I am still holding my kids tighter, very literally, and I’m also trying to embrace life. I’ve got to have more fun and make more memories and enjoy enjoy enjoy! Don’t sweat the small stuff.
My main problem with parenting is my sense of . . . I don’t even know what it would be called. Propriety? But not like “ohhh, don’t wear your skirt too short” type of propriety. Just basically a lack of fun in my brain. I skew toward the legalistic, but have mellowed with age. It’s a personality flaw that probably comes from being the eldest child of an alcoholic. I can’t seem to tell the difference between fun that is pure fun and fun that leads to harm so I just ban all fun. Don’t you wish you were my kid? You’ll poke your eye out!
I have mellowed out considerably these past seven years, but I still have to be mindful of the fact that the answer to any question doesn’t automatically have to be “no.” That was a huge struggle my first few years of motherhood. It took a lot of reading and talking to other parents to realize that it wasn’t my job to deny all fun things. I wasn’t going to turn my kid into some sort of spoiled rotten little brat by saying “yes” when he asked for something that would cause no harm. Anything from, can we go to the park to can I have a cupcake to can I crack an egg. I do limit sweets, but everything else? Why not?
I am still bothered that my knee-jerk reaction is to say “no,” but at least I’m aware and try to temper myself.
Erik was pretty surprised when our elf left the message that we should use balled up socks and have an indoor snowball fight. He thought the elf would be in big trouble and that I’d never let such a thing occur. We spent a wonderful 45 minutes lobbing socks at each other. Happiness and fun can be so simple. And did it cause any harm? Other than a couple of pairs that are now firmly wedged behind the couch, nope. I’m so glad I am loosening up.
Any other ideas for whole family fun? Last night we did a holiday day dance party that the kids loved. I want to spend more time together as a family. Instead of retreating to our computers after dinner, we need to plan at least 30 minutes of active, engaged family time. Very hard, when the whole day has been active, engaged parenting for me and work for Mike.
I’m sure I had more to say, but I started this post hours ago and have no idea what I might have been thinking. Elsa was pretty grumpy today, probably because she ate way too much sugar. We did cookie decorating at MOMS Club, which meant she ate a metric ton of frosting. It could have been much worse, actually. I have learned how to handle toddlers these past few years. When Erik was this age I had visions of everything being perfect (my expectations were insane) and did not really understand the limitations of two year olds. I hosted a cookie decorating party at my house, complete with big bowls of icing in every shade, several big bowls of sprinkles, and an overload of cookies. And somehow I thought seven two-year-olds were going to make world class decorations? See above: Insane expectations.
This year’s party was super simple: two cookies per kid, one scoop of frosting (offered in one color) & one scoop of sprinkles, disposable tablecloths. D-O-N-E. So much more sane and stress free!
Guess I better wrap this up and get back to reading. I finally got smart and searched out “best fantasy novel of 2012″ to see if I could find a half-way decent read. I was whisked away to a top ten list of most anticipated books, all of which were later books in a series. I looked through all of them and found a series that sounded promising and now I’m addicted. Lucky me, book 2 came out yesterday. The first book is Merchant of Souls by Anne Lyle. It’s set in an alternate Elizabethan England. Very alternate–Columbus didn’t find Native Americans in the New World; he found non-humans. So far the main characters are intriguing and the writing moves along at a rapid pace. I was a bit worried b/c it seemed to only be available as an e-book, which usually means self-published. I refuse to do self-published, unless it’s my good friend Jolene Dawe. I have no idea if this book is self-published, but the price was right and the reviews were good and it was on that top 10 site. I’m so glad I decided to take the chance! I really need to bookmark the list of books so maybe I can get some more ideas on what to read. I am so out of the loop these days.