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LJI 10 Week 4: The Mommy Motto

This is my LJ Idol entry for Week 4, based on the Wayne Gretzky quote: "I don't skate to where the puck is. I skate to where the puck is going to be."

My son, whose online nickname is Kung Fu Panda (KFP for short), will be participating in the John Morton Winter Survival event in Westinghouse Grove. This is an annual event focused on winter survival skills, and the Cub Scouts, like KFP, will only participate in the afternoon events, which include an obstacle course, fire building, a compass course, lifesaving, a knot-tying relay, a stretcher race, flag raising, and a final "surprise skill." Those who participate receive a special badge they can sew onto their uniforms.

Since finding out about the event on Monday, I have been steadily gathering materials and planning. I ordered a compass from the Boy Scout online shop, which arrived today. I bought myself a short winter coat, so that I could follow him into forest or across a stream without getting my long coat caught on briars or soaked with creek water. Today, I will do laundry to ensure he has a selection of proper clothing from which to choose, and I also bought him a pair of polyester thermals (which do better in wet conditions than cotton).

While the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared," it could just as soon be the Mommy Motto, as well.

Tomorrow morning, he need only worry about waking up and putting on the clothing I've prepared for him. I, on the other hand, am laying out two extra sets of little boy clothes: one to carry with me and one to leave in the car, just in case. Inside my backpack will go one set of spare clothes, sufficient snacks to fend off any snack attacks, along with Band-Aids, tissues, and wipes. I'll also be toting my camera, my phone, and a spare recharger. The usual.

Starting on the day I brought him home from the hospital, I've tried to anticipate KFP's needs, packing a giant bag for every outing. Now that diapering supplies are no longer necessary, I have traded in my big green diaper bag for an off-white bag with groovy multicolored flowers that is, nevertheless, very much a Mommy bag. While I am not as over-prepared as some, I've usually crammed into that bag just about anything that my little boy could end up needing.

As helpful as it may be to have the proper diapers, changing pads, toys, snacks, formula, et cetera, to accommodate the usual baby, toddler, or little boy needs, some things don't allow for preparation, such as:

• The first time your child projectile vomits.
• When your child's "best friend" suddenly announces they are no longer friends.
• When your child jumps on the bed, falls off, and hits his head on the end table, producing a huge red bump.
• The day your child plays "hide and seek" in the clothes rack, and you can't find him for several seconds, getting a terrible sinking feeling in your stomach.
• The moment you're rearranging items under the stroller, and he's suddenly toddling toward the public swimming pool on unsteady legs.
• The last minutes of his first plane ride, on the descent, when he suddenly vomits up all of his stomach's contents.
• When he decides he no longer likes his favorite snack, and nothing in your bag will suit him or quiet his crying.

As he's gotten older, the surprises haven't stopped coming; they are simply different. Like they told us in our "Baby and You" prenatal class so long ago, everything's a stage. The boy who once cried when his bus buddy was late to the stop now gets on without a whimper if his current bus buddy doesn't show. The boy who once brought me book after book to read (over and over) now reads chapter books to himself.

In a way, it's bittersweet, but in a way it's also a relief. I'm delighted with each new stage, rediscovering the world through his eyes. I love the cheerful, friendly, funny, outgoing guy he's become.

I would like it though, if the next stage will involve less vomiting.


( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 7th, 2017 04:11 am (UTC)
"The day your child plays "hide and seek" in the clothes rack, and you can't find him for several seconds, getting a terrible sinking feeling in your stomach."

I did this to my mom as a kid and thought it was so funny. I didn't understand why she was yelling at me to never do that again. Poor lady :3
Jan. 7th, 2017 04:57 am (UTC)
I gave him a very similar "dressing down" afterwards. He was about 2 and savoring the newfound freedom of being able to walk on his own. Ever since then, he has pretty much always stayed within a small circle around me.
Jan. 7th, 2017 04:53 am (UTC)

Such a perfect response to the prompt! We do have to always be anticipating where that puck is going to go next! Three steps ahead AND be prepared! :) It's so wonderful to read a positive parenting rumination!

Jan. 7th, 2017 05:08 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was the first thing that came to mind for me, after ruminating on it for a couple of days. Of course, my inspiration was right next to me, bouncing around on the couch, reading "Captain Underpants" for the umpteenth time.
Jan. 7th, 2017 07:12 am (UTC)
Oh, this brings back such memories. I do miss those "little people" years, especially with one child in college and another leaving next Fall.

The list of unexpected things... I really liked that there were both physical and emotional surprises there, because as they get older, those can become equally unsettling.

And always, yes please-- less vomiting!
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:04 am (UTC)
He seems like such a big boy to me now, but he still needs Mommy hugs. I hope that never stops. Although it does, of course, mean I'm usually in proximity to the vomiting.
Jan. 8th, 2017 12:30 am (UTC)
This made me chuckle! Ugh- projectile vomiting! My son had terrible stomach issues when born- and even after surgery. We never knew what would rile his 'pukies' So we'd always carry buckets and baby blankets, and onesies were our friend!

I hope they cancelled the event with the snow! If not, I hope you're toasty warm and drinking some good hot chocolate! Peace~~~D

Jan. 9th, 2017 12:06 am (UTC)
Oh, my goodness, that must have been rough! I trust he got over that as he got older?

They didn't cancel the event, but the boys had a great time. I, on the other hand, need to get myself better boots!
(no subject) - dmousey - Jan. 9th, 2017 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Jan. 9th, 2017 01:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - Jan. 9th, 2017 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Jan. 9th, 2017 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 8th, 2017 02:41 am (UTC)
Perfect mommy thoughts !!!! Loved that list of things you are not naturally prepared for ... so real and so could-happen-to everyone. Good luck this week.
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:07 am (UTC)
Thanks! Those were the top of my mind moments, because when each of them happened I was taken thoroughly by surprise. I don't wish them on anyone!
Jan. 8th, 2017 01:58 pm (UTC)
They grow like weeds don't they! Every time I look over at them, I can't understand how they can be so big. I loved reading this.
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:12 am (UTC)
They truly do! He is getting so big. He sprung up a pant size overnight!
Jan. 8th, 2017 03:26 pm (UTC)
I too vote for less vomiting. Never fun.
A great use of the prompt, and I agree, it should definitely be the Mommy Motto (Daddy Dictum? Babysitter Byword? Papa Proverb?).
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:46 am (UTC)
Yes, all of the above! I was speaking only for myself, but I know other caregivers spend just as much thought trying to prepare for every eventuality. My Mom used to pack the trunk completely full for every family vacation, and Dad would tease her that she forgot to pack the kitchen sink. Yet, we were rarely caught in the rain without raincoats and galoshes, and any time one of us needed a Band-Aid, she had one at the ready!
Jan. 8th, 2017 05:41 pm (UTC)
I remember the "be prepared" years, and the backpack I used to carry for all emergencies except the one that happened. Cherish this time (and all the times), it goes by too fast. This was a great entry that brought back a lot of memories, including Cub Scout camp.
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:06 am (UTC)
Glad it resonated with you. I love the way you put that: "the backpack I used to carry for all emergencies except the one that happened." So very true!

Turns out the extra set of dry gloves I carried yesterday were good for two purposes: first, to try to comfort a Cub Scout who said his gloves were soaked and he hated the snow (his dad ended up taking him home when the gloves weren't enough). Second, after we heated up inside the concession cabin for a little while, to replace his soaking wet gloves.
Jan. 8th, 2017 06:22 pm (UTC)
Seems like even the most prepared person can be blindsided by something! There is always the possibility that something you hadn't foreseen could still occur. And that's probably the lesson! Do as much preparation as you can, and then just know you did your best and don't worry or at least don't punish yourself for missing something, especially something highly unlikely!
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:21 am (UTC)
Exactly! I'd rather be prepared for things that don't happen than leave something at home and need it. But you can't pack a Band-Aid for heartache, for example. Thanks for reading.
Jan. 8th, 2017 07:54 pm (UTC)
I think you should get a patch, too!
Jan. 8th, 2017 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oops. I was the anonymous comment. I didn't realize I wasn't signed in!
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:02 am (UTC)
No problem! I've done the same.

And I think I might get a patch, too. We'll find out tomorrow.

Edited at 2017-01-09 01:22 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2017 11:19 pm (UTC)
It's totally true that everything's a stage, all the way up to their wedding day. (and then some!) My kids are married and moved out, but I still have a drawer w spare undies and a couple of t-shirts in case they are here and spill something bad or decide they want to spend the night and drive home the next day. (Holidays, bad weather)
Jan. 8th, 2017 11:54 pm (UTC)
I could see myself doing that some day, too! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Jan. 9th, 2017 10:20 am (UTC)
Everything is better with less vomit!
Jan. 16th, 2017 09:19 pm (UTC)
For sure!
Jan. 9th, 2017 12:55 pm (UTC)
I don't have any reminiscences about children, but, as always, I love your style.
Jan. 16th, 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Jan. 9th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
I've worked in child care for nearly 12 years. The vast majority of the kids we see are 4 and under. My motto is: Always bring a change of clothes. Leave them in your car if you want, but always have them. The vomit is non-stop.

It's always fun when I'm training the new staff (usually high school kids) and their eyes get huge when I tell them that the 3 P's - being pooped on, peed on, and puked on - are a regular occurrence and to always be prepared.
Jan. 16th, 2017 09:21 pm (UTC)
Emergency pants are always a good idea, I've found.
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