Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This is SO MUCH FUN!!!

As the antithesis to my last post, I thought I would mention some things that are 100% MORE FUN than they were pre-children. This is partly because it was suggested by a friend, partly because it makes me appear less negative about my kids, and partly because it gives me an opportunity to use the word “antithesis”. Win-win-win.

(if you're interested in the not-so-fun list, read my previous post Do You Remember When This Was Fun?)


1.      HOUSEWORK!

I have never enjoyed cleaning. Because I’m not a freak. Now, obviously, I have always done what is necessary to make my home livable, but it’s out of duty only. (Well, duty and peer-pressure. I wouldn’t want my friends to have to wear a Hazmat suit to visit.) I certainly do not clean because I enjoy it. I do not find it to be stress-relieving, or fun, or even to give me a sense of accomplishment. It’s just one of those awful things that is required of adults, and I do it with gritted teeth as I dream of my home in Glory where there will be no need for cleaning products.

Enter children.

It is incredible how much fun kids think cleaning is! I don’t know why we even bother purchasing Christmas and birthday gifts. I could seriously hand my kids a Swiffer and a Dust Buster instead, and they would think they had won the jackpot. I made the mistake once of sweeping and mopping while the kids napped, and all heck broke loose. Andy was mad at me for the rest of the evening because he had missed his chance to help.

I’ve actually broken down and purchased a second Swiffer so that Andy can mop with me, and I foresee a third Swiffer in the near future—our last mopping episode resulted in physical violence as Finnick tried to wrestle said Swiffer out of Andy’s hands, and Andy began using it as a weapon to keep Finnick away. If they are still fighting over who gets to sweep/mop when they are teens, I will consider myself to be a very lucky mama.

And it’s not just floors! Andy and Finnick both love to pick up trash and throw it away. They have literally had fights over who gets to pick up the last diaper off the ground and put it into the trash bag. Because, obviously, picking up poopy diapers is SO MUCH FUN! It’s practically basketball, but more extreme. After all, if you miss the basket in basketball, no big deal. But if you miss the trash bag and that diaper comes un-rolled… well, that could be bad.

And I’ve got to admit—cleaning isn’t so bad when you’re doing it with a kid who thinks it’s awesome.


Pre-children, car rides were simply about getting from one place to the next. A necessity, and that’s all. I took approximately the same route every day, so there was nothing new to see, nor is there much you can do in a car while operating it since you’re kind of supposed to be watching traffic. Every day was pretty much ho-hum boring, and I mostly viewed that time as wasted.

Now, car rides are THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER! There’s so much to SEE (A fire hydrant! A plane! A dead skunk! A fire truck! A motorcycle! A water tower!...), there’s so much to DO (Let’s sing! Let’s count! Let’s rhyme! Let’s ride with the windows down! Let’s find shapes in the clouds!...), there’s so much to EXPLORE (What’s that? And that? And that? And that?...)! There are never two car rides alike. And I am amazed at how many things my kids point out when we’re on the road that I have never noticed, nor would I have ever noticed. Little things, big things, weird things, common-place things—they aren’t really picky. Because EVERYTHING is new and wonderful and awe-inspiring.

It’s refreshing to see things through their eyes.

3.      WAL-MART!

I’m not going to lie—I have always loved Wal-Mart. I don’t care if it is jam-packed and there’s never enough cashiers, even at 3:00 a.m.. I am addicted. I mean, seriously, you can find anything at Wal-Mart. Anything in the entire world. It is like the Swiss Army Knife of stores.

With children, Wal-Mart is even more amazing. I did not know that was possible.

My kids LOVE Wal-Mart. As in, they get excited when we load up in the car to go to Wal-Mart. As in, they play “Let’s shop at Wal-Mart!” at home with their little shopping cart and cash register. As in, Andy recognizes the landmarks surrounding Wal-Mart and will request to go there if we’re within a 10-mile radius.


Because Wal-Mart has cheap chicken strips in the deli that you can eat while you shop! And they have bicycles on display all year-round that you can “test drive”! And they have a water fountain that is the exact height needed if you are strapped into a buggy yet need a drink and your mama is too big-fat-pregnant to lift you up to the fountain while you guzzle for five minutes! And there’s a bathroom at the front AND the back of the store, so you can actually pee twice in the same trip and get to use TWO DIFFERENT restrooms! And they store their beach balls in giant bins that stretch 20 feet in the air! And while you’re looking at the balls, you’ll always see at least one “Clearance” balloon that got away and is stuck on the ceiling!


4.      WATER!

Sure, everyone enjoys a nice, cool pool in the hot summer months or a long, hot bath after a long, hard day. But other than that, I had never really given water much thought. You drink it, you bathe in it, end of story.

For my children, however, any water source is automatically FUN—water in the sink, water in the bathtub, water fountains, splash pads, puddles… Any water will do. Finnick is still in the “fascination stage”, trying to figure out how in the world that water is appearing out of that faucet right now when earlier there was nothing there, and why in the world can’t he CATCH IT?! Andy is more into filling up containers and then dumping them back out, over and over and over, just to watch the way it flows. Both think it’s their job to splash ALL water as far and wide and high as humanly possible. And if anyone in the house is taking a bath/shower, they can expect two little boys to be stripping down naked right next to them, trying to crowd their way in.

I absolutely cannot wait until my kids are old enough to go to a full-fledged water park! It is going to be SO. MUCH. FUN!

5.      ANIMALS!

I’m not one of those people who think that pets are people, but I do like animals. Or, more specifically, mammal animals, usually in the form of dogs and cats. True, I can’t stand to see a starving stray on the side of the road (my husband has long made fun of me about the amount of strays I have brought home over the years), but still we’ve managed to keep the pets down to only one black lab.

My children are true animal-enthusiasts.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been nearly startled into a heart attack by a random, full-blown scream out of nowhere, run frantically to the child producing the scream expecting to see blood or a missing limb, only to see him point and yell, “SQUIRREL!” or “BIRD!”

The first few times, I thought, “Seriously? There are a MILLIION squirrels and birds! There’s nothing exciting about squirrels and birds!”

Now, after about 2 ½ years of this, I find myself holding up traffic in the Wal-Mart parking lot to point out that there is a PIGEON perched on top of a HANDICAP PARKING SIGN. I mean, really, how cool is that? There is NO LEDGE on a handicap sign, and there’s this big, fat pigeon sitting there like he’s all comfortable!

No? Not incredibly interesting to you? Not worth being run over just for a chance to witness such awesomeness? Huh.

Well, how about butterflies? Turtles? Dogs? Rabbits? Skunks? Cats? Ants? Because any one of those can halt all activity and conversation for an immediate inspection. And I have been completely sucked into the fascination of it all.

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