About Me

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A slightly insane mother to three girls ages 11,11, and 5. I live/love to find the humor in being a parent.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Planning for the Unplanned

I believe there is an unknown law of Physics that applies to parenting. My father would disagree and say that there is already a name for this, Murphy's Law.  The phrase "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" originated in a poem by Robert Burns about a poor mama mouse who unknowingly made her nest of babies right in the path of a farmer plowing his fields.  Though I have not yet experienced a bulldozer plowing through my home, I can relate to that poor mama mouse.

My husband and I first noticed this phenomenon when our twins were babies, just when we thought they were both going to be asleep at the same time, the other one would awaken.  If we planned a very expensive family vacation, someone would get sick.  I once planned what I thought was the perfect birthday party for the twins only to have the establishment pack up the presents for the girls in black trash bags, then throw half the presents in the trash!

It is easy to look back and laugh at our misfortunes, in fact it is probably the only healthy way to get through life.  There is a picture of Shayna floating around the family dubbed "towel baby".  She is sleeping in her infant seat dressed in nothing but a diaper and makeshift outfit of towels.  My husband and I had dropped off the kids at my parents house for a night of freedom, our first since having Shayna. I had packed the diaper bag carefully with everything she needed as my parents live 40 minutes away.  Upon arrival it became apparent that both my husband and myself had thought the other put the diaper bag in the car.  "No problem", I said and ran to the supermarket for emergency diapers, wipes, formula, and bottle.  Unfortunately the supermarket did not have extra clothes and this was the night Shayna decided to spit up...everywhere...more than once.  We arrived back at the house to find my baby swaddled in kitchen and bath towels blissfully asleep looking like a cute little hobo. 

Thankfully, we have managed to get through all of these little bumps in the road.  It is frustrating when you are 500 miles from home and you child has thrown up in a taxi, but hey it's memory you'll never  forget!  As annoying as Murphy and his little law can be, life would be boring without the mishaps.  After all, parenting is a road trip without a map and sometimes you find the most beautiful places to stop.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It Get's Different, Not Easier

The early years with twins were not easy, I shudder when I think of octo-mom!   I sort of remember those sleepless nights of constant feedings. I say "sort of" because I spent the entire first year walking around in a trance from lack of sleep. I do remember once in the middle of the night I poured Coke into a bottle I was preparing, thankfully I caught myself before bringing it upstairs!  I remember taking the Diaper Genie every one raved about and tossing the entire thing in a fit of rage into the dumpster because, while it might be ideal for a single baby, it was a nightmare stuffing it with twice the amount of diapers.   Going to the grocery store was a challenge. I would see all the singlton moms with their little portable car seats perched on the grocery cart zooming through the aisles. Not me. There was no room for two car seats, I would push the double stroller in front of me and drag the cart behind me only to be stopped every few feet by some well meaning older woman exclaiming, "Boy, you've got your hands full!"  Every so often I would meet up with another mom with young twins. I recognized the exhaustion and feel real pity for them.  Sometimes they would ask me if it gets easier. I couldn't lie, I told them that they will have more sleep in their future, but I never say it gets easier. I just say it changes, it gets "different".

Parenting never gets easier, whether you have one, two or eight ::shudder:: babies at once.  Yesterday as we were leaving for the Renaissance fair I looked at what Rachel was wearing. Her shorts looked a little too tight, I told her to change as she must have outgrown them. "But Mom, this is how teenagers where their shorts, and I am a preteen!"  Help.

Gone are the days where Mommy was queen.  Where everything I told them was golden and right. I get challenged, sassed, and told how wrong I am despite the fact they constantly acknowledge my wizened age.   I am also loosing my youngest to this behavior, because, "monkey-see-monkey-do".  That same inner strength I had to summon years ago to deal with late nights and double dirty diapers, I must summon again to maintain self control and not end up on the 6 O'clock news.

Yesterday while I was in the shower Hannah came in demanding breakfast. As it was a long weekend and we had plans to go out for the day, I told her that I was going to treat them to donuts after I got out of the shower.  She did not like this option. "You're just lazy!", she yelled at me.

What did my daughter just say to me? It took ALL of the inner strength previously mentioned not to jump through the shower curtain at her!  I will not go into a list of my duties as mom, teacher, and wife; but being lazy is definitely not on them.   On top of the anger I was feeling at this audacious comment, I was hurt.  I know some parents and non-parents would suggest a good slap to the face or sufficient beating to the bottom for this behavior, but I would never slap her across the face ( though the temptation was there!). I am not above a spanking, but I strongly believe in never spanking while angry and I did not think in this case it would be as effective as the punishment her father and I had in mind.

She thinks I am lazy?  Well, now her duties around the house have tripled for the week as I am too lazy to work. She is among other things, responsible for all the dishes and making her bed. I might throw in a few loads of laundry as well.  Because I am so lazy, she must pick up the slack. Breakfast will no longer be available from this lazy wench ( I was at the Renaissance Faire yesterday).  To give her credit, she was very remorseful when she saw how upset I was over her comment. She apologized and felt bad, but she still must learn not to say things out of selfishness and anger. 

What a nice day out today, I think I will be lazy and go make a mess in the kitchen before retiring to a good book. Happy President's Day!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Little Red-Haired Girl

Last week I reported on the "love life" of my ten year old, Hannah. Well it seems that in a very short time frame the drama has escalated into a love triangle.  Josh, being the typical boy has been going back and forth about whether he is going to the dance with Hannah, his yes went to a no and back to a yes again. After his last yes Hannah received a note from another boy, Mason.  It was asking her if she would go to the dance with him!

So now she comes to me with note in hand not sure what to do. I explain to her that she and Josh have an agreement despite his going back and forth, his last answer was yes and she has to be honorable and not back out.  I did tell her that if Josh changes his mind again then all bets are off and she can agree to go with Mason.   I really don't want my daughter breaking any hearts at age ten. This fifth grade parenting stuff is quite stressful!

As I suffer through this drama with an "award winning" straight face I can't help but think of the "little red-haired girl" in Peanuts.   Unfortunately the role of Charlie Brown goes to poor little Josh who just does not seem to be brave enough to admit he likes her, hence the running back and forth during recess with one word yeses and nos. 

As a typical supporter for the underdog, I am hoping Josh doesn't back out this time. I don't know this Mason kid, for all I know he could be "Pig-Pen"!  Besides, who doesn't want to see Charlie Brown end up with the "little red-haired girl"?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love on The Playground

My ten year old daughter has a love life, or so she tells me. Yesterday she came to me and said she needed to talk...about her "love life". I was drinking my coffee and almost choked.  It is moments like this when I wish my children had a "Tivo" setting.  I really wanted to pause, laugh my head off, and then turn her back on with a serious face.  Fortunately I had a mouth full of coffee and had to devote my energy to swallowing with a straight face.

Apparently the drama began at the beginning of the year when it was announced that there would be a fifth grade dance at the end of the year. There is a little boy in her fifth grade class that has been in all her classes since first grade and she "likes him".  I believe there have been notes and friends going back and forth between the two to determine if the feeling was mutual and if he would agree to be a "couple" at the dance.  Heavy drama.  The latest update, according to Hannah, is that he ran up to her during recess and said "yes" and then ran off to play with his friends. 

I cannot complain with her choice, he is a nice boy, no tattoos or piercings. He gets good grades and is on the safety patrol with her. He also has won the science fair for the past three years at the school. Not bad, eh?  I can only hope her tastes do not change as she gets older ( please G-d, do not let her bring home the high school dropout with the tongue piercing!). So now we have the added drama of what to wear to the dance.

Now I really want that Tivo button. I want to rewind and watch her as a baby and see her dancing to the Wiggles. I want to fast forward through this conversation and tuck her into bed with her blankie and favorite stuffed animal.  I have an odd feeling this will not be the last conversation about her "love life".   If this is how stressful it is for me at ten, I am afraid to think about how I will be when she is 16.  My darling husband jokes about getting a gun...and some land out in the Everglades.  At least I think he is joking.  His standard response these days when I talk about our girls growing up is "I don't want to hear it!"  Poor daddy.

So now Hannah is going on about a dress she saw in a store window, she has asked me if she could get her nails done before the dance.  She is already discussing how she will wear her hair ( should it be up or down?).  I take a sip of my coffee and listen to her, all the while wondering if this poor little boy really knows what he got himself into when he said "yes" during recess!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

No Cure

Is your child acting "tweenish"? I have had many people share with me that they suspect their child might also be afflicted with this trying disorder.  I will now post some telltale signs of this conditon.

Excerpted from TwebMD,

Overview and Facts
Tweenragism is a condition that usually afflicts children between the ages of 9-13 (in rare cases with older siblings it can manifest itself earlier). Often it continues beyond 13 in the form of another condition usually referred to as "teenrager".
There are no known causes, however research has shown that prolonged exposure to the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon can aggravate the condition. 

Are you at risk? If you are a parent, you are not at risk to contract this condition, but you will suffer from it. Any child approaching the preteen-hood is dangerously at risk.

This is a controversial issue. Some experts feel that strict parenting can prevent tweenragism from occurring. Others feel that no amount of punishment can shake the symptoms.

Symptoms and Types
excessive eyerolling
dramatic mood swings
sudden dislike of their parents choices
frequent bouts of mortification
uncontrolled angry outbursts
an altered perception of reality

Diagnosis and Tests
Say "good morning" to the child. If you have any of the above responses, run!

Treatment and Care
There is no treatment for the child. For the parent it is recommended to get a good shrink and a bottle of Merlot.

Living and Managing
good luck.

Support and Resources
tweenragers.blogspot.com and the above mentioned bottle of Merlot.