Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The problem? Bruiser has pinkeye, and possibly some other nasty virus. Me too, but I can generally be trusted not to wipe my eye boogers on other people. I should cancel and keep my kids home, but I think someone might not survive the evening.
And therefore, I justify.... well, he's had a day of antibiotics, he can't be that contagious... they saw him last week just before this started, they'd have it already... and finally... but Mommy just really needs her playdate.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The time: Just now.
The action: Ross, done ahead of his brother & dad, takes a seat on a comfy-looking "egg chair" conveniently hanging off the wall. Daddy freaks. Whisks confused child out to car for a quick change. Upon return to the table, Mama asks what happened. Daddy, horrified, explains. Mama? Laughs hysterically. Can't stop. Fondly remembers that time in the bathroom in Grand Central Station when same kid licked the sink. Laughs some more. No worries - I'll just rinse him in bleach later.
It all started two Mondays ago at 10:55am. Zane was happily sitting in the bouncy seat atop my desk, having finished nursing at 10:30am, and I was primping girly before lunch with friends at 11:30am. Just as I was applying my lip liner, I heard the unmistakeable sound of loud squirting emanating from my darling son's hiney. Zane was all smiles and giggles as I asked him, "was that your hiney talking, baby?" He laughed, and looked at me coyly as if to tell me he had a secret...No biggie, I thought. He is fairly regular, and anyway I always change him just before we leave for lunch. I continued applying lip liner, then lip gloss, then powder to my nose, and I brushed my hair.
Makeup applied, I readied the changing pad, grabbed the box of wipes, a diaper and the A&D ointment. Then I picked up the baby. Wetness. Oh no... It's yellow. Oh NO!! He exploded. Oh s**t!!! (no pun intended, there) It's even on the bouncy seat. Fabulous.
As I laid him down on the changing pad, it became clear to me that I would have to work fast to prevent a mess on the lower half from becoming a mess all over the giggling, smiling, squirming baby. And, more importantly, all over my lovely (and new) light beige linen skirt and light-blue linen blouse.
Because I am the Worst.Mama.Ever., my skirt and blouse made it through the ordeal completely unscathed.
Zane was not so lucky.
By the time I finished changing his diaper, poo covered the light-blue changing pad cover and his socks, his pants, and his white "I Love Mommy" onesie. He also managed to push his little feet into the poo spots on the changing pad cover, and then "find his feet" with his hands. Sigh. That was all him. I managed to get poo on his forehead and in his hair despite carefully rolling the onesie as I pulled it over his fuzzy little head. Double sigh.
Time for a quick washdown in the bathroom sink. Clean baby, crisis averted. For five seconds. It was then that I realized - slowly - I had no change of clothes for my baby. So THAT'S why the child care center requires three complete changes of clothing, including socks. Uh huh.
Want to go ahead and give me the trophy for May?? Just wait. It gets better.
So, there I was: clean baby clad in only a diaper, a pile of soiled laundry, and a pending lunch date with friends. A good mama would have beat a hasty retreat down the stairwell, walked quickly to the car and driven straight home to throw the laundry in the wash and clothe the baby.
Not me. I am lazy, I was hungry and I had just re-applied my lipstick.
I carried Zane - clad in only a diaper, remember - to the elevator. We boarded the lift and stopped on every floor to take on passengers on our way to the ground level. Zane giggled and smiled the whole way, thus drawing attention to our (well, HIS) disheveled state. I didn't even avoid the shocked faces. Had anyone actually said anything to me, I would have tartly replied, "I'm the Mama, and I have exactly one hour to eat lunch and get back to my office so that I can feed my baby right on time. So there." I might have left out the "so there," but I was STARVING.
Arriving at the car, I "swaddled" Zane in a blanket from the diaper bag. He would sit in his car seat during lunch anyway, so why bother going home first to put him in clothes? Because he didn't WANT to sit in his car seat during lunch. That's why. Whatever. We had a corner table, out of the view of most of the other diners. Not that it would have mattered much at that point anyway. The damage was done. My child was out in public, wearing only a diaper. Nice.
Two weeks hence I can't believe my brazenness; but I still don't have a complete change of baby clothes - including socks - at my office.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Now that Zane and I are home from Tallahassee, our "three-pack" has settled back into a very nice family rhythm.
I am blessed with a baby-daddy who is a really good baby daddy. Since we are breastfeeding Zane, PG enthusiastically performs every task he can perform (yes, even changing dirty diapers...)
Now that we are home, PG takes responsibility for feeding Z his once daily bowl of rice cereal, bathing him and putting him down to sleep at night.
He also takes over in the morning after I nurse Zane at 7:00am. They play; they laugh; they smile at each other; they take field trips to the lanai and the backyard; and, when I am out of hair and makeup and ready for wardrobe, PG changes Z and dresses him for the day.
At left is a picture from this morning. There was a bit of protest, but Zane did leave the house properly attired in his shorts.
Today was a collection of errors. I'd purchased new white patent leather shoes for Lauren yesterday, and she begged to wear them. I replied that wearing them to church would be a better choice because that way if they were terribly uncomfortable, as new shoes sometimes are, church is only a couple of hours. But she insisted she'd tried them on and sometimes you have to let them learn these lessons themselves. I bought them a half size large since that had always been right before for dress shoes. These were a half size too big.
It's Lindsay's birthday today, so I was trying to allow as many of her "big girl" choices as possible. I let her select her clothing from another option (including showing her 3 pairs of identical white socks). She chose her milk cup (although nearly had a tantrum because yellow wasn't an option). She opted to walk to the bus stop rather than ride in the stroller. The way we handled this yesterday was sort of like a game of red-light/green-light where you can't move unless you are holding hands. It is a harder game when your sister is skipping 10 feet ahead. She finally asked to be carried.
Not that I need an excuse to fly off the handle about something, but I'd set up the coffee pot without coffee, so my reward was puzzlement over water light with milk. And the moment of how much coffee did I put in, I don't recall putting it in...oh, because I didn't put it in... was probably priceless, but I'd had exactly a sip of the replacement coffee.
I opted to quickly cross while there was a contractor van about a block away, which meant I had to walk briskly, but Lauren had to hustle. When she saw the van approaching, she freaked out and stopped in the middle of the road at which point I shrieked, "Hurry up, Lauren! What are you doing?!" Her too big shoes slipped on the asphalt as I yelled, "Move it!" As her feet hit the safety of the curb, I began a tirade of "When I tell you to move, you move" sort of blather just as I notice a newish VW station wagon on the curb -- the PTO president and her son with windows open. We waved to Frankie, and I turned my back to quietly continue my rant, knowing it was already too late.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
He carried on like a spitting cat all through his too-long shower and had worked himself up into quite a state by the time he'd managed to don pajamas and get in bed. Ross burrowed completely under his comforter and commanded that I go away, so I kiss Lars goodnight and turn off the light. Then, I sat on the top stair to listen. Do all moms do this?
A shout from the upper bunk, "Nobody loves me! I don't care about my favorite food! Or my favorite candy! Or anything!"
"I love you," a steady voice from the lower bunk offers.
"No, you don't!"
"Mama loves you," the small voice of reason puts in.
"No, she doesn't!"
"Daddy loves you," again from below.
"I DON'T CARE! ABOUT ANYTHING!"
"What about Beary?" Lars inquires after Ross' doll, who's been carefully cared for since Ross chose him for his sixth birthday.
"What ABOUT Beary?"
"Do you care about Beary?" Lars wants to know.
"Of course I care about Beary! Beary is the ONLY ONE who loves me! Beary and the guys in my bed!" (Beardog, the red-eyed tree frog, and nine Webkinz sigh with relief).
"I love you," puts in Lars, again.
"You need to GET A LIFE," spouts Ross. "Here's $15 to buy a life," he begins and follows with quite a diatribe of words I can't believe he's picked up at elementary school (thankfully, while mean, all are PG).
As Ross goes on, I sneak into their room and crouch by the lower bunk, feeling for Lars' hand. As I squeeze it in mine, Lars whispers, "Why are you here?" I squeeze his hand again. He squeezes back and we listen to the diatribe above. I feel powerless to stop the pre-teen angst cloud forming above him but hope that a secret Mama-shield will be strong enough to deflect the worst of it.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Lindsay has been struggling a bit lately with wanting to do "big girl" stuff. She no longer wants to sit strapped in at the table, she wants to sit on a chair. This hasn't been completely disastrous, however, she usually gets distracted 4 bites in and wanders away from the table. Today, she brought her plate into the living room and set it on the coffee table.
Since she'd eaten exactly none of it, I hoped that the coffee table snack atmosphere would encourage just a couple more bites of the leftover vegetarian pasta dish from last night. She ate a solitary rotini, and then went elsewhere with her plate. I, as I am likely to do, got distracted by three things, ended up bringing her upstairs for a diaper change, settled her for a nap, and found myself in the kitchen with 2 baskets of laundry. I glanced over at the counter to notice that Lindsay had placed Lauren's art table stool in front of the cutting board. She'd stood on it to very carefully place her plate, still full, squarely on the board with the fork beside it. I had to set down the laundry basket. Lindsay finished her lunch, and cleared her plate and left it by the sink.
I am officially alarmed.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
So this morning when I got back from driving him in anger-charged silence to school Ben was out of bed and waiting for me. After getting him his breakfast I plopped down on the couch and said "I'm so tired, Ben."
Ben said "Why weren't you sleeping?"
"Because Brandon missed the bus this morning and I had to drive him to school."
"Oh" said Ben. "He's such a little smart aweck!"
Awesome. I have taught my younger son that my older son is a little "smart aleck." Just give me the freakin worst mama crown and lets call it a day.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Today I had the following phone conversation with Allison:
"Allie, I am going to the drugstore to get Mother's Day cards and then I will stop and pick up Mataia (her friend) on the way home. I need you to do your chores. If they are not done by the time we get back, Mataia can keep you company while you finish them"
"My Saturday chores? I have to do my Saturday chores?" incredulously.
Deep breath. "Yes, Allie. There won't be time to get them done tomorrow."
"NO MOOO-OOOM! I am not doing my Saturday chores! It's Friday!"
"Fine." I said. "Then I am not picking up Mataia. See you at home"
There was a couple of minute pause and then my cell phone rang.
Quietly. "You hung up on me."
"Yes I did. You argue with everything I ask you to do and I was sick of listening to it."
"But you hung up on me."
"Yes, I did."
Meekly "I'll do my Saturday chores."
"Will you still go get Mataia?"
"Yes, I will. Please call her and tell her I will be there in twenty minutes"
And then later in the same car ride I called my husband and had this conversation with him:
"Hi Honey. I got a phone message on my cell from Brandon asking me if he was still grounded. I was getting a pedicure so I didn't answer it. Did he talk to you?"
"Yep" he said cheerfully "I told him what we talked about, that since he was so vocal yesterday (i.e. he yelled at me) about always being grounded that he should know the answer to that. If he's always grounded than obviously he must be grounded now."
I sniggered. "And what did he say?"
"He said he was joking. And I asked him how funny he thought the joke was now."
"Awesome!" I said in genuine vindictive glee. "Love you, honey. I'll see you at home."
Because what every WME really needs is a partner in crime.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Last Friday night Ben had a make-up t-ball game. We decided to all go as a family and then go to dinner afterwards. He was running around in his t-ball shirt for about thirty minutes prior to time to leave, but without pants. When it was time to go, we instructed him to use the bathroom and come get his pants on. When he did, we realized he had peed all over his long shirt. "Crap" I said to The Man. "Well, he's got to wear it anyway. We don't have another shirt."
"Okay", shrugged The Man and proceeded to tuck the wet "Cubs" shirt into his white pants, cringing a bit as he did it. Little did I know that this would be the more mild of the urine related incidents of the night.
After the game we headed out for Mexican and then decided to stop by Lowes for some things The Man needed, some apparently worthless weed killer, and some new play sand for the kids. As I was taking Clara out of her carseat to put her in the cart I noticed her dress was a little wet. I thought she must have spilled some of her milk from dinner on herself.
Stupid, stupid me.
Well as anyone married to a man would know, there is no such thing as a quick trip to the local hardware store. Forty-five minutes later, I was watching the man debate an employee on the merits of certain kind of self-tapping screws. And well, the natives were getting restless. Clara, in particular was moments away from a complete meltdown. So I decided to take her out and let her walk for a bit while Shane finished his discussion. As I picked her up I noticed she was soaking wet. Pee running down her legs, pooled in the seat of the cart and dripping all over the items in the cart below her. Playsand (fortunately in plastic bags), the darn self-tapping screws, and weed killer alike.
Doing what any worst mama would do, I had an immediate adverse reaction to the fact that I had just coated myself in urine and plopped my sodden princess right back in the seat in her cart. She started screaming and I scrambled in my purse for something to sop up the mess. I found some kleenex and a couple of babywipes. I started trying, uselessly to mop up the items we were going to buy. Giving up, I walked up to The Man, and said
"We need to leave. Now."
As I was explaining the situation, he noticed a trail of urine dripping onto the floor. Quickly grabbing Ben's spare underwear (which for some inexplicable reason I had in my bag, but not another diaper) he wiped it up and we practically ran for the register. Fortunately the sand was so heavy (200 lbs) that the check-out boy scanned it without touching it, but we did put the weed-killer and screws on the counter. When we put them back in our cart The Man and I both noticed distinct wet streaks left behind. We flew out of the store with our purchases.
Once at the van I pulled out the emergency supplies and got Clara cleaned up and changed. We put the purchases on some towels and wiped down the cart as best we could. Then we left. But, I just can't get it out of my head that we actually made the check-out boy, unknowingly touch Clara's urine. Because I couldn't bring myself to mutter the words "Don't touch that, my daughter peed on it."
Ignorance really is bliss.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I wanted to bring you an email my friend sent me, because it seemed so very fitting for our discourse here. This is a tale from Anni, whose son Cyrus was born on Thanksgiving day last year. I used to have a glass of wine while nursing Kate because, I reasoned, the alcohol couldn't possibly get into my system that fast, and then by the time she was ready to eat again, it would be gone. I worried the sight of it was a tad, er, inappropriate, but my desire for wine outweighed my desire to be socially acceptable. This is just one of the many reasons I'm friends with Anni:
We were just up on Mackinac Island for a couple of days and I wanted to
tell you about a high point in my yet-small experience as a vacationing mother.
We were in a bar having dinner (well, waiting for the food). We
ordered beers and they came in those really tall slender glasses. I was
breastfeeding Cyrus and drinking my beer. (I think I breastfed in every
establishment open on the island, since there are only a few places and since it's
before tourist season.) There was this nice couple sitting across from us
trying not to notice. But then I knocked my beer all over myself (and a
little on him) and broke the glass all over the place. So I had to
disengage him from my boob (he protested) while mopping up beer and hoping there
weren't shards of glass in his clothes.... The nice couple nicely
continued to not notice. There was so much beer and glass around that we
just switched tables and Cyrus went over to the other boob. Then the food
came and we ate. When we left the nice couple gave us a big smile and said
a hearty goodbye -- was it sympathy or just amusement? We played it cool,
you know -- who doesn't spill a beer on your breastfeeding baby every now and
then? and having a kid made me even clumsier (though not as much as when I
was pregnant -- I was a total train wreck then).
Saturday, May 3, 2008
The boys, who've been playing kitten-hockey in their room, come thundering down the stairs. "These are the picks for dollars, right?" Ross asks, eyes shining, as he looks down at the list of horse names and silks. They consider the choices and make their selections for Winner, Trifecta, and Lastfecta (a family invention to name the trio who will stagger over the line last). Dimes (for Winner) and quarters (one for each 'fecta) are gathered and Chris calls (his mom) to place our bets.
Yes, yes, our young'uns are already enslaved to betting on horses. Don't call us between 6:00pm and 6:08pm tonight - we'll be glued to the fastest two minutes on television, hoping to win.
Friday, May 2, 2008
"...you don't throw a rock at someone! Even if she's annoying!"
Wait. Threw a rock? What? I skidded out of the kitchen with a thundering, "WHAT DID YOU DO?" The perpetrator looked up as best he could with his chin superglued to his chest. His brother sat looking equally miserable. Chris walked aimless circles in the living room, hands on his head as if watching a train wreck.
With a burst of self-righteousness, Ross cried out, "She (the girl nextdoor) was annoying me! She was STARING AT US!"
"Maybe she wanted to play ball with you guys. Did you think of that? It might have been nice to ask her to join you." I tried for calm and reasonable but might have sounded more incredulous.
Head still hanging, Lars put in, "She's not allowed to play in our yard anymore. And we can't go into hers. Because of the stick." My brow furrowed in confusion. The stick? I thought it was a rock. Before I could say anything, Lars continued, "The stick I hit her with last week when it was an accident and I said I was sorry."
Heart in my shoes, I recapped for clarity. "So let me get this straight. Lars, you hit her with a stick last week so she's not allowed to play here anymore. Today, she was looking into our yard wishing she could come over and, Ross, you threw a rock at her?" Chins come up off chests just enough to nod. I let this sink in, unsure what to do next. I fight an urge to join Chris and circle the living room with my head in my hands. Whose kids are these?
Ok, grip. Must find a grip. I take a deep breath, "Ross, you will write a letter of apology and bring it over after dinner, so you can also apologize in person."
His head snaps up, "What? I can't... I mean, you can't... I DON'T WANT TO GO OVER THERE!" I try not to smirk. I might have found a grip! Contrite or not, the rock thrower had the upper hand for a bit there when I didn't know what to do with him, but cornering him between a writing assignment and an embarrassing social call has clearly reasserted my authority.
It took two drafts but a lot less whining than I anticipated for Ross to write his apology. He finished just after dinner and we went over to deliver it. The closer we got, the slower Ross moved, so I manually propelled him the last few yards to the neighbors' door. I also had to knock, as aliens seemed to have replaced Ross with a lifelike replica rendered in Jell-o. Terrified Tangerine knees or not, Ross managed to hand his envelope to the girl's father, who answered the door, and croaked out a request for the girl to come to the door. While we waited, her little sister filled the time with oblivious conversation as only a five year old in a princess gown can. At last, the girl appeared, also wearing an elaborate ball gown. "I'm sorry," Ross blurted out.
The girl smiled and immediately said, "It's ok, I forgive you," at the same time as her little sister inquired loudly, "For what?" I thought their father was going to burst a lung, he was working so hard not to laugh. Ross took the rising color in his cheeks as a sign of anger though and shrank back into me, unable to say any more.
I nudged him gently and quietly said, "Ross, you need to say what you're sorry for. It's not a secret - just get it out. You'll feel better; everyone will feel better." The girls' father tried to look kindly and used one hand to urge his younger daughter back, away from the door. I could feel Ross' heart beating through his back. We stood there a bit and I whispered, "If you don't do it now, we'll have to come back and try again tomorrow."
"I can't," he whispered and buried his face in my stomach.
I looked up apologetically. "I guess we'll be back tomorrow," I said out loud.
"Bye, Ross," said the girl with a tiny wave at the back of Ross.
"We'll be here," smiled her father. I think he knows how difficult this is, even though I get the feeling his son (now a high school senior) never pitched a rock at another kid.
By the time this is over, Ross and the little girl nextdoor may be old enough to date if a restraining order doesn't get in the way...
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Since we returned from vacation, Lindsay has decided she does not want to wear shoes. Since nearly every interaction could potentially result in a tantrum, I tend to only stress things I feel are very important - either for safety or sanity reasons. An example of the latter would be you must sit in your own chair for a meal and not on Mama's lap. There's nothing unsafe about lap eating - it's just exhausting to constantly have a toddler on top of you. I haven't insisted that she wear shoes. I've asked her a couple of times to let me put them on and accepted her no, and brought her shoes with me for the ensuing arguments about playing on the playground or getting out of her stroller.
"Wan pick fower."
"You may get down if we put on your shoes first."
"No wan shoes."
"Then you may not get down."
I have been letting her out of the stroller a few feet from the door so that she has to take a few steps on the asphalt path and brush rug before getting in the door. She complains, "Feet hurt. Pick me up, peas." I refuse: "This is why we must wear shoes."
But in the back of my head I have this nagging feeling: maybe she grew out of the shoes along with the clothes? They seemed fine the last time she wore them. Maybe I should see if Marshalls is stocking those white Stride Rite sandals already? Am I teaching my nearly 2 retail therapy?