Friday, April 14, 2006

Of Parks and good parenting, and Britney, and Carpets, and Police, and Excessive Use of Quotation Marks

Does it ever end? When you're a little kid it's inane assertions like, "my dad's bigger than your dad!" like THAT makes you any better than another 7-year-old. It was true in my case and all that has done for me is make me big-boned and hopelessly pursuing the smaller figure of my petite-fathered counterparts. Then when you're in high school it's "I have more stylish clothes" or a car, or a life. In college, it's "I go on more dates than you" or "I have a higher GPA". And NOW, I'm a 30 year old, educated, friendly girl who's day consists of diapers, cut up sandwiches, The Little Engine That Could--and WHY, philosophical discussions on WHAT pooped in our backyard and WHY, and an eternal, endless, circular relationship with the dishwasher and washing I really need to be one-upped when I take my kids to the park?

Today at the park, after following Avee over the play structure as she precariously wobbles near the high edges in her bold statements of independence and watching Bo chase older, uninterested kids, and play with other children's toys for 45 MINUTES I say, "Bo it's time to go, Avee has to nap now." Bo objects, of course---but it's acceptable objections and I'm able to reason with him. But not so quickly that I don't hear the other mother nearby with her two children say, "We're going to go soon too, we've been here over an hour." Well throw me in the bad parent jail. I'm sure I'll sleep better there and I won't have to feed anyone.

It actually kind of made me laugh when it happened. I'm not insecure about myself, so I don't really care about that kind of stuff---but seriously now. If that kind of thing were to bother me, I would have been bothered long before when her brilliant 4-year-old sounded out and then spelled my sons name in the rocks while my brilliant 2-year-old yelled "No, it says SIX, not E!" and my genius 1-year-old wiped her cookie on the bottom of her shoe, intermittent with licking the shoe itself. I happen to know for a fact---that particular behavior is on the MENSA checklist.

My real friends say, "You took your kids to the park? You're a good mom."

So, yesterday I was at the park with my kids, DANG I'm a good mom. And Avee, was cruising along the play structure. I hadn't thought to just get on it with her, and was just standing alongside it to catch her should she need. So she fell off the other side. About 3 feet. Bumped her head twice on the way down. Her cries were more from being scared and a little of "You're a lousy mom, mom"--and not so much pain, so I felt a little better. Also while I was comforting her she climbed over me to get back on the structure. When she's a little older, we're going to have to teach her the whole, "When you fall off the horse, you gotta get right back on" approach to life.

I thought about how the night before on CNN Headline news was Britney Spears getting a visit from DFS and a police officer after her 6 month old fell out of his high chair. I thought how much that stinks for her to have that on national news when my children swallow bottles of allergy pills and fall off play structures and NOBODY knows until I blog about it. That's not the only difference between Britney and me.

So later, while I was online checking prices for airline tickets, Bo decided to redecorate our living room. With permanent marker. On our carpet. Over about a 2 square foot area. Yeah, so I pretty much felt like throwing up when I saw it. I felt sick that I had let it happen, sick for how mad I knew it would make J, and sick for how much I'd miss Bo when J saw what he'd done. Bo even said later, in his defense, "The cahwpet didn't look pwetty so I made it pwetty." Nice Bo, nice. It's there-goes-your-deposit-and-any-hopes-of-having-guests-over-without-feeling-like-a-slob beautiful. I was surprisingly well-put together in the disciplining of this. In fact, afterwards I thought, "shouldn't there have been more smacking and respective screaming involved for that to have been effective?" I lectured him, J made him sit in his room, he didn't get dessert (I NEVER make dessert, and we had it last night), I think he got the message.

Bo was sent to bed for the 20 minutes before dinner was ready, and came out just as it was ready. As we sat down to eat, two police cars pulled up in "front" of our house.

It's actually our back door, but it's out our dining and living room windows, so it feels like the front. I was carrying the noodles from the sink to the table and stopped cold in my tracks. For a second I thought I was Britney Spears. Did I beat Bo? Did I leave any marks? Did I sufficiently comfort Avee when she fell 3 feet in front of my nose and anyone could have seen? I'm not kidding, I ACTUALLY THOUGHT I WAS BRITNEY SPEARS. Turns out there was some problem across the street and the police were a little lost.

Well, our carpet is still orange and green. My friend Amy came over with her super-cleaner and plunked herself on the floor and worked away at it. I have good friends---I'm not sure I am that good of a friend. I would probably come by for the after-cleaning celebration of cheesecake. It's definitely lighter, but still quite evident. If he'd used more earthy tones it would blend better with the chex mix and dried milk. We can't have it all though, can we?


Dawn B said...

You are a nerd!

Heather from One Woman's World said...

Oh poor, poor sad carpet!!