Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm gonna need a sec

Children are great at making messes. Awful at cleaning them up. Sometimes, when I ask Sam to clean something up he utilizes he upwardly-spiraling whine and says that the MESS IS TOOOO BIG. HE CAN'T DOOOOOO IT.

The other day, when I insisted he have some quiet time in his room (not because I thought he would take a nap, but because I needed some peace), I gave him a set of blocks to play with. When nap time was over, and I asked him to clean up the blocks, he said, indignantly, "MOM! You shouldn't've giveded me so many blocks to make such a big mess!"

I totally see his point.

Today, Owen made the hugest, grossest, messiest poop in his pants ever. And I just looked at him, poo running down his legs, underpants bulging with fetid waste, brown mess pooling lumpily on the ground, and thought, "I can't do this."

Maybe that's what it feels like to be four and have somebody ask you to clean up all those dozens of blocks.

Hey shorty, it's your birfday

So it's my birthday today.


That's okay, because I'm not getting any cake and presents, either.

And that's okay, because I'm thirty-two now. Or, as I like to say, Thirty-Boo.

Actually, I did get to sleep in an extra hour this morning (Thanks, Chris!).

Which still meant I was up at 7:30.

Chris took the boys to the beach this morning. As he was walking downstairs, I called out, "Don't forget to pick up cake and presents!" Knowing that he will laugh as if I am making a joke (am not), or, more likely, not even hear me (see previous posting about weird sound dynamics in our house).

What I didn't realize was that Sam was still in his room. He came bounding out, "Cake?! Presents?! MOM! I KNOW A GREAT PLACE TO GET A CAKE!"

"You do?"


"Super!" Have fun with that, Chris.


That's the sound of Sam going downstairs. On a side note, Chris told me that if he really did walk down the stairs as loud as Sam, I had carte blanche to punch him in the face (or something like that). Which is funny because he walks down the stairs as loud as Sam. IF SAM WERE 200 POUNDS.











Thursday, July 29, 2010

If men had babies

So I was watching A Baby Story today as I was putting away some laundry. The husband on the show was going on and on about how strong his wife was and how great she was at pushing.

It occurred to me that Chris probably wouldn't say that. I'm pretty sure Chris thinks he would be way more awesome at pushing than I was. If fact, I'd bet serious cash that while I was actually pushing, he was wishing I would get out of the way and let him do it.

Then I wondered if the guy on TV was lying. It seems like a lot of men would think they'd be better at pushing. Can you imagine if men were, in fact, the ones who had babies? Pushing would become a competitive sport. Anuses would be blown out across America as men attempted to break records.

It's probably a good thing men don't have babies.

On an unrelated note, this morning I was getting ready to give Lillian a bath, and I must have been a little distracted because instead of putting the baby bath tub into the tub, I put the newly emptied laundry basket into the tub and began to fill it with water.

Same diff.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shy isn't exactly the word I would use.

My children are not good with strangers.

To be fair, however, neither are Chris and I.

But I'm not sure that "shy" is exactly the right word to describe their behavior.

Sam is terrified of you and a little ashamed that he doesn't know you. If forced to interact he will be near tears; sad and anxious.

Owen is angry at you for even have the audacity to BE a stranger. If you're lucky, he'll make a slow swivel until he has turned his back on you. If you are an especially egregious stranger, he will lower his chin and glare at you, accusingly. How dare you. Really. Do you know who he is?!

Chris and I have our own methods. Chris is a fan of the old, "quite practice-talking that's weird because people can actually still hear it" technique, while I prefer to awkwardly avoid eye contact.

Our children are DOOMED.

Six degrees of separation anxiety

Ever since I became a mother I spend 50% of my waking time asking myself, "Am I doing the right thing?" The other 50% of the time I'm asking myself a combination of, "What am I doing? and, "What's going on?" with a dash of, "Where am I?" thrown in.

From providing snacks to deciding whether or not to take a kid to the doctor, I am always second guessing myself.

When I put the kids to bed at night my mind will spend an AWFUL lot of time trying to create a temperature equation that will result in comfortable sleep for the children (hopefully minimizing nighttime wakening!). -5 for the ceiling fan that's on, +15 for the god-awful heat, -4 for the two windows opened (wait, no, we closed the windows so the children would stop pushing on the screens because surely they will tumble themselves to certain death, so now + 5 for windows closed), -3 for no pajamas, except +7 for Sam who insisted on wearing footie pajamas and . . . what does that equal?

See? If I can actually try to create a mathematical system for divining the perfect sleeping temperature for each child, imagine what I can do with the decision about where to leave Lillian when I go back to work!

I got up with her in the middle of the night last night and wondered if I was doing the right thing about daycare. The different pieces of this decision (her age, her health, her ability to sleep around noise, her overall temperament) all kind of swirl around in my head, where my brain tries to make some kind of excel spreadsheet wherein the right answer will become apparent.

I really, really, really want to do the right thing for the kids, but sometimes I just don't know what that is. And, unfortunately, short of developing a time machine that can visit the future of other dimensions where my alternative Me's have made slightly different decisions, see how that turned out and report back to me, there actually is no way to KNOW if I am making a good choice.

I can ruminate as long as I want about whether Owen's current level of sickness warrants a trip to the doctor, but I won't know that I should have waited it out until after I go and cough up $20 for them to tell me he has a virus. And vice versa.

My new mantra is, "I have to make the best decision I can with the information I have available at this time."

Catchy, no?

But otherwise I'd be paralyzed by the decision about what the kids should drink with dinner

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bedtime . . .

"Mom? I'm gonna teach Owen how to go to sleep good."

"Well, you're not doing a great job right now, because you are not in bed and you're still talking."

"Mom? I'm gonna teach him tomorrow."


Sometime I feel like the house is taking over. That, as much as I try, I am fighting a losing battle against the chaos that wants to consume my residence. That every surface, every room, every square inch, is sticky or stinky or gritty or greasy.

It's especially bad in the summer. The heat seems to be simmering our garbage and melting our furniture. And there are flies. And ants. I'm not scared of flies or ants or spiders, but in a festering pit of hot Hagesfeld house, they just make everything that much grosser.

Also, I'm perpetually afraid of mice, because we have had them a few times in the past and knowing there are rodents here makes me want to leave the house and move to Antarctica where mice and ants and flies can't live and the only infestation would be penguins and, really, that would be kind of cute.

At least our ants are teeny-tiny and you can't really see them. What you don't see can't bother you, right? Still, we set out ant baits to try to curb them.

Anyway, the other day I saw a couple of tiny piles of teeny black things under our coat tree. AH! AH! Mouse turds! But, actually, they didn't really look like mouse turds. Probably just the ants make a little tiny snack bar. So we dust busted them up and went about our day.

But I just looked, and DUHN DUHN DUHN, there was another little pile of mouse turd-looking things. So I decided I needed to take a closer look so I could figure out what we were facing, thus ascertaining the best way to kill it.

So I get down on the ground and look at the pile up close and . . .


Not really.

But seriously, the truth is a little gross.

It is a tiny mound of dead ants from the spider that has built a web in the bottom of our coat tree.

Poor little sucked-dry ant cocoons.

Now the question is, what do I do? I don't like the ants. And the spider is very little and not scary and is eating the ants I don't like.

But little piles of ant corpses aren't very tidy either, and given the ant supply around here, it is possible that the spider could grow big enough to ask me to rub its eight feet and draw it a warm bath.

So, kill the spider, and leave the ant population to scamper around unchecked? Or leave the spider and just basically admit that the house is now a wilderness preserve?

And if the kids don't get me . . .

I wrote in my last post that the kids are trying to kill me by waking me up, repeatedly, out of a dead sleep.

I forgot to mention that my husband is in on it, too.

Not every night, but often enough to keep me on my toes, Chris will start thrashing around and throw himself, ninja-like, onto all fours. Where he will proceed to panic-breathe and start to pat frantically around him (you know what's around him, right? Sheets. And me.), or push me over, or try to pull my covers off.

So I have to yell at him. Not for his sake. For mine. Because the man just woke me up out of dead sleep for no damn reason.


And he will pause in his rustling.


And he will stop.

But he is still on all fours, so I have to say, firmly, "LAY DOWN."

And he will lay down.

And then go peacefully back to sleep whilst I am left wide awake, heart pounding.

But we do have our little routine. Last night, though, he decided to mix it up a little. After he thrashed his graceful ninja-self up on all fours, he crouched over me, looking RIGHT IN MY FACE.

Not creepy at all.

So I say, "CHRIS!" Because Jesus Christ, man, I had just fallen asleep after hours of Owen-induced, air conditioner-assisted, PTSD.

And he backs off a little and says, in a sincere I'm-a-little-worried-about-your-craziness tone, "Are you doing all right?"

"I'm FINE when I don't have to wake up with you on TOP of me!"

That sounded bad. But it's what I said, and, anyway, it'd probably be true then, too.

He replies, "I wasn't on top of you!"

"Yes you were!"

"Was not."

"Oh, okay, I suppose you are just hanging out on your hands and knees at one in the morning because you are concerned about how I'm doing? Lay down and go to sleep."

And so he did, and so I, eventually, did too. But sometimes I wish I could activate a personal nighttime force field.

Comfort vs. preparedness

I love air conditioning. I think that, while it may not have been the most important invention to humanity as a whole, it sure does make my life better.

As a side note, you know what I wish they had? A thesaurus for words that are not actually words but you think they are and then find out that they are not but you still want to use the word. For example, I just found out that "impactful" is not a word. In my opening paragraph I wanted to say, "while it may not have been the most impactful invention . . . " but then I couldn't. Because it's not a word. So I'm left to decide between changing the whole structure of my sentence or replacing "impactful" with the clearly less accurate and exciting word, "important." So I wish they had a thesaurus for when you find out that a word doesn't exist, but would still like a word with the same meaning as your previous imaginary word.

As another side note, I really would use that item. I apparently use a lot of made up words, and I get angry when I'm not allowed to use them anymore.

Back to air conditioners. So, while I enjoy them very very VERY much, I do have some problems with our particular air conditioner. Because it is very loud. And it makes a lot of hushing and shushing noises which sound a lot like little sock-ed feet pattering across the hallway and into my room.

I must be secretly (obviously?) scared of my children, because when our air conditioner is on I will wrench myself awake ten or twenty times a night, wildly attempting to ascertain which one of them is trying to sneak up on me.

I don't really understand why it is so terrifying to wake up to a two-year-old patting your face, but one of these days, one of my kids is going to give me a heart attack.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

So I'm watching Chris scrummage around in our chest-of-many-labelled-drawers. He goes into the drawer marked "trains" which is supposed to house our loose cash, and because we never have any cash, other precious items (you can't label a drawer "money" because of burglars, also, it would be a lying label 99% of the time). He removes an envelope from the drawer and walks to the trash can.

"Hey, hey, HEY!" I shout, in an attempt to get his attention before he drops the envelope.

Finally, he turns toward me, "WHAT?!"

"What is that?" I ask

"It's an EMPTY ENVELOPE," he says, with much derision.

Leaving aside why he feels the need to remove a perfectly good envelope from a drawer and throw it away when there are like 18 empty packets of fruit snacks lying around, I say, "Oh. Okay. It's just that it looks like the envelope of Owen first haircut, labelled, 'Owen's first haircut.'"

Chris looks again. Then carries it back to the drawer.

"Well it shouldn't be in there anyway."

You know, I gave birth to you. That should count for something

"I MEED MAH SQUIRK BOTTLE." This is the sentence Owii has been repeating for the past five minutes. We are getting the kids ready to go to the beach, and that requires more work than I remember the beach requiring when I was five. Or twenty-five. Or anytime when I didn't have kids.

Then Owen hears Chris stomp out the back door (Chris and Sam stomp everywhere. As if the goal isn't so much to go down the stairs as to try to go through the stairs) and immediately starts wailing, "MAH DADDY! MAH DADDY! MAH DADDY GONNA WEAVE ME!"

I assure him that Daddy will NOT leave without him, but we have to get shoes on. Owen, ignoring me, races to the back door, and sees Chris coming back in.

"Daddy, pwease don't weave me," he whimpers. Chris promises not to leave him. Owen skips gaily through the dining room, chanting, "mah Daddy's not gonna weave me, mah Daddy's not gonna weave me."

Last night, while getting ready for bed, Sam told me that he wished Daddy were home. Because he likes his Daddy better. Because he has black hair and black is his favorite color. Oh, how he misses Daddy. Also, could I be nicer to Daddy so maybe he wouldn't work so much?

Worst marital counselor EVER.

The list of things I have done for these children, which starts with me carrying them in my womb for NINE MONTHS, and ends, for now, with the poopy underpants I washed this morning, is not a short list.

Even Lillo, whose every whim I spend 24 hours a day catering to, is just as likely to smile at Chris as she is at me.

Chris is an involved parent. He's not the guy that "babysits" his own kids. But I'm involved, too!

Yet nobody here seems particularly concerned about me weaving.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

When we built our deck a couple of years ago, it was hard sometimes not to feel that we were spending an awful lot of money to sit on wood two feet in the air, rather than the ground.

But having the deck has made all the difference in the way we use the back yard. Now I have a place to sit and watch the kids, and they have a place they can be outside when it is a little muddy.

I've also very much enjoyed having dinners on the deck. Tonight we had burgers and ate at our new picnic table.

I told Sam how cute I thought his freckles were.

He told me that I had a lot of cute pickles, too.
Sam asked yesterday, with a rather scornful sideways glance, if we could, one of these days, get a new toast buster.

I'm not really sure what it says about the kind of child I'm raising that he is, apparently, more familiar with ghost busters than a toaster.

Unless he was thinking dust-buster?

And what's wrong with our toaster anyway? Beside the fact that if you don't watch it when the cycle ends it will, instead of popping up, go into supersonic bagel-toasting mode. But how would he know that?
If someone could remind me not to get pregnant again that would be great.

Because I was reading some of the posts I wrote then and holy crap I was unhappy.

I have moments of being cranky now, too, but mostly that's just because it's too freaking hot and Chris sheds dirty clothes like an itchy snake.

And there are some who are all, "Oh but she is worth it." And I'm not saying she's not. I'm just saying that, sure, sometimes you'd pay $10 for a cupcake and it'd be worth it, but finding day-old cupcakes half-off never hurt, either.

I do like a deal.