Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Misadventures of Tuesday Confusion

My folly this time is in using terms that make perfect sense to me, but apparently not to everyone else. Since I found myself explaining some of the terminology to Rick today, I've decided to write a small dictionary.

Home Chickens: Sort of the opposite of a Free Range Chicken. We are people who are at home. I don't find myself in that position very often anymore.

Laundry Quest: A very exciting game that involves the children gathering up their own laundry and sorting it to be washed. There is not much more to it than that. Announcing "Laundry Quest" usually gets much more action than telling the children to go get their laundry. There is, on occasion, a small reward for the winner of "Laundry Quest".

Laundry Espionage: Much more exciting than "Laundry Quest". "Laundry Espionage" is the process of getting favorite sheets or blankets washed and put back into position before the owner realizes what you have done. This game requires stealth and ingenuity. This game was invented with Nicole in mind. Nicole has very strong objections to having her favorite sheet washed. She says washing it makes it feel wrong. Alex also benefits from this game, though, thankfully I have four of his favorite blanket(s) so it easier to accomplish.

Clean-a-thon: Pretty self-explanatory. Clean-a-thon is the game we play (and by "we" I mean "I") when there is a lot of housework to be done and very little enthusiasm for the project. This game involves setting the timer for 10 minutes of housework, followed by 10 minutes of rest/play and so on. I can on occasion get the kids involved with this because of the fun timer aspect. I think that this game might be more successful if I came up with a better name.

Shoe Shuffle: This is the exciting "game" of trying to find two matching shoes (per child). I try to encourage "Shoe Shuffle" at night because playing in the morning makes us late. Because of my recent refusal to "play", there have been a few occasions where a child has had to wear mismatched shoes or in the case of dance, only one shoe.

Mary Poppins: A sometimes successful game, "Mary Poppins" involves setting the timer for five or ten minutes and letting each child have a turn playing Mary Poppins. Because we can't snap and magically make things put themselves away, those of us who aren't having our turn being Mary Poppins act as the magic. We put the things away that get snapped at.

Tuesday Warrior/Mama Warrior: Because of my never-ending battle with TUESDAY, every week we pick sides, whether to be a Tuesday Warrior or a Mama Warrior. A Tuesday Warrior helps Tuesday to defeat me. I have been defeated if I am reduced to tears or if I find myself hiding in the closet or writing a blog entry with the door locked. A Mama Warrior works hard to make my day go smoothly. The children assure every TUESDAY that they are Mama Warriors, however, their loyalties have been known to change.

Parental Chicken: The game that Rick and I play when we are both doing our own thing, such as reading or playing computer, and someone is crying or something needs be be done. Whoever gets up and attends to the needs of the family first loses. I lose at "Parental Chicken" at least nine out of ten times, I always flinch first.

Vacuum Tag: The game of vacuuming while the children(usually a toddler) run away squealing, either with joy or terror.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Misadventures of Kate's Follies

I don't have a specific folly to list this time. I'm afraid that the whole entry is about Kate's follies.

As I was leaving church today, a mother of mostly teenagers stopped me and told me how amusing she had found watching me parading in and out of sacrament meeting. I'm sure that it was very amusing to the entire Ward, as we were sitting on the very front row. Rick was home today with a sick baby, so I found myself alone with the other three. I asked them all before entering the chapel if they had to use the bathroom. Of coarse, none of them did. Then, half way through the sacrament, Erika had to go potty "right now". I asked the other two if they needed to go, of coarse, neither did. When Erika and I reached the chapel doors to go back in, out came Nicole. She needed to go potty. About five minutes after Erika, Nicole and I marched back up to the front, Austin and Nicole both had to go potty "right now!" I didn't trust Erika enough to leave her while I took the others out, so off we all went again from the very front pew only to return five minutes later. When this sweet sister was talking to me after church, I mentioned how embarrassed I had been going in and out like that. She told me it was amusing to her because of how often she had been in the exact same situation.

I mention that story because it brought home something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I look around me and have great admiration for the mothers that I see. I watch mothers bringing large families of neatly groomed, well behave children to church every Sunday. I do my visiting teaching in beautifully decorated and perfectly immaculate houses. I see these wonderful, amazing women running to little league, volunteering in school, cooking homemade meals, and caring for their children. They make it look so easy, like they could do it with one hand tied behind their backs. I have often found myself in near despair because I'm not amazing like these other women are. I make mistakes with my family. We eat corn dogs and hot pockets and mac'n'cheese because the more work I put into a meal, the less likely my family is to eat it. My house isn't perfect. My laundry piles up. My floor sometimes goes unswept. And, the worse part of all, I have no idea what I'm doing with my children. I am continually reading parenting books, trying to find the right path to be on. I feel basically clueless, flying from one moment to the next, just doing my best to do my best. Then, one day, someone said, "Wow! You're so on top of things. I don't know how you do it." That stopped me in my tracks. Me? On top of things? Me? And then I realized that all of my struggles are behind closed doors (isn't that where we want to keep them?). No one knows how often I have felt like I was drowning in uncertainty. It made me wonder, "Is it possible that all of those amazing mothers are just as uncertain as I am? Probably not, but it definitely gave me a new perspective on things. My kids are healthy and happy (for the most part) and for now, I'll keep doing my best to do my best.