I made a deal with Miles tonight, so while he watches Dora The Explorer before bedtime I found myself with a moment to sit down with a book. Molly is climbing on my legs & Miles keeps asking for a Popsicles (He's wondering how many No's = one Yes?)... it's clear I can't take on too big of a challenge.... my new Margaret Atwood will have to wait.
I picked up this book at Time Out for Women. I was so excited to see the author speak (it the reason I bought the ticket for the weekend) and she didn't show.Something about having lost her passport. I had to giggle that I was looking forward to learning some motivating (hopefully) parenting & prioritizing tips from someone who lost such an important document. I decided to give her books a go anyhow. And I peeled through The Time-Starved Family in a couple of days. Great book.
This is the second book I bought that weekend. By page 5 I had found pure brilliance (re: mothering). ...Instead of consistently being pleased with my daily efforts, I somehow tend to concentrate on my undone tasks - on those areas that desperately need improvement. Without question I was buying into that familiar fallacy that my offerings had to be grand to be great, and that small meant insignificant.
In honor of that passage, and pretty much the entire Introduction, here are 10 small (but supposedly significant) things I did today (this was harder than I thought it would be).
1. I finally put that darn rocketship outside. It's a punishment for not sharing that I know will be worth it in the end....but there were tears.
2. We made foam turkeys to hang up for Thanksgiving (but that's not the little thing) and I let Miles get glue all over the freshly-oiled dining room table (that is). He has more fun when I'm not cleaning up as he creates.
3. I fixed Miles race track at least 12 times. At least.
4. I rewashed some second hand clothing a friend gave us for Miles. I explained to him that his new Superman PJ's were once his friends (who is bigger than him) and that he was giving them to him...sharing!
5. I rummaged through my old photos to find a picture of my childhood dollhouse that I would like Brian to recreate (build) for Molly this Christmas. Found one! Can't wait to see her face on Christmas :)
6. I ordered pictures from Costco of Miles first day of school. I ordered extras for Aunties, Grandmas and an enlargement for Great Granny who is slowly losing her vision.
7. I made dinner. A cottage pie. And I was lucky to have help from Sister Hill & Sister Riley, who peeled my potatoes when they stopped by today. Miles hated it. Molly loved it. And Brian will be so happy to have leftovers for a week (I made enough to feed an army).
8. I let the kids have a cookie from the bakery at the grocery store. I knew they would be filthy in minutes and that I didn't have wipes or change of clothes. I knew I would regret having the kids with the dirty faces at the next store (where they don't pass out free cookies or appreciate grubby little hands) and that the judgements of others ("What's all over your face sweetie?") would make my skin crawl. But I did it anyway, because Miles was so happy that he remembered where the Free cookie lady was ("Near the Lobster!")9. I let Miles mash the potatoes for the cottage pie. I had to stand behind & mash with my arms around him. It was so awkward and my arms were aching.... he was pretty proud of himself.
10. Miles was upset about going to bed... so I do what my mom did when we were younger and calmly talked to him until he stopped crying and accepted his fate. We usually have two conversations. The first one is "Who Loves You" and I name all the people who love him. And then "Tomorrow is Going to be a Great Day" and I tell him all the things he will do tomorrow if he goes to sleep. It works every time, but sometimes takes some time.