Saturday, September 28, 2013

A compliment from Daddy

After a very long week, my kind husband was trying to give me a break this morning and allow me to work out in peace while he handled all 3 kids. While getting shredded with Jillian Michaels, I overhead the following:

Each kid needed something from Dad to which he admitted, "I cannot do 3 things at once. Only Mommy can do 3 things at once."

My son then asked, "How can Mommy do 3 things at once?"

Dad: "Because Mommy is amazing."

Aaaaawwww. So sweet.

Fast forward 3 hours. Daddy is out and Mommy is alone with all 3. It is the witching hour for the 7- month old who does not know if he is more tired or more hungry, so Mom is trying to get a few bites of food in him before a nap. And she has the big kids' dinner cooking on the stove. And the 2-year old needs help pulling up her pants in the bathroom.

Because of tasks #s 1 and 2, I told her that she is a big girl and could do it herself.

"But Mommy!!! I caaaaaaaan't!!! I need you!!!"

"Well Mommy is busy feeding your brother and cooking. I cannot help you right now."

And here it is: my clever 4-year old son pipes in: "But Daddy said you can do 3 things at once. So this should be easy for you, Mom."

Thanks for trying, Daddy. Love ya.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Motherhood is...

Sipping wine between folding towels and onesies at 9:00 at night.

Squatting on a public bathroom floor with a baby on your hip as you hoist a toddler onto the toilet.

Letting your child wear her shoes on the wrong feet to have one less battle to fight today.

Going to Target on a Friday night as your "Mom's Night Out."

Changing your sheets at midnight because your 4-year old had crept into your bed and then peed all over it in his sleep.

Then sleeping in his bed because he is taking up all of your side in your bed. (Daddy still manages to command his entire half.)

Desperately needing a break from your kids only to text babysitter in 30-minute intervals to find out every specific detail about feeding, bedtime, pooping, etc.

For dinner, eating 3 bites of macaroni and cheese, one half of a cold meatball and 6 carrot sticks (a.k.a. whatever was left on their plates).

Wearing a green macaroni necklace all day doing errands.

Pinning projects on Pinterest that will never get done. Spending hours creating different boards for said pins but never taking the time to actually do the projects.

Justifying going out without showering because you will "probably work out later." You won't.

Finding a Cheerio on the floor and eating it because that is easier than getting up and bringing it to the garbage.

Shutting your irrational and exhausting toddler in her room for bed after 8 tantrums since dinner. Then creeping back up there 20 minutes later hoping she is still awake so you can give her a kiss and tell her you love her. Then feeling horribly guilty because she is already asleep. Waiting for the morning to start fresh with positive love-filled parenting. In morning, fighting with her 12 times before 9 am. Wishing for bedtime. Repeating cycle.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mommy's echo

We all know that kids copy what we say. My son has been caught saying "crap", "shoot" & "dang-it" on a few occasions, all heard from Mommy or Daddy. These are easy situations to address. Mommy and Daddy are sorry. We should not say those words and neither should you. Done.

Well I am still waiting for my chapter of Parenting 101 to arrive in the mail regarding this next one. The following statements have been turned around on me and repeated VERBATIM by my 4-year old son:

"Mom, I shouldn't have to ask you several times to get me a snack." (Mommy often says, "I shouldn't have to ask you several times to get your shoes on, get dressed, brush your teeth", etc.)

"Mom, just once can you say 'ok' when I ask you to do something and just do it?" (He often hears Mommy say this when he is resisting doing a chore, etc. He used this statement to express his frustration that I was unavailable to play Legos with him because I was cooking dinner.)

And from my 2-year old daughter, whom I asked to keep an eye on her baby brother while I ran to the bathroom. Her response? "We'll see, Mom."

Worried about Mommy's wine

Earlier in the day, I had mentioned that I needed to buy a bottle of wine. It was MNO (Moms' Night Out) at a friend's house and I had offered to bring a beverage. Fast forward a few hours.

Sitting at the pediatrician's office pharmacy waiting for a prescription, my son notices a vending machine.

"Mom, do you want to get something out of that machine?"
"No, honey. I am ok. Thanks though."
"But it has bottles in it. See the picture on the front?"
"Um, ok....?? What do you think Mommy needs?"
"You need to get a bottle of wine for yourself. I bet they have them in that machine. You don't want to forget!"

Multiple heads turn (many belonging to doctors and nurses -- the rest belonging to other parents).

Thank you, son, for making everyone in this room think I am the kind of mother who would buy wine out of a vending machine. (How amazing would it be to be though to able to buy wine out of a vending machine?!)

I had already purchased said wine earlier in the day without him knowing (apparently) so I thanked him for his concern but informed him that Mommy was all set.

"Mommies don't work."

Working moms vs. Stay at home moms... Aaah, this old debate again? Working moms get to shop at Ann Taylor and experience something called a "lunch hour"! SAHMs get their own acronym and don't have to iron! Ever!

As a SAHM, I also enjoy the generally happy faces of approval that society grants me. I notice this particularly at the pediatrician's office, when the nurse asks if my child attends daycare. I reply "no" and usually I am met with a sigh of relief. One nurse even snuck in an "oh, good." What, I wonder, do you say to working moms who reply "yes" to that question?!

Well mommies, here's a doozy for you. Tonight at the dinner table, the following conversation happened:

My 4-year old son told my 2-year old daughter: "When you grow up, you will be a mommy."

Her reply: "I want to be a lawyer like daddy."

My son then said, "Only boys can be lawyers."

Punch. In. The. Gut.

To add salt to the wound, my daughter followed up with, "Yeah. Mommies don't work."

Double punch. I wanted to crawl under the table into a ball. But I didn't. I saw an opportunity here to educate both of my children about mommies and daddies and work and careers and equality and... and... And I think they eventually tuned me out.

My kids do not know that I earned both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, worked for 7 years, and supported my husband and paid the rent through his law school. Their Mommy wears a ponytail every day, buys animal crackers for this week's play date, and picks up Daddy's dry cleaning.

I do try very hard to set a good example for all of my children, but particularly for my daughter as I am her female role model. I tell her that Mommy exercises to get stronger, in order foster positive body image. She cheers me on during my work outs, saying "You are getting stronger, Mommy!" I tell her that she and I have girl power that helps us be brave and strong and fight our fears. I read with her, and each of us gets our own books at the library -- including "big grown up books" for Mommy. I know these are all good examples for her to see. But at 2 years old, all she knows is a daddy who wears nice clothes and goes to work, sometimes on "airplane trips" to be a lawyer. And Mommy stays home with her, brings her to the grocery store, cooks dinner, cleans the house, does the laundry... you know the list.

And I have told her many times that she can be anything she wants to be. Of course I would love for her to be a mommy, a SAHM if she chooses. But I DEFINITELY want her to have a career, a passion, something for herself that sucks us dry financially for 4-10 years of schooling.

Hearing these words hurt. A lot. However, I have to remind myself that I may not show her a mommy who goes off to work every day in an office like Daddy does, but I do show her a mommy who does her best. Who works hard. Who sacrifices. Who misses working but treasures her time at home. Who made a choice. And who should probably wear comfy pants less often.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The orange bird

I have 3 kids, and my 2-year old daughter is at the height (or what I pray is the height) of the terrible twos. She is irrational, emotional, defiant, and melts down over the most inane reasons. Over the course of today, there have been more tantrums than I can count, but here are a few highlights that culminate with the story of the orange bird.

Meltdown #1 this morning: Over her request to have a drink on the couch in a cup with no lid. Denied. This has never been allowed so I am not sure why she thought there was a chance. She is 2 years old.

Meltdown #2 later in the morning: One of the candles on her play cake is missing. No one knows where it is. This is the end of the world.

Meltdown #3 this afternoon: We are out of yellow popsicles. Also, the end of the world.

Meltdown #4 this evening: Mommy gave her the wrong Hello Kitty cup with dinner. Not the light pink Hello Kitty cup! The dark pink one!! Catastrophe!

Well you can imagine that bedtime could NOT come soon enough. The hubs had to work late so after this A+ day of parenting, Mommy was on her own at bedtime. Oldest kid: easy. 4 years old, totally gets that Mommy is on the brink of losing it, cooperates and pretty much puts himself to bed. Youngest kid is a 21 lb. 6-month old. Despite his size, he too is an easy kid these days -- especially compared to M.C. ("Middle Child" -- don't judge me). But by bedtime, the baby is tired and hungry.

Mommy desperately wants this day of horribleness to end and in order to do that, Miss Irrational needs me to meet her list of demands. They are as follows:
-Read story. One more. Just one more Mommy. NOOOO! One more!
-Water. More water. Just one more sip of water. MORE WATER!
-White bear. Not THAT white bear. The white bear with the pink ribbon!

Just when I think we are done, she then asks for orange bird. Orange bird is a 2-inch tall plastic bird. He is completely random and I have no idea where he came from. By this point in the night, my 6-month old is VERY tired and hungry and is clawing at my shirt trying desperately to find a nipple. I attempt to say, "No. You already have several friends in your bed. You can see orange bird in the morning." (Not only am I tired of giving in to her ridiculous demands, but also, I have NO IDEA where the frick orange bird is.) Obviously, this is received well.

Carrying my ginormous tired and hungry baby downstairs, I begin the search for orange bird. After scouring the disaster that is my playroom, I miraculously find it. (In a pot, in her play kitchen. Obviously.) Okay! This is it! I go all the way back upstairs, carting hulk-baby on my hip, and enter her room.

"Look who I found!" I put orange bird next to her in the bed.
"No, I don't want it in my bed. Orange bird needs to sleep over there. On the shelf."

(In my head): "Are you f-ing kidding me?" And good night.