Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Traffic conversations
J: Why you stopped?
A: Because the light is red.
J: You have to stop at a red light?
A: Yes
J: Why you going?
A: Because the light turned green.
J: You can go at a green light?
A: Yes
J: Red means stop?  Green means go?
A: That's right

Repeat every red light or green light or highway driving with no lights.

Another day:
J: Why are THOSE cars GOOOO-ING?  The light is red!
A: Our light is red, honey.  Those cars have a green light.
J: Huh?
A: There are two streets.  The cars on that street can go.  The cars on our street are stopped.
J: Those cars can go?  We have to stop?
A: Yes
J: Why?
A: Because that's how traffic stays safe.
J: Why?
A: Because these cars stop so those cars can go, and then it will be our turn to go.

Repeat several times

J: Our light is red.  Why are you going!?
A: I'm turning right.  It's allowed.
J: Oh, I see an airplane!
A: (Mentally) Whew!

J: Why you not talking to them? (Pointing to people in the cars on either side of us.)
A: They're in their car and we're in our car.  We talk to each other.  They talk to the people in their car.
J: Why?  Why you not talk to them?
A: I don't know them.  We don't talk to people we don't know.
J: Why?
A: Because we need to only talk to people we know.  That's what's safe.

Repeat at every red light

Swim Lesson Conversations
J: Why you not swimming?
A: This is a swim class for kiddos.
J: Why?
A: Because the teachers will teach you how to swim.  You're going to learn lots of fun things.
J: Why?
A: Because swimming is fun!
J: You come in the water pool with me?
A: No, I won't come in the swimming pool with you this time.  I'm going to watch from up there.
J: Why?
A: Because they don't allow the adults down here.  I'll be right up there.  You can see me through the window.
J: Why they don't let people down here?
A: That's their rule.  (Mentally...I think it's a dumb rule, too and I don't understand it either, but I'm not going to tell you that.)
J: Why?
A: They want everyone to be safe.

2 minutes later
J: You come in with me?
A: No, I will watch you.
J: Why you not come in with me?
A: Because this is a lesson for kiddos and you're a kiddo.
J: What's that over there?
A: That's a water aerobics class for adults.  It's exercise.
J: You going to that?
A: No, I'm not going to that.
J: Why?
A: Because I'm not in that class.
J: Why?  
A: Because I'm here with you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I once had a life where sleeping occurred.
I'm not sure if I'm dreaming, but I think sleep is a word?
Sleep is not currently my friend, nor my little one's it seems.
I'm not sure the problem, though I'm problem solving like a fiend.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Single Parenting

Oh, single parenting.  Y'all.  It's hard!  Like, harder than I thought x 1000.

I remember friends telling me about parenting.  They'd always say, "You don't have even one minute to yourself."  And I believed them.  I mean, I heard it enough, and they were my friends.  Why wouldn't I believe them?  But, at the same time, I couldn't in any way, shape or form imagine a life where I didn't have a moment to myself.  I've lived by myself for the last several years, but I've lived with roommates, too...and I still always had time for myself.

I remember my friend, Mary, saying, "Everything about your life will change when you have a baby."  Her specific example was, "Even the way you brush your teeth will change!"  I laughed because I believed her, and it was a fun anecdote.  And I smile now when everything about life changes.  Because SERIOUSLY, everything about life changes.  Except I couldn't visualize it or in any way comprehend how TIRED I would be when I became a mom.

I knew single parenting would be hard.  But, I've never been married or in a serious relationship to need to look at life from two perspectives or with two sets of helping hands, so parenting was just another thing to do by myself.  I don't mean that to sound laissez faire.  I just mean I'm used to being single, so, while I knew single parenting would be difficult, I didn't have the option of a husband to co-parent with, so I didn't think too much about it, since I couldn't change it.  (Any gentleman that is a God-honoring, single that wants to change that, by all means...feel free! :)

Until I started living and breathing single parenting, though, there was no way for me to know HOW hard it would be.  C lived with me for a week.  And don't get me wrong, it was hard.  Excruciating at times, emotionally.  But I knew fairly early on that it was going to be a short placement, and, in hindsight, that made the single parenting aspect of it easier.  It was also during the school year, so she was in school and I was working.  Normal schedule.

J arrived a week and a half ago.  I'm out for summer, so every day's schedule is a little different.  Coming up with enough activities in the day to keep her occupied, entertained and learning is a CHALLENGE.  She doesn't sleep great at night.  I'm hoping that smooths out as she becomes used to living here.  Tired is becoming normal.

The timing of getting things accomplished is the hardest part.  I mean running to the grocery store or Target.  I'm getting much better at accomplishing these with a little one, but sometimes I have to go get her from VBS or time my tutoring around her activities, and just the actual scheduling of everything, while trying to keep her busy so she doesn't nap so she will (maybe!) sleep through the night, is exhausting!

If you're a married parent and reading this, think about every time you run to the store and leave your spouse with the kids.  Or one is putting the kids to bed, while the other goes to get gas or an oil change.  One takes the kiddo to swim lessons, while you make next week's menu, a corresponding grocery list, do two loads of laundry, and vacuum.  One makes breakfast and grabs a shower while the other wakes up the little one, helps brush teeth, do hair and make the bed, then you and your spouse trade spots so both have time to get ready.  Get the gist?

I don't have that option.

Not only do I not have that option.  Add in the legal element of fostering.  If I do want to grocery shop, clothes shop, get an oil change or run the myriad of other errands, I have to fill out paperwork regarding the short term child care that my parents are providing.  It's not hard.  It's just an extra step.

I have had one full night of sleep in the last 12.  Tonight is the first night I've had an hour to myself, that wasn't packed with MUST DO ALL OF THIS BEFORE I PICK HER UP (and yes, the capitals are necessary, because that is the pressure I feel!)

I'm not complaining.  I love her.  She's learning how to cuddle.  She's learning how to count.  She's learning her ABCs.  She's learning how to bake.  She's learning how to sing silly songs.  She turns her sweet tooth filled grin my way, and I can't help but smile back.

But, it's hard.  And unless you've been a single parent,  you absolutely cannot understand.

I didn't.