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Friday, June 29, 2007

Beautiful Eyes

This morning, like most, Baby Girl and I were side by side in front of the bathroom mirror putting on make-up. As I'm scrutinizing my face trying to cover wrinkles, dark circles, and such,
she's humming happily while the make-up sponge dabs her nose, the blush brush tickles her cheeks, and the white eyeshadow decorates her eyelids and occasionally her forehead. While this is a total job for me, it's nothing short of fun for her. As she approaches perfection, she grabs the hand-held mirror for a closer look. While studying herself in the mirror, she smiles and says, "Oh, Such Pretty Eyes!" On the other hand, I've surrendered to the fact, it's as good as it's gonna get for the day, I start putting the make-up away. She grabs that same mirror and insists I take a look. To appease her, I bend down to look as she catches my eye in the mirror and says, " Oh Mama, such beautiful eyes!" I know there's a fine line between confident and conceited, but what I'd give if she could continue to see beauty in herself and others each day for the rest of her life.

On the whole, our gender spends too much time agonizing over our looks. Growing up, I remember every time my mom would pass by a mirror, she would pause, grab at her stomach to see how much she could pinch at that moment. The weight she was and still is concerned about has never exceeded 5 to 10 pounds. I'm just as guilty, obsessed with diets, exercise, and such. I've even began recording my weight each day on the mirror in our bathroom, how crazy is that? Men don't do this, Why do we? (sigh)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Conversation

Today, I was at a friend's house. The conversation turned to cooking, cleaning, child rearing and such. Suddenly, I felt like I was in the hot seat. They were teasing me about how much hubby does around the house compared to me. As far as teasing goes, I'm quick to dish it out so I ought to be able to take it, wouldn't ya think. But today, the comments really bothered me. Now, I'm trying to figure out exactly why. Maybe they hit the nail on the head because at the moment they asked how I contribute to the above duties, I fell silent and brain dead.

Tonight, while sitting on the front porch with hubby, feeling totally exhausted like the night before, and a little disgusted thinking about the earlier conversation, my perceptive husband asks what's wrong. While knowing that this is a road not worth going down, I began telling him about the conversation. Although not using these precise words, I expressed how inadequate I felt as wife and mother and maybe I'm falling short of my duties thereof. He basically sat there in silence and then said something about the grass in our yard. Now this should not bother me, I mean, hubby's personality lends more to a suck it up attitude then one who gives or receives pity parties. Besides, the conversation turning to the lawn makes sense, I mean, he spends alot of time working in the yard. I'm not meaning to complain, his actions speak louder than any words he could say to me, but tonight, the sudden change of topic only added to my frustration.

So, while giving baby girl a bath still feeling totally exhausted, I began asking myself, why are you so tired tonight as well as most other nights. I mean, if I'm a total sluff, shouldn't I have more energy at the end of the day.? And, why don't I have more of a social life? Why am I not taking advantage of Dr. Phil and Oprah in the afternoons? Why am I constantly surrounded by kids? And, Where's the freakin couch and bon bons?

So let's explore, how am I spending my time? Although, I'm not usually cooking the traditional 3 square meals a day, the kids still have to eat. It might be mac-n-cheese, sandwiches, and/or chicken noodle soup. I realize this might not be as healthy and/or require significant time at the stove, but it does take up time never the less, especially when you have to do it at least 3 to 4 times a day. And let me add, on days that I do invest time in cooking a "good meal," the kids don't typically eat much. But I guess that falls into me sluffing off on the child rearing part, obviously if I raised well mannered, obedient children, they not only would eat what I fixed but would be oh, so grateful. Concerned about my children's education and feeling the need to keep their skills as well as mine sharp throughout out the summer, I'm tutoring my kids 2 hours a day, 3 to 4 times a week. Also, I do have them participating in the summer reading program at the local library. This definitely is taking up too much time and cramping my life as a slacker.

Truth be known and thank God for it, I receive alot of help from grandparents and friends. Believe me, I solicit this help. I know it's not for everyone, but I buy into the idea, "It takes a village to raise a kid." And I like to think I reciprocate the help. I, 100%, need and appreciate all the help I receive, so I'm quick to give it back in one way, shape or form. So with this said, sometimes during the week you'll find me without kids, but the rest of the time mine are in tow along with a handful of others.

Where is my time going, you ask? Tonight being the perfect example, I'm in the office on the computer and hubby is in the living room reading a book. Who do you think the kids are coming to every few minutes needing this and that, yes that would be me. And last night, when little man had a bad dream, who did he wake up, you guessed it me. And tonight, when baby girl is ready for bed, who will she try to talk into laying down with her, me again.

And so lets wrap it up, hubby does alot of the household duties, the majority of them truth be known. But I'm not on the couch eating bon bons but instead I'm busy around the house same as he. The difference is the work he's doing around the house, he's doing without kids under his feet because they are too busy under mine. So, he obviously would move faster and with more energy than I from chore to chore. Also, things I consider more important are not the same as him and vice versa. For example, he's not compelled to provide comfort at 4 in the morning when one's had a bad dream, but if there's a water ring on the counter, it's got to be cleaned immediately. He doesn't feel the urgency to stop daily tasks to feed hungry children, but if our vehicles are dirty, he stops, drops, and washes it. (and running them through the automatic car wash does not constitute clean, they are detailed) He doesn't spend time with them reading and/or tutoring during the week but he does vacuum. I reap the benefits of all the work he does with having the best kept yard, car, and house on the block, but he also benefits from the work I do with the kids.

I tried the whole stay-at-home mom thing complete with cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. It didn't quite work for me. I'm sometimes jealous of those it does work for but if it's not me, it's not me. Hubby's daily grind includes the yard, house, and vehicles with a little assistance from me. Mine is primarily the kids with a little assistance from him. It's what works for us.

Okay, this little pep talk has made me feel better. While I thought my friends had shed light on my inadequacies as mother and wife, truth be told I'm a damn good mother and wife ....

I must just be PMS'ing.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

This and That

Right before summer break, Little Man was sentenced to litter patrol on the school playground. His crime was entertaining his classmates by making fart noises with his armpit. I don't know where he learned it. . . could it be hereditary? When I was around his age, I would entertain friends and family by singing Jingle Bells while keeping the beat with my armpit. I was bound and determine to win the Miss Tennessee pageant with my talent.

Baby Girl has developed quite a vocabulary to go with her attitude. She says, "Whatever" more times than I would like and has perfect timing with a sarcastic "Hello!" When arguing with her brother, she nags. . "Boys drool, Girls ....., MOM, WHAT TO GIRLS DO?" She can't remember the ending for anything.

I've had quite a week. I began tutoring my kids plus one (Little Man's Best Friend). I started a diet and actually stuck to it for once. Today, makes 7 days and I'm proud to say I'm 4 pounds lighter.

The first payment on our pool is due next week, will we be swimming? Nope.