Nov. 26, 2007 at 10:29am
staying sane on a long weekend
Rolling into a long, food&drink -centered weekend, I was apprehensive.
I have a high-energy kid, an atheist mother-in-law who invited my Christian mother to dinner under the strict rule "no praying at my table" and a diet I was trying to adhere to. To add to that, I invited a 12 year old cousin to stay the weekend, thinking that might help to entertain my squirrelly not-quite-6 year old.
What I expected to be awkward, wasn't. Dinner went fine, food was good, conversation flowed like the spirits served with supper. Where I expected myself to overdo it, I didn't. However, the twelve year old was at that age where it's cool to be surly, and spent her time in our household texting her girlfriends, leaving dirty clothes, CDs, and other various and sundry crap everywhere, and in general making me realize that it's not just 5 year-olds who can't ask questions in a full sentence or display gratitude-- apparently this is a skill that's refined as kids age.
I had come up with a plan of attack to keep kids occupied-- climbing gym, movie, craft item, -- after which the mother-in-law would take the kids to Zoolights while I visited the Nutcracker in Seattle with a girlfriend.
Edgeworks was fun for the girls-- my little gal rocked my world with her feats of fearlessness, though the cousin spent a pretty impressive amount of time with her arms crossed expressing boredom (she's not accustomed to height restrictions when she climbs). The movie Enchanted was fun for the girls; while not, strictly speaking, film at its most intellectually pure, it was a happily-ever-after romp through fairytale fantasy. Time spent at Artco was an exercise in how not to strangle two "I want I want I want" monsters-- even after $27 spent at the climbing gym (for about an hour of bouldering) and well more than that at the theatre, the kids acted like I was a heinous beast depriving them of all and any fun when I said "no" to most requests for crappy crappy crafty stuff that would end up in the waste bin
By this point, I needed wine but I had to restrain myself for a trip into Seattle for the Nutcracker opening. Annoyingly, the couple seated in front of my girlfriend and me had no sense of etiquette (the dude kept leaning in to whisper loudly, while the girl would giggle) adn then the little dude behind me kept kicking my seat. All this, while an audience seemingly in need of inordinate amounts of Ricola coughed all around us. There was some magic lacking, there.
Fortunately, annoying pre-teen went home, "bored" with us (apparently even Zoolights wasn't enough to get her to go "nice!" or "thanks!"), and then our little family could be back to normal-- me, cleaning, him, watching football. The next day contained more of the same, with a post- Thanksgiving cardio guilt-fest that threw over 90 minutes of cardio at the Y into the day's activities, followed by a trip to Duke's for a well-deserved steak salad.
And now, I have the holidays to look forward to... Maybe there's a book somewhere about "how to pace yourself"?
comments  | posted under exercise, family activities, TacomaComments
by ensie on 11/26/2007 @ 11:40am
|I love your mother-in-law and the "no praying at the table" rule. Wow.
Sounds like you did a great job of pacing yourself over the Thanksgiving holiday, keeping everyone happy while taking time for yourself. Can't wait to hear how things go in the future.
by jenyum on 11/26/2007 @ 12:20pm
|There's just something about Artco. I won't go in there with more than one child ever again, if I can help it.
It doesn't help that they have to call in a manager just to take things off your tab, when the kids sneak their purchases onto the conveyor belt.
Sounds like a pretty good holiday, to me.
by jcbetty on 11/26/2007 @ 1:53pm
|thanks, and hi, new friends!! *waving like mad*
-Artco, Target, and the Fred Meyer toy aisle: great places not to bring greedy monsters. I could say WalMart, too, but I avoid that place like mad just on general principle... (My kid's not quite to "sneaky" yet-- she just asks, asks, asks, asks, and then asks again, hoping to annoy us into submission...)
by jenyum on 11/26/2007 @ 2:32pm
|Oh man, Target.
I have had security called, and an offer to medicate my daughter right on the spot, during MeltDown 2006 in the Target toy aisle.
by KevinFreitas on 11/26/2007 @ 4:11pm
|Welcome to the FT jc!
Bummer the pre-teen wasn't into spending time with you guys but it sounds like you squeaked out a good long weekend nonetheless.
jenyum: Wow, that's one heck of a tantrum. Not sure I agree with them offering to medicate your child tho.
by cassioposa on 11/26/2007 @ 4:12pm
|Hehe. Thanks for that great holiday recap. Sounds like you're far better at the whole "pacing yourself" thing than you give yourself credit for. And with family dynamics like you describe, I doubt you have much use for reality TV or sitcoms.|
by Steph DeRosa on 11/26/2007 @ 6:14pm
|Next time I see your daughter I'm teaching her how to effectively throw a tantrum.
Also- diggin' the new space you got here JCB.
Though, I think the person here before you had pets.
by jcbetty on 11/26/2007 @ 6:29pm
|thanks KF!! feels like home, though I don't know... I'm catchin' that cat urine thing, now that Steph's mentioned it...(cheers for the tantrum offer-- you do it, and I'll have her teach your little cherub that hand on hip "you're not the boss of me" thing...)
I think I've offered other moms valiums and/or benadryl a time or two (though, I swear, in jest!) (or at the very least, I've offered that sympathetic, eye-rolling smile that says, "I get it.")
--Cassio: sit-wha? TV is for something other than kid movies? (I jest: I have been known to get sucked into late night Law & Order and America's Next Top Model-a-thons...)
by ensie on 11/26/2007 @ 6:33pm
|jcbetty - Ooooo. You may have to join cassi and myself for Wednesday night showings of Project Runway (or whenever since we can record and watch later!).|
by ensie on 11/26/2007 @ 6:33pm
|I should add to that - anyone is welcome if you're interested.|
by jcbetty on 11/26/2007 @ 7:59pm
|Ooooooooh!!!!!!!! *quivering in excitement.* (good thing I, unlike the pooch, do not piddle when excited.) I wonder if I can arrange time away from the home for good behavior, in the name of fashion? Betcha I can swing that...
musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.