Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confession #14: I committed a parental sin.

I let my daughter's pants get too short.....and took her out into public.

Please forgive me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Confession #13: I only like the idea of toys.

Ahhhh....fresh off the thrill of Christmas and on the cusp of my son's birthday, I must make another confession:  I only like the idea of toys.  In all actuality, those little things drive me nuts and only cause me headaches and more opportunities to play referee in my own home.

You're with me, right?  You go to Target in search of the perfect toy for your little guy or gal, niece or nephew, random stranger kid from preschool, etc.  It's amazing how you eye the wares in the toy section and think about how much fun your little person will have with the toy.  You spend lots of time (10 minutes max.) hand-picking the proper Batmobile, Littlest Pet Shop creature, or sand art kit.  It sounds like the kiddo will have endless hours of fun with the selected toy allowing the parents to sit back and enjoy some kid-free moments of bliss.

Reality:  the kid never loves the toy as much as he should.  Reality:  the parents hate the toy more than you will ever know....even if you're the parent who purchased the gift.  Reality:  the little pieces don't matter and always get lost or eaten too quickly.  Reality:  toys seem like fun, but they're really only fun if you drop everything and sit down to show your child how to properly play with the damn thing.  Reality:  who has time for that?  We buy the toys so the kid can spend some time "exploring his imagination".....alone. 

The harsh reality, no matter how much or how little you spend on toys, is that they will never be just right and there will never be "enough," yet there are always too damn many.

Confession #13.  Deal with it.  I've got a birthday party for which I must prepare.....including wrapping another set of toys......*sigh.*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Confession #12: Reading is overrated.

My oldest child is learning to read, and while I should be celebrating this, I am not.  I just spelled a naughty word to a friend on the phone, and she sounded it out.  When she said it out loud, she looked at me questioningly, as though she had never heard it before.  I felt a small, very, very small, victory at that moment that her virgin ears hadn't heard that expletive. 

Then I felt very deflated that life is changing.....the life with a juvenile reader.  They can sound out enough stuff to cause trouble, yet they read at a snail's pace, which makes reading together torturous.  I know this phase will pass.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Confession #11: I maintain false composure.

So I just endured one of the worst 20 minutes of my parenting life.  You know that damn saying, "If it can happen, it will...."?  Well, it did.

The sweet Valentine's Day holiday is upon us, and since I am basically the slacker parent we all know and love, I began working on a treat to bring to my daughter's class that would dazzle in the eyes of the kids.  However, when my daughter told me last night that she was starting to not feel very well, I told her, "No.  You're fine.  You're going to preschool tomorrow."  I was in denial that my hard work might not be recognized by the 5 and under set.....and, who am I kidding, their parents as well. 

So I shouldn't have been surprised when she awoke in the middle of the night to grab my husband and tell him that she didn't feel well.  She ended up getting sick, etc. and ultimately stayed at home from preschool.  However, in my selfish desire to have the cupcake treats I made with the My Little Cupcake cute-as-a-button cupcake creator pounced upon, I kept telling her, "Oh, if you're feeling better, which I'm sure you will be, we'll still go to the party."  (Translation:  You're going to the party, no matter what, and you'll wear that darling white dress with hearts all over it, as well as the matching tights, so everyone can marvel at the glorious creations I slaved over.)

Let me try to Reader's Digest this part of the story.  L wakes up at 2:40 and is dressed immediately.  Q is awakened at 2:43 and is dressed immediately.  H is already dressed, and is awakened and placed in car seat at 2:46.  The three children are placed in the car at precisely 2:49.  Cupcake pops loaded at 2:51.  Arrive at preschool to unload three children and cupcake treats balancing precariously in cardboard box at 2:53.  Enter class, children (and parents) oooh and aaaah over cupcake treats.  I beam.  I thank My Little Cupcake for creating such an adorable treat maker.  L makes craft.  Q plays with dinos.  H wets through her diaper.  Change diaper.  Get snacks for L.  L eats carrot.  L throws up carrot.  I pack up H, Q, and L, and carry remaining cupcake treats out of preschool, lug children and snacks back to car, and arrive back at home at 3:18.  All of these tasks are completed while maintaining complete composure, class, and tact. 

Enter home:  throw down box, plunk down car seat, yell at children to put away shoes, get Q in seat to eat treat.  Q potties in his pants and in his booster seat in kitchen, and I try not to scream, stomp, and pout in my utter frustration at what has occurred in the past 25 minutes.  H decides the only thing that will calm her is a bottle.  Yet, I am dealing with pukey L, potty Q, and pouty me. 

Where is that composure that is ever-present in public?  How can I keep it together when I know others can see me?  How in the world have I ever received compliments from strangers on my ability to diffuse children's temper tantrums when I go all "Mel Gibson" when I get at home?  I have no idea.  This one is a stumper that will last until the end of time, but I guess I'm just glad that I can keep up a false front while under scrutiny in public.  And hopefully, just hopefully, my children will forgive me some day.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Confession #10: Parenting is tiring.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4:55 a.m.:  fed baby
5:37 a.m.:  couldn't go back to sleep
5:39 a.m.:  looked in mirror and decided I didn't look that bad.....thus my day began.....
Went to Hy-Vee (strutted and strolled at being only shopper)
Drove throughStarbucks
Put away groceries
Checked e-mail
Skipped breakfast
Checked Facebook
Fed child
Hard boiled eight eggs
Started laundry
Researched random shit
Went back through bookmarked sites
Dressed child
Celebrated potty-training successes with fist pump
Redressed child
Changed underwear due to lack of interest in chosen superhero into Transformers undies
Redressed child
Checked Facebook
Cleaned dishes
Ran dishwasher
9:15 a.m.:  Got baby from crib
Changed baby's diaper
Dressed baby
Fed baby
Texted while feeding baby
Rescheduled doctor's appointment for children due to the fact that doc didn't want to come in so early....12:30 is too early?
Got kids into car
Mustered strength and rallied troops
Took kids to Joann Fabrics
Bought stuff in record time
Wiped sticky hands from bribery sucker residue
Looked for plaid wrapping paper at TJ Maxx
Gave up on plaid wrapping paper
Battled son with bathroom door while trying to convince him that not everyone wants to watch Mommy go to the bathroom
Helped son go to bathroom
Cheered for successful potty
Continued shopping
Went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Chatted up salesman to find best machine to make mochas at home
Bought Keurig!!
12:00 p.m.:  Went to Burger King to celebrate no meltdowns on son's part
Ate lunch
Put kids down for nap
Checked Facebook
Sent e-mails
Read random craft tutorials
Sorted sweaters for new craft project
Sighed with despair when noticing that the dishwasher "clean" light went off because I opened the door.  (can't feign that I didn't know the dishes were clean.....)
Geek Squad man arrived to hook up speakers
Crafted while kids napped and he worked
Sent e-mails, texts, and searched for dinner recipes
Squad guy left for part at Best Buy
Dashed upstairs to shower the stink away
Dressed and dried in fast forward
Missed IMPORTANT phone call
Spoke with Squad
3:00 p.m.:  Discussed project with neighbor
Learned about new speaker system
Talked with friend about projects
Fretted about missing important phone call
Drank wine from box
Refilled wine
Obsessed about missing phone call
Made pork chops
Made sweet potato casserole
Returned important phone no avail
Cleaned dishes from dinner preparation
Sighed and remembered there were 30 other things I could have/should have done today.....
6:30 p.m.:  Tuned out children's whining about dinner
6:45 p.m. to 8:22 p.m.:  mothered my children exclusively.....and it felt good to have their little bodies pressed against me as we read together 
9:30 p.m.:  Blogged while watching my guilty pleasure "The Bachelor"

That's a fairly typical day in the life of a "stay at home trophy wife." 

I'm tired.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Confession #9: Alone, I am nothing.

I have just wrapped up a marvelous trip to Arizona with my bitty baby!  It was marvelous, relaxing, and rejuvenating to my parenting soul!  I came back ready to swoop up my older two children in my arms, listen to their sweet voices, and take care of their every need!

Did I learn a lesson about parenting while I was gone?  You bet I did.  I learned that my baby makes me special.  Being alone makes me.....alone.

During both flights, security checkpoints, shopping at the mall, in line at Starbucks (yes!!!!!), trying to get my bags from baggage claim, eating out at restaurants, until the very last second of my trip, my baby made me special.  There wasn't a soul that didn't give me a special look or smile.  I heard countless words of admiration and affection towards my smiley baby.  People went out of their way to be nice to me and make my baby feel valued in this world.  I was overwhelmed with pride, love, and gratitude. 

Then, all of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with puzzlement.  Why am I not as special when I am alone?  What is it about my little companion that made me worthy of others' kindnesses?  Why does my baby make me someone with whom they should converse? 

It's because parenting is a universal knowledge, language, and understanding of one another.  Babies' sweet faces and innocence make other people a sucker for that unconditional love.  There's a sense of accomplishment when you make a baby smile.  You feel a renewed sense of pride when you can talk to someone else about your children.  People without children can still get sucked into that dreamy look in a baby's eyes and melt.  It's just plain and simple:  babies are miraculous.  Being a parent is even more of a miracle, as you are the one guiding that little blessing through life.  Hopefully the next time I am not alone at Target, the craft store, or a restaurant, I will remember how special I have become because of  those people that surround me.....and surround me with love, and then I'm left with one question:  Why do I ever want to go anywhere alone when I can feel like this?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confession #8: Amber Alert!!!!

I have a very serious announcement here:  I cannot locate my husband!!!!!!  I am putting an Amber Alert out for him, and this is not the first time I've had to do this.

I've been looking for him for a couple of weeks now.  He is a tall, dark, handsome man with a great sense of humor.  He has the ability to make every person in the room laugh at a joke he hasn't even finished telling.  He is a very loyal, dedicated man, to friends, family, and his job.  He has a smile and dimples that are infectious.  He is highly intellectual and has the ability to remember nearly every thing that has ever happened in his life.  He is the father of three beautiful, unique, and beloved children.  I miss him dearly......

OH WAIT!!  I just located him.....he was sitting across from me at dinner tonight.  It was just the two of us, and I found the man that I married almost seven years ago hadn't left, he'd just been overshadowed by the little people in our family.  But, he gave me that amazing smile, laughed at a bad joke I had made, and I knew that he was back.  You have no idea how relieved I am......