon.

New Baby Girl – she is still not happy about the breastmilk in bottles situation. I can get around  4 ounces into her – under protest – but it’s stressing me out and making her upset. Meanwhile, her mom keeps pumping twice a day at work, getting at least 5 ounces each time. Yesterday I settled in to do battle; she shook her head “NO”. I nodded and made the sign for milk. Her face lit up, she gave me her most winning smile, and shoved her hand down the front of my shirt.

Lest you think I spend my time blogging instead of focusing on the children, let me point out that it has taken me three hours to write this, in between wiping noses, eating a veritable buffet of pretend foods, writing ‘Louis’ and ‘Pixie’ on several pieces of paper because they like to practice the letters, changed several diapers, given NBG a small bottle (since she didn’t get nursed at wake up time, god help me)… but I did find that I had more patience for it all today because I was trying to focus on the positive instead of the negative. Experiment a success! Now to keep up with it. Until spring.



  1. Aw. Thanks for the lovely compliment. I am having a spectacular week, mood-wise. Positively euphoric. I think it’s because of ALL! THE! SUNSHINE!!! we are getting. (In *November*!) I’m glad it’s helping you, just a wee bit. 🙂

    Louis. Oh, Louis. He sounds so much like my Arthur. You poor thing. I think Arthur was a nice little boy, but lordy, the unceasing LOUD. One day I complained to my husband that I felt that I just wasn’t making any headway with this boy, that I was failing with him. My lovely husband said to me, in utmost sincerity: “Every day he goes home alive, you’ve succeeded.”

    Words to live by. Perhaps they could become your mantra.

    • 😀 “Every day he goes home alive, you’ve succeeded.” I laughed until the tears ran. I like where that sets the bar.

  2. I should definitely try this in my own home w/ my own kids.

    • I find in the daily grind of trying to get everything done! And organized! And on time! that I forget to focus on noticing the good instead of just the bad / annoying. Let us know how it goes.

  3. They are so cute! But you forgot Pixie!

    • Pixie didn’t do anything especially cute or loveable today. Or yesterday. Or recently. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. :p

      • Aha! That explains it. BAD PIXIE.

        • She has been *such* a moody drama queen lately. Like a teenager. A nose-picking teenager.

  4. While I don’t agree that attitude is EVERYTHING, it’s a big thing. We have sun this week too, plus NO MORE EVIL DRUG, which was SO the right decision, so I’m feeling MUCH better. In, you know, a still-snarky kind of way.

    • You’re right, attitude isn’t everything if you have an actual clinical depression, and I should have made that clear. As someone who has struggled with depression myself, I should have chosen those words a bit more carefully. Oops. I blame the fact that it’s been FUCKING RAINING FOR FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS. I am jealous of your sunshine.

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