For Mother’s Day, we went with my in-laws to the beach.
My son is sick, so on the long drive there we enjoyed the soundtrack of incessant hacking punctuated by simultaneous shrieks of “Weeeeee” from both kids whenever we went over a “hill” on the highway.
When we arrived there, we began the Sisyphean task of unloading tents, umbrellas, beach toys, coolers and I began lathering the kids in sunscreen.
When I got to my son’s nose, maybe because he thought I was going to wipe the snot, he freaked out and started smacking me in the face.
He got an epic car time-out, during which he cried out a bunch of the snot.
I finally got him to stop crying by distracting him by helping pigeons get some water at the shower by the parking lot.
Then halfway to the beach he starts screaming again because he sneezed out more snot.
At the beach, he perks up and has a great time, but my daughter is refusing to go into the water because there are waves.
Never been an issue before. She tells me she’ll go in the ocean when she’s five.
They drop cookies and cheese puffs in the sand, still trying to pick them back up to eat them. I question their common sense.
We stay just long enough for it to make sense that we built a second G-D home on the beach before packing up and heading back to the car.
We decide to head to Chili’s with my in-laws, because every other restaurant is packed with mothers.
My son falls asleep just minutes before we arrive.
Lunch starts fine, with him sleeping on my husband’s lap. But, he wakes up moments after the food arrives and starts crying.
My mother-in-law assumes it’s because he’s sick, but NO. He ALWAYS wakes up like that.
So, I take him outside for a stroll, to watch cars whiz by and interrogate him.
“Do you want juice?” “Do you want chips?” “Do you need to go potty?” “Do you want corn on the cob?” “Do you want two-for-one margaritas?”
He goes with juice, so we head back inside where he refuses to leave my lap, so I cannot eat.
The juice (and my daughter’s chocolate milk) arrive just in time for us to leave. That earns the waiter instant dick status.
At home, you’d think my son would get back to that interrupted nap, but no way. He’s up for the long haul now. So, we take a bike ride.
During the bike ride, my daughter decides to ask me why we don’t live forever.
Last time she asked me, “Who made God?”
Nothing like a relaxing bike ride with Alma.
When we get home, my husband and I trade off struggling through naps and watching the kids.
I want to shout Amen and dance with snakes when bedtime arrives.
But, noooooo! Alma says her belly hurts because she’s still hungry.
I struggle between thinking she could possibly be going through a growth spurt and be legitimately hungry and assuming she’s just making up the typical excuses to stay up late. I also don’t want to set the precedent that eating in bed after brushing your teeth is okay.
I offer her “squeeze fruit.” (glorified applesauce) She says she only wants Goldfish.
I tell her she can eat Goldfish, but she has to sit on the floor because she’ll get crumbs in her bed.
I bring her the Goldfish and she starts crying because she says she wanted bread. (I was apparently supposed to deduce this telepathically.)
I bring her the bread and leave. Moments later, she’s yelling at me from her room to come and throw away the crust she doesn’t want.
There’s a several minute fight.
“You have two working legs. Throw it away yourself!”
More crying. I find her crumpled on the floor of her room with a wad of crust in her hand. So, I drag her to the bathroom and make her throw it away.
Now, she’s wailing that the chunk of middle bread she wanted was in the pile in the trash. So, I pick it out and send her off.
I start to feel guilty.
I picture her someday telling her college boyfriend about her wretched mother who would send her starving to bed with a mashed up piece of bread plucked from the garbage.
I go back to her room to talk it out and find her sound asleep, the chunk of bread uneaten inside her curled up little paw. I kiss her cheek and toss it out.
We pick our battles.
My husband I have talked about how incredibly sick we are of constantly telling the kids, “No.”
We do let some stuff slide. In the car ride back from the beach, we let Huck shove crackers from his Lunchable under his seat belt buckle, showering crumbs around my car. Alma was rubbing circles of ham on her thighs.
We finally have the freedom to have a couple of beers and watch some mindless crap on TV when… I hear Alma crying.
She has puked all over her bed, her pajamas, her hair.
It’s a mad dash to bathe her, brush her teeth, wash sheets. (Although my husband tends to just toss stuff in the trash. We lost two fluffy pink blankets last night.)
I threw out the bathmat. Once there are chunks in that thing, there’s no getting it clean.
I disinfect the tub twice over, because Lord knows if one kid gets a stomach bug, we’re all screwed.
She sleeps through the night and I feel like we’re in the clear.
Until I get a text message from my husband this morning that she crapped her undies overnight and several times since.
Now, I spend the entire day at work feeling pressure under my tongue like I’m going to puke.
The paranoia that could inevitably lead to me actually tossing my cookies.
So, that was Mother’s Day.
I did get some lovely earrings and a watch from the husband.