Monday, February 28, 2011

Some thoughts on my cleaning day

Once upon a time, I had a preschooler.

 Whenever I cleaned, she would follow behind me and make a mess. Then I had two preschoolers. They could mess up as quickly as I cleaned. Then I had three preschoolers. Cleaning actually left the house messier. Then I had four preschoolers. Some things are too terrifying to speak.

Anyway, I am back to one preschooler at home. What was once so hard is now the easy cleaning time. Because as difficult as preschoolers are to the cleaning process, at least I didn't have to deal with magical backpacks spewing never-ending supplies of schoolwork, newsletters, and notes I should have responded to 3 weeks ago.

Plus, I'm pretty sure the socks and shoes in my house are reproducing- parthenogenetically of course, as it is impossible to ever find them mated. Did I mention that I threw away all lone socks when we moved 2 months ago and my pile is now large enough to make sock puppets of every Dr Seuss character ever created?

In other news,my kitchen is able to explode in 5 seconds. But I think it's trying to beat this record.  Daily. The family room is also in the running for the record, but is impeded by the closet capable of being stuffed with sundry stuff.

Today is cleaning day at my house; I ripped my favorite pair of jeans.  Not that I'm bitter about it or anything...


Friday, February 25, 2011

A tooth, a confession, a hole in my parenting experience.

I have an embarrassing confession I need to make. I don't even know if I should post this as it is totally humiliating, but I'm hoping through this public disgrace I can pressure myself to repent and change ways.

You see a few nights ago Joseph came to me with a problem: he couldn't sleep due to his first loose tooth. Also because he is a six-year-old insomniac who finds every possible excuse to not sleep, but that is another story. When I checked his mouth, the tooth was practically dangling, so I decided this was a stay-up-a-few-minutes-later worthy excuse.

It was when trying to figure out the best way to separate tooth from mouth that my terrible revelation crystallized: I had never pulled a loose tooth before! This is my FIFTH child to begin loosing teeth and I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE ONE TO PULL THEM. My husband has been tasked to do them all.  Which might explain why my tooth fairy gene is completely dysfunctional.

Since Peter was working a night shift and unavailable as tooth extractor, I took on the role. I yanked, I wiggled, I slipped, I even made it bleed a little. I couldn't get the tooth out. Joseph went to bed with tooth still in its wobbly place and I stayed up to ponder this new-found hole in my parenting experience.

Then next evening Peter was home. He pulled the tooth in 5 seconds. He was equally surprised when I confessed that he has been the only tooth torturer in the family.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Limping Through Life

Limping through life- and I almost wish I was speaking figuratively.

You see, a couple months before we moved out here, my siblings all joined a gym. Since the point of moving here was to be close to family, we decided we should join the same gym. There may have been some motivation from the extra stress pounds our recent move provided.

I could go buy pants one size larger or try exercising.

The first day I went,I joined my sister and in-law on the elliptical runners. After a half hour, I thought I was going to die. Then a couple days later I tried out their dance aerobics class. And realized the "going to die" of two days before was nothing compared to how I was really going to die. It mostly felt like my legs were wanting to fall off but wouldn't as a punishment for what I put them through. My arms and shoulders staged their own protests. Not that being able to lift my arms above me waist is important or anything.

After three weeks I was still sore after working out, but I was only slightly limping the next day. I thought I was ready to push myself a little more.

And then I tried Zumba.

I went past thinking I was going to die to wondering if I actually had. Afterwards I crawled into bed and stayed there the rest of the night. I'm talking 7:00 at night. The next day all attempts at walking were with tender care, and kept to absolute minimum The stairs in my house? They were taken toddler style: step down one step- bring the other foot to meet it- take another ginger step down- bring the other foot to meet it- repeat all the way down- keep grimace to minimum. Not to mention my stomach muscles.  I thought they went into permanent hibernation after my sixth child was born.  Well they woke up with fierceness and let me know they were not happy to be awakened so cruelly.

I think I might be a little out of shape.

(Getting out of breath walking to the pantry to eat more chocolate should of clued me into that fact long ago.)

The funny thing is, after limping around for three weeks, I love going to the gym.  I've tried lots of exercise before: running, walking, pilates, wii fit (that counts, right?), but never really looked forward to doing any of it. But I look forward to going to the gym.  I like the elliptical runners and treadmills and bikes. I like those evil muscle-wrenching classes. For the hour or so before the limp sets in, I feel great! Already I notice the limping is letting up and I can run farther and harder than I could at first. Plus, Matthew enjoys the babysitting room with his cousins.

I plan on hitting the zumba class again this Friday night. Maybe this time the limping will only last one day instead of three. Or maybe my legs will actually fall off? I'm think I'll be good, either way.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Slow Track to Moving In

Sometimes I wish I had a remote for my children's vocal cords. One with volume, mute, pause, rewind, fast forward buttons. Especially since we still have one room with a wood floor and without furniture. And, since I must have selected the slow track this move for getting settled, I have yet to hang a single picture. It is echo-induced insanity waiting to happen over here.

Although, as of 9 o'clock this morning, we finally hung a TV on the wall, the kids no longer treat that room like a gym. Instead they've decided to treat it to slack jaw stupors. I'm weak; until I can get more unpacked, I'm encouraging TV related brain rot.

The missing couch (which is already ordered) and empty walls aren't the only things indicative of our slowness to finish unpacking. Today I finally plugged in my freezer. I suggest you don't let your freezer sit unused in your garage for over a month, especially if you didn't have time to give it a thorough scouring before loading it into a moving truck. Regardless, it is now clean, disinfected, cooling, and waiting to be filled.

Another item we've yet to get around to? We technically don't have any window coverings up. I use "technically" in the hopes that you'll think I've hung up something. Which I haven't, excepting the old mismatched curtains in the master bathroom, whose large windows faces the main road. Peter did remind me today that, "Love is blind, but the neighbors aren't," so I think we'll be taking care of this oversight soon.*

Did I mention that Peter just got home last night after being gone for two weeks? From his second, and final, trip back to Connecticut to finish work there? My molasses unpacking plan is starting to make sense now, isn't it? How often do you get to write a paragraph using only questions? Is it worth the improper sentence structures?

Anyway, he is home now: hanging televisions, moving around freezers, pricing blinds and helping hang pictures. Last night, after he finally got home, we celebrated his birthday.  It was belated, as it occurred while he was out of town. My sister and two brothers came over with their families for brownies and to belt out the Happy Birthday song. As I watched us all laughing around the table, I knew all the trouble was worth it.

Any neighbors who may have seen too much of us (so to speak) might think otherwise.

*I'd like to point out that on either side of us is an empty lot and on either side of that is a house that is still unoccupied. There is just an empty field behind us. Since I put up curtains in the two front bathroom windows that face the road, we don't actually have neighbors to whom we can expose ourselves.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Zombie in my Graveyard of Mothering Theories

I've written before about my Graveyard of Mothering Theories where all unwanted good ideas go after their short-lived and spectacularly failed lives. Ideas like never feeding kids preservatives or letting them watch TV. Or the theory that I would never yell. Then there are the sundry ideas guaranteed to make chores desirable, homework doable before due, or washing with soap standard. Most of these theories are killed so thoroughly they sensibly stay buried in their graves.

But there is one idea that just won't die!  No matter how often it's veracity is destroyed and it is sent again to the Graveyard, it comes back in rotten, zombified form to try again. Obviously it has already eaten away at my brain.  Why else would I listen to it over and over and over again?  After nearly FOURTEEN years of failure, I still think it will work this time.

What is this zomberific, evil idea that refuses to die?  If my kids stay up late the night before, they will sleep in the next morning.  It never, ever works, and yet . . .

Every weekend, school holiday, or snow day as bedtime approaches, I think to myself, "I'll just let them stay up late now so they'll sleep in late tomorrow."

The problem is it makes sense! Logically, when one stays up late they'll want to, need to, try to sleep in the next morning. The law of conservation of sleep. Of course, if logic mixed with kids they wouldn't whine when their mother is already irritable or try to wear sandals in knee-deep snow.

The worst part is that the kids are then grouchy the entire next day. And, since it isn't a school day, I'm the one stuck with them and their cantankerousness! I'm telling you this zombified mothering theory is downright SCARY.

This is why last week, on a Monday without school, I could be found with 6 ornery children at the McDonald's playland. (Thinking taking them out of the house would make them magically less grouchy- another theory that just won't die.) If I looked like I was ignoring my children please don't judge too harshly. I had, after all, just become a little more brain dead from attack of the undead parenting theories.

What about you? Have a great parenting idea that just won't die, no matter how often it is disproved?