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Monday, October 10, 2011

Am I Doing it Wrong?

Pardon the crabby tone. I had to do three loads of laundry today at my sister's and it's hard to stay upbeat when you are lugging dirty clothes and then wet clothes (I didn't have time for the last load to dry) back and forth between houses. I realized that a broken washer and homemade meals don't really go together so dinner was a scramble to put together. I hope Leo enjoys watching game tape and the Bears game tonight. I am seriously considering not washing his clothes until we get the washer fixed or get a new one to speed along the process.

We had a family party Saturday and I was crabby for most of it. I know...shocking. The thing is that it was a strange mix of people. People that should have been there weren't and people that shouldn't have been there were. That is only my opinion and it was what it was. That is what started the crabbiness but it was my kids that really pushed me into that frame of mine. Nico was asking about going to a haunted house that I couldn't wrap my brain around him going to (the Sunday before he was in the ER with a severe asthma attack and I was afraid it was going to happen again), Belle was asking for a sleepover that I didn't want to have to think about (I didn't want to think about how I was going to get her the next day) and Tommy was just wanting to open his gifts. Gia was fine (she was mostly with my mom) until my mom left and then was clingy. My kids have THE most annoying habit of asking, "Why do you hate me?" when I say no or get aggravated that they have asked me to do something 100x's after I've already said no. They also like to tell people, "My mom doesn't think I do anything right." I'm sure I thought the same thing with my parents but I see now that they were just wanting other people to see what they saw in me. That's all I want for my kids. I think it is better to tell Isabella to sit like a lady instead of yelling, "Close your legs! You're showing the whole world your underwear!" Wouldn't that be worse? When Tommy is acting strange, isn't it my job to say, "Don't ever do that in public"?

At the party there was talk of going to Sunny Acres (a pumpkin farm) or apple picking. I felt myself coming out of the bad mood at the thought of actually doing something as a family. Leo immediately made a face and said, "Um...I want to relax so I don't think so." Nico right away said, "I was going to hang out with my friends." Isabella got her way and was going to sleep over at my sister's because she played the "I'm not getting a party for my birthday" card so images of the pumpkin farm or apple picking were slowly fading. The next morning (Sunday), I woke up and went for a walk by myself. I want to start exercising so I thought that was the perfect time to go. I walked in my neighborhood, down the prairie path and into another neighborhood. I only went for a half hour but my legs were burning and my back was beginning to hurt. I am tired and I am old and out of shape and though it was a beautiful day with all the gorgeous colors of fall as my backdrop for my walk, all I could think about was how doing family stuff other than watching sports escapes me. I got home to an awake household and what do you know...Leo wanted to go for a run. He wanted to go for a "family walk" with him running for some of it. I didn't understand how that was a family walk but said okay. Even that was not easy. Nico was taking forever to get out of the house. Tommy was consumed with the remote control car he got from my mom and I put Gia in the stroller too early because Leo decided that before we went, he needed to put out a few Halloween decorations. I walked up and down the same stretch of sidewalk waiting for everyone to come outside or start walking and it never happened. I walked ahead with Gia. Leo and Nico caught up but Tommy was nowhere to be found. I walked back to find Tommy, leaving Nico to deal with Gia in the stroller. I found Tommy outside our house crying because his car wasn't working. I finally got him to follow me to the prairie path, found Nico and we all started walking. We walked ten steps on the prairie path when the boys started fighting and Gia started crying that she wanted to get out of the stroller. I had already walked for a half hour so I turned around and walked back not wanting to deal with it all. family walk.

Everything family-related has been so difficult. Don't get me wrong. It's not all bad but vacationing, church, going for a walk, having a movie night, playing board family makes all of these things so hard. Even the smallest things like making Christmas cookies ends up with the kids throwing dough at each other. Getting ready for family parties ends up with me yelling, "Just get in the car!" Am I doing it wrong? The only expectation I have is that they get along and it always falls short. I don't expect Stepford children or even some sort of Norman Rockwell painting. It would just be nice to BE as a family. I waited my whole life to have my own family and I'd love to spend time with them but I must be doing it wrong. When we are spending time together, it is usually with them asking me for things I don't want them to do or have (sleepovers and drums) or fighting with each other to the point where all their voices are nails on a chalkboard. Nico actually made Belle scream at a pitch that I swear only dogs hear. When I asked what was going on, Nico said he wasn't doing anything wrong because she only told him to stop touching her one knee and not the one he was touching. I know this time goes so fast so I WANT embrace it and enjoy it. I'd love to know if the people that are going on and on about great family experiences are just leaving out the crazy stuff. Is it just that no one is talking about how hard doing this stuff really is in order to give the illusion of a Norman Rockwell painting or am I really doing something wrong? I don't enjoy being wrong so if that is the case, this will be the last post on this topic. :)


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