Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer Kickoff

I like to stay busy, and that personality trait has extended into the way I mother my kids.  I will readily admit that I’m a Type A scheduler, and if I don’t have something on my trusty wall calendar for the next day, I get a little anxious.  I do believe that because of this, I’ve somewhat ruined my boys for life.

For example, one evening last summer at about 5:30, my boys and I had just returned home from a day full of fun activities.  It had started when we’d left the house at 9 AM and hadn’t ended until RIGHT THAT MOMENT, when I’d finally gotten a chance to flop onto the couch to take quick breather.

My younger son, my 3-year-old, ambled over to the couch where I was reclining for a moment.  “Hey, Mommy,” he said.

“Hey, buddy.”

“Hey, Mommy…What we going to do now, Mommy?”

I looked at him, incredulous.  “Didn’t the 3 hours that we spent at the pool...after the 1 hour we spent at the library followed by the 1 ½ hours at McDonald’s eating lunch and playing in the playplace and whatever the H else went on today that I can’t even remember…wear you out just a little bit?” I asked.

“What, Mommy?” he replied, innocent and wide-eyed.

“What I’m saying is, what we’re going to do now is sit on this couch and watch a cartoon.” I wanted to add “MOTHERFCKER” for emphasis like I do many times in normal conversation with my peers, but he’s a little too young for that type of motivational talk.  I’ll give it a year or two.  Instead, I said, “What’ll it be?” and grabbed the remote, flipping to our DVR’d list of shows.

So a few mornings later, when the following conversation happened, I had to run to my bathroom and pop a baby aspirin in the hopes that I could ward off the heart attack that I knew was coming from the shock of it all:

Me: "What do you boys want to do today? Farmer's Market? City museum?  Kids’ Discovery Museum?  Indoor pool with the rope bridge? Outdoor pool with the sprinklers?"

5-year-old: "We just want to stay home, Mom."

Me: ??

3-year-old: "Mommy, we just want to stay home."

Me: "How about a park...?"

5-year-old: "Please, Mom. We just want to stay home."

Me:  “I get it, you guys. I mean, I’ve had days when I’ve just wanted to stay home and lie around watching TV all day, too.  But those are called hangovers. And unless I’m mistaken, I’m pretty sure you two haven’t started partaking in the drink.”  Here, I raised my eyebrows accusingly just for the fun of it.

My 5-year-old literally rolled his eyes at my antics while my 3-year-old stared at me with a blank expression.  Good, then.  I guess I’d made my point about underage drinking, and it was way easy. I don’t know what all you parents of teenagers are always complaining about.

Anyway, for about 5 minutes, I sat pondering over whether or not I’d actually be able to do it.  Would I be able to stay home all day, absolutely nothing on the agenda?  My boys had requested it, so obviously they were tired and needed a break.  Yes.  I could do it.

When I looked up, however, both of my boys were blinking at me expectantly.

“What?” I asked.

“We’re bored.  Let’s go do something,” my 5-year-old said.

“Yeah.  We're bored.  Let's go do something,” my 3-year-old parroted.

SIDE NOTE:  One of my favorite stories from when I was a middle school teacher is about a time when my students were all huddled together in pairs, working diligently to complete a project together.

I smiled and clasped my hands together.  “Look how well you guys are working together!  It’s so sweet!”

One of the boys looked up at me, his eyes narrowed in an annoyed expression.  “You know, Mrs. Trashay, we really are trying to work hard together—and we think we’re actually doing a great job of it. It would be nice if you would notice that instead of making fun of us.”

Holy shit. I was such a smartass all the time that I couldn’t even give a true compliment to a bunch of 12-year-olds without them thinking I was being a sarcastic asshole.

Did it change the way I taught?  No.  Those kids adored me and I adored them.  My personality worked well with middle schoolers because I act like a damned middle schooler.

It did, however, cause me to change the way I say things when I want to be serious.  I usually give a quick preface now--in this case, something like this:  All long-suffering mom jokes about spending the entire summer with kids aside, I LOVE summers with my kids. 

I'm not a teacher with full summers off anymore, but I have been fortunate enough to find a job that I love that offers flexibility that allows me to spend tons of time with my kids, and I am beyond blessed to be able to do it. When you've traveled a tough road to becoming a parent due to issues like multiple miscarriages, it sure does make finally being one that much sweeter.  I'm still riding high on the amazing fact that I get to be a mom, and my kids are now 6 and almost 4.  It's awesome.

Happy summer, everyone.  Let the summertime memory-making begin.

For last year's summer kickoff post, click here.

3 comments:

  1. Awww…I love this, Shay. Hope your summer is spectacular!

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  2. It has been so far, Marcia. Thanks, and back atcha!!

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  3. Love it! I have that problem too. No one ever thinks I'm sincere. Sigh. So hard to be so misunderstood.

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