Monday, January 18, 2010

Desperate times call for desperate measures

At the beginning of this new year, many of us decided to re-examine the priorities in our lives – begging the question, how does anyone find time to keep up with their blog?

Most of my blogging time is either first thing in the morning or in the evening after the kids are in bed.  But there are times during the day where I crave it…you know, when I just need to connect with the outside world for a few minutes.

Last week, I had one of those days.  Okay, why lie…I had a few of those days, not just one.   Does that make me a bad mom?  No, I think it makes me an honest mom who’s not afraid to admit that sometimes her kids suck the life out of her.

I knew I had to be creative in finding an activity which would engage the kids for a little while. 

As if a light bulb went off above my head (or as Oprah would say, an “aha” moment), I figured it out.

1)  I rummaged through the pantry and fold an old musty jar of sunflower seeds (probably which I had bought at the peak of my “I’m gonna lose 10 pounds” phase, last New Year’s and had since forgotten about).

garden4 

2)  I said, “Hey guys, why don’t you plant some pretty flowers for me in the garden?”  Three of them come charging towards me and they ask, “But you said that winter isn’t a good time to grow flowers in the garden?”  I say, “Oh, what do I know?  Let’s at least try”.

3)  As if this is music to their ears, I notice their smiles, as they come alive from their stupor of complete boredom.  The 4th child was smart enough to stay indoors where it was much warmer and watch tv.

4)  I hand them the seeds and the gardening tools and give them the whole “the world is your oyster” speech, while one kid examines the seeds and finds a brown one in the midst.  She says, “Eeew, this one’s ugly…what should we do with it?”  The “world is your oyster” speech turns into a “it’s not about what’s on the inside, my dear….even something that looks like that can grow into something beautiful” speech.

   garden1

5)  As they work together to dig holes, I sit my ass down on a chair, open up my laptop and breathe a sigh of relief….World,  here I come!

gardena     garden3

6)  Every few minutes, I shout out things like, “Wow, I’m impressed with your gardening skills” and “I like how you all are working so well together”.  You know, things to encourage them to work as a team, instead of using the shovels to pound one another on the heads.

7)  In the meantime, 10 minutes later, I giggle to myself while I check my e-mail and read some of my favorite blogs.  Wow, this is working out SO well.  Too well, in fact.  Something’s about to go wrong.  I can smell it in the air.

8)  Then I hear it, “Mommy, how long will it take for our flowers to grow?  Will they be sunflowers since we planted sunflower seeds"?” and “We’ll have to come out here and water everyday to make sure they grow”

9)  Uh…yeah, crap.  I hadn’t exactly thought of THAT part.  But perhaps I can milk this for what it’s worth. I say, “Well, over the next few days, you guys will have to come out here to water them and make sure the birds haven’t eaten them”.

10)   So cool….I’ve just bought myself at least three more 15-minute breaks throughout the week.  The first two 15-minute breaks will consist of them watering the garden and freeing it of weeds. 

11) As my mind kicks back into a gear I call “cruel reality check”, I realize it’s not so cool after all.  I’ll probably spend that third 15-minute break explaining to my kids that the evil birds swooped down out of nowhere and ate the seeds, while cheering them  up with some new seeds for them to plant.

12)  The following morning, my blogging time will be spent calling various flower shops with a desperate attempt to locate 4 sunflowers, which will make their debut in the garden the next day.

Note to self:  It’s important to think of the outcome of such a plan before implementing it.  Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures but this one may end up causing more of a headache than it was worth.

45 comments:

L.Howerter said...

ha, you are so funny. I really enjoy reading everything you write. Thank you for making me giggle today :)

singedwingangel said...

NOo here is where you teach them patience cause they didn't grow over night and neither wil the flowers. BUT ya could have planted them in a small glass in the house and set them in a window till they sprouted a bit then moved them outside when it was warmer... seriously though use it as a learning experience and you can get for sure guarnteed to grow seeds at walmarts and lowes..

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

You need to tell them that if they sit very quietly next to where they planted and stare at the ground thinking about the flowers, they will be be able to watch them grow. But, they must sit still and be very quiet for at LEAST 30 minutes!

Jessi said...

hey sounds like something i would do LOL!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

But at least you got 15 minutes for one day.

Kristina P. said...

My blogging plan includes not having children.

Neo said...

Wow u need a traffic warden here, saw ur post had been up for half an hour and thot i cld claim first spot.

nice plan but definitely not the outcome u planned.

blueviolet said...

This part made me keel over in laughter about planting seeds in winter: "Oh, what do I know? Let’s at least try”.

You're such a sham instigator! I love you for it!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Those thing always come back to bite us in the a**!!

I only blog during naptime and sometimes try to reply while making dinner, but nobody likes it when I do that :-( (Even though nobody needs me then, they just don't like it!)

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

I think Lee the Hot Flash Queen has the best solution for you. Personally, I never had any success with seeds--bulbs worked much better for me. My brother though, planted some seeds from some kind of fruit he ate and trees actually grew.

Eva Gallant said...

Will this plan work on my husband?

Ginny Marie said...

Great plan, even if it wasn't well thought out! (All my plans are like that....) I have trouble finding time for blogging, and sometimes I'm desperate, too! (Right now, the girls are watching Arthur on PBS. Bad Mommy!)

Rebecca said...

Ha! #6 made me laugh out loud...I love shouting random encouraging words! Good luck with the evil birds...

Jen said...

But those were minutes in blog world well earned, I say.

Shell said...

I love this!

I'm embarrassed to admit the things that I'll let my boys do so that I can have a little quiet time.

Mighty M said...

Ah, but that is still pretty creative of you! I put my son down for a nap and my daughter usually watches a couple shows!!

Amy said...

I am right with you on having some free time..

Carly said...

Love this story ...Very creative idea...I wonder If I have any seeds in my house to plant LOL. Hope your birds don't eat all the seeds!

Flory said...

I'm so glad I don't have to get as creative as you when it comes to getting the kids out the house. My problem is they're always interested in the bugs and insects. :)

Amy W said...

Even though you think the day will never come, they will eventually all be in school, and you will wonder what to do with your time!!!

Jenny said...

Too funny!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I've got an easy out for you. Wait a few days and then, (using your left hand if you're right handed) write a note from a "neighbor down the street" saying, "Thank you so much for planting those wonderful sunflowers. The wind blew in the middle of the night and when I woke up a few days later, I saw beautiful sunflowers. Sometimes the seed that are planted are meant to be planted for someone else to love and admire."

Hope this works.

Another suggestion to keep them extremely busy...I read my girls the book, "Away Went the Balloons" by Carolyn Haywood. (Old School author)

We had a balloon launch and everything. It gave them a chance to write a letter and attach it to the balloon. Now, in this day and age, you want to be safe so just have the person that finds it, send you an email letter stating the location and how happy they were to find it.

If I come up with anymore time consuming...oh yeah...tell them to dig for buried treasure. They have to dig REAL deep.

Theta Mom said...

Well, it sounded good at the time! Hey, anything we can do for a little blog time, I hear ya girl!

Michelle said...

Too funny! You have to do what you have to do to get by!

Kimberly said...

That was soo funny!

Have you tried a paint set? My kids loved painting. We had our house remodeled and we had to be out of the house by 8, and could not return until 4. We were just in the backyard. I had to make up games, garden, and paint. I just can't imagine ever doing another remodel while living in the house.

Miss Behavin said...

Now THAT was ingenious! Can't wait to hear how it all plays out.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

You did good. Just tell them it takes a while, (don't want to encourage instant gratification). Then when the time is right plant some already grown flowers in there. You are so clever and funny, I have a feeling there will be several more life lessons for your kids just in this scenario. Oh, and that comment from Chocolate Covered Daydreams is great. She has some good ideas; I think I'll pop over and see her blog.

Blessings

wife.mom.nurse said...

too funny! Maybe you can just get fresh sunflowers at the store and hide them for the night. and put them in the ground before they get up and have them come outside and "pick them "

:)

shortmama said...

Its hard to think long tern when you are enjoying that mommy break with blogging!

Deb said...

Oh, Helene! You are so creative, I love it. I hate to admit that I'm too tired to even be this creative with my kids. My idea of creativity is fixing three different kind of cords together for my daughter to plug her phone in. As long as you can explain your way out of it, you're golden! :)

Mrsbear said...

You are a genius. I routinely get the life sucked out of me, and if planting snack food will get them off my back for fifteen minutes, I am ALL for it.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

Ohh I love this post. I have to say I need to try it. I'm back sweetie.

BTW You are tagged on Wednesday. COme on over and check it out.

Alicia said...

Well, it was a good idea to begin with!!!

F and M said...

I love your blog for, if nothing else, the humour... I know I am far away from having kids but the way you manage to find the humour in everyday situations is inspiring and makes the prospect of having another human life depending on you less daunting. Good luck with the great Sunflower Trick Plan!

Cheryl said...

How funny and what a great idea! They look like they are having fun too!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

But it sounded like a good idea at the time!

Merri Ann said...

Do I get some kind of a prize for always being the last one to comment? I'm two hours ahead of you and I'm usually in bed by 8 ... so you can think of me sleeping while your having dinner LOL.

You need to file this under "No good deed goes unpunished" ... we need to tweek it to be more mom specific ... I put the kids in front of the TV one day to get a few moments of quite and you would have thunk I dropped two Christians and a Taliban into a pit to fight it out ... Dora or Diego ... Dora or Diego ... sheesh

Let us know how it goes ... my guess is that the seeds are going to get swept away in all the rain ... what a shame ;)

Nezzy said...

I'm lovin' the magic sunflower seeds that are planted one day and bloom the next. I once gave the kids a coconut and told them they could drink the milk and taste raw coconut if they could open it. The kids worked on the dang thing all day! We opened it together late that day but it was a great problem!

Have a super day with many blessed fifteen minute breaks!

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

Helene that was funny post . Love it. Like the idea, too. Cute children you have!
huge hugs!

Corrie Howe said...

Your kids are younger. But my kids are always good for paper, cutting, coloring, chalk art, making water messes in the kitchen sink, playing with Play Doh. (I hate Play Doh, so it is a real treat when I pull it out.)

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

I LOVE this idea! You are a Mommy Genius. Buying a little mommy time is awesome!

The Lane Family said...

Crap, there always has to be a catch to a great idea... but for now enjoy those little breaks because gosh darn you deserve it!!!

Holly said...

I've got to figure out a better blogging system for sure! I do things like that too though...and then sometimes feel guilty, but do it again anyway.

Sharlene said...

Look slike husband is gonna have to send the husband to the store for sunflower seeds that aren't roasted... I can only imagine the phone calls you are gonna get while he is in the store looking for those....

Zeemaid said...

*LOL* you are a genius.

However, what about fake flowers? My daughter found some at my mom's house and decided to "plant" them. She worked at it for half an hour arranging and rearranging them and I thought to myself.. Dollar store... here I come!

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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