Saturday, April 25, 2015

I'll never...

Now that I have two children of my own, I realize what a judgmental (and wholly naive) little shit I was before I was a parent.  I cannot tell you how many times I sat high and mighty on my perch of ignorance and internally shook my finger at actual experienced parents for doing one thing or the other that I would never do with or to my own children.  If this were the college days drinking game, I'd be drunker than Cooter Brown, somehow managing to guzzle my drink while eating every single one of my pinheaded words.

Things I used to say I would never do that I now do on the regular include:

  • I will never bribe my kids to eat meals.  Ha!  We do this literally every.single.meal.  "Finish your dinner and you will get dessert" is a daily bribe offered to our Threenager and no matter how painfully long it may take, he earns that chocolate like it's his J-O-B. 
  • I will never use a screen as a digital babysitter.  Good gravy was I wrong on this one!  The iPad is the ONLY way we get through a dinner out as a family.  We fully expect to be carting two of them along once The Smilus gets old enough to appreciate the allure of pixels and LEDs.
  • I will never let my kids stay up really late.  This one is a rarity for me, because I'm a total freakazoid when it comes to keeping my kiddos on a routine (for everyone's well being) but when our friends all get together for Halloween or a Great Friday Crawfish Boil, for example, we have been known to bed the baby on the floor in the bedroom and set the older kids up with popcorn, candy to keep them going, and Frozen.  It's only on special occasions, i.e. when Mama and Daddy want to play with our friends past bedtime.
  • I will never tire of hearing my child talk.  What was I thinking?  Oh yes, that my child's verbal development would be so awe inspiring that I would never dream to turn off the ceaseless stream of chatter.  Right.  Then our oldest entered the "I have a massive vocabulary and I plan to use it nonstop without even breaking for a breath" phase.  And I begged for sweet quiet relief.  
  • I will never feed my kid fast food.  Generally speaking we have a healthy diet.  Boy Wonder enjoys eating a wide variety of foods and fresh veggies and fruits are a large part of our daily diet, but sometimes you're in the car and hungry and there's a Whataburger on every damn corner.  Plus, they are delicious.  And Boy Wonder agrees.  He doesn't ask for a hamburger.  He asks for a Whataburger.  
  • I will never use Santa as a discipline tool.  Hogwash!  We used this three days ago (in April!) and even roped the family dogs into it saying that Santa speaks directly to all dogs and if Boy Wonder is mean to our pets, Santa will know.  (Thanks for the idea, Big Brother!) And we will shamelessly continue using this ploy until our boys become nonbelievers and we are left dripping tears in our egg nog.  
  • I will never say "wait until your dad comes home."  Um, yea.  In (several) moments of desperation, I have uttered these words that the feminist side of me loathes.  I can handle schooling my child on my own, right?  Um, wrong.  It takes two people.  It totally and completely takes two and I'm not afraid to pull the Daddy card.
How about you?  What things did you say you'd never do before the realities of being a parent knocked you sideways and left you grasping at time honored straws?

Photo Credit

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Just Crutchin' Along

Yep, I'm still on crutches.  Let me re-phrase that.  I'm still on a crutch.  I'm down to one but I think my husband would agree, that doesn't make it suck all that much less.  I'll spare you my sob story, because in the grand scheme of things, a knee injury is pretty minor.  Obviously, it could be much, much worse.   But when you have a three and a half year old, six month old, and husband who is working twice as hard as he usually does (and that is saying a LOT, because he works his ass off every damn day, in and out of this house) it doesn't feel all that minor.  You really long for the return of your mobility and position in the household.

A few observations from the trenches:
  • Grocery shopping in a "Mart Cart" is super humiliating.  The Man could not WAIT to snap my photo riding in that beast of a vehicle and if he ever shows it anyone, I will die.  Do not get me started on how ridiculous I felt when I threw that puppy in reverse and heard the "beeeeep, beeeeep" like I was a freight truck.  
  • Speaking of freight trucks, my ass is starting to resemble a wide load after one plus week in my state of injury.  I feel like a slug and am starting to look like one.  My lack of exercise is also fiercely inhibiting my ability to take any shit from my Threenager.  
  • It is possible to go up and down stairs with one crutch to retrieve your crying baby but when you come back down with said baby, it's recommended that you slide down step-by-step with your butt.  Thankfully, I've had to do this maneuver only a few times because The Man has been incredibly supportive and helpful during this process.
  • It is possible to stay fresh and clean with the use of your beautiful walk-in shower when you can't freaking walk, but it involves a plastic lawn chair and again, a heaping dose of humiliation.  
  • When necessary, a crutch can become an implement to "kick" a full laundry basket to the washing machine, to drag toys towards your baby, or to deter a hyper dog from taking out your good leg in an effort to get outside.
  • The absolute worst idea, pretty much ever, is to attend a Disney on Ice performance.  Period.  The crutches made this worse, but only marginally.  Thank goodness the food and bev wiz's at NRG had the foresight to sell barley pops.  I do not think any of the three adults present in our group would have survived with it.  
I know, I know.  Cry me a river.  After all, I will eventually regain the use of both of my get away sticks.  And I'm getting all the help this family so desperately needs from our loving husband and father.  But geeeez.  This still sucks.  

When will I be better you ask?  When will I walk freely from room to room with a baby on my hip and a crutch stowed in the closet where it damn well better remain?  I can't say but I hope to all that is holy that it won't be long.  

Photo Credit

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nothing Says Sexy Like a Sprained Knee

A friend of mine threw herself a super fun birthday party Saturday night.  Plans were to attend a Pole Dancing Class as a group then head over to BRC for dinner. Never afraid to shake my money maker and having enjoyed being a spectator while many a professional twirled her way around the pole for the money, I figured this activity was right up my alley and I arranged a hall pass to attend.  Lucky for me, my baby daddy was fully supportive of my desires to stretch my stripper wings and agreed to stay home with the younger while the older stayed the night at my mothers.  Let the slutty games begin!

You could tell everyone was a little nervous when we first started showing up and gathering in a room equipped with six poles for your dancing pleasure.  Thankfully, our host foresaw this possibility and came prepared to lubricate our nerves a bit with wine and champagne.  I jumped on that and after pounding a dixie cup of liquid courage I was ready to jump on something else.  The pole awaits!

Our instructor was a rather boisterous and outgoing fellow who immediately made us feel comfortable and engaged in our lesson in lewdness.  We worked in groups of two throwing ourselves in the air spread eagle, spinning down and around to the floor, and stroking the pole like it was someone's you know what.  We laughed, we shook our heads, we gave each other stripper names like Merlot and TeXXXas.  What a fun way to celebrate your birthday and let down your inhibitions!

After a while we switched rooms for a lap dancing lesson.  I don't mean to brag or anything, but I knew going in that I didn't need to learn how to do this.  There are some things I am naturally gifted in and I believe The Man would attest to the fact that lap dancing is one of those gifts.  I was excited and confident as we arranged our chairs and started learning 8 counts from yet another super nice she-man who could hair flip like nobody's business in six inch stilettos.

At the end of the class there was a freestyle segment where we each took a turn showcasing our newfound (or natural) talents.  When I was chosen to go next, I sauntered into the center ready to show off my sluttiest skills.

It took approximately 20 seconds for me to go from Go-Go Girl to Golden Girl.

I wasn't doing anything remotely athletic or impressive.  All it involved was a simple step to the side with my right leg and a roll of the hip.  As my foot made contact with the floor I felt a sliding sensation immediately followed by fierce shooting pains and the need to recoil my leg up in agony.  I've had knee injuries before…my ligaments are slippery and stretchy and have resulted in casts, braces, and even a reconstructive surgery in my past.  I knew, and hated, that I had hurt myself.  Pretty badly.

Our affect-tacious instructor goaded me on…you're doing great!  You look good!  Shaking my head I began to limp, head hung, feeling old and decrepit and in a tremendous amount of pain, off the "stage."

I have spent the last 36 hours or so laid up, under ice, swollen, wearing a brace, needing crutches to get from room to room, feeling helpless and totally dependent, a state in which I do not function well.  I can't carry my baby or even a cup of coffee.  There is plenty of pity at my party right now.

I have a huge hunk of gratitude for my husband, who is waiting on me hand and foot and taking over all the responsibilities of the household that I can't manage.  He did all of it yesterday while suffering his own ailments, resulting from an artichoke eating binge that filled his body with more fiber than it knew what to do with, but that's a different story for a different time.

Once recovered from this hot mess I fully intend to show my gratitude with a performance of our choreographed number.  Let's hope I don't completely cross over to geriatric and throw my back out in the process.

Photo Credit Spaff, LLC.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mother Drunk

My husband travels frequently for work.  Thankfully, of late it's only been for a night or two at a time. Handling dinner, clean up, baths and bedtime for both boys all by me lonesome usually leaves me frazzled at the very least and bordering on psychotic at worst.  More than once, I've actually threatened to take away bedtime stories in a last ditch effort for peace while I am "allowed" to put the baby down and Boy Wonder is left to his own devices downstairs.  Seriously?  Sacrifice the child's literacy and mess with the sanctity of the bedtime ritual, for what? So that I can feel a little less stressed while my three year old son is asked to be super grown up and be alone, yet again, so I can tend to the baby's needs?  It's enough to make me drown in tears of guilt.

Tonight was different, though.  Maybe it's because I got most of dinner prepped and cooked well ahead of time so I was a little less edgy.  Maybe it's because The Smilus happily slurped down some pureed sweet potatoes so that I could eat my own dinner with more grace than a pig at the trough.  Maybe Boy Wonder was just really happy about the Easter egg treat he earned for eating all of his dinner.  Or maybe, just maybe, it's because he felt valued and important and heard and LIKED…feelings I'm ashamed to admit he has been shorted of far too often since becoming a big brother.

I thoroughly relished watching him play imaginatively in the tub after soaping him up and rinsing off his perfect little body.  I didn't rush his book because I had something I'd rather be doing.  I didn't get annoyed when he wanted to read some of the words himself or painstakingly call out the letters to an entire sentence to spell it out, actions that on many nights would have me rushing him along and telling him to stop so we can be done already.  I gladly acquiesced to his request for a second song, "a LOOOONG one" and when I was done and he was all tucked in, I nearly fainted with pure love and joy as he stroked my face and arms while chatting away about who would attend his fourth birthday party (over six months away, mind you) and where they might go and when will halloween come again and what will The Smilus dress up as…

As he went on and on until I finally caught his eye with a smile, kissed and hugged him again and said good night, I felt intoxicated by him.  A feeling not entirely unlike what it felt like when his father and I first met and fell crazy in love.  A feeling I've reserved lately for the baby alone.

And it felt so good to feel so good about him again.

Photo Credit bubbletOes via Deviant Art.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lock Your Kid in the Car in Three Easy Steps

We participate in a wonderful play group that meets on Wednesdays.  We've been at it since our now 3-4 year olds were crawlers and many of us are now on our second or third child creating a new round of rug rats to keep the group going when the soon to be big kids start school.

Today when we arrived at the hostesses's lovely home, we learned how to lock a child in the car in three easy steps.

Step One:  Throw your keys in your backpack while pulling your baby out of his car seat.

Step Two:  Realize you're standing in an ant bed, run stomping and screaming to knock those evil mothers off of you, and decide to move the car. (Pat yourself on the back for having the foresight to move the car to avoid the ants on the way out.)

Step Three: Ask your older son, still strapped into his car seat, to hold the backpack while you move the car up a bit and close his door.

See?  Wasn't that Easy?!  Now he's all locked up all safe and sound.

WAIT!  My son is LOCKED IN THE CAR!  Crap!  What do I do, what do I do, EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE.

Now, other moms were pulling up so I managed to mask my instant and complete PANIC as well as keep my expletives to myself but I'm telling you, I was feeling spinny and crazed and worried.  If I were on my own or just with The Man I can PROMISE you I would be like one of those cartoon characters running wildly in circles flailing her arms in the air above her head.

Fortunately for all of us, the moment it happened my very level headed and calm friend Kate approached with her son.  She exuded "this is all going to be okay" and I somehow believed her.

She asked where the keys were and the light went off.  They are in the backpack.  Which is on my son's lap.  Holy crap, we have a way out of this that does not involve me taking a tire iron the window.

I very calmly, not to incite panic in my threenager, told Boy Wonder where the keys were and instructed him to reach in and grab them.  He was trying, but missing, and I was trying to see him but the stupid fucking sunscreen (why is that there?! it's not that damn sunny?! I'm going to rip that thing off and toss it as soon as I get a chance…) was making it very difficult but I carried on telling him to reach really deep and grab the keys.

And he got em!  FUCK.YES!

"Push the unlock button.  The one that says "UN."  (Thank gawd this kid knows his alphabet and is obsessed with words.)  "Push it really hard.  Push it.  The one that says Unlock.  Oh hell, push all of them."  (Do we really care if he sets the alarm off right now?!)

And he did it.  FUCK.YES!

I opened the front door really fast in case he mashed down the lock button and reset this parenting fail back to the beginning and freed him to the sound of cheers from the growing crowd of moms and preschoolers.  Boy Wonder flashed his winning smile and proclaimed, "I did it!"

Yes you did, my little love.  Yes.You.Did!

That was some seriously scary shit, but it went as well as it could have possible gone.  If it had been a summer afternoon instead of a spring morning, it could have gotten really dangerous really quickly, for real.

Someone was looking out for us today and taught Mama a lesson I won't soon forget: Let your kids play with your keys as much as they want so next time you do something this stupid, they have a hope of, yet again, saving themselves.

Photo Credit Quick Meme.