Snow

Snow

I have two children who ride buses. I am the first one on my street to start shoveling snow. I must otherwise I cannot get my son on the bus. By the time the second bus arrived I had shoveled a second time. Two shoveling trips before noon meant we got plenty of snow for fun.

Snow also means towels all over my floor to soak up all the melted snow  that gets tracked in on boots and the wheelchair. Not to mention whatever comes in on the winter clothes which pile up at the doorway.

After helping three of my children into all their snow gear and then back out again after they came back inside I contemplated on my mother. How in the world she did this with so many children I do not know. I respect her efforts.  I am sure it was probably very tiring to go through this process many times a day with her children during the winter months.

This is what makes memories though. Playing in the snow, eating it too, hot chocolate, snow angels, shoveling and all thing associated with fun in the snow.

Enough Already!

I do not know what it is. I do not know if it is the holiday pressure to be a great parent at this time of year or if it is the feeling that I get from the lack of holiday spirit because of said pressure. Whatever it is I find myself utterly dreading this time of year. Personally, I think life just finally caught up to me and I have way too much on my mind to get into the spirit of things, although I will still do my best for the sake of my children.  If is something I must work on.

A lack of holiday cheer has definitely added to my ability to have as much patience as I normally have. I finally cracked. Okay, not really. I am sure that would be a gross mess and nobody wants to see that sort of thing. I just had it. A lack of sleep and a complete and utter inability to keep on top of my children’s messes threw me over the edge. Okay, I know, not really over the edge but I think you get my point.

Everywhere I turn in my tiny little home my children are creating a mess. They do it while laughing too. Really?! Are they laughing at the mess they are making or laughing at the idea I will have to clean it up?  In all honesty I do know they are laughing because they are happy and having fun. I do not fault them for that. I do enjoy their happy voices.  I just do not enjoy the disaster that is always left behind.

So began my “get the house organized to save mommy’s sanity” project. I had to start with some clean rooms. So I swept everything that was on the floor in the bedrooms (there are benefits to a hard floor home) and put all of it I the living. Yay! Instant clean rooms. Of course, my living room was a compete disaster.

The next day I started organizing and going through all of it. Two things happened. The kitchen then became a disaster and every time I turned my back on the living room disaster all my efforts thus far became undone. I owe that to my son who enjoys dumping things out. Really?!

By day three I was exhausted and not getting anywhere. So I turned my attention to the kitchen. I spent all morning on a project designed to keep that room organized and clean. Yay for a clean kitchen.  Now off to my living room.

I don’t know if my living counts as a living room. It is a room with chairs, and on that particular day a huge pile of stuff. Three or four bags later of trash and an equal amount of donations my living room was finally clean. I felt good. I felt my patience retiring. I felt success and hope that I had not been there a few days before.

I don’t really know if there is much to the point of my sharing this, except that I know we all have those moments. We all break down, lose patience, get tired, frustrated, and so forth. These are not bad feelings to have. We need them to get us moving and to inspire us to grow or make changes in our lives. We cannot just bury them and pretend they will go away because they will surface at some point. We must acknowledge them. We cannot become better people until we do. And no this is not an excuse for bad people to use when trying to justify abusing others or doing things that are just wrong.

Seriously?!

Really? Why? Whatever! Exactly! That is how my days go. Any time I sit the children climb on top of me. Any time I walk away they come running and screaming behind me. My sons bus driver and bus aide laugh every day at how my children run after me as if I am going to abandon them. Where do they think I am going? Do they not recognize they were doing just fine before they realized I was gone?

I could help myself feel better by saying that it is wonderful to be loved.  Of course it is. I love that they love me, but I am also trying to teach them independence.  I don’t seek to be away from them or whatnot. I take my job as a parent seriously. Part of wanting children was to teach them and help them become decent human beings–and have lots of fun doing so.

Speaking of fun–that is the “exactly” part–but being a parent can be fun. It is great to play hide and seek even if I have to work up the energy to do so. I absolutely love seeing how long it takes for them to find me. Talk about some alone time. It usually does not work though as I believe they can sense where I am. I think as they get older that sense leaves because my oldest takes the longest time finding me.

There are also the “whatever” moments.  The moments where I just get tired of telling them to stop whatever they are doing. How many times do I have to tell them to stop slashing or drinking the bath water? It doesn’t work-ever. I have to eventually tell myself to give up and just get them out. Getting them out creates screaming so then I argue with myself on getting them out and dealing with screaming or letting them splash and continue having fun. Yeah, whatever.

My absolute all time phrase that helps any time of day, even the bad ones is: “oh well.”  Oh well. It is very powerful. Powerful enough to bring me back to reality and figure out what is really important. It provides a way for me to recognize what really matters and what does not. It also provides a way for me to  back off from beating myself up and give myself some credit for what I hope I am doing right as a parent. An “oh well” is what we all need, or maybe a “so what.”  If you are trying then I think that is good. Give yourself a break for your mistakes and try to do better next time.

the yummies

the yummies

When my young children eat they enjoy themselves. Do I enjoy when they eat, or rather what they do when they eat? Well, I sometimes get my camera out. I do not think my children actually eat very much as most of the food ends up on them, the table or the floor.

What I have to remember as a parent is to not freak out when the mess happens. Some day they will understand how to eat neater. Right now they are experiencing new sensations and ideas. Yes, playing with food is very educational. So for anyone who may want to argue that just look at how many sensory books and toys are out there. The toys and books are less messy than food but they are no more educational for one’s senses.

this is the life

this is the life

Life as a parent is not always easy. It gets frustrating and repetitive. There are, however, many unexpected beautiful moments. Tonight was filled with those unexpected special moments that meant giving in to joy.

One of those joys came during a rain storm. We do not get much rain and a storm has been pretty rare lately. It was a good enough storm that I opened the doors and we sat on the threshold and just watched the rain come down. Before long the youngest was outside, under the carport, playing in a puddle.

I had a choice. I could freak out and pull her back in or I could embrace the moment and watch how happy she was. For quite some time she stomped and played around in the rain. She was as pleased as could be. She was happy and safe. It was worth it.

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After the storm the girls wanted to go on a walk. I got everyone ready to go-we used the wagon-and we went on our walk. They were disappointed we did not go to the park but eventually they gave up on the walk and began to play in a parking lot full of puddles.

For a moment I tried to hold them off, but before long I was enjoying watching them. I was even laughing and having fun with them. It was worth it. Sure, I could have stopped them. I could have taken them straight home, but I didn’t. Creating good memories was far better than not.

Following our outdoor, and very wet, adventure it was time for bed. Once I had the youngest in bed I walked out to my three year old telling me to close my eyes. She verbally guided me, while I peaked, to walk forward. When I opened my eyes she had two bowls of strawberries. One for me and one for her. She even suggested watching Star Trek.

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I let her choose which Star Trek series to watch, and we ate and talked. She expressed her enjoyment of the activity. She mentioned how we were spending our alone time together. She talked about us. It was a good surprise, even if well passed bedtime.

There are enough things in this life to keep us on schedule and in line with our perception of what has to or cannot be done. However, periodically we need to break away and live. We need to experience life and unscripted beauty. We need to be willing to give in to the unexpected things that happens.

 

fair time

fair time

The fair is in town this week. I decided that since we did not live far from the grounds we could take a simple adventure. Right after I got done explaining that there would be no rides, due to lack of funds, my daughter’s friend called.

How in the world she knew we were going to the fair I will never know. My daughter had not talked to her all summer. Her mom said that if I took her then she, the mom, would pay for both girls to ride. I figured it would be okay. It meant my oldest could have more fun.

Once the friend arrived, it took me plenty of time to get everything arranged in the stroller and wheelchair–including children. Then we were off. On the way we stopped to pick up a hot dog lunch at a sidewalk sale. Before long we were at the fair.

I shooed the older girls off to have fun and get all the use out of their wristbands as possible. For thirty bucks and only four hours I wanted them to be worn out having been on every ride possible. The last thing I wanted was for them to ride a few and then complain afterward that they didn’t get to do all the rides.

With only me left to push a double stroller and a wheelchair I went on my way. First stop: the horse race. My first horse race, free for all fair goers.  I manage to find the wheelchair ramp leading to a platform. Of course, someone was sitting directly at the top of the ramp. He was kind enough to move, but I did wonder why he sat there. Each time anyone would get on or off he was going to have to move.

By the time the race began I had one kid screaming and another wanting to use the bathroom. I figured they would have enjoyed watching horses, but we packed up and left just a few minutes after arriving. The poor guy sitting by the ramp had to move again.

The rest of the day was spent walking around, going through buildings and turning salesmen down. I did enjoy the offer one made that was “only” for those who said they needed to think about it. I was told I couldn’t find them online, then that they were more expensive online and that I should act now. Sorry, but not sorry. No.

Throughout the day people must have felt pity for me. I received many offers of help. Near the end a man asked if he could help me. I declined because I didn’t understand if he intended to help me for the duration or just for in that building. I then felt bad for declining because I think he may have followed me for awhile to work up the guts to ask. I didn’t see him again.

After several hours I was done and my children were exhausted. The only problem with walking somewhere is that you have to walk back. So much for trying to be smart about things.

keeping it real

keeping it real

In my home we have to be careful of what we leave out and what doors we leave open. In order to keep my sanity the bathroom, kitchen and all bedroom doors need to stay closed so that my disabled son stays safe as well as the things in those rooms. Life happens though and things do not always work as intended.

The other day I forgot to lock the bathroom. My son had a blast.

Torn toilet paper everywhere, even hanging off the toilet seat. Diapers were everywhere (there is a small suspicion I may have already told this story last time).

Amy son had fun and I learned that I really cannot leave the bathroom unlocked.