My 2 year old takes swim lessons. They’re 15 minutes long with a private instructor and I sit by the side and watch. I sit by the side and watch. When did I get old enough to sit by the side and watch someone take swim lessons? I still remember my own mother coming to my soccer or lacrosse games. I played. She watched. Rooting with the other parents – the other old parents. Observers rather than participators. In my youth, it never occurred to me that I would ever be relegated to the sidelines. I see now how young my mother was and wonder if, watching me, she felt the same.
It struck me yesterday as I observed my own child, I’m not ready to be benched for good. I don’t feel as old as the woman wearing my skin. But what can I do? It’s not my turn anymore. It’s their turn to play and win and fall and learn. And it’s my job to sit there and watch as they do it.
I don’t want to grow old.
Mornings in my house are hard. Excruciatingly hard. My husband gets to leave everyday for
vacation work between 6:30 and 7am. That means my “job” starts shortly beforehand. Breakfast for the kids. Brushing teeth. Walking the dog. Switching the laundry from the washer to the drier. Unloading the dishwasher. Making the beds. Breaking up fights. Cleaning up breakfast. Ignoring the 3 foot tall pile of laundry that needs to folded. Putting the baby back down for his morning nap. Slapping on a band-aid when a rogue slinky goes awhol. Feeding the dog. Gluing a toy. Changing a diaper or 7. The list of what I do goes on and on and on and on…
But here are the things that are rarely on the list: taking a shower. Brushing my own teeth. Putting on clean clothes. Eating my own breakfast. Talking on the phone. Sitting and reading something. Hell, sitting down at all! I’m not complaining (yes, I totally am) but what is it about men that they don’t notice what needs to be done? Why am I the only who ends up doing all the domestic goddess crap? And I get so mad when he leaves and I look something like this:
But then I feel guilty. Like if one us dies today is me bitching about him slacking in the “help” department really the last thing I want to remember? So then I let it go and we do this family hug thing. And all is right in the world if somebody dies…but god, I really wish somebody else would do some of this stuff so I could just sit down and eat a normal breakfast.
3,337 hours of research later and I just purchased my very own play kitchen. Whoo hoo!
The criteria was tough:
- no pink
- no batteries
- no plastic or plywood or particle board or stuff that feels like cardboard (our current kitchen is made out of an old cardboard box, so obviously we wanted an upgrade)
- tall (my children are giants)
- and large enough that two children can play at the same time without fighting
This took out most of the popular KidKraft choices as well as Melissa & Doug, Hape, and Plan Toys. Unfortunately, it took me about a month of researching to figure that out. What it left us with was Camden Rose, Guidecraft, Pottery Barn, and Land of Nod. I did search upon upon search – ‘Tall Toddler Play Kitchen,’ ‘Play kitchen for tall kids,’ Best play kitchen ever,’ and ‘Best Bestest BEST kids kitchen.’ The results were daunting. Who are all these mothers who have free time to make their own DIY kitchen? Kitchen’s that look better than anything I could even imagine as well! Damn overachiever mothers. <mumble grumble mumble>
Finally (and mostly because I am just so sick of it I can’t even breath) I purchased the Guidecraft Dramatic Play Cafe Kitchen. It’s tall. It’s made out of wood. It’s an island with four different sides (no fighting between kids for room). And the reviews were all 5 stars wherever I looked. My only wish was that there was a separate refrigerator, but as my husband pointed out…A) I can always buy a fridge later on and B) I might be glad I don’t have one more darn toy in the house come a month from now when there are fake cupcakes and wooden pizzas all over the place.
Best of all, I can move it around the house because it’s one solid piece. (If you know me then you know I tend to rearrange my house about once a month.)
Yay! The never-ending search for the best play kitchen of 2013 has ended. Hallelujah! (and I mean that sincerely)
Somehow we go grocery shopping in our house and then the next day, there’s nothing to eat. I blame the fridge fairies, my husband points to the grocery goblins. Either way, we’re stuck heading back to the store.
It’s been awhile since I shopped at Trader Joe’s so that’s where I headed yesterday. I parked. I shopped. I came out to fire engines and ambulances. Huh.
I walked down the parking row towards my car, mildly curious as to what the hullabaloo was all about. (I live in a city – I’m jaded) An elderly couple walked beside me giving live commentary on the number of paramedics. Soon we saw what the fuss was about.
A red Mercedes had crashed into the electrical box that controls the arm to exit the parking lot. The windshield was broken, the car was totalled – it was a big mess.
And then I saw the rest.
It was like a wild rubber ball had been shot through a pinball machine and bounced about the parking lot like a hammer. A Toyota was bashed in from rear to front on the passenger side. Coated with smears of dented red paint and pushed forward, over the cement parking block and into the far row. A little black car on the opposite side, facing towards the Toyota, was bashed in the front like a bulldozer had hit it. And my car, my poor Lucky D’Angelo (yes, that’s her name), had been hammered through the rear driver’s side until I could see her guts. Between all of our cars was one empty space.
Had the Mercedes tried to pull into the space? Driven over the cement parking blocks and bashed into the little black car? Then reversed, bouncing repeatedly into the Toyota? Then reversed again back through the parking lot to turn into the exit? Only maybe gunning it at the last minute and hitting me? And then reversing again? To turn and drive out, but running up onto the curb midway and plowing into the ticket box?
Neither the police nor any of us drivers hit by the Mercedes could figure out how he did it. How he got on both sides of the cement blocks, in both aisles, in multiple directions.
The good news it, everyone is okay.