Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lesson #22: You Will Never Sleep Again, Ever.

When you have a baby, you expect to be up at all hours and to be completely exhausted. What you don’t realize until much, much later is that you will never recover. You will never get a full night’s sleep again, ever.

I have often felt like my children are participating in some kind of twisted conspiracy to ensure that I never sleep again. It’s like some kind of modern day torture; a parental initiation. I think they communicate telepathically. It must go something like this:
“Ok tonight you get out of bed 17 times, keeping her up til the wee hours. Then, just when she’s finally drifted off for a few hours, I’ll sneak attack with the 5am wake up poop!”

God forbid I should go to bed late. That pretty much guarantees that I will be woken up in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn. Or both. 

When my second child was born, our plan was for him to sleep in his pack and play in our room until he was a little older, and then share the room across the hall with his brother. I naively thought this would occur much, much sooner. The child is almost 16 months old and there’s no end in sight. It feels like he will never vacate our bedroom. It’s definitely not that I don’t want him out of our room, and not so much that I think he would mind sleeping elsewhere, but most certainly due to the fact that there's a fairly good chance his brother would injure him. His big brother (almost 4-holy where did that time go?) has a penchant for pushing, poking, and throwing blankets over his little bro. I do not trust them in the room alone together all night long. Besides the threat of injury, there is also the possibility of complete and utter mayhem, because I’m pretty sure they would find a way to get the little guy out of the pack and play and initiate destruction of everything in sight.

It’s gotten to the point that my husband and I are afraid to enter our room once the baby’s sleeping. We creep up our stairs (not an easy feat since our stairs make more noise than a freight train on crack), gently push the door open, and tiptoe into the “danger zone”. He’s sleeping soundly-win! We silently signal to each other to fix the bedding. The whooshing of the comforter echoes through the stillness and the baby begins to stir. We freeze, then slooooowwwwllllyyyyy climb into bed. CREAK goes the mattress. The little dude’s head pops up like a gopher out of a hole. “WAAAHHHHHH!!!!!” Fail.

One night we even tried sleeping “college style”-that is, squished into the twin sized bed in our downstairs office/spare room. That might work when you're 10 years younger and 40 lbs thinner but these days it's a recipe for a stiff neck and numb arms. 

Last night I fell into bed at 9pm, exhausted from the previous day's late night/early morning combo. I was almost asleep when my cell phone started shreiking and vibrating like it was warning the end of mankind. I scrambled to silence it as the baby began to stir and make "num num num" sounds as he sucked on his thumb. Phew! Crisis averted. I fell asleep only to be awakened at 12:30 by the sound of my older child going downstairs. Hmmm.... Should I get up? I heard the bathroom fan turn on. Ok, maybe he just has to go to the bathroom. He'll come back. Right? Maybe I should get up. Then I heard the sound of running feet and crying. Ok, ok, I'm getting up. I went down the stairs to find him running into the kitchen with just his pj top on, completely naked from the waist down. "Mommy I just had to go pee but the toilet is too cold! Will you warm it up for me?" Holy cripes this kid has GOT to learn how to pee standing up. We got the potty situation taken care of and I tucked him back into bed. 

Just when I was certain I would need to invent a caffeine drip stocked with coffee if I was going to make it through the next 5 years of my life, a Christmas miracle occurred. I knew something was up when I woke up and it wasn't dark outside. I had a moment of panic, wondering if everyone was ok. I peeked over the covers to see the little dude standing in the pack n play smiling at me. I looked at my clock and almost passed out when I saw the time: 7:52!!!! I swear I heard angels singing the halleluja chorus right there in my bedroom. I just might make it through another day. Amen to that!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lesson #21: Puke Always Wins

I was at work on Monday when my husband sent me a text saying that my almost 4-year old had puked. This text was accompanied by a most appetizing photograph of the offending vomit. Only after I got home did I learn that he had, in fact, puked all over the couch. As soon as I walked in the door I was assaulted by the warring scents of a "Red Apple Wreath" Yankee candle fighting a losing battle with vomit. Yummmm. Our couch has super puffy non-removable cushions so you can imagine how much fun that was to clean up. Luckily that duty fell to the hubster.  Three more washings and a Febreezing later, and the smell is mostly gone.

Puke-1, Mama-0

Fast forward to Thursday evening. I was sitting in the recliner (Lord knows I'm not sitting on that couch for awhile!) giving my younger boy a nebulizer treatment when the older one came over to tell me he'd finished all the yogurt in the fridge (greeeaaaaat) and show me the empty tub. All of a sudden he started coughing uncontrollably for no apparent reason. He coughed so hard his face turned red and he kind of shuddered. I reached out towards him with my free hand to make sure he was ok when SPLAT! He coughed so hard he upchucked yogurt into my outstretched hand. Hmm... What to do here?

Puke-2, Mama-0.

Today is Friday. My husband dropped the kids off at child care before heading into work. I worked some extra hours earlier in the week so I was planning to leave work at 11:30 today. I was really looking forward to spending a little "me" time at home before jumping into the belly of the beast known as Super WalMart to get some groceries. I pictured myself finishing my book over a leisurely lunch of  leftovers ( hey, it's the little things), going grocery shopping all by myself in the middle of a weekday when WalMart *MIGHT* not be jam packed with lunatics, and getting supper started before heading to pick up the boys a full 2 hours earlier than I would have if I'd worked a full day. Sweet! Wins all around! At 11:15 I got the message on my office phone: "Hi this is L at Child Care. I wanted to let you know that B threw up and needs to be picked up. I'll try your cell phone too. Thanks."

Puke-3, Mama-0

When you think about it, there really is no way to win when it's you vs. the puke monster. When it rears its ugly head the best we can do is don our armor of cleaning products and Febreeze and hope for the best. Hey, if three separate puke attacks in one week is the worst we have to endure, then I think we're doing pretty well, don't you?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lesson #20: Sippy Cups Multiply Faster Than Rabbits

My house is being overtaken by sippy cups. At any given moment I can walk into my living room and find no less than 3 of them strewn around the floor, in the toy bins, and (usually dripping) on the furniture. This is largely the fault of my almost 4-year old. He has a terrible habit of leaving his cup wherever he was playing and walking away. Every day I tell myself that he is only going to get ONE cup for the day and that if he wants a drink he's going to have to find his cup first. The problem with that is that when he wants a drink the cup is nowhere to be found. Literally. I send him to every room of the house looking for it, to no avail. Then I usually end up looking for it myself and can't find the thing either! After half an hour of looking for the freaking cup that appears to have fallen off the end of the earth, I inevitably give up and hand him a new cup. Then, without fail, about five minutes later I'll walk into the living room and suddenly there are six sippy cups laying all over the place. What the heck?! I don't understand this phenomenon any more than I understand why there are never any clean towels no matter how much laundry we do.

Speaking of sippy cups, I keep telling my husband that he has GOT to check the floor when he's cleaning up a meal. One side of our kitchen table is against the wall and the floor on the wall side is a repository for lost toys, dog hair, and dishes the baby has thrown that my husband "didn't see" (aka: didn't look for). Maybe it's a guy thing, but he seems to only be able to focus on one thing at any given time, and when cleaning up a meal that one thing is the baby himself. The booster seat tray might get wiped down, but the bib is never cleaned out and the cup is alllllways left wherever it fell when the kid chucked it off the side of the tray. The other day I found not one but TWO sippy cups of milk under the chair. Does he not look down at any point during the day or what? How does he miss TWO cups of milk under there? Last night I found one dangling haphazardly between the table and the wall. The worst, however, was when I was Swiffering (side note: LOVE the Swiffer Sweeper Vac so much I wanna marry IT) I made the appetizing discovery of a sippy cup of milk that had been under there for a while. I'm talking at least a week, maybe more. The milk inside was so far gone, I swore it was yogurt. *shudders* It was allllll kinds a nasty.

I'm thinking it would be nice if I could apply the sippy cup multiplication phenom to myself. Just got home with two cranky kids and no supper to speak of? No problem! I'll just multiply by two. A screaming baby that needs to be cleaned up after supper, a 3 year old with yet another poo in the pants, and a dog that's whining to go out? No problem! I'll just multiply myself by 3. Dishes to wash, laundry fold, floors to sweep, garbage to be taken out? No problem! I'll just multiply by four.

I'm pretty sure that until someone invents that technology I will forever be driving myself crazy as I clean stuff up and the three males in my house go right along behind me undoing everything I just did. On the bright side, at least I always have a cup, and from where I'm sitting, the glass is definitely half full.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lesson #19: Wow, I'm Lame

I like to think I was kinda cool before I had kids. I wore sassy shoes with heels. I stayed up late and slept in. I read Cosmo. I went shopping just for fun. I had parties (and not of the Tupperware variety, either thankyouverymuch!)  For awhile I thought I was still cool even after I had one. Not to be shallow, but a baby is a very cool accessory these days-just pick up any gossip rag; mommyhood is all the rage. (And for the record, NO I did NOT have kids so I would have a "cool accessory". As a matter of fact, it took me over two years to finally get knocked up.)

But no matter how cool I might've once been, it is painfully clear to me that I am definitely no longer, in any way, shape or form, cool. Maybe it was turning 30 that did me in, I don't know. All I know is, I'm not wearing shoes I can't chase a kid in; if I sleep until 7am it's a miracle of God; shopping is a dreaded task that involves groceries; and the last magazine I read advertised "26 Low Cost Recipes" and "$68.55 Worth Of Coupons Inside!" on the cover.

The realization that I am pretty lame came on slowly. The thought first occurred to me when my little sister, who's pretty much half my age-13 years younger-came over. She walked in with her tight jeans and fluorescent plaid belt, all long curly hair and white teeth, looking totally cute and young and, well, hip. (Is that even a thing anymore? Do the kids say "hip" these days? See??? Lame-o!) I told myself that I was hip in an age appropriate sort of way and felt a little better.

The next inkling that I might be getting old and lame came at the grocery store. On the way in, I got distracted by the "Hardy Mums and Asters" plant display. "Wow, what a great deal-only $6.99 for that big pot," I thought as I picked one up. Hey, flowers are pretty and pretty is always cool, right? So, therefore not totally lame. Next, I passed the magazine rack and the Family Circle caught my eye- the cover advertised "Slow Cooker Recipes" , and it was only $1.99! "Oooh that will be great for fall", I thought, and picked one up. As I stood in line with my potted plant, mom magazine, and fake chicken nuggets, behind two college students buying stuff like organic cheese, tortilla chips and booze, I felt utterly, completely, lame and O.L.D. The biggest plans I had for the night were surfing the web looking for a swing set on sale for my kids.

The notion that I was definitely no longer cool became a stone cold truth when I was hanging out with my family over the holiday weekend. My young, hip sister spilled lunch on her new tank top, and I looked at it and actually said, very seriously, "Oooh, you're gonna have to use some Shout Advanced for Greasy Stains" on that!" Gawd. Of course, my 25 year old brother didn't hesitate to tell me just how lame that was, and even my MOM laughed. Yikes.

But you know what? When my babies give me hugs and kisses and tell me they love me I don't care if I'm an old fuddy duddy. Besides, kids think their parents are superheroes. In their eyes, there's nothing we can't do. When they see me and their eyes light up and they run over and throw themselves at me, there's no better feeling in the world. (You people with teenagers just shut yo mouths now! I know you're muttering "Oh just you wait!")

I might not get out much, but when I look at my life I realize I have everything that matters, and the rest is just stuff. But, seriously, if you see me in JC Penny picking up some mom jeans and a fanny pack, PLEASE stage an intervention ASAP.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lesson #18: Never Look Away When Paint is Involved

My 3 1/2 year old wanted to paint the other night. I know, some of you are cringing already, but having worked in early childhood education, I'm not phased by the uber mess that accompanies such projects, so out came the paints. The really messy ones too, not water colors. I have to admit, mess tolerant as I am, I did begin to question all the projects I've had him do that involved handprints when he painted both hands and said, "Look, I'm making handprints for you!" Little did I know this would soon be the least of my worries.

Our kitchen has a room directly off it that isn't really big enough for a dining room and has a closet in it so we use it as a nursery. My little artist was happily creating all sorts of masterpieces at the kitchen table, and the baby was crawling around the kitchen checking things out. Since I could see them from the nursery I thought it was safe to step in there to make a quick call to my husband to ask him a question. (You seasoned parenting vets are laughing at me already.) I sat in the rocking chair, which faces the kitchen so I could see the baby be-boppin' around, but (here comes the fatal error) I didn't have a visual on the table where my little Van Gogh was going to town with the Crayola Washables.

I was just finishing up with hubby when I heard Mr. Artiste say, "Hey, I'll paint you too!" What I should have done was go flying out of the chair into the kitchen to investigate. What I did instead was call out "What did you say?" (I know, that one should go in the Dumb Moments in Parenting Hall of Fame.) He came running into the nursery saying excitedly, "Look mom, I'm a cool dude with my face paint!" Yep. He sure was. Both cheeks completely covered in red and blue paint. Before I could even comment he informed me that he'd painted his brother too. Sure enough, the baby came crawling in, grinning ear to ear, with paint on his cheek, arm, leg and a big ole glob right on the top of his head.

I did what any parent would do: I took pictures.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lesson #17: Vacations Are Worth The Tears (Theirs and Yours)

So my husband and I decided that we totally had to take our kids to "A Day Out With Thomas and Friends." Our older son is mad about trains and we knew he would go nuts for an event like this. Of course, this meant we would be driving 2 1/2 hours for  25 minute train ride, but that's what parents do, right?

The night before the big day, I flew through the house like a crazy mama tornado getting everything ready. I swear, I have no idea how such tiny people can require such an inordinate amount of STUFF to go somewhere for ONE NIGHT! It was completely and utterly ridiculous. I swear, I packed at least 25 pairs of underwear (which was a good thing since I'm pretty sure my oldest was playing a secret game where if you poop your pants at every destination, you win).

The morning of, despite an E.N.T.I.R.E box of Cheerios being dumped on the floor and the obligatory "Mommy I pooped in my undies" episode, we eventually made it out of the house still (mostly) on speaking terms.

The "Day Out" event was well worth the long ride. It was fantastic and we all had an amazing time. Though we are the biggest suckers on the face of the earth because, of course, we left there with the $14.95 picture of us in front of Thomas AND a $17.00 train from the gift tent. What can I say? We don't get out much.

After a busy day, we were happy to tuck in at our adorable little cabin. Everyone was tired and we all went to bed fairly early. All was peaceful until my 3 1/2 year old had a chocolate attack at 3:30am that even sleeping in a dark, strange place couldn't deter. I woke with a start to find he had gotten out of bed and gone to the kitchenette area and was digging around in the chocolate we'd brought for s'mores. I was so tired I didn't even tell him no. I just told him to swallow it before he fell back asleep so he didn't choke, tucked him in, and went back to bed. (Still waiting for that Mother of the Year award!)

Of course, the weekend wouldn't be complete without a total and complete take-him-to-the-car meltdown, which occurred at a McDonald's on our way home. The pit stop didn't start off well when a guy old enough to have witnessed the Last Supper yelled at my son for no apparent reason. Then my kid suddenly got possessed by the We're In Public Pscyho Demon and had to be carried out kicking and screaming. Not only that, as it was happening the old guy practically yelled, "Good! The father's taking him out of here!" I wasn't embarrassed about my kid's freakout, because all kids freak out sometimes, and I felt we handled it well by taking him out of the restaurant. I was, however, supremely ticked off at the rude old guy. Like he's never had a bad day. Jeez.

When all was said and done, we had one spilled box of Cheerios, four pairs of poopy underwear, one meltdown, one Thomas train ride, and countless memories to show for it. Twenty years from now, I won't remember the Cheerios, the poopy underwear, the long drive, or the rude old guy; I will remember the look on my son's face when he "met" Thomas the Train, and I will cherish it.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lesson #16: When In Doubt, Make the Call

It seems simple enough: your child is sick, call the doctor. Yeah, the thing about that? If you call the doctor, they will tell you to come in. And I've schlepped everyone off to the doctor's office and paid the cold hard cash only to be told "It's just a virus, there's nothing we can do" more times than I care to recall. Because of this, my current method of dealing with sickness is the "Wait and See" method.

The "Wait and See" method is pretty self explanatory: your child is sick, you wait and see if he gets worse. Then if he only gets a little worse, you wait and see how much worse he gets. If he doesn't get any worse but he doesn't get any better either, you start talking to your spouse and your mother about whether you should call the doctor's office. Hubby and Mom tell you to wait and see. So you wait a little while longer. Then you decide that you'll just wait until after nap and if the child's not any better after nap you'll definitely call (but surely he'll be better by then so it will totally be fine). Then when the child wakes up from nap and he seems about the same, you think "Well, he's not getting any worse..." So you wait just a little longer. Then by supper he's still not better yet and you start thinking that, gee, he's been sick for X amount of time and doesn't seem to be getting any better, so maybe you should call after all. So you get back on the phone with your spouse and your mother, and by this point you've decided that the child just isn't himself and you definitely need to call. The spouse and mother confirm that, yes, you definitely should at least call. So you call. And the doctor's office is closed for the day. And then you end up taking the child to Walk In Care (or worse, the ER). See? Easy, peasy!

This is what happened to me last weekend. It had been a long, hot week and I had planned a fantastic Saturday. We were going to pack the cooler, find a beach, and spend the day outside enjoying the weather, instead of cooped up in my 90-degree living room.

The day started out fine-I even got to build a blanket "cave" with my 3 1/2 year old! But around 10:30 my perfect little Saturday started to unravel. The 3 1/2 year old said his side hurt. This usually indicates the need to drop a serious deuce so I immediately took him to the bathroom in hopes of avoiding any poo-related incidents. Much as he tried, it was a no go. From that point on, he laid on our recliner, refusing to eat or drink, and crying about his belly hurting. I tried everything, to no avail. At first I thought it was simple constipation, but as they day wore on and I went through all the phases of the "Wait and See" method, as described above, I began to get scared. What if it was more than constipation? What if he was having kidney failure? What if he'd swallowed something I didn't know about? What if he had an intestinal blockage? Needless to say, we ended up at the Walk In Care.

Now, mind you, this child is always on the go. He has two speeds: fast and manic. He's always playing with something or getting into something or asking seventy bazillion questions about something. For him to have spent the day lying around, doing nothing but crying, was pretty major.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I swear the kid perked right up. He started in, asking all kinds of questions and pointing out different vehicles as he skipped along beside me to the door. Skipped. I asked him if his belly still hurt, and he reported that it did. Reluctantly, I led him into the clinic. At the desk, he turned into a freakin' Chatty Cathy, asking the registration girl what her name was and why she was typing on the computer, pointing out Mommy's purse, and showing off the bag I had brought (packed with coloring stuff, books, Hot Wheels, and a drink and snack, of course). I found myself explaining to the registration girl that he really was sick and had been all day, I swear! I'm sure she thought I was a total fruit loop. I asked him again if his belly still hurt, and it still did.

We went to the waiting area, where he played with his toys with great enthusiasm. I asked him if his belly still hurt, and it still did. When the nurse pulled us into a side office to do a preliminary investigation of the belly pain (to make sure he was well enough to wait the two hours it would be until he could actually get treated), and he pointed to three different spots on his stomach-all of which were not anywhere near the spot he'd identified repeatedly earlier in the day-I began to have my doubts about this whole expedition. I asked him if his belly still hurt, and it still did.

About forty five minutes into our wait, the little dude said he had to go potty. In my haste to pack activities to keep a small child occupied for what could be hours, I had not grabbed The Bag (I know, I know!) so I hustled him into the restroom tout suite. Lemme just tell ya: the kid let out mammoth turd. It was the biggest turd I have ever seen. I'm still not quite sure how it came out of that little body of his. All I could think was "No wonder his belly's been hurting!"

After that, he asked for his snack and downed the whole thing, then started drinking from (playing in) the water fountain. I asked if his belly still hurt. It didn't. Surprise surprise. Then he said, "Mommy let's go home!" So we did.

Note to self: get some prune juice to keep on hand for emergencies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lesson #15: It's All Over When the Baby Learns to Crawl

Moms are always proud when their babies reach milestones, but I'm especially proud of my babies when they do it. Being born at 29 and 30 weeks, respectively, ain't easy (that's about 2 1/2 months TOO SOON for those of you who used to yell "And don't tell me in weeks!" when asking how far along I was). My little 2 lb 10oz-er and 3 lb 5oz-er had rough starts in this life and it's been amazing to see them grow and thrive as they have. When your baby starts life with a breathing tube, a feeding tube, a temperature gauge, an IV line, several leads stuck on him, cloth "sunglasses" over his eyes, wearing diapers the size of panty liners, you get a little teary eyed when almost a year later the little dude finally starts crawling around the floor!

All that being said, I'm pretty sure we are truly in for it now. This is only the tip of the little boy iceberg that I'm pretty sure is going to sink our parenting ship: two rambunctious boys on the move!

Our 3 1/2 year old is finally at the point where he can pretty much be trusted around the house, and we got kinda comfortable with that. Once the baby finally learned to sit up, it was all good: we could sit him in the "baby corner" of the playroom that is our living room, and he'd sit around playing happily while we went pee or put water on to boil. Not so much anymore. Hubby called me at work to tell me little man was crawling all around the place and I asked if he was really crawling or just kind of crawling. His response? "I set him in the toy area, went pee, and when I came back he was across the room chewing on a sandal!" So really crawling, then.

Now that he's on the go, we've had to remove the braided throw rug from our living room floor because no matter how many times you vacuum that beast, dog hair WILL get stuck all over his hands when he crawls on it. And what gets stuck on his hands WILL end up on his face and in his mouth. Ewww. The best part, though, is when he spits up and crawls through it. That's super fun! You'd think I would learn and just keep a roll of paper towels in the living room, but I never think of it until I NEED them. Even when I pick him up right away to prevent smearing, he somehow manages turn the living room floor into a road map of puke every time.

I'm actually a bit afraid that the little dude has some kind of magic powers or something. I mean, the kid literally learned to crawl overnight. Sunday he could get up on his knees and maybe move one knee ahead but that's it. Monday he could get two knees forward but nothing close to actually crawling. Tuesday morning-BAM! He's launching a sneak attack on sandals. What's next? I wake up tomorrow and he's running laps around the house? This weekend he's taking the car out for a spin? By Monday morning he's smashing beer cans on his forehead? I swear it could happen! He was already up on his knees holding onto the door of the entertainment center, eyeballing the Wii! Pulling himself up can't be far behind.

With two little boys on the move, we definitely have to step up the man to man defense a notch. I figure we're safe as long as they don't know they have the upper hand. We can't let them smell our fear! As long as they don't realize that together they can wreak the sort of havoc that drives people to drink we're all good.

And if worst comes to worst... there's always Mimi and Papa's house!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lesson #14: We Will Visit the WalMart Restroom. Every Time.

Lesson #14: We Will Visit the Walmart Restroom. Every Time.

I swear, WalMart has freaky voodoo powers that cause young children to either act like psychos or have to go potty while trapped within its walls. I hate going to the place too but it doesn't make me crap my pants. Sheesh.

The first time we took my son to the bathroom there, he was totally freaked by the huge toilets that emit  roaring flushes at random intervals, and wouldn't go. Of course, five minutes later he swore he had to go and promised that he would try. No go. Five minutes after that it was Pooey Lewis and the Ewws in the underpants. Shoulda figured. Luckily (I guess) he was still wearing Pull Ups whenever we ventured to a public place then. Unlucky for everyone that we forgot The Bag at home and had nothing to wipe him with or change him into. Yay for the Parent of the Year award I am sure to be receiving soon.

Last week my sister in law and nephew visited from the left coast. One day hubby and SIL decided they needed to stop at Walmart and look at covers for the new iPod Touch that SIL and BIL had gotten us for our anniversary (do I have the best in laws or what). They had my older son and nephew with them, and sure enough, the Poo Voodoo struck again. My husband came home and announced grimly that my son had pooped his pants at Walmart, then went on to say that he'd forgotten The Bag at home and once again had nothing to wipe the child with or change him into. He wears underwear all the time now, so I had a feeling I knew where this story was going. I feigned horror and said, "Ohmigod what did you do?" He replied, "We went back out into the store, I bought some new underwear and threw out the old ones." Yep, just as I suspected. What he didn't purchase, however, were wipes... Hm. Ew.

Since having two kids we've found that grocery shopping is much more easily done with two adults: either one kid in each cart or one adult at home with two kids while the other shops. Yesterday we were loading up the ole family truckster to head out to Wally World (you see what I just did there?) to get groceries when hubby, clearly pleased with himself, held up The Bag, declaring, "Better not forget this!" He's such a smarty pants. Sure enough, about ten minutes into the grocery run, my 3 year old had to go potty. "You're taking him this time!" hubby called out as he snatched the list and raced off with the baby.

Lucky for me, homeboy hadn't poo'd this time, he just had to do numero uno. I thought about taking him into the handicapped stall so we'd have a little more space but the toilets are sometimes taller and I didn't want him to totally freak so we squeezed into a regular stall.  The problem with this is that you really can't help a kid get his pants down without your booty hanging out under the stall door. Awesome. At least I wasn't wearing a skirt. Why do they have to make those things so dang tiny anyway?

The next obstacle to overcome was the fact that the only place to stand as a potty spectator is directly in front of the toilet, which, as you know, is not in the safe zone when little boys are sitting down to pee. Of course, the toilet seats at Walmart, like many public restroom toilet seats, have an opening across the front. You might as well put a bulls eye on me.

I was trying to get him to do his thang as quickly as possible while touching as little as possible, when he started playing around with the door to the little metal receptacle for feminine trash, pushing it open and letting it slam shut.
The exchange that followed went something like this:
Him: What's this Mommy?
Me: Don't touch that!
Him: Why?
Me: Because it has germs.
Him: But what is it?
Me: It's a little garbage can.
Him: Why?
Me: Ok let's get your pants back up now, the toilet's going to flush!

And, of course, it did. It's never pleasant having your face a foot away from an automatic flusher in a public restroom. I don't care if it sprays or not, it's just gross.

Along with learning that we WILL be sojourning to the Walmart restroom on every visit, I think we've also learned these important lessons as well:
1. Don't forget The Bag.
2. Don't wear a skirt.
3. Always push the cart carrying the baby.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lesson #13: "Double Stroller" is Code for "Instrument of Evil"

Lesson #13: "Double Stroller" is Code for "Instrument of Evil". Also known as "The Double Stroller Debacle".

So the other day it was wicked hot out (I'm from Maine, we use wicked as an adverb) so I thought I would pick up a frappe after work on my way to get the kids. That's when I got the brilliant idea that instead, I would pick the kids up, load them into the double stroller, and walk down to Dairy Queen where we could all enjoy an ice cream together. It would be so great: I'd get some exercise so it would totally cancel out the ice cream (work with me here), and we'd get some family time while the boys had a special treat. Brilliant!

Do you ever have an idea of how something is going to happen, and then when it happens it's totally the opposite of what you thought? I should have known things weren't gonna go my way when the first thing both kids did when I arrived to pick them up was crap their pants. I'm not even kidding.

We eventually got home and I went looking for the double stroller. I thought it was in the trunk of the car but it wasn't. When I finally found it on the enclosed porch I remembered why it wasn't in the trunk of the car: the thing is so freaking huge nothing else fits when it's in there. I wrestled it out of its corner, through the house, and out the front door, only to realize that I couldn't remember how to set the stupid thing up. After spending a good five minutes flipping it every which way I finally figured it out.

Then I realized that I still needed the canopy and the bar thingy with the cup holder that goes across the front. Which I then had to find. And figure out how to install. The canopy was no problem but the cup holder bar thingy was a whole nother ball of wax. It simply needed to be snapped into place; the problem was that you apparently have to be a bodybuilder in order to have enough muscle to GET it to snap on. I ended up flipping (throwing?) the entire stroller onto either side and pounding it on.

Once the stroller was assembled and we were all lubed up with sunscreen it was already 4:45 and I really should've been starting supper instead of spoiling it with ice cream but I had a vision, ok? I took the first step of our fun family walk... And the stroller didn't budge. In my hurry to find, figure out, and get two children into the stroller, I hadn't paid attention to where I had placed it. I had set it up on the front walkway, which is topped with pea gravel. Every try pushing anything on pea gravel? Not so much. I had to grab onto the cup holder bar thingy (good thing I took the time to hammer that baby on!) and haul the ginormous stroller with two kids in it down the walkway like a tow truck pulling a car from a ditch.We'd come that far, there was no way I was going to unload Yin and Yang just to move the stroller 10 feet.

Finally, we were off. I should tell you that we live on a busy road on the main drag and there are no sidewalks, just a wide lane on either side of the road where people frequently walk and bike. The thing about that? It means it's not completely level. There's a slight slant for drainage, which meant the stroller kept listing to the left the entire time. It was like pushing a grocery cart with a faulty wheel and 50+ lbs of cargo. My arms got quite the workout. By the time we got to Dairy Queen I was a hot mess. As I trudged up the drive, a shiny red SUV with a woman driver and a boy about my older son's age in the backseat was pulling out. I thought about carjacking them for the ride home in air conditioned comfort, but I hear law enforcement frowns upon that sort of thing.

We got our ice cream and sat at an outdoor table to enjoy it... For about two minutes. That's when the baby started fussing because he's not a real big fan of just sitting the stroller. I took him out so he could sit with me and gave him a little taste of my chocolate ice cream. He really liked it! In fact, he liked it so much that he started fussing because he just couldn't get enough. As I was tending to the baby, my 3 year old ran around the table, grabbed my ice cream, and ran away to another table to eat it. At that point I didn't care anymore. I told him he could keep it if he'd come get in the stroller (Lesson #6 again!)

Despite being a comedy of errors, the whole event was worth it.When I'm old and gray I'll think back and smile as I remember my babies' chocoatey smiling faces... And how much I got on eBay for that damn stroller.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lesson #12: Sometimes Daddy Really Does Know Best

Lesson #12: Sometimes Daddy Really Does Know Best

My kid has an internal clock like no other, and it's set to "butt crack of dawn". It doesn't matter if he goes to bed at 7:30 or 9:30, he will wake up early. One night he was still up at 11:00 (that was a barrel of laughs) and he still got up with the sun.

I put an alarm clock in his room with the number 7 taped above the first digit. The deal is that he's supposed to wait until the first number on the clock is a 7 before he wakes up mommy and daddy. This works slightly more than half the time. We know he's up because we hear a door slam, then little feet scampering across the hall, then our door slams. I have to give him credit though, he won't technically wake us up, he'll just play cars on our heads for awhile, then grab my cell phone and exclaim, "Mama look! It's a 7!!!!" Then I look and it says 6:07 or something. One morning he gave us a nice little drumming concert at 6am. Who wouldn't want to wake up to the soothing sounds of a 3 year old banging away on an empty popcorn tin while shouting "Drum drum drum" at the top of his lungs?

So when I called my husband at 8:45 yesterday morning and he told me that both boys were still sleeping, my first reaction was to ask, "Are they ok? Have you checked on them?" I was even more shocked when I later found out that he had to actually wake them up at 9:00 to get them ready to go.

This morning, it wasn't drumming that woke me up at 5:28am (to be exact), but a seriously rad thunderstorm. I thought for sure big man would come pounding across the hallway at any moment, having been awakened by the storm. Much to my delight, I was the only member of the household that mother nature woke up today.     When I re-awoke to the sounds of the baby working his way from an "I'm getting annoyed" fuss to a full on "GET YOUR A$$ OUT OF BED" scream, I was amazed to see 7:34 on the clock. I was even more freaked out when hubby and I took the baby downstairs and big man was still snoozing away in his room.

This little taste of freedom has got me thinking. Once is a fluke, but twice might mean we're onto something. I mentioned this to hubby and that's when the other shoe dropped. "I have to admit... I set the time on his alarm clock an hour behind after the power went out the other day. Maybe he was just waiting for the 7," he said.

At first I was peeved at him for taking advantage of our kid's lack of time telling skills and using it for his own selfish gain, but I have to admit the extra hour of snooze time sure was nice. Maybe we can file it under self preservation and call it good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lesson #11:Something Always Stinks

Lesson #11: Something Always Stinks

Dirty diapers, soiled bed linens, vomity clothes. It seems like every time I turn around another gross smell is assaulting my senses. I remember one night, while sitting in the living room catching up on world events (translation: reading US Weekly), I kept getting a whiff of some kind of nasty. I couldn't figure out what it was, and I think I finally blamed hubby's feet before realizing that, um, it was me. More specifically, the zip up sweatshirt I always throw on when hanging around the house. I'm a pretty visual person so it wasn't until I looked down and saw the whitish smear all down the arm of said garment that I remembered having experienced the Baby Blast (see Lesson #5) earlier in the night. The offending odor was not hubby's feet but rather the crusty baby vomit that I was wearing as an accessory. Awesome.

A few nights ago I went upstairs to put the baby to bed and was greeted with the overwhelming stank of urine. Don't you just love when you forget about a peed-on bed until you go to put the child back in that bed? That's always a fun time. Well, not as much as actually getting peed ON, which also happened to me this week... Only when I encountered the smell did I recall hubby telling me in vivid detail how completely soaked through the little nugget was when he woke up. We'd even had a whole conversation around switching to the next size diaper and possibly trying a different brand. I blame Mommy Brain for completely forgetting about the whole thing.

Anyway, the other night we had another kind of smell on our hands (literally-you'll see!). I caught a whiff of butt stink so I took the little dude to the changing table. I opened his diaper and, sure enough, it was choc full- one of those really disgusting all-the-way-to-the-front poos. Which I accidentally stuck my fingers in. Gotta love that! Three fingers right in the butt muck. I opened the wipe bin chanting "Ew, ew, ew, EW!" only to find just one wipe left. I quickly wiped off my fingers and started opening another package of wipes. In the meantime, baby boy thought we were having a grand old time and started kicking his feet like crazy, getting crapola all over his feet. Which he then smeared all. over. the. place. Fabulous. Needless to say, that night homeboy got his first bath in the big tub. I wasn't taking any chances with that much poo all over the place.

Right now we're playing the oh so fun game of Something In My Kitchen Stinks And I Can't Figure Out What. I was convinced it was the trash can but we've cleaned and sanitized it and I still smell something gross every time I come downstairs. I wondered if we'd lost a bottle somewhere and the formula was forming some crazy mutant mold, but we aren't missing any bottles. Then I thought maybe my oldest, who has a really bad habit of leaving dishes everywhere, had lost or spilled a cup of milk somewhere but I came up empty on that one too. Now I'm left to imagine all sorts of horrible things. Like what if a squirrel or a mouse or some other vermin somehow got into our house and found its way into the wall or under our cupboards and died and I'm actually smelling rotting carcass? Or what if a piece of food got knocked under our stove or behind the dryer and is turning into a putrefied mass with maggots growing on it? *shudder*  Hubby, who I'm convinced was born without a sense of smell at all, keeps sniffing the air and saying, "I don't smell anything" and looking at me like I might have a screw loose. Be that as it may, there is something making my kitchen smell like a garbage truck and I WILL find it!

Being a parent's a smelly job but someone's gotta do it. And if that someone is me, then I think I deserve to spend copious amounts of money at Yankee Candle to aid in my defunkifying efforts, don't you?      

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lesson #10: The Car Is My Prison

Lesson #10: The Car Is My Prison

I love talking with my 3 year old. He's a pretty funny kid and he often makes us laugh. The other weekend when he saw ants on my parents' deck he exclaimed, "Look, ANTS!" and when my mom told him that ants need a place to live too, he replied, "Yep. Ants gotta live on someone's leg." Last month when he was caught red handed getting into the bag of chocolate chips he explained, "Daddy I'm getting some chocolate chips for the chocolate chip party tonight!" He's sweet and smart and engaging and fun to listen to... unless you are enclosed in a vehicle with no escape.

I can't fault him for being a Chatty Cathy; he certainly comes rightly by it. But OH. MY. GOSH. Strap him into a car seat and he instantly develops a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth. There is literally no break in the conversation. I don't even bother turning on the radio anymore because he'll say, "Mommy, shut off the radio, I need to talk to you!" I feel guilty if I don't because, really, how can I choose some crappy top 40 over my kid? What follows isn't even so much a conversation as it is an endless stream of questions. He'll exclaim, "Look, a fire engine!" and immediately follow that up with, "Was that a fire engine?" To which I always reply, "Was it?" and he'll answer, "Yes!"

 He also thinks I have mind reading super powers because he always asks me where other cars are going and why they're going there. Um... I DON'T KNOW!!! Sometimes I like to make up fun answers just to see what he'll say. Like, he'll ask, "Where's that car going Mama?" and I'll answer, "To outer space!" in a really excited voice, just to see what he says. He usually calls my bluff and says, in a very serious tone, "No they're not, they're just going down the road." Oh, ok.

Oh, and I just love when he points to something and asks, "What's that?" and I realize that I have NO CLUE what the heck the thing is. That always makes me feel really smart.

But the worst is the endless circle of why questions. My husband can sit there and answer why questions all day long and not get the least bit irritated. Of course, he gives long drawn out scientific answers that the kid has no hope of understanding, which tends to put a damper on continuing to ask why.

Here's an excerpt from a recent car conversation. First, let me set the scene: We are cruising along at a 60 mile an hour clip when he discovers that he can put his window down. I'm a windows down kinda gal so this doesn't bother me at all. Until I look in the mirror and see that he's using a brown Timbits bag as a "flag" that he's waving OUT the window. The bag is dangling precariously from his fingertips and is being whipped violently by the wind, sure to blow free of his grasp at any given second.
Me: Oh no buddy, you can't put the bag out the window!
Him: Why?
Me: Because it might blow away.
Him: Why?
Me: Because the wind would blow it away. We can't throw bags out the window.
Him: Why?
Me: That's called littering. It's not good to litter.
Him: Why?
Me: Because it's against the law and it makes the earth dirty.
Him: Why did you roll my window up?
Me: Because you were putting stuff out it.
Him: Why can't I roll it back down?
Me: Because I locked it.
Him: Why?
Me: Please stop asking why every time I answer.
Him: Why, why, why, why, WHY!!!!!!
By the end of the 45 minute trip to my parents' I was ready to drive the car off a cliff.

The thought of spending 15 hours in the car with him when we go visit my mother in law this September makes head hurt. A lot. I think maybe I'll try and beat him at his own game. We'll pull out of the driveway and I'll ask, "Where are we going?" and when he tells me we're going to Grandma's, I'll ask, "Why?". When we're 4 hours in and he tells me he's hungry I'll just say, "Why?"

Seriously though, I think we should foster his inquisitive nature, to answer his questions and ask him some questions too. To really teach him what this world is all about. So, as we set off on our long LONG journey, and he starts with they why questions, I'll do what any good mom would do. Plug in my iPod and let hubby do the heavy lifting.    

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lesson #9: The Poop Will Find You

Lesson #9: The Poop Will Find You

I have often bemoaned the fact that 90% of my life seems to be spent dealing with little people's poo. Pooey undies, pooey diapers, pooey Pull Ups, it never ends. I swear, they hatch elaborate pooping strategies to make it so that every half hour I'm knuckle deep in butt yuck.

Little did I know, the poo was about sneak attack me.

Let me give you a little background so you can make some sort of sense of the story I'm about to regale you with. Yesterday my husband brought my 3 year old upstairs to put him down for his nap, then sneak in some shut eye himself. I wasn't shocked when about 10 minutes later they traipsed back downstairs to-you guessed it!-change a poo. They went back upstairs where hubby proceeded to nap and child proceeded to play dump Legos all over stinkin' place then creep downstairs because-you guessed it again!-he had yet another poo in his pants. And guess what? When the baby woke up, he had pooey pants too.

Fast forward to last evening. After having an "incident" with the high chair tray which resulted in some bruiseage between my eyes and a major headache (don't ask), I called it a night and headed to bed. I was walking around the bed in semi-darkness straightening out the sheet and comforter when suddenly I stepped on something sorta hard and sorta sticky. My first thought was that I had stepped on a bug or spider, but then I thought it didn't feel squishy and wet enough for that. I paused momentarily and, rubbing my toes together to dislodge the offending item, pondered what I could possibly be stepping on that would be the unique consistency of hardsquishy.

You know where this is going don'tcha?

A terrible thought entered my mind and, fearing the worst, I snapped on the lamp and looked down. As I peered in disbelief at the brown marble sized round lump on the floor I tried really really hard to think of something else it might be. I muttered a few choice words as I hobbled back over to my side of the bed and grabbed a tissue, careful not to let my hardsquish'd toes hit the floor. Very slowly, I bent over and retrieved the lump with the tissue.

Have you ever heard the saying "If it looks like poo and it smells like poo, it's poo"? Yeah, well. I hobbled down the stairs and hobble-ran into the living room, shrieking at hubby, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS? DO YOU KNOW WHAT I JUST STEPPED ON?!" Before he could answer I shouted, "IT'S POOP!" (Ok, I didn't say poop, I used a 4 letter word.) Then I ran into the bathroom, flushed the renegade poo and immediately began washing and Purell-ing my foot.

At some point during this spectacle hubby started laughing his butt off, so I scolded him, saying that "When the kid says he pooped, you have to change him RIGHT AWAY or that sh!t will escape!" which made hubby laugh even harder. Sure, easy to laugh when it's not your foot with a poop marble stuck to it. That's when he told me he'd changed the baby's pooey diaper ON THE BED, so it could have rolled out of the diaper when he was wrapping it up. I told him if I rolled over onto a crap log in the middle of the night I was NOT going to be happy.

He asked me if I was gonna blog about it and at first I didn't think I would because you all would think we were disgusting gross poopy people. But ya know what? I'm willing to bet you've been there or somewhere near there a time or two. And if you haven't, you will be. 'Cause the poop WILL find you.

(Photo courtesy of a Pedia Lax ad on the back cover of Family Fun Magazine's June/July 2011 edition.)


Monday, June 13, 2011

Lesson #8: The Second Child

Lesson #8: No matter what you think before you have more than one child, you WILL treat your second differently than you did your first.

Before I became mom to multiple children, when I heard people say, "You won't care about [insert item here] with your next one," I would mentally gasp and think, all indignantly, "I cannot believe they said that! I will ALWAYS care JUST as much about EVERY DETAIL with my second as I do with my first."

Fast forward a few years to the present. Yeah, I totally get it now. It's not that you care less about the second child, it's just that you're so friggin' tired you can't summon the energy to care that he's wearing the Friday bib on Monday or that he's out in public with puke on his outfit. Hey, he's fed, clothed and well loved, what more do you want from me? (Those of you with only one kid are mentally gasping and thinking how you'll NEVER say this when you have another one. I am mentally laughing at you.)

The second child syndrome started with my little one the very day he (finally!) came home from the hospital. As I've said in previous posts, my babies were both born prematurely. This meant extended hospital stays for both of them. When my oldest came home after 56 days in the NICU, there was great fanfare. My family was here anxiously awaiting his arrival, decorations were hung, there was a welcome home poster, he was wearing a special outfit; it was a party! Little dude came home in a pair of monkey jammies about 2 sizes too big for him that I put on him because they were clean. It wasn't that I didn't want to have a big to do, it was mostly because I found out he was coming home, after 36 days "on the inside", as I drove to the hospital that morning. I called to let them know I'd be there for his feeding and they oh-so-nonchalantly let me know that he'd be going home as soon as they could find someone to do the snip-snip. I hadn't had time to get to the store and pick out a special outfit (yeah I know he was there 36 days but I was busy!) so I picked out the cutest jammies that were clean and called it good.

I would never dream of letting my older boy scoot off his floor mat onto-GASP!-the bare floor! I always sterilized big brother's bottles instead of just sticking them-GASP!-in the dishwasher. The first child's clothes were washed in Dreft until he was a year and a half. And always real Dreft, not store brand "Baby Detergent". A value brand diaper never touched his butt, and I would have died before I gave him-DOUBLE GASP!-store brand formula. 

Yeah, well. A little dog hair never killed anyone, the dishwasher gets hot enough to melt plastic, and that other crap is all really expensive when you've got another mouth to feed and your child care suddenly costs more than your mortgage.

All I can say is thank God I don't have a third child. He'd probably be hitchhiking home from the hospital, his little baby thumb sticking out on the side of the interstate, trying to bum a ride. He'd be guzzling milk straight from the carton and have diapers made out of maxi pads and duct tape. But I would craft those maxi diapers with so much love. After all, it's not about the "stuff"- it's about the little people who wear it.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lesson # 7: Video Camera = Monster Child

Lesson #7: Your kid will act like a total psycho when there is a recording device aimed at him. Especially if wielded by a local newscaster. And no amount of preparation before the event will change that outcome. Trust me.

Both of my babies were born way before they were fully "cooked" and because of that we have become advocates for prematurity awareness and education, and are big supporters of the March of Dimes. Because of THAT, we have done televised interviews with local media on five separate occasions. The first three times were at our home so the camera dude could just shoot all kinds of footage of my oldest acting like a total weirdo and then it could be edited to show the cuteness that lies beneath those horns he seems to sprout whenever there is a lens anywhere near him. The fourth time was at our local March for Babies event and he refused to show his face, but did give them some decent footage of him running all around and playing with his Mimi (this is good because it showcases how "normal" he's turned out despite being born at 29 weeks).

Last Saturday we were interviewed again during the local Children's Miracle Network telethon. Hubby was working so mom came along to help me wrangle the chillins during the segment. In her infinite wisdom, mom declined to wear a microphone so all the cajoling she had to do with my 3 1/2 year old during the 3 minute spot wasn't broadcast over the airwaves. (I told you she was wise.)

Let me preface this next part by telling you that my older boy LOVES his baby brother to pieces, drool and all. He is always trying to make the baby smile, and when he thinks I'm not listening he'll have whole conversations with the little dude. He shares toys, reads stories and showers "his" baby with kisses on a regular basis. Get the picture?

I'm still not sure exactly what the kid was trying to do (and I forgot to DVR it so I can't even watch it to try and figure it out), but he kept sort of hissing at his baby brother. I think he was actually trying to spit on him but knew he probably wouldn't get away with it in light of all the grown ups looking at him. I was really trying to concentrate on the questions I was being asked but it's totally distracting when there is a little person trying to spit on you and all you can think about is how everyone is going think your kid is a horrible little spit monster and how you must be such a bad parent because what kind of kid goes around spitting on babies? Mom must have whispered something really good to him (hmmm... lesson #6 anyone?) because just as I was beginning to get a little flabbergasted, he reached over, wrapped his arms around my head, and smiled up at me. I like to think it was because he just couldn't contain his love and adoration for dear old mom, but I'm pretty sure it was more about asserting himself as the center of attention.

Oh well, he comes rightly by it. Autographs, anyone?  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lesson #6: Ya Do What Ya Gotta Do (also known as Bribery)

It's a dirty little word but we all do it sometimes: Bribery. You know why we do it? Because it WORKS. Granted, it ain't gonna solve yer problems long term, but when your back's against the wall-ya do what ya gotta do. (Of course, before I had kids this was one of those XYZ's that I was never going to do-see Lesson #1.)

If you don't have children, a candy jar is probably not part of your bathroom decor. Maybe if you do have kids it isn't either and we're just freaks, who knows. In any event, last fall my mother waltzed in and presented said candy jar and some really badass stickers to my 3 year old in an attempt to prevent him from shipping off to college still wearing a Pull Up. Everything I learned in the course of earning my fancy degree in Early Childhood Education told me that extrinsic motivation was probably not the way to go, but with a new baby at home whose bodily functions I was also in charge of, I thought "Why not?". (Well, actually I thought "MOTHER WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!!!!!" but the deed was done so my next thought was "Why argue".)

The pottying got easier, though I'm not sure it was so much the candy and stickers as it was his readiness to stop doing the do in his pants. After awhile he didn't care about the stickers and we only gave them to him if he asked. Then we were able to ween back and offer the M & M's only when he did numero dos. I patted myself on the back as I channeled BF Skinner (or was it Pavlov? I wasn't paying THAT much attention in college) and thought of how effectively we were reinforcing the desired behavior. Before we knew it, he'd be going on the potty all the time and we could keep the food in the kitchen where it belonged!

A few weeks ago the M & M well started running dry so we told him that when the M&Ms were gone, he would just get stickers for pooping on the potty. He seemed cool with it so I didn't give it another thought. He was doing so well, even wearing underwear during naps (at child care-I ain't going there, no way baby!), and I dared to hope that we were finally reaching that light at the end of the potty training tunnel.

As it turns out, that light was attached to a freight train headed right at us. Oy. The last couple of weeks the kid has been pooping in his underwear like it's the Tour de France and he's Lance Freakin' Armstrong. After being up to my elbows in crappy toilet water FOUR TIMES the other day (no I don't know why he was pooping so much, probably just to make my hair turn gray prematurely) I was desperate. I found myself saying, "If you go poop on the potty I bet I could find some chocolate!" He stopped whining and his eyes immediately lit up as he said (in a straaaange voice), "Chocoate chips?!!!"

And you know what?  It worked.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lesson #5: You WILL Be Late

Why I am just learning this lesson now is beyond me. Maybe it took having 2 kids to throw me off my game. You see, I HATE being late. Well, not as much as I hate it when other people are late, but still. I am one of those neurotic people who is so paranoid about being late that I end up being ridiculously early. Therefore, this lesson was a hard pill to swallow. You can just imagine what being chronically late does for my neurosis about being late. It's a vicious cycle.

Now that I'm resigned to the fact that I will never again be on time, EVER, I started thinking about why I can never seem to get from point A to point B in a timely manner. I have come to the conclusion that while there are many events that cause my late-ness, there is usually only one reason: children. And, unfortunately for me, these events caused by my children typically involve bodily functions.

Take the other weekend for example. I was totally psyched that we were actually leaving the house on time! Woohoo! We might actually end up where we are supposed to be at the time we are supposed to be there! YES! Everyone fed, clothed, and groomed? Check. Seventy trillion bags packed? Check. Everyone in the car? Check. That's when my 3 year old dropped the bomb on me (literally and figuratively): "Mommy, I pooped again." That one set us back a good 20 minutes.

This morning as we were about to exit the humble abode we experienced what I like to refer to as the "Baby Blast". You know, when you're all ready to go and the baby erupts like Mount St. Frickin Helens, drowning you both in puke-ola. This can set you back anywhere from 5 minutes (if you just wipe it up and call it good) to 15 minutes (if you have to change both your outfit and his). This morning it was a wipe and run morning so we actually made it (almost) on time to our destination.

I have also discovered that "start time" has no impact on time of departure. It doesn't matter how early I get up, we will still be late. I could get up at 4am and somehow, some way, we would be late.  By the time I get in the car, I feel like I've run a marathon and I'm jonesin' for a cup-o-joe like Whitney Houston craves crack. Then I think to myself, "What the heck, we're late anyway. Might as well hit the drive through."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lesson #1

Lesson #1: Let go of expectations. Otherwise known as: Expect the Unexpected

Everything about how I joined the Mama 'Hood was unexpected. Like, I didn't expect it would take more than 2 years for us to get pregnant. I mean, people were poppin' these babies out left and right by accident and I couldn't even do it on purpose! I also didn't expect that I would become mom to not one, but TWO preemies! (Ok, the second one I kind of expected.)

While there have been many, many lessons learned since Lesson #1 (like: No matter how many times before you have kids you say you will never do X, Y & Z- once you have kids you will definitely do at least one, probably two, and maybe even all three of these things), we didn't document those lessons so therefore we'll begin counting the lessons chronicled here with #2 and go from there.

SO, here are some lessons I learned just this week:

Lesson #2: The six most evil words in the English language are: "Mommy I need to go potty". Especially when uttered at the butt crack of dawn. ...And followed immediately by "Mommy I peed on your bed" (ok maybe THOSE are the six most evil words...)

Lesson #3: One must not look away, not even for a nanosecond, when preparing marinade with a 3 year old 'helper', otherwise one will be cleaning a huge effing mess off her counter.

Lesson #3: Hauling boxes to the recycling center will entertain a 3 year old boy for a whole day. Seriously.

Lesson #4: It's not enough to just BUY the locks for the lazy Susan cupboard, you really should install them too. Unless you want come out of the bathroom to find your child standing on a chair sucking on a tube of cookie icing. Just sayin'.