Oh I’m so glad to be back in Californian hot weather. It is down right pleasant.
This morning we started off with a half an hour run. The kids are getting to the point in martial arts where they are frustrated about not having more physical skill and strength than we have, so they asked if we could start more frequent exercise to build up. Yes! Sounds delightful.
Kids have unpacked their stuff. “Grounding” is pretty lightweight this time because Eldest Child is allowed to walk in and out in the service of cleaning up. I told her that I want her to think hard on how behavior needs to adapt in different locations and why and that’s the part I care about the most. Being inconvenienced by not being able to play all over will help you direct your thoughts.
I’m about 90% unpacked. I cleaned the kitchen (we left a serious disaster–I was so tired). I’ve pushed through a couple of loads of laundry and I have two to go. Unloaded, loaded, and unloaded again the dishwasher. Watering the front yard is a pain because I still don’t have a hose in the front and I have to carry buckets of water. But both yards are tended to and that’s important. Cat care and attention.
I paid the bills. We are decisively in the black. Oh good.
I’m taking a short break. I feel like I’ve earned it. I want my bedroom clean. I need to clean out the play room which has been acting as guest quarters. Construction starts again on Monday and that room is supposed to be empty. Where will it all go for now? Gulp.
I feel like the littlest chicken in Chicken Big (a wonderful children’s story) saying “But we’ll make room!”
I need to hire my quasi-step-sister (Dad’s bio-daughter) to help me with my trees. Apparently she is a professional landscaper and my trees need mad pruning.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I know that Noah arranged for a present because it has been sitting in the fridge since before we left. I’m not supposed to look. He accurately points out that I care about things arriving on the day-of and I tend to be kind of a twat about things that appear in advance. It is good to be understood.
The internet says my squash plants probably need more iron. I feel so grateful to live in a time of information. (Yellowing leaves, but not in a way that indicates infection…)
I’m encouraging my kids to do a purge. We are overflowing our ability to clean up again.
Here are some phrases we say a lot in my house that will go in my “Krissy’s rules for staying sane as a parent” book that my friends keep asking me to write:
- If you can’t clean up your stuff you have too much and you need to get rid of some of it. Do you want to own your stuff or have your stuff own you?
- A place for everything and everything in it’s place. If you can’t find a place… maybe you don’t need it.
- We are workers, not shirkers.
- If you ask for something more than three times in one day you are pestering and the answer is no for the rest of the day.
- You are one of the luckiest people ever born. You have food, clean water, safety from diseases, and free time. What do you want to do with it? (I think heavily of JFK when I say this one: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”)
- If you spend that money today what will you spend when _______ comes around?
That’s just off the top of my head.
On the trip a father was talking about why he bans inappropriate content for his kids. Eldest Child says, “Mom doesn’t ban things she just spends a lot of time talking shit about things she doesn’t like”. He looked like he wanted to do a spit take.
Yup, that’s my approach alright. Glad we understand each other. I read a terrible parenting book about raising perfect children through guilt and shame (that’s almost but not exactly the title and I’m too lazy to google it) and I don’t… exactly do as she preaches… but she had some good pointers. Her mom didn’t ban things. She just made sure you knew why she thought things weren’t good.
My mom went between banning things and going limp because her bans were completely ineffective.
I don’t bother to ban much. Oh. That’s another thing I say:
- I’m saving my no’s for boyfriends.
Frequently my kids do shit I don’t like and I don’t approve of. I tell them exactly how I feel and leave it up to them to do it or not. My theory is that interpersonal violence between teenagers is a serious problem and I want to have a whole lifetime of credibility that I’ll let you do any stupid thing you want but I’m going to be serious about safety concerns. I’m hoping that my kids will believe me when it comes to my evaluations of people to date. I have a spidey sense about predators. I’m hoping to goodness that my children will be willing to listen to my advice when push comes to shove. I tell them over and over that once they are ready I will be supportive of them dating. But try to seriously listen when I give you feedback. I’m not saying do as I say. I’m saying I won’t say “Get the fuck away from that person” unless I have a good reason and please believe me.
Some day I hope to be able to write down a whole set of formalized advice for keeping yourself safe. It will be created if and only if I can talk some of my sex worker friends into being interviewed. I don’t have the right to tell this story. I can just help pass along what has kept other people safe.
I think I can now. But how do I know how to protect young girls? I know how to go sit on the lap of every rapist.
Hopefully that has changed.
But that’s so far in the future. Time to go back to working.