Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A midlife crisis of sorts............

It's been so long since I've written and I appreciate all of you who have asked for the blog to come back.  Last time I wrote was the day I took the picture on this page.... .the first day all 3 boys headed to school all day to the same place.  It was a glorious day filled with peace and quiet, lunch with girlfriends, errands, and 6.5 hours of adult conversation with a little peace and quiet thrown in.  I thought I was going to love this new life.  I'd organize every closet in my house, be the mom/wife I had been way too busy to be over the last 8 years as house mom to Alpha Gamma McVey. 

My plans started off well.  I'd kiss the boys every morning wishing them well in their day, then shut the door and bask in the sheer quietness of the house.  I'd crank up my Nora Jones and get to work on my to do list which was about 8 years long.  This all seemed great for about the first few weeks................ until I started thinking this new life was boring as hell.  The house was now TOO quiet, too calm, and I kinda missed all the shooting objects I had gotten used to over the years. So I joined the gym and gave them a wonderful charitable donation each month for all the times I didn't go.  I used to be very motivated to go the gym... but I'm pretty sure it was for the free childcare and the quiet hot shower, not the exercise equipment (it only took me a few trips to the gym without kids to figure this out).  My donation was well received it its next to impossible to get off their mailing list................why is it that no gym in America can take NO for an answer?
The next month I decided I needed a dog, a small shed less dog who would keep me company and bring some life back to my peaceful house .  In theory he's a great dog (yes, a HE... would you think I'd be lucky enough to find a female dog I wanted?  Not in the cards people, just not in the deck I was dealt) but he isn't a puppy so doesn't need much other than a warm, cushy chair to hang out on during the day.  He's not the smartest dog on the block and doesn't even bark or make any noise...certainly wasn't helping my boredom.  I was during this time keeping busy with my position as PTA VP, which sounds much more labor intensive than it really was.  I did work with an amazing group of ladies and enjoyed my time on the board until the Cupcake Wars started.  Anyone ever been on a PTA board that tried to take away cupcakes at class parties? WOW is all I have to say.  Never in my wildest dreams did I know people had such strong feelings about cupcakes.  You would have thought we were taking food out of the mouths of starving babies in Africa, that's how passionate some people are about cupcakes.  Now I'm not that good with drama and I certainly don't lose sleep if my children are deprived of treats at school, so I finished out my term and checked PTA Board off my bucket list. 

As you can see, I was having a midlife crisis of some sort.  I had gone from being a full time kindergarten teacher to full time mom of Captain Competitive, Good Time Charlie, and Sir AskALot (he has been renamed for the purpose of this blog..... he has replaced his constant whining with questions.... be careful what you wish for)  Quiet had never been part of my life.  Neither had self time.  Now I had more time than I knew what to do with.  There is of course always laundry, homework, housework, errands, etc.... but for some reason I thought there should be more.  I ended up taking a job in January at a neighboring district as a part time reading teacher.  I feel a little guilty saying this, but I enjoyed teaching SO much more when I didn't have my own kids.  I'd leave my own whiny kids and show up at school to sit next to another child with lice who was also whining that they didn't want to read.  All for 11$ an hour.  Yep, only took a few weeks to realize this was a BIG mistake that would have to continue until the end of May.  I'm pretty sure I go down as the worst employee on record after calling in once weekly.......... someone here always had the flu, pink eye, bronchitis, and yes, we even got lice.  Disgusting enough for it's own blog post.

It took me the entire school year to figure out that I needed to balance my day with some time for me along with all the other things that need to get done before the circus comes barreling through the door at 3:30pm.  So there you have it, all the reasons why I haven't written in a year, and all the reasons why the blog is back.  I've got great material to share so hope you will return.  Stay tuned for my next post, "But you and Dad said so"........I promise it will make you laugh.

Until then, I'll be sitting around my Thanksgiving table listening to Alpha Gamma McVey make farting noises and complain about everything but the rolls.  Wouldn't have it any other way.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My New Normal

If you've ever watched Dr. Phil, he's always suggesting a "new normal" in the midst of any life changing event (whether it be good or bad).  Not that I watch a bunch of trash talk TV, but he does have a good point if you think about it.    Last week, Alpha Gamma McVey and I found new normal,  one which I'm thoroughly enjoying.  You see, Good Time Charlie and SirWhineAlot started all day kindergarten last Tuesday, along with Captain Competitive Monday in second grade.  Which leaves me with an EMPTY house for 6.5 hours a day, for the first time in 8 years.   A quiet, clean, organized, free-of-flying-objects house.  I've had so many people ask me, "aren't you sad?".  Which I usually reply, "Have you LIVED in my house these past 6 years?? Have you read my blog??"  I did feel a wave of sadness last Monday morning thinking this was my last day to spend with the two of them before school.  So off we went to Target and Coscto and my sadness very quickly disappeared as they engaged in a high speed game of tag through the aisles of Costco, accosting the sample ladies for just one more sample each, in EVERY aisle.   There's nothing they love more than wide open spaces and free snacks.  My sadness had quickly turned to annoyance by aisle 3, so off they went happily to school on Tuesday leaving me with a new found appreciation for sanity. 

To really appreciate my normal, you must be aware of all the things that go on during a typical day with Alpha Gamma McVey.  Of course, as in any house, there is the usual amount of fighting, bickering, whining, and cajoling.  But here there are also items being parachuted off the catwalk upstairs, linen closets being unloaded with freshly folded sheets for forts, legos clogging my vacuum and filling up all the cracks in my couch, "potions" being made with shampoo, food dye,  and whatever else they snuck out of the kitchen while I was trying to pee.  After 77 days of summer with this trio, I was very close to losing my mind.  Now I honestly do love to accompany them to all their summer swim meets, tennis lessons, playdates, etc.   Yet the reality is that there is only so much summer fun I can possibly stand.  This particular summer they took a liking to chalk drawing on the driveway. Who doesn't love when their kids draw cute pictures for them on the driveway??  I used to love when they'd draw me a rainbow, a house, a portrait of me looking like Chewbacca. (Good Time Charlie has told me I look like him because I also have long hair and a purse. Seriously.)  This year they kept themselves extremely busy and quiet drawing for quite a few hours one day.  I often praised them out the kitchen screen door, "you are drawing so nicely, thank you for not fighting, keep it up!"    I should have known from past experiences that quiet and peaceful was NOT a good thing.  When they were ready to show me, I walked out thinking I'd find all kinds of cute drawings, and that perhaps I should grab my camera, capture the kodak moment.  They all 3 proudly stood on the driveway and explained that they had drawn "boobies and butts" all over the driveway.  And they really were ALL over.  It looked more like triple X porno driveway, and in that moment I just prayed and prayed for rain.  In my old normal, we had a nice conversation about inappropriate drawings and then I cracked open a nice cold alcoholic beverage and prayed to the parenting gods.  Sometimes a cold drink and a prayer is all a girl can do. 

In my new normal, we get our clean clothes out of our dresser drawers and not off the piles on the dining room table that haven't made it upstairs yet.  We have dinner which consists of something other than the left over food we brought home from the pool cabana the night before.   Captain Competitive Senior has ironed shirts in his closet for the first time in 8 years.  The legos have successfully stayed in the basement toy bin and GI Joe doesn't stare at me on the toilet anymore, he too has made it to his own bin somewhere outside of the bathroom.  As for me, people always ask what is it I like to do with my time.  To be honest, I have no idea what it is I like to do by myself all day.  I went from being a kindergarten teacher one day, to a mom the very next.  So peace and quiet has never really been in my repertoire.  But I'm not complaining, I'm actually loving it.  And I won't lie and say I miss them all day long.  I love the noise and chaos at 3:30 when they get home, but I love my new normal during the day.  And I thought you'd all like to know that I haven't yet gotten a call from the school about Good Time Charlie or Sir WhineAlot.  Unfortunately we all know that all good things must eventually come to an end.............. STAY TUNED...............

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Wii or Not to Wii

Not much has changed since I last updated this blog.  Good Time Charlie is still having a GREAT time, and still can't keep his hands to himself and still doesn't seem to mind the loss of privileges.  To have his level on contentedness with life is truly is a gift.  Sir WhineAlot is STILL whining, although it seems to lessening in intensity and frequency the closer we inch to six years.  Starting in August it's his poor kindergarten teacher who will get the privilege of listening to this whining 6 hours a day on a daily basis.  Lucky me, and not so lucky her.  And Captain Competitive is still making sure he wins, or at least tries to, at everything he does.  I've tried my hardest to explain it REALLY doesn't matter who wins the backyard soccer game, but his brain is just wired differently than mine.  I blame this on Captain Competitive Senior himself.

The most significant change in our family life since I last wrote comes in the form of one box, which measures about 10 inches by 2 inches, brought here on the last joyous Christmas morning.  It was about November when Alpha Gamma McVey started announcing that we were "the only family in the whole entire universe without a Wii".   My mind immediately started racing, thinking, "What about the starving children in Africa, or the children right here in our own state who don't have ANY toys?? I'm sure they don't have a Wii!  How have I failed as a parent making my children so self absorbed??"  Then I remembered they aren't allowed to watch the news and aren't old enough to read the paper, so they really are products of their environment, and their little street which resembles Pleasantville if there ever was such a thing.  We are never the first in the neighborhood to get the latest and greatest gadgets (mostly because I don't even know how this stuff works), and considering the Wii was on its way out, and XBox on its way in, I figured this was the perfect time to take the plunge.  So we told them what any good parents would.... the fat man in the big red suit is WATCHING YOU...... ALL the time.....  and maybe, just maybe, he will bring it down the chimney. 

Now I love November and December for lots of reasons, but mostly because of the magic of Santa and his watchful eyes.  All it takes to redirect behavior those two months of the year is a reminder that he's watching... ALL the time.  I wish the man in the red suit came every month, would seriously make my job MUCH easier.  Now he did bring the Wii, and along with it the Norman Rockwell Christmas moment of alot of celebrating and screeching and smiling.  All seemed well in the world for those first few days.

And then it happened.............  the Wii turned my boys into crazed lunatics.  For some reason I coud not find the warning on the box, but am thinking of writing Nintendo a very lengthy letter.   Crying, screaming, kicking, crazy lunatics.  I never imagined such a small little box/game could create so much unrest in my house.  It's like they become possessed with that 5 inch remote in their little hands.  And then I become an angry, crazed lunatic mother as I  threaten to shut it off, throw it out the window, and give it to the poor kids in Africa who have no toys.   But every once in while, there are glimpses of normalcy when they play.  I listen from the door and hear nothing but complete silence and the little beeps of Mario jumping all over the screen.  Still have no idea how Mario can be so entertaining, but then again I'm not a video game addict like others in my house.

Something magical happened about a month later... the lightbulb went on in his head and Captain Competitive Senior  figured out how to use this little box to our personal advantage.  On weekend mornings, it's Wii time now my friends.... from 7am on.   Not family Wii time, kid Wii time.  That's right ... no one asks for breakfast, for snacks, for help assembling the latest and greatest Lego ship.  No one even comes up to tattle.... that would mean giving up the precious remote in their hands and leaving the screen to walk up two flights of stairs.  The fighting stays all the way down in the basement, and we are all the up on the 2nd floor................ and no one bothers us for hours.  Aaahhhhhhhhhhhh................ to wii or not to wii.  It's these mornings that I too have learned to love that little box. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dear Super Nanny

Dear Super Nanny,

Your show fascinates me for so many reasons.  First of all, I used to wonder (that is before I had 3 boys), where do you ever find these people??  Now I realize, I am one of those people.  I could actually use you all the time, you seem to handle little boys pretty well.   Perhaps you'd like a new full time gig?  You came to the Chicagoland area last year and I even had some humorous emails from great friends suggesting that perhaps my family should go to the auditions.  But I'm not much of a reality TV gal, and certainly don't want to show off all our wonderful behaviors for all the world to see.  So instead, every once in a while I catch a glimpse of your show, and it makes me feel SO much better..... because what's usually going on over doesn't involve spitting or cursing in my face thank goodness.  Not that I'm judging, because I'm not.  No one ever warns you how hard raising kids is actually going to be. 

Here's the things Super Nanny... you swoop in with your English accent and pretty much change everything in a matter of a few days.  Now I know this makes for great TV, and I'm assuming your accent and expertise has helped you in the financial department.  I don't mean to be rude or disrespectful to your talents, but your show just doesn't seem REAL to me.  You see Super Nanny, on your show, you are always there to change things up a bit.  But here's the catch....so is the mom, and the dad, {who has somehow managed to take a paid leave from work to stay home and work on his parenting skills (every man's dream vacation I'm sure).}   The camera people are also there, and often other family members are there.  There's usually at least one or two adults there for every child present.   I've never seen you try to manage 3-4 unruly children on camera without anyone else present. I'm not saying you can't do it, your accent alone can probably move mountains.  I'm just saying that you make it look easy because it is much easier when you aren't OUTNUMBERED.

Now before you start getting defensive, please know that I've planted many little bodies safely back in their beds without looking at or speaking to them. Most of the time, when they were still in cribs, this was a complete failure. My boys can probably climb Mount Everest, and  they could certainly scale their cribs by 18 months. (Have you ever heard of a crib tent Super Nanny??? Best 75$ you will ever spend, just thought you may want my advice).   I've also used your "naughty chair or naughty step" more times than I can count.  Now since my boys are can't stay still longer than 1 minute and 32 seconds, the naughty chair turned out to be impossible to pull off.  What was I supposed to do with the other two while the accused was in the naughty chair? My children are quite bright I must say, and they certainly know how to take advantage of a busy mommy trying to get their brother to sit in the naughty chair for his allotted time.  When I am manning the chair, the other two are running around the house like wild Indians, doing things they know they shouldn't be doing.  All the while I keep putting the accused back in the chair, trying very hard to sound stern and English.  This ends up being a very vicious cycle, and usually ends with one very cranky mommy, two children running completely unsupervised around the house, and one accused brother laughing because he has realized that his mommy can't possibly keep him in the chair without worrying about the damage the other two are causing. 

And you know what else Super Nanny?  I have NEVER seen a parent on your show do a load of laundry, mow the grass, scrub the toilet, unload the dishwasher, pack lunches, or even do so much as check the mail. Perhaps the personal staff you bring for the week takes care of all that while the parents are just brushing up on their parenting strategies?  So you see, I do love your show for entertainment purposes, and I even learn a thing or two sometimes.   But it's not real.  I'm just saying.  Next time you are in town, come to my house ALONE.  I will leave you here for a few days and go off on a wonderful vacation like on Extreme Makeover, Home Addition.  When I come back, I want a pristine house, laundry done, and 3 perfectly polite behaved little boys.  Thank you very much.


Mom of Captain Competitive, Good Time Charlie, and SirWhineAlot

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Never Say Never

Before I was a house mom to Alpha Gamma McVey, I was a kindergarten teacher.  My all time favorite job in the world.  There is no way to have a bad day with 20 five year olds. It's just not possible.  They are so funny without meaning to be.  They have absolutely NO filter.  If you have a kindergartner in your house, rest assured there are no secrets safe within your home.  The kindergarten teacher knows all.  I knew who slept in what bed and where for about every family in my class.  I was told who was voting for who, what everyone's parents thought of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and George Bush during the election year of 2000.  One little boy in particular told me that his dad thought Bill Clinton was a big fat liar, "What do you think Mrs. McVey?  Is he really a big fat liar?"  I had to agree.

But I admit that as a teacher, I was a bit judgemental.  I, like every other teacher in the world, had those select little boys who just couldn't sit still.  They couldn't help themselves when they laughed themselves silly over farting noises, or did ridiculous things to make their friends laugh during "silent reading" time.  I swore I was NEVER going to have a boy that acted like that.  I remember thinking to myself, "My child will never behave like this.  What are these parents doing at home?" I was going to have sweet little children who followed all the rules.   I TAKE IT ALL BACK.   EVERY SINGLE JUDGEMENT I HAD AND WORD I SAID.

 Here I am, 7 years later, with two perfectly delightful little boys, Good Time Charlie and Sir WhineAlot, who have taught me to never say never.  They are THOSE boys.  The ones who can't sit still.  The ones who whisper "chocolate penis" in their friends' ear at lunch. The ones who drown goldfish crackers in their juice.  The ones who wrestle during story time and just can't seem to keep it together.   But now I'm not the teacher, I'm the parent who receives the phone call from the teacher.   The one on the end of the line explaining, "I'm so sorry, I will make sure it never happens again."  Easier said than done.  And then I think to myself, my boys are the ones the other parents warn their children about, probably even my own friends.  I can just hear it now, "When Good Time Charlie and Sir WhineAlot are misbehaving, you IGNORE them." 

Last week, I decided that we needed some sort of positive reinforcement system.  Since the boys are very motivated by a pack of gum at their favorite 7 Eleven, I decided quarters would be the reward.  No time- outs at school equals one quarter.  And five quarters (which means 5 days with no time-outs) means a trip to the beloved 7 Eleven.  Now our 7 Eleven is like any other 7 Eleven in the US, except that my children are very well known here.  I'm not sure I take it as a compliment, but the owner and his brother call them "the tornado's".  In their very thick Indian accents, they tell me "they are like tornado's, swirling around my store touching everything".   Like I said, they are THOSE boys, even in a convenience store. 

I was hoping that a little competition would entice them to earn the quarters.  The first one to five quarters got the first trip to the store.  Captain Competitive would be ALL over this if he needed a system, but he is my only rule follower and therefore isn't part of the game.  Sir WhineAlot definitely has some fight in him, and he was the first to 5 quarters.  Good Time Charlie was too busy wrestling on the rug to earn his last quarter last week.  So here comes the lesson............... we go to 7 Eleven and Sir WhineAlot picks out his pack of gum.  I wait for Good Time Charlie's tantrum.  I watch his face as he studies all the packs of gum on the shelf.  He doesn't even flash a frown.  Just looks at me and says, "That's OK mommy, I can wait until next week when I earn another quarter".  WHAT??? No sense of urgency, no remorse, NOTHING.  The kid has more patience than anyone I've ever known.  Enough to make me crazy.   He figures he'll get his pack of gum when he gets around to it, in his own sweet time, when he feels like behaving. 

They drive me to insanity, THOSE boys.  But I love them like crazy and they make us all laugh.  Life is definitely not boring around here and I never know what surprises (good and bad) they will bring daily.  They are known as the tornado's, the neighborhood pirates, the dynamic duo, the wonder twins. They have taught me that kids aren't perfect, and parents aren't either.  And no matter how hard I try, I can't change them.  I can try to mold them into responsible members of society (please pray very hard, we need all the help we can get over here), but I can't squelch their creative spirits. I just wish they'd stop wrestling on the rug. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Alternative Engineering

 A good friend of mine always tells me that she loves my boys' "creative energy".  I'm pretty sure that's code for something else, but she has a good point.  If I had to bet on what their college majors would be, I would put a lot of money on the engineering field for Captain Competitive and SirWhineAlot.  I'm a little concerned that Good Time Charlie will either not make it into college, or will flunk out after having way too much fun at his fraternity mixers.  He has recently been asking if he can skip preschool and just go to hockey class everyday, which is a bit disturbing coming from a five year old.  Unfortunately, not surprising though. 

Alternative Engineering is what my boys are really all about.  I'm pretty sure it's not a true form of engineering, but my boys have mastered it nonetheless.  My inventive definition of alternative engineering is: when a person takes an object or objects and consistently finds an alternative use, other than what it was intended for.  My boys are genius' at this. Toilet paper becomes home decor, anything that resembles a long cylindrical object is a sword, pasta can suddenly be transformed into a gun at the dinner table, mail is for making animal habitats, hoses are for cleaning windows that were just professionally washed, balusters are for climbing onto built in bookshelves, transformers and legos are for plugging the toilet..... I could go on forever.  You get the idea right?

My favorite story of the boys is really about alternative engineering at its finest.  Two years ago, some very good friends let us borrow a moon jump for our basement for the winter.  We thought it would be a great idea to let them burn their energy off in the moon jump, rather than running around the house like crazy people.  One particular day around Christmas time, the boys were downstairs in the moon jump (or so we thought).  We noticed that their was a ton of laughter.  I have learned that laughter can either be very very good or very very bad.  Since I thought they were just jumping, I just worked upstairs and enjoyed the laughter..... who doesn't love to listen to their kids laugh?  Since I had music playing upstairs, I couldn't really hear what was REALLY going on.  About 5 minutes later, Captain Competitive runs upstairs to tell CC Senior and I, "Hurry, hurry, you have to come down and see how cool this is."   At this point, I'm still thinking I'm going to see some jumping moves or something of the like.   But what CC Senior and I really saw was something that resembled a Christmas war zone.  The moon jump was deflated, and the 3 boys, (all 5 and under at this point), had figured out how to take the blower off the jumper and use it to project my Christmas ornaments across the room and into the wall.  I'M NOT KIDDING.  They were using the blower as a launcher, and had launched ALL the ornaments from the basement Christmas tree across the room, into the wall, and then onto the floor (in many many broken pieces).  The scary thing is that they were SO proud of their engineering capabilities.  They weren't even worried that they might be in trouble, that maybe this wasn't such a great idea.  They couldn't have been more excited to show us how they had just mastered the laws of physics.  I can't even remember how we reacted.  I mean, who thinks their kids are going to dismantle a moon jump and use it as an ornament launcher?  All I can hope is that they are so creatively brilliant that someday they will put their "creative energy" to good use.

Unfortunately, the story does not end there, it only gets better.  Shocking, but better.  A few weeks later, after many, many conversations about the appropriate uses of toys, we bring the moon jump and the blower out of time out for the boys to use again. I hear the usual jumping and noises from upstairs, and then the dreaded LAUGHING.  Now Christmas was over at this point, and the ornaments were all smashed to pieces.  There wasn't much else in the basement to launch across the room, so I couldn't figure out what could be so funny.  I walk down to the basement to a very unnerving sight.  Three little boys were watching their privates move up and down from the force of the air coming out of the blower.  "Watch this mommy, it's SO COOL."  I was absolutely speechless.  I still am just thinking about it.

At that moment, the blower went away, FOREVER.  I also realized that these little surprises (or incidents) were what life was going to be like for many many years to come.  I guess it just comes from having a house full of boys. Hopefully by the time they all get to college, Alternative Engineering will actually BE a major.  Because they are all going to ace it. Maybe even Good Time Charlie. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Me, Myself, and I

Starting tomorrow morning, Captain Competitive Senior (a.k.a. my husband), is in charge.  That's right, for 60 hours, I'm going somewhere BY MYSELF.  For the first time in probably 11 years.  I'm pretty sure the last time I went somewhere by myself is when I flew home to get ready for our wedding.  Since then, I've gone plenty of places.  First accompanied by Captain Competitive Senior himself, or girlfriends (mine, not his of course).  Then with Captain Competitive Junior as a baby, and finally with the whole kitten caboodle of Alpha Gamma McVey.  I am usually the crazy lady in the airport with the 3 kids and sometimes a husband if it's a family trip.  I often do travel alone with them and have been doing so since the twins were 2 and still in diapers and CC Junior was 4. Crazy I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sitting here with 3 kids under four on a long winter day always seemed worse than hopping on a plane and constantly diverting disaster for a few hours until my parents picked us up at the Orlando airport.  To anyone who has ever had to sit next to us on an airplane, I am truly sorry.  Really I am.  I'm sure it was unpleasant, especially when Good Time Charlie had a major blowout as a 2 year old that leaked onto the airplane seat.  I hope all the good samaritans who have had to endure a few hours of us have long forgotten about me and my boys.

Back to tomorrow............. CC Senior is in charge for 2 and a half days.  He has been in charge plenty of times before, but usually enlists the help of his parents who live a couple of hours away.  This time he's flying solo.  I have pumped up the boys in my absence with promises of an exciting "Boys Only Weekend".  I have told them that this is very special to have this time alone with daddy (while mommy is sipping refreshing beverages with old friends in sunny California acting like she is 20 again).  Not that I don't think that the weekend will be a success, I honestly do. CC Senior is more than capable and may actually find himself having a great time.   But I have to admit I'm letting him off easy this time. 

To all the ladies out there... whether you work or stay home, don't you love it when the husband asks, "What did you do all day?"  CC Senior honestly asks me this because he is being nice.  And because he's a good listener and I told him that he needs to be more curious about my everyday life, however mundane it may seem (although insane is more of a correct term for everyday life here).  For these 60 hours, all I am asking him to do is feed, bathe, read to, and put the kids to bed on Friday evening. Wake them all up at 6:30am,  feed them breakfast, and have them all dressed and at the football field by 8am Saturday morning for CC Junior's football game. (Oh, and Sir WhineAlot is NOT a morning person, so listen to lots of whining, and watch carefully because Good Time Charlie likes to see how far he can throw his cheerios.)  Come home, feed them lunch, play, give them a snack, play referee, make sure they don't kill each other or flood the basement, and please please stay out of the emergency room this weekend.  After that, please feed them dinner, make sure they are clean (and wiping them down with a washcloth DOES NOT count as clean), brush their teeth, and put them to bed at a reasonable time.   Oh, and do that all over again on Sunday, except instead of the football game, make sure to drop CC Junior at the birthday party, and don't forget the gift.   I won't be home until Sunday evening, definitely after bedtime, and hope the house is clean.

Here's the thing........... here are all the things I'm NOT asking CC Senior to do this weekend (with 3 boys in tow):  grocery shop, pick up the dry cleaning, go to the post office, pay the bills, wrap the birthday presents, host a playdate, do the laundry, drive carpool with people flinging things out the window, plan a birthday party, wait for the cable guy, design a Halloween costume, make cookies, make play dough, make dinner (I'm pretty sure frozen pizza is the food of choice for the weekend), and hold on Line 1 to speak to the next customer service representative while Sir WhineAlot and Good Time Charlie toilet paper the house. 

Now I'm not saying I could do his job, because I know that I can't.  I have absolutely NO idea how to do his job and all the stress that comes with it, so I don't expect him to know how to do mine, especially with things flying around the house all day.  I appreciate that our relationship works this way. He manages the daily stress of supporting a family of 5, and I manage the daily stress of boys who are full of creative energy (that's the politically correct way of putting it).   All I'm saying is that he will probably have a much greater appreciation for me when I arrive home on Sunday. (He says that's not possible, but I'm going to leave that up to this weekend).  Just like I would of him if we switched roles for 60 hours. 

Until then, I'm going by myself.  Just me, myself, and I to watch an old friend engage in holy matrimony.  To ride on an airplane without a millions snacks and juice boxes, and to get reacquainted with the old me, before Alpha Gamma McVey became my life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything,  and it's nice to know it will be right here when I get back, probably with new nerf bullets adorning my windows.  Have fun boys.  CC Senior, love you, and please don't call before noon cental time, I'll be sleeping.