Monday, February 20, 2012

You Better Hope Nothing Happens to Me...

How many moms have said that? To their husbands, kids...usually in the heat of the moment. Of course we're implying that there is no possible way that life as they know it could continue to be as good as it is for them without us there.

Now, I'm not saying that I am more the grease that keeps this family running as smoothly as it does (okay, I'm lying, that's exactly what I'm saying). And Shawn will quickly point out that I pamper the boys. I don't see it like that. I see it as utilizing every available minute with as little drama as possible. I have often considered writing down my "tricks" in a tiny spiral-bound notebook and placing it somewhere that Shawn would be sure to find it, if for some reason, (ahem), ANYTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO ME. It just makes everyday a little simpler, a little less tantrum filled, a little less stressful for everyone. If that's pampering, I guess I'm guilty.

Some of the things I'm talking about...

1) Lumpy socks. Instead of putting on boots/shoes and taking them off over and over again, with tempers rising, causing a boot/shoe to be shot across the room (by parent or child) because a sock, "just doesn't feel right," turn them inside out. Use ones that don't match. Or if you're just going to the store, or somewhere they won't be taking the boots/shoes off...let them go without. If you decide to be the dictator in this situation, you may win the battle, but trust me my friend, you will NOT win the war. On your way to school, the bus stop, wherever, your son will calmly take his boots/shoes off, which you will only discover when you have stopped the car to get them out and only have 2 minutes left on your timetable. They will REFUSE to put them back on with the willpower that only a child has, and you will end up carrying said child into whichever facility you're at. And if this place needs shoes, good luck to you. One other thing I've learned...if you put their socks on them when they are still half awake in bed, you're chances of lumpy socks decreases by about 80%. Not sure why.

2) Waffle presentation. Trust me, I know it sounds ridiculous, but you must fill EVERY square of the frozen waffle with syrup. And honey, you can't take the shortcut of ripping the waffle into pieces and pouring syrup over it...they know. It may take a couple of seconds longer than random strings of syrup over the dang thing, but this method as been proven time and time again to prevent spontaneous explosion of our youngest one and wasted waffle. Do not listen to what the dogs are telling you, they just want the waffle after it's been rejected.

3) Bedtime is actually 30 minutes earlier than you think it is. Don't worry, it doesn't mean that you're sending the kids to bed at 7:00, because I guarantee it will take you AT LEAST 30 minutes before they even reach the bedroom. Also, you can't say, "Time for bed!" and expect them to jump up and race one another to be the first under the sheets. Oh no. I know it defies explanation, since you're ready to be asleep by 9, but they don't actually want to go to bed. In fact, it is best to give them some sort of warning that you will be telling them it's bedtime. For example, "10 more minutes, then bed." Also, don't expect them to think to themselves, "Hmmm, only 10 minutes? Well, sheesh, I better get that glass of water/go to the bathroom/read that book/get that snack, because I'm almost out of time." Nope. Those excuses are saved for when you think you've actually won and have the covers tucked around their chins.

4) Even though you think it takes 10 minutes, it takes 20. Keep this in mind. I don't care if you're not due to be somewhere for another 20-25 minutes. Get out the door. It's amazing what will catch you're child's undivided attention in that mere 7 ft from door to car. It will also prepare you for that last minute realization, "I gotta go to the bathroom. NO I can't hold it!" (Refer to #3)

5) Everything is your fault. I don't care if you've told them to look for their shoes and put them on 50 times, in the end, if you yell at them for being late because they didn't get their shoes on, it's YOUR FAULT because you didn't tell them where to look. Just so you know. Oh, and if you throw your hands up and go to look for the aforementioned shoes, DO NOT expect one to be in the same relative vicinity as the other. In fact, they may not be in the same room. If you have exhausted all possibilities, it is not considered out of the ordinary to look in the backyard. Again, I have no idea why this happens.

6) Dum-dum suckers are a secret weapon. Anywhere they are given away free, and you're alone. Stock up. They make great bribes if you're in a pinch. A good place to store them is in the car.

7) Watch your language. I don't care if you're on the phone in the bathroom or out in the garage, one slip of the tongue and it will come out of your kids' mouth at the worst possible time. If you scold them, they will say, "But YOU say it!"

8) What happens in the house, does not necessarily stay in the house. So if you're thinking anything pertaining to pooping, farting, picking your nose, the word "butt," "penis," or anything similar in nature will be "just between you and the boys," think again. It will make it's way out of the house and come back to bite you in the butt. Ahem. I mean behind.

9) Eats and drinks stay in the kitchen. It doesn't matter how 'spillproof' you think you've made something, or how 'safe' you'll think they'll be, they will manage to slop kool-aid on the carpet, make a mark on the couch with ink, or leave chocolate fingerprints on the remote. Oh, and it will be YOUR FAULT.

10) You are responsible. I don't care how much you hate to go places, attend activities, or may not enjoy the same things your kids do. You will have to suck it up and go. YOU NEED TO BE INVOLVED. I know it takes up your time, I know it's hard to keep one kid occupied when the other is playing baseball, I know you don't like to dress nice for concerts, but at some point, it needs to stop being about you and you need to remember it's about them, even if it's out of your comfort zone. If you don't take an interest in what is important to them, they will stop trying new things. And who knows what wonderful possibilities that could rob them of. Oh, and also, make an effort to introduce them to some of those new outdoor concerts, art in the park, bike trails, etc. Remember, if you're involved in what they do, then you know what they're doing. (that sounded profound for a moment).

11) At some point, you will have to push. I think our biggest hope for our children is that we want them to be better people than we are. So there may be times where you won't be their friend. But that's okay, you're the parent. And it will mean probably pushing yourself as well. It's our job to be hated at moments.

Anyway, I know you think I'm morbid when I say, "If anything ever happens to me..." but just in case...I'll leave you a constantly updated spiral notebook. Look for it.