Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I worked harder, not smarter.

Tuesday morning.

After morning coffee-and-cartoon time, my two-year-old came up to me and started singing "It's time to party!" swinging his little arms in the air. (This is the Turbo Jam theme song.)  He was reminding me to exercise.  I respond well to gentle, cute reminders. Thanks, Peter.

Before I exercised, I made a circle of couches and pillows and chairs around the wrestling mat, hoping they would climb cheerfully while I jammed.

I was interrupted once or twice by injuries, complaints, and one bite, but I still had a good workout. (If I count those "mothering moments" as part of the workout rather than interruptions, things go more smoothly.  Putting kids in time-outs burns calories, too, I tell myself.)

After my workout, I had a crazy thought.

"Maybe," I said quietly to myself, "If I think of something really fun for them to do, they will play happily while I can tomatoes."

Inspired by this post, I constructed a balance beam for my kiddos.
(Grandmas, don't worry. Note the mats underneath the plank. Their falls were cushioned. I give this a mild-to-medium danger-rating. Please also note: more than one of these boys walking down the hall at the same time is ALSO an activity with a mild-to-medium danger rating.)

"Mom, you made me a PLANK? AWEsome!" He said in his man voice.
Yes, I am a pretty cool mom, son.

OH the laughter, the fun that was had by all! They were pirates, they were plank-walkers, they were supermen!  The fighting ceased, and there was nothing but the sounds of joy and adventure in my basement.

I took pictures, then I did what moms often do when kids play happily: I snuck away to get stuff done.

I worked happily in the kitchen, thanking God for my cleverness the good ideas from pinterest and the Play at Home Moms.  They were happy, and I was happy. Even the tomatoes seemed happy.

"Mom, you have to come see what Peter did."
Nobody was screaming, and my hands were messy. How important could it be?
"Marcus, it's going to have to wait until I get caught up in the kitchen."
A few more quiet minutes, then, "MOM! You REALLY NEED to come see this!"
I rinsed my hands and grumped down the stairs.

Not much mom, just...


They decorated the balance beam. They made it nice and slippery. Plus, they all smelled wonderful, and so did my basement.

First, "Are you KIDDING ME?  Noooo!!!"
and time out chairs.  And irritation beyond what the situation warranted.

Then, I saw the ridiculousness of the situation, and myself, and them. So, I sent the oldest one for the camera.

That's a combination of baby powder and boogers. Cute.

I know, I KNOW it sends mixed messages to say things like, "Never, never do that again!" while I am holding my camera and storing memories. But no fear. There were consequences.

They cleaned.
(Even the cat learned a few things about cleaning.)

And when I realized wiping wet rags over piles of baby powder just leaves white crusty streaks everywhere, they REALLY cleaned. WE cleaned.

What was supposed to be a brief climbing activity for the boys turned into an all-morning project.
But, the basement is clean.


This is just a glimpse into my Tuesday that felt like a Monday.
Later that day, I said, "If I hear the words 'Mommy...come see what Peter did!' ONE more time, I'm running off into the fields.

It looks so quiet out there....


  1. I would love to surround myself by cornfields some days. My parents bought my son a climber for outside, but he likes it so much we left it in the living room temporarily. He is being super creative figuring out all the ways he can hurt himself on it.

    1. :) Yes, they sure do love to hurt themselves don't they? :)

  2. You truly are the COOLest mama ever! Do you mind if I send my 5 boys your way?

  3. Oh my...your little one looks like an angel with a stinker hiding inside! Ha! Ha! What a cutie! How can you stay mad at that?

    1. Exactly. Those dimples crack me way to often!

  4. LOVE it. Now I want to get some wrestling mats for my basement! I'll just hide the baby powder--thanks for THAT heads-up. :)

    1. I don't know what we would do without those mats! or the baby powder! Just... not together next time. :)


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