Save Me From My Four-Year-Old

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

You guys. 
Let's talk about four-year-olds.
I don't know what the F happened in the past year, but I seriously feel like some hot-headed, bossy, smart-mouthed teenager has taken over my sweet little boy.
Honestly, each and every morning I'm scared. I'm so freaking scared of what will transpire over the next 12+ hours because it is seriously like walking on eggshells around this kid. I never know if he's going to come down the stairs jolly as the freaking morning sun with a "Hi Mommy! I slept so good didn't I?" or if he'll slide his body down one stair at a time huffing and puffing and complaining about how loud it is and that he needs a God-damn pancake.
What the hell happened? 
I can honestly say that I was looking forward to year number four. More independence, new experiences, new milestones, some bonding with this little human....
Then BAM. The four-year-old 'tude straight up knocked me off my feet.
You'd think that I would revert back to some kind of survival methods I had learned while I was teaching threes and fours. I try, I seriously do, but then I realized a very important thing which is why I still had a little thing called sanity back then..
Oh. My. God.
Please, tell me why everything these days is about as enjoyable as poking my eyeballs out? Either I'm not doing things correctly, I "never let him do anything", or I make his life absolutely difficult.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've had his little finger shaking at me in my direction with some kind of absurd command coming out of his mouth. The first time it happened, I lost it. Yep, I completely lost my shit. The 800th time it happened, I looked to the left, I looked to the right, and behind me and asked him, "I'm sorry, are you talking to me?" and just shrugged and walked away.
He hated that. I was smiling inside.
I don't know how to navigate year number four at all. Please show me a no-nonsense blog or book about parents who are scared shitless of their four-year-old kid so I can make sense of this very difficult phase of our lives. 
I write this as I hear the sounds of a little boy in dinosaur pajamas snoring on the couch. I love him. I do. But I can't let my guard down. I never know what will happen next...
Ahh, tomorrow is a new day.
Pray for me. 

RVA Reset

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I've had a lot of change and adjustment since the beginning of the summer, but one thing that's remained the same is the absolute need for my own time to escape and reset. My kids aren't any different than anyone else's- they're active and require a lot of my attention. No surprise there. But I always feel when a major burnout is upon me, and each time I'm able to get away (whether it be 3 hours or 3 days) I always feel better after.
This past weekend, I made a quick 24-hour trip to Richmond, VA to surprise my best friend who helps organize a fun foodie experience all over town called Fire, Flour and Fork. I feel terrible that she's been involved with it for four years and I've never actually gone. When I found out that she and her boyfriend would be there all weekend, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to surprise her and finally experience it. 
I had a hotel booked for the night, Lucca was having a special "boys weekend" with my husband, Leo was with my mom, so I was all set. Other than not feeling 100% (thanks to snotty kids and cold season) I was ready to hop in my car and headed south for some much needed time away.
Every time I drive into RVA, I get this total nostalgic feeling. Richmond is where I spent four years at VCU, scheduled my life around dance rehearsals and basketball games, met my greatest friends and my husband. Some of the best memories though are always in the Fall. Boots and scarves and coffee and running to 8am classes (okay, that's not the best memory but it always makes me think of it). House party-hopping in the Fan. Walking up and down Cary Street. I miss it. I miss it all.

So when I was back this weekend visiting my friend, it was interesting on so many levels. It's a strange feeling when the place around you has changed very little and you've changed a hell of a lot. We ate a four-course meal at Comfort on Saturday with a guest chef flown in from South Carolina. I have always LOVED Comfort, but I can assure you that I could barely afford to eat there as a college student. Being able to enjoy and experience that as an actual adult was amazing.

The downside to being an actual adult was that I just couldn't hang with the rest of 'em at an after-party at a sweet new spot called Brenner Pass. Restaurant people are always down for a party and can rally well into the night- I on the other hand, cannot. One glass of wine and I was back in my quiet hotel room with a king sized bed to myself. I tried. I really tried. But when I realized I was yawning way more than I was actually talking, it was time to go.

The next morning we met at Heritage for brunch. Ah, brunching. One of my most favorite activities, yet I only feel that the brunch experience is fully satisfied 1.) If it's in Richmond and 2.) If there is alcohol involved. There's just something about seeing people crowd outside a restaurant on a Sunday morning. You've got the well-dressed church people, the family people, and the hungover bunch who are all looking for the same thing- good food and good atmosphere. I seriously miss those days of deciding on a brunch spot, so I like to take advantage of it when I'm in town.

I wish I could have stayed a few hours longer in Richmond, but I had kids to pick up and life to get back to. Before I got back in my car, I took a walk by myself for a few blocks around the Fan. I just had to take the time to really breathe in that Fall smell, the wet leaves on the ground, stop by all the places I'd lived (or my brother, or my husband) just to take a quick trip down memory lane. This was my time to reset. This weekend was a time to hit the pause button on the craziness that is being a stay at home mom to two young boys, and to just be happy and in the moment (by myself).

I'll be honest- I have no idea what this post is about. I had to write about the great time I had in my favorite city with my favorite person, but also just how important it is for me to have those times where I can get away. I get so sucked into mom-mode- playdates, preschool, bedtimes, middle of the night encounters with monsters (or beavers... more on that later), that I really just need some time to remember all the things I actually love doing when I don't have a kid (or two) hanging on me.

I drove back home that day excited to be with my family again but also felt a sense of sadness as I left the city. There's so many memories for me there- a lot of which helped make me, "me", if that even makes sense. I texted my bestie on my way out thanking her for a great time and also to let her know that I was sad to leave... she wrote back, "It is sad bc Richmond is cool AF and a symbol of our free years!"

So true. Richmond, you are cool AF and you make me feel semi-cool AF and you refresh my soul. I'll keep visiting you when I need an escape.