Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Whine Fest

I don’t mean to complain, but my son is a whiner.

And I don’t mean a part-time, occasional, periodic bellyacher, I mean a chronic, unceasing, will-you-please-lock-yourself-in-your-bedroom-until-the-end-of-this-millennium sourpuss.

He’s not the only one. Whining is highly contagious in our house, and when one child starts, it sparks a Whine Fest. I have literally run away from my whiny brood, contorting my face to mimic their nasty complaints as they trail behind, the decibels increasing the further ahead of them I get. You’d think only dolphins or humpback whales would be able to hear them.

My favorite of their complaints include:
  • You must hate me to make me do chores.
  • You’re the worst mom I’ve ever had.
  • Why are you always bossing me around?
  • If you really loved me you’d let me eat more marshmallows.
  • You’re the only mom in the world that makes her kids do X.
  • I want another mom. A nice one this time.
But I do what any good parent does when their children complain. I ignore them. Sometimes I pretend like I can’t hear—I point at my ears, shake my head and then shrug my shoulders.

I blame some of my bad parenting tactics on the fact that I’m the only adult in the house. And being a freelance writer, I can go days without any adult interaction.

Things get ugly when you’re outnumbered by three children. I can spar with the best of them. Of course, I sound like a six-year old myself when doing it. I say things like, “No, YOU!” and “Whatever!”

This past week I tried to take a more enlightened approach. In my efforts to better apply the Law of Attraction I’ve been trying to vibrate at a higher frequency. The better the emotion the higher the vibration.

So when Sport began complaining on Friday I said, “You’re vibrating at a very low frequency, Mister!” You can imagine he changed his attitude immediately. Okay, so that’s not true. He looked at me like I’d sprouted a second head.

No matter. At least I know that as a seasoned whiner he has a solid career ahead of him.

He could offer political commentary.

Or maybe become a blogger, like his mama.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Diving off the Wagon

Since joining Weight Watchers this April I have lost a total of 45.2 pounds. And while that alone is fabulous, I confess that this past week I fell off the wagon. And by “fell” I mean I was trampled by the wagon and dragged for two blocks with a Fundido in my hand. Here’s how it went down.

It’s was a girls night out and we had decided to see a movie. We were hungry but the movie was at seven so we decided to wait and have dinner later. For a reformed popcorn addict that was my first mistake.

We ordered the jumbo combo which included a refillable tub of popcorn without butter (wink wink). And then we got to business.

To say I daintily snacked on the popcorn while journeying to the center of the earth with Brandon Frasier would be dishonest. There were witnesses. I upended the barrel of popcorn and was back for a refill before the opening credits. I apologize to all the movie patrons surrounding me that might have been frightened by the display. I was on popcorn overload and cannot be blamed for my actions.

After consuming enough Weight Watchers points to power the Olympic swim team, the gals and I decided to go lite—we went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner.

The rest is all a blur. There were bottomless chips and salsa and fried tortillas smothered in cheese and sour cream, all atop rice and beans. I had to undo my top button just to look at the food. And it would be a lie if I told you I didn’t consider licking my plate after I had finished. Yes. I ate all that the night before my weekly weigh-in.

The next morning I awoke with a popcorn hangover. My tongue was swollen as were other unmentionable parts of my body. And the scale and I still had a showdown.
To make a long story short, we weighed in. And by some freak of biology my BFF and I had each lost one pound.

I formally apologize to the Weight Watchers facilitator who was conducting a meeting during our weight-loss miracle (and please don’t ask them to recalibrate the scales after that). We (and by “we” I mean “I”) interrupted her motivational speech by telling the entire group that we had fallen off the wagon by eating countless points worth of unbuttered (wink, wink) popcorn and Mexican Fundidos. And we were still big losers.

FYI, I did climb back on the wagon (without the Fundido). And no, they didn’t suspend my Weight Watchers membership, although after this post they just might.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Children and the Law

My children have recently become experts in the law. And because I’m fairly certain it’s not part of District 91’s curriculum, I’m not sure where they learned it. The Cartoon Network?

My children, who now seem well versed in various statutes that apply to children in the state of Idaho, have become the leading authorities on authority.

First they told me I couldn’t leave them alone in the car.

“Not even if I’m running to Little Ceasars to get a Hot ‘n Ready pizza?” I asked.

“You’ll get arrested,” Kaleb said.

“Even if there’s no one in line and we park right in front?”

“You’ll go to jail,” Leah added, gravely.

Okay. I can comply with the law as delivered to me by my minor children.

But yesterday they detailed this law in a manner that left me questioning. I was gassing up the car. They all unbuckled and poured out of the van.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“You’ll get arrested,” Kaleb said.

“For putting gas in my car? I’m right here guys; I can see you through the window.”

“You’ll go to jail,” Leah added, gravely.

My dear children—always looking out for my greater good. They don’t want a delinquent mom. I get that. But really, gassing up my car?

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not one to abandon my children in the vehicle and go off gallivanting. Except for those few times I’ve gotten pizza. And returned movie rentals. But that’s it. And that will happen no more, apparently, as my children are incredibly invested in keeping their mother out of jail.

However, they’ve taken the law too far. And by “they” I mean “Zack” who, after listening to his ever-wise older siblings, has started sharing his own version of child protection laws with me.

Like when I went to the garage to grab my forgotten cell phone from the van.

“Mom!” Zack yelled from the open doorway. “You’re gonna get a rested!”

Or when I threatened to send him to his room: “The police are gonna put you in jail!”

It’s a tough rap, parents, keeping these kids in line. Not only will it stretch your patience, endurance, and mental aptitude, but it may just leave you wondering how many episodes of “Law & Order: Trial by Children” your parenting style might inspire.

Friday, September 12, 2008

When You're 6

You go to school for 6 hours instead of 2 hours and 40 minutes.

You lose your first tooth.

You cross the monkey bars all by yourself and are undaunted by the resulting palm-blisters.

You play the kissing game at recess.

You practice ballet in real leather ballet slippers.

You don’t like pants with “buckles.”

You get upset and you get over it.

You share with your brothers.

You’re proud of your choices.

You’re innocent and lovely and amazing.

You’re my fantabulous daughter, Leah Lou.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Altar to My Blessings

While neglecting the serious blogger within, I've been getting all metaphysical and stuff. I recently ordered a number of books from Amazon and hunkered down to get enlightened. And dogoneit, if that isn't exactly what happened.

My new favorite book is called The Gift of Change by Marianne Williamson. In it she talks about replacing the fear in our lives (and in our world) with love. Not romantic love, parental love, or even neighborly love, but Godly love.

And we all know that I tend to get a little jiggy with fear sometimes. Like here, and here, and here, to name just a few posts. But I'm ready to release the fear and replace it with something intentionally fabulous rather than the negative runoff that was certain to flow from other areas of my life. Love sounded intentionally fabulous enough for me.

So Marianne has become my new best friend, and here's just one of the things she shared with me:

"We often build an altar to our disasters, giving them so much time and attention and energy. But do we do the same for our blessings? Are our minds truly disciplined to call forth and accept the good?"

Oh boy. Have I built an altar to my disasters!

If there's one tangible thing I can do it's to begin neglecting my disasters and focusing on my blessings. I've noticed that as I do, those gifts seem to multiple under my attentive gaze. And the disasters? Those spoiled little suckers shrivel up and slink away. It's miraculous in the simplest of ways.

My new goal is to become more positive. To look at my life and always see the blessings first. With enough practice I'm hoping that it won't take long before that's all I see. (All right, all right. So this is me we're talking about. I'll still gripe about a thing or two--but in a very positive and uplifting way...)

Tonight's blessing? All three of my children were in bed and asleep by 7:30 pm. Miraculous, no?

What are you grateful for today?

Friday, September 05, 2008

In My Dreams

I have a small girl-crush on Sydney Bristow. If you don't know who Sydney is, and shame on you, she is the double agent played by Jennifer Garner on the hit TV series Alias.

Recently my friend has gotten me hooked on the show by feeding me, one pirated DVD at a time, action-packed episodes. I didn't watch the show when it originally aired, and shame on me, over 6 years ago. And I thought I was living.

I realize now that my life won't be complete until I can obliterate someone with a roundhouse kick. If you've seen the show you know what I'm talking about. Sydney can disarm the burliest opponent with a powerful sequence of uppercuts, 360 kicks, and double back-flips, all while wearing these fabulous disguises.

My friend and I were so obsessed with fighting like Sydney that we went to a local dojo to see how many classes we would have to take before simulating a Bristow booty kicking. The smart woman at the front desk didn't answer the question, but she had the very handsome sensei on duty perform a 540 kick. Who knew there was such a thing? I nearly hyperventilated.

My loyal readers (all three of you) will remember that I once wrote a post entitled "Mission Mompossible" where I divulged that I would never make a good secret agent. That still stands. If the enemy tried to extract national secrets using Chinese water torture, I would crumble within 15 minutes. Threaten to feed my children sugar before bedtime and I'd be done in 10.

But that doesn't mean I couldn't fight like Sydney. I also have to admit that I'm currently coveting some of her gear-especially the tranquilizer guns that became popular circa session three. Not that I would, but I have dreams of piercing my children in the fanny when they're embroiled in one of their more vicious living room brawls. Admit it. The thought made you smile. Just a little.

So until I can actually do a back flip off a wall after kicking a gun from the bad guy's hand, I'll just have to dream about it.

That and watch Alias reruns over and over again.