Here's a newsflash in the world today: kids don't need fancy stuff to make them happy. Now "stuff" could mean lots of things here, and if I start listing examples someone is sure to get offended. Which might not be a totally bad thing. What I mean here is that I feel the pressure the same as anyone else. Jack and Trey are constantly talking about their friends and their latest trips and gadgets. And it's easy to start the comparison game.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Compromise... or not.
If you don't know Tyler or me very well, I'll let you in on a little something. We're perfectionists. Both of us. Aren't opposites supposed to attract? Anyway, I suppose every couple works differently, but God knew that we both needed the other to be some sort of a perfectionist. I say some sort because I think we're perfectionists in different ways. And in a healthy sort of way, at least I think. Hmm... now you've got me thinking about that. But, this is getting way too complicated for a post on the fair. Ahem.
So how do perfectionism and the 4-H fair go together? Well, perfectionism is how we landed on our plans for this summer. Tyler and I like to do lots of things, and we like to do them well. But we also know how limited we are with four children ages seven and under. Many people are great multi-taskers. Lots of parents (and children) are way more flexible than we are. But through trial and error, we know our family's limits. And we'd rather do a few small things well than tackle more than we can pull off successfully.
Do you see it all coming together yet? Yeah, I'm not so sure either.
We try to think like a three or one year old when making plans, and that often sways our decision one way or the other. So instead of lots of travel, forcing kids out of their schedules, unmet expectations and crabby children (and parents!), we opted to simplify our lives this summer. Really, this mentality has become a way of life for us over the past year since Tess has been born. And guess what? We are having the time of our lives!
But what I've found is that my kids can go a long way on a little attention and some cotton candy.
I'm just saying.
We have this fair tradition. Even though the older boys hit Indiana Beach this summer and got to experience bigger and better, they wouldn't have missed the fair for anything. We left without our camera this year, and had to drive back to get it, because our photo-fair-tradition dates back to 2004. That's not long to you and me, but that's a heck of a long standing to a seven year old. And he would miss the 2009 pictures if they weren't there.
We always get foot-long corn dogs. We used to share, but now we have to get six of them. You could eat for a week on what six corn dogs cost at the fair.
We're also getting distinct in our fair roles. Daddy rides the rides, and I cheer everyone on while watching the baby. This is a good arrangement, trust me. And when there's no baby, I'm still not riding rides.
Just so we're clear on that.
Mostly because I wouldn't be able to keep my corndog down, and nobody wants that.
Wait, I do have to ride the green wavy slide every year, because Tyler won't do that. Yes, I think I can handle that. The last official day of summer break is today, and I'm off to find Prang watercolors for my school boys. Anybody know where I can find some? Eight stores already searched, the rest of the city to go. I'm a woman on a mission. More summer stuff to come!