Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our Big Social Mixer

I can't believe I forgot to mention that I attended a natural foods class at a friend's house last week. There were 8 or 9 mothers there and just under 15 children under the age of 4. The class was, well, busy. It was very relaxed and we discussed beginning a natural foods pantry on a budget and how to get started when beginning a change of cuisine lifestyle. Some of the wee ones were in slings while others closer to Mary Louise and David's age, played in a nearby toy room. I was a bit nervous about bringing them with me for a number of reasons not the least of which was them catching something during the last few weeks of prime cold and flu season...but I bit the bullet, considered the fact that at 10am on a weekday, most of these mothers were stay at home and/or breastfeeding and reasonably health conscious to even want to go to the class to begin with...

Mary Louise and David behaved BEAUTIFULLY!!!

I arrived almost 20 minutes early. The host was very gracious and let us just play and get settled while she rushed about doing last minute whatevers (no matter how ready one is to have company, there is always that last 20 minute pinch time when you think of 800 things you'd LOVE to have done but just have no time for...somehow, I'm pretty sure said 800 things go unnoticed - regardless of completion - as long as said host doesn't point them out...back to the story).

David was shy at first so I held him, sat when he relaxed just a tiny bit, allowed him to take his time getting down and joining in the fun. Mary Louise sashayed right over to the son (3 yrs.) and daughter (18mos I think?) of the host and introduced herself, "Hi! My Meese." Sweet baby girl.

They made very fast friends and I was impressed at just how gentle Mary Louise was with the little girl in particular - making sure she had some toys, moving aside so that she could see what what happening, etc. David couldn't help but to want to join eventually and even went from my lap to getting right in the thick of the play AND talking almost immediately after about 10 minutes of taking it all in.

More children arrived and Mary Louise and David would shyly look for a split second before going back to playing and allowing the "new kids" to join. Some were loud, some knew each other well and were quite comfortable at the house as they were very close friends with the host (she and I had talked a number of times via email but never actually met in person until the class), but Mary Louise and David took it all in stride. One little boy remarked, "he doesn't talk so well!" When David was trying to answer a question he'd asked. I told the boy to ask again as David certainly doesn't mind repeating - and said that we were working on his speech. The boy nodded, asked David to repeat and they fell back into play mode. No problem.

The class was getting ready to begin so I slipped out to the next room to listen. I sat where they could see me expecting David to get over-whelmed by the full room of children any minute. Much to my surprise, it was Mary Louise who came to "check on me" every 20 minutes or so and I rarely saw David at all. The host kept an eye on the kids while the class went on and said how well-behaved my little ones were and gave me updates on how they were doing specifically. I really appreciated it and was so proud of the 2 of them!

The only mishaps were when a baby (crawling) took David's had buttons on it and if you know David, you know if he sees a button, he MUST press it repeatedly. He was not happy. But he didn't throw a big fit. I gave him a hug, said to let the baby play for a bit and wait for the toy to sit unused and get it again. He balled up his fists, hemmed and hawed for a minute and found something else to do for the 3.5 minutes the toy fascinated the baby, then snagged it again. Very good!! Another time, a group (including my 2) were playing in a bedroom and someone closed the door. Panic ensued. All was well, however, when I opened the door again and let them know everything was ok.

That's it! over 2 hours, loads of kids, noise, sharing, moms all over. It was great! No fits, no grumpies, just good fun, meeting new people- with a side of learning a little more about whole foods and getting a few great recipes. Win!

When we left, Mary Louise and David even walked up to the host and said very clearly, "Thank you! Bye bye!"

Really, though there were hungry moments, needs for reassuring hugs and a little referee-ing, all of the children played very very well together - and the added plus? nary a sneeze nor a cough in sight!

Mary Louise has asked - at least once a day - ever since, to "go and play with the babies Momma". She loved the play time. David is a little more hard nosed...but did very well in the church nursery today with 2 other children there. I sat with him for about 5 minutes to let him warm up and once he started playing with a nearby train set, he didn't even bat an eye when I left. No trauma, no tears, and I came back to all smiles from both of them. (ok, all smiles and a fight to get them to leave!) Incidentally, I'm quite sure today marks the very first time in almost 3 years that I actually got to listen to the entire service - and hold Brent's hand for a full hour without having to catch babies falling off pews or flying crayons. (Date time - I know, we're just wild and crazy these days).

Happy 32 weeks Suga!! (who totally kicked me in the ribs the entire service!) and ohhh if I had a dollar for every time someone pointed at my belly and asked, "just one this time right? Are you sure? well, thank goodness for that." Really. between that and, "8 more weeks? are you sure? you're pretty out there!" Nice.

I feel good - some days, very tired - as in, no matter how many naps I'm allowed, I'm still just drained...but otherwise, I really don't have any of the "normal pregnancy woes" that come to mind. Occasional burning in my throat - but it's relieved by a dose of antacids when it really gets bad. I sleep well overall, and unless I overdo, the hip pain is more than bearable.

Still thankful, so thankful - and just ridiculously excited about 32 weeks. 8 weeks or a little less!!! Dare I say it?! oh those little grunts, that sweet soft, warm bundle, the nuzzles, seeing Mary Louise, David and the baby explore their roles and settle into a new normal. Love. Just love.


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