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Friday, February 24, 2017

Yes I Wish I Had Six Arms

There are little moments in life that make you stop and think.

These passing moments make you shake your head, take a deep breath, or maybe even count to ten. But they aren't profound. I am not referring to the big things, like the ones that make you ponder the meaning of life. I am talking about the small, daily moments that if I weren’t always considering blogging material, could go by without much contemplation.

Some of these underwhelming moments do make you feel a bit overwhelmed though.

You are, sadly, just one person, with one mind, one body and just two arms and two legs. Although the other day the nurse at the pediatrician’s office noted, while watching me chase after my three kiddos running down the hall, Don’t you wish you had six arms? I take comments pretty literal when I am stressed out and after she said it I briefly closed my eyes and actually pictured myself with 6 arms. Honestly I didn’t look too bad. I might get some stares, but the added value would be worth my vanity, hands down. 

All six of them.

Although you don’t have to have children to experience these moments, in my case, having my brood has definitely increased the frequency and intensity of them.

Like the other day while driving home from work when I noticed that my shirt was on inside out. All day long my best attempt at wearing something that didn’t scream MIDDLE AGED MOM HERE had been inside out. In meetings with colleagues… it was inside out. It was inside out while performing several lectures in front of about 50 of what I am sure were, like, totally non-judgmental college kids that, like, never make fun of their professors outside of the classroom. Smh.

Last night I had a moment too.

My youngest son, the five year old, refuses to wear socks and shoes. Well he will wear them, but keeping them on? Nope. That’s a different story. The kid drives me bananas. It could be 40 degrees outside and he is skipping around the cul-de-sac in a hooded winter coat, mittens and no socks or shoes. We always have an assortment of his socks and shoes on the floors of both vehicles because the second he gets strapped into his booster seat, he rips them off.

Well of course we were running behind. It was time to leave the house to bring my older son to basketball practice. I had just put my younger son's socks and shoes on him, but as soon as I returned from the kitchen after refilling a water bottle, he had, predictably, torn off his socks and shoes. Ugh. Did I mention I was in a huge hurry?  I, predictably, couldn’t find where he had put named socks, but I did find his shoes. In a hurried panic, I ripped off my socks and shoes, grabbed my sandals to wear instead, and put my own socks on his tiny feet.

They looked horrendous.

These were stretched out and faded athletic socks and were way too big for him, needing to be rolled down several times where my heel would have been. Luckily his high top tennis shoes covered most of the ridiculousness so I bribed him with a tube of Pringles potato chips and threatened him with the indefinite loss of his IPad, all while pleading for him to leave his shoes on over these socks during basketball practice.

Pipe dream.

He did leave both on during the drive to practice, but after just a few minutes of being there, ripped off his shoes. But to my humiliation he left the socks on. Was he just messing with me? Come on little man, if there is one time to disobey me and lose the socks- this is it!

Take the socks off too, I nervously screamed in my head as I watched him play with some kids on the bleachers a few rows down. Did I mention these were my oldest pair of running socks, likely not fresh, and had huge holes in the big toe areas of both of the socks?

Well he must have been doing his very best for once to be a good listener because he left those literally stinking socks on the rest of the time we were there.

Afterward we were walking with other parents across the parking lot back toward our car. I wasn’t sure if I should just hope other parents didn’t notice the socks, or if I should apologetically draw attention to them. I went with the latter and made some joke about how we were running behind earlier and I was too lazy to go upstairs before we left to get my son a fresh pair of socks out of his room.

A dad beside laughed… laughed a little too hard in fact.

I looked blankly at him. His older son was on the basketball team with mine and his younger son had also tagged along to practice.

He said, “Ya, I ended up having to give my kid (the younger son) a bath before we came here. We had spaghetti for supper and I was hoping to just wipe him off. But he gets it everywhere; he was covered (from his dramatic hand gestures I pictured a waterfall of spaghetti and meat sauce raining down on his son).”  “Apparently,” he added sarcastically, “it was my fault that I didn’t cut up his pasta for him.”

I smiled… smiled a little too big in fact.

Man, I thought, those are the little moments. 

Thank you, I needed that.

Just another one of those moments.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Yes. My kids bother me (and that doesn't make me a horrible person).

I'm human and I have faults. Lots of them. This is why I can admit that there are some things about my kids that bother me. Yes, my beautiful, wonderful, amazing children drive me crazy and really, truly bother me a lot on occasion. 

Usually what gets to me are the little annoying things that I just, for the life of me, cannot understand why they do them. Some of these things gross me out. Some make me spit out my coffee in bouts of laughter. Some make me scream and yell like a toddler throwing a tantrum.  Some of these things I just ignore because if I let on that I have feelings attached to whatever they are doing, my too-smart-for-their-own-good monsters get some twisted satisfaction in knowing that they messed with me.

What could I possibly be talking about? Honestly, I am not even sure where to start.

Finding an unflushed toilet. With poop in it. With no toilet paper in it.
Ugh. So this one is just disgusting. If you don't believe that this happens, or you think your kids always wipe after pooping, they have been blinding you with an uncanny ability to remember to flush. My kids aren't as smart as yours. They never flush. On a near daily basis I have to say, "Get over here. Let me check your butt," and at least one child comes running over who needs to be inspected, then usually wiped. My kids are 5, 6, and 8 years old. Wasn't this supposed to stop after diapers?! I'm gagging a little right now.

Undies strategically hidden under a child's bed.
Usually not totally unrelated to the the example above ^^, but sometimes a stand alone issue: hidden, dirty undies. And they're not always just hidden in a desolate corner under the bad. We must always be on the lookout. Dirty, worn, stinky, stained, hard-as-a-rock undies can be hidden in the back corner of a closet, in a toy box, or any other place kids think we parents will never, ever in our entire lifetime look. I think I was smart enough to at least throw away the undies if I had an accident when I was over the age of 5. What is happening to kids these days, have they no sense of reality?! Shame?! Fear?!

Finding tissues stuffed back into a Kleenex box.
Umm... yuck? What all did they stuff back into that box? How clean were their hands when they stuffed that glob of tissues back in? How many of the tissues did they touch? Sometimes I'd rather rub my nose raw with a cheap paper towel than use a super-soft, lotion infused name-brand tissue that has been stuffed back into the box by my kids. Sometimes I don't care and use it anyway. Probably why I have bronchitis right now.

*Loud sound* upstairs. Me: "What was that?" Three voices in quick unison yell down: "Nothing!"
Can't I have anything nice?! My mom is literally smiling right now as she reads this because I am certain she said this phrase to my siblings and I at least 3 million times while I was growing up. But now I get it. I have a complete, unwavering understanding of why she said it. IT'S TRUE! Guess what, I can't have anything nice. Nope. Not for another 13 years, when my last kid will hopefully move out and go to college. On second thought I'll probably start getting grandkids from my oldest child by then so never mind.  I will never have anything nice again. My house will from this day forward always be filled with sticky, gooey, broken, ripped, glued-back-together, Sharpie-marker stained items. Sigh.

"I'm bored."
Hey, me too, but I don't have someone to constantly give me super fun, creative activities to occupy my mind all the time. I'm not saying I don't play with my kids or give them ideas, but when I have offered my kid 15 ideas in the space of one hour I am usually literally out of any more ideas for awhile. Especially when to most suggestions I hear, "No, I don't want to do that." I'm bored may be the straw that breaks my back. My 6-year-old daughter is by far my child who is in constant need of attention and action. Love her more than my own life, but come on. Mama needs you to just grab a string cheese out of the fridge, take your markers and coloring book to your room, and STOP ASKING ME TO ENTERTAIN YOU!

Whew. That felt good to get out. 

I think this list could probably go on for days, but I'll just stop right here for now. 

Being a mom is a rewarding, challenging, disgusting, never-ending task that I wouldn't change for the world. I love my kids... they do drive me a little crazy though. 

Alright, gotta go. Someone forgot to flush. 

I'm bored.