At about 6:45 am (yes that's right- it was still dark) I read a story with my daughter. She had received the book 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to do Anymore as a birthday present. I had heard of this book, but not read it before. It was hysterical! I actually laughed out loud- not a common thing if I have not had my coffee yet. The humor was only partially in the funny things this girl did- many of them having to do with her younger brother. The very first one got me when the daughter says she thought it would be a good idea to staple her brother's hair to his pillow. After my son cutting my daughter's hair a year ago- this did not seem too far fetched to me. In the book, the daughter announces that she was no longer allowed to use the stapler anymore. My son was not allowed to use scissors for about a year- until his teachers told me he needed some practice with them. I had to tell them the story.
As a mother, I found comfort and humor in the mom character. She was in her jeans, with her hair in a pony tail on most of the pages. My two favorite parts of my daily wardrobe: jeans and a pony tail. She has a look of sheer exhaustion when her daughter decides she would pretend to be in a restaurant and order something else for dinner. At the end of the day, messing with what's on the "dinner menu" can be hazardous to a child's health- and I mean that in the nicest way. :) I make one meal a night and it's non-negotiable (unless I know it's something my kids won't eat in which case they get leftovers) .
In the end, the mother and daughter are cuddling at bedtime after what may seem like a trying day, but is probably not terribly different from what we encounter on a regular basis. We're all tired, but that last little bit of time with our kids before bed can be precious. It can also be really annoying if you're not getting cooperation! But on a good night it's a peaceful and loving end to a day with kids. It's time I cherish because someday they won't want me to cuddle anymore. Some day they won't share the idea of ordering "something else" off the menu- they might just not eat. If they don't eat, we can't have a family dinner. If there is no family dinner, when do I ask about their favorite part of the day? And their worst? And when do I get to hear the latest great idea-even if it's stapling someone's hair to the pillow? I've made exactly the same gestures and body positions as the mom in the book. I know her. I am her. I need to laugh with her because when you see the creativity from the outside, it's really funny and shouldn't life be fun? At least a little bit?