Little Annoyances. Maybe some not so little.

I was paging back through my posts from last January.  Today is the 25th of Jan 2010.  I didn’t write on Jan 25, 2009 last year.  The book ends on either side was an OCD post about children’s messy rooms and losing my mind.  um, memory.  Today I feel like I’m losing my mind.

I told someone recently that I want to let go of a few things in the house and not be all OCD.  I used the kitchen sink as an example.  Seeing dirty dishes, clean to be put away, or recycling – it makes me twitch. 

Yeah……  on second thought, that isn’t going to be the one. 

I’m really doing my best to let A have her room her way.  I’m really trying people, I really am.  She’s back to sleeping in her “tent” on the floor.  Her perfectly good twin bed is piled with clothes (clean and dirty), books and random papers.  It looks like her closet threw up all over the floor.  I am not kidding – the door is open and toys are spilling out onto the carpet.  She constantly loses one of a pair, the connector of whatever toys, 2 pieces of a puzzle.  She sometimes gets really upset about it, to which I respond if you put that thing away like I asked it wouldn’t be lost right now.  Oh – and the multiple glasses of water – OMG the water!  (by the way – I am aware I wrote about this before, it persists)

Part of my current anguish stems from New Year’s.  I went in her room about 9am.  Norman came by around 11:30 to ask what I was doing and now the whole agenda of the day had changed.  And you know what, I was barely through half of the cleaning I wanted to do!  I was able to trash a bunch of stuff that just needed to go.  A joined me at some point and was doing a good job of putting things where I directed her.  We were also able to select a nice sized bag of toys for charity.  She did poke around inquiring about missing stuff.  The only thing I dug out of the trash were a bazillion folded up mini post-it notes.  She went into explaining their purpose in her round-about 6 2/3 year old way.  Cannot tell you what it was, I stopped listening at some point.

I never got back into the room that day to complete my task.

Every time I enter the room now I resist with all my might to start putting things away.  Lost library books should not be my problem to fix.  Misplaced reading lights are not my responsibility.  Scratched CDs floating about the room is not my deal when they start skipping.  Water spills on dolls, blankets and paper with marker drawings are hers to clean up.

How am I doing?  Is this step big enough?  How long until someone is knocking at my door telling me it’s time to let go of another OCD “problem”?

 

p.s. – if anyone out there knows how to get an original drawing done with a Sharpie off of a wood dresser, please let me know.

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things my daughter says

It’s fun to watch as your kidlet develops more of their personality and sense of humor.  Living with two, sarcastic, (former) East Coast parents is setting quite the stage for A.  Here are some gems…

Stage:  School lunch.  Parent helper in the classroom.  We had pieces of vanilla/chocolate chip cake in the freezer to pop into her lunch box from time to time, when we’re feeling generous…
Helper – wow A, that sure looks like a good treat!  What is that?
A – My daddy calls it cake.

Stage:  Woodland Park Zoo, somewhere along a path.  Black crow on the fence.  Norman has affectionately named two crows that hang out by our house Fred & Ethel.  We like to joke that they follow us around.
Me – Hey A, look, Fred came with us to the zoo today!
A – (exasperated) No Mommmmm….that’s Ethel.  Jeez!

A – Why do you even say Maybe?!  Maybe always means No!!
Me – (no response)

Stage: Dinner time. Norman and I are having our “adult” conversation after A has already been excused.  She has been playing around with a loose tooth for a few days.  A comes running downstairs mumble-screaming…
A – People!!  Hello people!  People look at this!!
A is holding a small bloody tooth in her hand, slobbering, with a big-ass cheesy grin

Stage: Picking up A from the YMCA talking about the new year, 2010.
A – How do you say the year?  Like, is it 2-0-1-0?  Or something else.
Me – Typically people would say either twenty-ten or two-thousand ten.
A – Wow.  So, what happens when it’s two-zero-nine-nine?  What’s the next year?
Me – That would be 21-hundred, or two-thousand-one-hundred.  But people will more likely say 21-hundred
A – Will I be alive then?
Me – You could be, you would be pretty old, but you could be.  Not me and Daddy though, we won’t be around then.
A – So then, what happens at two-nine-nine-nine?  What’s the next year?
Me – That would be the year three-thousand.
A – NO WAY!  That’s like – infinity!  It just keeps going?
Me – Yes, the years keep ticking by, at some point, the year will have 5 numbers in it instead of 4.
A – So will I be alive in the year 3000?
Me – I don’t think so.  You would be almost a thousand years old.  Unless there is some crazy science-technology thing sometime soon, you won’t be alive then.
A – Good!

I should write these down more often.

Another Installment of When I Rule The World

Did anyone see that Octomom interview last night?  I’m disgusted.  Yes, I found it all fascinating from a media and cultural perspective when she had the babies.  I would really rather not fan her flames any longer.  She’s got issues and needs to deal with that and 14 kids.  Not national television or reality shows.

I saw about 4 minutes of it while flipping through channels last night.  I happened to be on the station when she was ranting at John & Kate Plus 8.  Granted, that 10-some has their own issues and I’m not writing about that now.  So here is what I see.  She’s on the bed, there were 4 or 5 crying babies on the bed around her, one attached to her breast feeding, not sure where the rest of them were.  Her other kids – one was sitting on the crib railing, a few were wrestling on the floor, not sure where the rest of them are.  Can only imagine how hard it is to keep tabs on 14 kids.

Anyhoo….Octomom was ranting on Kate about having 8 kids and she shouldn’t complain and blah blah blah.  Um…Octobitch…you should be careful where you are throwing stones.  Kate was married when she had her kids.  Kate has a husband/ex who is still the dad of 8 kids and still shows up to be part of that family.  As messed up as her life is, Kate is providing for her children and focused on being a mom (when she isn’t a reality star or on a book tour).  I tend to believe the stories I read about Kate.  Yes, I get she can be a bitch.  But what wife hasn’t lashed out at her husband in the face of life and children.  Do we really all believe she acted that way 100% of the time?  Personally, I don’t think so.  Also tend to believe the stories about John.  Got married earlier, has lots of kids, pressures of reality fame and scrutiny…and is out sowing his oats.  Seems more apparent that both had a hand in their marital troubles huh?

OK – I did get sidetracked there – didn’t mean to write about those two.  So back to my original intent:

Kate has a support structure around her to care for her children that were born out of a relationship and (hopefully) love.  She has not gone through ump-teen invitro procedures, when there was not a clear path of support.  And this doctor – what sane, professional, up-standing medical doctor would implant a woman with 8 more knowing she had 6 at home and no husband or boyfriend (or girlfriend) or support system.  She lives with her parents.  She relies on their support.  Didn’t the house go into foreclosure when she was in the hospital?

This woman needs serious help.  Badly.  Or she is going to mess those kids up!  Can’t you see the headlines 12-15-20 years from now?  Octobaby arrested for X, Y and Z….

To the title of this post – people like Octomom won’t be allowed to mess up another child.
It sick how many people that should not have children have children. 
Or ones that desperately want one struggle and go to the most extreme measures to conceive or adopt.
It’s not fair. 

It’s an injustice I would like to change When I Rule The World.

Patience is not my virtue

Yesterday, A and I went out for errands – library, grocery shopping, playing in water fountains, etc.  In the middle of this, lunch needed to happen.  So we went to a local place in Redmond, diner-like, breakfast all day, you know the type.

I’m tired.  More importantly hungry. Probably 15 minutes past my safe zone – nerves are shot, eyes sinking into my skull, trying to think clearly enough to order food fast for both of us.  A likes to get the french toast and egg.  No surprise, this is what she orders.  Few minutes later, food delivered.

A decides she wants to pour the syrup from the jar into the little bowl the jar was delivered in.  All is fine until she stops pouring and starts inspecting the jar, turning it in her hand.  I tell her to put the syrup down right away.  She looks at me with that devious face.  Right NOW! as I point my finger exactly on the table where she should place the jar.  But no….she wants to lick off the spot of syrup she found on her wrist. Can you see it coming?  She turns her wrist to lick, the jar goes from vertical, past horizontal, quickly towards the 180 degree angle.  Syrup pours down her arm and onto her dress.  “A!  I told you to put the syrup down.  You don’t listen to me, and now you have syrup all over you!”

And the reality of the 6 year old sitting across from me kicks in. 

She’s 6!  I am way to hard on this kid.  I am a horrible mother.
(have you heard this tape before?)

We go about lunch and grocery shopping.  We get home, unpack and start doing puzzles together. 

Side note – we both love puzzles. I think we could spend all day in the dining room doing puzzles together.  She’s mastered the 300 piece, it might be time for the 500

I look at her “A?”

“Yes?”

“I wanted to apologize for snapping at you at the restaurant.  I was very frustrated that you were not listening to me and that resulted in the accident.  I lost my temper and I’m sorry.”

“That’s OK Mommy.”

“I should not have lost my temper.  I’ll try to better next time.”

“I know Mommy, it’s OK.”  She smiles that smile of love and goes back to her puzzle.

Can I please crawl under a rock now?  Could I feel any more worse?  We are fire and ice.  Such the typical mother/daughter dynamic.  Have I mentioned she’s 6?  Feel like I really have my work cut out for me here.  Time to commit.

Mama Bear educates on“true” friends

I live on a small street, only 4 houses.  Only one other family has kids, younger than A.  Another is a single family, seems-to-be-renting-rooms-and-is-that-in-our-bylaws?  The last is an older couple, kids grown, grandkids come to visit.  And of course us!

One of the mentioned grandkids is a few years older than A.  I think she is 9?  Old enough that A is taken by her age and will do almost anything the girl asks.  When they were both younger, it was innocent.  Riding bikes, playing hopscotch, tag…all seemed OK. 

Now it’s a different game. 

Last weekend, A was in quiet time and talking out her window to this girl.  Who, in our parental opinion, was not respecting the request that A was in quiet time and to come back later.  She stayed on the side walk, responding to A (not initiating questions mind you), and blatantly ignoring Norman.  Who was in the driveway.  And telling A to go back to quiet time and not respond to this girl.  One would think this girl would get the picture and come back later.  How would you respond if you heard a friend’s Dad say, “A, you are in quiet time and should not be talking to your friend.  If you continue talking with her, you will lose privileges!”  If I overheard that, I would be outta there at lightening speed.  But maybe that’s just me and time spent in South Jersey. 

Later that afternoon, A asked if she could go outside and play with this girl.  I told her yes, and was explicit that when mom or dad call her in, she comes right away.  None of that lolly-gagging she usually engages in.  She agreed.

Norman and I were talking in the living room about a variety of household items.  He went to start dinner.  I stood up, look out my front window, and what do I see?  This girl, standing in the street with A.  Like any sane adult, we don’t let A play in the street.  She won’t even chase a ball into the street.  Come on! 

Anger flames after the earlier incident at the window.  So I start towards the door ready to sternly tell A to get her butt inside.  I get to the front door and what do I see then?  Appears A is crying, looking at her legs.  This other little girl is lifting up her dress looking at her legs.  WTF?!?!  I open the door.  Now it’s very apparent that A is crying, screaming and in pain.  I go over to them and ask what happened.

“My friend wanted us to run down the hill.  When I started down the hill I ran through pricklies. I have thorns all over and in me Mommy!”  I look at her legs and see long scratches, blood, multiple tiny thorns sticking out.  OMG – I tell A we are going inside so we can get them out.  I don’t even acknowledge this other kid.

In the kitchen, Norman has to hold A in his lap to get her to sit still and calm down.  I’m inspecting her legs with a tweezers and pulling out all the thorns.  I pulled out at least 10, likely there were more.  A is screaming, more from the fear of pain than actually experiencing it.  While I’m taking them out, we ask her the story.

Come to find out that after A ran through the thorny bush, this little girl didn’t want to stop playing.  Or tell an adult.  She told A that they could keep going and not to worry about what happened.  That she wasn’t really hurt.  That her mom and dad didn’t need to come outside.  I can totally see the calm face, not fear of getting in trouble, but crazy control freak bending A to her will.

Again – I say – WTF????

We got A all cleaned up, bactine wash, ice.  Made her dinner.  All sat down to watch a show.  Getting her off to bed early for more sleep.  Thankfully she crashed, rather busy day for A.

Once back downstairs, the fire inside roared.  I was so angry at this kid.  So irritated at her mother and grandparents.  Where is this kid’s common sense?  Forget that – decency!  Where is the decency?!  Norman just let me go off.  He’s never liked this kid. I didn’t even get an I Told You So.

The next day we talked to A about good friends who care for you, like to play, and know when to stop.  We gave examples (more than prickly bushes) when this other girl didn’t have A’s safety or best interests in mind.  We gave even more examples of the friends that are really true friends.  A said she is unlikely going to play with this girl anymore. (yay!)

This past Saturday I saw this girl on her bike circling in front of the house.  A didn’t know she was there.  I gave that Parental Look.  The one that says – Stay the hell away from my kid!  You are no longer welcome!

School trips

Last week I helped out with A’s classroom trip to Mukilteo Beach.  Kindergartens searching tide pools for little critters from their last few weeks of lessons.  Also, an overview of the lighthouse and a trip up to the top.  I had a lot of fun.  It appears that the kids did too. 

I was thinking how she will never have the school trip experiences I did if  we remain in Washington.  NO, there aren’t any plans to move.  Sure, there’s lots more nature for her out here.  Hiking or snow or the Pike Place Market.  Lots of fun outings and learning opportunities.

You wondering what my trips were like?  I certainly didn’t appreciate them back then.  If *every* year of elementary school you went and saw the Liberty Bell, it may lose it’s specialness and appeal as well.  Or Independence Hall, Ben Franklin’s house – or the  Franklin Institute for that matter!  How many kids get a chance to walk through a human heart and see all it’s wonders?  (side note – I was seriously afraid of that exhibit until I was a teenager)

Yes, growing up outside of Philly gave my brother and I lots of opportunities to see first hand much of our nation’s history and development.  Maybe it lent to him being somewhat of a history buff.  Maybe it challenged me in a way art museums do not – the analyzer that I am.  Who knows?!

Luckily, we still have family in the area.  I’ll have to make it a point that she visits those fabulous places and understands the history multiple times as a child.  Not just that one-time visit to Philadelphia on a Family Vacation.

Add to To Do list – other learning opportunities, that aren’t local, I want to expose to my child.

Sanity Hacks of (fill in the blank) Mom

First and foremost – my friend Jen did a presentation at Ignite Seattle!  She deserves credit for the inspiration of this post.  Particularly since she did all the work anyway!

The last time Jen and I got together we had a chat about the Stay At Home Mom versus Employed Career Mom… 

sidebar – what the hell do you call mom’s that work at companies that pay them salaries and give benefits and such for their work?  because SAHMs – they *are* working moms too, so it doesn’t quite feel right to label myself that. and by no means do I imply a SAHM isn’t employed or have a career.  let’s not rat hole here shall we?

Our discussion was around this unspoken/spoken/ignored/acknowledged divide between the two types of moms.  Particularly seen in the Mommy Blog space.  Seems each camp has some beef with the other.  Making judgments about not being a good mom, setting the wrong example for the children, blah blah blah.  Gawd almighty!!  Do women need yet another category to create a chasm between us?  Can’t we support each other in choice?  Believe you and me – I could not do what SAHMs do. I totally respect women that raise their families in that fashion. 

So I watched the video the day it was published.  I really enjoyed Jen’s approach and her thoughts on sanity hacks.  I thought about it through the day, how particular passages were not only funny, but SO freaking true!  Example – I have seen Finding Nemo so many times, there have been entire screenings that I only watched one character the entire time.  Boy those Pixar people are masters at their craft!

The next day I had a different thought.

I could take that same deck, change up the pictures, replace one or two words – and do the presentation from the Employed Career Mom point-of-view. Really, each thing Jen focuses on to stay sane, I do the same thing to some degree.  The story would just be a bit modified.

Can we stop fighting against each other and start fighting together?

Maybe then – we can unite and get some REAL food in the school lunches.  Not the pre-packaged crap they serve now.  Maybe we could pool resources and networks and make the PTA unstoppable.  We should all show up at Olympia (or your respective capitals) and demand the kinds of laws, programs and initiatives that will protect our families, enrich our lives – and not have to battle for every 4 years or every budget shortfall.  (don’t get me started – school budget is another post all together!)

So really girls – we aren’t all that different are we?  Just stop and think about it ok?