Each and every trip to the supermarket, it never fails…when we hit aisle 7, Olivia slips a Lunchable into the shopping cart. It has been a long time coming and I am still not sure what pushed me over the edge, but today was the day I finally caved and didn’t remove the box o’ unhealthiness from the cart.
Perhaps it was the fact they were on sale at two for seven dollars and I fe…lt like I was getting a bargain of some sort, or maybe the idea of not having to make Olivia school lunch for two days was too exciting to ignore, but, in all honesty, it most likely happened because the thought of Olivia and her little preschool pals ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the yellow box with the M&M’s in it and, as a result, crowning me the coolest f#*king mommy in town this week was to tempting to pass up. Bon appetit, Liv.
Recently, during one of those desperate “dear child, will you PLEASE just sit still and quiet for five minutes” moments, I offered four year old Olivia a lollipop to do the trick…
Mommy: “Hey Liv, pick one of these three lollipops.”
Olivia: (studies the three lollipops for a moment and grabs two)
Mommy: “Once again, Olivia, I said pick ONE lollipop.”
Olivia: “Um, well, I needs both, but don’t worry Mommy, I am just saving the second one for a dessert to the first one.”
Mommy: (super impressed and making a mental note to adopt Olivia’s dessert philosophy) “Oh, I see your point. Enjoy them both.”
One four year old. One claim of a microscopic paper-cut. Twelve band-aid changes within a two hour timespan to make sure each and every Disney princess has their time in the spotlight upon her ringfinger and the chance to unleash their magical healing powers. *Note to self: add a box of those hideous, plasticy flesh-colored bandaids from the dollar store to this week’s shopping list and be sure to take note of the drastic decrease in “injuries” Olivia endures.
I’m left frustrated, defeated and wondering what I could have possibly done wrong in my former life to have deserved my children discovering play doh at the bottom of their Kiddie Meals this afternoon. No hard feelings when they play with it in the restaurant and smoosh it into the carpet, right? You obviously don’t have children of your own. Double middle fingers to you, Wendy.
Winning the Mommy Lottery: The airplane pilot announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, today’s flight will be 2 hours and 35 minutes. You may now use any electronic devices”….and the kids choose a 2 hour and 48 minute movie to pop in the DVD player.
What’s better than blasting Adele and singing your heart out while driving in the car? Having a 4 and a 6 year old, who use Tootsie Pops for microphones, as your kickass backup singers.
You know you live in a house with two young divas-in-training when…something sparkly catches your eye and upon taking a closer look you realize the cat has been covered in glitter.
Without a doubt, I consider packing for a family vacation to be among the top ten most frustrating and annoying things in life. However, with a four and six year old enthusiastically offering up their rendition of the Go-Go’s “Vacation” as the soundtrack, this round of packing is almost enjoyable. Almost.
We split up the packing duties over here….I take care of the minor things, like the clothes and toiletries while Camryn and Olivia make sure we have the more important items, such as enough stuffed animals and headbands for each and every passenger on the plane…including the pilot, co-pilot and flight attendants.
Olivia, 4: “Hey Grandpa! Want to hear how I can spell?”
Grandpa: “Sure, Liv. Can you spell your name?”
Olivia, 4: “Yup. O-L-I-V-I-A. I can spell Mom too. M-O-M.”
Grandpa: “Wow. Very good, Olivia.”
Olivia, 4: “Oh yeah?! I can also spell DVD. D-V-D.”
And to think…I’ve been trying to get her to listen for the last four and a half years. Who knew all I needed was a little purple slip of paper with a creepy cartoon guy with bad hair on it to make it happen. Thanks for the heads up Miss Preschool Teacher. Would you mind making me a few copies of those for home use?
Mommy Instinct: Upon discovering a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party invitation in your child’s school backpack you automatically begin inventing somewhat believable and socially acceptable reasons as to why your child cannot attend the party due to your own deeply rooted hatred for the incubator of germs and that dirty mouse that lives there.
In the rare event the 2012 Mommy of the Year Board of Directors request photographic evidence of one of the many reasons why I should win this year’s award..here it is…homemade, heart shaped personal sized pizzas for the kids on Valentine’s Day. Look out! It’s a bird, it’s a plane….it’s Super Mommy up in here!
The FU of the day goes to… that tiny random piece of a toy that narrowly avoids becoming trash because you keep moving it from place to place to give yourself the illusion you are tidying up the house…all so the kids don’t have a nervous breakdown when they come to you sobbing three weeks from now, because they can’t find the microscopic piece of plastic junk…and you can be crowned hero of the day when you hand it over.
Rare moment of domesticity: Made my husband breakfast for the first time in the sixteen years I have known him. I now plan to use this milestone to get my way, as needed, for at least the next sixteen years. Of course, being that I would be lying if I ever put the words “good cook” on my resume, this all hinges on whether or not he pulls through from a nasty case of salmonella if the eggs were not cooked all the way.
While on the return line at Target, Olivia questioned why they have video cameras in the store. Being that she’s four years old and old enough to handle the truth, I told her the real reason…so they can watch to see if any children misbehave in the store, come find them and tell them they can’t come back to Target ever again. She bought it. It was the most pleasant trip to Target, with a child in tow, I have ever had. I have high hopes it will do the trick on, at least, our next two-three visits.
A child whining in a car with closed windows can, without a doubt, be used as a form of cruel and unusual punishment for an unlucky driver. Sadly, that driver was me today. Even sadder and very disturbing, is the fact I felt letting Olivia rule the radio and grant her request to listen to an extended remix of Four Non Blond’s “What’s Up”at full blast was less irritating than the whining.
The 100 Meter Get Back to School Before They Lock the Doors Dash
Mommy: “So, Camryn, do you have a lot of homework tonight? Your backpack feels kinda light today.”
Camryn, 6: “Uh, not really, but I do have to study for my math test tomorrow.”
Mommy: “Ok, so how are you supposed to study for this test?”
Camryn, 6: “Oh, I’m going to study from the math review packet in my blue folder.”
Mommy: (inspecting contents of backpack) “That sounds like a plan, but uh, where’s this folder you speak of because there’s nothing fitting that description in this backpack.”
Camryn, 6: (dramtic pause) “Oh yeah, now I remember. I saw it drop out of my backpack somewhere inside the school today.”
Mommy: “Wait, hold up. You mean you actually saw the folder drop from your backpack and just left it there?”
Camryn, 6: (without an ounce of hesitation) “Yep.”
Mommy: (restraining herself to not unleash her true feelings about the situation which would most likely cause mental scarring to both Camryn and various other individuals in the school parking lot.) “Well then, it looks like you made a good choice in footwear today, Camryn. Get those sneakers ready to run the halls of Fairlawn Elementary School.”
The kids are at school. The house is silent. However, there is a mega-mix of Kidz Bop 21, the Chipmunks’ Chipwrecked soundtrack and Disney Princess Sing-Along blasting at an obscene volume in my head. There is now a ban in place on before school dance parties around these parts.
-Monday afternoon: Hang schoolwork up on refrigerator and enthusiastically express your love for your child’s creativity. Continue to praise their artistic abilities every time you walk by it.
-Thursday: Make a mental note to self how cluttered the front of the fridge looks and to be sure to take down the schoolwork tomorrow. After all, a minimum of 57 more masterpieces will enter the house by next Monday afternoon.
-Friday night (once you are 110 percent sure the budding artists are fast asleep): After having left the masterpieces on display for a full five days, quietly remove schoolwork from the fridge and place on the kitchen counter out of the childrens’ sight. Glance over at schoolwork on the kitchen counter with intentions to discard ASAP each and every time you walk through the kitchen.
-Saturday morning: Deny you were the one who removed the schoolwork from the fridge when the mini-Picassos confront you on it. They will be very agitated, so be sure to remain silent and smile as you watch them hang their schoolwork back on the fridge. Begin to plot your next plan of attack to complete mission: De-clutter Front of Fridge.
-Sunday night (after confirming, once again, that the masters of the crayons are officially in dreamland): Tiptoe into the kitchen. Slowly remove the schoolwork and strategically place in the garbage can inside an empty pizza box, cereal box or fold the paper into microscopic sized pieces and conceal them between bits of trash. Give the garbage can once last check to make sure the schoolwork is not visible to the untrained eye, say a prayer to the gods of childrens’ schoolwork and gently close the lid.
-Monday early morning: Awaken to the sounds of yelling, whining and the phrase, “Wait. What the?! Mooooooooommmmmmy! How did my picture get in the garbage?!” Resort to playing dumb, since they children will again, be very angry. Grab a paper towel or two to wipe the globs of ketchup off of it and hang that sucker back up on the fridge thinking how nice it will look next to the plethora of new schoolwork that will be joining it later this afternoon.
Mom’s Night Out (MNO): a night out with fellow mommy friends, sans kids, to relax, decompress, rejuvenate and take a break from all things Mommy…at which you will all, undoubtedly, spend 97% of the night discussing, in great detail, your children and motherhood.
Olivia (while inhaling a smores flavored granola bar): “Um, Mom? Well, ya know…I just love food.”
Mommy (eyeing the tasty looking morsels of chocolate in the granola bar while silently praying there is another one hidden somewhere in the depths of the glove compartment): “Yep, you sure do…and even though you look absolutely nothing like me, that is the reason why no one will ever doubt you are my flesh and blood.”
As seen through the eyes of a four year old: today’s activites shall include a trip to the zoo, a shopping spree in a high end department store and a gourmet lunch with a bonus toy.
As seen through the eyes of Mommy: today’s activites shall include lugging a 30 pound bag of dog food through Petco and using every last ounce of energy to hoist it into the trunk of the car, rummaging through toy bins at the Dollar Tree in search of some sort of lead-free goody bag junk for Olivia’s Valentine’s Day class party and a lunch of wilted lettuce and rotten tomatoes with rubbery chicken on top and a side of Diet Coke.
Alert! Alert! We have a missing library book! Repeat! We have a missing library book…that I am not even responsible for losing, but will make an obsession out of searching the house for over the next 2-3 months, never find, end up paying hefty overdue fines, which will add up to be more than the cost of the buying the book brand new, which I will have to fork over to the library as well. Defeat at its finest.
And as another busy, tiring day finally comes to a close, I find myself desperately longing for the nights when skipping pages, full sentences and random words in the bedtime storybooks went unnoticed by the audience. Sometimes reading is just not fundamental.
Camryn, six year old granddaughter: (ever so sweetly) “Hey, Grandpa, do you think you could help me with putting together this Play Doh toy?”
Grandpa: (dramatic pause) “Uh, pretend I’m not here.”
Camryn: “Um, ok, but could you still help me?”
*Note to self – print, complete and mail 2012 Grandpa of the Year application ASAP.
Camryn: “Hey Mom, I made this heart with my initials in it so if you miss me while I am at school today, you can look at and be reminded of me.”
Mommy: “Thanks, Cam. That is very sweet of you. I love it.” (mumbles to self just low enough so the budding artist cannot hear) “Or…if I am really missing you and the drawing just doesn’t cut it, I can always look at the dirty pajamas you left on your… bedroom floor, the dirty breakfast dishes you left on the kitchen table, the trail of Littlest Pet Shop toys you left in the hallway, the glob of toothpaste you left on the bathroom counter, the crayon marks you left on the table, the stuffed animal kangaroo you left lying next to the front door after I told you to put it back in the house because kangaroos are not permitted in school…”
Camryn: “What did ya say, Mom?”
Mommy: “Have a great day, sweetheart. I’ll miss you.”
The other day, I received way too much praise from my children for cooking eggs for them. We’re not talking fancy eggs, sunny side up, an overstuffed cheese omelet or even hard boiled (which in my opinion take too long to make and require way too much effort on my behalf so only get made once a year and that’s at Easter and only to color them so my kids are not the only ones in school who didn’t color eggs).
I am talking about your average, run of the mill, basic scrambled eggs. The “ooohs” and “ahhhs” that the children showered me with as they took their first bite of the eggs made three things very obvious to me. Firstly, I must make some kick ass eggs. Secondly, I so need to step up my cooking game around here, because this is bordering on, no actually, it is embarrassing. Lastly, I now can’t stop my thoughts from wandering down a path which includes some troubling thoughts about when the kids are adults, which include, but are sure as hell not limited to the following concerns…
– will my children grow up to believe eggs must be poured from a carton?
– will they believe macaroni and cheese is not really macaroni and cheese unless it is made with a fluorescent orange powder?
– will they think the process of making mashed potatoes must include a box of white flakes and a microwave?
– will they only eat yogurt if it is rainbow colored, comes in a tube and has knock-knock jokes on it?
– when asked how they prefer their pasta, al dente or not, will they respond “in a can with that big fat chef guy on the front of it.”?
So, as I reflect on this, I try to convince myself there is, in fact, a bright side and that is at least I am feeding them. Now, I turn to you all to make me feel better about my lack of culinary skills and boost my mommy-in-the-kitchen self esteem. Let em rip, folks. Give up your not so proud in the kitchen moments…the winner gets a plate of my scrambled eggs.
Feeling accomplished, rockstar-esque and just like one of those over-achieving moms I love to hate, after successfully completing…
1. Make a semi-homemade meal for dinner where only one of the four components comes from a box/bag and/or necessitates a microwave.
2. Complete all steps of gathering, washing, folding AND putting away one load of laundry in a timely fashion, which is to be less than six days.
3. Vacuum up enough dog fur on just one level of the house to make the dog a pseudo-doggie fur friend that is equal to, or bigger than he is.
…Nothing left to do now, but to pat my self on the back, relax on the couch, decide on a perfect spot on the mantle and wait for the phone to ring so they can give me directions on where I go to pick up my 2012 Domestic Hero Award…
Dear Gods of All Birth Control Pills, please don’t let the little light orange ones by that other pharmaceutical company be duds too. I’m counting on you. Please don’t let me down. GULP.
Bowing my head and taking a few to mourn the days when dyeing my hair was fun, exciting and optional…while shaking my fist at the two lil rugrats responsible for the plethora of gray hairs that now call my head their home.