Marjorie Writes…

Everyday Musings of an Extraordinary Woman

Is it really only Saturday night?

As I mentioned, I’m a single mom with two terrific kids. I absolutely adore my children, and anyone who knows me knows that my life often revolves around theirs. For the most part, I have no problem being a single mom, despite the challenges it presents at times. But then again, I’ve rarely been known to walk away from a challenge, so it all works.

My daughter is my mini-me, as I’m discovering more and more as she gets older. When she was little, she was my mom, pure and simple. Others even commented that she looked like her, acted like her. As she’s heading toward adolescence, she’s becoming me. This is both good and bad. It’s amazing because I also still see my mom in her, which also means I see more of my mom in myself (other than simply hearing her in the words that sometimes come out of my mouth). This is a true blessing because my mom passed away when I was 18. It’s bad, her being mini-me, because I so want to keep her from making the same mistakes I’ve made and I see some of them in action and she won’t listen to me in changing her behavior. Mind you, nothing is terrible or earth shattering, I just want to save her some of the issues I had to grapple with.

As for my son, I’m not quite sure who he is, other than himself. I see my dad in his stubbornness. But he is a serious type A personality, has to excel at everything he does, often seemingly without trying. Somehow, despite my complete lack of athleticism, he is a good athlete. He recently started playing pee-wee football. This scares the hell out of me – they tackle each other hard! Anyhow, apparently he’s good at tackling and resisting being tackled. After practice the other day, the coaches changed his position from linebacker to center, and after watching him I decided I did not have to worry quite so much about his sustaining a concussion or a traumatic brain injury because he could hold his own out there. (See, the stubbornness is finally a good trait somewhere!)  So now I can relax and enjoy watching him play (instead of being a nervous mother watching).

So my kids are the lights of my life, completely. They are wonderful, amazing, incredible little people (too quickly maturing into bigger little people!) – I’m in awe of the fact that they are both so smart and so kind and so loving. That said, they are still kids. They have their moments. And this weekend has been one of those times when their moments have worn me out. Of course, it didn’t help that I have had a headache for the past three days.

So I’m sitting here thinking about the fact that they’ve both been grounded. We have another week and a half to go until school starts – NOT a good time to ground them. Those of you with kids know why; when my kids are grounded, my life is infinitely more work. When I’ve taken away the computer, the video games, tv, playdates, etc, I have to entertain them. Sure, they can read (my daughter still has some reading to do before school starts anyhow), play games, take the dogs for a walk, and do anything else they want to do, within reason. However, while they are usually very independent, I have to stay on top of them to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to. Also, they tend to have a lot more fights when they are not allowed any electronics or friends.

Tonight my son got mad at me and stopped talking to me, because I wouldn’t go to Target to get him a new Monopoly game. We’d had a quiet day (I took a nap this afternoon trying to get rid of the above mentioned headache. This was after I ordered pizza for lunch because I didn’t get to the grocery store yesterday because of my headache. Mind you, I have plenty of food in my house – no one could ever starve in here. However, everything required cooking or more than simple preparation, which was seemingly beyond my abilities the way my head felt. So after they ate their share of pizza, I took a nap to try to feel better. When I got up, we went to play mini-golf, which I’d promised them yesterday. We had a great time playing and I won, and was teasing my son because he always wins at everything (and he’s old enough that it’s not that I let him).

I had been talking to someone there and telling her how my son even always wins at Monopoly – he buys up every property he lands on, builds them up, and makes everyone else go broke. So my son heard this and decided he wanted to play Monopoly when we got home (he just got it for Chanukah). I reminded him he no longer had it. While the kids were away visiting their father this summer, I cleaned their rooms. His room was a disaster. His Monopoly game was spread out everywhere, out of the box. I had warned him multiple times that if he didn’t pick it up and put it away, it was going to disappear. So when I went to pick it up and found pieces and the paper money all over his room, in her room, etc, I just picked it up and put it in the trash. Then he got upset because he wanted me to replace it, which will happen eventually because I like the game, but not anytime too soon because he needs to learn his lesson about taking care of his things. (We go through some form of this every few years, when he gets lazy. Hopefully it will get better with age.)

The plan had been to stop at the grocery store after mini-golf for some basic groceries. I was going to make grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner and needed cheese and bread. At the grocery store, my son wouldn’t get out of the car, so we stopped at Wawa (local convenience store that has a deli) where I could leave him in the car while I ran into the store. When we got home, he went into his room and wouldn’t talk to me. When I put out their plates of sandwiches and chips and cups of soup, he would whisper to my daughter what he wanted. Eventually, once he’d eaten his fill, he was back to talking to me. And then as we sat watching a tv show together, he made several comments about wanting to be able to go on “his” laptop (my spare). This actually encouraged me, since it showed me how much he’s grown up. Instead of throwing a full out tantrum, as he has in the past, he just sulked and wouldn’t talk to me. And then, instead of trying to take the laptop back and use it, he was dropping obvious hints that he wanted to use it. In the past, he would have taken it when I wasn’t looking and fought with me when I took it back. My baby’s growing up!

So while I really should stick to them being grounded, I think it will only be for tomorrow. I will make them do some extra chores and help me around the house, I’ll make my daughter finish up her summer reading before she starts middle school in the next couple weeks. And then I’ll try to plan some fun stuff for us to do together so we can enjoy the end of the summer. As I watch them growing up and maturing in front of my eyes, it encourages me that even when they’re not behaving, it’s not as bad as it once was, and maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something really right in raising these two members of the future of our country.

Sorry if this is disjointed and rambling – maybe I should change the blog description from everyday musings to everyday ramblings? Nah, just one of those days where my mind is everywhere.

Live, laugh, love…it’s what makes it all worthwhile!

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