Valentines Drama

On Monday Gene asked if I want to go out for Valentines
night.  At that time, I was feeling for some inexplicable reason not really
in the mood.  It was probably because I
had already purchased strawberries for Valentines evening and had big chocolate
dipping plans.

On Valentines morning I realized that, Oh wait, this is a Holiday to celebrate
love, and I had not a card or even a shred of anything resembling a nice
gesture for my husband. (I did nag him about some fencing, but I don’t think
that counts as a nice gesture)  I knew
myself well enough to know that last minute running to a store to buy a card
wasn’t going to happen, so while he was on his way out the door, I mentioned to
him please don’t get me anything, because I got you nothing.

We shared a nice little moment of understanding that our love would not tank
even if we didn’t really celebrate hugely. (Namely by exchanging cards for
roses)  We’ve also kind of adopted a
family night tradition with Valentines.
It is a Big Deal to Elena.  I was
good with doing the family thing.  No I wanted to do the family thing.

Fast forward to suppertime.
I made a meal of tiny bites. Tiny barbeque sandwiches, shrimp, tiny
salads at every plate.  Tiny little
chicken bites wrapped in filo.  Elena was
in charge of the décor.  She had
completed her own valentines weeks ago, and was stressed out trying to get her
little brother to care.  She forced him
to make one for Madi, and then he petered out.

We sat down and had prayer.  The meal
spiraled downhill from there.  Gene had
bought those candy necklaces on a stretchy string.  (double gross yuck yuck, I am not fond of
them)  Madi saw them and was not having
any other type of food.  She started out
by flinging her shrimp on the floor.
Loud crying.  Screaming. Taking a
bite of sandwich.  Spitting it like it
was gagging her.  She was sent to her
room.  Gene asked if she had had a nap. I testily answered “yes”.

Brandt suddenly became torqued that his valentine from Elena didn’t have
chocolate with it like Gene and mine did.
He kept saying rude (but funny) things about it.  THE CHILD DOES NOT EVEN LIKE CHOCOLATE, but he
was so upset that Elena chose to give him a pencil instead of candy.  It was a lose/lose situation.

Dessert was my chocolate dipped strawberries, and regular strawberries.   Brandt asked if he could please have cereal
instead. We said no.  YOU WILL EAT THOSE
STRAWBERRIES AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY, SON!  Madi joined us again at the table.  She ate nothing for supper, and then she
sneaked a candy necklace and we pretended not to notice.

By 7:00, the children had abandoned the table, and I was left with a messy
kitchen.  Gene was having problems with
the silo, and had to go climb it.  I sat
down and thought Really, I said No to a
date night for this
? Can’t I go back
in time and change my mind?

I cleaned up the kitchen while the children tore apart the
living room.  And so that ended my 2012
Valentines day.  It was kind of like
expecting a baby kitten, but getting a baby gerbil instead.

And I tried to stay off of facebook because everybody else seemed to be having the time
of their lives.

I learned my lesson.  I will never say no to a date again.

Now if you’re wondering if I’m the kind of person who always
has horrible things happen to them, and is a real Debbie Downer, its not
true.  I usually choose to write about
the less glorious things in life.

Stephen King was asked once why he always writes horror stories, and he said “What
makes you think I have a choice?”  That’s
how I feel.   I physically cannot tell a story about myself
that ends glowey.  Don’t feel bad, if something wonderful would have happened last night, there
would be no post today because that’s just no fun .

And so I’ll end with some pictures.
Captured by myself and my offspring.
Do you know the feeling when you want to make sure people KNOW that you
suck at something, and you want them to know that You Know you suck?  That’s how I feel about photography.   I feel
compelled to post the most awful pictures of myself. Please forgive.

Our table, with our youngest daughter wearing a swimsuit.
Because thats what she wears every day lately.

The Happy One

The One with the Smeary Mouth

Titled:  Motherhood makes me Glow. or
 It will be a happy day when Andreas Triple Chin Resumes is Status as a Double  or
Elena please stop playing with my camera!

The Magical night  or
Husband Drapes over Wife or
What is that Cool New Sepia Tone?

Projecting onto our Kids Part 1

My mom spent a lot of time while I was in grade school,
trying to convince me to wear saddle shoes.
I thought saddle shoes were dumb, and refused to wear them.

As it turns out, when she was a girl in the 50’s saddle
shoes were all the rage, and being Amish, she wasn’t allowed to wear them.  Way to pin your old dreams onto me mom!

And yet, who thinks that every child will be thrilled from
head to toe with a new book? Me, yes me.
Who wants our little family to spend evening’s together sitting on the
couch reading our respective books?  Me

Who thinks this is a bit ridiculous, and that it is not
quality family time? Yes, my children’s father.

The point is, the things I love, my own dreams, I am passionate about bringing
those same things into the lives of my children.

The things Gene loves and has good memories of, I am not so
passionate about bringing into the lives of our children.  We also don’t have a huge overlap in fond

Gene has good memories when he was a boy of lying on the
floor and watching fish swim around in his parent’s 30 gallon fish tank.  He learned about guppies this way.

I first learned about guppies by reading Henry Huggins, by
Beverly Cleary. (If you’re interested, Henry buys a couple of guppies and they
reproduce like crazy, and he fills all his mother’s canning jars with guppies,
which is fine until his mother needs to do some preserving. It’s an old-school
book; part of the charm)

So, Gene wants to buy a fish tank for our family.  Not a small tank though, a gigantic tank that
needs its own special cabinet to hold its weight.  I would rather buy Henry Huggins.

So while our children are busy developing their own
interests, Gene and I try to sway each of them to buy into our ideas of what constitutes
a happy childhood.

This could get interesting yet.

To you parents that have walked on the tightrope of blending
two parents together into one harmonious unit, I nod my head to you.  You have my respect, because it is not easy.