Thursday, March 26, 2015

Admitting Defeat

You know, I try really hard to do as many right things on the Mom checklist as I can.  I'm trying to raise independent kids, kids who know that things won't get handed to them and that they have to work a little for the positive results.  I try to stomp that sense of entitlement as quickly as I see it rearing it's ugly little punch it in the face head.

However, I know I have high expectations.  I don't really think this is a problem on most days.  I mean, I'd love a crew of straight A students.  I'd love the most compassionate and understanding kids around.  I'd love for my kids to always make the best decisions possible in every situation.  I do think it potentially becomes a problem when I expect my kids to be me.

That's just setting them up for failure.  I should just stamp them with the "F" stamp the second they come in the door for as good as it all does.  My kids are definitely not failures.  Not by a really, really, really long shot.  Like so long that it's crossed a few galaxies and landed on another planet.

So what's my problem?  The dish job.  I have four children out of six that participate in this venture.  My oldest son is about to be seventeen.  He's probably been doing dishes for the better part of maybe eight years now. My next older is eleven.  He's been on K.P. (Kitchen Patrol) for maybe two or so... I guess we were more lenient with these ones.  My ten year old has been active on K.P. for about a year.  Then, my nine year old empties the dishwasher every morning (sometimes).

It's no easy task.  There are eight people in my house.  That equates to a friggin' lot of dishes.  No joke.  We have a pretty good weekly to nightly routine for the dishes.  My oldest does the dishes three times a week and the other two get two nights each.  We alternate the clearing of the table with the kids that don't have to do the dishes minus the kid that has his shower night that night.  Normally that leaves two table clearers.

The dish job in itself involves loading the dishwasher.  I very heavily EMPHASIZE the wiping of all the dishes before they go in... after all... a dishwasher is no magician. Contrary to my childrens' belief systems, the dishwasher does not cook, create and distribute food onto all of the dishes once it goes in.  They do try really hard to convince me though.

They also need to wipe down the kitchen counters, the sink and the stove, wash the table, chairs and bench, clean Mallory's high chair, sweep the floors and take out the garbage.  It's an involved process.

Despite my wonderful weekly routine and system for getting this job done nightly, I find myself frustrated over it every morning.  The counters aren't clean.  The sink stinks because there's still food in it.  Dirty dishes came out of the dishwasher.  I stepped in something sticky on the floor.  It really is never quite right.  Then I spend half my morning re-cleaning all of it.

The annoyance builds and builds and builds until I tell the boys, "I'm just going to do it myself!".  They don't like that.  They then try to make up for it.  After I've made them their home cooked lovely meal, they ALL clear the table and tell me how much they're going to help me anyway.  I just want to shout at them, "If you want to help, just do the job the way I want it done!!".

Here's the dilemma I'm in now though.  I did the dish job last night.  All of it.  It was fantastic waking up to a nice, clean kitchen this morning.  When dinner time rolled around tonight, I was not on board with doing the dishes.  Not one bit.  I'm exhausted.  If my husband hadn't been traveling for work I know he would have done the loading of the dishwasher but he's not here.  I'm sure he would have been too exhausted to though.  So, it's just me.  To do the whole thing. Alone.  Again.

I feel like a three year old.  "I DON'T WANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I do so much during the day already.  I don't want to end my night with more cleaning.  WTF is wrong with me?  I'd surely rather them do a crappy dish job than for me to do the whole thing.  I'd rather clean up the next morning after their crappy dish job than for me to get stuck with the whole thing tonight.  What have I done?  Am I completely stupid?

No.  No.  This is over.  Tomorrow.  Over.

They go back to the routine.  They are not me.  They can do them when they do the dishes at night and I'll do me when I fix it all in the morning.  I got this.

But tonight... this is what faces me...............

I think I'll drink tonight and clean tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A New Milestone : The Big 1-0!!

My third born son turned ten years old almost two weeks ago.  Seriously.. I can't even....

This kid is so many things.  He's funny.  He's sarcastic.  He's musical.  He's emotional.  He's kind.  He's smart.  It's a really long list.  He's a special kid.

It's been ten years since his awesome arrival into the world at 2:21am on February 21st.  He's going to have a hell of a golden birthday.  I don't even want to know about it.  He loves his birthday though.  He loves the story and he loves that the time and date are the same.  Although he doesn't much like being the center of attention, he really enjoys that little detail about himself.

This year I made a last minute decision to surprise him on his birthday.  I actually did a couple of things.  The first thing I did was I made a giant sign for him to see when he woke up in the morning.

The other thing was something more fun and unexpected.  When he got up I told him we were going rollerskating and that Jeremiah and Nicholas were going to come too.  He was really excited!

There's a skating rink pretty close by that was having an open skate.  They opened at 11am.  My husband was going to stay behind with the two younger kids and I took Andrew, Jeremiah and Nicholas to go skating.  It was seriously an awesome time.  (I had intended on bringing my photography camera with me to take some nice photos... I even packed the bag... but then I forgot it on the kitchen table.  So I have iPhone photos.  Boo.)  We shook it off with Taylor... hung tough with the New Kids and acted like animals with Maroon 5.

I don't think I've been rollerskating since I was maybe in grade school.  It was amazing and a little intimidating to see some pint sized kids on rollerskates literally skating circles around me.  Like they've been doing it since birth.  Even Andrew and Jeremiah were pretty good on skates!

Nicholas needed a little help.  This was his first time skating.  Apparently they make these walkers for young skaters... which I'm not sure help all that much... but I got one for Nick to feel more comfortable.  He spent a lot of time tripping over the thing but it seemed to help give him confidence and by the time we left, he was all excited and amped to go again soon!

Andrew had a good time though.  Skating with his brothers, eating cotton candy and we even got the DJ to announce his birthday and play one of his favorite songs!

It was secretly a good time for me too.  I really enjoy when I get to go back in time a little and do something I haven't done in forever!  Well, because according to my kids, I used to ride around on dinosaurs.  But Momma can do some skating! :)

For his birthday dinner, Andrew requested some barbecue ribs, cinnamon applesauce and macaroni & cheese.

After dinner, he got to do his present treasure hunt.  He asked for some Megabloks Halo toys and a Terminator Action Figure.  I love my nerdy kids!  ;)

For his dessert, he requested Nerds Blizzards.  YUM!!  These kids definitely have some of their momma in them!

It was a really fun day.  He kept talking about the rollerskating and was just so happy about everything!  This kid... he's growing into such a cool little man.  He's handsome and so so funny.  It's scary to think that in ten more years he'll be out of high school and embarking on the world!  It goes too dang fast!!!

My Letter to Kraft

Dear Kraft,

Hi there.  My name is Cathy and I feed my children your Macaroni & Cheese.  Not all the time but every so often.  Like when I forget to defrost chicken to cook them a real meal.  Not that I don't think Macaroni & Cheese is delicious, it is, but let's face it... it's nutritional value is quite lacking.  It's drunken snack value is high up there... but that doesn't... help my children... never mind.  Anyway, I feel like I'm failing them when I have to change the dinner plan, but they think I'm a Goddess because they are getting this special treat.  I suppose that helps make the failure all worth it.

That said, I was wondering... can you please stop putting that little perforated thumb tab on the sides of the boxes?  Pretty please?  You know... that thing I think we (the consumer) are supposed to use to open up the box in one swift motion?  I  mean, I get why it's there.  Someone, somewhere... some super human being must have been able to accomplish opening it in the way in which it was designed... and I'd love to meet this super human... but I just can't do it.  I end up mangling the whole box and breaking finger nails.  I accomplish all of that with out ever even denting the little thumb tab.  Amazing isn't it?

I believe that it's truly unfair that I should feel like such a moron because of that little thumb tab.  I guess the fact that it has been on your boxes for so long must mean that I really am the only idiot who can't do it.  It taunts me, like "use me, use me" and then I try... and become a failure in the process.  Since I have already failed to supply my little hungry monsters with a properly cooked meal and am resorting to Macaroni & Cheese, I really don't care to feel like any bigger of a failure because of a box.  After all, motherhood is hard enough.

So, now that you've heard my concerns, my recommendation is a box redesign.  Something more simple for moms like me that need a quick dinner fix when they screw up.  (Or that late night drunken snack after the kids go to bed... either one.)  Suggestions?  Maybe a zipper?  A combination lock?  A touchscreen with a password?  Anything but that friggin' useless perforated thumb tab.

Thank you so much, Kraft, for hearing my concerns.

Have a lovely day,

Miss Tired of Opening Your Damn Box