The Tovsky Tribe

Chocolates, Cocktails, Friends, Babies...A Girl Should Never Have Just ONE!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Mine and Todd's approach to parenting is one that is not common amongst the parents we know. Our friends will describe us, to our faces anyway, as "laid back" in comparison to their self described "neurotic!" I am often told I am patient beyond belief, particularly during the craziness that was otherwise known as twin toddlerhood. Of course, those same people were probably not within the four walls of my home at about 430 pm when all the patience I may or may not have had earlier was suddenly and scarily replaced by worn nerves and frustration.
But, despite having moments where, of course, I lose my cool I do try to maintain a patient (somewhat) and laid-back demeanor when handling my trifecta.
Patience is required when two three year olds believe getting dressed for school should be at a marathoners pace as opposed to a sprinters.  Patience is required for the boy who talks more than he listens, another whose mind is often off, somewhere else, perhaps swinging from "his" webs, and yet another whose love of dumping boxes and containers is reaching its apex.
If I lost my patience too easily than the shenanigans of three little boys would have my undies in a bunch all too often.
But, that aside, our method of parenting, we believe, allows our kids to be who they want to be while learning, through experiences.  Our goal, as most people's, is to raise good boys, and hopefully good men, filled with confidence and not with fear.
It's true, I have let my kids learn that steps can be dangerous by, dare I admit it, falling down one or two.  My intention is not to send my kids off to the ER, in fact I am usually nearby to break the fall, but my belief is that children don't learn by you telling them it is dangerous- those words just peak their curiousity.  And, they won't learn the extent of life's dangers if I am behind their every step, never letting them trip up even once.  I believe that they learn best by doing, by experiencing.  Before you go calling the authorities on us, let me be clear that I do not use this same method of parenting/learning for the rule of no playing in traffic!  But, yes, we give our kids a long leash to learn with and we are, so far, happy with the results.
Our boys have a lot of freedom to explore, to learn by touching, feeling, and doing. We let them go as far as we can before putting our foot down, when necessary. Many may say I do not have it in me, to discipline with any sort of authority. Three years ago I would have said the same thing. But, as it turns out, I do. I do because it is important to me that beneath the laughter, the fun, the chaos, the sometimes wild always energetic boys, is a core of respectable, well-mannered, and kind children. It is more important to me than most things.
Todd and I demand manners, always.  We demand respect.  We punish when necessary and we don't backdown. We do not always get these things, they are afterall, still just babies.   But, we demand it, and we imbed it into their minds, into their beings, and it will be part of the men they become. 
No, we don't punish often, and though we raise our voices we do not yell at them too often.  But, when we do, they know it.  They know they did something wrong and that there will be consequences. 
I hate seeing my boys cry. My heart cries with each of thier tears and if I was not trying to hold up a strong front I would probably be bawling myself. But, sometimes, you must let them cry.
Yes, they test us.  All of the time.  And, though I can be a sucker at moments, mostly for the little things, never, ever do I give in on any of the big things.  Whiners don't get.  Hitters or biters go to their room.  Bad language gets soap.  Aggressive behaviour is unacceptable.  Poor table manners, ultimately, gets your food removed and disrespect lands you with some consequences.  The degree of the crime is directly related to the degree of the punishment.
Kids will be kids, boys will be boys, and they should be.  I admit it, I want them to get into a little bit of trouble, otherwise they would lack the curiousity necessary to grow.  Every child has their moment of bad behaviour that is typical of babyhood, toddlerhood, or a pre-schooler, and I try not to deflate their confidence for these normal acts.  I tell them NO, and move on.  It's the bigger stuff.  The stuff that molds them.  That's what I see as the most important, that's what has triggered the disciplinarian in the non-confrontational me!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In the Closet!

When we bought our house it came with very overgrown landscape (which we quickly replaced),
all switches; TV's, alarms, lights, etc, wired to the computer (which we quickly deactivated since we are not that technically sound),
Four rooms with as many shades of brown and all of the others white, and three sets of broken sliding closet doors. We knew we had our work cut out for us as we slowly began (and have yet to finish) the renovations room by room by room. Then we had twins, who became wall writing toddlers, then a baby to follow in his brothers footsteps and the renovations got, well, delayed.
But, the closet doors seemed like such an easy fix.
For the last 5 years we utilized closet doors that when opened fell right off the track. Sometimes my toes caught them before they hit the floor. Putting something away in the closet was actually stressful, so jackets stayed on seat backs and doors remained open.
Two things I can't stand.
Last week Todd fixed the doors. A sudden DIY urge overtook his otherwise hire the guy attitude!  I feel as if we live a new life of luxury.  The quiet slide of the doors.  A place to hang coats.  Toes free of jamming.  It is hard to believe we lived  years any other way.  Now, if we can just renovate the kitchen!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Letter to my Son on his 11th Month Birthday!!

Dear Turner,

Eleven months, Happy birthday!  You are an amazing little boy, so sweet, so happy, so unbelievably cute!!  You are pleasant as can be, almost always, despite being dragged around at a schedule that does not appeal to you.  You play wonderfully by yourself, though you love playing with your brothers more than anything else.
You mostly eat table food now and seem to enjoy everything we give you.  Two weeks ago you were unable to feed yourself.  One morning (it was a Monday) you decided you were ready and now you feed yourself most meals.  You love pizza and meatballs.  You've had cream cheese and jelly and enjoyed it.  There hasn't been anything that you seem to refuse, though I know that day will be here soon.
We haven't, though we need to, practiced with the sippy cup much and as your first birthday approaches I realize that if you do not master the cup you can not give up the bottle.
You can sit quietly and patiently and you can also babble up a storm, usually in a loud voice.
You love to laugh, are still very ticklish, and can get into absolute hysterics over any silly thing your brothers do.
Most often you are standing, holding on to anything that will allow.  You are still trying to stand up on your own but have not quite mastered it.  You can, however, stand without holding on for a few seconds.  You love to clap and will clap, then laugh, out of nowhere.  Your claps are usually followed by a "hoooooraaayyy" from mommy!  You love music and will start to dance the minute you hear your first note.  You do a cute little shake with your shoulders and you immediately grin ear to ear.
You can climb the steps, flawlessly and quickly, and do it with delight.  The whole way up you smile and giggle and you are so very proud when you reach the top. At the top, it seems you have learned to stop and wait for help (thankfully) and are even attempting to go down backwards.
One thing that we found you do not like is the parachute.  We do the parachute every week at gym (and once at music) and you do not like it one bit.  This is made clear to us by the shriek and tears that immediate follow the first movement of the spinning parachute.  This is the only time I've seen you cry like this.  But, you do love the rest of the bugs class at the Little Gym, and though you are less of a climber than Ryder was at your age you are certainly very active and love to move around.  In fact, changing your diaper has become quite the challenge in that you are constantly moving and twisting your little body.
Although you seem to be paying attention the the words  we are saying and the way our mouths move when we speak I am not sure that you have mastered too many words yet.  We think we have heard ball more than once and Uncle Jay swears he heard you say fan just yesterday.  Chase, whose verbal skills have always been well beyond his years, is convinced that you have said a number of things, including Spider-man, all of which he has taught you to say!
Without fail if we ask how big Turner is we always get a response of a dimpled smile and two arms thrown up in the air.  Of course we also get this same response to the question "how old are you?" but we are working on the pointed finger.  We still have four weeks to master it.  And, though you laugh at peek-a-boo, you have not yet done it yourself. You love to bang your hands when we chant, "bang, bang, bang, on your drum, drum, drum!
You seem to like books though not necessarily reading them.  Mostly just turning the pages, eating them and putting them on your head.
Your hair continues to come in thick, and light, and curly.  Very curly.  Your eyes are still that stormy blue, or gray, or green, depending on the moment.  People seem to think you are past the point of change, but we will see if we are still heading towards brown.
Mommy and daddy went on a much needed four day getaway this month.  We loved it, though we missed you, and you and your brother's seemed to enjoy your time with your grandparents.  We celebrated Thanksgiving (on mommy and daddy's 6 year anniversary) and it was wonderful to have the family over for a feast.  Daddy, cousin Jamie, and I cooked up a delicious meal and we all had a lot of fun!  Chase, Ryder, Delaney, and Madden had a blast playing together.  It wont be long, turner, before you take part in all of the fun, alongside your cousins, and you will have the thrill of growing up to close cousins, like both your father and I had.  This year for Thanksgiving, we enjoyed the company of Aunt Bonnie. She was thrilled to meet you for the first time and we were thrilled to share stories and laughs with her.  I do believe you charmed her enough that she may start calling you by your given name, and not just your initials.
We helped the Klaus' decorate their Christmas tree and we all had a great time.  Daddy and i, and Aunt Beth and Uncle Dave, loved seeing you guys play with Jackson and we look forward to the growing friendship you will hopefully develop with him.
 We sent out your birthday party invitations and we are excited for the day despite how it came about so quickly.
The months may pass quickly and chaotically but, Turner,  you are the calm of the storm.  You have a demeanor that is soothing, and peaceful, and happy.  you are pleasant and pleasing and it is impossible for me not to smile when I'm with you, holding you, hugging you, loving you. 

You are my sweet baby boy, and every moment of every day I am so proud to be your mommy.
I love you so, Turner Luke.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Friend-ship sailed

I am on the train to New York City. I am amongst the late commuters who do this daily. The parking attendant, in the distant lot F, laughed at me when I asked why I couldn't park in the garage. "That's all full dear!" He said, chuckling. I forgot it is a Tuesday morning.
I am going to New York, sadly, for a funeral. My friends Aunt died. A close aunt. Her mom's sister! When I think about how that relates in my own families I shiver.
I am doing this trip alone because the friend I normally travel to NY with for such events and the friend I am going to see are no longer friends. And so, it has me thinking a lot about friendship.
I have always taken the role of "friend" seriously. I try to be the best friend I can be, always. But, still, it is always in my own way,the best way I know how. That is what I expect in return. Sometimes, unfortunately, the best someone has to offer is not enough, or is too much, for another person and that is when things can go awry.
Maintaining friendships over years, decades, is hard work. Lives are busy and it can be a total scheduling conflict to see your best friend. Friendships are sometimes lost by a slow and gradual drift, one which leaves no hard feelings but still a friendship becomes no longer. Other times, as in the case with my two friends, something circumstantial happens that one or both parties feels too much pain, or hassle, or betrayal, or all to overcome and the friendship is buried hastily and forever.
I've had severed friendships. I am not proud of this but it has happened. Most lost friendships, in my case, are the usual spread over time and, though sad, I know that if I were to see any of those people right now it would be business as usual, hugs, kisses, and laughs!!
I've also had relationships severed because nothing good comes from the friendship anymore. It is no secret that not all relationships are meant to last forever. And so, you move on. It is sad but what I am finding is it is less sad for the splitting friends than it is for the people they have in common. The splitting friends are making the conscious decision to go separate ways whether on good terms or not, those of us around the departed are left to deal with awkwardness of remaining friends with both, of trying not to choose sides, and with having to now, ride the train to NYC solo to pay funeral respects.
Friendships, relationships, are complicated things. You think they are personal, which they are, but is amazing how every relationship between two people actually has a direct effect on a whole circle of people around it.