Mommyontheboysturf with her three sons

Mommyontheboysturf with her three sons

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cars, Cars, Cars.....

Middleson's standby 30minutesontheboysturf activity is playing with cars. Oldest complies if he can acquire all of the sports cars.  Middleson gets the trucks/hummers/Jeeps.  I was assigned to/got stuck with the garbage truck.  Oh well.    I had to keep my mind from wandering ...imagining all the things I would put in the garbage truck if I could drive it through the house, collecting things I would love to get rid of.  

Our car play quickly led to racing cars around a rug. That led to stop-watch laps. That led to seeing who could hold their breath the longest. That, of course, led to laughing and making lots of funny faces. 

Laughter is good for the soul and it felt good to act silly and laugh at something so child-like!  It has been decades since I have had a breath-holding contest, but next time I need a good laugh, I might just call for one.

Monday, August 30, 2010


If I were to accurately convey the details of our weekend "turftime", I would be guilty of OVERposting.  Babyboy got more than his share of 30minutesonthebabyboyturf.  The dynamic was so different when it was just the two of us. I was shocked at how much he communicates without his big brothers around. 

Oldest and Middleson overdosed on the best, craziest, boy-iest adventures with Daddy while camping.  They are already asking for another camping trip.  Our weekend bulged with good stuff and great memories.  We topped it all off with our annual church picnic which the boys always look forward to.

Oldest and Middleson were instructed to draw self-portraits for art class today.  They asked me to join them. We spent way over 30 minutes drawing ourselves and laughing much too hard.  I, personally, do not possess a single artist's gene.  My self-portrait could easily be displayed among other elementary-aged artists.  I was proud of the big boys and their improvement over last year's self portraits.

So this 30 day experiment is just two days from the done mark. Yet, I feel like this is just the beginning for us. This 30minutesontheboysturf has become less about a "length" of time and more about really wonderful focused time with eachother.   It is becoming much more natural and much less a "to do".


Friday, August 27, 2010

Scratch That

Yesterday's post Scratch it. Un-publish. Reverse.  Ughgh.  I must admit we never made it to the park.  My intentions were good.  Just after I published my post, Middleson said, "Come on mom! I want to read my Bible to you for my 30minuteswithmom time."  (What I refer to as 30minutesontheboysturf.)  How could I resist such a request?  A spiritual/educational/snuggable activity trumped a trip to the park.

Three of my boys -- Daddy, Oldest, and Middleson -- are going camping this weekend.  It is Middleson's first camping trip and he is elated!  Oldest will show him the ropes.  Babyboy and I will stay behind creating our own adventures -- staying up until 9:01, eating Graham Cracker Goldfish in place of smores, staying in our PJ's until noon on Saturday; etc. 

Today marks the successful end of our first week of school. A shortened class day allowed time for dreaming and packing for THE camping trip.  Instead of listing what we DID pack, I will list what I was NOT allowed to pack, but wanted to.  I'm realizing that my boys are growing up and camping gives them the opportunity to bring out their macho-ness. 

What Oldest and Middleson are NOT bringing:
  • chewable vitamin
  • healthy snacks 
  • special blankie
  • teddy bear
  • toothbrush (yep, I guess there is no brushing of the teeth in the wildnerness)
  • books for bedtime
  • layers and layers of clothes for bedtime including a hat, gloves, and scarf in case the temperature dips
  • mommy's hand (for holding)
  • mommy's voice (for saying "Be careful when you shoot the bb the 4 wheeler...get near the fire"
  • wipies for sticky marshmallow fingers (the grass will do just fine)
I can't wait for their return -- grimy, stinky, story-tellin', happy, tired -- to the home turf after a much-too-long stay on the all-boy turf. No Girls or Babies Allowed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today's post is kind of like a pre-test.  I will report on my 30minutesontheboysturf time before I actually do it.  It will keep me accountable to follow through. 

We have spent the entire day in school together and we are not completely finished. In some ways, I have an advantage over parents whose children attend a "brick and mortar" school.  Our learning environment allows us to spend some good quality time together -- learning, experimenting, and working together.  Today Oldest retrieved all of our lunch ingredients while I wrapped up a Phonics lesson with Middleson.  However, when school is over for the day, I love just a little bit of space and a few minutes to breathe!  (I'm guessing that parents of traditionally schooled children anticipate the time with their children when they arrive home.)

I hereby commit to an afternoon excursion to the neighborhood park with Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy.  I declare that we will have a fabulous time, arriving home just in time to make dinner and leaving no time to blog. 

Done.  Check.  It's all good!  One week remaining.....although I don't think this turf time will end anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Today marks Day 22 of 30minutesontheboysturf and Day 1 of school at home!  I must report that it has been nothing short of successful mixed with just a few crazy moments.  We have ONE class left and we will be done for the day. 

I admit that I kind of strongly suggested that our 30minutesontheboysturf time be a special breakfast at the start of our day. The boys would not have come up with this plan on their own, but I knew they would love it. I also knew that today would be a busy day and we needed it to go smoothly.   Up to this point, the boys have dictated our turf time, but today was different. 

Yesterday I shared about our new found enjoyment in reading Little House in the Big Woods.   Our breakfast menu consisted of Cast Iron Skillet pancakes by candlelight.  Oldest and Middleson called me "Ma" and their daddy "Pa".  Babyboy was still in dreamland and feasted a bit later.  We imagined homemade maple syrup and freshly churned butter. Pa shared of his middle-of-the-night shooting wild animals and such.  

After a quick clean-up and school pictures, the lights (and internet) were turned on and the 2010-2011 school year began. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Little House in the Big Woods

Today is the first day of school for our neighborhood kids.  Believe it or not, today feels different!  There are no kids ringing the doorbell or running through the backyard.  The overcast sky adds to the feeling of the end of Summer vacation. 

After a fast-paced morning of appointments and errands, our 30minutesontheboysturf time was a welcomed break in our day.  Oldest and Middleson are enjoying Little House in the Big Woods .  Since I enjoyed the series growing up, I thought perhaps they were not adventurous enough for my boys and just now introduced the books to my kids.  Now, reading them from a boy's perspective, everything has changed.  Today we read the chapter titled, "Pa's Rifle."  I probably skipped over that one when I was younger since I didn't care to know about rifles.   This particular chapter captivated the complete attention of Oldest and Middleson.  What boy wouldn't want to know how to make home-made bullets or how to clean a rifle? 

I'm sure tomorrow someone will suggest bullet-making for our time together.  Unfortunately, I don't keep lead or a bullet mold on hand.  For today, we will enjoy our last few hours of Summer vacation! 

Nine days left.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

10 Day Countdown.....

Wow, 20 days have passed since the 30minutesontheboysurf experiment began.  There have been nothing but positive outcomes as a result of this focused time with my boys on their turf. 

Our weekend held nothing too exciting to report in regards to our 30minutesontheboysturf time. However, the 40th Birthday Bash for our Kids Pastor and the engagement of our niece was more than enough exhileration  for one weekend. 

Today my house has been turned into a car lot.  The bathroom has been transformed into a science lab complete with goggles, microscope, and test tubes.  (Hmmm.....I'm wondering now why Oldest and Middleson chose the bathroom as the lab.  I hope no un-authorized experiments are taking place.)  The boys delegated me the role of Match Box and Hot Wheel Car Counter.  So far, I have counted 148 cars!  If I find anymore, I may open this car lot to the public.

The rest of the week will kick it up a notch -- tomorow is a day of appointments and school starts Wednesday!  Creativity and flexibility will be called on for sure.

So thankful.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Code Yellow

I see a "tradition" being formed with our 30minutesontheboysturf time.  Running errands seems to trigger a toy store desire in the boys' minds. (Next week we will be homeschooling and not running errands. This tradition is coming to an end.)  Once again, we found ourselves strolling the isles of toy sections at numerous stores as if going down to our basement isn't the movie set for Toy Story IV.  Oldest and Middleson DO love my undivided attention as they show me each and every feature of the toys they are mentally adding to the basement of every boy's dreams.

Mommy's errands included a quick return at Kohls. Thankfully the Customer Service Counter and Toy Section are visible from one another. I am sure this was not an accident.  My quick return also led to a much-too-quick exit from the toy section.  OLDEST had completely disappeared!  I said his name over and over, louder and louder each time.  Middleson chanted with me.  He was GONE!  I turned to customer service and said a little frantically, "I can't find my son." She smiled and calmly stated over the intercom, "Code yellow." I was thinking more like, "CODE YELLLLOOWWWWW!!"  I have since wondered what code yellow means. "Frantic mom thinks she lost her son, but I am sure he is nearby.  No worries."  I sent Middleson into the Men's restroom and both Oldest and Middleson re-appeared. We always use the Family Restroom. Always...unless daddy is with us.  Well, I am so very thankful Oldest is found and for the  teachable moment in the midst of our morning. 

"Code Yellow Cancelled." was spoken throughout the store.  Translation:  "Son found.  Frantic mom had nothing to worry about. Told ya."  

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Babyboy is sleeping. The house is quiet.  Oldest and Middleson are spending the afternoon with another mom and her kids on their turf!  Knowing that, we had to divide our 30minutesontheboysturf time in a limited setting.  I actually realized we wouldn't really be home together today while we were driving. So, the van became our turf and I let the boys dictate our conversation.    (My first inclination was to call my sister and tell her the great deal I got on diapers -- $1.61 for the big 72 count Pampers! Whoo Hoo. I refrained and called her AFTER the boys were gone.)  The boys wanted me to share stories about my childhood -- a trip down memory lane.  I know, it isn't too adventurous or active, but today called for flexibility and still allowed for some bonding time. 

My friend will have to be a substitute blogger today and post a play by play of HER time with MY boys!  I am quite certain, they will enjoy their subsitute turf. 

In the meantime, I should take advantage of this time ALONE on my turf.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Courtesy of Macy's Department Store

Today was an errand-running morning with the hopes of visiting a spray park at the end.  We postponed that part of the trip so we can go with daddy.  Since we were near the mall, I asked the boys if they would be interested in that for 30minutesontheboysturf time.  The squealed in delight since they love to frequent the hockey store, Build a Bear, and Finish Line and we do so very INfrequently these days. 

An urgently needed "I need to go potty" detour led us to Macy's and a bright idea to ride the elevator and escalator.  Oh my goodness! Why pay admission to a theme park when the mall is closer and free?  Without my usual "Come on boys, it is time to go!" they went up and down, up and down, down and up.  It was fabulous. Even Babyboy laughed in delight as his favorite big brothers appeared and re-appeared! 

If I have counted correctly, today is day 15 of this 30minutesontheboysturf experiment.  I have been so encouraged by the e-mails and reports of mom's and dad's joining in and experiencing success.  I have observed that Oldest and Middleson are being disciplined less. Is there a correlation?  Time will tell.

I am also on day 2 of Middleson pretending he is the famous skateboarder, Tony Hawk's, son.  I have been instructed to call him Anden even though in real life, Tony's sons are Spencer and Keegan.  In Anden's imaginary life, my hubby is Tony Hawk.  I called him Tony several times last night without a response.  I even tried "Mr. Hawk" without success.  I'll try again tonight.  Our day has been filled with skateboard talk and Middleson/Anden pretending he doesn't know his way around our house. He is making life interesting and enjoyable.

I better be on my best behavior since Tony and son are on the turf and I am not sure how long they'll stay. 

Well friends, we are half done! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


If you read yesterday's post, you know that my boys were in construction mode and forbade me from entering the basement. I figured it was boys play and stayed out of their way.  At the end of the afternoon, Oldest told me their plan started with an "r".  "Oh, are you RE-ARRANGING the basement?" I cringed.  "No, that isn't it!  It is "R" for RETIREMENT."  "What is retirement?" I asked wondering how in the world they knew anything about retirement.

"Mommy, we are having a Retirement Party for you so you never have to clean again!"  I got that butterfly, so-in-love feelin' deep down in my stomach.  My party-giving Oldest and Middleson went full force plannin' the Retirement Party of the decade! 

Love is in the details, right?  About 4:30 pm, the big boys locked themselves into the bathroom to gel their hair and put daddy's cologne on for the party.  The rest of the afternoon was a hustle and bustle of dishes, food, paper, tape, and streamers going up and down the stairs! 

At 6:30 Hubby and I were escorted downstairs for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  After the ribbon was cut, I was told I would never have to nag or work again. The boys would do everything the first time and do all the work for me.  It was requested that I continue making supper, however. 

The entire basement was decked out in streamers. The local radio station blared in the background while we ate turkey brats, cheese cubes, apple slices, peanuts, carrot sticks, and potato wedges.  After supper, I was presented with a Retirement gift! My can of coffee grounds (when did they sneak that out of the kitchen?) contained a ticket with the words, "A ticket to a brack."  (A ticket to a break.)

I am guessing the boys like this 30minutesontheboysturf and perhaps if I am RETIRED we can have lifeontheboysturf time.  I wish it worked that way!  Thankfully they did not request that I retire from motherhood. I refuse to retire from this position! 

This morning I got up and secretly put the clean but partied basement back together lest I be accused of working. We spent our 30minutesontheboysturf time at a local toy store UN-hurried and UN-rushed, just looking, touching, dreaming, and playing.  

I love my boys & am enjoying RETIREMENT!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trouble with a capital "T"

The weekend started off "harmless" enough. The big boys were Privates in a local Bible Boot Camp both Friday night and Saturday morning.  They loved learning about the Army of God military style, decked out in cammo gear. 

We have been checking the weather report several weekends in a row in order to avoid rain and seal our asphalt driveway.  Last weekend called for rain and it did not rain. This weekend, I think we must have been desperate to cross it off the list, and did not even THINK about checking the forecast.  Just after Andrew purchased & emptied another bucket of sealer and just before finishing the long awaited task, it began to look stormy. Storm it did!  We all stood in the garage and watched the black sealer run off the driveway and over the sidewalk, turning it black (thankfully hubby got it clean).  Money (thankfully only $21!) and time ran down the drain. We all started laughing and decided there was nothing we could do EXCEPT check the forecast next time. My husband, who can always exhibit a good attitude said, "Well, I will look at that as practice....and now I get to do it again, only better!" 

No big deal.     There was a break in the rain.  Then, just as hubby began to light the grill for dinner, it rained again!  He had to re-light the grill several times and grill our dinner in a downpour.  We laughed again. 

For our 30minutesontheboysturf time, we played a family game of TROUBLE which ended with Babyboy smashing his little fist on the dice "popper" which sent the game pieces flying.  Mommy, Daddy, Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy were all declared winners!

Our family devotions were from Matthew 7 about the wise man an foolish man . We changed the song to "The foolish man sealed his driveway in the rain.......".  There are lessons to be found in everyday life circumstances! 

30minutesontheboysturf was NO trouble at all today!  Oldest and Middleson have turned the basement into a Construction Zone and are currently cleaning the job site!  I attempted to help and was told, "Only Employees are allowed.."  I guess I am not an employee. I did convince them to take a break so we could spend time together.  They wanted to look at photos from the past -- a total treat and trouble free!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Color-EN on Day TEN!

It was a peaceful 30minutesontheboysturf today. Oldest suggested coloring. Coloring?  I never would have guessed my always-moving, ever-inventing, never-retirin' son would want to sit down and color with his mommy. He is also very sweet and I have a feeling he overheard me saying that I loved to color when I was a little girl. So, color we did!  We spent the last minute of our time snuggling and previewing a Lego catalog...which led to the start of a Christmas List.

It was a serene and still 30 minutes.  Just moments before our time together, I was showering and heard a knock on the bathroom door.  "Mommy, I am going to stick these wires into the outlet so my invention will work okay?"  Oldest asked nonchalantly. For the hundreds of times he has created inventions & contraptions without permission, I said a prayer of thanksgiving that he took a minute to ask me today.  Can you imagine?   

I'm guessing our 30minutesontheboysturf time wouldn't have been quite as peaceful IF it occurred at all!  (And, Lord, please continue to protect my boys. Amen)   

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Babyboy and Gander Mountain

Babyboy is clearly feeling neglected in this whole 30minutesontheboysturf stuff.  Last night about an hour after tucking him into bed, he began to cry a "come-and-pick-me-up-I-can't-live-without-you" kind of cry.  Since this is rare, I picked him up and rocked him. He immediately snuggled into my chest and settled down.  I liked it.  He liked it.  I pondered about what it will be like in 18 years when he is ready to leave the house. I know I will want one more opportunity to hold him, rock him, and love him.

My "like" feelings faded a few hours later when I was still awake and he was still awake.  Daddy was still awake. This morning I groggily drank my coffee and figured I banked about 4 hours worth of 30minutesontheboysturf time with Babyboy. 

Oldest and Middleson were low-maintenance with their request today. (Thank you Lord.)  Since we were running errands anyway, they wanted to hang out at Gander Mountain.  I am certainly thankful I didn't dress them in camoflauge today or I may have lost them.  Guns, fishing poles, bows and arrows, tents, and hunting gear quickly filled our quota and their Wish Lists.
The big boys told me yesterday how much they like this special time with me.  I like it too....sleep or no sleep.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cops and Robbers

Someone stole my afternoon from me and I'm left with 30secondsonmyblogturf. 

We spent a wonderful morning with a friend, her boys, and new baby girl. An early afternoon thunderstorm, which completely entertained (and energized) all four boys, caused us to leave a bit later than anticipated.

Just after arriving home, another friend popped over with surprise hand-me-downs for Babyboy! And, while we were in the driveway talking, a UPS truck dropped off a box....AND my dryer buzzed to let me know the laundry needed folding. 

What to do next?  Peek through the hand-me-downs? Fold laundry? Go through the box from UPS?  OR spend 30minutesontheboysturf? 

It is now 4:15 and all of the above mentioned are done.  The distractions & delays were a blessing!  The 30minutesontheboysturf was the most exhilarating time yet -- cops and robbers in full gear -- only a horse could have made it more "real".  I'm still rounding every corner carefully lest I get caught by Oldest Cop and Middleson Cop. 

If you would like to join in, please be a ROBBER and steal my folded laundry so I don't have to put it away!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


"Today you are going to have a Lego Test." Middleson informed me before I could even fully ask him what he wanted to do for 30minutesontheboysturf time.  Oldest went right along with the plan. Although neither boy would help me build the Lego Knight or Lego Tow Truck, it was an "open book" test and the manual directed me step by step.  Fastening the tow truck apparatus was quite challenging. It reminded me of trying to undo a knotted ball of kite string.   These particular Lego Sets were for ages 5 and up.  Maybe it was supposed to be 35 and up.  Middleson granted me a B+ on the Knight and a C+ on the Tow Truck.  Man, he's tough.  Of all my schooling thus far, Lego School sports the worst report card.

The role reversal was fun today. Since we homeschool, I am usually the one administering the tests and not the one taking them. Yet, I can see that my "tests" with this 30daysontheboysturf experiment are definitely coming.  Life will change completely on August 25 when we start school full time and finding 30 minutes is like searching for hidden treasure.  Other mom's that have joined me in this experiment are working, teaching, mothering MANY more children than I, etc.  They have already faced TESTS along the way. 

Beyond this little experiment, tests are a part of REAL life.  The tests we endure can be severe, heart wrenching, and ongoing.  In the Bible, the book of James (chapter 1) instructs us to be happy when we have tests. Tests teach us to persevere and not give up. 

Maybe investing true quality time in our childrens' lives will reap children who learn how to pass the tests that they too will face. 

Happy Testing!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Play Now, Work Later

Experiment Days 4, 5, and 6
While our weekends normally consist of some major projects (work, work, work) and some play, this weekend was different. With the realization that August has arrived and school is about to start, PLAYING was our first priority.

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds me that there is a time for everything!  For to-do-aholics like me, I need to make time and give myself permission to have fun and leave the work for another time.  There IS indeed "a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to keep, and a time to love"!

Saying that, 30minutesontheboysturf time was a cinch.  We planned a day trip to Hocking Hills for a hike and picnic.  Exploring the trails, caves, and waterfalls was amazing!  Our hot afternoon concluded with drippy yummy ice cream cones for all!

On Sunday, I asked the boys want they wanted to do for our time together.  Oldest replied, "Well, I would like to spend my 30 minutes with daddy!"  Daddy, Oldest, and Middleson went to work/play fixing Middleson's bike and "window" shopping for a Red Ryder BB gun!  The weekend ended with a family 5K -- boys on bikes, Babyboy in the jog stroller, and mommy and daddy jogging to keep up.

Since we played all weekend, Monday held an extra share of to-dos.  I contemplated trying to complete all my tasks before 30minutesontheboysturf time, but decided to put my time with them above my desire to get my things done.  We thoroughly enjoyed a game of checkers followed by modeling animals from clay. 

One observation I have drawn from this experiment so far -- during NON-30minutesontheboysturf time, they boys are playing more contentedly on their own without "needing" me. Therefore, I can do the things I do need to do (laundry, cook, clean, pay bills,etc.) with less distractions. 

I have been very encouraged, inspired, and held accountable by many of you! I would love to know how you are doing on this journey and any observations (keeping with the "experiment" mode) you have made.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

"Don't sweat the small stuff."  This is a popular quote meant to encourage us all to surrender less energy to the things that don't really matter.  I've added to the quote.  Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't sweat the medium stuff. Don't sweat the large or extra large stuff.   My detailed ducks-in-a-row personality tends to sweat all sizes of stuff.  Yet my cool feathered friends who never seem to get ruffled amaze and encourage me.

The Bible puts it this way in Phillipians 4: 6-7 --Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

(NOTE:  This is the SECOND time I have written this blog post.  Let me explain.  Earlier to day, I asked Oldest to help me move the deck furniture so we could stain the deck.  He somehow thought I said that I needed help moving the family room furniture. I was blogging away when the power went off.  Oldest had moved the big leather couch and the over-stuffed comfy chair....and in doing so, unplugged the power cords for the computer.  I kind of wanted to growl, but decided to incorporate "don't sweat the small stuff" and calmly put my family room back together, re-started the computer, and re-blogged.

Now, I have noticed since beginning this experiment, that I have had to let go of some of the small stuff in order to carve out those precious 30 minutes.  But, at the end of the day, when it was all said and done, I had accomplished everything I normally would AND spent time on the boys' turf. 

Speaking of sweat.  In over three decades of life, I have not been a sweat-er.  I envied those around me with sweat rings on their shirt and beads of sweat racing down their faces.   However, just recently I started to sweat. Today was one of those days. I pushed myself to get in a good workout. No, I pushed myself to get in a GOOD WORKOUT!  Visions of weekend chocolate & ice cream dangled before me challenging me to work a little harder.  My badge of honor was a speckled sweaty t-shirt. I even had to use one of those sweat towels on my brow. (Wish I had my camera for proof.)  Wow.

I was not enthused when basement basketball was chosen for 30minutesontheboysturf time.  I contemplated proposing things like: 
*Hotel -- the boys could check me into a hotel room and I could pretend to stay as an overnight guest.
*Camping --the boys could set up the tent and we could all pretend we are looking at the stars.
*Doctor -- one doctor, one assistant, and one fainted patient (yours truly).

You get the drift. My wobbly workout legs were not desiring basketball or movement of any kind.

We did it. Over 30 minutes of basketball!

Day 3 -- No Sweat (and no rhyme --refer to day 1 and day 2)!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maybe the Girly Grass is Greener

So I started day two of this experiment off with determination.  "This afternoon I WILL be spending time with you. Please be thinking of what  you want to do." I declared.  "Oh, you are going to spend time with us again?" Middleman questioned. Oh Please, is it that evident, even to them?  I DO spend every waking minute with them, but even THE BOYS know there is something special about the 30minutesontheboysturf time. 

I did begin to think that maybe, just maybe, the mothers with girls have an advantage with this experiment.  30minutesonthegirlsturf would be much easier to implement.  It would even come natural.  I imagined myself with a little blonde curlied haired girl with bows.  I am just sure I would DESIRE to play with her --  Dress-up.  Tea parties.  Playing house.  Baby dolls.  It would be like being on the same turf all the time instead of jumping to an unknown breed of grass and speaking a foreign language for 30 minutes. 

Wrongo!  I actually received e-mails from mothers of girls and they were setting the 30 minute timer too. Mom's are busy people with a never ending to-do list. While we all want the best for our children and do so much for our children and even with our children -- playing on their turf where they call the shots is entirely different to most of us. 

So today Oldest and Middleson came up with a gameplan.  Babyboy was forced to go along with it.  They wanted to read for 15 minutes (YES, I can handle an activity that isn't high speed) and play cars for the next 15 minutes.  The story about volcanoes was educational and interesting. At this point in our 30 minute experiment, I am almost positive Babyboy pointed at the computer screen, trying to lure me into checking my e-mail.  I didn't cave into the temptation.  Imagine my delight when Middleson introduced me to his Hot Wheel family -- Daddy car, Mommy car, and three little boy cars (sounds familiar, I know).  "I can do this!" I high-fived myself.  A talking family of cars was doable.  Apparantly the youngest one in the car family got his own garage since he had a hard time sleeping.  (Sounds like Babyboy and his very own crib and very own room.)  I looked a the clock and I had gone 4 minutes past the 30 minute mark. 

Day 2 is through.  (I better quit with this rhyming stuff before I get myself into a dilemma.)

P.S. - for the several mommies that have joined me in this experiment, let me know how are you are doing!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It all started with a radio talk show....

Just this morning I listened to a radio talk show from a ghetto alarm clock on my kitchen cupboard.  Little did I know the CONVICTION (ouch) that could transpire in just minutes.  I don't even know the name of the speaker or the topic. I did hear the speaker emphasize the importance of spending 30 minutes a day on your child's turf. No cell phone. No internet. No interruptions.  The speaker was actually addressing children with behavior problems.  My problem wasn't the behavior of my boys, but the sparkle I saw in their eyes when they heard the speaker. My oldest begged, "Mom, could  you do that?  No phone and no computer! Just do what we want to do?"  I immediately got defensive and had an internal fight with myself.  "I stay at home with the kids and spend EVERY day ALL day with them!"  "In fact, we are going to the pool today.....and I will chase around the baby while they play with friends.  And, this afternoon they will play Legos....with eachother so I can clean or cook."  Ughhg. I recounted the last few days and realized when I am spending time with my kids, they are on MY turf.  I immediately vowed to spend 30 minutes with my sons on their turf TODAY.

At 1:34pm, I looked at my clock and dreaded spending 30 minutes doing what they wanted to do. I wanted to suggest story time or a good game of UNO.  But, I knew I had to be on THEIR turf.  So, I disguised my voice with excitement and asked what they wanted to do. "Mom, really?  You want to play with us?  Okay, let's go to the basement (unfinished, cold, dark, BOY World) and play Legos!  You can't bring your cell phone okay?"  We made the trek down the basement stairs and I gave it 100%.  My boys laughed at my Lego swimming pool design complete with a diving board and ladder and I realized their is a definite talent to playing with Legos.
Whooo Hoooo. Day ONE is DONE...and it was FUN!