Thursday, January 23, 2020

Just Because Kids Get Older Doesn't Mean You Stop Telling Them The Same Damn Things

I giggled at the email I had received. It was from the middle school Language Arts teacher, who informed parents that hoodies were a problem. The kids can't stop playing with them during classtime and they will begin getting them taken away. It wasn't so much what the teacher had said that made me giggle, but rather the image that ran through my head. I was picturing a room full of pre-teens and young teenagers flipping their hoods up and down during classtime. I giggled because it seems like the same damn thing I would have to tell a four year old.

Then I really started thinking hard about it and I realized, I still have to tell older kids things I thought they would realize on their own. Like, shut the bathroom door, don't flip your hair in someone's face, you're stepping/sitting on someone, say excuse me rather than trample your way through. It's a known fact that toddlers and preschoolers are developing spatial awareness. Apparently this rings true for 90% of kids older than 7 that I 've met. 

Before I was a parent to a middle schooler, I would have guessed I wouldn't be worrying if hoodies would cause problems, that necklaces and bracelets would still be pulled on, rings wouldn't be lost and/or swallowed (apparently 12 year olds have done this, according to a social studies teacher who has banned jewelry in the classroom). When I heard about the twelve year old who swalled her ring, I was reminded of when my oldest was ten and accidently swallowed a Lego because he bit on it to get it apart. I was shocked then and I'm still shocked now.

Kids make it their mission to keep parents on their toes. Apparently their entire lives. I spend many moments these days wondering what the hell is wrong with my eleven year old. Is he supposed to be this way? Is this really how middle schoolers are? Am I doing something wrong? After a particularly rough day with him this week, receiving that email was the best thing. Not only did it make me laugh, it reassured me that I was not alone. Everyone's kids are doing stupid things. Not just mine.

For now I'm assured that I'm not the only parent telling my older kids the same damn things I had to tell them when they were toddlers. It doesn't fill me with hope, but it does make me feel less alone. And I ask again, why isn't this shit in the parenting books??!!? 

** I do want to note, because my posts lately concerning my middler schooler has been about the stupidity that seems to hit this age group. Yes, there's a lot of stupidity, a lot of learning going on, but also a lot of growth. It's pretty cool to see everything we've taught him and everything he's learned come out in his personality. Sometimes that's just overshadowed by swallowing Lego's, forgetting phones, and shoving past people instead of waiting their turn.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Multi-Day Weekend

The minis had a five day weekend (Thursday - Monday), BUT our super exciting plans were put on hold due to the weather. Initially when the school calendar was released, I had thoughts of taking the minis to Memphis on this long weekend. That nine hour drive would seem like nothin' these days. However, in between last whenever-that-was and now, I've booked a few vacays and couldn't afford to take the time off and take another vacation. It worked out well though that Hubs had Thursday off, I took Friday off, we were all off together for the weekend, and they got to hang out with friends for their Monday (sure it was a working day for me, but whatever, they were happy). 

Thursday they got to go exploring with Dad at the historical musuem and Friday we made the most of our homebound during the snowstorm day (which was supposed to be our surprise day trip day). Saturday we ventured out for brunch at Americana and to the Art Center, but came home after instead of sledding in the wind and cold. Movies were calling my name and the middle mini had a very important cake to bake and decorate. Sunday we celebrated Grandpa Sheaffer's birthday and cheered on the football teams (we're not Chiefs fans but I'm super excited for them to be in the Superbowl). I am trying really hard to enjoy and appreciate these winter weekends, but I'm waiting to get in an adventure or two soon!

There were arguments about it, but it had been a year or two since our last visit to the Iowa Historical Museum. The minis really enjoyed seeing Iowa tied to places we've visited, such as this rifle and Harper's Ferry. I love hearing what they pick up during our travels and how it impacts their lives.

Friday was our snow and baking day. The minis played outside in the afternoon and went night sledding around the neighborhood after dark.

I have issues. If I stay home on my days off I wind up just looking for more adventures for us. Nothing booked. Yet. 

I love that I didn't have to go out to get the trash from the curb as the snow came down.

We finally saw Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. It was pretty good. Also good was the popcorn and M&M's.

Saturday we got a late start for brunch at Americana, followed by a visit to the Art Center. We had hopes for going sledding, but the wind and cold temps kept us inside. It worked well because Harrison got a start on Grandpa Sheaffer's birthday cake and I, well I, took advantage and lounged around watching Netflix. Sex Education season 2 was so worth it!

Harrison and Elizabeth loved Americana's Fruity Pebble pancakes so much that we made our own Monday morning!

This moment got me. All five of us went to the buffet lines, but Max separated and went to the grilled cheese station. We've been to Americana enough that we knew where everything was, so we had no real concerns. As Hubs and I helped the younger two get their food, we looked around and didn't see Max. When we got back to the table we found him sitting down, eating a plate of mac and cheese brisket happily. He went from seeming so old to young again when we took a look at his grilled cheese order. 'Max S' just like at school.

We were surrounded by bridal parties and younger people celebrating. Harrison and Elizabeth gossiped over brunch about everyone's clothes, what they were drinking, etc. I had to tell them to stop numerous times.

We had hopes to walk around the Sculpture Park but the wind was too much. We snapped a quick picture in the "letter person," as Harrison calls it, and then booked it to the car.

My mom made homemade Mexican bread and brought some over. It was delish!

Sunday brought the usual: cleaning, daycare toy rotation. lazy morning, coffee, CBS Sunday morning. Sunday also brought the unusual: an impromptu "cool" quiz from Elizabeth (she quizzed me on what's hot and what's not at the moment. I didn't do well), cake decorating, a surprise birthday party for Grandpa Sheaffer, and a Chiefs win.