Saturday, October 13, 2012


Every now and then (and probably more than I would like) I worry that my children are not growing into independent beings.

Every now and then they will surprise me, and I realize we might be doing something right. 

The other evening I was running out the door to pick up child #1 from practice.  Dinner was cooking, and the table was littered with the typical post school clutter.  It was one of those chaotic evenings, what evening isn't chaotic, and dinner would be served soon after child #1 and I arrive home. 

In a haste, as I ran out the door, I asked the other two to clear the table.  Note, I just said "clear".  These instructions usually mean not much will happen.  Usually, these instructions then require an adult to drag them by the ear, to the table, and point out the items, like everything, that need to be removed from the table.  "No, the Polly Pockets cannot stay on the table during dinner" or "I don't think your brother wants the pencil sharpener sitting next too his water."

Imagine my surprise when I came home to this:

A completely cleared and set table.  No ear pulling, pointing, and raised voices were involved in this act of independence. 

It is moments like these that I am heartened to think my children may, upon the appropriate age of independence, move out of our house, and only return for holidays and family gatherings. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Once upon a time my living room was cluttered with baby toys and toddlers:

I spy a baby swing, bouncer, toys galore, baby blanket, and a toddler

My children were asking for Tubby Toast for lunch, and I was clicking through Barny fast enough so the kids would not hear that it was on.

Today my living room is cluttered with:

electronics and tools
 And, my children are singing something that goes like this:  "ABCDEFG, Barney is my enemy ..." and then there is something about Telly Tubbies.  I am officially out of small childhood.  And, despite that those tiny screws will probably kill my sweeper, I'm loving this new stage. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The One Where I Apologize

I am one of those annoying people who rarely get sick.  My illness schedule is such, I tend to contract a cold in the winter and one in the summer.  (And yes, I am so Type A that even my illnesses are scheduled.)  Which I combat with the usual medications, suffer for a few days, and then go on my merry way when it passes.  Every few years my number is called up for a stomach bug, or strep, or bronchitis, or something else that keeps me down for a day or two, maybe requiring a medication or two, but nothing series.

My kids seem to have inherited these same great genes of mine.  Colds are not "stay home from school" worthy.  That is why drugs were created, and don't forget your pack of tissues.  Granted, we contract the occasional serious bug.  At least once a year someone is in the doctors office for a sick visit.   

All this means I have very little sympathy for those who deal with chronic problems.  Allergies that seem to hit 9 months out of the year, really.  Oh, you have A.nother cold.  That's nice.  Your kids are sick again!  Wow.  All said with an empathetic smile, and little sympathy in my tone. 

Four weeks ago that scratchy feeling, in the back of my through arrived, ugh I hate that feeling.  Once I finally diagnosed it as allergies (something that is considered "adult onset" and may or may not arrive every year) I popped one of those amazing 24 hour allergy pills, and continued along my merry way.  After feeling better, though not 100% I stopped the pills, and now I'm paying for it.

Though, at this point it has turned into a full blown cold.  I am a preschool teacher after all.  I do know that I've been dragging, and hacking, for over a week.  Last Friday I went to bed before my children.  And, though I've discontinued the use of that wonderful, knock you out so you can sleep medicine, I'm still hacking.  Maybe only half of my lung, but the cough and congestion are still there. 

Needless to say, after 4 weeks of some sort of congestion related uckiness, I am tired of it.   Just as I have little sympathy for the chronically sick, I have little sympathy for my body.  Little sympathy, and little patience.  I do not understand this thing of "take it easy".  It will pass, because I tell it to, and I have things to do. 

Yeah, that saying works as well on my body as it does on my kids.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Since school has begun, and I can now grocery shop without children, I am realizing that I cannot be trusted in the store.  I have this urge to stock up on food, and not the "the world is about to end" urge, but more like a "winter is coming, stock up the food" urge. 

And, I am not saying that stocking up on food is a bad thing.  In fact, when done with planning and budgeting, it is a good domestic act.

When I do it, it becomes something that resembles Hoarders. 

The last time I felt this way I was pregnant with #2, and purchased enough cereal to last us till #3 came along.  (Of course, that may not have been a lot of cereal, since our family planning resembled the stair step method.)

NO, I am not pregnant.

However, as I walk down the grocery store aisles I am resisting, and resisting to resist, the urge to stock up on food. 

I get it.  We are moving into fall.  This is the season for lazy weekends, spent at home, inviting friends over for a game night, potlucks, and doing absolutely nothing, including cooking.  It is also the season for back to work, soccer games, back to school activities, followed by fall festival activities, followed by holiday festival activities, committee meetings and busy weekends. 

What I am stocking up on are easy, already prepared, shelf stable or freezable, foods.  Items that are easy to prepare, when I have not.  Or, as some may say, preserved foods.  Po-tay-toe/Po-tah-toe.

Maybe it would be helpful if I ventured into canning foods, instead of stocking up on store bought food, oh well.  Until this urge passes, I am not to be trusted in the grocery store.  Then again, looking at all I have bought, this isn't a bad thing since our freezer and cupboards are stocked. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Glory Days

We live in the same town Hubby and I attended college.  In fact, we live about 5 minutes from campus.  Our college was, and still is, a small campus, which is beautiful to just walk around.  There is no big campus, asphalt feel, like you may experience on larger campuses.  There is no need for a map, your GPS, and the planets all properly aligned to find your way to a parking lot that will not tow you.

One Friday, the school posted on Facebook was performing an outdoor production of A Midsummer's Night Dream.  Cool, let's go.  However I paused, at what point do I become too old to attend college functions?  They posted it on Facebook, so it must be open to the public, right?  When do I become the middle age old lady who is trying to relive the glory days.  Let's face it, I just said "Cool, let's go."  Do kids these days even say "cool" in reference to anything other than fall mornings?

Then there is the question of family friendliness.  Can I take my kids, because nothing says embarrassment than  taking your kids to see something that was written for a college, and older crowd. 

I went, along with 2 of my kids.  Apparently, the Magic Tree House book, Stage Fright on a Summer Night, which my kids have listened too multiple times, revolves around Jack and Annie meeting William Shakespeare and them performing in a  A Midsummer's Night Dream.

This evenings production was actually titled A Midsummer's Night Dream ReDreamed, and was retooled, a little, using journal entries from participants in a summer theater camp, placing many of the play's themes in modern day situations.  I know a few of those local high school students who participated in the camp, and I am now wondering which of their writings were added to this production.

We went, I forgot to take a blanket, and forgot that my almost 40-year-old derrier no longer likes sitting on the concrete, grass terrace where the production was held.  I also saw that I was not the only older person, and my kids were not the only younger people.  That is the nice thing of a small college, set in the middle of a residential area, it retains its family friendliness.

While at the play I was reminded of a time when I was a student, attending a concert on campus.  A music group from Florida performed on our campus.  They were a group of boys who grew up Mennonite, their group was even called 606.  (606 was the hymnal number for what has been called the Mennonite anthem, if Mennonites had anthems, From Whom all Blessings Flow.  The hymnal has since been updated, and is no longer located at 606, but it is still called "606".)

Those attending the concert that night ranged in all ages, from college age to conservatively dressed grandparents, who probably could play the Mennonite Game (Wikipedia does NOT have a definition for the Mennonite Game) with the band members, and find no more than 2 degrees of separation  between themselves and these nice Mennonite boys with a band named 606. 

They were a hard rock band, who did not perform one. single. hymn.  Oh, the shock some of those poor, conservatively dressed concert attenders received. 

The foyer of the chapel was filling up fast as people, including me, escaping the noise.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


My baby entered middle school this year. 

I am not dealing well with it. 

It has nothing to do with the age of my child, which reflects my age.   And, it has nothing to do with the the fact that just yesterday he was crawling around on the floor, getting into anything on the floor.  He still does that, even at 11 years old. 

So far, I've blamed my anxiety on:

Lack of information:
Or, what feels like a lack of information.  As you may have heard, I have Type A tendencies (putting it mildly) and I need details.  Precise details, and I didn't want to wait for the Back to School Night, when they hand out all those details.  That was the night before school began, I had no more than 12 hours to process all this information.  Plenty of time, I agree, but my Type A personality wanted it yesterday. 

So I did what any, freaked out, self respecting  parent does, I emailed EVERYONE.  Well, not everyone, but I had specific questions, and so I emailed those specific people.  (Thankfully, two of those people are friends.  Meaning, they already know me, and are familiar with my neuroses.)  

Fully understanding that I was in full freak out mode, I kindly shared my self realization with all of these wonderful staff members and teachers.  At least I am not alone.  One friend posted on Facebook, " I've just accepted that I'm probably some people's dinner conversation that they {would} rather forget."  I am joining the conversation!

New everything:
Though this is not a new school for us, it is a new campus campus; this means new procedures, expectations, and a lot more autonomy for my baby, my ADHD, Aspergers, baby.  I'm not handling that well.  I need details, so I can helicopter from a distance. 

Morning schedule:
Then there is the driving.  Being a private school, I am responsible for transporting him to school.  Then, I have to drop my other two off at school, basically doing a big circle, before turning around and going to work myself.  OK, I admit, to date we have been spoiled by our school transportation experience.  We live behind the public elementary school; this means, I either with them, or drop them off on my way out of the neighborhood.  I also have the option of sending them on the bus if I'm not leaving the house that day, and the weather is too nasty for a walk.  Last year, when JT started this private school, I partnered with another family to car pool, they took the morning route. 

Did I mention that I am not a morning person.  Trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I need to have everyone, including myself, up, fed, dressed, and ready to head out the door by 7:30 is causing me a little bit of anxiety.  Yes, I know, we have been spoiled.  As my friend DB would say, "pull up your big girl panties and deal." 

Typical middle school crap.
 Everything that goes with middle school and developing children, emotions, hormones, and all that other crap
So, now we are into the school year my anxieties are still hanging around.  Maybe I'll chill out after the other two return to school, and we have a couple mornings under our belt.  Maybe it will happen after I return to work, and can focus my attentions on something else.  I could probably go on, and psychoanalyze this to a whole new level, but I think we will leave it at this.  No need to add more crazy to what already exists.   

Needless to say, I feel as if I've been on DEFCON 1 for a couple days.  If your reading this, and thinking I need a grip, you are correct, I do.  That, or a strong prescription of something.  Thankfully, the high school is a part of the middle school, so not much will change when we reach that stage.  However, if I am still like this when we reach college, I may need to be committed. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mean Is as Mean Does

miss hannigan
I really have no idea what that means.

What I do know is that my children think I am mean, and feel free to tell me numerous times.

They call me mean when they have chores (I've been called Miss Hannigan), are given school work during the summer, when I won't allow them to play electronics, nor watch TV, when I make them go to bed, make them change their clothes (because 24 hours in one t-shirt is enough), or won't purchase what they want (sugar cereal, soda and candy) and the grocery store.

How do I respond? 

I laugh.  Tell them to bring it on.  Then, I post it on Facebook, and all of us parents have a good laugh.  

EM will call me mean when I make her do an activity she has only talked about non-stop, then suddenly, for no reason, decides not to participate.

On vacation, we reached the pinnacle of parental meanness.  EM's friend told her mom she was glad we were not her parents, because we made them go to bed before 9:00.  There was also something else, but I forget because I was too busy laughing.

I will take mean.  I will wear mean with pride, if that is the worst my kids think of us.  Of all the "mean" things we could do to our children, expecting them to behave, have manners, learn that life does not revolve around them, and that to be a part of society means they need to also be productive, I'm thinking we are excelling at this mean thing.