As parents we often feel like a broken record … telling our kids the same things day after day, week  after week, month after month. Here is a list of things I would never have imagined I’d have to tell my kids more than once, but sadly I was mistaken.  To many people these may seem like common sense, but if you have kids you probably have figured out that kids have to learn common sense and it’s our job as parents to teach them by “reminding” them as often as necessary of these essential life lessons.

  • Don’t lick the toilet seat
  • Stop jumping on your brother
  • Don’t  eat Playdough (or pennies, or paperclips)
  • No, you cannot play “Let’s see who can stay up until Midnight”
  • Yes, we have to wear clothes EVERYDAY
  • No, you cannot play with water balloons in the house
  • Don’t put marbles up your nose
  • Stop annoying your sister
  • Don’t wipe your snotty nose, dirty hands or chocolate face on Mommy’s new dress
  • No, I don’t want to see your booger
  • Yes, they had electricity when Mommy was your age
  • No, you can’t play “fireman” and use real matches
  • Don’t  grow up too fast ….. Mommy is going to miss these days.

 “Wow, where is that cleaning fairy? She must be off on a long vacation.” I said as I looked around and saw several piles of unfolded laundry on the couch and the multitude of Hot Wheels, Legos and naked Barbies covering the floor.   My teenage son, Drew, looked up from his video game and said with a smirk, “Yeah, like since before I was born.”  I had to agree there was some truth to that statement.  Our house hasn’t been truly clean for the past 13 years.

In my defense, I’d like to point out that I do constantly clean our house so I should get an “A” for effort, right?  It’s really not fair because I can’t possibly keep up when it’s 4 kids (and sometimes 1 husband) making the messes and just ONE mommy to clean them up.  Those are not very good odds … I no sooner clean up one room when I walk into the next and find several new cleaning projects waiting for me.

B.C. (Before Children) our house was always clean and organized. The living room was nicely dusted and vacuumed and the linen closet had all the towels neatly folded and organized by color.  Thirteen years and four kids later I have a living room with a mountain of laundry waiting hopelessly to be folded, I can’t remember the last time I dusted and I don’t even know where my vacuum is.

B.C. (Before Children) our house was nicely decorated with beautiful wallpaper and brightly colored paint. There were coordinating pictures and wall hangings on the walls and the furniture and carpets were spotless.  Fast forward to present day and you will find plain white walls since I have no time, money or energy to decorate.  The furniture and carpets are covered with stains and remnants of crackers ,cookies and teeny tiny Lego pieces just waiting to be stepped on. Well, I take that back –the walls aren’t all white and boring …. There are the scribbles of crayons and the stickers that line the walls of the kids bedrooms.  

The biggest problem seems to be that I am the only one that notices that the house looks like a tornado ran through it while all the other members of the family seem to be oblivious to the mess.   Maybe they need their eyes checked or maybe I need to learn to relax and realize that this is motherhood.   A clean house is nice, but there are only so many hours in the day.  If it comes down to mopping the floor or playing a game of Sorry with my kids I would choose playing with kids.  The kids are growing up so fast and in a few years I will miss the constant cries of “Hey mom, watch this!”  or “Mom, will you come play with us outside?”

Yes, motherhood is messy, but so are most of the fun things in life.   It’s like the saying , “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.”   The housework isn’t going anywhere and who knows …. Maybe someday that cleaning fairy will come back from vacation.

Sweet Treats

April 4, 2011

Ever since Emma was a baby she has loved to eat chocolate.  Chocolate candy bars and chocolate ice cream, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  She not only is known to eat chocolate on a daily basis, but also is known to wear it.  She has a special talent for getting chocolate on her face and clothes and, on at least one occasion, she managed to somehow get chocolate on the BACK of her shirt!  

While we were in Florida we stopped by the shops in Downtown Disney because Ethan and Drew wanted to go to the Lego Store.  On our way to the Lego Store Emma and Caleb were distracted by the Goofy Candy Store … Emma because she saw the word “candy” and Caleb because Goofy is one of his favorite Disney characters. They both really wanted to stop so I sent Dwight on with Drew and Ethan to the Lego Store and Emma, Caleb and I went into the candy store.  I have to admit I was much more excited by the candy store than the Lego store … I’m all about the candy and chocolate too!

Talk about being a kid in a candy store … Wow! There was wall-to-wall candy, cookies, cakes, and anything else sweet you could possibly want.  They even had a giant Rice Krispie Treat shaped like Mickey Mouse that looked like a cake.  The bakery was right in the center of the store so you could see and smell all the delicious treats throughout the store.

Emma went over to the bulk candy bins and found what looked like gummy  bears, but instead of being shaped like bears they were shaped like Mickey Mouse.   Mickey Mouse Gummies?? How could we not buy some?  Emma put a few scoops in a baggie and then also suggested we buy some M& M’s too since they are Emma & Ethan’s favorite. 

The cashier rang up the candy and said, “Your total comes to $9.78”  “I could have bought the same amount of M&M’s and gummies at Wal-Mart for about $2.00!” I thought.  I glanced back at that the sign above the bulk bins and saw that It said “Bulk Candy ~ $12.00/lb”.   After handing the cashier my debit card and paying for our candy, Emma and Caleb followed me out of the store.  As I looked back at Emma who was skipping happily out of the store with the two bags of candy in her hand and a smile ear to ear on her face,  I knew it was worth the extra $7.78 !