Monday, June 13, 2011

Nigh unto a Half Century -- or Who's the Better Parent?

Guess who had a birthday? Weird! It seems to me, he had one last year around this time. He's getting older but I love him more than ever. He compliments me to a tee. What would I do without him? He's better than me, stronger than me, and his arms are a little bit longer than me (sorry I had to throw that in for all you Justin Beiber fans).

Don't feel bad for him getting so old and everything. I guess the older you get the more you get spoiled for your birthday. He got one of these. His old VitaMix was 18 years old... and well used. Time for some awesome drinks!

He went here! 3 days of golfing in Tahoe! Beautiful!

Annnd, he went here! I know, be jealous (It's what every 49 year old man wants to do for his birthday. Go see Justin Bieber! Laugh, but if it makes your daughter happy then it's totally worth it)
(awww, see what I mean - happy, happy girl)
And Brady and Kelsi made him one of these (I served it)
And he blew all his candles out so his wishes will come true.
AND as it turns out, one of our family's ongoing questions has been answered. It looks like Brad IS the better parent after all.

Last week we went all "unplugged" (you know, turned off the internet, cell phones, video games, movies etc.) and it was HIS idea! I was leary about this idea, well ok, downright dread had set into my brain. But I shouldn't have been worried his idea of no electronics became a joy to me. I missed checking my email and I missed updating my blog, but I think I could almost go without it forever if my kids would continue without all their extra electronic attachments. I’m not saying they were excited to do jobs or are all involved in all these extra enriching activities after only one day and I had interacted with them individually and as a group more than in all the previous week, plus they were been pretty pleasant for the most part... Oh, and I can't forget, LOUD. Wow! They like to talk very loudly in my face. It’s not a mean yelling, they are just loud. They think it’s funny. I still tell them to tone it down, but I’m willing to put up with the extra noise in exchange for the unity I felt. I’m sure they would deny to the end that it had anything to do with their lack of technology, but I know in my heart that they would not be exactly right.

Another one of Brad’s ideas that has been going relatively well is the idea of taking one room or area in the house per day and do a deep cleaning of it. Ok, so granted we’ve done only 3 relatively easy areas so far (pantry, living room and stairs/hallway). They complain and complain and I could have cleaned the area 3 times over, in the length of time it takes them to get their rears in gear. But what I think (hope) they are realizing is that there is more to cleaning an area well than running a vacuum between the clutter on the floor. I’ve been making a list of EVERYTHING that needs to be done in that area and then everyone gets to choose assigned something off the list to do, until it’s all done. Again, it takes WAY longer to motivate them than to actually clean the area, but I just keep picturing Kelsi at college at “Dorm Check” time, knowing what it takes to have their dorm pass and what will keep her apartment disease free up to snuff. And because of my new outlook on life, (I've been trying to me more proactive than reactive) I’ve been able to keep a cool head and know that I am getting an area of my house clean that might not otherwise get done, AND I’m hopefully teaching some useful life skills to my kids in the mean time. What’s not to be calm and cool about (even it takes all day)?

So I guess it goes to show, Brad IS the better parent. But see, I may be too wimpy nice to come up with such stringent rules and regulations but check this... who is the one that is carrying out these stringent rules and regulations? Ya, that would be ME. Let me tell you that takes some pretty good parenting skills in and of itself, don’t you think? I guess this is what I'm talking about with Brad and I complimenting each other. I hope we are both around for another 1/2 a century to have many more awesome experiences.



Janet said...

happy birthday old man, brad! (but you look great!!)

Shannon B said...

You guys are BOTH stellar parents and YES it does take a lot of work to be the enforcer!! HOLY COW, its hard!! Cute post!! Happy B-day Bradley!!

Joe and Julie said...

Families are forever... nothing else matters. Good post.

Kris said...

Suz and I were just talking about the whole "enforer, follow through" thing. It is HARD WORK. You guys are awesome!

Annette said...

Very sweet and fun, just like the two of you! Happy Birthday Brad! Way to be Stef! You guys do compliment eachother...and btw, how much for the old vitamix? LOL

Lindseys said...

Happy birthday, Brad. You guys are awesome. If you need more practice deep cleaning, feel free to stop by.


Lydia said...

Oh, Stef, this was an awesome post! Brad is such a great guy!

We are actually doing the same thing for summer chores - we noticed that they work better if we are working together, so we are tearing apart one room or area every morning. I only make them work for about an hour and a half, but its amazing how much gets done in that amount of time! I'm excited to have a spotless and organized house in just a few weeks!

Carolina said...

Happy Birthday to one awesome man!!!!!!