Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Things the Parenting Books Won't Tell You

I've been a parent for more than 20 years. I'm neither the best nor the worst parent. None of us are. And yet, along the way, we all learn something. Here are a few tidbits I've figured out over the years:

Don’t teach your toddlers rock songs unless you’re prepared to have them sing them loudly in public.

Don’t encourage your child’s sense of humor unless you’re ready to have it thrown back in your face at the most inappropriate, and unfunny, moment.

If you let your kids listen to show music in the car, know that you are forever doomed to have theatre kids and musicians.

The fast food you buy today to save time and sanity, may encourage a generation of picky eaters only satisfied by Happy Meals.

The first time that you run something over to school that your child forgot at home, will not be the last.

Once you have complained about something (i.e. church, boring meetings, getting up early), you have opened the door to a lifetime of the same from your child.

Never speak badly about a relative and then ask that same person to babysit your kids.

Neatness cannot be taught. Politeness can.

The sins of your own childhood will be returned to you tenfold throughout your parenting career.

Never, I mean NEVER share stories of stupid things you did as a teenager when your children are under the age of 21.

The expensive toys that you worked hard to acquire will never be as interesting to children as the broken toys full of lead and toxic paint.

The good behavior of your child is inversely proportionate to the amount of gossiping that you do about other people's children.

It is impossible to change your own fate through your child. It’s too late.

Despite your best efforts, your child will want to play the instrument that you would least likely prefer to hear played badly.

The day you expect a compliment on a dinner well-prepared or laundry well-done is the day that you will never receive one.

Whining can’t be corrected by yelling.

You can’t hug your child too much, even when they don’t hug back.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kids Create the Darndest Things

My college-aged son Dan and his friend Tom have a band called The Dart Throwing Bartenders. At least once a year, they get together in our basement and write a few songs. The music is eclectic and serves almost no purpose except to make them, and us, laugh hysterically.

And so, because I like to share, I proudly present the new musical from the Dart Throwing Bartenders – 5 Floors of Cash – music inspired by the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

If you haven’t seen the movie, much of this won’t make sense. On the other hand, it’s a fun "poke" at musicals and it was written and recorded all in one week. (Oh and it's definitely G-rated, in case you were concerned.)

Here’s a list of the songs, although they’re all combined on one track:








*My daughter is the female vocalist which gives me a glimmer of hope that one day my two kids might be able to get along.

Hope you enjoy 5 Floors of Cash! Oh and if you like it, feel free to send other people here to visit. Yeah, I'm that way. I'm a mom.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Once-A-Year Sisters

Eighteen years. Many marriages don’t last that long. A lot of friendships don’t either. But ours has…and so has our annual trek to a tiny cottage on a tiny lake in a tiny town in the middle of Wisconsin. It’s been eighteen years since we had our first “Ya-Ya Weekend.” (Yes, it’s a nod to the Rebecca Wells book, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.) Since then, we’ve fine-tuned our preparations and cut back on the groceries. Other than that, not much has changed.

It’s a weekend where we sit back, catch-up and sometimes reconnect with our own identities. It’s a time when we take a break from being employees and sisters and wives and mothers and, for once, just be us. I have to say, that’s the hardest part – not being defined by our relationships to other people. For a few days, we get to be ourselves – we laugh at the stupidest things and say what’s on our minds – without feeling like we’ll be judged for any of it.

We have traditions – craft night, Saturday night on the boat, setting goals for next year. (Never revealed to outsiders, rarely ever met and hardly ever criticized.) Other than that, we have blessedly few obligations. We update each other on our lives and swap advice on topics as mundane as child-rearing or decorating. Somehow we manage to always do the most important thing of all: We build each other up before we send each other off. I wish everyone could be so lucky.
*Yes, that's me, hanging out on the far right.