Thursday, October 15, 2015

Decisions, Decisions...

It’s been a busy week. Decisions, Decisions. From little to big, life is just full of decisions. This post I want to talk about decisions and how decision making is handled in the Megow house.

One major decision I tend to face every night is “Do I stay up late and get everything set out and ready for in the morning or Do I get up early and get it in the morning?” 

The things I need to do are:
Find and set out school clothes, socks, and shoes
Pick out and iron my work clothes
Tidy up the kitchen
Wash dishes
Get school stuff together (homework, book bags, library books, etc.)

About once or twice a week, I do it all at night. I always feel bomb dot com on those nights. However, a lot of the time, I’m just too tired or have other things I need to get done at night, so I tell myself I’ll get up extra early, jump in the shower, and then do all of this stuff. Unfortunately, a lot of those mornings actually end up looking something like this.

I woke up around 4:30am like every morning. I go pee and get a drink of ice water. I double check my alarm. Yes, it’s set for 6am. That will give me enough time to get everything I need to do accomplished. So I try to maneuver between all of my children’s arms and legs to try to find somewhere I can somewhat comfortably go back to sleep.

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Trying to find a spot in my bed in the middle of the night
 is pretty much similar to taking on GUT’s Aggro Crag

So I found a somewhat comfortable position and fell back asleep. I normally always wake up before my alarm, so when my eyes cracked open without hearing an alarm I wasn’t “alarmed” (pretty sweet pun, huh?) Anyways, I keep my room dark with thick curtains over the blinds. However, Wednesday morning I felt sheer terror because when I picked up my head, I saw this little streak of light shooting out from behind the curtain. Every parent knows that feeling. Immediately, I jumped up and threw open the curtains. This was pretty much my reaction…

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Yep, I figured out how to put GIF's into my blog. Uh-oh ;)

I frantically searched for my phone to see the time and to figure out what happened to my alarm. I couldn’t find it. So I ran to the kitchen and looked that the clock… “7:34am”. I’ve overslept before but never that late. Suddenly, I hear my kids dying laughing over my shoulder. In my house, if the kids are laughing and super chipper before 8am, there are either two scenarios playing out.

Scenario 1) A baby fawn has found its way into our living room and is letting my children feed it baby carrots from our fridge.

Scenario 2) I’m about to find a giant mess

Unfortunately, there were no tiny deer in my living room on Wednesday morning. It was like slow motion, I turned my head to find Olive covered head to toe in chocolate frosting. (We were given a chocolate cake Saturday night, so I stuck it in the fridge and was slowly giving it to them piece by piece. Well, Titus thought “bump that” and just drug the entire cake to the living room carpet apparently around 6am that morning.) Titus who had already filled up on chocolate cake had moved onto being thirsty and you can’t have cake without milk. However this particular morning, he was apparently craving strawberry flavored milk. Since we didn’t have any strawberry syrup, he just dumped a strawberry Kool-Aid packet in our brand new gallon of milk I bought the night before. Again, this is just what I’m guessing happened. But I think when he dumped the Kool aid packet in, he was thrown by the narrow pouring spout of the milk jug. So he just decided to shake the milk jug around. I walked out to find him (butt naked) and my kitchen table covered in pinkish, grainy looking milk.

By now it’s 7:38. Since we live across the street from the school, we can leave the house by 7:52am and make it to school on time. We have 14 minutes. I run a shallow bath and put my two younger ones in. I finally found Stevie and Neela (playing on my phone) in their room. There’s where the alarm went… I’m gritting my teeth trying to stay calm about the importance of NOT playing with dad’s phone since it’s the alarm clock. I ask them to get dressed and brush their teeth… quickly! I run back to the bathtub. Titus and Olive have bathed themselves enough to avoid a phone call from the school social worker, so I quickly dried them off and run to put on the clothes I set out for them the night before. "Oh yeah… I didn’t set out any. Double crap. I didn’t set out any for me either." So I sprint across the house trying to find clothes for them while at the same time brushing my teeth and yelling across the house for the big girls to brush theirs as well.  I get Olive and Titus dressed and run to the laundry room frantically trying to iron something for me to wear. I glance at the clock “7:46- Triple Crap. I suck at mornings.” So I found a shirt and pants. I start ironing in the laundry room, while yelling for everyone to sit down and eat a quick breakfast like a banana and some milk. “Dad, this milk looks like barf”. Oh yeah, the Kool-Aid… Ok just drink something and eat something. “Dad, we’re not hungry. Titus gave us all cake for breakfast”, Stevie yells from the dining room. “Fine, just drink some water and get on your shoes & socks and get your book bags on”, while finishing up my ironing in the laundry room. I put on my clothes and sprint to the kitchen. “7:50! I can do this!”  Of course, Stevie is still in her underwear because all of the clothes in her drawer have tags and she does not want to wear them. I kind of just stand their completely stunned. I have Neela help Olive with her shoes, Titus round up book bags, and Stevie find some clothes and bring them to me for de-tagging. We rush out the door, jump in the car, and make it to the older 3’s school before the tardy bell. I turn around and Olive is wearing mis-match shoes. So I just drive back home, change her shoes, drop her off, and head to work. It was a good day J However, since Wednesday, I’ve been a little more motivated to set everything out the night before.

Also, I like to try to give the kids a choice when it comes to small choices around the house. Mostly we make the choice “Do you guys want to do grocery shopping or stay at home and scrounge around for dinner?” They always choose scrounge (expect for Titus. That boy ALWAYS is down for a trip to the store.) I like it too. It gives me a chance to clean out my freezer/fridge/cabinets and allows for creativity when cooking meals. Normally for dinner, I would make something regular like spaghetti with broccoli or breakfast for dinner. They have pretty simple tastes. I know I should press them to try new and exciting things, but as long as they eat somewhat healthy and actually eat the food they are given, I figure they will eventually expand their cuisine horizons as they mature. Shoot my best friend ate nothing but Jelly sandwiches and French fries growing up, now he’s a pediatrician and his wife cooks fancy, organic healthy meals all the time. I’m guessing he likes them. Maybe he fakes it. I bet Megan could throw down if he refused to eat a meal she prepared. ;)

Anyways, back to the dinner choice. I love the idea of “Apollo 13ing” dinner.

I have to make dinner...for my kids to actually eat... using nothing but this.

This is what we have to work with and this was what we have to create. Maybe it’s just the challenge of creating something I know the kids will eat, but it healthy and filling. I will say after my last for “scrouching dinner” attempts, I think they kids will start choosing going to the grocery store more. My last dinner creation kind of resembled this.

Just think “Shrek’s Wedding Reception Menu Item”

I try to teach my kids about decision making. One effective way I’ve found is letting them have complete control over their spending money. Blowing through money they have earned on cheap crap instead of saving it for quality things isn’t smart, but after a few crap rip-off’s they’ve started listening to old dad about saving up for one good quality thing rather than 3 el cheapo’s.

“Yes, Stevie. You can spend your money on that art set, but it’s not Lisa Frank… It’s more like Lisa’s deranged sister Linda Frank got commissioned by Dollar General to create a line of art sets.”

“Titus… dude. Please don’t buy this thing… Ok… So you had a dream you bought this toy?...
This is the coolest toy you have ever seen?... Ok man, it’s your money.”

1 hour later – “Dude, I’m sorry your toy broke… What?...
No. I cannot drive you to China to trade it out”

We all make bad decisions sometimes. But no matter what, let's just own them, keep smiling, and be the people Mr. Rogers knew we could be ;)

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