Parental Quality Assurance

Mondays are my day off and are usually a blend of low-key play with the kids, plus an errand here and there. The kids also have a surrogate grandmother who comes over many Mondays, which allows me to do some writing, errands, etc. But she is out of town, so yesterday was just Mommy time. In the morning the kids watched a video while I caught up on chores after a busy weekend, and then we played. We built a "Fancy Washington DC" out of blocks which morphed into a "Fancy Paris" (pictured here). The Barbies met Strawberry Shortcake for lunch and a trip to the Eiffel Tower, while James brought various Noah's Ark animals to join the fun.

Caroline and James desperately needed new shoes, and I couldn't figure out when else to do it, so we went to the shoe store(s) between school and piano lessons---about a two hour window.

I was determined to be focused but not stressed. When Caroline didn't find anything at Stride Rite that fit and felt good and was less than $50, we went to Target. I hate buying shoes at Target---the shoes are always unorganized and they never have the size we need. At one point I sighed loudly and Caroline said, "Mommy, this is what shoe shopping is all about." True.

Aside from this irritation, I really tried to go with the flow and not convey that we were short on time, even though we were. I realized afterwards, however, that just because I was trying to be relaxed doesn't mean I actually succeeded. So on our way to piano, I asked them, "So would you say that Mommy seemed very stressed and in a hurry back there, or only medium stressed and in a hurry, or not at all stressed and in a hurry?"

The consensus was "medium." I was glad that they put me where I would have put myself.

I think it's useful, as a self-reflective person, to see where the disconnects are between intentions and reality, and my outsides vs. insides. But I have to say, I can't remember a time that I've ever asked for feedback from my kids. I'm not gonna give them a form to fill out or anything, but it was an interesting moment.