(As in: everything makes you want to, and your kids do nothing but)

Tag Archives: motherhood

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.

monkey slap1

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.

huck beach

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?”

question mark

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.

dancing with snakes

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.)

telepathy

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.

couple crying

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.

That’s cool.

Whatever.

I digress.

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.

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My mother is Earl Grey tea with a little milk. She is cinnamon toast and yogurt with peaches. She is macaroni and tomato soup on a cold night.

She is the piano playing on a drowsy summer day. She is the soft hush after a nightmare. She is rocking me slowly, singing Carole King until the crying stops.

mom and me

She is my solo standing ovation, applauding my practice for an audition. She is the voice of reason following bullying and rejection. She is taking me on a shopping spree for clothes so I can fit in.

She is chocolate cake after a rough day.

She is wine and carbs after a bad breakup. She is cruise ships and suntans and Mexican food so spicy I get second-degree burns.

She is a late-night campfire and the deepest, safest sleep.

She is brushing my daughter’s hair, scratching her back. She is picking flowers with her, strolling through the garden.

She is Nana now.

But, she will always be cattails, Vanilla and willow ware, swinging brass pots and Chariots of Fire, cradling me and singing Hush Little Baby.

mom and me2

For all she did for me that I understand now, I will forever be blessed.


1. Catharsis

I’ve been writing in a journal since I was able to write. I’ve been shoving stacks of my innermost, private thoughts inside cardboard boxes for decades.

They now accumulate dust, cowering in shame, paranoid about the possibility of being discovered.

My mind is always racing and when I don’t harness my thoughts, they turn black and ugly. Writing them down gives them wings, they fly off giving me peace.

I sleep better.

To write without sharing feels empty.

I am not an author. Probably never will be. So, for those who aren’t talented enough to publish their thoughts, sharing them online is the best alternative.

2. Solidarity

There’s no way I am the only woman who struggles with the daily travails of being a working mother.

I don’t belong to a support group.

My busy schedule and time trapped in traffic preclude me from spending quality time with other moms.

Not to mention that every spare second I have is spent with my husband and children.

I don’t have friends I chat with on the phone.

I don’t do “girls night out.”

My conversations with my mother are limited to several minutes a night while I’m stuck in traffic and she’s cramming to post news online at work.

It’s all too easy to feel painfully alone in my world.

When I share my struggles, I feel connected to people all over the world who are muddling through motherhood. Whether they comment or not, like a post or not, they’re out there and now they know I’m out there too.

Oh, how I wish I was not so alone.

Bam. Now, I’m not.

3. Anonymity

Despite having a public blog, I’m still a relatively private person.

My following is not huge.

I am no Baby Sideburns.

My children can’t read, so there’s no risk of doing damage to their psyches. Even if this blog were to remain “in the cloud” forever, I am guessing they won’t be enraged that I’ve outed them on struggling through potty training or temper tantrums. In fact, I wish my mother had captured those moments from my childhood so I would’ve had a better idea of what to expect as a new mom.

Honestly, I don’t plan on writing the blog forever. I certainly wouldn’t be doing it if my kids were at an age where they were perusing blogs online.

4. Humor

I’m trying to put a humorous spin on the frustrating, the annoying, the disgusting and unbearable aspects of parenting toddlers.

I hope I’ve been able to make it clear with my style of writing that I absolutely adore my children.

I don’t think they’re monsters.

They’re not exceptionally evil, stupid or gross. In fact, I think my children are exceptionally smart, good-natured, kind, talented, creative and beautiful.

I just think that along with all of that AWESOME, there’s a whole lot of AWFUL. It’s worth a chuckle and that’s the point.

I’m not a fat, drunk.

I just enjoy hyperbole.

If that’s unclear, I am an even worse writer than I imagined.

5. Censorship

There is so much from my life that I refuse to share with the public.

There are feuds and fears and venomous hatred, private family matters and workplace-inspired outrage.

When my daughter came home from school with a humiliating story, I did not share it.

When my husband and I get in a spat, it’s between us.

Plenty is off limits and as long as I’m the one at the helm, I can be selective in a way that works for my family.

My family.

Mine.

I share, I hide and it’s my decision.


Holidays are never normal in my family.

I think it’s a safe bet that they’re never normal in ANY family.

My family celebrates holidays days after or sometimes before the actual holiday.

I work in news, my mother works in news, my brother and sister-in-law work for the TSA.

The news never stops and neither do travelers.

This year Thanksgiving was the day after Thanksgiving.

The drive to my brother’s place in Orlando was tolerable, despite the refrain “Are we there, yet?” (I eventually said, ‘yup, we’re there. We’re hugging everyone hello and sitting down on the sofa for a chat. CLEARLY, WE’RE NOT THERE YET.’)

My clan was the first to arrive, so I was unabashed in my dash to the kitchen to make a rum and Coke. My husband went for the moonshine.

This is not a euphemism. He brought a jar of moonshine. (smart man)

It wasn’t long before my mother arrived and launched herself head first into the kitchen, sweating off all her makeup and slaving over the hot stove.

Her boyfriend starts slamming moonshine with my husband, partners in crime.

Before the buzz wears off, I’m belting out Frozen songs to backup my niece when she forgets the lyrics.

singing with alexis

Has anybody seen my chin?

I pile my plate high with carbs, a move I will regret when I see the pictures from the event later. (untag, untag, reevaluating ethical stance on lipo, untag)

me at thanksgiving

My daughter gets two outside time outs in the span of an hour. During the latter of which, she inched dangerously close to the gator-infested lake and said, “I don’t want to be anywhere near you!” (I resisted the urge to reply, “The feeling is mutual, but alas, I can’t temporarily dispose of you.”)

Just when my buzz starts to wear off, someone sticks my four-month old niece on my lap and my holiday celebration is OVER.

never again

Let me preface this by saying she is the sweetest, most relaxed infant ever. She’s a far cry from my babies, who were inclined to spontaneously toss their heads back and crash to the floor. She’s so strong she can stand for several minutes while you hold her hands. She holds up her head like a champ. She’s adorable… and the very last thing I want to be holding for over an hour on Thanksgiving.

There is the panicky feeling of being responsible for such a tiny human being that ISN’T mine.

There’s the horror of feeling like for only a moment, I once again have a newborn.

Never Again.

I will reiterate: I adored being pregnant. Childbirth was by no means “a blast”, but an experience I would suffer through again with enthusiasm. I would even consider having more children, if my current ones weren’t complete hellraising, demon seeds.

My niece is a peaceful little pile of cuteness.

My babies were belly-aching, crappy breastfeeding, perpetually crying, never napping monsters.

They had RSV, lactose Intolerance, cradle cap and mystery rashes.

As they grew older, it was MRSA and lice and fifth disease.

My son is about to turn 3 years old and he’s too terrified to poop in the potty.

His butt cheeks are like vice clamps.

If there is ever a day when I don’t have to wipe the crap out of that little muscle bum, I will throw a party.

Not kidding. An entire celebration dedicated to diaperless life. There will be confetti, shot out of a bum-shaped launcher.

confetti

I digress.

After countless minutes bouncing this pleasant little girl on my lap, she starts to get wiggly and obviously hungry.

It’s my big break! I will be able to recapture my buzz with a quick stiff drink!

I report to my brother that his progeny is in need of sustenance, waiting for him to alert his wife that it’s time to secretly whip out a boob.

He hands me a bottle.

Summammabitch.

The holiday wraps up after my son lays a couple of noxious turds in his diaper, my grandparents massacre the bathroom with their own excrement and everybody is suddenly feeling painfully sober.

I hold my breath to give my (literally) stinking grandparents a hug goodbye, always wondering if it will be the last.

I don’t want my last memory of them to be clenching my teeth and plugging my nose. Instead, it would be my grandmother asking me twice what my daughter’s name is during a 5-minute conversation.

The drive home from Orlando is hell.

We hit bumper-to-bumper traffic because of an accident.

My son is sobbing for no apparent reason, which all but guarantees he has an ear infection.

Then a tree frog lands on my thigh, scaring the bejeesus out of me. (I can’t make this up.) I watch the dang thing wobble across the dashboard, dragging around one of Alma’s hairs, perching, poised to jump on my husband’s face causing the crash that will kill us all.

I was thankful for being back at home.

Oh, and for my husband, who still managed to provide much levity with his drunken shenanigans.

rolando gun to head

Look closely. My husband’s gesture says it all.

moonshine hangoverrolando foodrolando hamrolando rocking horse


My daughter is 3, and simultaneously 16.

There are the obvious ways, like wanting to paint her nails every single day. We’ve told her that she can only do that for special occasions, but it doesn’t stop her from begging and whining EVERY SINGLE DAY. She’s already had two boyfriends. Xander was adorable, smart and sweet. Gus is cute, but more of a lackey, jumping up to get her bag for her every day and opening doors.

The less obvious ways are driving me insane!

leopard

How sweet! Except that look on her face means she’s perturbed with me that I called it a cat instead of a leopard. I was making the same face as the leopard seconds later.

Today, on the way to the zoo she said, “Turn the music off! I’m trying to rest!”

Tonight, she started screaming “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” from her room. (par for the course) I contemplate whether there is even a remote possibility that she’s gouged out one of her own eyeballs with a colored pencil and pray that she just has to pee.

In reality, she called me in there to say, “I want to play with the strings from the toy, not the toy.” I said, “That’s fine.” To which she responded with disdain, “Take the toy out of my bed, so I can sleep!”

Motherhood=indentured servitude.

I know this is the point in her life when I need to be “putting my foot down” and “laying down the law.” But, there’s the other part of me that happens to overhear her imitating my “angry voice” when talking to ME.

Today when she was exasperated and trying to explain her goal in putting a certain blanket on a certain doll in a certain way she said, “No, it goes like this. See how that works?”

That’s my phrase. That’s my “I’m so pissed off at right now I could spit blood in your pretty little blue eyes… you just threw food at me intentionally, more than once, you’re going to time out, see how that works?!?”

Do I really want to create a little monster version of myself?

(As I write this, she is screaming “Mommy” from her room right now. I am guessing a serial killer isn’t hovering over her bed watching her scream my “name” repeatedly)

There are ways in which her maturity is cute, almost endearing. She loves to “mother” her little brother. She comforts him by saying, “It’s okay, Huck.” She rewards him saying, “Good job, buddy!” Mostly though, she just sounds like everything I dreaded about eventually having a teenager. She already rolls her eyes. She already says, “Daddy is crazy.”

In five years that will be, “Daddy is stupid.” In 12 it will be, “My Dad is such a f&^ing retard.”

What happened to the sweet stage? I thought we were supposed to get past the Terrible Twos and into the whole glorious, brilliant and doting child stage. She sometimes tells me unsolicited that she loves me.

Then there’s the day recently when she said, “I love Daddy, you love me, but I don’t love you.” I asked her if she was confused and to repeat herself. She said it again, “I love Daddy, you love me, but I don’t love you.” Crushed by someone so small she can’t even put on her own shirt. Breaking my heart daily.

I know I need to grow a pair, but I’m afraid my daughter already beat me to it. She’s walking around with bowling balls. I’m just the unlucky pin that suffered through labor to bring her into this world.

Any day now, I fully expect her to walk down those stairs dressed in ripped jeans and a crop top and ask, “Can my boyfriend spend the night, I mean what’s the big f&*ing deal?”