Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Without Love

I'm an 80's girl.  It's true.  It's not so much the Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Wanna Have Fun vibe (although I did own that album), but later 80's.  I'm a rocker from way back, always have been, always will be.  In that time was a lot of hair if you know what I mean...  A lot of glam and sparkly-spangly-tassly stuff.  I have a lot of punk and metal in my play list, but there is still a special place in my heart for sappy 80's ballads.  The lyrics aren't known for their depth or overall social consciousness, the musicality not particularly stellar beyond thumping drums and shredding guitars, but hey, at least they all sang their own songs and actually played instruments.  My husband just rolls his eyes at me, but I always find myself reaching for this genre when I'm needed a little pick me up.  Back in those days, everything was on tape and I wore a LOT of them out, playing them over and over on my Sony Walkman.  One favourite was Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet; I must have got it for Christmas one year, but I played that thing to death.  The other day, while trying to psych myself up to go to work, I found the album again on YouTube.  I was amazed at how many lyrics I could still remember over *cough* years later, but also at the songs that I had totally forgotten about.  One of them, Without Love, has been stuck in my head for a week now.  I started my day with a smile on my face and I totally blame this song.  It's not their best by far;  it just seemed to have a lot more meaning to me that moment, in this stage of life, as I buzzed myself through a succession of locked doors, with a spring in my step that can only belong to the fifteen year old girl that I was then.  This was before my beloved Guns and Roses, before I developed my love for Pink Floyd.  Then, it was all about the hair and the romance.  As I raked my own unruly mane into a quick ponytail before report, I reflected on how different I viewed the lyrics now.  How at this mid-stage of life, with Team Logan, with my patient population, how a little album-filling ditty about love could ring so true at that moment.

All giggles
In this last little time of soul searching, I've watched my family grow and become more of the people that they will be. Wyatt has overcome his surgery and then some.  As I've mentioned before, he's learned to scoot across the floor which is a surprisingly efficient and FAST way to get anywhere.  He's also recently mastered standing up again, at least in his crib, which means his chest muscles are healed to a certain extent.  We can start getting him to stand up at the table and play which will strengthen his leg muscles and set him back on the road to walking.  You can tell that he has lost some mass in his quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles since the second week in April.  He seems to have regained much of his signs and added a few more (although, still steadfastly refuses to use "Mama" beyond that one time). It is phenomenal to compare the pre-surgical boy to the post surgical boy.  He mimics everything around him and is now associating symbols and actions to certain things.  We have a show here called Four Square and he loves all the different segments.  He really likes the dance portion;  he gets to watch his sister act out all the motions and then afterwards drums on his tummy like the dancers do.  Instead of clapping when he sees the program come on, he now drums on his tummy.  "Formidable!" we say, just like Bianca and he laughs for what seems like forever.  We've also found that the fastest way to get his attention is to start the Beat Team's 'High Four!'.  I'd probably have some success with the "Ticka-Ticka..." opening number, but let's face it, I'm not that co-ordinated. 

He looks like a teenager for heaven's sake!
Quinn is currently sporting a bunny grin with the loss of both upper lateral incisors.  After a very long set of nights, I was squinting at him Monday afternoon, trying to figure out what was different (as he had only lost the right one the last time I had seen him).  "Hey!  I said, the neurons finally firing, "you've lost your other tooth!" "Yep!" he grinned at me "I lost it last night!"  I expressed concern that he had swallowed it, but he held a hand up to alleviate my fears and expressed the following:

I woke up at 4:37 as I had to go the bathroom.  I knew I was going back to bed as it was really, really early.  I went to the bathroom and on the way back to my room I wiggled it once, I wiggled it twice and the tooth came out!  So, I went back to the bathroom, I took care of the bleeding, I put the tooth in the box for the tooth fairy and went back to bed."

"Wow", I answered him, a little taken aback by the bleeding part.  I mean after all, I'm supposed to take care of all that stuff, aren't I?  And where the hell was I?  Looking after strangers... Being overtired does odd things to your head and I probably would have continued on with this Mommy guilt trip if the other half of my psyche hadn't given me a mental slap and left me awash in a wave of pride for my boy and his new found level of independence.  Six months ago a nosebleed sent him into hysterics that caused him to run blindly in a panic and make half my house look like a murder scene.  Now, a tooth falls out at 4:30 in the morning and he's all "Pee.  Tooth?  Bed."  It's amazing, scary, heartwrenching and wonderful all at once.  He's growing up.  You don't know how to be sad and happy at the same time until you become a Mom.  I gave my big boy a snuggle and a squeeze for being such a champ about it and wondered how long it will be until he's all "awww MAWWM!" when I try to do the same thing in the future.

I have my rock, I can gardens...
Little Miss Zoe is very much Miss Thang these days.  Loud and defiant and hilarious and snorgleable all mixed up into one.  Her latest favourite game is to come up to you with a cup (or a bowl or a block or any sort of object with a concave side) and slap it to my mouth and say "JUICE, Mama!" and try and feed me.  She won't stop until you make slurping noises that end in "aaaaahhh!" and then she gallops off to her next victim in a fit of giggles.  It's cute, but also a little unsettling to have one eye open in the morning and have a bowl suddenly clapped over your nose and mouth while all you hear is maniacal giggling, no matter how cute.

Aside from the mock-chloroformings, her games are usually pretty cool and complex.  She's also more of a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine than Four Square, but she has slowly been won over by Super Grover.  This is how I know SG2.0 is on every day:

VOA: He observes...
Super Grover 2.0: " Oh look, what? AAAAAHHHHHH!"

Zoe: "Hawaaa Boo Bear!!!"
VOA: "He questions...."
SG2.0: "Haba-whaaaa?"

VOA: " He investigates..."
SG2.0: "What does this button do?" (presses button, flies out of car with a scream)

Z: (screams at the top of her lungs) "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"
VOA: " Super Grover, 2.0. He shows up."

These are the things that make my heart hurt, just a little.

We had a new Father post to DSU a week or so ago asking how he could be the best Dad to his new little baby.  I answered him as truthfully as I could:  You love him. You learn all you can and you give him all the love and support you can.  Just like you would with any child.  It is really that simple.  I am not the end all or be all of parental advice.  No one is.  What I do know is that loving your child, any child, makes the difference.  Being there for them, being involved in their lives, listening to their "voice", doing what is best for all of you is how you become better at this parenting gig.

I am not the best parent, not by a long shot.  My job requires that I lead an almost double life and I tend to drop out of the kids lives for a week at a time.  The week that I am home however, we try and make up for it.  There are plenty of cuddles, plenty of smiles, plenty of giggles and silliness to go around.  Buckets are hats, blocks are play dishes, fart noises abound and shoes are for suckahs.  My kids make it possible for me to do what I do and stay sane and my job makes it possible to provide for my family.  Keeping that pendulum in the centre is a giant forcefield:  one completely generated by the love of my little family.

So now, as I amble about in my forty-second year (and very much act like a twenty-something), I reflect on how little things like those lyrics have changed for me over time.  I do not fear our future.  I am not regretful or feel that I have some how been slighted or missed out.  We're just us, Team Logan.  Life is unpredictable and inconvenient at times, a fact that will be very evident tomorrow as my family goes shopping for a new fridge.  However necessary it might be however, it's a thing.  Ultimately, it's not important.  What is important are lost teeth and bumps on the head that need kisses.  It's growing with my children and helping them leave a world that is better than we found it.  None of that would be possible without our love for each other.

"Nothing would be nothing without love..."

Whoa-oh-oh-ohhhhhhhhh!  \m/


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