Dear Maura, please stop growing

4 Feb

Okay, I don’t mean forever – though now that we’re the same height, I’m thinking she’s tall enough, and can stop growing upwards.

But she probably will be taller than me. It’s a fact I’ve embraced as the short person I’ve always been.

However, I need her to stop growing for a period of time. One long enough for me to delve into the pit of despair that is the (clean) laundry pile and sort out what doesn’t fit her anymore. Which is a lot. Because she keeps growing and keeps wanting to wear things that don’t quite fit her anymore.

“That’s too small honey.” I say.

“No!” she insists.


Even when she can admit that yes, she’s outgrown something, she forgets that and by the next week she’s trying to get herself into that outgrown item. Which is how she got stuck in a sweater the other week.

I know, I should be able to just Konmari things, pile all her clothes on the bed, and sort them quickly. But I must do that while she’s at school, or at least out of sight. Then, I must be able sneak those things out in the cover of darkness, where she won’t see. While making sure any other teen sibling who is told to fold the current pile of clean laundry on the table doesn’t fill Maura’s drawers with clothes that don’t fit because I didn’t beat them to the pile.

Oh, and let’s be honest – with all the other “fun” stuff I get to do on a daily basis in this indentured servitude vocation we call motherhood, it’s not the highest thing on my priority list. It’s getting there though. Because the clothing wars are beginning to rule our mornings, and I’m trying to make mornings less of a battle.

So if you don’t hear from me, I’m either trapped under a pile of hopefully clean laundry, or in a death match with Maura over a plaid skirt that no longer fits but she refuses to give up.

And maybe we’ll find the gym shoes we lost last week. That would be nice. Though she can fit into my shoes now, and not stretch them out like other teen girls in the house <cought>mim<cough>

Growing out the bob and rocking her outfit - that's my girl there! (Autumn 2011)

#TBT Maura’s favourite outfit from Autumn 2011 – she insisted on buying this outfit, then rocked it. 

Being stylish

2 Feb

Maura loves clothes and clothes shopping and picking out her own outfits to express her individuality. So, you know, normal tweeny girl.

However, because of Maura’s super-bendy fingers and motor planning issues, choosing clothes that help boost her independence can get tricky. Anything with buttons or zips or snaps tend not to be chosen, as clothes have to be easy to pull on or off. She also doesn’t like anything pressing on her belly, cause sensory issues.

Which is why you find this middle-aged mother wandering the junior sections of different stores, trying to find just the right thing for her girl to wear. This year’s style of what I’d consider jogging pants have come in handy – they’re cute, elastic waist, come in denim, easy to put on. Regular jeans have been out of the question since we want to grow her independence.

However, last year, her old teacher said something when I mentioned how we were having issues finding pants for Maura. “Have you tried maternity pants?”

No. But then we found the many styles of jogging and yoga pants and Maura was happy.

Meanwhile, in a desperate last minute search for Halloween costume parts, the only white pants we could find for the girl’s costume were from the sale rack in Target…and were maternity style. But not old school, giant belly panel maternity. No, this was made to fit more under the belly, with two sides of elastic waist, making them easy to stretch.

Maura walked in wearing them one day, able to put them on herself, and I thought of what her teacher had said.

Yesterday, at Target, I grabbed a couple pairs of means from the maternity section, the ones with the elastic sides. Maura was easily able to slide the pair on herself, and they fit around her tummy comfortably. We paired it off with a new tunic top. And just like that, we’re able to do jeans again with Maura, who loves wearing jeans.

So if anyone else is in a similar boat, this might work for you guys as well. And right now, they have a buy one/get one half off sale on all women’s jeans at Target, including these.

from – these are the style we got















So yeah, as usual, we have to go off the beaten path a little with Maura. But at least in this aspect, the path is still to Target, or as Maura calls it “Store? I LOVE STORE!”

Now to order her more jeans.








Today’s life lesson was for me

29 Jan

At 5 am, my bedroom door opened. Having been a parent for the past almost 20 years now, I became instantly awake.

Sure enough, Maura entered, carrying her favorite white lantern with the battery-operated candle. She glided in, holding the white lantern with its flickering flame out in front of her, as if she was leading a procession of some sort.

“Hi Maura.”


I glanced at the time. 5:08 am. Way too early to deal with that yellow ocean creature. “How about we snuggle and go back to sleep?” I suggested as I made room for her in my bed.

Maura placed the lantern on the bedside table and we laid there, fake candle flickering. My goal was to keep as quiet and still as possible and bore her back to sleep. Maura hummed to herself, tried to steal my blanket, tucked both of us in, and after about an hour, fell back to sleep.

Thirty minutes later my morning alarm went off.

A part of me wanted to cry. I had plans for that day. Not big plans, but basic “get stuff done” plans. Go all Konmari on my bedroom. Go to the gym. Drink all the coffee. But instead, I was dealing with broken sleep and a girl who was now passed out next to me, and I was desperately trying to keep asleep.

I thought about canceling my gym appointment. See, twice a week, I meet with a personal trainer, who lets me curse at him while I exercise. I don’t particularly enjoy going to the gym – I mean, I don’t hate it, and luckily, the company is awesome. But I need to do this, because Maura’s getting bigger and stronger, and I’m getting older and weaker and more likely to pull muscles. I have also found that going to the gym lessens the likelihood of pulling those muscles, which is a good thing. Because of Maura, I must live forever, and to live forever, I must make lifestyle changes while I’m still physically healthy (because, despite being in the BMI category of “obese”, I’m actually one of those healthy fat people, with low blood pressure and normal sugar levels and all that. So I should try working to keep it that way, huh?)

But at 6:30 am, the idea of going to the gym was awful. I felt like crap, overtired, a little disorientated because of all the interrupted sleep and trying to figure out if I send Maura to school on time, or let her sleep. I finally chose to let her sleep and sneaked into the bathroom to call the bus depot to let them know not to show up this morning, then crawled back into bed, and finally fell back asleep.

We woke again at almost 9 am. I got Maura off to school, and got myself a large coffee to hug. I was awake, my day had finally been able to start.

And so I went to the gym.

Because I realized something – if I ditched the gym every time Maura upset my daily grind, well, I’d never go. Because Maura is like her parents – not a great believer in schedules. And really, I’m okay with that. I think I’d be more stressed out if she was one of those kids who was a slave to their schedule, so her being more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants type of girl works for us.

But it means I must adjust things at times. My day, my plans, my way of thinking. It’s okay, I’m the grown-up, I understand that it has to be me who adapts as well, if not more so.

It seems like when it comes to motherhood, so many times, we moms put ourselves last, because we have the mindset of “When the kids are grown, then I can do the things I want or need to do.” Which is a bit questionable of a mindset as is. For me? Well, we know that Maura will live with us forever. There is no time when we have an empty nest, the whole “when the kids are grown” thing is mythical to us. And we’re okay with that. In a way, it’s freeing. We’ll never be childless, so we are making up Plan B as we go along.

Which means sometimes, I will be dragging my tired arse to the gym, even though I feel like death and am not quite sure what day it is.



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