Since my MIL is on my mind constantly, I am energy in motion. I worked out and lifted weights like a lunatic (who knows when I’ll be back). My house is serial killer clean.
For no reason, my three rules for raising children floated through my brain.
1) Whining is punishable by death
2) No tattling unless accompanied by a life-threatening emergency as defined by a combination of severed limbs and gushing blood.
3) Mommy does not have to get her bathing suit wet. (In later years it was Mommy does not have to wear a bathing suit.)
Once, on a hot summer day when the kids were six and two, I opened the fridge and found a perfect muddy footprint on the shelf over the vegetable bin. My son must have been after Popsicles.
On my 37th birthday, both kids had strep throat. Miserable, they got to lie in my bed and watch tv. They threw up on my bed all day long. I washed blankets endlessly. “The trick,” I told them, “is to hit the toilet.” Good times.
Once, Mr. W got pissed because we were out of milk. Annoyed, he asked me “what do you do all day?” Within a week, I took a job at Crate and Barrel. I worked weekends only. It was like a vacation. He found out EXACTALY what I did during the day with two little kids. Only took him three months to learn the lesson.
When CNN offered me a great job, he agreed to be the at home parent. He stayed home for 6 years, cooking, cleaning and taking kids on school field trips. He made better costumes than I did for Halloween. We don’t do Tarzan and Jane shit around here ever. We both know what it takes.
I have no idea why I am thinking of this now. If I only had a brain….
My Daughter called today, to tell me she had a great time with younger brother this weekend. I had been squiked yesterday, hauling all her stuff from her room to the basement. She told me she knew just how I felt because she had been squicked packing everything up.
We are both glad MIL is going to be here, staying in her room. Still, there is real relief knowing I was not the only one having a thing. We’re both nuts. Whew!
Mr. Wonderful and I worked hard to have a close family because it mattered so much to us. I come from a happy family and know the joy and strength it brings.
It is times like this when I know it was worth all the aggravation of not getting a sitter, or choosing to do things at the child level for all those years. We missed a lot of afternoon BBQ’s (naptime) and nights out with friends, (family movie night).
It was worth the investment. There is something lasting here. It does not depend on a room.
So. Coretta Scott King and Betty Friedan. What tremendous legacies those two leave. I’m glad I grew up with people like them blazing trails. Talk about changing the world. Just sayin’ I owe them a debt of gratitude. Standing on the shoulders of giants, here in Empresspattiland.
Could I be any more boring or serious? I promise, next lj post will ponder the real life question: Why do Men produce so much methane gas?