This week in Parenthesis, Ilana Wiles tells her toddler she has another baby on the way, Tanis Miller mourns the house she grew to love as a new mother -- and more.
"Time stops for no house"
Tanis Miller was only one "thread in the tapestry of history of the little white house up on the hill” where her husband -- and, for a time, her young family -- grew up, she writes at Attack of the Redneck Mommy. But clearly, the house is firmly woven into the fabric of her life. She still knows every nook and cranny of it intimately, from the “perpetually dirty” linoleum to the “stray bullet hole from a rogue hunter’s rifle” at the top of the stairs. “She wasn’t my house, not really, although at one point I desperately wanted her to be,” Miller writes. “I only borrowed her for a short while. But it was in that heartbeat of time my dreams came true.”
Miller and her family left the house some time ago; her piece is occasioned not by a move, but by the destruction of the now-“decrepit” building. It’s a fitting -- even a glorious -- eulogy to a structure firmly situated in her personal geography.
Breaking the big news
It’s not Ilana Wiles’s daughter’s dramatic reaction to the news of her mom’s pregnancy that’s the draw of this charming blog post on Mommy Shorts -- because, as you’ll read, her reaction wasn’t very dramatic at all. Rather, it’s the deadpan style in which the entire episode (scream-filled rounds of a game called “Snake” and all) -- is related. Ilana writes:
The news went over rather uneventfully. We asked Mazzy again if she wants a little sister. She said, no. And then we said, well, too bad because you are getting one.
Then she asked to play "Snake" which means we chase her making ssssssssss-ing sounds and she runs away screaming.
The whole witty, TV-worthy dialogue is all the better for its very sweet ending -- an “unprompted” “breakthrough” that took Mazzy two weeks, but sounds like it was worth the wait.
Drawing a line
If your 3-year-old insists on eating Goldfish out of the bag, and a nuclear tantrum appears imminent, is it really worth it to try to make the point that it’s better to eat crackers out of a “snacky cup"? That’s the question Beta Dad tries to answer as he recounts his toddler’s snacktime snit in a recent DadCentric post.
“One of my guiding principles in parenting (and my wife's too, usually) is to chose [sic] your battles,” he writes, noting that even though his wife felt strongly that letting kids eat Goldfish from the bag was not OK, this is not a battle he was keen to fight. But “[e]ven though my wife and I often cave in to the demands of our kids …, we've always had this belief that one of the worst things we could do is to not back each other up when one of us is laying down the law.” Ultimately, he concludes, it’s more important for parents to appear consistent than for one to cut corners in the hope of avoiding trouble -- if not for the kids’ sake, at least for the health of your (grownup) relationship.
Shelter from the storm
“I still remember the exact point in time that [my son] started to be afraid of the weather,” Kristen Chase writes on Mom.me. When the power went out and a tornado siren blared during "an innocent trip to a local bible school," her son picked up a fear of storms that ultimately accelerated to the point where he "started having near panic attacks when any sort of gray cloud appeared in the sky.”
Finally, Chase and her husband decided to seek out a therapist, who has not only helped the little boy, but taught Kristen to recognize some of his anxiety in herself. Above all, the whole experience has given her some peace of mind about her son’s coping skills: "While I have no idea how long he’ll be seeing [his therapist] and what the results will be, I do know that it’s probably one of the best parenting decisions I’ve made in a long time."