Sunday, June 29, 2008

Experiment

So I was reading my brilliant cousin, Rindee's, blog a couple days ago, and feeling like the only mom in the world who is a loser. You know, the kind of mom we all swear we'll never be: The kind that lets her kids watch Sponge Bob all day long, just so she can have some peace and quiet. The kind of mom who yells too much and has no energy to entertain all the hilarious bits of humor that constantly spew forth from the mouths of three-year-olds. The mom who snaps when asked a simple question. The mom who, for no apparent reason has no patience, even though she has no schedule to keep. The mom who tells her child to either stop coughing or go in another room, because she just can't take another cough to the ear. The mom who exposes her children to more naughty words than does their father (in my defense, this isn't hard to do, as they have NEVER heard their daddy swear). The mom who, instead of listening with compassion and sympathy, answers most complaints with a, "Hmm," or a, "You're alright." Most days, when I lean a little hard toward my all-or-nothing distortion, I think I should probably be in prison. What happened to my youthful anal-retentiveness that, although debilitating at times (YOU try deciding where to put a periwinkle t-shirt in a strictly color-coded closet...does it go with purple or blue?), kept me ever-vigilant in my quest for perfection in everything - including motherhood. It's as if all care for quality has dissipated, leaving me desperately clutching at the tail of survival, with only the overwhelming feelings of guilt straggling behind, keeping me company. What a comforting thought. If you tuned in today for inspiration, dear reader, then you will by now be rueing the day you dared hope such a hope, and for that I apologize. However, I believe my very first blog post warned you against false thoughts of this being a warm, fuzzy place where I would share with you all the wondrous, fabulous, life-defying, better-than-you things I am doing. Be assured that I will not leave you sugar-shocked. In fact, maybe my new motto should be: "Come read a while and feel better about your own life in so doing." This said, I actually TRIED the things my cousin wrote about that made me feel so inadequate: daily "summer school," consisting of family prayer, spiritual thought/discussion, calendar, lesson, chores (yeah, all planets happened to align Friday morning for such a feat to be undertaken), and my kids LOVED IT! Even more surprising, I loved it! It made me feel like a practically decent mom who enjoys spending time with her children. You know, the kind of mom who sings with her kids. The kind of mom who looks at her kids and really SEES them for a couple minutes a day. The kind of mom who provides educational activities for her children. Friday we studied art and music, and it went so well that we did Science on Saturday (Ty had to work, so it was actually really nice to have something to make the day go by a little swifter). Anyway, while I know that I will inevitably fail at making this a daily occurrence, I am encouraged by the results.


Here is a picture of one of our science experiments. I thought it was the coolest thing ever (mostly because it was so easy and I had all the ingredients on hand), and was repeatedly enthralled. My kids thought it was nice enough, but I was by far the most impressed. If you haven't tried it - do it! It's called, "color explosion," and it goes like this:
Pour milk in the bottom of a flat-bottomed container. Put a bunch of drops of food coloring in the center. In the center of the food coloring, add a drop of dish soap. That's it! I don't know what the science is behind it, it's just cool. Go try it.

6 comments:

Rindee said...

I'll have you know, I am no wonder-mom. Summer school is also my attempt at making up for being such a grumpy, impatient mother myself. I caught Jaeda praying for me even this morning "Please bless Mom that she'll be happy". I guess I haven't lived down my reputation quite yet.
BUT, I am happy that you tried my idea and that it made your home a happier place for all involved. But I have to admit: although Science is on our schedule, this is the one subject we just somehow skip over every single week. It's the one that takes the most brains from me and will require some sort of preperation and clean-up. I'm not about that. So my kids have had a science-less summer. Your science experiment looked simple, enough, though. I think I'll try it.

Higham Family said...

I love the brutal honesty of your blogs; that make me smile. I am inspired by your science project- my boys will now have a Tuesday morning project that includes more than tracking mud all over my house.

Christyeve said...

I love how you are down to earth and honest in all your blogs! I sometimes get annoyed with the blogs that are all about..."my child is the best and he/she does this and that and we read books all day together...blah blah blah..." I mean don't get me wrong, I really do like to read and see pictures of other peoples kids and what they are doing, but it's sometimes how they come across...a bit ove the top! No mother or child is that perfect! Or a wonder-mom like Rindee said... But then what mom doesn't like to brag about her child?? I like how you tell it how it is. I hope people think I do too. I think you are a good mom, we all are grumpy or impatient at times so don't feel bad. Anyway I am glad you still want to be blogging buddies after reading my bad habit blog...haha! We need to do another one of those scrapbooking parties again this summer!

shanl said...

Don't believe anything rindee says about NOT being wonderful! She is and puts us all to shame. Your description of what it's really like to be a mother is EXACTLY what I am! I get so frustrated at what I imagine myself to be compared to what I really am when my true colors are persuaded to shine through. Thank you for sharing, for it made me feel that I might be normal after all. Do you think we will ever achieve that perfect mother we imagine ourselves to be someday?

sharlee said...

Andy, as I was reading your post I found Spencer leaning over my shoulder reading along and soon he said, "that's the kind of mom YOU are, too!" I felt defensive, of course, but had to agree that indeed, I do those same things. WHY? I have been pondering it ever since. Tonight I read our great Grandma Walker's history that Mom just sent and wondered how an offspring of such amazing, wonderwomen (all of our grandma's and greats) could be such a dud. (ME). Hmmm...maybe I'll write about it in my blog when I think of the answer.

Amber said...

From one "realist" to another, please do not sugar coat or post fluffy, sweet blogs. I might gag. I love that you are normal, like me. In normal I mean honest and a true mother. Not an illusion of grandness that many mothers and many other blog writers attempt to convey. It is like Kym King used to say, from the outside their family looked like Lucky Charms, but when you open the box all you get is Marshmallow Mateys. I appreciate that you tell it like it is and post honest blogs about what matters. And I have never doubted for one minute that you were grateful for all you had or that you loved your family. So please, at least for my sake, keep the realism flowing! PS. Seriously that cake is heaven on earth. I hope the Albertson's in your area makes it right. Here I have to stress like 10 times that it is whipped cream frosting and not butter cream. Tell me what you think. I am drooling just typing this!!!!