So Crazy Right Now

February 9, 2013 at 8:23 am | Posted in Kids, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Do I have to get slapped in the face with crazy the second I wake up?

“Oh, Michelle, you’re not crazy. Don’t say that about yourself!”

It’s not me I’m talking about, people.

Let’s start with the first thing I see/hear if I make the mistake of not getting up before everyone else in the house does: Monty the licker. Don’t get too excited. Monty is a CAT. He’s a crazy, obsessive-compulsive, over-bearing, hyper-demanding CAT who will come into my bedroom first thing in the morning screaming like a banshee and start LICKING… me, the comforter, the sheets, the pillows… anything he can get his tongue on. I have no idea why he does this and I have never met a cat like him. He came from the shelter as a “stray” (although after years of having him we’re pretty sure someone dropped his nutty ass off) and now he lives with us. Lucky, lucky us.

That’s crazy #1 to start my day.iPhone Download 2012 057

Next comes a whole heap of hooey from number-one son, who leaps into my bed (risking a severe licking from said cat) ranting about the dream he just had. You know, the one about the talking buffalo from Bugaboo Creek (I can’t believe I was stupid enough to take him there. I thought it would be fun. I thought he would get a kick out of it. [I certainly didn’t go for the gourmet food, although I’m still fantasizing about the 10,000 lb. chocolate cake we had for dessert.] I must have forgotten for 5 1/2 seconds that kids with Asberger’s Syndrome are anxious and literal and the first questions he would ask about the giant talking buffalo head on the wall was, “Can he get out of there? Is he going to come over here? Can he see me? Is he talking to me? When is he going to talk again? Does he know my name? How did he get up there? Where’s his owner? When can we go home?” And that a trip to the bathroom would entail hands clapped over ears [even though the buffalo was not talking] and a 20-minutes-out-of-our-way walk to successfully circumnavigate said buffalo without a chance encounter.). And so, of course, the mania about the talking buffalo continued on the 30-minute car ride home and then right into the night, where Brady insisted he had spent his dream time wandering the house trying to save himself and our family from it. And all this because “Trick”, his giant stuffed horse (whom he regularly pretends is a stuffed cat even though he has 26 stuffed cats), was pretending to be a giant talking Buffalo all night long and continually bamboolzing Brady with his shenanigans.

And that, my friends, was crazy #2 to start my day.Brady Michael Buck Teeth

Then, number-two son, being fascinated and flummoxed by all things big brother, picks up on Brady’s train of thought (if you can call it that) and is high-tailing it through the house shrieking that there’s a buffalo in their room and we should head for the hills. Brady screams back that it is only TRICK (the giant stuffed horse/cat) PRETENDING to be a buffalo, and so a bellowing fight ensues between the boy in my bed and the boy in the hall. This goes on until Michael can be convinced to join us and take his licking like a man. Meanwhile, I’m still just trying to wipe the sleep out of my eyes and shake off the dream I had about frozen margaritas at a swim-up bar in Cozumel. As if.

That was crazy #3.Michael Kissing

And so eventually we all stumble downstairs, where my wound-just-a-little-too-tight husband is insisting that there’s a strange red light on in the back-up power generator and since there’s a BLIZZARD coming (Or maybe it’s just 4 inches of snow, I never know for sure with his overreactive nature. Also, have you ever noticed how men over-call the number of inches something is? Like snow or… other stuff? That’s a topic for another day.) I’d better cancel all my plans and hunker down to wait for the generator company to make an emergency service call. Now. Today. Before it’s too late.

Come on. Red wine keeps. Is it really an emergency if the power goes out?

Hello, crazy #4.Boys2Men

And finally, the chaos in my own mind, whirling and swirling about what needs to get done today, what can’t possibly get done today, and how much Advil it’s going to take to get me through the day. And, course, what color eye shadow I am going to wear. Priorities, people.

So now you see why I always try to get up before everyone else. A mother’s work is never done, but at least she can fend off the crazy a little better when fortified by a cup of tea and a few minutes of pre-dawn silence. Here’s to 5:30 a.m. May it arrive free of wet beds and bad dreams. Those are for 6:10 a.m.

xo

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Where Did the Time Go?

November 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Posted in Kids | 8 Comments
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I am a stay-at-home Mom. Although “stay at home” is not really the right term for what I do. I’m more like a drive-everyone-everywhere-keep-30-appointments-a-day-put-100,000-miles-on-my-car-per-year Mom. But on the rare days when I actually do stay at home, I have a lot to get done. A LOT. So, I get out my little To Do list, the one I make each week (No, I don’t want to talk about how many weeks “fix my pedicure” has been on this list. You do the math.), and choose a few items to get accomplished. You know, easy stuff, like shave the cat and re-spackle the dining room. I might as well choose these types of things for all that I seem to be able to get done.

Before I was a stay-at-home Mom, I was a work-at-the-office marketing professional. I handled many projects on a daily basis for a number of different clients and managed millions of dollars in marketing budgets. I was well-known for my ability to create successful campaigns, rally the team and get the job done. Now I can barely get the dishes in the dishwasher.

Why is that?

And I’ll admit it: when I was a working woman, I scoffed – actually scoffed – at the stay-at-home Moms, especially the ones who complained about how busy they were. I mean, how much could they possibly have to do in a day?? What was so hard about juggling a couple of kids, their laundry, and a grocery list? Well, karma has a funny way of giving you a good swift kick in the ass, and I guess I’m learning my lesson. The woman who used to be able to do it all now celebrates actually having enough clean underwear to get through the week.

For those of you who have small children, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t (or whose kids are so old you’ve forgotten and now you’re scoffing at me and thinking I’m completely incoherent and incapable), here’s a little sneak peek at where the time goes:

Today’s Schedule:

5:30 a.m. – Rise early – an hour before the kids – to fold yesterday’s laundry and put in a new batch, look over some paperwork from Brady’s school, and take a quick shower.
5:45 a.m. – 3-year-old Michael wakes up 45 minutes early, crying because he has wet his bed.
5:50 a.m. – Drop early morning projects to strip both Michael and his bed. Carry Michael out of his room, shushing him the whole time not to wake up his brother.
6:02 a.m. – He woke up his brother.
6:05 a.m. – Put wet bedclothes and jammies in washer. Break up fight between kids over whether or not Snoopy really flies his doghouse in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. Commence making school lunch and breakfast.
6:15 a.m. – Fix broken dump truck. Hug crying child who brought it to you. Fill request to “Snuggle with me, Mommy?”. Forget grilled cheese is cooking for lunch.
6:30 a.m. – Leap off the couch to the smell of smoke. Chuck charred cheese sandwich. Check for more cheese – nope, there isn’t any. Make PB&J instead. Remember that the school has banned peanuts. Decide that Lunchables might not be such a bad thing after all.
6:35 a.m. – Fulfill request for juice x2.
6:45 a.m. – Finish making kids’ lunch. Start making breakfast.
6:47 a.m. – Feed whining cats.
6:48 a.m. – Break up physical fight between boys over whether or not the toy crane they are playing with can talk. Remove crane. Argue in circles with 6-year-old about removed crane. Threaten to throw crane out window.
7:00 a.m. – Continue to attempt to make breakfast.
7:05 a.m. – Answer question about how many Quarter Horses can fit on a cruise ship. Discuss.
7:10 a.m. – Call kids to table for breakfast.
7:11 a.m. – Call kids to table for breakfast.
7:12 a.m. – Call kids to table for breakfast.
7:13 a.m. – Threaten to flush breakfast down toilet.
7:14 a.m. – See two little faces appear at the table.
7:20 a.m. – Remind kids to eat.
7:30 a.m. – Remind kids to eat.
7:35 a.m. – Remind kids to eat.
7:40 a.m. – Remove plates from table to cries of, “HEY!!! I was eating that!!”. Shoo kids upstairs to get dressed.
7:42 a.m. – Check the clock and realize there is no time for that shower. Try to make the best of it with extra make-up and deodorant.
7:58 a.m. – Realize you have not made the best of it.
7:59 a.m. – Sigh.
8:00 a.m. – Prod the kids to put on the clothes that are laid out for them.
8:01 a.m. – Break up a pillow fight gone bad. Remove cat from bathtub. Retrieve stray Advil from under vanity.
8:05 a.m. – Scream that if they don’t get dressed RIGHT NOW they will be late for school.
8:08 a.m. – Threaten to send them to school in their pajamas.
8:09 a.m. – Answer the question, “Is it pajama day today?” with your dirtiest look. Explain to befuddled child that no, in fact, it is NOT pajama day, and everyone will laugh at him if he wears his Sleepy Cuddle Bear top and Thomas the Train bottoms to school.
8:12 a.m. – Answer whining cries by helping with shirts, socks and other difficult geometry problems.
8:15 a.m. – Manage to complete the final 15 minutes of morning routine (teeth brushing, shoe tying, backpack packing, coat-finding) only by growling orders through clenched teeth and/or roaring.
8:30 a.m. – Rip out of driveway, only to find you have left your cell phone behind. Back up to the door and run in. Come back out to find anxious 6-year-old on front step because he “missed you”.
8:35 a.m. – Strap 6-year-old back into seat and tear out of driveway again.

Now, at this point, I have been up for over 3 hours, and here is what I have accomplished:

  • 2 kids dressed, fed and teeth brushed
  • 2 cats fed their first can of food; the second can was forgotten, so I will return to find a fresh set of scratch marks on the new dining room table leg
  • 1 bad make-up job and possibly still-stinky underarms
  • 1 bed stripped to the mattress which will be forgotten until bedtime, at which point kids will use the 5 minutes it takes to make the bed as the perfect excuse to jump on the trampoline until they are so wound up it will take an extra hour for them to fall asleep
  • 1 load of laundry in the washer with soap and fabric softener added, but not turned on
  • 8 pillows – decorative, therapeutic and sleeping – on the floor in my bedroom, along with my comforter and top sheet
  • Countless breakfast dishes littering the kitchen
  • Pile of paperwork from Brady’s school that was due today but that I was unable to address due to wet bed emergency
  • 2 freshly poured cups of juice that we forgot to take with us in the last-minute hustle

I won’t bore you with the list of occurrences that will come about when I later try to make a few appointments over the phone and check my email, but suffice it to say that this mother, who was “never going to use TV as a babysitter I mean come on how hard can it be to keep things going in a simple 4-person household and my kids will be busy with their creative play and engaging activities anyway” now turns to the DVD player as the ONLY WAY to get dinner made on a daily basis. And even then, I have to stop what I’m doing to skip the scary parts. You know, when Snoopy cries over Schroeder’s sad music or when Lightning McQueen the race car gets chased by a tractor.

And that, my friends, is where the time goes. Gotta run.

xo

Atten-HUT!!!

August 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Kids | 2 Comments
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I used to speak ever so softly and sweetly to my children. I’d cajole and coo, whispering in their ears and smiling while I spoke. Gentle tones and calm demeanor were my forte.

Now I sound like I live in a fort.

What exactly happened? Boyhood kicked in, that’s what. They went from soft and sweet and so-so cuddly to big and boney and rambunctious. Now my quiet crooning is replaced by drill-sergeant-like barking. I’m always shouting out orders, guiding their little heads back into line with my hands when they stray (like every 5 seconds), and sounding out the days’ itinerary:

“Brady! Michael! Front and center! NOW HEAR THIS: It is TIME to get DRESSED! Here is what is going to happen: BRADY, you are going to come here NOW and put on your PANTS! NO, you may NOT jump on the trampoline naked! LISTEN UP, boys! MICHAEL, you are going to STOP sitting on the cat and take your jammies OFF! And no more namby-pamby whining! I used to have to get dressed while walking uphill in the SNOW! Barefoot!! In JUNE!!!”

None of this is spoken in mean or angry tones, just in a loud, instructional format. Ok, more like a muffled roar, but you get the picture. I am not screaming at my children, just trying to get their ever-shifting attention.

Out in public, mothers of only children shoot me sideways glances as I dole out directives to my brood of two. They’re probably thinking, “What’s wrong with her? Too much caffeine? A bit high-strung, are we? Take it easy on those two! A little kindness goes a long way. You catch more flies with honey. Blah blah blah blah.”

HA! They have no idea. Two kids might as well be ten! A couple of little boys may not look like much, but trust me, if these two get even one step ahead of me, it’s anarchy. They will completely overthrow the current Nanny State (Mommy State, in this case) and leave me quivering and whimpering as I try to explain just how the purple-maned horse from the carousel got into the fun park’s wishing well. I can’t imagine what they’ll do when they’re teenagers.

My husband tells horror stories of he and his brother (also 3 years apart) concocting such stunts as drizzling gasoline down the driveway (where exactly did they find an unattended can of gas?), taking the tires off their bikes and skidding down the driveway so the metal rims/gas combination created sparks and a nice little whip of flame. They also managed to drive their bikes off the garage roof without breaking any limbs. But they did break a set of antique beds that belonged to their grandmother. Thank God we have no pavement at our house in the woods. But we do have roofs. And beds.

Maybe their mother didn’t bark enough orders? What about corporal punishment? Or maybe it’s just a boy thing and it’s inevitable. Either way, you’re sure to hear me if we’re in the same supermarket/mall/parking lot/kids’ party/fun park/war. I’m the one shouting, “Hey! You two! Pete & Re-Pete! Cut that out! No, stop it! Sit down! Drop that! Get down from there! If you two don’t stop, you are in big trouble! Come over here! RIGHT HERE!! Now, forward MARCH!!”

I think you get the idea.

xo

PLEASE Be Quiet

May 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Kids | 5 Comments
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My 3-year-old can do a lot of things. He’s a pretty big boy. But one thing he really can’t do is be quiet. That boy just can NOT stop talking! And of course every sentence requires some type of response from me – an answer, an “oh my!”, a “Really, Michael?” always something!

I’m telling you, my mouth hurts from all this talking. But not Michael’s. If he is not talking to me, he’s talking to his brother. If he’s not talking to his brother, he’s talking to Daddy. If he’s not talking to Daddy, he’s talking to the cat. If he’s not talking to the cat, he’s talking to himself. Constantly. Incessantly. In a never-ending conversation-circle. Just take today’s gem for example:

“Where does ham come from, Mommy?”

“From a pig, Michael.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s pig meat.”

“Why Mommy?”

“Because that’s where ham comes from.”

“Do you have to kill the pig, Mommy?”

“Yes, Michael.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s how you get ham.”

“Oh. From a pig?”

“Yes, Michael.”

“Why, Mommy?”

So you can see why not only my mouth hurts but my brain hurts, too. Sometimes I have to say to him, “MICHAEL!!! JUST STOP TALKING FOR FIVE SECONDS, OK??!” And he stops for about one minute, then softly says, “Why, Mommy?” with this naughty little grin on his face as if he knew exactly what he was doing the whole time.

At this point, the only option for me to get any peace is to jump out of the moving car’s window. Did I mention that a large portion of this goes on in the car? And don’t recommend that I put some on some MUSIC to distract him – then it’s even worse! “Mommy, why are there ‘sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground’? Who does James Taylor miss, Mommy? Where did she go? Why does his guitar sound like that? How many hands does he have?” and on and on and on. Forget the music, it opens up a whole new can of “why” worms.

Maybe this whole thing is some kind of power-play on his part. The best way to constantly get and maintain his mother’s attention without actually being naughty. He’ll just keep talking in a never-ending logic-circle that sucks the other person in and won’t let them leave. But the joke’s on him in the long run. Because little girls do this, too, and as women we learn how to take this skill to the next level. We, also, can talk incessantly about nothing to the point of practically bringing a man to tears. Or at least to his knees.

So talk on, little Michael, while you have your chance. Someday some smart woman is going to get a hold of you and talk your socks off. You’ll be so transfixed by her that you won’t be able to walk away, and you’ll just have to find a way to survive the constant chatter so you can simply be close to her. Then she and your Mom will have a good laugh about the days when you wanted to know “HOW high is the sky and WHY is it blue and WHERE does it end?”

Oh, talk on, sweet Mike, talk on.

xo

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