More Time

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids | 0 comments

Last year when I learned the kids’ elementary school was moving, I was bummed.    Our quick and easy 10 minute commute doubled to 20, and the morning start time bumped from 8 o’clock to 7:45.  Ugh.

I dreaded the loss of time.  30 minutes less to sleep.  10 minutes less at home and instead on the road.  Bummed I tell you.

I’m not gonna lie…many mornings the new location feels just like that: Less.  Especially with the persistence of Snowmageddon, rush hour traffic, and driving in the dark because the sun has yet to rise.

But not today.  Today was more.  More that started with a mishap.

“Oh crap,” I heard Gabe say from the back seat as he let out a hiss of frustration.

“What?” I asked, knowing it wasn’t going to be good.

“Just forget it,” he said.  He exhaled another forceful breath of disgust.

“Gabriel.  Tell me what’s wrong!” I commanded.

“I forgot my iPad.  It’s my fault.  I know you won’t go back to get it because it’s not fair to make the girls late, so just go!” his regretful sentences all ran together.

Gabe forgetting his iPad was not good.  His whole academic day would suffer because of it.

Much to his surprise, I put on the brakes and made a u-turn in our sub.  I was proud of him for getting it.  For assuming responsibility.  For considering and valuing the time of his sisters.  For respecting the previous examples of ‘sink or swim’ I have enforced with him already this year.  Middle school is right around the corner – it’s time for him to step up.

“Oh thank you, Mommy!” he burst with relief.

“You’re welcome.  It won’t happen again.”  It was a promise.

“I know,” he said with great conviction.

“But thank you for admitting your mistake and thinking of someone other than yourself,” I praised him.

“You’re welcome,” he said.

I pulled into the garage.  He sprinted into the house and retrieved his iPad.  When he hopped back into the van, he said, “You know, Mommy?  I was just thinking.  There’s a lot of kids out there who could use a dose of Mickey Myers.  You’d whip ’em into shape real fast,” he declared with confidence.

I beamed.  It was the biggest compliment my son could pay me.  He recognized and appreciated my ongoing discipline, even while referencing me as Mickey Myers – a fun nickname bestowed upon me by the littlest Beaudoin girls who had yet to tackle the tongue-twisting alliteration of Mrs. Myers.

“You think I could handle ’em, huh?” I asked with a chuckle full of pride.

“Oh ya,” he said. “And I don’t care how tall they are.”

“Hey!” I pretended to be offended by the reference to my mini 5’1″ size.

“I’m just saying, Momma!” he giggled.  “You could handle ’em.”

The girls agreed.  We all laughed.  We continued to chat the whole way to school.

We talked about college – a conversation that comes up daily.  Which led to a conversation about being a grown up and having a job.

The girls were very impressed when they learned I worked as a dog groomer.  Gabe thought it was hysterical.  Even though I’ve told him this before, I suppose it’s the first time he’s been old enough to envision me wrestling with a mangled mutt.

“What?!  It was fun!  I made friends at the shop, we laughed a lot and I made money.  What’s wrong with that?” I defended my honorable trade.

“Nothin, Mommy, nothin!” Gabe smack talked.

“Hey…Mickey Myers can talk smack with the best of ’em, so watch out buddy!” I warned him.

He stopped laughing and looked at me like I was crazy.

“What?!” I probed sarcastically, recognizing the nerd alert look on his face in the rear-view mirror.

“Even if you could talk smack, Mommy…You gotta know the right time to do it.  And that was not it!”  My all-knowing 11 year-old made his best attempt to school me.  I couldn’t help but laugh.

From there it went to geography – a subject the kids know I’m horrible at, so they love to quiz me.  Luckily I was on fire this morning, and they were very impressed with my improvement.

We got out of the car laughing.  I followed them into school carrying four stuffed animals for a project of Gabe’s I know nothing about.  I have a feeling he asked me to carry them for a reason, because I felt pretty ridiculous as I walked down the hall.  I gave him a little shove.  He knew why and snickered back.

“Oh my gosh, Mommy!” the girls giggled dramatically.  I gave them dirty looks.  They giggled more.

We kissed.  We hugged.  We said our goodbyes.  I wished them all to have great days.

I got back in the van happy.

Today’s commute was more.  More time to talk.  More time to get to know each other.  More time too tease.  More time to laugh.  More time to share.

I was thankful.

 

 

 

 

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Stuck in a Moment

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids, Twins | 2 comments

I’m a stay at home mom.  That’s the job I picked eleven years ago.

I love being around my kids.  Even when they drive me  crazy.  Well – maybe not completely when they drive me crazy.  But it takes a lot to get me there, and I’m pretty quick to recover.

However for the past 5+ weeks my job has been more challenging than usual.  Winter vacation collided with the Polar Vortex.  As a result, Snowmageddon and dangerously cold weather conditions have led to several school cancellations.  Then factor in the stomach flu that has been present for the last two weeks.

* In 40 days, I have had 5 that were both kid and puke free. *

I am not complaining.  It’s my job.  But I am calculating because as I said before – it’s been extra challenging.

Taylor was the one with the pukes yesterday.  All over my bed.  All over the floor…All over.

Why at 9 she doesn’t yet make it to the bathroom, I will never know.  But neither did her identical twin sister the previous week, so at least there’s that?

The moral of the story is this:  I am tired.  My legs are hairy.  I haven’t gotten in a good workout since Saturday.  My shoulders are tense.  And all three kids are home again today.

Taylor is still sick on the couch with bed head like I’ve never seen before.  However she’s starting to feel just well enough to argue with me about having to take a shower.  And Sydney is in a cooking and crafting kind of a mood. (sigh)

“Please, Sydney.  No messes today, okay?” I pleaded with her earlier.

“Okay, Momma.  I’ll try my best.”  I appreciated her honesty.

So when I walked through the kitchen and saw the table full of crumbs and other leftover debris from breakfast, I couldn’t help but snicker at her trail.

“Hey!  Who made this mess?” I shouted, pretending to be frustrated.  I looked right at Sydney.  She sensed the playfulness in my tone.

“It wasn’t me!” she claimed her innocence, doing her best to hide an ornery grin.

“Oh really?” I sneered with sarcasm.  “Then who was it?”

“It was Taylor.  You know we look just alike, don’t you?” she giggled with confidence.

I giggled too.  She knew she had me right where she wanted me.  Stuck in a moment of gratitude.  Thankful for this extra day with them, yet again.  Because if they were in school, I might have missed this “first” I’ve been anticipating for the last 9 years:

The first time our twins lie about their identity to avoid trouble.

“Well, you got me there,” I conceded, even though I knew the truth.  She knew I knew the truth, but we both opted not to mention it.  She walked off smiling while I cleaned up the mess and marveled at my little girl’s quick wit.

It was a moment.  I made a mental note not to forget it.

Then I turned around.  And saw this:

Anyone need a bow?  Bring your money.

Anyone need a bow? Bring your money.

I knew the craft store was open…And it was going to cost me.

Onward.

 

 

 

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Mommy’s Christmas List

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids | 6 comments

Dear Kids,

You have asked me several times what I want for Christmas.  When I tell you I don’t want anything, I can see that my answer disappoints you.  It hurts me to see you frown during the holidays, especially knowing I am the cause of your frustration.  So the past few days I have put a great deal of thought into your question:

“Mommy, what do you want for Christmas???”

As it turns out, I want LOTS of things for Christmas.  In fact, my list is so long that at first glance you’re going to think I’m greedy!  But since you’ve asked with love, I’ll answer from the heart with honesty.  

Mommy’s Christmas List 2013

  1. I would like for you to be just as excited about cleaning up after a craft as you are about making a craft.  Especially when it involves glitter and tiny scraps of paper.
  2. I would like you to put your dirty clothes in the laundry bin, and your clean clothes in your drawers.  Even though you assure me I’m good at it, I do not enjoy washing your clothes.  Especially when they aren’t dirty in the first place.
  3. I would like you to put your clean laundry away.  I know you know it’s clean because you tear through my nice, neat piles and destroy them.
  4. I would like for you to gather your clothes for school the night before so we know where everything is.  I do not enjoy scavenger hunts in the morning, even though I am a pro.
  5. I would like you to brush your teeth – the right way – without having to perform a breath check.
  6. I would like you to wipe out the giant glob of toothpaste that always resides in my sink.  Thus, the breath check.
  7. I would like for you to accept that putting on your shoes and coat are also part of getting dressed.
  8. I would like for you to be ready to leave your classroom when I pick you up from school.  My days of wanting to hang out in the hallway are over.
  9. I would like you to move to the back of the van if you are the first to enter.  The other two do not enjoy crawling over you, and I do not enjoy listening to them snarl at you as they do.  Even if I don’t blame them for being frustrated with your stubborn inconsideration.
  10. I would like you to use the verbal skills I have taught you to end an argument, without me having to referee.  Trust me when I tell you I’ve armed you with the proper language to win on your own.  Ask Daddy.
  11. I would like you to take your belongings – more commonly referred to as “crap” – out of the car and into the house.  I would also prefer you put your crap away after it is in the house.
  12. I would like to see the floor of the mudroom when you are home: Shoes in the shoe bins, coats on the coat hooks, backpacks on the backpack hooks.
  13. I would like for you to hang up your snow gear and leave your boots to dry in the garage.  I understand the term “mudroom” can be a bit misleading.  Consider this clarification.
  14. I would like for you to empty your lunch boxes.  Especially on Fridays.  Please.
  15. I would like you to start your weekend homework earlier than Sunday evening.  It will be a much more pleasant experience for us all.
  16. I would like to share my shower with you without my bathroom exploding.  I get it.  My shower head rocks.  The explosion of clothing does not.
  17. I would like you to return my bath towels so I don’t have to dry off with a hand towel.  I am small, but not that small.
  18. I would like you to hang up your wet bath towels when you return them.  Daddy paid good money to have those silver rods hung on our walls.  They are called towel bars.  It would be nice if their intended function was put to good use.
  19. I would like you to put your brushes and hair accessories away inside the drawers.  It makes a drawer sad and lonely when it is empty.
  20. I would like you to put your outdoor toys away after you are done playing with them.
  21. I would like you to put your indoor toys away after you are done playing with them.
  22. I would like you to put your piles on the stairs away.  I have your eyes checked at every doctor appointment.  I am confident you can see when your stair bins are overflowing.
  23. I would like for you to let Tucker in from outside.  I have your ears checked at every doctor appointment.  I am confident you can hear him when he’s barking.
  24. I would like you to bring your water glasses downstairs in the morning.  All of them.  We are not in the business of growing scientific cultures, nor do I want to be.
  25. I would like you to eat your food so I don’t feel like choking you.
  26. I would like you to drink your orange juice, instead of saving it for later on the edge of a shelf in the refrigerator.  When it spills during the day while you are at school, it causes Mommy to say some very nasty words about you.  Out loud.  Wishing you could hear me.  Afterwards thankful that you don’t.
  27. I would like you to recognize that when I pull out my phone or computer for a breather, I need just that – a breather.  One without you looking over my shoulder asking me what I’m looking at.
  28. I would like you to accept that you have to sleep in your own beds during the week.  Why you wish to continuously sleep on our cold, hard floor baffles me.  The carpet isn’t even cushy.
  29. I would like you to respect the word “No” the first time I say it.  I do not enjoy negotiating with you all the time.  And if you haven’t noticed?  You rarely win.
  30. I would like you to turn the Xbox off after using it.  This also applies to the tv.
  31. I would like you to turn the lights off as you leave a room.  The button on the wall is actually kind of fun to push.
  32. I would like to spend some time in my bedroom with your dad without you feeling the need to knock on the door.  I know you know what we are doing, because I have been responsible enough to teach you about such grown-up topics.  There is no need to discuss it further as it pertains to us.  Especially while you are knocking.

As I said before, I know this list seems very large.  However, not one single item is new to you.  In fact, you hear me ask for most items every single day.  Having said that, I would now like to ask for the biggest gift of all:

I would like for all of the above to occur without me having to remind you all the time.  

I do not enjoy being a drill sergeant, even though the logo on my blog looks happy and cheery.  I’m actually a very fun person when I’m not in get-shit-done mode.  Yes, I swore.  Again…not the first time you’ve heard this.

All of the above is free.  It will not cost you a cent.  But it will offer me the most valuable gift of all:

TIME.

Time for me when you’re not around,

so I can have more FUN with you when you are!

I love you very much.

Even when you drive me crazy.

XO,XO,XO,

Mommy

p.s. When I say I would like to poop in peace …I really mean that.  I know you think my exasperated declaration of this is funny, so perhaps that is why you don’t take me seriously.   But for real – it’s a solo activity that I do not wish to share with anyone.

Xmas Wishes

 

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Torment of Taylor and The Toad

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids | 4 comments

Often times, I feel like a drill sergeant when parenting my three children – thus the origin of my blog logo.  This is especially true almost every morning before school.

Getting the kids ready and to school on time requires focus.  We all have jobs to do.  We all know what those jobs are.  Those jobs never change from morning to morning to morning.

However…things pop up that you don’t expect.  A forgotten homework assignment that needs to be completed.  A shoe that’s been hidden by the family dog.  A cereal spill that requires an unexpected change of clothes.  Et cetera.  Et cetera.

In order to keep all three kids on task at the same time, it requires great strength in leadership from me – the drill sergeant.

Today Taylor was off in La La Land.

First, she was distracted by student email on her school issued ipad.

“Taylor, put that ipad away right now or I’m not going to let you take it to school.”

Begrudgingly, she closed the case and walked towards her backpack.  On her way, she was distracted by the lego car sitting on the counter.  She stopped to make some improvements.

“Taylor, if you don’t put that lego thing down, I’m gonna break it into a million little pieces,” I threatened with seriousness.

“Momma!  I worked so hard on this!” she was appalled.

“I’m sure you did.  But now is not the time to mess with it,” I scolded her as I nudged her in the direction of her backpack.

“Momma!” she yelled from the mud room.  “I need help!  The zipper on my backpack is stuck!”

Of course it is, I thought.  I went to fix her backpack.  She stood there and watched me.

“Put your shoes on,” I commanded to keep her moving.

She obeyed with a grunt.  She was as unimpressed with me this morning as I was with her.

Finally I got her out of the house and into the garage.  As I followed behind, I noticed her lunchbox sitting on the counter.  I took a deep breath and grabbed it – thankful that I noticed, and annoyed that she didn’t.

Just then, Gabe came bursting through the door.

“What are you doing?” I seethed.  The only thing more frustrating than getting three kids in the car at the same time is convincing them to stay there.

“There’s a frog in the garage!” he exclaimed with excitement.

“A frog?” I asked.

“I mean a toad,” he corrected himself.  “And it’s big!”

“Well, it’s just gonna have to stay there for the time being because we have to get to school!  Now go get in the car!” I shooed him out as I dreaded the thought of coming home to a toad in my garage.  I hate toads.

I reached for the knob to pull the door shut.  When I turned around I collided with Sydney, who was beaming with excitement.  I didn’t care.

“What are you DOING?” I snarled through clenched teeth.

“Look, Momma!!!” she squealed, ignoring my frustration.  “I found a toad!”

She was holding the toad in an upside down costume fedora.  When I looked to see, the toad hopped in my direction attempting to escape the wall of the hat.  I jumped back three feet.

“Sydney!  Get that OUT OF MY HOUSE!” I shrieked with panic.

She giggled, “Okay, Momma.  But what do I do with it?”

“Take it outside!!!” I hollered.

The kids laughed at me.  By now all three of them were back in the house.  I shook my head in disbelief.  I was failing miserably.

“Sydney, how did you get the toad inside the hat?” I had to know.

“I picked it up, Momma,” she answered.

“With your hands?” I shrilled.

She laughed again.  “Yes, Momma!  You know I’m an animal lover!!” she pointed out the obvious.

“Here Sydney!  Let me hold it!” Taylor begged.  “I love animals too, Mommy!” she tried to convince me, even though she had gone to the trouble of putting on her pink fleece North Face gloves.  She wasn’t touching that warty beast with her bare hands any more than I was.

“Go put it outside, Taylor!” I commanded.

She snatched the toad from her twin sister and ran to the garage – where she began to set it down.

OUTSIDE, TAYLOR!” I yelled at her.

“Oops!” she giggled as she picked it back up and ran to the bushes.  As we sat and waited on her, I was thankful that we were finally going to get to leave.

We were half-way out of our sub when I heard Taylor’s voice from the backseat.  “Mommy!  Wait!  I forgot my notebook!”

I shuddered with fury.  “Do you need it?” I asked with quiet venom in my tone.

“Yes, Mommy!  I do!  It’s really important!” she promised.

I turned the car around, conceding to the fact that we were going to be late.  My patience was fried.  I no longer cared.  I didn’t feel like putting up with the panic attack that would have ensued from Taylor had I said no.  This decision was about preserving my own sanity.

When we finally arrived to school with only two minutes to spare, Taylor was the first to hop out of the van.

“CAR!!!!” I heard Mr. Greg, our school janitor/traffic guard, shout.  Taylor had failed to look before crossing the on-coming line of traffic.  Mr. Chow-wah had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting her.

“Taylor, you have to be careful when crossing!” I heard Mr. Greg reprimand her.  “I don’t want to have to mop your brains off the cement.  That wouldn’t be fun!”

I rolled my eyes with disgust.  “First a brain would have to be present before you could mop one up.  I’m not so sure that’s the case this morning,” I muttered so only he could hear as I passed him.

I followed my bouncy little girl into school.  She didn’t have a care in the world.  I leaned down to kiss her smiley face.  I shook my head and smiled back at her.  I was happy to say goodbye for a little while too.

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