Tag Archives: Parenting

A World of My Own

Photo by Tuppus via Flickr (cc)

Today, my daughter accused me of living in my own little world. I tried explaining that I don’t get my own ROOM, much less my own WORLD, but she just rolled her eyes. For those of you without teens, this is secret code for ‘Where are the men in the little white coats and what have I done with my butterfly net?’.

It really bugs me. Oh, not that she rolled her eyes. She does that all the time. I’m bugged by the fact that she thinks this world I’m living in is of my own devising. Like I would PICK this. Face it, if I lived in my own little world, things would certainly be different.

For starters, clothing would be more compatible with my wants and needs. I would never (and I mean ever) have to wear pointy-toed or pointy-heeled shoes to look professional. In my own little world, I would pay the underwear designers triple to create a panty design that covers both halves of the great divide, AT THE SAME TIME. Stains would be en vogue and unbuttoning the slacks to breathe would be an accepted fashion statement. And don’t even get me started about pantyhose.

If I had my own little world, I’d proudly display all the awards I’ve won for inventing the four-wheel drive vacuum, the childproof parental bathroom, and the self-cleaning laundry. I’d also show off the Nobel Prize I won for curing the neurological disorder that compels a single child to dirty twelve glasses in a two-hour period. As a result, my happy, well-adjusted children would be proud of me instead of pretending I’m an odd acquaintance they haven’t figured out how to ditch.

I wouldn’t constantly be required to be in two places at once. I’d live in Soap Opera Time where one day can stretch to last a whole week. Not only that, but my newly discovered twin sister, Cynthia, who had been thought lost at sea, but only suffered from amnesia, would return and give me a much-needed week off. AND nobody in my family would notice the difference between the two of us.

I’m reasonably certain that in my own little world, the bedroom doorknob wouldn’t rattle during intimate moments. Small voices wouldn’t call through the door, “Are you okay in there?” and they definitely WOULD NOT CALL 911 if they didn’t get an immediate answer.

Telephone calls? All for me. Plus, the person on the other end would not use words like “siding,” “refinancing,” or “Do you know what your child just did?”

Grocery shopping? A snap! I would be able to identify the food I need to buy because the empty containers? They’d be missing from the shelves! Or, even better, the Corn Puffs Fairy that my children believe in would turn out to be REAL and it will be her job to magically refill the boxes the kids carefully replace in the cabinet.

I would be best friends with Mary Poppins, the New Battery Fairy, and the Elf in Charge of Hanging Up Wet Towels.

I could have my own room… my own room!

I think my daughter may have just said something. I’m not sure, though. I was off in my own little world.

This originally appeared (in slightly different form) in Today’s Woman Magazine. September 2004.

Snow Daze

Snowflake. Small microscope kept outdoors. Sna...

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Snow Season is upon us. This means school closures are imminent. Snow days will happen. Yet, with preparation, I’m certain our family will weather the storm, uh, so to speak. As usual, I’m meeting the challenge head on by making a list of family guidelines.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR MY CHILDREN DURING THE COMING CRISIS:

1. Despite my best efforts (it turns out that phoning the superintendent of schools at 5 a.m. to plead my case is not a good idea. Who knew?) we are having a snow day. Repeat after me: SNOW DAY. If it was Shave-The-Dog-And-Set-The-Microwave-On-Fire day, we would call it that, okay?

2. For entertainment, why don’t you go make something? When I say, “go make something” I am picturing your little hands at work building a model or drawing a picture. I would prefer you choose to make something more specific than “a mess.”

3. In case of emergency, do NOT break: Glass, dishes, windows, your little brother’s favorite toy, nose or teeth.

4. Do not play with fire. It should go without saying that this rule has not changed. Yes, it IS an electric stove, but it is still considered playing with fire if you use it to turn marshmallows on forks into flaming torches.

5. If you look into the hall closet, you will find several puzzles, books and other activities purchased specifically for your fighting pleasure. Please note that the TV remote is not one of them. Put it down. On the table where you found it. Now.

6. As I just mentioned (You are reading all of this, right?) the closet contains many pastimes and amusements. Use them. Yes, I know you possess creative souls. I do not require a demonstration. No. Really. I mean it. It is not necessary for you to invent your own entertainment while I attempt to work. This means I would appreciate it if you do not invent games. Despite what you think, the adults in this house have finely-tuned powers of observation. We are likely to notice small children hanging helplessly from doorknobs by their teeth. Likewise, we can identify the sound of small butts surfing down the stairs on the lid from the toy box. And trust me, even I, with my limited intelligence, am able to deduce that the stream of water running under your bedroom door probably does not belong there.

7. Before you don hats and coats and head outside, plan ahead. At some time during the day, there will be a question and answer period. You will be responsible for the answer portion. I’ll give you a hint. Past questions have included such gems as: “Who put the yellow snowball in the freezer?” and  “How did the snow shovel get on the roof?” Start planning now. Keep in mind “Not me” and “I don’t know” are not the types of answers I will be looking for. Nor is it acceptable to answer questions with new questions, for example: “”What anatomically correct snowman?”

8. If at some time during the day, you interrupt my work with the words, “Mom, I’m bored,” I will be happy to assist you with your predicament. I am your mother. I love you. And I am currently making a list of toilets to be scrubbed, socks to be sorted, and other fun activities. Just in case.

9. One final note worth mentioning. If at some time during the day you notice that any adult in your presence has lost the ability to speak in complete sentences, run. This is never a good sign.

Let the snow days do their worst. I am ready. Now, if I could just convince the superintendent to take my calls…

 

 

This originally appeared in Today’s Woman magazine