Sometimes I just want to freeze time and put my kids in a bubble (of course I’m referring to the times when they are super-sweet and cuddly, not the times when they’re hell on wheels and I want to beat my head against the wall). Just when you think you’ve had the absolute worst day ever and you want to run away and join the circus, they say something that just turns your heart into melted butter. For example, even though my son constantly tests the little bit of patience I have left in my body, he absolutely sweeps me off my feet with his admiration of me. He is constantly hugging me and kissing me, and whenever he forgets what it is that he’s trying to say, he’ll randomly bust out with a “Mommy, I really, really love you.” I realize that it’s mainly just his way of pausing to regroup his thoughts, but I still adore every one of those six little words. My daughter is equally as lovey-dovey in her own special ways. She is the first one to reach up and grab my hand whenever we’re out walking in the neighborhood or shopping at a store. I treasure that so much and try to soak up each and every time I feel her little hand in mine, because I know that she will someday be embarrassed to even be seen in public with me. And, just last night, when I felt pretty certain I looked like absolute crap (it was the end of a VERY long day, my hair was pulled into its usual messy lump, and the bags under my eyes were present and accounted for), my sweet little girl pulled my face toward hers and said, “Mommy, you look so pretty!” I wanted to just scoop her up and put her in my pocket. One of the greatest things about being a mom is that no matter how many times I may say or do something stupid, my kids are always my biggest fans. I try to tattoo this on my brain, so that I remember this warm and cozy feeling even during those times when I want to crawl in a hole…but, then, someone does something that makes my nostrils flare, and I go back to being a nucking futs mama!
My daughter is absolutely head over heels CRAZY about dogs. She has been praying to receive a new puppy for every holiday from Christmas to St. Patrick’s Day for the past two years. Even though I know she’d be an amazing canine playmate, I am fully aware who would actually bear the burden of the responsibility for this furry friend. (I’ll give you a hint: it is not someone under the age of 36….) We thought we’d test the waters with the whole idea of a family pet back in the fall when we bought a beta fish. The poor fish should be on its last fin because no one EVER remembers to feed the damn thing. I’m actually afraid he’s going to go into cardiac arrest because he literally freaks out when he so much as sees the bag of food coming near his bowl. I, myself, always grew up with a dog, so I fully expect to have one running through our house, wreaking havoc again sometime in the near future. I just have to decide at what point my sanity can take on yet another needy being who requires 24/7 energy-sucking care. I already have three of those if you count my husband….
Every time I see a mom at kindergarten drop-off who’s all made up, every hair in place, looking like a fashion plate, I have to do a double take. I am usually rushing like a mad woman, still dressed in my sweaty workout clothes with a very messy ponytail slopped on my head. Now, either these fabulously put-together women have to race off to work, or they know something I don’t know. How in the world do they do it? More importantly, WHY do they do it, especially if their only audience is going to be a bunch of five and six year olds? Now maybe if Brangelina’s kids attended the same school as mine, I might consider spiffing myself up a bit more. But, as far as I can tell, ain’t no Brad Pitt look-alikes anywhere near our neighborhood!
So, I’m thinking we may need to sign my son up for some type of Wii support group. The child is severely addicted to the Nintendo goldmine, aka “video crack.” He’s had a little taste, and now he can’t seem to think about anything but the next time he gets his fix. It’s the first thing he asks for when he gets up in the morning and the first thing out of his mouth when he walks in the door from school. We have to set time limits for him to play because otherwise, we would totally lose him to the beast. If we tell him that he can’t play at any given time, we have to deal with the beat-down and backlash of his withdrawal. Every other part of his day is spent talking about some aspect of the Indiana Jones or Star Wars game. We’ll be sitting at the kitchen table, and out of the clear blue, he’ll bust into a monologue about cracking Indy’s whip or meeting a dangerous cantina barman or buying gold bricks. I’m thinking, huh?! Weren’t we just talking about chicken nuggets? It’s like his brain has been completely taken over by all things Wii. I fear that in the future they will come out with an emergency public service announcement: ”This is your brain. This is your brain on Wii”.
I have come to the conclusion that absolutely no one in my house (including my husband!) ever listens to me. I must sound like the Charlie Brown teacher because I could be talking about something for a full five minutes without anyone even batting an eyelash. They can be staring right at me, even looking me directly in the eye, and I can tell that everything I’m saying is going in one ear and zooming right out the other. Am I that uninteresting? It’s all fine and dandy to my counterparts as long as the meals are cooked, the laundry is done, and the taxicab is gassed up and ready to go. I’ve often considered recording my typical, everyday phrases so I can just save myself the breath and hit the replay button. The Great Oz has spoken, but nobody seems to be listening!
Given the fact that I have one of each with my twins, I am able to see up close and personal the many differences between the sexes. I would say the single biggest disparity is that girls are WAY more dramatic than boys. My daughter is a first-class drama queen, no doubt about it. The child can produce tears quicker and more effectively than Meryl Streep in any of her award-winning dramatic performances. She sure knows how to turn on the water works. It all begins with a downward tilt to the head, quickly followed by the quivering of that protruding lower lip. She has totally mastered that sad puppy dog in the window look. And if you ever call her out on something she knows she’s not supposed to be doing in the first place, look out! An emotional meltdown is sure to follow. These, of course, usually take place when we are already late for something and don’t have even one second to spare. Her timing is nothing short of impeccable, that’s for sure. This roller coaster of emotions scares the living hell out of me for what the future holds. Good Lord — what will she be like when she’s actually going through puberty?! I don’t know if I’ll be able to take it! Guess I should start stocking up on my wine and nerve pills now….
I used to be all about the countdown to Friday — you know, TGIF! But, by Friday afternoon, put a fork in me…I am done with the whole motherhood gig. My kids almost always have a playdate on Friday afternoons and are so wound up that I’d swear someone had given them cocaine for lunch. Who are these insane children?! They most certainly don’t belong to me! (This is the attitude I portray at the park district when my twins are running down the halls of the building like wild monkeys.) Now, I find myself doing a happy dance when Monday finally rolls around again. Yippee ki-yay, the kids are headed back to school! Monday is the new weekend….
I don’t know what it is with kids and cardboard boxes, but my kids could literally spend an entire day happily playing with nothing but a 4×4 box. Every time I get a package in the mail, they beg me to open it so they can have the box. They could care less that it has the foul stench of our chain-smoking UPS man — they are only interested in what they can create with it. They’ve made just about every kind of transportation device known to mankind. Just yesterday, my daughter was hard at work on a very fashionable spacesuit to go with the pimped-out cardboard spaceship she had made with her brother. And the bigger the box, the better the creation, because everyone knows it’s more fun to have a passenger in your ride! I don’t know why I ever bought the bazillion and one toys that are just collecting dust in our basement. Heck, I could’ve saved a crapload of money and just set up a playroom full of old boxes! Live and learn….
I can say without a doubt that I am a paranoid freakazoid about lice. Unfortunately, with kids and school, it is an unavoidable topic. Any time the word is even mentioned, my head starts automatically itching (I’m scratching it now as I type). Throughout this entire school year, my twins’ elementary school has had multiple outbreaks. I cringe every time a note comes home from the school nurse to say there’s been yet another head invasion. It absolutely amazes me that these little sons of bitches (the lice, not my kids!) can survive the frigid winter temperatures. I’d always thought it was a warm weather thing. Can’t they go south for the winter like the geese? I had heard through the grapevine that tea tree oil repels lice for some odd reason, so back at the start of school, I stocked up on leave-in tea tree oil conditioner. Much to the dismay of my children, it is now part of our morning routine to spray their heads as we walk out the door. The stuff smells like absolute crap, but hey, if it keeps the bugs off their heads, I could care less if they reek to high Heaven! Apparently, the stuff works too, because I am happy to report that we have been lice-free here in our house the whole year! (And now, if you’ll excuse me so I can find some wood to knock on…don’t wanna jinx myself….)
So my kids and I somehow got into a discussion about caffeine in the car today. The subject of green tea came up, which led to them asking why they couldn’t drink tea all the time like their little friend from school. (What? A kindergartener is drinking tea?! Sounds a little strange to me, but I once saw a woman giving a two year old a 20 ounce bottle of Coke! We do live in a strange world….) I then tried to explain that tea has an ingredient in it that’s not good for little kids, and they clearly do not need any more energy than they already have! They wanted to know why their grandma drinks it all the time then. I told them that she really likes the taste and that it helps her from falling asleep. They then questioned why I drink it; they said, “Mommy, you don’t ever want to be awake, so you should stay away from tea.” Good point, kiddos! However, mama’s gotta have her go-go juice to keep pace with my little tasmanian devils….