Thursday, August 29, 2013

It takes trust exercises to a whole 'nother level when you allow your husband to take a sledge hammer to your living room. Or it's a special form of crazy. Time will tell I guess.

Mac got upset at soccer tonight. For some reason he was giving puny little passes. His coach encouraged him to put some leg into the whole process. He obliged, complete with a running start, stop,  aim and wiped out. Whiffed it completely. It was as if I myself was on that field. And naturally laughter followed. Led, possibly, by his mother. He turned to his coach, almost tearfully and said "Everyone is laughing at me."

Now that's a mommy fail.

Even so, I was happy to hear him say that. For too long, as yes I realize the boy is still just five, he really seemed to thrive on being goofy. The class, or team, clown, if you will. He would act out, get laughs and up the ante. So to hear him want to just try, and fail, but just be left alone to try again, was actually exciting for me.

So I made sure to only offer encouragement from the sidelines after that. The "oh get up your fine" did weasel its way in to my commentary, but I did enjoy watching my little guy get serious about something. And to watch him work hard at something that he's not particularly good at. Bodes well for first grade.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This is my 100th post. I suppose I should do something epic but I'm not an epic person , most certainly not living an epic life. And work is keeping me very busy. So epic this!

I am also approaching another anniversary. About a year ago someone called an audible in my life. I most certainly did not call it. But we threw out the game plan and are still trying to figure it all out.

Last summer I came to the realization that in order to be the mother I envisioned myself to be, one who was happy and relaxed and organized, I needed to be done. I was at my limit of four children. It was the perfect, not so little, family. Two girls, two boys. What else could I ask for? Plus, I homeschool for academic reasons, and I need to stay on top of their schooling. I had seen my limits and they were not pretty and very clear.

The perfect family
I informed the father figure of my feelings. I asked his thoughts, but when your wife says "Maxed out man!" what is there to say? I also informed God of my thoughts. I did ask that if this wasn't the right plan for my life, that it be made clear. But, obviously, this is the right plan for me because I am most certainly feeling overwhelmed and strained. Obviously.

Vacations at the end of summer aren't ever a good idea. But when the father figure arranges his vacation schedule for one job based upon his other job and then leaves that other job, well you take what you get. So that's how we found ourselves at Mount Rushmore among the hoards of elderly tourists from Eastern countries. We also realized that Crazy Horse looks just like it did in 1999. I hope that $25 to get in gets me at least one blast of dynamite.

Dinner featured the world's worst service. If only I exaggerated. It is the only time, and I am fairly confident this will never happen to me again, where the server brought me the wrong entree. Now that, in and of itself, isn't all that appalling. However, her response "Well do you like it? Can you just eat that one?" was one for the record books. As we had already waited 45 minutes for our food, and gotten a late start at dinner anyway due to watching the sundown ceremony at Rushmore, and possibly because I was on my second, not so good, Long Island Iced Tea, I kept the not so good food. And talked the father figure down to a 15% tip.

As dinner ended, it occurred to me that maybe, just possibly, a pregnancy test might be in order. The father figure laughed at me, and I knew it was preposterous and yet....... I didn't sleep well that night. Come 5am, I ventured out to the Rapids City Walmart. This itself was monumental because I generally don't step foot in Walmarts. However, peace of mind was worth the trip.

Clearly, everyone knows how the story of the pregnancy test ends. It ends in an epidural. But it was a long path getting there. It also involves the realization that should I write an autobiography it should be titled "Not my Finest Moment" because that's basically how I look back at my life. This moment is no different.

So there I was,  mother to the perfect sized family, staring at a most positive pregnancy test. The three minutes that you are supposed to give it were completely unnecessary. Cinco announced her existence loudly and proudly. And I cried. I was overwhelmed, had four children, sold my home and didn't actually have a new one yet and I was officially drowning. So, in what was one of my many unfinest moments, I walked out of the bathroom, threw the positive test at the not really awake father figure and demanded "What's your plan now?"

The short term plan involved feeding the other children. As they bathed themselves in syrup, the father figure and I engaged in conversation. Well, it was supposed to be a conversation, it quickly deteriorated into trying to determine whose fault everything was. That's right. There we were, two adults, married for over a decade arguing over whose fault it was that we were pregnant. Like I said, not my finest moment.

We spent the rest of the day not talking about the massive changes heading towards us. We walked the perimeter of Devil's Tower. We then headed towards Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. I lugged X-Man around, meditating on the fact that I would, for the first time in my life, have two children in diapers and two babies, less than two years apart. I was dreading the future but I kept replaying in my head a conversation that I had with God, less than a month earlier, you know the one that went something like "if this isn't the right plan for our family, do let me know." Well, then. That's one way to make your point.

We visited Old Faithful. It was 29 degrees out. I watched the father figure wrestle X-Man and thought how I would be unable to assist him soon, as I would have my own arms full. I felt sorry for myself and for my other kids. I just assumed that I would become the cranky mom who doesn't have time to listen and coach children to better behavior. I conveniently forgot how very well they listen, or are deaf, I'm never quite sure. And all the moments in the previous decade that I had wanted a do-over.

Revenge. Best served beautiful 
I was still grumpy as I listed for the father figure all the baby items we would need to acquire, such as a stroller. It was one thing to go strollerless with one baby. Two? A corral was definitely required. As I listed the necessary accessories, including a home and a car, the father figure looked over at me and confessed "I'm excited. I was kinda bummed when you said you wanted to be done." It's amazing what those words meant to me. I was jarred back to reality. I wasn't the only parent. I wasn't the only clown at this rodeo. And little Cinco, gestating away, was a welcomed addition to the family.

I still had my worries, my doubts, my self pity moments. But I knew. I knew. This little girl, and I knew she was a girl because I would have my revenge on the father figure one way or another, this little girl belonged. She belonged in my heart and she belonged in my life and she belonged in my perfect family. I had more thoughts on this, but my little bundle of perfection just meandered her way to a pile of clean laundry (that's important) and began eating a pair of her father's underpants.

So, that was me a year ago. I wish I could say I embraced my family way enthusiastically, but that took time. I chose to embrace the unexpected aspect of Cinco's existence. When I was asked if I was an Apostolic Lutheran, as I was expecting my fifth child, I simply responded "Nope. Just a surprised mom."

All my children are perfect gifts that were needed at the time of their arrival. But with Cinco, I find myself still saying thank you. I am so happy that my best laid plans were laid to waste. Because the life handed to me is too beautiful for me to blog on. Really, I'm not one to share my deeper felt emotions. I don't know how to truly say how I feel about my children. How I want to give them the world. How I want to form them into great men and women. How I would die for them, and more importantly, I would kill for them. And it in four short months I've learned that the little girl I thought would push me over the edge, thought would break me, has come with lessons of her own. It's cliche to say she's taught me so much. And she hasn't really. She's simply showed me that being a good mother, a patient mother, the mother I want to be, is a choice. Pure and simple. I do have to work harder at it. It doesn't flow quite like it used to. But I will be the mother I know my children deserve.

Perfecter family. Except for the refusal to use the potty. 
And some days, I'll even get dressed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Today was Mac's first soccer practice of the season. He only got his head stuck in the net once. So there's that.

Speaking of progress,  X-Man is so exhausted from fighting off the potty that he very meekly takes his antibiotics. Yay.....I guess.

Gestated Cinco is doing her best to no longer be my favorite child. She's become mobile. Oddly so. I can't figure out how she moves, but moves she does. It's like the worm meets a tumbleweed meets a fish out of water. The long and the short of it is, she moves. And has moved herself off the "good child list" and onto the "definitely conspiring against me" list.

Baby was told to take off her soccer cleats and socks upon arrival at home. She cried and reminded us how cruel the world is. Because it was mean to tell her that her socks stink. Never mind that she's the one who asked, oh so exasperatedly "WHY?" when told to take off her shoes and socks. I told her that it wasn't my problem that the smell had broken her nose and yes her socks did smell even if she did not smell them. And yes, I know that her nose works. Oh, by the way, in the amount of time you have wasted proclaiming that 1) your socks don't stink 2) even if they did stink it would be mean to say so and 3) your nose works fine, you could have taken of said pungent socks, put them in the hamper and run a 5K, like three times over.

Baba has nothing for me to add to this list. So, by default, she's my favorite tonight.

Mac just informed me that he needs medicine.  Apparently he saw a commercial that references frequent trips to the bathroom at night. That's right, my five year old is asking for prostate medication, because he has to use the bathroom at night. Don't ask me, I just feed them.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The father figure was offering his ideas on how to best celebrate national topless day. Since nothing says "Yay anniversary of women's suffrage! Yay for women being recognized as rational animals" quite like parading around without a shirt on. And the best reason presented to the newsman "If men can, women should be able to." Yay for reasoning abilities of a three year old.

Meanwhile, the father figure had nothing actually helpful to offer. I observed this and he retorted with "I'm just trying to give you blog material. You're welcome." But the thing is, it's only worthwhile blog material when it's reality. Which brings me to today.

No one has tried my patience on the potty training front quite like X-Man. The child has a bladder and bowels of titanium. And a will of steal. However, sitting on a potty is pain, unlike any other experienced by any other.

I'm not sure what the cause of such turmoil is. It's not taking off his pants. He likes that. It's not being diaperless, that's actually his preferred method of existence. It's certainly not sitting, he's very big into sitting. But somehow the combination of sitting on a potty produced hysteria only rivaled by Raiders fans.

I'm starting to think there's some sort of how to manual on how not to ever become potty trained. Like a survival book for toddlers.

First there is the collapse. It's impressive to observe a sitting child collapse in true dramatic flair. A true believer crumples like a rockstar. This is best accomplished if you are limber enough that you can rest you  head on the floor while keeping your buns on the child size potty. Particularly dramatic would be a sigh that accompanies said crumple.

Keeping ones head on the floor for too long becomes uncomfortable and also might cause those persecuting you to forget your misery. So it's good to violently thrash around and kick your feet while staying half prone. This does have the extra risk of kicking yourself in the nose, but if it helps convey the message.

Then there is the side roll. The more of the body that is engaged, the more effective the message. Lean all the way to one side. All the way. Trust yourself. Position yourself strategically because this is most effective if the potty chair tips with you. You will get the quickest response from your supervisor this way. Make sure you occasionally fall off it too, so they can more fully appreciate the danger they have placed you in.

After they have returned you to the seat of danger and horror, hold your head in your hands and gently weep. That should move even the most stone hearted mother. Make sure the splay  your fingers wide enough so that you can check to see the progress your tears are having on the stony cold hearted guardian who has placed you in such misery.You might have to raise your voice beyond gentle weeping if the parent appears too engrossed in their book. If your arms were to slip and you suddenly lurch forward, this would be a good reminder to the oh so blase mother of the real, true danger you are facing.

Another benefit of the sudden lurch, is as you are restored to your original position of torture, you are better able to wrap your arms around your torturer's neck. Lay your head on their should and let them both hear and feel your pain. Make them pry your arms, arms that were only meant to love, from their position of love, to again one of abandonment and torture.

Finally, remember to invoke a higher power in your battle. Thrust your arms heavenward with shouting and wailing. Beseech liberation from your torment. Or if not that, at least that a shower of frogs descend upon all those who would do  such evil to you. Midway through your protestations, throw yourself backwards. This is risky and could indeed bring harm to you. However, it provides with quickest opportunity for escape, as those involved will be more interested in righting the chair of misery first. Something about something spilling. Also, if you are particularly fortunate, a piece or two of the cheaply made device will pop off. Make sure to grab it with you and run. And then throw it when you are apprehended.

As they attempt to return you to the original position, angle yourself for the lid. Grab it firmly with both hands and go ridged. Lock every joint in your body. And let the fun begin.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Baby sidled up to me last night and asked "Do you use our names on your blog?" First of all, I was not aware that she knew on the existence of my blog. Second of all, she asked in such a way that I knew she knew the answer. I responded "no." "That's what I thought. Is my name Baby?" "Yes, how'd you know?" "Oh I read it on your phone." Hmmmm........

We discussed the benefits of internet privacy and how they will all thank me that I use aliases. "But I still think you should use Daddy's name." Somehow, poor schmuck doesn't have the same ring to it.

It's been three days, so clearly X-Man was due for another doctor visit. The father figure tagged along and got to partake in the fun. First on the agenda, weigh the X-Man. Apparently over is not a weight class for toddlers. X-Man recoiled from the sight of a panel in the floor as if it were a bath. The father figure and I each took an arm and tried to swing him on, with enthusiastic "whees!!!" He refused to touch down, keeping his legs tucked underneath his chin. Next attempt involved the father figure holding him under the arms pits and lowering him on to the scale. I have never seen anyone straddle the scale, refusing to touch it in any manner and I've seen all the seasons of The Biggest Loser. But straddle he did, bracing his arms on the wall and locking his knees. The pregnant me (who is not in existence for the record) could have taken some lessons from this fellow.

Since we basically still live at the doctor's, they decided that they could use a previous weight and continue on. X-Man may still be in diapers, but he has his dignity and there is no lady in the world who will know his actual girth.

The result of this story is that I don't know how much X-Man weighs but I do know that he disdains strawberry flavored antibiotics with the same intensity as banana flavored ones or unflavored. He can also projectile spit them farther than I can dodge.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"You know, for someone who never knows what to write about, you sure type a lot." Helpful observations from the father figure.

I don't really have much to talk about. The father figure and I sorted out some of those marriage issues that like to come up. We did manage to come to an agreement. He asked if I was going to blog about the issue and I told him "Agree with me and I won't." I won. And I will now blog for the rest of my life.

Mac observed today that it is hard to be a boy and he is tired. "Being a boy is sooo hard. You have to open doors for girls. And my arms are tired." Baby would have none of T-Rex boy's complaints "I open doors all the time and I'm not tired. What's wrong with your arms?" Good question and one that Mac was quick to answer. "I had to brush my teeth and get dressed. And make my bed. I am SO tired." Me thinks that first grade is going to be an ugly reality for the boy.

X-Man hung out at the playground during the girls' soccer practices. He stood at the top of the slide and bellowed "MA!!!!!" I hurried into position and said "Ok, ready, set, go!" And.....nothing. X-Man furrowed his brow and yelled firmly "MMMAAA!!!!" I was perplexed and repeated "ready set go." This prompted a stream of incoherent babble with a few "NOs" interjected in. I shook my head "dude, this is what we did last time, I have no idea what you want." He stood up, said three syllables quite emphatically and sat down, preparing to slide. He cocked his eyebrow at me and waited. "On your mark, get set, go?" "MAAAAA NO MAAAAA NO!!!!" I KNOW. On your mark get set go is what we say when you are throwing balls down the stairs to me. Or when I throw them back at you. When you are on the playground it's ready, set, go. Or so I thought. And you are seriously getting ready to slide down the slide and beat me.

Mac came running around the slide and shouted "One two three X-Man!!!" And down X-Man came. He stood at the foot of the slide, grabbed my legs and shouted the same three syllables at me. Apparently, it's one two three. Ok.

Monday, August 19, 2013

X-Man is angry with me. Again. This time it's because I won't let him carry Gestated Cinco. I'll let him hold her, but he has to sit down. He thinks he should be able to carry her. Presumably with his arms around her neck and her feet dragging on the floor, but who cares about details?

He's also taken to responding to any instructions with a most definite "ahhhhh....NO". He finishes it off with a coy look and slight smile. And running.

As a result, due to the simmering tension between the two of us, X-Man spent today following me around the house shooting me with a little purple gun. "Boom Mama".

This last weekend, as many weekends this summer, was spent at a soccer tournament. The Mount Hood Challenge is one of the larger tournaments in the country. 600 teams, 26,0000 spectators. And $150 in gas. I only wish I was exaggerating. Both Baby and Baba were participating. Of course, they would play in varying venues, never closer to each other than forty minutes.

Baby struggled in the tournament. Not with her soccer playing. She's still the rockstar in that department. However, she and gravity were engaged in a fierce battle that resulted in numerous victories for the forces. Literally. I think it's because she was playing for a new coach, as her old coach had yelled at her, more than once "Baby stay on your feet or I will pull you from the game!" And he wasn't being harsh, she was quite the road hazard.

By her final game, Baby had figured out how to fall down, take two opposing players with her and pop back up with the ball, while the others were still trying to figure out what happened. See, when you've been falling down for months on end, you're not confused by the experience. She actually managed to score once on that move. And, as she was always to first to fall, she didn't actually foul anyone. She also had a beautiful cross for a score that involved both a flying ball and a flying shoe. The shoe also hit an opposing player, causing mass confusion as Baby took off after the ball, shoeless, leaving the opposing player to wonder if it had actually started raining shoes.

Baba played a much smoother game. I must salute the Mount Hood Challenge committee for managing to pair up two teams that were as evenly matched as humanly possible. At half time, the score was 0-0. End of game 1-1. Five minutes of sudden death....scoreless. Second five minutes of sudden death....scoreless. Time for penalty kicks. Seven on each side, final score 1-1. At this point, the ref was looking a little annoyed. I loudly suggested that the coaches arm wrestle at mid field. The surrounding parents applauded this idea. Since no one can repeat their penalty kicks, it was time to pull players off the benches. Now, you might assume that someone, at some time would actually get the ball in the goal. But if that was the case, we wouldn't have needed ALL THE OVERTIMES IN THE WORLD. So we plowed through entire bench. In the end, their goalie shot against our goalie. The ball touched the white line as the goalie was grabbing it. The ref saw it and decided "close enough!" And we were done. 45 minutes after the game allegedly ended.

I was unable to get Baby to her game and Baba to her game at the same time, in locations thirty minutes away. So Baba caught a ride with her coach. And as a result, she walked away with a commemorative t-shirt that he bought for her, along with one for his daughter.

I decided to proof read Baba's thank you note. It started out very generically, very polite. It crescendoed into her joyful announcement "I was really wanted to get one. But I didn't think I would because I knew my mom wouldn't buy one for me."  Ay yi yi.

Meanwhile, the father figure is very excited to learn that the local parks and rec starts flag football at age 3. He has big plans for X-Man. I still only see inebriated penguins when that boy runs.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm typing with my thumbs again. Life's been rough. On a positive note, the girls are now done with their 8am speed and agility camp. You know, the one that was forty minutes away. 

I sat in a coffee shop nursing Cinco and reading a fairly predictable book. I was engrossed and didn't really notice the lady approach me. She had to touch my arm to get my attention.

When you're out in public with a baby, you get approached. It's a fact of life. People ooh and ahhh and tell you your baby is beautiful. And you nod and wonder why people are telling you things you already know.

 So I wasn't surprised that I was approached. However, I was taken aback by what she said. "I'm so glad you're breastfeeding your baby" Erm....ok. That's a new one. It took me five kids to get to this point. I guess they have actually run out of things to say about my baby herself and have to go to how she eats.

The the lady wasn't done yet. She continued "I just wish you didn't feel that you have to cover up. What you're doing is beautiful and you shouldn't feel ashamed." Did not see that coming.

Now, after breastfeeding five children, I have discretion down fairly solidly. However I don't have the aftermath of their gestational home solid.  Or firm. Or even remotely toned. By a long shot. And that, gentle reader, ain't nobody want to see. And a blanket is a great way to hide the visual pollution that is my abdomen.

The more I think about, the more I wish I had that woman's spunk. I'd change the message just a bit. "Hey you do know you have 40lbs in 30lbs capacity pants, right?" Not that I want to spread shame or anything. Just sharing information.

Back to the lady with odd social boundaries. I'm sure she was well intentioned but I was flustered. There were plenty of other people around, many of whom heard her comment. I swear it was a look of pure panic that streaked across a young man's face. I wasn't about to admit that I had large amounts of stomach gushes that I am unwilling to share with the general public. Instead I resorted to my standard defense mechanism, humor. "It's just that her head is really odd looking and I am trying to protect her self image." Lying to strangers, look what I have been reduced to.

The lady looked askance and Cinco picked up on the fact that she was being thrown under the bus and surface for air and attention. And so we ended up talking about how beautiful and not deformed my daughter is.

I have to go read "Hank the CowDog." I learned through trial and error the if you read Hank in a French accent--Honk Ze CewDug--Baba will tell you that you are absurd, Baby will eat it up and Mac will cry because he can't understand what you are saying.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Baby's newest injury perpetrated on her by her mother is the lack of an older brother. "But ALL my friends have older brothers!" I tried to point out that neither her father nor her mother have an older brother and her maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather both lack similar fraternal relationships, but she was not swayed. "Why didn't you have a boy first??!!?" I told her to ask her father.

Speaking of siblings, a sister, of which I have many, is home. Which means that she is in the process of purging my parents' home. I'm not particularly sentimental, at least in the more conventional manners, so I easily threw away various papers from high school, birthday cards from old neighbors--some of whom still read this blog, or their wives do--and so on. My mother was a bit taken aback by my heartlessness. She also kept some of the poems I read and the book I wrote with my take how babies come into existence. The phrase "sit back and wait for conception to occur" was my nine year old take on reproduction.

While perusing old notes from college, her wedding dress and other family artifacts, my mother admitted that she was blissfully unaware of my father's sense of humor when she married him. Life's questions answered.

As a child growing up, I wondered often how my incredibly hilarious father ended up with my stick in the mud mother. Seriously, the man was in rare form during dinner and she would sit there shooting him daggers with her eyes. How she wouldn't laugh while he balanced spoons in his eye sockets, unfathomable. The guy worked all day so of course the only time he could show us how he could play songs on his skull would be before we did the dinner dishes and went to bed.

A highlight of my school life was when I addressed an envelope, because I went to school in the dark ages, to Mrs. Fatso. She lived on Broadway. My mother said "well that's something your father would find funny." Boo. Yah. That was my goal in life, to make my father laugh.

My father did seem to enjoy my sense of humor. My parents were big into respect, especially with my father from Texas. They did not tolerate sass. My father did enjoy the well timed comeback, at which I excelled. My mother did not appreciate my talent, or my timing. Mostly, I believe, because she had a hard time explaining to my sisters why what I said was acceptable and what they tried to come back with wasn't. Timing ladies, it's called timing. And knowing your audience. So my witty repartees were forced into early retirement.  I blamed my mother's lack of a sense of humor, not realizing the referring she was doing behind the scenes. Just my sisters were incompetent when it came to engaging our father, did I really have to retire my tongue?

My impulsively when it came to procuring laughs intruded into my mother's carefully coordinated silent puppet show on Christmas Eve. I gleefully marched the three wisemen into some trees, and had one complain to the others. My dad chuckled and my sister punched me. My mother sighed. It was a typical night.

Another moment stands out as a crowning achievement for me. I nearly crippled my father with laughter. I was invited to a party, then after the headcount came in high, uninvited. However my younger sister was still invited and my older sister was off with friends. I was apparently handling to situation with enough grace to evoke sympathy from my father. His solution, take me to a summer scifi blockbuster, which, as to maintain some mystery as to my age, I will not name. As we headed home, he mentioned that my older sister was annoyed because he hadn't invited her, although she wasn't home to go. I causally observed that she went and did fun things with her friends, I went and did fun things with my friends. Later that night my older sister cornered my demanding to know what I had said because our father "tried to tell me but he kept laughing." Life complete.

My confusion as to my mother's lack of appreciation for my father's sense of humor lased a few more years. In fact, it didn't actually dissipate until I, myself, was a mother. Apparently lactating removes all humor capabilities from the female body. I was attempting to maintain order during dinner, despite the father figure's best efforts. A light went off and I realized that I was my mother. And that was a good thing. Because someone had to be the adult in this zoo.

I shared this epiphany with my mother. She simply laughed and said "well yes, of course he was funny, but someone had to teach you all manners."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

If you start your negotiations off with “Since you refuse to get me a dog……” they’re not going to go well. Consider this your friendly parental service announcement.

Believe me, I get that it seems forever to close on a house. Just moving in because it is empty is not an option, believe me I’ve researched it.

Also, I can’t leave the father figure unattended ever. He just wandered in and said we need seven more kids. It’s not for tax purposes, nor is it to actually discover where my breaking point is. He just saw a unicycling family of fourteen on TV and wants to role in their figurative footsteps. Because that’s what’s missing from my life, a unicycle.

So, that's my plate today.

Monday, August 12, 2013

So this is a first. My laptop quit working, right after the father figure did something to it to make it stop slowing down HIS internet. Yep. And blogger hates his computer, so here I am writing a post with my thumbs. Which, if I were a monkey, would be impressive.
The father figure has been on a particular roll recently. This weekend he casually mentioned "I was looking at wedding pictures. I forgot how skinny you were." I sat quietly, enjoying the silence, just letting him play that over in his head. The panic set in, which while amusing, isn't ever helpful. "I mean you look way better now. I would say you looked frail then. Now you look healthy. Voluptuous, I would say you look voluptuous now. I like curvy women, you know that. You look way better now. Really."

If you have given birth once, let alone five times, curvy is not a good word. Nor is voluptuous. Nope, only thin, that is an acceptable word. Fit is also perfectly fine. Any compliment, however, is negated by a factor of ten should you tack on "for having x amount of kids."

But the father figure was on quite the streak. The following morning he causally mentioned "you know they have ways to remove stretch marks." Again, that whole filter thing kicked on after he started talking. I made eye contact with him and watched him leap out of an airplane only to discover his parachute was a knapsack. "Not that they bother me. I know you're self conscious about them, so if you wanted to do something about them. Not that I think you should."

Yeah, if you really want me in a bikini, you're going to have to be smoother than that. And, if I do don a bikini it will be to dance around you as a cost effective method of birth control. Not that you're getting anywhere near all this, not skinny stretch marked, hot stuff any time soon.  Should solve both the nonskinny and scarred aspects.

The best part was when he finally stopped sputtering and said "I'm sorry." I  just smiled and said "You KNOW I'm going to be blogging on this." "Yeah....I know." The best part is, I did actually understand the context of his comments and how they probably sounded in his head, very thoughtful and sensitive. And the blog post basically wrote itself, which considering the technical difficulties was particularly helpful. So, it was a win/win in my book. Not that I'd ever tell him that.

I don't know how so spell check with bloggermobile. My wrists hurt, as do my thumbs. So it is what it is.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Writing this out can’t do justice to Baby’s facial expressions and total Italian hand gestures. Even when Baby spoke her own language, and it wasn’t close to English, communicating her thoughts and feelings wasn’t a challenge.

“Why did we come here??!?!!”
“Because we need to pick up Baba from soccer.”
“But  I don’t want to.” (cross arms over chest)
“Ok, objection noted. However I’m not leaving here without Baba.”
“But I want to go NOW.”  (emphatically  huff with arms)
Ok. But I don’t. And since I’m the driver…….”
“Hmph. I want to go. Daddy can come get Baba.”
“Well that’s a silly waste of gas. You want to play outside while we wait?” (child's eyes rolling while mother answers)
“NO. Because I don’t want to wait. And I don’t want to be outside.”
(car door opens, grumpy child gets out anyway)
“Make sure you stay where I can see you.”
“I want to go down the hill.”
“Well, I can’t see you at the bottom of the hill so no.”
“But I WANT TO. Why can’t we go home RIGHT NOW?”
“Because I don’t want the police to arrest me for abandoning Baba and I need to see you.”
“WHY DO YOU NEED TO SEE ME?” (insert wailing tears)
“Because mommy just got an Amber alert on my phone and I don’t want the next one to be for you.”
“NO. ONE. IS. GOING. TO. KIDNAP. ME.” (Accent each word with emphatic hand gestures.)
“The way you’re acting now, have to agree with that statement.”
“And the police aren’t coming.”
“Not willing to bank my weekend on that.”
Tears begin anew “Why can’t you come with me down the hill?”
“Hear that snoring? That’s X-Man. And Cinco’s sleeping too. Not leaving them alone in the car.”
“Why not? Why can’t I go home?”
“Because Thomas Wolfe says so.”
“You’re not making any sense and you’re doing it on purpose!”
“MOOOOOOOM!!!!” Full body exasperation.
“So Baba’s practice is almost done, I’m going to go get her and you’re going to wait with the babies in the car.”
“And whose fault is that?”
“Yours because you wouldn’t  let me go down the hill.”
]“Uh huh. Well Mac had a high old time while you argued. So….yeah.”
“This isn’t fair!’ Strong sobbing now.
“You’re right.  I am way too nice to put up with this.”
“What does that even mean??? Why didn’t Daddy get Baba?”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why my mother’s helper is named Jose Cuervo.

I perhaps tolerated more arguing than a good mother should, but we were parked, in a crowded parking lot filled with other soccer parents and it was hot. So the windows were down. Both in my car and the cars next to me. And parents were in both of them. They were trying hard to look interested in whatever they were doing and like they didn’t care that I was seriously contemplating selling a child to the gypsies. Or they were just confirming that they were indeed thrilled not to be driving a clown car’s worth of children.

The exchange wasn’t a total waste of time. As I returned to the car, Baba in tow, a dad leaned his head out the window and said “That was better than TV.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The boy pooped in the potty. Winning! He then grabbed the poop from the potty to show me. Not winning! We’ll call the whole thing a wash. Quite literally.

The father figure decided to try to repair the washing machine. I believed that the water leaking was most likely from the front door of the washer. See, Mac took a bite out of the gasket a few years back and we have been living on borrowed time.  However, the father figure thought it was the hoses in the back.  So he took the back off the washer, disconnected the hoses and in the process shorted out the motor. He also discovered that it was indeed the front gasket that was leaking. I would have laughed at him and mocked him but I still owe him.

And I have to tell the story, but fate will not let me tonight. Because, apparently no matter how many kisses you blow me on your way to bed, it’s all a ruse.  Gotta go!

 I'd blog more if Gestated Cinco wasn't all "WHEE!!!! SLEEPING!!!!" It's almost as if she's heard the phrase "Lay down and go to sleep" and translated it to "Get down and go to sleep." She's downright funky when sleeping. Thrashing and kicking and stretching, and as we are visiting grandma's house, she's in bed with us. So here we are, in Cinco's personal disco, without the benefit of alcohol. Not that Cinco's deprived. Her own personal wet bar is at her disposal, as is her father's arm if she wants to really live it up. All while sleeping. So you can't really be annoyed with her, because all I thought I wanted was a baby who slept, I didn't actually request sedated sleeping.

She sleeps perfectly still when I hold her. Which is what I'm doing right now. A baby in the arms and a computer on the lap in an August evening makes for a sticky sweaty mess. Yes I really did write that and I am well aware of how first worldy it all is, but whatever.

Cinco keeps getting jolted awake because X-Man figured how to climb out of his crib. I suppose it was a long time coming, but now it's just a long time complaining. We've moved it, placed barriers around every side and been screamed at in rage. It's particularly sad because X-Man used to be the best sleeper in the world. He did not visit the rave that is Cinco's REM. He conked out and stayed out for twelve hours.

But that was before, in a fit of rage, he bit holes in each of his binkies. His one source of soothing, other than food, was suddenly gone. I was alerted to this around 2am one morning. I stumbled into his bedroom, scooped up a couple of binkies that he had thrown out of his bed and said "here you go, don't throw them." I was almost hit with a flying binky and assaulted with shrieks of "nonnononono bebebebes!" I discovered secret to his rage. And the rest is history. And is why X-Man is going 16 rounds with the father figure as we speak.

He's stopped trying to get out of the bed, and he's no longer trying to make a break out the front door. I'm no longer involved the warfare, mostly because I can't take watching X-Man run. Normally, he moves as a buoy in the ocean. When he chooses to run, he lowers his head and shoulders to a 15 degree angle and just shuffles his feet very quickly. If he's particularly irritated because, say, someone is trying to make him go bed, he juts out his lower jaw, frowns hard and tilts his head to one side and charges forward. He moves like an inebriated penguin. Driving a howitzer. It's both scary and hilarious at the same time.

Oh, and the washer is leaking, so
the father figure is presently up to his ears in parts, so it's up to me to take on the tank driving rage machine.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'd blog more if Gestated Cinco wasn't all "WHEE!!!! SLEEPING!!!!" It's almost as if she's heard the phrase "Lay down and go to sleep" and translated it to "Get down and go to sleep." She's downright funky when sleeping. Thrashing and kicking and streching, and as we are visiting grandma's house, she's in bed with us. So here we are, in Cinco's personal disco, without the benefit of alcohol. Not that Cinco's deprived. Her own personal wet bar is at her disposal, as is her father's arm if she wants to really live it up. All while sleeping. So you can't really be annoyed with her, because all I thought I wanted was a baby who slept, I didn't actually request sedated sleeping.

She sleeps perfectly still when I hold her. Which is what I'm doing right now. A baby in the arms and a computer on the lap in an August evening makes for a sticky sweaty mess. Yes I really did write that and I am well aware of how first worldy it all is, but what ever.

Cinco keeps getting jolted awake because X-Man figured how to climb out of his crib. I suppose it was a long time coming, but now it's just a long time complaining. We've moved it, placed barriers around every side and been screamed at in rage. It's particularly sad because X-Man used to be the best sleeper in the world. He didn't not visit the rave that is Cinco's REM. He conked out and stayed out for twelve hours.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thank the good Lord for cheaply made Chinese furniture that is little more than decorated particle board. Because when X-Man climbs after cups of water on the top of a dresser and pulls it over on himself, he escapes unscathed and refreshed blithely drinking his water while surveying the chaos he created. I cried, he demanded more refreshments and life carried on.

Mark me down for another motherhood fail. I let, or rather even encourage my children to play hide and seek.  My favorite quote is probably “When it comes to hide and seek, what you choose to do it up to you. What’s important is that you’ve come to your decision from an educated and informed place.” Because we’re talking about a game or the proper course of medical treatment, it’s hard to remember. I thought it was all part of the joy of childhood, but it’s actually about training your children to be killer ninjas who lie to you. So clearly, I am responsible for X-Man’s near miss today. Not because I was busy feeding Cinco in another room but because I did not step in when his siblings played hide and seek.  I clearly did not find the appropriate middle ground for my children.  He was just trying to play hide and seek with my water glass. I had hidden it from him and he sought it out.

I’m really glad that the interwebz exists to tell me the dangers that exist all around me. And my children