August 21, 2017

Please tell me your children are wild ...

Okay, just tell me what I need to hear.
Tell me that your kids are absolute loons.
Tell me that nobody listens to you the first six times you tell them to do something.
Tell me that you still get called up every night an hour after bedtime for ridiculous things like, "I heard a noise that sounded like a car" or "I dropped my bookmark."
That they scream both gleefully and frighteningly for the majority of your day.
That you're never quite sure if someone has broken a bone or snatched a toy based on each scream.
Please tell me that your child wears a very hot and uncomfortable gown to bed even after the ninety-seventh time you've explained that it's the very reason why she's sweaty every night.
Tell me that she refuses to believe you but begs to have her hair put up, her fan turned higher and her cool mist humidifier blowing directly at her head.
Tell me that no matter what cup you give your two and a half year old they choose to drop it on the floor, stuff food into its straw and figure out how to shake water from it at every single meal time.
Tell me they also take mouthfuls of said water and spit it into their dish repeatedly.
That your almost six year old child has started stomping when she doesn't get her way. Stomping. Like that classic image of a spoiled brat we've all come to know and loathe.
That she's also started a new form of whining that is ten thousand percent unacceptable.
That you were certain your second child would potty train early and now you realize that she's been using the toilet seventy percent of the time for eight months with no further signs of readiness and that it's most likely your fault because you simply haven't put enough effort into it.
Tell me that watching your child play with others is sometimes excruciating.
That you constantly sit back and think, Didn't I teach her better than that?
That you always thought you could control all of those things when you became a parent one day. That you now realize you can't.
That you have vodka.

Seas can be a bit stormy sometimes. We go through intermittent swells of horror that dissipate into lulls of wonderfulness. The next time the little ones are pissing each other off I have to reach back in my memory for the image of what their faces looked like when they rode their favorite ride together at the fair last week. Because that minute was one of the best minutes I've ever experienced as a parent. Total joy. And joy is something we strive to find daily when really it should be the biggest part of our day every day.

So for all of the crazy, unpleasant moments that seem to multiply and sometimes never end - I wish you more joy-filled moments. Ones that you can brand into your memory to pull out when you are just a millisecond away from losing your shit. Again.

August 6, 2017

Summer ... how times have changed

August, huh? The summer days are just flying on by, aren't they? I can't say I'm sad about it. I'm not a big fan. My days of peaceful beach outings are gone. My solo trips to the Beavertail cliffs with a towel, iPod and water bottle are a distant memory. Now a day at the shore requires a full staff just to carry the gear and another to tackle the kids. I might sit down just long enough to get shit on by a seagull. MIGHT.

But I am enjoying certain elements of the summer. I keep reminding Scarlett of the importance of lazy mornings. Come September it's full time school for thirteen years. Oh, to think of the crusts I'll be cutting off. I've made my school supplies lists and plan to finish that sooner than later. I don't want to be throwing punches over an eight pack of crayons while someone rips the Ticonderogas out of my cart. I'm not one to shop in a crowd. Or to do much else in a crowd for that matter... I need my space. We went to Mystic Aquarium last week and I shuddered as I was touched by every elbow, diaper bag and plush squid. A Pearl Jam concert is pretty much the only acceptable crowd I'll be found in. I'll take a few drunkards scream-singing Rearviewmirror over a family of ten rushing the sting ray tank any day.

My kids are driving me frigging crazy though. I'm finally at that point where I "get it". The glee that moms feel when the initial back-to-school ads are shown in like July. The parents cheering as the first day of school arrives, shoving their kid down the front steps, chucking their lunch bag through the bus window. I never understood it before and always kinda felt like it was harsh but now having gone through a collection of days where I literally yell for what feels like sixty seven hours straight I get it. When I look back on the former me I can't remember yelling more than a handful of times in my life. Aside from fights with my parents as a rude, inconsiderate teen - I don't think I ever yelled. I mean, what the hell would I yell about? If the post office was out of Charlie Brown stamps and I got stuck with the holiday birds? If my neighbor was blasting his shit music in the driveway for hours? If I was stuck in traffic on a bridge for two hours on a Friday evening? Nope. Not yelling over any of that jazz. Now? I steady yell. In fact, I think my regular speaking voice is actually a half yell now. My eyebrows are now stuck in permanent stern-face position. I begin yelling before 7:30 am. It doesn't end until 9 pm some days. It's exhausting being continuously pissed off. There are glorious moments in between where the girls are getting along nicely and actually playing together without bloodshed or when Daisy finally takes a good nap. When Scarlett is helpful and doesn't fight me on every single thing I tell her to do. Those moments are fleeting though. And my boiling point is quickly reached over and over again. It always works best if I separate the girls. They can be excellent when unhindered. Scarlett is too used to getting things her own way and Daisy is just trying to be two. The mix can be devastating. I force them together as much as possible to try to crack the code but sometimes it's best if I just put them in solitary.

I look back on my summer vacations as a child and realize those were truly some of the best times of my life. Playing outside with friends from sunup to sundown. Eight hour days at the beach. Pool swimming followed by lazy cartoon-filled afternoons. Ahhhh... to be a kid again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go rip a crocodile game out of my kid's hands.