Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Character Witnesses

Being the primary caretaker of the under five set for over 17 years, I've developed patterns over the course of raising nine children designed to minimize injury to them, craziness to myself and the potential for extensive property damage. 

Hence, I don't tend to send them outside without me, or to the basement without me, or most places, without me.  If I need to go somewhere without them, like say, the facilities, there are three options:  1) Feed the baby and put him down for a nap and then give the girls both sippy cups and bowls of gold fish and put on Dora and then bolt 2) take the baby with me and be willing to have the possibility of extensive conversations that will involve explaining why Mommy is behind closed doors 3) wait until the older ones get home or drive to a friends house so I can excuse myself while providing cover supervision.  The Doctor's office or Dentist or  school secretary are also good in a pinch, as well as the hair dresser who gives the girls lollipops. 

It wasn't always this mad, but my two girls seem especially capable of inflicting maximum damage to a room, appliance, each other with minimum time regulations. But they're very cute the two of them, so my family doesn't always get my rather tether strung method of parenting these younger children. 

They think I should relax and let them go outside and that I can watch them from the window as I work.  But I've seen them go outside; they start by hang from trees trying to break the branches.  They get out their brother's scooter and take turns cruising perilously close to the side of the van, just millimeters from creating a bit of detailing.   I was presented with every petal from every bud of every bulb we'd planted; all picked to make a fairy crown that I apparently was to sew.   They also took all the rocks from the wall and moved them to the picnic table to make a castle.  I called them in when the older one turned on the hose to either wash the car or water the garden, I forget which.   All of that was in the span of 24 minutes the time I needed to make a conference call.  Email is now the best means of communication for me if you're wondering.  Someone suggested Skype to me and I just laughed.   Like I want this stuff on tape.   

But you're thinking Sherry, you overprotective silly mommy you, the basement is full of toys.  Let them go down and be kids.  Let them play. Lighten up.  Let them live a little.  "You're too stubborn about this. You need to relax a bit." I've been told.  But no one has to tell these two daughters of mine to seize the day, they own it. 

Downstairs is Rockband.  I can't operate the DVD player but the four year old can sign on to do a triple set no fail mode including the words to some songs from the Talking Heads.  I'm almost 44 and I don't know the words to songs from bands of my era that were and still are considered cool.   It's not that I'm a complete slacker as a parent either.  I've patrolled the basement.  I've combed through the bins to try and make it an inviting and safe place for those two to really play.  I've even created boxes with stuff I thought they'd totally love, blocks, barbies, animals.  But there's always something I missed.  It can be anything, masking tape, their sister's beloved art picture, their brother's hero clix collection, sharpies, and the result is well, purple armed children sound really cute in print but trust me, the joke wears thin long before the marker fades.   

But I take great comfort in the reality of Guardian angels; for one day, should I be so blessed, I'll have two unimpeachable witnesses to confirm, "She wasn't nuts....well, at least not about that."  and "here's why.  Let's roll to the video tape."   Also, they might know the real reason why the younger one decided to color her arms deep purple.

2 comments:

Betsi Rauss said...

Aaaahhhhhh! My boys are the same. If there is trouble to be gotten into, they have a nose to find it. People think I'm crazy for all the locks we have on doors in our house, but it's self preservation...it's slows them down long enough for me to catch up with them.

MightyMom said...

ayup. I know!

people think we're overprotective and hypervigilant.....course THOSE PEOPLE haven't ever kept the hooligans without us around either!

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!