CHOICE OF BATTLES

three march 9 2015

'I will be there at 1030 and will let myself in'. The words stared back at me as I read the response from my landlord. After my exhaustive reply to his previous email about his needing to enter the townhouse, I had to resolve myself to the fact that he was coming Saturday morning no matter what I said. The lease does specify he can enter whenever he pleases but I figured the walkthrough could wait until I vacated the place next month. This battle I lost as more energy towards fighting it would have been ill spent.

This week I await the reply from my rental application on the house near the school. If approved, I should be moving the week after Spring Break. There would be a month overlap in rent but it is irrelevant at this point. I long for a yard where I can grow thyme, oregano, and basil. My pitiful patio garden has long since been neglected and my desire is to revive it in the next few months.

The children and I look forward to the time we can once again sit outside in the warm Texas evenings and eat dinner together. The three are also anxious to have a yard in which they can run around and play. The sun will be appearing in the yard in the mornings. I can imagine us eating breakfast under the covered patio. Starting from scratch, I will have to buy outdoor furniture and a charcoal grill. My dream house would have an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor fireplace. One day, perhaps.

Indoor dining furniture is also something we are lacking. Sitting on the floor on cushions at a coffee table is getting to be quite uncomfortable for the children as they must kneel on the cushions in order to reach the table. I was able to find one stool at World Market last year which Sage is now using since he is the smallest. The stool has one leg which is half broken which is why I was able to get it for free. In reality it was discounted to $20 but since I had a rewards coupon for $20, the stool ended up being free.

We all have battles throughout the week which we choose to fight or simply ignore. Sometimes the fight is worth the effort. Other times the energy expended is too much and we then choose another battle more worthy of our time. Battles with the children are oft times difficult to decide which one is worth the fight. Deciding whether to keep telling my children to stop jumping off their beds is one of those battles.

In tonight's case it ended with Cinnamon's mattress falling through the bottom of her bed. As is the issue with my bed (which is why I still do not have it put together), the frame is two inches too wide for regular wooden slats. My solution was to put the shortened slats on top of two boards set alongside the inner edge of the frame. With the girls jumping on the bed, the slats shifted and fell through, along with the mattress.  It took 20 minutes to get the slats back in place.

Parents must learn to strike a balance between protecting their children and hovering over their every move. The job of a parent is the most difficult one in existence, but also the most rewarding when we figure out how to strike that balance.