Friday, March 21, 2008

Involved Parenting and Self-Preservation

I decided to be an involved parent yesterday and arranged to meet my friend and her kids at a nearby aviation and aerospace museum. This sort of trip, let me note here, is David's idea of heaven. Brian was pretty excited, too; but Rachel was only lured by the promise of pizza afterwards. Susie is cool with anything, as long as we are nice to her (she started shouting that at the dinner table last night, apropos of nothing, as far as I could tell).

And then, as if that weren't enough parental involvement on my part, we made hamantaschen yesterday afternoon. It isn't that difficult: make the dough, chill it, roll it out, cut out the circles, put a dollop of jam in the middle of each circle, and fold the corners up just right (although how we get corners out of circles is beyond me). Of course, it requires nerves of steel to get through these steps while negotiating with 3 children who exactly gets to do what, when. I sort of needed a drink by the end.

If you have survived all the squabbling over who cuts out the circles and whose turn it is to dish out the jam, you then pop the cookie-laden sheets into the oven. Just make sure you remember to set the timer for 15 minutes. Because I didn't. Luckily, I also forgot to turn the oven on; so nothing burned. Sometimes early-onset Alzheimers can be your friend.

I'm going to have to do absolutely nothing with the children today in order to retain my Idle Parenting credentials.

All around us our friends and their families are being felled mercilessly by some sort of extreme stomach virus. We are avoiding them like...well, like the plague. I am willing to drop off some ginger ale and crackers at their doorsteps (actually, not directly at their doorsteps - I'll stand at the end of the sidewalk and sort of lob it in the direction of their contaminated front doors); but that is the extent of my compassion. I have a family to protect, after all.

Somehow, I don't think I would have been one of those hardy souls who went around nursing the ill and burying the dead during the Plague years; but I definitely would have gotten myself one of those masks.

I wonder, do you have to wear it with the robes for it to be effective? Or would jeans and a sweater do just as well?


  1. They do sell plastic versions of those masks at AC Moore. After our history lesson, my son insisted on one and it freaks me right out.

  2. Oh, man *I* need a drink after hearing about your day yesterday - museum AND cookies? That is soooo not idle parenting! (Love the oven line!)

  3. Loved your positive insight for early-onset Alzheimers. I'll have to keep that in mind when I forget where exactly it is that I'm driving to anyway. Oh, and I'm sure no one will notice that I only shaved one of my legs and not the other. Someone told me that one of the only times you gain fat cells and lose brain cells in during pregnancy - With all my kids I think I must be dumber than dirt by now.

  4. Holy moly. If the plague hadn't killed me, I probably would have dropped dead spontaneously if I saw that walking toward me on the street.

  5. Perfect with jeans, no question.

    I made hamantaschen the other day too. Fun.

  6. The other day I forgot to put conditioner in my hair. I've been conditioning my hair daily for, oh, I don't know, MY WHOLE LIFE, and I just forgot it.

    Middle-aged brain sucks; I can't imagine how the people that combine it with pregnancy brain do it!

  7. No, I'd stick with the robe. And some very long latex gloves.


    I always forget to take the last sheet of cookies out of the oven. Every single time. So any cookie recipe? I have to subtract 12 from the total servings it's supposed to make.

  8. Stay far far away from the stomach bugs. You must escape it.

    And such a BONUS that you forgot to turn on the oven too. If you're going to forget something, always better to forget everything.

  9. You are one of my favorite reads, hands down. You're living the life! haha

    Sort of needed a drink? Some days I start out with something strongly caffeinated (since I don't drink anything harder) rather than waiting until I need it.

    And the Alzheimers being your friend? I lost my strong drink over that one. LOL

  10. We just read about these masks. Did you know they stuffed the beaks with herbs and flowers to ward off disease. Just a little riveting homeschool trivia for you.

  11. I am new to outings with 5 kids and loved your post!

    Visit my blog...I run a support group for Moms with Many kids. lol

  12. Love it! Your writing style is great!

  13. jeans and a sweater will do . . . just remember to stuff the mask's nose with all sorts of aromatic and pungent herbs (especially garlic).

    God bless.

  14. Honey, having had the plague at my house, all I wanted was soup and soda and pharmaceuticals chucked at my door--NO visitors! I called our neighbor and asked them to bring by any meds they could spare--leave them on the porch, ring the bell and run! We sure didn't want to infect anyone else with such misery....
    So jeans & a sweater is fine.
    Happy Easter! I hope it is peaceful, idle and full of good memories!

  15. Loving your blog! I came to you from Jenni's place.

    new loyal and loud reader,

  16. I think if you have one high octane hands-on parenting day for every three idle, you're fine. That's my system - and sometimes I mark it by the hour. Like, I give them one hour of attention and fuss a day, then they're on their own. Speaking of which, Stryker and Merrick are filming a video right now (that they actually wrote a script for), because they have NO plans, no parental prods. Funny how it works that way.

  17. If I wore a mask like that every time my kids got sick, they would be so embarrassed that they would never again tell me they were sick, they would just suffer in silence.

    Sounds like a plan.

  18. Well, I bet if you wore the robe over the jeans and sweater, you could burn it afterward instead of the jeans and sweater.