Monday, July 26, 2010

Thinking Back on my Old Job

Before I was a full-time mom I worked as a receptionist for a local college. And every so often corporate people would come to visit. Depending on what rung of the ladder these corporate people were on, many of my co-workers would throw themselves into a tizzy getting ready for the big arrival: Quick, get your files in order! Dust! Clean the carpets! Prepare everything! Perfection people!! Stand here when they walk in goes on. It was somewhat comparable to the frenzy seen in The Devil wears Prada. I even had a co-worker run out quick and buy some nylons for the corporate visit.

I'd sit at my desk amused. And I wondered if I should care more. I was happy that my role to impress was small. I was just the lowly receptionist- no big job duties there. I'll offer them water. Lets see, can I get that right? Yeah, I can handle that.

You see, I had never witnessed this kind of frenzy over 'important people.' Up until then I had never met anyone worthy of my frenzy. In fact I have a natural tendency to be casual with everyone. And if I think that someone presumes himself to be important, well I smile, and I know different.

I even had some of my 'higher-ups' try to give me a loose script for conversation with the 'big-wigs': "If this topic arises say this, if that topic, say that. Don't say this. Don't say that."

Part of me knew the reason they felt the need to rehearse with me was because I have had a tendency to be candid, honest, and a little naive. I'd nod, and keep some of what they said and toss the rest. After all, I've got to be me. And while I learned a lot about personal improvement, I was always silently at odds with many of the people I worked with.

I liked them, but our goals were so different: They were eagerly chasing a professional career at this place, while I just wanted out! They wanted careers and I wanted a baby! I had only accepted the job because I could find nothing entry-level with an editing or writing twist. So here I was, a receptionist for a school I did not fully believe in. I would never have gone to this school myself. But I was told by my 'higher-ups' that as the receptionist I was the face of "will-remain-nameless" college. I'd give them one of my oh-so-famous 'blank stares of Sarah' because I had no ready reply. I think everyone I worked with knew I had no school spirit. I tried, but it just wasn't important to me.

However, the one thing I liked about my job were the students. I knew each of them by name, first and last. They were my priority. They were human and talkative - not stiff and professional. And they loved me! I worked hard to please them. I aimed to exceed their expectations. They had constant needs and I was there to fill them. I was their receptionist and they were my students. In retrospect, those students taught me what it means to be a friend. I felt loyalty to them.

But big-wigs never motivated me. I don't like pompous people. I don't like the politics of the workplace, the little power-plays, and the lame cat-fights that women-in-the-workplace, particularly, find themselves in. Some of my co-workers liked to think I was their personal assistant. I had one woman call me her 'underling'- she was all sorts of power hungry and very insecure and defensive. It was a real roadblock for us.

One day I want to go back into the workforce to chase a career, and I think often about what I want to be when I 'grow up.' But for now I am a mother and I'm quite opinionated on how my little sweeties are raised. No one can appreciate Carson's baby cheeks the way I can. No one can adore him more than I can. I want to be here to watch him grow before he's too old to cuddle. I want to be here to answer Athena's questions and help her make sense of her world. I like being the one she learns everything from. We build trust this way. These children are the work of my life and I won't have anyone else do it for me so I can impress big-wigs. I can't take full credit for being here though. Conrad makes it all possible.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

kid update

I need to have another blog where I be Sarah and not just 'mommy'. I might just set one up. Maybe later. Maybe.

Well - We're having a little girl in October. At the rate I blog my next post just might be pictures of her! I lent my girl clothes out but I get them back in August and I am so excited to go through them again. I love doing that. Carson is moved in to Athena's room and he still takes his naps no problem. They goof off before falling asleep each night. Athena is so kind to him and they play well together. I love that they have each other.

We call my growing belly "Baby Annie" but we are not sure what we'll name her yet. We do have a list going. Carson is allergic to dairy, eggs, and peanuts still. I think he may becoming more tolerant of dairy though! Which is exciting because that will open a whole new world of foods to him.

Kid moments that made me smile: (I jot them down to write here later)
I was explaining to Athena what it will be like at Conrad's company BBQ - so she knows what's going on.
me: "You'll be one of the smaller kids there."
Athena: "But I'm a little bit of a big kid."

She calls root beer 'Root Bear'
"I need a root bear," she says
I get it for her.
"I need a scoop of ice cream in it."
wish granted.
"and a straw."
I give her a look, but I get the straw.
"And a spoon"
"Are you done?" I ask her
"I need a little umbrella in it!" she replies.
I laugh, "no umbrella honey."

During lunch:
Carson is playing with a hat in his high chair. He's got a plate of watermelon in front of him. He puts his hat in his watermelon.
Athena: "uh- don't put that in your food; that is gonna be gross." - she sounds so mature when she says it.
He puts his hat in his watermelon.
Through clenched teeth- "that is de-sgusting!" - I smile from the other room. I like hearing her have an opinion. And I love that she is having a mature conversation with her little brother.

Sometime during the day: She approaches Carson with a bossy tone: "What did I said?!"

And this one surprised me:
"Ahh, I'm enjoying a cigarette. It's good for your body." She whispers it so quietly.
"Where did you hear that?" I ask quietly.
"From myself," she says.
"We don't say that. Cigarettes are not good for your body," I say.
"but I just pretend to eat one," she says.
"I don't want you to pretend to eat one either," I say decidedly.
"okay," she says sheepishly.
(We checked out a book at the library that discusses smoking. We also have neighbors who smoke. I told her, "When people smoke we still be their friend, but we don't smoke. It hurts your body.")

She's very interested in the difference between the look of a smoker's lung and a healthy lung. She's also interested in the development of a fetus. She loves the pop-up book that shows developmental pictures of a baby in utero. We skip the page with a giant pop-up penis. It's one of those see through views where you can see the tissue and organs and urethra and all that. I don't think she would understand what it was, but I'm not taking any chances. Maybe when she's older. Much... older.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I guess I'll update

I am learning to relinquish a little control and say "no" less often. I need to let Athena have her way more and give her more wiggle room. She's getting older, and more independent; and lately she doesn't comply with a lot of my requests. Many of you recognize this behavior as childhood!, Or human nature. So I'll relax and let her 'fart around' as I call it.

I'm also taking this approach to scouts. I teach the bear cub scouts and there's a side to my temperament that allows me to be quick-witted with them and take them off guard with my surprising humor. It ropes them in and allows for jovial give-and-take that we both really enjoy. This side of me is laid back, casual, and a bit of a goof-off. The other side of my temperament demands control of the room - I must be listened to now; IsaidNOW! I hate the way I feel when I let this side take over and I know I'm wrong when I do it. Scouts is drudgery when this side prevails. So - now I plan well and then once I get there, care less, and enjoy them for what they are.

I'm still editing, but I think I want to stop for a while and throw my energies into something else; Yard projects sure, but I want to learn how to develop web pages; I want to learn how to make things pretty. I don't know if I have the interest and patience to learn how to write code that makes the website 'do stuff' though. I've dabbled in html and I get the concept. I love btw. It's taught me a lot. My web design interest got derailed a while because morning sickness sapped my will for a bit, but I've come out of that. And then editing projects keep coming up that I keep saying yes to -It's habitual for me to always have some editing project I'm working on. They slip into my email and I do them. It's comfortable and comes easy but it's time to challenge myself with something I'm not good at now.

We had the flu last week and I got it the worst. I was in bed all Saturday and only got up to puke and lose other fluids. Conrad was home to take care of the kids. They scrounged on sugary foods and left a mess through out the house that would make rabid monkeys look tame.

Kids are happy and growing. Athena likes to pretend to be the mommy and she puts on my lip gloss many times a day. Yesterday I taught her that she can chew gum and wear lip gloss at the same time! When she pretends to be me I see myself through her eyes. The other day she dutifully scanned the stud finder across the pictures on the wall. Once that chore was done she climbed in my bed upstairs.

She informed me, "I have to take a little rest. If you come in here I'll give you a wittle spankin'"
"Okay" I said, trying not to laugh at the exact words that always come out of my own mouth when I'm trying to take a much needed nap.
She came downstairs ten minutes later.
"What are you going to do now?" I asked her
"I'm going to work on my cup-uter." She said, a serene but decisive look on her face.

Later - "Why did you put Carson in his room?"
"I'm putting Carson in his room because this toy is stupid." - hmm is that how my reasoning comes across to her? Yikes.

During lunch: "Mom! Look I have power!" - she said, her fingers all pointed in my direction.
"What kind of power?"
"Red Power. And Carson has orange power, and Daddy has green power," she said.
"What kind of power do I have?" I asked.
"You don't have power," she replied.
"Athena, what's power?" I asked.
"Power is a drink," she answered.

Later- "Mommy. I'm sorry I puke in your room. It was a lot of puke, and I'm sorry to do that puke... it was yellow." - I checked my room. No puke. Whew!

Carson is very clingy lately. He's got diarrhea and doesn't want to eat much. When he doesn't smell like sneeze he has his usual baby sweetness. I know he is a small toddler, yet I still cradle him like a baby and he loves it. I love to squeeze his little cheeks lightly and just hold them. He is a cuddler! He loves his bink and a soft thick blanket to cuddle with. I like to watch his face change as he watches tv or as he plays. He also likes to chase the vacuum cleaner. He can walk, but he is in no hurry to do it so he crawls for now. Carson is a big boob; he will cry about any owie and he likes to be babied. I like to baby him, but sometimes I say, "you're okay ham-bone." After dinner sometimes he smells like a 'ham-bone' or a 'beef-cake' because he likes to rub whatever he is eating all over his face and head.

We play monster and he runs from me. I muster up my deepest scary voice, "FEEee FIE FOE FUM! Here I come to spank your BUM!" or 'get your tum!' They scream and scatter. The kids love to jump and play on Athena's bed. It's the 'fun place.' Carson and Athena will be roommates in August because new baby will come two months after that. I've already re-arranged her room and Carson's toddler bed will be arriving next week! I'm excited to set it up but I will miss his being in a crib and the control that gives me over his sleeping schedule. This boy could be in a crib for sooo much longer. He is not a limit tester and he would not try to climb out, but new baby gets here Oct 10th. (Due date is 10-10-10) We find out May 14th what we're having! :)