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August 2011

Before I go to sleep

Hey guys. If you're looking for something to read, check out my Molly Turns Three (!!!!!!!!) post at Parenting today. That's all I got. I'm wiped. 

Except I read the comments on my last Parenting thing and some preschool teacher thought my preschool post from last week was judgmental and demeaning and and and and and... well, for the frillionth time, you know I love you guys, right? And I do not EVER intend to be judgmental and demeaning and I KNOW stuff like this just totally comes with the blogging territory, but I still feel bad. Not REALLY bad, just kinda bummed because I'm actually in AWE of people who spend their days with dozens of small people who have only rudimentary grasps of the English language. As in: I COULD NOT DO IT. I sort of expect blowback when I write about things that MATTER, but I guess I'm always surprised when my jokey snot-nose attitude gets me in trouble about things that really DON'T matter. Especially when I am just trying to come up with SOMETHING to write about and perhaps go a little DRAMATIC for EFFECT. 

Lesson: be less of a snot-nose. 

Oh blogging. I can't quit you, and YET...

P.S. Molly is THREEEEEEEEEEEE


The lengths I will go to to not clean my house

We're heading to a baptism class tonight - shouldn't we be exempt by now? Annoying. You know what else was annoying? When I told the baptism lady I wanted to snag the October 30 baptism date. They didn't have any more scheduled until January! And she was all, "THAT'S cutting it CLOSE." 

What does that even MEAN? They are averse to baptizing weeks-old babies? What kind of Catholics are these?!

This morning I was talking to my mom - oh wait. I was talking to my mom because GUESS WHAT PRESCHOOL STARTS EARLY. What the what! I was sitting at my desk trying to get Molly into one of those cutesy kid hair salons because God knows she needs it before preschool/3rd birthday photos when a miraculous thing happened. My phone rang, I did not recognize the number, and I ANSWERED IT ANYWAY. I KNOW. 

It was Jack's preschool wanting to know what days I wanted him to attend. EVEN THOUGH I HAVE TOLD THEM AT LEAST THREE TIMES BY NOW. It's one of those schools where you can go 3, 4 or 5 days. So anyway. I told her Monday, Wednesday, Friday and she said, Great! See you Friday! And I said, Ok! And hung up. BECAUSE I AM A MORON. 

See, I thought school started next week. Like WEDNESDAY next week. So I sat there, panicking, wondering where in the world I messed up because you KNOW it's ME, and then I finally sucked it up and called the school back, ready to defend my cluelessness. Because they did not tell me! They did not! When I dropped off his application the PRINCIPAL of all people told me that someone would call me to set up some sort of meeting or orientation. And I did get a letter and supply list in the mail, but the letter was only an introduction to the teacher. Nothing else! I was guessing about next week! Even their website did not have answers!

The school secretary was all, "Oh, you didn't get the mailing?" And I said, "I got A mailing, but I don't know if it was THE mailing." I asked her my questions (start time, drop off procedure, snack rules, any first day items of note) and started to feel a little better. See, I know that this whole preschool thing will be FINE, but I want to do it RIGHT on the first day, not be the bumbling idiot mom who gets her a kid a little star next to his name. (The star stands for Idiot Mom.) 

So I don't know what's going on. I mean, so far my impression of Catholic School is 1) a lengthy, detailed supply list for PRESCHOOL and 2) an administration somewhat lacking in communication. 

BLAH. Where was I. Oh yes. I was calling my mother to freak out about this. My Mom: How did I give birth to a neurotic like yourself, where DID I go wrong, blah blah preschool blah, now tell me about your new car. (Which I did. My parents are devoted van fans. Seriously, I should post some pictures of the behemoth on which I learned to drive.) 

Okay but THEN my mom was talking about her new PROJECT which is a SEWING PROJECT because she now owns my grandmother's sewing machine AND she learned how to thread it which, in my opinion, is the hardest part. I started to feel jealous. I realized that if I had a project, I wouldn't have to think about things like, you know, cleaning the bathroom. 

SO GUESS WHAT I DID! Instead of laundry or bathrooms or dishes I packed the kids up and we went to JoAnn Fabric and I bought myself two yards of coral/pink/red polka dot fabric, spray adhesive, velcro, hemming tape, wooden letters, and a pillow form. 

TA DA!

Photo (10)

I have to say that the only real plan I had going into JoAnn's was to make a little curtain for that white bookshelf there (something the sellers left in the house and which I stole from the kid's room - it now contains baby clothes and diapers). But then I didn't screw up as much as I thought I would and had a bunch of fabric left over. I bought the pillow form for the pillow cover Elizabeth made me, but it was too small. So I MADE a pillow cover with HEM TAPE. I ironed that pillow into that thing. THAT'S TALENT, PEOPLE. The Talent of Half Assery. And still I had more fabric! So I used the spray adhesive to glue it to a piece of cardboard, spray painted the letters white, and yes I KNOW you can't see that part, but that would be because 1) the letters aren't dry yet and 2) it's the new baby's name and I must keep SOME surprises, yes?

I have some peachy pink polka dot mini crib bedding, but obviously I have to buy new bedding now. I'm going with something all white that I can just order off Amazon. I'm into white right now, I think. I'd show you the rest of the room but Phillip still has to put away a few boxes and HE ALREADY NICKED THE PAINT ON THE WALL and, well, I'm just not READY.

P.S. The name of the baby in the crib is Baby Mollymoo. In addition to Baby Mollymoo we have Squishy Baby, Big Baby, Little Squishy Baby, Naked Baby, and Diaper Baby residing in our house. FYI. 


This is MUCH whinier than I intended. Oops.

Since the kids stayed with my in-laws last night and we weren't going to pick them up until the late afternoon, I had Big Plans. Sort of. They involved straightening up the house so I sort of knew off the bat that I wasn't going to get ALL of my Big Plans accomplished. 

But I got out of bed and drove Phillip to work, I drove to the dealership to drop off the money we did not pay them for the car yesterday (I KNOW), I went to the grocery store, I came home and paid some bills, I folded some laundry, and then I was, well, out. Next thing I knew it was time to pick up Phillip. 

(Perhaps I ate an entire personal size watermelon in there, at some point.) 

Anyway, you know how I was all, "Oh, this pregnancy is so BORING and EASY and BLAH BLAH BLAH." Okay, so the boring still holds true, but I am 34 weeksish and beginning to feel like I need a Hoyer lift to get me off the couch. 

(This is a Hoyer Lift. I know what a Hoyer Lift is because I once worked in an adult family home in which a Hoyer Lift was required for some residents and OH if only I'd had a blog during those eight or nine months of working, without any CPR or First Aid or nursing credentials whatsoever, in an adult family home owned by The Craziest Most Passive Aggressive Most Delusional Woman I Have Ever Met In My Life, Hands Down. THAT would have been a good blog.) 

I was sitting on my in-laws couch tonight wondering if what I'm feeling lately are Braxton Hicks. I THOUGHT I had BH with Molly, probably a few weeks later than I am right now, and they were painful. And everyone says BH are not painful (though I try not to listen to Everyone). I think the contractions I felt were probably real (if completely USELESS) at that point, as they lasted about the two or three weeks before I had Molly (and she was 9 days early.) 

These are more... well, honestly, I've just been assuming the baby is moving around making things temporarily awful. I can tell where her butt and feet are and sometimes, I don't know, she bends farther to scratch her toe or something and BOOM, my belly juts out even farther and everything is tight and hard and I'm all DUDE, GO BACK TO SLEEP. It seems to coincide with movement, is what I'm saying. 

NOT THAT IT MATTERS. I mean, there's really no point in talking about any of it because either way, it's NORMAL and there's nothing you can DO except sit around until you have the baby. 

I got out all the baby clothes. I scrounged a book shelf from another room and stacked all the clothes and diapers on that. Sainted Blog Reader Renata sent me a pump, so I'm all set to submit myself to THAT particular brand of humiliation. (THANK YOU, RENATA. P.S. I SUCK AT EMAIL.) I've set up my Jack & Molly Watchers for when I have to go the hospital. I have to wash the bedding, take a tour of the hospital so my husband knows where to steer my hunched over shouting-for-the-epidural self, decide where we want the baby car seat in the new car, and find/wash all the bottles and their miserable little pieces. I know it's still early, but I keep looking at my calendar and Freaking The Heck Out over what all we've got coming up in the next several weeks. I am even thinking about hiring a babysitter for Friday, WHILE I AM AT HOME, because we are having guests all weekend and WHEN AM I GOING TO MAKE BEDS? CLEAN TOILETS? FIGURE OUT WHAT WE WILL EAT? 

Speaking of, can you recommend an excellent breakfast casserole? Of the savory or sweet variety? OR BOTH?

And don't say, "Oh, you just have to space all those things out over the course of the week and then you'll be all set for Friday," BECAAAAAAAUSE: 1) That's totally going to intrude on my nap schedule and 2) whatever I clean up/set up today is guaranteed to be filthy/destroyed by the following day. THEREFORE. It is best to do it all at once, hours before the guests arrive. Even if I won't get to see them until the NEXT day on account of being completely wiped out from the cleaning/setting up. GAH.


And what did YOU do today?!

We weren't PLANNING to buy a van. Well, for a while there, I suppose we were. My brain could not figure out how to put three small children and their ginormous car seats in a Mazda 5. And hadn't we put off the minivan long enough? 

Then Wonderful Jen emailed all about how THEY put three small children in THEIR Mazda 5 and I was all, YES. That is what we shall do, thereby staving off 1) the Minivan Stigma and 2) car payments, which are infinitely worse than Minivan Stigma. 

But then... we tried out that configuration one weekend (big kids in the back, baby seat in the middle row, the other middle row seat folded down) and it WORKED but it wasn't GREAT. Actually, I felt way better about it than Phillip. I felt cheered. Relieved. We could hold off the car payments for at LEAST a few years, right? It didn't matter that the backwards baby seat meant my knees would practically touch the glove compartment. And Jack would be moving into a booster seat one of these days, and that would free up some more room. But one thing you should know about my husband is he likes Whatever Is The Best. I mean, most people do, but there are certain things that Phillip just needs to be good. For example: our TiFaux. It is, perhaps, not functioning at its most impressive in the new house, and the amount of rage I've seen directed at that TiFaux is more rage than I've seen directed any other person, place, or thing. So stuff like that, right? Which includes cars. The Mazda 5 setup was Unsatisfactory. 

I talked him into it, though. NO CAR PAYMENT!!! 

Then a while back, a little girl was killed in a car accident not far from here (you may have heard about her) and suddenly I began to feel some of the Unsatisfactoryness. There is no latch system in the back! No airbags! It's a SMALL CAR! Nail biting, nail biting, nail biting. 

Then! Enter FIL, who in addition to being the most generous FIL alive, is also the most anxious. For about a month or two now, FIL has been asking for Car Buying Status Updates, and is never particularly pleased when we tell him that there is, uh, no update. He was car shopping for his own self, but OCCASIONALLY would get some information on a minivan as well and look! Here's a brochure! Or did we read this article? This link? Do we REALLY think the Sienna might be a better choice than the Odyssey? Did we check to make sure it would fit in the garage? Do we want to borrow his friend's Odyssey for a week JUST TO MAKE SURE?

We decided that, perhaps, we should buy a minivan. 

And today, we did. We didn't PLAN on it, but we'd done enough homework, we knew exactly what kind of payment we could afford, we brought all our numbers and I was prepared to keep my mouth shut while Phillip, you know, played it cool. (Me: incapable of playing it cool. Can only keep quiet.) 

But I think we hit the perfect car buying combo today: a pleasant, cheerful salesman who didn't act like showing us every van on the lot was a huge affront to his sensibilities, the end of the day, the end of the month, the end of the season, and a very slow day at the dealership. I think those factors played into how much they dropped the price (more than we expected) and how much they gave us for the Mazda (more than we expected) and how much we had to put down (less than we expected) and then holy cats, we were moving the car seats from the mini minivan into the real one. And then I drove it home. 

I do not have Minivan Issues. I grew up riding in The Largest Civilian Vehicle On Base and if I wanted to share my distinctive maiden name on this website I could write a big list of all the nicknames my high school friends gave my family's van. I suppose that is to say I got over my Van Stigma early on. I think what I like about big houses is what I like about vans: there's room for everybody. It's not like we're carting around large groups on a regular basis, but now we CAN. There are room for cousins and friends and family and I just LIKE THAT. 

I also think sliding doors are God's gift to mothers, and I can't figure out why some of my friends would prefer an SUV to sliding doors. And now my sliding doors? ARE AUTOMATIC, BABY! 

So anyway. YESTERDAY I went to the mall with my mom and sister and spent a fortune on New Preschool Clothes. TODAY I spent the rest of our fortune on a car. We are going to celebrate tonight with the first of many many ramen suppers. 


Poetry Saturday

A Fable

By Louise Gluck

Two women with
the same claim
came to the feet of
the wise king. Two women,
but only one baby.
The king knew
someone was lying.
What he said was
Let the child be
cut in half; that way
no one will go
empty-handed. He
drew his sword.
Then, of the two
women, one
renounced her share:
this was
the sign, the lesson.
Suppose
you saw your mother
torn between two daughters:
what could you do
to save her but be
willing to destroy
yourself—she would know
who was the rightful child,
the one who couldn’t bear
to divide the mother.

 


Friday Reads & Recommends

All I've been reading are the Inspector Rutledge mysteries by Charles Todd. I wrote about them earlier and said that they were interesting, but the mysteries themselves weren't too fabulous. But I will now amend my recommendation: the later mysteries are GOOD. There are 12 and I'd say that all the ones past the fourth mystery are pretty awesome. Again, they're set in post-WW1 England and the inspector himself has shell shock and a voice in his head, but you know I like that kind of thing. 

And did I tell you I read Before I Go To Sleep? I read the sample on the Kindle and absolutely HAD to have the rest of the book RIGHT THAT MOMENT. It's about a woman with amnesia - she wakes up without memories, every. single. day. The beginning and middle were totally engrossing, but as you figure out more about what's actually happening, it somehow gets less enthralling. It was still good, but I would check it out, not buy it. 

I am now reading The Zookeeper's Wife (which is ANOTHER war book, I AM SORRY) and after that I plan to read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, basically because my dad was talking about it the other day and I read everything my dad tells me to read. 

As for Internet reads:

Okay, so that "selective reduction" article I linked to last week was haunting and best left in the freezer, but it brought out a lot of talk on the internet and of course I read all of it. My favorite response in terms of thinkiness was William Saletan's at Slate: "Why do 'reductions' of twin pregnancies trouble pro-choicers?"  

Then I found this link about a black couple adopting a white baby wh ile clicking through some of My Brown Baby's links. (And do you read Denene at Parenting? I appreciate how she just TACKLES stuff. She just wrote about sending her kids to public school and as you know I'm in the school frame of mind, it definitely inspired me.) I should just say that I'd honestly never thought about a black couple adopting a white baby. Talk about complicated.

Yet another piece on Facebook: The Problem With Facebook Birthday Greetings

If you read Unbroken, the story of Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand, you might be interested in this (WAR ALERT!) Boston Globe piece on 'Why did Japan surrender?'

And this from the Atlantic was kinda funny: What I Learned From A Summer of Romantic Comedies

Happy Friday!

 


When I DO listen to the talking, this is what I hear

Sometimes I wish I could sit down and transcribe the conversations I have with Jack. Not because they're OH SO CUTE or charming or anything like that (though they often are, OF COURSE). He's just becoming a very... INTERESTING little boy and the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just so bizarre sometimes. It's clear that his brain is always working, always sucking in information, and he will bust out with it at the strangest out-of-context times. 

Tonight over dinner we covered: heaven, Disneyland, "the big inside wading pool, do you renember that Mommy?" (he's talking about the indoor swimming pool we visited once LAST SUMMER), how white rice is not healthy for you, how vegetables ARE healthy for you but he won't like them until he is six, and who is Daddy's Daddy and Mommy's Mommy. And when he starts to talk about An Important Subject, he sort of raises his eyebrows a little bit, which gives him not a quizzical look but a "Dear Mother, Let Me Enlighten You On This Scintillating Topic" expression. His tone of voice is quite matter of fact, he is very clear on his facts (even though half the time they are WRONG) (not that he will believe you if you correct him) and his very favorite phrase right now is, "Mommy, do you know what?" The appropriate response is, "No, I know NOTHING! SHARE YOUR BRILLIANCE!" 

I feel like the things discussed tonight are things I can halfway talk about. But often he starts telling me about planets and why Pluto is NOT a planet and the human body and do I know what the gallbladder does and I find myself thinking, "Can't we read Olivia like all the OTHER children?" Are there other kids watching Brain Pop and then vomiting the information learned in the car, at dinner, during quiet time when Mommy just really really wants to fall asleep?

Which is not fair, because we do read Olivia and we love Olivia, but given the choice, Jack will hand me one of his numerous human body/ocean creatures/planets books. Which is my fault, because I'm the one who buys them. 

Molly... we're still waiting to see what Molly ACTUALLY likes (besides dresses and shoes) that isn't just a copycatting of whatever JACKSON likes. 

Anyway. Where in the world was I going with this? 

I saved my obligatory preschool freak out for Parenting. I know it's silly, but I am RATHER overwhelmed by my calendar at the moment, and the two different preschools with two different start dates and orientation days are kind of freaking me out. That plus the doctor appointments, a baptism class, a wedding, three birthdays and before-preschool-starts and before-babies-are-born hang outs with friends... all good stuff, super good stuff, but the calendar still gives me the shakes. Oh, all those things PLUS the fact that I've become sorely unmotivated to do a single thing around my house. It's like as soon as I gave myself permission to stop painting everything in my bedroom, I decided nothing was worthwhile. The amount of time, money and effort I will have to spend to get each room looking the way I see it in my head is just enormous and I can't deal with that right now. The best I can do is hope to have clean bathrooms by the time our company comes to stay over Labor Day weekend. I KNOW. IS PATHETIC.

What little motivation I do have these days seems to be about reading every single Inspector Rutledge mystery in existence (I've only got two left!), napping, making sure there is ice cream in the freezer, and guilting friends and family into entertaining my children. 

 


All my babies

I was an attentive, cheerful, doting mother today, as evidenced by the four - FOUR - puzzles still in their put-together glory crowding up my living room floor. I thank God for puzzles, people, as my kids love them and they are pretty much the one kind of kid activity that I can do without wanting to stab myself in the eyes. 

Speaking of, what do your kids like to do? Out of curiosity? Jack right now is super into glue sticks and scissors and markers and entire forests' worth of paper. He writes random letters and asks me what they say (and gets mad when, nine times out of ten, they don't say anything. Sorry kid.) He draws rainbows and planets and family and he LOVES cutting all of his little creations into small pieces. Occasionally he glues them onto another sheet of paper, but usually he leaves them on the floor for me to grumble over later. He's still into his Trio blocks and whines at me to help him build the marble run. Other than that he is making up games with his willing assistant, Mollymoo, and running around the house in costume or building houses or setting up picnics or putting the stuffed animals and babies to bed. He will also sit and read his human body books (SNORE) or play Plants vs. Zombies on the iPad. And THANK THE LORD ALMIGHTY we have moved on from Busytown Mysteries. The preferred shows are now Fishtronaut (?) and Blue's Clues, both of which were found through unfettered iPad Netflix access. Sue me. 

Molly does whatever Jack does. Mostly. She also plays with the iPad but she's more likely to play one of the gazillion kid apps we downloaded. She's more into puzzles than her brother, but she prefers an adoring audience while she does them. She colors and cuts too, but mostly she's either doing whatever Jack is doing (therefore making it hard to tell what SHE especially likes to do) or hanging out with me. She likes to help unload the dishwasher and fold wash cloths and help me make the beds. She picks out clothes and watches me do my hair and loves getting the mail. I'm looking forward to seeing what a few hours of preschool separation does for Molly. Not that I think it's bad all this copycatting of her brother, but it will be fun to see what kinds of things she latches onto. It's super fun watching them play "airplane" or "haircut" or "mommy and daddy" but these are almost always Jack's ideas and Molly is second in command. Her one talent at these games seems to be starting a fight, alas. 

ANYWAY. I think my nice mommyness was largely due to the fact that Nai Nai and Ye Ye came over around lunchtime and watched the kids while I went to yet another doctor appointment. (Where I LOST two pounds! Ha! But I think that has more to do with sketchy weights than anything else. I mean, my rule during Hot By Thirty was Naked Morning Weight Is The Only One That Counts. Right?) And I "extended" my appointment hanging out at the library for a good hour. Refreshing! As for the appointment, it was, yet again, a thoroughly boring and pointless and I flat out said, "Do I REALLY have to come back so soon?" And my doctor, because she is awesome, cancelled my next appointment. Because REALLY. NOTHING IS HAPPENING. I don't have to go back until the 12th. I plan to gain lots of weight in the meantime, OBVS. 

I know that must sound so snobby and/or obnoxious to many of you, but there is honestly nothing much to talk about with my doctor. There's no reason to go over any of my complaints because I know they are all NORMAL and there's really nothing you can DO about having baby feet jammed in your ribcage except HAVE THE BABY. Right? I don't have anything serious to mention and all she does is measure me and tell me everything sounds great, so, yeah. That's that. I acknowledge my luckiness! But I am also going to complain about the baby feet. And the fact that I can no longer breathe. 

Actually, I had to sort of sit down and tell myself today, "Self? No more projects. Do not even think about painting your entry way. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." I mean, perhaps I will get around to organizing the pantry and I really do have to find a place for new baby's stuff, but no more of these grand home improvement projects. (Well, grand for ME, anyway.) When walking up my one rinky dink flight of stairs is enough to wind me (see: baby feet in ribs) it's clear that I need to, you know, stop some stuff. I've been feeling bad about being tired or napping or even things like dreading helping the kids maneuver on the playground and making lunch, because all I want to do is SIT. But I'm trying to remind myself that even though I am a lazy lazy girl, I am not by nature a SITTER, this is not the real ME, I am 7.5 months pregnant and if there is any time when I should do more sitting it's the next several weeks. I think this is okay. 

I got to skype with my college bff today and her brand new baby boy and OH he was SO SWEET. It was making me very moony-eyed. He's beautiful. WANT. 

ANYWAY. We're just sort of stuck in these next couple weeks of Summer and Nothing Much To Do, which I've been disliking more and more lately. But then there will be Labor Day and after that, PRESCHOOL (OMG, must discuss preschool tomorrow, I have the shakes), and then the baby comes and maybe I should just APPRECIATE my days of nothingness right now? You think? I will try. 


Time for this week's edition of Stellar Moments of Weekend Parenting!

Can I just say, first of all, that this is the first night of the entire summer that I have been HOT? Yes, I have a house surrounded by very tall trees and we don't get a lot of afternoon sun and I'm not sure it will EVER be hot on the first floor of my house, but most of the living is done on the second floor and IT IS HOT. Sweat sweat sweat. (Sorry, Texas. I know. We are up to what? 80 degrees?)

So anyway, this weekend I was an excellent mother to BOTH of my precious children. 

First there was Jack, at my parents' house, being kind of a twerp. He's often twerp-like but I think I'm especially sensitive to the twerpiness at Grandma and Grandpa's house because, well, I worry that my twerp tolerance level is a little higher than theirs. ANYWAY. I don't even remember what he was being awful about, but I was getting embarrassed and I followed him upstairs to their play area so I could chew him out in private, and in so doing I grabbed his arm and perhaps yanked? twisted? a little too hard. He looked up at me with his giant puppy eyes and just started to BAWL. And I felt like CRAP. 

All of a sudden it was clear to me that 1) even though he HAD been twerpy downstairs he WAS following directions UPSTAIRS 2) the thing he'd been whining about was actually for real, when both my mom and I thought he was making it up and 3) my embarrassment caused me to act out more than was necessary. I just felt horrrrrrrible. It wasn't that I should have been NICE to him, but I just went too FAR, and not even FAR in the right direction. It was just a pointless gesture that ended up hurting my kid and I sat there holding him and apologizing and feeling like I would never get over it. I don't think I have much longer (or any time at all?) to reassure myself that he won't remember this when he's older. I'm sorry, Future Jack. I really am trying to do right by you, kid. 

And poor Molly. The potty training issues continue to drive us around the bend. Phillip and I will both swear up and down that she knows exactly what to do and when to do it, but there are moments when she Just Doesn't Wanna. Or it doesn't appear to be IMPORTANT to her. Or something. So a week will go by without an accident and then BOOM. We're washing all the sheets. Or mopping up the kitchen floor. Or, in the case of yesterday, finding some pimply faced kid at Target to mop up for us. 

I was already upset. I'd taken the kids out so Phillip could have some time to do this wiring project in our house, and the entire time we were out, Jack was demanding a toy. And I would say, "Not if you talk to me like that, you're not getting anything, ever." So he'd be quiet for a while, then he'd ask to go to the toy aisle. Or we'd go to a different store and he'd ask for a toy all over again. It was never QUITE snotty enough for me to, uh, go berserk on his arm again. But I'd HAD it and by that time I'd told him he could forget Christmas and MAN. Do these kids not know that I'm DYING to buy them stuff and I'd love to buy them something EVERY SINGLE TIME and I LOVE to spoil them in the Target dollar section but NOT IF YOU'RE GONNA ACT LIKE THAT I'M NOT. 

So I'm angry. But it'd subsided a bit, because he'd apparently got the point and was being sweet and cooperative again, and we're happening to stand in the way back of Target where there are baby pools on clearance for, like, ten bucks or something. This was going to be a super hot weekend and our baby pool is a little too small and boring and I thought something new (and cheap!) would be fun. The kids were playing with these little outdoor toys across the way while I'm standing there deciding. Then Molly looks up at me, with a toy in her hand, and says, "Mommy, I need to go potty."

I'm ready to drop everything and race to the bathroom, but no, she meant NOW. So WHILE SHE CONTINUES TO PLAY WITH THE TOY, a little puddle forms under her legs and I'm just standing there like WTF DO I DO? 

I'd just switched out my purse that morning, so I had no wipes, no pull up, no extra pants, no Kleenex, NO NOTHING. All I had in the absorbent category was a clearance summer outfit in the cart. WHICH I CONSIDERED USING. I just stood there IN HORROR watching the pee puddle up. I could not think of what to do. Seriously. I just stood there. So did Molly. Like, "No big thing, Mom!"

A Target aisle is not an appropriate place to have a break down or scream at your kid or rail at God or anything like that. Thank goodness she was wearing a dress, so you couldn't TELL that she wet her pants. But I had to go FIND SOMEONE and CONFESS. (I considered just leaving. Oh yes I did.) 

We left, and the whole time I am asking Molly, "What were you thinking? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" This kid wears underwear all the time except at night. She has accidents, but usually they're at home or at a friend's house and lately they've been few and far between. We were starting to be hopeful! And she's never wet her pants at a store or a restaurant or anywhere PUBLIC. It was my mistake in forgetting to have her go before we went out, but still. We have used the Target bathrooms before. SHE KNOWS THEY ARE THERE. 

We got to the car and I'm buckling them in and I'm just on the verge of tears. I was so tired, so frustrated. I was furious with Molly for not appearing to be sorry or embarrassed or ASHAMED. I wanted SOME reaction out of her. Anything except, "Whatever." To my credit, I didn't yell or anything like that, but I did start crying while buckling her into her car seat. And I made sure she knew exactly what I was crying about. And then SHE started to cry - and not because I was being mean, I don't think. It was more like she was sorry that she made me cry. Awesome. It's one thing to want your kid to feel ashamed in your head, it's another to SHAME THEM ON PURPOSE. And for what? An accident? WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?

So I bawled all the way home. I was still bawing when I unbuckled them and I was bawling in the entry way as they took their shoes off and Phillip came downstairs all, "Um, is there a problem?"

I had to go sit in my room. I had to, I don't know. GATHER myself. I wasn't just crying about a puddle I couldn't clean up in Target, you know? There are just moments when I feel so out out my league and so out of whatever resources I need to do this parenting thing properly. I feel ashamed for not being able to control MYSELF. Up to this point I've just felt like: people have three kids and they survive. They have MORE than three kids and things are FINE! I will too. People are not perfect. There will be hard spots and we will fail, but we love our kids and we love each other and Things Will Work Out. But now I'm like... HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS? HOWWWWW?

Then today... today they were happy shrieky and amenable to cleaning things up and not picky about their clothes and didn't mind when we kept changing plans on them and ate their dinners and right before it was time to go to bed, Jack yelled at me to come look at him and "Do I look like an airplane, Mommy?"

Photo (9)

 


I've made it this far, and I'm feeling pretty good about it

There was a lot of talking today. Hence Thursday's post at Parenting: Talky talky talk talk talk aaaauuuggghhh. (I get to choose my own titles! Bet they regret that!) 

I FEEL like I did a lot today, but clearly nothing to do with my house. It's true that the mess expands to fit the space. It seems as though I can keep one room clean at a time, usually the kitchen (and right now, my bedroom, because I've become Martha Stewart The Dictator about my bedroom) but the living room? Forget it. The top of the stairs? Heh. The kids' room? I'm lucky if I pick the clothes off the floor by the time Phillip gets home. 

But I DID hang a curtain rod today. I DID buy more dish soap in order to keep the kitchen looking decent. I DID do some laundry. I DID clear off the dining room table. I DID feed the kids and fill up the baby pool and take them to the library and a coffee shop for a snack. None of those things, however, resulted in vacuuming the carpet. Which, well, I'd rather not have any of you over until I vacuum the carpet. 

And then when it was time to make dinner, I felt like I couldn't breathe. Not, like, OMG I CAN'T BREATHE WHY DIDN'T I TEACH THE CHILDREN TO DIAL 911, I'm just PREGNANT. This baby is either jammed into my pelvis requiring ninety trips to the bathroom, or jammed up in my rib cage making even STANDING an aerobic exercise. I was standing in the bedroom showing off my curtain rod to Phillip and I found myself out of breath. I had to SIT DOWN. While I was just standing there and TALKING. How many more weeks of this? 

A girl at church whose second baby is about a year old told me I should let her know how the third one goes. She said she's heard the second is the worst (I think she meant pregnancy/birth-wise.) I haven't heard that, but I can definitely get behind it! Have you guys heard that? Or something completely different? Like my mother and my SIL both say that their third babies were ridiculously easy, that the third one just "blends in". But then I have all these OTHER people saying that the third one is when the you know what really hit the fan. I'm sure it all DEPENDS. But in the meantime I'm perfectly happy to think the second pregnancy is the worst and the third baby is the easiest. Works for me!

As for the pregnancy part, so far, YES. I think a lot of my Molly misery had to do with being bat@#*% insane, but I KNOW I was also physically miserable at this point. I know that summer was much warmer - maybe that had something to do with it? But I also remember not being able to sleep on one side for very long because my hips were so sore, and having to sleep with something like eighty-seven pillows. I'm pretty sure I had gained more weight by this point. I'd already made numerous declarations that I was never doing this again. 

And this time feels easier. Not as easy as with Jack (though how much of that was just enjoying the NOVELTY of being pregnant, I wonder) but except for the shortness of breath and sharp pains if I walk too fast, I don't feel too bad. I usually sleep all right (except for the dreams, OMG THE DREAMS, I swear, my subconscious is WACKED OUT), the heartburn has sort of subsided, I'm not swollen, I don't have that sciatica pain so many people mention, I'm not nauseous or anything. I've had it pretty easy so far. Again, I have two months left and the fact that I just wrote positively on the internet means I am pretty much screwed by month 8, but whatever. I'm going to be thankful. 

ALSO. Two and a half pregnancies later I am still stretch mark free. I may have the sort of body that gains weight everywhere and triples in boob size and makes people think I've just eaten too many cheeseburgers (at a point where I feel I am OBVIOUSLY PREGNANT I still had two people who didn't know look totally surprised to find out, GAK) but I am totally going to brag about no stretch marks. GIVE ME THAT, INTERNET!

(Watch. I'll see my first one when I wake up tomorrow morning.) 

I feel like we've got a lot going on still - three more family birthdays, friends staying with us for our couples' weekend, packing in a few more outside-on-the-deck dinners, the start of PRESCHOOL! - and I'm exhausted but thankful at the same time. This third pregnancy went quickly. Again, two more months, but I'm thinking ONLY TWO MORE MONTHS? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? But everything going on will make those two months go quickly too, and that's fine with me. I'm getting awfully tired of looking at all the super cute outfits on Pinterest and not being able to wear them. Of course, all the super cute outfits on Pinterest are for girls with five-inch-circumference thighs and God knows even starving myself won't get me long skinny legs. ALAS. I'll have to settle for no stretch marks, eh?