Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dear Kids, SHHHHHH!!!! Love, Mommy

 Last Saturday I had hit my wall.  Hit my parental wall.  Brian had been away on a trip for work that week, so I'd been with the kids 24/7 for several days.  I was tired, achy, and needed a minute - JUST ONE - where someone (aka the "little people" - no, not the midgets) would just stop talking at me, asking questions, fighting, needing something.  I felt like a mom servant.  (As an educational FYI - the word "Mom" in Swahili directly translates to "Hurry up and bring me my legos, bitch")  Every moment of every day revolves around the kids.  Oh, don't get me wrong - I love those babies more than anything in this world.  I love being a mom, and I would literally do anything for those 2.  I miss them when I'm not with them for even an hour, and can't imagine my life without them.  HOWEVER - at some point, we all just need a break.  A BIG HUGE break.  One can only serve to a certain point with a big smile and tons of patience before we reach a point of general insanity.  

The day had started at 7am with the kids jumping in bed with me, serving me a dish of play-doh meatballs.  I had to pretend to eat them with joyful vigor, when all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep for 3 days.  The general jabbering, talking, singing, questions and requests started in as soon as my feet hit the floor.  As I brushed my teeth, they sat on the edge of the tub watching me...wanting to know why my toothpaste was a different color than theirs. I shrugged, as I couldn't speak while brushing my teeth (an awful mother I am - taking time to myself like that!)  Ben wasn't satisfied with the shrug, and proceeded to ask me to same question approximately 46 more times until I was done and could finally answer him...."Because it is, honey.  That's why."   Lauren then made a request for a new toothbrush - a pink Dora toothbrush with BOTH Dora AND Boots on it.  Yes, noted.  Let me stop the presses and run out and grab that for you at a 24 hour Walgreens, sweetheart. 

Once downstairs, as I made their breakfasts, they wanted to know what our plan was for the day.  The dog barked at me reminding me that her food bowl wasn't going to fill itself.  Lauren suggested we head to the library, while Ben decided he'd rather go to the park.  Then they started fighting over which one we were going to do.  Um....hello?? Kids?  Mommy's on the verge of insanity, and as far as I know, insane people aren't allowed at the park or library! 

By 10am, I was just done.  Every 1.3 nanoseconds it was..."Mama, I need more tiny cookies..  Mommy...Lauren colored on my art project....Where's my glitter dress Barbie?  This play-doh is yukky, mama....I have a boo boo on my toe, I need a band-aid.  I need a snack.  I wanna play outside...Can we Skype Grandma?  I miss auntie Sarah...Can we go on a plane, mama?  Can we watch Nemo? Mama, put on Nemo!  I'm thirsty.  Can you get me a new straw?  Ben pushed me.  Can we make cookies today?  Brynn just ate my goldfish, Mommy!"  Is it bad that I didn't bother asking if it was the goldfish crackers or the actual fish in Lauren's room?

Every time my butt hit a comfy chair,  there was another request, problem, question.  I told them mommy's throat hurt so I couldn't talk for a little while.  Which only sparked another round of questions and efforts to "take care of mommy" by feeling my head for a fever and singing me songs to help me get better.  I then took to Facebook to post a status about my day...I always enjoy the "likes" and  comments.  A general sense of camaraderie that makes me feel like we've all been there.  I posted something like "Mommy needs a break"...when what I really wanted to say is.."Mommy needs a stiff drink, a bottle of Xanax, and a padded cell.."   But you never know how these things will be received. 

Brian arrived home at lunchtime to find us playing in the backyard.  Me teary eyed behind my sunglasses.. feeling sorry for myself.  I'd become quite philosophical by that point.  Remembering the carefree days before kids - being able to sit in total quiet and actually hear myself think.  Reading a book.  A whole entire book - in less than a month and more than 2 sentences at a time.  Going to the gym regularly. When I could get up and do errands and not have to run the day's plans by 2 opinionated preschoolers.  When I had time for myself and could sleep soundly without always half listening for the kids in case they need me.  Occasionally spend money on a total splurge and not have to worry about saving that money in case the kids need something.  Always thinking for 3 people instead of just 1.  Brian took one look at me and knew I needed some time out of the house.  I went to Panera and ate a turkey artichoke panini and read US Magazine.  I felt better after drawing devil horns on pics of the Kardashian family.  I then went and sat at Barnes & Noble.  That's one of my favorite things to do with any free time.  I love the smell of coffee and books, and the QUIET.  I find a book and sit in a comfy chair and read.  Yes, it was exactly what I needed.  I came home sane.  Well, more sane that I had been.  Batteries had been recharged so to speak, and when the kids asked me if I wanted some play-doh meatballs, I smiled and said yes...instead of totally losing my shit :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Baked Goods, Underwear & Faith

Nothing says "I have control of this mom gig" like having your underwear exposed to the patrons of your local bakery by your deviant 3 year old son.  I had a sundress on, and my little Benjamin with me.  I had just picked up a few things and we were standing in line...so I had my hands full.  I was vulnerable, and Ben, able to sniff out vulnerability like a wild, rabid wolf under a full moon... just went for it.  He had been holding on to the bottom of my dress...looking sweet and innocent...flashing (no pun intended) smiles at the other customers in line.  When suddenly he just pulled my dress up.  In the following 4 seconds, my thought process went something like this...Oh My God! How many people can see my underwear?  Do I have underwear on? Yes, thank you GOD!  What do I do now? Maybe people won't notice.  No, everyone is looking.  God, please make Ben let go of my dress and I'll totally give all my baked goods to a stranger in need on the way home.  Why don't these bargains with God ever work?  My undies are still in plain sight.  This is karmic payback for that time I absentmindedly told the kids they could get a ferret and then\ didn't follow through. Maybe I should just get them a ferret?  No, Brian will kill me, plus their cages stink.  Just one more living being in the house for me to care for.  They are cute, though.  Don't even know where to get a ferret.  Maybe a hamster?  Cute but stinky.  A fish.   Yes, totally a fish. Less maintenance and easily replaced for when his little tank gets tipped over.  Why is Ben laughing an evil laugh? Must never come to this bakery again.

I then made the decision drop several baked goods and promptly pull my dress down.  Instead of making a big deal by yelling at Ben, I smiled a closed lipped, submissive smile to the other customers and gave them the "mom eye roll."  As if to say..."Oh these kids!  Crazy little rascals....what WILL they think of next?"!! As we waited in line, I thought about ways I could get back at Ben when he's a teenager.  Maybe this is why parents do all sorts of embarrassing things to their kids when they get older. I pictured myself standing on the sidelines of his high school soccer championship game with a house coat on and my hair in big rollers, screaming "Go Bunny!" (his infant nickname).  Then yelling at the coach who made a bad call against my Bunny.  Calling the parents of kids on the other team when I don't like their attitude.  Ben riding in the backseat of my 1960 wood paneled station wagon while we pull out of the parking lot of the big game while I listen to Wayne Newton on full volume with the windows down.  As they say....revenge is a dish best served cold...and in a house coat. 

Meanwhile, on a more wholesome note...Brian & I took the kids to church last Sunday for the first time in a long time.  In addition to me wanting to get back to church, I really want to give my children a basis of having a faith as my parents did for me.  For obvious reasons, we've been reluctant to bring a 3 & 4 year old to church for a 1 hour mass.  But they did fantastic!  They sat quietly and seemed to really enjoy the music.  I couldn't have asked for anything more.  Of course, on the way home there were lots of questions...like "Mommy, how old is God?  Is God in Kindergarten?  What's God's last name?"   Hmmmm.  How do I answer these questions?  I briefly contemplated something like "Sweetie, would you like to get some ice cream?"  But instead I opted for a more honest approach...and explained that these would be great questions to ask Grandma & Grandpa when they go up for their next sleepover! :)   It did get me thinking about how as the kids get older, the more hard questions about life they're going to ask, and I need to be prepared to answer the questions we all wonder about...like -  What's it all about?  Is there a Heaven?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  How is it that Ryan Seacrest keeps showing up on my tv and radio, and is he really a permanent fixture on New Years Rockin' Eve? 
Yes, must be prepared for these toughies.  This Ryan Seacrest Entertainment Empire is only getting bigger and is sure to test the faith of many. 
In the meantime, I've learned a big lesson this week...which is not to wear a sundress to church if I'm bringing Ben.