Remember that VH1 show from the early 'oughts?
I particularly loved the ones about the child stars that burned out. Early reality TV kind of rocked. I'm talking about The Real World before it was scripted. Current reality TV scares me. I'm not even sure how many different versions of The Real Housewives exist but I am basically certain that they are all absolute garbage. I take real offense when people suggest (somewhat facetiously? Good lord I hope so) that there should be a Real Housewives of Bangkok and I should be on it. First of all, I'm entirely uninteresting-particularly in the Bangkok universe. Secondly, those shows are just trashy overexposure of people that thrive on messy drama. And lastly, I haven't been in any kid of a brawl or cat fight since the early '90s. So, Just No.
I've spent my internet surfing time today re-reading the old posts on my blog (seriously-I am funny!)...and when I read my introductory post it occurred to me that a real update was in order. While I'm 100% certain that everybody who is reading this knows...I harbor this secret wish that my decision to write again will one day bring me many loving, loyal readers who don't meet me for bootcamp and coffee every weekday, or weren't one of my college roommates.
So-a few things need to be addressed to get this blog up to date.
First of all, if we met in the last 3.5 years, you probably never knew me as Broccoli Mom. Or you might assume it's because I've recently taken up a Real Food mission alongside my eldest. But the name of this blog came about because back when the kids were bitty bits, I did most of the heavy lifting parenting-wise. The Husband got to stroll in to cheers and applause, ignore the rules and dole out gifts and chocolate. In retrospect, I'm guessing all partnerships have one parent who is the Bad Cop and one parent who is the Good Cop. In our family, I'm still the Heavy. I'm Broccoli Mom because I get to make sure the serious things are taken care of. When they were 3 and 6, that was mostly bedtime and vegetable eating. Now, it's all of that...plus friend issues, and homework, and goals, and clothes, and screen time and allowance. The Husband is still Circus Dad in that he comes home in time to get hugs and kisses and he gets to break the rules and let them stay up late and watch Harry Potter while eating ON THE SOFA (mom rule #38 is all food belongs in the kitchen). But more and more lately, I fell a little bit sorry for Circus Dad because he does miss out on the details of the day. But I know deep in my heart that they will both hate me passionately, in turns...and that's not so far off.
Secondly, there is a big difference between parenting a toddler and a first grader and the parenting I do now. Part of why it was so fun to re-read my old posts was that I forgot how challenging it was to deal with a kid that wouldn't sleep. Or the toddler tantrums. The expat adventures are just the background. The real story here is just a family figuring it out. I really do wish I had blogged through the last 4 years. I'd love to have that (instead of a zillion stupid FB status updates) to look back on. Drama is now 10.8 years old and in the Fifth Grade. She's not so dramatic these days. In fact, she's really more pensive and dreamy. She is very much still a little girl, but she has begun to question my version of "Cool" and definitely has her own sense of humor. She does love to be involved in drama, and will be a part of the Elementary School Musical (Aladdin) in February...so we'll just let her keep that moniker. Trouble is 7.4 years old and in the 2nd grade. She sleeps through the night, gets up and takes care of herself and the dog(S!! Yep-we have two now!) and sometimes even has my coffee ready when I come downstairs. I feel a little bit bad about having called her Trouble for so long. Clearly, she keeps us on our toes...and I am all but certain that she will cause me great agony in her teen years...but she isn't so much Trouble these days. She's cheeky and charming and social. Until I can come up with a new name, I guess she will remain Trouble.
Strangely, my life is much the same as it was in Hong Kong. I confess that up until this point...looking back our very brief stint in Hong Kong was my very favorite. However, life in Bangkok is wonderful. It's probably the easiest place we've ever lived. We continue to live happily with Help. I've been very lucky on that front and please don't for a moment think we take that lightly or for granted. I absolutely believe that acknowledging and expressing gratitude for the amazing things in our life is necessary...so before this ride ends-I'll say it again-having Help is the single greatest parenting tool on the planet. I spend my days much the same way that I did four years ago with the exception that I took my crazy competitive nature to an unhealthy and ridiculous extreme of over-involvement and over-commitment for a while. Now, I have vowed to only volunteer with things that put me directly WITH my children. I do not attend meetings that take me away from my children. So, PTA and Boards of any organization are out. I still lead the Girl Scout troop for Drama, but now I also do it for Trouble. I really love it. Though if we ever move to the US and I have to manage Cookie Sales, I might re-think my involvement.
This holiday, we took the girls to Colorado to visit family and friends and to take them skiing. We're wrapping up our time in the USA and I'm debating if a 2-hour drive to Target is worthwhile. My early blog self would be screaming "Yes!" and chugging a 64-oz icy Diet Coke...but my much more reasonable current self is thinking Pilates and an extra hour to organize the house sounds like a better use of that time. Clearly proof that I'm getting old...I can't believe I've just talked myself out of a trip to Target.
So, that brings you up to speed. Sorry, this post definitely not so funny. I'll try harder next time.