Of course, dreams come true my dear child

As we were taking a bath tonight, I made the water turn purple and the penguin giggled with delight as she said, “Mama! You’ve made all my dreams come true!” For a brief moment I thought not only was this a bit dramatic, for which I smiled because that’s ‘all me’, but also I thought how I wish it would always be that simple. But then she paused and looked up with my blue eyes and asked, “do your dreams always come true mama?” There was no hesitation as I smiled back and said “of course they do my Penguin “. 

The world is not always nice and she will learn on her own sooner than I would like. As long as I can, I will make her dreams come true and more importantly, I will continue to teach her that her dreams will come true.


Turtles & Sewer Pipes, not the kind named after artist

Really, this is a typical morning for us. I truly cannot make this up. My precious Penguin has my active mind that just goes and goes, and this is what she came up with the other morning after using the restroom.

I’m standing in front of the mirror brushing Penelope’s nest on my head as she comes over and we begin this conversation:

P: I figured it out

SB: Figured what out?

P: Where all the water goes when you flush the toilet.

I give a confused look her way….

P: It goes down the drain into the pipes down below where the turtles are.

 So, in my mind I’m thinkin ninja turtles. I don’t mention this thought, I just assume she saw it on tv or talked about it on the playground.

SB: The turtles?

P: Yes, and the wipes you flush too.

SB: Very confused now…What do the turtles do with the wipes?

P: The people that sell them get them out. They get the wipes off of the turtles 

Realizing we have passed Donatello and the pizza at this point..

SB: There is a turtle store down there?

P: Yes, the turtle store is there. And when you go buy them they make sure the wipes aren’t there.

SB: Okay. Smiling on the inside because I just had a conversation with myself. 

We quickly switch stations, keep up!

P: Wow, the sandman visited this eye last night!



My Holiday OCD is having to be tamed

I understand this might not make sense to some. I also understand some people probably don’t see me as having any OCD tendencies seeing the way I live now, with the laundry in piles and all, and I get that. However, those of you that are skeptics would be interested to find I have quite a few quirks that I’m sure a psychologist would love to figure out. Most of these I do keep within some type of ‘control’, or I had to adapt to having a penguin almost seven years ago. 

One of the biggest ones has been my holiday OCD issue. Before the penguin was born, I had holiday rules that had to be followed or my mind would just explode. Not just your run of the mill don’t-put-Christmas-out-before Thanksgiving issue either. There were no clothes to be worn except for that holiday, no movies to be watched, no food to be ate. One did not watch “Charlie Brown The Great Pumpkin” outside of the month of October, or occasionally the network would throw me off course and save it for November. All of the sacred Christmas movies were saved for December only! 

Then the penguin was born. As she got old enough to watch movies, one of her favorite groups to watch was “Frosty the Snowman ” and “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer”. In ANY month. It took me a lot to get used to. I actually tried to talk her out of it. 

Now, I look down and find myself in July wearing Halloween socks. Gasp. What was once unheard of is just pure survival because the Halloween socks are the ones I can find clean. I just find it amusing that I’ve changed that much all because of my penguin. The best thing ever. The love of my life. I am still holding a strong front against wearing Christmas socks though.

Is her kindergarten my eighth grade?

Always reach high my strong willed child

Eating solid foods. Crawling. First steps. First words. Just a few milestones a parent looks forward too and remembers about their children. I have the pivotal one coming up that starts in motion the rest of her life. I know that may sound dramatic, even for me, but as I think about it, I don’t know how else to explain the importance. Kindergarten. Then I realize, my mini me, the almost 6 year old version of myself, sees kindergarten as I saw starting eight grade. And, that makes me sad. And, that makes me excited.

Starting kindergarten for me was no big deal in this rural southern town. At least I don’t remember it being an issue. At that time there was no choice where you went, if you lived in one county you went to School A, if you lived in the adjoining county you went to School B. I already knew many of the children I would be in school with, either from daycare/preschool or church. It didn’t hurt that my daddy was principle at the middle school at the time either I guess. So for the next 8 years (1st grade-7thgrade and kindergarten) I went to school with the same children. Even if we moved up a grade we only went to a slightly bigger school with children who had been at our old school the previous year. There was no anxiety about not knowing the lay of the land. No anxiety about a sea of new scary faces. Until the end of 7th grade. At that time, 8th grade was at the High School, which meant I had 4 months between me and an entire school with 4 whole grades of new people. Older people. Some, like the juniors and seniors, we’re so much older our paths had never crossed paths in other schools before. Scared? I spent the summer outlining reasons why I should be homeschooled. I did not want my independence and free spirit that my class since kindergarten had been accustomed too, to become the punch line for lunch room mean girls table talk. I also knew I didn’t ‘look’ the part. I didn’t particularly want to, and further more I knew I never would. But, of course I made it through high school. I have some bumps, bruises, and scars to help me remember, and that’s okay.

What if, when my precious, free spirited penguin looks at me and says “mama, I am a little norvous about big school”, she feels the same anxiety on some level? I know it seems I’m reaching deep for this one, and yes, it’s perfectly normal for a child to be somewhat apprehensive about a new school. Stay with me though. She has only been to daycare/preschool and church with the same group of children. Now, in the same rural town I grew up in, there are two private schools to choose from which have become quite popular among the parents. My penguin knows that some children went to a different Pre-K and come to her school for after school care. She realizes that not all of these ‘friends’ of hers, and children who know her ways are going to be going to school with her in a few weeks. To top it all off, I have to keep reminding her of all of the horrible things that don’t happen in kindergarten. No changing clothes just because you dribbled water on your shirt at the water fountain (yes, I know we have some ‘issues’), no going to the bathroom on a moments notice which   also means you can’t have ‘accidents’ because you can’t change clothes. And….no naps!!! So yes, my all the world’s a stage, aka her stage, penguin is standing in front of this milestone with quite possibly some of the same apprehension I had about high school. 

It’s okay baby penguin. I know more now and I know what I should have told myself then. That works out well for you since you were made from my mold. I’ll guide you as the older version of yourself and I will teach you and love you like only your mother can. We’ve got this. You. Me. Together. Let’s jump over the milestone ready to see what waits. 

Yes, but you’ve never raised a strong willed penguin…


Wasting time on Facebook today, I came across a shared post by Becky Thompson titled To The Momma Of The Stong-Willed ChildI smiled, not sure if I should share the post with an “I love you” to my mama, or if I should read it for tips on the miniture version of my strong-willed self. I have read Becky Thompson before and am quite fond of her writing. She has a soothing way about her words that when I read them I just feel as if I am in a fuzzy blanket and everything is calm. Since I am facing my eleven day stretch without my husband, and have the strong-willed penguin to face once I get home, I decided I should read the post. I could probably use the encouragement.

The post starts off with “I can’t remember where I saw you last”. I immediately think, oh no! she saw me last weekend on the sidewalk at Wal-Mart just after the penguin climbed a ladder in a store. Probably not my finest moment as a mom, but not the last moment like that either since I have a long time to go with this strong-willed penguin (just ask my mama, I’m almost 37).  Becky went on to write this, and this is where the fuzzy blanket feeling comes out:

You know, it takes a special kind of momma to raise a strong-willed child. It takes a certain endless amount of grace to continually define the lines of what is and isn’t acceptable all while little hearts ceaselessly push back. It’s hard work defining the same boundaries a million times a day.

I know that it’s exhausting.

I know that most days you worry that you’re not capable of handling this job.

Did you feel it? That warm feeling when you read the words “special kind of momma”? I felt like I had won a medal when she acknowledged “I know that it’s exhausting”.  I did think of my mama and how much we pushed and pulled with one another. I thought that even thought she acknowledged I was a strong-willed child, she was just as strong-willed and determined so it was a constant battle. I on the other hand take a different approach with raising my spirited (someone used that term instead of strong-willed the other day, as if strong-willed was a bad thing) penguin. I pick my battles. Because she is the EXACT version of me at five years old, I know what she is thinking, what she is feeling. So as the parent I choose what I battle with. This doesn’t mean she isn’t respectful and unruly. This simply means that I don’t always have to win because I am the parent.

This next part though. Oh, it just made my heart smile.

The truth is, what they are really good at is knowing their own mind – not being easily deterred – confidently proclaiming exactly what they want and how they want it done.

Deep down, we know that this is a good thing. Mommas of strong-willed children know that the traits that make most days feel endless, also mean that our children will also grow up to be motivated, determined, leaders.

Oh I just smiled again as I posted it into here. My mama has to be glad that started as a strong-willed child and grew into a strong-willed woman. I know I hope that for my penguin. I think of all the bumps and holes I have hit a long this journey of life and know that my stubborn determination is what made me get through. I see my penguin taking her own turns and twist and hope and pray that the strength and willingness she has today carries her through those times when she just has to push through. Do my days feel endless? Have you read my post about the carousel? I don’t even know day to night most of the time, especially during the 11 day stretch my husband is gone. But, do I have a motivated, determined penguin? Absolutely!

And this last prayer that Becky ended with is the one I pray for any and all

May you find yourself with grace to spare at the end of the day… as you prepare for another day of raising greatness again tomorrow.

I am so glad that wasting time on Facebook led me to this post. I have not posted on here in awhile simply because of all that strong-willed penguin has me involved in. My time is her time you see, and I have found it difficult to find any time to express the emotions or words of myself or Penelope for we are both too busy chasing after her.