" A girls best friend is her mutter" Dorothy Parker
It has now rained here every day for the past two weeks. The kids have been out of school for one of them. There seems (according to the weather report) to be no end to this soggy mess. Summer recreation does not start for another week. I have been stuck inside the house with four very active children, three dogs, a cat, and a flooded basement.
Oh sure, I could send them out to play in the rain...in fact, that IS what I wrote about last week. However, now that they have the appropriate outerwear...foot wear..cover the entire body so that "not one iota of anything gets wet wear"...they don't WANT to go outside. Oh no...they want to be inside with me....next to me..following me..I have not had a single moment to myself. You might even say that I'm a little tense.
I love my children. I really do. They are interesting, funny, loving individuals. It is just that being with them twenty four seven for a full week in a leaky house full of shedding dogs can get a little tiring...grating...o.k. I'm overwhelmed! I admit it.
Sometimes, I wish that I could be like those other mothers...You know the kind. They do crafts...they bake and do projects. They are constantly looking for ideas to fill every waking moment with their children. But, sigh.. I am so NOT that kind of mom. I'm the learn to entertain yourself, go play outside it is a beautiful day kind. The go read a book, draw, ride your bikes, play on the computer, play with your enormous amount of toys....(and when exasperated)...help with the laundry...vacuum the living room..clean the bathroom sort of gal. Usually, they are more than happy to listen to my suggestions...especially when I threaten housework for their lack of anything better to do. Not so this week.
No, this was the week of fighting..days where the background noise was not of laughter and joy, but rather of "she stole my train, my car...my underwear." "He called me a baby"..."Sammy said Barbie doesn't have a vagina!-that's not polite!""I don't want to go to bed-I just got up!" This was the week when hell came to visit Maine. And oh what a week it was.
What started as a joyful occasion, (the end of the school year) quickly turned into a time of restlessness and distraction. My kids are used to having their time structured-now all of a sudden, they had time on their hands. My herd turned into a pack, and when they weren't fighting among themselves...they turned on me- An innocent mother! I did everything that I could to stop the madness. I gave them new markers, paper, play-dough...I bought Cocoa Puffs! Nothing seemed to work. Nothing that is -until I separated them. I put them each alone in a room-with toys of their choosing. I told them that they were NOT to talk to each other. That until they could learn to get along together, play together...and treat me like a human being, who by the way, works very hard for them.. they needed to be on their own....I fussed and complained, muttered and sighed. I had had enough! I was a tired woman on the edge of reason, and I think it scared them. Off they went-meekly, to the rooms I had sent them to.
It was the quietest 17 minutes of the week.
But it worked. It worked. Those few short minutes of quiet..of being alone helped them to center themselves....to calm down-to relax. To realize that it was much more fun to play together than to fight. Besides, by that time they were all hungry and needed some snacks. I told them that I was happy that they were all getting along-that all their fighting just plain wore me out. That if I were going to do the best that I could to take care of them-they needed to help out. That being part of a family was work-good work, but work nonetheless..on and on I went...will I never learn?
I was tucking Sammy into bed later that night when he said "Mama?...I think that you need to retire." "One day bud...Papa and I would like to travel and go places".."I think you should go to a retirement community".."What?!...no, bud...I don't look good in leisure wear..""No, I think you should be in a home".."A nursing home??" "Yes".."You want to put me in a nursing home?" .."Yes".."You don't want to take care of me in my old age???" "No Mama, it is just too much work."...sigh. I think that I need a vacation...my kids need a break. I must erase the idea of a nursing home...blue hair just doesn't suit me. Although retirement does sound pretty good.
I found a song for the week-or perhaps my life. It is really quite wonderful. If you know it-sing along..if not, I hope I turned you on to a wonderful singer/song.