Sunday, March 9, 2008

Does a Princess feel the effects of one less hour of sleep?

The time change has me all screwed up so when I woke up this morning feeling less than with it, I made tentative plans to do nothing. Well, not absolutely nothing because, as much as I may want to, I can't just ignore the children and tell them to fend for themselves. But I thought I could maybe get in some reading and listen to my new Wilco cd. (Jay bought me Wilco's Sky Blue Sky yesterday. After I saw them on SNL last weekend I had to have it, and I'm in love with it. It may soon be replacing Teddy Thompson's Separate Ways as the cd that I constantly and psychotically obsessively play.) But back to my idea of ignoring the children. It just isn't going as planned.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I got the book, "I was a Really Good Mom before I had Kids." It was a bit more of a self help book than I originally thought, but I basically liked it. It was a quick and entertaining read. The basic premise of it is how we as moms aren't happy with the life choices that we've made because we don't really allow ourselves to be. We are constantly judging and critiquing every decision we make instead of living in the moment and not worrying so much about everything. We don't allow ourselves to enjoy our children because there is always so much else that needs to be done. I definitely find myself falling into this trap sometimes. Even though I'm with my daughter all day long, there are always so many chores and errands to get done that at the end of the day I sometimes feel as if I haven't spent any time with her at all. I know this isn't the way it's supposed to be and this wasn't my goal when I decided to be a stay at home mom. But when the list of things to get done is a mile long, it's really hard to schedule in "play with play-doh" or "play My Little Ponies." Honestly, as much as I love my daughter, I don't really find those things appealing. It's easier to decide to fold the three loads of laundry that are taking over the laundry room than it is to sit down and make one more god forsaken snake out of brown, half dry play doh. The book goes on to say that the happiest moms are those that have found a balance between doing all the yucky chores/work, spending time with the kiddies, and scheduling in some "me" time.

Anyways, admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? I realize my daughter needs me so I consciously made the decision to hang out with her. That's when I ran into another problem: My daughter is three. This means that, basically, she is not that pleasant to be around. Studies have been done that prove that children don't fully grasp the concept of sharing until they are at least four. (My mom has been teaching pre schoolers for the better part of the last 25 years. I have an expert living with me.) What this means is that it's almost impossible to do anything with my daughter. I can do things next to her or in the same room, but any kind of joint activity is pointless and usually ends with her having a tantrum and getting sent to her room.

Take today for example, I thought it would be nice if we both sat and colored. She got a new Disney Princess coloring book that I knew she was itching to scribble scrabble in and I was perfectly happy coloring Elmo. But once she saw the mighty fine job I was doing coloring Elmo, she wanted my book. Now just because she doesn't understand the concept of sharing doesn't mean that I should just sit back and let her be a brat. So I told her she had to color in her Princess book because that was the one she chose. To which she yelled, "I don't want Princess book." And then she hurled it at my head. Coloring time was officially over.

That was about an hour ago. Soon after that she was screaming and crying because I wouldn't let her take off all her clothes and "run around nakey." Another thing a three year old doesn't grasp is reason. I've been explaining to her all day that 55 degree weather is much too cold to run around "nakey." She doesn't care.

It's almost 3:00 already and I'm just now sitting down to some "me" time. Where did the day go? Pretty soon I'm going to have to schlep to the kitchen and find a few somethings to throw together for dinner. Right now though, the girl is sitting quietly watching the Smurfs and eating her bowl of Pirates Booty. I think I'm going to listen to my Wilco cd.

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