Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Great Negotiator

I see I've been remiss this week in my blog life. Effing full time job. 

I love my job, but man, I had a good gig when I was home full time.  Yes, I did lots of dishes and laundry and swept the dust bunnies under the couch and leafed through every paper that came home from school and made cookies and volunteered, but there were lots of days when George the Superpet and I would spoon in bed at 3 p.m. and take a quick nap together until the kids walked in at 3:30, or George the Superpet and I would read novels on my dreamy huge screened in back porch and drink coffee, or my neighbor would come over and have a frosty beer at 2:30 and we'd watch the preschool girls play in the backyard until school was getting out, and I could blog blog blog to my heart's content.

*sigh*  I miss those days.

My parents have a grapefruit grove in Texas, part of their crazy retirement menagerie, and last week they told me the grapefruit are ripe and ready to be picked, but the picker foreman couldn't come to their grove because he couldn't find any pickers to work for him.  He has used illegals, but doesn't anymore because they get busted, but he said anyone with a US social security number won't work for him because then they'll jeapordize their welfare payments.  Hmmm.  Why, as a stay at home mom, wasn't I getting paid to stay home and raise my kids?  Sounds like a pretty good deal.  "I can't work because then the government won't pay me."  But I'm not bitter and that's what's important, and now I am working full time and paying taxes to the government.  Thus concludes the first ever "ADITW Political Moment!"  And don't think for a moment that you can guess what I am politically because I am a mutt.  It confounds all of my liberal and conservative friends.


Last Tuesday was Youngest Daughter's birthday, so the world stopped for a few days while we had a bank holiday and celebrated.  She turned 8, and I can see how the youngest ones own you.  I look at the teenager, and the pre-teen, and then I look at this little pixie with princess pajamas and Littlest Pet Shop undies and a billion stuffed animals in her room and I realize those days are coming to an end, and the next chapter is looming.  As long as you have young kids, you can be young as well.  I'm going to blink and be an empty nester waiting for my knee replacement.

Current Husband and I took YD to get a new bike, because her last bike was about two feet tall and had training wheels.  On the way to get the bike, CH and I had to power up at Starbucks and got YD some coffee cake.  When I walk to the table, CH and YD are in deep discussion.  I ask what they are talking about.

CH:  "She is telling me why she should get her ears pierced early."
YD:  "Yeah, because everyone in my class has them and I don't and I look like a baby."
ME:  "You don't look like a baby."
YD:  "Even BABIES have their ears pierced and I don't."

CH looks at me and winks, like "let's go ahead and do it."

ME: (caving) "Well, it's a lot of responsibility.  Can you handle it?"
YD:  "Yes, I will keep them clean and take care of them, I promise."
ME:  "Getting ears pierced is a Big Girl thing, like cleaning your room.  If you get your ears pierced, you'll have to keep your room clean."


YD:  "Alright! I won't get my ears pierced!"
ME:  (stunned) "Wait a minute.  Do you mean that if I was going to get your ears pierced right now, but it means you have to clean your room, you'll say no?"
YD:  "You guys are just looking for a reason to say no anyway."
ME:  "Well I was going to get your ears pierced, but now I know you aren't ready."

I must admit that as a bona fide Bad Housekeeper, I respect her aversion to cleaning her room.  There are books to be read!  Things to do!  The room will just get messed up again anyway, right?  But part of the reason I had three kids was to get some help cleaning the damn house, and now they are jumping ship?  No way, Jose.

We spent the next hour picking out a bike and basket and bell, and YD started to reconsider her position.  She dropped little comments about how she could probably keep her room clean, and how she really should get her ears pierced.  I'm weak.  We pulled into Claire's and let them pierce her for the first time.  She was very brave and proud, and I felt a victory.  It takes very little to make younger kids happy.  It's much tougher with the older ones.  And even though CH and I consider ourselves to err on the side of discipline, I realized I was having these philosophical thoughts about age and happiness as I was cleaning YD's room before her friends came over.

I am such a sucker. 
Happy Birthday YD!


The Table of Promise said...

Haha! YD is so cute! I was the baby, and yeah, I got everything I ever wanted, had a car at 16. But the trade off? My parents knew all the tricks. I still didn't get away with any bad stuff, their parenting skills were honed before I showed up on the scene.

And in regards to the kids getting older, sometimes DH and I stay up after we turn the lights off and talk about where we will go on vacation when the kids move out.

Jenny @ Crash Test Mommy said...

Love this--"Even BABIES have their ears pierced and I don't."

Just precious. But . . . yeah. . . sucker. ;)

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