Worn Slap Out!

Well, our clan has just completed our annual vacation and so we are absolutely worn slap out. All of us….however, the energy exerted on these annual vacations is not equally divvied up and therefore, the whining shouldn’t be either. Since my bunch doesn’t care what I have to say, I am putting it out there to you and hoping for an Amen, Sister!

Let’s talk about preparing for the family vacation with kids. We all decide on where to go. All have opinions and suggestions.  That is where the ‘all’ ends. Period.

Then while kids are bouncing off the walls in excitement, annoyingly asking “how many more days?” and endlessly pouring over which toys to take; momma plans, budgets, cleans, packs, stresses and drinks. Fast-forward to arriving at your destination or sooner if you are part of my clan, the ‘others’ begin to ask if I remembered to pack……whatever. I reckon they should have thought of that before leaving. My job is to keep all vitals strong and basic hygiene needs met.

Now, let’s go ahead and talk about coming home. We will clearly divide the duties to ensure you get the appropriate picture.

Dad drives home. Dad helps unload car. Dad naps.

Kids play or otherwise vanish into thin air.

Mom begins unpacking. Mom sorts the laundry. Mom starts the laundry. Mom puts up the luggage. Mom inventories fridge and pantry. Mom runs to the grocery store. Mom cooks dinner. Mom goes through the million receipts, invoices and charge accounts. Mom begins drinking, even though she can’t afford to. Mom gets everything ready for the next day. Mom catches up on her work emails. Mom takes a quick shower and falls into bed. Mom listens to the ‘others’ talk about how tired they are. Mom tries to remember that vacations are necessary and it was fun.

Mommas need a vacation after the vacation. Can I get an Amen, Sister?!

Parenting in Review

Today, I have been working on my next eBook, Mountain Notes to Parenting, and so I have been reviewing some of my prior posts on parenting. I came across this post and laughed all over again – especially, since it’s that time of year again for our family vacation!

Lord Willing And The Creek Don’t Rise is definitely worth a second read and maybe it will spark an extra prayer for us, as we try this again. I think it will definitely make the cut for my next book.

I am having a hard time, picking out my top ten tips to surviving parenting. Fortunately, I have some new ones to add, though. Which was your favorite?

 

Slow as Molasses…

This week, we decided on short notice to take advantage of hubby’s vacay and a homeschooling discount and took a day trip to Biltmore Estates. And on short notice, I mean 3 days in advance. Just a day trip. Not overnight.

Before kids, my hubby and I used to decide in minutes to take off to parts unknown and could be packed and ready for anything, in well under half an hour. Not so much with kids. Yes, when they were babies or toddlers, I knew that my first step would be creating an excel spreadsheet with built-in pivot tables to ensure that I didn’t forget anything and could map our trip according to their every whim and bodily functions.

However, they are older now and it really shouldn’t have been that demanding. Yet, it was.

Upon our vacation reveal to visit a gigantic museum, each boy ran upstairs and began packing a bag. They came down the stairs about an hour later with their military backpacks full of toys, night vision goggles and candy. They had to use the stair railing to steady themselves during their dissent. Both proudly acclaimed that since it was just a day trip, they decided on just one bag and were all set with the essentials to survive.

Good, because we are all set to leave in three days. (insert sigh)

Fast forward to the morning of departure. When we booked the tickets, every conceivable weather app gave 90% chance of rain. If it were just the boys and me, I would have also planned for a tornado. However, daddy was with us and per Murphy’s law – 76 degrees, blue skies and no wind. This just pissed me off. Daddy should get to deal with the same freak acts of nature that us moms have to deal with. But whatever. On to making memories.

I carefully laid out the boys’ clothing with appropriate layers to withstand cold, heat, bugs, spills, comfort, wind, and rain. I also switched my purse to a sling-back to carry camera, phone, wallet and waters. After pulling out of the driveway, I noticed my sling-back bag was heavier than last tested. I found about 50 pirate treasure maps, kids wallet filled with toys and a fake police badge, crayons and a pen. Our 6 yr old showed signs of a meltdown at the mere thought of me removing these items.

“How many more minutes, momma?” times 13. Do they even notice that we keep giving the same answer? And is it normal to pee that many times in 100 miles? They could at least synchronize this with each other.

Ok, arrived and parking. Now is the time that I shred their dreams of carrying those backpacks inside the estates. 1) because I’m fairly certain we won’t need night goggles or be able to set up a military recon unit in the Louis XV bedroom and 2) because I would undoubtedly end of carrying them. So I lie to them and tell them that kids are not allowed to carry backpacks inside and if they try it, they go directly to jail until the police finish their investigation. It takes all of twenty minutes for the boys to see a backpack on every kid we pass. They look at me. I look back at them. No words are needed here. Let’s move on.

Oh look boys, there is the Biltmore! ooohs….aaahhhs. Before our faces are distorted from the over-exertion of the day, I convince them to stand with their dad, with the Biltmore in the background and I snap a rare picture. .

Going through a museum with two young boys is a kin to trying to run in quicksand. Our beginning reader (that hates to read) just wants to see if the next room is better than this one. The other boy, a reader…..a slow reader, ….. wants.to.read.every.word. And then talk about it……..a lot.

After two hours touring the house and property (we convinced them that the gardens were closed for the season), Daddy and me were trying on our brave faces and hiding our tears of pain – while the kids were running suicides up and down the stairs. Do their hips not feel like they are about to snap out of socket?? We decide that we need a break and agreed on ice cream and wine for me. That was the best $30 we spent all day.

We then made it to the farmhouse and our youngest spies the horses – about an acre away. I breathe a sigh of relief that Daddy has caught on when I hear him explain that the fence of that pasture is electric and will shock them.

On the way out of the Biltmore, I whip out my camera to review the few pictures that I was able and allowed to get. They don’t allow cameras inside the tour, yet an entire photo shoot is set up inside and we were able to grab a priceless family photo for just under $30. One picture. Gah. Anyhoo, I excitedly backtrack through my camera to review rare pictures of me with the kids – these were all out of focus and the kids looked pissed. Whatever. I’m still holding out hope for that one picture. I finally get to the first picture that I captured of my boys and daddy…and our oldest is shooting me a bird.

The End.

Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise!

Well my husband has decided to take his first vacation in over ten years, in which we will all be inside this house for two weeks. My house celebrated with bursting a pipe and flooding two rooms. Yeah, I’m excited too.

Now, I rise above certain things when I have just a weekend time frame. However, I feel that we need to devote some time to ground rules, if we plan to survive this in one piece. I realize that his idea of vacation is sleeping late, naps, and doing the honey. What he needs to realize is that his idea of vacation and mine are in two different hemispheres. And I reign freely over my domain. Any and all resistance will be considered futile.

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Here are some things that I am working on:

  1. This is MY house. You just live here. Since I wake up before you, I have total control on whether you wake up.EVER.
  2. Vacation doesn’t mean vacation. It is just a change of scenery.
  3. You can nap when I nap. My best estimate has my next one scheduled in 2023.
  4. Become one with your Honey-Do list. Believe me when I say that it won’t do itself. Completion of this list could and will maybe go from honey-do to do-honey. Nothing in this world is free.
  5. Happy Hour is 3:30 pm – every day. Except on Mondays and Fridays. Mondays and Fridays are what I like to call Happy Days.
  6. No, we actually don’t outsource cooking, dishes, groceries, cleaning or laundry. Should I throat punch you now?
  7. Yes, the kids act like that every day. Yes, I yell at them like that every day. No, they don’t ever listen.
  8. DO NOT under any circumstances, turn the TV volume up louder and crane your neck to see around me when I’m vacuuming. (This will result in weaker vitals.)
  9. That doesn’t go there.
  10. Yes, I take a full 39 gallon bag of trash out daily, sometimes two. I understand that this defies any and all mathematical equations. It is what it is.
  11. Yes, that clock is still on last Fall’s Daylight Savings Time. 1) Why bother, when it will be the right time again soon. and 2) that is the clock we use to start our bedtime routine. Don’t touch it. Ever.
  12. Yes, the kids think that the candy machines at the grocery stores and all local restaurants are poisoned. It’s mostly part of the whole “They should never take candy from a stranger.” And kinda about why the hell would i pay 25 cents for a nasty piece of gum thing. So shut it.
  13. In fact, defer to silence. If you hear something our of their mouths that sounds ridiculous, check with me before you SAY.ONE.WORD.TO.THEM. Good parenting requires creative thinking.
  14. Yes, sometimes I do wear a tiara or our 6 yr old’s superman cape. I want to ensure that their future therapists have a hard time keeping a straight face.

And before you ask about our kids, let me first introduce them. Those adorable, clean boys you see every evening are worn-out impostors – simple shells of the kids they have been all day. Those rare pictures on Facebook lasted 10 seconds and then I made them pose for the picture 10 seconds after I drug them a part and bribed them with candy to pretend and reenact. Facebook should be called Frontbook.

First, our oldest is better known as “I didn’t do it.” He is never guilty, even when you witness his trespass with your very own eyes. He was framed. He is an hourly victim of misunderstanding, wrongful accusations and various conspiracies.

Our youngest answers to “He started it.” It’s never his fault. Ever. His solution to every obstacle in the day is crying…or yelling…or a combination of both. Yes, he always changes clothes that many times. I’m sure it’s a normal identity crisis that will pass….eventually. Yes, I sometimes cater to his voices by referring to them in 1st person.

I feel like effective parenting is on a sliding scale. Good parenting on the left and maintaining sanity on the right. I need you on-board with this.

If at the end of the two weeks, you have learned the following lessons AND everyone in this house still has strong vitals, then I will consider this time together a success.

  • Why I have a headache all of the time?
  • Why I’m tired all of the time?
  • Why I drink wine?
  • Why your day job is 10,000,000,000 times easier than mine?
  • Why you should never ask me what I do every day?

A helpful guide for when you return to work:

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Did I forget anything??