M.O.S: Mom On Strike

I’ve had it. I’m on strike. I’m tired of the whining, complaining, moaning, mumbling, and bitching that accompanies anything I ask the boys to do. God forbid I should ask them to wash their clothes or put their things away. I’ve thrown most of their things away (or so they think), shouldn’t that be enough of a deterrent? I give them an allowance when they do their chores, shouldn’t that encourage them? Ugh!! Even when it comes to washing their own clothes all the middle child has to do is request it and I will start it for him. The older one is old enough to work the washer himself. The house doesn’t need to be immaculate (hahahaha! sorry, even the thought of that is funny). I don’t expect them to do much, but as members of this house I do expect them to help. Even the little one has to help clean up her things. But since I can’t get anything done without having to hear them bitch and argue (loudly), or bang cabinets and doors, breaking things… I have officially gone on strike.

I will continue what I normally do for my daughter and I, and the boys will get my love and the essentials they need. If they want anything done, they will need to do it themselves. They will also need to keep their mess confined to their room or it will be thrown out. I’m tired of the mounds of laundry piled high in the tiniest of laundry/storage/utility closets that they claim don’t need to be washed because they still have clean clothes. I’m sure they are using the word clean rather loosely here. Whatever.

If you need me, I’ll be on the couch with a bottle of wine. 🙂

Things My Daughter Says II: It Could Be The Vagina Monologues

No lie. It is Saturday morning (ok, technically it’s the afternoon) and I am being lazy. A couple hours ago I decided that I need to get up and shower and that my daughter needs one too. So, in we go. The following is the true conversation of what transpired:

Daughter: Are you peeing?

Me: No

Daughter: Why do you have hair on your vagina?

Me: *sputtering shampoo as I attempt an answer* Because I do

Daughter: Do all mommies have hair on their vaginas?

Me: Yes, I suppose so.

Daughter: Do Grandmas have hair on their vaginas?

Me: *thinking carefully about the topic of conversation that might happen at Grandma’s over Thanksgiving dinner* I don’t know

Daughter: What about aunties?

Me: *OMG, I can’t believe this conversation is still happening!* I’m not sure

Daughter: What about uncles?

Me: *Phew, I can answer that* No

Daughter: Why not?

Me: *Oh shit! Now what?* Because uncles don’t have vaginas

Daughter: But [name of brother 1 and 2] have vaginas

Me: *treading into unchartered territory here* No, boys don’t have vaginas

Daughter: Then how do they pee?

Me: *F*&%, when will this end?! I let out a giggle and attempt to control myself.* They use the toilet

Daughter: But how do they go pee?

Me: *damn, I knew she was too smart to let that go. My laughter is now involuntary and all attempts to control it are futile*  They have a penis   *there I said it!*

Daughter: *very excited to understand this new concept* Is that on their vagina?!

Me: *how can this NOT be over! I can’t contain it, I laugh so hard I pee in the shower!*

Daughter: Mommy! You peed!

At least the subject has been changed.

I know you are reading this, Mom. Consider yourself forewarned.

An Emergency: A Child’s Perspective

I am in the process of trying to teach (and reteach) my kids what constitutes a true emergency. I am also trying to emphasize that this rule should be followed when I am in the bathroom.  I never get time to myself and sometimes alone time only happens in the bathroom. This is where I check my email, catch up on Facebook, and *gulp* may even blog (just a little!). At any rate this time is brief and precious and I do NOT want to be disturbed unless… there is an emergency.

Now my definition of an emergency and their definition differ dramatically.

My example of an emergency: someone is bleeding to the point of unconsciousness and/or has become recently detached to an appendage

Their take on that: someone fell off the couch and is not hurt; she can’t find her other princess shoe and now must limp around because she refuses to take the other shoe off; someone sneezed

My example: the house is on fire

Their misunderstanding: the remote is lost or beyond reach and he/she is too lazy to get up and get it (but they can knock on the bathroom door to ask me where it is); they want to play on the iPad but don’t know the passcode and so must bother me for it right now because it cannot possibly wait one.more.minute

My example: someone is breaking into the house

Their interpretation: right now is the perfect and only time to go outside therefore it cannot be squandered and they must bang until I accede; they want dessert; someone farted

I would buy a dictionary but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t help. But if I do I will be sure to have them also look up the word “boundaries”… because clearly, they have none.

The Things My Daughter Says

Being four gives you a certain amount of leeway and a natural naiveté that lends itself to saying really embarrassing things without a hint of shame. My boys went through this stage so I shouldn’t be surprised. I just don’t remember my boys being so vocal. Whenever I take my daughter into a public restroom I brace myself for what she might say.

When she was potty training I would cheer her on with song and dance, clapping, cartwheels… whatever it took to get her excited about using the toilet. This to her was normal. I also made sure she knew the correct terminology for her body parts. Yep, that word… v-a-g-i-n-a. God forbid she said that in front of anyone of the male variety. I thought it was kind of funny to see them squirm. Until it was my turn.

We were at the town pool and I had to use the bathroom. I carted my daughter off and squeezed the two of us into a ridiculously tiny stall. As I began peeing, my daughter – with all the enthusiasm of a proud four year old – began to cheer me on. “Yeah Mommy! Good job going pee on the potty.” I managed a thank you – after all what was I supposed to say. Then she said it… she dropped the v-bomb. “Your pee is coming out your vagina!” I felt my face grow flush as I heard the gales of laughter from the stalls on either side of me. I thought of staying in there until the women left but knew that wasn’t going to be an option since my daughter was already crawling under the stall door. Thankfully the laughter was coming from other moms who had been through or were going through the same thing.

Her latest obsession is my boobs. Today in the checkout line at Target she looked up at me lovingly and said “Mommy, I really like your boobs.” I thought the guy behind us was going to choke on his coffee.

The Little Things

It started Thursday afternoon. I had just picked my daughter up from daycare and my car was on empty. I could have stopped on my way to pick her up but the gas prices at the station just down the road from daycare were so cheap and my budget so tight, that I waited. While picking up my daughter I was informed that Friday was picture day. My mind scrambles as I’m trying to piece together this new information. I thought the pictures were next week. I thought I had time over the weekend to find her some clothes without stains or rips or sticker glue. Aaaarrrgh! Now I have to add a stop to the store. There better be a clearance rack.

As I process this new information, I pull into the gas station. It is immediately clear that I am not the only person who knows how cheap the gas is here. There is a line of cars and I am six cars out and on the border of the main road. I pull up so I am on the bumper of the guy in front of me to allow room for cars behind me. What pulls up behind me however, is a massive oversized truck, whose driver is obviously more important that anyone else here and demands that the seas part and allow him in. HONK! HONK! I mumble under my breath. HONK! HONK! I throw a dirty look in my rearview mirror. The honking continues until finally I roll down my window and demand to know exactly where the hell he’d like me to move?! I’m sure he had choice words for me but I had gone deaf from the honking and couldn’t hear them. The guy next to me gives me a thumbs up.

After waiting half an hour and multitudes of preschool songs to get my gas, I drag my daughter off to the store to find her picture worthy clothes. After searching through the clearance racks for clothes and several times for my daughter, we settle on a cute sweater and a couple other things she needed for the upcoming winter. I set everything on the counter and my daughter loudly announces that she needs to use the bathroom and runs off in that direction. I chase after her leaving everything behind. We finish up, ring out and leave. I return home feeling better about the next day. Until I get home and empty out the bag.

Where the frack is the sweater?!!!

I call the store. They are closed.

The next day is Friday. My alarm doesn’t go off. My coffee maker decides today is the day to screw with me. My daughter screams like I am beating her because I tell her she must take a shower with me and wash her hair for her pictures. I forget my lunch on the counter and wonder what a tuna fish sandwich will smell like at the end of the day. I am defeated.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day.

Btw – the sandwich did not smell very good when I got home. But at least I get better gas mileage than that jackass from yesterday. 🙂

Dumpster Diving: A Lesson in Parenting

I live in a decently sized apartment but with three kids (one teenager, one tween and one toddler) it never seems to be enough. It’s as if the walls close in a little more with each child that enters the house. I’m picturing the scene from Star Wars: A New Hope, where the main characters are trapped in a garbage compactor. I think my house probably smells like that too (see earlier post – Stinky, smelly, gross boys!).

I have three bedrooms and over the past two years have reconfigured them at least three times. I recently decided that I do not need a bedroom for myself. I’m sure some of you are cringing but I assure you this was an easy decision for three reasons:

  1. No time for sex. I don’t even have time to pee before some kid is knocking on the door.
  2. No privacy for sex. See above.
  3. No desire for sex. Yep, see above.

Since, I clearly don’t need privacy, I decided to give up my bedroom to create a playroom. This meant I had to move all the furniture (one bunk bed, one loft bed, two dressers, two cartoonishly large rocking chairs… you get the picture), rearrange all the closets, and reorganize everything. And still manage to cook, clean, and do all the other crap that has to be done every fricking weekend!

I had this image in my mind that my boys would truly want to help in this extravaganza. That they would in fact be so excited to help that we would knock out this project in no time and then sit to watch a movie together on the couch, after contemplating the origins of the universe and creating an invention for Shark Tank… Yeah. Not so much. Clearly, I was on drugs when I thought that up.

What I got was two and a half hell filled days of arguing that went something like this:

Child #1: “Can you take the garbage out?” he asks snottily.

Child #2: “I took it out last time. It’s your turn to take it out” answers with an eye roll.

#1: “Yeah, but I had to put all the bags in because you forgot” add a foot stomp and a thrown shirt.

#2: “Well, I’m putting the toys away right now” flings toys across room.

#1: “Well, I’m folding laundry right now” throws laundry at brother.

This continued until the boys, the laundry, the toys, and the garbage were all tangled up together in a knock down, drag out fight in the middle of the living room. Again, the garbage compactor scene comes to mind. I finally kicked them both out, grabbed three large garbage bags, and did a full arm sweep of each shelf and drawer in their room until the bags were full and their rooms were empty. Then I marched out to the dumpster like some deranged Santa Claus, as they stood by weeping, and threw their things away.

When I came back I explained to them how disappointed I was that I had not heard a single thank you all weekend. Their lack of appreciation for other’s efforts and for their own things was simply unacceptable. They went to bed, crying over their losses. I pondered the lesson I was trying to teach.

Then I realized the value of what I had thrown away and broke out in a cold sweat and heart palpitations so fierce I thought I was having a heart attack. So, at about 11:00pm, for the second time that night, I went out to the dumpster, flashlight in hand, praying nobody would see me, and spent 20 minutes digging those three damn garbage bags out.

Parenting can really stink sometimes… literally.

Stinky, smelly, gross boys!!

Please, for the love of all that is good, can someone please tell me why my boys think it’s ok to wear week old socks and two day old underwear?! WHY??? They smell like onion and fart and something that died near the dumpster last week!

I’m not sure I can raise two boys. The girl will be fine but the boys…

They don’t seem to mind taking a “shower” but it isn’t anything like a shower that leaves them smelling fresh. The younger one just kind of gets into the hot water, wanders around for about 10 minutes (longer if I forget he’s in there) and then gets out just as stinky and smelly as he went in. Gross! I have to knock on the door at least three times during his “shower” to remind him to use soap on his entire body including his feet and to use shampoo in his hair. The older one will usually remember to wash but then will forget to put on deodorant and thus will stink again within minutes because his raging hormones are conspiring (and perspiring) against him.

Brushing teeth is like pulling teeth. On one recent dental visit the dentist was in utter shock that my son wasn’t really an 80 year old parading around as a nine year old. Yep, that’s how much plaque he had. I bought him that expensive toothbrush immediately. The one with the timer and separate heads with motion blah, blah blah… It is supposed to shut off automatically after two minutes of brushing. I don’t think it’s ever made it that long. The older one has a special toothpaste he’s supposed to use. I bought it six months ago. I think it still has the wrapper on it.

Begging doesn’t help. Bribing doesn’t help. Consequences don’t help.

Somebody told me that they will start taking better care of themselves when they become interested in someone else (you know, romantically, oh la la). I highly doubt it. I don’t think I’ll ever have grandchildren.

Bill Cosby, I finally get it.