Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Must be nice

I really need a vacation.

My muscles need it.
My brain needs it.
My de-pigmented body needs it.

Yesterday I found my third ever gray hair. Not a normal gray hair, either, but a curly short one located right on my temple that stuck out like a mini goat horn.
I promptly plucked out, even though the voices in my head told me not to.

I'm just not ready for that kind of nonsense.

I'm not ready to base my hair dye decisions on which one covers gray the best.
I like picking it just 'cause it's pretty.
I'm only 33 for goodness sake.

It's not that the gray hairs are a surprise, I guess.
I knew they'd come sooner or later.
I mean, the women in my family tree make it look more like a cotton plant than a tree.
I just felt like I was going to one day come out of this crazed state I've been in lately and find myself able to retrace my steps and find the old me in almost as good - if not AS good of shape as before.
Maybe with a few more laugh lines, but not gray headed, worry lined and in need of a tuck and a few medications.

I thought it was a phase I'd just pass through.
A phase of my eyes bulging out of my head as I yell things like, "We don't throw broccoli on the dog." and "Who put Daddy's toothbrush in the VCR?"
You know. THAT kind.

I realized today as I sopped up milk that Tessa had spilled all over the computer table (one of her daily destructions) that it was very likely that I would die there; sprawled beneath the computer table with my head tangled in wet, milky wires.

I thought, "Wouldn't it just be TYPICAL that I wouldn't even get a peaceful DEATH, but a milky wirey electrocution one.
The dog eating mouthfuls of the cat's food behind me.
The girls fighting over the Little People Corn Farmer in the background.
Probably no one would even notice I was gone for days.
They'd just wonder why their stomachs were growling.

It would be typical if it was something dramatic, because that's what every day is around here. Some crisis in need of being averted. Some mystery to figure out. Some lie to get to the bottom of.

(And no, Chloe, I don't believe that it was PHOEBE who sprayed Tessa's entire head - AGAIN - with the spray bottle.)

I'm just so TIRED lately.
The girls have been waking up 4 times a night, and when one isn't up you'd better believe the other one will wake her up.
It's a regular occurence to have two fussy, sleepy bodies climbing into our bed every night at 3:00.
Because, apparently, it is forbidden for me to rest for the entirety of my life.

Lastnight Justin asked me if I had to work watching Addy, my little daycare girl, today.

I told him yes, but that that was the only day this week that I had her.
To this he replied,

"Hmmmmm. Must be nice."

It's a regular Club Med around here.
I just spend all day laying around with cucumber slices on my eyes with an umbrella in my drink.

Must be nice.

And, Yes. We did get in a fight after that.

No one even has a clue what I do all day.
No one knows that I am never EVER ready to wake up when I wake up. That I drag myself out of bed to make breakfast for three very picky eaters, then spend every moment from then till bed time either cooking something, cleaning some sort of animal bodily fluid out of the carpet, doing laundry, breaking up a cage match, or planning what I WILL be cooking.
No appreciation for the thousands of socks I match, or the fact that they never have to go out without a decent hairstyle.
No real thanks for staying up till 10 hot glue gunning mini flower vases to a display board for a science project that is due the very next day. And no thank you for riding my bike in the rain to find the flowers that would go IN those vases.

It's draining. It's stressful.
It gives curly gray goat horn hairs at one's temple.

It's a good thing those darned kids are so cute.
God knew about this when He planned the whole child/parent thing.
He knew if they looked even the slightest bit off, they'd most likely be sold on ebay or traded for a good pair of Danskos.

I need a neck rub. A long one. Not one that is done while baseball is on and that stops for veeeeerrrrrryyyyyyy long pauses when a run is about to be batted in or a foul ball caught.

I need someone else to plan dinner. Not just for a night. For a good solid week.

And while they're at it, opening and closing the fridge pulling food out, they could maybe throw in the other hated chore - The packing of the school lunch.

The lunch that you will labor over and figure out how to make balanced, but then will open at the end of the school day to find mostly smashed and rotten in the bottom of the bag.

Then this is when I am expected to give the standard lecture about children in Africa (Why is it that they are always the example) who would walk for 6 hours to get that lunch, then share it with 4 other kids.

I'm tired of lecturing.
I'm tired of cleaning.
I'm tired of the dog puking from eating the cat food.
I'm tired of the screaming and the fighting over silly things like the corn farmer.

I just need a vacation.

Or at the very least a long hot bath with the door locked.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Motherhood: Secrets Revealed


The name that evokes emotions and memories in us all.

When I think of my own mother, I smile with dozens of memories.

I remember how for most of my life I wanted one thing:
Flowing long hair.
I tied towels around my head, braided panty hose legs and begged that she would let me grow it.
Instead, my mother insisted on the next best thing:

The permed mullet.

I can still smell the scent of perm solution that burned my nostrils as I sat in a salon full of blue haired old women who had no idea that there was a difference between a regular perm and a SPIRAL.
It is the very reason I loathe my fifth grade picture.

I remember recognizing that she really DID love me as I saw the terror in her face when my dad forced us to try to recapture his panicked,running free ostrich and wrestle it to the ground on Easter Sunday.
Hunting for eggs was never the same.

It was supposed to be locked up.

Instead, it was loose and running around the field like it's head was on fire. We were dressed in our finest. I was completely freaked out.
My dad shouted, "Beware of the feet! One kick from an ostrich can kill a lion!"

My mom about passed out.

We won't even go into WHY we had an ostrich....

We laugh that every time we passed by the nearby dairy (Which was daily, because we lived around the corner.) she would slow the car to a crawl, look worriedly at some exhausted cow taking a nap in the afternoon sun and say with a concerned tone, "Is that cow....DEAD?!"

We now have concepts of "Is That Cow Dead?" paraphenalia.
Look for it in stores.

She taught me to drive, and made it out in one piece, even though I gave her whiplash trying to learn a clutch and she wore a hole in the floorboard doing her famous "air brake."

And she never met a piece of REALLY well done meat she didn't like.

The King House - Home of the Beef Chip.

I hid from her the piercings I gave myself in my bedroom with an apholstery needle and an ice cube, ------------and my diary.
She probably hid from ME the boarding school brochures I'm sure she was having mailed to her.

She taught me to be a mother - as she worked and sacrificed and pulled out her hair from the stress of raising a daughter who thought outside the box.
Her daughter who did crazy things that I don't dare mention.

We fought, we cried, we laughed, we rolled our eyes - But we always came back around to the part where we made up and said we were sorry.

She drove me to the mall, to youth group, to the doctor, to school and sometimes crazy.
That is, until she and my father decided I was trustworthy enough to drive a string of embarassing cars: The blue Ford F150 with the cattle cage welded on top, (Yes, it sounds like what it was.)
the Volvo that leaned to the right with the fluffs of fake sheepskin that would blow off into your mouth if you were unfortunate enough to sit in the back seat with the windows down. The Sentra with the 2 month old rotten bag of tomato juice hidden under the driver's seat.

She is the reason I wanted to be a mother - Because I saw in her that being a mother could be the greatest thing you could ever hope to do.
That it could make you happy in ways that you'd never be able to explain, and give you love that you didn't know existed.
She made me believe it was worth doing.

She's awesome.

Amazing woman. Talented. Generous. Friend to all. Nurturing. FABULOUS grandmother.

The "Woman for the job"

But along with these things I would also like to add to the list:

Keeper of Detrimental Secrets.

I have realized over the years that I have been a mother that there were SEVERAL things that my mom "forgot" to tell me.

I don't think it was really intentional. I don't think it was a diobolical plan to leave me wounded and left for dead.
"X"s for eyes.

It was simply LEFT OUT.

I have comprised a list of things that I feel are important for MY daughters to know, should they ever embark on the wonderful journey of motherhood.

1) The number of boogers you will be handed will FAR outnumber the number of fresh, hand-picked bouquets you will receive.

2) Children LOVE to poop first thing in the morning, so make sure if you are not NATURALLY a morning person, you prepare for this, because it will be the start to your day many days, whether you like it or not.

3) There will be hundreds of nights where you will sleep on the floor of your child's room praying their fever will break.
There will be as many times getting thrown up on, or poop under your nails.
But for every hundred of these situations, you will be allowed only one quarter of a sick day.

This quarter of a sick day must be taken while standing up and while stirring some sort of food that you will, in turn, feed the children.
You must never look as if you are resting. Resting is forbidden. Forever.

4) From now on, if you need quiet and concentration, you will be required to make all phone calls from a dark and closed closet.
Buy a headlamp.
You may need it for taking notes and messages.
Any more light than this will alert the kids as to where to find you.
Do this and you can kiss all appointment scheduling goodbye.

5) You will never gradually and calmly wake up again.
From the birth of your first child on, you will either be screamed awake, poked awake, have your eyelids pryed open, have something scary and oddly warm thrust into your hands, or wake to the sound of your name being chanted 30 times with the words, "I'm hungry." following.

6) From here on out, dinner out will mostly mean going to whatever restaurant gives balloons.

7) Every item of your clothing will now have a mystery stain.
At first you will care.

Then you won't.

8) Your favorite hairstyle will be whatever you can do in 30 seconds with one hand, because you will need the other hand free for keeping your toddler from throwing Daddy's toothbrush into the toilet.

9) All showering will be postponed until 2:00 pm,
or until further notice.

10)Your Seven jeans will be replaced with yoga pants.

11) You will soon scoff at couples who go out to late dinners and aren't even seated until 9:00.
I mean, don't they know that LOST is on?! **yawn**

12) You will plan everything, pack everything, double check everything, worry about everything, and run everything for EVERYONE and they will still probably love Daddy more.

13)You will spend every Mother's Day planning Father's Day.

14) With every subsequent pregnancy, you will lose more and more brain cells.
Go more than three and you will need help remembering things like cursive and your own state's capital.

There are more.

There are more.

But, alas, I lack the time to list them all.
I have more pressing things to do, like:
clean Nutella out of the carpet.

I guess it was probably better that she didn't tell me all these secrets.
Because then, when given the choice of marriage and family or singledom, It may have swayed the vote.

I may not have had my three beautiful girls and gotten to experience it for myself.

So for all the truths you taught me and even the ones you kept - Thanks, Mom. I love you.
You made motherhood seem like something I'd want to do some day.

I just hope I can do it as well as you did.