Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back To School

Lemme' just say, I love Jen Hatmaker.  And her blog.  This is a woman who gets it and isn't afraid to put it out there.  And it's always hilarious.  Because you have to find the humor in parenting, or else you will lose. your. everloving. mind.

Today marks the one-week point to the first day of school.  Truthfully, I have had mixed feelings about this...I have really enjoyed this summer with my kiddos.  We have had some great, fun family times.  I'm not ready for the rigamarole of the school year just yet.  The thought of homework is enough to send me to my sick bed with a mother-of-a-headache.  And don't even get me started on packing lunches.

But then this week happened.

I went into this week knowing it was the moment of truth.  For us, that last week of summer vacay is always the killer of good times. Would this year be different?  I was hopeful.

But no.  At this point, my kids are b.o.r.e.d.  And sick and tired.  Sick and tired of themselves and each other.  Sick and tired of me yelling for them to find something to do and that it's not my job to entertain them.  Sick and tired of me in general.  Sick and tired of the heat.  Sick and tired of the pool.  Sick and tired of their rooms. Sick and tired of bowling, movies, games.  I suppose I should take this as a sign that they have a super awesome amazing nanny...one who keeps them from becoming sick and tired.  But I think by the end of last week, she was even arriving at sick and tired too.  I, too, am sick and tired.  Sick and tired of the fighting (they are on each other's last nerves), sick and tired of the boredom, sick and tired of them destroying every single room they enter, sick and tired of snacking, sick and tired of them asking (to no avail) for soda to drink.  Sick and tired of reminding them to brush their hair and teeth.  Sick and tired of them thinking that the kitchen is a restaurant and I am their own personal short order cook.  Sick and tired of the slugs they have become here lately.

In conjunction with the bored, they are hyped up with the excitement/anticipation/dread of school.  The combination of all these things is lethal on its safest days.  Our house is a grenade of emotion and drama and someone keeps threatening to pull the pin.

Even the dog is in on the action.  It's like she just KNOWS they're about to leave her and she's driving everyone mad.  Or maybe it's because she's ready to get back to her routine and they are driving her mad. Regardless, I'm convinced that dog is really Satan's offspring wrapped up in Labrador retriever cuteness.  

I am working from home this week, due to lack of childcare. I made this clear to the children early in the week.  Working from home is both a blessing and a curse -- a blessing because you get to have some flexibility and be there with your children.  And a curse for the same reason.  They were on board. Excited. Supportive.  Total solidarity.  "Got it, mom."  

So, why, every morning is the first thing out of their mouths "what are we going to do today?"  This morning, my son asked me what we were having for dinner before he'd even had breakfast.  I told him "whatever you decide to make."  He looked at me like I'd lost an eyeball.  They have become slugs.  Bickering, filthy, ravenous slugs.  

Today, it rained.  Because we weren't all ready to kill each other before.  My husband is out of town.  The noise level in my home is awe inspiring.  Why are they always yelling?  Even when they're not fighting it's just yelling.  Can no one speak in a normal tone?  I finally put in the movie Elf just to get them to stop talking; after 30 solid minutes of arguing negotiating, it's the one movie they could agree on.  Can you believe I am actually hoping the football scrimmage/cheerleading practice does NOT get cancelled tonight?  At this point, 1.5 hours of silence and no one needing me or whining or fighting trumps the fact that my "me" time might take place in a downpour.  

It's official.  We are done.  Summer is over.  If we all survive until next Tuesday, it will be a miracle.  I entered this week daring my kids to prove me wrong about it being time for them to get back to school.  It's the one time they refused to accept the dare.

I love summer.  But I know my kids, and I know me and that means I know that we will all be happier with some structure, separation and distraction.

Hello school, nice to see you my old friend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Monday

Last week, my boys went to spend some time with their grandparents.  We had Little Meems to ourselves for a whole week, and while she enjoyed the one-on-one time (who doesn't occasionally?) she was quickly bored and lonely.  Middle child syndrome -- they don't know how to be alone.  Or rather, they don't like to be alone. We did mani/pedis, went to dinner, daddy/daughter dates, sleepovers, and finally a canoe trip down the river.  It was lovely.  

On Sunday, we brought the boys home.  As I sat in the car, I listened to the three of them chit chat.  I listened to them fuss at each other.  I listened to them playing car games and seeing who could hold onto the overhead bar the longest.  I listened to them extolling the virtues of Ice flavored water, declaring it "delicious," and "extra yummy" and "so refreshing!"  I marveled at how something as simple as fancy flavored sparkling water could bring such a thrill.  It reminded me how innocent they all are.  How little, really. Babies. My babies.

As I woke up on Monday, the house felt different to me.  Full.  Warm.  Bustling. Too noisy for being so early in the morning.   

Normal. 

And I realized with a smile that all was right again in my world.  That my universe had come back into balance.  My cup was again full.  

And that made it a happy Monday.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tooth Fairy Fail

It happened.

Again.  (hangs head in shame)

The Tooth Fairy forgot to make an appearance.  To be fair, she had only visited us the night before, leaving with a hefty haul of 4 teeth.

And then yesterday, surprise!  T lost a tooth.  I didn't even know it was loose.

As most 7-year-olds would be, he was excited.  Excited enough to tell his babysitter when she came to pick up her check.  Jumping up and down a little.  Eyes twinkling.  When your children smile, reaaaaalllly smile, and you can see it in their eyes and you know, you just KNOW how happy they are?

That was T.

This morning, T came into our room, leaned against the bed, and said in his little voice "the Tooth Fairy didn't come."

You know that screeching sound you get in your head when you realize you've really messed up?  It's the sound of a car crash, record needle scratch and and piano dropping from the sky all at once.  And then silence.  The deathly quiet of guilt.  That was me.

"Oh, buddy, she's very busy.  She probably just didn't have time.  She was just here the night before...maybe she got confused?"

"Yeah.  Maybe."

"Why don't we take the tooth to DeeDee and PopPop's, and she can come there."

"Ok."  And he padded out of the room.

Lying there, I was hit with the gut wrenching realization that the Tooth Fairy is hit or miss around here. Which is a sad truth to admit.  I consoled myself with the thought that one day, when we're all gathered around the dining room table for dinner -- us old and gray/still amazingly blonde (!), them with their spouses/significant others -- we'll get a good laugh out of it.  I know hope we will.

But I don't really feel any better.

And that doesn't make today's disappointment go away.  I told T that even the Tooth Fairy makes mistakes, but typically, she makes up for her transgressions the next night with an even bigger reward.  Something to look forward to!  "But she forgot me last time too," was his response.

Womp womp.  Mom guilt times ten.  I try to make peace with my imperfections as a mother, but I can't forgive myself this one.  Not this time.

It's happened to all of them.  Scratch that, it only happens to the boys.  Little Meems still won't let the Tooth Fairy in her room, so I have to put her teeth under MY pillow.  W doesn't believe anymore, although he won't admit it for fear of not receiving anything.  He's just in it for the moola.  T, on the other hand, still believes in the magic.  But if I keep this up, not for long.

I know I'm not the only mom out there to miss this event.  I do get it right, more often than not, but I'm not perfect.  That's no excuse, but it is a reason.  And I come to terms with that realization every day.  It's like God's little reminder to be humble, and without pride.

The Tooth Fairy's pulling out all the stops tonight.  Money, a note, gum...she might even throw in a little fairy dust for good measure.  She'll bring the magic.

I don't want to lose that magic.  Not just yet.  Because he's my baby.  Because he's excited.  Because, really, this is the easiest money he'll make in his life.  Because the happy, smiley eyes get me every time.

Because THAT, my friends, is true magic.