Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thinking Outside the Bath

It was summertime almost a decade ago.  I was a workin’ mama with toddlers in the house.  The night was no different than most.  Dinner was done and we were making the most of the remaining daylight. 

Then it came.  My nightly torture:  Bathtime.

Bathtime meant prying the baby girl’s arms from the jungle gym and yanking the baby boy from the blowup pool.  Then lots of “Mommy I got soap in my eyes.” Followed by, “No you can’t dump the water on the floor.”
If the dimming sky didn’t remind me that Bathtime was near, the family alarm clock would.
Husband: “You need to give the kids a bath tonight.”
Me: “I just gave them one last night.”
Husband:  “They’ve been running around all day.  They look like sweaty little pigs.”
Me: “Its baby sweat.  It doesn’t even smell.”

The kids are so smart.  Show one chink in the parental armor and they dig in with their sharp little nails.  “I don’t want to take a bath.”  Then the parrot, “Me too.”  Then the Husband, “Why aren’t the kids in the bath yet?”

At the end of Bathtime, I was the only one ready for bed.

I could have consulted with article on Making Bathtime Fun Again.   I could have bought more bath toys, given formal notification before pouring water over their heads, or filled the bath with only an inch of water.  Really?

Maybe I should have consulted my mother.  You know her generation had to bathe their children in water carried in from the well.  What do we modern-moms have to complain about?

So, what did I do? 

I threw out the advice and did it my way.  I brought the bath out to them.  I placed the blowup baby pool on the deck and filled it with warm water (used a good old fashioned hose for that).  Then, I handed them a bottle of no-tears baby shampoo, sat on a lounge chair with a glass of wine and watched the magic.  The next night we used the kitchen sink.

Bathtime turned into bubbles, laughter and shampoo-hair dos. 

From that night on, I had the cleanest kids on the block.  And I never had to clean the tub again.  Win-Win.

How do you think outside the bath?

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Please support me with your honesty.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Take Your Shorts Off

Buffi Neal - Wonderfully DysfunctionalMy son has a pair of shorts that I absolutely detest.  To me, they look like something a corner drug dealer would wear.   To him, they look like they got stripped off the body of an NBA player.  To make matters even more complicated, they were a gift from his older cousin.

So, we begin our morning battle:

“Why do you have to wear those shorts when you have a whole drawer of shorts that fit you?”

“These do fit, Mom.  They’re supposed to be long.”

I hold up the shorts I just bought him.  “Here’s a nice pair.  Why don’t you wear these?”

But The Boy is clever.  “Okay Mom, I’ll wear those tomorrow.”  He runs out the door to catch the bus.

So I look to the experts.  In an article entitled Mothers HaveUnleased the Guns of Wardrobe Warfare, moms are paying $300 for personal shoppers to help their teens dress in age-appropriate fashion. 

I’m speechless and nauseous.

An article by entitled How to Resolve More Clothing Conflicts, encourages parents to bargain with their teens to wear appropriate clothes.  Really?  Bargain? 

All of my research done, I had a battle-plan.

The battle replays.  But this time is sounds like this:

“Mom!  Do you know where my shorts are?”

“I think the new shorts I bought you are in your drawer.”

“No, Mom.  The other shorts.  The long blue ones.  You know Mom, the shorts you hate….”

“Oh, those.  Did you check the laundry basket?”

“Not there.”

“Did you check the dryer?”

“I checked.  Not there either.”

“That’s weird.  Maybe you left them at a friend’s house.”

“What?  Come-on, Mom, where are they?”

“You’re gunna be late for school, pick another pair of shorts.”

The Boy actually wore a nice pair of shorts that morning and every morning after.  I didn’t need to break the bank paying for a personal shopper or come up with clever bargaining technique. 

I used good old-fashioned diversion mixed with Mommy-knows-best.  I did feel a twinge of guilt.  Should I have told him to check the garbage?

How do you handle your teen wardrobe battles?

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Please support me with your honesty.


Sunday, April 1, 2012


It’s been almost one full year since I posted on my blog.  Why?   Equal parts of life, fear and procrastination.

2011 was the year that I put my book and blog aside to help a family member.  It was a hard decision, but one I would make again.  Six months of neglect left my blog stagnant, my book late and my writing spirit low.  That’s life.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice for those you love.
When my family obligation was completed, I found myself completely unable to write.  I had lost my edge, my confidence, and once fear showed its ugly little face, procrastination was my only option.
Psych Basics Article on Procrastination states, “Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions.... Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that's their way of justifying putting things off.”

What’s good news?  This post is proof that it is possible to overcome procrastination and fear.
Note to my Son:  If Mommy can post this blog, after a year of excuses; you can finish that science project you had all month to do.

I’m on Chapter 13 of my final book edit and my publisher is waiting with my finished cover.  I will no longer let my book and blog be the victim of my life, my fears or my procrastination. 

Stay tuned for another post next week.  Thanks for all of your emails and constant support.  It’s great to have a pen back in my hand.
Thanks for stopping by.
Please support me with your honesty.