Sunday, January 17, 2010

Perfectionist no more?

Those who know me would probably agree that I've got a perfectionist streak. In fact, they'd likely say that it's much more than a streak! It's exemplified in a variety of ways, big and small -- from making sure the bed is made before I'm barely out of it to dressing in a way that's admittedly a bit too matchy-matchy. These perfectionist tendencies started when I was just a kid -- I took great pride in the 5th grade when my socks matched my undies matched my sweater matched my bermuda bag matched my watch band matched my headband. Very cute indeed.

Since having kids, I've tried hard to be true to my perfectionist self. Although now, with five under six, I've come to realize that sometimes I just have to let go. Like last Thanksgiving... the triplets were 6 weeks old, Ciara just turned 2, Liam was not yet 4, I had bronchitis and we were hosting the family dinner. As it turned out, Whole Foods actually made a tasty turkey for us and everything tasted great without our fancy china or a tablecloth on the table. Stunning, I know! Turns out, you don't actually need fancy china, an ironed tablecloth and a homecooked meal to celebrate Thanksgiving... all you really need is to be surrounded by family and friends in good health and you realize there's a LOT to be thankful for! What a revelation!

More recently, my slipping perfectionism has revealed itself more often than I'd like... just this week, I was pulled over. Twice. Once on the way to the pediatrician with two tots in tow and once en route to visit my grandparents with the whole circus along for the ride. Was I speeding? No. Talking or texting? No. Turns out my inspection expired. In December. Who knew?! The pre-kid me definitely would have known but now, well, clearly not! And, even after the first eagle-eyed cop noticed my inspection sticker and pulled me over, I still couldn't find time to remedy the situation before being pulled over again! Now, whenever the kids see flashing lights, they ask, "are they coming for you, Mom?" Gotta love it.

Another shining example of perfectionism passed is when I called to cancel my haircut (again!) yesterday and said "Oh sorry, could you repeat that? I just stepped on a baby and totally missed what you said." I just stepped on baby! Can you imagine?! Not only doing it but saying it?! Oops! Truth be told, I do step on a baby at least once a day... if they're lucky, I don't have shoes on and, lest you're wondering, it's not deliberate -- there are just literally babies underfoot here!

The things that fly out of my mouth these days are really just astounding... I can't imagine my former Polly Perfectionist self saying things like: "Delcan, please don't bite your brother's head." "Kev, was it really a good idea to eat that dirt covered grape off the floor?" "Cormac, that was NOT an uh-oh!" "Ciara, stop smothering your brothers!" "Liam, if you do that again, I'm going to... oh geez, I don't know what I'm going to do! Just STOP IT!!!!"

Where oh where did Polly Perfectionsit go?! Some days she makes an appearance but I see less and less of her as the days go by. Sometimes I miss her. I'd be lying if I pretended not to be upset when I can't find my red scarf to go with my red bag! But, most days, I'm glad she's moved on. Letting Polly Perfectionist go has been good for me -- and better for my family, I'm sure! That said, if anyone finds her out there, could you just send her back with my matching red gloves?!

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