Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cheating Ethan?

Lately I've been feeling "mom guilt"And not the "mom guilt I was told about yesterday when a mom told me she feels so mean telling her 9-year-old daughter she can't shower with her anymore. Ewww, by the way, inappropriate and TMI. Since I am not very good at hiding my feelings with my facial expressions, I think she got the idea. Anyway, my mom guilt is based on cheating Ethan out of his childhood. There are things you should do with your kids to make traditions and memories. My parents didn't do these things and I am a stable (most of the time) well adjusted adult, but still... I don't want to be accused of not standing outside for a half hour when it is 45 below waiting to see Santa at Santa's Village someday in a psychiatrist's office. I want to be accused of stuff I didn't mean to do, such as telling two-year-old Noah we sold baby Ethan on e-bay. And that the car stops working if the seat belts aren't buckled, and they would poo orange if they didn't eat all of their vegetables, or caffeine makes them shrink. All of the things they can accuse me of are things I said based on their best interest- well except the e-bay thing. That was just funny. Anyway, I am struggling with continuing the "childhood" traditions I have tried to undertake to make memories for my kids. Maybe it's because I chose to do too many, maybe it's because after doing them for seven years it's getting old, maybe I am just too busy/lazy.
Take Halloween for instance. Every Halloween the boys and I go to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin, one year Ethan even rolled it down the steps to show me, denting the wall in the process. There are mazes, horse and wagon rides, "real" cowboys and a "haunted" path to walk down. It is fun. I should say, it IS fun when the leaves have changed, it's semi warm out, not soggy wet, and it's one of the first six times you've done it. This year it has rained pretty much every day from the end of September and all of October. The leaves didn't change and fall, but simply stayed green and fell due to the constant downpour of rain. I didn't even mention the pumpkin patch to the kids this year, but got two pumpkins at Hornbachers. The other night Ethan asked why we didn't go to the pumpkin patch. - Bad mom moment one. I also usually make a big deal out of planning their costumes and picking them out. Last year it was such an expensive time consuming fiasco, with Noah's costume arriving in the mail ON October 31, I didn't want to re-live it, so I told them they had to wear something they already have and like it. Bad mom moment two. I have a sneaking suspicion Noah can't find his costume. I told him if he can't find it he has to clean his messy room. He says he found it, but I think he didn't and is just telling me that. Bad mom three and four. One for letting him lie to me, and one for not caring if he finds it because he's right on the verge of being too old to trick or treat. On the Friday before Halloween it is tradition that we carve the pumpkins. Actually I carve the pumpkins while the kids run around the house like wild animals. I LOTHE carving pumpkins. It is messy, gross, involves a good chance of me cutting myself with a sharp knife and did I mention messy? The kids can't help even if I wanted them to. They would make it messier and it involves knives. I asked Ethan last night if he really wanted to carve pumpkins this year. I crossed my fingers and hoped he'd say no. What is wrong with me?? Why am I robbing them of their childhood? My parents never did ANY of this with me. In fact, they sent me in the car with my old-enough-to- drive siblings to take me around trick or treating. When they moved out in second grade, that was my last year because my mom "had to stay home to pass out candy" to the eight trick or treaters that came to our house. I know- tell it to the psychiatrist. I am finding myself more and more relieved when they want to pass on the "kid" activities, such as story time at the library, going to the children's museum, etc... Those are fun things, and I really enjoyed them- when they were experiencing it as a young child. Ethan has always been a "go against the grain" kid. His Kindergarten class photos are so sad. He is the only one on pajama day wearing jeans. He's the only one not taking part in "50's" day, or yellow, red, blue, or orange days. Therefore he is a little more agreeable when I ask if we "have to..." I should not use this to my advantage. It feels like I am taking away his childhood. Or maybe they are growing up and I am torn between letting them, and keeping them little...
Well, I better go carve the pumpkins now, and ask how they REALLY feel about Santa's Village.

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