Posts Tagged ‘mothering’

Once upon a time in the merry month of May a little Fairy Princess was born.

Each year the Fairy Princess grew rosier and happier, bringing delight to all who knew her. As the fourth month of May came near, she sent out invitations to all her favorite fairy folk.

On the day of the party, the sun shone brighter than it had all year. It seemed as though the grass was greener and the birds songs were sweeter too.

The Fairy Good Mother gathered armfuls of the pinkest flowers and spun them into cloth to spread out for the table. She painted blossoms on the tea cups and melted fuschias into tea plates. Then she sought out the most fragrant cherry blossoms and peonies to lay across the table. In the middle of all the blooms on a white pedestal sat the birthday cake.

“Is this my butterfly cake?” asked the Fairy Princess as she floated over to the table to wait for the guests.

Enchanted by the sweet, glittering blossom, the loveliest butterflies in all of fairyland had landed the Fairy Princess’ cake.

Soon the other fairies arrived, each carrying brightly wrapped surpises for the Fairy Princess.

The rosebud, periwinkle, lilac, sweet pea, and poppy fairies gathered to hear about the secret treasure that was hidden away for them. They each took turns leading the others up and down the mossy hill and looking for the secret treasure. Up by the castle, behind the great hedge they found a treasure chest full of birthday wreaths to wear for the celebration.

With flowers in their hair and ribbons streaming behind them, they played all sorts of fairy games.

They even found a butterfly pinata full of candy.

With hands full of sugary treats they floated over to the table to wait for the tea party to begin.

The fairy folk sipped lemon grass tea

and sampled fairy flora sandwiches.

They savored sweet baskets of berries.

The Fairy Good Mother put three candles on the Fairy Princess’ cake and asked, “Are you sure you need four?”

The Fairy Princess nodded and then took a deep breath. With the help of the wind, she blew out all four candles!

Now that she was truly four years old, the other fairies agreed that it was time for her to open their gifts. The Fairy Princess happily obliged.

Soon the ground the decorated with strips of pink and green paper, and the Fairy Princess was surrounded by all the things a fairy princess would want. Delighted with their kind gifts, the Fairy Princess gave each of her fairy friends a great big hug.

And then all the fairy friends fluttered one more time through the sand before they flew away to their homes.

The Fairy Princess’ party was the happiest birthday ever in all of fairyland!

The End.

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“Mama, when we were in Heaven we just liked each other so much that we just always wanted to be with each other. And so we thought that you should be the mama and I would be the little girl.

And then you had to go and then I had to wait for a long time, didn’t I? A really long time! And then God said it was time for me to go into your tummy.

And then I did, cause we wanted to be with each other and cause you are the mama that I always wanted.”

And you, Ava are the one I always wanted.

Thanks for making this a most happy Mother’s day.

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At some point after her third birthday and before her fourth birthday, Ava realized that birthday parties are something that happen every single year. And she has been looking forward to her fourth birthday ever since.

As the calendar pages have turned closer to May, her dreams about her fairy princess birthday party have grown increasingly vivid.

She has been telling and retelling me who she wants at her birthday for weeks. I finally sat down with her a couple a weeks ago to get the official list. It had thirty-two guests on it.

Thirty-two guests, not including siblings or mamas. Included in the list where “the girl with the blue shoes who was singing at Target” and “the girl at the park that had braids like me.”

Clearly, I’m not going to invite thirty-one children to my house, especially children that I would need a private eye to find.

Then last week, she announced that only girls can be fairies. So only girls could come to her party. Between trimming out nameless children and sweet boys who probably don’t want to wear fairy wings, we reduced the list to a manageable number.

Yesterday, Ava drew a picture of her birthday cake.

Anyone know a talented confectionist, who is also an expert in pyrotechnics?

Today, she created an invation to her birthday party.

In case you aren’t fluent in swirl, it reads:

“My mama loves me and is always so close to me and she is the most specialist and she has a party for me. Come to my most specialist, specialist birthday party. You are invited. And remember, the more you learn, the more you’ll have fun! So go to sleep, and wake up, and come to the special, special birthday party.”

You like how she weaved that unrelated nugget of wisdom into her invitation. It’s genetic. Also genetic: the propensity to love one’s birthday.

It would be a lie to deny that I haven’t been thinking about her party as much or more than her. I saw this magazine article about a pixie party in the forrest three years ago, and have been wanting to throw her a fairy party ever since. Last night, I showed Nate the near sacred picture and his words were: “You have got to be kidding me.” I don’t know if it was the two white horses or the flurry of tulle that exacted such a response.

Either way it is clear that this party will never live up the fantasy Ava and I have concocted in our minds.

This morning in hopes of bringing the vision into the realm of reality, I asked Ava what things she wanted at her party and she said, “All the pink balloons and a butterfuly cake and decorations for my birthday.”

“You want me to decorate the house for your party?”

“No, decorate my birthday.”

Like her mother, her nuggets of wisdom (or clarity) are reserved for the written swirl.

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Happy May Day!

(Can this honestly have been two years ago?)

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Ever since Grandma Penny skipped town, Ava has played Plane-Ride-to-Paris. This consists of packing up ponies, barrettes, books, dolls, socks, and flashcards into a gypsy assortment of purses and bags, then dragging these bags along with her animal entourage out the living room. She loads them up on the brown, velvet 747 that is taxied in our living room and then proceeds to fly them non-stop to Paris.

Of course by the time she has arrived at her destination, it looks more like plane wreck.

So in the evenings we play an equally fun, but not as enthusiastic game called, sort-all-your-toys-and-put-them-away. It’s nearly as exciting as pretending to travel to Paris, but not quite.

After nearly four months of transforming the living room into an airline hanger, Ava is well versed in the interworkings of transatlantic flights and how to prepare for them.

And if anything, Ava is confident. Confident in all the things that she is confident that she knows. And she knows how to pack for a plane ride to Paris.

So when Grandma Penny needed to refill her suitcase after her much-too-short visit home who better to help her than the expert.

Now Ava and Grandma hit a challenge that neither were prepared for or experienced in. Grandpa Lyle had left a sub-woofer in Grammy’s bag. It was not only large, but heavy. Ava and Grammy had to squeeze her things around the speaker without exceeding the fifty-pound limit.

After two attempts to fill, zip, drag, and weigh the suitcase, it was clear that somethings were going to have to be left behind. As the consultant, Ava tackled the problem with the intesity of a captain deciding who gets to ride on the lifeboat.

“But Grammy, you need your umbrella! It rains in Paris.”

“There’s no room for it.”

“But Grammy, you need it. It’s important. It fits right here. See.”

When Grammy pulled out her make-up bag in an attempt to rearrange, Ava bounded over to the bag and quickly rescued it.

“Grammy! You can’t leave that! You have to bring it. It’s very important. I’ll get it in. See. There.”

“See Grammy, it fits. You have to have your make-up! It’s very important.”

At three-and-a-half, Ava perceives that outer beauty is only skin-deep, so it’s best to have a good make-up bag on board.

Editor’s Note: Ava consulting services extend beyond packing and involve most aspects of domestic life, including but not limited too: pie-dough rolling, bread kneading, cookie cutting, plant watering, bath bubbling, clothes matching, dog feeding, furniture arranging, baby naming, and paper cutting. If you are in need of an “expert” on any one of these or other duties, please contact Ava at badgersontheloose@gmail.com. Rates vary on perceived experience.

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Today when I saw the short hand nearing the fifth digit, I thought I might be nice to transition from bathroom scrubber and laundress to pretty wife before Hungryman made his appearance.

I traded my hooded sweater for a sleeveless top with ruffles and my tennis shoes for open toed heels. I stepped in front of the vanity in hopes of masking the fact that I’d been cleaning all day. My shell earrings jangled as I returned to the kitchen to peel potatoes.

Ava skipped in and took a long sniff in my direction.

“Oh Mama, did you take a shower? I like when you take a shower.”

From the inflexion in her voice you would concluded that this was a monumental occasion.

“No honey, I didn’t”

Another long sniff.

“But you smell good!”

Evidently, Nate’s not the only one who benefits from a little personal grooming.

Speaking of showering, I’ve been asked to work on another educational video.
This one is on personal hygiene. Clearly, I’m the right person for that job.

That was to be the end of my story. Thirty minutes later, however, HungryMan stepped into our home clutching an equally fragrant bouquet of tulips. We were both delighted with our surprises. And I was reminded that a sweet-smelling, pretty wife at the end of the day is as lovely to my husband as a handful of brightly colored blooms is to me.

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“Honey, why do you keep pointing at that brownie mix?”

“Cause, look.”

“You are seven years old! You do NOT need to worry about low-fat!!”


Moms of seven-year-olds or older or younger, how do we protect our girls from this?

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Two puffy, swollen eyes are no reason to be blue.

Upon seeing her puffy, pink eyes, Ava immediately paired them with as much pink as possible.

It’s always best to have twirling skirt when visiting your favorite doctor. Though your twirling may a bit off balance when you also have an ear infection.

It’s true. Ava has two infected eyes and an infected ear to boot.

But don’t go pitying Ava. She was delighted to spend some quality time with Dr. E. She gave her a thorough description of the doctor kit that “I got from Christmas.” They compared the quality of their tools and even exchanged patient-relation tips.

And the best part, Ava got a pink princess sticker and a bottle of pink tablets that tastes like pink bubble gum. Oh it is pinkalicious!

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“Mama!!! I can’t find my gold sparkle shoes! They’re not anywhere!”

“You can wear these shoes then.”

“NO! Evyn is going to wear her sparkle shoes and I’m not going to be matching her and then I’m going to be UPSET!”

So began our doomed attempt to arrive at her first day back at preschool happy and on-time.

What she meant by “I can’t find my gold sparkle shoes,” is that she went into her room to put on her shoes but before she reached her closet she passed her pile of ponies. Upon seeing their tangled manes, she raced to find a comb and remedy the situation. Once she began grooming the ponies, she needed clips and binders. And if their tails had pretty clips and binders, well then her hair needed more too. While retrieving more flare from her accessory drawer, she spied her box of bracelets and well, you can can complete this sentence. So when I called her to the back door, she arrived with arms and hair adorned and feet unshoed.

I asked her where her shoes were and you already know her reply. Assuming she had looked in her closet, I pulled her suede saddle shoes off the rack and handed them to my distressed child.

“Mama, they’re brown! Brown is my worst color.”

“Ava, honey, I gave you time to put on your sparkle shoes, but we have to leave now, so you have to wear these.”

“But is Evyn going to wear her sparkle shoes? And then I won’t have my sparkle shoes and then we won’t be matching? What if she tells me they’re UGLY?”

Let me interject here that the very sweet Evyn most likely doesn’t have the word ugly in her vocabulary. And the only reason that Evyn owns sparkle shoes is that she asked for them for her birthday so she could be like Ava.

Of course this is less than comforting to the child who is being hurried out in the rain with feet saddled in brown suede.

“This is the worst day ever!” she exclaimed from the back of the car where she sat with her feet held straight out in front of her.

She is a child dedicated to her causes. She cried the forty-some blocks from our garage to the parking lot. And then added her tears to the growing puddles on the sidewalk.

Some day I hope to channel this dedication to more worthy causes. Perhaps she can become advocate for children with no shoes at all, but yesterday it was for those unfortunate children whose shoes don’t dazzle of which she is the most injured.

We were the last to arrive. Ava hid under my coat creating the appearance of a four-legged lady with a weeping backside. After hanging up her coat and bag, I swung around and knelt down before her to kiss her goodbye. She wrapped her arms around me and clung so tightly that her teacher had to physically struggle to pull her off me. Her wails of “Mama! Mama!” followed me all the way up the stairs and out the door.

Today when I asked her to put on her shoes, she was clacking golden heels together before I had time to set the timer. Today, her song “A joyful heart is good medicine, good medicine, a joyful heart!” kept rhythm with the rain that tapped our windows on the well-worn route to school. Today, we were the first to arrive at preschool. Today, she had a hug for Evyn and her teachers. And today, she was so engrossed in helping Evyn with a puzzle that she didn’t need a hug goodbye.

What a difference a shoe makes.

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When I first started this post (before WordPress lost several of my drafts) I intended it to be a funny story about Ava and how she is learning about life through books. Now it’s a not-so-funny story about how I’m learning through Ava and her books about life.

Take a quick gander over at the side bar at the recently published posts. There are literally three times that number of posts in the draft section of my blog and would be more if WordPress hadn’t decided to shave off a few. And that’s just blog writing projects. I have creative writing projects, crafty projects, house remodeling projects, organizational projects, cleaning projects, correspondence– I’m up to my ears in projects. And frankly I’m not making a whole lot of progress. I am, however, continually coming up with new ideas for new projects as if this is helpful. When the balance of the ideas starts to tip strongly to the uncompleted side, my mood starts to slide in the downward direction.

And this heap, well it’s about to send me into the depths of despair.

(Please note the open drawers and cupboard–one of my many endearing qualities, just ask Nate.)

Actually, I hid the pile in a Steve Madden shopping bag two weeks ago. Someone must have added a couple packets of yeast, because it doubled in size and is now taking up an entire place setting at my dining room table. Talk about an unwelcome guest.


Oh it’s hideous. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Christa asked other moms to share pictures of their messes in attempt to dispel the myths of perfectionism. There it is, Christa. Not that this is shocking as this blog is open source chronicle of my imperfections.

Somewhere in this heap is the medical bill and the lawn service bill that Nate asked me to mail ten days ago. There are stickers in there for the daily job chart I was going to make Ava months ago. There is also a library book I needed to return yesterday as well as the embroidery floss needed to complete the baby gift I still haven’t mailed. If you look closely you will see an ad that expired on Valentine’s Day. I probably don’t need to state that we are passed the midway mark in March. And taking up the bulk of the mess are heaps and heaps of Ava’s art projects.

People, I have never thought of myself as a saver, yet I have so much trouble throwing away Ava’s art. It’s ridiculous, but that’s another post.

Suffice it to say, this pile is driving me to write about it, not actually fix it, but write about it.

So let’s see if we (or just I) can learn from Ava and her recent life lesson.

A few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen slicing apples when I heard a little voice in Ava’s room say, “I’m down in the dumps. I’m down in the dumps….I’m down in the dumps!”

I walked toward her room and found her standing the midst of tutus, undershirts, plastic ponies, glitter wands, pink bottles, lacing cards, and pocket-sized princesses. “Blah! I’m down in the dumps.”

“You’re down in the dumps?”

“Yep, like Toad,” she said picking her Frog and Toad book out of heap.

She explained the state of her room (as though it wasn’t obvious) and how it was just like Toad’s room. We talked about how upsetting it was to have a messy room and that it wasn’t fun to play or sleep in a mess. We reviewed the story together, how Toad didn’t want to clean his room, but he couldn’t enjoy himself knowing that he would have to clean it later.

“Maybe if I put away all my jammies,” she said echoing Toad’s line, “I won’t have to do it later, will I?”

“No, you won’t.”

She starting sorting the matching tops and bottoms out of the heap and stuck them in their drawer.

“And if I pick up all my books, I won’t have to it later, right?”

“Right,” I said, as I helped her put her books on her shelf.

“If I pick up all my barrettes and tails now, then I wouldn’t have to later, will I?”

“No, you won’t.”

And with the hope of clean room set out before her, Ava cheerfully put away all the things in her room with increasing expectation and excitement. As though she was sent forth as a continual object lesson, she demonstrated how to tackle a project one piece at a time. In what seemed like merely moments, Ava was twirling around a delightfully organized room.

“Now, tomorrow I can take life easy,” Ava said throwing her arms up and landing on her bean bag.

I should hope so, you are only three.

As for me, well I still have the pile. Let’s see if I can put this lesson to practice.

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