Thursday, June 30, 2011

Extreme Parenting (it sucks)

Once as a result of a smart-mouth, I 'made' Darling Daughter watch  ME in horror from the spectator stands, as I 'took'  HER one hour private skating lesson.  A hardship for sure ... a struggle to not break a hip ... embarrassing to Darling Daughter.... to later find off ice,  other Mom's bowing down to me with support - some were even clapping :)   It was one of my finer moments as being a parent :) not a permanent cure for her sassy mouth, but a victory that still brings a smile to my face!

 Since then, I have been in search of other techniques with quiet impact....

Today while on the phone rushing around my friend could hear the shock and awe in my voice after seeing Darling Son's room.  'Inspection' had been delayed... I've been busy and frankly haven't cared what his room looked like - he's 14 now and surely he has heard a few of the 100 times I remind him, to be sure and put away clothes and organize  his room ... but apparently, his ears are painted on again... or am I speaking Chinese?   What came next was another brilliant epiphany...

Like a  joke, my friend suggested I put his things in a trash can (like HER Mother did for her sister) and  I have to say from just hearing that suggestion, I couldn't drive to the hardware store fast enough.   Such a brilliant idea - so compact and contained... and it has wheels. Clean up today was swift and exciting .... So see above,  Darling Son's new 'dresser'.... a 34 gallon drawer - so roomy and the color is dreamy for his room!    I'm thinking its a good investment too for when he goes to college- like new rolling luggage.  can't wait.  :)

 xo The International Laundress

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things that just don't 'go' together!

After recently seeing a shiny red Mercedes convertible with a licence plate that said 'MYRNA' (HUH?)? it got me thinking about other things that just don't go together like today.... waking up early to a strong wafting smell of burned eggs which usually means a charred pan with the remnants of that, ground into our flat-top stove and dishes/ pans/ drips everywhere.  Dogs were also barking ...

We were playing Saturday 'chicken' again - determining who would be first to survey the collateral damage. As it turned out, Good-Sport Husband was feeling braver and my Excederin hadn't kicked in (yet) he volunteered.... But today, much to our astonishment the 'damage' was nowhere to be found... hmm?  it's a real mysteryWe were also surprised to see a relatively clean kitchen.... this is frightening stuff ... like tippy toeing over a land mine.  

It seems that Darling Daughter made herself breakfast, cleaned up and then rode her bike to her job..... Amazing... Exhilarating ....  a feeling providing us with a glimmer of hope for the future .... Next up, Darling Son and the 3 teenage boys who stayed for a sleepover...well, at least we know it's a 'wave' today instead of the usual tsunami.

For me, I'm going to enjoy my coffee in bed and light a scented candle until the inevitable  roar of the next wave begins.

The International Laundress :) 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shoot me now...! :)

While I was picking BB's out of my kitchen garbage disposal it occurred to me that my Darling Son needs to find a new hobby and I don't think it's this one.  I was less than enthusiastic that Good Sport Husband (who used to 'shoot' as a kid) recently bought him a Daisy Red Rider air gun (yes, the kind that will 'put your eye out') it was something they had been talking about for a while - you know, male bonding. I knew it had to be a grand idea to pry his fingers off the X Box 360 controls, so after several outside 'lessons' with safety glasses and ground rules he was in our back area shooting plastic water-filled bottles in a matter of days. It is now a fenced target range so neighbors beware!   I had been warming up to the idea of having him do something that involved being outside - quite a change from the underground video game life he has been living.  In usual hyper-focused fashion Darling Son can sometimes now be found practicing in his new 'target-range'  at 5 am....fortunately, it's quiet for an outside activity... unlike trombone playing...
I'm just waiting for something crazy to happen - like a bad dream.  It reminds me of the time in real life when he was tooting his new trombone in the front yard (huh?) and a neighbor kid started chasing him and he tripped over some bushes -- tumbled down and bent the spit valve and other parts which became a major repair.  I know if I've learned anything from this journey of 'parenting' that I need to prepare for the unexpected...hmm?  stay tuned..... 
The International Laundress

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Beginning of a Leaky Life.... :)

I thought I would enjoy a cup of coffee in bed before I checked damage from a night of torrential rainfall.  This is another area I am extremely experienced in .... that is, cleaning up water in a leaky basement.  This began with the previous owners claiming the unfinished basement water seepage was 'only about a half cup a year' ... which a plumber once translated for me by saying 'they must have meant a 55 gallon drum'.  

So before knowing that, during our move in period (16 days prior to Darling Son's birth 5/26/97), we had  the basement 'finished'. 

In our world, the basement area finished/or not was the deal breaker in our house purchase because we were in desperate need of a bunker to store Darling Daughter's  many toys and most importantly have a contained area for this wildly energetic child to play.  We decided not to wait...remodel NOW... I was set... whoo- hoo...

I immediately turned the room into a darling carpeted pre-school... bright alphabet letters framed the room and her favorite, Sesame Street decals on the wall - learning posters everywhere... couldn't have been cuter (really) ... Once I proudly showed this new space to the previous owner (she was picking up curtains I told her she could have back) and I remember how quiet and pale she became w/ a quick exit... I stupidly thought she must be remorseful at selling her home with such potential a 'vision' she couldn't have imagined as a way of expanding the living space.

So that fateful October rainy night when my intuition told me to check the basement at 1:30 am I was even more horrified (if that's possible) to find a room of floating toys, stuffed animals and books waiting for me.  

It was one of those nights imprinted on my brain.  I quietly salvaged what I could (things like the indestructible Little Tikes kitchen etc.) piled things in our new dining room.  At the time, I didn't know what a sump pump was or where it was...after all, we had carpeted over the floor drain.   

My 'equipment' for clean up was a mini-car vacuum for water collection and after hauling at least 75 buckets of water upstairs to the kitchen work was done... and my workout for the next 5 years was complete.... Good Sport Husband was shocked when Darling Daughter woke him up at 5 am (the usual time then) to find this mess - just shocked (it was a noted occasion) the beginning of our new reality where nothing would surprise either one of us again. :)
The International Laundress

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friendly Fire from the DMZ :)

Whew, I'm safe... locked in the 'Green Zone,' my bedroom. It's a rewind from being blown from a sound sleep by Good Sport Husband's bazooka-sounding discovery that yes.... involved Darling Daughter.   I knew intuitively exactly what transpired and because this has happened before, I won't bore my readers with the smelly details - except to say that the 'humans' in this house (namely Darling Daughter - an honor student) failed AGAIN on the complicated task of adding the additional 'step' in her daily routine of turning a door knob  (to let high-spirited Lollipop 'out') - after all, it's all about THEM isn't it?  - the second  'step'  in this process, involves turning a key (hmm... maybe that's the hang-up) ? 

Because this poor animal waits and waits and waits while Darling Daughter has a lovely breakfast at 5 am,  then showers, involving at least an hour's time lapse -  her routine of being  fresh & clean makes the office - where the dogs sleep,  (next to this bathroom)  into a catastrophic nightmare and today.... a real DMZ  (Dog Mess Zone) ... and  it was particularly not pleasant under my husband's work area.  So resident (very experienced) 'Poo-pologist' (ME) had to quickly step in (literally) and Save -The -Day.  :)

In the military theatre-of-my-life, these escapades are not part of the time-management of my it's easier to just start over and pretend it didn't happen like a bad dream.   I will also add to that, a broken light bulb mess and helping Darling Son 'escape' from the men's 'tie' he was supposed to wear today that was apparently 'strangling' him complete with red-faced yelling and drama. 

Now for my first cup of coffee my last Excedrin....and hopefully a better 'start' to my day.
The International Laundress :) 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I have a DREAM...really I do....

I wish my world was full of 'aha moments' instead of  'OH, NO... 'who broke THIS ? '  or  what is THAT smell ?    I long for a time when my own Mother doesn't lament .... 'I don't know how YOU can take it'.... 

I get's crazy 'looking IN '.... it's also crazy 'IN' here ....  but it's the life I've created (whatever that means) .... 'created' ... hmm?

Next time around... my dream would be to 'create' a family that doesn't answer all statements and questions from me with an immediate ....  'WHY?' or 'NO'.... the debating is what is so exhausting  (a link :)...  and I will go back to traveling Internationally  without a cell phone and 'check in' every few months - yeah, that's what I'll do :)   I'll even bring my paints :)

Like a magic carpet ride, it would be a hard adjustment at first (for about a minute).... I would think of the barking dogs, slamming doors, foot prints and weird things stuck to the floor  and Good-Sport Husband's loud tone-deaf singing to C &W music when he is grilling. 

I would also think of my watery eyes as I drove Darling Daughter to school doused with Britney Spears 'cologne' - the true meaning of  'toliet water' ...  I would also think of Darling Son... always running for something in  'white' socks on a dirty driveway -  then both fighting in the 5 minute trip to school with endless strategic conversations about where they are going (later) with my money.    It's endless....  I will think of a time like yesterday when my Darling Daughter decided to (finally) 'check in' with me - stating 'Mom, I'm checking in'  ....  an unprompted startling revelation to be sure that made me first think she was at a hotel... (see, I'm already thinking about my getaway )   :)

The International Laundress