Posted in family life, phfr

{pretty, happy, funny, real} – roller coaster parenting

Parenting is quite the sequence of ups and downs. One night the boys help me clean up all their toys, snuggle up for stories after their bath, and fall asleep peacefully and quickly; the next night the space between dinner and bed is punctuated by a meltdown every five minutes, bedtime itself turns into a two-hour battle, and the house still looks like a tornado hit it by the time I manage to fall asleep.

Last night being one of the good nights (in fact, one of the best, as I re-convinced my 2.5 year old that books are amazing by selecting some slightly more advanced classics and reading them with character voices), it’s tempting to feel like I’ve got this parenting thing down! Of course, however, that would be a delusion remarkably blind to even just the past week of family life…


But let’s start with the positives from the past week, because they did exist even on the hardest days.


On Friday I remembered to pick up some sweet potatoes during our grocery run and started rooting some slips for our summer garden! The two on the left are normal orange sweet potatoes (Red Garnets or whatever standard variety the grocery store carries) and the two on the right are purple sweet potatoes. They’re a bit starchier and less sweet than the orange, and Rondel loves them – but as they tend to be expensive we hardly ever buy them. Hopefully this foray into potato gardening is a success! I have a feeling we will have our whole tiny yard covered in vines and leaves and nothing to show for it under the soil…

But for now, we are excitedly watching the potatoes begin to shoot thin white roots out into the water in their jars! The purple potatoes are proving more prolific in the rooting department, but there’s already activity (less than a week after setting these up) in all four jars. The site I found made it sound like there would be both roots and leaves within a few weeks, and at that time I plan to plant the slips as even the cold nights will be a faint memory by that point.



Despite Rondel having a rather exhausting cold (his sensitivities increase exponentially when he’s sick, and he can’t stand the feel of his nose running even the slightest bit, so our days were a continual refrain of high-pitched moans of “wipe nose!”), I took the boys out to the park Saturday morning just to get them out of the house. Limerick had serious cabin fever, and even Rondel was feeling just better enough that some time running around significantly helped his mood. Sometimes I think some sort of physical activity must be a basic human need for the proper functioning of the mind and emotions… it’s true for most of the people I know, at any rate, and even more true for those of us prone to depression and anxiety.

Anyway, Rondel spent most of the time literally running up and down the sidewalks pushing his dump truck, while Limerick tested his balancing abilities by walking on all the curbs. Then Rondel discovered that his truck would roll all the way down the hill if he gave it a bit of a push at the top, and the two of them ran gleefully after it all the way down, until it crashed into a bush at the bottom. This was then repeated many times, to the great happiness of all involved 🙂


Did you notice the sweatshirts on the boys in the pictures above? Just a few hours later, they were attired much differently:

Arizona spring weather is just as inconsistent and changing as those feelings of parenting success or failure… one minute we’re all bundled up and the next we’re playing in the water wearing shoes because the concrete is too hot to stand on!

Also funny (to me anyway): Limerick is currently quite obsessed with pouring water on himself, and with oranges. I have no clue why oranges are so incredibly fascinating…


This is Limerick, thoroughly enjoying himself with his cousins at the zoo:


And where was Rondel?

Curled up in the stroller, disconsolate, asking if we could please go home so he could take a nap – because it was the first morning he was sick and I didn’t realize it before we had packed up to go out with the cousins as planned. So in addition to putting him through a miserable morning (it was cold, overcast, and windy – great for running around, not so great for sitting in a stroller feeling sick), I spread the cold to my niece and nephew. I suppose it’s always good to have bad parenting days to keep us from getting arrogant about the good ones… so much depends on getting a few spur-of-the-moment decisions right. But that doesn’t make it feel any better when it happens!

Head on over to the link-up today at Like Mother Like Daughter to be encouraged and share everyday contentment with everyone else!

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