20 April 2010

super cool explora dora

So, this blog is basically my children's baby books. I don't have time or patience for baby books. I know...this makes me a bad mother. Especially a bad southern mother.

But... in my defense:

I think baby books are no fun. I don't care what my footprints looked like, when I lost my first tooth, or what my first grade report card reported. What I love hearing about from my parents are the things we did, the funny things I said, and how many times my little brothers came near death.

Once upon a time my mother had three small ish children. Bigger than mine, but only by a couple of years. She had a big black suburban with maroon cloth interior. We were heading to the beach for a week. Packing for this trip was an endeavor nothing short of packing the titanic.

She had started loading things - including but not limited to - all of our suitcases, her hair dryer, multiple videotapes (for when it rains at the beach), and a giant basket of fresh meridian peaches.

My brothers were driving her insane. So, she strapped them in their carseats, cranked the car, turned on the air, and reconciled with herself about the wasted gas. She and I continued preparing in the house (I was eight or nine ish - very helpful age - perfectly competent and not yet with a surly, teenagerish attitude). My daddy was off doing something - i think, if i remember correctly, boarding the dogs at the vet. Well, Mama and I blissfully went about our business of packing up all cleaning materials, seven extra sheet sets (just in case...of what, i know not), our blender (what if they don't have one and we cannot make margaritas?) and on and on and on. Daddy pulled up in the driveway to discover....

wait for it.....

the boys had gotten unstrapped and were having a peach war in the suburban. Yes, they were in the car, throwing peaches at one another.

Needless to say, we were late to the beach.

Now...isn't that more fun than me telling you their full names (Clifton Collins Eason and Paul Flemming Eason) birthdays (october 8th, middle of the day and march 26th, 3:05 pm, i think) or their birthweights (5lbs 11 ounces and 6lbs 3 ounces respectively) ? Weren't you more entertained by the peach war story? I certainly was.

So, that is my main aim in writing this blog. I've a mind to print it and bind it for the children. You know, in case of cyber terrorism, which I hear is coming, dammit. But for now, the point is, that I can record as we go.

[here comes the second of two paragraphs in a row that start with "So," - not the most disciplined writer]

So, I was thinking about this aim and thinking about whether I was succeeding. I think I am, mostly. But what I realized is that often I write about the fun things. Dyeing easter eggs (or failing to dye them), bluefred, christmas preparations, etc. Those are very much a part of our lives, and like the great peach war of ninety two or three, they are the things we will remember. But, it's not really a fair picture. We aren't crafting, feasting and celebrating all of the time. Most of the time, we are just being us.

I'm just trying to grow these little people into big people who love God, love their neighbors, love books, and, I've said it before, can occasionally beat me in an argument. And more often than not beat their father in one. And often times this is not glamorous.

[wouldn't the word glamor be almost an onomatopoeia if we spelled it like the brits - glamour - doesn't that just sound glamorous? but no...we took all those beautiful silent "u"s out of words. I loathe american english]

Often times, my days are about seeing if I can keep the house from falling down, keep the children from killing each other or an animal, and managing to take a shower. Yes, I'm a firm believer that we must inject glamour [yep, i did it. i'm rebelling] - so we do things like Happy Hour Hikes, afternoon mocktinis, tea time, lots of great, if i say so myself, suppers. We go to the zoo, go camping, go to the science museum, craft our brains out, laugh a lot, and all of this. But some days, when Paul comes home, and he says, "what did y'all do today?", I feel like i've survived if i can say I've taken a shower.

How does one shower with three small children in the house? Well, first of all, this is one reason to be a good disciplinarian. If you end up with three small children and they don't respect authority, you won't be able to shower without hiring a babysitter or waiting for your spouse to be home. Why? Because you'll end up with cheerios all over your house, or worse, peaches.

But, while we've been blessed with generally good kids and wise counsel about how to sanctify the heck out of them, they aren't that trustworthy - or not one of them, anyway. I have this funny, great kid.
Who has a bit of a messy bone in his body.

It's not malicious (making it harder to deal with), but it's messy. So, what do I, home-educator, crafter, cook, and hiker do?

I plop that three year old down in front of an episode of his favorite show - Dora the Explorer. This show lasts 24 minutes. That gives me time to undress, shower, even shave my legs, dry off and get dressed all before the final credits roll.

Ada Brooks sometimes watches with him, sometimes reads a book, and sometimes is at school. Collins is usually taking his morning nap when I'm showering, but sometimes, he sits on the couch next to his brother and watches a Dora as well.

Yep - I confess - use the television as a babysitter. Granted it's for 24 minutes, about three times a week (other showers are whilst eas is at mothers morning out or on weekends when Paul's around to guard the peaches). But, I do it.

And, I'm here to tell you folks, that the television is a damn good babysitter.

Don't believe me?

I highly recommend it - for no more than two to three hours a week - so that you can take a shower, paint your toenails, get ready for church (as some of our great friends do every week) or get supper going.

Like wine and advil, the more often you use it, the less effective it becomes.

But, pick your precious things - showers for me, cooking for some, a moment of quiet sanity for others - and employ a good, clean fun show to keep the walls from closing in. Because, quite honestly, sometimes being a stay at home mom is about that - keeping yourself from running screaming out the door.


  1. I want to paint those peaches.

  2. So glad I'm not alone in the shower department. I keep telling myself to wake up and shower before the kiddos get up but that'd be at like 5:30 or 6 AM, and there is no way. Unfortunately, Robert is still too young or too disinterested to sit in front of the TV so I have to wait until he gets a nap or until Christopher gets home from school. -Rashell