If you are a lucky homeowner in my 'hood who received your copy of the neighborhood magazine, you've probably read it cover to cover and hence you will have already seen the following post. For those of you in the reading audience who do NOT live in my 'hood, I am affording you the opportunity to read this piece of literary genius, free of charge! You're welcome.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . .
Nope, not the holidays; it’s back-to-school time. Don’t get me wrong. I adore my children and I am extremely fortunate that I am able to stay home with them, but sometimes I’d like to use the potty without an audience. It’s a luxury I’m afforded only during the school year.
Phyllis Diller famously said that “cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.” Many of the homes in our neighborhood are immaculately decorated, spotlessly clean, and well-stocked with fancy cheeses and highly rated wines. We’ve got juice boxes, Cheez-Its, and the “this-is-why-we-can’t-have-nice-things” speech running in a constant loop over the sound system. My summer housekeeping skills make a college fraternity house look as sterile as an operating room. I know my home has potential. It would be absolutely lovely if I lived here ALONE.
The only time our home is actually clean is while the children are at school. After they get on the bus, I clean up the breakfast dishes, (and by dishes, I mean the paper towel where I placed their toast,) pick up a little, and try to enjoy it. . . . but only until 3:00. Between the hours of 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, a tornado of trailer park proportions whizzes through our home.
One would think with all our toys and their various accoutrements, our children would be able to find SOMETHING to do, but alas, they are bored. If I hear “what are we going to do today?” one more time, I will likely stick my head in the oven. As a child, I remember going outside to play, riding bikes, building forts, reading books, playing with my friends, etc. My children act as if I am their camp counselor, responsible for their every entertainment.
We are raising a generation of citizens with “First World” Problems. You have so many Wii games, you can’t choose just one? You can’t get your bike out of the garage because it’s so crowded with other ride-on toys? You get sweaty when you walk to the pool conveniently located in the neighborhood? Your friends are at camp, so you have to play basketball in your very own driveway all by yourself? You poor, poor thing. I’m not sure how you find the strength to get up in the morning.
It’s difficult to teach our children the healthy balance between recognizing how lucky they are while being aware that much of the world is not as fortunate. It’s a lesson I’d do well to remember too. I have a messy house because I have an active family of five. I rarely have any alone time because my children enjoy
hanging on me
being with me. They are bored because
they are afforded so much stimulation that they need to be taught to appreciate
So while it is true that we can’t have nice things and my house is never clean, this too shall pass. One day soon I’ll be remembering these times fondly, because I imagine it’s similar to childbirth – you don’t remember the pain, you only remember the end result. Until then, happy brand new school year, y’all! Here’s wishing your family academic success, friendly faces, stellar teachers, and the chance for Mommy to use the potty alone.