Friday, November 30, 2007
You see, we regularly allow the kids to jump on our bed. We throw them on the bed. We pick them up and bounce them up and down while they laugh and laugh and then we throw them into the pillows and they laugh some more and beg us to "jump me again!" And so it goes. I have pictures around here somewhere, I'll have to add them later.
The other day I was not allowing Sarah to jump on the bed, but she was up there while I folded some clothes and Kate ran circles around us on the floor. Sarah was in a merry state, giggling and rolling around. I was watching her. She's a great climber and gets herself up and down from spots Kate was never good with at her age. But then...just as I've always worried...she got herself at the furthest most spot on the bed away from me. She fell backwards onto the throw pillow on top of the regular pillows. She teetered for a moment and I watched, panicked, too far away to get to her fast enough, as she fell off the extra-tall bed. Just to make things better, she hit her head on the bedside table before finally landing on the floor.
I've seen babies fall in alarming ways often enough now to know there's always a pause for absorption before the screaming commences. "Did she fall down?" Kate asked in that moment. Then Sarah screamed. The worst part of this sort of thing is that she clearly knew it was all my fault. I rushed to her. Picked her up, checking for blood (none) or bumps (miraculously, none) and hugged her. She rejected me outright, instead throwing herself into the arms of her concerned daddy. That was probably a good 30 points off her verbal SAT score, right there.
Thanks to all the blog authors for a successful NaBloPoMo. We did it! Thirty days, and a whopping 59 posts.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
(shock; suppressed giggle), "MAMA! You said a BAD word."
(motherglare; guilty feeling in stomach), "BRUSH your TEETH."
Surprisingly, he obeys. He's about half done when I realize he's using the toothbrush that was just on the offensive floor. Oh well. Someone in his class may have sent home head lice this week, why not capitulate with a little hoof & mouth disease potential?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The daughter of the other helping parent was having issues. Potty issues, separation issues. Issues. ISSUES, even, if you catch my drift. So I found myself intervening, just because I was an adult who was not the Mom. I grabbed her hand and went to the corner of the room that has cushions, stuffed animals, pillows, and a quilt. It's never used, probably because the teacher just cuddles sad children, rather than sending them to a corner. Me, I might send them to a corner, but that's why I'm not the teacher. :)
Anyway, I pulled Mairead over there, and for some reason, she came. So did Will. Then Elizabeth, Mollie, and Andrew. I think Abby was there too. And Hannah. Squished together in this little corner in between the wall and the cupboard. Everyone on my lap. And I told them a story about a rabbit named Silas who discovered an enormous carrot--so big that he couldn't eat it all by himself, so when Henry the mouse came along, Silas was so thankful to have a friend to help him eat it....blah, blah, blah.
By the time I finished my ridiculous story, it was time for potty and clean up, then snack.
Who knew I (a Worst Mama Ever) would be the queen of the three-year old crowd?
Mornings are not my finest hour. And many days I have driven Brandon to school while giving him an earful of lecture on the way. Lately, in an effort to rant less, I have been driving him to school in silence, trying to let his consequence of grounding that afternoon stand for itself.
This morning though, I wasn't awake already. I had suffered through fitful night of sleep and finally fallen into blessed oblivion somewhere around 4:00AM. So when Brandon woke me up at 6:30, I wasn't happy. I think I may have snarled at him. Throwing on a wool sweater, I started the lecturing before I had even slammed my mug into the coffee maker.
"Really?!" I snapped. "Again? How many times are you going to let this happen before you change your routine to reflect the time the bus actually comes? I can't count how many times I have watched you run out the door after it!."
And Brandon did the worst thing he could possibly have done at this point. He argued. About how it wasn't his fault. About how he only missed the bus by one minute. About how the bus had been early. If he had shown contrition, or even remained quiet, things may have went differently. But, as it was, I started yelling, my voice rising with every word until I was screeching like an enraged banshee. About how he never takes responsibility for his actions. About how nothing is Ever His Fault!
The ride to the school was thick with our anger. It took almost 40 minutes to get there and as I started worrying about Ben getting out of bed, I would make bitter, sarcastic quips about how much I was enjoying the traffic, or how Ben was probably reeking havoc at home. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I was overreacting, I was just being mean, but I couldn't seem to let go. And then, as he got out of the car, I begrudgingly wished him a good day and good luck on his test. It sounds ridiculous even now as I type it.
On the twenty minute ride home, my rage started to subside. And I looked back in a kind of detached horror, and wondered who this person was. How I, who never yell - not at my husband, not at strangers on the road - can occasionally become this angry, spewing person to my children. This unrecognizable parent, that I never wanted to be.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I could tell you I'm bringing infectious Lindsay to the gym with me today, but I have the sense that you're pretty underwhelmed with my toting of my sick kid, even if it's just for personal fitness.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
- You'll expose a mall full of people, including mall Santa, to a contagious, virus-shedding toddler.
- You'll bring your miserable, sick toddler to the mall.
- You'll force her to sit on
Santasome strange guy's lap.
- You'll make the sisters wear complementary colors.
- You'll make them wear brown because in 15 years they'll look back at these and say, "Chocolate and celery?! Seriously, Mom, you have such awful taste."
- You'll stand behind the photographer and make her take 3 shots because your toddler is freaking out to be in a stranger's lap while making funny faces at your toddler to get her to stop crying.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
We are almost to the part of life where I'll be able to say, "Time to get ready for bed," and both boys will be able to get through the requirements unassisted. Almost.
Sent up together, they get distracted and while they dabble in many of the getting ready tasks, they fail to complete any portion of the process. Sent up individually, they can each get through the routine with only minor mishap.
Ross managed to get himself ready, shower and all, in record time. He was rewarded with time to play x-box before bed.
Inspired, Lars rushed upstairs to show that he, too, could produce a clean boy in pajamas without any help. At first all went well. Normal noises came from above. Footfalls moving from one room to the next, water running in the tub (none, thankfully, into the back hall), water shutting off.
After a while, we noticed there wasn't any more noise. The bathroom door was closed, which is somewhat unusual, but the scene behind the door was normal...or was it?
Pile of dirty clothes, pile of towels, pile of pajamas. No boy. No boy? It would explain all the silence...and then we looked more closely at the pile of towels.
Lars had covered himself completely and fallen asleep on the bathmat. Sound asleep. He hadn't made it into his pajamas, either. I would have left him there - he seemed fine - but his father prevailed and we moved him into his bed.
Friday, November 23, 2007
When we got up (admittedly, closer to 15 minutes later) she had forgotten about the pie because she wanted to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the real one, not the live action movie). This DVD is only allowed at Christmastime and today that officially commenced. Once the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes, twice, she remembered there was supposed to be pie. When she asked if she could have a piece of pumpkin pie Jeremiah said "you may have some pie after you eat your lunch". Silence. Jeremiah stalked off to warm up Thanksgiving leftovers for both girls. Kate remained silent.
Eventually Kate, who had wandered into the kitchen, returned to the living room where I was sitting. She was frowning. "Daddy tricked my pumpkin pie!" she told me. Even after he'd been called out, daddy still made her eat lunch first. I'd like to cede any points I may have earned today to Jeremiah.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
And let me just say, you haven't lived until you have taken two toddlers and an additional stray child (I kinda forgot about the appointment and let Allie have a friend spend the night) to the doctor's office for your eleven-yr-old's physical.
My entourage and I arrived and I sent them all, but Clara, to the well waiting room while I signed us in. Allison was carrying a big stuffed dog, named "Teddy" with her because she knew 4 shots were eminent. Clara managed to throw a container of cups and a miniature Christmas tree on the floor while I was conversing cheerily with the receptionist. I quickly put everything back on the counter and hurried to the waiting room to join the other children.
We waited only moments, and when they called Allison's name I instructed everyone to follow me down the hall. Mataia (Allie's friend) shuffled her feet and said,
"I think I am going to wait here. I don't want Allison to feel embarrassed."
Oh. Riiight. It's a Phy-si-cal.
"Good thinking Mataia." Being the type of mother who never takes her children for physicals unless the school calls 3 times, I had forgotten about the fact that they would be making her remove her clothing. Which means I hadn't prepared her for that fact either.
So Ben, Clara, Allison, Teddy and I proceeded down the hall where they instructed her to pee in a cup, explaining first how to cleanse her vaginal area. A look of serious concern started forming in Allison's eyes as she listened, and I knew she hadn't processed a thing she said. I pulled her quietly aside and repeated the nurses' instructions. I then explained to her, as gently as possible, that she would be having a complete physical and would have to remove her clothes when we got to the room. Allie is a very private person and tears welled up in her eyes at the thought of this.
She blurted out, "Well does HE have to come?" Looking pointedly at 3-yr-old Ben hopping up and down the hall.
"Um, no, I guess not." I said. I thought for a moment and walked Ben down the hall to the waiting room. "Mataia, would you mind watching Ben during Allison's appointment? Allie doesn't want him in the room."
"Uhhh, Okay" Mataia answered hesitantly.
"But Mom. I wanna stay wif you." Ben started whining.
After several moments of convincing both Ben and the Mataia - who was clearly getting much more than she bargained for on this visit - that I would be right down the hall.
"And could they please just sit and watch Charlie Brown Christmas on the Television for goodness sake!" Clara and I escaped to find Allie, now in exam room 8.
I found Allie staring in mortification at a paper gown they had given her to put on over her undergarments. I exhaled deeply, and calmed her down - again.
And for the most part we made it through the rest of the appointment without incident. Clara was a squirming bundle of mischief deprived unhappiness the entire time and there were some embarrassing - for Allison - discussions on breast budding, periods, and hygiene. But even the shots were considerably better than Allison had feared.
As we were preparing to leave, the doctor stopped and asked conversationally to whining Clara "Ohh. Poor baby. What happened to your lip?"
"Huh?" was my articulate remark as I looked at Clara. Sure enough, she had a big fat busted lip. When did that happen? I didn't even notice.
"Um, She fell" I mumbled as I hurried down the hall to collect Ben and Mataia-the-really-good-sport, from the waiting room.
Then...I took the whole pack of them out to breakfast.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Lars got slammed into a whiteboard and went down to the school nurse complaining that his head, elbow, and penis hurt. The nurse was able to find bumps on his head and elbow but she isn't allowed to look at "the other area" (apparently she's not allowed to say "penis" out loud, either?) and wanted to be sure I knew about the accident so we could check him out at home. She gave Lars ice for all three injuries and then sent him back to class. By the time he got home, the whole incident was far from his thoughts - so much so that he didn't even mention it until we were finishing dinner. "Oh," he cried, "I hurt myself when I got slammed into the whiteboard! Mama, look!" The command was issued with enthusiasm as he dropped his drawers and presented himself for a checkup, right there at the dining table, while I still had my fork in my hand. It was an interesting way to end the meal, that's for sure.
The boys improvised a brothers' duet while they got ready for bed. Ross sang loudly from the tub, with hiphop flair. "My butt is rubb-bber! Oh! My butt is rubb-bber!"
Lars stood in the bathroom doorway, gyrating purposefully while singing, "I wave my penis at you-OO! I wave my penis at you-OO!" with a particular lack of rhythm and tone which clearly indicate he is his father's son.
What does a mother - specifically a Worst one - do when she finds her children performing acts last seen in the '80s on West 43rd? She tells Ross that he'd better aim to land on the rubber butt if he's going to fall while dancing in the tub and Lars that he really should be all the way in the bathroom if he's going to wave his penis around.
Wednesday...Anyone want to hazard a guess about what's in store for the rest of the week?
On top of that, consider an upcoming trip to the in-laws for T-day and all the laundry that encompasses, AND a deadline for a 20-page workshop submission, AND a request for a completely revised manuscript (80 pages worth to be doubled) AND a sick child home from school, AND a sick child at school, and you have one ugly mama.
My children don't dare talk to me today.
Monday, November 19, 2007
On Friday, I made the mistake of trying to complete a quick supermarket/wine run before dinner at 5 PM. First of all, the local supermarket is dirty, unorganized, and has a small staff. They lock their carts, except for the child-geared ones. I'd walked over with Lindsay under one arm and Lauren holding my pinky finger so that I could put them in one to discover that each one had destroyed safety belts. So I have to somehow get a quarter out of my wallet in my purse while holding on to Lauren, whose trying to climb the cart, and Lindsay whose trying to wiggle down.
In the middle of everyone's before dinner run, and mind you, I live in a very Orthodox area where they're trying to get everything done before sun down, the staff is stocking every aisle with boxes closing the end caps. When you get to the bottom of the aisle, you must turn around and walk back up it. If not, there's a dolly in the middle of the aisle you'd have to move to pass, which would be one thing if you weren't trying to keep at least one child from getting run over by rushing customers and the other in the shopping cart.
There was one line open, and no baggers. I had asked Lauren to sit on the bench facing the check out, when the moment she sat down a creepy man sat next to her, chatting with my cashier. So I asked her to get up and stand by me, which she did after much cajoling since I'd just told her to sit.
We get into the car and drive across the street to the pharmacy, which is where you buy alcohol here. I snapped, "Don't ask me for anything because you're not getting anything," to Lauren on the way in. Waiting in line behind a dozen or so people, and was next in line when the manager told the cashier her line was too long.
We got home, I let the kids out of the car. "Go help your sister get inside," I instructed, struggling with 3 bags of groceries and wine. As I got into the house, they were moving like molasses. "Time out!" I declared, anxious to at least put away my groceries in peace.
When I checked on Lauren, she was sitting on the second stair "in time out". Lindsay, who wasn't, was seated next to her. Cute, I thought, and returned to putting away groceries. They were apparently sliding up the stairs, stair by stair. When they reached 3/4 of the way up, Lauren tried to block Lindsay from sitting, and she fell down the stairs. It was loud. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thud. Scared cry.
I yelled, "Go to your room," and realized I was reacting out of fear. Lindsay was fine, just a little bruised and quite surprised. Once she calmed down, I called Lauren a sobbing back.
"I'm sorry I yelled. I was scared. I know it was an accident." I said. "Your sister is fine, see?"
Lauren settled with her runny nose buried in my shoulder. I rubbed her back, and Lindsay patted her back. "I fell down the stairs once," she sobbed. "It really hurt my head."
"I know, and you were worried your sister was hurt."
"She is OK, but we shouldn't play on the stairs anymore."
Sunday, November 18, 2007
How much of my list was accomplished when Lindsay was born (and mind you I already had a great deal of the baby stuff from Lauren:
- crib and changing table assembled and installed, with the crib mattress on its side, no linens on either
beautiful crib linens installed in crib new hardware affixed to family heirloomempty chest of drawers formerly belonging to Lauren
- chest of drawers placed in room
- a box of baby clothes - some new, some used, all unlaundered - in closet
- half-painted room
bunniesbears in corners
- enormous wasted space at top of closet
- diapers and wipes in boxes under crib, none stocked in gingham lined wicker baskets
allnone of the kid laundry washed (own no Dreft)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
- crib and changing table assembled and installed
- beautiful crib linens installed in crib
- new hardware affixed to family heirloom chest of drawers
- chest of drawers installed into "finished" closet
- bronze curtain rod installed above closet
- tab top drapery panels arranged on bronze curtain rod
- bronze tie-back hooks installed on molding at either side of closet
- shelving installed in enormous wasted space at top of closet
- canvas storage bins installed on upper shelves in closet
- all kid laundry washed (in Dreft!), dried, carefully folded and lovingly stowed in nursery
- swollen feet
- serious fatigue
- a seemingly endless List of Things To Do Before Baby Arrives
Could somebody please stop the hamster wheel? I want to rest for a while, and maybe put up my feet!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Ross (with sincere conviction and tone exactly matching his mother and her mother -yes, you, grandmoo! - before her): Crap!
Chris (amused (ok, well not very amused but it will be funny later (at least to his wife)) to see his wife and mother-in-law rendered before him in the form of an eight-year-old boy) glares at Ross, eyebrows raised.
Ross (meekly, exactly matching tone of his mother after she utters same expletive in presence of children): Sorry.
According to all the signs in the pediatrician's office and all over the internet 80% of the car seats in this country are installed incorrectly. There are metal catches in the car just for the car seats. The car seats have straps with hooks on them so you can latch them onto those catches. So, how are so many of us doing it wrong? Eighty percent? To me that says there's something wrong with the product. I've read that car seats don't actually make our children much safer - the main thing is keeping them in the back seat versus the front. To me this obsessive checking and re-checking of our installation skills is just one more way to fill parents with paralyzing fear. So, I said to my child's teacher "No. I will not be having them check my car seats". Raised eyebrow from her. Shrug from me. "What if they're in the wrong size seats?" she politely asked. "They're not." She let out a little sigh and nodded, officially giving up on me and, I presume, writing me off as a horrible parent. The girls and I headed back down the hill, right past the nice firefighters who were telling the vast majority of parents who aren't horrible people, how to correctly put the hooks in the catches. I placed my children their deadly car seats, buckled them in, kissed them each, and drove home.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
- crackhouse - we were required to find a pic of a crackhouse. Sadly, I know just where one is. I used to work across the street from it, in a rehab, ironically, and the rehab clients all knew it was a crackhouse. So I drove my kids to the 'hood and parked on a side street outside a crackhouse to get a picture. "Tell Daddy what we did today?' "Daddy, we went to a crackhouse." I can see OCFS at my doorstep already. This trip also required a photo of a ghetto so I pulled off to another side street to get a picture of the ghetto. Nothing like a field trip to the 'hood. I looked for a pimp when I was there, but coudn't find one at 10 a.m., so I improvised on that picture and dressed Ruthie's Ken doll up like one. I think that photo was disqualified
- traffic lights - I had to get a green traffic light, a yellow one, and a red one. Now the other team wisely parked somewhere and waited for the light to change to the appropriate colors. Not me. I drove around with elbows on the steering wheel, a camera in one hand and a paper with my screenname in the other, trying to navigate traffic and frame my pics. The yellow light, in particular, was a bitch. But I got it.
- churches - I dressed my children at 7 a.m. on a non-school day, and packed them in the car in 35 degree weather so we could go get a picture of a mosque and a Seventh Day Adventist Church.
- pregnant dog - A pregnant dog. If only I'd known a breeder. But alas, I do not, so I went in search of that twisted toy that's a dog with removable puppies in her belly. Apparently that one isn't sold in stores anymore. But I did stumble upon a dog costume on clearance for 80 cents, so I did this to Helen:
My team won.
It's starting...the bad language that occasionally slips from my mouth when I'm not looking, is being repeated on a more regular basis by my child. But I must say she's chosen the less offensive ones to repeat. Ones I can easily blame on someone else, or someone else's kid, for that matter. She has recently been caught, and on more than one occasion, telling her little sister to shut up. I have to remind her that shut up isn't a nice word and that Mommy shouldn't say it either. (I'm waiting for her to tell me not to say it the next time I do, but it's usually only used when she is in the middle of screaming fit and she can't be bothered correcting me.) This weekend she shocked my friends. We were having a little playdate at our house, two friends and their little boys, both preschoolers as well. We were sitting a the kitchen table snacking on mini-donuts, mini-muffins, bagels (not mini), when Ruthie lets loose with "Don't piss me off." I heard it loud and clear but hoped the others did not. My one friend says "She couldn't have said what I think she said, could she?" I nodded, "Yeah, she could." I never did bother to find out who was pissing her off.
"And you said you'd brushed your teeth," I replied. "It feels pretty bad when your expectations aren't met, doesn't it?" Silence from the beds - neither one of them can think of a good rebuttal. "Maybe tomorrow you guys will actually brush your teeth and I'll have time to read instead of using the time to watch you brush them?" I finish tucking in and go downstairs.
A minute or so later, I hear movement upstairs. Chris doesn't hear anything but I go into the back hall to investigate anyhow and hear laughter upstairs. Ross is telling an action story to Lars, who keeps saying gleefully, "You didn't hit my stitches! Still didn't hit them! That was my eyebrow! You're not hitting my stitches! Not then either! ...."
I get to their room and snap on the light, "Maybe you need some light for better aim?"
Both boys startle! Lars leaps up and begins climbing down to his own bunk. Ross cries, "Lars came up here and I didn't want him and he wouldn't get..."
"No, Ross, Lars came up there on your invitation and you were having a great time telling him a story and you should stop speaking now, because you have NO idea how long I've been standing here." Silence ensues. "Now, we'll try this once more. If I come up again, there will be spankings. I love you...go to sleep!"
Downstairs again, I flop into a chair next to Chris and recap my recent adventure. He looks at me with a tiny bit of awe and says, "I didn't even hear you go upstairs!"
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
But then I saw that Paige, who last I heard hasn't even birthed a child yet, is beating us all at worst mothering gig. And since I am definitely in a "I'm the worst mama, damn it" kind of mood, I changed my mind.
Kidding. Sort of kidding.
It's been a yucky kind of week. I know it's only Wednesday, but the week so far has been like 3 freakin Mondays in a row. The kids have been terrors and I seem to be completely overwhelmed with actually completing tasks that everyone else seems to manage without difficulty. Like keeping the home from looking like an episode of Clean Sweep, or grocery shopping, or feeding my children. And I know that this is only going to get worse with the quickly approaching major Holiday-which-will-not-be-named-because-even-hearing-the-word-stresses-me-out.
So yesterday morning I sent the weekids outside to play in the sandbox while I attempted to scrub my kitchen, knowing full well that I was buying kitchen cleaning time with time cleaning sand out of crevices later that day. The back wall of our home is almost all windows that look out on the deck where we keep the sandbox. I could see the children easily from the kitchen.
So after a bit of scrubbing I walked over to the windows to admire the view of my two youngest offspring playing so happily together. It's really a rare thing in this house for anyone to be playing happily with anyone else. Sad but true. And just more proof of my WME status. As I am standing there starting to get a warm fuzzy, I notice that Ben keeps bending over and putting his face near the sand and bobbing back up again. He then digs in the sand for a minute, and repeats the process.
I look closer and realize He. Is. Spitting! Spitting in the sand and then making tiny spit-sand patties.
I ran to the back door to tell him to cease immediately, but stopped with my hand on the knob. If I walk out on the deck Clara will see me. If Clara sees me she will immediately start crying and trailing behind me tugging at my pants leg. (She's been doing this for days now.) My kid free cleaning time will officially be over.
So I head back to the kitchen and finish my chore, making a point to keep my glances in the direction of the deck brief and unfocused.
And made a mental note to quit putting my feet in the sand when I go outside to read.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Linds. I'll give you your drink after we park, honey."
She wailed loudly. You are not understanding me, woman. "Drinky, Mama."
"Ok, sweetie. Lauren, is Lindsay's drink in the back seat?"
"Darn, it must be in the trunk in her diaper bag," I replied, saying a silent prayer that I'd left it in there earlier when we went to the gym.
Lindsay put her hands up to her face, sobbing.
"I'll get it for you as soon as we stop."
Lindsay cried loudly. In the middle of a great sob, she shouted, "I want my drinky, Mama!"
I bit my lip to hold back a chuckle. I'd made her so angry, she uttered her first sentence. "In a moment, Lindsay. Mama's driving."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Holding him close to comfort him, I discovered the hard way that he had an accident and his pajamas were soaked almost to his armpits. I stripped him down, leaving him naked while I went to get a wet wash cloth to clean him up. That wouldn't get me any WME points if the motivation was pure; however, my motivation was entirely selfish. I'd just barely gotten the eczema on his backside cleared up and I didn't want to go through another couple of weeks of applying hydrocortisone and Eucerin daily.
He followed me into the bathroom. Still naked. Then he said he wanted to get cleaned in his bedroom. So back we went, Will shivering all the way. I cleaned him up and got new pajamas for him. A few minutes rocking him,and I think I'm home-free. I get back to bed and then realize that I had been holding him close BEFORE I discovered he had an accident. Sigh.
Just a note: I didn't have the opportunity to do the WME trick of throwing down the towel, because my husband changed the sheets while I was wandering around with a naked boy and a wet washcloth.
Monday, November 12, 2007
On top of it, we had Thursday and Friday off due to a teachers' conference, so going back after a 4-day weekend and having an 8:30 AM executive committee meeting (I'm an officer in Lauren's school PTO) was especially tough. Lindsay was unamused at 10 AM when I dragged her out of the meeting and brought her to the Y. But she played happily for an hour and a half, and then let me drag her to the grocery store.
At the moment, it is just after 1 PM and we've just finished lunch. She's thrown every one of the linen napkins on the floor. She's tired and impatient. The house is a wreck because it always is after a weekend, and worse after a long one. Dishes piled up in the sink. Laundry piled up in baskets. Groceries now on the kitchen floor.
Ok, time put that kid to nap already and try to get some work done around the house.
I hate Mondays.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
1) Sunday, November 4
Hmmmmm, why is mama so happy...kinda spacey....must be that stuff they call beer. Wonder when I can get some of that stuff. Gee, lets see what I can get away with. It is 9pm, only 1 hour after my bedtime. Okay, maybe if I whine a little mama will let me watch movie to get me to be quiet. Wow, that really worked. I get to watch a completely age inappropriate movie (The Legend of Zorro), while mama sleeps in bed beside me. Cool! Uhhh, wait a minute, does this mean I am responsible if Todd cries or the house bursts into flames. Wonder if I can wake mama up????
2) Tuesday, November 6
WTF???? I am only coming to the doctor to get my ears checked...see, my ears...what is up with the nurse and the sharp thing they call a shot???? Hey...lets make Todd go first and see if they forget about me....shoot...that did not work...they are still coming for me....hmmm....burst into tears and scream like someone's killing me....hey...aren't moms suppossed to be sympathetic and calming...not LAUGHING in my face...the nurse holding the sharp thing is not suppossed to be the only one trying to get me to calm down..however she does get points for giving my mama the evil eye....
3) Friday, November 9
Uh oh....darn...had an accident on the playground at school again....oh well, the teacher will take care of it. Wait, what is that she is telling me I have to wear....a PULL-UP...hey where is my extra underwear??? This is soooooo embarrassing....I am like 4 years old and have not worn a pull-up in over a year. Mama is suppossed to have extra underwear here for me...and Todd too...what is up with the pull-up??? OHHHH, mama never did leave any extra underwear for me or Todd at school...Go figure
I think I need a new mama!!!!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
It happened the instant I opened an email message with a .pdf attachment containing the official approval of my maternity leave.
Yes, ladies, revelation arrived via an email message saying it is perfectly okay for me to not work for a whole nine weeks. THAT'S what it takes to get my attention? The fact that I won't have to report to work? Not the sweet little baby kicks or the cartoonish shape of my swollen feet or even waking up six times every night to shuffle to the bathroom. The fact that I'm excused from work. Priorities much, Paige?
I've never thought of myself as a workaholic, and I still don't. But I realized yesterday I have been so focused on my job and the Junior League that, in a sense, I've neglected the little soul growing inside of me.
Don't get me wrong. I've been doing all the right stuff (well, mostly...) like keeping all pre-natal appointments with not just one, but two, doctors; eating well (most of the time...); keeping my blood sugar levels under control with diet and rigorous testing; taking my vitamins and Expecta; sleeping well; exercising; indulging in bi-monthly pedicures; and collecting all the necessary stuff for a new baby.
But, if children spell love "T-I-M-E", then, so far, I'm failing. I have six weeks. Surely that will be enough time to assemble a crib, bedeck it with the beautiful white crib linens, put away all of our collected treasures for Baby and, most importantly, rearrange priorities.
I would never...I've learned that parenting is largely about flexibility. Every one of the things I thought I'd never do before I had kids, I've done. From the poopy-diaper bottom sniff, to the screaming toddler in the restaurant, to cleaning my kindergartener's face with my own saliva - I've done it all.
I always...try not to criticize other parent's choice, even if I vehemently disagree with them. I can't stand when people do that to me.
I got an easy ride when it came to...mealtimes for Lauren - she really would eat anything as a toddler, and only had a brief fussy period between 3 and 4. Sleeping for Lindsay - she was sleeping 6 hour stretches at 2 months old, and slept 10 hours a night from 6 months on. She still sleeps from 8 PM-7 AM and takes a 3-hour nap in the afternoon.
The part I dislike most about parenting is...the lack of a do-over when you really tank.
The part I love most about parenting is...the first snuggly moments in the morning with kisses and I love yous, and those last snuggly moments at night before there's quiet in the house.
My terrible parenting secret is...I coach my kids answers before we go to the doctor and the dentist so I don't get lectured about things like flossing and talking to strangers.
I would describe my approach to discipline as...strict. I don't let them get away with a lot. I insist on good manners.
My worst parenting habit...caving into Lindsay to keep her quiet.
The one thing I am really proud of is...Lauren is remarkably polite. People always comment about her manners.
I probably am too lenient when it comes to... television time. I let Lauren watch far too much TV. I believe the guideline for the 17 month old set is no TV whatsoever. I really only use it when I am trying to get something done, though.
I hope my kids inherit my...sense of humor.
I hope my kids don’t inherit my...lack of patience.
I love that my kids are...their own people.
The thing I miss most about my pre-mom days is...going out in the city with friends. With the amount of money a sitter costs, it limits what you can do when we've hired one.
Motherhood is...both better and harder than I imaged.
Friday, November 9, 2007
It was a cute night. No screaming or whining was going on and I was relaxing as the food disappeared. As I leaned against the counter, watching Sarah put her greasy little fingers in her hair repeatedly, it slowly dawned on me that it has been a full week since I bathed these girls. I looked at each girl in turn, examining their degrees of filth. They just didn't seem that dirty to me but yes...I'm pretty sure...full week, yeah. I have no idea how this happened. I don't think it's happened before. It was disturbing to realize.
Then Jeremiah got home and things happened, I don't really remember what, but the usual things. Before I knew it, it was time for Kate and Sarah to go to bed. I ushered them upstairs, did the potty, tooth-brushing and clothes-changing thing. I tucked them in. I walked out of the room. I completely forgot to bathe them. "Oh well" I sighed to myself. "Tomorrow is another day".
Chris and I are facing opposite directions in the kitchen, with no casual way to signal each other to determine who should respond so there's a pause before I say, "That's Daddy's high-sucrose bariatric drink. For his digestion."
Ross contemplates for a moment, "So, he HAS to drink it?"
"Yes," Chris says, "It's important that I drink it."
My son Lucas, age 7, is usually our neon lighted example of parenting skills being below average.
My husband arrived home late from work. They boys were are ready in the shower.(successfully sharing it that particular day). I said "They don't know you're home; stick your head in and scare them. Hee Hee!" He grinned and stuck his head in and said "Boogedie Boogedie!" There were shrieks, one "Dad!" and then a "Jesus Christ! I'm gonna need therapy!"(Lucas) then a confused "What does that mean?"(Andrew)
Several moments of eyeblinking later - did Lucas just say what I think he said? Another head popped in, "Did you just say.....?" A head popped out, sly grin, and a nod. Dicussion of inappropiate use of the Lord's name and "where did you learn that phrase?" enshewed.
Where did he hear that one?
Thursday, November 8, 2007
She asked me today, after rolling her eyes in disdain of my posting a picture of Ben in his underwear, how we came up with this blog. I told her it was Epiphany's idea. She wanted to put together a worst mama ever blog, and immediately thought I should be a member.
"Uhhhh. That is so rude!" she said. "What kind of friend is that?"
Hee. Hee. A friend that knew I would need the support.
Ross was - under duress - doing his chore, which is to empty the trash cans once a week. At the bottom of one basket, he found a partially chewed wad of gum with something resembling confetti mashed up in it. A quick sniff determined the revolting wad to be Nerds Gum. The look of pure disgust Ross wore clearly indicated he was not the perpetrator of the dual crimes, Chewing Gum Without Permission, and Throwing Gum Away Naked (TGAN). The mixed look of extreme indignation and shock Lars wore clearly indicated he thought there'd be more of a question over who'd made that particular mess. Never one to miss a glowing opportunity, I said, "Lars, if you quietly brush your teeth really well, get into your bed, and don't make me come back even once to tell you it's time to sleep, I'll be so shocked that I'll forget all about the TGAN." Ross looked a little affronted that his brother would get off so easily but got over it fast when I swabbed up the gooey wad and seven minutes later, I was downstairs enjoying the evening and wondering how many decades of the Rosary I'd have to do to make bedtime like that every night. It can't be as easy as strategic placement of revolting lumps of gum and making obtuse threats about how the mess will be dealt with, can it?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Then there are those moments when the title Worst. Mama. Ever. feels entirely appropriate. When in the darkest places of your mind, you truly believe that you are the worst mother ever. You wonder what the heck you're doing being a parent in the first place. What ever possessed you to think you could raise a child? Or two? And you count the myriad ways you're failing your children, not the least being that you've completely lost any semblance of patience for their small bodies and large needs.
And the stress of everyday life has become so great that you feel like you're absolutely drowning in it and if a small person climbs all over you one more time or screams out "MONSTER!" or leaves rice krispies all over the kitchen floor crunching through them on the way to the living room, you'll just self-combust and all that will be left of you are little pockets and wisps of anger, smelling like gunpowder. You wonder if you could sell your child on e-bay to the highest bidder, or consider a late addition to the foster care program, because simply put, you can't do this mama thing anymore; there's bound to be someone out there who can do it better.
And after the anger has dissipated, a chubby little hand pats your shoulder, a blond head finds your chest, a serious pair of blue eyes looks at you, saying, "I'm sorry, Mommy. I'm so sorry." No, my boys--I'm the one who's sorry.
Monday, November 5, 2007
ANYWAY, by the time I actually got home last night, after being gone the whole weekend w/o my computer (and Paige even reminding me that it was my day to post) my son Kyle got out of bed and sat down with me. Lets see here, home with the kiddos by myself (mom left when I got home) and drunk....my best thought to get Kyle back to bed was to lay down with him in my bed and put a movie on. At which point I promptly passed out. At least Kyle was in bed with me so if he did actually get up for something I would have hopefully come to and he is old enough now to let me know if Todd needs something.
SOOOOO to recap...I let my mom drive down to my house (2 hours each way), watch my kiddos for the day, bring them to the event, pay for them, let her drive back home last nightwhile I drank beer, had lots of fun and then preceeded to pass out once I got home. All the while hoping my 4 year old would be responsible enough to listen out for my 2 year old. In all this, I just ran out of time to post. However, I did get up right before midnight with a terrible headache and Kyle's feet in my face only to panic that I forgot to post on the blog.
What I was going to post yesterday was a pic of the kids at the Gator game Saturday. While most of you out there are wondering why...I will just say that my husband considers the kids dressed in Gator gear total child abuse (he went to FSU)....
During my morning
This morning, she found that Lauren had left her beads out - the sort of multicolor wooden beads that come in a cute little wooden box with lengths of elastic for stringing. At first Lindsay was taking all the beads out, and then moving them back into the box, one by one, using a plastic spoon. Then I realized that about half the beads were gone.
She was working under my desk, which has dust
I figured of the options, she'd probably put all the beads into my laptop case. When I'm at school, I am always finding magnetic farm animals lodged in the bottom (not very good for my hard drive). But alas, no. No beads. No beads were found in the garbage can either.
I picked Lindsay up, discovering she needed a diaper change, tucked her under my arm to head upstairs to change her. At this point, Lindsay opened her mouth to holler "Stinky diaper!" excitedly and a stream of beads came out of her mouth.
I ask you, how did she manage to put all the beads in her mouth without having tell-tale puffed cheeks? Because I was genuinely surprised to see the multicolored confetti of beads spew out as we walked up the stairs.
I think I need more coffee...
Sunday, November 4, 2007
My older daughter is capable of doing nearly everything for herself when it comes to the bathroom. She does have difficulty unsnapping her pants, so it was nothing unusual this morning when she asked me to unsnap them for her. I did this, and then returned to whatever was demanding my attention (the computer). Her shouts that the baby was in the bathroom were met with my direction to take her sister by the hand and lead her out. She knows how to do this. Today, she didn’t do it. After a few long minutes of delightful but disconcerting silence, (I knew I should have checked on things right away, but I couldn't...I just couldn't), I made my way over to the bathroom. Having not seen the baby on my way there, I wasn’t surprised when I opened the door and caught sight of her pigtails and overalls. I was, however, horrified to find her elbow deep in a toilet that had been used by my older daughter, but not flushed. Yay! Water play isn’t enough fun…let’s have urine play. I handled this with far less grace and patience than I should have. A few expletives probably passed my lips and I dragged the baby out of the bathroom and stripped her, washed her down with some baby wipes and a wash cloth, and declared her clean. She got an additional, full blown scrub down later, but I made her father do it.
(Wish me luck today. Every dollar we need for a year's worth of Junior League projects is raised in a 6-hour food tasting festival...everything is lining up for a record-shattering year!)
Saturday, November 3, 2007
In the time since my last post, my life has been about two things, and two things only: work and Taste of the Town. And, oh yeah, I'm having a baby in about 6 weeks.
It got so bad this week that I actually, for about an hour, forgot I was pregnant. How terrible is THAT? Luckily, the baby kicked and reminded me not only of its existence, but to eat because, oh yeah! my pancreas cannot keep up with the demand for insulin to regulate my blood sugar and I'm supposed to eat really healthy stuff (read: protein with every gram of carbohydrate) 6 times a day, and check my blood sugar 4 times a day, and, if I can manage to keep my sugar levels in check with diet I won't have to take Glyburide or, shudder, insulin. All of this while managing the demands of an overachieving freshman legislator and serving as Co-Chair for the largest fundraiser of the year for the Junior League.
A perfect mama would probably beat a hasty retreat to the Ada's Natural Foods, settle into the nesting phase and jettison all but the most basic responsibilities to a job. But I didn't ask to join Best. Mama. Ever.
Well this time, I turned around and Clara looked like this.
Then I found this. She has actually bit the end right off the marker and was chewing on it when I found her. I fished out the marker piece, took away the markers, washed her up and removed her from the seat.
I am not exactly sure where she got this marker, but she was chomping away on the severed end just like the day before. This was the point I began to become suspicious she may have a bit of a problem. I searched the house for any markers at low levels and instructed the other children that Clara had developed a taste for Crayola Washables and warned them not to be enablers.
Then, later that same day, I walked into the office to find Clara perched on the piano bench (you can see it in the picture) looking like this:
She had climbed up and retrieved the basket of markers FROM THE TOP OF THE PIANO. The girl can't walk two steps but she can make it to the top of the freakin piano to feed her marker nub addiction. It was at that point we realized that all markers in our home must be kept under lock and key for her own good.
Friday, November 2, 2007
I have to confess, I haven't even read my or anyone else's blogs in about 2 months, it's gotten that bad. I've worked weekends. I've spent time "with my family" while also nurturing my laptop. I've kept my Blackberry affixed uncomfortably to my right hand and (I cringe when I admit this) responded to emails while eating out with friends and family.
In the midst of all this, I was away from home for 2 consecutive 3-day weekends. Jeremiah has probably started telling the hot women who flock his way at the park to "help" with his sweet children that he's a widower. I've left parties (to which I arrived late) early or missed them entirely. When the girls were headed out to trick or treat I was in the office trying to prevent a crisis which, I have to be honest here, at that point I really didn't care about anymore. Today, I have a large portion of work arriving in the office around 10AM and it must be completed by a too-small group of us before tomorrow night. Guess what I'm doing for fun tonight?
Don't get me wrong, I like my job. I like my co-workers (though I think of them more as war buddies now). I hate missing all the fun. Unconcerned about NaBloPloMo, I took a friend's challenge to post daily this month. I decided I need to because it will force me to stop working for 15 minutes a day. While so many people I know consider working endlessly some sort of badge of honor, I do not. I think it's foolish and unhealthy. I can only do so much about completing a project that was promised in too little time, but I can stop thinking I need to check my email when I get up to pee at 2AM. Or worse...respond to my email when I get up to pee at 2AM.
Time to take Kate's rather pouty advice and "put the phone down and pick me up!" (kid's say the darnedest things).
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Then, Lars got his stitches out today. I couldn't be there because of work, which might be a little awful but he called me all excited from the doctor's office, "MAMA! I GOT MY STITCHES OUT! I CAN PLAY HOCKEY TONIGHT!" and we took him to McD's for a no-stitches celebratory dinner (hello Zero Nutrition Thursday), so any hint of awful kind of got wiped out.
I did force both kids to shower after hockey, using shampoo AND soap ("But Mama! The shampoo runs down so I don't NEED to use soap!" ... "Use it anyway. Make me feel I work to buy you soap for a reason."), but that's hardly point worthy. It seems I'll be resting on the laurels of October for now but stay tuned - another wine tonight and I might drag the kids out of bed to clean up that soap ring they left in the tub.
So exhausted in fact, that after I got out of bed with Ben, I fell asleep on the sofa while he was watching "SuperWhy". And I didn't wake up when Allie got up for school - and bless her heart she didn't wake me up - until I heard the front door slam on her way out to the bus. No hugs or kisses or "Have a good day, honey" this morning for her.
Then, as if that wasn't enough, once I bundled Ben off to preschool I came home and settled back on the couch and fell asleep, AGAIN. Only to wake up because Clara had climbed up into the chair and onto the little table/magazine stand next to it, and she and the table went crashing to the ground.
Don't worry, she stopped screaming shortly and I used the mountain of sugar in the house in the form of Halloween candy to help me stay awake after that.
Besides her goose egg has nothing on Lars'.