Thursday, March 28, 2013

I’m still trying to figure quite what the nurse meant when she said “how can you have five kids and only weight $^#%@?” This particular nurse is very friendly, past the point of my comfort level, so I was actually not quick on my feet. My dad helpfully suggested, after the fact, that I should have pointed out that I didn’t have all five kids on me at the time, which would indeed help with the weight. She asked me last week if I ran, to which I did respond “only when the situation required it and I have yet to encounter that situation.

I dread doctors and nurses in general. I’ve actually had almost completely good experiences with them, and when it comes to prenatal care and delivery, I have no complaints at all. But still, it’s just the disparity that comes with the relationship. I’m broken and you’re telling me what’s wrong with me.  Yeah, I don’t dig that. I freely own it’s a pride thing, what can I say, I’m prefer my self diagnoses, which I then share with the interwebz.

I think part of the problem is that they have to take everything seriously. So when they ask me “Do you feel safe at home” and I respond “I think my kids are trying to kill me. That’s the only explanation for why they fight over the things they do. It’s all about the early grave” they will ask “how old are your kids, are we talking teenagers?” Of course this leaves me wondering “how bad do I look that you think I have teenagers?” Total backfire.  They also don’t seem to be amused by the responses “well, he only beats me when I’m sassy” and “I feel safe but don’t ask him how he feels.” Apparently, variety is not the spice of life for the intake nurse.

Maybe I’m not as amusing as my pregnant mind tells me. While percolating X-Man, through a particularly challenging day, I stopped to pick up dinner. The sweet, most likely seventeen year old, checker asked me “You having a good day ma’am?” I let the ma’am slide, looked at him and said “I’m pregnant and buying pizza and m&ms, how do you think my day is going?” He looked alarmed and asked “So you need help out?

I choose sarcasm because it’s preferable to thinking about reality. I’m a month away from bringing a fifth child into this world. I’m about to commit myself to another two years of diapers, and oh yeah, labor. For the first time in eight years, I’ll have to work with two car seats. While maintaining the illusion of control over my three other children. I have actually thrown in the towel, and we haven’t even started yet. This me, setting up Camp Denial. Come on by, the panic’s high.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

As Catholics, we have many rituals. One of them is confession. It sounds scary or intimidating, but it’s actually a very therapeutic experience.  It’s even better if you take a kid or two in with you. Then you get brownie points galore.
Right before Christmas, I went to confession. As it is almost Easter, it was time to go again. We managed to arrange it so that both the father figure and I both entered at the same time. I was wrangling X-Man at the time. It’s rather amazing how loud a child with a binky in his mouth can be.

The priest commented that I sounded like there was a lot going on in my life and that I was overwhelmed. Fairly prescient, in my opinion. He said that what I needed was time to myself. At that point, I almost dropped X-Man, who had settled himself on top of Gestating Cinco.  Father proceeded to share that he thought I needed time to myself to focus on the Lord and get re-centered  and that I would find the strength to get through the day. Again, wise words.

But I found myself thinking, “Are you kidding me? Are you not distracted by the flailing child before you, or are you so distracted that you don’t know what you are saying? I can’t even use the bathroom alone! And don’t think waiting until they’re all in bed, because they only sleep in shifts. And getting up early, well, I don’t need an alarm because I have Mac, who waltzes in about five times in two hours asking ‘is it morning yet? What’s for breakfast?’”

However, I believe that the Lord was talking to me and so I would need to attempt this. Not so much early in the morning, I had clients with whom I had to converse and that started bright and early, in a desperate attempt to avoid Mac’s breakfast orders. Then life happened.

As I was driving Mac to his afternoon class, it occurred to me that I hadn’t attempted to re-center and focus. So I thought, “Well why not now?” So I turned off the radio, and noticed a strange sound. Great. So then I turned the fan off, no weird noise, turned the fan back on, weird noise. Super. Wait, fan’s not on, still weird noise. Why is the car so loud when on the freeway? Did I completely destroy this car when I took it off roading that icy morning? You know, we can’t afford the gas for an SUV, but I’d feel a lot more secure. The father figure is committed to buying a 12 seater van. Why? I don’t know. Because as Gestating Cinco is trying to separate my ribs, I am becoming more committed to protecting my ribs and my liver and well, all my internal organs. I have been eying red Cadillac Escalades. Father figure tried to maintain that Cadillac didn’t manufacture red Escalades because HE hadn’t seen one. He still gets annoyed when I point out every red one I see. Mac had his own thoughts on the automotive situation. He voted for Optimus Prime as our mode of transportation. Hard to argue with that logic.

Wait, what am I supposed to be doing? Oh yeah, God, that’s right. Ok .Car most likely won’t blow up while I’m driving it. Quiet. Reflection. “What Mac? What do I know about sippy cups of doom? Gotta say, not much. Oh you’re going to tell me. Good. I’m fairly ignorant on this topic. Do I know where the sippy cups of doom live? Not in the local liquor store?

Work in progress. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A friend shared this picture with me, saying it reminded her of my blog. I responded that it reminded me of my life. People were amused, but I was saying so in all sincerity. I have only recently been able to talk about the time the Father Figure answered the door, to Baby’s soccer coach no less, wearing long underwear. And only long underwear.

No really. See, this is my life. Now, how on earth did all the forces unite in such a way that I allowed this to happen on my watch? Well that’s just it, I wasn’t around. These are the pressures that today’s mothers face. I turn my back for one moment, and my husband, my children, the world turn against me. All I am trying to do is maintain the fa├žade that I have it together, that I have a happy family that isn’t out to humiliate me. Anyway, I was at a late night meeting, which sounds worse than it really probably was, just one that ran long, most likely due to discussions about what colored sprinkles should be on the doughnuts after church.

In all fairness to the father figure, this visit was unexpected. I had ordered Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit as part of a fundraiser months earlier. And I paid with a check. That was my first mistake. Never, ever tell anyone where you live. What better way to prove how false the reality you attempt to display by welcoming outsiders into your “safe place.” Furthermore, this was during his 120 work weeks. You think I exaggerate, I don’t. So, before I left with infant X-Man to discuss the pressing concerns of church coffee, I work the father figure up and watched him turn on a movie for the kids and lay down on the couch.  The after action report I was given mentioned him awakening to the doorbell, but allowing Mac and Baby to open it before he got there. But either way, he was still just wearing long johns.

This wasn’t his only fashion faux pas.  I had to lay down the law last summer. Shoeless, I still feed you. Show up anywhere during daylight hours not wearing a shirt, the ridicule will reign down. I will make your life so painful you’re willing to walk across a floor strewn with Legos barefoot to get away from me. Hey, I never said I was a nice wife. In fact, my own father told me I was a “ninja wife.” That is, I wait for the father figure to make a misstep and then I jump out from behind a corner and cut his head off. That particular shoe might fit, but the guy keeps giving me material.

I’ve had my own panicked attempts to make my life appear to be more ordered than it ever possibly could be. And mine involved camera crews. At the tender age of five weeks, Baby received her first credit card application. By six months, she had ten. And the credit card company refused to remove her name from their mailing list. Because she hadn’t made the request. Although she thoroughly chewed up the plastic cards they sent her. Anyway, I emailed the local “we help you” news station, mentioned this conundrum and my concerns for her identity protection, and then went to class. Oh yeah, as a brief side note, at this time I was working full time, going to school part time and had a two year old and an infant. My house looked the part as well. So, randomly, I get a call from Mr. Fix-it at the news station who mentioned that he was about 20 minutes away. Now, let’s talk about panic. Not that I didn’t have time to call the father figure and say “know how I say we need to keep the house clean always, it’s because you never know when the camera crew will show up.”

So anyway. I don’t foresee father figure answering doors to anyone wearing long johns, sans pants, again. Mostly because I only refer it to the time that “you answered the door wearing leggings.” As for the house being clean all the time, well, I just don’t email news stations for help anymore. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

The tooth fairy is on strike. There are few things in life that make you feel like a horrible mother like absent tooth fairies. A couple of years ago Baba left a letter under her pillow asking for the tooth fairy’s name. I think I went with Pearlina. Not so sure thought, but since the tooth fairy’s striking, I guess it’s a moot point.

I have definite mixed success with the whole covert parental operations. Just this last Christmas, Baba told me that “Santa seems to know my personal style.” Now that’s a successful Christmas. But Mac had two Chirstmases in a row when he discovered the Santa stash. The first year, he was only three, so I might have been able to pull it off, but under the Father Figure’s insistence, I made a last minute run to the store.  The next year, came barreling out my room shrieking “Pillow pets, we’re getting pillow pets for Christmas!” They still did get aforementioned animal cushions. Just not from Santa. No real harm done.

Last year, surveying their loot, Baby said to Baba “Do you believe in the Easter bunny?” and shot a furtive glance at me. I just asked “Do you think I would buy you this much candy?” They both emphatically responded “NO!!!”  So that conversation ended.

  I don’t think of continuing these traditions as lying to my kids. And indeed, when Baby indicated skepticism as to the whole fecund mammal bearing chocolate on the Holiest Day on the Christian calendar, we discussed it together. I had to shut down her original thoughts, due to it happening during dinner. But later on we did talk about how a rabbit that cares about chocolate didn’t really make sense. I asked her if she thought it was more of a game that parents enjoyed playing as a special treat for their children. She said that made more sense.

So I thought I had that awkward, life changing conversation was over. That may indeed be still the case. It would explain why Baby stalked up to me today and announced “It’s been two days and the tooth fairy still hasn’t come. I thought you should know.”  Grumpy Baby frowns on the shenanigans that have delayed her payment.

Although, seriously, who came up with the idea to pay a kid for falling apart? Really, this could seriously backfire on me. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I’m about to close the book on my first decade of parenting. Someone should tell my children that this is not my first rodeo.

It’s our typical routine in the morning, a sleepy voice starts calling to me “Mom, are we going to have breakfast?” For the record, I have not yet failed to provide breakfast for any of my children. Now, just because you don’t eat oatmeal, or believe it is better suited on the ceiling, doesn’t mean I failed to provide you breakfast. And without fail, as the breakfast dishes are cleared away I am asked “What’s for lunch?” You know, because that’s the only thing worth living for.

Earlier today Mac came and asked me “Mommy can I have some toast?” And I said “sure” and he started crying saying “But Baba’s having some!” “I know, and you can too.” Cease tears. “Oh ok.” Why is it that the default assumption is that mom is mean and totally not fair? Or that mom will forget to feed you?

As Gestating Cinco continues her antics for the doctor, I have to leave for numerous appointments. This always, and without fail, leads to the panicked question from Baba “Who’s going to watch us?” It’s not that she has persons she doesn’t want caring for her; it’s that she’s convinced that I’m going to put her in charge of the younger hooligans. I have yet to do that, and I wouldn’t start on a Monday morning, but that seems to be of no consolation.

Baba’s certitude that I was indeed flying blind started on the drive home from the hospital with Baby in tow. As her father turned the corner onto our street, she yelled out “Careful!” and I turned to see her holding onto her sister’s car seat with her chubby little hand. A couple of days later, as I headed out to a postpartum appointment, flying solo I might add, Baba threw a massive meltdown. She thrashed and screamed all the way to the car. And as strapped her into her car seat. I returned the car with Baby in hand, and the meltdown ceased. Baba hyperventilated to me “I thought you forgot the Baby.”   Let the record show, in the ten years I’ve parented, I have yet to forget a child anywhere.

Although, I have almost left Costco with an extra child before. I admit to switching on the autopilot. If there are enough small little heads, hitting me in at the hip, I just assume they are mine. Had this small child actually come home with me, rest assured she would be fed three times a day.
It’s not just a daughter thing, doubting your parents’ ability to care for the family. Mac spent X-Man’s first weeks of life with an unending chain of concerns “Mom X-Man’s alone! Mom change X-Man’s diaper. Mom, X-Man might cry soon. Mom, X-Man doesn't like his shirt.” Who needs CPS?

I’ve spent the better part of a decade not starving my children, not favoring one over the other, not leaving them alone or forgetting them anywhere.  And yet, these fears are still first and foremost on their minds. What is it about me that inspired such panic? That’s actually a door I really don’t want to open tonight. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Today Gestating Cinco had an ultrasound. It’s her way of making sure that even though she’s fifth in this chaos, she’s getting her full share of attention.  I learned a couple of things; first, if the technician labels something as “frontal horns”, it’s not a bad thing. Despite what your imagination might tell you.  Also, Gestating Cinco’s brain development is measuring almost twelve days behind her legs. I asked the technician if that meant she was a blond. He didn’t know what to say.

Catholics have rituals. It’s what we do. We have special rituals throughout the year, being Lent, one of our rituals is Stations of the Cross. A few years ago, three actually, I summarized my attempts at participation in the Stations. And seeing as I am in meetings tonight, I will simply reshare my experiences.

A Mother’s Stations of the Cross.

 1) Mac refuses a booklet to follow along with.

2) Mac decided he must have a booklet to follow along with and only Baby’s will do.

3) Baby weeps for the first time.

4) Baby has to go to the bathroom for the first time.

5) Mac has to go to the bathroom....for the first time.

6) Mac falls off the pew for the third time.

7) Baba sighs because she can't read Alphosus Ligori's writing.

8) Mac has to go to the bathroom for the second time.

9) Mac makes a break for it for the ninth time.

10) Baba and Baby fight while Mac removes his shoes.

11) Mac pilfers through the purse of the woman in front of him.

12) Mac has to go to the bathroom for the third time.

13) Baby weeps for the hundredth time over some sort of viewing dispute involving Baba and a baby. Mac removes a chapel veil from the gal next to him.

14) Mac shouts "Jesus died" and slams his booklet down in the pew....and make a tenth break for it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I spent the weekend baby showering.  Not actually cleansing small persons, that’s more akin to pig wrestling. Rather, I was participating in a full blown baby shower of presents, not a baby sprinkle, which seems to be the standard for not first borns. It was a lovely day, although the food did not come by on conveyor belts, which seems to me to be more and more of a necessity these days. Many cute things were given, and although Gestating Cinco is the same gender and just two weeks younger than the child being celebrated, I did not actually engage in grand larceny. The temptation was certainly there, but it interfered with my getting more cookies.

I didn’t register for Baba, and I don’t regret that.  Baby registries are useful to know the mom’s preferences. I, personally, find all Disney characters and Sesame Street characters to be utterly distasteful. To a degree that is not rational. This is where a registry is helpful. Or a list of things that “I DON’T WANT.” But really, there are only so many things a mom needs for her baby; there are lots of nice additions, but only a limited amount of necessities.

And as I helped pass around darling outfits, I thought about all the things that I need to acquire before Gestating Cinco arrives.  Diapers. Binkies. A car seat.  A stroller. And what I really, really need……the motor on my van door to work. See, I have found that it is physically impossible to survive if I have to open a car door myself.  I don’t know how I survived my first three children.  I also can’t remember how I survived, up until last year, with a phone that doesn’t play Netflix on demand.
It’s amazing what we come to rely on. So very quickly. Forget cute baby blankets; just change my iPhone into a baby rattle. We’ll both be happier.  No amount of lovely, handcrafted wooden toys will be able to surpass car keys. And ear buds, those are the must have accessory for today’s active infant.

The difference between baby number one and baby number five really just boils down to the need for more electronic gadgets and toys for mom that make their way to baby.  You have high hopes with your first child, all the books you will read and quality mental development you will engage in. By baby number five, you know that she’ll come out able to access more apps on your phone than you can. It’s not that you no longer have high hopes and dreams for your children as you accumulate them. It’s just that you begin to recognize that the little people you are growing, who are taking so much out of you, are not just sucking you dry, but they are forming their own personalities and opinions. While totally wiping you out. Which just seems insulting, but there you are.

And so, they just end up being as human as you are. Way more interested in shiny electronics rather than books with mind developing colors. The chilled teething rings will never surpass your leather wallet. Just don’t forget that drool can short out the fob on your key chain.  It’s the voice of experience speaking. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

If you want your children to clean, I recommend any number of the exterminator reality shows on TV. Now, one might wonder “How many exterminator shows does one nation need?” Well baby, this is America; you can have as many exterminator shows as you want.  Now why anyone wants any shows devoted to the eradication of bugs is another thing.

Well except, it’s particularly helpful when it comes to motivating children to clean. I stumbled upon this discovery quite by accident. It all started by allowing the father figure to have control of the remote. If that happens, well, you get to watch marathons of bug killing.

Visions of people ripping apart walls, bugs cascading down is really, really disturbing.  It should give any person the heebee jeebees. And it certainly did to Baba. She waltzed in the house after playing outside all day. Neither Baba nor Baby is particularly dedicated to cleaning. In fact, I wish I were as blind to other people’s failing as my children are to errant weeds. However, she was entranced by the horror that was unfolding on the screen.

First she asked “tWhat is that?” “Oh those are a bunch of bugs living in someone’s house.” “How’d they get there?” “Oh, they didn’t keep it very clean.” By this time. She was backing down the hallway, eyes still fixated on the invasion. Baby came in, stared and asked “What is that?” Baba bellowed from her bedroom “Baby come here now! We have to clean our room so there are no bugs!” Mac heard bugs and went charging. He didn’t understanding the reasoning behind wanting to bugs outside of the home.

Which most likely explains why I found three boxes of earth worms under his bed. Conscientious son that he is, he did hide the boxes under his bed, where his mother couldn’t see them. And he also poked holes all over the boxes, so the worms could breathe. If I had thought about it, I should have wondered where the boxes containing their new shoes had so conveniently had disappeared to.  I think I was coasting on my post-exterminator high and assumed they were still fighting bugs. Not bringing in bugs to feed worms. Although since the worms were invited guests, I guess I shouldn’t have assumed that exterminators would address worms.

I discovered the worms, not because I was particularly motivated after a night of observing bug slaughter. I was cleaning, and asked the Mac to take care of the flowers that he had given me. It’s not that I didn’t love the bouquets of clover and dandelions. Baby had been bringing me some too. It’s just Mac’s delivery required refinement. That is, he really needed to stop flinging open the sliding door, shouting “here mom, these are for you!” And then running off.

My expectation, and therein was my oversight having any sort of expectation, was that he would pick up the assorted weeds, given with the deepest of affection, and stick them in the same plastic cup that Baby selected for her weeds, err flowers. But instead, ever the multitasking expert, Mac gathered up the flowers and ran to his room. I knew enough to know that a follow up was necessary. And that’s when I caught Mac feeding my flowers to his worms.

We returned the worms to their more natural habitat. Next to the bunny bomb shelters they all had spent all afternoon building. And stocking with the carrots that I had given them as a snack. I’m not sure where the bunnies were supposed to come from. It sounded as if they assumed the bunnies would be the bombs. But I didn’t really follow that up. I had to make sure that all living creatures were indeed in the backyard.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weddings have been in the forefront of our minds recently.  There are cousins and aunts and such getting engaged and frolicking in such romantic frivolity.

We first started analyzing weddings back before X-Man was born. Another aunt was planning a wedding which caused Mac to ask “why is Auntie marrying Bob?” Baba responded with a rather irritated “Because they’re in love.” How was this even up for debate? But Baby had other ideas “No, because he is her boyfriend!!!” Clearly she was aware of how the whole thing worked.

Thinking about love and boyfriends got me thinking. It’s years away, but I still think about whomever it is that they each choose to bring home. Such different personalities. Baba’s love language is words of affirmation. Baby’s love language is touch. Mac’s is punching. It’s going to be interesting.

As weddings come and go, there are conversations about the kiddos’ hopes and dreams. It certainly is something they do think about. Baba wants to marry a man with a good job. Baby wants to marry a man with an elephant.  The Pachadrmy quality of a man is essential. I have a feeling there are a few issues that I should address with Baby, such as the proper care and feeding  of elephants.  Seeing that she has announced "when I grow up I'm going to have a baby, be a bride and be a doctor." The proper order of such blessed events should also be addressed.

 In the same conversation Baba "I'm going to be a teacher."  Very nice.  Mac chimed in “I’m going to be a Transformer and my name will be Bonkhead." Alarmingly prescient. 

Certainly conversations that involve marriage and the future address my grandchildren.
Baby’s plans include “when I grow up, I'm going to watch my kids and make sure that they are always safe and no bad guys get them." Mac “I’m just going to be Iron Man." Works for me.

I wonder what  X-Man’s hopes and dreams include. I hope they’re as wild and crazy as his siblings.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Curse you Daylight Savings, curse you. 

Dinner was interesting. Mac spent most of the time helping his peas give birth. Which is a real thing apparently. I think he got the idea originally from the sugar snap peas I had in a stir fry, he spent THAT dinner performing C-sections on the pea shells. He has mastered the technique birthing peas. It takes time and focus, gentle massage and lots of not eating of the peas. But he does produce little, shiny peas that are cute. Interestingly enough, the “mama” peas, despite all the time and care, still look nothing like they did before. Rather, they end up shriveled, saggy worn out shells of what they originally were. It’s actually a fairly educational experience.

X-Man decided to follow suit. Why eat the food that your mother so carefully cut up into non-chokeable pieces when there are peas to birth? Unfortunately for the peas, X-Man attended the Edward Scissor Hands School of Midwifery. So, whereas Mac did indeed have a plate full of cute little peas, X-Man had a tray of split pea soup rejects. Don’t get me wrong. They were most certainly split, and then smashed and then spread across the tray.  Of course, X-Man’s OCD did still come into play. So the pea remains were separated into the mothers’ innards and on the opposite side, the smushed baby leavings. With corn protecting the two from the horror.

Not satisfied with the carnage he had produced, X-Man enjoyed his handy work up close and personal. Like peas in the eyelashes close. It’s quite possible that you have not considered how much work it is to balance pea remnants in your eyelashes. But X-Man was not easily deterred. And he did indeed master the practice. His nose did have to remain at a 45 degree angle to the ceiling. He wasn’t performing, rather he was acutely aware that he shouldn’t be doing it and was trying to hide from parental supervision. So he used his arms to shield himself from view. Unfortunately, this resulted in knocking the peas off his eyelashes, which led to shrieks of outrage. This did cause undo parental involvement. At least as far as X-Man was concerned. Sometimes the peas would be knocked upwards, to his eyebrows. This led to other frustrations, as he could see the peas, but knew they weren’t quite where he intended them to be.

Mac appreciated X-Man’s antics. Not for the entertainment value, but instead because X-Man was occupying everyone else’s attention. Leaving Mac to sing quietly to his pea babies.

The most disturbing part of the whole dinner was the fact that it didn’t strike me as odd. Sure I was picky peas out of X-Man’s eyes, while telling Mac to stop singing at the table. Father figure and I discussed something, I’m pretty sure it involved him doing something that he hasn’t done yet….still. The girls attempted to renegotiate later bed times, due to daylight savings. It was routine. I don’t know what that says about my life.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Who has two thumbs and is the worst mother in the world? Ok, Joan Crawford, but I’m giving her a run for her money. It’s just been that kind of week. Mac wouldn’t eat his dirty rice to go with his turkey meatloaf, which he only eats because it’s a nice condiment for his ketchup. Anyway, Mac announced that he doesn’t like black beans. They are too dark. I didn’t know that bean racism was real. What an ugly reality to face at the dinner table.

As my ode to pregnancy showed, I’m just a bit on edge. There has been more than average stress in recent weeks. And it gets me even more edgy. Despite everything I tell myself, I know that my children pick up on stressed parents. Baby is particularly sensitive. She’s a particularly affectionate and demonstrative child. It’s beautiful. Except when she’s caring for me. Sometimes. Depending on my mood.

A wiser women than me mentioned that children, especially sweet ones like Baby, handle stress in the same way they seek reassurance when they are sad. And I think this is very true. If Baby gets in trouble, she still seeks out my lap or a hug or some sort of reassurance that she’s not kicked out of the family. Of course, she’s still the child who boxed herself up and announced that she was ready to be donated to the gypsies. It takes everything in me to not ask myself why that seemed like desirable choice. Especially when the other option was life with me.

So back to Baby. Her love language is touch. Well, hold, hug, grasp and hang. Lots of touch. This morning, with nothing to inspire her, as far as I know, snuggled up to me on the couch. A little mom and daughter bonding is lovely. But that’s not what Baby was looking for. Before I knew it, she was burrowing into me, much like a blood sucking insect. That sounds horrible, but she wasn’t satisfied with mom’s arm around her, her head resting on her mom’s shoulder. No, her head needed to rest between my ribs and internal organs. Baby’s not so much interested in walking in my shoes. Unless my feet are in them as well. I swear the child wants to share my clothes. And not only that, if I need my arm to say, turn a page, well she reacts as if I personally have killed Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.
Seeing as I already have one child actually living under my skin, I don’t need another one doing so. But how does a mother tell her sweet little girl “Quit touching me!” Baby is easily crushed, and I can just see the psychological damage happening as we speak. So, as we’re standing in line at Costco, she hangs off my arm, while I try to load the conveyor belt. How do you shake off the little girl who just saw a bunch of red roses and announced “I want to buy those for you so that I can put them on your coffin when you die.”

Mac’s has a similar approach. Although he did actually stop at the clothing level. He is satiated by sticking his head up my shirt or walking around with his hands on my bare back. He’s also perfectly amenable to wrapping his arms around my neck. This most certainly is his mode of expressing affection. He had taken to rejecting my kisses so I asked him how I could show him I loved him. His reply was simple “Just give me piggy back rides.” Boys are so much more straightforward.

I’m wrapping this up as I listen to the father figure tell Baby “this is the third hug you’ve given me tonight, go to bed.” She doesn’t seem too soul crushed, just busted. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I am freakin’ great with child. And consequently in a foul mood. And very much not comfortable.

I don’t like being pregnant. Never have. Which, considering how many times I hop on this carousel, is odd in and of itself. I’m ok with getting kicked and feeling hiccups, I mean, if you’re going to show up, most especially uninvitedly, you might as well have the courtesy of letting me know you’re alive and ok. I don’t understand the women who wax poetically about being pregnant. What’s lovely about feet up ribs? What’s magical about skin break out and swelling livers? What is there to love about 30 pound weight gains? Who only gains 30 pounds when pregnant?
I don’t get the whole empowered when pregnant attitude. I would love to feel empowered. I feel crippled. Mostly because I can’t walk, and I can’t breathe.

 And then there are maternity clothes. Now I don’t go spending much on maternity clothes. It’s hard to spend much on clothes you know you’re going to only wear for a few months. And, anything semi decent costs an arm and a leg. So you would think that clothes made for mothers to be would at least attempt to assist you in flattering your largeness.

But no. Seriously, did they not get the memo on mom jeans and appropriate pocket placement? Really, maybe it’s just a cruel joke, since you are going to be a mother, here, wear mom jeans. And why is it, by the time maternity shirts fits your swollen womb, and stop looking like a tent, your boobs are actually resting on said baby carrier. Cruelty abounds.

It’s not all for waste, I suppose. X-Man likes to ride his sister’s abode like a bull. There’s just enough give for him to get excited, and then she starts kicking him, so that adds a whole new level of excitement. All I have to do is rub it, and suddenly I’m off the hook for any sort of volunteering. That’s not too shabby. But my feet are swelling. And I have a large shoe collection. I can’t have my feet grow. These are real first world problems people!

I don’t get all the boudoir shots with mom and dad and belly. Admittedly, most women in those shots look better than I do, but I don’t want to remember being this large, unwieldy and uncomfortable. No matter what the angle is, I’m still forcing 40 lbs. of baby growth into 30 lbs. capacity pants. No wonder this child is crawling up my esophagus to avoid entering the world.

So I sit here, making Tums its own food group. And considering the fact that this is the easy part. Seriously, then they come out, and you have to put diapers on them. Good thing we make cute ones. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

I don’t have much on my mind. That’s intentional. It’s been a Monday, a work day that started too early, included a less than professional email from a coworker, which just irritated me. Maybe because I was reading it at 5:45am. Few things can be awesome that early in the morning.

I’ve been thinking, however, about impulse control. Or the lack thereof. Mac has been helpful in bringing these thoughts to the forefront of my mind.  Mac has none. And it gives me grey hairs. Which, if you knew much of the genetic line I come from, this would be even more impressive.

Anyway, I was visiting with some ladies after church, in the cry room. One of them was nursing her baby. The kids all trooped in to find out why we hadn’t left yet and why in heaven’s name would we want to stay there any longer than absolutely necessary .  Mac aired his grievances, or about half of them before glancing around and announcing “Oh, a baby.” He promptly walked over, lifted up the blanket and admired the little one. And I asked the floor to swallow me whole. 

I realized that this would require some extra discussion later on in the evening. Mac’s now five, and well, that just isn’t ok. Not to mention with our own small person en route, it might be wise to set some ground rules. So I was talking to him about appropriate behavior when a mama is nursing her baby. He stared at me with a blank face, which, by the way he informed his grandfather is the look he has when he doesn’t know. So, he finally said “are you talking about the baby at church?” Wow, progress! So I said “yes, that’s exactly what I am talking about.” “Oh, yeah I didn’t know the baby was nursing.” So then we moved on to if the baby is under a blanket for any reason, you should just leave the baby alone.

He was matter of fact about the whole thing. He explained simply that he wanted to see the baby, since babies are cute. Fair enough. The whole situation did benefit from the understanding of the lactating mother of eight, who has five boys of her own.

Mac keeps me on my toes. He is the child who ran onto a soccer field, just last fall to kick a soccer ball that was indeed heading towards the white line, making it out. However, it hadn’t actually crossed that line. In fact, it was about three feet from it. People laughed, told me how funny it was. I responded, through clenched teeth “It’s easy to laugh when it’s not your kid.”

I have more examples, but Mac just walked in and handed me a pillowcase with the explanation “This was on my bed, I don’t know why but I think it’s weird. Should I wear it on my head?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

So two weeks ago, I wrote about how much I hated homeschooling. Tonight I’ve been thinking about how much I love homeschooling. Dizzy yet?

It’s not because people running schools go into lockdown over the lyrics to “Fresh Prince of Bel Aire.” I mean, I guess that’s part of it. I’m thinking that those not so bright crayons shouldn’t have an influential role in my children’s lives. There are countless stories of school administrators making absurd decisions about students, curriculum and discipline. And they’re way too loopy to impart anything on my children.  Or, I’m not about to allow them to attempt to impart anything on my children. But who am I kidding; I’m running a few fries short of a happy meal myself. On a side note, I don’t care how healthy Mickey D’s wants to go, a few apple slices short of a happy meal just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

So what’s with the sudden mood swing? Well, for starters, it isn’t so sudden. I fairly consistent in changing my mind depending on the day. It’s my prerogative as a female, a pregnant female I might add.

Mac is directly responsible for this alteration of my mood. Last week I was picking up a new math book for Baby, who had finished up her previous one. While doing perusing the books, I grabbed a couple of workbooks for Mac, beginning numbers and writing capital letters. I bought these Sunday, by Monday Mac had completed his numbers workbook and on Tuesday he completed his letters. I picked up new books for him that Monday, and he’s done with them already.

I love how excited he was that he was doing school. He sat still, which in and of itself was slightly miraculous, and kept working away. Yes, he did most of it lounging on the floor, but I wasn’t about to harsh his groove. And I love that sort of flexibility. I love watching my five year old plow through his kindergarten curriculum in a couple of days. Did I mention he reads as well? I’d like to take credit for that, mostly because I am the one who would access the website he uses to teach himself how to read. He’s moving at his own pace, which is erratic at best. He spent all week doing work and wants to do more tomorrow.

Now, this ain’t my first rodeo. I know that at any moment, he will melt down and remember that education is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Much like when I interrupt his Calvin and Hobbes reading to correct his pronunciation. Often if he is aware that I am listening and monitoring his efforts, they shut down. It’s all fun and games until Mom starts checking up on you.

So Monday comes way sooner than it should. Really, by 2013 we should have addressed the issue of reoccurring Mondays, but that’s another story. Maybe Mac will work, maybe he won’t. It’s all fine and good; he’s not supposed to start kindergarten until next September. He has plenty of time to love school and hate school. Much like his mom.