Monday, March 28, 2016

First, But Also After Later

I mentioned last week that we have a new catch phrase in our family: after later. It was implemented by Bruiser who, I can only assume, gets tired of being told he has to wait for the things he wants to do. "After later", he will be able to go touch an airplane. "After later", he can play in Dad's jeep. "After later", he can have ice cream. It's hard being two.

I was thinking about "after later" this morning. I woke up lethargic and with yet another sore throat. I was 3/4 of the way through my novel, and I told Littles we would get to chores and school just as soon as I finished my coffee, by which I meant the ever ambiguous "after later". We made it to his school work before the morning was through, but only after I had finished my book and pried myself up from the kitchen table only to collapse again on the couch.

Then we were faced with the fact that the twins had run rampant for most of the morning...and Bruiser is the ultimate dumper. The house was in epic disarray. Naturally, I took that opportunity to eat crow and explain to the boys the concept of "doing the hard thing first"... and doing what I say, not what I do. Having girded up our loins, we cleaned up the house (broken crayons, dumped stamps, millions of matchbox cars, etc) and went on out to play.

Do you see what I see?

But my own words have been haunting me. "Do the hard thing first." I did get dinner cooked. My running clothes are out for tomorrow morning. And I didn't bail on my blog. But as soon as I hit post on this sucker, I'm drinking a cup of hot tea and climbing in bed with my book. I haven't vacuumed today; the laundry is not done; I'm halfway through a second book; and I didn't sing to the boys before bed. Because, well, I feel crummy. And as with any maxim, there has to be balance.

So, I think I'm revising my lesson to the boys. Do the hard thing first, but make sure it's a hard thing that actually matters. Everything else can wait until after later. And make sure "after later" includes cake, please.


  1. O is a genius. Reminds me of the boy in Lebanon who tried to nail his mom down on whether 'inshallah' she told him meant 'inshallah yes' or 'inshallah no'. Kids catch on quick to our real meanings.