Friday, April 17, 2009

Landee Gets Real

I know what you're thinking. "Oh, Landee... you don't have any trials. You don't struggle. Your biggest worry in life is that you'll run out of Dr. Pepper and won't be able to make it to the store until the next day." While that is a worry of mine, it's not my only worry. And while my struggles in life pale in comparison to other people's trials, I still have my fair share.

The biggest trial I've had would be my inability to have children "unassisted." I'm talking about doctors assisting me here... not Gty. It took a few years after being married to discover why, after going off the pill after 8 months of marriage, I was still unpreggers. In those childless years I had a lot of sad moments. I hope we made the most of them but I cried a lot more than I probably should have. On the up side, I was able to work full time while Gty was going through grad school and we incurred very little debt (comparatively speaking).

Cut to this week where my trial has been this kid (yes, one of the very kids I used to cry about not having!).

This week has been a lot of this kind of stuff.... except imagine me with a much meaner face, whispering/yelling threats and punishments he is going to receive when we get home and maybe even me pinching his arm. Hard.

He's on my list.

It started out with him refusing to listen, continued with him punching his brother and relentlessly teasing his sister, and peaked last night when he over flowed the toilet by using an insane amount of toilet paper. He had tried to "fix" the problem by flushing again.... and again.... and again. After surveying the scene I could see he had tried to fish out some of the TP and put it into the nearby garbage can. Disgusting. I was already so done with him at this point so it was very ungood. I admit it was not my best parenting moment.

Now, this morning, after a good night's sleep, some exercise and TBone having been at school for the past few hours I am thinking clearer. I can now imagine him in the bathroom in a complete panic as he sees the toilet filling up more and more and more. He tries all his best problem solving skills to no avail and finally comes to tell me only to see me explode. It's not his fault I have no patience and wasn't in the mood to deal with poo water all over my floor.

So here's the thing.... I've been thinking a lot this past week about how really, I'm in the "sweet spot" as far as parenting goes. I have no babies (who Flem reminds me every day are a LOT of WORK) and I have no teenagers to worry about.

Right now:
  • My kids like hanging out with me.
  • They love doing family activities.
  • They long for my attention.
  • They confide in me.
  • They still think Gty and I are fairly funny/cool people.
  • I control their schedules.
  • They can be easily influenced by chore chart points and promises of ice cream as motivation.
  • They still love getting hugs and kisses from their mom.

I'm not dumb enough to think that this will last forever. I realize that my time in this "sweet spot" is limited. In a few short years JBird will become a teenager, TBone will soon follow and then.... ::breathing deep:: Beebs. They might be fun years too, but they also might not be. Time will tell.

What I know right now is that THESE are definitely fun years. There are moments of frustration and worry but over all my kids are cute, loving, adorable and funny.

What I need to do right now is decide to enjoy them. Rubber-gloves-required clean-ups or not.

Easier said than done. I know.


eekareek said...

So true, so true. Having had teenagers in my home, I really like the ages my kids are at right now.

Cristin said...

And I thought your life was perfect. Way to ruin it for me.

Well, it's good to know that I'm not the only one standing around with rubber gloves and trying to enjoy the "sweet spot" at the same time.

Markie23 said...

I can testify that it goes by in the blink on an eye. Realization is the first step - you're doing great.

Katie said...

I got all teary eyed on that one.

You are a great mom. I can tell. That is my favorite thing about kids. They relish that you realize you were wrong so much, that they completely forgive you. Although he doesn't listen to anything else you say, he definitely can hear, "I might have overreacted, and I am sorry."

You can also send them to visit their aunt Katie. It is a rental so I am cool with it getting trashed. Anything to depreciate it before we try to buy.

Memzy said...

Yeah Ive done quite a bit of that "sorry I was impatient and grouchy" talk to my kids lately. So thanks for that reminder.

Jenny ESP said...

Beautifully put!

Ironically, Tony used some similar words on me this week. We were making plans for the future, and figuring how old our kids would be, and I suddenly panicked, thinking our kids were getting too old and we needed to have a replacement baby. He was like "Are you kidding me? It doesn't get any better than this. We should enjoy it while we can." I pouted and said he hates babies, even though he was dead-on right and I don't want a new baby anyway.

Jenny said...

Well put. And, just what I needed to hear after an afternoon of similar shenanigans from my boys. Thanks for the reminder.

Hot Pants said...

Thanks for the eye opener. I've been pizzed at my kids for the last 48 hours, and it all blew out of me last night.....into the freekin fan. I also had the same panic attack Jespy was talking about. Menopause? I don't know what else it could be. I seriously have it easy with my kids. I even have a live in babysitter who is obsessed with following rules and still LOVES to stay home and be in charge. I'm an ingrate.

Carol said...

Dear Lulu, Wise beyond your years. How great that you realize this NOW and not in another 10 years. You'll still appologize to your kids when they're adults for the mistakes you made when they were young but they'll forgive you even more because now THEY have kids and totally understand. Kevin asked me once, "Mom, did you spank us much when we were kids?" (They were trying to decide about corporal punishment, etc.) My question to him, "Do you remember getting spanked much"? Him, "No". Me, "Then it didn't hurt you now did it".

StandsMom said...

Awwwww.....sniff, snifffff. I LOVE that picture of you with T-bone, trying to be all good-mom-ish and he's got that look on his face, like he's pretending to not care so much. That darn kid. And that's one of my favorite shirts he's wearing, btw.

Every once in a while, I see how old my Link is getting and I have a little hyperventilating panic attack. Still just trying to survive George. Sassy, however, will never be anything more than the sweet little 3 year old she is now. Never.

Jonesy said...

I always hated it when people said this kind of stuff to me - but begging for pity is one of the few allowances for parents with teenagers - so here goes . .

"I would GLADLY trade a bathroom full of poo water (made by my own child that is) for the 4+ hour knock-down drag-out-weeping-and-wailing-nashing-of-teeth battle that ensued when I explained to my 15 yr old that she could NOT go to the movies because she did NOT get the grades required to do so !"

Don't feel bad about losing your temper - poo water is yucky and kids are resilient.

Flem said...

Oooh you don't do one of these very often. I like it.

I love that you have always enjoyed your kids. And for the record, I have never said it was too much work, I just said I had one too many. Those are different concepts.

Also anytime you want to catch yourself yelling T-BONE I got it all cued up for you.

Our Family said...

I get it Landee. Totally understand.
Every stage is fun though, just so you know. And when your kids are tween/teenagers you are going to have SOOO much fun you'll be wishing it would have come sooner... They are so lucky to have you vice-versa.

Kelli said...

I love this post. Thanks for the reminder. It rings very true for me...and makes me look forward to bidding these baby days goodbye!

Annie said...

Wow that post made you so much more real to me. Thanks for sharing and thanks for your candidness (is that a word?) Anyway, YES be thankful you don't have major teenage testoserone running through you house. It totally sucks.