Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Enjoy them when they happen (long post, sorry)

I'm talking, of course, about those good moments, the ones you wish were happening while someone under the age of nine is screaming or crying or pouting or lying to you. In the past two days, I've had a good dose of the good and the bad, and I'm writing them here to remember them either when things get really good and I need to be taken down a few pegs, or when things turn really bad and I need to remember that yes, I still do love these children.

Start with yesterday. How amazing is it that moods and attitudes can shift in the space of 90 minutes. As I walked in the door yesterday, JAM was upstairs playing by himself (he likes to get a head start on being a reclusive teenager I guess) but Pudge and Red were both in the living room playing. As soon as I walked into the hallway, Red and Pudge both ran (literally ran) over to me and gave me the biggest and most happy hugs I've gotten in a long time. I thought it was my birthday. I felt so welcomed it was fantastic. What a welcome change from the typical situation where someone is crying/screaming about something when I walk in.

But with the good goes the bad right? Call it karma I guess (thank you Jason Lee), things can't ever seem to stay happy around here for long. From my fantastic welcome home greeting, we'll fast forward 90 minutes to after dinner and the end of play time and transition upstairs to bath and bed. The last few nights (weeks) have been a bit chaotic around here, and it was all our fault. As we're desperately trying to get some final things done to the house before Red's party this weekend we've been a bit preoccupied, using all available minutes to get stuff done. For instance, last night after dinner while Wifey was cleaning up the kitchen, I was caulking the new molding in the hallway and the kids were having a blast playing in the living room. Things got a bit out of control, as they are likely to do when no one is really keeping a lid on the excitement, so little miss Red was not in the frame of mind to stop playing when it was finally time to go upstairs. Fast forward again and Red is in bed without bath or book, screaming like a banshee for a solid 30 minutes. Add on top of that poor Pudge not wanting to go to sleep and us having to listen to him cry on and off for about another 90 minutes. Oh yes, good times.

As bad as last night was, tonight was absolutely a different world. Wifey's friend L joined us for dinner and then they stole off to do some shopping for home accessories. I had thought a lot about the issues of last night and figured that the chaotic post-dinner playtime had a lot to do with the difficult transitions we've suffered through these last few nights. So instead of ignoring them in order to get other things done, I kept a close lid on the kid's activities, keeping them to low-key stuff like Legos and books, and what do you know? Red was perfect for the end of play into bath transition. We had an absolutely amazing tub, smooth book time, and while I put Pudge to sleep and JAM took his shower, Red read in her bed. (that was a funny sentence to say out loud. :) ) Pudge actually went down without much of a fuss, I snuggled with Red for a bit then said good night and she went right off to sleep. JAM and I hung out downstairs for a while and the final following thing happened that really capped off quite a nice evening...

Jam and I were talking, and although I honestly can't remember exactly what the subject was it was something where I had to explain something to him. The end result was that after I told him whatever it was he asked how I knew. My standard response to that kind of question? Same as every quality father would say... "because Daddy knows everything." You know, that used to work too. What did I get for my trouble this time? A world-class teenager eye roll and an exasperated "whatever!"

So in true teacher fashion, I turn it into a teachable moment to work on making sure he never develops that absolute blind trust that got me into so much trouble. Seriously, I would believe everyone and everything growing up. Not sure why, I just never questioned much of anything, I just trusted people not to lie or take advantage of me. Yeah, not the greatest idea in retrospect. But to test his thinking, I asked him if there really were people who knew everything in the world. I was glad to hear him say no. There is a long way to go to make sure he knows when to call someone out if they're laying a line of BS at his feet, but it was a start. But, as I continued -

"There are some things that Daddy knows..."
"There are some things that Mommy knows..."
"There are some things that JAM knows..."
Without skipping a beat, you know what he says in the same tone and inflection I had used?
"There are some things that Mommy makes up..."
I promise, I didn't coach him at all. And after I stopped laughing, I told him he was a funny, funny kid. What made it so funny was the truth behind it. Yeah, I'm going to get kicked for this one, but I'll still share. :)

The "inventiveness" of a certain female parental unit around here is quite a well documented phenomena. When telling stories, which if you haven't noticed she is quite fond of, the literal truth sometimes takes a backseat for a certain level of embellishment. But, what truly great storyteller doesn't do that right? Only I found her one of the best shirts of all time a while back. No, I don't have a picture of this one like I do the other, but it really is a perfectly simple plain t-shirt that reads "I make stuff up". Yup, nothing like getting straight to the point. For once.

And last, as if anyone is really reading mess at this point, I realized I never got a picture up of the last shirt I got her... It was her birthday present last year and I never posted about it. I'm a bad blogger. But, here it is... I made it at Cafe Press and it was super easy to use their site. I created the logos in Fireworks and uploaded them and was done in like 10 minutes.

The shirt is there, with a close up of the logos. The quote isn't really a quote so much as a bastardization of a line from "Anchorman," and the logo on the back is her signature from her blog. Not too bad if I do say so myself. Even if I did mess it up on the first try and had to order a replacement with the correct quote on the front. Oh well. And the kicker? Cafe Press told us rather than send the bad one back to them, we should keep the messed up one too. She now has one good one and one messed up one to wear around the house. Funny stuff, but it went a long way to show me how great that company was, and I'll definitely use them again.

If you made it this far, you're either married to me or you have something seriously wrong with you. And you know who you are. Thanks though! :)



Trillian42 said...

Well, I'm 99% sure I'm not married to you...


morninglight mama said...

I'm definitely married to you (even if that certificate in the safety deposit box was a fraud, I got you on common-law, I would think), and I have already kicked you, so what's left to say??

Glad you had a nice evening. Hopefully more of those are in our future when we finally cross off the last project to-do list item!