No more Ketchup

Hi,

I figured it was time to write a blog. It’s been a while and lately it seems I have enough material to work with. Between the kids dropping F-bombs, smacking, and talking non-stop about poop, bums and farts, I could write a book. 

I have 3 siblings, two older sisters and a younger brother.  The only one I remember fighting with is my brother. He’s 5 years younger than me and I remember when he was a baby, I’d sit outside his bedroom door and rock back and forth while he cried, fighting sleep. I also remember being excited to help him print his name. Turns out I had no patience and the first time he didn’t get it right, I deemed him a lost cause and left that task for his teachers. When I was a teenager he drove me nuts. We’d be sitting at the kitchen table and his breathing would bother me. True story (sorry bro if you’re reading this). As I grew older, we fought less and got closer. I’m hoping my kids have the same fate.

My boys started in on the fighting much earlier than my brother and I. They go from one extreme to the other in 10 seconds flat. They could be sitting quietly on the couch side by side, or playing Mario and Luigi, having a blast, and 10 seconds later one of them must turn into Bowzer as the laughs and smiles turn to screams and slaps.   

They will fight over everything, from where they sit at the kitchen table to who pees faster when they play ‘swords’.  They fight over their identical placemats. It doesn’t help that Aiden likes to act like Camryn’s parent and scold him when he thinks he’s doing something wrong. Just recently, I had put Camryn’s ketchup on his plate and he wanted more. Not a big deal (or so I thought) but Aiden didn’t feel Camryn needed more as he hadn’t used what was on his plate. Valid point, but unlike Aiden I have learned to pick my battles so I put my hands on the ketchup bottle, ready to squeeze. Aiden yelled NO, so Camryn started to cry, begging for the ketchup. Aiden yelled “YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME!’. Then he started to cry too. I was dumbfounded. What the F*** was going on? Why in the world did Aiden care that Camryn wanted more ketchup? If I didn’t care, he sure as hell shouldn’t! It’s not like he was paying for it out of his birthday money or something!

Speaking of which, do you know the first thing Aiden bought out of his birthday money? Something for his brother. He bought Camryn a fidget spinner. It didn’t matter that he already had one (apparently you can’t have too many fidget spinners but you can have too much ketchup), it’s what he wanted so it’s what Aiden bought him. I was so proud of him, I almost cried in Walmart (wouldn’t be the first time). Same as when we visit a doctor’s office, Aiden will take a sticker for his brother (and vice versa).  They miss each other when they are apart. Even after a recent screaming match where Aiden told Camryn he needed a break from him, 5 minutes later in the car (just the two of us) he looks over at Camryn’s empty car seat and says “I wish Camryn was here’.  If we see a toy or a movie preview, one will instantly think about the other. So the love, it’s there. I know it.

In addition to trying to parent, Aiden also tattles. Camryn can’t fart and Aiden is telling me. If Camryn says a bad word or is rude (which is common lately since he blossomed early and has the 4 year old attitude at 3), Aiden tells me, most likely just so he can repeat it. One claims the other smacked, the other denies it. It’s never ending. Until they are asleep of course when they look so sweet and innocent that you almost doubt that all the fights from that day even happened.

But I know they happened. I know it’s real. But sometimes I feel like the only mother livin’ the dream of moonlighting as a referee. Is it because I have two boys? Is it because they are close in age? Is it because I’m falling down on the job and have no control? I know it’s not, but sometimes it feels that way.

I know Facebook is not the real world; people post their best on Facebook (except for me apparently seeing as I recently posted a pic of my beautiful smiling boys and warned not to buy into the smiles as I wanted to sell my kids on kijiji for $20 that day). The truth is, you post the smiley pics because it’s easier. It’s easier to show people the happy, and it’s easier to take those pics. Seriously, when my kids are in the midst of a screaming match and fist fight, I can’t ask them to pause while I grab the camera. “Hang on a second Camryn, hit your brother again so I can capture the full effect of the blow to his face’. That may not go over well and let’s be honest, it probably wouldn’t be received well by most people. I also know I’d get a few ‘likes’ (you know who you are. Haha). So we wipe away the tears and when the fight is over, we smile and take a pic because that’s what we want people to see. That’s what we want to remember and take away from the day. That’s what matters most.

The rest, the non-smiles, is like ketchup. You know you’ll have some, you just don’t want too much as it can spoil everything.

Sonya

Dear Abbey

I was never one of those people who knew at an early age that I wanted to be a Mother.  I would never swoon over or ask to hold a newborn baby.  I had no interest in touching a pregnant belly, it seemed so alien to me and honestly freaked me out (even now). I didn’t even like babysitting. I wasn’t a kid person. As I grew older, I figured that more than likely I’d have kids but I was in no rush.  Then it happened- my Abbey was born. I say ‘MY’ not because I’m her mother, but because she’s my girl, my niece. She was the game changer for me.

I had to wait 3 long weeks after she was born to meet Abbey. I was engaged at the time but in no rush to pick a wedding date. Days after I met her and fell in love I was planning my June wedding. For the first time ever I couldn’t wait to have a baby. In my mind, I couldn’t imagine the love I would feel for a child of my own if I felt this much for Abbey. I was ready! So I thought.

No doubt I was ready for the love, but I hadn’t thought about everything that came along with pregnancy, delivery, and being a Mother. The stress, worry, anxiety, fear, emotions and pure and utter exhaustion to name a few. My pregnancy was far from smooth sailing, nor was my delivery or Aiden’s decision to stop breathing when he was born. Once we got past all that, I’ll never forget the shock to my system from sleep deprivation. My body was tired. I was emotionally and physically drained. But with a husband working shift work, family in another province and not many friends to call on, it didn’t matter how tired I was, this little guy needed his Mommy. He didn’t start sleeping or stop crying or pooping because his Mother needed a break. I wish.

Motherhood was harder than I thought it was going to be. Why didn’t anyone tell me (other than my sister, Abbey’s mom, but she was hormonal so I wasn’t going to believe her, right?). Why didn’t anyone warn me that while there would be immense joy, there would also be tears? Tears that were falling from my own eyes, not Aiden’s. I didn’t see these realities in the pictures that my friends were posting on Facebook. Were they feeling the way I was? Were they tired and overwhelmed and scared, like me?  I didn’t know, so I started a blog about Motherhood. I needed an outlet. I wanted to be a voice for other Mom’s to let them know they weren’t alone, to say things out loud that most people don’t say. I was grasping at straws hoping that I wasn’t alone in this. That the challenges of Motherhood weren’t reserved specifically for me.

Fast forward 18 months and I was more settled in my role as Mommy. I was less exhausted and more into a routine, so due to what I can only assume was temporary memory failure, we decided to try for a second child. Luckily (and thankfully), I had no issues with getting pregnant. Literally, as soon as we entertained the idea of getting pregnant I was out buying a pregnancy test that tested positive. Sadly, 8 weeks later, I miscarried. One month later, I was pregnant again on Camryn.

Pregnancy hates me so carrying Camryn posed even more risks and stress than when I carried Aiden, so I should have known that when he came out I wouldn’t be let off the hook from the challenges of motherhood. Turns out, I had a harder time with Camryn.  Apparently, I had no idea what exhaustion truly was until Camryn was born. Boy, did he show me! I swear he was trying to destroy me. He hated sleep. For 2 full years he barely slept during the night. Couple that with Aiden waking up most mornings at 6am or earlier, and I was barely functioning. I don’t even drink coffee so I don’t know how I got through most of the days to be honest.

Not only was I tired but I found myself taking solace in dark bathrooms, crying. Before he was even 1 year old I graduated from crying in the dark to crying in fully lit rooms, usually the kitchen. I’d find myself thinking and saying aloud, ‘This is not my life’. Wondering how in the world I got here. I was completely overwhelmed.

I was finding Motherhood very lonely and I attribute that to the fact that being new in town (when Camryn was born), I had no social connections and my family was 2 hours away. I spent every waking moment with my kids, caring for them, seeing no one but them (and my husband) day in and day out for days. And days. I had no life. I lived and breathed my kids. PPD came knocking on my door and because I didn’t recognize her, I invited her in for coffee. 

I openly admit that I had a hard time transitioning from one child to two. I had a hard time adjusting to the demands of Motherhood, period. My biggest fear is loneliness, and unfortunately I found myself living a world engulfed by it. This blog helped me feel less alone, reminded me that I’m not the only one who finds being a mother hard work. It tests you, pushes you, and ultimately changes you (in some ways good, some ways bad). But that love that I mentioned earlier? That’s what gets you through. That’s what keeps you going. The smiles, those eyes, the outreaching of arms, the cuddles, the kisses and hugs and I love you’s. The knowing that how imperfect you are as a mother, in their eyes you can do no wrong. Even though at times you feel you are doing it all wrong.

My kids are 3 and 5 years old now and I won’t lie, I enjoy this stage much better than the baby stage.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them as babies, they were adorable, but I had a hard time with two kids in diapers. It was so demanding, I couldn’t keep up, not without the support I needed from family and friends. But I’m on the other side now, for the most part anyways. I feel less exhausted (but never truly feel rested, if that makes sense) but just as challenged- but in different ways. And the love? It’s only grown. My god, I couldn’t love my kids more than I do. If Camryn could, he’d probably call for help if he woke at night and saw the way I stare at him. And Aiden, he may test me with his attitude, but I swear I near break his ribs every time I hug him because I can’t get enough of him. I don’t want to let go.

To those of you who have ever wondered (and you very well may have, I’ve been asked by strangers working at Walmart in the past), no, I don’t wish I had a girl. I don’t long for a daughter. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. That miscarriage I had between the births of my boys, I can’t help but think that she was my girl and she wasn’t meant to be. I was meant to have my boys.

Plus, I already have MY girl. Her name is Abbey.

 

Sonya

Storm

I feel the need to redeem myself after my last blog (Flip the bird). Out of all the blogs I’ve written, it was the hardest for me to post because it seemed very raw and personal. I knew I’d be judged. It felt like the equivalent of admitting publicly that you pee in the shower. Some people think it’s gross, some don’t. Some do it but still pretend they don’t.

I’ve had a few jokes/comments referencing my habit of giving my child the middle finger behind his back. I need to clarify that this isn’t a habit. It’s not something I do regularly- it’s just something that has happened, once (okay twice, three times max) in my life. I’m sure you have all done something that you’re not proud of, something that made you feel better for 30 seconds, and then after it was over you knew it wasn’t your proudest moment. Well, that was my moment. I just decided to post it publicly in a blog for the world to see (ok, for the 50 people who read my blog), thus opening myself up for judgement. I don’t regret it, I just need to say to those of you who have knocked it before you tried it that it’s not something I do all the time.

So I am going to write a sappy post about how much I love my kids in hopes of reminding everyone that I am actually a sane, good parent. I didn’t say perfect, because there’s no such thing, but I am a good mother. I know this because I am trying my best and I am trying to give the best of myself to my kids. Do I sometimes fail? Sure. That’s because I’m also human. But one thing I can reassure you is that my boys are my life. Literally, I have no social life, they’re it 😉 They just happen to be my world too.

I live in a small town where I am not surrounded by my family and friends (add to that a husband who works shift work and plays too many sports), so I spend a lot of time alone with my kids. By a lot I mean every waking moment outside of my workday. 7 days a week, I’m the primary parent. I rarely get a break (which is probably why I run out the door to work). As you can imagine (and many can relate to), this is tiring, exhausting and overwhelming. It’s impossible to ‘enjoy every minute’, as many people encourage. For example, when your 3 year old is having a meltdown because you stuck the straw in his drinkable yogurt when he wanted to, while your 5 year old is pissed off for a reason unbeknownst  to you, giving more attitude than a room full of 13 Justin Bieber’s, it’s hard to enjoy every minute.

But you take the good with the bad. Five minutes after the tantrum ends and the attitude fades to silliness, there are the smiles, the hugs, the playing and I love you’s. I love random I love you’s. Not just from my kids, but from my husband too. I don’t want to hear it every time we end our telephone conversation because it would be too habitual, like saying hello and goodbye. I like to hear it at random moments when you least expect it. Camryn, being at that adorable age of 3 when you want to kiss his face off because he is so squishable, he’ll tell me at random times. Like when he’s pooping. He likes for me to sit and watch him poop (dear god I hope he grows out of this soon, let me tell ya). He’ll be having a poop and he’ll learn forward, almost falling off the toilet, and wrap his arms around my neck and sigh, saying “I love you, mommy”. It brings such joy to my heart- and tears to my eyes, but that could be the smell of his poop, not sure. Either way, I’ll take it.

Or Aiden, when we’re curled up on the couch watching a movie or Mario (the child watches videos of other people playing Super Mario bros, I don’t get it), and he’ll lean close and touch my hair and tell me he loves me. It’s so sweet. So random. Those are the moments I don’t want to end. I know someday my boys will be too big to be fighting over sitting on my lap. On a full sized couch, you’ll find three of us snuggled up in the corner, sharing one cushion, because they can’t get close enough to me. I’m nuzzling Camryn’s neck while stroking Aiden’s arm- trying to soak it all up because I know any minute, actually any second, things will change. Camryn will accidentally kick Aiden and Aiden will yell at him and tattle to me and then they are down on the floor, stealing one another’s toys, trying to piss the other off.  It makes sense though, this viscous cycle, because there is always calm before the storm. End even though storms are temporary, they can seem long and horrible and frustrating while you’re in it. The good thing is they end…..and once they do, you get to enjoy the peace again while you wait for the next one. And we all know there’s always a next one. In order to truly appreciate the peace, you need to have the storm. That’s what I keep telling myself anyways.

So contrary to what my last post may lead you to believe, I am not an avid flipper of the bird.  Sometimes I don’t use my finger at all and just drop an F-bomb.. I’m KIDDING!! Or am I??

Sonya

Flip the bird

When you don’t have kids, you think you know what kind of parent you would be. And you honestly believe that you’d be that parent- until you actually have a child.

I know I am not the mother that I had planned on being. Not in some ways anyways. You think you know yourself until you have kids but you don’t, you can’t, because you change as a person when you have a child. Even more so when you have a second child (much more when you have a second child). You have to be re-introduced to this new version of yourself, which for me, was in some ways pretty scary.  

When I became a mother, I lost my patience and gained a new voice. A voice that, every now and then, yells. I had no intentions of yelling and lately I try hard not to, but sometimes it just sneaks out. I’m a pretty mild mannered person, at least I thought I was, but it turns out the joke was on me! Since becoming a mother, my appearance has also changed. I’m not talking about widened hips, a belly pooch or the permanent bags under my eyes. I’m talking about the way I can distort my face. When I’m pissed off, I give my kids this look that I swear resembles that of a hungry lion. A look that I never knew I could make 6 years ago. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make it even if I tried. Even after 4 Smirnoff Ice coolers.  Now I find myself praying the wind doesn’t change so my face doesn’t stay like it.

If my pre-parent self could see me now, I fear she’d be disappointed. And you know what? I’d have a few choice words for her judgmental ass. I’d tell her she had NO clue what she was talking about. Sure, it’s easy enough to say you’d never give your kids sugar too early in the morning and that an iPad would never enter their hands. But the reality is, there are days when your kids have sugar for breakfast because that’s the only thing mommy is serving.  And that iPad you swore you wouldn’t let your child touch has been used as a babysitter more times than you can count because for the love of all things holy you needed 10 minutes to yourself to relax, breath and regain composure. That iPad can be a lifesaver. End of story.

I recently saw a meme on Facebook that implied you are not officially a parent until you have given your child the middle finger behind his or her back. I cracked up laughing because I have done this. More than once. I have jumped around my kitchen waving both middle fingers enthusiastically in the air at the back of my child’s 5 year old head.  It felt good-  a stress reliever in a way- which is why I’ll probably do it again.  The pre-parent me probably would have said ‘no, I would NEVER ever do that’, thinking to myself ‘what kind of parent would DO that’? Well, it turns out, I would. I am the type of parent who would do that.  Surprised? I surprised myself when I did it but trust me, the shock value wears off fast.

There are those who have flipped their child the bird before and won’t admit it. There are those who have done it and are snickering right now (right sis?) and there are those who haven’t done it before but now, after reading this blog, may give it a try. Of course there will be those who will judge me for this action. But trust me, no one can judge me harder than I judge myself. I find myself crying some evenings after the kids have gone to bed because I am overcome with guilt over not being the mother I want to be. For not handling situations the way I wish I had. For having good intentions that fail. Contrary to how this post makes it seem, I am not a monster who flips her children the bird and snarls at them all the time. I am simply a mother trying her best. A mother who loves her kids, does everything for them, but gets overwhelmed and tired and wore down after being told one too many times that I’m mean for asking for teeth to be brushed before bed. Or being told by my child that he doesn’t like me because I turned off the video game he was playing. I try to stay calm. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I break. And those are the moments I regret. When I yell or curse or say something I don’t mean out of pure frustration and then get slapped in the face with the reality that I am no better than the child I am trying to discipline. Cue guilt. Tears, you’re up!

It’s hard not to get frustrated when every time I turn around there is fighting, one punched the other because the other tripped him up. They both want the same red marker when there are 412 red markers in the bag. While one slams a door, the other one cries. While hugging one to comfort him, the other says ‘you love him more than me’. I can’t keep up. I can’t win.

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. But most times, it certainly feels like it is.  I’ve often gone looking for support in my Mommy FB groups. We’ve all been there (or maybe we haven’t, but I’d like to think we have)….we make a post to vent about how crappy our day was and then we sit and wait to see if anyone liked our post, or better yet commented that they can relate. Maybe they had a crappy day too, heck maybe it was even worse than yours! That’s all you need is one person who ‘gets it’ and you feel less alone. But if 2 minutes have passed and no one has liked or commented, you take that post down because then you feel guilty for exposing yourself like that and admitting that you feel like a crappy parent and you wonder how many people have read it and think you are crazy? This has happened to me, I swear.

All it takes is talking to a few of my real (non-Facebook) mommy friends and my sister (who totally gets it) and I am reassured that there are in fact others like me who are just trying to be the best they can be….. even if they find they disappoint themselves every now and then.  It happens. What’s most important is that we brush ourselves off, wipe away our tears, put down our middle finger and try again.

The joys of germs

I am what many would call a germaphobe. I wasn’t until I became a mother- or maybe I was and baby brain has helped me forget. Either way, I am one of those people who scan a room for runny noses within the first 2 minutes of entering. It’s sad, really. But I can’t help it.

As a result of not being in daycare environment, my kids have been living in a bubble with less exposure to germs than most kids their age. Well, Aiden was in a day home from age 1 -2 and he was sick every 2nd week. And by sick I don’t mean just a runny nose. Most of his illnesses were respiratory related (Pneumonia & Bronchitis) and he wound up hospitalized at 14 months. That visit was also his introduction to Ventolin puffers.  So every time he got a runny nose, I knew I had to watch him carefully. He never just had a mild cold so I can’t help but associate a runny nose with much more than just boogers.

Fast forward the next 4 years and if anyone within a 10 foot radius of Aiden has a runny nose, he gets sick. And of course, being a family of four now means when one child gets sick, the other gets sick too. Heaven forbid their reluctance to share carry over to the germs department. Yet, I attempt to reduce the spread of germs by Lysoling the house until you can taste the disinfectant and I keep hand sanitizer close at hand at all times. It may not prevent the healthy child from getting sick, but it makes me feel better- like I’m putting up a good fight against those pesky asshole germs.

There were two incidents recently when Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer most definitely didn’t stand a chance.  Camryn licked a freezer door in the ice cream aisle of Walmart *gag *As if that alone didn’t send me into panic mode, he proceeded to pick up a random McDonald’s cup off a shelf and drink from it. I wanted to pour the sanitizer down his throat (which of course, I never!! Lol). If that won’t boost your immune system, I don’t know what will. I’ve been told that I should let my kids just eat dirt and be done with it, but I can’t see myself willingly allowing that to happen either 😉

When Aiden started Kindergarten last month, I cried. Not because my baby was growing up and I wasn’t ready. I cried because school is a germaphobe’s worst nightmare. I can no longer scan the room for runny noses or sanitize his hands (although there is a bottle in his lunch tin). I can’t protect him from coughs and sneezes in his general direction. The second he walked into school on the first day of kindergarten, that bubble I mentioned – it burst.

By day 3 of school, he was sick. Head cold. Sore throat, runny nose, cough. 10 days later, he was no better so the doctor put him on antibiotic for sinus infection. 4 days after that he developed a bad case of croup and was put on prednisone for 5 days.  Four days later he wound up getting another respiratory infection, ear infection, and was back on antibiotic and prednisone again. In the midst of that his brother catches some wild virus resulting in a high fever, no appetite, lethargic, on top of the runny nose and cough etc. He seems to be on the mend, and Aiden appeared to be relatively good health for the first time since the first day of school until he woke this morning congested, with a runny nose. While he was wiping his nose, I was packing my bags for the next flight to the nearest deserted island. I want to replace the Advil with suntan lotion and sip tropical drink with straws, instead of suctioning buggers from noses.

I have a feeling it will be a rough year. A sick year. I have a feeling the good ol’ stomach bug will be reintroducing itself to our family soon enough (it’s been 3.5 years since Aiden has seen him and Camryn never has). Let’s just hope the tea tree oil spray I use in his hair helps keep lice away at least. There’s only so much I can handle.  

I know I can’t leave them in a bubble for the rest of their lives. It was time for Aiden to go to school and I love that he loves it. I just hate wondering everyday what ailment he’ll bring home with him along with his homework. I am hoping his immune system eventually builds up some resistance. That’s the silver lining in all this, is it not?

I am also thankful (and hopeful) that the only sicknesses I have to worry about are those that can be cured by meds, or simple rest and fluids.  Some parents aren’t so lucky (and I bet those same parents are reading my post and want to punch me for complaining about minor ailments in comparison to their major ones. Heck, I’d want to punch me) because the truth is, some kids are fighting for their lives and the sheer thought of that makes me ill. We can only protect our children from so much.

So I will welcome the flu, colds, stomach bug, pink eye or lice any day with open arms when compared to a life threatening illness or cancer. The only thing children and cancer should have in common is that they are both words beginning with the letter C. Sadly, that’s not the world we live in. Some kids don’t even get the chance to go to school. When I think about that harsh reality, I tuck my hand sanitizer into my pocket, kiss my child goodbye and put him on the bus for another day. I then walk away thinking- not about all the germs waiting for him at school – but about how lucky I am that he’s healthy and happy and actually gets the experience of bringing germs home to share every single day 😉

 

The Final Rose

It’s been 10 months since I wrote a blog post. I love to write, so I need to make time for it. Especially where it is therapeutic for me. Between working full time, having a hubby who works shift work and dealing with my kids, I am too mentally drained at the end of most days to string two words together. Lately, I’ve been finding my therapy in walking/jogging, and sadly, tuning in to silly reality TV shows to see who will get the ‘final rose’. Judge me, go ahead, but I need an hour to myself after the kids go to bed and watching stupid shows about other people’s lives gives me the break I need. These days I welcome the distraction.

Aiden’s starting Kindergarten in a week. This means my life is going to get a hell of a lot busier, but it also means there will be big changes (and many more germs) coming into my life. I’m nervous and stressed, yet calmly excited as I know it will be good for him. He needs the social aspect, the stimulation and a place to learn.  And more than anything he needs some time away from his brother.

I don’t know if it’s the age difference (2.5 years), or maybe it’s having two boys, or two differing personalities, or if it’s just having two kids in general, but the last little while, I am drained. I am sick of breaking up fights, disciplining, reminding my kids not to be rude to one another (and me), to keep their hands to themselves, to share, to stop pulling hair and pinching noses. Am I the only mother feeling this way? I can’t be. I read other blogs and Facebook rants in the Mommy groups I am in and I find myself hugging the screen when I realize someone else lives a life similar to my own.  Often times you just need this kind of reassurance. It doesn’t make things easier to deal with. It doesn’t restore patience, but it is comforting to know that I am not the only person who feels less than perfect. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one at the receiving end of ‘worst mommy in the world’. I’m not the only one whose days lately are filled with more yelling than hugging. It’s tiring, so once the kids are tucked into bed and the kisses, I love you’s and I’m sorry’s are exchanged, I often take a moment and either 1) cry or 2) head to the couch and turn on a mindless TV show that allows me to forget about how crappy my day was and how perfectly imperfect I am at being a parent.

Looking back, I swear I thought I had it all figured out when I only had one child. My life was all about routine and it was just the two of us most days. I was a stay at home mom so Aiden and I spent a lot of time together. I knew his moods, I had a handle on them (or so my baby brain leads me to believe). But adding Camryn to the mixed totally messed that up.  Two kids changed things. It changed me. And now that Camryn is older (and sleeping through the night AND potty trained!!! WOOOOO), I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to have everything figured out when it comes to parenting. When you have two, the sound of sweet laughter is almost always followed by tears. As is silence. Never trust it as more times than not, tears and blood follow (from my experience). Smiles lead to punches, coloring and painting can lead to a mess of colors and hurt feelings. When the moments are good, they are real and they are sweet. But when they are bad, they are pull your hair out, run for the door, bad. And how it goes from one extreme to the next VERY fast blows my mind. I hear “I love you” one minute, then “you’re the worst baby brother EVER’ 20 seconds later. Fast forward 5 minutes and your child has the worst parents in the world and threatens to move to Walmart (with his jar full of nickels and a ten dollar bill under his arm). All the while, you can’t help but think about the 5 dollars you stole from that very jar to go to Zumba one Sunday evening.

Every mother should see the movie Bad Moms. I saw it twice because it was rib hurting, laugh til you snort hilarious. It is the story about a mother who is so sick of trying to be a ‘good mom’ so she decides to start being a BAD mom. The movie serves as a reminder that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. Some of us just hide that fact better than others. Well, not me. I don’t hide it well. I’ve admitted since day one, when I started writing this blog, that motherhood is hard. Some days you feel like you are winning, other days you feel completely defeated. At least every day is a chance to start over.

On those days when you find yourself thinking (or saying) over and over “I can’t do this”, remind yourself that you can do this (even on days when you feel like you don’t want to). Do what I do, dust yourself off, have a spoonful or two of peanut butter (I stress eat) and keep going. Not just because you have no other choice, but because you love your little monsters more than life itself. After all, that’s what makes us GOOD moms. Not how good we are at Pinterest shit and whether we bake or buy our cookies for the bake sale.

It’s always comes down to love. That final rose.

 

 

 

Blue brooms and ice pops

Hello,

Happy Friday!

I have learned a lot from my 4 year old lately. I now know that you can ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but if you put anything but butter on it, you’ve made it wrong. You may say you are done with your supper, but the second it is thrown in the garbage you will scream and cry that you want it back because although you made it perfectly clear that you were done, you weren’t.

I have also learned that broom colors matter. Apparently they do to my child. Six weeks ago, maybe more, I bought a new broom. It’s blue. Its bristles are not dirty and misshaped. Its brand spanking new, straight from the store that steals our paycheques, Wal-Mart. Anyways, for some reason Aiden didn’t notice my new broom until a month after I bought it. It happened to be the same day his younger brother was very sick, fighting a fever of 104 degrees and refusing to eat or drink. Aiden noticed the blue broom and asked where the old red one was. My response? “In the garbage”. If I had known what his response was going to be I would have painted the damn broom red to avoid the hurricane that was about to hit. He freaked. He had a full on tantrum. One of the dramatic, fall to the floors, limbs flailing about tantrums. Snots and drool everywhere. Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING ME? How do you even respond to such foolishness? I had one sick child and one child having a meltdown over a new broom? I proceeded to remind him that he was being silly. Then I lost my patience and asked him if he planned on crying over the fact that I bought new dish cloths. New towels. New socks. He didn’t see the humor in it and proceeded to spit fire.

20 minutes later he was on the couch with a fever. AH! That explained it. It wasn’t about the broom. It was never about the broom. And thank god for that. I actually felt a bit better that a new broom didn’t freak him out that much. It was him not feeling well and the broom pushed him over the edge. In a weird way I was relieved. I was afraid that from now on I would have to sneak my Wal-Mart purchases into the house while he was sleeping and gradually ease him into things, like new soap and toothbrushes. Phewf, dodged a bullet with that one.

What I didn’t dodge a bullet on was the mess that melting ice cream makes. We went for a family drive, thought it’d be nice to get an ice cream! Aiden picked out some sort of multi-colored popsicle. He didn’t like it. I could tell because after 60 seconds, it still existed. He said to me “Here Mommy, I am done”. So I tossed it. It was a melting mess that needed to go in the garbage. I saw his eyes. I saw that he knew what I had done. It was too late to turn back now. Bring. It. On. Tears (and drool), and kicking. “I wanted my ice cream!!!”. He cried and cried. We promised him a new one. I even apologized for throwing it away. 2 minutes later he stops and says “It’s okay, Mommy, I didn’t like it anyways!”. Just like the broom, it wasn’t about the Popsicle. I am not sure what it was about, but it wasn’t that rainbow stick of ice. It was probably because I threw it out and he didn’t want me to. I suspect he wanted me to hold onto it indefinitely in case he decided he wanted another lick.

I am learning that 4 is a difficult, interesting and patience testing age. I am also discovering that attitude, like the words ‘seriously’, ‘whatever’, and ‘like’ (which can all be used in the same sentence believe it or not) isn’t reserved for teenagers. Some days, I can’t keep up.

Last weekend, I didn’t have to. I was asked if I wanted a kid free weekend. I haven’t had one in over a year, so I went for it. After a week of sleep deprivation (that’s another post!), I jumped at the chance. If I told you I didn’t enjoy my weekend alone, I’d be lying. I slept like I haven’t slept in years. I cleaned my house (and it stayed that way for longer than 3 minutes), I ran errands, I did my workout videos without worrying someone would get a 10lb dumbbell to the head, I watched one too many episodes of TV shows I am embarrassed to admit I watch and I went out for drinks with my hubby and some friends. It was awesome! Yet, I feel like I should be writing how I enjoyed my weekend, but that I couldn’t wait to get my boys back home. That I missed them so much I felt sick. That’s what Facebook expected of me I am sure. But I couldn’t post that. I couldn’t write that. The truth is, and judge me if you like, but I needed the break and I enjoyed it. Of course I missed not having them around. The silence was weird. But I felt spoiled and I liked it.

When I was driving to pick them up, I couldn’t get there fast enough (proof that I missed them), and I must say, it was a good day. I believe we made it a full 6 hours (until bed time) without attitude. I didn’t even have to threaten to send them back to Nana. That’s a successful day in my books.

But tomorrow is a new day. And just like my 4 year olds mood, it can change in a heartbeat. I just keep reminding myself that I am simply preparing for the teenage years. It can’t be much worse, right? Don’t answer that.

Hugs & Smiles,

Sonya