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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Navigating the Pre-school Years

My brother married a terrific woman (who happens to be a friend and former co-worker - yay for me!) this past weekend at a private ceremony at their home. It was an intimate family gathering complete with a heartfelt ceremony, teary-eyed champagne toast and lots of belly laughs. My son was especially happy because it was the day that he was officially getting two new cousins. My new sister-in-law has two wonderful children, one nearly six and the other born within days of my son. If our kids getting along is a sign, I'd say our families have gelled quite nicely.

I scored a great outfit for our son at Target (see photo). A preppy little number which I accessorized with leather driving shoes and belt from the Gap. He looked adorable, if I say so myself (note: mom bias). Although he looked the part of a respectable wedding guest, he was quite frankly in 'rare form' that day.

At the moment that the ceremony was about to begin, he decided to wander off to the dining room. I followed him trying to round him up for the exchange of vows and found him admiring a single painting on the wall. "Mom, look at this beautiful painting", he said. I'd like to say he gets his love of artwork from his mother, but he most likely gets it from the character 'Olivia'. If you've read the series of books or seen the Noggin show, you know what I'm talking about. I decided to stay in the moment with him at let him linger in art appreciation before taking him by the hand into the formal living room. His attention span, you see, is equivalent to his age in minutes. In other words the judge had four whole minutes to engage my son. Let's just say, he lost him at two...

Our rather spirited son is going through what we call the "terrible threes". The photographer who is also a mom of two said that the "threes are the new twos" and "fours are the best". I have to admit it's been a tough year attempting to curb bad behavior while at the same time fostering good behavior. We've heard from teachers that our son didn't have his "listening ears on today" or he "couldn't keep his hands to himself" one day while getting reports like "he's very bright" or his vocabulary is "off the charts" for his age. What exactly do we do with this information? Are they saying we've got a smart brat?

At the wedding alone we heard everything from "he is so adorable" followed by "he's scaling the garage better get him." And, "is that champagne in his glass?" No (seriously?), it was apple juice.

Out of control. Very smart. As a parent you hope that the former is a passing phase and the latter is a testament to his intellect. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I'm choosing to focus on the fact that our son is happy, healthy, and cute enough to be a "Gap model" (also overheard at the wedding). The glass is half full, I always say.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am laughing so hard right now. I read an article about the origination of the phrase "terrible twos". Essentially, once it was in writing, it caught on as a popular phrase. This article went onto say that while there are many tears and anxiety moments from the tremendous growth and development a 2yo encounters, those are really the easy years. When they turn three, they have more developed language, the ability to start rationalizing things (translation: they know how to argue with you CONSTANTLY), and start really asserting themselves. I'm anxiously awaiting my son's 4yo birthday party, thinking (or maybe just hoping) that it will be a turning point for us as well.

April 22, 2010 at 9:20 AM 
Blogger Media Mom Lauren said...

Thanks for the feedback, momdrobe! I'm glad to hear that there is research out there documenting what I'm observing and experiencing with my son. Now that you bring it up, it was the increased command of language that pushed him into the "terrible" side of three. Keep me posted on what's happening with your son and I'll do the same. We're in this together after all. "Terrific Fours" here we come!

April 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that I believed in this phrase before having kids of my own, but it "takes a community" to raise a child. However, after becoming a mom, I recognize that "community" isn't there to actually raise the child, it's there to keep the moms sane! Thanks for the blog - I'm really enjoying it!

April 30, 2010 at 4:58 PM 

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