Q: How do you look [the way you look] after having so many little ones?
A: Gosh. Alicia. I don't really know how to answer this fabulously complimentary question. That's probably why I've been putting it off towards the end. *wink* I guess there are possibly two contributing factors to the way I "look."
The first one being straight genetics. Good ol' mom and dad passed the "hungry all the time" gene right along with the "fast metabolism" gene down to this first born daughter. (And their first and second born sons too. My brothers are 6 feet 4 inch rails.)
The second factor also has a lot to do with my parents. About as far back as I can remember, we've been members of the YMCA. I remember going to open swim as a family on Saturday mornings, walking the track with my mom while she worked out, and begging for my 15th birthday to come early so that I was old enough to train in on the machines in the cardio room. ( I can still see the blue and white sign on the door that read, "Children 15 and older allowed.") Throughout high school I was a 3 season athlete and ran cross country in college. If I wasn't working up a sweat at practice, I was working up a sweat at the Y--roughly 6 days a week. Psycho, I know. So, to make a long story a little shorter. We are no longer Y members and my daily workout routine includes carrying two little girls around the house, running up and down our 2 flights of stairs many times a day, and going on walks often.
Q: So...any thoughts on if you really will have SEVEN kids names to spell out on your Christmas cards in the future?
A: If you asked us a year and 7 months ago when we found out we were having twins, we'd say "YES. WE'RE DONE!!" As of now, we haven't played our "Permanently done with expanding our family" card. But, if it were up to Mr. Marvelous and I, we'd probably be done.
Q: What is your discipline modality of choice?
A: Redirect, redirect, and redirect. And, create the broken record effect throughout the day when explaining to your children your specific expectations. And, administer time-outs when needed. However, if there is a situation that includes deliberate disobeying, and when I say deliberate I mean the look-you-in-the-eye-and-do-the-exact-opposite-of-what-you-expect type of deliberate, (now, please close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, and sing "La la la" with me if you strictly use extinction approaches when disciplining your children and wish that we did too) we explain what is going to happen, swiftly spank, kiss, hug, and tell them that we love them and want them to obey. Alrightythen. On to the next.
Q: Have you thought about school for your little ones? Public/private/homeschool?
A: With Mr. Marvelous and myself both having Elementary Ed degrees as well as LOVING our public school experience, we were initially 100% Public School Advocates. Then we had children. It's a little scary to think of what's in our schools now--20 years later. While we're both looking more into our options for homeschooling, we're still undecided.
Q: You seem in a lot of ways to be like me, as far as parenting and the flow of the day: one part spontaneous and laid back and the other part structured and more rigid. My question is, to which way do you lean more?
A: Without really thinking about it, my first response would be to stand with my right hand forward citing:
"My name is Tiffany and I am an Inflexible Prearranged Dogmaticholic."
But after reflecting on my journey as a mother I must explain this.
I have found that my babies--babies as in, we'll say, Newborn through 13-15 month olds--work best with a strict nap/eat/play schedule. After they drop their morning nap somewhere after their first birthday and are able to function happily on one nap a day, we're in the clear. I can probably count on one hand the number of naps all of our children have missed together as "babies." So there explains why I would never load everyone up for an unplanned trip to whoknowswhere if the little girls' naps were going to be compromised. But. If, say, Daddy decided he wanted to take Norah and Hazel on a 5 day camping trip by himself (ha, that would be funny) I could and would drop any or all structure to our day for the right price. Right now, I lean towards the rigid sidelines. In 6 months, I'll be joining the other team.