Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thing 1 and Thing 2

These are my kids, my monsters, my girls. They teach me how to be a better person on a daily basis. I will mostly refer to them by the names Thing 1 and Thing 2, from the Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. In my digital scrapbooking, you will probably notice their real names, which I'm not trying to hide necessarily, but I don't want to invite predators either. Thing 1 is Zoe, aka Zoe Bug, who is 7. She is my compliant child, the one who mostly listens to me and thinks I know everything. She makes me feel like I know what I'm doing with this child rearing thing. Most of the time. Thing 2 is Annika, aka Stinkerbell, who is 5. She is my contrary child. Stubborn. She can do it herself and her way is better. Don't try to tell her what to do, no siree. Peanut Head and I tremble at the thought of her teenage years.

My kids have changed me. Before kids, I was a neat freak. I still like order, but Peanut Head can't make me crazy by unalphabetizing my spices anymore. I used to insist that the coffee table always be parallel to the couch--symmetry issues. Now, I could care less. Having kids relaxes you because it makes you realize that really, you don't have as much control as you always thought you did. That, and it forces you to focus on what's really important in life, your family. The worst possible thing that I can imagine happening is to lose my family.

So yes, I have relaxed on the neat freak thing. Don't get me wrong though, I don't let toys lie about willy nilly forever. I require my kids to pick up after themselves. They have chores they are responsible for, and picking up their toys is something they are expected to do every day. My Mama motto is, "If I didn't put it on the floor, I'm not picking it up." The kids are young, let them bend over and pick it up. Sure they complain about it, but they still have to do it. They tell me that I'm a mean Mama and I tell them I'm okay with that. When they are feeling particularly put upon, they tell me they are going to go and live with Mattie Cake. I'm sure Mattie Cake will have something to say about that.

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