Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That's it, we're leaving!

This morning at the breakfast table and rather out of the blue, Mia asked if we could go to Mass this morning. It wasn't on my to-do list for the day, but when a child ASKS to go to church, the answer better be a loud resounding "Amen, Allelulia, H-to-the-YES!" Mass alone with the kids is usually a physically draining, patience-testing adventure in the wiggles, so my plan was to keep them in the vestibule and watch through the glass doors. On the drive over I laid out expectations for Mia's behavior with the promise she could run around in the grass afterward. As we trotted into church just in the nick of time, Mia beelined for a corner, got down on her knees, and started praying that she would find her missing piglet figurine. Olivia "Me-Too" Templeton copy-catted her way over right next to sister, and this mom's heart swelled with relief that today might not be the worst Mass ever. But the relief was short lived. Running and raised voices rapidly ensued, and despite my best efforts to calmly correct, in T minus the Gospel, Mia had disintegrated from this...

to this.
I warned her that if she reached a running clip one more time we were leaving, so as she trotted away from me post tongue-out incident, I pointed to the door and out we went. She hung her head as we walked to the car knowing she had disappointed me and asked if she could try again. Yes, I told her, we will try again on Thursday, and per her request, we will try sitting IN the chapel.

There are 100 ways to analyze, question, deconstruct this incident, but here's the angle of the day... As heart wrenching as it was to walk out of Mass before communion, I think it was an effective punishment for Mia. You know those empty threats of "If you X-Y-Z one more time I'm calling Miss Layla and we're not going to A-B-C!"? (Or maybe I'm the only idiot mom who makes empty threats that in my gut I know I'm not going to follow through on.) I have a whole new perspective on just how effective it might be to actually go through with it one time. My hesitation to follow through is usually based on disappointing my friend or the friend's kid. After someone has made the effort to have us over or meet us somewhere, it feels insensitive to yank my kids away and bail. But on the flip side, I wouldn't mind if any of my friends took their kids home if they were misbehaving. It would probably be a good lesson for Mia in the process. Kristi and I talked about this a long time ago, and her suggestion was to warn the person that today may be the day we leave, but for some reason I never have the forethought to do that. 

So the next time you invite us to play, we might have to go home early. And if you ever want to follow through on cancelling plans with us due to behavior, I completely understand.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Rolling out those crazy, dazy, not lazy days of summer

I had really hoped that I would get back to blogging this summer, since summer was the season that started it all last year and hello longer days and bye bye seasonal depression et cetera, but evidently my priorities have fallen short of self centered cyber sharing. I'd like to blame my ridiculously part-time job, but in truth I simply decided I'd rather experience life than write about it, at least on a regular basis.

Last summer I lengthily lamented my state as over-traveled mother of infant, and I foolishly assumed that the infant part was the key portion of the statement. The month of June 2014 basically beat into me that the over-traveled status was the real relaxation killer. Within the span of 6 weeks we: traveled for a long weekend (lake with the Krogs), were home for 11 days, traveled for 10 days (beach/Georgia/lake), were home for 14 days, and traveled for 7 days (B'ham, Lake Martin, Highland Lake with Pawpaw and Tutu). We are on glorious week 4 of being home, and I finally feel caught up. Caleb has another 7 days of vacation scheduled beginning on Monday, and with heavenly inspiration we have decided to stay home, work on projects, and have local family time. Between Caleb's work weekends and the constant tug of the lake, we're rarely just home on any given weekend, and if we are, we're struggling to cram 3 weeks of backlog into those 48 hours. Recipe for stress and failure.

But despite the lengthy recovery from all our trips, the time away was well spent. We had wonderful relaxing family time,
at Poppee and Yaya's house on the way to the beach
Mia's favorite part of our entire tri-state trip- the one night hotel stay

 took the girls on several fun and exciting adventures,

 celebrated my grandmother's 94th birthday with family I see once every 10 years, 

and spent 12 ridiculous hours with our best good friends from RI. 

There is nothing I would change about the past 2 months because of all of the wonderful things we were able to do, but looking ahead I vow to learn from the exhaustion. I realize that traveling with kids is guaranteed to be completely absurd, and if you want to do anything you have to be willing to pay the price of insanity. It was totally worth it for the aforementioned escapades, but there is very little I want to do badly enough to hop back in the yellow submarine and sail off to crazytown anytime soon.

It was good, great, and wonderful, but I'd rather save my energy reserves for summoning patience with the girls. Because oh Lord, when Olivia dumped the entire contents of my FULL water bottle on the bed or when Mia bit/hit/kicked me on the way to time out or coping with the loss of the paci or when Mia peed all over herself/her bathroom... Its enough for me to just Be. Here. Now. And never leave again. Until we do.