MOTHERHOOD

in search of a do-over

give me strength

I barked at my children a few too many times this morning…
I woke up to Emma standing at my bedside in a teeshirt, shorts, half chaps and riding boots, asking if her outfit was okay for her riding lesson. (Her riding lesson that starts at 4:30 pm, that we’ve been counting down to since the drive home from lessons last Thursday.) Mary has plundered the hats and mittens basket looking for her helmet light, unearthing a crumbled up baggie of dry cereal in the meantime, tossing it and all its crumbs on to the floor.  And someone has accidentally let one of the barn cats into the house and it is whining for food somewhere in this apartment. Maybe it will find the cereal crumbs. And Elizabeth? She’s cooing and laughing in her crib, waiting for me to come and swoop her up. My sanctuary in this little early morning storm of busy, messy, single-minded, creative, obsessive, curious, goofy children.
So I’m making my coffee and going to find them. Somewhere outside. No doubt checking on kittens or setting up bicycle obstacle courses in the driveway. I need a do-over. And joining them in their morning excursions is probably a good place to start. Even if it just means being an audience to the latest gymnastics show.

….Elizabeth just knocked over the cat food….at this point, though. It’s all comical…..
Happy Thursday, everyone….

****On a completely different note–my sister is heading out on a long road
trip with her three kids tomorrow. What’s your favorite road trip
activity, craft, etc.? What tricks do you have up your sleeve for the
long boring ride? I’d love to pass some of your ideas on to her….

give me strength

I barked at my children a few too many times this morning…
I woke up to Emma standing at my bedside in a teeshirt, shorts, half chaps and riding boots, asking if her outfit was okay for her riding lesson. (Her riding lesson that starts at 4:30 pm, that we’ve been counting down to since the drive home from lessons last Thursday.) Mary has plundered the hats and mittens basket looking for her helmet light, unearthing a crumbled up baggie of dry cereal in the meantime, tossing it and all its crumbs on to the floor.  And someone has accidentally let one of the barn cats into the house and it is whining for food somewhere in this apartment. Maybe it will find the cereal crumbs. And Elizabeth? She’s cooing and laughing in her crib, waiting for me to come and swoop her up. My sanctuary in this little early morning storm of busy, messy, single-minded, creative, obsessive, curious, goofy children.
So I’m making my coffee and going to find them. Somewhere outside. No doubt checking on kittens or setting up bicycle obstacle courses in the driveway. I need a do-over. And joining them in their morning excursions is probably a good place to start. Even if it just means being an audience to the latest gymnastics show.

….Elizabeth just knocked over the cat food….at this point, though. It’s all comical…..
Happy Thursday, everyone….

****On a completely different note–my sister is heading out on a long road
trip with her three kids tomorrow. What’s your favorite road trip
activity, craft, etc.? What tricks do you have up your sleeve for the
long boring ride? I’d love to pass some of your ideas on to her….

20 comments on “in search of a do-over”

  1. Molly, your morning sounds like EVERY morning in my house! With one exception: I’m in a rush to get out the door to school and work and usually have to leave the mess lying there.Ok, I’ve got an idea for your sister if her kids are old enough to read. When I was a kid, my grandparents lived 5 hours away and we always used to play this game. We’re play the alphabet roadsign game. There’s ultimately no winner, but it’s fun to see who can find the most (the fastest). We will go through the alphabet (a-z) looking for words on roadsigns, billboards, restaurants, etc. and if you see an “a”, you holler it out and say the word. Then it’s time to do “b”… and so on and so on. “J”, “Q”, “X”, “Y” and “Z” are especially hard… but that’s the fun part!

    Good luck to her… and you today. Happy Thursday!

  2. Molly, your morning sounds like EVERY morning in my house! With one exception: I’m in a rush to get out the door to school and work and usually have to leave the mess lying there.Ok, I’ve got an idea for your sister if her kids are old enough to read. When I was a kid, my grandparents lived 5 hours away and we always used to play this game. We’re play the alphabet roadsign game. There’s ultimately no winner, but it’s fun to see who can find the most (the fastest). We will go through the alphabet (a-z) looking for words on roadsigns, billboards, restaurants, etc. and if you see an “a”, you holler it out and say the word. Then it’s time to do “b”… and so on and so on. “J”, “Q”, “X”, “Y” and “Z” are especially hard… but that’s the fun part!

    Good luck to her… and you today. Happy Thursday!

  3. Oh, yes. Only at our house it is me barking, “Get your shoes on! Where are your shoes?”

    We play car bingo – years ago I made up a car bingo game as a table in Word with googled pictures. There are four different pages, with a lot of overlap from one to the next. Let me know if you’d like a copy – I’d be happy to e-mail it to you.

    Cheers!Happy Thursday, indeed!

  4. I SO know that feeling! Good for you for realizing that spending a few minutes on the kids is a good place to start 🙂

    We love books on tape from the public library on long trips with the kids 🙂

  5. yes- yes some days are diamonds- some are not.We like books on tape and doodle pads and stickers and for loooong flights to UK- dvd players :)Also- some lacing cards and small card games

  6. i can relate to that kind of morning. today the bunny provided me with a small reprieve – instead of coming to wake me up first thing, the kids went to play with honey bunny. thank you honey bunny, i needed those few extra minutes in bed.

    as for the road trip, books on cd are a must for our family, as are clipboards with paper and a bag of markers or crayons (if it isn’t too hot), and of course we play the alphabet game several times – keeps us busy reading license plates and road signs to get to the letter z. i also love the idea of printing up a map and marking off the towns passed along the way.

  7. Do-overs. Yep. Enjoy your day. The crumbs are always ALWAYS ALWAYS there anyway, right. Mine threw a moist crumbled bluberry muffin all over the kitchen this morning. Delightful.

    As for trip-tips? Depending on how old they are, word searches, coloring books, binoculars, a-z spotting games. Know what my 12 year still looks forward to? A brand new notebook. They’re just full of possibilities. One time she used it to count different kinds of billboards, roads signs and license plates. Then she used the journal during the trip and pasted bits and pieces of things (wrappers, receipts and such) on the pages, too.

  8. i wish i could package do-overs and keep them in my closet for mornings like that. in fact, i have been known – on several occasions – to enact a do-over: sending my children (who are dressed and eating breakfast) back to their rooms, into their pajamas, and into their beds with their shades closed, with instructions to re-emerge in 15 minutes to begin the day again. then, i serve another breakfast, get them dressed again, and make up an excuse to write on the late-slip at school.

    as for the road trip. travel bingo (make your own cards with road signs, vehicles, etc. that you’ll see along the way), lap desks, a map of the route to follow, and the book my father’s dragon (by ruth stiles gannett) on cd. good luck to your sister!

    and to you for the rest of this day.

  9. Oh boy do I know that feeling! I made my youngest cry just before he left for school yesterday. I immediately felt horrible and just wanted to start my day all over.

    As for the car trip, last Summer we spent 32 hours in the car over the course of 3 days. Aside from the things already mentioned, my boys stayed pretty busy with pipe cleaners. I gave them a ton in a whole slew of colors and they kept very busy making all sorts of things. I had a little pair of sturdy scissors on hand just in case they wanted to cut some of those pipe cleaners down.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

  10. Having four kids myself, I can totally understand your need for a “do-over” every once in a while. Just keep on keepin’ on, God redeems the time especially when you are cognizant of the “do-over” need.

    Re the car trip. When we went on extended car trips when mine were all young, we played all the obligatory car sights games and sang all the obligatory never ending songs. However, the smoothest trip we ever made was the 12 hour drive to Orlando. I had planned a “goody-bag” full of little goodies that kids love and doled them out one at a time every hour or so. Things like buying a whole box of stamp crayola markers and giving them out one at a time, or stickers, or a lolli-pop, or a new hot-wheels car. The stuff was mostly small scale chosed for the ooo-ahhh factor, and of course, we had packed the usual back pack full of books, paper and pencils. But the knowledge that Mom had a bag full of never before seen goodies in that bag in the front seat created a sense of excitement and a desire to “be good” in my kids creating a car trip rivaling the one where I fed them all “purple chewy up candy” that was really Dimetap.

  11. I think I’d like a “mulligan” for today. Dh is running a golf tournament in southern MD and I’m home with every single room in the house torn up, people in and out, and four children to try to keep busy. Or at least safe. Lol. Good thing we rescheduled.

  12. I had one of those this morning too – must be something in the ether.

    We get through a lot of books on tape and small snacks (like rasins) eaten with a cocktail stick. Takes a loooooong time. But the best tip is to make sure there is a nice bottle of wine waiting for the adults at the end of the journey.

  13. Audiobooks for sure. The Classical Kids series is really good. I think on our last trip it was Pipi Longstocking and A Cricket in Times Square. You can just download them from iTunes, plop ’em on a CD and your off.My kids also have a backpack of stuff that’s reserved for car trips, waits in the doctors office, waiting for a brother to finish his music lesson, etc. It’s stuff they can’t have at home: drawing books, Henry and Mudge books, mazes, hidden pictures, sticker books, etc.

    And do overs… nope, that never happens to me. Not ever. I always wake up cheeful, I’m always conscious of what blessings my kids are, I always laugh off their little mishaps, I’m a regular June Cleaver. Then I wake up, and instantly need a do over 🙂

  14. “tabular rasa” it means clean slate. i like a clean slate.

    dvds. my children are mesmerized by a television screen…. if i can get passed the guilt to enjoy the silence.

  15. Whoo-wee I’ve had mornings like that, too.When I was little my sister and I colored(now Crayola Color Wonder would be great)and played car bingo. Now that I have my own two little girls coloring isn’t so great, especially for the little one. However, books from the library on CD are great for short bursts of quietness from them, then fun with retelling the story or adding to the ending. Also…the number 1 lifesaver is the portable DVD player. The only drawback…they don’t like to wear headphones, so my husband and I have to listen to their movies too. That’s where the iPod comes in handy for mom and dad!

  16. I’m a very good ‘barker’ as well. Sounds like what happens in our house – especially those mornings when we have to be somewhere early, at a particular time. At least you can laugh about it which is a healthy thing to do.

  17. the stupidest thing i ever did was take my 3 young children on a train from cornwall to south west wales by myself. I was nuts. It was cheap. We survived with LOTS of snacks, a REALLY big sticker book each and LOTS more snacks. They loved it a lot more than I did…..

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