My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Revisionist history lessons in parenting
February 25, 2012, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , ,

You have probably heard people say, “You either get the life you want, or want the life you get.”

I wanted to be the kind of mom who loves to do every little thing with her children. When I was pregnant, I had visions of myself wearing my baby while I did everything. I would hang laundry while my children frolicked and sheets blew gently in the breeze. We would wander through the sunny fields of pick-your-own-strawberries laughing and singing. My children would tag along on errands, help prepare our foods, assist with chores, and play nicely with one another. Our days and nights would be filled with cooperation. Teachable moments would abound, and they would listen attentively while I stopped whatever-it-was-I-was-doing to explain things. Life would be lovely, organized chaos, and it would all go off without a hitch.

Well, here I am with a four year-old and a two year-old, and life is a far cry from this idyllic vision I once had. Or is it? Follow along.

Here is just a sampling of what we have done in the past week to entertain ourselves:

  • Scout removed half of a box of tissues from the box, and placed them in a laundry basket.

    Basket o' tissues now sits in our bathroom

  • Together, we made some pillow forms the other day, and the kids even helped me stuff them! This morning I had let them go on ahead of me downstairs while I quickly made the beds, only to have Cory call, “Hey, are they supposed to be drawing on those pillows with markers?” Said pillows are now in the laundry.

    The girls stuff the pillows with that fun (and messy) polyester fiberfill

  • We went to pre-school, the gym, the library, a trip to Target and Kohl’s, and a trip to the grocery store. Every single one of these errands required us to get in the car. Ruby did the “limp noodle” as I tried to force her into her carseat, and both kids whined about having to wear jackets. Our trip to Target was me mostly waiting on two children to catch up to me, though I managed to get a decent work-out in while chasing after Ruby at the library.

    Buckled in, with security blankets (for added security, I guess)

You know those delightful articles that extol the virtues of allowing your children the freedom to choose their activities, to use play to discover their world? Well, I am about to spin our last week into the type of lessons that can be learned.

First, the tissues. That’s easy. She was moving the kleenex from their tiny box and giving them the freedom to stretch and be wild in the comforts of the laundry basket. My child, the liberator. As an added bonus, we now have the most unconventional tissue box in all the land: a laundry basket. My child, the interior designer.

Next, the pillows. Endowed with a sense of accomplishment by collaborating on the creation of the pillows, neither child could bear to see the pillows linger in their boring white facades. They wanted to reveal the true essence of the pillows, and the vibrant blues and reds and oranges of the markers suited the blank canvas so well. Additionally, they did this activity together. They used their creativity to encourage one another. My children, the collaborative artists!

Last, our weekly to-do list. Simply riding through life will not do. Challenging authority, wandering off on independent adventures, rejecting the utilitarian notion of automobiles, bucking silly fashion trends that might say, “Wear a winter coat when it’s thirty five degrees!”, and living life in a way that colors-outside-the-lines–That is the life they seek. They refuse to simply run errands, and instead wish to impart their idea that every task can become an opportunity for learning and growth. My children, the independent thinkers!

See how that works? Who says revisionist history is a bad thing? I think I might open up my own charter school right now!


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Some days are fairy tales, some days are scary tales. But either way, you usually get a great story!

Comment by becomingcliche

I love that: “Some days are fairy tales, some days are scary tales.” So perfect! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Comment by jaymers

That’s the perfect way to sum up motherhood!

Comment by the domestic fringe

It’s amazing how rose-colored glasses can really be a saving grace. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I just found your blog and it’s so awesome!

Comment by jaymers

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