Jan 23, 2013

The blog in which I torture my kids, but I think it builds character.

I'm not proud of it, but I love to psychologically torture my children.  Between the moments where I "boo" them and make them jump/scream/and possibly leak urine at a most inappropriate time, to when I dangle a silly secret for days on end until Shay can complete a family meal within the short span of 45 minutes.  (Let's be honest.  If we can get her to finish a mini carrot in under 6.34 minutes, there is hope for the rest of the meal.)  So, here's where the story starts.

Two days ago, Geoff and I were talking about our tax refund, and how we really want to plan for another vacation to Disney for next school year.  Our very first vacation, our Disney eloping/honeymoon, ten years ago April, was followed eight years later with taking our kids to Disney for a few days a year ago, on Fall Break.  So, we thought we should try to find some money to put aside, and try again next year.  While we haven't done our taxes yet, if we do half as well as the past, we should be able to pull off a trip.  So, we decided to keep it a secret.  Until.That.Night.  

Here is the order of secret keepers in our house.  The rating system is 0=completely unable to keep a secret, to 10=can be threatened with bodily harm to a loved one and won't spill the secret.  

Geoff- 6 While he kept a secret from me early on in the relationship, I don't think he will hold anything back from me now.  The pressure of keeping the secret might even interfere with his sleep pattern.  He can most likely keep secrets from people, but prefers to share them. 

 He really wanted to tell the kids about Disney.  I really needed Shay to finish eating dinner, so decided that I would utilize this nugget of info. to be the dangling carrot to have her finish dinner in record time.  (I give her a full 34 minutes.)  Didn't happen.  What did happen was tears, grimacing, pleading with eyes (that was Geoff with the eye bit, btw) and then, a little girl who was ticked off at me for the rest of the night.  

Me- 9  I actually prefer to be in on a secret, but once I have it, I don't want anyone else to know.  Unless it's Geoff, and that is why I give myself a nine.  I don't think I could keep a secret from him.  He is like a verbal laxative to me.  (Eww.  And that is the beauty of marriage.  Always having someone to share a secret with.)  I got to take Charlie into the bathroom and whisper the secret in his ear since Geoff and Shay were not done eating.  Charlie looked at me, shook his head while pointing at me, and said, "You are good."  

Charlie- Negative 14  He has NEVER kept a secret.  Not even little ones.  Well, I didn't really think he would keep this secret, and he sort of did.  But sort of not.  

Shay- 22  No joke.  Chick would lose a limb if it meant guarding a secret.  But not being in on the secret is the part that troubles her.  She is used to be on the inside of most secrets.  She and I have lots.  Since she was about three, I have known she was trustworthy, and no joke, she is. She was trying to guess what the secret was at breakfast the next morning.  She actually guessed Disney, and I hastily shot down that thought.  At which point, Charlie looks at me, all serious, and says, "Wait.  Mom- in the bathroom.  We need to talk."

"No.  No talk.  We don't tell a secret- no matter what."

"But, what if she said it?"

"Charlie, we are not telling the secret.  End of story."

So here comes night number two, and she was one mini carrot short of the allotted time frame for dinner and the secret reveal.  Again, tears, anger, laughter and food throwing.  (To clarify, it was me throwing the food.  I threw my dessert, generic Fruit Loops, at her, as she cried.   I was also the one doing the laughing.  It was my attempt to lighten the mood.  I'd have to say- wasn't so effective.)  Grandma had come over after school so that she could visit with us, come to watch Chaz at his new gymnastics class, and to share dinner with us.   She was disapproving of this torture.  I knew we had to tell her.  So, Charlie did.  I think it was anticlimactic, however, she was happy.

Well, it was our third class at the new gymnastics gym.  Chaz is in a class with three other boys.  I had this feeling it was coming, but I was so bummed out when it happened.  After class, the coach asked me to speak with him.  Ugh.  This has happened before.  "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....... And so, I feel like he needs to be in the more advanced program, and I understand it is financially more than this program, however, he really needs to be there."  Grrr.  I tried to talk him into working on Charlie's skill level, and honestly, he just can't.  I have been impressed with the way he split the group of four in two, and works well to work on each child's needs, however, there is no real way to truly work at Charlie's level, in the current class.  I talked it over with Geoff, looked it up online, and found that this class is way out of budget, and just wasn't sure what to do.  Until....

Later that night.... "Geoff, I think we need to see how much money we get back from taxes this year, and instead of go on vacation, we need to apply that to Charlie's gymnastics."
He agreed- no hesitation.  Charlie needs this.  We also discussed how we never do anything for Shay, so maybe we would take an extra outing here or there to focus on her.  We have never been skating, and her newest doll needs her ears pierced for $14 at the American Girl Doll store.  I bet there will be a play she might enjoy at the local theater that Chaz may not want to see.  The possibilities are endless.  So, now, we had to burst the bubble about Disney.

This morning, I told them since we had to make a decision about either a few days at Disney or the year of gymnastics for Charlie, we chose gymnastics.  (silence)

Finally, Shay says, "But can we go to the cabin?"

"Of course we can! We are going to try to go at least every other month for a weekend.  That hasn't changed.  Since Grandpa has allowed Brody to join us, nothing is stopping us.  We already told you guys that."


So, secret or not, my kids are amazing at understanding things way beyond their years.  It might be instilled with my torturous ways ;o)  However it happened, I am grateful they understand and appreciate what they do have.

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