Monday, October 29, 2012

Pants On Fire

Hubs and I take a lot of pride in being fairly honest people. In those rare cases where a fib is necessary, (like when the psycho from kijiji emails asking us where he can show up to pick up our free broken chair and murder us and we have to tell an untruth to save our skins), we both are generally quite awkward and concoct a colourful, minutely detailed story that's just so awesome people won't help but buy it. We go for the "It's So Unbelievable You Just Have To Believe It" approach. But in general, we are the kind of folks who won't hesitate to tell the truth at all times.

However, there is a huge, gaping exception. We lie to our kids ALL THE TIME. And the lies just roll off our tongues like warm maple syrup (which we are out of, wink wink). These are some of the most amusing lies I've noticed us telling the boys recently.

  • Dreaming about falling over a waterfall means you're growing (this stupid dream kept plaguing B1 for weeks until we gave him this feel-good, if false explanation)
  • There are no cookies in the pantry (technically true sometimes, they're often only in my belly - but I probably was hiding in the pantry when I ate them)
  • Yes I'm going to bed now too (because otherwise they will each insist that I need to stay in their bed all night when I tuck them in)
  • McDonald's is closed (does it ever close?)
  • Oops, sorry, the grocery store bakery ran out of freebie cookies (that smell is just a special birthday cake that someone else ordered baking)
  • We don't have money for that (because, yes, we are so tightly budgeted that your $1.47 bag of Skittles will put us into foreclosure)
  • Drink up your Advil (and please don't notice that it's just water in the Advil dose cup)
  • Today's going to be a No Yelling Day! (this is an unintentional lie...the No Yelling Day is always intended, rarely accomplished)
Should I be concerned that I can't think of more? Am I becoming a hardened, calloused liar? Are the lines between honestly and fibbery becoming so blurred that I can't even identify which side I'm on anymore?

No. Impossible. I will never lie to my kids again. (What's that burning-denim smell?)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Get It Now

I thought about saving this post for Mother's Day or my Mom's birthday or something, but those are too far away. I wanted to say some things and I think it would be better to say them sooner rather than later. Not for any scary doom-filled reason, just because I think it will make my Mom happy and why wait for that.

I wanted to say I get it now. Lately I've been realizing all kinds of things that have made me understand a lot of the things you did or said when I was a child that made me annoyed with you.

  • How - whenever we had tacos for dinner - you would always make a salad for yourself. I get it. That was so you could leave the shells for us. Did this very thing last week myself. It wasn't really what I wanted, but everyone was eating well and I saw we would run out of tortillas, so I stopped eating them. I used to roll my eyes and think you were on another silly diet (which may have been true sometimes) but more often I think it was an act of selflessness.
  • How - whenever I asked to go swimming, you would roll your eyes and try to convince me I didn't want to go. I get it. I know how much the pool sucks and I also hate taking my kids there. 
  • How - when we had friends who were annoying, you let us know you didn't really like them. I get it. I try not to - oh, I try not to - but now that my kids are making friends, I have been unable to help myself sometimes if the kid is just particularly annoying.
  • How - when we had parents of a boyfriend treat us with slightly less-than-open arms - you got violently defensive of us. I get it. Obviously we aren't there yet, but even if my kid is the last to get a ball at Sportball class, I'm prickling to wrestle someone for "overlooking" him.
  • How - when people were rude or inconsiderate - you would make a passive aggressive comment. I get it. I think your comments were probably less passive than mine, but I hate it when other people act like jerks and I talk (loudly) to my kids about the need to take off dirty shoes/leave some for others/pay attention to where they're going/etc. within earshot of adults who are failing to be respectful.
  • How you always opted out of the pictures. You weren't happy with how you looked and you didn't like having your picture taken. I get it. I make a point of being included in the pictures anyway, but I totally understand how you felt. I wish you'd been able to push past it though - there are not enough pictures of you with us when we were little. 
I'm sure, as my kids get older and we go through more changes and challenges, that I'm going to "get" a lot more. But I just wanted you to know that I understand a lot of it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mommy and the Man Cold

Most moms I know amaze me. They can do it all. Bake and decorate cupcakes worthy of a Food Network competition, prep 8500 freezer dinners, wash allllll the clothes (and actually get all the stains out), create a from-scratch, organic, free range, GMO-free, sugar-free, gluten-free breakfast that their children actually consume, and craft a Martha Stewart-worthy holiday display using only recycled, freecycled, or upcycled materials to sell on etsy. All before 8 am. While looking thin, glamourous, and stylish. Even when they're sick.

I am really not one of this variety. Yeah, ok, I can do some of those things, maybe even more than one on a good day. I am getting better at multi-tasking and being organized and creative and having systems in place to help me be a great mom. And I have always made a point of trying to spend at least a few minutes putting on some makeup or reminding the world that I'm still a girl, even when I had two babies draining the life out of me.

But when I get sick? All bets are off. You all are on your own. If I have to do anything other than vegetate my hiney, I will whine and complain and grumble and generally make it seem like I've just piggybacked everyone to the summit of Mt. Everest. I just got over what was a fairly minor cold, and I kind of feel like I deserve a Caribbean vacation as a reward for surviving it.

The conventional joke is that men don't do sick well. So very untrue in our house. My husband is incredibly stoic and doesn't complain at all. Sometimes I don't even know he's sick until after he's better. *I* get the man colds in our family. And if anyone ever forgets that...don't worry. I'll remind you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Giant Hairy Starfish

This weekend we had the pleasure of visiting not one, but TWO swimming pools. I'm going to say it. I hate the swimming pool with the intensity of a thousand fiery seahorses (which is actually quite intense).

I hate the swimming pool for a few reasons:

  1. I dislike being naked in front of other people. And without fail, as soon as I remove a critical garment, one of my kids WILL certainly need my help, need to pee, or start to cry (hopefully the crying is not directly caused by my removal of said garment, but this is not impossible to consider).
  2. My younger son is a reckless daredevil and every time we're there I spend the entire visit expecting him to either crack his head open, drown himself, or drown someone else. Or all three.
  3. My older son is significantly less adventurous than his little brother and spends most visits to the pool cycling between crying, clinging to me, accidentally removing part of my swimsuit because of frantic clinging to me (which again triggers Hatred Reason 1.), asking to try something then backpedaling, crying again, begging to leave, and actually enjoying himself for a few fleeting moments.
  4. The floors skeeve me out to no end. I don't know how hard it is to consider that your filthy outdoor shoes, spillable snacks, and nasty stroller wheels DO NOT belong in the locker room where people are barefoot. Specifically, where I am barefoot. And naked. 
  5. And most importantly - the time and effort spent preparing for going swimming in no way even approaches the time spent enjoying swimming. Especially considering Hatred Reasons 2. and 3. above - "enjoying" is a relative term when you are the mother of these particular swimmers. But even their enjoyment is so just brief at this age - it hardly seems worth the investment. 
There are a few other activities that have similarly atrocious inverse relationships between effort and enjoyment. I have developed the following handy quick reference guide for the Hierarchy of Effort to Enjoyment. (This also illustrates the comparative frequency of certain activities in our home.) 

Now all this said - I would like to repeat that we went to TWO separate swimming pools this weekend! And I will continue to take them swimming, even though I think I really have proven my case that the pool sucks starfish. Giant hairy starfish.