Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Crying over spilt milk (a.k.a. The post where I make you doubt my own sanity. Its OK, I did, too.)

I don't write a lot of personal stuff in my blog posts. I'm not really sure why that is. I mean, that's why people have these things, right? I guess I'm often concerned about writing something that people will WANT to read, and NOT writing something that I don't want certain people to know about.

But that's stupid, too. And I need a little outlet. That's why I started this blog. So I guess if a few posts get all Debbie Downerish when I'm having a rough spell means I have fewer readers, fine. Then again, I tend to like blogs where people are REAL and don't just post pictures of their kids ("Ooh, isn't little Pavlov adorable?") and their to do lists, which I've been doing a lot of.

And I have a real shit of a time lately.

I know a lot of people have life worse off than mine, but I use that as an excuse not to gripe about my own life, and that's stupid, too.

So here goes. If you stick around for this whole thing, well, then you really love me. Or you were just bored.

I took the day off from work this past Thursday, because with Nick in preschool and Jay jumping all around the state interviewing for jobs, the good ol' hubby hasn't had much time to finish the work we've been doing on our front, three season porch. Its a great space, but we haven't made much good use of it because it gets so cold and drafty out there. Long story short, while working on some other jobs on the house this year (and there have been some major ones, like residing the house) a few of the old, brittle windows cracked or broke. Instead of replacing the glass, which would have been mucho expensive, we opted to replace them with energy efficient pretty windows.

And I love 'em. They look so amazing and I'd share the before and "in progress" shots with you, but I really don't feel comfortable sharing photos of the front of my house online. You'll just have to squint your eyes, tilt your head to the side and go, "Oh yeah, I see it!"

But good ol' hubby - as much as I sing his praises (he really is amazing) - has a 'finishing' problem. He has wonderful intentions, but projects get started and take f o r e v e r to be completed. So, windows were delivered the last week of August, and Jay was jumping to have them come in so he could start the project. Only now its October and the project is about 80% done. (Didn't I mention 80% lately? Maybe that's just another sign we were meant to be. *sigh*)

SO - took the day off Thursday so he could work on windows, uninterrupted for the entire day. And progress was made, but just not enough progress to say they're done yet. Enough progress to get us to this 80% level. And, as previously mentioned, I had the lovely pleasure of having a kid crap while at the day care at the Y while I tried to work out. We also had Jay's sister set up to watch the boys that evening because of the rehearsal dinner for the wedding Jay was in this Saturday. (Keeping up with me so far? Good. Cuz this is where the weekend gets yoo-gly.)

So, eh, Thursday was OK. I had higher hopes about front porch progress, but eh, we're over that. Moving on. Friday...whoa baby. Friday was another story completely. I felt like one of those Moms that's profiled on the evening news. Or could be.

Everything that could have gone wrong on Friday did. First, I skipped my yoga class because 1) the yoga classes at the Y just suck and B) Will was up later than normal the night before and the thought of fighting to get him ready, to the Y and watching him scream his head off before 8 am when I dropped him off at Kid Care was enough to make me want to call "Uncle", so I did. Swim lessons went by easily enough - he really likes them - but he HATES showering afterward. Me nekkid with screaming, flailing toddler who is also soapy and slippery? BAAAAD. So I gave in to that, too, and didn't actually take a real shower myself. Kinda sucks, but eh, sometimes you roll with it.

After the Y, we started heading for home when I got a call from Jay. He and Nick were out early depositing the rent check from my brother and doing some other stuff and Jay thought we should all meet up at the haircut place so that they boys could both get hair cuts before the wedding. Fine. Nick's gotten a hundred of them so they're a breeze for him, but Will doesn't like them much and it took two suckers (full of hair - yum) to get him through the cut. Whatever. At least I wasn't doing it by myself!

Will and I head for home, where its obvious he's going to take a nap and go down easily, and Jay and Nick go off to help Saturday's Groom move this arch thing to the hall where the reception was to be held. Later, they get home and Will's napping. They have lunch and we put Nick down for a nap. Half an hour later, he's still screwing around and we look at the clock and realize, Oh my gawd its 1:30 and Jay works at 4 and we still need to pick up his tux!

So...we made the wise decision to "screw naps", or what was left of them and all headed to the mall. First stop? Tux place. Somehow tux places = utter chaos for my boys. Nick was the devil who just egged his brother on, and apparently the tux people had to take a lot in on Jay's stuff. (He's got a 19" neck; its hard to get shirts that fit that aren't TENTS everywhere else.) So...I'm tearing my hair out, trying to keep my kids off the floor and from knocking down headless mannequins and the sales guy keeps telling me Jay is almost done (or I would have left - there isn't anything for us to do down that "wing" of the mall we'd have had to go quite a ways down to find anything to occupy the boys).

Finally, Jay's done and I beg for a coffee. I thank the Starbucks gods with my offering of four freaking dollars and head to Kohl's, where I have the wonderful promise of a 30% off discount and the need for fall clothes in 4T. We make a whirlwind through the store (where I also make an impulse buy of a 10.4" digital photo frame - on sale + 30% off + $15 mail in rebate - hell yeah!) and leave, exhausted, just in time for Jay to head to work.

Oh, but guess what? Last weekend, at my Aunt's surprise 50th? I left my camera case, complete with battery charger ON HER DECK. So that meant I needed to make the 20 minute trip out and the 20 minute trip back or be without camera for another weekend crammed to the gills with family memory-making events. Hell, we're already on the road, let's just head out there!

And we do. Not knowing who would be home, if anyone, I made a prior arrangement with my Aunt that she'd leave the case in the door if she left. I left the boys down in her driveway while I ran up around back to pick it up. I was gone all of two minutes. I made polite small talk with my Aunt, Uncles and cousin and said I had to run. Ta ta!

I get back to the car to find a SCREAMING hysterical Will (who's undoubtedly tired) and Nick who's whining that he didn't get to go up and say "hi". Driving down the street, back toward the Interstate, I'm trying my best to soothe tears and stop whining when I see the Holy Mecca of Toddlers itself...Mickey D's. (Do you hear angels singing? I did.)

I figure - hey, what a better way to ease the stress of a long day than with a little unexpected treat from 'Donalds? I play it up like its super great, as I always do, and the boys buy it, hook line and sinker. They believe me when I say the playland is closed (because at 4 pm the place is only filled with older folks coming in for dinner) and we share a McFlurry.

On bite #4? Nick exclaims, "MOM! I HAVE TO POOP!"

Thanks for letting the neighbors know, honey. What do we do? Eh, take the McFlurry with us. (TMI, again, but Nick wipes himself now. I'm just 'ration control' on the TP front.) So here we are in the handicap stall, Nick taking the SMELLIEST dump in all the world (what does that kid EAT?!?) and Will and I at the other end, eating a McFlurry. Want one funnier? If you squat down in front of Will now? He squats down, too. So we're squating. And eating. When the pooping is done, hands are washed, we exit and go back to our booth. No big whoop.

Only this time, when I sit Will on my lap, I get wet. Crap. When was the last time that kid was changed? I am THAT Mom. Damn. I SO didn't want to be her. But there I am, in the parking lot, digging through the back of my truck, praying there's a diaper back there somewhere.

God let me in on his little joke a bit cuz guess what? I found one! OK, so now Will has no pants on, but a fresh diaper, and I convince the kids the McFlurry is gone and we hit the road.

Fast forward 20 minutes and I'm getting bags and kids and half-eaten McFlurries out of the car. The dog AND the cat are out in the yard, and the dog is running down to the sidewalk where poor unsuspecting kids are walking home from school, half terrified that my crazy-ass dog might eat them. Sorry kids, she's just a big dumbass. Please, excuse her.

So I reign in the dog, and the cat, and get Nick and the bags inside and go back to get Will.

Only I forget that he now has a "big boy booster seat" like Nick, held in only by the car's seatbelt.

Now - my children are trained. Nick will have a freaking MELT DOWN if we even start the car and someone doesn't have a seat belt on. And he ASKS permission to take his belt off AFTER the car stops. To the point that it irritates me. Yes, take the freakin' thing OFF already.

But I don't realize he's been helpful and taken his brother's off, too.

Or that his poor, pantless brother is standing on his seat, the last occupant of the vehicle, probably hoping we haven't forgotten him (my track record with him and forgetting things lately = BAAAD). He's standing there leaning on the window and I OPEN THE DOOR.

The only thing that kept him from flipping head first onto the driveway? MY KNEE. IN HIS BACK.

Oh my poor dear little boy. I am just teary writing this now. (See how I said I could be that woman on the news? That's me. Mommy Horrible. He's already forgiven me, but I never will.)

I scoop up poor, neglected little boy and hug him tight. I cry a bit and thank GOD that he didn't fall and hit his head and sit on the steps and just hold him.

He's not really upset about the incident at all, and, well, a toddler boy, especially one like mine, won't have much of that for very long, so he quickly reminds me that if I don't put him down, he'll fling himself down, thankyouverymuch.

I finally get all the pets and people and bags of stuff into the house and want the day to just be over. Cuz in between all these moments when I'm trying to make stuff nicey nice? I'm screaming.

"KEEP YOUR FRIGGIN' HANDS TO YOUR SELF!!! WHAT PART OF 'NO' DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? PLEASE - BOYS, CAN WE SING A DIFFERENT SONG?!? NO, WE CANNOT CALL DADDY! SHARE WITH YOUR BROTHER, DANG IT!" And so on. I had reached THAT point and knew it, but how do you stop yelling once you start? I kept thinking we'd move on to something else and we'd all relax, or they'd get home and get interested in a movie or...something.

Only that didn't happen.

Instead, I got home and realized that we'd gone nearly three days with no dishwasher soap and the kids didn't even have clean sippy cups. And there was a coupon for $2 off dishwasher soap somewhere in the mess on the table (Nick had decided he'd deliver "mail" earlier in the week when Daddy wasn't looking and my nicely organized coupons were that mail). I sorted through the mess and found the coupons I needed and dragged the boys BACK OUT, new pants on Will, new bribes in purse.

We get all the items on the list - the kids are tolerable - I also grab a hot rotisserie chicken and a pound of pasta salad from the deli - insta dinner! In the checkout lane, all my items are large (milk, coffee, dishwasher soap, etc) so the only thing I put into a bag (because, I have, AGAIN, forgotten my happy earth friendly shopping bags) are the chicken and pasta salad - the nice deli lady got a little noodle happy and the container was overflowing.

But as I take my 'cash back' (I'd like to kiss the person who came up with THAT idea!) I see that Nick is pushing his brother, in the cart, out INTO THE PARKING LOT. (Are you freakin' kidding me, KID?!?) So out I run after them, lest they be hit by cars, leaving the chicken and pasta salad behind.

OK, fastforward. I realize what I've missed and head back to the store, TWO minutes later. Its gone. I could cry. I'm back in the grocery store, trying not to cry at the imbecile 15-year-old checker who JUST rang up my stuff and said, "What chicken?!?" as if he had no idea they sold such things. My kids are in the car, I'm not, and I'm about to cry at some kid about a chicken. FAAAHHK.

I stop at the service desk, "Anyone turn in a chicken?" Its a ridiculous question but if I don't get an answer I will either scream or pee my pants or cry or all three, and the lady behind the counter? BARELY SPEAKS ENGLISH. Oh my gawd help me now. Are you KIDDING ME?!?!?!?

I go out, get the kids - freak out on Nick who's NOT in his car seat where he's supposed to be and then he's crying because I've yelled and sworn at him, then Will's crying because his Mommy's yelling and brother's crying and he's almost been dropped on his head but at least he has pants. I get them somewhat calmed down and head back in, back to the deli, then stop. Screw it. I do not want to spend another $14 on a damned chicken and pasta salad. We'll just eat the damned hot dogs we have at home and be done with it - God knows how much my kids DON'T eat at dinner these days. I start to head back.

NO. I am not going to settle. Hot dogs are NOT good enough. My poor kids have been through hell on this day - they will have hot chicken and a half way decent meal if I have to pay $50 for it. Back to the deli.

I stop again. What if...? I should just check the service desk one more time. What if they just found this bag, full of hot chickeny goodness? And here I'm dumb and pay for another one and then I have two? I mean, that's silly...what the hell would I do with TWO chickens? (These thoughts ACTUALLY ran through my mind.)

So I go back to the service desk, where even the non-English-speaking customer service rep can see my distress and she tells me just to go get a chicken - that they'll take care of it for me. And I start to cry.

But no - I will NOT cry in this store, I'm already a freakin' CHARITY CASE and mental Mom... I will hold it together and get my damn chicken and just go home.

So I do.

I get home, and dig out cups from the Olive Garden and their matching plastic tops, and find straws for them so that my kids have something to drink out of, and I dish up some of what I'm praying will be the most tongue-gasmic chicken EVER for the amount of trouble I've gone through to get it.

Its bland. And the kids won't stop screwing around at the table. And I haven't even served up any food to myself yet.

Just as I'm moving Nick to a chair further away from his brother so he can't kick him under the table, the unthinkable happens.

Will's cup? Falls to the floor.

The bottom cracks.

Wide open.

2" of milk? = MILK EXPLOSION.

All over everything.

Mommy screams and swears.

Mommy puts kids in their room and shuts the door.

Kids cry.

Mommy calls Daddy and SPAZZES OUT over the phone at Daddy, who no doubt, is dumbfounded. Poor Daddy.

The time? 7 p.m. Poor kids!

Daddy says he's sorry. That he'll check in on Mommy later.

Mommy screams some more - she's past tears and gets out papertowels to clean up milk. Kids come out and watch Mommy, tearfully. Mommy says she's sorry, but they need to stay out of the way. Mommy uses magical swiffer wet-jet with its potentially cancer-causing agents in it to clean up milk. Because uncleaned up milk represents far greater and more immediate concern than potential future cancer.

After all is cleaned, boys are returned to their places at the table, new milk cup included.

Will takes two more bites. Mommy doesn't care anymore. She provided and that's all that matters any more.

Will says "All Done!" as happily as only baby/toddlers can after such a day, and Mommy does cry when he climbs into her lap and gives her sloppy faced kisses. Over and over again. And hugs. Oh man, that kid can hug. HE knows how to make it all better if no one else can.

The rest of that night is pretty much a blur. We did PJs and brushed teeth and read a story, all with much less yelling, but still the obligatory, "I don't wanna go to bed!" and "Its MY turn to stand on the stool first!!!"

And I'm crying as I write this now.

What the HELL am I doing? These are my sweet little angel boys. They're so cute and smart and SWEET.

I want to do so much with them - and for them - give them things I never had, or could have had. I'm wracking my brain - is this a sign I should not be working? But this all happened on a day when I didn't work at all. Do I try to do too much? Is it more that I just can't handle the stress of this psuedo-single-parent crap that Jay I and try and manage?

And before you go and say, "Oh, we all have days like that." Uh, I didn't even get into my day on SATURDAY yet. But I'll save that for another post.

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." ~ Mother Teresa


Sassy Mama Bear said...

Yeah Uhm HUGS!!!!!!!!!

Melisa said...

Oh my goodness! Yikes! Ack!

We really do all have days like that though, and yes, some of them are "in a row". That was a total doozy, that's for sure.

But no, I wouldn't say that this is a sign you shouldn't be working; it's just that sometimes the poo hits the fan all at once and there's nothing you can do about it BUT cry.

Even great moms (like you) can feel like they have an off day; I don't think there's any parent out there who doesn't occasionally question his or her fitness as a parent. :) But the way I see it, you didn't do anything wrong anyway. The falling out of the car thing? Hey, you broke his fall. If he had fallen on his head you would have said "If only my knee could have rammed him in the back to break that fall!" So it's all good. And he will not need therapy.

Many hugs!!!!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Cyber hugs, honey. Oh Lord. This is without a doubt a more challenging time than the teen years. I truly believe that. And going it solo makes it even more difficult. The fact that you can even write about it means you haven't totally lost it yet, if it makes you feel any better.

Mama Smurf said...

Can I just say...


We all really do have those days. I can have 2 days exactly the same and one will leave me in tears and the other will leave me laughing....the difference?....PMS!!

The teary days come very consistantly once a month. PMS can turn even the littlest things...like spilled milk....into a huge disaster of epic proportions.

InTheFastLane said...

Sheesh! What a day you had. I would say that I have more days in which I feel like I am doing everything wrong, than I have that I have figured this parenting gig out.

Spice said...

HUGS!!! I'm here in tears after reading that - I've had days like that where I'm screaming at the kids and then they just come up and hug you out of the blue and all is well again with the world. Except I now feel like complete shit for yelling at them for something I normally wouldn't yell at them for (if that makes sense?) and I then just sit with them and cry and they're like "why are you crying mommmy" as in "what did we do now?" I find I get like that when I'm stressed out.

Earthmommy said...

My friend...(((((HUGS))))) to you! This was the mother of all crazy mama days! I love your blog by the way and I totally agree I would much rather read "real" blogs. Motherhood is the hardest job on the planet, and you do it very well, so hang in there!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I've always loved that quote from St Theresa - and there are many a day I start the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity... Cause motherhood? It's a bitch. I am so sorry your day was such misery. You all survived. You didn't kill anyone. That's a good day.

Denise said...

You. Are. Hilarious.

Oh, that wasn't supposed to be funny? Sorry, I laughed. Out loud. And you know what, it felt good! You know why? Because I totally get it!

I feel for ya, but am silently relieved to know that someone else out there has the capability to lose it, swear in fron of their kids, then break down in tears. All in 30 seconds.

God bless you for your honesty!

Kim H. said...

Honey, I read your whole post - I loved it and can completely relate! So continue to be true to YOU and tough cookies if people don't like it. I cannot even imagine a day like that - you are a trooper! I so would have said F#$(#* the chicken - and gone straight to a drive-thru just to avoid the whole carseat routine ONE MORE TIME. You are a good Mommy - you're just human like the rest of us.


blue said...

Oh, I have so been there. Just this past week, in fact. My hubby was gone for a WEEK! I had writing assignments due, the kids were in need of attention and I have to admit, there was more than a little screaming and yelling and shutting of toddlers in their room here as well. Some days, everything just conspires to go against you. And I`m at home all the time, so don`t think this happens just because you work! :( It`s just part of the job of being a mom . . . the part no one tells you when you`re pregnant and blissfully ignorant.


Miss said...

Holy crap. day from hell for sure. But you know what? You survived. And came out looking as beautiful as ever. I remember having days like this and it sucks. They come and go, highs and lows.

Kim said...

I started to shake halfway through.. how you lived through it I have no idea..

Jogging In Circles

Kristi said...

Aww I totally get your story, BTDT, only with 3 girls not boys. What a day and those toddler hugs and kisses are pure magic. They should bottle the stuff.

Roger said...

Kids are awesome, aren't they. :)