Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BEING the Fun

As I drop my two eldest of at the pool for swim lessons I suck in my breath and tell myself, "Ok let's have some fun." I am gearing up for what could be another 30 minute scream session with my almost three year old. Yesterday at this time of the day was an episode out of sheer Mommy Hell Movie. Bronson just couldn't bear it that Ben and Bodee could go for swim lessons and he couldn't (just not available)and he screamed to wake the Gods. I realized standing that with my monster outside the gate drooling at the cool pool in 93 degree heat would probably not be fun for anyone, so I stupidly asked him if he wanted to go swimming at another pool. He looked at me like OF COURSE!!! and lowered the screams into broken whining and crying. I then attempted to get him INTO the swim diaper. At this point in his tantrum, sweating, red faced etc, in retrospect,I could have asked him if he wanted a bath in ice cream and he would have said no. So he said NO to the swim diaper. I took this to mean he was growing up and yes in THAT stage of potty training. Yea! Then I remember he is still screaming.

So we get in the roasting car, buckle up, with Bronson crying like I am strangling him or something, drive to the OTHER pool, unbuckle, get out, walk down the block in the glaring sun and get finally to the pool. I get in, begin to sizzle with gratitude that Bronson has stopped whining for a moment, and then he starts up again. This time he has decided he DOES want his "Diapey". He totally resists even putting his toes in the water. The car is waaaaaaay over there I think....and then realize people are watching me sit in a nice cool pool while my red faced toddler is screaming for a water diaper. Obvioulsy I am not going to drag a toddler who is screaming for a diaper into a pool and risk a huge mess. So I drag myself out of the delicious water into the heat and grumpily haul my screaming toddler back to the car. I give up on the pool. When he learns this, he screams another round of resistance, piercing my brain and puncturing any bubble of hope and patience I had left... and then FINALLY falls asleep. That was yesterday.

Today I am CREATING a different outcome, FUN, Generosity and Creativity. I say creating because I get that reacting to a situation is asking for trouble as a Mom. I can see that if I am reacting a lot,then I am being a lazy parent. I'm not creating anything. I'm tired, resentful, overwhelmed and just plain playing a victim of what I created.
So today I prepare Bronson by telling him we are drop off Ben and Bodee and that we are going for our OWN swim. I say it with glee and anticipation.I describe the Fun we are going to have. He claps and can't wait to get into his swim "diapey" and runs like a gerbil set free towards the pool shouting "Yeaaaaaaa! Fun!"

When we get to the pool we, swim, play bounce and splash together in the big pool. Then we go to the kiddie pool, his domain, and I change things up a bit ( usually we just coexist with the other pool mates) and talk to two other bright faced little girls. I invite them to play Marco Polo with us and pretty soon we are laughing and lunging through the water with utter abandon. I am a child... gleeful, giggling, sputtering, shrieking and shouting. Bronson looks at me with happiness that could lit up a city. The other little girls are fascinated with me. (Usually other people's kids and I find each other mutually and utterly boring.)And I am delighted by them. I experience a stranger's child as a treasure.

As I lay back down, floating in the water with Bronson resting his head on my heart, I sigh with fulfillment. I realize I am in the mode of creating, and it occurs to me that I usually am not. Usually I might get in to "get wet" and then get out again just so I can sit and watch the kids play. I sit on the lounge chair and MONITOR the fun. I watch the fun. I am not, like many of the Nannies or Dads, BEING the fun. I look around and see many Moms lounging and kids playing. Now, there is nothing wrong with lounging. I love to lay around,lounge, please, lounge away...and I also get that rounding out a day at the pool with a good healthy dose of getting off my butt and BEING the fun is where the real joy lies.

When Todd gets home, Bronson exclaims proudly that "I had fun at the pool with Momma!!!." I want to cry. Usually it's just "We went to the pool" or "I had fun at the pool."
I have choice to be a stay at home Mom. I choose to not have two incomes and make that work. I choose to be Mommy NEED Central, the source of filling my kids needs all day. And I choose, by being present with our children, BEING the Fun.

Love, FUN and Joy to all,
Zen Honeycutt

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