Monday, January 26, 2009

My kids are cooks (and better moms than I am)

If you received this update via e-mail, please note there may be associated photos available only on the actual blog. Visit site to see the latest.

Today started out pretty rough with the girls not really excited about heading to Pilates with me. But it's the ONE hour that's about me getting in better shape, me being healthier, me being more sane. On mornings like today's, though, I wonder if the struggle to get out the door helps my sanity or sends me further down the slippery slope.

I didn't think I asked too much of them this morning. The girls had one hour to eat breakfast, get dressed, and V needed to strip her bed of its sheets and blankets. WHEN they dressed, they needed to keep in mind that horseback riding lessons were today, so long pants and riding boots were in order. E chose to read during breakfast, which always slows down the process. V decided to sit on her bed for 10 minutes and cry about how she didn't want to strip it rather than just getting the job done.

I gave them time warnings (since they still don't watch the clock), but still they dragged their heels. As time to leave drew closer and it became evident they weren't going to make it, Monster Mommy came out. I just can't do it all myself. I know...some of you are surprised to hear me make such a confession, but it's true. I cannot, in the time life alots, prepare for three people to get out the door on time, to do chores caused by four people living in close quarters. OK...I could, but I'm not a big morning person, and there are OTHER things I like to do (like blog, and read, and exercise and, yes, sleep). So I seek help where the girls are able: feeding themselves, brushing their own hair and teeth, dressing themselves and stripping their beds as needed.

ANYHOW...on our drive north to Pilates and All Things Good this morning, we talked about what the girls think I should do differently to get them on their way. What it came down to today, it turns out, is that they didn't want to go to Pilates. I explained that this particular class, while inclusive of children, was not about them, but it was the ONE HOUR per week that was about me doing something healthy, something that might prolong our time together. We also talked about how life would be for THEM if I just didn't get ready whenever THEY had something they wanted to do. They agreed that come horseback riding lesson time, they'd want me to take them whether I wanted to or not. I asked what THEY would have done differently. E decided there was nothing more I could have done. V said if SHE were the mom she would have done the mom chores AND the kid chores.

I thought that was an interesting concept, one that showed she really has no idea how much I do, or how much time all these chores take. So...except for dangerous things and skills well beyond her years (driving, for instance) she's played mom ever since we returned home this afternoon. She worked her little fingers to the bone cleaning out the newly acquired freezer (thanks, Grandma), taking out the recycling, taking out the composting materials, feeding pets, picking up after her sister, Dad and me, and, yes, making and cleaning up after dinner. She thought it was all great fun, except the cleaning up after dinner.

It's not like I sat around. There's SO much to do around here, so while she did the everyday chores, I managed to sort out our garage and make room for the freezer, photograph and post some items for sale on Craigslist, help E with her math homework, and do some other chores V really couldn't do, plus lend her a hand with drying dishes and putting them away, wiping clean surfaces, wrapping up the laundry.

In the end, she liked it. And the girls made a very tasty dinner of spaghetti with homemade spaghetti sauce (the tomatoes were canned, but they were without spice 'til the girls got to them) with side dishes of carrots, cottage cheese and peanuts all served separately.

V can't wait to do it all again tomorrow.

I've started our lists.


  1. ALL families have bad mornings, and I think you handled it very well with a follow-up session of discussing the issue and possible solutions. That way, they can understand the true reasons that it was upsetting, not just that you were upset. Every mother has been Monster Mommy at one point or another. Keep up the GREAT work!

  2.'re so sweet, Kristi. Thanks for the encouragement. :)


Blog featured with: