Monday, January 28, 2013

The One In Which I Might Become A Germophobe

Yesterday was not my day.

It was one of those parenting days they don't tell you about before you have kids, because if they did you would probably run screaming in the opposite direction and the population of the world would hang in the balance as young, sane people everywhere would refuse to procreate in attempt to avoid such a day.

Yes.  It was that bad.

We had just come off an awesome start to our weekend.  Back to back gymnastics meets.  Ribbons, trophies and smiles everywhere.  And total cuteness in bright blue leos.

I mean, come on!  Cute overload.

Then.  It happened.

The middle-of-the-night-mommy-I-don't-feel-good.

The 5 most dreaded words that send mothers everywhere to their knees (or rocking in a corner in their happy place).

Thus began the "up all night" routine as I attempted to manage Princess #3's ear pain, calm her from hysterics and not get completely ticked off at hubs who snored peacefully the whole night.

Ok.  Ok.  He DID have to work the next day.  And he did make a midnight run to the drugstore for ear drops.  I can't get too cranky.

So the next morning it was clear that Princess #3 was suffering from an ear infection.  And on the weekend you know what that means:

Cesspool Of Germs  Urgent Care.

You can guess how fun it is to go to the Cesspool Of Germs Urgent Care with 4 kids (3 of them healthy - for now) at the height of flu season.

I will spare you most of the gory details.  But because I want you to share in my misery a little bit, I can't leave out the part during our TWO HOUR wait where a little boy puked into a bucket held by his mom.  IN the waiting room.  In front of everyone.  Feet from the (unoccupied) restroom.  Really?  I mean, REALLY?  Let the poor boy puke in peace.  And for the love of all things related to not spreading germs, take him to the restroom!!

I'm not sure how I made it out of the Cesspool Of Germs Urgent Care without developing a full blown panic attack.  I can't tell you how many times I told the girls "don't touch the doors, don't touch the chairs, for God's sake don't put your hands IN YOUR MOUTH!"

Is it ok to bathe kids in Germ-X?  Because I might have.

The rest of the day was spent watching movies and ignoring the dishes and laundry while I cuddled with a feverish Princess #3.  Which really actually isn't that bad.  But I figured by that point I deserved it.  Afterall, the chapter on "What to Expect When Your Kid Wakes You Up At Midnight With An
Ear Infection and You Are Going To Be Forced To Drag All Four Of Your Kids To The Cesspool Of Germs Urgent Care During Flu Season" was missing from my book.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Horse Is A Horse Of Course

Princess #2:  I really love horses and I really, really, REALLY want one.  But I think I'll stick with an iPad horse.

Me:  Why is that?

Princess #2:  Because you don't have to scoop their poop.

Smart girl.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hello 2013!

Hey all.  Yeah.  I've missed you too.

It's been awhile.  But I'm jonesin' to write again.

I'm going to be messing around with things on here a bit.  So bear with me.

But Queenie is back.


Monday, September 24, 2012

I Am Mom Enough

Take that Time Magazine.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ugly White Plastic Stool

Today I'm thinking about this ugly white plastic stool we own.

Random, right?  I know, hang with me.

I do not remember how we acquired this stool.  It's one of those things that I can't imagine seeing in the store and saying to myself, "yes!  I MUST have this ugly white plastic stool for my home!".  And yet, somehow, at some point, this ugly white plastic stool still made it into my shopping cart and into my home.

We've had it since I can remember which probably means I bought it not long after we got married.  Almost 13 years ago.

This stool has been everywhere with us.  3 states, 6 homes, 13 years.  No matter how many miles across the country we moved, we drug that ugly white plastic stool with us.

I was staring at this stool today as it stood in it's place under the sink in my girls' bathroom.  I was musing over how insignificant it is, how unassuming, and yet how indispensable it's become in our home.  My girls use it to reach the sink to brush their teeth and wash their hands.  I use it to reach things that are up high.  Hubs uses it to change lightbulbs.  We would really be lost without that ugly white plastic stool.  Without even meaning to, that stool has become an important part of our household.

And it occurred to me how easy it is to allow other things, like that ugly white plastic stool to enter into our homes and become fixtures without meaning for them to.  Sometimes (many times) it's not actual things, but more attitudes, environments, values and philosophies.

We usually don't seek them out.  Very rarely do we think, "yes!  This is an attitude I MUST have present in my home!".  No, more often than not they somehow end up in our "shopping cart" and well established in our day in day out living before we recognize that they are even present.

It's a tough job being a parent.  Even moreso now in our ever present connected culture.  There are so many outside forces vying for our children's attention.  We are constantly bombarded with what others deem "appropriate" and I know that it is just flat out tiring to always be on guard, filtering what "harmlessly" lands in our shopping carts.

And yet we must press on.  Oh please do not grow weary parents!  Just like that ugly white plastic stool  that once meant very little but now has become so important that we have moved it across the country 3 times without even consciously meaning to, so easily do influences impact our children before we know it.

Today my fourth grader came home with work that she completed the first week of school.  Among the many papers was an interview she did with a fellow classmate:

Someone, somewhere has allowed an ugly white plastic stool in the form of a TV show to jump into their cart and establish itself in their home.  And now there is a little girl no more than 10 who, during a sensitive time in her life, is filling her mind with all sorts of confusing messages and forming her belief system around what she sees on a TV show.

I feel like it's so easy to check out as parents, once our children move out of the dependent infant phase and even the growing independent toddler phase.  Physically they can do so much on their own.  And let's face it, after the toddler years, most parents are tired!  I know how nice it is to not have to wipe bums 20 times a day or brush teeny tiny teeth.  Believe me, I get it!

But as parents we cannot let go of the reigns.  Please do not let go!  As they are learning to communicate and interact in the world, our children are exploring their set of beliefs and forming what will be the basis for their moral foundation.  They need to learn to filter and self-regulate, but they need to do it within the confines of a safe environment.  And environment governed by you.

No one else is going to do it for you.  No one is going to look at your shopping cart and pull that ugly white plastic stool out before you can get it home.  That is your job.  Don't buy it.  Don't move it across the country.  Don't let it become such a fixture in your home that you don't even recognize that it's there, influencing your children and becoming so important that you can't live without it.  Guard your children's heart and mind fiercely, no one else will like you.

My friends, I have to be honest, I think you might hear alot about this from me.  As my girls grow older, I'm finding myself dwelling on this topic frequently.  I spend alot of mental time evaluating and analyzing the influences we allow into our home.  I know some may consider us over-protective, but I think the ever increasing rate of teenage pregnancies (we live in a state with one of the highest rates - #5 in the nation in 2010!) is enough of a reason to stay plugged in.  And that's not even the only reason!  My heart is burdened by the things I know my girls will be exposed to in the coming years, and I am determined to be by their side, monitoring and guiding every step of the way.  I am not checking out, and I hope that as you approach these years you won't either.

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