Being A Mom Is Madness

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I have to admit, I don’t always enjoy being a mother. In fact, there are some days I absolutely hate it. Those are the days I wish daycare was a 24 hour thing, and you only had to pick them up when you feel like it. The days where all I want to do is hide under the covers until they both disappear. I am stressed, pushed to my max capacity, and pretty sure my head is going to explode.

My typical week day starts at 5 am with a pot of coffee, and the intent to participate in some sort of physical exercise. All to often the extent of this is couch squats, where I get up and down from the couch to refresh my coffee, let the cat in/out, or go to the bathroom. I fold laundry, do the dishes, sweep the floor, put blankets away, and fix the couch cushions. By 6 am I am lumbering into the shower, with an industrial sized razor, to shave off the inch of hair that grew overnight and wash the key body parts. Arm pits, under boob, face, butt, and vagina; the usual. Dry off, get dressed, paint my face. And so the madness begins.

  • 6:30 am it’s time to wake the tiny people whose heads barely stick out from their mountain of blankets. This includes, but not limited to, singing at a high volume, bouncing them off their mattresses, throwing the cat on them, and stripping all blankets from their beds. Related, our house is usually between 57 and 60 degrees first thing in the morning. A brief weather report is recited before leaving them to get themselves dressed and downstairs. Breakfast, teeth brushed. Coats and boots on.
  • 7:25 am we are leaving the house to start our journey through the galaxy .
  • 7:40 am tiny person #1 is at preschool.
  • 7:45 am tiny person #2 is at elementary school.
  • 7:50 am I am at work. Paper work, spreadsheets, budgets, herding kittens, etc..
  • 4:35 pm it’s off to pick up #2 at after school care, followed by #1 at hers.
  • 5:15 pm home to start dinner.
  • 6:00 pm is time for the tiny people to clear off the table and set it; followed by dinner at 6:15 pm.
  • 6:45 pm table is clear and a previously designated tiny person and myself are doing dishes.
  • 7 pm showers and teeth.
  • 7:30 pm phone call from daddy 3,000 miles away.
  • 7:45 pm kids are duck taped snugly in their beds.

There are nights when I will fold more laundry, sweep the floors, etc., but in all honesty, I don’t feel like doing shit after 8 pm.

By the time Saturday rolls around, I’m toast. I don’t want to do anything but drink mimosas and eat grapes on the terrace which I don’t own.  I end up spending my days dreaming of a different life. Perhaps I have a nanny to help, or maybe even a healthier income that allows me to take my kids on weekend vacations. I dream of having someone around to help me in my daily endeavors of mommy hood. Someone who will have the toilet cleaned by the time I roll out of bed, and then offer to rub my feet. By the time I’m done daydreaming of ridiculous things it’s time to clean the toilet that won’t clean itself, wash more laundry, drive to basketball practice, hang out at the mountain as my son dreams of becoming the next Shaun White, wash the floors, maybe dust clean up tooth paste, grocery shop, and cook. I thank the good lord above when we are invited over to a friend’s house so i can forget about the mess that is my house for a few hours. Where my kids can run around with their friends, and there is a cold beer in my hand.

Now that I think about it, despite the non stop single action parenting I have going on, every Sunday night I climb into bed and smile. My kids went to bed happy, my house is clean-ish, and I’ve accomplished more than most double action parents I know. I keep the roof over our heads, the food on our plates, and the crayons in the living room. There isn’t a day where my kids don’t make me smile at least a dozen times, and my heart swells 10 times bigger every time they say “I love you mommy”. They are growing up to be independent functioning human beings. They can get their own breakfast, make mine, sweep the floors, fold laundry, put laundry away, help with dinner, set the table, do the dishes, make their beds, and feed the cat. They are loud and I want to strangle them, they are messy, like little tornadoes, and they tend to whine and cry. They’re children. They’re not perfect, and they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.

Despite my fleeting thoughts of running away, eating my kids, and hiding under the covers; being a mother is a pretty rewarding job. I look forward to seeing what they will both accomplish when they are older, and what kid of people they will turn into. With that being said, it would be nice to have a Fernando, a manny, a sugar daddy, or at LEAST win the lottery. I would even take little elves coming into my house, cleaning it, and putting dinner in the crock pot. A girl can dream, after all.

Child Haters Don’t Drink Coffee, Obviously

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“Having kids means a family has more love and happiness than other people.”

This was according to my eight year old son during his daily morning ramble on the way to school this morning. Naturally, because I am a horrible wonderful mother, I decided to address this grave misunderstanding sentimental view. When I asked for clarification on what he said, he told me that families who decide to have kids are generally happier and love more things than a family without kids. In fact, a family without kids doesn’t actually fall under the category of “family”. Again, because I’m horrible wonderful, I asked, “You know there are people who don’t like kids, right?”

If my son had been driving, we would have been in the ditch for sure. My question brought out a response from him similar to if I had just lobbed a baby deer at his head. Evidently the thought of someone NOT liking kids is completely unfathomable to small children. “Mommy! We are fun, and snuggle, and play with toys…everyone likes kids!”

You guys are also loud, and obnoxious, and messy, and smelly, not to mention expensive! You know how I threaten to eat you in the morning? *shining mom moment* I asked, “That’s how some people feel about kids all the time. You’re lucky I only feel this way about you before I’m done with my coffee or when I’m really tired.”

As per usual, my daughter chimed in with the perfect response, “Maybe those people should just drink more coffee.”

There you have it, child haters, drink more coffee and you’ll like kids.

Through The Solar System

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You say Honda Pilot, I say oversized grocery getter space ship. A nice big grey spaceship that takes me and my children for a ride through the solar system every morning. You would think that getting kids into a whistling shit can jet powered spaceship every morning would be easy, but no, it’s just like every other morning. Even astronauts need to brush their teeth, put on clean underwear, and match their shoes.

Over the course of the last year we have mapped out the entire solar system for our morning commute. The house is Venus (I obviously chose that one) The general store is the moon, our friend’s house on the way is Mars (it’s filled with boys), the daycare is Pluto, the sharp turn on the road is Saturn (the tired tracks are the rings), the school is Mercury, and the day camp is the sun. I’m guessing my work is the landing pad, but my fellow astronauts are never with me upon my arrival.

For the most part, our daily trip through space is pretty much the same. We talk about the different atmospheres in space, if aliens are real, and how close to the sun you can get before you start to melt. We talk about what kind of cheese the moon would be made of and if there is chocolate milk in the milky way. We picture ourselves jumping across clouds as we come back into orbit, and sliding down rainbows. You know, the usual.

This morning it started pouring about 5 minutes before we left, and then came the thunder and lightening. I could tell that getting the kids, especially my daughter, out the door was going to prove……difficult. I ended up going outside and moving the car to the end of the walkway so the raincoat clad children could scurry out and jump right in. As I jumped in the drivers seat Theo yells, “Meteor!” as a clap of thunder boomed.

Suddenly our usual safe, but educational, ride through the solar system was a dangerous adventure peppered with meteors. As the space ship took off, we hit a puddle. “We’ve been hit!” both kids yelled. Every puddle we hit was another meteor strike. Would we make it? No one knew. They counted each strike, and talked about the aliens would come and save us if we got stranded. By the end we were struck by 10 (maybe more) meteors, but our ship seemed to be in one piece.

We survived today’s ride through the solar system, but there’s no telling what tomorrow will bring.

The First And The Last

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There’s something about your first born that will always hold a special place in your heart. You will never forget the moment you first looked into their eyes or their first steps. As they grow up every moment is magical. You’re in constant amazement about what they do, what they accomplish. The first report card. The first art project brought home. Even the first bad report home from school. Life became a magnificent adventure the moment your first born entered the world. When I look at my son every day I see me in him; his facial expressions, his laughter, even his emotions. He is an extension of me, yet so much his own person. Serious and meticulous. Perfectionist and realist. At 7 years old he has already taken on so much of the world. He’s my little soldier who will grow into a wonderful man some day.

Your first born brings you magic, but your last born (regardless of if they’re your second of fifth) will always bring you heart ache. Not the heart ache you feel when you lose a loved one. It’s the heart ache of knowing you will never have these moments again. When you first look into their eyes or watch them take their first steps, it’s the last time you will ever experience those moments again. This little person is trying to catch up with their older sibling so everything goes by faster as if it is a race for the finish line. Each day is a competition of who can be the funniest, the saddest, and get mom’s attention. As you listen to the laughter and dry the tears you want to cherish each moment, but you can’t because they are already two moments ahead of you.

Every time you reach out to hold on to the baby they once were, you’re reminded that you will never have another baby. Your sleepless nights are over, and there are no more diapers to change. No more breastfeeding. No more sweet baby cuddles. You ask yourself if you did everything you could to cherish each of those moments. Question if you will remember them forever. Your heart breaks the more you think of all their firsts that have become your lasts.

This is how I feel every March 19th as my last born turns another year older. I watch her go through the house like a tornado, and it makes me smile as a tear rolls down my face. She’s getting so big. In just 5 short years she has become her own person. So strong. So independent. So damn stubborn. As her once chubby cheeks melt away, a beautiful girl emerges and I want push her back to when she was one. She has a purse full of make up that I secretly want to throw away in the middle of the night and replace with a binky. I want to close my eyes and open them to see a sleeping baby in a crib, not a little girl, with glitter remnants on her face, sleeping on a twin sized mattress.

I can’t believe 5 years has gone by already; that I am five years further away from the baby I first held in my arms. I’ll never get those years back. I’ll never feel that same joy again. Today my heart breaks because my baby turns 5, but today I smile because I have raised that baby to be the little girl she is today. Some day she will grow up to be a beautiful woman next to her handsome brother, and all the magic and heartache will make sense.

 

Santa’s Ass In Relation To Cookie Consumption

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It happens. Every single year, it happens. Without fail thanks to Rudolf.

Christmas.

I have to admit that, as an adult, I tend to be a bit of a Scrooge. I’m not 100% why I’m horrible at buying people gifts bu I am. I tend to grump around behind my children’s backs, mumbling and grumbling. When they turn around I smile BIG and fill myself with fake Christmas cheer. “Yay for Christmas! Woo hoo!” “Damn it all to hell with shopping lines, noisy toys, batteries, and fucking wrapping paper.” I think I secretly hope my kids will stop believing in Santa Clause just so I don’t have to buy the extra presents from the fat man. Even though I know I still will. I wish they would just be happy with stockings and all the trinkets and gadgets that will fit into the two feet of hand knitted wonderment. How great would that be? Nothing but toothbrushes, dental floss, stickers, fake tattoos, scented pencils, electric fly swatters, and socks. A parent’s dream to have a Christmas that costs less than $100 per child. *sigh*

I do have to admit, however, that there is one part of Christmas I absolutely adore. Santa’s cookies. Whether you buy them at the store or slave in the kitchen all day, as a parent, you can’t wait for the kids to go to bed so you can dig in….and make a mess. Once the coast is clear, you go to the table and smile at the hand written note as you take your first bite of cookie and the crumbs fall to the table. Because you’re Santa, you’re allowed to let crumbs fall and leave them. You might even spill some milk. Maybe you’ll even leave part of the reindeer’s carrot half eaten. After all you’re pulling double duty, and playing the roll of Santa and the reindeer entitles you to making a mess.

My kids love to leave cookies and a note out for Santa. They start working up to it a month in advance, planning what kind of cookies to leave out, was last year’s choice better or worse, does Santa actually like cookies and milk? This Santa would prefer a vodka tonic and bacon wrapped scallops, but it would be hard to sell the kids on that one.

Last night the cookie conversation came up due to Pheobe describing the gingerbread house she made at daycare. She stood there talking about the candy and the frosting when suddenly Theo cut in, “And Santa is going to eat it!” Cue crickets, followed by a resounding “NO!” Evidently there was no way in hell the fat man was going to eat her gingerbread house, the one she painstakingly worked on for two days.

“Santa ate mine last year,” snickered Theo.

“That’s right,” I said. “Santa ate the roof and all the candy around it.” You know, all the good stuff.

“So………” said the peanut gallery “does that go straight to Santa’s ass?”

Yes, yes it does. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my new boyfriend Steve. He’s fitting in quite nicely with all the sarcasm and tomfoolery. Happy Holidays!

Princess Ninja

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When the ultrasound tech looked at me and told me I was having a boy I could have shit myself in excitement. One of my biggest fears when I first found out I was pregnant was that I would have a girl.

Camping I know about. Getting dirty I know about. Superheroes I know about.

Getting dressed up although I crave it confuses me. Tiaras upset me. Fashion makes me want to vomit.

Girly things are no good in my book. Unless of course you’re turning it into a slutty Halloween costume. To me it was always about the slutty Halloween costume, not the everyday dog and pony show most women put on. If I could go without a bra and not serious injure those around me I would. If I could shave my head and not find myself suddenly single, I would. If I could live in a yurt, go with dirt under my finger nails, play with army men, and build tree forts every day of my life…..I would. I love my tom boy self and all the stereotypes that come with it. I was made to have boys.

Granted I like to dress up every now and then, and I have a hard time leaving the house without some form of makeup slathering my face, but it’s all usually short lived. Within an hour of wearing a pretty dress I’m sitting with my legs wide open and fishing for a runaway boob in my bra. My make-up goes on at 6:45 in the morning. That’s it. I don’t touch it up throughout the day with the exception of lipstick and usually come home looking eerily similar to how I did at 6:44 that morning. And I’m ok with all this. And I’m ok with having a boy. He gets me. He puts on fairy wings to amuse me and promptly takes them off to go wipe out the enemy forces he previously lined up in the corner of the playroom. He’s cool. We connect.

When the ultrasound tech looked at me and told me I was having a girl back in 2008 I cheered knowing this would be the last stint of up-all-nights and vomit stained clothes I’d have to endure, but inside I was in a panic. I wanted to hide under the table or rock in a corner knowing soon everything I knew was right in this world would soon come to a crashing halt. Soon there would be princess things in my house. Soon I would have to coo the words “you’re so pretty” every 5 minutes. Cute hair cuts, pretty dresses, and glitter would soon consume me. I was sure of this. God help me, I was having a girl and I had absolutely no idea on how to raise one.

It was just my luck she was born with long hair(for a baby) and required hair ties and bows almost immediately. Everything was pink, including the skull prints. There were flowers and bunnies everywhere and princess castles marked almost every blankie that came into the house. I tried to battle the princess prints with brown and green hues but lost every time. Even as she got older pink infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. Even my son couldn’t escape the waves of pink and glitter that made its way through the barricades. We were helpless, but we battled on.

Slowly we overcame and the color pink diminished slightly. We started to see more swords and nerf guns enter the house, and after 20 years on tv the Power Rangers became a prominent staple in the playroom. For her birthday my daughter asked for a dinosaur, squeals gleefully and she’s now convinced she’s a ninja. Granted her ninja persona often incorporates beaded necklaces and a princess crown, but her mismatched socks are still pulled up to her knees with only one shoe on and a rubber sword shoved down the back of her shirt. It is safe to say we have reached a truce in the battle of male vs female. That is of course until she comes to me for princess fashion advice with big puppy dog eyes and asks, “Mommy does a princess wear dresses like this?” Then all I can do is smile and say, “Yes sweetie, princesses wear dressed like that all the time.”

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What Happened To Imagination?

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-Two hard plastic kiddie pools
-Two plastic lawn chairs
-One slide shaped like an elephant
-One toddler swing set with a slide
-Three five gallon buckets
-One broken plastic flower pot
-About 100 puka shells scattered about
-Three bikes
-One tow behind for a bike…..without wheels
-One garden hose
-64oz of liquid bubble bath
-Four tree stumps
-Enough sticks to shake a stick at
-One easel
-One oversized rubber ducky
-One broken bird feeder
-One beach umbrella
-And numerous other little items for tinkering

These are the items in my back yard. When I was a kid all this stuff would have entertained me for days! I would have had forts built everywhere forming my own little city. My imaginary friends would play with my and my real life friends. Out the door we would head after breakfast to our own little world. Normally I would be out there with a bucket of nails and my father’s hammer to continue my own version of urban sprawl.
If I wasn’t in the mood to govern the people of my back yard I would take a couple blankets and pillows and trudge my way to the center of pucker brush and lay down for hours watching the clouds roll by as I sang to myself. On hotter days I would fill a basket with paint and head out to the stream where I had put an old board down as a bridge. There I would paint my landscapes and pretend to jump into them like in Mary Poppins and have an adventure….where I would more than likely end up soaked from splashing in the stream.
That’s what I did as a kid growing up in Maine. My imagination was more powerful than any high speed computer and my little world was more wonderful than any animated movie. And this is the dream I had for my kids. This is why my backyard is full of odds and ends. And they do great with it….for the most part. But the influence of modern society with video games, air conditioning, HD movies, and tablets has delayed their experience as real children. I want them to end their day dirty. I want them to have scrapes on their knees. Want them to know how to swing a hammer by the time they’re 7. I want them to explore under rocks and behind trees. I want them to feel the joy of watching clouds. I want them to find the imaginary things.

Sp this summer I’m pushing for imaginations to run wild! I pushing for dirty children! I’m pushing for less tv and more quality time! I know our kids can’t live the lives we did, for obvious reasons, but they can live a wonderful, fun, and new one with us enjoying it with them. So get out there with your kids. Plant a garden, build sandcastles and fairy houses, go hiking, camp in a tent, and paint rocks. This summer enjoy being the kid you once were while your kids enjoy being the kids they can be.
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