"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Benign Neglect

Until maybe this year, I've identified "gardening" as a hobby (or interest, because people with four kids don't have hobbies). I thought I liked it, but was just really, really bad at it. Recently, though, it occurred to me that I don't like gardening...I like pulling weeds. It's really satisfying after one didn't do all the things one wanted to do when one's daughter tells one that one is not "treating her like (one) wants to be treated." One can do all those things to the weeds instead. But even the weeds get overwhelming after a while, and usually by July I've left the garden to fend for itself.

You'd be surprised what shows up in a garden that's not being actively taken care of.

The last two weeks have stunk. It's hot. It's so humid I can barely breathe. Josh is really busy at work, and we've both been working whenever possible to get the rental ready. The kids fight and gripe constantly. Princess has been off the charts. So, after an enlightening conversation about my psycho controlling intense and hand-on personality, I backed off.

I pretty much did not parent today.

Well, not really- I helped Buddy get ready for his camping trip and took the kids to and from soccer camp and warmed a can of soup fed them lunch and took them to swim and cooked dinner. But other than that, I laid sprawled out on the sofa with my dorky math puzzles (say what you will- they relax me) and ignored the children. If they came to tattle, I said, "oh. Would you like to play next to me?" and they'd leave. They played outside. I said nothing. They fought. I said nothing. They did gymnastics on the stairs. I said nothing while wondering if a trip to the ER would be worth the parenting vacation. And you know what?

They were fine.

Better even. They worked their crap out on their own. They asked me to play a game and they did. I went and got some cherry tomatoes from the neglected garden and shared them.

And now I can breathe through the humidity.


  1. sometimes you just have to sit back in awe and wonder why we try so hard...and at that point there's blood ;D Glad you had a semi-you day.

  2. congratulations from your loving dad

  3. Everyone needs a day off. It's been too long for you. :)

  4. Love it.... and cause I love it so much I award you an award... hop on over :)

  5. Stupid thing ate my comment. *sigh*

    So I'll just say... you go girl!

    Mary in TX