Eating Dinner Standing Up

On any typical fall afternoon, you can find me seated in a lawn chair in the front yard, more like the driveway, stealing a few minutes with a good book.  The kids are running in the street, (literally since we live in a cul-de-sac) and our dog has planted herself at my feet, gauging the kids’ play for the perfect time to intervene with much running and chasing.  My hubby is somewhere, possibly in the office or on the phone and the sun is casting a heavy ray of sunshine just before it drops behind the trees. 

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.  By the time October arrives in Arizona, we have witnessed a few more days out of triple digits and have begun to re-explore the neighborhood just in time for Halloween tricks and treats.  As the month creeps on, neighbors will prep pool toys for their winter slumber, lawn chairs will find their way out from fenced backyards and the summer zombies will creep from the air conditioned comfort of the indoors.

One particular afternoon a couple of years ago, a neighbor came to visit.  Her stride, slumped and dragging, carried with it a sense of toil and labor.  Her son gleefully toddled ahead of her sputtering two-year old lingo in the direction of my boys who appeared to be caught up in the grass with a bug or something...

"Hey, pull up a chair.  What's going on?" 

It was clear as I said this, there was indeed something going on….  I am of course going to be extremely general here in my description of this particular person but let me just say, since she became a mother, she did not seem to be mastering the stamina necessary to multi-task.    

I would like you to imagine a brief pause here as she maneuvered around several toys, bikes, legos, chalk and God knows what else had been scattered over the drive.  Finally she landed in the chair next to me.

“Pppphhhhhhhhhhhh..”  A long escape of air left her lungs through her pursed lips.  Clearly, her white flag was up and waving. 

"Wow.. tired?"  I said as I watched my youngest begin working on taking his pants down.........

"Hey, knock that off!  Go use the bathroom in the house!"

Yes, the bathroom is sometimes outside at our house…. I love having boys but their timing and understanding of convenience and appropriateness can be challenging to manage. 

Little chuckle.  Nice timing kid. 

Shortly after the pants episode, she finally spoke.

"How do you.... do you get any help from Bob? 

(let's just call my dh, Bob-shall we?),

… know, with the kids, or house?"

It’s clear she was still banking on the dreamer package to the mommy club..  The vision of the black and white portrait of the perfectly round belly draped with sheer linen and holding the blooming pink orchid had become a cavernous stretch mark...  Oh.. poor dear. 

"Little overwhelmed, huh?"

Duh.. I couldn’t figure that out. This is the same person who after having child number 2 a year later got a babysitter once a week so she could do laundry... no... I am not kidding.

I tried offering a little insight, "Well..... Bob primarily takes care of the outside of the house.  I do the inside.”

Bob would speak up here; noting that my version of clean is a bit different from his.  Let us just say, I am an awesome re-arranger and NEAT. 

“...And when it comes to who has to clear several calendars in order to go the dentist?  Well, that would be me.  And let’s see… who has to pack for 3 people instead of 1 when we go on vacation?  Uhhhh…. me...And finally, who eats dinner standing up more nights than not? yea…me."

Now, keep in mind, my dear hubby, Bob-is a fan-TAS-tic daddy.  He organizes after dinner wrestle time, gives hiccup inducing horse bites and has no problem using daddy spit to clean faces.  Daddy adores his boys and they love him unconditionally.  But we agree on this; mommy is the primary care taker. 

Mommy is still one the who does the majority of the childrearing, the finding of misplaced favorite monkeys, replacer of ripped socks, child version encyclopedia to the difference between bumble bees and wasps and why the dog food is not as good to eat as you would think.  

I informed my somewhat weary neighbor, much to her paralyzed dismay, that she is the one who has to hold down the fort.  Fathers have become more like daddies since I was a kid and they do far more now than they ever have.  Still, the "mommy" is the one the kids seek out when knees are scraped, pants are pooped or food is spilled. 

Maybe it's the cop in me.  I was trained to multi-task and yes, it comes in very handy when juggling the household.  You have no idea how many varied tasks are involved with just a traffic stop. 

Of course I can run this household but my badge wielding at work does not have the same compliance magic at home. 

It may not be glamorous, no one will applaud or adorn you with accolades for snotty nose blowing assistance, but that is just fine by me.  I love every bit of it and even though I may misplace things, throw a dinner together with only three ingredients and mix my kids’ names up, my children hold me to life and I embrace my part in their day with compassion, determination and a little bit of silliness. 

What my neighbor was really looking for was another mother to join in her misery.  To march to her beat of "I need a break and you need to get in here and assume the role while I take a hot bath, go get my hair done, take a nap, have drinks with the girls, go to the bathroom without someone following me and asking me why does the dog like birthday cake?”

Well, excuse me if I don’t join in.  What I say instead is,

“Put your big girl panties on and get on with it!”

Now, if only I could remember where I put mine. 

Under Construction Please Be Patient

As mentioned, I am new to this and in my quirky gotta get it just right way, I am making some small little adjustments to my page.  I have a post I am working on, "Eating Dinner Standing Up".  I should be finished tonight.  For now, I am wanting to get the blog look just right and I will eventually stop otherwise I will drive myself crazy.  It is about content not how nice it looks right?

That's what I say now since approaching mid 40's.................. but I digress..

Oh, how I toil..

The Centurion and the Mother

Centurion: A commanding leader in the Roman Army guiding the foot soldiers in the battlefield. 

This describes the mother.  I am just begining my journey into the bloggosphere, so bare with me.  I have no previous experience and am only capable of writing in fits and starts.  I do however aspire to document in some form or other my experience in raising two wonderful boys, holding a household and a career oriented husband together all while working full time as a member of a very large police department.  Thus the title. 

I work in my personal and professional life as a champion of children; a police officer by day and a mother full time.  I maintain the household in working order, with bills paid, dog fed, homework done, husband happy and suffer very few "casualties" as my former leaders many centuries ago.  As Primus Pilus, I lead my foot soldiers and carry their burden into battle, guide them in the ways of the world and as a further challenge and at times very dibilitating, I manage a child with kidney disease.  Yes, one of my two wonderful children was born with Autosomal Recessive Polycistic Kidney Disease/Chronic Hepatic Fibrosis (ARPKD/CHF).

My experience as a police officer has offered me one thing most mothers may not witness, an opportunity to see mothering at its best and worst.  The headlines of parental indifference are easy to recognize and offer a bit of a pull into the seedy world of sub-culture we wish to disassociate.  They are the children who have no champion. 

If anything is gained from checking in with this blog it is to recognize and offer comment to your experiences as a Mother Centurion.  You must recognize you are a leader to your children.  You have a narrow window of opportunity to garner your child's respect.  You will forever have their attention.  Losing the respect of your children lends to them a confusing and at times risky period of poor choices.  I have witnessed those choices in my career.  I am not a parent expert, I claim no formal training in child psychology and can barely spell "psychology"... however I have street smarts and a dictionary.  I have learned from my advanced and well deserved "40 something" age that over time, including 19 years with the police department, I probably know quite a bit more than the average mom on what makes or breaks a child in choosing the right path.  I have mentored 3 wonderful children in my career and currently my husband and I battle the ups and downs with our youngest son's disease.  I most honorably will inform you that almost 3 years ago, I donated a kidney to our son and gave to him what any mother should, quality of life. 

Welcome.  I will share with you some insight into a parent-life less traveled for most and learn from you as well. 

The Mother Centurion is MINE. Powered by Blogger.

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.