Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where do socks go

I have always joked with the kids that the washing machine must eat their socks, but until tonight it was more of tooth fairy kind of belief. Then I witnessed this occurrence with my own two eyes. Well, not the actual eating but of the hiding. I found seven single socks dating back to when Keaton had teeny tiny feet and a few other unmentionables in the rubber seal of the washer. It was so disturbing that like all other gross things in life, I asked for confirmation. "Look how scary this is," I squeal not only to my husband but with my mother-in-law present. "Can you believe the washing machine ate these and look how long they must have been in here." "How could I not have noticed?" I pride myself on the ability to do amazing laundry, never letting it pile up and getting set in stains out with the grace of a dancer. But somehow I never noticed the dark colors lurking in the rubber seal surrounding the front loader washer. I was so appalled that I actually just threw them in and washed them again (as if they had not suffered this fate enough) but this time they actually got a little cleaner. Being that these items have been wet for several months, I feel I must throw them out yet, I felt it wrong to throw out such foul smelling dirty items in the trash ( ironic huh?). They will find their way to the trash in the morning and my washer will probably smell a lot less wet dog like after this. I wonder if in the book printed in many languages that came with the washer it mentioned this possibility. This might be my punishment that I cheated and watched the short DVD version of how to run the washer. So a warning to all who have not checked their front loader's rubber seal, do you have anything missing from your laundry pile?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Emotions and Expectations

When I signed on for this job as a mother, I admit I envisioned a little Leave It To Beaver mixed with the Brady Bunch and seasoned with the Cosby Show. In hind sight, we do use a lot of the ironic comedy found in the Bill Cosby's work so maybe I was not completely off the mark. My problem this week is emotions and expectations.

By emotions, I mean mine and everyone's in the house. The baby is teething (enough said) and he is a nursing toddler (picture yoga and nursing- simultaneously- and this is my life). The oldest of my girls seems to be in a good place but only after a 6 month period of rolling eyes and establishing what "ACTUALLY" defines sassy behavior. The middle girl is always a tight rope walk when it comes to emotions. We have tried dietary changes, books until Amazon is sending me pleas to combine all my knowledge and write one of my own, and plain old fashion reward and punishment to no avail. Each day it is like juggling eggs, today I awoke to crying about school work and we had not even discussed expectations of the day yet. And this brings me to the youngest girl. She has watched my middle child and apparently taken good notes because what can a parent do when a child refuses to make their fingers move on a piano. At some point yesterday, I was reminded of my Love and Logic parenting- you can make them got into their room but not make them sleep. This is great advice except I have strong willed children and just how do you make them stay in the room without physical touch. I am a big fan of showing my kids the respect that I expect to receive. I feel modeling is far more important than words, but then which adult around them is modeling throwing themselves on the floor and yelling "I amn't going to piano and you can't make me play"? By the time Michael arrived home, I was actually holding the wine and the glass and just waiting for the door to crack. We have an unwritten rule that if you are the only one around with these small people, you must not be in a place where you have to call 911 for a minor emergency because YOU have been drinking. Seems logical until you have been managing emotions of 6 people for several months and feel like the egg you were juggling this morning cracking. I did drink a glass of wine and then I did proceed to sit in my bed and read until everyone else went to bed. Had a nice conversation with my husband about how he is amazed that I can do this each day (me too actually).
But then this is the job of motherhood. Makes me wonder why they have not done a series on life like this, no need to swap wives or eat gross things, just daily life is amusing enough.

On to expectations of which it has been said mine are a bit out of whack. I realized last night and then again this morning that my expectations for myself are very high- isn't that what allows for success? But I pass that on without thought to all those around me, and it caused me to wonder if we are not all hard wired for such perfectionism. Yes, I do realize that my be a bit late in coming as I am 37 and just now realizing that not everyone like things to be just so. What I am trying to wrestle with is when can I let go of my expectations and let the kids have their own personalities? I firmly believe that if you set the bar high, anyone can reach and meet it. But is this real? I am just working through what my expectations for each child are and how to reflect each one's personal preferences without slacking off on the younger ones as I get older. How hard do I push without pushing them over the edge? I will continue to ponder this thought since it involves way more than just my responsibility as their teacher but as their parent.

So now I am on the tight rope balancing eggs (emotions) and jumping rope (expectations). Anyone want to join me--at the very least we can scramble them for breakfast?