Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Not So Terrible Twos: A Look Back

Because I only started blogging a little late into my later-in-life momhood -- when the kids turned three -- I don't have as much of a grip on what, exactly, happened that second year of parenthood. But I'm jogging my memory today because that blur of a year shouldn't go by thoroughly unrecorded. After all, getting through a year of later-in-life parenthood is something of an accomplishment, especially so when parenting twin toddlers ... or so I rationalize. I have to give myself a pat on the back for getting through it, even though people do it all the time, because one thing I do recall is feeling distinctly like I wasn't going to make it.

It wasn't because the twos were terrible. They were just ... well, wearing. They were also wondrous and delightful, in some ways far more rewarding than the ones, which were all about mom and dad putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how sleep-deprived. Most of all, they were about changes, big and small, and always, always coming, so that just when you thought you kinda had this parenting thing down, something would come to send you right back into learning on the job. To steal an iconic I LOVE LUCY image, I spent much of Year 2 feeling like the candies were coming down the conveyor belt faster than I could box them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It Should Be Called "Petrie Dish," Not Preschool

I am on cold #3 since December.

They bring them home and despite all my handwashing, I get them.

But somehow, they get over them faster than I do.

This time, I didn't even have a chance to get rid of cold #2, which was kinda sorta on the wane, when cold #3 took up residence in my sinsuses.

By some miracle, Late Blooming Dad has escaped them all. Maybe it's because I tend to be the one wiping their noses with Kleenex. Or maybe he just has a better immune system. All I know is, I am ready for cold season to be done ... and hoping that the rest of Year 2 of preschool is less of a human lab experiment in just how many things a mom can catch from her kids than it has been so far.

Despite the recession, I clearly should have bought stock in the makers of pediatric Robitussin and Benadryl.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Traumatized By Disney

Many friends of mine have worked for the Disney corporation at one time or another ... and the company's reputation for being mean, cheap, and generally awful to its employees seemed well-deserved. But one of those same friends changed her tune about Disney after she became a parent. She was, she confessed, grateful to Disney. Their movies, TV shows, TV channel, theme parks, and toys kept her child entertained time and time again, and a good deal of the product was quality -- maybe not the toys from China, but certainly, say, the music from MARY POPPINS.

The thing about Disney movies,though, is that they're a double-edged sword.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Take Me To The Warm Snow"

Living in Los Angeles is sometimes hard for a couple of transplanted New Yorkers. After many many years as Angelinos, Late Blooming Mom and Dad still miss certain things about the east coast, and snow is one of them.

Mind you, we don't miss it enough to relocate. Grandpa, on the phone or on email, keeps reminding us of how he has to ask a neighbor to shovel his front walk since his back is no longer up to the task. Grandma is notorious for planning her winter around slot tournaments in Vegas so she can escape the brutal weather for a little while, at least. Today I spoke with a friend back east who elected to stay home all day yesterday because it had been too damn windy outside, and where she lives -- Vermont -- a windy day can make an otherwise livable temperature sub-zero.

But there's something about bundling up in hats, scarves and gloves, then crunching through powdery snow on the ground, taking a brisk walk through air so chilly you can see your breath, that's positively joy-inducing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wish I'd Had A Camera When ...

>Thing 2 sat in a bumper car last Sunday, for the first time, in the kiddie bumper car section at the Santa Monica Pier, and like several of her classmates riding in bumper cars for the first time, had no idea what to do. For the first few minutes, anyway. Her classmates were the same way. For a few moments that seemed suspended in time, in a sort of slow-motion slapstick, they sat behind the wheels of their cars, hemmed in and a bit confused. Then it dawned on them that they could turn the wheel and push the pedal. This level of autonomy in a moving vehicle was clearly intoxicating. Soon one kid had broken free of the pack, then another. But Thing 1 somehow managed to move only one way: in circles. Late Blooming Mom and Dad were in stitches. Thing 1 was simply delighted, and continued her circular ways for some time, not at all bothered. Eventually she broke free of the pattern, after receiving a few bumps. Then she was like a teenage driver unleashed on the freeway for the first time. Okay, not exactly. But she did land her share of bumps. And when it was all over, she was eager to try it again.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Year One: A Look Back

For the first two years of my kids' lives, I didn't blog.

Having twins without having had any kids before was akin to being shot out of a cannon. Four years later, I feel like I'm still flying through the air from that cannon shot.

But at least life got a wee bit more manageable in year three, and I found the time, space, and energy to write about my Late Blooming Mom experiences. Last month, this blog quietly hit its one-year anniversary mark, and I'm happy to have a written chronicle of at least some of my first mom-hood years.

But I find myself a bit sad that I didn't take time to keep much track of the first two. So before those memories get any dimmer, I'm going to try to reconstruct a sort of highlight reel here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Boats, Kitsch, And Old School Fun

When I was a kid growing up in Manhattan, my dad would take us to the New York Boat Show every other year or so. It may seem incongruous going to a convention hall filled with pleasure boats and motor yachts in the middle of New York City. We didn't get on boats very often, save the Staten Island Ferry, or the occasional jaunt on the yacht leased by the radio station where my dad worked. And on the latter, we basically cruised up and down the Hudson and East River. So we weren't exactly big boaters.

But the boat show was a kids' delight.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Late Blooming Mom Delusion

I didn't plan on becoming a mom later in life.

But getting married at 37, and miscarrying a few times, sealed the deal.

Still, I thought sure there'd be all these advantages to my older mom status.

Already established in the working world, I had a career of sorts, with some earning potential, skills, pride in my abilities, and a professional identity. My own mom, who'd popped out both her babies before turning 30, never enjoyed those advantages.

I had more money than when I was in younger, and way more life experience. I counted on both of these things to stand me in good stead for later-in-life motherhood. In short, I expected to be a financially and professionally secure woman who also possessed the patience, maturity and wisdom that living as a grown-up for a good long while provides.

Man -- or in this case, woman -- plans, and God laughs.