Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am not a cruise director

I'm a good mom. Okay, there it is. I truly believe it too. I love my kids. I stay home with them, have sacrificed a LOT of career-years to do it, as well as lots of some money. What I am NOT, however, is a cruise director. (In case you're unfamiliar, this would be the type of person who organizes shuffle-board play-offs and/or announces brunch on the Lido Deck. If anyone out there knows what the hell 'Lido' refers to, let me know.)

I am not one of those moms who has a spotlessly clean house, totally done laundry (argh laundry! bane of my existence!) and still has time to sit and do crafts with her kids, all while baking an apple turnover. My husband has been known to comment that the kids 'need' activities, like in daycare. I have been known to respond with a death glare and the reply that "yes, macaroni art solves everything!' I do color with them, work on letters with my 4 year old (who also knows how to read. At FOUR. ahem. Just saying something must be going right...) and play cars with my little boy.

I ALSO need human contact with someone over the age of five, who preferably doesn't interject anything at all about princesses, monster trucks, and/or who hit whom on the head with a transformer. I need to talk to other adults! This my friends is why I fall to my knees daily and thank God for not just the phone (and unlimited long distance) but also the internet. I can drink coffee, read a Dr. Seuss book AND shop on Amazon? Sweet!

Yet at the end of the month when our phone company annoyingly thoughtfully sends out our bill, it shows all the bazillions of minutes I've spent chatting with my friends and my husband always asks "how can anyone talk that much?" Well dorkus, I'm a girl, so I actually use more than three words to express myself at any given time. Also, I'm talking to other moms who are also going insane trying to enjoy an adult conversation. Furthermore, the Man takes it for granted that he can go to work, grab a cuppa (I'm trying to work this slang in because I think it's tres fab) and talk to adults without ONCE being interrupted by someone wanting a juice box, needing his/her butt wiped, or to tell him that his son is playing in the cat litter - again.

I love my kids as much as is humanly possible. Yet I also need some time to myself - and since I don't get those 20 alone-minutes in the car on a work commute, or even just 2 minutes in the bathroom to myself, I have to do something to stay sane. And it ain't making macaroni art with pre-schoolers. Besides, if your kids come to see you as an entertainment unit instead of as a parent with other responsibilities, how will they ever learn to occupy their own time? Right now, my kids are actually playing together in the play room and I haven't (yet) heard any violence or crying. See people, I'm teaching self reliance here. Me and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Or something.

Let me further defend my position (assuming I remember what the hell I'm even rambling on about) by saying that I worked in a daycare. For two years. With 2 and 3 year olds. Keeping injuries to a minimum and tantrums at a low is pretty much the only priority. We had a ton of kids, and when you have that many kids fighting for the adult attention, it gets a little crazy. Here I have only two, and they get my attention when I can give it. The rest of the time, well, they can play barbies on the Lido deck...

Comments, questions, points of rebuttal?


Ken said...

lido comes from here: