Quick post here. I’m sitting with wet hair, I need to give the kids baths, prepare dinner, and we have a new babysitter coming in less than an hour. If I ever want her to come again, I need to sprint to action and clean this house. Weekend messes make me crazy. Anyway, back to today’s challenge.
All day long, we tell our kids what to do. At school, teachers impose their expectations on them. How often do we allow our children to teach us about something they love?
If you want to engage my son in conversation, ask him about airplanes. If you want him to talk your ear off for an hour, ask him about his favorite game Airplane! 2.
It’s the first day of summer vacation and my over-planning-self went into overdrive today: dental appointments, followed by a visit to a local farm, an outdoor ice cream stand, and . . . oh, wait, I need to complete today’s challenge. Luckily, even at five o’clock, we still had a few more hours of daylight left. We drove straight to Rockefeller State Park, one of
My son completed first grade today. After school, we drove an hour plus to my brother’s house, swam, played, and drove home again. By the time I pulled into my driveway at 9:30 pm, the last thing I wanted to do was read a story, let alone make up a story. “Ready for my story?” I asked. My daughter pulled out a book. No, I
Do you ever have those moments when you look at your children and think, wow, I am someone’s mother. I’m really a grown-up. Truth be told, I’m far from a young mom. I guess everyone feels that way. Time passes and suddenly, you start to sound like your mother.
Sometimes, the words come out of my mouth so fast that my inner teenager rolls her eyes and groans, “I can’t believe you just said that.”
As much as I personally rely on technology (and you can see from my blog posts that I absolutely do), I also sometimes long for the days of answering machines, CDs, and encyclopedias.
Technology creates a demand for instant gratification: we must know the answers to our questions now, you must respond to my text or email now. We cannot just sit and wait idly by. I think back to middle school when I conducted research in the library, searching through book upon book, photocopying documents and even using the time-sucking microfiche, and wonder how our children would manage. For instance, if I tell my 1st grader son that I emailed a friend’s mom to set up a play date and I don’t hear back immediately, he will ask, did you text her? If he asks me an impossibly hard question to answer and I am unsure of the answer, he inevitably asks, can you look it up online?
Is it a surprise he acts this way? When I watch a movie and an actor looks familiar but I cannot place him, I pause, read his IMDB profile, and continue the movie, content in my newfound knowledge. When I have a mundane question for a friend, I do wait until I see her next time; no, I immediately text her, expecting a response within minutes. If she cannot respond at that exact moment, I know I will receive a follow-up text explaining her delay (“Sorry, I didn’t see this earlier, we went to the movies).
This is the world in which my children will grow up.
I declare today, Day 3, a tremendous success. Even when my son ran upstairs this afternoon and warned me about “something bad, something badder than bad, something really even badder than bad,” I never lost control.
When my daughter told me she wanted toast this morning but definitely no eggs and then screamed at me that I did something wrong AGAIN when I forgot her eggs, I still did not lose my cool. She repeated her request politely and I made some eggs.
I’ve decided that it’s somewhat unfair that I know the challenge before you do. Going forward, I will post the challenge in the evenings. This way you can wake up ready to go and we can really feel like we are doing this together. So spread the word. As you can see, I am no parenting expert, rather, just another mom trying to get through
When my son got home from school today, I told him I had a surprise. I passed over my phone and asked him to read (the challenge) aloud. His eyes seriously lit up and he called his sister over to read it again to her. “Mommy is going to play with us every day!” That alone makes this challenge worthwhile.
I left them alone for a minute to discuss their “game plan” (ha). When I returned, my daughter had Candyland in her hand and my son sat busily assembling electronic Battleship. The set up alone of Battleship took 15 minutes, during which time I did sneak a few looks at my phone. We had a nice pace going in Candyland until my daughter picked a card that sent her spiraling back to the beginning, and easily added another ten minutes to our game.
In the end, however, my daughter laughed for most of the game, despite her defeat and due to technical issues, my son and I amicably agreed to end our game prematurely.
My kids are still bouncing around upstairs way too late, laundry still awaits me, and my family room looks like a playroom, but at this moment, I feel like for an hour (yes, it took an entire hour), I made the right choice this evening.
And, now for Day 2 of the challenge . . .
With summer vacation staring me in the face, I choose now to make some personal changes: 30 days of mom goals. I hope my children and I will benefit from the process.
My daughter just graduated pre-K. She has 88 days of summer break. Yes, I counted. Sure, there’s a few weeks of camp thrown in but a quarter of a year together without complete structure may possibly break me.
My kids are 5 and 7. They play together. They fight. My daughter idolizes my son. My daughter hits my son. My son teases my daughter. They wake up way too early and go to bed too late. They watch TV. They melt-down. They like to help me. They get bored helping me. They make huge messes and are “too tired” to clean. I reward chart. I bribe. I threaten. I doubt. I praise. I re-tell the adorable things they say. I yell. My blood boils. I am overly excited for bedtime. I lay down with them and read them stories. I come back for more hugs and kisses. I vow to do it better the next day.
So, this challenge is created with my own sanity in mind. I love a challenge. So, game on!
Here’s how it works. Every day, I will post a challenge to myself (and to you if you partake). If you have a suggestion, I may add it to the challenge. After all, this is a work in progress, as are we, as moms.
So, here it is Day 1 of the Challenge. . .