It’s not debatable.
I am not biased.
My daughter is incredibly smart.
But, I am starting to think perhaps I have told her this too often.
I know you’re not supposed to tell your little girls they are beautiful. I do anyway. I tell my son he’s beautiful too.
Pretty girl. Pretty boy.
But, I do try to emphasize their other more valuable accomplishments.
“You’re so fast!”
“You’re getting so good at singing!”
“You’re an artist!”
“You’re so smart!”
The other night Alma and I sat on her bed and had a legit conversation.
I asked her about how she felt about specific things and she answered me thoughtfully and began to expound.
We got on the subject of birthdays and she informed me that her cousin Solange’s birthday was next, then her birthday was shortly after. She then proceeded to tell me what she wore for her two previous birthdays, where we lived at the time, what we did and how old she would be for her next several birthdays.
I asked, “How do you remember all of that?”
Her response, “I know everything, maybe.”
While it made me chuckle, it also terrified me.
More and more lately, she has started using the tone of voice that implies she thinks I am mentally challenged.
The other night I was searching in her room for one of Huck’s misplaced teddy bears. She said without looking up for her computer, “Uhhhh, he took it to school in his backpack, Mom.”
Replace “Mom” with “dipshit.”
That’s how it sounded.
She has even occasionally says, “I know that because I am so smart.”
I don’t WANT to stop telling her she’s smart. But, I am fighting the urge to say, “If you’re so damned smart, why do you act so stupid all the time?”
“Yes, you can draw one heck of a giraffe. Now, why do you throw a hissy fit if your pants don’t cover your ankles?”
“It’s amazing that you can count to 25 and beyond. Now, can you stop calling me into your room every ten minutes to inform me of something I absolutely didn’t need to know?”
(My son is not exempt from that one. The other night, he called me for the umpteenth time to make sure I knew that he… farted.)
“You’re so smart, why can’t you wipe your own hoo hah?”
“You’re so smart, why can’t you take your own shirt off over your head without getting trapped inside?”
“You’re so smart, why can’t you color by yourself, play by yourself, play with your brother, leave me alone????”
My husband has taught her the easiest way to close a marker top with her weak, little stick arms. Clearly, I don’t need to press the marker against a hard surface to put the top on. Every time I just snap it on, she says, “No, mommy. You have to do it like THIS. Ugh. You always forget.”
I love having a smart child. I hate having a smart child. Inevitably “smart” ends up “smartass.”
Au Revoir husband!
I prepared my lunch for work the night before.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m.
I was ready to leave by 6 a.m.
The kids were ready to leave by 6:30 a.m.
All of this was the case, yet I still managed to arrive at work a whopping 45 minutes late!
Loading the kids into the car:
Alma demands to “squeeze through” her brother’s side to get to her carseat.
Huck starts whining and fighting me because I won’t let him buckle the belt by himself.
Alma is refusing to sit down so I can buckle her because she needs me to lay the bottom buckle FLAT before she can sit down.
On the way to daycare:
I hit an intersection near the high school where a cop is directing traffic. By directing traffic, I mean letting EVERYBODY but me go.
How is that more effective than an accurately timed light? Now, some of us get shafted and others arrive early and it’s all determined by one pudgy dude with a badge.
After sitting for maybe 15 minutes, he waves me through with a smile. (asshole)
Alma wants to take multiple sips of her Orange Juice before getting out of the car.
Huck is outraged because I won’t let him UNbuckle the belt.
He starts screaming as I drag him toward the building.
Alma starts screaming because I’m not holding her hand as we walk the four steps from my car to the sidewalk. (I couldn’t because I was carrying her backpack.)
I march them bawling, into a room full of perfectly well-behaved children. The daycare worker swings around and shoots me an evil glare as I run to put the kid’s backpacks on their hooks.
Then Huck’s crying becomes more plaintive. Apparently, HE is supposed to hang his backpack up.
Alma has tears streaming down her cheeks and is hiccuping air, incapable of even explaining why she’s so upset.
Back on the road:
4-way stops where no one has a clue whose turn it is to GO. School zones. School buses picking up kids. Uneven lanes and construction.
Voila! 45 minutes late.
It’s not like I have a job where EVERY single second LITERALLY counts. (I do. Google “backtiming.”)
I spill an entire cup of crappy office coffee on my desk. (and my purse)
I have to leave early to get to the daycare before they close and start charging PER MINUTE.
At least I get to see their shining smiles when I pick them up, until my son starts chanting “I want daddy!” at home.
One of the only upsides to a husband out of town is the chance to consume enough garlic to ward off vampires states away.
I made sure to buy garlic on my lunch break and came home to find the last onion is gone. I only needed ONE onion. There is no way I’m schlepping the kids in their pajamas to Target for a damn onion.
In the morning, I once again have to drag my sleeping children from their beds. Unless they’re tending to the crops, it seems so wrong to wake up toddlers before dawn.
I’m prying pj’s off kids practically in comas. I feel like a date rapist.
I’m hoisting their limp bodies up to the sink to brush their teeth like a scene from Weekend at Bernie’s.
They can’t hit a snooze button, so they tend to hit me.
The worst part? We spend all week setting their little internal alarm clocks so Saturday morning they inevitably wake up at the crack of dawn.
But, look how cute they are, RIGHT?
I attended a rave for kids over the weekend!
But, first let’s recount another epic restaurant failure.
We took the kids to Lee Roy Selmon’s for lunch.
Huck was asleep when we arrived. I wish he had stayed that way.
As soon as the food arrives, he wakes up pissed off and starts crying. My husband tells him to stop crying or he will get time out. So, he starts WAILING.
Then, my daughter starts crying because I told her she can’t have any birthday cake at my niece’s birthday party because she’s refusing to eat anything but Mac ‘N Cheese.
Can 3 year olds get scurvy? I bet mine can.
I have literally eaten a few bites of food before my husband is trying to hail down the waitress to get the check and I’m shuttling two screaming kids out of the restaurant.
Outside, in the blistering heat, I use distraction techniques to shut them up.
“Do you hear a plane?”
“Look, a lizard!”
It works until we get to the car, when my daughter starts being a giant Jackass. Every 2 seconds, she’s saying “mommy.”
“Mommy, get my Cinderella dress off the floor.”
“Mommy, I want juice.”
“Mommy, I’m being good now so I can have birthday cake.” (Oh, hell no you can’t.)
“Mommy, I want a snack.” (Go, F-yourself you little meatless, veggieless, fruitless monster.)
We took my food to go so I could eat it in the car, but my blood pressure is soaring and I know if I eat I am going to be trapped in a bathroom, destroying the toilet at the bowling alley for my niece’s party.
Which brings me to the rave.
We arrive earlier than anticipated since lunch was cut so short. We take them to the arcade area and try to show how them how to play Skee Ball.
We take a shot at air hockey.
Alma refuses to play.
Huck sits on the table and my husband accuses me of trying to injure our son because I hit the puck too hard.
We walk over to the party once it’s started. Seconds after the obligatory round of cheek-kissing, they shut off the lights.
I am blinded by neon and can no longer see my children.
The theme is candy.
Tweens are running around sucking on ring candy and I’m having a flashback to the time I ended up at a rave, sitting miserably against the wall with some douche bag spinning glow sticks in front of my face saying, “Are you rolling? You’re so rolling. Are you rolling?” (For the record, I was NOT.) (That same night I ended up in the women’s bathroom with some chick who asked if I was having fun. I told her, “Not at all.” She offered me cocaine.)
So, now I am desperately trying to herd my children around the table where I’m sitting on one of the most uncomfortable, perpetually swiveling chairs.
I am envisioning their melon heads being shattered by some pre-adolescent boy wildly swinging a bowling ball.
My daughter is repeatedly refusing to drink fruit punch because she wants juice. Abuela offers her the same drink and calls it juice. Alma drinks it and loves it. (Then snidely says, “Mommy, it’s not fruit punch. It’s juice, see?”)
I’m digging apart pieces of crappy, overpriced pizza for my son, the tomato sauce burning through my hangnail. (Pizza that I cannot eat because I am lactose intolerant.)
There’s some pizza-faced, “slow” girl who works for the bowling alley lurking around to make sure the correct number of adults are bowling at each lane. I resist the urge to trip her. I mean, it’s dark. No one will see, right?
I love bowling and I’m pretty darn good at it. Doing it basically blindfolded while trying to keep my toddlers from being abducted by potential pervs?
I buy a pitcher of shitty beer. It does not make me feel better.
My son has been given a little birthday balloon on a plastic stick. He proceeds to hit himself in the eyeball with the stick. (2 days later and it’s still red)
Awesome, now I’ve blinded my son for the sake of a little kid rave.
My daughter is hopped up on candy (Candy is not birthday cake, she has informed me.) and I am still STARVING.
In the car, my spoiled leftovers smell like cheesy, unclean, fat person butt. (Which surprisingly does not keep me from being HUNGRY.)
We have no food at home. I get groceries. I cook. I hate everything.
The next day, my husband needs to get some work done so I end up taking the kids to see the new Planes movie.
I’m down with talking dogs. I can even chill out with phallic-looking Muno and his genital warts.
They lose me at communicating planes, helicopter and tractors.
My son is demanding to “walk around” during the movie.
My daughter drops her smuggled banana bread onto the floor.
At one point, she’s sitting on the floor, sticky with God knows what and I DON’T CARE.
I come home to find my husband still working and I die a little inside.
We manage to wrest him away from the computer long enough to hit up the mall park.
It smells rancid, like hot, unwashed hair.
Big kids are trying to jump from a giant fake hotdog to a giant fake Coke cup, threatening to squash my tiny tots running in between. My husband yells at them to stop and other parents are looking at his NRA hat suspiciously.
My son poops and I take him to the family restroom and discover we don’t have any wipes in the diaper bag. I am wiping him with Starbucks napkins, hoping other parents don’t notice. Within minutes of being back inside the park, he poops again.
We have to leave because there are no more Starbucks napkins.
Now, Alma starts screaming because we didn’t take them on the cars outside the park. (The little motorized cars that we refuse to pay for so they can jiggle from side to side. I always tell them to just get inside and enjoy their Goddamned imaginations.)
At home, Alma wants to blow bubbles outside even though it’s blazing hot.
I suffer for ten minutes, drenched in sweat. Then, I take her to look at animals at the pet store and buy a coloring book at the craft store. We emerge into a torrential downpour.
My husband works through the entire night.
He’s going out of town this week.
I watch Ray Donovan alone after the kids are asleep and cry into a glass of wine.
Looking on the bright side, there’s half a bottle left.
1. There is no inappropriate place to have a picnic.
2. You don’t need a cape to feel like a superhero. (but it’s also incredibly simple to create one out of an old swaddling blanket)
3. Embrace your personal sense of style.
4. Never lose your sense of wonder.
6. But, give them a chance.
8. Never give up, no matter how much you suck.
Forget blood, sweat and tears. My weekend was all poop, sweat and tears. I’m starting to think that’s a far worse combo.
My son seems to have mastered pee pee on the potty. There’s the occasional partial tinkle in the undies, followed by completion on the pot.
For the most part, there are no puddles accumulating in our house.
Poop is another story altogether.
I’m starting to think he’s terrified to poop on the toilet, so he’s holding it in for as long as he can and then it sneaks out in increments. That’s the only possible explanation for the impressive number of times he pooped in his undies over the weekend.
At some point, we’re going to have to break down and start washing the undies. We’ve been tossing them in the trash. It’s so terribly difficult to want to hand-scrub shit off someone’s underwear. Anyone’s underwear. But, for such a small amount of material, those little Superhero skivvies are EXPENSIVE.
There was a pee pee incident when we went to a restaurant for lunch with the kiddos. (where the food was double-fried disgusting)
My husband took Huck to the restroom, he peed and within ten minutes of coming back to the table, he peed in his pants. I guess he wanted to leave as badly as we did.
My husband tells me he also stomped on the pee that puddled on the floor of the bathroom, so his socks were soaked in urine.
We didn’t bring any boy socks, so he ended up wearing hot pink socks with chicks on them under his cowboy boots. (An aside: He loved the socks.)
The kids played outside on a playground that couldn’t possibly be up to code. There were plywood steps, rotting from water exposure. The kids periodically ran back to the deck where we were because they were terrified of the bees. (Which were actually flies.)
We took the kids to play putt putt golf.
We are not a couple overcoming the challenges of parenting with mental disabilities. We’re just stupid.
Not only is it difficult to teach toddlers how to properly use a golf club and avoid water hazards, it’s nearly impossible to keep them from falling off faux cliffs when there is sweat literally dripping into your eyes.
Afterward I asked Alma if she had fun. She said, “No, it was too hot.”
To cap off the weekend, there was a 4:30 a.m. Monday morning wake up call. My daughter was bleating like a sheep because she couldn’t find her Rainbow Dash pony.
It was right next to her in the bed.
I fell back asleep and had a nightmare that I couldn’t pull off a Frozen birthday party for her.
I can’t wait to trade in all the poop, sweat and tears for some sleep, peace and quiet.