Monday, March 19, 2012

Boys Will Surprise You

Today was one of those days that reminded me of the glaring differences between little boys and little girls....

This morning, Piper was trying to step over one of the kids' chairs in our living room and stumbled - and hurt her tender girl parts on the metal tubing of the chair. I was folding laundry when I heard a blood-curdling howl from the living room. It was one of THOSE screams - the ones that get you airborne and let you know that a Mama on adrenalin can fly! I picked her up and cuddled her, trying to figure out what was wrong but she was crying to hard to tell me. Sebastian had seen it happen though and he piped up, "Mommy, I think she hurt her business on the chair." (An important side note here is that we've always called the kids' genitals their "business." They know there are other words for them but we didn't want to use a cutesy name, nor did we really want to hear the clinical terms come out of their mouths just yet.) Piper nodded at that, still howling at the top of her lungs, so I made sure that she was okay and cuddled her until she settled down. 

Once she stopped crying, she stood up and Seb came over and hugged her tight. "Are you okay Sissy Belle?" he asked, and when Piper said she was he hugged her again. THEN he said, "Just be glad you don't have balls." Very matter-of-fact he was about it too. I was, needless to say, surprised because we never really use that word to describe that part of his anatomy. I couldn't help but laugh and ask, "What did you just say?" Seb shrugged and said, "I told Piper to be glad she doesn't have balls. If you hit balls like that it hurts really, REALLY bad!" I giggled some more, mostly because it was so funny to hear my little guy use that word in such a big-guy way. Piper, however, was confused. "What are balls?" she asked and I know she was thinking about the basket of tennis balls, basket balls, footballs and the like that is in her room. Sebastian said, "There are the parts that hang down from my business." Piper thought about that for a minute and said, "Oh okay - yeah, I'm glad I don't have those. Those are ugly."

Now as I'm sure you've all guessed by now, I had to duck into the bathroom and laugh myself silly for a while about all of this. When I asked him about it later, Seb said that one of his friends from school told him that those parts of him were called his balls, so at least I know where he learned it. I wasn't offended or upset - I don't mind that word at all - but I WAS surprised. I told him that a lot of guys called their parts balls and that it was okay for him to say it. He smiled and gave me a big kiss and went back to his video game. I guess my little guy is growing up, huh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Myth of Superwoman

I am not Superwoman. There, I've said it. I've typed it and, once I post this blog entry, it's going to be there for everyone to see... forever. And guess what? I'm okay with that!  I am not the mythical creature known as Superwoman. Oh you know who I'm talking about! The woman that we all think exists somewhere - the one who is the very best wife / mother / employee / housekeeper / cook / daughter / friend / laundress / organizer / chauffeur / planner / hostess / sex goddess in the world! You hear people talk about her all the time and you keep thinking you'll actually meet her in person one day, maybe even in your own bathroom mirror. But guess what? In all the time you've been hearing about Superwoman, have you ever heard anyone say, "...and she's the happiest woman on the planet!" No, you haven't and do you want to know why? Because if she existed and if she actually did accomplish everything on the mythical list, she'd be anything but happy.

The whole Superwoman myth kind of pisses me off, I'm going to be honest about it. I loathe setting myself up for failure - flat out hate it when someone else sets me up for failure - and that's precisely what the myth of Superwoman does to all women. It plants the seed in us that we can't possible be fulfilled, can't possibly be proud of ourselves if we aren't killing ourselves being perfect. Folks I'm here to tell you that I'm nowhere close to being perfect and I gave up trying. Trying to be perfect takes too much time and energy - energy that I could be lavishing on my children, my husband or myself. 

Did I give the Superwoman thing a try? Sure I did! I drove myself crazy for two solid years of my life trying to do it all, have it all and pretend that I was enjoying it all until I realized what a liar I had become. What scared me even more was the thought that I am the woman that my daughter will model herself after - and that what I was showing her as a woman is the last thing I'd want her to do. How did that happen? How did I become so lost in the myth that I forgot all about reality? It would be easy for me to blame it on a lot of things and other people, but the truth is that I let it happen. I forgot, for those two years, how important it is to be healthy in my body, soul and mind. I forgot that even my own Mama, who can do more in a day than any other human being I know, believes that naps are the greatest thing since Sam Elliott. I forgot that it doesn't matter what anyone else outside my family thinks of my goals and aspirations. Most of all, I forgot that the most important job I will ever have is being a mother - and that the first rule of motherhood is: "Teach by example." 

I want my children to find their own happiness in themselves, not in what others think of them or their accomplishments. I want them to believe that they know what is best for themselves and I want them to believe that nothing is worth having if you don't have the time and energy to enjoy it. In short, I want my children to NEVER believe in the Myth of Superwoman. I wish to heaven I'd never believed in her - she's a fickle creature and she's never, ever satisfied with what she has. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Springing Forward Can Kiss My *#$!

Yeah, I loathe the whole Daylight Savings Time change thing. I'll admit it's a lot easier on me in the Fall when we gain an hour. That I can work with and the kids adjust to it okay. This whole Springing Forward thing though - UGH! I spend a week trying to convince my body that its finely-balanced internal mechanism is wrong and that an hour did, indeed, poof and just disappear. 

The kids keep staring at me like I've lost my mind. "You want me to wake up when the sun isn't even awake yet?" or "Mommy how can I go to sleep if the sun isn't asleep yet?" Or my own personal favorite:  "Mommy, where did the hour GO?" I have no idea, none whatsoever. I've tried explaining the phenomenon in ever conceivable way and my kiddos still think that I'm a little confused. Must be the lack of sleep.

And therein lies the problem - my sleep schedule goes to hell in a hand basket every single time we do Springing Forward! Now I don't know about y'all, but me? I'm a good sleeper. I nap, I sleep at night, heck I can even sleep sitting upright in the car if we're driving far enough! What I can't do is make myself go to bed and actually sleep if I'm not tired. So last night I lay in bed for hours, thinking about all of the things I was going to be too tired to do today. I eventually got up and did what I could without waking the whole house up. The down side is that I packed up some orders while I was starting to get tired - which led to an item being left out of an order that I didn't notice until this evening. So now I'm tired AND crabby! Brilliant!

What this whole Springing Forward thing makes me realize is that I'm not as young as I used to be (and just whose idea was that, anyway?), I'm not as good at explaining complex concepts to small children as I once thought (or it could be the lack of sleep, right?) and that I'm worse than my kids about needing to stick to a schedule. I'm telling you - whoever thought up this whole Daylight Savings Time thing must not have been parents - else they'd have known better!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome to My Life!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new blog, "Mommy With Pliers." If you don't know me, my name is Karen. I'm married to a pretty fabulous man, have two hilarious kiddos, I own a handmade jewelry business and I'm in love with my life. I'm glad to have you here and I hope that you will find things on my blog that will make you laugh, spark your interest or even just make you think.

You might be asking, "Why 'Mommy With Pliers'?" My jewelry business means that I spend a great deal of time with jewelry pliers in my hands - especially since my first love is chain maille. There were a lot of other names that I, and others, came up with but none of those were available so "Mommy With Pliers" it is!

You will see a little bit of everything on this blog - funny stories about my kids, observations about life and being a wife and mother, and probably a few politically-oriented things because sometimes I just have to climb up on my soap box and rant, y'all!

So for this first blog entry, I thought I'd share a little something that happened today while I was cleaning out the closet I share with my husband....

I was in the closet sorting through clothes - throwing some things out, putting others into the basket to be washed and arranging the huge number of shoes that I've amassed. My daughter Piper was in the closet with me, trying on my shoes and gasping every time I threw a piece into the "donate to charity" pile. When a pink blouse sailed past her to that pile, her eyes goggled nearly out of her head. "Mommy, that shirt is pink! You can't get rid of pink!" I told her that I had plenty of pink to wear (since pink is my favorite color) and that maybe someone else needed a pink blouse. She thought about this for a minute, then said, "Well okay, but I'm not getting rid of any of my pink stuff... I don't care if it doesn't fit anymore! I'll recycle it!" I was so pleased and proud that she was talking about recycling, I just had to ask:  "That's great honey - will we use it for dust cloths or for washing the truck with?" Horrified, she shook her head, "No Mommy - that is not at all what pink is for. I will let my dolls and stuffed animals wear it - pink is special!"

Okay, so maybe we need to work on that "recycling" idea a bit more! However, the one thing that really stuck with me (after I stopped laughing) is that pink is special. I happen to agree with my daughter on that - I love to wear pink. It's a happy color and brightens my mood no matter what else is going on. What's your happy color?