Lynn's Comments: Back to school always meant "back to bed" as the kids bumbled home with everything from flu to pink eye. Mine had to be certifiably sick before I'd let them skip school...none of the "thermometer under the hot water bottle" stuff... I wanted proof. Proof of a certified illness usually came in the form of a shared experience, as we all came down with whatever was going 'round. "The family that's sick together sticks together" and we did...under quarantine.
Lynn's Comments: Like most kids, I believed that all the drudge work belonged to Mom...the repairs and the maintenance belonged to Dad and that I was there to be fed, clothed and endured. I hadn't ASKED to be born...and therefore I was a perpetual guest. Seems that my parents didn't order a princess when they brought me into the mix and I was soon expected to clean up my squalor, help with the dishes and generally make myself useful. I rebelled. I felt cruelly done by. I lay down on the floor and howled at the injustice of it all. Despite the hardship and the unfairness of it all - I do remember having a distinct sense of pride and satisfaction once a chore was done.
Lynn's Comments: I confess. My kids had far too many toys. I wouldn't have called them spoiled, although I know they were...it's just that I love toys so much myself! The year that Rod and I were married, he moved into my house in Dundas. The garage was small and in order to make more room, we had to get rid of a few things - one of which was an original dime-operated Coke machine; a thing of beauty that my first husband had fought for, won and abandoned. Reluctant to let it go, we decided it would not be sold at a bargain price. Whoever wanted our Coke machine would have to make it worth our while. In those days nobody had much money, so when word of mouth brought us our only candidate, he was unable to give us more than 50 bucks. He was, however, an employee of Mattel - the big toy manufacturer and he threw into the pot an invitation to the annual Mattel staff Christmas sale! SOLD! The day we went to the big Mattel warehouse will forever live in memory. It was enormous. Barbie was still a big item as were all her pals. There were stuffed toys and baby toys and toys you could ride on, slide on and build. There were dolls and doll houses and tea sets and miniature kitchens and musical toys and child-sized furniture and you could have any of them in bulk and at prices we couldn't resist. Rod and I went crazy. We bought so many toys we could hardly stuff them into our small yellow Datsun. As we drove home, we regained our composure. The toy-fiend gratification gradually wore off and we wondered what we had done. We had one small boy to provide for, so what were we going to do with Barbie stuff? What were we going to do with everything we bought? We'd spent far more than the 50 bucks we got for the Coke machine! Without letting Aaron know that his parents had gone berserk, we hid our load in the attic. We gave away Mattel gifts at every opportunity. Everyone we knew who had a child received something from our stash. We were still giving stuff away as we moved to Lynn Lake and Katie received Barbies as soon as she knew the word "doll". I'm still a toy enthusiast. I love toy stores and an invitation once to the big toy fair in New York was toy heaven! I try not to buy anything. I don't need anything and in my house, I don't have space. Someday, however, should I ever become a "granny" I'll be shopping again for toys...but I won't be buying them for my grandchildren...I'll be buying them for ME!
Lynn's Comments: My mother used to nag me constantly! Seems there was always something better to do than play or draw or watch television. The way I saw it, my room was my room and if I had to climb over a Vesuvius of moldering junk to find the bed I slept in, then that was my problem. Clean and ironed clothing was not a priority, nor was washing behind bodily protuberances. I longed for the day when I could do what I wanted to do, eat what and when I wanted to, have my own space, my own money and my own rules. That didn't happen until I was 20 and married for the first time. Then, I amazed even myself. I became a stickler for cleanliness. My apartment was spotless. Clothes were immaculate, ironed and sorted into their exact compartments. The bed was made, the carpets lint free and the kitchen was a neat, organized workspace. It wasn't until I had children that I realized what a degenerate slob I had once been. Hovering over my son as he miserably shoveled the crud out of his bedroom, I could hear myself nagging...with the same tone of voice, using the same language my mother used. Time and time again I promised myself I would not turn into my mother and here I was saying the same darned things - with the same predictable response. Years have flown by. Both of my children have homes of their own and it amazes me to see that they live in clean and tidy environments. I guess, in the end, nagging pays off. My mother, had she lived to see this day, would have been both proud and vindicated!
Lynn's Comments: There really were times when I felt like the family drudge. I guess the problem with housework is...it's never done. Or, to put it another way... it's UNdone as soon as it's finished! I actually enjoy cleaning and organizing stuff... but the thrill is lost as soon as the door opens and some clod walks in with a wad of crud on his boots. Nobody wants to hear Mom complain- about anything. Forget the old "kids should be seen and not heard" quote... mothers are seen, heard but ignored - which is worse! I whined, complained, begged and pleaded and envied my more relaxed friends who could sit and read a book while the dishes formed a crust and the baby ate dog hair. Looking back, I wondered why I even TRIED to keep a tidy house. Who really cared? What my kids remember most about me is...my cooking!
Lynn's Comments: When we accept the role of mom, we become a nurse, a psychologist, a short order cook, a laundress and an alarm clock. Our day seems to belong to everyone else. Everything has its schedule and coordinating lunches, school activities and the general business of living leaves little time in the morning for extras. There's no time to spend on make up and hair spray - we are our basic selves. I was miffed one time to be told that I used to look GOOD in the morning! This is another strip that says out loud what I was thinking.
Lynn's Comments: I remember being so distraught that I could break stuff. At the end of my rope, I'd scream and cry and flop down on the floor exhausted and empty and defeated. This was last week! Seriously, when you're too young to understand and too inexperienced to deal with life's situations, collapsing in tears is the only way to respond. We've all been there and despite the fact that you look like someone to avoid...this is usually the time when you need love and understanding more than anything else in the world!