Friday, July 11, 2008

A BIG Production!


It’s noon. I’m sitting at my desk paying bills when I think to myself “I should go get the mail”.
The second the thought pops into my head I inwardly groan.

My girls LOVE to go get the mail and I know this, but it is so much easier to get the mail myself.
Loralei frequently complains that I “always” let Savannah get the mail. This is only partly true. Most days I try to sneak out the front door un-noticed. Inevitably Savannah catches me in the act at which point she will bust through the door, fly down the sidewalk and practically knock me over to get to the mail before I do.

So today, motivated by the hope that someday my kids won’t have to go through therapy and will instead “rise up and call me blessed”, I decided to ask Loralei to get the mail.

The reason I groaned…

I’ve read all the articles about how parents that do everything for their kids are doing them a disservice. That I as caring parent should embrace the imperfections, the mistakes and the messes as a valuable part of the learning process - even if it takes 3 times as long.
I KNOW this and I like to think of myself as an embracer of the mistakes and the messes. The truth is, it’s not the “mistakes” or the “mess” that really bother me so much as it is the production. My girls can turn any little task into an elaborate Hollywood-worthy production.
I could sell tickets.

Today was no exception.

I called Loralei into my office and said “Loralei, I’d like for you to get the mail.”
Thrilled, she runs out of the room full speed yelling at the top of her lungs;
“Mommy asked ME to get the mail! ME! She asked ME to get the mail! Did you hear me Savannah? Mommy asked ME to get the mail!”

Of course at this point I’m feeling a little guilty, thinking that perhaps I have indeed allowed an unbalanced, mail-getting system to prevail in our home. As these thoughts are going through my head Loralei runs back into the room – NAKED.

“Mom, could you just put a dress on me?” (jumping jumping) “A dress!” (jumping jumping) “I want a pretty dress on to go get the mail!”

What? The annoyance is already starting to creep in. Deep breath.
“Loralei – just go get your clothes back on. You don’t need a costume change to go to the mailbox.”

Loralei turns, completely deflated and begins to slump out of the room - hopefully going to retrieve her clothes. She collides with Savannah who is racing into my office, arms full of walkie-talkies.

“Loralei!” “I found the walkie-talkies!” “I’ll stand on the front porch and we can talk to each other while you get the mail!”

OH GROAN!

A few minutes later, I accompany Loralei in a princess dress and Walkie-talkie laden Savannah to the door. We all step outside.

As every mom knows, part of the prestige that comes with retrieving the mail is, of course, getting to go out to the street by yourself. So Savannah and I stand on the porch as Loralei starts the all important march to the mailbox. 10 steps down the sidewalk she turns around and begins to converse – i.e. yell at the top of her lungs - with Savannah, via walkie-talkie.

Loralei – “SAVANNAH!”
Savannah – “LORALEI! HOLD DOWN THE YELLOW BUTTON!”
Loralei – “WHAT? PUT MOMMY ON!”
Savannah – “HOLD DOWN THE YELLOW BUTTON!”
Me – “JUST GO GET THE MAIL!”
Loralei – “GIVE IT TO MOMMY!”
Savannah – “YOU HAVE TO HOLD DOWN THE YELLOW BUTTON!”
Me – “LORALIE – TURN AROUND RIGHT NOW AND GO GET THE MAIL!”
Loralei – “GIVE THE WALKIE TALKIE TO MOMMY SO I CAN HEAR HER!”Me – “GET THE MAIL!!!”
This continues for much longer than I would like to admit and even without the yellow button being pushed I’m quite certain that the entire conversation has been heard for more than a block.

Loralei finally gives up and goes to the mailbox. Suddenly she realizes she can’t open the mailbox while holding the walkie-talkie.

“I can’t do it!” she wails.
I walk to the mailbox, open it for her and begin to pull out the mail.
Lo - “Is any of this for me mommy?
Me – “I don’t’ know yet.”
Lo – “Is this one for me?”
Me – “Just a second”
Lo – Is this one for me?
Me – “No”
Lo – Is this one for me?
Me – “No”
Lo – Is this one for me?
Me – “No”

Finally I am worn down and give her my Weight Watchers meeting reminder card with a rooster on it. Loralei is happy, I am exhausted and we all go back inside.

Weight Watchers?? Yeah, right! I know someday I am going to look back at this time and I’m going to miss the big productions that make up my life but today all I want is a chocolate chip cookie and a nap.

3 comments:

athenainaminivan said...

I am so laughing. I thought only my children fought over who got the mail.

Chris said...

I, too, am snickering in agreement. With our mail retrieval AT the post office, with a box too high for the boys to reach, I also must lift the boy whose turn it is, up to reach the box, jiggle the key and turn it the "right" way. Oh brother.

We have plenty of drama in public places, so I'm glad to know a friend is countering our drama far away from this Canadian prairie town.

Beth said...

Oh what I have to look forward to with my 2 and 4 year old. At this current point in time, we're just working on putting clothes on before they run outside. Great blog! Thanks for your comment!