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The “to do” list

Dear Jack,

Last night I went stomping in to your room for the 30th time yelling “GO TO SLEEP”.  You told me you were scared of the dark.  I rolled my eyes, and told you that there were two nightlights on, one lamp going full blast, the hall light on, your Twilight Turtle was lit up, and your mini light saber was ready for battle, Jedis aren’t scared of the dark, so for god sakes just fall asleep already.

“But momma, I’m still scared.  Jedis are scared of bad guys like Darth Vader”.

But buddy, I have so much on my to do list to get ready for your birthday party.  The list is a mile long.  I have a lot to do, and you need to fall the heck to sleep so that I can keep working.

I knew instantly I had hurt your feelings.

The to do list was no longer important.  I’ll find some other time to finish up my chores.  I crawled in to bed with you and told you I was sorry.  We snuggled in your four foot long bed for only about two minutes before your breathing slowed and you fell fast asleep.

I laid there and watched you sleep for another 15 minutes.  Noticing how perfect your nose is, how your hair looks just like mine, but feels like your dad’s.  How tightly you snuggle “GG kitty”, and how only two hours after your bath, you smell nothing like soap.

I extracted myself from your bed, and quietly tiptoed out of your room.  I walked in to the kitchen and saw my to do list.  Nothing that I set out to accomplish last tonight got checked off.  Instead, I quickly added two new things and just as quickly checked them off:

  1. Be your mommy first above all
  2. In your eyes, be stronger than a Jedi and a light saber combined


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31 comments on “The “to do” list”

  1. While children do come first, if Mommy is neglecting herself too much, you do realize that the child will suffer at some point. My children came first, but satisfying their every whim, desire, or irrational fear was not doing them justice. Yes, fear happens, but it is the mother’s duty to help them overcome it.

    Yes, it easy to see all the ways I went wrong since my children are in 40s and 30s with their own children.

    My four-year-old daughter, third child, was right on my heels one night as I left her room. Her room was next to kitchen and den in the hundred year old house. It was supposed to be the formal dining room, but I did not want her far from me.

    This night, she followed me out of her bedroom five times because she was afraid Indians would come get her. Finally, I promised her I would sit right outside her door and Promised her I would not allow any Indians in. (My chair in the den was four feet from her door.) She questioned me about how I would not go away, even to the bathroom and did I promise. She went back to bed and right to sleep.

    Every might for a week, she asked me if I would promise to sit and watch for and protect her from Indians. I promised. After about a week, she quit asking. A year later she volunteered the tall skinny plant leaves outside her windows making shadows on her curtains looked like Indian feathers in a headdress. The wind made it look like Indians were moving.

    My friend’s child kept her up all night because there were monsters in the closet. I made some monster spray from tbsp vinegar in two cups of water and put it in a spray bottle. I wrote “Monster Spray” on the bottle. Every night, while he watched, the mother sprayed the closet for her son, leaving him the bottle to spray monsters. After three nights, he never mentioned the monsters, as she sprayed the closet. Once again, he was sleeping without fear since the spray bottle was beside his bed.

    My mother assured me there were no demons on my window, so I feared them for about five years. I learned to help a child overcome a fear, not by denial, but by helping a child to “chase” them away. I don’t know where I heard the word demons and did not even know what a demon was, but I knew to fear them. She was a loving and supportive mother but fell down in this area of nighttime fears–saying something does not exist does not help a child. Parents should not acknowledge there is a monster of some sort, just provide a way to get rid of the monster.

    I did not mean to lecture, but I knew a child that had to have his father sleep with the child until the child fell asleep until he was ten years old.

    Don’t think I am against co-sleeping! Nor,am I against a parent sleeping with an older child when the child is ill or frightened of thunderstorms, I did this myself.

    • Thanks for your perspective! Jack developed this fear of the dark about a month ago. He still sleeps in his own bed (always has. HATED being anywhere near our bed even as an infant). Once he is asleep, he’s out until morning. It’s just him to sleep in the first place that has taken us so much time lately.

      We gave him a light saber to get rid of “spooky bad guys”, and we all do a “bad guy hunt” each and every night.

      I think it is 50% fear, and 50% wanting Troy to be in there with him since they get about 25 minutes together each day lately. And it’s always at night.

    • Whew, you didn’t blast me to smithereens! LOL…

    • Oh goodness no! a) that’s not my style and b) you were just offering your honest perspective.

      This is a douche bag free zone! No “blasting” allowed!! ;-D

  2. Usually I laugh and almost pee my pants reading your blog. Today you had me crying. You’re a good mommy.

    • I’m dying to know, are you “All About Us”? Did your name change?

      I’ll be back to fart jokes soon! ;-D

    • I was wondering why I hadn’t seen you around!! Can’t wait to read the new blog!

    • Yes, I am. 🙂 I created a new blog a little bit ago because I wasn’t liking the direction of my old one. Plus I didn’t like having my last name in the address. I obviously wasn’t thinking when I created that one SEVERAL years ago.

      This new blog focuses more on my love for organization (I have some projects I’m working on), fitness, beauty, healthy eating, and my general “hippie-ness”. I eventually want to write about our fertility struggles.

      I will look forward to some fart jokes next week! 🙂

  3. Good morning to you too!I have 2 children, now 21 and 25…and I clearly remember”THOSE” days! When I found myself shrieking at them both one day, I stopped dead in my tracks and recalled what my Mother said to me when I was pregnant…”Make good memories!”..and after that, my housework suffered for the next 20 years ! I did it all at night! Best advice I ever got.
    I can relate! Hope you have a
    “Son-derful day! Love to all <3 <3 <3

  4. That is so beautiful… my son is approaching 16 months, and I’m 5 weeks along with our second. Which for me means full blown morning sickness, exhaustion, and just a general crappy feeling. He’s not sleeping through the night still, and still ends up in our bed most of the time. I’m just so god damn tired. Yesterday, I just had enough of the whiny, teething, throwing my pots & pans all over the house, juice-spilling, mess making little guy…

    I finally barked at him to just go play with his toys. Watching his little eyes well up and the look on his face… I felt like the worst piece of shit mother in the entire world. I just picked him up, took a deep breath, and held him until he wanted to get down and go rip the pantry apart.

    I think I sometimes forget that even though he is already so independent, sometimes all he wants is Mommy, and I need to put him first- all the time. The dishes, cleaning, laundry, budgeting, etc… can all be damned.

    Thanks.. not only for the tears, but also for the wakeup call. Little boys always need their mommies.

    • I was that sick while pregnant, but I didn’t have a toddler to mind. You must be bone tired! I hope you get some rest and relief from the pukies soon.

  5. Omg… In the same boat as mary. I read this and find myself crying. I have 6 children and another on the way and often find myself yelling for then to go to sleep just do I can have a few minutes of quiet before I go to bed. I sometimes forget that most important thing…. They are number 1. I must just slow down and be still for them. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂
    Btw, love your blog!

  6. You need to warn the pregnant lady before you post something like this. Because now I’m crying at my desk the one day I had enough time this morning to put mascara on.

    I love you and Jack.

  7. My daughter has ballet classes, rehearsals, makeup homework after being sick this week, and now I’m sick too. Cooking to get done, housework, errands (being a single dad is work!!)…friend’s wedding reception to help with…

    This was just what I needed to read this morning. My sweetie is #1, no matter what else is going on. Thanks for the pick-me-up.

    BTW, the site…..stumbled onto it somehow about a week ago. Fantastic. Must have told a dozen people about it within 24 hours. Call me mushy, but I like all the family fun and antics. Besides that, your humor is great and you have a wonderful family. Oh, and tell them good choice on the Superman costumes. If you’re going to pick a superhero, pick the king!

  8. Good thing kleenex was on hand! So needed this today! Haven’t had a break since Friday; P was headed to daycare today; had my day planned out errands to run, pedicure for the first time in 6 mo., sewing projects to bust out, etc. Then B decided to come home last night and 2 hours of daddy time trumps mommy’s free day. Sigh, they better remember this on Mother’s Day!

    • Oh I’ll remind Brian on Mother’s Day!

      If that sewing project you’re trying to “bust out” is a blanket, don’t stress on getting it done soon. It isn’t urgent.

  9. This was me last night! I too am getting ready for my son’s b-day party and had to stop and help him put together his Lego fire station. Because he needed mommy (not daddy) to basically sit and watch what he was doing. There are a few things that didn’t get done last night but we got to spend some quality time toghether. And getting a high five from an almost 4 year old at the end was worth it.