1) The other day Ethan asked to have potato chips for a snack. I firmly denied the request and said, “We don’t eat potato chips for a snack! Pick something healthy!” Then while he was at school, I devoured what was left of those delicious chips. Sorry, Ethan. If you read this later, I hope you will forgive me. Besides, remember that night when I let potato chips be our (not so well-balanced) meal’s vegetable for dinner? Word on the street is that even McDonald’s plans on adding legitimate fruits and vegetables to their meal options instead of just fried potatoes. Equating chips to what normally would be steamed broccoli on your plate essentially made me worse than McDonald’s. For me to strive to be more like them has to win points in your enamored little eyes, right?
2) I still buy my boys skinny jeans. I love them in their cute little good-luck-trying-to-play-in-P.E.-class pants! (They now wear sweats on P.E. days.) The style seems harder to find here. My kids appear to be two of the very few boys wearing them in the ABQ. I know they may get beat up for their mommy’s fashion choices, but I cannot help myself. Connor will have to keep calling me when undressing to help him get the tiny ankle opening around his little foot for as long as I can keep getting free shipping from Gap Kids online.
3) Mike and I are subscribers to the holy form of parenting known as bribery. If the boys do their homework and workbooks, they are allowed to play on the computer. We may not speak Korean fluently, but we are keeping true to our Asian genes by making them do extra workbooks at home. The boys can feel the strength of their ancestry with every math and reading problem outside of school they are forced to endure. Endurance is much easier with the promise of computer time afterwards. Essentially it is not much different from them watching TV for an hour. I happily let them while I go to my room, close the door, and have some quiet time to myself. What was meant to be a strict 20-30 minutes of educational computer games is more like 60 minutes (or more) of staring open-mouthed at video after mind-numbing video.
Turns out, those 60 minutes aren’t as mind-numbing as I thought. This week the boys and I played charades. We picked categories like books or movies. When I chose “animal” as my category, I kept it simple. I fully expected them to pick a cat or dog. Instead, they went first to spider monkey. (Not just any monkey, mind you, but specifically a spider monkey.) Thanks to Wild Kratts on pbskids.org, my boys were acting out and guessing creatures like the caracal. I had to ask them to spell it for me. Maybe sitting open-mouthed in front of a screen for an hour (or more) a day isn’t completely useless? Even when Connor chose “plant” as his category (think about it, how do you act out a plant?), his brother took two seconds to correctly guess cactus thereby solidifying my defeat.
4) This morning while vacuuming, I thought of dressing up for the school’s upcoming Spooky Story Night where I’ll be manning the cake walk. Mike and I never dress up for anything. We are party poopers to the core in that respect. Who knew sweeping my floors could be so inspirational? I envisioned and then wasted 5 minutes putting together a Crazy Cake Lady look (see previous blog post). Besides the title, my apron had a sign saying, “To donate a cake: Section 1, Article 1 & 2; Section 2, Article 1-3, See Appendix A-Z.” My chef hat said, “Author of War and Peace…for cakes.” I most likely will not wear it, but I did entertain myself and successfully procrastinated cleaning the boys’ bathroom.
5) On my parents’ last day here when they visited, I offered to take them somewhere like the Indian Cultural Center. My mom said she would rather do yard work (!). Obviously that gene did not get passed down to me. Her desire foiled my plans of collecting (more) HOA letters regarding our neglected yard. I HAVE done SOME outside work. In the past year, I think I did it twice, and each time I maybe spent 20 minutes max. (Once was when I locked myself out of the house. I had no other choice but to weed while waiting for Mike to come home from work and let me back inside.) My mom and dad spent hours trimming bushes, raking, breaking down twigs, and tidying up my yard to the extent that the neighbors probably thought someone new moved into our place. When I collect my results, I use a couple small grocery bags from Smith’s. We still have the large garbage bags my parents filled in our garage because we could not get rid of all 10 of them at once. They spoil me rotten and I let them. Now my yard is back to being leaf-filled, and the bushes are counting down the days until my parents’ return.