I'm sitting here staring at this page with lots of other things to do. I have three lia sophia shows this week that I should be getting ready for and invites for two more to get out. I've also just started reading The Red Tent and want to finish it because it's great so far and I'm motivated by prizes and I need to finish two more books by the end of the month to win some more stuff from the library!
I've been totally engrossed with the winter Olympics which is strange because I'm the opposite of athletic and really not that big a fan of being cold. I think it's fascinating that these athletes have the dedication to stick with it and see it through all the way. It's different from other sports because usually at the end of a big game or the end of the season you can say "oh well, there's always next year", the Olympics is every four years and a four year wait/train is a really long time. I'm also amazed at the distance between (or lack thereof) gold, silver and bronze. In the ladies Super Combined Slalom gold and bronze were separated by 1.05 seconds. Your life's work and certainly the focus of the last four years of your life come down to 1.05 seconds. Isn't that amazing??? Can you imagine if parenting were on a structure so tightly wound? None of us would have made it to adulthood. Don't even talk about medal contention; I wouldn't even be in the running, I am definitely little league material.
While I'm getting better doing this on my own for the time being, parenting is never easy. People who tell you it is are either lying or faking. I've found that the longer Dan is gone the better under control I get my temper for the little things. And, that's good because parenting is a series of millions of little things dotted with huge, horrifying obstacles and breathtaking moments of joy designed to try and bring you to your knees. I'm doing well with the little things and the joy, no one has been yelled at lately for looking at me funny and we've been doing a lot of giggling, I'm considering that successful parenting all things considered. And then....well, I don't have the imagination to make this up so let's just go with a play by play of what happened here yesterday.
Olivia: Mom, you have to come to the front room, it's a 'mergency', you have to see what Gracie did.
Me: An emergency?
Olivia: Oh, YES
As we're walking across the house she keeps talking,
Olivia: You have to see what is in the front room, she POOHED on the FLOOR.
Olivia: I KNOW! ON THE FLOOR! UNDER THE TABLE! IN THE FRONT ROOM! THERE IS POOH ON THE FLOOR, MOM, POOOOOOOH. (Olivia releases an enormous huff of exasperation)
And, she did. On the floor. Under the table. In my front room. She was, of course, hiding; ironically, in the bathroom. The bathroom that is literally 22 inches from where SHE TOOK A CRAP ON MY FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR. At this point Grace and I should thank Olivia for the comic relief of her indignation because I'm pretty sure that is what kept DCFS and the Batavia Police Department from becoming involved. Because, there was my lovely, articulate, FULLY POTTY TRAINED four year old daughter hiding in my bathroom and there was her grown-man sized pile of pooh on my floor.
Me: Grace Lillian Kaminski come out of that bathroom right now.
Olivia: This is NOT going to end happy.
Me: Grace, how did this happen?
Grace: I thought that was the potty.
Me: I don't believe you, you know what the potty looks like and you know where it is. I think you are lying.
Grace: Well.....I just didn't realize.
Me: You realized enough to take your pants off first
Grace: Well, I didn't want to get pooh on them, Mommy.
Here's where I took a great big breath, counted to 1,333 and did NOT say any of the following:
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU????
WERE YOU RAISED IN A BARN?
THIS IS MY HOUSE AND IN MY HOUSE WE DO NOT SHIT ON THE FLOOR.
DO YOU WANT SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT, I'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!
What I did say was this:
Me: This will never happen again. You are going to go get the paper towel and you are going to clean this mess.
Grace: Mom, I don't know how to clean pooh, that's why you do it (hmm, this explains a lot).
Me: When I pooh on the floor, I'll clean it. When you pooh on the floor....well, it's all you.
Grace: Okay but I don't think this will end happy (apparently I must say this a lot because my kids keep throwing it out there).
And she did clean it, I had to talk her through it and she had to stop and wash her hands about five times but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say she won't do it again. If my first born had done this (which for the record Aidan would have never even contemplated such a heinous act) I would have cleaned it up myself and it probably would have happened again. The eight years between kids has lessened my energy but I have learned a thing or two. I'm working very hard to make sure my kids don't grow up feeling entitled. You make the mess, you clean it. Because that's what happens; one day when you're a grown up, you will be standing in front of a mess and there will be no one there to clean it but you.
For the most part that's working out for us. Hopefully in 20 years Aidan will have better things to work through with his therapist than how I thought it was totally inappropriate for a 12 year old to have his own cell phone let alone an iPhone. And, as usual, I find out what I'm really thinking about when I get to the last paragraph because now is where I find myself wanting to tell you that if you give your kids an iPhone(or even just a nice cell phone), chances are you may still be financially and emotionally supporting them when they are 30 because they just won't get it. So, here's my warning; make them clean up their own pooh now or risk that you will still be cleaning it up when you are 55!