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Mom Genes.

I’m a product of the eighties and brought up in the nineties.

 

I’ve seen some pretty crazy things as far as fashion goes. Designs, cuts, and fabrics all over the spectrum. I wore l.e.i. jeans from Mervyn’s, jelly shoes, butterfly clips, and white eye shadow (shudder). I lived in my Doc Martens only to alternate in on occasion my black platform sandals. I begged my mom to buy me ponchos and Juice Bar body spray and loved perusing the walls of Claire’s & Icing.

 

In short: I was a very typical, 1990’s tween girl.

Fast forward a bit to the 2000’s. Gone were the days of baggy jeans (thanks, I’m sure, to Rachel Green) and in waltzed a more hip pair of bottoms: low cut jeans. Low-cut jeans weren’t a new thing — they were pretty popular in the late sixties and seventies. But for those of us not born in the Flower Power days, they were new and they were what everyone wanted. Everyone except me and anyone else born with mom hips — regardless of whether they had kids or not.

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For a while, low-cut jeans were all you could find unless you wanted tapered-leg, boob-holstering denim. Obviously, being a teen girl and not an eighty-year-old woman, I wanted nothing to do with tapered-leg anything. So I took my chances and wore low cut jeans — for better or for worse.
 
Low rider denim ain’t for everybody, y’all, and they certainly weren’t for me. I found myself even more awkward than usual in the butt-crack bearing britches and took to wearing excessively long tank tops under every shirt I owned. Tucking in? Think again. These were not jeans that took tucked in shirts into consideration. You either wielded that plumber’s crack/thong with pride or you blocked views and drafts with your neon pink, French tip manicured hand.
 

I am one of the former, for sure. You won’t catch this three-times a momma in low cut ANYTHING. Or, at least, not on purpose. I am an avid believer in high-waisted jeans and thick ponte leggings. I wear shirts so long that some might confuse them as short-ish dresses. If you catch me wearing a tee shirt, you’ll also note that I’m wearing a tunic style tank top underneath. I’ve got no shame in my mom fashion game, y’all. No. Shame. At. All.

History repeats itself to those of us who choose to hide those high school yearbooks from our kids. Pretty soon we’re going to be subject to hormone-raged tweens and teens leaving very little to the imagination where their backside is concerned. I’m not ready, guys. My kids aren’t ready. And, no, I’m not relying on the old stand-by, “Boys will be boys”. I hate that phrase as it puts forth the idea that little guys (and grown ass men) are only capable of Neanderthal-esque tendencies.

With that said, I’m doing my best to ensure that my boys are confident in their own masculinity but also hold to respectfulness and mindfulness of women and young ladies in general. Even at their young ages, we are doing our best to instill in them common courtesy and a “hands off at all times” policy. We’re not messing around and they know it.

Nevertheless, they are little boys which brings me to an entirely different issue: potty humor. Potty humor is very much a thing, which means that butt crack humor is very. much. a. thing. You boy moms know my grief, I’m sure. I don’t even try to hide it anymore. I feel I can confidently say that if my five and nine-year-old boys laugh when someone passes gas, they’re going to laugh at a random buttcrack in Target. I mean, really, Jiffy Lube mechanic guy, if you don’t want a five-year-old to laugh at your hairy buttcrack, keep it covered.

 
Thankfully, low-cut jeans took a back seat to mid-rise, boot cut jeans pretty quickly. I still catch myself guarding my backside with my hand on occasion, though, even though I’ve since moved on to high-rise skinnies. But(t), alas: low cut jeans are making a comeback. Former wearers of the pant can be found all over Facebook and Twitter in either utter disgust or in total excitement.
 
lego drop box
 
 
If it were up to me, low-cut jeans would stay forever locked on the sets of Friends and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a distant, slightly embarrassing memory that we can regale to our kids. A scary campfire story-type thing, if you will. I guess, however, this is really all coming from someone who does not and will likely never fully understand “fashion”. Don’t get me wrong — I can dress myself. But my clothing style is definitely more classic-casual. I’ve only recently started stepping out of my comfort zone. But a huge factor for clothing for me is COMFORT. If I’m having to constantly pull down, pull up, push up, button up, or cover up, then it ain’t for me. Being a mom to three boys? Comfort and practicality are key.
 
I’m not talking sacrificing on-trend for practical, though; I’m not buying my wardrobe from a ’95 Sears catalog. In fact, I get most of my things from Target or Old Navy (because: budget). But I am talking decency and modesty. Because I’m a mom to all boys, I don’t want them to grow up thinking women have to be frumpy to be classy, but I equally don’t want them to grow up believing that women are only sexy or attractive if they’re baring all constantly. Obviously, they’re going to form their own opinions in their own time. However, I’m a firm believer that living by example is key. A frustrating process, but key, nonetheless.
 
Jumping off the soapbox, I am curious to see how long this on-again-off-again trend will fare this go around. Honestly, though — I think I’m even more curious to see how long the corduroy jumpers I saw at Target a few weeks ago will last. If anything should have stayed in the 90s (besides JNCOs and white eyeshadow), it was corduroy.
 
Anything making a comeback fashion-related that makes you wince? Comment below!
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Final Countdown

We’re in the process of some life-changes in the Paul household.  Read: I’m studying for my insurance license exam until I can get back to school.  Because of this, household chores are being re-delegated according to age, capability, and efficiency level.  My boys have done piddly chores here and there, but nothing chore chart worthy since I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for so long.  I mean, hell — I get most everything done during the day (or week), so by the time they come home, tasks are slim pickins.  Don’t get me wrong — they’ve been exposed to yard work, laundry, and garbage detail; slackin’ is not allowed here!  But now that we’re looking at life and schedule changes, more daily chores added are pretty much a must.  I’m not staying up until midnight only to get up at 5AM every freaking day of my life.

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I’ve looked at lists on Pinterest of “age appropriate” chores for the boys and have modified accordingly.  Adjustments will likely still be made, but baby steps are the best steps in figuring out who is best at what and who can stand some improvement in other tasks.

One chore that both boys have been assigned is folding, putting away, and sorting their own laundry.  This is one chore that neither of them mind doing as it allows them some TV time — provided they stay on task and get the job done quickly and neatly.  This has gone off without a hitch…. mostly.  As with most things, there is one flaw that, by God, I’ll have hammered out by the time I’m employed.  Both Gabe and Connor have a SUPER annoying habit of showing off their (lack) of basketball skills by throwing their socks and underwear in the general direction of the washer.  Only their socks and underwear, and only in the general direction.

I don’t know if y’all know this but… I’m a big girl.  I’m also thirty going on one hundred.  My appliance climbing days are DEFINITELY behind me. But, since I’d prefer to not continuously repair or re-buy equipment attachments or hoses, I’m the one climbing behind the washer and/or dryer to retrieve the wayward foot and butt covers.  This wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t happening daily or if they weren’t running out of undergarments.  Really, I guess “issue” is the wrong word.  Nuisance, perhaps?  Because it isn’t the end of the world, obviously — just a pain in the ass.  Nevertheless, two straight weeks of me crawling my mom hips and carb-loving arse over and behind the washing machine has left me desperate for a solution.

I thought and thought about how I could get their attention that would get the message across loud and clear but without going full Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train.  I considered making them do jumping jacks every time they missed the desired target, but they enjoy exercising and the goal, here, is for them to put aside their Kobe Bryant tendencies — not encourage them.

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I thought about acting like I was stuck between the wall and dryer, but I am 99.9% certain they’d take advantage of that situation.

And then one day it hit me.  CANTEEN MONEY.  Canteen cash is like gold around these here parts and I’m not above making a dollar for a large Diet Coke, no ice, from McDonalds (a dolla ten, y’all!).  I only ever give each of them a dollar for canteen anyway, so this works out perfectly.  Monday through Thursday they have an opportunity to keep their canteen money.  Every time I have to hoist myself to the back of the washer/dryer, they lose a quarter.  They’re fast learners, so each had seventy-five cents to take to canteen this past Friday.

I’m not above taking candy from a baby my kids, guys. This is especially true if it means I won’t get stuck in a place tighter than pleather leggings from the clearance rack at WalMart.  But I digress.

Other than our battle with “The Case of the Missing Skivvies”, chore completion and delegation is going pretty smoothly.  I’ll admit, I was planning for the worst.  Both boys like to help, but as with any new strategy, things get bad before they get better.  Luckily, there have been little-to-no hiccups and I’ve only had to issue threats of death a handful of times.  My night-caps have drastically decreased in volume and we’re making it to bed by 10:00 instead of 10:30 (BABY STEPS).  Also, my voice is slowly coming back from all of the Death Metal-esque yelling that took place ALL OF LAST WEEK.  Side eye to you, Eureka Math.

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Tonight I’m shooting for a 9:45 bedtime and only refolding the towels once.  Fingers crossed, y’all.  Fingers crossed.