04 April 2008

Olé!

Mariachi night was such a blast. I was so proud of myself for doing some good work on leaving my shell of perfectionism in my office. Check it out:

1. Got the twins at daycare, and was putting them in the car. Riley got a hold of my keys. He did not want to give them back. "Hold Mama keys? Hold mama keys?" he plaintively queried. Perfectionist me would have said, "No, it's time to go, Mama needs her keys," and taken them away, causing a Ri-Meltdown. Me sans shell said, "Mama needs her keys. Would you like to hold a penny?" This idea was rejected. Hmmm. Then I thought to myself, "We don't need to be at the restaurant for 30 minutes. Why not just let the kid hold the keys for a while?" So I said, "Let me know when you're ready to go, Ri-Man," and we just hung out in the parking lot at daycare, chatting and singing while Riley did a thorough inspection of the keys. Lo and behold, after ten minutes, he said, "Mama, all done keys," and handed them back. And off we went. So much better for everyone!

2. I totally set aside my cares about what the kids ate at dinner. And guess what? They ate great. Chips, salsa, avocado slices, cheese quesadilla, and some fruit leather from my purse. An anonymous commenter remarked on my last post that many of my issues around what I do v. what I'd like to do center on food with the kids. It's true. I truly believe that it's my choice to offer the kids food and their job to determine what/how much of it to eat. (Hello, Ellyn Satter!) But it's hard for me to really implement that. I am convinced that it's genetic for mothers to want their kids to eat a variety of foods and to eat well. Knowing I need to let it go and actually doing it are two very different things, but I'm making progress. 

3. I did not become uptight and nervous when 7:00 p.m. rolled around and we were just leaving the restaurant. I can be, um, a little rigid about schedules, especially the kids' bedtime schedule, and 7:00 usually when we're reading stories and getting ready to turn out the light. But hey, we were having fun and I decided to roll with it. Me! I rolled with it! Amazing. The kids ended up not getting into bed until nearly 8:00 p.m., and guess what? We all survived and they even "slept in," meaning that Ri-Man didn't wake up until almost 7:00 a.m.

My margarita was fantastic, and the kids loved, loved, loved the music. After every song, they would clap and clap and request, "More, please? More, please?" They were so entertained that my friends and I were even able to enjoy a decent amount of real grown-up conversation. All-in-all, it was a super evening and I'm looking forward to doing it again sometime.

*******************************
Here's the pisser: I get to bed, the kids are sleeping, I'm sleeping and all of a sudden I wake up to the sound of a car horn honking repeatedly. Someone's car alarm was going off, and it was someone nearby. I'm not sure how long it went on, but it seemed like forever. Luckily, it did not wake the kids. But then I was wide awake. I finally drop back off, and it goes off again, about an hour after the first time. Ugh. This happened, oh, four or five times at hourly intervals. After the third time, I was about ready to put on my shoes, go find the offender, and bang on his or her door. But I was too lazy. So instead I will just complain about it here. Needless to say, I'm a little tired today. 

31 comments:

Meggerz said...

Stupid car alarms aside, that's awesome! Way to set goals and then kick their asses.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Car alarms used to go off like that in NYC all the time...horrible.

But what a great night! Letting go of our perfectionism and control issues can be so hard (speaking from my own experience!) and you did so well!!!!

Tracy said...

*de-lurk*

Out of hiding to tell you that I'm so happy you had a great night.

I started reading your blog because I'm expecting twins, and wanted to see how real-life moms "manage" things...you are an inspiration to me (another control freak, BTW.)

Sorry about the car alarm. For me, it's basketballs. We live in a suburb with a ton of pre-teen boys. It's constant and maddening.

orlifeisabedofroses.wordpress.com

Tiffany said...

I have learned with the kiddos that the more laid back you are the more relaxed the kids are. A hint for next time with the keys if you are in a hurry - take the key to start the car off of the key ring and hand the rest back to Riley.

Sandy said...

Sounds like a very refreshing time out with the twins! So glad for you!

BrooklynGirl said...

Sounds like such a fun night!

Car alarms make me nuts--also, people needlessly and relentlessly honking their horns.

Mama Nabi said...

I, too, am slowly learning my way out of my perfectionism, aka my anal retentive tendencies... life is more fun that way. :-)

Ole, indeed! I still need to work on food and time management issues - :-) seems us bizarro sisters are stuck on same themse, eh?

Damn car alarms...

Jules said...

Way to go with realizing your emotional triggers and letting them go. You should be so impressed with yourself and give yourself a great big pat on the back. You created memories for your kids, a great night for yourself and proof that you don't have to be perfect to have everything turn out well. Congrats!!!

Auntie Knickers said...

(I came here from Cathy's Grace Notes because your blogname rang some bells with me) -- I'd say the only thing worse than being awakened by the car alarms is realizing it's your own car!
And I enjoyed hearing about your parenting successes and vicariously enjoying the restaurant.

Jen said...

hey there.. i just posted about last night on my blog too. it rocked and we'll definitely do it again. maybe Ben won't be on a food strike the next time around! you missed him TOTALLY hitting the roof just after you guys left.. his scream jumped an octave or two.. quite funny.

glad you felt good about breaking through some of your shell.. i didn't even see any twitching!

Andria said...

Woohoo! I am so glad you had a great night! Have a good weekend!

Anonymous said...

Well done! I hope that the more you give yourself experiences like this, the more "letting go" will become second nature.

Kind of like training yourself :-)

I'm trying to do the same thing in my own, very different life, where just taking care of myself (no kids) is a challenge. YOU ARE AMAZING!

Julia said...

Oh, damn-- that car alarm sounds completely unnecessary. Spoiling such a perfect night. Bah on them!
Glad you enjoyed the margarita and the conversation. Sounds like loads of fun.

Anne said...

I don't know you, of course, but as a fellow "perfectionist," I'm so proud of you for stepping out of your shell!

I have a 15 month old, and I have to constantly remind myself that the best thing I can give her at this point is the gift of time to explore the world at her own pace.

Driving With the Brakes On said...

So glad you and the kids had such a wonderful night - you all deserved it!

Lucky said...

You are really, really good at parenting. I just think you need to hear it.

Rachel said...

Hate the car alarms. Ugh.

I'm glad you had fun. With the food, you are right that you just have to trust them to eat what they need. It sounds like you did a great job of letting go, with Riley. I could learn a thing or two from you.

Lara said...

It's tough to NOT be a perfectionist. Especially when fighting exhaustion, when you tend to be more inflexible.

You did great!

buddha_girl said...

I am so proud of you! I wish I could let go like that more often.

Buddha usually makes good food choices, but because of my personal and family issues with weight, I spend too much time focusing on craziness rather than looking at the whole menu of nutrients he's eaten during the day.

Renovation Girl said...

It sounds like a great night (sans car alarm, of course)! As someone who is terrible with schedules/structure, I have profound respect for those who have their children on schedules. And I just don't know how you could make it through each day without that structure parenting twins alone and grieving. I admire you so much for that!

Erika said...

My life pretty much rotates around food and sleep for the kiddo, too. Last night I went out (ladies' night at the church, par-tay!). I ended up talking with an OB about my daughter's lack of eating, and she replied, "Kids live on air. Don't worry about feeding them. They'll eat what they need. Really. Give up now." I feel SO much better now.

katszeye said...

Yeah for you! Yeah for the kids! Boo to the car alarm. So happy to hear you had a good night. You deserve it. Sounds to me like your kids eat a pretty amazing variety of foods; you should be proud. Maybe you can make a weekly ritual of Mexican food out on a certain night. Go Snick! Ami

B.E.C.K. said...

Sounds like a wonderful night (aside from the car alarm -- this is what baseball bats are for) with lots of fun and relaxation. I love that your kids enjoyed the music so much! :-)

Anonymous said...

I"m the poster who commented on the "food issues," and I am glad you did not feel attacked by the comment, as that was definitely not my intent.

I am the mother of two adult daughters. Both are healthy, happy, and have no weight or eating/food problems at all. Never have.

I, on the other hand, have struggled with my weight and overeating problems most of my life. Five years ago, I lost over 100 pounds, and I have managed to stay at a healthy weight since, but it is never easy.

I have plenty of parenting regrets and "wish-i-woulda's" but food is not one of them. I have NEVER pushed my children to eat anything they didn't want to eat. I have NEVER denied them food when they were hungry (even if we were going to eat in a few minutes) - always kept fairly healthy food in the kitchen. If they didn't want what we were having for dinner, they were welcome to fix something else. Even for little ones, there can be fruit or veggies or whole grain cereal, cheese, or lean meat available. I NEVER demanded that they clean their plates (as my own mother did to me). Neither of them has ever gorged on food when they weren't hungry - even if it was a special treat. The idea of eating when true hunger is not present is foreign to them. They think it's strange that anyone would want to eat out of boredom or stress - I think because food has never been linked with reward or denial for them.

And, yes, it was hard for me to remain detached, especially when my younger one went through a l-o-n-g period of wanting to eat only "white" foods ... rice, bread, EGGO waffles, potatoes, chicken, and few veggies or fruits, But I really think almost all kids will eventually self-correct to get what their bodies need.

And it's not as if American children are starving ... on the contrary, over indulgence is the problem, and I am convinced much of it begins with hovering parents who insist (out of honest caring) that their children eat the "right" foods or the "right" amounts, regardless of the cues their bodies are giving them in regard to their hunger.

T & A said...

(also de-lurking) I've been reading your old posts, and I have to agree with the commenter above who said you're a fantastic parent. Sure, you have things you'd like to improve, but who doesn't? That's true with anything in life. You sound like the kind of parent I hope to be. And your kids are adorable, by the way!

Amy said...

Sounds like a great night out. Trust me, going out with the kids gets easier with time. I love Mexican!

Angela said...

It sounds like you had a lovely evening with the twins, good for you. Isn't it amazing how your own mind set and expectations can change things so dramatically? That is wonderful how you reacted to Riley (the keys), I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to let go of things, like sleep schedules, routines, etc, Bravo!
Stupid car alarms!

Nina said...

I haaaaaaaaate car alarms. Used to happen all the time when we lived off a busy street. So sorry it ruined your otherwise awesome night!

Anonymous said...

Amazing how that works about the food, isn't it? The minute you can let it go (or at least make your kid(s) think you don't care), it gets much, much better. Glad you had a great night.

Shelley

mizasiwa said...

Coming from someone whos son only eats porridge and very occassionaly chips (a la mcdonalds)or bread with margarine...your sooooooo much better than me!!!!!!! ;-) Take heart!
Anyway im glad your feeling better about 'life' you sound happy in your post! one of your comments says you should take the ignitian key off - i had to do that, you get a handy little gadget that you can attatch the key to that you dont have to actually take the keys away to take it off, my son loves my keys to the degree that he took them without my knowledge (dam that boy growing and figering out he can use things to boost him to reach the top of the counter;0) needless to say at five this morning when we wanted to go to gym i had to look for the keys - we found them in the cottage... the down side of living on 1700m squared of land>? Ja think? ill have to keep an eye on him!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to rain on anyone's parade regarding allowing kids to play with keys, but they contain an amazing amount of lead that can leach into a child's system if the keys are put into the mouth ... and even if they aren't, but the child puts hands/fingers into his/her mouth after handling them.

I had no idea ... used to allow my own children to play with my keys, but recently attended a lead poisoning prevention presentation, and what a shocker.