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.
As I held my new niece for the very first time, I marveled at her perfect little face and how fragile and tiny she was. I was impressed by her full head of hair and the tiny lips already poised to smile in her sleep.
Then, I was relieved that she wasn’t mine.
Maybe it’s because the entire drive to Orlando, my children kept throwing their respective Spiderman and Hello Kitty balls on the floor of the car and whining that I needed to pick them back up.
Maybe it’s because my daughter wouldn’t stop yelling and waking her little brother up once he finally fell asleep.
Maybe it’s because my son threw a temper tantrum in the hospital room and started kicking me, then his Nana and then anyone in his general vicinity.
Or, maybe it was watching my daughter cower in front of her own family, melting into nothing because she was uncomfortable about the presence of a baby. She chose to peer out the window as if there was nothing more fascinating than the rooftop of the building next door.
Maybe it’s the dozen times this past weekend that I had to peel soggy undies over my son’s little legs. (along with a couple chunky poops) To say he’s regressed is an understatement. We’re starting from scratch.
Maybe it’s the previous day when we made the mistake AGAIN of going to the beach. We chose a closer one, but that didn’t stop my daughter from complaining about the duration of the trip.
Once we set up our mobile beach home, it wasn’t the sound of waves crashing on the shore or seagulls that filled the air.
It was, “There’s wind in my eye!” “There’s sunscreen in my eye!” “There’s sand on my hands!” “I want my shoes on!” “I want to go in the water!” “I want to go on the sand!” “I want more oranges!” (“We’re out of oranges, honey.” “I want more oranges!!!!”) “Put me deeper in the water!” “Take me closer to the shore!” “My belly hurts!”
All I could think is THANK GOD I have a week off coming up for my birthday. My plan was to have several days of “me time” with stress free trips to the beach, naps and reading for more than ten minutes without passing out from exhaustion. Then, we were going to do our first weekend without the kids since they were born. Stay at a hotel with a pool, drink too much, sleep too much and remember how much we actually enjoy each other’s company.
We drop off the kidlets at my in-laws after the beach so we can grab a couple of adult beverages and drink off the feeling that having kids at all was a giant mistake.
The first thing my mother-in-law says is that they’re heading to Vegas to celebrate their anniversary… the weekend of my birthday when we were going to get away. I die a little inside.
While having drinks, I tell my husband that life will get easier once Huck gets potty trained and that all I need is several days in a row where I can really work with him.
Big mistake. Now, it looks like instead of a staycation, I will be cleaning up piss and shit for a week. Can I just work instead?
So, yeah… that new baby smell does NOTHING for me. I’ll just use baby powder.
The cute itsy bitsy clothes? I’ll buy Alma a doll.
The thrilling feeling of bringing another human being into the world? Been there, done that, twice.
Maybe I would feel differently if one of my kids had been a dud. Maybe we hit the jackpot of batshit crazy and annoying. Maybe we’re not strict enough. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so difficult if I didn’t have to wrap up a shitty weekend and head back to a wretched job.
I love my children, but they are the little sticks of dynamite that have blasted my biological clock.
All that’s left are gears and cogs, tears and daydreams.
Congratulations to my big brother and his wife… and good luck with that.
ON SLEEP ATTIRE:
Alma: “Why is Daddy working?” (at night)
Me: “I don’t know.”
Alma: “Maybe he hates his PJ’s. Wait, does Daddy have PJ’s?”
Me: “He sleeps in his undies.”
Alma: “That’s kind of disgusting.”
ON DEAD ANIMALS: (after a bike ride where a bloated, dead turtle was spottted)
Alma: “Flies love flat turtles that are dead. They fly around and around and when it gets dark they fly away. When the sun comes up, they come back and fly around and around because they love dead turtles.”
Alma: “Dolphins blow water out of their brains, right Mama?”
ON HER BAD BEHAVIOR:
Alma: “Santa brings presents to good girls and boys. Huck won’t get presents cause he’s soooo naughty.”
Me: “You’ve been pretty naughty lately too.”
Alma: “When I was a baby, I was a good girl a lot of times. I’ve only been naughty sometimes.”
Now Huck’s turn.
ON HIS ABILITY TO RUN QUICKLY:
Huck: “I run fast like SUPERMAN! I’m Super Huck!”
Boys really are just more easy going.
I struggle endlessly to discover new and awesome movies for my kids to watch.
Disney flicks are way too pricey to buy.
My daughter wants the Barbies and Ponies and my son likes the trains and cars, so they rarely agree.
The greatest challenge is finding something I will watch without constantly checking Facebook updates or playing solitaire on my phone.
Here are my top 5 current and contemporary kid flicks.
Say what you will about it, but there is something incredibly freeing about belting out ballads, especially with midget backup singers.
I love Anna’s quirkiness. She drools, looks like crap in the morning, has a severe chocolate addiction and falls for a stinky dork with a family of trolls.
2. Meet the Robinsons.
Plots centered on adoption tug at my heart strings. It gives us a glimpse of a super villain as an innocent child. The mom is a bad-ass who thwarts a brutal attack where meatballs are used as weapons.
It has a song by Rufus Wainwright that I ADORE.
This can’t be a kid flick. It just can’t. Chock full of grownup metaphors.
4. Hotel Transylvania.
I hate Adam Sandler, except for in this movie.
I dig monster humor.
And there’s this line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXveWvxYz3A
5. Free Birds.
Owen Wilson. Amy Poehler. Woody Harrelson. George Takei. (I had you at Takei, didn’t I?)
My husband would add Fantastic Mr. Fox to this list, but a friendly reminder to fellow parents: Your kids repeat what they hear, so only watch it if you’re a-o-k with the kidlets saying, “What the cuss?” or “This is a total clustercuss!”
Parents of little ones, please add your suggestions and justifications. I am always searching for better alternatives to playing with the dollhouse.
Picture a koala bear whining perpetually. Or a turtle neck sweater that cries for no reason. Or the Incredible Hulk keeping a mom in a headlock while EXCLUSIVELY wearing skirts. This is my daughter. She is going through a phase (Dear God, let it be a phase) where she is beyond clingy.
She is single-handedly bringing back the choker necklace of the 90’s by BECOMING a choker.
She repeatedly gets down from the bench during dinner to give me a hug, despite being told repeatedly to withhold affection until after we eat.
She lies on top of me, kicking me over and over and over and then when I finally break down and yell at her she says, “I just want to give you a hug!” (Or kick the shit out of me)
She wants me to carry her, she wants to cook with me, she wants me to color WITH her. Inevitably when we color together, she gets bored and starts scribbling spastically all over whatever masterpiece I’ve created.
Sometimes I feel like instead of giving birth to a child, I actually have a parasitic twin attached to my body.
The other night I told her it was time to bed after we finished reading and she started to fake cry. I told her to read a book on her own and she went ape crap.
I got annoyed and told her to pull it together.
Then she said, “I can’t read a book on my own, BECAUSE I CAN’T READ THE WORDS!”
Now I’M the dick. It has to be incredibly frustrating to be just a few letter sounds away from being able to read by yourself.
That being said, I am starting to think it’s strange that my children have ZERO ability to entertain themselves. (even together)
As I have previously posted, I suck at pretend.
I harbor a secret desire to burn her dollhouse down.
I can only find so many ways to rearrange the six pieces of furniture.
I have on more than one occasion plunked my daughter down on the couch, put on a new movie and tried to sneak in a nap in the bedroom. (Door open. I am not a HORRIBLE parent.)
Within ten minutes I will hear the heavy breathing of a small being standing next to me, staring at me, waiting for me to open my eyes.
It’s like I have my own personal serial killer, who is determined to murder me with crappy kid movies.
She won’t even sing without me. If I stop singing Frozen songs because I am doing something totally unimportant like trying to help her little brother poop on the potty, she starts to whisper-sing, looking uncomfortable like she just forgot her lines in the school play.
I probably shouldn’t talk considering that my mother could’ve nicknamed me “the tumor” until I was in high school. But, seriously, was I this annoying?
I’ve started calling her an Australian Sheperd. “The Aussie has considerable energy and drive, and usually needs a job to do.”
That’s my kid.
If you don’t give her a task, she’ll throw a shit-fit and possibly even piss on the rug. (Maybe not, but her temper tantrums ARE escalating.) She is a lovely child. Brilliant, hilarious, spirited and driven.
Now, can someone please borrow her for a couple of hours so I can have a hot date with my husband?
There are skills that make any good mother something akin to a superhero. In my estimation, stay at home moms have the hardest gig. But, working moms have it rough too. They also develop superhuman powers, often not found in everyday women.
1. The ability to apply all makeup while at stop lights on the way to work. No smudges, no crazy lady eye shadow. To the women who even tackle plucking their eyebrows behind the wheel, kudos… and I’ve been there.
2. They have learned the fastest way to get to and from work. Yeah, they’ve been late fifteen times trying different routes, but now they have it MASTERED .
3. The ability to do laundry incrementally over several days.
4. They are phenomenally low maintenance. Only 10 minutes to shower, dress and get out the door? No problem.
5. They have dismissed the iron as an extraneous appliance. Clothes that wrinkle are dedicated with love to Goodwill.
6. The secret ankle shave allows them to wear capris or long skirts unabashedly.
7. They have found a way to effectively eliminate ALL down time. Down time? What is that? Walk through the front door after a long commute home from a crappy day at work and immediately start COOKING.
8. They have bid a fond farewell to food snobbery. You simply can’t waste precious time coming up with organic, healthy, creative meals and snacks. Sometimes it’s just a banana and a smile for breakfast.
9. The ability to give off the appearance of extreme concentration during a meeting when you are actually falling asleep.
10. They can change a diaper in a single bound, at the speed of light. Casual diaper change when you’ve got somewhere you have to be in order to pay the bills? Ain’t nobody got time for that.