Monday, June 15, 2009

Best Parents of the Year Award

Steve and I are up for the best parents of the year award. Did you just choke on your drink? Yes I am joking. As a matter of fact I think we are up for quite the opposite award. We have been working hard on several (thousand) house projects. The push is an appraisal for refinancing, which has made these projects more than a ‘do as you have time’ kind of thing. On top of that, our shower head pipe burst sometime this weekend (we think… maybe before). I made the gruesome discovery yesterday morning when I went to dust the walls and ceiling in the dining room… a 2 foot wet (almost transparent and dripping) circle in the ceiling [insert string of words here]. Fortunately, Steve and Mike (his brother-in-law) were able to find it and fix it quickly. And luckily it ended up only being the shower head pipe. Steve spent the rest of the day pulling up the carpeting in our closet and bathroom (which flooded), cutting out padding to dry, drying the floorboards and putting it back together. Crazy, crazy day. Sigh... and add call someone to stretch the carpet and painting the dining room ceiling to the long list.

But, how does that make us the worst parents? This last weekend, in total desperation to get these projects done for our deadline this week, we employed many tactics we normally do not use. The worst being: TV. I know. I know. I am not proud of this at all… but if not we have three little bodies under our feet, in the paint or insisting on helping me dust walls and ceilings and the like. Really, they are hanging off me. And really they would grab items and rub them on the walls, stick their fingers in the paint can and freshly painted trim (I know because they did) and other things. At 22 months of age the twins are not easy to reason with yet... not that this will change anytime soon. And mind you Steve had a lot going on upstairs at the same time AND because of that I was one body down on the project load.

Steve and I actually uttered the words “will you please just go watch TV”… more than once. Yes, as the words left my mouth I was mortified… but apparently not enough not to say it again later. Never say never…

Oliver has actually been talking a lot, saying words intermixed with his Oliver jargon. Sometimes stringing real words together, but most of those strings require some interpretation and guessing on our part. However, this was not the case Sunday morning when I got him out of bed. Nope. Plain as day: “I want to watch TB (TV)” Are you kidding me?? Just great… his first understandable sentence is I want to watch TV. Same exact sentence when I walked in after nap. Great… again, parents of the year here people. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am happy that he spoke a sentence and that I could understand the words… but why those words? I am trying to think of something to come up with for the baby book that is different… “Mommy, I love you.” “Mommy, you are the best mommy ever.” You know, stuff like that. What? I shouldn’t alter his history like that?

It gets better. Ethan and I made brownies because I was feeling so bad that he didn’t get out but twice this weekend and not at all on Sunday. I know… it’s kind of warped that brownies somehow equaled a good mommy and made up for a weekend cooped up inside in my head, huh?

Actually, anything the kids asked for this weekend they pretty much got, even stuff I normally never approve. “Can I watch Scooby doo meets batman and robin?” Sure. “Mom can I have popcorn and lay here watching my movies?” Sure. “Mom, can we take all the cushions and pillows off all the sofas and make a giant fort (rendering the family room inaccessible)?” Sure. “Mom, can we spread every toy we own over the floor of the family room (and then cry repeatedly when we can’t find what we are looking for in the mess and plead you to help us)?” Sure. “Mom, can we have a pajama day?” Sure. “Mom, can we watch TV non-stop?” Sure. “Mom can I put the twins on the ceiling fan and turn it on?” Sure, but on the lowest setting, okay sweetie. “Mom, can I have a beer and watch CSI Miami?” Sure… uh, wait… hmmmm… okay, sure. Just kidding.

I even gave them brownies for their afternoon snack as requested by Ethan. Sure. He was so excited he was jumping up and down in place while saying “Boys, you have never had a brownie before. You are going to LOVE it!” Turns out, Oliver wouldn’t eat it and Collin was so so about it. Ethan, however, licked the plate clean. And Steve asked me again, after his third brownie in five minutes (in his defense also the first thing he had to eat that day), if I was sure the twins were our kids – seriously – who doesn’t like brownies?! But on the upside, that does say that I feed them well, since they don't love sweet treats right? Right?

Oliver has been really into Dora and Diego, pointing them out on books constantly. So, I DVR’ed some episodes. Unfortunately they are on Nickelodeon which has commercials (I hate commercials for kids!). Normally, I fast forward through them or turn it off before them, but this weekend I did not have time… after all they were in a TV marathon where normally they just get one (maybe one in the morning too - depending on the day) show a day while I make dinner and normally I am listening instead of in the other rooms painting and cleaning. Last night I gave Ethan a bubble bath, which he loves and of course another tactic in the 'I’m not the worst mommy' ploy. As he rubbed the bubbles into the sides of the tub pretending to clean it, he sang “cleaning, cleaning, cleaning… that’s the power of OxiClean.” Uh oh. Seriously? Freaking commercials!

Ethan actually asked me yesterday afternoon if he could be done with TV. How sad is that? He wanted to help me paint… we compromised on him painting with his paints and his paper… not my paint and my trim and baseboards. So, see, some art time. The day was not lost, was it?

In the end, the twins bounced off their cribs for an hour before they fell asleep – over stimulated maybe? Ethan woke up after an hour and got sick, twice – overstimulated and too much popcorn and brownies perhaps (in my defense, he only had two brownies - but that's two more than he normally has)?

Sigh… I wonder how long the detox will take? Okay, in case you were wondering… here’s where you interject that we are not the worst parents and that occasional abandonment of all your parenting ideals is okay… right? There won’t be scars… we will be able to pull them back from the brownies, TV and constant yeses to everything… they will be productive and happy members of society someday… we won't have to take out a giant loan for therapy... right??!!!

Ethan's artwork that he wanted me to take a photo of... I told him to smile and this is what I got as he kept insisting "this is my smile."

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