When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


M & M time

I'm not talking about candy. I'm referring to something I love even more than chocolate [hard to imagine, right?]. M & M time is Mommy and Maddie time.

When I signed Parker up for preschool last year, I assumed that his 3 hours away from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays would be filled with tea parties, make-up sessions, reading, and cuddle time with Maddie. Then I realized how incredibly easy it was to get things accomplished when there is only one child in my charge. Suddenly I could unload the dishwasher and start a load of laundry before lunch time. Imagine! When I found that she didn't complain about car rides and errands when it was just the two of us, the possibilities were endless...dry cleaners, grocery, library, oh my!

I got greedy. I started to fill all of "Maddie's" time with chores and errands, convincing myself we had quality conversations along the way. I read her extra books before nap time and bedtime to cover my guilt. The complaining began. It was inevitable, really. "I don't want to go to the store!" I had ruined it.

Well, Thursday was a crazy one. It was Parker's last day of preschool, and the 3 hour window just didn't seem long enough. I was running around trying to finish the small, movie-themed gift baskets I had made for his teachers. I had so many stops to make, I thought my head might explode. Maddie whined her complaints from the backseat as I drove like a madwoman all over town. I just wanted some silly movie tickets! The theaters weren't open yet, Walmart didn't carry them, Blockbuster had stopped selling gift cards temporarily due to a corporate takeover. AAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!

We stopped at Stonybrook theaters around 10:30. When I saw that they were closed, I decided to duck into the nearby Steak-n-Shake, so Maddie and I could take a potty break. Once inside, I reasoned we might as well stay until 11, to give the theatre a chance to open. Best. Decision. Ever.

I realized what I had been missing. This was real Mommy/Maddie time. We sat in a booth and just played. With nary a dish to wash, shirt to fold, or toy to put away, I turned off my phone and mental to-do list, and was able to focus completely on my little princess. We each ordered chocolate milk (a rare treat). She talked in her loud [read: oblivious to others], high-pitched voice, eliciting smiles from the other patrons. We shook the sugar packets like maracas, took turns wearing her hot pink feather boa, and had an impromptu tea party with the plastic dishes she had lugged in from the van. She danced to the 80's music, and hugged the candy machine, informing me it was her "best fwiend" after it dispensed some sweet treats. We chatted about nothing and sang silly songs. We didn't have a care in the world.

At 11, we were ready to go. The theatre still wasn't open. What might have seemed like a waste of time to a casual observer was actually the best 30 minutes I have spent with my baby in a long time. What a lesson I learned! I just hope I can remember it.


Clothing Wars

Why are my kids so opposed to clothing? Perhaps a more accurate question would be: Why are they so opposed to wearing clothing appropriately? I really don't understand. I have tried to explain that when worn properly, clothes offer protection from wind, rain, scratchy things, etc. It doesn't seem to matter. Parker will wear clothes during the day, but at night, he insists on being nude. When we have sitters, we make him wear pj's but allow him to forgo the underwear. I guess he overheard us calling it "going commando," because the other day he informed me he was "going komodo" to school. Um, no.

Maddie is a wild card. She vacillates between wearing multiple layers of mismatched clothes, wearing nothing, and refusing to wear bottoms of any sort. The other day I went into the house to make lunch, keeping an ear on the kids through the open window as they played on the swing set. When I exited the house minutes later, Maddie's pants and underwear were MIA. When asked where they were, she grinned and innocently replied, "I don't know." Yeah.

The worst part is that she is completely immodest [and oblivious to others]. We had dinner guests one night, and Maddie (who was previously clothed) bounded down the stairs and into the kitchen sans bottoms. She grinned up at everyone and ran in circles. If you combine her affinity for body art, preference to remain naked, refusal to brush her hair, love of spinning, and complete lack of coordination, she could be mistaken for a drunken, tattooed Tasmanian devil most days.

Oh well, at least I'm getting some great wedding slide show shots.