Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's only just begun.

Summer ended with a bang - missing the first day of school thanks to Irene.  I know, technically summer isn't over, but school has finally begun - so I'm calling it the end.  And now the craziness begins. 

I swear I am not one of those parents who over-commits her kids.  I wasn't thinking clearly when I signed Lorelei up for soccer.  I loved playing soccer when I was a kid, LOVED it, I was super excited when she finally started showing interest in it and asked to play.  I did a little research, asked around and then signed her up for SAC's Rec U10 team.  My only reservation was that I had no idea when her practices or games would be before registering - she also takes ballet and jazz/tap.  Of course I now know that five of the ten soccer games begin at the exact minute that her ballet class ends on Saturday mornings - the only other day that ballet class is offered is on the day she has soccer practice.  ARGH.

And to complicate things a bit more, Nutcracker rehearsals for the production her dance school puts on every November start at the beginning of October...also on Saturday afternoons.  In the past her rehearsals have always been on Friday evenings, I didn't even think to factor that in.  Two of the eight soccer games coincide with those rehearsals - if you miss too many rehearsals, you don't get to be in the show.  I know what you're thinking - "Just don't do the Nutcracker this year."  I would love that.  This will be her seventh Nutcracker.  I used to really enjoy the Nutcracker, up until about five years ago.  Now I hate it.  But Lorelei loves it, I can imagine the meltdown that might happen during that conversation would get ugly.  Double and triple ARGH.

I have no idea what we are going to do.  I guess discover a system of teleportation or depend on magic. That's a solid plan, right?

I had hoped to sign the little girls up for gymnastics, but I think I'll put that off for at least a couple of weeks to make sure I can maintain my sanity.  Thankfully they can take those classes during the day and simultaneously, so we would only have to be in one place at one time. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If wishes were horses, moms would step in the manure

No matter what, if you actually get something you covet for yourself, you always pay for it, most of the time a lot more than it's worth.

The other day I was feeling all hopped up on Mommy life, things were going well, a fun morning was had by all, then I posted this on Facebook:
Kid #1 at a friend's house, kid #3 down for a nap. Anxiously awaiting kid #2's accidental nap on the couch so I can catch up on the DVR'd stuff inappropriate for children.
Then it all went to hell.

Turns out kid #3 wasn't actually asleep.  She was playing in her bed and when she got tired of that she started yelling for me.  I ignored it, so she decided to just come on downstairs.  After putting her back in the bed she started crying and crying.  I've mentioned before that Violet (kid #2) has many-a-time cried so hard she puked; well, little sister is picking up the slack since she has stopped doing that.  I ran in, but too late, she threw up in her bed.  I lifted her out and sat her on the changing table where she continued to cry and puke.  I took off her clothes, rolled it all up in the filthy changing pad cover and sat her in the bathtub where she cried that she didn't want to take a bath.  Too bad - when there's puke in your hair, you take a bath.

Once she was clean and getting dressed she gave me this exhausted look and said, "Can I take a nap, now?"  like it was my fault that a nap hadn't happened yet.

Meanwhile, Violet had fallen asleep on the couch.  I don't know why I'm always excited when it happens - it's a short term joy.  I got an hour or so to myself but at 10pm when both of the little girls were still fighting bedtime, I wanted to kick myself for letting her fall asleep.

And then there's the big kid who came home from her friends' house tired and in a mood.  She wanted to go for a bike ride with me after dinner but my bike is out of commission awaiting repairs.  She got mad and yelled that she never gets any attention - we only pay attention to the little girls (she's partially right that they get more attention, but hey, she's the only one who can actually wipe her own ass after a poop).  She went on to yell at me about how I pawned her off on somebody else so that I could take the little girls to Build-a-Bear and it just wasn't fair. 

I nearly lost my frigging mind at that point.  That morning I gave her the option of going to her friend's house when they called, but told her what was already planned for the day.  SHE chose to abandon us, not the other way around.  More crying and drama followed so I did the only thing I could think of that didn't involve jail time for me - I put her to bed at 7:30pm. 

I dream that some day I will be able to make it through a whole day without longing to dissolve in tears in the closet.  Ah, crap, I never should've said that out loud, now something terrible is going to happen.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Picking up the poop

It's that magical time of summer when this stay-at-home mom starts to loose her frigging mind.  Too much together time plus not enough alone time equals lots of crazy.

Today Violet declared that it was "Pets Day".  I took it with a grain of salt - some days are "Pink Shirt Day" or "Blue Socks Day" - so I just assumed that we were going to be carrying around a set of stuffed animals that were her pets.  No, that was not it at all.  She totally expected that we would be picking out a puppy today. 

Our last cat died a while ago and the kids have been begging for a dog.  I am so not interested in having three kids (one still in diapers) and a dog in our townhouse.  I don't want to take care of another living thing right now - especially not a dog.  I would be all in for a new cat - they are so much easier than dogs, but my husband is allergic to cats and is enjoying living without one for the first time since we moved in together in 1997.

I had to explain to Violet that, despite it being "Pets Day," we would not be getting a puppy today.  Grand theatrical crying ensued.  "But whhhhhhyyyyyyyy?"  I was really trying to be gentle with her, I gave her all that crap that parents tell their kids about the great responsibility that comes with being a pet owner.  Dogs are a lot of work and that Mommy was already pretty busy taking care of three little girls.  You have to feed dogs, walk them and pick up their poop.  On and on. 

She was very thoughtful about it.  She said, "Well, I could feed it and walk it.  And Lorelei - you could pick up the poop!"  Problem solved. 

Still, we did not get a dog.  Luckily though, I have been informed that tomorrow is also Pets Day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I have a new mission for Ponce de Leon

My oldest just spent a week at "Aunt Heather Camp" - she visited my sister and her family in North Carolina.  This is the third summer of "camp" - I meet my sis halfway and hand Lorelei off; then we usually plan a visit for the whole family the following week.  My sister always raves about how wonderful Lorelei is - so polite and helpful and gets along so well with her cousins.  This time while we were there, she even used Lorelei as an example to my six-year-old nephew, "See, Lorelei always takes her plate to the kitchen without being asked." 

Who is this child and why can't she live with me?

In the car yesterday, about 30 minutes into the 7.5 hour drive home, Lorelei says, "How long have we been driving?  When are we going to get there?"  The child knows how to tell time, she's been on this route at least four times a year for the past 7 years - she knows the deal, so it was just all about pushing buttons.  Next she was bored, then hungry, then had a stomach ache, then a headache.  All offers of books, games, movies, snacks or suggestions on how to feel better were met with sighs, eye rolls and yelling, "That won't work!"

Today she had some friends over (I was technically babysitting, but they are close friends that she loves to play with).  She was a complete pill.  After lunch I gathered everyone up to go to the park.  I thought I'd run them around, make 'em sweat then take them to Rita's for a treat.  As soon as we got there Lorelei started in with, "it's hot, this place is boring, can I sit in the car?, can we go home?"  She climbed on a fence directly beside the large sign that said "No climbing on fence."  She picked fights with me, her friends, her sisters and basically badgered me until I gave up and left the park.  We did not go to Rita's (she even did a little sarcastic fist pump along with a "Yes!" when I told her no Rita's).

Then, this afternoon when I was trying to get Violet to wake up from her unauthorized 5pm nap, Lorelei was super helpful and sweet.

What gives?  I guess it's because she got her way, I gave in and left the park before I was ready.  She pushes me and pushes me (she does it to her dad, too) until I can no longer remain calm.  She just does not know how to back down.  She has to have some sort of giant blow up to act as the reset button. 

I hate that.  I don't want to lose my cool, I don't want to yell, I don't want to punish.  By the end of the park visit she was grounded from computer and TV through Sunday.  And it didn't work.  I kept very calmly adding days and she just kept pushing until I lost it. 

Forget finding the Fountain of Youth, can someone please tell me where the Well of Patience is hidden?