Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reluctant Skier

I'm sitting in the parking lot of a ski hill as I write this. SuperstormDebbie has temporarily been downgraded to LittleDebbie. She's napping to make up for the sleep she didn't get in our bed last night. Too bad we can't do the same...

BestestHusband is on the hill with HeyMama and MeToo. They were going to do lessons and work their way up to the chair lift. I have a limited view from the front seat here, but I haven't seen them yet. 

We went skiing last weekend. MeToo learned to side-step her way up inclines and pick herself up when she fell.  Not bad for a few hours of work. HeyMama gained a lot more control and confidence, and successfully raced a kid down the hill. On the chair lift up, he'd been bragging about how long he'd been skiing and how good he was. We were excited to see that the bragging stoked a competitive fire in HeyMama. She totally smoked him. 

The fact that I got on skis last week is noteworthy. I do not like skiing. I can ski. I grew up taking long road trips to NM to learn, and I became quite competent. But there's a reason I stopped skiing when I left home. I don't really enjoy it. It's cold. I don't like being cold. It's a lot of work. It requires a lot of equipment. It's expensive. And did I mention that it's cold?

Over the years, different boyfriends said, "But if you go skiing with me, you'll have fun." They were wrong. 

So I warned BestestHusband not to even try. Wisely he listened. 

I was not planning to ski again. 

But then I had kids. And they were bundled up in bright pink snowsuits, excited to ski with their daddy. And they needed a lot of help. Both of them. At the same time. So, nauseous and outfitted in a ski bib purchased to accommodate a new growing belly, I got on skis again. I was so miserable, for so many reasons. But the girls were not. And I realized that I would have to be a skier again. Sigh. Two bright eyed little girls accomplished what grown men could not. They made me try to be someone I'm not. 

So two years later I again clicked into skis and slowly wedged my way down a bunny slope. And when LittleDebbie wakes up, I'll pull another future skier on a sled to watch her sisters make careful turns down the hill. I'm going to be a skier. A reluctant one. But I'll be a skier again. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Am Schniggleboop

I've heard it said that there's no more precious sound in the world than to hear your child call you "Mama". 

I think that the first time I heard each of my children say it, I would have agreed with that statement.

But not so much anymore.

I think I genuinely enjoyed the first 100 times I heard each child say "Mama". But now, I think I hear it 100 times before 8am. And it's lost a bit of its charm. 

I think one problem is that it's so easy to say. Say it to yourself. 
You don't have to do much work to say it. In fact, you can say it 10 times in a row with little effort. Incidentally, this is part of an aphasia testing battery that I use at work. If a patient can't say "Mama" several times in a row within a short span of time, their severity rating gets worse. It's just too easy to say. 

Perhaps due to its ease in utterance, it's become a habitual first word for MeToo. 
"Mama, know what Vivian said at school today?"
"Mama, look at my milk. I drank it all!"
"Mama, I mean Daddy, look at my finger!"
"Mama, I mean Cameron, go away. You stink!"
It's a default sentence starter, even when she's not talking to me. 

So I decided that I need to chance my name to something more challenging. 

Like Schniggleboop. 

The "oo" is pronounced as in "book", not like in "poop". And if you don't pronounce it correctly, I don't have to answer to it. 

HurricaneDebbie can't say it 20 times in a row. Nor can she scream it at the dinner table while the rest of us are trying to talk. MeToo doesn't start every sentence with it. HeyMama can't say it without giggling, so there's overall less talking. 

So far, it's a win.

And when they can all pronounce it, I'll just have to find something else to replace it with.
Until then, I'll start learning an African click language. Struggling with that should keep them at bay, at least for a few days. Wish me luck.