Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Check out my guest post to McCall's fantabulous blog!! SO much fun to visit her page, checkk out all the other "I m THAT Mom" posts too!!

Lee, Me, and the Girls: I AM THAT MOM: Jane

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Merci, beaucoup!

Things in the Smith household have been running smoothly for quite some time now and I couldn’t be happier. And in the interest of science I felt I needed to pass along my findings from the ‘household experiment’ I was conducting. I have found the best tool at getting the appreciation and recognition needed to prevent any feelings of neglect or resentment. It all stems from enjoying some ‘female bonding’…

I was talking with a friend who was griping that all she wanted was a ‘thank you’ from her husband for taking on the responsibility of being the breadwinner of the family, she felt that he didn’t really appreciate the amount of stress that added to her load. Hearing her talk about how unappreciated she felt made me really take stock of my situation and do some serious damage control. Yes all I really wanted was for Tarzan to really realize what all I did for him and our family on a daily basis, but how could I expect him to take that step when I was unwilling to do the same.

What is it that makes saying ‘thank you’ so hard? All this time I was getting some sort of sick pleasure in knowing that I could do all the chores around the house, cook all the meals, get Cheetah ready for the next day, take care of the animals, and have some down time for myself. Why? To prove I don’t ‘need him’, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Wasn’t that the whole reason why I married him?? Not because I needed someone to help me live my life but because I WANTED him there, in my life, so why wasn’t I letting him be present in our life we had built together? Was the way he folded clothes, spiced supper, walked the dog, or cleaned the house really that important? No. What was/is important is that he DOES fold the laundry, cook supper, clean the house, and love Cheetah and I wholeheartedly.

That night I sat down beside Tarzan on the couch and held his hand, I looked into his eyes and smiled. I went on to tell him how much I valued the stress and worry that went along with being the breadwinner and how I knew I would never be able to understand what it’s like being in his shoes every day but that I appreciated him getting up every morning and going to work…for us and for our life. I wanted him to know how much it really means to know that someone is that invested in Cheetah and I, and that he makes his choice every day to work so that we can buy food, clothes, books, cds, and go on trips. He then went on to say how easy it was when I was there to make sure food was on the table, clothes were clean, the house was clean, and that he could count on me to help with Cheetah.

I really went about this whole ‘experiment’ in the wrong way. I didn’t need to find ways to trick him into doing chores or make a point (at his expense) so that he learns to do things on his own…I need to say ‘thank you’. What a difference two little words can make.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Arguing like a 4 year-old

In the past I have taken many speech classes and have contributed in a few debates, but it wasn’t until recently that I have found myself in the ‘ring’ with a very ardent lobbyist. We spend hours, if not days, arguing our sides and bargaining to get our desired results. I’m not proud of this fact and honestly I have no idea what brings it about, I have become an active participant in a daily arguing match with my 4-year old. All I know is that my usual eloquent points and witty quips have been replaced with a ton of because I said so’s, I’m the Momma’s, and Nuh-huh’s. I am a very well-read, bright, and decently educated woman so how am I letting my own child reduce me to the antics of my not so distant past? Haven’t I used these tools on my own mother? Don’t I know that my combativeness is only adding fuel to his 3 foot fire?

Maybe it’s brought on by the constant rapid-fire form of interrogation that my 4 year old captor uses on me: What’s fog? Do fog, dog, and hog come from the same thing? What’s a rearview mirror? Can you see rears with it? Why did a bird poop on your car? Is all bird poop black? Why not? What color is cricket poo? If you ate it, would it taste like grass? Are alligators like vampires? Then why do they eat blood? Are we driving on the grass? Why is water underground? Why can’t we eat rocks? What’s diarrhea? All of these questions in a span of 12 minutes and he gives me less than a second to begin my response, half the time my response is met with a resounding, “No it’s not!” Oh really…well if you know why are you asking me!!! Oh yeah it’s the questions, defintly the questions.

For now I am perfecting counting to 10 and TRYING to remember that I want Cheetah to be smart and I want him to feel comfortable coming to me with all of his questions, but if I don’t find a more productive means for arguing I may find myself using other gems from my arsenal. Not sure he’d know what to do after hearing, “I’m rubber, and you’re glue…”