Monday, June 15, 2009

Reaping What I Sew

I'm about to break the unspoken (but deeply implied) Hypocitic Oath of Mommy Bloggers with this post. Consider yourself warned. And let the judgment begin.

I'm not a fun mom. At all. I don't have that extra chromosome it seemingly takes to make chores into games, or spontaneously drop what I'm doing to have a water fight. I don't even LIKE water fights. If you were to truth or dare me, I'd choose truth (because I'm not even fun enough to take a dare. Ever.), and I'd say, "I am a stick in the mud of the most boring variety, like a brown stick. Brown and straight and boring." I day dream of all the wondrous things I'll do with my children to build their imaginations (I'm a heavy supporter of imagination), but when push comes to shove (which happens on a regular basis at my house) I end up watching the clock and becoming rapidly irritated, which leads to me leaving them to their own devices (like more pushing and shoving) while I go upstairs for a little R&R in the form of cleaning. And cooking.

And blogging.

I try. I honestly do. I make weekly (at least) resolves to play with my children. I even carry-through sometimes. But I only last five minutes before I am so out-of-my-mind frustrated that my choices are to turn happy time into yelling/crying time, or leave the room. I have learned it's best to leave the room. See? I told you this post is not for everyone.

So, now that we understand each other, let me tell you a little story:
Once upon a time (about 1:00 p.m. last Friday afternoon) I had this GREAT idea. I saw these fabulous dolls that were totally do-it-yourselfable. "YESSSSSssss," I thought (because in my thoughts I am Kip Dynamite), "my kids would LOVE this project. It would be so fun to take them to the fabric store, let them all choose materials, pick out a creature, and help me sew them right up in plenty of time to start dinner. I mean, sure, I've got a lot of stuff going on this evening (including training to become a cage fighter), but these dolls will be super easy, so no problemo. Peace out." I swear, those were my exact thoughts. Almost. I was really stoked about this family bonding time, and took everyone straight to town for supplies.

Two hours later (turns out my children have very specific ideas and tastes) I set up the sewing machine, draw up some patterns, and we're on our way! Oh, did I ever mention how much I hate to sew? I may need to devote an entire blog post to this topic, as my abhorrence is a complex system of tangled layers (not unlike every sewing project I have encountered). It takes me all of ten minutes to realize this was a terrible mistake. I DID have the foresight to lay Sy down for a nap (we bond best when he's asleep), but the girls are breathing down my neck, standing so close I have to ask them (nicely - for at least the first four times) to move every time I need to take out a pin or move my head. Then they lose interest (so do I, but I am the adult and must press on), and begin cutting up any paper, thread, or material they can find - whether or not it is a useless scrap. It's past dinner time, my house is a wreck, and I have people coming over in a short while, but doll #1 is nowhere near finished. My back and neck ache from slouching over the machine, and every nerve is on edge.

Let me cut to the chase. I yelled. I even swore. Then I slammed some scissors down on the table. Girls scattered, one in tears. I felt like a failure, not only because I can't sew, but because it probably would have been better for our child/mother relationships if I had just let them watch t.v. all day.

Now, if that little ditty of familial love didn't warm your heart, nothing will. Nothing. Not even a high fructose corn syrup-coated blog about how much better some gorgeous woman is than you because she doesn't let her children within breathing range of anything inorganic, and her husband is completely supportive of her passions, taking work off for weeks at a time to watch their brilliant (and very fashion-forward) kids and clean the entire house from stem to stern (like he does every Saturday, but this time it's the vacation home he just built for her with his own two hands. The one he carved from a single, massive redwood tree. In the South of France.) while she flies (first class - didn't you read the part about her husband's seven figure income?) to Washington to debate with congress over the potentially skin irritating chemicals used in the packaging of disposable diapers, even though SHE only uses cloth diapers. She does it for charity, you know.

Not even THAT.

*The picture is in response to my prodding, "Make an uglydoll face!" Ms. Fat Cheeks, Wormy, and Mrs. Pig Snort complied happily. My children not so much. I've seen uglier.


sharlee said...

Those are pretty dang cute monsters--and the dolls turned out cute too.
We are SO related, except (and maybe it's because I've learned the same lesson) I don't even bother trying to be creative anymore. My idea of creativity is making a paper sack puppet-and only if someone else thinks of it and begs me long enough to get all the junk out.
You are a great mom to think of it and think it important enough to try! Love you!!

Matheson said...

LOL! Andrea- the doll monsters are SO fun! I feel for you! Now that Kendel is 3 yrs. I'm having to scramble to try to be the mom I invisioned my whole life I'd be and still have a few delusional thoughts of cloth diapers for the babies and home schooling. Ha! There is something about a 2 & 3 year old in your face all day asking a million questions that just wears me out and leaves me with no energy to be fun. I try to blame it on my pregnancy though but don't think I'll change much later. You get points for trying :)

Amber said...

a. my allergies are so bad that my eyes watering to the point that there will be no spell checking, no kidding, because I can barely see the screen. So hopefully you can interpret what it written here. b. you own a sewing machine and are therefore, to me, Martha Stweart. c. I saw a version of those dolls in a parenting magazine (I just look at the pictures because the articles in those magazines further cement what a crappy mom I am) and thought, those are cute but never, never thought to attempt a project with them. You are my hero. d. I dont think there is anything wrong with children who sit in fron tof the tv for hours at a time. they turn out fine and will have a wider vocabulary (probably including such sophisticated words as "oh snap" and "phat."). Plus, Dora is a much better preschool teacher than I EVER would be. And she has a map, so seriously, how can you go wrong with a map of like every place ever imagined. e. I go to sleep every night thinking how much I suck as a mom for not interacting (or wanting to interact) more with my kids. But they wake up the next mornging loving me as much as they did the night before. So i think we are okay. Until they hate us. Which will happen. Probably sooner rather than later. And i bet you didn't think I was serious when i said I wasnt going to proofread. ps. my head also feels like it is going to explode, so please disregard this comment. Except for any part that makes sense. then just read that part.

Elisabeth (and Tyler) said...

Those dolls are awesome! Be careful.. You're going to have a band of wild neighbor kids knocking down your door, demanding the same ugly/cool thing! I guess at the end of the day, it turned out alright.. I mean, look how happy those kids are. And how straight those pillows are behind them :) You're golden!

Parley and Anna and family! said...

We must be related because I, too, have no creative ability--not even when I try to copy someone else. But way to put in the effort! And, honestly, I think they are pretty cute little ugly monsters! ? I have a sewing machine that gets brought out maybe 2/3 times a year. However, inevitably, it gets put away after about an hour of misery and I wait until I go visit my talented mother who can help *do it for* me. Lame. I know. I've tried to learn to love it, but that is just not possible.

Rozel (a.k.a. Michelle) said...

I am honored that I finally made it in your blog! You know the part about the perfect organic family? (Minus the fact I don’t have children, or work for charity, or have a clean house, or a six figure income, nor do I have a husband who carved my house out of a redwood tree. I do, however, demand that I get to fly first class next time we have to sit in a plan for 4+ hours – I guess that means I am not going anywhere anytime soon.)

P.S. You are a hero in my book. I am exhausted after a few hours with my nephews/niece. You on the other hand spend 24/7 with your kids. I would be in a constant state of exhaustion.

Rindee said...

The other day Rayna said in a nostalgic, dreamy voice. "I just love winter. I love coming in from the cold and your mom is there waiting for you with hot chocolate to warm you up. *sigh*".
I looked at her in disbelief and said "That must be your OTHER mother. I don't reacall EVER doing that." I avoid making hot chocloate for anyone else but me, and usually chide whining children about being cold because they weren't even wearing gloves.

My point is this: Children have such a different perception of life and of YOU than you could ever imagine. They now have a darling little doll that you made for just them, and every time they see it, they will know you love them.

You are a great mom, and you are a great woman. I love reading your blog, because you are so good at writing about things that people can relate to, and you do it in such a light, funny way, that it makes me laugh when I would otherwise be in tears. What a gift.

Kip is my favorite type of Dynamite.

I love those dolls.

Christy said...

those are great monsters! You are an amazing writer! I just love reading your funny stories and how they relate to everyone somehow. You are such a great mom! Seriously, give yourself some credit. I have thoughts (every now and again) of doing fun things with my kids, but that's all they are...thoughts. It doesn't usually get passed that stage. I really have no creative imagination when it comes to getting down and playing with my kids. My husband is so good at that. He plays with madi and avery for hours! Just being dinosaurs or horses. It's truly a gift. I last a total of 5 minutes and then want to lay down and rest! haha.

Mardee Rae said...

But how did they get that giant redwood all the way to southern France? I guess I'll have to check that blog to find out.
Love it. Also not a good mom. And I just have two little ones. All they want is for me to play with them. ALLLLLLLL the time! AH! I try, but the TV is a more creative playmate than I am, so they end up there.
And anyway, I guess if you can get an idea to do something fun and not talk yourself out of it, and instead follow through, and in the end your kids have something totally cute to keep for themselves, it means you really ARE a good mom. Also, some of my fave memories are when my parents did something spontaneous with us. And they usually yelled or swore, too. :)

Wyn said...

Andrea, you put into words my exact experience with motherhood, except I don't laugh about it until I read your funny blogs.

I think you're smart and cute, loveable, and I love your laugh. I'm glad you write your thoughts. I feel a sisterhood with you--"as boring as a brown stick!"

Higham Family said...

I too am a "non-interactive" mama. I'd much rather scrub the toilet than play pretend with my boys. It's good to read that there are others who share those feelings. Maybe someday we can all get a group rate on therapy for our kids or something.

shanl said...

andrea, You and I are so VERY much alike, it's just you are so much more honest about your short comings than I am. I am still in denial hoping that they will all just go away someday and POOF! I'll be a fun and wonderful person/mother/wife someday.

T-licious D-zire and C-hillins said...

"we bond best when he's asleep" hahahahahaha LOVE IT! I so totally want to be fun and social with my kids and make those now cuz they are so cute, but you've scared the crap outa me!!!!!!!

sharlee said...

I was gonna say, you should have a monster doll give-away on your blog.