Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Real women mow the yard

I'm all about rocking the roles in the husband/wife relationship, but generally in our house, Baxter has just a few jobs.  He mows the yard, takes out the trash, and does small repairs.  He's also Super Dad, but that's another post for another time.  Basically, he brings home the bacon and I fry it up (and serve it up, and wash the pan).

I've also never been what you might call "an outdoor girl".  I prefer to stay indoors where there are no bugs and dirt (Unless I am laying by the pool with a nice breeze blowing over me).   Yardwork has never been something that I've been interested in doing. Many of you know that I grew up redneck. We had no air conditioning, or any of the high falutin' contraptions you city dwellers had.  So now, unless I have to, I enjoy the nice climate controlled environment that my home provides.  When Bax gets busy at work, (or is just exhausted from the 500 hours he has put in that week), and our yard looks like we should have three broken down cars sitting in the front yard up on blocks (been there done that, like I said, redneck) I put on my spf 3000 sunscreen (just kidding, I don't but i should) and head out to start the mower.  First, I circle the mower carefully , like a wary predator circling it's prey (making sure that I remember how to even start it) and pull the chord.   After I put my shoulder back in joint, I start mowing. I see neighbors who are also out tending to their yard (men) look at me in awe and wonder as I make my crooked paces up and down the yard, I feel like I am accomplishing something great, until I realize that I just ran over a toy that the girls left in the yard and barbie shrapnel starts shooting everywhere. 

I make my way to the back yard only to realize why Baxter put in a dog run in our previous house.  I dodge the dog poop minefield cursing under my breath at the poor dogs (who never get used to seeing my angry face and the mower coming at them), and Baxter for not picking up the poop.  By the way, flip flops are never a good idea for this chore. ew. I think I'll have to pay someone to do that, but I digress. 

When I finish, I look around at what I have done and feel like a nature woman.The yard looks decent, not great, but decent.  I conquered the wilderness of my suburban serengeti and feel proud.  Who knows what I could do next?

* gardening is not something I do often, but I have done it as well.  I have put in all of the (okay 95%) of  plants and bushes we have ever planted in any of our houses.

Are you a real woman?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tuned Out

It's at least once a day (usually around 5:00 p.m.) that I'm doing something and I hear background noise and realize that it's my child speaking to me.  I respond with a fake "wow" or "yeah" or "alright" while not even really listening to what my children are saying.  Kayleigh has my number.  She will often ask me something and then when my glazed over eyes eventually turn her way she will repeat the outlandish question she has just asked "hey mom, did you know that Ella is dressing princess up like a bride with all our extra toilet paper?"  I jump to attention and she laughs.  For me, this is what I really struggle with now that my children are old enough to feed, clothe, and entertain themselves.  I've reached a point of complacency that is even taking over my discipline technique.

"Girls, go upstairs and clean your room"
 5 minutes later...
"Hey, why are you still watching cartoons?" 
5 minutes later
"Girls get upstairs or I'm going to get upset"
5 minutes later

And then I spend the next hour in agonizng paralysis as they come down the stairs multiple times whining about how difficult it is, and how much they hate it until finally i just give up and go help them (granted Ella needs some coaching, but she doesn't even try most days)

Each day is a trial of patience for me.  I have lost the focus of my parenting, and it has shown.  My kids are still pretty wonderful (even though we have been having significant issues with one of them lately) and I wouldn't change them for the world. They are a beautiful gift and I won't take them for granted.  I am in the process of reading "Dare to Discipline" by Dr. Dobson (recommended by our pediatrician).  It is giving me a fresh perspective on the three little crazy versions of me and is helping me apply a focus to my parenting.  This book also recommends a loving guide to spanking.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it also talks about swift consequences as well and that is the main point that I will focus my technique on.

I vow not to tune out because I am exhausted and let them fend for themselves.  I vow to continually get to know my children and to foster their creativity, and their knowledge of their mother.  It's a delicate balance, I know, when there is also so much that I want to do for myself.  Is it even possible?  I'm not sure.  I intend to do my best to find out.  We are all worth it. 

Does anybody else out there, tune out?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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