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.
My husband and I are drowning.
We’re being sucked under by a tidal wave of sick kids, pummeled by a tsunami of fake tears.
It’s a rip current of bad attitudes, wave upon wave of time-outs.
There are unexplainable belly aches.
Cold weather crankiness.
Rainy days trapped indoors.
Not to mention traffic jams caused by overturned trucks carrying baby formula and dogs with mysteriously enlarged spleens.
This past weekend, we tried to make the best of what is becoming a bad life situation.
We took the kids to the horse track. (Trust me, it’s not about gambling. We look at horseys and pick our favorite. Alma always chooses the one with the pink number.)
There are no pictures, because I was too busy giving my kids a perpetual verbal beat down to snap a photo.
On the way there, my son keeps dropping stuff on the floor of the car and whining for me to pick it up.
My daughter whines that she wants her window rolled down. I have those old-timey hand-cranked windows, so I tell her no.
She says, “I can do it with my foot!” I say, “No, don’t roll the window down with your foot.” Seconds later, I can feel my hair start to whip around because… she… rolled it down with her foot.
My husband says, “That’s it, Alma. Time-out whenever we get back home.”
She responds snarkily, “5 minute time-out.”
My husband, “That just earned you 10.”
At the track, she whines that she wants to sit on the benches outside instead of indoors. (Even though it looks as though it might rain.)
She whines that she wants to go in the bouncy houses. (The ones that are surrounded by a moat of mud.)
My son whines that he wants juice, not lemonade.
He whines that he wants a different hot dog. (What the hell does that even mean? All hot dogs are created equal.)
He starts whacking his auditorium seat up and down, then standing on it.
She knocks over my water.
Huck gets angry at me for telling me he’s also getting time-out and smacks my arm.
This is when I threaten to smack him in the face. Loud enough for other people to hear. That is also when I start to cry silently.
I mean, I’m never gonna smack my kid in the face. I’ve never even popped him on the bum.
I am humiliated.
I feel ashamed.
I feel guilty.
I feel like the world’s worst parent and… I feel like drinking A LOT. (Which would ALSO make me feel like a bad parent.)
We ended up cutting the whole thing short and going home angry.
Both kids got time-outs so epic, they both took naps.
I took a nap too.
They woke up feeling rejuvenated.
I woke up feeling ill-prepared to handle another 4 hours with them before bedtime.
That evening proved to be everything I anticipated and MORE.
Frankie is on medication for his chunky spleen or injured spine or whatever they charged us $1,000 for and it causes excessive urination. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Alma pointed out the slow-moving puddle of dog piss in the kitchen. I was surprised by the sheer enormity of said puddle. It had to be about a gallon.
I was nearly done sopping it up when I ran out of paper towels.
It’s around the same time that Alma slips and falls while chasing her brother.
She’s scream-crying, her absolute favorite.
I tell them to stop running around.
I’m mopping up the rest of the dog pee with Santa Clause napkins when Huck slips and falls flat on his face. He has a bloody nose and is shrieking. I cradle him on my lap as he yells into my face.
At some point, it almost sounds like he’s trying to make words, but I can’t understand him through the screaming.
It turns out he was saying, “I have to go potty.”
It was too late.
He peed on my lap.
It made it to my undies.
There’s no way in hell I’m cooking after that. So, I rush to Target to get some Chicken nuggets and potato fries.
Huck takes one bite of one nugget and says, “I’m done.” (par for the course) He spends the rest of dinner smashing his food and getting intermittent time-outs.
Clearly, time-out is not working.
We have also removed almost all toys from their rooms. Next would be, what? Furniture? In a month, my kids will be living like orphans in the suburbs.
This is why it takes a village.
Mommy and Daddy are going to lose their ability to cope if they don’t get a goddamned date night.
But, my mom lives far away. His mom is recovering from surgery. My dad and his wife were booked this past weekend visiting my brother. (And frankly, they’re probably overwhelmed by the crush of grandchildren at this point.)
I had a friend invite us to hang out this past weekend with him, his daughter and his wife, even with our kids in tow.
How do I explain that it’s not possible because my children will suck every drop of fun out of whatever we do?
And how do I do that while still conveying just how much I adore my children?
I love them so much, so much that weekends like this past one just break my heart. Feel me?
Posted by ScreamerDreamer in bad behavior, Family, Family humor, Family life, hyper kids, Parenting Tags: bad behavior, crying, guilt, parenting, punishment, screaming, sick kids, time out, urination, whining
Last night I was running a bath, trying to take advantage of a rare opportunity to speed shave my legs. Deep beneath the sound of the running water, I could already hear someone wailing.
It’s atomic level bawling.
A toddler recovering after getting karate chopped in the throat.
I rush to see what’s wrong and my husband informs me that my son has just taken a naked shit on the carpet in his bedroom.
Okay, now THIS has to be the worst part of potty training. It’s shag, y’all. NOT COOL.
I ask my husband, “You’re the one cleaning up poop, so why is HE crying?”
Apparently, he was incredibly disturbed by the poop on the carpet. I tried to comfort him.
“Just aim for the potty next time, bud.”
But, this begs the question… why are the kids crying all the time? It’s been months since I first posted my rant about the perpetual crying in my household. We are NO closer to quietude.
I would like to experience toddlerhood again, just to see how much I could get away with. (Except for pooping on the floor. That would just be weird.)
Here’s how my day would go:
Alarm goes off: Audible groaning, grows into full-blown crying.
Husband bathes me while I refuse to sit still, do whatever the hell I want and splash him like a jackass.
I demand what I want for breakfast, then bitch about how long it’s taking him to cook it.
I decide I’m full after a few bites and tell him to get his ass back over to take my plate away.
He chaffeurs me to work and I complain during the drive about whatever he puts on the radio and talk his ear off.
At work, I will doodle, listen to music and bite anyone who tries to take my chair. I will nap for two hours. A manager will provide me with snacks.
My husband will drive me back home. At this point, I will probably be hungry and tired again so I will bitch him out and get loud without explanation.
When we walk in the door, I will instantly demand food, drink, my favorite movie and he HAS to sit next to me during all of it. He must shovel food into my mouth, take chunks of ice out of my cup and remove my shoes if I am inclined to relax barefoot.
My husband will ask how my day was. I will blatantly ignore him.
He will ask again. I will respond by saying something that makes ABSOLUTELY no sense.
I will stay up until I’m exhausted and then scream and kick my feet when it’s time for bed. My husband will read to me. I won’t let him stop reading to me. I will make him get me water, another snack, a blanket to cover me with and then I will interrupt whatever he is watching on television repeatedly for an hour.
When that pisses him off, I will throw an epic tantrum, throw things across the room and tell him I don’t like him anymore.
Then, I will fall asleep and dream peacefully for 12 HOURS.
Last night while I was sweating through my daily hour-long commute in bumper to bumper traffic, my husband calls to let me know that Huck has an outrageous ear ache.
I am immediately assessing the logistical nightmare involved. A rough night of no sleep is all but guaranteed unless we confront the offending ear head-on. (pun intended)
So, I rush home and grab a healthy snack and rush Huck to the nearest urgent care clinic. As I drive, I am doing the parental reach-around, shuttling hunks of banana to the backseat.
I’m wiping banana gunk on my seat and trying to assuage his fears by scream-singing Frozen songs.
At the doctor’s office, he holds it together while I discuss paperwork with the snippy, condescending bitch who runs the front desk.
For some reason it’s not until I am actually filling out paperwork with Huck on my lap that it sinks in that he is, INDEED, inside a doctor’s office.
He starts to cry.
He’s blowing snot bubbles and growling underneath the sobs.
Now begins the humiliating struggle to get him to calm down.
I bounce him on my lap, hold him and say “shhhh, it will be okay.” The people in the waiting room are giving the “Oh, poor baby, sweet mommy” looks.
Not working, so I move on to offering up games on my phone.
He starts gurgling, “I don’t want games toooo.” (Suddenly, everything he says is followed by the word “too.”)
I start showing him pictures on my phone and asking him to tell me who it is.
“I want Alma toooo!” “I want daddy toooo!” “I wanna go home toooo!”
The tension in the room is escalating, the looks far less sympathetic.
The crying/yelling is perpetual.
I offer up mandarin oranges, magazines, videos on my phone, all to no avail.
People are grumbling now, shifting awkwardly in their seats. I’m starting to appear to be a really ineffective comforter.
I take him outside and he calms down. He starts looking at cars, flags, signs… and stops crying.
I start… SWEATING.
We go back in and… he bursts into tears.
I try reasoning with him. “We have to see the doctor to get medicine so your ear won’t hurt anymore.” That seems to remind him about the pain and the yelling grows more passionate.
Even the nasty bitch on the desk is trying to help now, offering up cartoons on TV…. anything to make him shut up.
You know what would’ve made him shut up? Not making us wait an hour and a half to see a f&*ing doctor!
When we finally make it into the room where my son will be seen, it’s another 30 minutes of spastic non-stop sobbing.
I offer him tongue depressors to play with, cotton balls, suggest he write on the crinkly, keep your bottom clean paper.
Nothing works. Everything is followed by an irritated “I don’t wanna (insert suggestion here) tooooo!”
I am rocking my little weapon of mass destruction fervently, begging him to tell me what’s wrong. He calms down enough to avoid explosion and mass casualties, but he can’t even talk he’s so beside himself.
I end up playing Frozen singalong videos on Youtube during which he intermittently ceases screaming. I have no doubt that people outside the room were yucking it up listening to me sing while my son continued to cry.
They offered him a juice box. You know what his response was.
The Doctor finally arrives, accidentally calls my son by his last name and swoops in to check his ears.
His hands are shaking violently. He says, It’s hard with a moving target.” (Yeah, my son is sitting perfectly still. He’s not the problem.) Of course I end up with the one urgent care physician in all of Tampa Bay with severe Parkinson’s.
I have to suggest to him the medication my son requires and he promises to call it in to our pharmacy right away.
That night, we call the pharmacy and it was never called in. The urgent care clinic is closed. We have no medication. I am buying beer on the way home. This was supposed to be my workout day. Can you lose lbs through severe stress and trauma?
There is a chance that suffering through the worst doctor’s visit ever had its reward in the end. Huck was so exhausted from all of that crying that he drank milk, took Motrin and some ear drops and NEARLY slept through the night.
We survived the crappy clinic and all we got was this lousy sticker.
My children have reached the climbing and crying phase.
This shouldn’t be possible since they are different ages. I can only assume it’s because they are conspiring against my husband and I.
I picture my daughter whispering in Huck’s ear, “Okay, I am going to whine needlessly and erupt into sobs when they try to dress me and claw at mom’s legs while she’s cooking. You cry for no reason while simultaneously climbing Daddy on the couch.”
We’ve been “tightening up” after paying taxes and this Saturday we decided to splurge and go to Cody’s Roadhouse for lunch.
Does smashing open peanuts distract them? Momentarily.
Crayons they can color on a paper tablecloth with? Until they break them. (Okay, I broke one too)
What about food? Not even the food can keep them from whining and crying and climbing.
Huck is literally using my husband like a Jungle Gym, only pausing periodically to peer creepily at the people at the next booth.
I was able to down half of an enormous Rum Runner and eat a piece of meat before pleading with my eyes for the waiter to bring a To-Go box.
Praise Jesus, my miserable son falls asleep in the car.
God Dangit, my daughter started refusing to nap years ago.
So, I decide to take her on a bike ride to drop off a prescription at Walgreens. At one point I stopped the bike to adjust my backpack and couldn’t keep my balance. We tipped over, but to keep my daughter from hitting the ground I threw myself down and used my thigh to hold the bike in a semi-upright position.
While the bruises are hideous, nothing was more humiliating than the driver passing by asking if I needed help.
I could write about all the cute stuff my kids did over the weekend.
Like racing each other to throw themselves head first on the sofa. Alma starts it by shouting, “ANJAHMAR, get set, GO!”
Or when Huxley woke up the other morning with his PJ shorts tucked into his diaper so he looked like Woody in a blue speedo.
Or how when I put Alma’s Jessie doll in the baby swing with him at the playground he immediately started “talking” to her to see if she was having a good time.
But, isn’t it so much more entertaining to picture me biting it on a bike while some teenager in a hot rod giggles and asks if I’m okay?