Mom’s nap

Remember when you were young, unmarried with no children and the weekends were AWESOME??!  Fun, sleep.  Fun, sleep.  Talk on phone.  Awesome brunch.  Perhaps some champagne?  Maybe a bloody mary.  Laugh with friends.

You don’t?  Yeah, me either.  Barely a memory.  Of course they’re fun for different reasons now.  Seeing your child attempt to play soccer.  Snuggling in bed at 7am  giggling with your kids, who are bouncing all over the place.  Going to the park.  AGAIN.

But let’s be honest.  Weekends with kids are really just an extention of the week, especially if you’re a stay at home mom.  You’re basically doing the same shit.  It just happens to be Saturday, and instead of being at work, your husband is napping peacefully on the couch.

Anyway.  K is awesome about letting me sleep a bit on Saturday mornings and takes the kids downstairs.  I can still hear them, as documented in this post here, but the point is, they are somewhere else.  When I got up, we took the kids to the Museum of Nature and Science for a while and, truly, all I wanted to do was take a nap later on even though I had been allowed to sleep in(I stayed up way too late reading).  When we got home, K had somewhere to go, so I settled in with the kids and put a movie on for them, thinking I could just lay on the couch and rest.  My mistake.

Nap attempt 1:  Zoe lays right on top of me and DOES NOT STOP MOVING for a solid 30 minutes.  Squirming, squiggling, kicking her feet, waving her arms.  The girl is lucky she’s cute, is all I can say, because I was well and truly pissed after being used as a jungle gym.  I finally managed to settle her beside me, instead of on top of me.

Nap attempt 2: Approximately 10 seconds after I close my eyes, Max settles his face directly in front of mine.  “Mom, can I have some Girl Scout Cookies?”  No.  “C’MON MOM”  No.  “MOOOOOMMMM”  No.  “I never get anything I want!”  This nightmarish exchange lasts about 10 minutes.

Nap attempt 3:  Eyes are closed.  I feel a presence.  That presence is Zoe’s bare butt.  The child has stripped nude and is attempting to sit on my chest.  Gorgeous.

Nap attempt 4:  “Mom, can I have some milk?”

Nap attempt 5: “Mommy, pee-pee!”  *points to floor*

Nap attempt 6: “Mom, I don’t like this movie….can we watch something else?”  We are more than half way through the movie.

Nap attempt 7: Max yells from the bathroom, in a sing-songy voice.  “Mooooommmmmmyyy.  There’s no toilet paper in heeerrreee and I poooooped!”

Nap attempt 8: Settling in.  On the verge of sleep.  Zoe yells, “Mommy, ight wa-wa, tee!!”  (Ice water please)

Nap attempt 9:  Movie ends.  Arguments ensue about whether we should watch Ninjago or Peppa Pig.  Pushing and shoving. Yelling.

Nap attempt 10:  Ahh sleep.  Max–”Mom, do you know where my crayons are?”  Zoe–”Mommy poop!” *points to baby potty*

Give up.

A father’s attempt at a nap on the weekends.

Nap attempt 1:  Lay down on couch, with a football game on low volume.  Sleep.  Children color quietly for two hours.

Old Age

Saturday was a day where K and I apparently thought we were 22 again.  There was a football game.  There were friends from out of town.  And there was beer.  OMG there was beer.  I don’t know why we thought it would be okay to begin drinking beer at 11 in the morning.  I guess we thought we were at a fraternity tailgate and forgot that we were 40 years old.

The day began with us leaving the kids with a sitter and gleefully waving good-bye, practically running down the street to meet our friends.  Ten minutes later, a beer was handed to us.  Oh, and we ate one bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast.  Really filling.

At one point, my friend Kate pronounced it “The greatest day ever.”  We literally lost Kate’s husband and later found him at a post-game tailgate a ten minute walk away.  I found myself drinking a Bud Light.  Horrifying.  Kate and I took a bathroom break in a church.  I attempted, with the help of a friend, to tackle my own husband.  It only resulted in him falling on Kate, potentially injuring her, but the point is, I did it.  I threw a ball for some random German Shephard.  I have no idea who this dog belonged to.

We brilliantly decided to go out to dinner later, at a respectable restaurant in Boulder.  In jeans and University of Colorado t-shirts.  And hats.  And some visors.  Our friend Matt continually asked the waitress to push our two tables together, which would completely block the entire waitstaff’s entry into the kitchen, but no matter.  We probably should have been embarrassed, but we weren’t.   That happens when you drink Bud Light.

When we got home, K announced he wanted to go upstairs and “see the kids”.  Um, no.

Suffice it to say, we went to bed at bed at 8:30.  And in a gorgeous display of Murphy’s Law, Zoe woke up sick the next day.  Great.  I don’t think I need to go into detail about how we felt the next day.  Because we’re 40.  I’m sure people can imagine.

Horrendous children’s toys

Christmastime is upon us all and it is time to practically go into debt trying to please the little people who run our households.  I’ve started exclusively shopping online because I hate stores/malls/lines/people in general and I’ve found some interesting stuff.  By that I mean, absolutely horrendous, ridiculous, gross, insane children’s toys.

Follow me:

This.

What in holy hell???  I’m sure they would get Max instantly with the phrase “crawling disgusting maggots”, but they definitely haven’t sold me yet.  And I’m unclear, are there seriously maggots in here or is it fake?  Because I don’t want maggots in my rice, and I certainly don’t want them in my child’s hand.

 

This:

Imagine the humiliation of someone thinking that your little girl is *gasp*, a boy.  Or even worse, a frickin baby.  Baby gotta have bangs.  Can’t just look like a baby.  The only way I would ever buy this is to get the “afro” bangs and put it on my white baby.  Just to keep people guessing.  Yes, the website does have different nationalities.

 

This:

Oh good, something that can make my house messier than it already is.  Some sort of concoction that turns water into “goo”.  Because enormous amounts of dirt under my kids fingernails isn’t enough–we now need to mix it with goo.  Not to mention mixing goo with children’s private parts.  I can’t even begin to imagine what my bathroom would look like after this fiasco.  Water is everywhere after I bathe the kids together.  I really don’t think that adding a gelatinous red substance is going to improve what the place looks like.  Isn’t the point of a bath to be cleaner?  And “gelli baff”?  Um, gelli is spelled jelly and baff is spelled bath.  Do we have to be messy and illiterate?

 

This:

Because life is now so dangerous, that babies are not even allowed to learn to walk on their own.  They must have support.  We must come to their aid.  I just know that without this groundbreaking invention, all babies will crawl forever and we will have a whole new generation entirely made of crawlers.  Everything will be built on a smaller scale.  No longer will nine foot ceilings in houses be the norm.  Three feet is more than enough.  A  stove top can be built right into the floor.  A football field will be two yards.  Olympic gymnastics will consist of rolling all over the floor.  Thank God, thank GOD for One Step Ahead’s forethought.  This is right up there with knee pads for babies that are crawling….what must kids who live in African mud houses do???  And 30 bucks?  Seriously?  I’m pretty sure I could make this out of a reusable grocery sack.

 

This:

Do you smell that?  It’s the smell of every mother’s despair after a play doh session, in which she will be scraping and digging dried doh out of every surface of the house.   “Now in a convenient spray!”

 

Okay not really an insane child’s toy, but AWESOME:

Soap.  In the shape of  baby hands.  Do I need to say anything else about this product?

 

This:

This is either really weird, or the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.  I can’t decide.  The normal person in me says, “okay c’mon, do we really need to humiliate dad this way?”  And then the stressed out mom (with a side of crazy in me) says, “Yeaahuss!  Let’s put daddy  to work!!  GIDDIUPP!!”  Max and Zoe would love his thing!  Max might even break out spurs.  Zoe would be all, “YAY DADDY YAY!!”  And I would laugh and drink wine in the corner, while facebooking obviously.

 

My search continues for Christmas gifts.  Because none of these are going to cut it.  I will continue to search the web in an effort to avoid malls/lines/people in general.

And did you know that there are actually toy play houses out there that cost, like $25,000?  And mini cars for $14,000?  Who are the people buying these things????

Mommy Wars

The Mommy Wars.  Have you heard of these?  Apparently it’s a battle between stay-at-home-moms and working moms.  Add to that, the battle between mommies to be “popular”, in the right mommy clique, get their kids into the best school, compete with other mommies about potty training, sleep training, their kid’s behavior, keep up with the Joneses, etc, etc, etc.

I’ll be honest, when we moved to Qatar, I had experienced NONE of this.  Max was only 15 months when we moved there, I only had  a couple of friends that had children and they were much older and both K and I were pretty busy with work.  We also had fantastic friends that we had known forever and never felt that we were in competition with anyone.  Fast forward to Qatar and we were thrown into a community that consisted of expatriates from all over the world and everyone had left family and friends at home to move to this strange country.  Therefore, everyone you knew became family….you accepted everyone, flaws and all.  Whether they worked or stayed home with the kids.  Whether you liked their kids or not.  Whether their house was big or small.  Whether they were 25 or 40.  Within three days of meeting someone, you were comfortable calling them up and asking them to take your kids for a few hours because you had a last-minute meeting or a doctor’s appointment.  Within three months of forging a friendship with our closest friend’s there, we were traveling to frickin Thailand with them.  High school teachers were best friends with CFOs, stay-at-home mommies were friends with HR Directors.  We ate dinner at each other’s houses constantly, kids were thrown together at get-togethers whether they got along or not.  If someone’s spouse was traveling for business, you were invited automatically to someone’s house for dinner so you didn’t get lonely.  It was expected.

I thought that was normal for friends and family.  Then I moved back to “the real world” with two kids.  And I’m not even sure if  the real world is the problem or it’s just the community we chose.  It’s lovely and beautiful, tons of parks, 4 pools, bike paths, good public school and tons of kids.  But we’re experiencing something new to us.  That thing is not having close friends and the mommy wars.

We’ve lived here a year.  Neighbors?  Only one with kids and, for some reason, we never see them.  There are 5 houses on our block that I have literally never even seen a person walk in or out of.    Watching kids as a favor?  HA!  I swear I feel like I couldn’t pay someone to watch my kiddos for an hour while I ran to the doctor, much less watch them as a favor.  Being invited to dinner at someone’s house when K is traveling?  Double HA!  Discovering that a group of people you know all got together for an event and didn’t think to call you?  Painful.

I’ve talked to several people about this in my community and MANY have agreed that they see this too….cliqueness, cattiness.  I mean, really, how many times can you ask someone if they want to get together and not get an answer before you give up?  You join every group you can possibly think of and have nothing to show for it.In an ironic twist, one of the friends that I recently discussed this with is moving to Malaysia for the expat life.

I don’t get it, I really don’t.  I have friends that are stay-at-home moms, friends that are CEOs of companies, liberal friends, conservative friends, friends who have really annoying kids.  Why does any of that matter?  A friend is a friend.  And this is something that’s definitely new to our generation…..this did not go on when I was a child.  I was an annoying, bossy britches when I was a kid–made my parents miserable half the time.  The fact that I beat up Alex Lowe on a daily basis did not affect the friendship between my mother and Alex Lowe’s mother.  Now?  Mommies don’t put up with that and friendships are tested.

Is this normal or is this my neighborhood?  I recently read an article by a French author that claims that the mommy wars are an American phenomena.  I’m inclined to agree after what we experienced in Qatar.  I was chatting with a friend from home the other day and she said that it took her 8 years of living in Hinsdale, IL to make friends she was comfortable with .  8 YEARS.  That’s shocking to me.  Shouldn’t we all be supporting each other in this parenthood journey?  I know I can’t be the only one that has broken down in tears at 3 in the morning with a kid screeching in my ear.  I know I can’t be the only one that’s struggling with potty training, tantrums, arguments with my husband, lack of sleep, etc, etc, etc.  Why aren’t we there for each other?

I would say that parenting is 50% wonderful and 50% horrendous.  And on that note, I leave you with a test to see if you are truly ready for parenting, if you aren’t already….

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag chair down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans.

Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local drug store, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it — it’ll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can’t get back to sleep get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2:45am. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish stick behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this: all morning.

6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas candle. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty package of Cocoa Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy a Taurus. And don’t think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you’ve had as much as you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child — a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Wheeties and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half the Wheeties are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month-old baby.

12. Learn the names of every character from Barney and Friends, Sesame Street and The Power Rangers. When you find yourself singing Barney’s theme song, “I love you.. You love me…” at work, you finally qualify as a parent.

Your basic trip to the ob/gyn

So school starts in exactly 10 days.  Do you think I am counting?  Yes, I’m practically counting the minutes.  Look, I adore my children, but I am with them roughly 13 hours a day–anytime they aren’t sleeping–and I’m mostly with them alone.  They spend the majority of that time fighting over the iPad (even when it’s in “iPad jail” on top of the mantle, which it is, A LOT), yelling, doing the opposite of what I ask, complaining about food in front of them, begging for everything and anything (yesterday Max wanted me to buy him some sort of Ninja weapon called a shurikan and seriously wouldn’t let it go for an hour), sitting on me, holding on to my leg and continuously asking me for water, milk, an apple, a cracker, a wipe of a butt, a pen, some paper, chapstick, candy, a piece of bread, etc etc.  By then end of the day, they could probably be on the front lawn, nude and hitting each other with loaves of French bread in front of 20 neighbors and I’d be all, “eh, that’s okay….no discipline is needed here.”

So since said children are with me 13 hours per day, it stands to reason that they go with me everywhere.  Where to yesterday, you ask?  The friggin gynecologist.   Like I didn’t humiliate myself enough to give birth to these little people?

What was supposed to be a consultation on an IUD, turned out to be a full on insertion of the IUD.  Remember the whole vasectomy debacle from this post?  Yeah, so this is where we ended up on that front.  Because it’s not enough that I spent 9 months baking each child and pushing them out of my vagina–almost dying with one, but okay–apparently now I have to have a foreign object inserted into my uterus for 5 years.

So anyhoo, we arrive and they announce that since we talked about it 5 months ago at my annual appointment, I can have it inserted now.  Cue two children staring up at me with curiosity.  Thankfully, the nurses took Max to the nurses station (where he had them all in hysterics, by the way).  Zoe, however, refused to leave my side, so we strapped her in the stroller next to the table.  So there I am, making casual conversation with my doctor, feet up in stirrups, while Zoe cranes her head as far as it will go to see behind the sheet.  I’m sure if she could talk, she’d be all, “Hey Momma, what the sam hill is goin on behind that blue sheet?”

So I guess that’s just a typical day in the life of a stay at home mom I guess.  Don’t ask me about the scary metal instruments they brought out for the procedure.  We can talk about that another time.

Tuesday

So, you know how you have one of those days where you discover you have to replace your sliding glass doors in your  condo in Chicago because of leaks, thus making it impossible to buy the house that you were planning on building because it’s so expensive for those sliding glass doors, which really upsets you to the point where you spend half the day crying because you’re sick of renting a place in a town that you just moved to a year ago and still don’t really feel settled in and then your kid is yelling at you and in a terrible mood all day, shrieking that you’re a bad mommy and he doesn’t love you anymore and then you struggle through the grocery store with two annoying children, totally tired because you couldn’t sleep the night before, and the one ingredient you need for that night’s dinner–stir fry sauce–falls out of the bag when you get home and shatters all over the garage floor, creating a mess of brown gloop and you simply can’t face going back to the store and then burst into tears again and leave the sauce, making the whole garage stink and try to figure out what to make for dinner that night and your kids refuse to eat lunch and only want cookies and then it takes you over an hour to get your two year old down for a nap and she’s screaming and then wakes up after only a half an hour and after getting her out of her crib you spend 1/2 an hour on hold with the State of Colorado because they say you made a mistake on your sales tax form and you never get through to an actual human being and then the one human you manage to speak to all day is a woman at the DMV who argues with you about whether you had an emission’s test last year (which you did) and she tells you you need another one?  And then you discover at 5pm that you only have a thimble full of red wine left?

So that sums up my Tuesday.

When does school start again?

Despite the fact that my home looks like an episode of “Hoarders”, summer hasn’t been as bad as I feared. Lots of pool time (which unfortunately doesn’t allow for a lot of talking with friends…..between the “watch me moms!” and the constant vigilance of the 2-year-old jumping into the deep end, clueless to any danger…talking for more than a millisecond is impossible).  But it always guarantees a good nap from said two-year old if we spend a few hours at the pool in the morning.  During that time, I usually clean   pay bills   relax spend two hours arguing with Max over something.  It truly is like arguing with a drunk person. It goes something like this:

“Max honey, please change out of your suit into your clothes”

“NO!”

“Excuse me?  I asked you politely and we can’t sit on the couch in a wet suit.”

“It’s my choice to be wet and you’re not the boss of my bathing suit!”

“Well I am the boss of you and I say either change out of your suit or sit in your room doing nothing….THAT’S your choice.”

“WELL, I SAID that I would if you would listen to me but you’re never paying attention and my suit isn’t wet ANYHOW!!!! angry mumble angry mumble  “And you shouldn’t yell at me, because you’re the mommy and mommies shouldn’t yell and I’m just the kid and I’ve decided that my suit should stay on!! “The suit is my choice!   AAANNDD, I’m HUNGRY!!!”

“You may have a sandwich when you’re changed.”

“But MOOOOOMMMM, I need to go poop first”

“Fine”

“And when I yell I’m ready, you come in and wipe my bottom!”

And so on.  Then Zoe wakes up and arguing between Max and her begins.  It goes like this:

“Zoe don’t do that!  You shouldn’t touch that!”

*silence from Zoe*

“Stop it Zoe!”

“Moooommm, Zoe’s looking at me!”

*silence from Zoe*

“Quit it Zoe!”

*Zoe innocently playing with a puzzle piece that Max played with approximately 3 1/2 years ago*

Hey!!!!  *running at top speed towards Zoe and shoving her with all his might*  “Don’t touch my things Zoe–Moooommm!  Zoe touched my puzzle piece from three years ago!!”

I seriously feel like I’m living in a hospital for the criminally insane.  The only way to stay out of this asylum is chilling out with a marathon of Hoarders….which at least makes me feel better about the state of my house!

 

Things I love

Lest everyone think I am a bitter mommy, who can’t wait to have my kids grown up and gone, I have compiled a list of the things I love about being a mommy and things I love about my kids in general.

Obviously, this will be followed by a list of things that really make me want to guzzle a bottle of gin at the end of the day. Wait I’m not really a gin drinker….it kind of makes me slightly angry a bit different a complete bitch from hell.  Let’s change that to  one a few beers, or a modest glass bottle of Zin.  Okay, on to the list!

Things I love:

Max asking me “Mommy, is this a picture of Obama?”  while he points to a picture of George Washington.  I laughed so hard I peed a little.

Zoe yelling “Woo! woo! woo!” every time she sees a dog.  It sounds absolutely nothing like woof woof.

Teeny tiny butts.

Watching Max take a shower and wash his own hair while singing and using approximately four gallons of baby wash/shampoo.

Zoe taking off at a high-speed run, hysterically laughing, the second she’s nude.

Max making his bed and getting dressed without me asking, even though he’s dressed in corduroys and a sweater on a 95 degree day.

Max coming up to me right now and whispering “Mommy, daddy said to keep it a secret that we just ate donuts”

Seeing Max swim without fear.

Seeing Zoe float on her back in the deep end at the age of 2.

Watching Zoe pick out her own clothes for the day, which consists of two shirts and one sock.  And sparkly shoes.

Max grabbing on to his testicle and saying “Mommy, whats this?”

Zoe’s spider monkey routine–she holds on to me so strongly with her arms and legs that I don’t even have to hold on to her.  I can practically cook a cake with her clinging to me.

Things I need wine to deal with:

This

The fact that my kids never have this look on their faces when I serve them food

These gorgeous moments

See how many more “likes” I have than dislikes?  Well that’s only because I just had some drinks.  Just kidding.  Maybe.