Monday, October 25, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
This past weekend was Mr. Darcy's 20 year high school reunion. I broke outta the darlin' funhouse to attend. It was a guilty pleasure. It's like this every time I break out. I have trouble sitting in a QUIET car with Mr. Darcy-ALONE. And not because he's delightfully witty and always smells like something fantastic. I simply cannot get used to the action being only in the front seat. Hey wait, don't get any ideas there. I was referring to the lack of chaos in the two rows behind me. I was able to turn on the radio as opposed to the squeaky kid CD that lives in our head five hours after we've gotten outta the car. I was able to put my lipstick on in the mirror. Yes, without having to stop, throw my lipstick down, crawl over the seat to calm the screaming baby or separate the darlin's from the non-stop you can't touch me game. It was like a graveyard back there-just the sound of quiet. I think the reason mamas don't like the quiet is due to the fact that the quiet usually means someone is doing something they shouldn't be doing. Like painting your nail polish on the new blouse you just bought. So if I head out for a date with Mr. Darcy and I have the luxury of quiet I am split right down the middle like a crazy chick. I hear this is called cognitive dissonance-two competing ideas. So I guess that is kind of like sanity and love of raising children-otherwise known as my normal state of existence. Frickity Frack, so as soon as we got to the party, and the much needed noise, we felt like two bona fide jailbirds. I was glad to find that we were in pretty good company. Everyone there had a handful of children-give or take-and most knew the chaos that is your life at the 20-year reunion mark. Will we all be twittling our thumbs at the empty nest reunion? Who knows. I did enjoy all this conversation, but really I am so dreadfully out of practice. Wouldn't you think a mama spending all day long with four smarty pants chatterbox darlin's would be on her game with the chatter at a social event? Yeah, you'd be wrong. Too many intelligent conversations going on in my house ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Heaven help me. Sometimes I think I am completely pyscho to be able to actually hear all four of them and rotate to each eventually with an answer. How in the world do I do that? Of course, later in my sleep I twitch. Maybe that has something to do with it. Everything in the mama hood eventually boils down to good ole yin-yang, right? ;-) So anyway it was very nice to talk to other non-juice-needing people. It was nice to dance with someone I don't have to lead-well, most of the time. It was nice to RELAX at a table with friends and eat my meal without having my sweet darlin's practice their vulture routine on my plate. But the night had to end and the dance music always plays out to that last cheesy song and it was time to get back to the Groundhog Day life we have chosen. Of course by the early a.m., I was really ready to get back to the juiced-up darlin's anyway cause I am totally crazy, twitching addicted to them and their sweet noise.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
My little ones have lots of toys, but what really gets their engine runnin' is good old fashioned cardboard, glue, tape, and rubberband kinds of concoctions. Mr. Darcy calls this "arts and crap". This week it was bats drawn on cardboard with black magic marker. I watched with mild amusement while all the other thousands of dollars in toys went completely ignored so they could focus on the paper bat family. The bats live in the window, fly around and have campfire adventures in the closets. They hunt for food in my pantry and sleep upside down on the furniture with the lights off of course. I have been instructed that these are not the blood sucking bats, but instead nice, friendly, fruit bats. Bat books from the closet have been retrieved and re-read to the cardboard bats mind you. Stellaluna is a lovely book in case your darlin's like bats too. I remember when my first darlin' was a baby and we used washed-out detergent bottles, juice jugs, and throw-away plastics to entertain for hours before we got all the toys... The kitchen floor was often littered with these "treasures" and I loved watching my first darlin' make his own play from nothing. He knew the sound of the one tile in our kitchen that was hollow underneath from tapping things on top. Toys are overrated these days if you ask me. I know it sounds old fashioned but toys on the shelf now have one way of play, one result over and over again, and it doesn't take kids long to master and toss it aside. We use blocks, train sets, kitchen play, books and the like but even these multiple outcome toys eventually get boring. What really goes the distance is junk and dirt. Things that they can turn into something. I've seen the darlin's create robots, rockets, and cardboard houses from utter scraps of trash. I am always amazed at the raw imagination of a child. They call the door hinges "butterflies" and they make boats of leaves and grass. Sticks in the yard become magic wands and swords for "fencing". One of my children can turn two sticks into four different things in under a minute. Don't get me started on what they do with rocks and where they stick them to sneak them into the house for these covert creative projects. When I can nurture this third eye of creativity I certainly do, but isn't it hard with all the competing blinking lights and too-loud sounds of today's obnoxious toys? We have lots of these "lovely" things in our house too, just like many of you, but late at night the battery fairy visits these toys and completes a batterectomy. Of course, the next morning mama is magically out of batteries and can't seem to find any more at the store to replace them. Oh well. I guess the darlin's will just have to get outside and grab some rocks and sticks. I just hope they don't aim them at the window!
Free paper toy templates online: http://www.thetoymaker.com/2Toys.html Enjoy!
Free paper toy templates online: http://www.thetoymaker.com/2Toys.html Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
What goes up must come down. What goes in must come out. These phrases lacked their gravity before I became a parent. Now I know that I should have bought stock in Pampers wipes and invested in four of those little vacuums that automatically run around your house picking up gunk instead of all those baby extras. Sigh. There is nothing like a reality check to get you in a position of humility, and children do just this service for us adults when we are most comfortable in our otherwise unrestricted schedules. You know-manicures, pedicures, outings with the girls WHENEVER we wanna head out the door, or a lazy day of reading or walking in the park to clear your head. Now I have to plan a month ahead to get to the local salad bar. It's challenging, but I will be first to admit that the parenting "brakes" are more gift than not. I never took time out before to slow down since I was always chasing the next project or career move. It's easy to get sucked into this project and that volunteer opportunity but once it's not about you anymore, you quickly learn a "no" to others is often a "yes" to your family. It is no longer possible to keep up such a pace and living in the present moment is about all we can manage. I remember before we had children our friends would say they couldn't commit to an event, could only come for a little while, or at the last minute, they couldn't come at all because of little ones. Now I get it-really get it. It has been a refreshing change to s-l-o-w down and really smell the roses even if it means you look like a total flake. And don't you forget to smell the roses while you are dealing with the ins and outs of darlin's. You will need the air freshener regularly - trust me. Most of my friends and relatives know me to be fairly uptight, and by that I mean "wound tighter than a German clock" uptight. I remember one-darlin' days and that sort of slowed me down a little. I became a little more unreliable to family and friends in service of the little one's constant needs. I needed to plan a bit more, but the hysteria of trying to do everything kept on keeping on. Then two darlin's were in the house and things got a bit more hectic and we became neurotic about outings. Having two boys felt like four tots to us and you can guess how many parents you need to get "four tots" out the door and safely back again. Just as we adjusted to the feel of two very active boys, three darlin's were tugging on my skirts ALL AT THE SAME TIME and I did have to "shelve" the never-ending-to-do-list for a while even if it did make me twitch a little before I fell asleep each night. Now that darlin' #4 is here, well folks, Martha Stewart has left the building. I try to get to the stuff that would otherwise keep me from sleeping at night but the rest of the silliness got lost under a stack of last year's Christmas cards. I believe without a doubt God intended for me to have just such an experience in the mama hood. Only four darlin's could have coaxed me into slowing down and relaxing a little. To tell you the truth I am enjoying the break even if it wasn't directly my idea. God is great to us like that.