cafe mama

finding magic every day

of daylight savings and being a better mama . march 12 . 2007

truman and everett, new lensbabyDaylight savings dawned early this year, and with it, my own personal renewal. For some reason, the change to darker mornings and lighter nights is far more associated with personal betterment than a calendar clicking over the digit at the end of "yyy." Every year I believe that I will get up earlier, do more, be better.

And so, with this blessed occurrence -- three extra weeks to get a jump on summer! -- I begin again. On Saturday, I try to take the boys to bed early, setting the clocks ahead before we sleep, waking at 9 a.m. (early for a Sunday), getting them up and going with a mission: tire them out.

We get off the bus at 12th and Pine, headed toward J&M Cafe, on 5th and Alder -- about a half mile. We cross the street and I set Truman down; he wants to run. Into a brick wall (it was at the top of three little steps; he loves to climb). He falls, screaming, and as he opens his mouth blood gushes out, onto my coat (thankfully, black and cotton), my hair, his sweatshirt (he was so cute, I was going to take so many photos), I have nothing to wipe him with!.

In a moment, he stops crying and starts running again, but there is still the blood. Everywhere. I take his hat -- one of my recycled sweater numbers -- and start sopping, snot and blood, from my hair, his face, his sweatshirt. He keeps on running, and I keep swooping in for a swipe. I wonder if we'll have the restaurant in shock and awe, but I can't stop now.

I take his sweatshirt off a few minutes before we arrive but after Everett has said, in awe (after I call Truman an "animal"), "he's such a soldier!" Yes, exactly. We manage to get a table without much trouble (though we must walk to the Plaid Pantry for juice, they're thirsty), we eat (after a long wait and they bring out Everett's 10 grain cereal with currants -- I pick them out and he eats one bite, but I love my food, basted eggs with two cheeses and bacon on English muffins), and we're off to the blue park that Everett's been begging for.

It is the wrong blue park. Everett wanted to go to Peninsula Park, also with blue play structures, but far, far away. It's too bad, I don't even know how to get there on the bus and I'm certainly not trying. We're at Laurelhurst Park, which is on our "home" bus line, and we're sticking it out. It's about to rain anyway, and Truman has fallen asleep in the carrier on my back. He's flopping and I must set him down immediately.

I do, and it doesn't rain, and Everett has an amazing time, such a great time that I sit on the bench and watch, and chat with other parents, so long that Truman wakes up and plays too. We're there for hours, and the weather gets better, the sun comes out. I take photos and give out my card to a cute family with cameras. I see a woman I chatted to long ago at another park, and we have a wonderful time catching up.

My daylight savings resolutions are simple: be a better mama. Be a better person. I will take the kids out every day, I will get them to bed earlier, I will get them up earlier, I will cook healthy food and make them eat it sometimes, I will brush teeth and read books every night, I will hug them more, I will sweep up messes when they happen. I will get up nearly every morning for the 7:30 call.

We are in bed at 11:30 with a minimum of screeching; that's good for us. I only have to threaten to stop the book (and turn off the light) once. We are asleep before midnight (barely). I awake at 7:53 a.m. and feel awful for a moment, before remembering: the meeting's at 8 a.m. on Mondays. Awesome.

I go through the day, sometimes meeting my goals (I sweep up three messes, I make oatmeal for the boys' breakfast), sometimes not (Everett eats ice cream for lunch and Truman eats a cold hot dog and milk). Everett unrolls my entire roll of film from the day before and I sob. (He "just wanted to see how long it was!") Truman takes a long nap so we miss going out, and we stay up late, but they eat bananas and chicken fingers for dinner.

It's 11:58 p.m. as I finish this; the boys are not in bed yet, but the toothbrushes are set out and they're ready to go. I'm not really a better mama, yet, but at least I manage to get through the day without locking myself in the bathroom even once. And that's something.

paying the bills

read my previous post. today i love . february 14 . 2007