Thursday, August 23, 2007

Everyone is Good at Something...Right?

My oldest daughter can jump rope…..backwards. I can’t manage to employ those eyeballs I’m supposed to have in the back of my head.

My middle daughter can whistle nursery rhymes. I am practicing making their punishments rhyme.

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Who’s never leaving their room again for as long as they live under this roof by these rules while showing respect and consideration for everyone else who resides in this house and whom we call family?

My oldest son can repeat every word uttered by “heehee - she’s preeetty – heehee” Gabriella in High school Musical. On a bright, sunny spring morning after an invigorating 2 mile run, with sweat glistening under my oddly-bunched nursing pads, with my head thrown back draining an ice cold Aquafina water bottle, overcome with endorphins and the muffled sounds of hungry children and impatient dad escaping through the walls of our home, I can almost remember high school. Though, the musical accompaniment in my memory is more of a sad, dreary, ballad lacking the bouncy, giggly, squeals of young bliss.

My youngest daughter can beckon all the dogs of the neighborhood with one screaming tantrum. My screams go unanswered. My tantrums, ignored.

My newborn can…..sleep. I’m a mom.

To Do

Overwhelmed with my day to day To Do Lists, I’ve decided to make a Life To Do List. Large-scale, likely unachievable, highly unbelievable, and grossly over exaggerated seems like the way to go. If I’m going to make a list of things I’d like to achieve in my lifetime, I think it makes the most sense to either make a monumentally long list of easily attainable goals so as to never run out, or a relatively short list with tough to achieve goals. And since I’m lazy, short wins!

So, I’ll jump right in with “Climbing a Mountain.” So...doable...eventually, and with much training and dedication. I’m not thinking of any mountain in particular, as…..well, I’m not that familiar with mountains. There’s Everest, Vesuvius. Yeah, that’s about the extent of my mountain knowledge.

And Lord knows a list of this magnitude can’t be complete without “Writing a Book”. So…..there it is. I’d like to write a book. I’ll go one step further and say I’d like said book to get published. Maybe it’ll be about the full-time, OCD, vein, impatient, overly-critical, somewhat-judgmental, yet mostly-happy mom of 5 who climbed a mountain. I’d read it.

Next, I’d like to take my kids to Disney World. Now, this strikes me as the most reachable goal, but for my already-stressed checking account. 7 people traveling 2 days to Disney World, staying in a moderate hotel room, and all visiting the park for a couple days? My credit card companies are already giddy with anticipation.

That brings me to NEVER winning the lottery. Yup, I don’t ever want to receive a large sum of money that didn’t result from working my butt off. Other than my rear end in dire need of refining, I’m convinced nothing good can or will ever come from that sort of windfall. People change, families change, friends change, and rarely are any of those for the better. Now, immediately this seems like a ridiculous goal. I mean, it should be as simple as just never buying a lottery ticket. Problem solved. However, we have gracious, loving, generous family members who consider it a pleasant surprise to present loved ones with a ticket to the latest shot at free Millions. And quite simply, I don’t have the heart to reject their kind gesture. Which brings me here, and it’s really more of a hope or a dream. I’m game for increasing the Child Tax Credit, granting automatic financial aid for furthering the education of kids from large families, or even free groceries for any length of time. Any of those, I can live with. And appreciate.

So, let’s see, I’ve covered physical goals, intellectual goals, parenting goals, and monetary goals. I’d say that just about covers it, except maybe one last superficial want of an exhausted, sweatpants donning, mop-wielding mom. I want my team to win Fantasy Football just once. That’s it: one victory over the 11 arrogant, statistic-spouting, smack-talking men who likely only invited me into their league as an easy obstacle on their own quests for victory.

Here goes…

Monday, August 20, 2007

Let's Review

Being a mother of 5 is undoubtedly the most challenging job I hold. Of course, it also happens to be the only job I currently hold, unless you count being a wife, and today’s a good day, so I won’t count it. Tomorrow may not fare the same.

My children are 2 months, 2 years, 4 years, 6 years, and 7 years. Although I dye my hair, it’s not for grey, only vanity. My temper is mostly in check. My patience, no thinner than normal. Although, I can’t promise my normal would equal anyone else’s normal. I did, after all, have 5 children.

It’s days like today, when the youngest is asleep, the next two are relaxing and watching tv (not for long enough to give me guilt), and the oldest two are playing peacefully (or at least quietly) upstairs, that I feel solid in my sanity and even pride in my abilities. Seeing as though this is my job, I deserve a review of sorts. In the end, there will be no demotions or promotions. No raise. No celebratory lunch. There will probably be self back pats and self-initiated hugs from the children. And really, that’s quite rewarding in itself.

I did mention today is a good day.

The only thing that could make this job “perfect” would be a monetary compensation simply because it does, as they say, “make the world go ‘round”. And more importantly, buy Lucky Charms and frozen chicken product. Alas, the only thing consistent and dependable about this job is the stress level and sleep-depravity. Onto the review.

My responsibilities are my children, obviously, and the various animals also residing here. The animals are still alive, and the children somewhat happy. + 8 points (one for each subject).

Their nourishment has been adequately supplied, and mostly with healthy choices. I’ve ensured they all have enough energy and yet not so much to disturb the delicate balance that is my sanity. + 10 points (discerned from a too-long-to-reference algorithm)

Their entertainment is self-provided at the moment. Given the rarity and instability of this task, success is obvious and absolute. +50 points (same formula).

The noise level of the house can currently be assessed as “dangerously quiet.” I’m erring on the side of throwing-all-caution-to-the-wind, and calling it a success. + 40 points

The cleanliness and organization of children (and pets) and home cannot be determined at this time, as walking from room to room constitutes imminent danger. + 10 for prior success in this area.

So with an overall 118 points, I declare my job well done, and up to snuff. As a result, I will continue on in the same capacity with inconsistent day-to-day results, but overall most goals achieved and maximized. As the oldest two fight over which Barbie belongs to whom, our four-year old grows frustrated at Diego once again losing Mama Scarlet Macaw, the 2 year old attempts to change her own diaper, and the baby roots at his own forearm, it seems this review ended none too soon. The celebrations will have to wait…at least until tomorrow.