Of course I now know I had weekend bedtimes because my parents wanted me out of their hair, delegating chores does help teach responsibility but mostly it's cheap labor, and I like oatmeal now but I don't force it my boys (I draw the line at sugar cereal though and I'm sure Gabe and Asher's children will be eating Trix and Cocoa Puffs daily in rebellion to my draconian ways.) I plan to break out the medical dictionary and go straight to all the ugly details of sexuality, so they will avoid it until I'm dead and I don't have the mental image of my babies being poisoned by some hussy.
So as you can see I'm a much better mother than mine. And I made a particular reform yesterday by bravely attending another elementary school event. Sounds innocent enough, but my mother NEVER took me to school events and at the time of course I hated her for that. I missed out on all the dances and parties and open houses and had to hear about it from my friends the next day. One memory stands out. I was supposed to bring a dress for another girl who didn't own any for our seasonal performance but the night of the event my mom wouldn't take me. I would have rather died then face this girl the next day. She embarrassed me by yelling at me in front of our friends because SHE was embarrassed to be the only girl in pants for the all-dress performance.
So yesterday, with the "don't be your mother" badge burned into my soul, I took Gabe to his school's book/math/science fair. After spending almost $50 on books and software we headed over to the math fair. It was eerily quiet (except for Ash squealing my arms like a baby pig of course.) I peeked my head in and thought, "Hey this isn't so bad!" We approached the first activity booth and we learned that this was no ordinary math fair. Gabe could earn money at each booth and was suddenly determined to complete every-single-one. We played math beach ball, decimal bingo, measured posters and guessed the distance between DC and Houston. And I actually had fun! I was so proud of Gabe. He was eager to do even the activities that were over his head. He wanted to LEARN (for pay, but whatever, the information made it into his head. Beggers can't be choosers!) After an hour and thirty minutes of every conceivable activity to teach the love of numbers we cashed in at the Chuck E Cheese like store with his plastic coins.
We headed home with his erasers, bookmarks, and pencil sharpeners, promptly lost them in the car during the five minute drive home, never to be seen again, and I realized the evening was a success. We all had fun, except Asher after he was strapped to a stroller, we learned about math and some new games that we could play at home. ( I highly recommend math beach ball. Get a cheap plastic ball and write math equations all over it. Toss the ball back and forth with a partner and you have to answer the equation that your thumb is on when you catch it. It's edge of your seat action!)
Bleary-eyed we read "The Giving Tree," one of my favorite books that, thanks to the book fair, was finally now part of our collection. It was past nine but Gabe wanted to read his new Sponge Bob chapter book and I couldn't say no. He fell asleep reading to Asher.
Oh, you know why my mom didn't take me to all those events? She was a young, single, working mother of two little girls and she was tired. Feels familiar. While I don't blame her I won't be her either.