Archive for May, 2009

What We Do, Day In Day Out

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
  1. Woke up at 4:30am, couldn’t get back to sleep
  2. Got up at 5:30. Cleaned up e-mail and printed out middle school sign up sheet (which I later forgot to give Greta)
  3. Made pancake batter and coffee
  4. Woke up Peter
  5. Took wet clothes from washer to dryer and delivered load upstairs for folding
  6. Unloaded dishwasher
  7. Yelled at Peter to get a move on
  8. Made Peter a protein shake and cleaned up the kitty litter
  9. Woke up the girls
  10. Drove Peter to the carpool spot
  11. Got home, helped Svenja avoid a meltdown by carefully offering her two options for folding over the top of her socks: two fold-downs or threefold-downs (she opted for two)
  12. Yelled at Greta to hurry up
  13. Called friend to see if she wanted to go for a run later (got to find an excuse to get away from the computer today)
  14. Searched for Svenja’s glasses and found them behind her bed
  15. Put away her clean laundry
  16. Brushed hair and found shoes (no toothbrushing occured, according to my knowledge)
  17. Raced out of the house: dropped Greta off at her school and then took Svenja to the bus stop.
  18. Worried about my stolen bag. Running over the list of things left to do: Bank, locksmith, driver’s license…

ALL THIS BEFORE 8:30 AM.

Athletic Legs

Friday, May 15th, 2009

The man behind the counter at the gym stopped me this morning.

“Do you mind if I tell you something?” he asked. “You have very athletic legs.”

Athletic legs? As in big and muscular? Strong and big? Big and… well, just big?

I smiled, though I certainly didn’t feel much like smiling. One of the first things my husband told me when we were dating 20 years ago was that I had legs like tree trunks. Um, he thought he was giving me a compliment.

Note to men: no woman likes being told she has thunder thighs. It is NOT a compliment.

Just yesterday, my best friend stopped me and said, “Katrin! Your legs! They are soooo muscular.”

And… a few days earlier, I put on a pair of pants I haven’t worn since last year and they were so tight on the thighs I thought my circulation would be cut off and I’d lose both legs (maybe not such a bad thing).

So this morning on my way to work, I’m musing about this confluence of thigh commentary. How do I want to feel about this? Because ultimately, it’s my choice. I can feel bad and self conscious. Or I can feel good. I do know for certain that all three people who mentioned my legs were doing so in the spirit of kindness–giving me kudos for having nice, strong legs. It’s me who is turning that into “big, muscular, thunder thighs.”

So much of how we feel about how we look or what we do–whether in work or in parenting–is less about reality than about perception. I can feel good about my strong, healthy, slightly-too-big body, or I can feel like crap about it. I can set my standards very high (I’ll NEVER look like Carmen Electra, I might as well go kill myself right now) or I can be realistic (Serena Williams has “athletic legs” and does she look bad? No!).

So what’s it gonna be for me?

I’m sorry

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Kids, I’m sorry for:

  • not always making you breakfast with protein in it (and ensuring you get your vitamins, fish oil and Juice + every morning)
  • not always checking whether you’ve done your reading
  • serving too much Annie’s mac and cheese
  • getting mad at you in the mornings when we’re late (when in fact I held everyone up because I decided to check e-mail)
  • not being able to answer every question, like: how do I do this algebraic equation
  • wishing all three of you were A+ students
  • complaining about carpool so much
  • not being more interested in what you’re learning in school
  • absolutely, 100% knowing I will never let you have a dog
  • being so bad about pocket money
  • getting your permission slips in late

Kids, what I’m not sorry for:

  • letting you live in a messy house
  • expecting you to always do your best
  • having 5, 6, 7 of your friends over at a time
  • being strict about TV
  • having family dinners most nights
  • making you do your own laundry
  • giving you autonomy over your homework
  • letting you have sleepovers whenever you want
  • insisting on kindness
  • watching American Idol together
  • talking openly about sex and love
  • giving you the benefit of the doubt
  • caring so much about my work
  • thinking you are too cute for words