broken and fixed and life

I can’t figure out how to fix my mobile site after I broke all the things last month. I am just that good at breaking things. Sadly, breaking things isn’t something most of us can put on our resumes. Unless you break shit for a living and, maybe, I should look into a job like that.

So…yeah. I’m trying to fix the things that are broken on this website.

Until then, hopefully you’ll still stop by every now and then on your regular old computer. Which is probably the internet equivalent of me sending you a typed letter via owl. But whatever. We can’t ALL be super good at all the things, you guys.

Besides breaking things. Of course.

Seventh grade and senior years are going really well so far. These kids of mine seem to have a shitton of homework at all times and I almost feel bad for them. Mostly, I feel bad for me because homework all the time means I need to be a responsible parent and not let them watch tv or hang out with friends all the time. It also means that every so often, The Dude and I get roped into projects and other things that make our brains hurt a lot. Especially when you add that to all the other crap that senior year brings. College nights and applications and a bunch of little things that make us feel like we’re doing most things way too late or totally wrong and, sometimes, a little bit right.

I know this is ridiculous, but I’m legit proud of how well I’ve been holding up the first month or so of senior year. I’m not saying I should win any awards for stalwart mothering, but I haven’t completely lost it. Not even once. Not even when these arrived in the mail.

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The Dude has had a couple of moments that nearly broke my pretend stoic behavior. Like when I texted him pictures during her yearbook/senior portrait session and his response nearly knocked the wind out of me. He’s not usually the one who is blasted by this kind of thing. I took a turn acting like I was completely fine with all of it.

I try not to do it very often, but there are times when I can’t help but wonder what this time next year will look like. It’s weird to think about only one of our kids living at home. I know we’ll be fine, but do you get used to that? Is it weird to let the dog have her room once she leaves?

Don’t answer that.

I’m not going to let the dog have her room. Probably.

Deadlines for early applications are right around the corner. There is so (SO!) much to do and get ready for, I feel like I’m going to blink and it will be Christmas and we’ll know (for better or for worse) if she got accepted or if we pick up and start applying to her plan B and C and D schools. More than anything, it’s just really weird that this is our life right now. Awesome, but weird.

* * *

I wrote all of that earlier thinking that I would get it all finished and set to post this evening. About an hour ago, I got a text message from that senior in high school from her friend’s house as they build their last homecoming float. She mentioned how much fun she was having but how it was a little sad that this was their last homecoming together. And yeah…I cried all the way home from the grocery store, so all those things that I wrote about me being okay is sort of a lie. Well, it’s less true than it was before an hour ago anyway.

But I’m going to be fine. Really. I’ll keep saying that until we all believe it.

Broken Things and Updates

I broke my website recently. I’m not going to get into the idiotic (I am an idiot) details, but I accidentally executed a broken blog perfectly. It was the internet equivalent of a PERFECT triple back flip into a cactus garden. Actually, it was probably an accidental backflip off a trampoline into a cactus garden but now we’ve gone to a weird place and I need to stop with the analogies and bad imagery.

All that aside, I really didn’t notice that I broke my blog because I hadn’t really done much with it the past few weeks. So I’m an idiot who doesn’t even know she’s an idiot. Or something.

Wait. I think most idiots probably don’t know they’re idiots.

::sigh::

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed (and maybe ever-so-slightly broken) right now myself. I hate when summer is over. Even though summer is so damn hard. I always hate when the girls go back to school and I feel like I have nothing to show for it. (I know that I do. A little bit. But it feels like I don’t.) I miss those girls of mine. I have guilt and regret for all that we didn’t get to do.

This was the last summer before senior year and all things college.

***

I didn’t cry on the first day of school. Either day. I’m pretty sure you all were expecting that I would. There’s so much going on in the world lately, especially last week, I think I was a little numb. But I’ve got a 7th grader and a senior in high school and I couldn’t be more proud. Or more excited for the both of them.

I freaking love these girls
I freaking love these girls

Ramona started school a few weeks ago. She loves her teachers. (I love her teachers!) We’ve had a pretty good transition back into a homework routine. Not perfect, but really good. She LOVES her Language Arts teacher. His master’s thesis was on Mine Craft so I feel like he teaches on their level somehow. At any rate, my cute Ramona has never been this excited about reading and Language Arts anything. She (secretly) stayed up to late reading last night. I know! She also worked super hard and made it on the school volleyball team. I’m beaming. Annoyingly beaming!

Beezus started her senior year excited about getting all the teachers she really wanted. With a jam-packed, kinda hard, class schedule, I was so happy that getting the exact teachers she wanted could be such a fabulous bonus. She decided to take this year off water polo so she can focus on schoolwork and competitive softball, which is so good for her. She was one of the Senior Mentors for incoming freshman and she was pretty freaking adorable about it.

Even if I’m sad for summer to be over, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.

***

Did I tell you my sister and her family moved back to California? Nevada, Montana and Utah had possession of them for far too long. The moved back to where they belong a few months ago and it’s been pretty rad. For all of us. The five of us (and my parents) have never lived so close in proximity (as adults) before this past year. I always love getting together with my family, but holy crap it’s nice to have everyone around. We are so loud, we scare people away but we’re so freaking funny and awesome the people we scare away come back for more. But I have to tell you…having more moments with these weirdos makes life rad.

Yes, that's a banana in my shirt. Thanks, Jaye.
Yes, that’s a banana in my shirt. Thanks, Jaye.

***

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still feel like there is too much on my plate, but at least I can carry it without falling in a black hold of yuck. Although, being on the other side of things, I can see how much I forgot about or had to put off while so very buried. (*cough* Broken blog *cough*) Wading through those (forgotten/ignored) tasks is pretty overwhelming, but I’m getting there. I mean, there are actually days when I can breathe normally. Progress! But yeah…if it takes me a long time to get back to you (or if I have forgotten to get back to you at all) I’m really and truly sorry. I’d offer to bake you something as a peace offering, but 1) I don’t have time for that and 2) At this point in time, I’m so distracted it would probably taste terrible. But I still love you. I promise. No really. I’m hugging you from here.

Sunday Night Preemptive Guilt

Every year around this time, I start shutting down a little. Late spring and summer are very busy for me at work, so it’s hard to welcome it with open arms. The guilt of a 40+ hour work week becomes even more precarious. It doesn’t matter that my kids are 16 and 12. The guilt is still there. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s worse now than it was before. I can’t just up and quit, mind you.

I like my job. But mom-guilt always wins.

Mom-guilt fights dirty.

So it’s Sunday night and I’m dreading the work week. It’s deadline heavy. But after weeks of running myself ragged – I’ve been flying solo in the parenting arena several nights a week for the past few months – I know that this week means that I pour myself into work while my husband takes a turn at the double duty wheel. (Thanks, honey.) It’s a parenting balance to be proud of.

But instead I feel guilty.

Also, tired.

It’s not even Monday morning.

It’s temporary, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. This too shall pass and all that.

But that’s probably part of the problem.

We all know how much I worry about time passing.

But it’s 10:25 on a Sunday night and I’m not even close to going to bed. I’m waiting for for the dryer to finish and my husband decided that tonight would be the night that we start watching House of Cards. Don’t even tell me. We’re only on the second episode, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to keep up with that kind of time commitment, but damn it’s good. (Also, yikes.)

Tomorrow will bring the deadlines and the stress of the week. But tonight, I’ll finish the laundry, make the lunches and prep the coffee maker while I get sucked into this show that I won’t ever finish. It makes no sense whatsoever.

I’ll feel guilty about it tomorrow.

The Easter Dilemma

It just dawned on me that I’ve done NOTHING for Easter. No decorations up. No Easter baskets down from the storage shelf in the garage. Nothing that resembles the fact that Easter is in two days. I mean, I accidentally have a little bit of candy because we visited Andy’s Candy on Monday, but I really can’t list that under the “accomplishments” column because we’ve already started eating it.

Hell, the kids asked the other day if they were getting something for Easter.

All signs point to NO.

It’s too bad you don’t believe in the Easter Bunny! Basically that means that you get crap from your Mom & Dad because they’re JERKS!

I’m pretty sure we’ll come up with something. (Tomorrow. Maybe.) But I’m feeling conflicted on this new chapter of parenting we’ve reached. I’m equal parts nostalgic and relieved that ‘these types’ of holidays are no longer a very big deal in our house. Less stress, but I promised myself that it didn’t matter that if they believed or not, we’d still celebrate with gusto. But here we are and I’ve done NOTHING to prepare and I’ve kinda entertained the idea that I don’t have to.

I won’t actually DO nothing, but I’ve entertained the idea.

(Also, I’m really bummed that I forgot to decorate. I do love springtime/Easter decorations. They’re so cheerful.)

Parenting is so weird. I’m blown away by the fact that I’m done with the babies and toddler era. But OMG MY KIDS FEED AND DRESS THEMSELVES AND IT’S GLORIOUS. But then…the only time I’ll sniff a baby’s head is if it belongs to someone else. MY CHILDREN TALK AND CAN USE THEIR WORDS TO TELL ME IF THEY’RE NOT FEELING WELL OR HUNGRY. I DON’T HAVE TO WIPE ANYONE’S ASS. The cuddles, the footie pajamas the cuddles! I DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR DIAPERS AND DID I MENTION I DON’T HAVE TO WIPE ANYONE’S ASS?

So yeah…we’re back to two days before Easter and totally not prepared. Or decorated. And completely grateful that we have plans with family on Sunday that will be fabulous fun and will give my kids a taste of Easter festivities. Which means, really, that I can give myself the weekend off and not worry about this anymore. Done!

I love Easter.

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Last year’s Easter deco. Obviously.

 

Ramona: Age 12

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Twelve just sounds really old.

I obviously know how old my kids are. I really do know how to do math. But for some reason, Ramona’s jump from 11 to 12 yesterday knocked the wind out of me. It’s not that her new and updated age took me by surprise. It’s just…no, I’m lying. It somehow totally took my by surprise. I’m constantly amazed by how fast time flies. At this point in my parenting career, I should really be used to it.

For various reasons, I worried about how much fun Ramona would have celebrating her birthday. With her big day falling right in the middle of her two weeks of spring break and then a family filled, Easter weekend, we didn’t have too many options and will be having her birthday “event” in May. At some point. On a weekend that is NOT Mother’s Day or the weekend I’m not out of town. (Sigh.)

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yes, she is pointing a sling-shot at me

Don’t get me wrong, I really do think she had a great time yesterday. I mean she practically had a breakfast of gummy bears and worms as we visited a fabulous new candy store downtown. (LOVE them.) We had a Starbucks date, her and I. A visit to one of her favorite people. Her best friend was able to get out of school early yesterday and hang out with us for the afternoon. They were pampered with pedicures, just the two of them. (Which I neglected to get a picture of. Mom FAIL.)

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there are only 10 candles…another MOM FAIL

We had celebrated April birthdays with my side of the family over the weekend while everyone was in town, but my inlaws were able to come over for a nice, little dinner. I was also so glad that some family that lives so close could come over for birthday cake. (That Beezus made. From scratch. It was amazing and DELICIOUS.)

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the beautiful, vanilla layered cake made with a LOT of hard work by the big sister

I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for the people in my life that love my kids so much. I am so blessed with family (and friends who are family) who make my kids feel so special. This kid is so loved. Plus, that look on her face? Makes me so damn happy. She is just the coolest chick ever.

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I love her

Taking Note

I need to remember that I have a terrible memory. Of course, if I could do THAT then I probably wouldn’t have a terrible memory and then this entire post would be moot. I believe that those two sentences may be two of the stupidest sentences I have ever written on this blog. And that’s really saying something.

I have to write everything down. That’s one of the biggest reasons my to-do lists look like Volume 2 in War and Peace. If it’s not written down on the to-do list, there is a good chance I will NEVER remember to get it done. I’d like to think that all my important thoughts take up too much room in my brain, but really I’m probably using all that space for song lyrics or lines from my favorite movies and keeping track of all my various passwords. I also use that space to remember where the closest Starbucks is at all times. With all that occupied space, there just isn’t enough space to remember to work task lists and, you know, when my last tetanus shot was.

For this reason, I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I didn’t keep better journals growing up. Luckily, I have a Sarah who did. I rely on her to remember all the things from 2nd grade on. In return, I remember other things. Like, song lyrics, movie lines and where the nearest Starbucks is.

I read an article once that helped explain why “mom brain” is an actual thing. (No, of course I don’t remember where I read this article. Don’t be silly.) As women, and as mothers, we take it upon ourselves to remember birthdays and school events and what size shoe our kids wear. (Unless you’re me. I can remember my favorite hockey player’s birthday but I have no idea what size shoe my kids wear. ANYWAY.) There is so much for mom’s to remember, it is quite impossible to fit it all in our brains. It made me feel a little bit better about my “bad” memory, but I still have regrets about what I didn’t bother to write down.

I have no excuse. I’ve been blogging for many years. I should have more written down. I’ve even thought about (editing) and re-blogging posts from my former blog-life when I was a bit more anonymous. Not all stories could be retold, but it would be fun to revisit those that could.

There is so much I don’t want to forget.

Like how much parental pride I felt when my teen bought this shirt for herself. I mean, come ON.

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Or how I went to a crab feed, and for the first time in my history of crab feeds, I actually ate crab. (I usually don’t.) (Best crab feed I’ve ever been to.)

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I want to remember our Oscar Party. I mean, for crying out loud Amy made a peanut butter and jelly cake. CAKE.

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And how much my girls and I love Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. (Um…maybe I won’t forget THAT one.)

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How I made Mickey Mouse pancakes for Beezus the morning she took the SAT’s.

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Running with these fine womens.

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Speaking of running…I never, ever want to forget the look on Ramona’s face when she finished one of her track events and realized I had been able to get there on time. (And it wasn’t easy getting there.)

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Will we always remember the ridiculous amount of love we have for this silly dog?

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I’m going to miss these moments when they’re gone. Yes, of course, there will be new moments to celebrate and enjoy, but I don’t want to forget. If I write it down, keep track of these moments a little better, I don’t have to.  There’s plenty of blank space here. I just need to make it happen.

life with all these girls

My husband doesn’t have any sisters – only a brother. So him growing up in a male majority household didn’t exactly prepare him for what life would be like with a wife and two daughters. Hell, even the dog is a girl. Or…was a girl. Whatever.

Sidenote: Here’s Paisley. It’s been awhile since she’s graced the pages of the blog.

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Adorable Muppet

ANYWAY.

When the girls were little, there were very few instances when being the only dude in the house was uncomfortable. Sure, there was a lot of pink and sparkles and Polly Pockets, but very rarely did he feel like the odd man out. Up until recently, it was pretty simple. Dare I say, he had it pretty damn easy. And really, he still does . NONE of us are prissy, drama attracted females. We’re pretty easy going.

Except when we’re not, of course. PMS is a tricky bitch.

Dealing with PMS-ing daughters and wife is hard enough. But I don’t think he was fully prepared to be quite so involved in ‘female’ conversations on a regular basis. Once Ramona joined the ranks of…well, the ranks of women who fight the monthly battle, he was doomed. Talk of feminine products and cramps and other such female maladies, my husband is now realizing what living with three women is about. If you’ve ever seen a sitcom that featured a dad and teenage daughters, you have a very good glimpse of what life is like for my husband. It’s difficult to see his little girls are grown up. And he really doesn’t know how to handle our frank conversations. He is severely outnumbered and is trying to find a way to rent out an apartment during certain times of the month.

The other day, Ramona had already made her way to bed but Beezus and I were watching a Buzzfeed spoof on Frozen. There was mention of the songwriters, who also happened to write songs for The Book of Mormon musical. One song in particular was referenced and I busted out laughing. My husband was trying to ignore us both as he searched for something on the computer but my child was understandably curious what I found so funny. (The song-name is Swahili. Her confusion was understandable.)

As I began to try to (delicately) explain this particular song, she mentioned that she wanted to see it. And, being the mother that I am, told her that she should wait until she’s older.

“Mom. I’ve seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I’m pretty sure I can handle it.”

“I know, I know…but just…”

“Mom. Please. I’m sure it’s not even as bad.”

At this point, my husband is trying desperately to ignore us both. I should also point out that while I am very protective of my kids, I am also pretty open with them. We have rules about bad words, but…we also talk about how they’re just words. However, even as a surprise to myself I found myself saying:

“Kid. That song? The lyrics are straight up saying ‘f*** you in the eye’” (Plus…other things.)

And I kid you not, without missing a beat or even caring that her dad was listening, my kid responds with:

 “Yeah. And Priscilla shoots ping pong balls out of her vag.”

The two of us look at each other and immediately start laughing so hard, I nearly fell off my chair. Beezus had to hold onto the counter for support.

My husband? Well, my husband died twice from the shock of what his wife and teenage daughter just said. He came back to life only to pretend to keep his cool and just shake his head.

We knew better.

Which only made Beezus and I laugh harder.

I’m pretty sure my husband would’ve recovered a lot more successfully if he could’ve caught a break. But the next night, Ramona gave the entire explanation about periods and cramps and also dealing with all the things that are periods and cramps. All right as we were getting ready to sit down to dinner.

I looked at my husband lovingly.

“You. Are so. Screwed.”

He knows.

Dance Parties, Walls and Finding Home

When my kids were little, living room dance parties was just something we did and a huge part of who we were. I can vividly remember the girls being so little and getting down and getting funky as only toddlers and preschoolers can. The Now and Then soundtrack was on constant rotation back in those days. Sugar, Sugar was our jam. (There is also sugar IN jam. So that sentence seems oddly appropriate.)

Life happens in strange ways sometimes, though. We found ourselves selling our house and, not long after, we moved in with my in-laws. My husband started a business and went back to school. Nothing was the same and everything was up in the air. Our routines were 100% disrupted. Traditions that we used to have went by the wayside. Being a parent in my own home became difficult.

Just being myself became difficult.

During that time, very rarely was I a “relaxed” mom that could have fun with my kids. I have a lot of regrets about the kind of mother I was back then, but my biggest regret was not being able to let my guard down. If ever I want to drive myself to the brink of insanity, I can try to imagine the mom I *could’ve been* if I could’ve been the mom that I started out to be. In fact, just typing that sentence caused an elephant come sit on my chest. Regret is an ugly, ugly reality.

A tragic casualty of not being able to be myself was the lack of dance parties in our family. It just wasn’t the same. *I* wasn’t the same. Letting go and letting loose wasn’t something I could do under the circumstances. I realize that you can still be a decent and wonderful human being without dance parties, but it was more than that. It was almost like we lost the ability to truly feel joy. In my opinion, dancing exemplifies joy. And when you are lost in life, you don’t always know what joy looks like. Even if you know that it used to look like dance parties, etc.

I was devastated the first time I realized that I had allowed this part of my girls’ childhood to be locked up. I remember times that I tried to get them to dance at a wedding or a party and it was like I was asking them to pull off their own toes. I already have plenty of guilt of being such a young mom and how hard it was to raise tiny humans. Now I found myself feeling guilty for so much more.

Years passed before the four of us found ourselves with a little more freedom to be ourselves. It was a breath of fresh air, but it would take quite some time before we could feel comfortable with letting our guard down. In fact, it would take years. There’s even a part of me that believes that a shift began to happen when Paisley joined our family. I know, I know…that sounds a little nuts. But that fuzzy little muppet thawed something inside all of us. Being completely goofy over a pet can help tear down some pretty strong barriers.

But it’s when we bought and moved into our new home last summer when I saw the biggest shift of all. Even with all the weirdness and orange walls, we somehow knew we were home from the beginning. To this day, several months later, I can’t explain how much I love coming home every day. When I turn on our street, I breathe a sigh of relief. The gratitude is immeasurable. Because everything I ever wanted for my family (and was never sure I would get) is in this home. For 16+ years, I dreamed of having this feeling. For 16+ years, I wished and prayed for this soft place to land.

I try really hard to not have regret. I do. I really do. I try to be present and be grateful for all that we have now. But there is a piece of my heart that is broken for all the years that we didn’t have this feeling of contentment and peace. I feel sadness for the years that our family was so uprooted and a little bit lost.

The past few months, the shifts and the changes that I’ve seen in my family have been something to behold. I hesitate to use a word like magical, but it just the word I want to use right now. Life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not supposed to be. But when you can visibly see walls that were built up start to crumble, you take notice. When you can see your children allow themselves to be a tiny bit more vulnerable and open, there’s this sense of relief that can’t be explained. And while the dance parties haven’t returned quite yet, singing at the top of our lungs has. It’s different than our loud music days in the car. It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, pure joy in a song, belting out as loud as you can singing that only comes from being silly and the freedom if being ourselves. And being ourselves feels so damn good. I’ve really, really missed it.

Why You Should Never Use the Olympics to Keep Track of Time

My husband and I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night. I know that you are completely shocked by us watching anything Olympics, but sometimes we actually do watch TV together. (If this was an email or text, this would be the part where I’d put a winking smiley face.)

With the 2014 Winter Olympics now over, there were segments about the next (2018) Winter Olympics and, of course, the 2016 Summer Olympics.

You can’t help but think about where you’ll be in the next two or four years. (I have A LOT of Olympic watching to schedule into my life, folks.) How old will I be? How old will my kids be?

Sigh.

Yeah…THAT question.

For the 2016 Summer Olympics, Beezus will be home for the summer from her first year away at college. Ramona? Yeah Ramona will be getting ready to start her first year of high school. HIGH. SCHOOL.

The next time we see the Winter Olympics? Beezus will be 20. TWENTY. Ramona will (theoretically) be driving.

My head didn’t even have time to explode. It fell clean off.

This is why no one likes math. Once you learn to count, it’s all over. Counting things make you realize how awful it is to use the Olympics as a measurement of time. Or to track parenting years and milestones. It’s horrifying. I began to rethink my love for all things Olympics.

I couldn’t even help myself. When all these montages that felt like time machines floated across my TV, I looked at my husband and said “Beezus is going to be home from her first year of college when it’s time for the summer Olympics.”

He stared straight ahead at the TV for a bit and then said, “That is so sad.”

I sometimes forget how hard this is on the papas, too.

Maybe it’s good that the Olympics are over. We’ve been…obsessed. Our TV has been on so much, I think my brain is beginning to ooze out my ears. I’m also way too emotionally involved in all these athletes. And yes, Olympic math makes you realize just how fast time will fly. I don’t need any other reminders.

I can torture myself without any help, thank you.

Parenting on the Same Channel

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I know, I know…this picture is so old, but I love it.

There are times when I worry about how much I share about my children here. I know I don’t use their real names, but they know this website exists. I’m sure they’ll read it at some point. I don’t feel so much reservation about sharing the sweet stories. Those are special moments that I want them to know. But, as we all know, mothering isn’t always the sweet and sappy stuff. Sometimes being a mom is damn hard. Those stories are a little harder to tell. Well, they are a little harder to tell when you imagine one of your children reading it.

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I have wonderful children. I do. They are beautiful and loving and smart and amazing and they kick all kinds of ass. But my children are human. (No, really.) Being human means having bad days, testing the waters, break rules, making poor choices. You know, like ALL OF US.

My job as a parent means that I establish rules and boundaries that apply to our family. When those boundaries are challenged and when rules are broke, there are consequences. It is important to understand rules and boundaries and what happens when they’re not followed because this is practice for REAL LIFE in the world as an adult. Even though we all know plenty of adults that never learned this lesson, I’d rather my children not be counted among them. I hope they become good citizens of earth and all that.

I understand my job as a parent. But sometimes it just really sucks.

Each of us have times when we are not are best. I feel like I am a terrible person for the entire month of September most years. (I hate back to school. I don’t even want to talk about it.) But just because I’m having a bad month, I still have to follow the normal life rules.

Which is what I need to remember as I’m parenting my children.

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Ramona and I are not speaking the same language lately. We are just…well, we’re a little off kilter. I vaguely remember a similar situation when Beezus started middle school. It’s not an easy time for them. There were a lot of changes for both of them at this age. (New schools and areas where they didn’t really know anyone.) Middle school is hard. It’s a lot more work. Socially, there is a lot to navigate and learn. I get it. I do. But getting used to all of the change isn’t a free pass to whatever they want. I still have to be the parent that enforces our household rules and boundaries that have been set. Even if it means that I feel like I’m going insane. And right now I really feel like I’m going insane.

The hard part is admitting that I am part of the problem. I let her push so many of my buttons, I lose my patience early on in the game. There many evenings after work where I became so frustrated that the things I asked her to do weren’t getting done. Or there was so much attitude directed RIGHT at The Dude and I, we almost didn’t fit in the same room together. But since I lost my patience so quick, we never fully resolved the situation.

So she lost most ‘screen time’ of any kind. Even though it started as a punishment, it ended up freeing up her mind for other things. Things like focusing more on homework and reading and getting her chores done. We also created a different structure for her for after school. Believe it or not, so far it’s helping. It’s not perfect, but it’s helping.

You know those old CB or walkie talkie radios? You had to be on the same channel so you could hear your buddy on the other end? And sometimes one of you was one channel off. You could still hear them talking, but there was so much garbled noise and static, you couldn’t really understand what they were saying. So you work together and switch the channels up or down and then all of a sudden, they come in loud and clear and you’re all BREAKER BREAKER DUDE I HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, 1040. Or whatever was your favorite thing to say on walkie talkies.

That’s what it’s like parenting Ramona. I’ve been a parent to that amazing kid for 11 years, and she never ceases to amaze me. But she also challenges me in surprising and unexpected ways. Just when I think we’re on to something, we have to alter the course. She keeps me on my toes. My parenting style has to change. Our communication needs to be adjusted. There are times I feel like a complete parenting failure until I realize that we need to step back, regroup…and make some changes on our walkie talkie channel so that we can understand each other again. It’s not a bad thing. It just is. I need to remember it when I find myself at my wits end and feeling like I’m at the end of my rope. I don’t need a complicated equation…I just need to switch that channel and listen for her. Inevitably, she’s coming in loud and clear.

thumbs up, baby
thumbs up, baby