Saturday, June 27, 2009

Her First Crush

I witnessed something this week that has started my heart in a series of small panic attacks that I imagine will not end until my daughter is 30. That is when she is allowed to get married, according to my husband. I think she is experiencing her first crush....on a BIG boy, no less.

Actually, I do think she had a crush on Jimmy, Paul's best friend, but it was a blurry line between thinking he was her friend, her surrogate uncle, and her boyfriend all at once. I knew she felt this way back in December when Jimmy's then-girlfriend (grrrrrr....don't get me started) was visiting. I told Abigail that Jimmy's girlfriend would be sleeping in our guest bedroom upstairs, to which she replied, "Me?"

Jimmy LOVED that story, and then made it his goal to make sure that Abigail continued to have butterflies whenever he was around. He gave her extra hugs. Told her how pretty her hair was. Really laid it on thick. I think he wanted to solidify himself in her memory as "her first love" (apart from Daddy). Since Jimmy is single, Catholic, and considering the priesthood, I make sure to make as many Thornbirds jokes to him as possible. He never seems to appreciate the humor, but I so, so DO.

However, Jimmy's competition has entered the scene. It's his friend Jason, who comes to our house with Jimmy. He's been hanging out with us for a while, but I think Abigail has just become aware of him this week. The other night, the guys had come over to go swimming, and then were hanging out in our living room afterward. (Aside: If you think that my husband has a lot of single guy friends, the answer is YES....too many) Jason was playing with Abigail, throwing her a ball, and being generally silly. Actually, I think she was being generally silly while he laid on the floor and put up with it.

I knew we were in trouble when she went and got a blanket and laid down next to him on the floor. "Now we can sleep together," she said.

"WHAT?!?!?" came the cry from her Daddy's mouth.

"I had nothing to do with this," Jason replied.

It's all innocent, I keep rolling over in my head. She thinks sleeping is sleeping. She has no context for any of this.

Then today, we were getting ready to go watch Jason, Jimmy, and Scott play softball. Abigail came into the bathroom while I was putting on my make-up. She was carrying Jason's baseball hat, which he had left here the other night. I told her she could take it to him at the game.

"Smell it," she said.

"Um, that's okay. What's it smell like?"

She breathed in deeply, smiled, and said, "It smells like him."

Innocent, innocent, innocent. Three years old. Innocent.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Card Shopping with a Three-Year-Old? Priceless.

I have a confession to make. I'm sure this never happens to any of you. It is a trick I fall for each and every time. Last night, Abigail and I went for a late-night trip to Wal-Mart to buy nail polish for fun girl times (we have had a lot of them this week), and I left with, well, far too many new, shiny things in my cart. I won't give the price, but it could have bought us about twenty new bottles of sparkly nail polish. I'm sure you never fall for this ploy. Ahem.

As we were wandering through the crafty aisles, trying to find something cute and adhesive to occupy Abigail's attention for three minutes, we came upon the card aisle. With the Father's Day section. Dum dum dummmmmm. Paul and I are really not big card buyers for each other. They are kind of like flowers. They are a nice sentiment, and we are always pleased to get them from people, but you know eventually they will end up in the trash. Unless they are really, really special and thought out. So, we usually do not spend the money on each other for such frivolous things. He is considerate and romantic, and usually makes me a card for special occasions. I usually give him two things in the card category. Jack and squat. He has more romance in his earlobes than I have in my whole body.

But of course, it IS Father's Day, and Daddy HAS been gone for a week on a mission trip. So, I chose a cute little 88 cent card for Abigail to give him with lions and rainbows that said, "You're so fun, Daddy." Or something like that. Then I noticed, about five rows up, the shiny Pantene mane of a My Little Pony sticking out. It was a Father's Day card. It was pink. And it had stickers inside. I didn't point it out to Abigail. I didn't have to. She noticed it 4.7 seconds after I did.

"THAT'S my card!!! I want to get that card!!", she shouted with much enthusiasm.

"You know this is for Daddy, right? Not for you?" Of course, I showed her that there were two stickers inside with ponies that said, "I love my Daddy" and "My Daddy Loves Me". Okay, so the card is totally for her. And it cost about 3.99.

Next, we chose a card for my dad from Abigail. She has called him Papa ever since she started choosing her own names for people. I was so excited to find about three cards in the sea of "Grandpa" cards that said, "Papa" on them. I picked one out with bears and hearts that said, "You're so fun, Papa." Or something like that. (Do we see a theme here?) I thought, AWESOME. It costs about 2.49, and it says Papa. I am mother (and daughter) of the year.

Then, I was standing next to the cards, talking to a friend from church. Abigail wandered down to the end cap, where all of the singing, talking, glowing cards are. You know the ones...they cost 5.99. She RAN up to me, WAVING a card in my face with PURE EXCITEMENT in her eyes. It was a Hee Haw card. And it was perfect. You see, for the last several months, my parents have taught Abigail a little ditty from Hee Haw days. You know the one..."Where, oh where, are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone? I searched the world over and thought I found true love. You met another and ppppffttt, you were gone." THE BEST country bumpkin song ever. And Abigail found it on a Father's Day card, all by herself. She was absolutely jumping up and down. It was one of those priceless moments, where the card fit so perfectly, that it did not matter how much it cost. It was going in the cart.

So, I ended up paying ten bucks for two cards. But they were hand-picked by one very happy little girl.

I considered buying a card for Paul myself, gushing about what a great Daddy he is. But the best I could find had a magnet on the front that said, "There are 206 bones in the human body. And I want to jump every one of yours." Yeah. That was not a Valentine's Day card. It was a Father's Day card. Of course, I figured he would love it so I bought it.

Just kidding. Can you imagine coming into the parsonage to see THAT magnet on the fridge? We'll stick with Hee Haw and My Little Pony.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nobody Here but Us Chickens

Daddy is gone this week. He is being a World Changer with our youth group from church in Charleston, West Virginia. It's been a while since he has been away from us for an extended amount of time, so I'm trying to think of all kinds of fun, creative things for Abigail and me to do this week.

Fun and creative I scrubbed my kitchen floor. And bathroom floor. And folded laundry. I know you're thinking, Wow, Amy, can you give me fun lessons, too?

Then Abigail noticed the four chairs to the kitchen table in the living room from my floor-scrubbing party, and asked if she could make a tent. I said, "Sure, go ahead. Use the blankets on the couch." She and Paul have made tents several times in the living room, draping every loose blanket in the house over the chairs and then hiding out inside.

When I finished scrubbing, I noticed the trouble she was having getting the blankets to stay on top of the chairs. She looked at me, frustrated, and said, "Is Daddy home YET?"

Well. I guess only Daddy has the distinct expertise in throwing afghans over chairs. What an engineer he must be. She knows where the party's at.....and it usually lies in Daddy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Okay With It

I stumbled upon a blog a few weeks ago, and simply the title of it brought a smile to my face. It's called The Meanest Mom and her stories of raising four children are nothing short of hilarious. Sometimes you need to read other mom stories to realize that we are all in one big, sinking boat together. Apparently, she is the reigning "meanest mom" for 2009, but lately, I feel like I could qualify as a close runner-up. Or at least Miss Congeniality.

Although I am pretty sure that Miss Congeniality in the Meanest Mom pageant would sport a scowl and a shirt that says "WHAT DID I JUST SAY???" And wave nicely to the crowd.

The last few days, I have passed The Meanest Mom test with flying colors. Deny your kid ice cream at the fair? Check. Deny your kid a funnel cake at the fair? Check. Take your kid out of the grandstand from the queen's pageant at the fair, kicking and screaming while people watch? Check. Give your kid the ten minute walk home from the fair to anticipate the punishment she will get upon arriving home? Check.

Oh wait, there's more.

Today she has a friend over to play. They have only been told "no" a fair total of 87 times. No going upstairs. No chasing the cat. No tattling. No climbing on top of the playhouse to play "princess in distress falling off the castle". No hitting. I know, I'm so mean.

I'm patiently waiting for the day when one of Abigail's friends says, "Your mom is so mean." I might feel bad, just for a second. And then I'll realize, hey, I'm okay with that. Just doing my job.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Appearance of Doing Something

One day, my friend Angie and I were talking about what we consider to be a productive day at home. I told her, "Oh, my favorite is when I have a load of laundry going, a load of dishes going, and dinner in the crockpot."

Ah, the crockpot. The person who invented it, I hope a woman, is to be forever honored and praised. Amen.

Yesterday, I knew Paul would soon be coming home for lunch, and I thought, oh, I better do a "fluff run" on the dryer. Then it will look like I'm doing something. So I ran in and set the dryer for ten minutes, you know, just to shake the wrinkles out. The dryer was conveniently running when he came home.

Then it hit me...I am caught up in the appearance of doing something. Two days before my Weight Watchers weigh-in, I buckle down and track my points and eat healthy fluff. Appearance. I went to our missions meeting at church the other night, but I hadn't spent time in God's Word that day. Appearance. I make piles on my desk so that it won't look quite so cluttered. Appearance. I always make my bed in the morning, thinking that the clothes that need hung up that are thrown over the chair won't be so noticeable if the bed is made. Appearance.

I realized that there are far too many things, big and small, that I do, well, just enough. I do enough to keep the house running. I do enough to keep us fed. I do enough to look like I've got it somewhat together.

But how many things are there in my life that require a little more than appearance? How many things require an extra mile? The accountability that I really am productive? A wise friend I know once said, "Thou shalt not jive thyself." Basically, that means, don't fool yourself into thinking that you are doing more than you are really doing. It's easy to do, trust me. It's easy to say "I'm doing Weight Watchers," even though I know it is loosely, at best. It is easy to say "I've been exercising," even though I find plenty of reasons to skip days. It is easy to say "I'm in a good place with God right now," when I know my effort has been thin.

I guess it is time for some self-evaluation. Time to see what areas I need to pick it up. Maybe I'm not fooling anyone with keeping up with appearances. Maybe I'm just jiving myself. Well, dinner is in the crockpot. I'm going to fold some laundry. And spend time in God's Word. And maybe, just maybe, my appearance might start to hold water.