Cleaning house, visiting friends, adventures in parenting

Today Ted and I transformed our house. By the end of the 5 hours we spent working on it, there was even a table-cloth and placemats on our dining room table. There is still a bunch of organizing and putting-away of things, as well as a ton of stuff to recycle, and further sorting to do in our office. Nonetheless, we have succeeded in our mission to create a home environment which is merely, “lived in” rather than, “floor, what floor?” in every room. And no, it is not a coincidence that we’re having friends over on Sunday. Thank you, friends, for the prospect of your presence which lit a fire under our fundaments.

After that I took Hazel and went to visit friends. She and her friend V spent some time running around the house, following the circular floor plan. They also made (imaginary) tea for us, played with the cats, and generally appeared to have a fantastic time. Meantime, we hung out on the couch and had a wonderful time talking, punctuated only a few times by inquiries and offers from the kids. Hazel loved their new house, and demonstrated this by telling me that she liked it better than our house, which she finds boring, and that she wanted to live there instead. Poor Hazel. She also asked her friend as we were getting ready to leave if she had any presents for her. I jumped in and started listing all the great things about the afternoon: the snacks, the playing together, etc. Of course, she was not deterred, and returned to her main point.

One of the biggest challenges of parenthood, I think, is finding that elusive line between guidance and control. I was thinking later on that kid culture and adult culture are very different. Expecting a kid to think and behave like an adult is futile. Judging a kid for not thinking and/or behaving like an adult is counterproductive. I have to be careful with how quickly I jump in, and I have to watch my motivations for doing so. I think letting the interaction occur naturally and then explaining later is often better than trying to micromanage the interaction. Easier said than done sometimes, of course.

After I got back I decided to trim Emily’s hair, because it’s getting all the way into her eyes. Cutting a wiggly kid’s hair isn’t the easiest thing to do, and I wasn’t so happy with how it came out (too short, and uneven). I said something to that effect, and Hazel said, “It’s perfect, Mommy. You didn’t do a not-good job!”

Due to the hair cuttings in Emily’s shirt, we decided to give the kids a bath. And thus we had our first poop-in-the-tub experience, necessitating an abrupt removal of kids from bathtub, the cleaning and then refilling of said tub, and finally, the thorough cleaning of wiggly toddlers who no longer wanted to be in a bath. That was fun.

Then I got to leave, to hang out with my friend P. We went out for dinner, walking, and long conversation of the life/universe/everything type. It is now way too late, and I have to go to sleep. But, I am feeling happy and filled up by all that conversation with friends. I am glad I know so many loving, wonderful, insightful, and generous people.

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