Nothing quite highlights just how much there is to do as a parent as being home all day with your kids during winter vacation week. Even if they are getting older and more mature….so much to do….and they are still so bad at just about all of it. I believe a big part of my job as a parent is to help my kids but not make them helpless. I want to teach them how to do things, not necessarily do them for them.
So, this week I spent a lot of time thinking about where that line is (I also spent a lot of time thinking about the medicinal qualities of wine.) Where do I draw the line? How do I know when to help (anything involving boiling water or the risk of glitter on the floor), what to still do for them (anything involving knives), and what to tell them doesn’t really matter (fractions).
I believe a great parent will do anything for their family. But they also know they can’t do everything. It’s not good for them (or for the Dad’s liver).
With Ally away at her first official sleepover, it was a lonely and unbalanced couch morning. That is not a smirk of contentment and control but of desolation.
There was no one to argue with about the color palette of the pancakes at breakfast.
Meanwhile, Michelle was out early attempting to hit up a sample sale. She is a veteran of the sample sales so when she bails out and said it was too crazy….I get visions of desolate tables empty of merchandise and packs of half-dressed women prowling the room with nails bared.
She ended up at the much more sedate weekend mall. Didn’t end up buying anything.
Ally deemed the sleepover “super amazing.” I got a full unboxing rundown of the goody bag.
She was on such a (jellybean) high that she didn’t even flinch when I suggested practicing the piano.
Best parenting idea ever? Ship the kids off to the grandparents the day after a sleepover!
I returned home and was able to eat lunch and read uninterrupted.
Almost uninterrupted. Dash made his feelings about a walk well known.
We did not offload the children to be cruel or unreasonable, we were attending a show in the city. And not a musical. An actual rock ‘n roll show.
But first, drinks and dinner without a chicken finger or mac ‘n cheese in sight.
Ally is going to be mad that we had crepes for dessert without her. She has informed us that she will only eat crepes and chocolate when we visit Paris.
A couple of notes about our concert experience before we wrap this up.
I think we all have a mental picture of ourselves that stops at a certain age. I tend to think of myself looking like I did right before Ce was born. Fewer creases on my face, less ear hair, no involuntary groans getting up from chairs. Nothing will pop this fallacy then looking at the people attending a concert with you. Why are there so many old people here? Oh, wait…
Second, and a somewhat more welcome realization. We appear to have crossed the line where we attend concerts where most of the people are sitting for large parts of the show.
We made it home after midnight to a quiet, empty house with just a dog to happily greet us. Wait, maybe I really am still 32 years old…