Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s been a little while.
But this one was TOO good.
We just spent a fantastic week at the beach with Jeff’s family. Sun, fun, surf, italian ice…and eventually….a very long drive home. This year, instead of enduring an 8 hour driving marathon we decided to break the drive up. So last night we left Ocean Isle, NC and drove late into the night until we stopped at a hotel in Emporia, VA.
Sam (who is now 3 1/2 btw) was a little confused at the idea of a hotel, having never stayed at one before. I explained that when you need a place to sleep and don’t know anyone in the area you stay at a hotel, which is like a big house with lots of bedrooms. He seemed satisfied with this.
So we roll into the hotel around 12:45 am. The kids are dead asleep, I’m nearly delirious and Jeff is flying high off a jumbo size bag of sweet tarts. I carry Sam to the room, followed by Jeff and the now wide awake and incessantly chatting Abby (2 years old). Sam never opens his eyes as I lay him on the other bed.
I climb into bed with Abby as Jeff leaves to take the bikes off the car. She quickly falls asleep….as do I…..until about 3 minutes later when she stiffens her whole body, claws her way on top of me and starts screaming about being bitten by “the snakes”. I calm her down, explain that there are no snakes in the bed, to which she agrees, and we lie down again. Three minutes later….SNAKE ATTACK! All over again. I narrowly avoid loosing my eyeball to her vicious little clawing fingers as I unglue her from my head. Again, I finally calm her down, get her back to sleep and slam my own head back on to the pillow.
Just as Jeff opens the door she flips out again……completely asleep but screaming about getting bitten by the snakes. Jeff eventually takes her out to the car so as not to risk waking Sam and I drop back to a dead sleep.
Suddenly my ears perk as I hear the phone ringing. I open one of my exhausted, red, swollen eyes to see the time on the clock reads 5:45 am.
Who the HELL is calling us?! Did we ask for a wake up call? At 5:45 am???
“Hello”, I groan.
“Hello”, says a voice with a long Southern drawl, “I’m so sorry to bother you but do you have an itty little boy?”
My eyes fly open as whip my head around to Sam’s bed. EMPTY. In fact, I am the ONLY person in our hotel room.
“OH MY GOD” I gasp as I slam down the phone and lunge for the door.
I throw open the door and surge into the hall almost steamrolling Sam’s small body which is right in front of the neighbor’s door.
OH MY GOD…..WHAT ARE YOU DOING???
“I had to pee-pee”, Sam grins up at me. He is recently potty trained and exuberantly proud of every successful bathroom event.
OH MY GOD. Thank god you are alive …..is all I can think. Except for the split second when I think – DID YOU PEE IN THE HALL!?!?!? And the other split second when I’m utterly impressed that he found his way back to our room among a hallway of identical doors.
“Sam… there is a bathroom right in our room honey” I say.
“That is the Ladies room mom. I was looking for the Mens Room. I told the lady down there that I had to pee-pee, NOT poop-poop, and I needed the Mens Room”.
I glance down the neverending hallway towards the light of the lobby, horrified at how far he had gone. I pulled him back into our room and quickly showed him our unisex bathroom. He seemed to think I was bold-faced lying to him but had apparently already peed SOMEWHERE and no longer needed to.
We snuggled back into bed….the SAME bed….and just as he was falling asleep he whispered “mom…you’re my best friend”.
He is such an angel wrapped in such a little devil ;)
We got a pool membership this summer and I feel like I’ve hit the mama lottery. It’s the best goddamn money we have EVER spent. For three whole months I will never have to ask myself the question “What will we do today?”. Because we are going to the pool baby! We’re going to sit in the baby pool and eat popcicles and chat with other toddler and other moms…ALL DAY LONG! Then we’re going to walk around with kick ass tans acting like we’re all country clubby.
Until it rains.
I hadn’t thought this out fully. It rained all day Tuesday and Wednesday. This really threw me for a loop as I had almost fully disabled myself from being able to plan ANY other activities. I was completely unprepared for plan B.
Sam wasn’t though :) He is so versatile and quick thinking, I should have known he would keep us all busy. I mean, when you’re a toddler and you have just learned to unscrew screw tops….there is really no end to the fun you can have. And this is how our day began.
After having stripped the bed I left Sam alone in the bedroom, joyfully bombing into the pile of comforter and pillows, while I took Abby downstairs to fix snacks for the gym. As I was filling up the last container with cheerios I jolted myself back to reality, having noticed the silence, and ran back up the stairs. As I leaped up the last step I saw Sammy perched on the top of the dresser working studiously on something. He flipped his head up and smiled like a chimpanzee………and leaped down into the pile of bedding. He rolled over, popped up and pointed to his toes. He was beaming with pride to show me his freshly NAIL POLISHED feet. All of his toes were smeared with HOT PINK nail polish. The remainder of which was smeared across my Pottery Barn comforter and pillow cases. My cream and butter yellow bedding……streaked with hot pink toe prints.
As if this was not enough to send me into a panic……as he beamed up at me I saw that he has also painted his entire right eyelid. Yep…his EYELID!!!!!! With nailpolish!!! Holy shit. There was a trail of pink devestation down the side of the dresser and across the right shoulder of his adorable little t-shirt.
Now, being the quick thinking mama I am….I screeched at the top of my lungs and went running for the remover. I attacked his feet with a cotton ball as he struggled to escape. He could hardly believe that I would defile his pedicure like this. I went for the eye with a dry cotton ball but the polish was drying and NOT coming off. So I used a little bit of remover and apparently almost blinded him….or it might have seemed by his reaction.
Forget it, I thought…..it will just have to wear off. And if he wants to have pink toe nails…well then, so be it. I bundled up the comforter and pillow cases and threw them in a corner. I knew, for Sam’s sake that I would have to deal with that situation (or come to the realization that there was nothing to be done) when I was calmer.
We left immediately for the gym. Sam looked like a drag queen but there was no other alternative. I figure I would just smile, shrug and say something about how we are raising the kids in a gender neutral environment :) And hopefully it will not rain tomorrow….as Sam might try to wax his own eyebrows.
Here is a little photographic evidence of how helpful my little love is. This was taken just before dinner time:
And here is Abby thoroughly enjoying the snack bar at the pool:
I saw a bumper sticker today on the back of a minivan that said: I USED TO BE COOL.
It was in the parking lot of target, of course, because where else are all the minivans in the middle of the day. It was pouring rain and I was hauling my poor kids out of the car. We had just been booted out of the gym because Abby puked in the daycare. Apparently when your kiddo pukes (I really think it was probably closer to “spit up”) they come and accost you from your class and make you leave asap. This means no shower…not even a change of clothes. And today happens to be the only day of the week where we go straight to Sam’s gym class from my Body Attack class. Which is appropriately named because you actually look like you got attacked when you finish. This is how I looked when they accosted me and booted the three of us out the door for a little puke.
I might be dramatizing this a little bit and in reality the childcare manager was very apologetic about their policy. But regardless…I was a horrifying site and we didn’t have enough time to go home but too much time before class…so thus we ended up at Target. Me….looking like a sweaty filthy homeless person and the kids….grumpy and perhaps a little pukey.
So….to the lady with the bumper sticker I say….AMEN sister! I used to be cool too. Now…now I drive a mini, wear Dansko clogs and have a short hair cut. I hate bumper stickers….but that one…that one MADE MY DAY! High five to you….you minivan driving, uncool mama!
At least my kids think I’m cool :)
Damn. Just as I thought I was starting to get good. Just as I thought I had my finger on the pulse.
I’m in Abby’s room today trying to simultaneously feed her and change her clothes when a stark naked Sam comes prancing in. He’s positively beaming with pride that he has whisked his own diaper off.
I start to fuss at him when I catch a whiff of that all too familiar smell. POOP!
And here is where I made the wrong turn.
I screach at an ear piercing decible just as he plops his poop-licious booty right down on my new beige carpet. My eyeballs roll out of my head and I temporarily black out. Then swat at him, all the while trying to hold Abby on the changing table, as he empties the entire contents of his diaper on the floor. I screach again and lunge for the diaper, moments too late.
Sam stares blankly at me and then…..THEN…….in reaction to my TOTALLY AMATEUR response…….starts lauging like a mad man and runs back out of the room.
In the matter of 45 seconds I have made “poop play” the most fun and hilarious activity EVER. Dammit. I know better than to over react. Or even just react at all!!!
This is just the beginning. This is where it is all going to change. I am going to have to start duct taping his diapers to him.
In the multitude (ok, 2) books on parenting that I read prior to becoming a mother I did not see one mention of the amount of laundry involved in this vocation. There is so much laundry, in fact, that I really feel the job was grossly misrepresented. The Guide to Becoming A Parent should be the Guide to Becoming a Laundress who has Children. Frankly, I don’t even know where these clothes are coming from. My father in law who was recently visiting asked if I took laundry in for hire as I was always half inside the washing machine. Today as I was schlepping yet another overflowing basket to the basement I had the brilliant idea to start raising the children as nudists. I don’t think it’s a great plan for Jeff and I but it’s brilliant for the kids. No longer would I have to change multiple outfits a day, fighting and wrestling with little snaps and buttons. Dressing Abby is like trying to put pajamas on a ferret so all that wiggling would be avoided. Sam loves his “pee-pee” so I know he would be onboard. As soon as the weather gets a bit warmers I’m going to look into this.
Abby is eating baby food now and just LOVES it. The second you get the spoon within 4 inches of her she slams her face, forehead first into the spoon. She emerges covered in peas and positively gleeful. It’s adorable. And it also causes a lot of laundry. She flaps her arms like she’s about to take flight and squeals. I would estimate that she flaps the spoon right out of my hand at least a dozen times per feeding. Molly thinks this is fantastic and hangs around anxiously waiting for some flying squash. I’m usually pretty down on Molly but the fact that she licks the food off the floors and doesn’t wear clothes that need to be laundered is making her more popular these days.
Sam celebrated his second birthday on Friday. I no longer have “2 under2”. This makes me a little sad as it made me sound like such a warrior. Or at least I thought it did. Now I’m just a regular joe-schmoe momma. I guess I’ll have to start wearing real clothes and wiping the spit up off my shirt on a regular basis. No one will greet me by saying “Wow, you’re busy! You sure do have your hands full”. Now they’ll just say “Wow, you’re gross! Maybe you should brush your hair”. Here is a little picture of the festivities:
Sorry. I’m not dead. It was close…but alas…I’m still here. This has been a very crazy month. Thanks to my inability to say no and masochistic, type A personality I scheduled myself to death with cooking jobs this past month. Coming off the whirlwind of the holidays and diving into an overscheduled January rewarded me only with a three week sinus infection and a kidney stone. It’s been fab.
And not being able to leave well enough alone for a bit…I told Jeff that I would throw my overworked, ailing self into the bay if we didn’t sell this house and get out of the city…PRONTO. So the house is going back on the market. And regardless of whether anyone buys it or not….at some point I will strap all of our belongings to my back and haul them away with my bare hands. In the way that only a crazy mama with two babies, cooped up in the city in the wintertime could do.
To keep myself tame I have been running. I hate running. Let me just put that out there first. I have these visions of myself surging out the door. The wind in my face, the smacking of my shoes on the ground, rhythmically keeping time with my breathing. My head is clear and my stress is melting away. I could just go on forever because I feel so free and energized.
In reality, the millisecond I am moving fast than a brisk walk, I am praying that it will be over. I’m arguing with myself about how my goal of 5 miles is too much that day and 4 will be just fine. My left butt cheek is eating my underware giving me a lopsided wedgie that I’m having trouble ignoring. My ipod ear buds keep falling out on one side and I’m having a mental argument with Jeff about whether we will keep or donate all the infant clothes. God, have I gone 4 miles yet??? A quick check of my watch shows I have been running for 3 ½ minutes. Sigh. Maybe 3 miles will be just fine today.
So, that in a nutshell is what’s been going on with me. Sam spends most of the day begging me to watch Sesame Street or talking my ear off. We have very lengthy conversations all day. In fact, from the time he gets up in the morning until the time he goes to bed, we chat like school girls. Except we only use 5 words:
Sam: Mama, mama, mama, mama, mama, mama (gasp for air)….mama, mama, mama
Me: Yes, honey
Sam: CAR! Mama, mama, mama, mama, mama, mama, mama
Me: Yes, honey
Sam: BALL! Mama, mama, mama, mama, MAMA!!!!, mama, mama, mama, MAMA!!!!!
Me: I see the ball honey
It’s like of like getting pecked to death by a duck But he’s so excited about his ability to sleuth out every car and ball in town….so how can I forsake him the excitement of telling me all about it. That’s what mama’s are for, right?
Abby on the other hand just laughs and laughs. She smiles and grins like I’m the best thing in the whole world. She can sit up by herself and it not too far away from crawling. She will sit and look at a book or turn a toy over in her hands for ever. It’s unreal. The only time Sam holds something in his hand is when he’s winding it back to hurl it into the kitchen sink or down the stairs. It’s amazing how different they are.
Well, my office is FREEZING and the kids are asleep so I’m going to go take a quick nap! You know how I love to nap. I’ll be back soon!
“I want to join a church”, I said the other night to Jeff.
Dead silence. He slowly turned towards me with his eyes narrowing in horrifying skepticism.
“Who are you?” he spat. “Have you been drinking?”
I expected this response. I might as well have told him I was thinking of turning tricks for extra cash.
This was totally out of left field for me. I have always been pretty steadfast in my discomfort with organized religion. A Catholic wedding ceremony is enough to give me hives. I didn’t grow up going to church and for the most part feel pretty strongly that I can be a reasonable, morally guided person without a church doctrine dictating personal policy for me. I’m not standing in judgment of any of you church-goers. It’s just never been my thing. Ever.
Jeff has breached the subject of baptizing the children a couple times. I told him that if it meant that much to him, I would gladly bring the children to be baptized if he wanted to arrange it. However since I’m not “churchy” and don’t have a clue how to get anyone baptized….I’m going to opt out of the planning process. That is as far as the discussion has ever gone.
But here lately I have started wanting to get more involved in charity volunteer work and I think a church would be a good place to start. Plus, I think it’s important that the kids grow up with a sense of reverence and gratefulness. It’s a family activity we can do together and hopefully we can meet some more families with children the same age as ours. So…..I thought I would see what Jeff thought about the idea. After he caught his breath and the earth began rotating again he turned towards me.
“I think it’s a great idea” he said.
“Well, don’t go getting all excited and Jesus-y on me. There are a few specific criteria I have.”
“Ok”, he smirks
“Like, I don’t really want to have to listen to scripture”
“And I don’t want to sing hymns”
“And I don’t really want to go on Sunday mornings”
“And I don’t want to sit around talking about repenting and God-y things”.
“And I don’t want to get dressed up and shake hands with people wishing for peace to be with me” (I’m such a grouch, I know. But all those “peace” folks are gonna shake themselves right into a bad case of the swine flu).
“And lastly, I don’t really want to call it “church” so maybe we could come up with some kind of code name for it so I don’t get all skeeved out”.
“Uh-huh. So what you’re saying is that you want to join the YMCA”, he chuckles.
I shoot him a hairy eyeball. Nobody likes a smart ass. But yes, something like that.
I did a little research online and found a non-denominational church in our old neighborhood downtown. They looked pretty laid back and less Jesus-y than some others and their outreach program looked good to me. Plus, they meet on Sunday nights. Bonus! I think we’re going to check it out in January. Jeff feels encouraged that the children might not grow up solely under my heathen influence ;) and I can still make pancakes and read the NY Times on Sunday mornings. So far it’s a win-win. I feel so holy and pious I can hardly stand it!