Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Day Two

OK, this morning I was seriously thinking I was going to blow that goal of not blowiing up at the kids this week...
We slept in until almost 8:00, which was great because I stayed up way too late last night. Hey, the kids were asleep and Brian was gone - I had to take advantage of the time alone, didn't I? Anyway, I hid out in my bed with my Bible so I could have a real "quiet" time before facing the day. That was good. Then I came downstairs to three kids anxiously awaiting the exciting conclusion to our game of Life. (I convinced them I could eat a bowl of cereal while we played. Their plan was that I'd need to eat after the game, but I was hungry!)
I thought it would be a fun-filled, exciting conclusion. Silly me! Joshua and Matthew seemed more interested in filling the extra cars with "peg people" and driving them all over the board than playing the game, but insisted they wanted to play whenever I suggested they might rather sit out. Then Joshua started getting angry when he had to pay money to other players, and when he couldn't collect a salary for a Pay Day space he didn't really cross. Suddenly, for him, the game was "stupid" and he copped his angry attitude. I told him to get control of himself, and asked/told him to quit crumbling the game pieces. That's when he started in on me, telling me I'm too bossy. (And that's when I started thinking, "Well, if you would just respect me and behave like a mature adult, I wouldn't say the things that make you think I'm 'bossy'!" He's eight, Karen. Breathe!) I did make him sit on the couch for a few minutes to cool off, but he eventually rejoined us to finish the game. In the end, Joshua retired as a millionaire and all was well. But there was a time in there when I was really close to losing it.
I then spent some time on the computer, working on promotional stuff for the Women's Conference with Kathy Troccoli coming up at my home church February 2 & 3. (For details, visit Finally, I showered and we took the promised trip to McDonald's playland. The kids had a good time, I decided the Asian Salad is actually a pretty decent menu option (never thought I'd say that about anything at the Golden Arches!), and I read up on what I need to do to report and pay Michigan sales tax. All in all, it was two hours well spent. And on the way home, they hit me with the next request.
They wanted to go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store to spend some of their Christmas money. One of their friends once told my kids that he bought a stuffed animal there for 80 cents, and when we went to check it out my kids were delighted at what they could get for so little money. So they wanted to do it again. I couldn't think of a reason to say, "No," so I said I would call to be sure they were open and then we'd go.
Matthew needed a bathroom break when we got home and I needed to pick up the neighbor's mail, then we'd be on our way. If only it could have been that easy... With the kids in the van waiting for me, I ran inside to put the mail away and heard...something really strange. I put the mail down and ran into the basement, expecting to find the washer running with the lid open - that's what it sounded like. No, that wasn't it. I went to the corner and saw water pouring from the ceiling all over the furnace. Ahhh! It was from the toilet upstairs!
I went back upstairs quickly and darted into the bathroom. Yup! Water everywhere! I reached back and turned off the water feeding the toilet, and threw down a couple of towels to soak up the mess. Then I wrote, "Do not use," on some masking tape and taped the lid shut. Heading out to the van with a wet sleeve, I figured I'd deal with the toilet later. (That was eight hours ago. I have removed the towels, and Matthew has confessed that he "might" have used too much toilet paper and caused the problem when he repeatedly flushed the toilet. But, unless I get really industrious, I think we'll use the second floor bathroom for the rest of the week, and I'll let Brian play plumber when he gets home.)
So, we made it to the Thrift Store, the kids found some treasures, and Joshua was thrilled to learn that the "little" stuffed animals were only ten cents! What a bargain! His NeoPet collection is growing, and he is pleased. And it dawned on me that going to the Thrift Store was a simple thing to do, didn't require much of me, yet made the kids so happy. Why is it usually my first instinct to say, "No," when they ask me for things? It really made me glad to make them happy. Hmmm. Something to ponder.
Once home, the kids ran off to play at the community center and I worked on conference publicity a little more. Then we had dinner, I washed dishes, and the kids stuffed their shirts with extra clothing and got into a belly-busting match. It was quite humorous. I was thinking they ought to start thinking about bedtime when Elizabeth asked if they could all sleep in the living room tonight. Again, my first instinct was to say, "No." Why is that???? But I paused and said, "OK," instead. You'd have thought I'd just given her the world! She skipped out of the room to tell her brothers the good news. That news motivated them to clean up from the belly-busting match, get themselves showered and ready for bed, and all without me being "bossy"!
For well over an hour now, they have been playing games with each other, reading books together, doing math flash cards, math pages, and language arts stuff. They tell me they're playing "school" and are going to be really smart when real school starts back up in January. But it's almost 11:00. Am I a bad mom for letting them stay up this late? They're having a great time, and day two is almost over. This isn't so bad...


momteacherfriend said...

letting the kids stay up late does not make you a bad mother, not even close. It makes you a great mom, because those are the memories they will hold onto when they are older. Staying up late, sleeping in the living room. Good stuff.

Karen Hossink said...

Thanks for the reassurance.
Yes, I hve lots of fun memeories of sleeping in the living room, too!