I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Aloe Vera Gel Incident (or, You are a Bad Mom and Now We Have it on Record.)

First things first. I am a bedtime Nazi. I don't care what my kids are doing, or where they are, or how bright the sun is shining, when it is bedtime, my Goombas go to bed. This may sound mean, but I have learned through experience, that if my little ones miss bedtime, the next day is a nightmare.

I am a believer in a child learning how to fall asleep on their own. No keeping them up until they are walking monster zombies. No rocking until they doze in my arms and then try to transfer to bed/crib. Bedtime is bedtime. There is a routine and we follow it every night. Sometimes, they may not be quite ready for bed. And that is ok. Because bedtime is sacred time for Mommy. There is no diverting from the plan.

And so, the other night, after a very long and cranky day for everyone in the family, the Goombas were promptly put to bed on time. Mario and Peach fell quickly asleep. Luigi, not so much. For some reason, my little man just does not need or like sleep. Being someone who LOVES sleep, this drives me mad.

A side note--Luigi is not only a non-sleeper, but also a very curious kid. Another appropriate name for him would be Curious George. Luigi will get into anything that piques his interest. Childproof caps? No match for Luigi. We have had to strip his room almost bare because of his curiosity. I don't mind if the kids want to mess around in their room quietly before they fall asleep, but I have gone in to check on Luigi before to find diaper cream spread all over the walls and diaper fluff flying all over the room. this is not an exaggeration. So, now he has his clothes, his blankies, a few toys and his books in his room. Except for the other night.

After a day in the sun, Luigi was suffering from a little sunburn and, oops, silly Mommy left the aloe vera gel on his dresser. And of course, little man was not tired, as usual. I walked by his room about 45 minutes after bedtime and saw his light coming from under the door. I walked in and found--you guessed it--aloe vera gel everywhere. In his hair, on the window, on his bed, on the carpet, and coming out the side of his mouth. Wonderful. I did a quick ingredient check of the bottle and didn't recognize 2 of the main ingredients, and so I had to go make The Call.

I despise calling Poison Control. Don't get me wrong, they are lovely people that want to help my children in their time of need. But, they also are just a bit on the Judgy McJudger side, and I am not a fan of that.

Here is the conversation that ensued after the Aloe Vera Incident (actual words in regular type, my thoughts in parenthesis):
Poison Control (PC): Hello, Poison Control, how may I help you?
Me: Um, yeah, my son just ate like 1/2 a bottle of aloe vera gel.
PC: ok. and how did this happen?
Me: I left it in his room because he has a light sunburn and he got into it. (I fed it to him on his ice cream tonight, how do you think it happened?)
PC: Ok, ma'am. How much do you think he ate?
Me: Well, it is hard to say. It is a 6 oz tube, about 1/2 gone at this point. But, it is also all over his room and body. He said he ate some.
PC: So, you don't know how much?
Me: No. Not exactly. (Shall I pump his stomach for you so we can see?)
PC: Ok, can you please tell me the brand and read the list of ingredients to me?
Me: Sure. (proceed to read ingredients)
PC: (interrupting) Are you in the medical field?
Me: Huh? Um, no.
PC: Because you are really good at reading those words! I don't think I could do that!
Me: Ok. Thanks? (Lady, let's get back to the matter at hand. Is my son going to die, or should I prepare for a night of vomit, or what?)
PC: Please hold while I look up these ingredients. I think it is ok, but I want to be sure.
Me: Ok, thanks. (crap. I got the rookie poison girl.)
A few minutes of lovely Muzak later....
PC: Well, Aloe Vera can cause severe cramps and diarrhea. How does he seem?
Me: Just fine right now. (Oh hell. I haven't gone up there to check on him since I got on the phone with you, but I am not about to tell you that!)
PC: Just keep watching him tonight. He might vomit...yadda, yadda, yadda..... (ok, she didn't actually say that, but she did go off on this whole plan for watching him and calling back if necessary.)
Me: Ok, thanks so much for your help.
PC: Wait, before you go, I just need to get some information from you.
Me: Ok. (SH!T!!! Now, it is going to be on record forever that Luigi's mom let him eat aloe vera gel because she wasnt' watching him.)
PC proceeds to get info from me.
PC: Thank you! Now if you have any problems tonight you can call back and give your name. We will know about your case.
Me: Thanks, good night. (Holy hell. Of course you will know about the case, because now you are keeping track of me and what an awful mom I am. Grrr......)

This sounds like an innocent conversation, but I heard it in her voice. I heard the, "oh, you LET your son eat aloe vera gel. Hmmm...I wonder how THAT could have happened?" in the undertones of her questions. I also heard the slight suggestion of, "maybe you should not LEAVE the poisonous solution in your son's room next time." I even heard the hint of, "We KNOW you will be calling back, so talk to you later, lady."

Or maybe it just so happens that I am crazy?


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Whining Game

There are a lot of things about being a SAHM that can really drive a woman crazy. The endless cycles of dishes, the endless loads of laundry, the piles of poopy diapers and the floor that needs to be swept 1,347 times a day and still doesn't look clean can take it's toll on anyone. But, of all these fabulous things that I deal with on a daily basis, the one I dislike the most is when the Goombas whine.

Oh, that sound is worse than fingers on a chalkboard. Are you familiar with what a whiney child sounds like? No? Ok, let me try to explain it to you. Imagine that you are sitting at home, you are perfectly happy, just doing your thing and then you start to feel it coming. It starts out small, just something in the background, really. You might not even notice it at first. Then, it starts to grow. Before you know it, this sound has gotten under your skin. It causes a ringing in your ears that you aren't really sure will ever go away. You close your eyes and wish it away. You yell at the source of the noise to make it stop, but that only makes it worse. Soon, you feel like you want to be locked away in an old-fashioned mental hospital, in one of those padded rooms. You will do anything, ANYTHING to just make it stop!! It keeps getting louder and louder until finally--you snap. You give in. You just have to get away from the shrill sound that never seems to end. And by giving in, that means you also lost the game, Mama. Sorry. Score: Goombas 346,908 - Mommy 0.

We play this game several times a day in our house. It doesn't even have to be about anything important. It might actually be a conspiracy against me. I think the Goombas are trying to send me to the funny farm. I imagine them getting together for meetings in Peach's crib, in the wee hours of the morning. They whisper about how if Mommy loses her marbles, they can play Wii, eat popsicles, and color ALL DAY! And it will be so easy, they tell each other. All we have to do is whine about everything she says. Then they all maniacally laugh and sneak back into their beds to wait for me and attack.

In fact, I actually think that if the government would just record the sound of children whining and play it on loudspeakers throughout the Pakistani mountains, that Osama bin Laden would come running out, screaming his surrender, just to make the sound stop. Seriously. I am so sure of this, that I will gladly volunteer my children's high-pitched howls to the cause. But, I digress...

Yes, I have read all of the articles and books that say you should just ignore it and they will stop. But, honestly, I don't think those doctors and experts have ever been around whiney children or they would know that you really just can't ignore it. I do try to keep the whining to a minimum. Mario gets time out and loses Wii privileges for whining too much. Luigi gets time out and has to take a nap if he whines. Peach gets her crayons taken away when she whines and starts throwing things. And yet, it still happens on a regular basis. Every single day. By bedtime every evening, I am so strung out on that sound that I think I might not make it another moment.

In an effort to dull the pain in my ears from our daily episodes of the Whining Game, I have decided to make my own little song. I sing it to myself when I want to whine right back at them. I would like to thank Boy George for the original lyrics and tune "The Crying Game." (Look it up on YouTube if you haven't heard it. Then sing my lyrics along with it. I think you will like it.) And now, I give to you....

"The Whining Game"

I know all there is to know about the whining game
I've had my share of the whining game
First there is yelling, then wailing and cries,
And then before you know where you are, you're losing your mind.

One day soon, I'm gonna tell the moon about the whining game
And if he knows, maybe he'll explain
Why there is screaming, why there are tears?
And is it too early to deaden the noise with a few beers?

First there is yelling, then wailing and cries,
And then before you know where you are, you're losing your mind

Don't want no more of the whining game...
Don't want no more of the whining game...

So, I sing my song and I keep the hope alive that maybe someday, the score will change. Score: Goombas 346,908 - Mommy 1.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lovely Afternoon

We are having a rare moment in our house right now. I am almost afraid to write this, because I don't want to mess up the perfection of the last 45 minutes.

After a crazy morning at the library, we came home and had lunch. Picture chicken nuggets and ketchup everywhere. Also, yogurt dripping from the table. Peach was crying, Luigi was screaming about how he hates chicken nugs, and Mario said this was all soooo boring. I thought we were in for another one of "those" afternoons.

I put Peach down for her nap. Luigi said he wanted to go out and play. Mario said he wanted to sit and read his book from the library. And lo and behold...everyone did just that without a fuss!

When I first realized that things were going so well, I of course panicked. This never happens. Someone must be dead. Or missing. So, I ran outside to check on Luigi. He was sitting quietly, burying Thomas in the sandbox. I ran upstairs to check on Mario. He was lying on the floor reading his book. I sneaked into Peach's room. She was still breathing and sleeping like an angel.

I am trying to sit and savor the moment. I know it is fleeting. I have actually used this time to answer emails without interruption. I actually got to look at a website and *gasp* place an order! One of the kitties is actually curled up on my lap purring.

Oh sweet, sweet silence! But, now, creeping up on me is that weird feeling when things are just TOO good. You know the one? When you just know things are not going to last and you can't stop yourself from thinking, "how much time do I have left?" Could be a minute, could be an hour. Dare I actually pick up my book and start reading? Do I venture to pick up the phone and make a call to a long lost friend? The Mommy side of me knows that if I even attempt to do something like read or talk on the phone, that the Goombas will sense it and all h-e-double-hockey-sticks will break loose once again.

So, I will sit here and continue to surf on the web and not disturb the Force that is creating this awesome hour of sanity. Looks like there might be hope for the summer after all.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of a Potty-Training Mom

Luigi woke up one morning a few weeks ago and decided he didn't want to wear diapers anymore. Now, let me explain something about Luigi. Luigi only does things on his own time, when he wants to, and when he is ready. Knowing this about my darling son, I knew that he meant business. The time had come. To be quite honest, I was actually pretty excited at the prospect of only having one Goomba left in diapers. Oh the money we will save! Oh the time I will have for Facebook stalking instead of diaper changing! And so, the days of potty-training descended on our house.

First things first, we had to get ready. I had already bought Luigi some of his very own underpants with everyone's favorite Tank Engine on them. Underpants with a beloved theme is a must in this house. Even Bowser wears boxer underpants with beer mugs on them. Then came the potty seat. We have about 6 to choose from. So, we let Luigi pick the one he liked best and promptly set it up in the bathroom. The potty chart came next. I am not ashamed to say that I bribe my kids to get them to do things. The potty chart is an excellent tool to aide in child bribery. We stocked up on stickers, Skittles, and popsicles. We were ready and set to train for the potty.

There are a few things I feel you should know about this whole experience. Some of you may not yet have lived through the joys of teaching a child to switch from diapers to toilet. For some of you, it may have been a long time since you have done this, and I would like to refresh your memory.

1. When you are potty-training a child, plan to discuss pee and poop in every conversation you have for the next several weeks. This is not an exaggeration. You will either be asking your child every 5 minutes if he has to go pee pee or poo poo, or you will be discussing with your family the progress of the peeps and poops, or you will be telling everyone else how exciting it is that So-and-so is finally peeing and pooping in the potty. Not everyone loves this, and you will realize that, but you will also find that you just cannot stop yourself. It is all that consumes you until said training is over.

2. Expect to find pee and poop all over the house every day for several days, or even weeks. I'm not saying my kids go in the corner by the fica tree, it's just that you find evidence of "accidents" everywhere. Fortunately, when kids are learning to use the potty, I am aware that I need to watch for Mystery Rocks, so they don't get kicked under the couch for weeks at a time. I have found wet underpants everywhere from the laundry room floor, to the toy room floor, to the bedroom floor. I have found soiled underpants, still on a Goomba, but leaving a trail of "rocks" from the laundry room, to the toy room, to the bedroom. We have had spilling accidents when we try to take the potty bowl to the big potty in the bathroom. And my personal favorite--and this is for all you Moms of Boys out there--the spray of urine across the bathroom walls when a little one is learning to pee standing up like Daddy. You may think you know, when you are pregnant with your first child, that you will be cleaning up the excrement of your child for quite sometime. But, no one really tells you how VERY MUCH there will be over the next 2-3 years. It sometimes shocks me how much can come out of my tiny Goomba's little bodies.

3. Potty training makes a child more aware of his or her body. For boys (maybe for girls, too, I have not trained a girl yet) this means a discovery of his "parts." It's like, they knew all along that it was there, but now it has function. And they realize that sometimes it feels nice to touch it. It's like a new toy that they want to play with all the time. I must tell Luigi about 35 times a day to put his weiner away. Or to get his hands out of his pants. Or to pull up his underpants if he isn't going to actually go to the potty. I vaguely remember Mario going through this stage, too. Which means it is just a stage, right? Although, admittedly, Bowser and I do get a giggle when he says, "Hey, Mom, look at my big, strong weiner!"

4. Kids do NOT like to poop in the potty. It scares them. It actually completely freaks them out. At least it does mine. It took about 4 days of holding it, hours and hours of running around, half naked, literally holding butt cheeks together with one hand, and two hours of forced potty-sitting in front of the TV with Thomas for Luigi to finally get a poopy in the potty. Then came the huge celebration. Popsicles! Stickers! Skittles! I thought he would love it all so much, that the next day would be a breeze. Not so. It took about a week of this ritual of butt-cheek holding, and forced potty-sitting for him to realize it was ok to put the poops into the potty and not into his underpants.

All in all, my sweet Luigi has done a wonderful job. As I said earlier, when he is ready to do something, he just does it. We had a few days of accidents. And every once in a while, when he is intensely playing with trains or running outside, we still have a small accident. But, they are getting fewer and farther between and most days we have none. I am proud of my boy and very relieved to be through with this milestone.

Two down, one to go. Peach? Are you ready???


Monday, May 17, 2010

The Tale of the Mystery Rock

First, I feel I should admit, out loud to the virtual world, that I really struggled the first few months of Peach's life. Mario had just started Kindergarten and needed me emotionally. Luigi was a mere 15 months old and was learning how to do all kinds of things. Mostly destructive things. He needed me, too. And then there was baby Peach, and we all know what those first few weeks with a new baby are like. No sleep, feeding all the time, cranky and crying...and that was just me. It sometimes amazes me that someone so small could need so very much.

Anyhow, the point of this is to let you know that I was crazy those first few months as a Mom of Three. It was a learning and adjusting period for the entire family. I had to figure out how to split myself into several different people so that everyone could get a piece of me. Needless to say, I was sort of....well, not really with it. I felt like I was walking around in a daze most of the time. Just wandering aimlessly, drifting from one child and pile of laundry to the next. I tell you this so that you understand why the following events happened the way they did. Which brings me to the Mystery Rock.

On a fine fall day when Peach was a tiny newborn, I was sitting in my daze, feeding her for the 207th time that day and I was watching the boys play on the floor. Well, play might not be the right word. I don't really know that any 5 year old has much interest in playing with a 1 year old. However, they were on the floor when Mario found a rock in the middle of our living room carpet.

Mario: What is this mom?
Me: Just a rock that probably was brought in from outside. Or isn't it one of the rocks from your dinosaur set?
Mario: No, I think it is poop.
Me: It is not poop. I'm tired, let me rest with the baby for a minute.
Mario: But, Mom, I really think it is poop!
Me: It is not poop. If it is bothering you just kick it under the couch and forget about it.

Yes, I could have told him to throw it in the trash, but remember, I was extremely tired. I'm surprised I even really remember the conversation at all.

A couple of weeks later, I rearranged the living room furniture in a vain attempt to hide the mess of toys that had taken over my entire first floor. Wouldn't you know it, when I moved the chair, out rolled the rock. Hmm...I remember that rock. But, I am busy, so I am just going to kick it into the pile of toys and keep on rearranging. Again, please keep in mind that I was overwhelmed and not thinking straight.

A few days later, Mario and Luigi were playing again. Luigi found the rock and picked it up and promptly threw it at his brother.

Mario: Mom! Luigi found the poop again and threw it at me!
Me: Mario. It is NOT poop. It is a little plastic rock.
Mario: Mom, I really think it is poop. It doesn't feel like a rock.
Me: Fine, look, I will show you, if it was poop, it would totally stink!

And yes, that is when I picked up the "rock" and took a big whiff and realized, "Holy sh!t. It IS sh!t!" Imagine my disbelief when the "rock" I had been kicking under the chair for weeks was actually a petrified turd. And imagine my relief when I decided to smell it instead of bite into it, which was my first thought. Good thing at the last split-second I thought, "what if it actually IS poo?"

At this point I screamed, ran to the trash and then ran to the sink to wash my hands about 27 times with lye soap. Ok, I didn't actually have lye, but if I did, I probably would have used it. Also at this point, Mario looked at me and said, "I told you it was poop, Mom."

In my haze of sheer exhaustion, I vaguely remember mopping the floor and cleaning off some of the toys I think the rock-turd touched. I also made a plan to be sure that this wouldn't happen again. The plan included strapping diapers down to the point of cutting off circulation, and not trying to change a diaper with one hand, while holding the baby in the other.

I would like to tell you that the incident with the Mystery Rock snapped me out of my stupor, but in all honesty, it took a while for me to fully get a functioning brain back. Actually, I'm not sure that I ever got back to "fully functioning," but I am at least aware now of the difference between poop and rocks on my living room floor.

And they lived happily ever after....The end.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moms Say the Darndest Things

There are a lot of things in my life that I never thought I would say or do. You always hear people say, "kids say the darndest things!" But, I have to tell you, Moms also find themselves saying the darndest things.

Let's start with pregnancy. Bowser and I were married for 9 months when I found out I was pregnant with Mario. This was not in our 5 year plan. I had no idea how Bowser would react when I told him, so when I drove my hysterical self to his brother's house while they were roofing, I was still trying to figure out what to say. Naturally, I said the first thing that popped out of my mouth. It went something like this...

Bowser: What is wrong??? What happened??
Me: sniff, snort, sob, sob, sob!!!
Bowser: What happened? Did something happen to your parents?
Me: No! It is worse than that!!!

Then I shoved the pee covered stick in his face and continued to sob. Worse than that??? I have NO IDEA why I said what I did. I was actually so very excited! I guess the hormones took over. Not my proudest moment. Which brings me to after the pregnancy...

In the hospital, after giving birth to my darling Mario, I realized how very terrified I was of being a mother. Seriously? These crazy people were going to let ME take a child home?? They obviously had no idea what they were doing, or they would never let this happen. And I decided it would be a good idea to tell them this. The day I was being discharged with my angel child, I cried to my nurse. I BEGGED her not to make the mistake of sending a child home with me to care for. "I am NOT responsible enough to take care of a LIFE!" I practically yelled at her. "I have no idea how to care for a child! Please let me STAY HERE FOREVER!" Again. Not my proudest moment. And, of course, that whacked out woman actually sent him home with me. Poor kid.

Now, we can move along to things I never thought I would say to my kids. This category really could go on forever. But, I will try to narrow it down to a few of my favorites.

~"No, you may not go outside, you need to just sit down and watch tv!!" This one got me the Mother of the Year award. All I can say is that it was snowing outside, it was frigid cold. I couldn't send them out in that and I just wanted them out of my hair so I could fold a load of laundry.

~"No, we can not have a 'no pants day,' so stop taking off your brothers underpants!" Mario was the one that came up with the brilliant "no pants day" idea. I soon realized that my yelling was futile, as they continued to chase each other around and rip each others pants off.

~"We do not let cats play with our wiener." There really is no explaining this one. Just know that I did actually have to say these words to Luigi.

~"Yes, that is right, I made poop sandwiches and pee juice for dinner and you are going to have to eat it." Don't you ever get tired of the kids whining about what you cook? Yeah, me too. This was one of those days.

And now, our last subject. Things I never thought I would say to my husband. This really only brings one instance to mind, but it was really a doozy. This was one of those times when you wish you could actually grab words out of the air and put them back in your mouth before the other person can hear them.

One day, I playfully punched Bowser in the arm. He, in turn, punched me in the behind. And he did it hard. Here is the conversation that ensued:

Me: OW! That hurt!!!
Bowser: Well, you punched me in the arm and that hurt!
Me: Well, you don't have to sit on your arm all day!!!

Just let that sink in for a minute. Yes. I essentially said that I sit on my butt all day. Seriously. If I could have turned back time and taken those words away, I would have. I will never live that moment down. He still brings it up. And I think he always will. For the rest of my life.

Stay tuned in the future for "things I never thought my husband would say to me," and "things I never thought my kids would say." Now I have to go sit on my butt all day.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Having a Moment

I am having a moment right now. One of those "moments" when I feel like everything that has been building up in my already insane mind explodes and I feel kind of like I can't breathe. I believe medical professionals call this an anxiety attack.

My day started with a cranky Mario getting ready for school. Then I spent 2 hours at the medical center. First for Luigi to go to occupational therapy, then to take Peach to the pediatrician to look at her ears and eyes. Not what I would call a "fun" morning. But, the afternoon will get better, right?

Here is a recap of the last 30 minutes and why my day has spiraled downward so far that I feel I might need a cocktail at 2:30, yes, 2:30 in the afternoon.

30 minutes ago: Luigi, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, hey Mommy!" Repeat 398 times in the next 5 minutes.

25 minutes ago: Wake up Peach from her nap. Peach is not feeling well today. She has an ear infection AND pink eye. Because just one of them isn't enough. Wake her up and she thrashes at my face as though I am a terrible monster trying to eat her. She thrashes so hard that she rips my glasses off my face and leaves claw marks across my neck.

19 minutes ago: Luigi and Peach in unison, "Color! Color! Color!" And this is when I could feel the pressure rising in my chest. Luigi loves to peel the paper off of the crayons. And he doesn't do it in one swift motion. It is a slow, methodical peel, peel, peel. And it drives me INSANE!

17 minutes ago: I say, "Luigi, please stop peeling the paper off the crayons and leaving a trail around the house. Please." Peel.

15 minutes ago: Luigi says, "Mommy, we are hungry!" Peach follows with, "Color, color, color!" All the while the peeling is still happening.

13 minutes ago: Trying not to scream at the top of my lungs, "Luigi, here is your googurk (yogurt), now please stop peeling the paper off the crayons!" Peel, peel, peel.

11 minutes ago: Try to force Peach into taking her antibiotic for her ears. She is gagging and spitting and thrashing. Sticky antibiotic everywhere. Peel, peel. "Eat your googurk, Luigi. Peach, honey, take your medicine, baby."

8 minutes ago: Finally get medicine in Peach. Take crayons away from Luigi. "If you can't stop peeling the crayons, you don't get to color." Sweep floor for 3,476th time today. It still doesn't look clean. The anxiety bubble is rising in my throat.

7 minutes ago: Luigi got the crayons again. Peel, peel, peel. "For the LOVE OF CHRIST!!! Please STOP peeling the crayons!!!!!" Peel, peel. Take crayons away again.

6 minutes ago: Peach is crying because she wants the crayons. She has done nothing wrong. What to do? Give her the crayons and watch woefully as Luigi grabs one and begins again. Peel, peel, peel.

4 minutes ago: Bowser comes out of his office for a potty break. Grabs something to drink. Looks in slow cooker and says, "Oh. I guess that is dinner?" Then hands Luigi the still dirty bowl from the potty seat and says, "bring this to Mommy."

2 minutes ago: Peach decides that throwing crayons all over the floor will be a really fun idea. Throw, peel, throw, peel, throw, peel.

1 minute ago: Look around at my floor that has been swept almost a trillion times today and still see crayon paper and crayons everywhere. Look into office and see Bowser happily browsing some manly website about tools. Listen to the sound of Luigi telling me for the 10,768,594th time that he likes trains. Look at Peach squishing banana and yogurt and crayons together in her hands and tossing wads onto the floor. Screaming ensues (from me). Ranting and raving commences (again, from me). Everyone looks at Mommy as though she has truly dropped her marbles, but really, Mom, I need you to fix this train for me, so could you pause from your mental breakdown?

And this is why I know my friend Nick at the liquor store on a first name basis. I need some vodka now. And a valium if you have one. I'll be the one mumbling incoherently about peeled crayons in the corner.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My heart overflows....

Do you ever have that moment when you are consumed with nothing but love for your children? That precious bit of time when they do something that makes your heart just overflow with so much love that it actually hurts a little bit. I think I am getting nostalgic over the fact that I don't have anymore "babies," because this has been happening to me a lot lately.

One of the moments happened the other night at dinner. I had made chicken and rice. Luigi LOVES rice. He loves it so much that hardly anyone else gets any, because he wants to eat it all. We were sitting around the table, eating our dinner and talking about our day when Luigi became intrigued by the measuring cup I was using for my serving of rice. (Losing weight, following a plan...you know, the one with the points.) So he asked if I would give him some rice using the cup. He loved that when I packed it in there and turned it upside down, it came out in the shape of the cup. So, I measured some rice for him and put it on his plate. That is when it happened. My little Luigi had the sweetest look of joy on his face over that silly cup full of rice. He laughed and clapped his hands and said, "Look Mommy! It's so big!" Then he picked up his fork with glee and dove in. Such a mundane moment, and yet it tugged at my heartstrings in a way that brought tears to my eyes. It always amazes me when something so small makes a child so very happy. I couldn't help myself, I grabbed him right then and there, kissed his lovely forehead and told him he could have as much rice as he wanted. He, in turn, looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No, Mommy, I want to eat this rice!"

Not long after that, it happened with Peach. Peach loves to color. She is just a happy little clam if I give her a pen and paper. She can sit for hours if i give her a box of crayons and lots of paper. One evening, while the boys were out with Daddy running errands, I put Peach in her chair at the table with crayons and a coloring book so I could make dinner. I started my chopping and left her to her work of art. A few minutes later she yelled, "Mommeeeeeeee!" When I looked at her, there were crayons everywhere, almost every inch of the page was colored and she was holding a crayon while giving me one of her huge, squinty-eyed, toothy grins. Again, the love took over my soul. I paused for a minute, not blinking, hoping that I could capture that look on her face forever in my mind and my heart. Of course, moments like that are fleeting, and before I knew it she was back to kicking her feet and scribbling on a new page. I stood and watched her for a few more minutes as she happily drew all over the pages, tossing each crayon on the floor when she was done with it. I couldn't help but think that someday, she will have a baby of her own and she will be the one standing in the kitchen watching with the love only a mother can know. I felt a lump in my throat and had to turn around and focus on my fajitas so I wouldn't start bawling like a baby.

It happened just this weekend with Mario, and it actually surprised me more than the others. Mario spent the night with a friend and was gone for most of the day. Not that I am not used to this, I mean, he is in school all day every day, so it really wasn't much different. As 4 o'clock rolled around, I realized I was beginning to miss him. When he got home at 4:30, I found myself waiting for him at the door, watching out the window to see him run up the front porch steps. When I opened the door to let him in, that overwhelming feeling hit me again. My baby was home, right where he belonged. I talked with his friend's mom for a few minutes and once she left, I grabbed Mario and hugged him tight, not wanting to let go. This is silly, I told myself, he was just gone for one night! But, I think a part of me was realizing that my Mario is growing up and is starting to have a life of his own. And I'm just not sure if I like that or not.

I guess that is what being a Mommy is all about. It is a constant learning to let go. I know I complain a lot. There are times when the days as a SAHM seem to take forever. They drag on with the same routine every single day. But, the strange thing is, as long as the days seem to be sometimes, I blink my eyes and a year has flown by. How is it possible for my baby Peach to be nearly 20 months old already? Wasn't it only yesterday that we got the amazing phone call to pick Luigi up at the hospital? And 7 years, really? My Mario is 7? S-E-V-E-N? I remember being 7 myself! How is that even possible???

So, I will continue to look for those small moments. The ones that sneak up on me when I am least expecting it. The ones that grab a hold of my heart until it aches with love. And I will tuck them away in the scrapbook in my mind so I can look back on them for years to come.

And on another note--to all of my Mommy friends out there--Happy Mother's Day! You are all the best and I'm glad to call you friends. I could never navigate this treacherous land of Motherhood without you. Here is to you, Friends! My you sleep in as late as you want, have mimosas in bed and sweet well-behaved children all day!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's Official. I have lost my Mind.

I knew it was happening. We all saw it coming. But, it still managed to sneak up on me and catch me by surprise. I have officially lost my mind. There is no turning back now. Sanity has officially left the building. Here is how we know it has happened...

On a nice spring evening, the kids went to bed and Bowser poured me a drink. We watched some of our favorite shows that have been taking up space on the Tivo for too long now. Then I got out my computer. I did the usual--check my email, stalk someone on Facebook, check the blog like a psycho to see if I have any new followers or comments, then start looking up random things. This led me to YouTube. Did you know you can actually lose hours of your day surfing that site? Really, you can.

So, I'm surfing YouTube and I find the clip I am looking for. I turn up the volume and watch with TV Grin on my face. **Sidenote: Do you know what TV Grin is? It is that silly, goofy grin that everyone gets on their face when they are watching something that makes them happy on the tube. You don't even realize you are doing it till someone points it out. Then you feel like an arse and you try not to do it, but you really can't help yourself because, Damn! This show/clip/video/movie is just making you SO HAPPY! But, I digress...

I'm watching my clip with my fool TV Grin on and then I start giggling out loud. This, of course, gets Bowser curious as to what I am watching. And this is it. This is the moment that he realizes the crazies have taken over.

Bowser: "What are you watching?"
Me: "That really funny clip from Sesame Street when Ricky Gervais sings Elmo the lullabye!"
Bowser, eyes wide, trying not to laugh right in my face: "Holy sh!t, honey. Are you ok? I think you may have actually lost it."
Me: "What? It is really funny! Elmo is telling Ricky that he isn't a real celebrity, then when he sings, it isn't really a lullabye, and then Elmo's hair looks all crazy, and--- Sh!t. What am I DOING?????"
Bowser: "You realize you could be watching anything in the whole world on YouTube--Music videos, comedians, television shows...and you are watching Sesame Street? Is it time to get you some help?"

I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry. Then, I noticed on the side-bar, where they give you suggestions of what else you might like, that there was the clip of Adam Sandler singing a song to Elmo. And I watched that one, too! And I laughed. Out loud. Like a total nut job!

I watch this stuff every day. I complain that I can't watch Oprah or Ellen, because of the kids. And then, when I finally have some time to myself, to watch whatever I want, I choose Sesame Street. A kids show. Seriously? I remember that there was a time when I would have looked up comedy clips from Dane Cook. Or anything that Ashton Kutcher may have posted. I used to like to watch the music videos of my favorite songs when I had time alone. Now, I am watching Elmo. Where on earth is the old me??? Oh yeah. She ran away when toys and diapers took over the house and left me with this kids-show watching, fruit snack eating lame-o.

So, I guess all I can really say is, here's to you, Sesame Street. For 30+ years, you have made quality television for kids and grownups alike. Thank you for teaching my kids the alphabet and for bringing me celebrities and funny clips of muppets that make me laugh, but also make me look like I should be medicated. Heavily. Big Bird and crew...you really do rock!