Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Schooled by Logic

There are times when I think I may have made a big whopping mistake by breeding children. Those times have been relatively frequent for the past few weeks. I think the combination of mass amounts of snow, bitterly cold temperatures, a small house, the pressures of Christmas, an overworked husband, a teething baby and incredibly energetic children has just taken a good trouncing on my soul.

At times like this, I tend to forget that the kids are just They constantly do goofy-ass things that I don't understand. Take, for instance, the Middle One. Just this morning, she was running in circles (and no, that is not a figure of speech) on our rug in the living room. After watching her for about 3 minutes, and getting dizzier by the minute, I finally said, "Anni, knock it off. Quit running in circles."

Her response?

"But Mama, it makes me happy."

And there it was. The answer that kicked me in the ass just hard enough to make a dent in my at times too-thick skull.

What does every parent want for his/her child? Happiness. And I'm pretty sure the majority of us don't really care how that child achieves happiness, as long as it's safely.

Does it make any difference in my world if my kid wants to run in a circle in the living room? Not one bit. Do I get why she wants to do it? Not one bit. But if it makes her happy, am I going to let her do it, and probably 90% of anything else that might make her happy?

You bet your ass I am.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Times, They Are A'Changing

So, somehow I conned my husband into throwing a jewelry party for me. And by conned, I mean I suggested he call his buddy, who happens to run a bar, to see if it would be feasible for him to gather a group of men, in a bar, where there is both beer and greasy food, on a Sunday afternoon, during a football game.

Wait a minute...who exactly got conned here?

But I digress.

Anywho, he gets a few guys to show up, we get a few orders, we have a few drinks and everyone's having a good time. I had dropped the kids at my mom's for the afternoon and went back to hang at her house, leaving the husband and a few of his buddies at the bar for a couple more hours. I offered to be the designated driver (purely because inebriated men are much more likely to buy jewelry than sober ones) for anyone who needed a ride home.

So, I pick up the husband at 6pm. He's got one other guy who needs a ride home. The kids are in the middle seat, super excited to see their daddy. Husband rides shotgun. Buddy rides in the way back.

Now, let me paint you a more detailed picture of the men in this equation.

Husband stands at 6'2, usually sports a baseball hat, some sort of Carhartt jacket, works with his hands all day, avid hunter, would love to be an avid fisherman but has 3 kids and prefers to hunt. He's not overly macho, but you certainly wouldn't confuse him for a metrosexual (even though he does clean up real nice).

Buddy is shorter than husband, but built Mack truck style. Shaved head. Camo jacket. Also an avid hunter. Works with the husband, so knows the meaning of manual labor. The guy is completely hysterical, but if it came down to a fight, you'd definitely want him in your corner and not the other way around.

So, Husband and Buddy are a little schnockered, but not out of control. Kids are excited to have people to talk to in the car besides Mother Dearest (have I mentioned Middle Child has taken to calling me Mother at bedtime?). Husband decides some tunes are in order and is bragging to Buddy about the girls' ability to sing Jimmy Buffet songs. So, the whole car is rocking out to some Jimmy Buffet, girls and grown men having a grand old time.

Then, things take a slight turn.

Jimmy gets a little old, so Buddy starts asking the girls what other songs they know. He starts listing off songs (ABCs, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Humpty Dumpty, etc.). The girls, of course, know all these songs, and more, and are eager to share their vocal incantations with Husband and Buddy. Next thing you know, 6'2 Husband and shave-headed Buddy are singing along, at the top of their lungs, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, complete with hand gestures.

Now, I'm pretty sure neither one of these big, tough guys ever really envisioned this moment in their lives, but I can tell you right now, it made me love both of them a little bit more and it's probably a moment none of us will forget.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sh*t Happens

This morning, my husband was home from work for a few hours, so I had a solo ride to pick up the oldest from preschool. I was sitting at a stoplight, looking at my fingernails (no, I'm not an abnormally vain person; I got acrylics put on for a friend's wedding a couple weeks ago and I'm still not used to the silly things). So, I'm looking at my nails and I notice something underneath the middle nail on my right hand. And upon closer examination, including the ever-important sniff test, I came to the following conclusion:

I had sh*t on my hands.

My youngest, god bless him, awoke from his nap happy as a clam and covered in sh*t. At this point, I'm running a little late to pick up the oldest and the husband in knee deep in plastic window covering and a "helpful" 3-year old, so it's up to me to de-sh*t the 10-month old. This involved in-depth wiping (at least 4 wipes, for you seasoned pros, so you know it was a messy one) and a complete wardrobe change. I get him situated, do a quick hand wash and hand him off to his dad so I can pick up the 4-year old.

Now, I've changed a few diapers in the past 4 years. If I had to guess, I'd say no less than 84, 612...but that's a rough estimate. And I can count the times, on one hand, that I've actually gotten sh*t on myself. And as I sat at the light (yes, this light is unusually long), I was amazed at the role sh*t has come to play in my life.

Before you have kids, sh*t isn't really something you talk about, and if you're a woman, it most certainly isn't something you ever DO. But once kids enter the equation, your life, to some extent, is ruled by sh*t. You talk about sh*t, you worry about sh*t, you discuss sh*t with pretty much anyone who will listen. It happens, people, sh*t happens.

For example, there was the time my oldest awoke from her nap covered in sh*t. (This seems to be a recurring theme in our house.) My oldest was around 9 months old and woke up from her nap COVERED, and I do mean COVERED, in sh*t. There was no special reason for the debacle. It was simply a lovely early summer afternoon, the husband and I were doing some yard work while the baby napped, and she decided to throw in a little something extra to make the day extra special. Upon discovery, I had no idea what to do with the kid. She was, as was her brother, happy as a clam and yet covered in sh*t. I didn't want to put her on the changing table, thinking it best to contain the sh*t if at all possible; I didn't want to put her in the tub with her clothes on, because it seemed to defeat the purpose if the sh*t got all over the clean tub before I even got any water in it. So, I, panic stricken by this point, rush around trying to find my husband, so one of us can hold the sh*itter, while the other one stripped her. Well, my darling husband apparently worked up a bit of a thirst mowing the lawn and walked down to the corner bar for a cold one, unbeknownst to me. You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn about that. Anywho, I finally attempt to strip the sh*tter while holding her, trying my best to not get sh*t anywhere else. And I was the master, let me tell you. I held her over the laundry sink, careful not to get sh*t on her face or in her hair. I thought, "Hell, this is a piece of cake. I'll get her stripped, stick her in the tub, hose her down and we're good to go."

And then it happened. I was so happy with my mothering capabilities and sh*t retention and ability to keep the sh*tter from crying, I kissed the little darling. And what did I kiss, you may be wondering?

I kissed sh*t. Not only did I kiss sh*t, I then got so grossed out when I realized that I kissed SH*T, that I wiped my mouth as fast as possible, only to spread the sneaky sh*t that was on my hand ALL ACROSS MY FACE.

That's right, folks. I was, quite literally, a sh*t head.

And as important as sh*t is in a parent's day to day life, it is more important that you don't leave your preschooler AT school once her day is over. And so, I drove, sh*t finger and all, to preschool to pick up the 4-year old. And I'm pretty sure no one knew, but even if they did, chances are good they've got a couple sh* t stories of their own and they'd be the last ones to judge.