Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Didn't Drink an Entire Bottle of Wine While Writing This

It is nightfall. I am on deck listening to the sounds of the crickets, frogs, and the last of the birds. Milton and Bernie are lying quietly at my feet, and I am on my second glass of wine.  This is what summer is all about.

when did she get so big?
Of course, in my house there is a pile of dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, and countless other tasks that are not getting done while I choose to use this time to write. This is the struggle I face every day. Although usually I am choosing between doing the dishes and taking as shower...or sleeping.  And while I love being a mom, being a working mom usually means making hard decisions and sacrifices on an hourly basis.  Difficult decisions like: Do I fold this laundry or take a shower?  And at those moments I think to myself, I wish I didn't have to work...and I wish I smelled better.

And then on the weekends I sit back and think to myself, we've colored, played with play-doh, had a hot breakfast, baked cookies, sang songs, counted the blocks,  and....wait. It's only 9:30??  What the hell are we going to do for the rest of the day? And I realize there is no perfect situation. Whether you work outside of the home or not, there's always going to be things that you wish you had gotten

I've said it before, as a parent, you learn as you go. Annabelle is two and a half and I still am learning new lessons with both children.  Recently, I have learned a very important skill needed in order to effectively understand and communicate with a preschooler.  The phrase "I didn't."

I was first enlightened by this phrase in a previous blogpost. "I didn't drink the paint water" is what Annabelle said with paint encircling her mouth. Fair enough. Maybe she didn't understand it was the paint water she was drinking.  My second lesson was a little more obvious. I was picking Annabelle up from daycare and upon greeting me at the door of her classroom she said, "I didn't poop in my underwear."  And I hugged her and said "Good for you!"  Rookie. As she was climbing into her car seat it was extremely evident that she, in fact, had pooped in her underwear.  Ok.  Honest mistake.

"I didn't tickle push the baby"
But I began to notice a pattern.  After hearing Georgia began to shriek from the living room, I ran in to see what happened and Annabelle popped up from behind the couch and immediately said "I didn't pull the baby's ear." Ok.   And the next night after feeding Georgia and giving her an antibiotic through a syringe, I left it on a table in the living room and took her up to bed.  When I came back downstairs Annabelle pointed at the syringe and said "I didn't lick that."   I bet that tasted good.

So now I know. "I didn't" always means "I, in fact, did all these things and I am not sorry but I am still telling you I did them."

Not all lessons are so cut and dried.  For example, I am trying to set a good example of eating habits for my girls. I am trying my best to make sure they see fresh vegetables and fruit being cut and have

some level of understanding that food comes from somewhere other than a box.  I try to let Annabelle see me snacking on carrots and whole fruits as often as I can.  This inevitably results in me hiding in our kitchen closet furiously shoveling entire Oreos into my mouth.  "What are you doing in there, mama?"  is followed by muffled and choked response of "Cleaning."  And then I emerge proud of myself only to see Annabelle studying my mouth and saying "I like chocolate too."  How can she see Oreo crumbs on my face but when it's time to clean up toys she is constantly saying "I can't find them" while she is standing on top of them?

Each day brings new lessons.  Another lesson I learned is that while driving on a long car trip after a fun activity almost nothing wakes Annabelle up.  I can talk on the phone on Bluetooth, listen to a book on cd, open a window to pay a toll, sneeze, you name it and she keeps right on sleeping.  But crinkle the paper of a McDonald's bag, and her eyes snap wide open from a dead sleep and like a zombie she will ask "What are you doing, mommy?"  and I say nothing and let my food get cold on the front seat.

Don't worry, there some things I've learned on this journey that Bryan has not. As a part of potty training we reward Annabelle by allowing her to pick out a jellybean after going potty.  What I have not figured out is at what point I can discontinue this practice, but I will deal with that later. And what I mean by that is, she will be fifteen years old asking me for a jellybean every time she goes.  Bryan, as it turns out, is a big fan of jellybeans.  So each time I would open the container I would notice the supply getting smaller and smaller.  NOTE:  Hand washing is a practice in this house, but not a priority for Annabelle, nor is she very thorough.  You couldn't pay me any amount of money to eat those jellybeans.

Additionally, jellybeans are not easy to come by after Easter. So I told Bryan if he was going to continue to eat the jellybeans, he had to replace them.  Dutifully Bryan went to the store to get jellybeans and returned home with two bags of JellyBelly brand jellybeans. He handed them to me and I just stared at him. He informed me they didn't have the brand I get.  I continued to stare.  He said "I thought JellyBelly were the best."  And he is right. They are gourmet. The best. Unless you are two. And at the age of two, tempting flavors such as Pina Coloda, popcorn, and coffee are disappointing to say the least.  I didn't give him a hard time about it, he tried.   We all learn these lessons at are own pace. NOTE: Upon further research, Bryan learned he does not like the JellyBelly jellybeans either.

At the end of each day I am exhausted.  There is an endless list of tasks I didn't accomplish, and worse yet, I end every night wondering if I did enough for these girls.  People who have more than two children amaze me. Not only are they exhausted, but how are they keeping the third child alive?  Poor Georgia is so much more neglected than Annabelle ever was.  As our second, and more than likely last child, I've started modifying her clothing. i.e. I have just started cutting sleeves and pant legs off if they seem to tight, short, or restrictive.   Annabelle's clothing wouldn't have been mutilated, she would have gotten brand new clothing.

 And Georgia is always happy. Always happy to see me, never cries or fusses, and is always smiling.  And that makes me feel even worse.  How did I forget to put socks on her?  How did I let the headrest on her car seat get so dirty that there is a visible, greasy head print on it for all the world to see? How did I allow her sister to put a cowboy hat on, straddle her and shout "Yeehaw?"

 And while I am feeling guilty because the tv is on to entertain the girls while I try and make dinner, my mind starts to spin wondering with my job and my horrible commute how will I ever be what they need me to be...and then I hear laughing, and it's Georgia's. And she's laughing at Annabelle who is jumping and dancing and laughing too  and I remind myself to stay in the moment.  I have to be thankful for the little blessings we have each day and know that even though I don't know what will happen tomorrow, I have done my best.

And as I try to have this epiphany free from sarcasm Junebugs are slamming into the side of the house and falling at my feet.  Ew. Now Bryan brought the eggs up from the coop and had a "Barn Swallow" in has hand that he found and opened his hand to show to me and it flew directly at my face.  And after I recovered from that horror, a moth the size of a hummingbird landed on my screen. The majestic splendor of country living...and being married to a jackass.


  1. Loved this! Gave me memories and chuckles! And it reminded me of the reason I always say the good Lord knew why He spaced my two children 15 years apart! :)

    1. Oh that is the best way to do it! We never can find a babysitter and you had one on-hand at all times :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.