My Kid Expects More From Me (Spoiler Alert! He’s In For A Let Down)

I’ve been getting telltale signs over the last week that Luke (5) is raising his expectations of me. This is quite a conundrum because I am proud to be a champion of mediocrity and yet there I am, time and time again, encouraging him to improve on everything he does. 

 
Last Friday I helped him pick out his clothes and as he started getting dressed I headed for my closet. 
 
“I’m going to pick out my clothes now,” I told him.
 
“Okaaaay,” he said in a sing-song voice. “Do not EVEN tell me what it is. I can’t wait to be amaaaazed.”
 
I stopped dead in my tracks. Since when have I ever come out of my closet wearing something that amazed him, or anyone else for that matter? I wear sweat pants every day and I’m pretty sure he was four-years-old before he ever saw me in a dress. I’ll never forget his surprise. “Mom, YOU have a princess suit?”
 
Afraid he was getting his hopes up for something that was not to be, I told him, “It’s going to be running pants (I hesitated) and a T-shirt.”
 
“Are you going running?”
 
“No.” (Slightly annoyed)
 
“Ohhh, all right then. Dad runs in his.”
 
With that twist of the knife I went into my closet, closed the door behind me and mumbled under my breath, “At least I can tie my own shoes.”
  LucasSwagger1
Then, this morning after hitting snooze on my alarm for the third time I heard his big, flat feet hit the floor as he got out of his bed and headed for my room. The first thing out of his mouth was, “Really, Mom? Free times?” 
 
He climbed into my bed and we snuggled for a while before having to get him ready for school. Per our usual routine, we argued about the direction he combs his hair and his disdain for blue jeans. Before I knew it he was out the door and headed to school. He will only be there for three hours, but I miss him already. 
 
What I don’t miss, however, is having my outfit critiqued. 
 
Billie Jean King is a handsome woman, dammit and I’m not one bit ashamed of copying her swagger. 
 
This brings me back to my conundrum, though. Is it right for me to expect him to strive for perfection at everything he does while I sleep late and, from time to time, sleep in the outfit I’m going to wear the next day? (Shut up. You know its brilliant.)
 
Yes, of course it is. 
 
He’s five-years-old and therefore still crappy at everything!! That may sound harsh, but before judging me try making a resume for your five-year-old. You can’t. It’s hysterical. They can’t do anything. 
 
So…
 
Parental win. End conundrum.

Moms Getaway Part 2: Three Women And A Mission

After arriving at our destination, the rest of the weekend went as smooth as clockwork. We lounged on the beach and by the pool. We shopped and ate amazing food. We watched TV in bed, and most importantly of all we laughed. We laughed a lot.

Nice culottes, Granny.
 Caliza at Alys Beach
George’s at Alys Beach

When Sunday rolled around we packed our things and prepared for our journey home. Loren Leigh and I were in the bathroom packing our toiletries when Mary Marshall walked in and informed us that there was a leak downstairs. We all rushed down there to find water coming through the ceiling. A pipe somewhere had burst and the water was finding its way out by pouring from a speaker.

Mary Marshall’s first responder skills were right on point because before she even alerted us,  she had scoured the cabinets for a bowl large enough to contain the leak, thereby sparing quite a bit of furniture from damage. I’m pretty sure she was a paramedic in her former life.  I made a quick call to my uncle for some guidance.

My mind flashed back to the Luke Wescott flood of 2011, and I knew that we needed to get the water out of the ceiling as quickly as possible to keep it from spreading. I could hear my uncle’s confidence in me wavering a bit, but I like to think that he reflected back to the Billie Jean King in me that just one week before had put together a fire pit all by herself. He said, “If you can’t get the speaker to pop out, then at least poke a hole in the ceiling with a screwdriver.”

A larger garbage can had replaced the bowl because the water began steadily dripping down from all around the speaker frame. Mary Marshall held the ladder steady while Loren Leigh handed me tools like a surgical assistant. Every time I pried the edge of the speaker down,  more water poured out.

“Why don’t you get down and let me try,” Loren Leigh offered. I was happy to oblige. Then, with her bear hands, (That’s not a typo. I’m fairly certain she was channeling a grizzly bear) she took hold of the speaker and slowly pulled it down with arms shaking like a weak armed Olympian doing a pull up. With that, the leak slowed to a drip and our crisis was over. I like to think of that whole experience as our team building exercise for the weekend.

Piece of cake!

Afterward, we did the only thing that seemed appropriate. So back to the outlet malls we went. A little retail therapy always slows my heart rate back to normal, much like a prescription- a really expensive prescription.

Eventually, it came time for Mary Marshall to say her goodbyes and head to the airport. However, about thirty minutes later she called to say that Loren Leigh had left her J. Crew shopping bag in her rental car. “No problem,” said Loren Leigh. “Just leave the bag at the rental car place and we will come and get it.” We were then reminded by the rental car agent that under no circumstances could an unattended package be left at the airport, AND if she checked the bag she would be charged extra. To make matters worse, there was absolutely no fitting it in her already full suitcase.

That’s when the rental car agent made a suggestion. It was half insane, half brilliant. So Mary Marshall boarded her plane wearing four additional sweaters, a pair of socks, and a bracelet purchased earlier by Loren Leigh. She really took one for the team that day, dressed as what could only have looked like a homeless person layered up for a good night’s rest in a city park.

The ride home for Loren Leigh and me was much less eventful considering that we had a car charger for our phones. Had the navigation system not instructed us to make four consecutive U-turns, and then circle through a trailer park scary enough to give Honey Boo Boo nightmares, we would have made it home in under five hours. Hey, there’s always next time.

Route that navigation system took us on.
We thought it was a driveway, too.
And, you gotta love the curtains.
Can I get a “Row Tide?”