Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How I'm Reconnecting With My Family in 2010 - If You Can Call It That

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NOW Getting to 10 in 2010:
My Top 10 List of Ideals to Keep Your Family Connected:

I recently got back from that much needed holiday trip to visit my parents and my brother - you know, encouraging that biological connection. The bro just bought a new house, redid the floors, is redoing the kitchen to the tune of some $15-20,000 and also moved my parents in with him.

Talk about a Saint! And yes, he's single if anyone wants to know (successful too - owns a convertible!), and I'll be accepting resumes' and applications on his behalf. Don't forget to include DNA samples.

I took the whole crew with me, sans the man I share parental responsibilities with, packed up and headed down the road with the van so loaded that I swear I heard the tires screaming for mercy the whole way up to Ala-BAMA!

I thought it was going to be the road trip from hell when it started out by Nia pouring her cup of orange juice all over my cream colored Victoria's Secret, paid out the ass for it, sweater. I spent a half an hour in the Waffle House bathroom washing it out only to come out still dripping wet with 4 angry women holding themselves in various positions of dire desperation, while waiting for me to exit some time that year!

Then the hubs car battery died! The day was NOT looking good. Nothing like a Waffle House full of patrons watching you, your son, and the hubs pushing a BMW through the parking lot to line it up for difib! At least it looked classy with the top down while we were doing it.

After several bathroom stops, multitudes of conversations about respectfulness, being loving to one another, and you better behave while at Nana and Grandpa's house or else; we finally arrived in all our abundant, overpacked, glory! The car literally exploded when it came time to unload it.

And why did we have to bring every pillow and blanket we own? Oh yeah, cause we're having our ice age moment down here.

After the usual Nana feeding them five pounds of collective sugar concoctions, we settled into our respect rooms and the kids took over. It took every ounce of energy I had to keep Nia from hanging like a monkey from my other brother's antique canopy bed he had just traveled 500 miles to buy. The twins were already forming a line at my other brother's computer and doing the "I gotta harvest my crops on Farmville" mantra.

Is there a 12-step group forming for Farmville yet, that we can join?

Didn't I mention that my other older brother moved in there too? Uh, no - it is not a set up for a new reality series named "Unmarried With Parents"!


The kids began to detox from their various technological gadgets they were so accustomed to at our house, without the assistance of psychotropic drugs! Miracles do happen folks! As they did, a new form of behavior emerged. I think archeologists call it "the family unit"!

My God my kids were getting along without the assistance of several borrowed nightclub bouncers as well!

As I observed their increasingly desired connection skills, I thought that it was time to change things around this year. 2010 would be a year that I would reconnect my family's plus and get the communication flowing without out the dams of resistance getting in our way.

I know that sounded stupid, but it's all I could think of at the moment! I'm still tired from the trip and the whole repacking the holiday ornamental thing, okay.

So I sat down and made another list after I put that New Year's resolution list to the side since, so far, I haven't managed to hide shove it into some secret compartment in my office.

So here are my top 10 things to work on this year:

  • Unplug every electronic gadget that the kids deem as "fun time" from every socket in the house. This means gathering the Xbox 360, the Wii, the Wii Balance (I just gave my fat cells the okay to have a "Come Grow With Us" party), 4 Nintendo DS's, one Leapster, one Gameboy, and anything else the kids will manage to smuggle in under my "family improvement" nose. The kids will now have to bribe me with nights off from dinner and all the foot massages I can handle before I will allot them one hour of free time on their favorite techno-gadget of choice. They connect with me, they can get plugged back in themselves.
  • Hide all cellphones, iPods, iPhones, and the like cause I forgot to mention these above and the twins are tweens going on teens and I need more medication chocolate and coffee before I'll see actual results from this one. Communicate to them which chocolate I prefer, and how I like my coffee in the morning before allowing them to use said electronics freely.
  • Attach pay-as-you-go slots on the computer. Each 15 minutes will cost my family $1.00; omitting my computer of course (here comes the waiting line now!). The money will be well spent on redesigning my closet couture books for everyone to read.
  • Hire an in-house personal therapist to help deal with the screaming matches issues that me and my Lexapro can't seem to unravel/fix/duct tape. Add a referee to that list as well. I have a few extra black and white striped shirts (Betsy Johnson designed, of course!). I wonder if Dr. Phil could be free.... for about six months!
  • Speaking of books; I've made a list here of ones I think my family will enjoy reading and discussing together this year, since I have managed to raise kids who love books better than iCarly (another miracle moment here). Here's a few suggested reads:
  1. "Talking To Your Family Below Decibel Level 100" by Bro. Ken Eardrums.
  2. "How To Clean The Bathroom Without Your Mom Nagging" by I.P. Freely
  3. "How To Talk To Your Son" by Willie Talk and Betty Won't
  4. "The Art of Family Communications" by Dooris Slammers
  5. "Reconnecting With Your Family" by E.L. Rick Bill

  • I am completely applauding the extra use of duct tape this year. I hear this works wonders in the reconnecting department. Nia is already picking out hot pink; Toni is opting for purple. The twins are fighting over who will get blue. I just want to know how many rolls come in a case.
  • To bring us closer together, we have decided to get a dog. Animals have that magic ability to bring a family together. I think wrapping the twins hands together with that duct tape around the dogs leash while walking it at 5 a.m., will make them much closer than ever. I'm sure they will find many ways to work together to get the "job" done. Toni and Nia have already volunteered to "groom" the dog since Nia got her Rockstar Makeover Vanity complete with hair trimming gear!
  • The hubs has also volunteered to help out more with cleaning the kitchen after dinner so that the rest of the kids can actually finish their homework each night and not have to do all the dishes which always sometimes results in severe some arguing. He bought paper plates and cups; how thoughtful!
  • I have decided to form Family Meeting Night on the first Friday of every month. This will give us all time to sit down together as a family and yell discuss out our grievances while working towards hair pulling solutions.
  • And of course, I will emphasize the meaning of love in our family because after all, we are a family.

Thank you God for Lexapro!

So that's my handy-dandy (oh yes, I DID say that), self-help list that received absolute no help from Dr. Phil or Oprah, if you can believe it. I hope you find that it helps to serve issues you may have in your own family.

As for me, it will do absolutely nothing at all!

Whose up for a game of Wii Outdoor Challenge in the meantime?

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