Tomorrow is Wednesday, also known as the day that Grace and I fight over whether I get to watch Sanford and Son reruns on tv. “That’s not a show for a 4-year-old,” you might think, judgmentally. And you’d think wrong.
That’s because Sanford and Son has much to teach an innocent young preschooler.
1. The dangers of ripple overindulgence
2. The fact that, once she is in the real world, she will indeed encounter some Big Dummies.
Anyway, every Wednesday I try to persuade her to watch the show and every Wednesday I am brutally rebuffed.
I didn’t want to fall for the trap.
I’m a fairly…cynical person. I’m especially cynical of things I know will entertain my children. I don’t think they’ll actually entertain me, too. Plus, I haven’t been a big fan of princesses since I was maybe 12.
So, I didn’t think I was gonna fall for the trap.
I totally fell for the trap. Meaning, that when my husband and kids went to Medieval Times at Arundel Mills Mall, I ended up being just as excited as my kids about kings, knights, princesses – alladat.
I’d totally go back for more.
The way it works is that you enter the “castle,” and are shown to your seat. Your seat corresponds with a color and that color corresponds with a knight that you are supposed to cheer for. We got the blue knight (isn’t he adorable?).
There’s a whole performance with a king and a princess and even a bad guy. Then, you get served a meal you get to eat with your hands.
Even though I went pretty much specifically to entertain my kids, there were really people of all ages there – from kids celebrating their birthdays to older couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries.
I will say this – my son was a little nervous about entering the castle at first, as I knew he would be. It takes him a while to warm up to things, so he was a little freaked out at first. By the end, he loved it. So, if you were to go I’d suggest going early (you can actually go up to an hour before the performance but we were running late) just to let younger kids get comfortable.
***Medieval Times gave me free tickets to attend the show. Learn more about them and it here
Last week we were supposed to take the kids to see That Damned Rat (also known as Chuck E Cheese), but instead I was laid out on my parents’ couch, a feverish mess.
That’s what I get, I guess, for getting cocky about being the only family I knew who hadn’t been struck down by the flu. The kids didn’t get as sick as I was, but they did get high fevers and Grace got an ear infection.
What did i do while we were down and out? I played about 50 million games of solitaire on my phone and watched 2 million hours of Good Times and Golden Girls reruns. I also cried a few times (I don’t handle being sick very well). The kids are pretty much experts on any and all television shows aimed at entertaining preschoolers.
My parents, who took care of us, now have colds. Sorry, Pop Pop and Grandma.
Holidays come through here like a train out of control. There are always a million things to buy, the kids always get their hands on tons of candy, and I always volunteer to bring something to family dinner and then freak out about it.
It’s extra crazy around Christmas because, well, Christmas is crazy. Plus, Grace’s birthday is on New Years’ Day. This year, Cam’s birthday came the day after Easter.
The kids have been on a sugar high since last Wednesday when our play group had its Easter party. Throw in a new supply of candy plus a few new birthday gifts and it’s like Disney land around here: lots of fun and no naps.
I think we need a holiday detox. Maybe one of those green-stuff smoothies all my Facebook friends are always going on about.
I am extremely wary about who I take parenting advice from. Especially the unsolicited kind.
Is your advice from a good place? Do you genuinely want to help? Or do you want to soothe your own ego by making yourself feel wise and powerful?
Are you right here doing the dirty work with me? Have you been up at two in the morning with one or more of my children? Are you gonna help me drag this tantruming kid out of this store?
If so, congrats; you are welcomed into my inner advice-giving sanctum. But otherwise? Please understand that the whole time you are talking, I’m probably just nodding and smiling.
I make myself rest during the day. When I first started doing this whole stay at home mom thing, I thought that since I wasn’t leaving the house and collecting a paycheck, I wasn’t doing real work. So I felt compelled to do something all the time. No naps or rest for me! Productivity! Cleaning! Cooking! Educational activities!
That didn’t end well.
So now I take short breaks. I even allow myself to nap with the kids. What I’m doing isn’t what I went to school for, it doesn’t have an office, but it most definitely is work. Sometimes it can be very physical. Other times it’s all mental. But it’s work.
I have a tendency to be hard on myself, to get frustrated with myself. I have to make a very concerted effort to give myself a bit of kindness.
Talking to my mom this morning, she reminded me that I’m allowed to make mistakes. I am allowed to care for myself. I am allowed to be happy.
I’m working to become comfortable with the chaos of raising children. It’s a process. It’s a very slow process.
If I allowed myself to, I’d spend all day every day picking up shoes and books and blocks. Doing load after load of laundry. Washing dish after dish after dish. But at some point, I had to realize that this is my home, not the place that I work. I’m supposed to be comfortable. I’m not the maid and I’m not paid to keep it spotless. More important than that, my having a spotless home doesn’t mean I win the award for best grownup ever.
I’ve also had to accept that raising kids is messy. They cry, they have elaborate temper tantrums . I’m going to get things wrong. I’m going to have temper tantrums if my own.
But I know what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to raise kids who pick up after themselves (so I don’t make myself crazy doing it). I want kids who handle negative feelings like anger fear and disappointment in reasonable and healthy ways. I want to raise kids who give and don’t just take. It’s a process. It’s a messy, messy process.
I’m tired. I had two three-year-olds (one mine, one not), one four-year-old, a nine-year-old and a 13-year-old in my house last night. And I was the only adult in charge! The three-year-old (the one who isn’t mine) spent all last night barfing. It was quite exciting. Also, quite laundry-making.
To be honest, I’m a bit shaken. My grandmother had 13 kids. How did she not run away from home? I would have totally run away from home.
A preamble – I have not historically been the most organized person on the planet. Actually, I am not even usually the most organized person in my car. One of the reasons I even have this blog is that it’s a way for me to fumble my way through this parenting/adulthood thing learning as I go, with the end result being not only have I not dropped my children or left them in a bar – but that I’ve turned out a pretty good family.
And now I will write about a rudimentary part of organization that I am just now using in my 31st year of life: list making. This summer, like last, I have the kids all day every day.
Last summer didn’t go so well. It actually went very poorly. For me, it felt chaotic and anxiety producing. I’d careen from random thing to random thing, always feeling like I was late for something else. It was too late to be taking them to the park because it was almost lunch time. I should have already thought about what we were having for lunch instead of waiting until 11:59 am. I should probably get some education into them so that they will grow up to be co-presidents of the United States. Except then I would just let them watch another two hours of Sesame Street and the Wiggles while I talked myself out of a guilt-hole. It wasn’t pretty.
Oh, last-year-Lisa. I want to go back and hug myself. Then pat myself on my poor, dumb head. Lists! Lists make life better! Lists mean I know what options I have for fun activities to get out of the house (and away from Sprout), what other adult responsibilities I need to handle, and I can even get some writing done in the process (see: this post). Instead of walking around fretting about the seemingly million things that need to get done, I write it down and have a good handle on what actually needs to get done and when.