Friday, October 16, 2009

Tricks of the trade....

I don't claim to be an expert on motherhood or marriage. As a matter of fact, I'm still learning a lot as I go. You do your best learning through trial and error. You know, live and learn...natural consequences, whatever.

At the same time, you can save yourself a whole lot of heartache and disappointment if you know someone who'd be willing to share her mistakes with you so you can avoid making those same mistakes. Kinda like a "guide to motherhood - tricks of the trade" sorta thing. Just think....if we all shared just one tip or trick we've learned, how much easier our lives could be!

So here are some tricks I've learned along the way, which I would like to share...

1) Transition time (for me, not him): At approximately, 4:30 pm on some days I take the kids out front to play (weather permitting, of course). They drag every piece of riding equipment that we have out into the street....




...and as you can see, it's quite a bit of stuff. Bikes, scooters, tractors, ride-on toys. You name it, we got it. Let's not forget the sidewalk chalk, either.

And by the time I've finally gotten them all settled with their stuff, what'daya know....Tim pulls up in front of the house after a day of work...a day away from his precious children. I glance at my watch and say, "Oh, I didn't realize the time....I need to get inside to start dinner. Can you watch the kids and then help them clean up this mess when dinner's ready?"

As if I hadn't really notice the time?? Are you kidding me?! I had this whole thing strategically planned in my mind. And you can bet it's a beautiful thing to see come to fruition. I'm now indoors where it's peaceful and quiet....and he's now outdoors with the noisy children and the loads of crap that needs to be put away in the garage.

Now before you go all feeling sorry for Tim, let me just say...he's already had his transition time during his 60-minute commute home. He was sitting in his car listening to his talk radio shows while driving home at a leisurely pace. I say "leisurely" because I know for a fact it should only take him 45 minutes to get home.....and that's WITH traffic.

On a sidenote, I'll have to think of something to come up with when winter hits. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

2) The substitute chef who didn't know he could cook: There are a lot of days I honestly don't feel like cooking dinner. But, like most folks, we can't afford to get take-out all the time. There has to be another way, right? Trust me, I wouldn't lead you astray....stop shaking your head.

In the late afternoon, I take the kids with me on a "last minute" errand (you know, like the playground so they can stretch their legs a bit). It's a shame I won't be home in time to get dinner started....oh, but HE will. It's okay to smile at the thought of how sneaky you are. If we don't give ourselves pats on the back sometimes, who will?

I call Tim on his cell phone and say, "How close to home are you?" and he says, "Maybe 5 minutes, if that". But, see, I already knew that because it's all about planning. I say, "Look, I had to do a last-minute errand that couldn't wait and I'm not gonna be home in time to start dinner. Would you mind getting it started? I'll give you instructions...just call me as soon as you get home".

A few minutes later, he calls and says, "Okay, what do you need me to do?" and I give him the blow-by-blow instructions. He'll ask a million questions and I'll say, "You're just boiling spaghetti and microwaving frozen meatballs, for God's sake...you're not making a gourmet dinner for the President!"

When I return home, dinner's pretty much almost done cooking. He says, "That was perfect timing...dinner's almost done". Why, yes, dear husband it was perfect timing now, wasn't it? It's a win-win situation, when you think about it. He feels all productive and proud of himself for starting dinner and I got to take the night off from the kitchen.

Some may say this seems like an awful lot of effort being wasted just to get out of cooking dinner. But if you hate cooking as much as I do, you get it. You just totally get it.

3) There's a place for everything: It's important for you to know where all essential baby items are at all times. Make a secret list and stash it somewhere...I don't care how you remember, just as long as YOU know where everything is.

Let's use the snot sucker as an example. I keep ours stored downstairs in the medicine cabinet. But the obvious place for a snot sucker would be the children's bedroom, right? Awww, too bad ours isn't in the obvious place.

Say I've got one kid who's got a snotty nose and his nose needs to be suctioned again, for like the 20th time that day. But I'm too worn out to chase him down and struggle to hold his face still while sucking his brains out with the snot sucker. So I run upstairs and then yell downstairs to Tim, who's home from work by now, "Hey, can you see if the snot sucker is in the medicine cabinet down there? I can't find it up here." I giggle quietly to myself as I hear him rummaging around in the cabinet. "Yeah, I found it...", he screams up to me. Well, of course he did because I'm wicked evil like that.

Then I yell down to him, "Since you already have it in your hand, can you suction out snotty kid's nose? I'll be down in a minute, I just realized I need to strip the sheets off of one of the kids' beds...might as well do it while I'm up here".

Now, hold on a minute....don't go clucking your tongue, thinking that stripping the bedsheets is just another chore for you. You simply grab some clean sheets from the linen cabinet and bring those downstairs with you...just mess them up a little bit. I mean, he's probably not even gonna notice....if your husband is anything like mine, you could strip all your clothes off and light yourself on fire and he wouldn't even bat an eye. He may know which bedsheets are on YOUR bed but, trust me, he doesn't have a clue whether your child is sleeping on the Toy Story sheets or the Hot Wheels sheets. Nor does he really care.

When you can't hear the snot-nosed child crying anymore, that's your cue to go downstairs with the "dirty" sheets. Store them in the laundry room for awhile. When husband is finally out of sight (meaning he has retired to another room to watch one of his lame sci-fi shows...oh wait, is that only MY husband who does that?), grab the bedsheets and place them back neatly in the linen cabinet.

No one is the wiser. Seriously. And you've just gotten out of having to suction your kid's nose for the 21st time that day. Oh, and you've gotten a nice little break because while you were "stripping the bedsheets", you've actually been sitting on your bed, clicking the remote control to check what's on tv that night. This would also be a great time to set your DVR to record some of your favorite shows.

If you're concerned that your husband will actually remember where the snot sucker is, you needn't worry. Honestly, men can't remember things like we can. After he's done with the snot sucker, he'll simply throw it back in the medicine cabinet again and forget about it....that's when you move it back up to the child's bedroom. And you go back and forth like that...see where I'm going with all this. The old switcheroo...he'll never catch on, really.

Now, as a dislaimer, I don't think this is exactly what I would call being dishonest with my husband. It's more like....well, being creative, if you will. Sure, it's kind of a sneaky way to fit in some nice, little breaks for me here and there but no one's being harmed in the process...there's no blood or tears involved. I'm just tapping into that creative side that I knew once existed in my former life, at some point. It's a great way to prove to myself that I haven't completely lost all my brain cells once I became a mother.

Any tricks of the trade you want to share??

ETA: Tim is aware that I have a blog but he has informed me several times that he has absolutely NO desire to ever read it. However, if it was written completely in HTML or included pictures of naked women, he'd probably change his tune.


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50 comments:

Alicia said...

Um..I think you covered it all, my friend!

Now make sure your hubby doesn't read this or he will be on to you for sure!

Buckeroomama said...

Are you sure that Tim doesn't read your blog?

I plead guilty to having pulled the "I really have to go to the bath room NOW, can you do xxxx, please?" And then I shut the door and sit there with my book or Sudoku puzzle and "escape"... Hubby's on to me, though, I think, because he sometimes says, "Ah, some me time, eh?" Darn right!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Are you sure you hubbie doesn't read this?
Have a great weekend!

Tami said...

LOL, I hope he doesn't read your blog at work! He'll be onto you for sure. You NEED TO DELETE THIS.. LOL

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

AWESOME! Thanks for the helpful hints!!! Love it!

Kelly said...

You are so great! I will definitely be using these... alot!

eight helping hands said...

I'm pretty sure that we channel each others brains all the time. I do very similar things to my husband. Except for the cooking. There is no way even with step by step directions, would he ever be able to handle it!
The one thing I'm very good at being sneaky at is bath time.
I can't stand it and I tend to start the older kids' homework right around that time! ;-)

Eva Gallant said...

You are definitely an evil woman! lol

Carly said...

One can learn so much from reading your blog....LOL ...Thank you,Thankyou ,Thankyou!

Kaleena said...

Oh Helene, I'm taking notes! You are super-brilliant! A girl can learn alot from you!

Mighty M said...

Happy Friday! Thanks for the hints! Love how you get him to assist on the dinner!! ;-)

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

Those are fantastic! I am printing them out!!

Nezzy said...

Sweetie, you are one smart cookie. At least you learned early on the the Hubbies just don't have a clue. They are soooo easy to manipulate and not even see it coming. I'm sure you have many young mothers creating their schemes for this evening! Great job girl.

Have a super fun filled weekend!!!

Angela said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning, as well as all the helpful tips.

LazyCrazyMama said...

Oh the education you just gave me! ;) LOL!! My husband always accuses me of being one of those "fail to plan" people, and now I totally see it! HaHa!!

janice said...

Helene- You're a genius! This is so funny...

The Mother said...

I keep saying--parenting is a seat of your pants operation. You make it up as you go along.

I think husband management falls in the same category, now that I ponder it.

newlyweds said...

Love it, ha ha ha!!! Very creative. My favorite is with dirty diapers, If I smell a child, I will whisper in said child ear to find daddy (then daddy will notice the stench and usually change him, ha ha)

Oh and your hubs doesn't read the blog does he?

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

These are brilliant little tricks! I especially liked the getting out of cooking dinner one, of course i hate cooking too and just don't do it. It's true, timing is everything! You should write a book for mothers everywhere.

Michelle said...

OMG! This is too hilarious. It sounds like you have your husband (and all men for that matter) figured out. I am beginning to realize if I just don't do it instead of bailing him out everytime it will get done. Maybe not my way or on my schedule but it gets done. We have a teenage babysitter pick up our kids from school 4 days per week. Reminding him she will be here and to pick up the kitchen is usually enough to get something done.

My hubby does read my blog!

Mariboo said...

The only diff between our men is mine is MUCH more observant than yours. Darn him...darn him to heck! LOL Great blog as usual! Ugh, I should start a post on mine, I seriously Do NOT know how you do it! Your kids are awesome and bathed AND fed!

Heather said...

You are one brilliant wife & mother! I'll have to try some of these sometime!

Tiffany said...

Oh my goodness, too funny! I love it!!!!

The Lane Family said...

This is Hiliarious!! I am glad to know that I am not the only one that comes up with "plans" so that my husband gets to do things a little more often as well.

I love when he complains about his hard day after he tells me he had a 2 hour buisness lunch, had a massage, went to an amazing exhibit for Senate employee's etc. Never mind his 2 hour commute each day where he listens to music and reads on the metro. I could go on but we will leave it there.

The only problem I have with the "booger pump" is that he fanes ignorance so he does not have to do it...These husbands!!

shortmama said...

LOL Brilliant! I like to "forget" to lay something out for dinner in the morning about once a week. Or suddenly start doing things around dinner time and oh its too late to cook now so we should just have an "on your own night" which means things like sandwiches or easy stuff!

Momlissa said...

I like the way you think. :)

The only "trick" I have is deciding I simply must go grocery shopping at 7 p.m., right during the witching hour of bedtime.

Heather Kephart said...

LOL! I loved this post. Especially the bit about transition time. I laughed out loud when I saw the photo of all the toys hanging from your rafters.... dying...

2SetsOfTwins4Me said...

Ahahahaha, love it
Dang you have alot of riding toys for the kids. LOL

I may have to do some of these things too ;)

yonca said...

Hilarious! Happy Friday!

Mommy24cs said...

To get out of taking or going to pick up my kids at their various activities I use the old "I'm out of gas" excuse. Works every time, usually because he is too lazy to go to the gas station and fill it up for me and also because he never checks. If he does happen to see the next day that there was plenty of gas, my reply is "hmmm that's strange, the light came on yesterday, must've been a fluke".

kyslp said...

OMG! All those riding toys! Can you fit a car in there?? Those are great tricks but they don't work on my Hub. (He is resistant to training. Can I send him to you and you can fix him for me?)

Kristen said...

this is hilarious! I don't have children nor am I married but I am going to store this in my brain for when I need it. And man you have a ton of riding toys!

Melissa B. said...

Quick question: Does Tim read your blog? Just wondering...but truthfully, we all have our little "ways" around things, don't we? And, boy...that's a serious amount of kid stuff in your garage!

Corrie Howe said...

You're sneaky. Clever. But sneaky. I was wondering if you husband read your blog.

Jenn said...

Smart thinking! LOVE it!

Anyway, I have nominated you for an award...don't feel obligated to participate if you'd rather not, just know I like your stuff!

Jenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Creative Junkie said...

Ingenious, Helene! Like I said, you need to write a how-to manual.

blueviolet said...

You could open a toy store right from your garage alone.

I like your sneaky, underhanded ways. A lot.

Mrs Garrett: The Facts of a Football Life said...

So wonderful - I love your last disclaimer - that is totally my husband too - if it had sport scores - or other Coaches complaining about each other - he would read it all day - if it is about me and the girls - he will just wait until he hears it from me - why read it right! :) I can't even imagine my husband using the the snot sucker - I don't think he even know what to do with it - it is probably best for all in our house we keep it that way! But I may have to try out the others!!

2 Toddlers and Me said...

I wish I could pull all that off with my husband. He works constantly and when he's not working he's on his phone...oh wait, maybe he's doing it to me?! Hmmm, I better check into this!

healingtouch said...

I kind of feel sorry for your husband....I mean I'm just sayin!

Elle said...

Your helpful hints are hysterically evil. I love them! I've got a different dinner routine when I don't want to cook. I will get some of it started just as my husband is getting home. He's a much better cook than I am and if there is something cooking, he can't resist lifting the lids and stirring things and checking the oven. Then I will conveniently need to help one of the kids with something. "Can you watch dinner while I help J-Man get his pajamas?" Usually, this task will take me just until dinner is ready.

twinmama said...

Quite clever, you are! I am glad for the disclaimer at the end because I was thinking the whole time, "Don't give away your secrets, haha!"

My sister-in-law would just go into the bathroom for very long periods of time forcing her son's father to have to do things. He thought she had serious issues, but she was just reading a magazine to take a break. :)

Booklover1212 said...

Standing up and applauding you my dear friend!!

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com

B said...

So hoping your husband doesn't read this!

Pop on over to my blog; there's an award waiting for you :O)

Yaya said...

Haha! You are brilliant!

Tracy said...

I was going to say that I have much to learn from you, but then I realized that my husband has been pulling most of these tricks on me for months. Hmmm...maybe I should learn a thing or two from both of you.

Mama Jenn said...

I have a blog award for you!! You can see it here.

Joy said...

Helene, you are a genious. I'm gonna have to use some of those. But first, I have to get hubby to actually cook anything at some point.
Unfortunately, hubby is just as sneaky as me. Today he was "doing something" so he couldn't stop to change L's nasty poopie diaper. However, he was so willing to get out of it and stay busy... he folded ALL the laundry! yeah for me!

The High Family said...

Love this post Helene! We (the best moms on earth!) can be soooo sneaky sometimes huh?

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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