Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shortcut Ain't A Bad Word

An important caveat up front: I am totally copying Damomma's post idea. Go check it out, especially if you're having a bad day parenting-wise, and read the comments. Trust me - you'll feel better. And besides - she told the Universe that I gave her kid a hot dog for breakfast after her daughter slept over... so I don't even feel badly about my lack of originality.

Her post is about Mommy Confessions. I had been kicking around a few of mine in my head recently, and her post prompted me to share. I'm a big believer in getting things out - as a parent my day to day life is filled with tiny little decisions, and it is just not realistic that I'm going to make all the right ones. And, I have always been a shortcut person. So here goes.

I hate laundry. Like, really hate laundry. I wish there was a cognitive behavioral therapist who specialized in Fear of Laundry, because I have it. I have no problem washing clothes; I like clean underwear as much as the next person. It is the folding and putting away part that I detest - it just seems so pointless. Every now and then I'll get super motivated and fold and put away millions of tiny child sized tee shirts, shorts and underpants. I'll get all organized and put everything in its own drawer, stacked neatly and gleaming. It takes all of two days for everything to spill out onto the floor. It all seems so fruitless.

I spend much of my day saying "In A MINUTE!" to my kids. Of course, I don't mean In A Minute, I mean can you please go away for at least an hour? My daughter is on to this, and she will now say "Mom, do you mean in 60 seconds or in like two hours?" Both my kids now say it back to me on a regular basis, too. I was desperate for Greta to get dressed so we could go out the door to something we were already late for, and she was sitting on the floor dressing up her Webkinz. "In a MINUTE!" she said to me, when I asked her for the gadzillionth time to get dressed. "Pom Pom can't decide which shirt to wear!" All I can do is stand there and get a good dose of my own medicine.

Especially in these long summer days, I am desperate for the kids to go to bed at night. It was a dark day when my 6 year old learned to tell time. Her bedtime in the summer is 8:30pm. On particularly long days I will set the clock back an hour, just so she will go to bed. I tell her it is time for bed, and she'll say "but it isn't 8:30!", and I'll point meaningfully to the clock. I'm sure she's up there lying in bed wondering why she can still hear the neighbor kids playing, but I'm downstairs with my feet up and a cup of tea and I don't care.

My 3 year old son talks all day. I mean ALL DAY. He'll just prattle on with these statements, and he won't stop until he gets some kind of validation from me. Much of the time, his concepts make no sense, or are plain wrong. I am too tired to correct them, so I just agree with everything says, hoping he'll stop talking. I figure the school system can sort it out one day - that polar bears don't actually live in the jungle, that the moon isn't the size of a marble, that motor boats can't fly - all things he steadfastly believes to be true, because it was his idea so it must be true, right Momma? Right Momma? RIGHT MOMMA?

My son still needs to nap on occasion. He is less than enthusiastic about this idea. So a few months ago I pretended to call the doctor and ask if he still needed to nap. I hung up the phone and told him "the doctor said you still need naps"... now when I tell him it is time for a nap, he says "Doctor said, right?"

To cut down on the bickering between my kids, I started a Yelling Jar. Anyone who yelled had to put in a quarter. So far, I am the only contributor.

Some days are just worse than others. Some days we spend the day in a cycle of frustration, pleading, whining and bickering. After days like this, after the kids have been asleep for a while, I'll sneak into their room, look at them all curled up together looking adorable, and I'll feel like a terrible Mom.

In the summer, running through the sprinkler or going in a pool totally qualifies as baths.

I can only sit and play a game with them, or do a craft, or read a book, for about half an hour and then I want to tear my hair out.

If I'm short on money and don't want to go to the ATM, I'll raid my daughter's piggy bank, telling myself I'll replace it before she notices. Then I always forget to replace it. This caught up to me on a girl scout field trip - she was perusing the gift shop and literally shouted to me over the heads of all the other mothers that she "can spend the eighteen dollars you stole from my piggy bank - you OWE me."

Anyone else want to share? C'mon - you know you want to....


  1. I am not a parent, and I actually enjoy doing laundry, but my kitchen sink is so full of dirty dishes I had to go to the bathroom sink this morning to get a glass of water. It's not that I don't have time, it's simply that I don't like washing dishes, and when you live alone you can get away with stuff like that. (for a while)

  2. There are so many it's hard to think of just one, on bad days I will give him anything for breakfast, grill cheese, hot dog whatever will get us out being the least late. The other thing I'm terrible about is letting him sleep in my bed. I am single Mom, I can't even imagine when I could find the time to date so on the bad days when he says can I go sleep in your bed? it just doesn't seem worth it to argue. Eventually he won't want to sleep in my bed anymore...right?

  3. I LOVE the Mommy Dearest picture you put in your post above! Awesome! That would be me as a mother (maybe one day,... or hopefully not, since she was a dangerous person in the movie, hehe!).

  4. Sometimes I used to let the kids eat dessert first because I couldn't wait for after supper to eat it and the only way I could eat it NOW was to let them eat it now, too.

  5. Oh. My. God. It's like we were separated at birth! I swear, almost everything on your list applies to me as well minus the laundry. My hated task is bathroom cleaning! Uggh. I also take money out of my daughter's piggy bank with EVERY intention of paying it back but somehow never remember until I catch myself with my hand in it again.

  6. have you been reading my diary??cause this sounds just like me, seriously, all of it

  7. Like look'in in a miror, E! The kids had chocolate pudding for breakfast yesterday.....

  8. The Mommy Dearest photo was mother to a tee...when ticked at her that is what I would call her...great post too! My hardest thing to do my big confession is like yours...laundry and dishes...ugh!

    Hugs today!

  9. Love your confessions! I remember age three and all the chattering; I thought I wouldn't make it through.
    I'm with you on the games and crafts. I've got a really artsy kid and so I feel guilty not wanting to do things with her. I tell her it's that she has more talent than me so she has to show me how to do it.
    And laundry...that is my chore for today. I hate the putting away also. At least this school year, due to my huge mistake of not checking sizes my daughter has 5 uniform shirts, 5 jumpers and 2 pairs of shorts so I only have to do her school laundry once a week!! It was a huge waste of money, but I couldn't bring myself to return any of the pieces for that very reason.

  10. Well, I'll have to think about what confessions I could make but let me just say YOU FOLD YOUR KIDS' LAUNDRY! Please do not raise the bar so high! I will never be able to aspire to standards that high.

    I just put it in their drawers in general catergories i.e. socks on the left, undies on the right. Pants and tops have their own drawers and it's chaos but at least out of the laundry room. I sort it into 4 baskets when it comes out of the dryer (linens/our stuff/ kid 1/kid 2) and then it is even money that it might get put away within a day or two. It does take quite an investment in wicker baskets, I grant you.

  11. Konnie has the right idea about many baskets... then have a place in each room for the appropriate basket, and voila! laundry put away! Kids know where to look for stuff, so no problem. And cbs has the right idea... get enough underwear and basics so you don't have to do laundry every day.

    And then write an addition to your Will to the effect that "in the event of my demise, my bureau drawers are to be emptied and burned without examination." Drawers can hide a lot, and who cares if underwear gets folded? It just needs to be off the floor!

  12. Kids are now 4 and 7 so I make them sort, fold (I help) and put away all their own laundry. I make them set and clear the table, sweep the floor and run upstairs to get me whatever I need. I plan to outsource all tedious tasks to them and I am totally OK with that.

    As for confessions (as enslavement of my kids is not enough) , I have started YELLING a lot more than I used to. I have no patience left for second child, it does not help that she is twice as hard as the first.

    I have also given up trying to get daughter to eat veggies. I just cannot invest any more energy into this. She can survive with applesauce, frozen berries and oranges as her only sources of vitamins for a few years, right?

  13. I sneak away with a book to get some 'me' time. Or I will sit in his bed with something to read while it is 'oh dark hundred' o'clock but still late enough to classify as getting up time but not my turn for a lie in.

    And he has learned, aged 21 months, to gently take the book, close it and put it to one side. And I feel so guilty for not giving him the attention, as he is such a darling child.

    But, oh, I am *SO* darn TIRED!! (And then I stay up commenting on blogs when I have the chance of an early night....)