Please Excuse the Mess

I would like to take you back to 2 B.C (Before Children). I was 25 years old, been married 3 years, had just decided it was time to have kids,  and  had everything about what I would be like as a parent figured out.  Here are 3 things the 25 year old LibertyDee knew she would be like as a mom.

  1. I would never lose my patience – why would I? I was going to raise my kids with all the love in the world and give them all they needed and wanted. I was going to speak to them reasonably and explain things to them and they therefore be very well behaved.

 

  1. I would never give them junk food – why would I? These small beings deserved nothing but the best and as long as I only served healthy foods from day one they would never want anything but. I would come home every night and assure there was a freshly cooked meal on my families table.

 

  1. I would never choose tidying and cleaning over spending time with my kids – why would I? after all my kids are perfectly behaved so they will pick up after themselves and understand the importance of pitching in as a family and help with the chores and how much time really do they really want to play with me if they have their toys and books and siblings

 

Let’s fast forward now to the present 14 A.C (After Children). I am 40 years old, been married 18 years and know that I knew nothing about being a parent.  Here is how the 3 things that 25 year old LibertyDee knew she would be like as a mom have turned out.

 

  1. I would never lose my patience – How could I not? As it turns out no matter how much you love your children or how much you give them or how reasonably you think your speaking to them. They are by nature unreasonable, demanding, stubborn little beings that will try your patience on a regular basis just because they can. IT turns out that they are their own person, they think differently than you do and what you think will make them happy is the absolutely craziest thing you could have thought of. It starts off small like throwing toys all over their room and then refusing to pick them up. It then moves into the ability to lose one shoe right before you need to leave the house. _ yes one shoe. One! And if you think I’m making this up you likely don’t have kids. And as I’m learning now that I have a teenager in the house it escalates to dealing with mood swings when you suggest they get help on a subject afterschool and their eye roll up, around and back up again followed by stomping out of the room and locking themselves in their bedroom for hours at a time.

 

  1. I would never give them junk food –How could I not? Ok. So maybe there is no real “excuse” for offering your kids junk and yes home cooked meals are the way to go but… yes but. It turn out that even though I’m a mom I also want a life of my own, I want to do things that I enjoy, things that I love, things that have nothing to do with my family and kids (unthinkable right) Well, the consequence of doing things for myself is that they cut into “mom” time and many a dinner has been sacrificed to appease the “mom needs her own life” gods. This means Pizza, takeout Chinese, and dare I say it……McDonalds.

 

  1. I would never choose tidying and cleaning over spending time with my kids – How could I not? Ok. So this one I really truly thought would be easy because I don’t even like cleaning so given the option of playing with the kids or cleaning, it would be a no brainer right? Think again. There are two big reasons why this didn’t quite work out:

 

  • I Live Here – The mess to tidying up ratio is HUGE. We are now a family of 5 and if I was not constantly tidying and/or cleaning something up the house would quickly look like something out of Hoarders. This too has changes over the years, it starts with toys and the endless crumbs from endless snacks and evolves to cups and plates by the TV & their bed, shoes in strange places ( one on its side by the front door and the other at the bottom of the basement stairs) and piles and piles of laundry – And to be fair this includes that my kids are actually pretty good at doing their chores (after some reminding)

 

  • They want to play ALL the time and it’s NOT fun (all the time) – So remember how I said “how much time really do they really want to play with me if they have their toys and books and siblings” – the answer is ALL THE TIME. I frequently haven’t even taken my coat off before my daughter is already upset that I haven’t started playing with her. And yes there have been MANY beautiful moments and memories made while we play Shopkins, make forts, tag, and even video games together but there is one thing that is rarely fun (I’m using rarely instead of never simply because I can’t bring myself to believe that it’s never been fun but honestly I can’t remember the last time) BOARD GAMES. Aughghghghghgh. From Dora Candy Land to Connect Four to The Game of Life it always turns into an argument, whining and even crying and I get stuck in the middle , playing referee and being accused of picking ”favourites”  It   I rather be cleaning ( yuppp that’s how bad it is) but usually I suck it up because ”this time will be different” – ( Enter crazy laugh here)

 

I now know that anything I think I know is only temporary. Everything I have learned as a parent is only applicable to my kids and even then only applicable to the child that I learned it about because all though they were born to the same parents and live in the same house an went to the same schools they are nothing like one another. More importantly I have learned that 25 year old LibertyDee was a sweet, well intentioned young woman who knew nothing about being a parent and owes an apology to all those young moms she had the audacity to give “advice” to.

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Step Moms Aren’t Spies

I have been amazed by how much Baby Girl has learned in her year at Junior Kindergarten.  We find ourselves at the dinner table on a nightly basis having conversations about science, religion and current events with the boys but Baby Girl always has something to contribute.  I love her view on all things. She reminds me of how complicated I have made the world for myself and how simple it really is.

For example, she explained the skeletal system to me.

“Mom, Mom, MOM!”

“Yes baby girl? “

“The Skeletal system is all our bones put together.”

 “Yes it is sweetie.”

“Do you know why it’s important?”

“Tell me. Why is the skeletal system important?”

“Because if we didn’t have it, we would be all squishy on the floor.”

That’s it. That’s really all there is to it. Now, if you are in the medical profession you may need to know a little more than that, but for me, your run of the mill HR professional, that’s about all I need to know.

She also explained the Circulatory system.

“Mom, Mom, MOM!”

“Yes baby girl.”

 “Do you know what the circulatory system is?”

“I think so.”

“It’s all the veins in your body that carry blood everywhere and your heart pumps it boom..boom..boom.”

(I wish Baby Girl had been my grade 5 science teacher.)

The other night she also gave us a big talking to about how Pontius Pilot killed Jesus because he didn’t want Jesus to be King and she thinks Jesus shouldn’t have trusted him.

I love the fact that she is learning so much in school and that she is eager to share that information. Where I do have a concern is that if she’s absorbing and learning this much at school, she is obviously absorbing and learning at the same rate from the environment round her.

So far, the facts she has brought home from school are pretty accurate, she seems to have a good memory for the words the teachers use as I can hear their language when she tell us about the Dinosaurs,  the Solar system and a myriad of other topics.

Yesterday as Baby Girl and I were waiting for The Life to get a haircut she suddenly asks.

“Mom when you die will I get a new mom?”

“Sweetie, when I die I’ll still be your mom but if Daddy gets married again that lady would be your step mom.”

She looks pensive for a bit.

“So if you die, I would have a spy mom?”

“No honey not a spy mom, it’s called a step mom?”

“But in the movie Spy Kids, their step mom is a spy. Right?”

“Yes, but not all step moms are spies”

“Oh” she said looking very disappointed.

I have to remember that baby girl is only 5 and that her brain is absorbing all kinds of information around her both formally (in school and in books) and mostly informally (what she watches on TV, hears on the radio and listens to other say) She is not yet aware of the difference between the resources that are teaching her facts and those that are purely for entertainment purposes.  Based on her thinking, the idea that step moms are spies is equal to the fact that the earth revolves around the sun.

Although I have to be more aware of what she’s “learning” and assuring that I help her to sort out fact from fiction I can’t help but think, wouldn’t life in general be more fun and so much less complicated if we could keep the simplicity of a 5 year old? And wouldn’t  the world just be a much more interesting place if all step moms were indeed spies?