Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break, Prank Calling & Spelling

This is the last day of spring break 2008. It was a good one for us. My mom and I took the kids to Holly Lakes Resort near Tyler, Texas. Clay and I visited there about 7 years ago and had a great time. I have often remembered it as a great place to take my kids. They have little cabins or condos in the piney woods surrounded by a golf course, several lakes, putt putt, pool, hot tub, basketball, volleyball, tetherball, hiking, gameroom and a movie theater. It is small enough that you can walk to most of the activity areas and the kids can run around and have a great time. Clay came up on Wednesday and finished out the week with us. My cousin, Kara, lives in Tyler with her two kids and they came out on Thursday evening. I bought some glow in the dark easter eggs to hide for the kids. After hours under the lights, however, they did not glow at all! Also, they were filled with Lemonheads, Double Bubble and Atomic Warheads. Terrible candy! Who invented Atomic Warheads. They are the nastiest creatures in the candy kingdom. If you haven't tried one, you need to just to have the experience. My sour tastebuds are tingling just thinking about it.
Anyway, we started the week off with one of Landry's friends spending the night with us. Jakob is a sweet, toe headed little guy who hardly says a word and is a pleasure to have around. Sunday afternoon Clay was home with the kids and I went to Target because I am a Targetuer. I'm like Norm from Cheers. I walk in and everyone stops and yells, "Tessa"! Well, at least they do at the pharmacy. I am nothing if not properly medicated. Anywho, I noticed I missed a call on my cell. I called voicemail and listened to a serious of burps followed by histerical laughter and my sons voice saying, "ok, what is your dad's phone number?" I called home and asked clay if he realized what was happening and he said he was aware because he received a phone call from Jakob's dad informing him of the pranks. Clay and Sophie had been asleep on the couch while Landry and Jakob came downstairs and got the Wood Elementary directory and called not only me and Jakob's dad, but their girlfriends as well. When I got home I asked them about it and they just fell out laughing. They thought they were so funny and clever. Landry called his girlfriend, Megan McCurdy and Jakob's girlfriend, Haley Lloyd. They asked to speak to the girls and then said, "blah, blah, blah." They said that the girls hung up on them because they did not know who was calling. I had to teach them about caller id. Thank God there was no caller id when I was a kid! I hope now they understand that as fun as it is, prank calling is a thing of the past. It is no longer a favorite past time of children everywhere. So, I dutifully called the McCurdy's and the Lloyd's and apologized for my pranksters. Honestly, I can't believe they are doing this in first grade. Times are a changin'.

Sophie is learning to spell on her own. She is amazing me. Landry didn't learn how to spell until he was fiveish. She is 4 and can already spell her name and stop. She learned a new one yesterday. She said, "P-o-o-P-o-o spells poopoo, right? So, I think P-o-o-p spells poop." I promise I did not teach this to her, but I am so proud!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Daddies aren't babysitters/Mommies shouldn't be martyrs

I am blessed to have a wonderful husband. I know this. This is why I picked him. Early on in our marriage we started talking about kids and how we would raise them. We talked about the fact that it is a joint effort and we would both be involved in the daily raising of our children. After Landry was born, I showed Clay how to deal with a baby. I showed him how to bathe him, feed him, clothe him, change him, and pretty much anything else that I knew and he didn't. I did know alot more about babies than he did because while he was playing baseball in Jr high I was babysitting. I also, have read every book on child development, temperament,and disease, as well as any article from any magazine pertaining to children that has crossed my path. Anything of importance that I know about babies and kids I share with Clay. We grew into this parenting partnership together.

Therefore, when I have a fun night planned with my friends, Clay has absolutely no problem handling the kids himself. Clay can and often does take the kids on weekend getaways by himself. Most evenings, when he is in town, he bathes the kids, by himself, and puts them to bed. He can dress them, feed them, play with them, take them to the store and get them to school as well.

How,you may ask, did I get him to do this? I will tell you the secret......I expect no less and neither does he.

Many of our friends ask us for advice on this topic. We have come to realize that Clay is a much more hands on dad than most men. We often hear the wife's side of the story and we hear anger, resentment and exhaustion, but we also hear a lot of martyrdom. Wives want their husbands to want to help out and not have to be asked. Or they decide that they never do it right so they might as well do it themselves. I have to say, sister, that you are bringing this on yourself. Your husband is not about to get off the couch and help if he doesn't have to. More importantly, if he knew that this would make him your hero he might be more willing to jump off the couch and help you out. But you have to communicate this to him. He cannot read your mind. He is capable of helping and he probably will, if you ask him and let him.

Now, he may not do things the way you want them done and you either have to accept that or make him a list and show him how to do it your way. Don't expect him to do it your way all by himself. Give him the same respect you would any other caretaker of your kids and be specific. I think it is disrespectful to say that we "train" our men. I think you have to communicate your needs and desires and then help them along the way. Would you want to be "trained". Kind of degrading, huh?

Give them encouragement for a job done and love for a job well done.

To wrap this up...Guys, get off your butts and help your wife!!!!!!!!!!!!! You both live in the house. You both have children. You both have jobs that are extremely stressful. If you think for one minute that we spend our days shopping and lunching with friends while you are hard at work earning a living.... you are grossly mistaken. Do you have any idea what it takes to keep a home and family going. Take us out of the picture for a week and you will sink by yourself. We need a break at the end of the day, too. We need to have our husbands come home and take ownership in the home we established together and be a team player. Don't miss the opportunity to establish an intimate relationship with your kids and your wife. Girls, quit letting them or making them ride the bench. They can do anything you can do. It's not the fifties anymore!