Bad Mommy...

And the winner of the worst mother of the year award goes to....oh wait, that would be me.

My baby hasn't had a bath in two days. The almost 3 year old has fought both his naps and bedtime for a minimum of 2.5 hours (mind you, the nap is only supposed to last 2 hours) for the past 6 days. The baby is also boycotting the afternoon nap, but is so exhausted by 5pm that he is asleep for the night by 6:15...for the third day in a row (hence, the lack of baths). My house is a mess. I don't think that I brushed my teeth today, and the only time that I left the house was to rush the baby to the doctor as I was CONVINCED that he had pneumonia again (turns out that this time, it actually WAS just teething).

How is it possible that in less that a full work week at home these otherwise strictly schedule-oriented children have turned the schedule on its ass and laughed in my face while doing it?

I guess I can chalk it up to unrealistic expectations. For weeks, once I remembered that day care was closed the week between Christmas and Thanksgiving, I had Von Trapp-ian visions of lavish morning breakfast spreads, sing-alongs, visits to museums, skating rinks at various and divers cultural events.

Instead, we have basically been trapped at home due to sub-zero temperatures, a sniffly baby and a suddenly and inexplicably tempestuous almost-three-year-old.

And now he's screaming from the top of his lungs that he has to poo potty...again.

I'm sure that this happens to other parents. This MUST happen to other parents. I just can't help but wonder why any length of time beyond three days becomes a battle of wills. Big people against little people. And the little people are mercilessly kicking out butts. My husband and I are at each others throats (a far cry from the happy 50's style made-for-TV couple automatically in-sync on all things parenting related). Instead of enjoying my family, it inevitably devolves into an exercise of just making it through the days. And I feel horrible.

Tomorrow will be better. It has to be better. It's a new year - maybe I can pull it together and regain my post-hospitalization attitude. Don't get me wrong - I remain immensely grateful, yet hopelessly bewildered at the same time.

Tomorrow. We'll try it again tomorrow.

Bad Mommy...

Naps...or lack thereof

Days like this often cause me to question my innate parenting skills. It's Christmas break at the day care, so Angel and I are at home with the kids all week. Actually, we've been home with them for 130 hours and 36 minutes (but who's counting).

Where was I? Oh - the day. We were planning to see an 11:40 showing of Alvin and the Chipmunks at the theater up the street. Instead, one of my husband's oldest and dearest friends made a surprise visit...with his 6 kids. Now, don't get me wrong - they are amazingly well behaved, really more like miniature adults, but they are kids. And there are 6 of them. So, it gets a little noisy. My boys like noise...a lot. So much so, that they preferred to stay up and revel in the noise rather than go down for their naps. Even after our company had left for the day, both boys were so riled up that they refused to take a nap. Luckily, Victor is still small enough that at the end of the day, he surrenders to the sleepiness. Angel, however, has become an expert at fighting that sleepy feeling. He's battled until well after 10pm every night since Christmas eve.
And I don't know about your kids, but when mine don't nap they get CRAZY. Absolutely "I've-lost-my-mind-running-in-circles-throwing-shit-on-the-floor-screaming-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-crazy." Needless to say, it gets exhausting.

On days like this, I question my parenting skills. I wonder, does everyone else have a hard time getting their kids to nap, or go to sleep at the end of the day without creating a scene reminiscent of the final battle in Independence Day? I wonder why I start every day with the best of intentions NOT to raise my voice at my almost 3 year old, only to degenerate into random screaming by 7pm. I wonder why I cannot get him to stop repeating the same phrase over and over at the top of his lungs after I've told him for the 5 billionth time that his brother is trying to sleep. I lapse into emotional eating. I get angry. I start crying. I get depressed. I feel like the worst mother in the entire universe. Again...

A new perspective

It's been yet another long stretch since I've sat down at my computer to log my thoughts...random musings...about life and motherhood. What I can say is the past 2 months, I have become a new person. No - really. Both of my children got the swine flu (yes, I know it is technically called H1N1, but for some reason every time I say H1N1 all I can think about is Head Negro in Charge. No...I don't know what's wrong with me either). My baby (hard to call him a baby given that he weighs 3 pounds less than my almost 3 year old and is just a head shorter than him) ended up in the hospital with pneumonia as a complication of said swine flu. And in that moment, everything immediately became crystal clear to me. No more random complaining about work-life balance, my thighs or how much money I should be saving. In that moment, I knew that all that really EVER mattered in my life is my family.

All of this happened in the month of November. The entire month is now a blur, but it's impact on me has been most profound. For the first time in my life, I can actually SEE my life and appreciate it for what it is. I am deeply blessed. I am happier at work than I have been in years because I view it for what it is - a place where I can feel smart for 12 hours a day, that provides well for my family and allows me the flexibility to actually see them most every day. I am thankful for my family. Grateful for amazing friends. I actually thanked God for a truck full of groceries this afternoon. For the first time, most likely in my ENTIRE life, I can see my life and just how blessed I actually am.

So, instead of wasting this new-found enlightenment on the same BS resolution to lose the last pesky 10 cum 15 pounds, in 2010 I commit to be present. That's all - whatever it is I am doing, I will be present and fully experience it. I'm sure that the to do list will grow, and I will try to be healthier, exercise more, engage with my children, spend more time with family and friends (see...I have a list already). But really, it comes down to living life rather than simply checking off a to do list.

I haven't lived in a long time. It feels good...I think I'll stay : )