Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lesson 39: You Are Enough

It’s 10:30 at night and I should really be sleeping. I should probably be a doing a lot of things but I learned a long time ago not to should all over myself. I read that once and it struck me funny, that expression of “shoulding all over yourself”. I had actually forgotten about it and had a bad case of the shoulds recently. Shoulding all over ourselves makes us feel downright, well, crappy. We don’t feel adequate because we didn’t do whatever someone thinks we “should” have done. We feel guilty because we took a minute for ourselves instead of doing what we feel “should” have been done around the house, at work, at church, at school, wherever. We don’t enjoy the delicious foods we do eat and skip the chocolate cake we want to eat because we “should” eat a salad. We aren’t happy because we “should” be more effective, able to do it all, happier, better. By shoulding all over ourselves, we snuff our light right out. We beat ourselves down. We become tired. We become frustrated. We become hassled, harried, discontent. Our sometimes unrealistic expectations of what life “should” be like and how we “should” be handling it are like a weight around our necks, dragging us down and sucking out our joy. We should ourselves right out of happiness.

When we spend time thinking about the things we “should” be doing, we are devaluing what we actually ARE doing, which is usually a lot. The worst part is that when we get in the habit of shoulding all over ourselves, the shoulds start spilling over onto our children. We begin to think about what they “should” be, rather than celebrating what they are. As a mom of busy, loud boys, I often find myself shoulding on them as I observe other families. Instead of appreciating their sense of adventure and boisterous love of life, I find myself thinking my boys “should” be less rambunctious and quite a lot quieter. I think it goes without saying (but this is the internet and you may not know me personally so I will say it) that there are certainly standards of behavior that need to be adhered to, and there is definitely a time and place for certain things. I’m not referring to those things (of course my kids need to act appropriately in the store, and I hold them to the expectation that they will not swing from the rafters like spider monkeys in the middle of Walmart). I’m referring to the general personalities of our children. This “shoulding” on our kids often happens when a child does something unexpected or doesn’t meet our expectations, even if they are age appropriate. For example, my then 5 year old son was super excited to play soccer. That is, until he got to the soccer field, where he most often refused to set foot on the field and when he did, often devolved into running after other kids with his dinosaur claws out yelling “ROAR”! This is terribly funny to me now, but at the time I was mortified. WHY wouldn’t he play like the other kids? WHY wouldn’t he join his friends? WHY was he acting like a total whackadoo? Um, he was 5 that’s why. You may find yourself feeling that your child “should” be more outgoing, less shy, more active, less active, a better eater, whatever. These “shoulds” become our wishes upon stars. We expend energy on wishing our children were different instead of recognizing that while they may not be the same as other children, they are just as they were meant to be.

I watched a movie recently that really made me think, charting the course for this post. That’s why I was writing at 10:30 at night instead of going to sleep.  The movie wasn’t what I expected but it was exactly what I needed. I was expecting a comedy about moms, and 6 minutes in I texted my two good friends because I was laughing so much. This mom was living my life on screen! I could literally feel her pain. It was funny because it was real. But the movie went on and touched on just the right nerve for me. It got so so SO real. I don’t know whether you pray or not, but I do. I pray about being a mom a LOT. I pray and I beg God to help me do it better. To love better. To respond better. To do better. To be better. I spend a LOT of time “shoulding” all over my parenting at the end of the day. A LOT. You may be familiar with this line of thinking: I should have said this; I should have done that; I should have been more attentive; I should have been more assertive; I should have done it BETTER.  In something so simple as watching a movie, God finally showed me the answer that I have been searching for. I don’t need to do it better; I just need to do it. I may need to do some things differently, but THE MOST important thing is that I wake up every morning and be there for these children that He gave to me. Watching those moms on screen, all at different stages of parenting, all going through their own struggles and all feeling inadequate made it painfully clear and simple. The overall message of the movie was YOU ARE ENOUGH. I know, kind of cliché in these times, but a message that is so true and so often lost.

So I’m here to remind you not to “should all over yourself”, especially as a parent. Whatever you did instead of those “shoulds” is ok. It’s ok that you said no to volunteering this time. It’s ok that you didn’t get the laundry, dishes, sweeping, whatever done. It’s ok that you spent some time reading/walking/sleeping/ sitting/whatever instead. It’s ok that you got take out tonight to save your sanity. It’s ok that you skipped baths just this once. We get so caught up in the frenzied pace of life that the little voice in our head starts in with the shoulds the second we deviate from our normal hectic routine. But guess what? You will be ok. Everything will be ok. YOU get to decide what you and your family need, not someone else and certainly not someone else’s expectation of you. YOU are the one. And YOU ARE ENOUGH. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lesson #38: Reality Bites

My problem has always been that I get an image in my head of how something will go, and inevitably end up disappointed when reality does not live up to the wonders my mind creates. Case in point: summer vacation.

Here’s how the summer looked in my mind:
The boys outside riding bikes at all hours, playing in the yard as I sat in the shade reading and enjoying the sound of their laughter. Trips to the beach where we would hang out for half the day, happy and sandy, cooling ourselves in the water and munching on snacks. Day trips exploring the area, where we would discover local hidden gems. Messy outdoor crafts and water play and time in the pool. It was going to be so great.

Here’s the reality:
The boys got tired of pretty much every activity we have within a matter of about two weeks. I now have to declare it Outside Time and lock all the doors behind us to make them stay outside so they don’t sneak back in to watch TV and get into snacks. Even then, it’s so hot and humid that they play for about 15 minutes before becoming soggy, sweaty messes and begging to go inside where it’s cool. What about the pool, I ask. They want to wait until Daddy gets home, or won’t go in unless I am going in. What about the water table? The little one won’t play with it unless the big one is; the big one refuses on principle. They beg to go to the beach, one of my favorite summer past times. I would love nothing more than to take them to the beach. However, my mind didn’t take into account this pregnant body. The heat takes its toll quickly, making me sick if I get too hot. I can’t get comfortable on a sofa, let alone a beach. There is no way to position myself on a towel or blanket that doesn’t cause discomfort or indecent exposure. I can’t take a camp chair because, well, I can’t get OUT of a camp chair once I get into one. Not even joking. I had to have my husband help me out of a camp chair as I wobbled back and forth like a Weeble, unable to heft myself to my feet. Then there’s the matter of having to use the bathroom literally every 20 seconds. Packing up two boys and heading to the restroom with them in tow every other minute does not equal a fun beach day. The only thing beached this summer is me; a beached freaking whale. We can’t really “do” the park either, since there is virtually no shade at the parks we frequent. If we manage to get there at just the right time of day there MIGHT be one bench with a shady-ish spot on it, but it is always taken up by one mom and her 57 bags, or by several people’s bags while they buzz around watching their kids. Trips to anywhere are pretty much out of the question at this point in time anyway, since riding in the car brings such discomfort that I just can’t even. And, of course, once we get to wherever we’re going, even if it’s only across town, I often have to hobble around like a 90 year old woman due to the sciatic pain shooting through my butt cheek. Fun times.

The other reason summer vacation is not quite what I saw in my mind’s eye is that boys are like bulldozers on crack. They leave a path of destruction so wide and so long there is no hope of ever repairing the damage. They are loud; they are rough; they break things and spill things and leave crumbs on every surface imaginable. They get into things when I’m in the bathroom; they eat all the cookies (and chocolate chips and marshmallows and sneak chocolate syrup) while I shower; they fight like rabid dogs; they trash their room so badly I can’t even walk in it. They run away and hide on me when we’re outside; they chase the cat; they splash water all over the bathroom. I have to say things like, “WHY is there pee all over this floor?!” and “You have to flush the toilet EVERY TIME you go to the bathroom. EVERY. TIME.” and “Do NOT lick the cat!” By 10am I’ve done enough refereeing to last me a lifetime. It’s probably a good thing I’m pregnant so I can’t start drinking.

Here’s a confession: I used to think that stay at home moms were kind of jerk-y for celebrating the return of school so much. Taking for granted those lazy summer days that the rest of us working moms had to ration like precious  sips of water in the desert! How could they?! Lucky them, getting to spend all that time with their babies; time that my colleagues and I only dreamt of. Now that I have spent exactly 78 very long days in a row mostly alone with both children at the same time, I can safely say that I get it. I so get it. 

Everyone talks about being “in the moment” and enjoying it but I find that being in the moment is what sucks the joy out of my day. Moms of rowdy boys know that every moment brings another mess, another argument, another frustration to deal with, constantly. I spend entirely too much time “in the moment”, stewing about how I JUST mopped the floor and it’s sticky and spotted again; how I JUST gave someone a snack yet they are in the fridge again trying to get another; how they seem to think the floor is a trash can because I have found YET ANOTHER wrapper, cup, plate, trail of crumbs; how ONCE AGAIN the toilet seat is up and there’s pee just hanging out in the toilet waiting to be flushed; how they JUST had their room clean last week and now I can barely walk through it again. It’s exhausting. It makes me tired. It turns me into an unhappy hag. It takes something away from us.

So yes, I get it. I understand now because I, too, long for those days ahead when both boys will be in school all day and I will get a quiet minute, a floor that stays clean for longer than 30 seconds, an errand that gets done in a timely manner, a complete thought passing through my brain. Yet at the same time, I know that once the rush of school begins I will miss them. I will feel like I never get to see them. They will get home at 4:00 and we will play outside for a bit, have dinner, and then it will be time for baths and bed. I will only see them for the 2-3 hours in the morning before school (yes they wake up that early and school starts that late) and the 2-3 hours in the evening before bedtime. I will want more of them. I won’t remember all the things above that make me feel like I am slowly going insane. Instead, I will remember the time we used frozen finger paints in the morning sunshine; playdates with friends; splashing in the backyard pool; the puppet show at the library; playing with spray bottles; visiting the farm stand; making s’mores around the fire; the day we baked banana bread for the first time.

As the dog days of August propel us towards that bittersweet September day when my babies will again have to be shared, I will do my best to celebrate each day from now until then. I will try my hardest to be fun again. I will try NOT to be “in the moment”, but rather to focus on and see clearly the memories I have collected within, around, and between moments. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lesson #37: Love Is A Battlefield

Pat Benatar wasn’t wrong. I bet she wasn’t even talking about romance; she probably just had a couple of kids at home waging the next world war. Think about it: “I’m trapped by your love and I’m chained to your side”. Sounds a lot like parenthood don’tcha think?

My kids don’t hate each other alllll the time but they definitely go through cycles where they constantly bicker anytime they are in shouting-or striking- distance of each other. I’m not sure whether it’s the time of year, the changing seasons or if there’s a full moon coming up, but right now we’re smack dab in the middle of one of their cycles and there’s no end in sight. From the moment they wake up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night, its one big battle of wills. Whether it’s the 7 year old being overly sensitive and/or bossy, or the 4 year old being purposely destructive or pushing someone’s buttons just because he can, it’s one thing or another.  Every. Second. Of. The. Day.  I might as well start wearing black and white stripes, as many fights as I’m refereeing on a daily basis.

It starts about the time they wake up and start arguing over who gets to lay beside me when they come into my room. This is the most absurd and irritating of all arguments to hear, especially at 6am, because Daddy is already at work at that time so they lay on either side of me which means THEY ARE BOTH BESIDE ME! But whoever gets on Daddy’s side of the bed is the one who is lying “by mom” apparently. The other side of my body doesn’t count I guess.

Toys aren’t even fun anymore. Case in point: Legos. They recently decided they love to fight over play with the slightly larger set we have. That is, until they want the same piece and come to a battle of epic proportions over said piece. It typically goes down like this: they start arguing over the piece, the younger one tires of that noise and goes all primal, smashing the older one’s “ship”, sending him into a screaming, teary rage. This is a bit of a sticky situation in which I find myself a little torn about how to respond. On the one hand, Mr. Destructo should absolutely not have smashed his brother’s work. That was unkind and wrong. On the other hand, Lord Business also needs to realize that Lego creations don’t last forever. You can’t hoard 2/3 of the Lego set on the premise of it belonging to your “ship” that can never be broken, ever.

The 7 year old has recently started expressing that he wants some space. He will often take a book and attempt to sit in a quiet spot to read. Of course, his brother follows him wherever he goes. This continues as they move from spot to spot until Older gets frustrated and starts yelling at Younger and they wind up in yet another epic battle. That battle typically goes down like this: older screaming that he hates having a brother and wants to be ALONE while Younger cries that he doesn’t have anybody to play with and just wants to play. Younger quickly tires of all the words and resorts to aggressively chasing after Older as Older screams “HE’S TRYING TO HURT ME” at the top of his lungs. Another sticky situation as a parent. We all need our space, and I fully support Older being able to move away and have some time to himself. That said, you are part of a family and can’t expect that you can be by yourself at all times. TRUST ME. If alone time were that easy to come by, Mommy wouldn’t have a headache right now. And try explaining to a 4 year old that his brother doesn’t want to play with him because he always breaks his work, tries to hurt him, and won’t listen to him. It’s kind of like explaining algebra to a cat; he just doesn’t get it.

I wondered whether it was that they were both boys, or that they are fairly close in age that was fueling the fires of discontent, but in talking with a few other moms it seems that neither of these things is the case. A friend with boys older than mine echoed my experience of them egging each other on and bickering over anything and everything.  A neighbor with daughters nine years apart in age shared that the bickering starts the moment the oldest walks in the door at her house as well.

Perhaps the changing of the seasons, with one day a summery 84 degrees and the next a chilly in contrast 61 degrees is getting to everyone. Maybe it’s the school year coming to a close and the impending change that is sneaking into their subconscious minds and causing discord. Or maybe they’re just brats. Your guess is as good as mine. I keep thinking about how they’re both going to be in school all day come September and it gets me through the day. Until I remember that by then, or shortly thereafter, I will be the sleep deprived mom of a new baby AND two battling school agers. The cherry on top? I just realized this morning that by the time the 4 year gets through the bratacular phase, the baby will just be entering the bratty years. I’ll have at least one child acting like a giant brat for the next 6 years, and by that time the 7 year old will be a teenager. Dear God. Pass the Xanax.    

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lesson #35: Use The Vacuum

If you have carpets, this is probably obvious to you. If you don’t have carpets and this is still obvious to you, congratulations: the mommy brain hasn’t completely taken over. The force is strong with you. For the rest of us (or maybe it’s just me, sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake), this lesson will save that wee little bit of sanity that’s threatening to fly away at the discovery of the next crushed goldfish cracker or stray Cheerio.

We've had hardwood floors for many years and only kept a vacuum around because the enclosed porch at our old house had carpet and every once in a blue moon we figured it would be a good idea to vacuum it. We also have a dog that sheds more than should ever be possible for an animal. I’m not exaggerating when I say that you could fashion a life sized Dachshund out of all the hair he sheds on a daily basis. Brushing him frequently only leads to even more shedding which makes no sense to me. Anyway, dog hair has been the bane of my existence for the last 13 years and 11 months. That's a long, long time. This dog is almost 15 (what dog even lives that long??!!) and became “our” dog when he was a year old and I met my husband. I cannot stand dog hair and his excessive shedding leaves me battling tumbleweeds on a daily basis. 

My typical floor cleaning routine is to use the Swiffer Sweeper Vac to pick up ONLY the dog hair since the stupid thing will not suck up ANYTHING else, not even a crumb or a piece of dirt. Once I've run from room to room with it, only getting about 50% of said dog hair since it starts dying approximately 2.5 seconds after I turn it on even though it’s been charging for three days, I must then break out the broom and go through the whole house again getting all the crumbs, dirt, cereal, pretzels, popcorn kernels, crackers and other random crap that my kids drop all over the place.

Then one day as I was walking out of the laundry room I spied the ole Hoover sitting over in the corner all “Hey Girl. How YOU doin?”
“Oh Hoover,” I thought, “What kind of game are you running?” 
I stepped closer to examine it and that’s when I spied it. There it was, plain as day: a setting marked Bare Floors. Jesus, Mary and Joseph I've found it! The Holy Grail of floor cleaning! 

This is the exact text that I sent my husband that day:
I've had a breakthrough. Usually I hate doing floors because I have to Swiffer to get the dog hair and it always loses power before I am done. THEN I have to go through AGAIN with the broom and get all the crumbs and crap the Swiffer doesn’t get. Well… We have this magical little machine that can do both AT THE SAME TIME! It’s called a vacuum and it’s my friend.”

Yes friends, that day will go down in history. It will forever be known as The Awakening. OK maybe not, but it seriously makes me happy that I can go through my house ONE TIME and when I’m done the floors are actually clean. Not sorta clean, not almost clean but actually bare. No lingering dog hairs or dust. Nada. There is something really satisfying about sucking all the dog hair out of that little space between the fridge and the counter.

Oh, and I also have a little “helper” in my house. He’s about 3 feet tall and his helping usually runs more towards the Lucy in the candy factory variety than the actually helpful variety. But this neat little jobbie is just perfect for a little helper! It takes about 90 years for him to vacuum a one foot by one foot area, so mama gets a break AND doesn't have to clean! Score!  

It really is the little things in life. Don’tcha think?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lesson #34: Never Take A Shower

If you have read this blog, you know that the bathroom is pretty much my nemesis. My arch-enemy. The Kryptonite to my Superman. The pin to my balloon. The rain to my parade. It is the place where privacy died. It is the place where epic messes are made. It is the place that holds me hostage while my children attempt to take over the world (or at least eat all the marshmallows while dancing to Kesha radio on Pandora).

This particular day, I was sudsing up when both children barged in, double trouble. My 3 year old whipped open the cloth shower curtain and sat down on the outside of the tub, peering in at me in all my glory through the clear plastic curtain. Like he was ready to have a fireside chat or something. Meanwhile, his brother announced loudly that he needed to GO POOP.

As I'm sure you can imagine, things went downhill from there.

A few minutes later, after banishing him from the tub-side peep show, the 3 year old was crying because he had climbed into the sink and couldn't get down. I'm still not sure exactly how he got up there. I swear he has some kind of spider monkey powers or something.

"I'm stuck! I can't get down! Help me! Help me!"
"I'm in the shower, I can't help you right now."
"But I can't get down! Help me! HELP MEEEE!!!!"
"You climbed up, just climb down the same way you climbed up."

About that time, big brother started using yards of toilet paper to wipe himself. I cautioned that he was using far too much but to no avail.

"Um, mom the toilet is clogged up!"
"Mom, MOM! The toilet is plugged up!"
"I. NEED. TO. GO. POTTY!!!!!!"

I should also mention that when I had gone to get a towel for said shower, the cupboard was empty save for that smallish raggedy "extra" towel shoved in the back. All  I had at my disposal when Pottygate went down was a ratty ass half towel that only covered about 2/3 of my body. I got out of the shower and covered myself as best I could and grabbed the plunger. I left the three year old in the sink, figuring that at least he wouldn't be trying to "help" with the toilet situation if he was stuck in the sink. So there I was, desperately trying to hold the towel on by pinning it down with my arms while plunging a toilet with an audience at 5:30 in the morning.

Once the toilet was un-clogged I had to help with the butt wiping situation since homeboy uses miles of toilet paper and only gets anything on about 3 squares out of the whole mess. After the butt was clean, I turned to wash my hands but of course I couldn't since there was still a child in the sink. Throwing the towel around the back half of my body, I turned and washed my hands under the tub faucet. As I turned back to grab little man out of the sink, he declared, "I peed." Of course. Well at least he was in the sink. Silver lining and all that jazz.

Clogged toilets, peed in sinks, colored on walls, raided chocolate chips, pilfered hot cocoa, dumped cornstarch, spilled drinks and spilled cereal and spilled crackers and spilled milk, scrapes and bumps, books and trucks, tears and cheers, smiles and laughs, hugs and kisses. These are all the things that fill our daily lives and turn moments into memories. While some of them aren't my favorite things in the world, I'll gladly plunge a few toilets if it means I get to make memories with these little people for the rest of my life.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lesson #33: Our Time Will Come

You know by now that my children wake us up when it is still dark outside on a daily basis. What I'm not sure I've mentioned is that they do so by dive bombing our bed. And not so much in a fun way where they dive bomb it and then snuggle in for some family cuddle time. Noooo no no. It's usually a dive bomb followed by a fistfight about who gets what spot. No matter which spot each one gets, they want the spot the other one has. Then it's a bunch of pushing and slapping and yelling about who gets to go where. Mind you, we have a queen sized bed so two adults and two children is a wee bit tight without a WWE cage match going on. Oh, and at some point the three year old usually gets out of the bed and flips on the overhead light, effectively blinding everyone. It's only a matter of time before we give up the family snuggle pipe dream and wave the white flag in surrender, getting up before someone loses an eye or something.

As a result of this daily wake up brawl, hubby and I have taken up a new hobby. It's called scheming and dreaming about how we will re-create all their shenanigans when they're teenagers. Oh how very very sweet it will be when we exact our karmic revenge! The gloves will come off and it will be time to give them a taste of their own medicine. Muahahaha!

I can see it now: we'll run screaming into their bedrooms at 4:30 in the morning, turning on overhead lights and dive bombing their beds.We'll flail around, yanking all the blankets off and yelling in their ears until they're forced to get up just to put an end to the chaos that is occurring literally right on top of them.

Maybe I'll wait until one of them needs a ride somewhere, tell him I'll take him and then refuse to get up from wherever I'm sitting. Once I finally give in and get ready to roll, I'll remember that I am dying of thirst and really need a drink NOW before we go anywhere. Despite his protests, I'll simply go to the fridge and get myself a drink. Then I will yell at him about how HE'S making ME late.

While they're at school we'll re-create the Toy Mountain (see Lesson #30) effect in their bedrooms. Can you imagine their faces when they come home from school and every single thing they own is piled up in one corner of the room? *Evil laugh*

They also went through this fun phase where they liked to pee in/on things that were not the toilet (that's another whole blog post altogether), though I think re-creating that might be going a tad too far.

I like to joke and laugh about all of these things that make parenting a crazy adventure, but I recognize that while the lack of sleep, the constant messes, and the refereeing (oh, the refereeing!!!) are all exhausting and challenging, these things are also blessings. One day I will long for a tiny body squishing me, small hands pushing me out of bed, and little ones turning on my overhead light at the butt crack of dawn. One day, my home will be quiet and I will wish for the sound of little voices and laughter echoing off the walls. One day my babies will be grown and I will miss their little selves. One day these days will just be memories. I will enjoy the good times and take the rest with a grain of salt. After all, the days are long but the years are short.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lesson #32: Did I Mention You Will Never Sleep Again?

I'm sure I've mentioned that my kids wake up long before dawn has even thought about cracking, no matter what time they go to bed. Every. Single. Day. I ever so naively thought that once they got a bit older I would at least be able to sleep through the night. One might think that with a 3 year old and an almost 6 year old, this would be an achievable dream. One would be incorrect.

Let's recap my week, shall we?

Early in the week, my older son came into our room around 1a.m. saying that he had a tummy ache. I had him climb into our bed to cuddle up for a bit. Wrong move. Not five minutes later he said, "Mommy my tummy really hurts! I think I'm gonna throw up!" I immediately leaped out of bed and threw on the lights, telling him to get up so we could get to the bathroom. Just as he sat up the dreaded heaves began.
I encouraged him frantically, "Come on buddy! Get up so we can get to the bathroom! Don't throw up on the---" Too late. We made it to the kitchen trash before the next round, and finally made our way to the bathroom. After some late night cleaning I camped out in the living room with him so we could be close to the bathroom, just in case. I should mention that we don't own a full sized couch, just two love seats. I'm not very tall but I'm juuuuust tall enough that I can't quite fit on the love seat. I "slept" (I use the term loosely) with my head on the arm rest and my legs alternately jacked up to my chin and hanging off the end. As if all this wasn't excitement enough, we were roused from sleep around 5:40 by the pungent aroma of our dog taking the mother of all dumps on the living room floor. Awesome. Oh, and the kicker? While I was in the shower later that morning, the boys turned off the bathroom lights and ran away, leaving me in pitch darkness. Fun times.

Fast forward to the next night. I was awake from 12:30-2:30 because my 5 year old's junk was "bothering!" I'm not exactly equipped to give advice on how to fix what has come to be known as Penis Problems, so I wasn't much help. Long story short, we made a couple trips to the bathroom and I finally ended up giving him some Children's Motrin, which apparently did the trick. In the morning I asked him how it was feeling. He said, "Great!" and that was the last I heard of it. The joys of raising boys are just endless.

Last night it was the 3 year old that had me stumbling through the darkness. "My blankets are wet!!!" Oh yay. Fun fact: If a Pull Up is on backwards you might as well have put the child to bed naked because it's going to absorb about as much pee as a cheap paper towel. Note to self: check his work when he dresses himself. About two hours later, he woke up crying again because he was cold. He alternated between screaming about wanting to wear jammies and screaming about not wanting jammies for about 5 minutes straight as I struggled to keep my eyes open and my sanity intact.

I said the other day that it will be great when they're teenagers and I can finally sleep in again. My dad quickly pointed out that I still won't sleep because I'll be up half the night waiting for them to get home.

I guess it really is true. Once you have children, you will never sleep again. Ever. I guess that's what they make coffee for. Coffee: Getting bleary eyed parents through the day since 1696.