Monday, July 25, 2011

Sanity Questionable

This dirty doorknob picture was taken last week. It's the outside of the girls' door. Yes, the lock is on the outside. It's so we can play Cinderella more realistically. Of course I get to play the wicked stepmother.

I made good on my word (finally) to put a lock on their door. In my defense it was to save their lives. I've tried reasoning with them, saying in a calm voice, "Well, kicking your sister in the chest is unacceptable in our house. Would you like your time out on the stairs or in your room?"  This calm is met with hatred and kicking and scuzzing by the offender. So I continue in a calm voice, "Well, it looks like you choose your room." Then I gently grab them by both hands and walk their non-compliant self to the room. By this time I have usually suffered some sort of flesh wound and my temper is raising just slightly.  So I say something like, "If you don't stay in your room, you're going to be very sorry. I mean it! Don't open that door."  Then the door bangs open and shut as I try to hold the door closed and the offender tries to come out so they can hit/kick/scream/suck my brain. My temper does not improve and neither does theirs.

Usually I have to flee to my room, which I can lock myself into. But if I'm fleeing from the banshee, that leaves the other children unprotected. And I don't think I should have to lock myself in the room while the offender roams the house terrorizing the natives. Simple solution: a knob with a lock on it put on backwards. It has saved me from a few bruises, it has saved my children from a few yellings/spankings, and it has saved me from the madhouse.

Until this week. This week we had a little summer camp with some friends at our house. We had a great time learning about the water cycle, pretending cotton balls were clouds and playing rain drop tag. Then we went into the bedroom for some play time. I came in and sat down to monitor a little sharing problem.
Hannah said, "I'm going to shut the door!"
"No Hannah," I said. "Don't shut the door. Ellie's coming and she can come in."
"No! She can't!" and Hannah slammed the door before Ellie could come in.
I stood up and went to let Ellie in. The door was locked. Oh.
"Hannah! We're locked in here," I say trying to not fly into a rage that will terrify the six children shut into the room with me.
Hannah laughs. And laughs some more. I pull a bobby pin out of my hair and try picking the lock. I've never picked this type of lock before, so I become increasingly frustrated as the minutes tick by.
Someone wails, "We're going to die in here!"
"No, we're not going to die," I say, calmly thinking that Hannah might die later today. I look out the window and see the mail lady dropping off our mail. I open the window and I'm going to call out to her, but she is on the phone. I pause and the mail lady drives off. Surely Catherine will be coming out to get her mail soon. Won't she?
Ellie starts knocking on the door, getting a little whine in her voice.
"Watch out the window kids," I say. "If you see someone tell me right away." I go back to picking the lock.
"We don't have any water," someone moans.
"Hey Ellie, just a minute. Stay there sweetie."  I envision her crawling into the bathroom and falling in the toilet and drowning. I keep working the hairpin to no avail. I search the room for some other small object to pick the lock. Nothing. Hannah is still laughing. I give her a mean mommy glare.
"Look Mom! Tayson! I see Tayson," says Kenzie.
Hooray! I yell out the window to Tayson's father. "Hey Bryce, the kids have locked us in this room. Can you come and let me out?"
Bryce seems puzzled. "Really?"
"Ummm. Yes. I think the front door is unlocked."
"Are you all in there?" asks Bryce.
"Yes, well no. Ellie is outside the door."
Bryce and Tayson come and unlock the door.
"I wasn't sure if you were serious," said Bryce as he opened the door to let Ellie in and us out. "This'll make a good story."
Yes. A great story that illustrates why I can never own a daycare. I'd have to say that this falls higher on the embarrassment scale than the time I accidentally wore my pants backwards in sixth grade.
To top it off it happened again the next day. Just call me competent and collected.
And yes, I now know how to pick the lock (thanks Kristen).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Accomplished Something, No really. I swear.

Things that make me feel successful:
1. Taking a shower
2. Not yelling.
3. Putting all the breakfast and lunch dishes in the dishwasher by 4:57 p.m.
4. Washing off Ellie's high chair tray while the oatmeal/yogurt/goo is still fresh.
5. Walking out the door with shoes on everyone's feet.
6. Getting my girls' hair done without someone falling to the floor and yelling that they hate me.
7. Planning out dinners for a week, writing a grocery list and buying everything on the list
8. Working out.
9. Getting 20 minutes of reading from Kenzie
10. Not flipping my children off when they are whining at me
11. Swearing only in my head
12. Walking on the floor without getting crumby feet.
13. Changing Ellie's diaper right when she wakes up
14. Getting swimsuits on, making sure everyone is sunscreened, blowing up the pool, filling up the pool, and sitting in the shade while the girls play in it.
15. Finishing a story
16. Clean sheets
17. Going to bed before 10:00
18. Having all the laundry done by Tuesday
19. Not having laundry on the end of my bed, waiting to be hung up
20. Having our morning routine (dressed, comb hair, make bed, breakfast, regular chore, screen chore*) completed by 10:00.
21. Returning borrowed/left items
22. Sewing anything
23. Making dinner
24. Planning things
25. Being up to date on the blog
26. Writing on the whiteboard calendar our weekly schedule.
27. When the girls say "thank-you" unprompted
28. When Mike says I look nice
29. A skinny compliment
30. Lists, checked off
31. Any sort of home decor
32. If a pepper would grow on my plants
33. Having the girls asleep by 9:00.
34. A smile from Kenzie, Hannah or Ellie
35. Reading a good book
36. Getting my Visiting Teaching done

And that's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of some more. What are the little things that make you feel successful?
*A screen chore is an extra chore that the girls have to do every day since they stuck a screwdriver through their window screen in multiple places and they have to earn the money to replace it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Blogger-Formerly-Known-As-Quitting

Sometimes the weight of motherhood pushes my shoulders down and instead of looking up, I'm counting the cracks in the sidewalk and watching ants, thinking, "Man, it would suck to be an ant. What if we are ants in a giant world and our personal tragedies are merely the cause of giants walking around to important meetings and trying to keep us out of their houses?"

And then my head explodes.

I miss you blog. I think I'm going to have to come back. My sugary all-happy all-the-time blog is not doing it for me. It's a fantastic family journal and I still plan to use it as a tool to convince my children that they had happy childhoods ("fake it till you feel it" all the way baby!), but I like this outlet. I also have running as an outlet, but writing with feedback from friends? That's a nice outlet too. And it's a great coping mechanism. I just have to be careful that I don't have so many outlets that I check out of my family. Right?

Consider me as the Blogger-Formerly-Known-As-Quitting, but you can call me Steph or &. That would be a funny name for a child. Ampersand. Hahaha. I kill me. Okay sorry.

So what I'm trying to say here, (why does this feel like an awkward DTR with a boy that I like more than he likes me?) is that I think I'm going to try blogging once a week again. (Did I ever do that? Kind of. I was mostly consistent.) And I hope you'll read and once in awhile, just because you like good deeds, you can leave me a comment. (Please.)