Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hitting the Reset Button

Well, I'm in an airport, my flight is delayed, and my kids are not with me.  Yes, it does sound like heaven, doesn't it? Not even being sarcastic here.  It does mean, however, that I have no excuse not to write a post.  Except that it's tech-free Sunday.

Which brings me to today's topic: The Utter Failure of the Family Makeover Plan.  This one was as predictable as Vladimir Putin actually not having a beautiful soul or me spilling something down the front of my clothes, which happened again yesterday, when I dropped a bottle of nail polish and it exploded all over everything within a 5 foot radius.  The two childhood friends who were with me (and thankfully were more than 5 feet away) were not at all surprised, and neither are you hearing that we accomplished almost none of our goals as a family thus far.

Let's recap what we HAVE accomplished:
1.  Kevin and I now eat significantly more vegetables.  My children, at the end of the day, pretty much eat none.  The kale chip consumption was a mirage.  It never happened again.  And last week, they ate fast food almost every day, but in my defense we were traveling and mainly went for the indoor playgrounds, in desperate search for entertainment.  Dammit that McDonalds is smart.
2.  Lawson is potty-trained, people!!!
3. We have generally stuck with no-tech Sundays, but I will admit to the rest of the time being a free-for-all.  The last month has been horrific, an absolute American Pediatric Association nightmare, seeing as we have been traveling for most of it.  The nadir of the screen addiction came on our family vacation to the Outer Banks.  Once again, my bizarre children were afraid of everything, were morally offended by seagulls, believed the waves would somehow drown them in their beds,  and generally preferred to watch movies and play iPod games.  Charlotte we were able to get outside for a couple of hours a day, but Lawson would not set foot on the sand.  This year, I surrendered, gave him his iPod, got my book and beach chair and said, see you in a week.  At least one of us had a lovely beach vacation.  Others of us contracted ADD and will probably end up living in my basement for his whole life.
4. But at least he will not require that I change his diapers.
5.  We went to a museum. One.  In a town full of free, world-class museums. Still, a museum is a museum.  And Lawson didn't break anything.
6. Did I mention Lawson is potty-trained? OK so he still refuses to "tuck" his own penis (who knew you had to do this for little boys?), and the consternation surrounding this now has all of us, including Charlotte, throwing the word around with such careless abandon, we might as well be discussing the weather.  I don't think I uttered the word "penis" until I was an adult.  Meanwhile, Charlotte told Lawson the other day he had a "might fine penis," a point she did preface by saying that what she was about to proclaim was "inappropriate."  Mommy is so proud.
7. But he is potty-trained.  Pee AND poop, and that is not something to be taken for granted.  I have a friend whose child ended up in the hospital because he refused to poop in anything other than a diaper, and she thought she would win that battle.  Such arrogance.
8. Charlotte ate a tomato.
9. We have not volunteered or done any actual deed on behalf of humanity.  But we have had some consciousness-raising conversations.  For example, after she complained profusely about having to walk a lot during zoo camp, I explained to Charlotte that many people cannot walk and have to live their lives in wheelchairs.  Her eyes got very wide, and she asked me to confirm that this was true.  Yes, Charlotte, it's true, some people go everywhere in a wheelchair. To which she replied, "I want to be in a wheelchair!!"  Not exactly where I was going with the conversation.
10. I am still sane. That is always an accomplishment, no matter the list one is making.

Part II of this post--It's a week later (yes, still on a tech-free Sunday, just to be consistent), and I'm waiting for my kids to arrive back from a week with their grandparents.  I have had a glorious kid-free week, and plenty of time to contemplate my battle plan for getting us all back on track.  Yet, just like Obama and ISIS, I still have no strategy.  Worse, I don't have an entire team of experts working full-time on getting me one.   I just have Kevin, and quite frankly, while he did just construct a firetruck bed (and that is another whole story.  Wow, is it.) and is a great dad in general, he's pretty busy being an economic genius.  So I have mere hours to pull it together.  My initial thought is to use the new school year to up everyone's game.  As in, you know you are in first grade now, and first graders have to do homework after school instead of watching TV.  First graders are big enough to clean up their toys.  First graders raise their own siblings.  Etc.  And Lawson, well, now you are in Pod 3 at daycare.  Pod 3 kids tuck their own penises.  Just for starters.

And Mommy, well, she'll just keep working on not going insane.  And honestly, everything else is just gravy.





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