Wednesday, June 18, 2014

No Attitude Here

My friend had the audacity to ask me the other night if I "had attitude lately?" I really, really like this friend, and that was the saving grace in not verbally vomiting on him my "defense." I know I haven't been sitting around "shooting the breeze" much lately, and my days are flying by faster than I could ever imagine, but it isn't because of any poor attitude on my part. It is because I feel like I am walking upstream in a fast-moving creek--which if I was an eloquent metaphorical writer would translate to being understood as: I am a mother in the midst of summer vacation. And maybe that in and of itself produces some kind of "attitude"...

1. My floor will NOT stay clean. I have towel mopped my floor more times than I can count in the last few days. I refuse to put in the effort of fully mopping it because: a. I'm not sure anyone would really notice. (Exception. Joshua would. He complains about sticky floors almost daily.) and b. The clean floor wouldn't last more than 5 minutes.
2. Our backyard is always full of more than just my children. Neighbors, friends, cousins, even visiting animals seem to be around more often than not. As such, popsicles, Otter Pops, or some other treat is often consumed, and the remains discarded somewhere on my property. I am convinced none of the children know what a garbage can is

3. Socks! I swore when school got out that my boys would no longer be allowed to wear socks. Who wears socks in the summer? It should be flip-flops only! But not my boys. Between horse riding and bike jumps, their shoe of choice is not a piece of foam with their toes exposed. I can't get them to quite wearing shoes and socks, nor can I get them to pick them up from all over the house. The other day I had a dirty pair of socks in my dining room, a pair on the back patio, a pair on the garage floor and one on my bathroom floor. (More pairs of socks than sons, I know. But someone changes them far too frequently... the woes of horse hair and straw in socks.) I threaten to take them all away, but to no avail. I am losing the sock battle and some of my sanity pair of dirty socks at a time.

4. Food! My kids getting bigger combined with them home all day every day is causing A LOT of food to be consumed. My wallet and my fridge feel like they are being depleted daily. It also causes more crumbs, more sticky messes (see #1), more wrappers and garbage (see #2), and more dirty dishes than I ever imagined. Life was less messy when my kids couldn't fix their own snacks and meals. (Or so I like to think.)

5. No one leaves me alone! Despite the fact I can leave my children home alone, they all know how to use a telephone. I can't escape conversation, texts, or phone calls no matter how hard I try. Please don't suggest I silence my phone when I go out. I have tried that and the return home is even more brutal. I would rather have the airing of grievances separated out by phone calls and texts than be greeted in the garage by 5 children speaking over each other AT ME at the exact same time.

6. I have hay in places I never thought there would be hay. And that is something I NEVER thought I'd complain about. It is tracked into every single entry way into our house. It is in the dryer vents. It is stuck to dirty clothes and socks. (See #3) And just the other day I found a piece of hay on the kitchen counter. Aren't you glad I haven't invited you to dinner lately?!

7. I feel like I have been so organized and on top of chore charts and family systems thus far this summer, only to have it backfire on me by mid-day. Each child has the responsibility to make sure their rooms look nice in the morning, but by mid-day they are all a wreck. If one needs a pair of sunglasses they turn over every item in their room looking for them. If they play with a friend, they use every possible object imaginable in their room. If they do a project, they forget to clean it up. Get my point? By late afternoon the house resembles the aftermath of a tornado, yet I can't get anyone to really help clean because they all claim "I already did this morning." I am trying to find a delicate balance of not yelling too much and letting them be children, yet teaching them some responsibility and basic housekeeping skills. Who am I kidding though? I'm not really finding any balance--we are instead tilting towards living in disarray and disorganization all in the name of summer vacation?!

8. My kids entertain themselves. Which COULD  and SHOULD be a good thing, but it results in things like, big brother giving little brothers mohawk haircuts (yes deja-vu from last summer), our trashy, well-worn bike ramps all over the cul-de-sac, Ellie playing "restaurant" and inviting the neighbors and distributing cookies and drinks to them all (see #4), and girls trying new recipes and me eating too much of what they try.

9. The late nights! Having all young children was hard and tiring, but I felt much more in control. Though I had to do most things for them, times were much simpler. Not easier, but simpler. Bedtimes were consistent, and earlier. Now our children stay up later than us most nights. Yes, even the 5 and 7 year old sometimes. But Mike and I are too worn out some nights to care.

10. The talking is non-stop. (see #5) Questions, stories, complaints, tattling, ideas, suggestions, requests, etc. It never ends. It is on-going. Incessant. Relentless. Ceaseless. Perpetual. Non-stop. Continual. Steady.Constant.

In response to my friend's question, "Have you had attitude lately?"

No. I am a mother of five active, busy children in the height of summer vacation. 


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