Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Don't.

I think it's probably the insatiable inner student within that compels me to respond in turn to this blogger's recent post. I mean, it pretty much demands a response, right?

Things I Don't Do -

1. I don't do Marble Run. We "lost" all the pieces and I can still play the "marbles are dangerous" card for awhile longer, but the truth is that Marble Run has the potential to reduce me to tears as I struggle to make runs that actually work. "I went to an honors college, I went to an honors college," I chant to myself as I try to force impossible combinations of plastic together as the kids try to avoid telling me, again and again, how good Daddy is at Marble Run.

2. I don't sort the toy bins. Pretty much ever. Contents of one tote, pulled randomly from under the table: Handle (only) to toy vacuum; drill, missing the bit; giggling cow that moos and shakes; two out of three pieces of a Happy Meal game; an infant inchworm musical toy, long outgrown; 10 Matchbox cars; 2 tiny dolls; 5 pieces of a puzzle; 1 bottle of "pop" from the kitchen set, originally given to me as a child. I rationalize this disorganization by reasoning that this kind of jumble promotes creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, because who know what kind of wonders could be created with an oversized inchworm and undersized dolls?

3. I don't serve tater tots. I'm not about to get all high and mighty and Jamie Oliver-y (even though I adore the man - and his mission) but I find them gross and weird. (Upon reflection, my perspective on tater tots is particularly strange to me, because I have no problem serving chicken nuggets - in the shape of dinosaurs, no less - but I draw the line at a reconstituted potato??)

4. I don't make my kids stop drinking coffee. Secretly - or not so secretly - I revel in the fact that Leo and now Pax are both Java Junkies. After all, it originated with the effort to get them to drink more milk, and has evolved into a morning - and afternoon - ritual that I absolutely love.

5. I don't do couponing - you know, the kind with binders and organizers and Double Dollar Days. I find grocery shopping torturous enough as it is, and I cannot fathom adding to the agony by visiting multiple stores, kids in tow, to save a buck. I feel mildly guilty at the register, knowing I could have had 15 boxes of saltines for the price of 5 if only I were a savvier shopper, but that guilt lasts only as long as it takes me to devour the bon-bons and brownies I bought at full price.

Things I Don't Do But Would Like to Do:

6. Golfing. I don't play golf, but I'd like to learn. Did I really just say that? I like to joke that I am a "golf orphan" since my parents have become such avid golfers. But I fear that I'll eventually become a "golf widow/golf childless person" since the male members of this family are so enthusiastic to hit the fairways. Hypothetically, it's a very appealing game - it's outside; it's a lot of walking; it's an individual sport, and most importantly of all, the outfits are adorable!

7. Allowance. I don't give the kids an allowance. For starters, who has cash these days? Before our monthly poker games, I always have to raid the kids' piggy banks for cash. One night, the tooth fairy called her neighbor/father in a panic, realizing there was NO CASH in the house and needing some money in exchange for one pretty molar. After pooling all their dollars and coins into one heaping stack, Aidan and Leo then stuffed it all into a tri-fold fabric wallet that they promptly... lost. If this isn't a reason to start instilling the value of a dollar in my children, I don't know what is.

8. Cooking with Kids. I don't do this enough. We make banana bread, or brownies, or cupcakes here and there, but it's all I can do to get a hot meal on the table, alone and in a timely manner; adding a child's help is too much. But as the kids grow older, I hope to include them much more in the daily dinner prep. Ideally, I'll cook merely 3 or 4 nights a week, and each boy in the house - including Jeff - will be in charge of dinner on the other nights. (Hmm... I better amend this to I don't cook and clean enough with the kids, because if I am going to unleash them in the kitchen, they'd better know how to clean it, too.)

9. Shopping on QVC. I've never done this, and I was too embarrassed by it to put it on my Rockin' List, but the truth is - I desperately want to make a QVC purchase. The rules I've set for myself is that it must be exceptional, something I truly love that is very unique. More importantly, I must call the show. I cannot order online, because that would be cheating. Must. Call. QVC. Bonus points if it's in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping!

10. Having organized cupboards. Unlike the toy totes, the disorganization of the cupboards can be fairly stressful to me. It is very stressful to Jeff (which perhaps explains why he'll need a few cooking lessons, too). Again, I rationalize the cupboards in our home (juxtaposed against an otherwise very tidy and organized abode) as an expression of creativity; who knows what kind of inspiration one might encounter when, reaching for a can of peaches, one unearths a bottle of mod-podge instead? But if one of the things that causes me to fuss at my children is their inability to find something because they've "put it away" in a "safe place," then I'd better be mighty sure that I can place my hands on that jar of roasted peppers or bag of risotto rice in the blink of an eye - without extracting a bunch of holiday gift bags, earbuds for the ipods, or paint brushes - in the process.

And that, dear reader, is what this Mom doesn't do.

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