The Olga is Strong in this One

Have I ever mentioned Olga on here? My great-grandmother, the most stubborn woman this world has ever seen? Well, my great-grandmother was the most stubborn woman this world has ever seen. A woman well before her time, she raised a child with Down Syndrome at a time when she was told to put her child in an institution and forget she was ever born. Yeah, Olga said no (I’ve heard what she said was quite colorful, actually). She was a tough woman who lived through the Great Depression, and her DNA is exceptionally strong in her female descendants. And it is REALLY strong in Izzy.

I can’t help but feel like Izzy gets the shaft when it comes to childhood. When Jacob was born, I worked a shift that allowed me to be with him in the mornings before taking him to daycare. This is the time we had our dance parties. We would run errands and have lunch together, or just hang out and snuggle after doing some chores. He had me all to himself. Zach’s turn for this was when Izzy started preschool. For a few hours in the morning, while the big kids were away, he had mommy. As is typical mommy fashion, I held a lot of guilt that the boys had this alone time with me, and Izzy never did.

Earlier this year, Zach started preschool in the afternoons. He is with a group of kids who all have varying levels of needs, and he has exploded in development since he started. It’s only been two months, and he’s a different kid. Still wonderful and awesome of course, but it’s like someone pushed the fast forward button. He has friends who get excited to see him, and when I drop him off he’s happy to see his teacher and the paras. He comes home happy and tired. When his PT and OT providers first brought up the idea of sending him to school after he turned three, I was glad there was a lapse between learning of this and when he would be able to start. It took about that long to wrap my head around sending my baby to school. I knew it was the right thing for him, but momma bear kinda came out and was ready to move us all to a commune. But I didn’t.

He was scheduled for an afternoon session. I had hoped for a morning session so all pick ups and drop offs could be executed with efficiency (when my sisters and I get together to make Christmas cookies, it is done with this German-like precision and efficiency, and we manage to take all of the fun out of it) and I could have a few hours to take care of things by myself. But, oh well. There was no overlap so there was plenty of time to pick up everyone without making myself crazy. And…this meant I finally had mommy and Izzy time.

So what have we done with our time? A lot. We have fancy lunches, which are made fancy by speaking with Fancy Nancy accents (according to Izzy), we go for walks, we take care of errands (whatever I can’t get done in the mornings with Zach), and sometimes we just sit and talk. She has an amazing imagination, and has a lot to say when Jacob isn’t there to speak for her. She has always been a mommy’s girl, and she deserves this time with me, to have all of my attention. The boys in this family have a way of stealing the limelight in one way or another, and it often feels like she and I get left behind.

She likes it when we have “girly afternoons,” where we go to lunch, shop a little bit, maybe paint our nails, and her favorite (which has me teary just thinking about it) is going to Target. Somehow I always forget in between, but taking her to Target is a complete nightmare. Imagine a lot of “MOMMY, BUY ME THIS! I HAVE TO HAVE IT! I’M NOT LEAVING UNLESS I CAN HAVE IT!!! YOU’RE THE WORST MOMMY IN THE WORLD IF YOU DON’T BUY THIS FOR ME!!!!!” over chapstick. Or a padlock. Or a box of wooden skewers. Somehow, we always have to walk past the toy section to get to where I need to go. Well played Target marketing department, well played.

I’ve seen just how much she is like me. And it’s a lot. So much so I’ve called my mom apologizing for my childhood. Again. Or I’ll call to vent about something she did or said, and then I can hear my mother smirking on the other end of the phone, while she says, “oh, is that annoying?” Very funny mom. I’m sure you called Grandma plenty of times about me. And God willing Izzy will someday have a daughter as awesome as she is (and her mother before her, and her mother before her, and her mother before her, and her mother before her). My mom used to say I was Olga reincarnated, but I’m pretty sure Izzy wins that one.

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