Saturday, August 29, 2009

And then this happens

Last week, as I was dropping the Wonderboy off at his summer camp, a thought occurred to me, "Hmm, not a lot of cars here this morning."  Also, "Hmm, where are the signs for Camp?"  So I call the office number and say, "Hi.  Is Camp over?" 
"Uh, yes.  The week ending the 14th was our last week." 

Ah.  You can just mail that Mother of the Year award out now, thankyouverymuch.  Luckily, I had that Thursday off anyway (and then I played hookey on Friday.)  But then we got to this week.

Long story, short - the two days that Wonderboy would have been in camp this past week (Thu and Fri), he was hanging out in my office instead.  Thursday was pretty stressful because our owner was on property for a meeting and even though the company has become way more kid-friendly over the years, as opposed to when I started and it was okay to bring your dog to work - but not your kid, I was still a bit on edge.  Luckily, the Mr. came to pick WB up at 2pm, so I managed to stay mostly sane.  However, I knew that on Friday the Mr. would be working late and the Boy would be with me the Entire Day.  So Thursday night as he was getting ready for bed he and I made a pinky promise that we would both try our very hardest not to get cranky with each other the next day.

And I have to say - we really did try - and we succeeded!  Yes there were a few moments -  when he was yelling to me from the back office that my cell phone was ringing while I was helping some customers - that were a little embarrassing.  But most of the people around when he was laughing out loud at some Looney Tunes cartoons he was watching thought it was pretty funny.  He listened.  The back talk and pouting were limited.  He only said he wanted to go home a couple of times.  Which I can't really blame him for - it's not a big office and we were there a full eight hours.  That's a lot to ask of any kid, nevermind an active six year old!

Not only that, it continued after we left.  We picked up the Pixie and they didn't fight or get on each other's case in the car ride home.  We stopped by my sister's for awhile and they both did some great turn-taking and sharing.  They held up for a late grocery store run for some pre-cooked dinners which they both ate without complaint.  A nice bath for the two of them, easy bedtime for the Pixie and a special treat for the boy and I after she was tucked in: Pre-season football in my bed until Daddy got home.

And as he fell asleep on my shoulder, all I could think of was, This is the best day we've had together in awhile.  We should make pinky promises more often!

Monday, August 24, 2009

"I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?"

Oh, sense of humor...where have you gone?  Okay, not really.  I know my sense of humor is intact.  I can be funny, I crack people up sometimes.  But that kind of funny is not what I am referring to.  What I seem to have lost is my sense of fun

You see, I am not the Fun Parent.  Not only am I not the Fun Parent, I find I am often the Shrill, Snappy Parent.  I'm not sure how I got here.  Yes, I harp on my kids about their manners, but so does the Mr. - we're equal opportunity that way.  Yes, okay - I am the stricter of the two, and I do tend to be the one who will actually stress about their behavior.  I don't necessarily have a problem with that;  it's the fact that I can't seem to just let go when it's a time where those things don't really matter. 

If we're all just hanging out at home, isn't it kind of funny when Wonderboy pretends to fall out of his chair for the twelfth time?   Or when the Mr. puts a napkin on his head and pretends he can't see the kids?  Or when we're having dinner and the Pixie, whose three, laughs so hard she lets out Man Size Burps?  (Actually, that's not a good example because that is ALWAYS hilarious.) 

Now I do have my particular issues with the Mr. and how he gets the kids riled up before putting them to bed.  I'm all for them playing around and tickling and all that - but I do think some hours of the day are better then others for that stuff.  But even when it's the middle of the day I find myself getting grouchy about it instead of jumping into the fray.  When the six year old asks, "Are you cranky?" I think it might be time to take a good hard look at why I've become such a Debbie Downer.  I had to bring my kids to work with me today (which I hugely appreciate being able to do), my boss was getting ready to leave and asked Wonderboy if I was as grouchy at home as I was at work. WTF?  Here I am worrying all day about the kids bothering someone and I get scolded for being grouchy!  And this from a bonafide grouch!  Jeebus.

I don't have an answer to the question right now.  But I'm aware of it and I think that's part of changing the behavior.  Honestly, I know I'm not going to suddenly become one of those crafty/game-playing/super imaginative parents. That's just not me.  However, I think I can start to try to ease up and relax a little bit.  I remember both of my parents as being fun.  Sure, my Dad played the role the Mr. is now - the tickling and wrestling and being silly - but my Mom was fun in her own way.  I think I just need to find my way, and try not to let the rest of daily life make me forget how to make my kids laugh.  Because I do realize how incredibly important that sound is to my own happiness.

(10 coolness points for the first person who comments on where the title quote comes from)

Friday, August 21, 2009

How little?

I was wondering the other day what the ratio of "little things" to "makes you happy" is considered to be normal. You know, on a range of people giving the "thank you wave" when you let them go ahead of you to a stranger saying "bless you" when you sneeze in a public place. Those all seem like pretty solid little things that proportionately give a nice feeling of happiness.

So what does it say about my life exactly that I was ecstatic the other night when I remembered I had purchased medium sized garbage bags for the trash can in the upstairs bathroom? Seriously, I was way too excited.

The Mr. was doing that ritual known as the Trash Round-Up. You know the one. The night before the morning the trash is picked up you go around and empty every trash can in the house. Other people do this too, right? I have memories from my youth as a child of my Dad making this round. Anyhoots, the trash can in our bathroom is not wicker, exactly. More wicker inspired...meaning it's got a lot of little holes in it. So it's really fun when there is no bag in there and perhaps someone (coughMrcough) has tossed a not quite empty Diet Coke can in there. Which then leaves a lovely little puddle, or even better - when I tip the trash up into a larger bag, sends drips flying all over the place. Like I need that extra bit of cleaning.

Wait - where was I? Oh yeah. So he comes in and empties the can, which I had lined with an old plastic shopping bag. That was when I remembered. THE MEDIUM BAGS! They fit this particular trash receptacle perfectly! No mess! Mo drips! The bag reaches all the way to the bottom! As I was waxing on about the joys of my medium bags I realize the Mr. is staring at me with a strange look on his face.

"What? It's the little things that make me happy." I hear myself say. He just shook his head and went to empty the next trash can.