Thursday, January 15, 2015

Writing on the Wall UPDATE

I've been waiting to update the previous blog post about mornings in our house.  Throw in the holidays and the kids were off school for 9, 327 days.  Okay, not really but it sure felt like it.  So it took a few weeks to get back in the routine of things.  Enter this morning.....

7:12 am this morning

Me: Don't do it.  Don't do it!  How will they learn if you keep coming along and reminding them what needs to be done.  Focus on something else!  You can do this!

I could hear the boys screwing around in the living room throwing jeans at each other.  I turned the music up and tried to distract myself.

Five minutes before it was time to leave ...

Me: Five Minute Warning.  If you need help with your hair I'm ready to help now.

The boys staggered in.  Afterwards I grabbed my coffee, purse and announced it was time to leave.  I was already mentally preparing the "i told you so" speech in my head.

As the boys walked out the door I did a quick check.
Backpacks - check
Lunchboxes - check
Shoes - check
water bottles - check

But then I noticed....Bubbly B was without a jacket.

Me: B where is your jacket?  See what happens when you screw off all morning, it's very chilly for a short sleeve shirt this morning.  Good luck with that.

B: It's okay. I never wear my jacket at school anyway.


Monday, December 15, 2014

When You Ignore The Writing On The Wall

My car this morning on the way to school:

Me: I don't understand.  Are the things I ask you to do in the morning too hard for you?
Boys: No
Me: Are you able to brush your teeth? Are you able to comb your hair? Are you able to get dressed?
Boys: (muttering) Yes
Me: (On a roll now!) Then why when I ask you to do all three is nothing accomplished?  Boys what am I supposed to do? (Shit that sounded like my Dad!) Am I supposed to let you go to school without shoes on? Without a jacket? With stinky breath? We start our days with me yelling at you to get out the door.  I don't like it and I'm sure you don't like it! 
Boys: (muttering) No
Me: Then how do we stop this? 
(When you stop coddling them and not let them fail and go to school without a coat.  Me: Really, that's the answer?   Me:Yes, it always has been. And before you say it yes they might get sick but they might get sick anyways and either are an inconvenience so quit using that as an excuse.  Me: An excuse, oh really....! Me: So just let them do what they want and walk out the door tomorrow.....just go...out the door....with whatever they are missing? Is that a hive, look I'm already getting hives and I'll be even more stressed tomorrow watching them go to school without a coat or bad breath or homework. This is the solution?!)
Boys: I don't know.
Me: Well it seems like the only solution here (Because the other idea, clearly NOT the answer) is to move your wake up time earlier.

(insert impending doom music)

I sense a bigger lesson coming.....soon.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lost....Found....Lost.....Solved. Sort of.

Reason Number 1,763 Why I Will Never Win Mother of the Year Award.
...and I'm okay with that.

Every school year I buy and insane amount of school supplies.  And glue sticks.  Lunch boxes and water bottles and at least two pairs of tennis shoes a year.  The one that irks me the most are the water bottles.  Every child is told to have one and in AZ when my kids are in school on 110 degree days (I sense another rant bubbling up....!) fine, here is a water bottle to go to school.  We even hunt for the best and I walk away spending more on a water bottle than some countries spend on water. kids walk into school each day with a water bottle and ice every morning. 

That was the first week of school.

Monday, week two....the first water bottle was lost.  And then found. 

Wednesday, week three, a lunchbox was lost.  And then found.

Tuesday, week four the second child lost his water bottle.  Wednesday, the other child lost his water bottle. 

It's maddening! 

Driving home from work, stewing in my frustrations and how to overcome hit me.  Thankfully it was an idea and not a car considering how lost in thought I was.  Yikes!  I drove to Walmart, got what I needed and picked up my kids from school.

When we got home I explained how frustrated I was over lost...found...lost water bottles.  I explained the cost of each water bottle I purchased and how expensive it would be if we had to keep buying new ones.  Not going to happen!!  Then I pulled out the Walmart bag and showed my two boys my purchases.

"As you boys always hear me say, every choice has a consequence.  Every time you do not pay attention and lose your water bottle there is a consequence.  No water the next day or Mom has to buy a new one eventually and these are not good consequences.  Here is the new consequence when you lose your water bottle or lunch box.  The next day you will carry this to school."

Meet Hello Kitty Water Bottle and the girliest lunch box I could find!
My boys were appalled and its likely they mentally added this to their "Reasons to See A Therapist" list.  But the look of horror on their faces was exactly what I was looking for.

I know some of you are muttering something about sexism and blah blah blah.  This is a consequence.  If you love your Star Wars lunch box and you lose it and you have to carry your sister old Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox - that is a consequence.Same thing.

It was not even a three days later that my oldest lost his water bottle.  The horror!!  I made him carry it.  I suspect it sat at the bottle of his backpack and never saw the inside of a fifth grade classroom, but that's okay.

Since then my oldest has not left his water bottle at school.  In fact he boasts proudly when he gets home, "Here is my water bottle."  Success?  I think so!!

Side note.  Anyone who has had at least two kids in their house for than a week has realised what works for one child, doesn't always work for the other.  My 6 year old cried the first day he carried it muttering something about it being "too embarrassing!"  Today was the eighth day in a row he's been carrying it.  And drinking from it.  Back to the drawing board......

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Eater, The Negotiator & Sneezy Go For A Hike

Take them outside, be outdoorsy, they said.  Hike with your kids, they said.
Clearly "they" need a healthy dose of reality.

Yesterday my man and I took our kids hiking.  Three boys between the ages of 6-10.  
Here is a momentary glimpse into our hike.

"Put your ipod away.  You can not walk and take pictures."
"I'm hungry."
"It's okay, I can do it. I can take pictures."
"No, put it in your pocket."
"Can I have a granola bar?"
"I promise I can.  I want to take pictures of our hike."
"What if it starts raining right now, what do we do?"
"Here I am done.  Do you have anything else to eat?"
"Give me the ipod."
"Then you will not have pictures of this trip and you will be sad."
"What if magical unicorns fell from the sky right now?"
"When we stop for water breaks you can take pictures then."
"Okay. Is it time for a water break?"
"Can you hand me my sunflower seeds?"

Five minutes later and my man is lagging behind.
"You know why my Dad is all the way back there?  Because he's taking pictures, Lots. Opposite of me."
"Are there scorpions?"

Friday, September 26, 2014

Alex The Answer Is Paper Plates!

They say the closer you get to 40, the more you accept yourself for who you are.  I don't know the accuracy for this data but it seems to fit.  Any good therapist will tell you, "Not everything will fit for you, take it in, chew on it and see if it feels right for you."  This seems to fit.

I have less tolerance for bullshit in my life than I did ten years ago.  Lately when things go south I let myself have a pity party and cry for one night and then decide to wake up and be over it.  It's worked time and time again in the last few years.  I no longer feel the need to explain myself to those around me.  More acceptance of myself. (I hope what comes next is less over analyzing, this would be nice.  I probably can't request life lessons huh?) My world is busy and chaotic and most days I lay my head down at night and have regrets.  Although the closer I get to 40, the less regrets I seem to have, well the less big regrets I have.

This year I decided no more real plates at my home. I drove myself to the store and spent $4.99 and bought 500 paper plates.  My kids eat breakfast and dinner at home. Breakfast is usually cereal or waffles.  Three days out of the five we eat dinner in the car on our way to a sporting event.  Even though this leaves only a few nights a week, what it does leave is a few dishes in my sink.  Another task.  Another chore to do.  Another something when my time feels so taken as it is.  The first week I felt guilty.  Then as a second sport entered the picture I gave up on that.  This one small thing saves me a few minutes in the day.  Saves me a few strands of my sanity.  You know the strands I have to schedule to color because the "I'm closer to forty than you think-gray" is coming in.  

I don't know if my kids notice.  Maybe one day they will look back and wonder why we never used the real plates, or maybe I'll be tortured with the story like my brothers and I do our own parents.  Maybe they haven't even realized and could care less.  Who knows.  I do know a few of those dinner I actually was able to sit down at the table with them while they ate instead of eating while I did the dishes...or the laundry....or checked homework...or signed agendas....

Maybe paper plates were the answer all along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

School News from Bubbly B

N is studying the Explorers and an idiot created some new ridiculous way to do long division that isn't any less steps.  So it's useless and I can't figure it out nor explain it to my child. Therefore making homework pointless if I can't actually help my child at HOME with his WORK.
That's all I know about what's happening in fifth grade. 

In first grade Bubbly B's teacher wore a new shirt last week that he really liked and tells me he told her as much.  He has 7 members in his Digging Club at recess and he's upset that the number isn't higher.  He'd really like to have at least 12 or 17 kids in his club.  Last week he had more but Nathan didn't want to dig anymore,  "I told him tomorrow we could do what he wanted to do but today we had to dig, that's what a digging club does."

"Karly likes digging club but she comes and goes in the club, girls!" (eye roll included)

"Also Nathan told the class that when he was camping he was bit by a snake. He's the second smartest kid in our class and I think that snake just wanted some of his smarts."

"Black widow spiders can bite you and kill you. Tarantula's are orange and black and totally harmless Mama."

These two are brothers.  Same Mother and Father.  Same petri dish during In Vitro Fertilization.....and yet they couldn't be more opposite.

And maybe First Grade really is awesome. 

Side note: I no responsibility if any of these above named facts are true or not, it's a crap shoot when it comes from Bubbly B.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Freaking Love with A Six Year Old

Me: I love you baby.  Everyday.  No matter what.  Do you know that?
B: Yep.  I love you too.  Even when you make me freaking crazy.