Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Metaphorically Speaking

My tears are salting the deli pretzel I am eating to hide my feelings. It would be better if it was raining, but I am sitting in the bathroom with the shower going to hide. I'm torn between being thrilled and being terrified. No one informed me this ride called motherhood was this emotionally exhausting. I want a refund.

     Today is a huge day in the life of the Waltons...we left Martin home alone. As we were shepherding the flock to the vehicle to run to the store, Martin mentioned casually that he didn't want to go really. A simple statement. Nothing but a general statement that he was disinterested in going to town period.

      Enter mama logic 101. Well as good a time as any to try this out. We'll only be gone for forty five minutes. Will he be scared? Oh well I'll ask him and see. What are the chances he actually wants to? Zero to slim. So no harm no foul. I'll look like benevolent mommy, and he won't have to admit he still needs me. Perfect plan, right? Since I've already stated he stayed home alone you know it wasn't.

      As he walked out of his room, and Honeybear walked out of our room,  I met them in the middle and smiling asked if he wanted to stay at home. Honeybear gave me a look of disbelief but looked at our firstborn too. At first Martin thought I was kidding but then he realized I was serious. There was a clear twinkle in his eyes when he confirmed that would be epic.

      We went over the rules that every child needs and told him to lock the door behind us. A block from the house I called my mom. Check on Martin in thirty minutes he's home alone. "Are you freaking out?" What? Why would I be freaking out? I just left my first born to be kidnapped, burned alived, or attacked by a minotaur. Who knows what happens when you leave a child home alone? Oh wait, my parents did it and I survived. Still the idea of highway men or a serial killer ran through my head. Maybe even a rampaging tyrannosaurs rex. (You never know when a time traveling worm hole will appear.)

     When we hit about five miles away I called answer. TURN THE CAR AROUND HE'S BEING MURDERED!!!! Five seconds later he calls back. Sorry fumbled the phone. DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!! Now are you okay? Yes, bye. We can come back? No, bye? So everything is okay? Yes mom. So good bye. Alright goodbye.

     After we rush through the store and forget the hamburger buns. (Really Honeybear, you act like you're on fire.) As we head out to the car mom calls... laughing. She called him and he was very proud he was home alone. Oh great, he's going to be packing his bags and moving out by the time we get home. On the way back, I start to breath its been less than thirty minutes. How much could go wrong?  That's when Honeybear tells me I need to let go of the phone before I crush it.

       We got home and the house was still standing. Martin was thrilled and I am still breathing so I guess no one died and it was the first of the boxes packed ,metaphorically speaking, before they all fly the nest. In the mean time I hope they don't make me pull out my feathers to much....

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Cliche that that is- being the mother of four kids makes it almost always true. As I day dream of burrowing back into my cozy nest, covering my head with my extra pillow, I think about nap time fights. The sweet ease into dreamland... where you can be anything and everything without paying the cost of reality, is rarely there for anyone under the age of six. They'd rather stubbornly cling to their door posts, nails digging in and leaving gouges to measure their growth by.

Why drift off to Never Never Land with Peter Pan when you can cry and scream and face the injustices of mommy refusing to refill your sippy cup. Who wants to fly through the stars, scuba dive in the frothy depths where amazing creatures play, when you can sit on your bed gasping for breath to rattle your windows.


But no, every young child knows the most magical moments happen after mommy tries to lay them down. We must be finger painting the frosting on world record cookies from their reactions. Either that or we're swimming in melted ice cream with unicorns. That is the only explanation for their absolute refusal to do the magical restorative thing called a nap.

Why am I reminiscing of those days? Two of mine declared loudly that they were tired from staying up late chatting and went and took a nap. Now I'm the one throwing the tantrum, cause it's just not fair. They're probably mermaids right now. While I'm sitting here drinking my second pot of coffee just trying to stay awake long enough to make it to bedtime! I wanna nap too!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


    There's a few of my friends who keep putting up these memes. Jokingly I think a war has started. They always seem to be either stay at home mom problems or working mom problems. Now don't get me wrong I'm against the whole "mommy wars" thing (seriously can't we all just get along.)  But as I watch them post and comment back forth I see the parallels that they don't. I see the exact same problems unfolding in different locations. But I think they're seriously missing a perspective. You guessed it....homeschooling mom.

    For example one exchange went something like this.

"Yes, I'm a stay at home mom. Go ahead ask me what I do all day...I dare you."

Response of, "I do the laundry, cook dinner, nuture the children all while be preoccupied by this little thing called a full time job."

And the whole time I'm thinking...I do all of that and create magical lesson plans for four different grades and don't even get the summer months off.

      Another exchange went a little like this.

"Hardest part of my day was dropping my kids of at daycare...I forgot my coffee cup there."

Response this time, "I've seen the village and I don't want them raising my child."

   My thoughts were along the lines where's my coffee. Did you get your reading done yet? No I don't know where your book is probably where ever my coffee went to... they're eloping. Locating both book and coffee in guinea pig cage. o_O Don't ask, I don't have the answer.

          This one wasn't in meme form but rather entertaining.

"My boss keeps nagging me to finish this project. I still have to finish last weeks reports. And just got a call from daycare that little bit has a rash."

"You think you got it rough. Baby won't quit screaming. Hubby wants dinner. And my little one keeps telling me her tummy hurts only to find out she's getting the chicken pox."

     Mutual commiseration aside (see working or staying at home your lives run parallel.) I'm sitting here going we haven't finished our volcanos! Did the reading circle go around twice? Is that the time do I feed them a full lunch and hope they eat dinner. What's the dog eating? I still haven't got all the materials measured out for lab tomorrow. We have volleyball practice tonight? What do you mean you don't have any clean shorts? Did we get in that many hours for sure? I need to do objectives for next weeks lessons. And check yesterday and today's journal entries. Did I kiss Honeybear goodbye? Oh no part of his lunch is sitting here. Gotta run that to him after practice. Is there enough hours left after the kids go to bed to research the five different topics the kids asked about today? Did the trash bill get paid? What's today? Or since it's after midnight does it count as tomorrow?

      Does everyone see the parallels to our universes? If not I can't put it any other way, we're all moms. All balancing a million things, praying our brains keep our lists prioritized and organized and just trying to drink enough coffee to keep us going on nothing else but a half eaten chicken nugget and a questionable yogurt.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Homeschooling, Hillbillying, Family Oriented Humor.....Sounds about right

     You might have noticed the nice, bright, yet simplistic background change. If anyone just thought, "Nah, I just come here to read, didn't really notice." Well bless your little heart. Anyone whose read my blog posts more than once knows that the thread that holds them all together is colorful and distinct: homeschooling, hillbillying, family oriented humor. I hope that thread stays woven deeply into this blog.

     But some of the background elements have changed drastically from whence we originated. Namely the children can now all pronounce assassination....and we live "in town" with very little room to homestead. *sad face*  (I can't help but giggle to think of any of my true city slickers who came to see our "town"- all six blocks of it.)

    The minions are no longer sweet little children that adorable and appalling truths spill out of unchecked. (Still truthful just not as cute coming from an eleven year old as a six year old.) I still have moments when I want to look at them with an incredulous look and proclaim loudly, "Who are you calling Mom?" Sometimes I smugly grin and say, "Yeah, they're all mine."

     I have learned to not just say, "Oh yeah, they're homeschooled." Usually that's the last fact I give people. It skips a lot of hassle. But alas, my proud manner of exclamation of this information in their younger years has led them by example and now most often it's out of my hands. (Since I am still very proud of homeschooling I haven't flat out told them not to tell people that.)

    Honeybear is over thirty (with a better beard than most the guys on Duck Dynasty) and in a few weeks time I will hit that particular milestone myself. *happy dance* Weird, I know, but I am so thrilled to not be a twenty something with four kids. I hope to not see the people doing rapid appraisal of our family and start asking ridiculously rude and personal questions. (No, I gathered the neighbors kids up before I left....or No I don't know how that happens. Please tell me so I can prevent it next time. My two favorite responses to the stupidest question I hear repeatedly.)

      So here we sit years later, hopefully you still enjoy my writing. (I'd like to think I'm pretty witty on occasion.) I hope to be entertaining and enthralling y'all for a long time to come...all three of you.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mother's Guilt

     It's summer vacation!!! FREEEEEDDDOOM! Yeah, no, not really. I never escape. I've only left once and not felt extreme mother's guilt. You know mother's guilt surely? That is where you leave your precocious children with their father or some other safe person that isn't you. As you close the door you take a deep breath and relax for a millisecond....then the guilt hits.

     At first I always believed it to be because I could hear a child saying bye bye mama and felt I was shirking my motherly duty of being their everything. (chauffeur, cook, nurse, teacher, maid, slave, etc) Now I know the truth...the guilt is because I'm happy to have a moment to myself. Now don't get me wrong. I cherish my children. I just want to hug them, and squeeze them, and call them George. Sometimes I want to squeeze the orneriness out of them but hey who doesn't.

     The point is in over eleven years I've nurtured them to be these amazing and independent individuals and still feel like I'm doing something wrong by not being there when they need to come running to me. For goodness sakes I might be picking out a cantaloupe when they have an epiphany on dark matter. Their attention spans being equivalent to a guppy's the whole world could blame me for years to come when they find out it took them years to grasp the concept again. Our time machines will be twenty years later than they should have been. And it will be all my fault for leaving to go grocery shopping in peace.

     As the years have gone by the guilt has eased. When Degan came along was the first time I was so selfish as to dare leave them behind to go grocery shopping. I managed to do two weeks of shopping in twenty minutes. Elbows flying, cart wheels screeching around corners, I probably looked like a crazy woman putting my arm out and just shoving a whole row of cans into the basket as I zoomed down the aisle veering out of the path of some coupon queen. (The air horn was probably a little much but it was effective for getting people out of the way.) I sped back to the house and ran inside the words of "Mommy's back." died on my lips as I saw they were all exactly where I had left them. Honeybear came and kissed me asking if I'd forgotten something. I just shook my head as I watched him deftly change a diaper and grab the next one as she crawled past.The next time I left the air horn at home.

       Last week the glory that is guiltless happened. I had been up to my eyeballs in kids for a few days. Friends of the kids were in and out. I had not been able to even go to the bathroom without someone rattling the knob needing a bandaid, more koolaid, an argument settled. (Trust me I kept trying to escape from the mob and that door at least has a lock.) So finally I walked out looked at Honeybear and said, "Honey I'm going to run over to Britty Bacon's for a bit." He spared me a glance, "Okay."
 I stopped in the middle of my hunt for my other shoe and looked at him. "No really. I might not even come back."
 Not even looking at me, "See ya in an hour tops. But if you do make it to her house, have fun."
I stopped searching completely at this. "You don't want me to go, do you?"
He sighed and looked at me then, "I wish you would go. And stay away for a bit. They're old enough and I'm here. Go have fun...if you remember what that is without kids."
Right then I spotted my elusive shoe and gingerly wiggled into it without looking at him. Grabbed my keys, walked over to him, kissed him while searching his face. "I'm leaving now."
I walked out to the car, looked back at the house waiting for the mob to come throw themselves at my feet pleading with me to not leave them...nothing but shrieks of laughter from the backyard and treehouse. I pulled out took a breath....nothing. So I cranked the music and joyfully and blissfully spent the next couple of hours in quiet enjoyment with an adult who doesn't have children therefore even the conversation was mostly missing of children. Took eleven years but it did happen.

       I have looked at this as the beginning of the end. My children don't need me the way they use to, this was just a small slice of what is to come. Sooner than I realize I will have an empty nest. So I guess the guilt will eventually leave me entirely. By then I'll probably miss the guilt cause then my children will be so busy I'll be the one trying to get a little of their attention. Till then I'll just breath and wait.