No Life Rehearsals

Live, Love, Laugh–Your Life Depends on It

Happiness Can Be Measured–It Comes In 10, 15, and 20 yard sizes

How do I spell relief—D.U.M.P.S.T.E.R.  Is there anything more cathartic than de-cluttering and getting rid of old junk.  It’s almost as good as losing ten pounds (almost, but not quite!).   I’ve had dumpster envy of my friends and neighbors for awhile now.  I would drive by someone’s house and see a dumpster parked in their driveway and think “I want one of those!”  Admit it, you have too.

Yes, I did try to donate as much as I could and if I thought something wasn’t “dumpster worthy”, I did put it out at the curb.  I was surprised to see how much was scooped up and by whom.  Driving back from the grocery store, I passed an older gentleman on his bike with our 3 foot long toy fire truck sticking out of his backpack.  I was impressed because it was certainly not an easy thing to cart on one’s back and it made me smile to think of his grandchildren enjoying the toy as much as my kids did.  It’s good to remember that most of our things don’t wear out anymore and someone else can still get plenty of enjoyment out of it.

So, what’s my take away from this experience?  The accumulation must stop!   I need to try to maintain a “stuff” equilibrium.   If something comes in the house, then something else has to go.   As goals go, it’s definitely workable, easier to accomplish than those last ten pounds that’s for sure!  First test of my new plan, Christmas.  Let’s see how that goes over with the kids…..


Why Every Parent Needs a Segregation Policy

sibling rivalry2Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk segregation.  Sibling segregation, that is.  I love each of my children equally, but right now I just don’t love them TOGETHER.  It’s the Bickersons at my house every day, every night.  They just can’t seem to get along.  It’s pick, pick, pick by my daughter until she gets a rise out of her brother.  It’s a bossy boots brother screaming at his sister to not touch his stuff and the list goes on and on.  Add to this a knock down drag out competition for my attention.  Rules of Thunderdome?  There are no ruthunderdomeles!  Two kids enter, one kid leaves.  As much has I’d like to be Tina Turner and have her legs, could I please, pretty please with sugar on top have a little more Waltons and a little less Mad Max (if you don’t get these references because you’re not old like me insert Full House and Nanny McPhee)

But get them alone—it all changes! They are their sweet little adorable selves.  We have long talks about this and that.  They open up about their day.  I find out what they are thinking about–usually a rambling jumble of thoughts that makes little sense (because it’s about a computer game or something at school that I know nothing about) but I let them ramble and cherish every word because it feels real and true.   It’s an insight into their little soul that only seems to come out during these alone moments.  I also have an opportunity to do some real “parenting” not the screaming, threatening, and meting out punishments that takes place most of the time.  It makes me feel fulfilled not depleted.  If I didn’t have these few moments with each of them, I think I might just go insane.

momentsForget homework, soccer, or preparing a decent meal for your family (that’s why they invented prepared foods), make time for alone time with each of your kids.  Engage them in a bike ride, take a walk around the neighborhood, or put together a puzzle.  Try to make it slow (kids know when you’re feeling rushed), let them open up at their own pace.   It’s a win-win situation and, trust me, there’s not much else you do as a parent that will feel as rewarding

As to why they turn into little monsters around their siblings, I don’t have an answer to that.  I suspect that phenomenon has been around as long as there have been people on this earth.  The only thing I can provide, in abundance, is empathy!  You are not alone!  There is another mother out there in the universe who feels the same way (that’s my version of a virtual online hug).

BTW:  The comment section below LOVES to hear from readers  and wants to hear from YOU!  Give me a shout out, share your story, take this chance to vent about your “dueling” cherubs (aliases and pseudonyms allowed!).