My life post retirement at age 34:
I get a full night’s sleep.
I’m sure it won’t always be the case.
There will be earaches, nightmares and Alma launching herself head first from the bed like a circus stuntman.
But, for now, I’m RESTED.
My children wake up slowly. No screaming, crying and face-smacking over which outfit I choose.
They eat real breakfast!! This morning we made blueberry pancakes and banana pancakes. It might seem like no biggie, but as a former working mom, I feel like a stay at home mom rock star!
We’ve read books together, colored together, gone to the library and flown airplanes.
We’ve also taken the dogs to the vet, gone to the dentist and hit up the Super Target for batteries and dish soap. So glamorous!
I’m still adjusting to the nasty realities of daily life with petulant midgets, I mean small children.
I spend a shocking portion of my day wiping butts. I had no idea how frequently my kids still pooped. It goes in. It comes out. They have straight guts like unpotty trained puppies.
I still feel my blood pressure skyrocket when my son cries for no good reason: He hates slip-on shoes, Alma got the yellow straw, he can’t find his Ninja Turtle ball.
I envision drop-kicking our dog like I’m going for a field goal when he barks incessantly during naptime.
Living in Florida, any of our exercise time means sweating bullets, getting back into the car with sweaty pits, bum, upper lip, no more makeup, hair lookin’ like a swim cap.
Not a good look. Now I know why some moms find it’s easiest to give up on looking cute. I left my cute in a puddle on a playground.
I can’t say I miss grownup conversation, because even that was rare at my former place of employment.
But, my chats with my son about how his member looks like a castle are not very gratifying.
Other mind-numbing topics include: Why we have nipples, how God made dogs, what veins are.
We have also not made it past the stage where it’s cool to count poop. “Mommy, I did two dem!”
So, fish sticks and temper tantrums.
Sweat stains and poo math.
But, I get to watch my son finally color inside the lines.
I watch my daughter kiss my son’s hand to wake him from his nap.
I get to see the countless tiny moments I’ve been missing for nearly five years.
So worth it.
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.
Posted by ScreamerDreamer in crying, Family, Family humor, Family life, Funny family, mother's day, Motherhood, sick children Tags: beach with kids, childhood, children, crying, mother's day, motherhood, puke, toddlers, tossing cookies, vomit, whining
I was under the misconception there would be less crying when my newborns became babies.
When my babies became toddlers.
Little did I know the crying would continue daily well into my children’s 3rd and 4th years of life.
My daughter cries in the morning when my husband leaves her to come downstairs because she isn’t cooperating while getting dressed.
She cries at night because her Hello Kitty hat fell out of the bed and she doesn’t want to get out of bed to retrieve it.
She cries louder when I threaten to shut her door if she doesn’t stop crying.
She whines when her brother touches her.
She whines when she can’t get her shirt over her giant melon head.
She whines when I break the devastating news that we will not be eating Ravioli every night.
My son whines because his blanket has slipped down to the bottom of the bed.
He whines because I tell him he needs to put his sippy cup on the counter when he’s done.
He whines and transforms into a tiny T-Rex, flopping his stumpy arms because I won’t put “Baymax” on a perpetual loop on the T.V.
He cries if you even suggest he’s going to get time out.
He cries with shame if he hurts himself.
Last night, he cried at 2 a.m. for no apparent reason that we’ve been able to discern.
Most days begin with the sound of crying raining down from upstairs as I cook my breakfast and lunch for work.
Most days end with someone crying for some stupid reason before bed.
Most nights, sleep is interrupted by someone crying because they fell out of bed, had a nightmare, have an earache or in my son’s case… who the hell knows why?
Last night, I had a Come To Jesus talk with Alma about the crying.
A shut the door, sit down, look at me chat.
I told her that as she approaches age 5, it’s becoming increasingly ridiculous for her to whine and cry.
I told her she needs to start verbalizing her emotions, using words to describe how she feels. Say, “I’m sad.” Say, “I’m mad.” Say, “I’m an irritating a-hole and think you’re a shit mom.” (Okay, I didn’t say that.)
Her response was, “There’s a big kid at school who whines all the time.”
“Okay, he’s a dork.”
I said, “Do you hear me whining and crying all the time? No, cause I’m a big girl. I don’t go around saying, “I’m tired! Wahhh!” “I want to wear ripped jeans to work! Wahhh!” “I don’t wanna write about dead babies and riots and mass shootings! Wahhhh!” (Definitely didn’t say that.)
I made her paraphrase back to me what I was saying to be sure she understood.
Less than an hour later, she was in her room, screaming like a banshee, tears streaming down her face because she couldn’t find her Frozen lip gloss.
“Oh, the horror! The tragedy! How will you survive SLEEPING without lip gloss?”
These are the moments when I really start to feel a deep connection with parents arrested for duct taping their kids mouths shut.
I thought crying at this age was reserved for broken bones and stranger danger.
Do my kids just suffer from weak constitutions?
Should I be prying their eyes open, forcing them to watch videos of real suffering like A Clockwork Orange for kids?
Or maybe I am the only parent who feels their blood pressure rising with each meaningless wail.
The only one whose skin crawls when their child is shrieking needlessly.
The only one who sprouts spontaneous tears as soon as their child starts crying.
I’m the one with the weak constitution.