Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today was an awesome day. I have talked with several people recently about how my kids are amazingly overwhelming. They overwhelm me, and I often think they must seriously overwhelm other people on a constant basis. They are continually feeding off each others energy... and they get so wound up so fast. Marek has a new (well, maybe it's just now getting incredibly annoying) extremely high-pitched girly scream. People always think it was Marek, but he can out scream her anytime now.

In the last few days Evan and I have looked at each other, I can't tell you how many times we say WHAT have we done WRONG. How did we get to this point? It's not like we don't discipline, or we don't give time outs, or give spanking after they have been warned repeatedly and in time out, or like we haven't lay down the rules, or anything like that. Perhaps people without kids (who don't really understand, even if they think they do) think that we have spoiled ungrateful kids.... but honestly I am not as worried about what other's think as worried about them turning into these two hellions that we can't control ourselves. So, anyway, I was relieved after a recent conversation that led to a more experienced older parent saying that he still asks himself everyday "where did I go wrong" even though his children are from age 9-18. At least I am not the only one.

This morning I woke up with a new attitude. We had things that we wanted to do, and I made absolutely certain that there was no question in the kids' minds.... if we don't work together to accomplish what we NEED to get done, to finish our chores, then we will not do the fun thing that we have planned for later. So today, we had a playdate planned after lunch with Christiana at Plow Creek. I am sure that I was more excited than anyone, because I just adore her (and her kids of course) but the kids were not privy to the information... because all I said was that we had a playdate and I wasn't telling them where until we were almost there.

So, believe it or not, they got dressed and brushed their teeth and we got hair all done and had blueberry pancakes and strawberries with orange juice, and then we went ahead and picked up the playroom and the bedroom. Actually THEY cleaned both rooms and made their beds. Then we went outside and took the chickens out. We put everything back "out" in the yard... (after Evan mows, all the toys are stacked up on the sidewalk and we have to put all the toys back.) and the kids played while I started working outside. I planted all but one last square of the garden, (I had 5 left) adding Pickling Cucumbers, Lavender, and Sweet Mint. Now I have ONE Square left. What to plant, what to plant. So anyway, I planted in the garden, added a perennial to the "new" triangle garden in front of the fence, and then hung out a load of clothes. Then I sold $15 worth of goodies from my "sale" tote and made the kids lunch before we took off to go to our playdate. So, a very successful morning.

The realization that I came to? I am a drill sergeant. At toddler boot camp. They have attitudes, and they have their own opinions, and it is my job to keep them on track, and perhaps in some ways to break them down in order to build them up. Being a drill sergeant is QUITE exhausting. From afar, a military drill sergeant's job looks cushy... but it must be EXHAUSTING. I know I am exhausted. Constantly trying to keep them on task. And you need to know, I am not that strict. My house is not immaculate. (FAR from it) But when I ask you to put your sopping wet stinky pee loaded PULL UP in the "diaper chomper" (code for Diaper Genie) please do not repeatedly leave it on the bathroom floor. I will tell Ardyn TWICE a DAY to put a pull-up where it goes. It frustrates me. Just the repeated keeping her on task, and Marek by association, is exhausting. And now there is the screaming fighting arguing over toys thing. But that's to be expected I guess. So, I guess I have to just come to the realization that I will have to be a drill sergeant. And hope that I continue to have enough energy to keep up with them.

Now, Plow Creek was awesome, and Christiana is great. I feel like we have such similarities, especially in our interests and sense of humor, that I really like being able to just hang out with her and watch our kids go batty. Today they played in the house for quite a while. Then they wanted to go outside and it was a GORGEOUS day. We looked at the goslings, and the goats, and the scottish highland cattle across the pasture in the shade. Then we checked out the CSA garden, which was so cool, and right next the Christiana's house and yard. Their rhubarb patch is of course larger than my entire garden. It reminds me of Rhubarb at grandma's growing up on our farm. The best part was (even though it was WORK!) hiking up the hill. The coolest "cow path" (in my terminology) that had been compacted and had some pea gravel packed in. Then as you ascended the hill, the railroad ties set into the dirt for steps. it was narrow but beautiful and the kids were thrilled. I got a good workout (good news, my ankle did well) and at the top of the hill was the actual "community" with the pretty houses and the gorgeous grapevines and more chickens, and the community/church building, and the playground that the kids were entertained with for the afternoon. The trip back down was necessary when the kids started to get tired, and Ardyn tripped in the gravel at the top of the hill and had a meltdown over a scraped knee. Then we got about 5 steps down the hill and Marek said "Hold me." and so I carried him down, which ended up being easier because he was having a hard time going down the steps without being on his hands and knees.

Then we had to take off and head to Wal-mart because we had been without milk for longer than any good mamma would actually disclose. When we GOT to walmart Marek started having a massive meltdown right away "I don't WANT to go to Wal-Mart" and then the read faced screaming crocodile streaming tears began. He wouldn't stand, wouldn't walk, and I was like oh boy, here we go. I tried explaining, but he was too tired to be explained to. I ended up grabbing the babyhawk, and strapping him in, giving him a sucker, and Ardyn and I walked through the outside garden center in an attempt to calm him. This did not work, and then of course every person on the planet who doesn't understand babywearing, or shopping with a 2 year old, looks at me like I am the crazy hippy mamma strapping her kid in when he just so OBVIOUSLY wants to walk. So I ignored all their stares and marched through the inside garden center and then into the store with him still screaming. Eventually I got him to eat the sucker. When the sucker was done, he was about passed out, and he did pass out COLD and slept through the entire rest of the store. Ardyn, on the other hand, was exceptionally well behaved and also very helpful, putting things (that I asked her to!) into the cart, and holding the bags for the produce that we picked out, and helping me to put things up on the conveyor at checkout. This was a bonus and she got *squinkies* at her request. I wasn't thrilled at first about having to BUY her something to get her to be good, but in the end, she had been SO good and made the trip so much more bearable, I would have bought her more than squinkies if I had to :)


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