Saturday, September 24, 2011
"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:19-21 ESV Slow to anger. Slow. S-l-o-w. Slow to anger. Are you getting angry reading the word slow over and over? I probably would be. Well, maybe not angry, but irritated. I am not slow to anger. I am never slow to anger. And this is a big problem for me. This weekend, I was in a store looking at some clothes with the girls. We were supposed to be at the mall to buy shoes, but we had just spent 20 or so minutes in the dressing room trying on things that were not shoes. We tried on dresses and shirts and faux fur vests. So, we finally picked something out and went to the line to pay. We were second in line. It was one line with 2 cashiers. So one of them just walks away and while I was coaxing my little one away from the shiny dangly accessories, everyone on my line moves over. Well, everyone except me and the lady in front of me. So, I wait a few minutes and then I ask the cashier if the other one is coming back. "I don't know," she says. Well, can you call him back? "I'm ringing people," she says. Yes, those of you who know me well realize that this is just the type of obnoxious attitude that is all it takes to flip my switch. Can you call a manager or someone else? "He is the manager," world's worst cashier replies. Really? If my kids weren't there, I would have taken that dress, dropped it on the counter and walked out. But, I didn't. I waited quietly....quietly stewing and thinking about how that girl might just deserve it if the cash drawer closed on her fingers. So, world's worst manager/cashier comes back. Doesn't apologize. And when I mention to him that he just walked away without saying anything and left people on line, he still didn't apologize. Oh, you don't know how bad I wanted to tear into him. I really think it put me in a bad mood for the rest of the night. But, why? I don't want to be the kind of person who gets mad at stupid little things. Granted, I'm not an easy breezy kind of lady. But I know that I have to not let little things bother me. Sure, I had a reason to be mad, but I don't have the right to be mad. and I need to change that, not just for me, but because my kids see that. My kids see me get aggravated at the world's worst cashier and then they think it's okay to feel that way. They think it's okay to call someone an idiot for cutting me off in traffic or consider someone a dummy for doing something inconsiderate like smoking at a playground or tossing trash on the ground. So, I'm going to work on my anger. Oh, and PS - I have to bring the stupid dress back because the sleeves are itchy! And if you happen to see me throttling the manager at H&M when I'm there, help a sister out and stop me!!!!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Yesterday, I was leaving Toys R Us. (Yes, I hate to admit it, but on such a beautiful, crisp autumn day, I took advantage of a few by-myself hours to visit four stores where I needed to return stuff. I hated every minute of it.) Anyway, I'm leaving Toys R Us and see this boy walking in with his dad. He wasn't walking. He was bouncing. He was skipping and hopping and nearly floating. I could just imagine the visions running through his head. I wonder if he had a specific purchase in mind or if he was just going to spend what seemed like hours wandering around the aisles not being able to decide between Star Wars or Spiderman (forgive me, as the mom of two girls, I have no idea what toys strike a boy's fancy). But, a toy store is probably the only place in the world you will see a child looking happy. Fast forward 10 minutes and I see three children heading into Kohl's with both of their parents. (Yes, I went to Kohl's on a Saturday. Yet another return!) Those three kids had no bounce in their steps. There was no gleam in their eyes - just a dull sheen. I could almost picture what they really wanted to be doing - screaming "no" and pulling on their mom's cardigan, pleading with their father to save them from the misery. Now, I realize that they were probably going to buy school clothes. I realize that the week prior to the outing, they were probably complaining that they have "nothing to wear". But, this wonderful fall afternoon was just not the time for shopping! This is probably why I have to return so many things - I rarely take my kids shopping for clothes. Have you ever seen a child being dragged around Macy's? Have you ever seen a child whining about how hot/bored/tired they are in JC Penney? Have you ever seen a mom getting impatient with the child laying on the floor or hiding in the middle of the clothing rack? Why would you want to be that mom? Better yet, why would you expect a child to enjoy walking through a cramped space where they can't see anything except a bunch of material in their face. This may seem silly, but remember what is at their eye level - they can't see anything! Go stand in your closet staring at the shirts for a few minutes and see how much fun you're having!
Friday, September 16, 2011
The girls had friends over yesterday and, this evening, as I walked into a bedroom to put something away, I noticed that there was nowhere to walk. The floor was covered in toys and clothes and bottles of nail polish and just a bunch of junk. And here I am wondering how the heck these girls could have walked in there never mind played in there for an hour. Now, I realize they were the ones who put all the things on the floor but I just couldn't fathom how they didn't run screaming out of there. But, I get it now. They didn't care. They just didn't care that the floor was cluttered, that clothes were spilling out of a drawer, that the closet door wouldn't close because of the dress up stuff falling out. I wonder when it is we learn to be so worried about appearances. When they're young, kids don't care if your house is a mess, if your lawn isn't mowed, if you don't have the nicest car on the block. They just want to hang out together and have fun. I dread the day when my children become aware of class and status and feel judged because they don't have the fanciest sneakers or a stupid $50 Hollister shirt. Sorry, but the day I spend $100 on a pair of uggly boots that will get ruined they second the see snow or mud, is the day pigs fly. And I don't know or care who this hollister person is and certainly won't give him 50 bucks for a shirt that was made in china out of cheap fabric! Oh, I hope these girls stay as uncaring as they are about certain things. Well, I take that back... I wish they would care just a little bit about the toys all over the floor. Maybe if they care a little bit more, their mom wouldn't have to worry about picking them all up!!!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Yesterday, on the way home, the girls saw two of their friends outside riding bikes. They're lucky in the fact that they have several kids around the same age living within a few doors of each other. it's nice that they can just go next door or across the street and play with their friends. I feel so bad that my kids don't have that. Of my neighbors, most don't have kids. The ones that do are either way too young or way too old for my kids to play with. So, it's not like they can just go outside and play with their friends. They don't have a Maureen or a Lisa or a Janice or a Nikki or a Cynthia or a Danny or a Vicky or a George or a Debbie like I did growing up. They don't "call for" anyone, ring a bell or yell up to a window to see if someone can come out and play. It makes me sad that the world isn't like it used to be. Maybe I'm neurotic, but I won't even send my kids out to play without watching them. They can't cross the street by themselves either. When I was their age, that's all we did was play in the street. So, now I have to schedule playdates and try to squeeze in playtime between dance and gymnastics and scouts and religious instruction and cheerleading and whatever else everyone is signed up for. I wonder what life will be like when their kids are this age. Maybe they'll all live in bubbles and communicate via smart phone!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Wondering how all my local friends are feeling at the end of this first week of school. Not complaining, but I gotta tell you, I am wiped out!!!! I don't feel like doing anything. I can't even imagine how tired the kids are. I feel bad for my youngest - going from afternoon kindergarten to a full day of school is tough. It's a loooong day. My oldest is a pro. She went to full-day pre-school and kindergarten so elementary school was no major change. She is now in 4th grade which she declares to be the 'best grade ever.' By the fourth day, she wasn't as enthusiastic when she realized how much work she has to do. But, she's a good student and I know she'll do well. The little one is more like me - no focus, no discipline. I have a feeling I'm going to find out what my mother went through with all those trips to the principal's office. I saved most of my badness for high school so maybe I have a few years to warm up! My problem this week is that I work full time and my kids go to two different schools. To save them from getting home 45 minutes late due to a new busing system, I've decided to pick them up. Two different schools, very close to each other but also dismissing at the same time. So it's go to one school, hope to find a parking space while waiting for the 13 or so buses in the parking lot, get the kid, feel bad that my hellos are brief because I'm rushing, then drive to the other school and do the same thing. I can't imagine how things will be next week when PTA stuff and Girl Scouts really kick in. Sometimes I feel like I'm on auto-pilot. But, it's not a very good one. I put the clothes out the night before but the kids want something different. I forget the lunchboxes and have to scramble in the morning to get it all together. I put the dinner fixings in the crock pot but never take it out of the fridge and plug it in (a five second thing that means no dinner is ready when I get home). The dishwasher is full of dirty dishes because, guess what, I forgot to turn it on. The minute we get home, my kids want a myriad of things - snack, TV, talk about their day, call their friends, make a playdate, sew a button. I'm emptying backpacks and asking why there is a full yogurt in their lunchbox. Homework? Not now. Want to review your words for the spelling test? Okay, I guess so. Mom, can you order me books from the catalog that came home? Mom, can you send out emails to everyone you know so that they'll buy stuff from the school fundraiser. Mom, can you call Friend to see if she can skype with us on the computer. Hold on now. I just unpacked the backpack! I need to walk and feed and water animals. I need to check the mail. I need to figure out what's for dinner. And then I need to do the dishes so we have something to eat the dinner on. I'm so tired. I just want to have a nice cup of tea and sit down for a few minutes. I don't want to have to think about anything. But, when am I supposed to clean the house? When I am supposed to go grocery shopping? When am I supposed to schedule the test the doctor told me to have? When am I supposed to do anything? I sometimes think a clone would be nice to have. Not necessarily a clone of me - maybe one of Martha Stewart who could live in my house. It could happen.
Monday, September 5, 2011
I just opened the pantry to get a cracker when I noticed a box of snacks I had bought for school lunches. Then I realized that I have to pack those lunches tonight! I can't believe it's time for school again. I know a lot of parents who have been waiting for this day for weeks. But, I have to honestly say that last week was the first time I had one of those "When does school start?" kind of days. For tomorrow, I'm happy and sad. I love this time of year and I'm excited for my girls to have that first-day rush. I'm sad because my youngest daughter will now be going to school the entire day so I will no longer have those mornings with her and I know I will miss them terribly. This will also be the first time since I was 8 months pregnant that I've had a full-time job. I've always worked part-time or freelance, but being back at work with grown-up people and grown-up issues is a big step. But, it's actually a little bit easier dealing with those problems than dealing with parenthood. I've been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom and I know that both are really hard. Some days, I would have to say I prefer the job to being at home and cleaning and cooking and shuttling and finding things to keep everyone happy and not bored. I am blessed with a great work environment and a wonderful boss so I know I will not miss anything in my girls' lives. I know there is no way my kids will get to sleep on time tonight. I know there is no way we won't be rushed in the morning. I know we will rush for a bus that won't be here on time. I know that my kids will walk through their respective school doors feeling a little bit confident but also a little bit nervous. And I know that I will think about them every minute while I try to make sense of spreadsheets and sales data. Maybe I better stop typing and go make those lunches! Happy School Year!