A while back, I introduced Em to Dr. Who. She caught me watching it in season 5 or something and she was driving me crazy asking me questions so I went back to season 1 and started from the beginning with her. She, of course, adores it because she’s my daughter and has excellent taste.
Now, for those of you poor individuals that do not know Dr. Who, the series is British. All the actors have an accent and Em, being an 8yo born in the US, is not terribly familiar with it and until now was completely ignorant that, while we speak the same language, there are certain differences. In one episode, for example, she sees Rose eating french fries after demanding “chips”. Em gets all indignant until I explained to her that in England, “chips” are what we call “fries”. So at one point, Morgan turns to me and asks “why would they be angry?” when someone said, “Are you mad?!”.
So I explained it to her: In the King’s English, “mad”, of course, is used to denote insanity. In American, we say “crazy”, because “mad” indicates anger. She seemed satisfied with this and we continued dorking out to Dr. Who and life went on.
Naturally, I was pleased to be able to educate my little one so that she’d become more aware of other cultures and all that good stuff. It hasn’t worked out quite like I envisioned (except for being a little Whovian, of course).
Now when Em wants to say that someone has gone crazy or is crazy she says “You’ve gone mad like the British!”.
She said this at the dinner table recently and I had to explain to her that what she means to say is that they’ve gone mad the way the British mean it but that the way she is saying it makes it sound like all British people are crazy. So she looks me square in the eye and goes, “Oh yeah? Well YOUR crazy!” and then giggles maniacally. Yeah. She came out of me.
The weather seems to have taken a turn towards Fall. In fact, I actually had frost on my windshield this morning. Wait, was was I doing out and about on a Saturday morning, early enough to know there was a frost last night?
So yesterday, the mother of one of my girlfriends came over and took all of my kids out. My children completely adore her, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that she genuinely likes them and enjoys spoiling the crap out of them. Anyway, when she brought them home, they had a bunch of little things, including donuts, which got eaten over the course of the evening. Well apparently, Ae had half of one in there that someone else ate and she wanted it. Now, she’s five, it’s 9:30 at night, she’s overtired and falling apart and the only thing I care about is getting her wailing, banshee little butt in bed. So I comfort her and tell her I will get her some for breakfast the next morning. She is perfectly happy with that and consents to go to bed with minimal complaining.
Guess how I was awoken this morning? At 8am. On a NOT school day?
Ae: “MOM!” *shakeshakeshakeshakeshake* “YOU said you’d go to Dunkin’ Donuts this morning!”
me: Hmmm? Oh, yeah, baby, I will. *yawnrollover*
Ae: “HEY! Mommy!” *whapshakeshakeshakeshake* YOU SAID YOU WOULD GET IT FOR BREAKFAST!”
me: “I know *yawn* but it’s not time yet”
Ae: *gasp* Mommy! *pulls curtain back, allowing sunshine to slap into my eyes like happy shards of crystallized pain* “Do you see the sun? It’s MORNING! THAT MEANS IT’S BREAKFAST TIME!!!” (She is actually tapping her little foot and pointing out the window, doing a remarkable impression of a very stern Maggie Smith.)
Why can’t my children sleep in? I mean, they complain every morning, when I wake them for school, that it’s “too early” and they are “so sleepy”. Yet every weekend, without fail, they are ALL up and bouncing off the walls first thing.
So, that’s how I woke up. I kind of imagined her as standing there with an old fashioned megaphone, like in Loony Toons.
She’s like a tiny little drill sergeant: “GET UP NOW, MAGGOT! MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE! THERE IS SUNSHINE. GET DONUTS. GO GO GO GO!”
I remember when she was very little, before she could really talk well, she used to use mime and sound effects to make a point. Like, if her sister has whacked her and she wanted to tattle, she’d come into a room and say, “Em…Em…Em” then she’d *point* at Em and then SMACK HERSELF saying *mapmap!* It’s very hard to look concerned and be appropriately stern to the offending child when you’re trying very hard not to giggle.
Once, she went to the playground with her Grammy and big sister and something happened (I’m still not entirely sure what). She fell off of something or tripped and fell; something like that. Anyway, when she got home, I asked her what she did at the playground. She still wasn’t really talking in coherent sentences but she loved to “tell stories”. So here she is, 2.5ish, and extremely tiny for her age, animatedly talking about swings and slides and all the while she’s hopping up and down, making sound effects, and moving towards the steps. She gets up on the stairs and says, “I fall! Like, like…” and then she throws herself off the steps and onto the floor. Now THAT is some dedicated story telling (she was fine).
I share this so you know that yes, she was shouting at me and yes, she was drill-sergeant-ing. But she’s always like that. I couldn’t even be mad, she was just SO excited. So I dragged my fat backside out of bed, slipped on my flip-flops and made a drive, in my jammies, to get breakfast for a precocious little girl and her siblings. When I got back, my son was so excited that he started dancing, completely naked, going “Dehnuts! Dehnuts!”
DONUTS, people, donuts. But yeh, again, trying to keep a straight face while Lil Man is dancing about, dangly bits and all, shouting what sounds an awful lot like “Deeze Nuts!”? Not happening.
And so begins my weekend. Here’s hoping the rest of it is as happy and enjoyable as this morning.
I just have to regale you with a tale of something funny my son did the other day before it gets lost in the murky recesses of my memory.
Sundays are typically busy days, in a lazy sort of way. Without fail there are children running in and out of the house all day long and if I’m very lucky, my awesome next door neighbor pops in for a little while to chat and catch up. Football will be on at some point and I spend a lot of time causally keeping the mess from going KahBlooey! but other than that, drink lots of coffee and stay in my jammie pants. This past Sunday was no different.
My neighbor on the left, who I’m going to call Tee, has a little girl named Dee. And Dee is around the same age as my Ae (5) and is usually in my house on Sundays, Elvira-izing my cats with the help of Ae and Ee (who is 3). My neighbor on the right, whom I will henceforth refer to as SuperMom, has a little girl named Jae. Jae (who is 7) is right between the ages of my two daughters and spends a lot of time here and on this particular day, she was hanging out with my oldest daughter, Em (8). And SuperMom herself, who is the awesome next door neighbor mentioned above, was sitting at my kitchen table participating in my weekly Laundry Stall exercise while the children ran around and generated a happy sort of chaos.
While she and I are jawing, my son, Ee, comes into the room and begins his evil tricks, charming SuperMom with his humorous and adorable conversation. Meanwhile, in the office (which is adjacent to my kitchen), Ae and Dee are playing in an over-sized box that used to house my son’s bike. All we can really see of them is their legs and feet, from about the knees down. They were so quiet and occupied that I actually forgot they were there for a while. Ee is jabbering, hanging off the side of the table and generally reminding us that he’s too cute for words. Out of the blue, he turns to SuperMom and says, “Watch this”, and then just walks away. He goes around the table and into the office and SuperMom and I are all like, ‘Wuh???”
Then he goes, I shit you knot, “AahHAhaha!” and then just JUMPS on the box housing the aforementioned little girls. Cue high pitched screams and giggles of indignation.
I wish I had a video of that moment; it was so funny, so random and well, the sound of my “innocent” little boy going “AahHAhaha!” just did me in. Ah, little brothers. Gotta love ’em.
I keep thinking about how cool it is that my husband and I literally made people. I realize that, at a glance, this may not seem so amazing. I mean, if you think about it, all life sort of replicates itself in one fashion or another. But for some reason, I simply cannot escape the wonder and awe that *I* grew and birthed a person. Well, technically I have grown and birthed three people. The idea that two teeny-tiny pieces of code can come together as a result of heated passion and explode into a human being is incredible to me.
I remember the very first time I ever looked into the eyes of my oldest child. She wasn’t crying, still wet and she was looking directly into my eyes. She was so aware, so present. Before my daughter was born, I understood, on an intellectual level, that I was not giving birth to a plant, accessory or a doll. But I don’t think I really, truly understood just how complete a person I was giving birth to until that moment.
Why am I even writing about this? I guess it’s because I’ve had such a bloody difficult week. Between kids, working and housework, the week just flew by and I spent every second of it feeling like I was falling further and further behind. That and my beautiful, amazing, incredible little people were driving me effing bonkers. Anybody who thinks being a mother is all champagne and roses has obviously never had children.
Champagne and roses indeed! More like BEER and DIRT. That suits me fine, I suck at “classy” anyway. These days, if you walk into my house, you’ll have stumbled into a happy, chaotic mess of fingerprints, dog hair and large, scrawling crayola pictures on the walls. At least one of my kids is usually screaming or shouting at all times (though not necessarily in outrage or pain- my 5 year old has this lovely habit of shouting everything she says at about 763582 decibels) and I gave up on a clean kitchen floor ages ago.
I have to admit, though, that all of this really, really gets to me at times. Everyone has their little pet peeves and one of mine happens to be “stuff” on the floor. Which, with three children 8yo and younger, is inevitable. Especially when it comes to my son.
My son is a very precocious three year old. He’s energetic, funny and very much into the “explore the world by making a huge fracking mess” phase of development. His penchant for dumping everything he can get his hands on out onto the floor and spreading it around, combined with the dramafest that accompanies everything at 3 years old, made this week particularly grueling for me. For every piece of paying work I accomplished he presented me with an outrageous mess to clean up. Now, my 5 year old was just as messy at this age but it generally took her longer to make an epic mess. Not so with my son! This boy can drag a chair across the kitchen so stealthily that I can be sitting three feet away and be completely unaware of it. Then he climbs up onto the counter and distributes the things that are on top of the fridge about the kitchen counters in the space of ten seconds. Two days ago I looked up from typing just in time to see him dumping a tube of purple glitter all over the carpet. PURPLE GLITTER. It’s on the ‘fridge so he can’t get to it, for crying out loud! I’m not sure which was worse, the glitter or the (thankfully clean) cat litter he decided to dump in all the living room toy bins and then redistribute across the carpet. Hmmmm, glitter and cat litter. Lovely.
Don’t worry, I still think he’s an amazing little man. I love watching him figure stuff out and in fact, I really only have myself to blame for the messes. I mean, I do allow my kids to make messes. I remember, when my first was about 8 or 9 months old, posting in a mom community a picture of her smearing some kind of food all over the place. One of the other moms made some comment about how she envies moms who are “cool” with their kids playing in their food because it drives her crazy and she just couldn’t do it. I don’t know, I guess that for me, messes just come with kids. Which is at TOTAL ODDS with the stress levels those messes cause me! So of course my son feels free to dump shit out everywhere, I let him play in his food and explore things!
Ok, ok, I know I’m rambling. How does all of this tie in with the awe and amazement that I and my husband created human beings? Well, last night, at the end of this horrible week that I spent half my days crying through, I finally finished all my work projects and shut my laptop. I was in a completely foul mood and not feeling very good about myself as a professional, wife or a mother. All I really wanted to do was go to bed and get far, far away from all of the needy, grubby fingered, shouting little monsters I spawned. But of course, I couldn’t do that because I am NOT a bad mother, just one who is constantly at war with her selfish side. So instead of telling my family to flub off, I cleaned up dinner and sat down in the living room and resolved to spend the evening playing with my children. I’m not sure what made me decide to do that. I think it was just that what frustrates me about stay-at-home-momitude is that I get so wrapped up in all of the THINGS that need doing that it’s hard to JUST enjoy my kids.
Well I’m so glad I did. As I was sitting there, I discovered that my 8 year old had found a new anime to watch on Netflix. It’s called
“Princes TuTu”. She is completely in love with it and all of the theme music is classical and the story revolves around a bunch of ballet dancers. So here I am, being a total grump, sipping a rum and coke when all of my children, including my 3 yo, just start dancing. I mean, this ridiculously flamboyant gigglefest of little dancers just completely knocked me out of my funk. I tried to get pictures to share but they were jumping and twirling about so much that not a single one that I snapped turned out at all. You should have seen my nearly naked son trying to do plies. The rest of my evening was spent snuggled up with one or more of my kids, giggling, talking and just enjoying each other. My oldest didn’t stop talking for three hours straight, I promise you.
Somewhere in the midst of all the clamor and love and snuggling I realized that I wasn’t so far behind after all. My children are happy, thriving and an inspiration to me. I didn’t feel smothered or bogged down, I felt uplifted and refreshed. Listening to my daughters going on about school and hearing them discuss the show we were watching was really eye-opening to me. I love hearing how they think and realizing how little they miss. I enjoyed snuggling my son who is growing up WAY too fast.
I was struck, once again, by how unique and incredible they all are. We don’t give birth to empty little vessels we mold and shape. Pfft, if anything, they mold and shape US. What a precious gift I’ve been given. Sure, it’s not roses and champagne. My life isn’t classy. I don’t care, I’m more of a beer and dirt kind of gal anyway.
I had this beautiful website, full of marvelously entertaining articles (or so I like to tell myself) that, unfortunately, has gone the way of the Do-Do bird. It’s a long and boring story and frankly, rather tragic, so I’d rather spare you the details. Some of you reading this are no doubt familiar with said website and might even remember some of the content. If so, Hurray!
For anyone who doesn’t know, this blog is a teeny bit random but mostly focuses on my life as a mom and issues I feel are relevant to women and mothers in general, though not to the exclusion of men! These issues include but are not limited to: family life, stories about the craziness my children get up to, depression, baby feeding, circumcision, discipline, pregnancy, childbirth and a whole bunch of other stuff I have strong opinions about. I enjoy discussion, even dissenting opinions!
I also really love blogging and the blogging community at large. To think that there are so many different, unique people out there just makes me happy. I love reading your stories, watching your children grow and learning from you. So please, pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) and let’s get to know each other.