Monday, August 29, 2011

Practice what you preach...

Recently as summer has died down, and siblings reach the squabblemaximus levels of being together all day, I have been drilling this into my boys' little heads...

handle the situation with kindness

It is easier said than done, and after one very poor display of mommy behavior, I was forced to realize, I don't always practice what I preach. Apparently, there is some new math in our home, and I was not prepared for the quiz. 
1 carefully packed suitcase
+ 1 excited nine year old boy
+ one week at sleep away camp
= returning home with less than half of the clothes you sent.

I mean, I figured we would lose some socks (four pairs was the final total) and maybe a t-shirt, but when I opened Lincoln's suitcase to see 4 pairs of shorts and 4 t-shirts, as well as underwear, socks, goggles, a towel, etc. gone... let's just say, it was not my brightest parenting moment. 
I was mad, flustered, flabbergasted, annoyed, impatient, and just plain  ticked off about the situation.  I did not handle myself or my son with kindness. Not.At.All.
Do you know how I knew I'd messed it all up? He texted me. From his room. Apparently all my lecturing, which was more harsh than instructive, and my clearly annoyed state, made Lincoln understand... there was no way out. No apology would appease, no regret would salve. Have you ever seen that saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy." I have always hated it, and here I had become the poster child for it.  The text simply said, "Mom, I am really sorry about the clothes."
That's when it hit me. The are clothes, just CLOTHES. It is not the end of the world. Annoying, yes! Frustrating? You bet! Worth making my kid feel like crap about... um... no.
I didn't handle the situation with kindness. 

Kindness would have talked to my son about responsibility, the practical cost of losing clothes, the need to take care of what we have. Kindness would have allowed for him to express remorse, and learn a lesson. 
I am embarrassed that I failed so easily.  What was left to do? Call him back down, and apologize. Tell him I was wrong, and ask forgiveness. 
Want to know the kicker? After all that bru-ha-ha... the camp had 3 of the four outfits in the lost and found. The remaining missing one... A $1 shirt, and $1.50 pair of shorts from the thrift store. Yep.
Folks, don't chew your kid out over a $2.50 cent mistake. And above all... handle the situation with kindness! 

Embarrassed, but forgiven Mama

Monday, August 22, 2011

Overheard #3673390

I get to hear a lot, and i do mean A LOT of oddball conversations between my kids. I also get to have these conversations with them myself. When they occur while I am driving, it is a miracle I don't wreck. Here is a recent one from Hadji:

Lincoln: Mom, please explain cremation to us. Like, what do they do with the body, why someone does that instead of being buried, ya' know, tell us how it all works."

At this point I am already concerned with the direction of the conversation... but I plunge ahead. I explain ALL the ins and outs of cremation versus burial, and end with this...

"So, some people keep the ashes, say, in a vase, on their mantle. Or some people may have a favorite place, and ask for their ashes to be spread there."

After a brief silence Hadji pipes up with, "Mom, I have decided. I want to be cremated and I want my ashes spread over the dog pound."

Wow. I was floored, and once again whispered a little prayer that my boy would out grow his deathly allergy to dogs...

( As you can see, he has a dog or other animal with him at all times. )

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mom Collision

 You know, sometimes we have proud moments as parents. When our kid is the one who helps someone. When our child actually chooses to share, just because. When we see the effort of all our instruction finally pay off...
This is not one of those stories.

I actually laugh that now, the trend in mom blogs seems to be a theme of  "Our life is not as perfect as you all seem to think!" Well, if you hadn't spent the past five years blogging about your perfect meals, your size two jeans that are too baggy, and your kids who just "gave away all their toys to be sweet" (yeah right!) you would not now need to convince us that you are in, in fact, normal.
So, I think we can all agree, I will never, ever, need to use the line... "I know you all think we are so perfect but..."  because unless perfect means kids peeing in used starbucks cups on a roadtrip, or getting caught with hair color on your head more than once, or exploding chocolate... we are so far from perfect, it's not even on the radar.
And that is a relief.

It was not a relief to realize that my mom-pride and mom-fail experiences could clash and actually occur simultaneously. You see here is the deal...

Hadji got up early yesterday. He literally made his own eggs. Oh yes, it is the one thing in the world the poor kid is NOT allergic to, so he has fully embraced eating two scrambled eggs for breakfast every morning. Well, he may have come in and asked something about eggs, a pan, and all I know is...

I chose to snuggle my Micah, fully knowing my child was awake and in the kitchen, making his own eggs. Yes, yes I did. if you could smell my Micah's neck you would  choose that too. Swoon.

Anyhoo, I finally woke back up from the neck sniffing induced cat nap and went into the kitchen. Hadji had already made his eggs, eaten them, and cleaned up the kitchen. My mom pride swelled. A lot. I thought, I am totally going to blog about this! SO proud of my little man, was I!! Then I looked over at the other cupboard, and in what seemed like a slow-motion movie seen, I took in a crumpled foil wrapper, an empty 'Nilla Wafer box, and Alden walking in the kitchen to declare, "I maked my own breakfast too Mom!"
"Uh, what did you make buddy?" I dared to ask, knowing that it involved my child scaling the cupboard to get to the top shelf.

Aw crap. Mom-pride and Mom-fail.... head on collision in the kitchen. So much for perfect, eh?  Maybe next week we can pick organic berries somewhere and make paint out of them, or something amazing like that.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Road Trip

So a couple weeks ago the wild boys and I ventured out on a road trip to the B-Lo to see my family.  We had a grand travel time in the car, roughly 10 hours. My boys are excellent car travelers, if I do say so myself. Some snacks, some juice boxes, and we are good to go.
We were cheerful about going until Buffalo became the Texas of the north... 96°. NINETY-SIX. Holy Hannah. You do realize that they have no AC up there? What you may not realize though, is that my mother also has a fondness for small non-powerful window fans. I mean, really, a fly flapping its wings brings in more air than her fans. We were hot. Super hot. Hot, as in I made up errands to run so we could be in the car with its glorious AC blasting in my face.
So, now that I have all my whining out of the way, I will tell you about the actual trip. I will do this in list form, because paragraphs are boring me lately. Numbers are quick and easy.

1. My children were once again spoiled with elaborate home made breakfasts by my mom.... that is until I threatened her if she dared to turn on her oven in the house of heat. Here they are helping her:

2. Community Pools are pretty much the same everywhere you go. Great, big, giant pee-pots. Yuck.

3. I forced my children to do a photo shoot in the blazing sun. At high noon. Ya' know, cause that is the best time to photograph people. Here was Hadji's contribution: (click to enlarge)

4. Hearing my allergy laden children discuss their future plans to become farmers made me laugh. They agreed one of them would need to marry a nurse so she could heal them up and they wouldn't have to leave their animals alone to go to the hospital.

5. I scored at some yard sales. I will post all my vintagey goodness in a separate post, but suffice to say, packing was an art form. I would like to note, I didn't tie any children to the roof of the vehicle to make extra space though.

6. I laughed when we had our walls banged on by a disgruntled neighbor in the hotel. I was letting the boys jump from bed to bed and they were giggling. Party poopers.

7. Chicken Wings.

8. At the local five and dime my boys and their cousins all opted to get candy cigarettes as their prize. They were the gum kind, that blow a little smoke out. I was a little nostalgically proud...

9. This may be the end result of one lysol obsessed mama, who told her son to leave his shoes on the running board so she could spray them. I may have forgot about them, and they may have blown off along some random highway. Oops.