Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Son Wants To Be Amazing.

The other night, at dinner, I went around the table, and asked the kids, “What are your goals for the week?”  I don’t really know why, but I thought it might be interesting.

Kaleb, the ever-humble, said “To be amazing!”

William, the slightly insecure, said “To try not to upset Kaleb so much.”

This, obviously, was a bit of a downer and not really a fair statement.  After explaining that I was hoping for some positive goals and that he doesn’t really upset Kaleb all that much that Kaleb’s just a vocal teenager who tends to have an opinion about everything, we tried again.  To his credit, Kaleb has made great efforts to be gentler with William who I lovingly refer to as my “delicate flower.” 

William struggled with coming up with an idea, so I finally suggested a few and he settled on “To have a good week.”

Antwan, the head-strong, “To stay up until 11pm, in my bed!”

And, Lizzie, the boss of us all, said "To sell more girl scout cookies and get my triangle patch!"
(She has now earned it, by the way.)

I was going to tell them that we would discuss it at the end of the week and determine if we had achieved the goals as I secretly hoped that Antwan wouldn’t, (sigh, he did), but I got side-tracked by who-knows-what.  Lots of things happen in our house.  

But, I’m going to try to remember to re-visit the topic and it will either be a fun little conversation that might turn into a tradition or it will be of no consequence and I’ll squeeze it in between talk of minecraft and questions of "is there any more food?" (They really like to eat.).

Since no one asked, last night, I’ll just tell you my goal!  Haha.  There’s the ever present goal of catching up on the dishes, making Lizzie and Antwan clean their room (translation: cleaning their room myself), and finding the time/energy to shave my legs (Sorry, Brian, I didn't...)  But, what I really want is to be a good mom, the best mom that I can be.  

I’ve talked about that before.  But, since it's an important goal, hopefully, it’s ok to repeat it.

I’ve been working on stepping it up, this year.  There is nothing, nothing, more important to me in the world than being a good parent.  And, yet, sometimes, it is the hardest thing in the world.  I’m preaching to the choir, I know.  

It’s so weird how quickly the days go by; even though, they seem so insurmountable when I wake up in the mornings.  Each morning, I grumble and lament the fact that I have to get out of bed and, then, I sometimes moan melodramatically which I'm sure is not annoying at all to sleeping Brian... ;).  But, when I do get out of bed, I tell myself that I’m going to do better.  I’m going to play more, smile more, hug more, laugh more, listen more, etc, etc, etc.

Sometimes, I succeed.  Sometimes, I do better. 

Because, sometimes, I make Man of Steel burgers!

My super new cookbook!

Cheese S shields!

The kids loved them and didn't care at all that I forgot hamburger buns.  Who needs buns, anyway, when you've got mustard.

I probably shouldn't have turned my back....

We saved some for Daddy. :)

But, sometimes, I don't do better. 

Sometimes, I allow myself to get set off by the fact that Kaleb has left his socks on the floor again, William has left his underwear on the floor again, Antwan has left his pop-tart wrapper on the floor again, or Lizzie has lost her shoes...AGAIN.

Sometimes, I feel like they don’t take me seriously, unless I raise my voice.  That gets a response, of course.  But, the next time that I look around, I see that Kaleb has left his socks on the floor again, William has left his underwear on the floor again, Antwan has left his pop-tart wrapper on the floor again, or Lizzie has lost her shoes again.  So, what’s the point, anyway?

On a side note, after I wrote that, I was inspired to type up some household rules, Super Nanny style!  It's amazing how much losing 2 minutes of lights on time at bedtime can motivate a kid!  But, anyway, back to my point. :)

Sometimes, I’m somewhere, in between.

I was playing Checkers with Kaleb, a couple of weeks ago.  While I held my own against Antwan, Kaleb had brought me down pretty quickly.  And, with one checker left, he repeatedly, didn’t jump over it to end the game.  I thought that he was torturing me, throwing it in my face that he could win any time.  It’s not that crazy of a thought when you consider that he’s a competitive teenager.  Being a formerly competitive teenager turned competitive mom, I know about these things.  And, it sure didn’t help that it was late at night and I was a tired mommy.

Anyway, when he finally won, I was relieved.  Then, he said, cheerfully, “Yes, I dragged it out because I like playing games with my mommy.”

Thud, I felt like a jerk.

Another "fun" example.  Kaleb loves to cook with me, but I get so cranky when I’m hungry, so it’s the hardest time for me to do the good mom thing.  Saturday night, he came in and asked if he could help.  I grunted something and he said ok and left the kitchen.  That’s when I caught myself.  These moments matter, you idiot, I thought.  Sure, you can pat yourself on the back for making them tacos since they really like tacos.  But, if they don’t think that you want them around, then you’re doing little more than reassuring them that you’ll feed them. So, I called him back in and he browned the beef for me.  This really was a big help, actually.

So, the other day, Kaleb offered me unsolicited advice.  He said that one suggestion that he would have for me would be to stop and think before I react.  Too often, I react and then fix it.  Saying that I want to cook alone and then cooking with him, anyway, is a perfect example.  I don't love unsolicited advice, as a general rule.  But, this, I took to heart.

I love to ask the kids what they have learned.  Well, what have I learned?  This.  Treasure the moments that I have and don't sabotage the ones that I could have.  If I want to be a better mom, I'm going to have to actually do a little better. Or try, anyway.

Yesterday, I  saw this really great meme on facebook.  It’s so true.  It got me thinking and reminded me that I'm not alone.


I will forgive myself.  But, I will really, really try to do better, too. 

But, maybe, I'll start in a half an hour because, right now, they are playing Minecraft and I'm really enjoying my break. ;) 



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