Sunday, October 5, 2014

Conference day

I don't normally like to brag.  But, oh my gosh, I was such a good mom today.

I mean, if you start "today" around 10, which I think is totally fair because things shouldn't count before 10.

It was a "no school day," so before 10 it was all things TV.  I'm pretty sure all I said to my kids before 10 was, "put on another one" and "can't you get your own breakfast?"

But then it turned 10, and I shut my computer.  I proceeded up the stairs for an actual shower.  On a no school day!  I knew right then it was going to be a good day.

When I came back down the baby had uncapped every marker in the house and was currently drawing on the floor.  But I was so calm.  I just plucked those Crayolas from his fat fingers, flashed him a gentle smile and said, "Benjamin, floors are not for drawing on."

Then I looked at the boys and said, "Who wants to go for a walk to get a treat?"

After thrashing around on the couch and tearing their mushy brains from the screen, I finally convinced them to get dressed (not through bribery, of course).

But by the time the troops were suited and out the door, treat time had passed and we were facing lunch.  So I promised a pizza from the bakery, and (after Finn screamed and convulsed for two straight blocks) they graciously accepted.  (Again, definitely not a result of bribery.)
So we sat on the wooden benches outside the bakery and we ate our pizzas and the boys were chatty and the sun was shining and the baby was laughing.  I felt like super mom.  I had all three of my kids out of the house, by 12, on a no school day!

I bought them apples on the way back home, which really made me feel good.  It didn't matter that the baby was the only one who actually ate his.  They were carrying them.  All the way home.  For all the people to see.  And isn't that what really matters?

When we got home it was nap time for the baby, so I sent the big kids off to zombie-land again.  But their little eyes looked so dead, and I wondered if I was sacrificing their precious souls for a moment of peace.

So I turned off the TV and asked if they wanted to play outside.  More screaming and thrashing and bribery (should "mommy will play with you" be bribery, or should that be normal?) and we were out.

And this was the moment I thought, I'm doing it.  I'm really doing it.  I'm just like a real mom.

We threw balls.  We jumped on our tiny trampoline.  We laughed, and fought, and then laughed some more.  And all during nap time.  I played with my kids during the baby's only nap time, all day long. And there's a chance I even enjoyed it.

Of course all good things must come to an end, so I told them to get in the car, it was time for conferences.

And they listened!  They didn't just go to the car, without complaining, they bounced there.  They hopped on in with smiles on their faces and not one person hit or kicked or scratched anyone.

And I was like, did I do this?  Do I really hold this power?  And also, how long can I keep this up, cause I'm getting really tired?

When I finally broke my super-mom reverie, I remembered the baby was still sleeping upstairs.  So I stopped thinking about what a great mom I was and went to retrieve my forgotten child.

Finn's conference was first.  Finn is great at talking about the things he does well.  I mean, usually he just looks around the room and picks something.  "Blocks!"  Then he takes five hours to write it down... B...L...O...X...  And when he's done we gush about what a fantastic job he does at blocks.

But then it's goal time.  The words sounds to us like, "What's something you could do better at school?"  But Finn hears, "Tell us the worst thing about yourself and then sit back as we determine your punishment."

First he starts to rub his eyes, so hard that you're scared he may push them back into the sockets.  Then his whole body slumps over and you just watch helplessly as he disintegrates into mush... mute mush.

His sweet teachers gently remind him of the goals they previously discussed and he vaguely agrees, and they magically bring our pile of mush back to life, and he's soon running across the room, showing off his mad block skills.  Preschool teachers are magical.

Then it's time for Aiden's conference.  Aiden's conferences are my favorite.  I don't think I love Aiden more at any time during the year than I do at conference time.

He's done the same thing at every single conference since he was 4.  He spends the entire time either wiggling in his chair or grinning at his dad.  No one else.  Just Joel.  When we talk about areas of strength he grins wide, like, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?"  And Joel has to make up some kind of reaction because he's clearly the only audience.  And when we talk about things he could work on, he grins nervously, like "what do you think of that?"  And Joel tries his best to look back with a straight face, but it is so incredibly hard not to laugh at that goofy grin.

I love him so much in those moments.  It's beautiful to me, the way he longs for his dad's approval.  The way he completely disregards me and his teacher and hinges his reaction on the man who matters most to him.  I guess I should feel jealous, but I'm smiling too much, so I feel happy instead.

We stopped for ice cream on the way home because I was feeling like such a good mom (and also because it was part of the before-mentioned (non)bribery).

I pouted a bit that they didn't choose my favorite place.  But when Aiden said, "Okay Mom, we'll go wherever you want to go," I closed my eyes and clenched my fists and said, "No, let's go where you want."

See?  Such a good mom.

I played outside with my kids for another 20 minutes after we got home.  20 minutes!  Do they have records for these sorts of things?

Finally, Joel biked up to our gate, home from work.  I walked inside the house and poured myself a glass of wine.  Leaning against the counter I said, "You're cooking tonight, right?"

Good mom days can only go on for so long.


  1. Replies
    1. Okay, if I can't get you to drink coffee, making you smile is the next best thing!

  2. Yes!! Yes, to all of the above. Thank you for sharing, Kim!!

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  4. If only I could are such a good mom.