Tag Archives: Parenting Memoir

TGIALW!

Thank God It’s a LONG Weekend!

Whew. I am tired. SO glad there is an extra day to recover…

Yesterday was a range of emotions and activities… I began the day at a funeral for a long-time family friend… So sad, especially as it was totally unexpected and sudden. (Her death, not the actual funeral…)* It was cold and rainy and overcast and depressing… as funeral weather should be, I guess.
(* Nervous comedy = coping mechanism)

From there I dashed to pick up Miss Priss and drop her off at her BFF’s house for a sleepover. Next I dashed again to a HS in a neighboring county to watch my 2 high school colorguards compete. Normally these contests are an all day event for me, but what with the funeral and tickets to see BON JOVI that night… I couldn’t stay the whole day.

As soon as group #2 performed I was back in the car and beginning my 3 hr trek to my JML’s house. From there it was concert time!

I have seen Bon Jovi MANY times. And this concert was good, don’t get me wrong. But Bon Jovi without Richie is missing something. The new guitar guy looks like a muppet, and everything seemed “squeaky” to me. Perhaps it is because I just LOVE Richie, and am a bit bitter, but I don’t think that is it. Regardless, I had minimal voice left upon leaving and was thrilled to have had the invitation to attend. Plus time with JM is always needed and much welcomed.

Now JML is one of the cohorts of the before written about beach trip which led to several entries I treated as a parenting memoir. (Side note: AVM was greatly missed this weekend…) Well, the parenting adventures seem to continue as E2 is now potty training. JM is using the tried and true method of allowing him to just be pants-free around the house… Which is an interesting sight to wake up to for sure… esp when one is not used to little boys… Needless to say much hilarity ensued as he kept accidentally brushing his bare booty (and other bare parts) against me…. Bless.

Speaking of hilarity…. Picture it, last night, midnightish, 2 exhausted and starving ladies in a minivan pull up to the Krystals drive-thru, and as the worker inside opens the window to collect our money…. BAM! Smacks the shit out of the side mirror… Cue insane laughter, and the driver saying, “Oh, should I pull up?” I have no doubt Krystals workers see some crazy stuff and ridiculously drunk people. We were not those people, but I have no doubt he thought we were.

Laughter that cannot be stopped and causes your eyes to leak uncontrollably is the BEST laughter.

snort(This happened also…vicious cycle, really)

 

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My Foot Got Stuck in the Carseat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.) x5

I apologize for the delay in ch. 6… Summer got crazy, then my internet went out, and now I head back to school TOMORROW! In one more week students come. What happened?

Anyhoo….

Ch. 6: Stop Repeating Yourself. Now.

Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! MOM!!
WHAT?!!!
I’m going to the bathroom…
Thanks for sharing?

Repetition can be good. As a teacher I know it is necessary to repeat important lessons and facts many times.

As a mother however, repetition ranks right up there with a papercut under your fingernail. During the last year, my daughter has turned from a child to a parrot with limited phrases she likes to repeat. Incessantly.

Picture it: Destin, FL. July 2016. We’ve been on the beach less than an hour.

Any of the 4 children with advanced verbal abilities: There’s sand on my hands!
Any of the 3 moms: Yeah/ DUH.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Sorry about that. We are at the beach.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Sorry… not much we can do about it.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: I heard you the first 3 times.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: I HEARD YOU!!!
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Just stop. Stop talking.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom:  I said STOP!
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Step away before someone gets hurt. Now.
E1: You wish!

Sigh.

And why is it when a kid decides to acknowledge your existence and tell you something repeatedly, something they KNOW you have no damn control over, their voice begins to take on the world’s MOST whiny tone? It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

Throw this in at the end of a LONG day full of lots of play on the beach in the hot sun when the kid is exhausted and hungry and thus moderately delusional– and the parent is even more so– and it might hands down be THE most annoying thing. Ever.

J: Who wants to watch a movie?
E1: You wish!
J: E1! Don’t start!
E1: You wish!
J: I mean it. Stop!
E1: You wish!
J: E1!
T: I want to watch The Little Mermaid!
J: Great idea! Let’s do it!
E1: You wish!

How many times can a parent say, “I heard you.” Or, “And what do you expect me to do about the fact that you are hungry, yet we are somewhere with nothing to eat except a dirty kleenex, or a dried up ink pen?” Or, “Stop. Stop repeating yourself. Now. I mean it.”

And why is it that the phrases you want repeated, like say, oh, I don’t know, “Who wants more champagne?” THOSE! Those are the phrases never repeated enough.

Other winners would include:

  • “All of the children are sound asleep and it’s only 8:30.”
  • “Have another brownie!”
  • “More champagne for everyone!”
  • “Golden Girls are on!”

The solution? I don’t know that there is one, but I have opted to mimic my kid (& husband) and develop selective hearing.

Mom! Why aren’t you answering me?!
Me: I don’t know. Why are you still talking?
M: Mom! I’m serious! Answer me!
Me: You wish!
BAZINGA!

 

Up next~ ch. 7: They Play Hard, but They Fight Harder

My Foot Got Stuck in the Car Seat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.) x4

Ch. 5: Voice Volume Modulation

I love the chance to hang out with other mom’s and their kids. This is for a variety of reasons. It is nice to have adult conversation and/or beverages. It is nice that my kid (who is an only child) has the opportunity to hang out with some kids and work on that whole socialization thing. It also make me feel better that other people’s kids are weird and LOUD too! And I mean, LOUD!

Why are you shouting at me?

I say this to my daughter at least 10 times a day. Her BFF from preschool is even louder. I always figured this was because there were a lot of kids in their preschool class and they just had to be loud to be heard.

But I have learned, and it was reiterated to me on this trip that, no, kids are just loud. I mean it really is like they cannot control their volume.

M: (yelling, while right next to me) Hey Mom! Can I have a popsicle?!
Me: Why are you yelling?
M: (looks at me weird, yells again) Popsicle?!

(sigh)

E1: (yelling, to no one in particular) I just killed a bunch of zombies and built a house with a bed filled with pigs! (*sidenote- I really do not GET Minecraft???)
JML: Stop yelling! E2 is napping!
E1: (yelling) You wish!

Female E: (yelling, running through the house): Full House is on! Full House is on!
Me: (confused) Why is THAT worthy of screaming? Be quiet! And stop running! I am STILL not going to the ER for stitches! 

I’m not sure at what age volume modulation kicks in. Come to think of it, I know several adults that also do not possess this skill… and alcohol certainly hinders the brain’s ability to just BE QUIET!

mute
At any rate, time spent with other parents is certainly worth knowing that my little mini me isn’t broken, just naturally loud.

Up Next~ ch. 6: Stop Repeating Yourself. Now.

My Foot Got Stuck in the Car Seat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.) x3

Ch. 4: I’m Not Going to the ER for Stitches Tonight

Stop running!
Don’t climb on that!
We do NOT jump on the bed!
The living room is NOT the place for gymnastics!

Lord kids! Y’all are wearing me out!

Why do children HAVE to run inside the house? It’s like something about walls renders anyone younger than 12 incapable of “indoor feet” (as we in the teaching business call them).

The youngest of our crew, E2, had just recovered from, what I deemed a traumatic head injury, only a few weeks previous. I first learned of his injury when JML posted an Instagram pic from the hospital with E1 and E2. What made this different from other family posts is that JML and E2 were covered in blood. I wasn’t overly reassured by the thumbs up’s presented by JML and E1.  E2, stitches visible on his head, did not look so sure.

Tale as old as time– E2 was running and took a header on an end table… (sigh)

Consequently, E2 was also the one that LOVED to run through the rental house like a track star at the Olympics. There were several tables, complete with hard, heavy tile. And a raised surface around the fireplace with sharp corners. And a glass table that was just slightly shorter than E2, but that he loved the sit under, and then stand up suddenly. BANG!

Have I mentioned I HATE blood? I mean, I can deal with it, but I don’t like it. At all. BLECH!

E2’s second favorite game, after running like a wild man, was climbing on the raised surface around the fireplace and jumping off.

Aye, yi-yi!

But E2 wasn’t the only runner… oh no. They ALL ran, and they ran fast and haphazardly.

STOP RUNNING! I swear kids, I am NOT going to the ER for stitches tonight!!

Did they stop? Hell no! They just ran by! (I’ll pause while you sing the rest…. Ice Ice Baby, too cold!)

And with the knowledge we had about these kids, I will grant that perhaps watching the Women’s Olympic qualifying in gymnastics may not have been the best viewing choice, but WHOA! Have you all seen Simone Biles’ floor routine?! (If not, WATCH IT!)

I am happy to report that there were NO major injuries on the trip, everyone came home with all of their appendages and we were all stitches-free, though perhaps with a few more Band-Aids than when we first arrived.

(Side note: Speaking of Band-Aids, I swear to all that is holy my daughter is attempting to create a new superhero persona known as BAND-AID GIRL! Right now she has no less that 4 Band-Aids on. None of which are remotely necessary. But hey! If it stops her whining and dramatics over the tiniest scratch ever- only visible with a NASA strength microscope– then whatever!  Seriously, she was asked twice on Monday if she ever considered going into the theatre because of her overreaction to injury.)

bandaid

And maybe she gets it from me. Perhaps you are reading this and thinking, “Good Lord woman! Chill OUT!” If you are, then you clearly do not know me. I have a reputation for the weirdest injuries ever.

  • Worked out with a trainer for 10 minutes: tore a calf muscle
  • Ran a 5K to benefit the school: surgery to reattach ligament in my ankle
  • Walking up stairs at school: tripped by clumsy 5th grader, took out another teacher, broke pinky
  • In physical therapy for ankle: develop plantar fasciitis in heel
  • Went to close hotel door at same moment hubby opened it from outside: broken thumb/ cast for 6 weeks
  • Kidney stone: passing out in the bathroom, narrowly missed slamming my head on the toilet, but did manage to pull down a glass jar on my head, resulting in big gash on side of head and an ambulance ride

So yeah.

I know kids will be kids, and there are going to be scrapes, bruises, and bumps… And maybe it is because I only have one kid that I am more high strung about it than parents of multiples. I promise, I do will myself to relax and let the munchkins have fun. (And I am WAY better at this than hubby, BTW).

Up next~ ch. 5: Voice Volume Modulation

My Foot Got Stuck in the Carseat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.) x2

Ch. 3: You Wish!

Kids say the darndest things!

What’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?!
Eat my shorts!
How you doin’?
You got it dude!

And now, You Wish!!

And not the charming, “As you wish…” from The Princess Bride. But a very snarky 2 syllables often used at time where it makes no sense, or worse, when it does make sense, but makes you violent (see ch. 1).

pbride(photo cred: wrwdc.com)

E1 (as we shall call him) was all about this phrase. Where did it come from? No one knows. Even he has no idea. It made his mother crazy. The other kids imitated him, but never with as much chutzpah as E1.

Any adult in the house: “Hey kids, you want some lunch?
E1: “You wish!”
(not really because if the answer is no, then I can eat first which is AWESOME!)

Any adult in the house: “Has anyone seen E2’s pacifier?”
E1: “You wish!”
(well yes actually, I do, he’s crying and wants it)

Any adult in the house: “Spaghetti for dinner tonight!”
E1: “You wish!”
(no, I know!)

Any adult in the house: “Hey kids, Full House is on in the playroom!”
E1: “You wish!”
(OK, seriously. STOP now!)

And so on, and so forth.

There were only 2 things that were remotely comical about 2, 947 time E1 said this. The first was that several times he appeared to not be paying attention to the conversation at all. Then that voice would ring out from behind the game of Minecraft (which BTW is a whole addendum to the book– what they heck is that all about anyway?! No really, I’d like to know as now my kid is obsessed!) The second funny thing was that sometimes we could use his own catchphrase on him to great effect.

E1: “I don’t want to clean up Legos! I want to keep playing!
EVERY adult in the house: “You wish!”

Once or twice it elicited a rather impressive dirty look for such a young person, which was HILARIOUS! Bazinga!

And this debacle is nothing new– our kids have all had a catchphrase from time to time that they used incessantly. I’ve had kids in my class do it. It’s a kid thing. Eventually it goes away on it’s own, though usually because it has been replaced by a new catchphrase. Maybe this time E1 will pick up, “Yes most charming mother in the entire known universe… I will do everything you ask the first time with no argument or selective hearing (which remember I got from my father)… my will is at your command!”

E1: “You wish!”
(sigh)

Up next~ ch. 4: I’m NOT Going to the ER for Stitches Tonight!

My Foot Got Stuck in the Car Seat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.)

Ch. 2: For the Love of All that is Holy, Legos are the Devil!

Children’s toys– a total Catch 22! I mean, we HAVE to have then to entertain the kids, right? (I am not actually sure of the validity of this statement– my kid, like my cats, seems perfectly content with a cardboard box and a marker.) On the flip side, toys can cause endless headaches, or in the case of Legos, foot aches/ twisted ankles/ 4-letter word vocabulary expansion.

When travelling for more than a day, it becomes mind game of what to bring. You don’t want to pack too much (especially of travelling on plane, overseas, only staying in hotel rooms, etc.), but at the same time, you want to make sure you have enough to distract/ occupy/ appease the demon that erupts every so often from that small frame.

So on this beach trip with my girlfriends and their 4 kids, I was flummoxed as to what to take toy wise. I was driving, and it was only me and Miss Priss in the car, so we had some room. I ended up mainly taking coloring stuff, the iPad, and a couple of games. Of those items, the iPad saw some action. The rest sat dutifully in the room, awaiting their turn should it come. It didn’t.

This was due mainly to 2 things:

  1. Balloons– JML’s kids have ALWAYS been bewitched by balloons. When you visit their house you always find them regardless of the fact that there is no holiday or birthday any time close. So one of the first things we bought when doing our shopping was a bag of balloons. These provided hours of entertainment and warfare. You’d be amazed how violent kids can become over a piece of rubber covered in spit and someone’s hot air. And of course the older kids all wanted to be able to blow them up themselves, which they did… repeatedly. My fingers are still cramped from tying off balloons.

    Then they started writing on them and decorating them. Then it really became territorial– “That’s MY balloon! I drew that squiggly line! Give it back!!” Oy vey.

    My daughter, who is in the pre-stages of being a hoarder, even brought 2, mostly deflated balloons home. They had her name on, damnit! They were HERS! Back off!

    Sorry… I clearly spent too much time in the balloon pit with those five.
  1. Legos– This house had a big box of Legos. Dear Lord.

    Legos are amazing aren’t they? As a toy they are awesome as they inspire creativity, engineering, and exploration (yes, I am teaching STEM this year and have been researching… ), but Legos can also be a vicious weapon that could bring an end to terrorism everywhere (why has the military not tried this approach??) This is especially true if you happen to step on one late at night, in the dark, barefoot, carrying a glass of champagne…

To be fair, there was not a lot of Lego stepping during this trip, but dear God did those things somehow multiply and spread all over the house! And of course the munchkins had to be conned, bribed, and almost beaten to get them all up. Then you would find one in the bed, or behind the tv cabinet, or in the blinds… Just kidding, the sand rake was in the blinds! Not the Legos! Sheesh! I am surprised I didn’t find Legos in my luggage when I got home.

Then there was the fighting. Oh yes. Remember how I said in chapter 1 that they played hard, and fought harder? Well, here was a BIG cause. They would be working SO well together building some giant tower or castle or bird house or whatever it was that they were creating. Then BAM! Someone, often Miss Priss, was instantaneously in tears. This could be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it was sheer exhaustion coupled with a ridiculously tall tower falling over. Other times someone had taken one of “her” blocks, and this was punishable by death even though she had 20 other JUST LIKE IT beside her that had not been used. Holy cow, y’all. Then, all of a sudden, like a brilliant blinding light from Heaven, they were all building together again… the hell?! Everything is Awesome!!
I don’t have the answer for this one… When packing toys for a trip is less better? Or should you be prepared at all costs for any situation? My advice? Make sure the iPad is charged!

legos.jpg

Up next~ Ch. 3: You Wish!

My Foot Got Stuck in the Carseat: A Parenting Memoir

Originally the epilogue was to be “Raising Children is No Easy Task.” But on further reflection, I think this is a great way to start. Prime example: as I type this, wishing desperately I was in my office alone so I could really focus, I am instead multitasking on typing, thinking, and helping my upcoming 1st grader with (pardon the 4 letter word), math! (Yes I am that obnoxious teacher-parent that makes their kid work on math skills and write in a journal over the summer…) I realize in comparison to all the other things parents do on a daily basis, this is small potatoes.

I only have one child– and I am in AWE of parents of multiple children! I mean really y’all! How do you do it? I can barely keep up with where I am and where I should be, let alone my 6 year old, and occasionally my 47 year old (aka hubby).

Multiple children is really the inspiration behind this, what has been dubbed, my memoir by 2 of my best buddies. Recently we took a beach trip– 3 adults, 5 children (ages 2-6). Yes, we are a bit insane– but we also had a GREAT time! When asked about the behavior of the children, my reply was, “They played hard, and fought harder!” #strongpersonalities

And the title you ask? Well, while attempting to strap my daughter into her booster seat in the middle row of an extremely hot van after dinner, my foot became entangled in the booster seat of my friend’s son. At first I didn’t know what it was– it was just highly irritating. I began to kick. Then I thrashed. I’m pretty sure I cussed some too. Finally I hear the mixture of laughter from my 2 friends who informed me that they were trying to detangle me from the seat. It took a few minutes for my overheated, very frustrated brain to register, so I kept kicking and cussing (and sweating profusely, I might add). Then I realized my friends were trying to help me, and I calmed down (somewhat). They were laughing hysterically, wheezing out, “You…..got….your….foot….stuck…. in….the…. carseat!”

Personally I find this the perfect metaphor for life as a parent. This one’s for you JML & AVM!

So yes, being a parent is hard. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Ch. 1: I Will Break Your Face

Let’s be honest and just go ahead and get this out in the open– as a parent, you often feel VIOLENT! Like Un-Sub on Criminal Minds violent. Sometimes this rage is directed at your spouse, or at those you feel have hurt your child in some way, and also at those that LOVE to tell you how to raise your child(ren) and that everything you are doing is ass-backwards WRONG! But there are also those times, which we all HATE to admit to, where we come close to, or actually do lose our shit on our own offspring! Those adorable hellions we spent 9 months crafting and so miraculously brought into this world. Yeah, those guys.

I would like to say that most of the time it is not their fault– that we are tired and cranky from dealing with the idiot people and all of their drama that we are surrounded with everyday. But let’s face facts, NO ONE can push your buttons harder than your own flesh and blood, particularly the miniature versions. Whether it’s the constant nagging sound of, “Mom! Mom! MOM!” or the selective listening skills that they clearly learned from their father– it’s enough to make any mother fall prey to her own temper tantrum.

I try to think back to my own mother, who I might add, had a very different personality from mine. She was usually calm and laid back, almost hippy-dippy/granola-eque. I am high strung and stupidly competitive, as is my daughter, and thus my downfall. I’m not overly reassured at the thought that I cannot really remember my mom losing her mind on me, but then I am reassured because maybe I just don’t remember which means there is hope that my daughter won’t remember my flip-outs. Right? Did that sentence make sense?

And plus, times are different now, aren’t they? More mothers work outside of the home than when I was growing up (though my mom always worked, so no difference there). But there are also so many other, new social issues that invade daily lives. Or maybe we just hear about them more now (Thanks social media!) so things just seem more stressful.

My advice: Put yourself in a time-out. Not your kid, although you can do that too I guess. I often tell my daughter that mommy is in a 10 minute time out and is to be ignored. I even set a timer. What you do during that 10 minutes to decompress is all you… I personally enjoy Pinterest. And champagne, but that’s not always an option. As the saying goes, “Keep Calm and…” (Here’s where Pinterest comes in handy!)

And my personal favorite:

donut

Next up~ Chapter 2: For the Love of All that is Holy, Legos are the Devil