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    November 17, 2006

    It’s a lovely day here in the Dallas metroplex, so Sean and I are going off to have a fun day together and leaving the computer behind. Which means that I’m going to schlufff off (I think I just made that word up) on you something from the archives. I find I do a lot of schluffing these days. But before that, there was this amusing exchange this morning:

    Sean: Mommy, can I drink this? (my coffee)
    Me: No, not until you are bigger, then yes, we will drink coffee together.
    Sean: Daddy don’t drink coffee
    Me: No (shaking head sadly) Daddy does not drink coffee.
    Sean: Then he will have to drink alone.

    * * *

    Concrete or Cheerios, It’s All The Same

    Haven’t we all, at one time or another said, “When I have a child, I’m going to do things differently than my parents.” And then of course, when you are actually entrusted with the responsibility of a pint-sized, uncivilized, miniature human being — you do all the things your parents did, and even make up some new stuff along the way. That way, when your kid grows up he can list all the things he would never do as a parent. It’s the glorious cycle of life.

    Really and truly, there are not too many things my mom did growing up that I plan to avoid. What I am discovering — the longer I’m at this parenting-thing — is that I hope to be more like her and not less.

    My mom was pretty laid back about most matters. It took quite a bit to push her buttons and even when you did reach that elastic limit, she would freely extend grace most of the time. This came to mind the other day when my son had dumped an entire economy-sized box of Cheerios into the sofa. I guess he thought if he stomped on them like grapes, I wouldn’t notice. As I was shoveling Cheerios out of the depths and bowels of the sofa, I really had to focus to keep my humor. My own mother would have laughed about it and then served a mixing bowl of Cheerios for lunch. I mean it wasn’t like he was free-form mixing concrete in the garage or anything like that…

    When I was about 9-years-old, I decided the garage needed cleaned out. The Neat-Freak Gene exhibited itself early on. So I hauled everything out of the garage, including a 25-lb of concrete mix, but since it was 25-lbs and I was 9-years-old and weighed not much more than that, I dropped it and it broke open. That’s when I had the great idea that I would hose it out… And the funny thing is that when you combine concrete mix and water – you get concrete!! I kept working quickly and quietly with the hose and broom hoping to get the mess cleaned up before anyone noticed, but I just kept making more and more concrete until finally my spaghetti-sized arms could do no more. So I ran inside and tried to tell mom that there was a growing mass of concrete in the garage. I now recognize that expression she had on her face. It’s the one where you hear a heavy thud somewhere in the house and then silence. Never a good thing.

    Anyway, I expected when Mom saw my handiwork that she would blow a gasket and blister my behind, but she just grabbed a shovel and made a nice little sidewalk beside the garage.

    Calm and creative. That’s the kind of mom I want to be.

    14 Comments »

    1. Carola says:

      hmm…my mom is an interesting one, I love her, but there are many things I seriously promised myself (and my husband also made me promise him) I won

      November 17th, 2006 at 10:51 am

    2. Heather says:

      You crack me up! That’s one I’ve never heard before, and one to add to my list of “things my kids might try one day.”
      My 4 year old likes coffee every morning. He gets a teaspoon of sugar, a tablespoon of coffee and the rest of the sippy cup is filled with milk.
      Hope you and Sean have fun today!
      Thanks for visiting my blog. Your fort days are just beginning. My 8 year old still likes to rival little brother with his creations.

      November 17th, 2006 at 11:19 am

    3. Lisa says:

      What a wonderful mother you were blessed with. That is an amazing story…God bless her wonderful, loving heart!

      November 17th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    4. Paulette1958 says:

      How sweet is your mom. I always strived for that way of parenting but fell short, darn…
      it is never to late right? Have a sweet day with your little man today.

      November 17th, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    5. Anne Glamore says:

      That’s a wonderful story about your mom!

      November 17th, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    6. Linda says:

      Oh to have such grace. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have handled that nearly as well as your Mom. She is definitely a great role model. And I thnk you’re doing just fine.

      November 17th, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    7. MotherPie says:

      All you need for wildness in Dallas is a little trip down Central Expressway. We were in a 10-pile car wreck pre-kids when we lived there. It bothers me to this day to 1)drive down Central Expressway and 2)have people tailgate too closely.

      November 17th, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    8. Janean says:

      GREAT post! Wish I were as calm as your mother. It seems, I’ve noticed, that I do get calmer as I age. When I was a “younger” mom (not that I was ever “young”…didn’t start having kids till I was 26!) it took little-to-nothing for me to freak out.
      Now, I’m more into a “pick yer battles” kinda parenting style. 😀
      I only get bent out of shape if 1) it was REALLY dangerous and someone could have died or 2) there is blood involved. Other than that, it’s all good. Possessions can be replaced…the kids can’t.
      I think once I realized that, I became a much nicer mommy.
      Concrete….WOW!

      November 18th, 2006 at 7:14 am

    9. Suzanne Eller says:

      I love this story. You should send it to Chicken Soup for the Mom’s Soul. Really.

      November 18th, 2006 at 8:34 am

    10. Jennifer says:

      Your mom sounds like a gem. What a blessing you have her! Calm and creative sounds like a good mantra to begin chanting right after the thud. Right now I have to say, “It was just an accident.” Once the words are uttered aloud it reminds you it really WAS usually. And if it not, they ARE just kids after all. And it was our idea to have them around in the first place. 🙂

      November 18th, 2006 at 11:12 am

    11. Mommy Dearest says:

      Wow – impressive. Your mom was truly grace-under-pressure. That’s a good example to remember for those Cheerio moments.

      November 18th, 2006 at 11:37 am

    12. jen says:

      I hope I will be that patient when I grow up.

      November 18th, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    13. Kim A says:

      When I grow up, I want to be just like my mom, too. (I have college-age children, BTW)

      November 19th, 2006 at 8:14 am

    14. Robbin says:

      Oh. I needed that laugh today.

      November 20th, 2006 at 5:36 pm

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