Musings About Life... After Birth

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MommyMeritBadges

Posted by Colleen on August 25, 2011

If you read my last post, you know that I traveled to Chicago this past weekend to be the MOH in my cousin’s wedding. Since my husband, being the primary breadwinner in this ensemble we call a family, had to “work” Friday and Monday, that left me to fly with three kids. Alone. Both ways. Gulp.

Now that we’re safely back in Georgia, I can say it: We survived! (In person this is accompanied by Spirit Fingers. Or maybe some Jazz Hands. Which are NOT the same thing.) The trip there was a breeze, so for the return trip I figured I'd used up my good travel luck. I was scared, but was armed with activities and snacks. Neither of these helped, though, after we’d been on the damned plane for 30 minutes due to a maintenance issue and my toddler decided that he no longer wanted to wear his seatbelt. In classic toddler timing, this moment was also the exact time we started moving, thus requiring physical maternal intervention. And toddlers love physical maternal intervention that opposes what they’re trying to do.

I snapped his seatbelt back on.

And he screamed.

This wasn’t a cute little, “Hey, please don’t do that” screams, either. This was one of those “Holy hell, if you weren’t my child I would hate you right now and you just convinced all the single folks not to ever have kids kind of screams.”

At this point one of the ladies across the aisle put her earphones in, and I considered stealing them. I, after all, have to hear the kids ALL the time. She only had to bear it for the hour and a half flight.

Further proving the extent of God’s love for me, however, the two smaller kids instantly fell asleep after that, and the Tween lost herself in Angry Birds. Whew. Crisis averted. After such a rocky start, the rest of the flight was a breeze.

Thank God. Thank God. Thank God.

When we landed, the older lady in front of me complimented my parenting and how well behaved my children were. Headphones lady agreed. I just smiled modestly and thanked them, happy to take the compliment I hadn’t really earned.

Then I waited for all the other passengers to leave while I wrestled all three kids and six carryon items (suddenly the $25 checking fee didn’t seem so unreasonable) off the plane.

I have to admit that I lost it a bit when I couldn’t find where my husband had parked the van in the Atlanta airport. I may or may not have introduced my kids to a terrible word that echoed through the cavernous garage. Whoops.

I then drove my exhausted and cranky kids almost two hours home.

My husband was happy to see us, but when we pulled in the driveway, I sort of expected fanfare. I felt as though I’d completed a marathon, implemented world peace, and cured cancer, all in a day’s work. But there wasn’t even confetti, nothing to commemorate what had to be one of my hugest accomplishments as a parent.

I’m not gonna lie. I wanted a trophy. Or at least a foot massage. I got neither. I was disappointed, and I know that I’m not the only mom who’s ever felt the burn of a minor victory go uncelebrated. So here’s what I think we should do. I propose than we implement a merit badge program. Like Scouts parading around with cute little embroidered trophies proclaiming their ability to build shelter (pshaw), I want one for “Flying Solo with a Tween, an Infant, and a Toddler with Only Carry-On Luggage.” Even if the men of the world didn’t know what my badge was for, maybe the other moms would recognize it and silently fist bump me in passing.

I think I’d put my badge on a cute scarf, or just attach it directly to my double stroller. Other badges I’ve earned might include:

· Catching vomit in bare hands
· First aid basics: Racing a child to the hospital for sever allergic reaction, deep cut requiring stitches, and/or a broken bone
· Breaking a toe in front of children without swearing
· Reading “Good Night Moon” 500 times without “accidentally” losing the book
· Learning the words to Justin Bieber songs….you know, because the Tween likes him. (Ahem.)
· And the one I’m really striving for? Raising all children to be non-felons. I’m gonna make it, girls. I can do it.

How about you? You interested in joining my troop? What mommy merit badges have you already earned, or are you working on?

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ScoreOneforClothDiapers

Posted by Colleen on August 08, 2011

I have a confession to make.

I use disposable diapers. (Go ahead. Gasp. Hater.)

Yeah. I feel pretty guilty, knowing that my most enduring legacy won’t be my children, but instead the products of keeping my childrens’ prolific behinds clean. I know that many moms, like the super-cool-mom-I-think-im-friends-with-but-forget-ive-never-really-met Sherry at Young House Love, have used cloth diapers, and I think this is amazing and admirable.

I swear I thought about doing the same. I really did. I just knew I couldn’t hang. Hosing “solids” off of soiled nappies? Keeping a bucket of bleach around to soak said nappies in? Egads. I have a hard enough time keeping my house sanitary as it is. Add in buckets of marinating fecal matter and I’d be one rough week away from inspiring a bad Lifetime Movie.

In what I can only think is some version of the universe giving me the cosmic finger, two of the disposable diapers I opted for over saving the earth somehow got thrown in the washing machine today. Naturally I didn’t realize this until after the cycle had run all.the.way.through.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of duplicating this particularly messy science experiment, let me tell you what happens when you soak two high absorbency diapers in gallons of hot water and then spin them around at NASA-inspired speeds. What happens is they absorb until their little hearts simply can’t absorb anymore. And then they explode.

The resulting carnage takes the form of a bazillion tiny beads of sticky silicon* yuckiness that cling to wet clothes, skin, and metal appliances. The stuff gets everwhere.

I’m sure there are plenty of moms (Sherry?) who would know how to handle this situation and have it cleaned up in no time. I’m not one of them. But we here at The Momtourage are all about information sharing, so I'm going to share my own mature step-by-step reaction to this sticky situation:

  • Curse loudly. Squeeze in as many PG- and R-rated words as possible before your children, who came flying to investigate the second you started screeching, are within earshot.
  • Slap wildly at your hands until you realize that you are not, in fact, being attacked by crazy spiderwebs THATARESMARTANDHAVESUPERPOWERSANDGOINGTOTAKEOVERTHEPLANET.
  • Blush when you turn to see your concerned children, who apparently think you’re dying.
  • Smile and suggest they help themselves to a cookie, ensuring their immediate vacation of the laundry room.
  • Shake one of the silicone-encrusted shirts. Watch in awe as the shimmery beads rise in the air, creating an almost pretty effect…before landing all over the next load of laundry.
  • Curse again.
  • Consider the possibility of using duct tape to remove said silicone.
  • Realize that there is at least one situation in which duct tape will not be of any help whatsoever.
  • Consider calling Sherry.
  • Consider calling Google.
  • Curse again. Kick the front of washing machine for emphasis.
  • Curse again, this time because you’ve hurt your toe.
  • Remove laundry from washing machine and throw it into a basket.
  • Using paper towels, wipe silicone from the inside of the machine. As it’s invisible and is known to be invincible, wonder if you will be finding little gel beads on your clean clothes for the rest of the machine’s lifespan. Or yours.
  • Stare blankly at semi-clean-but-gel-covered laundry. Stupid laundry.
  • Stick basket on back porch.
  • Channel your inner Scarlet O’Hara and decide to deal with the mess tomorrow.

Ever the optimist, I am very grateful to acknowledge that the diapers were, even before the spin cycle, clean.

My toddler had corn yesterday.

And we all have our limits as to what we can handle.

*I’m sure it’s not really silicone inside the diapers. Or maybe it is. Whatever. But for the sake of this story, let’s just agree it is, kthanks.

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Parentsoftheweek/year/Millenium

Posted by Chelsea on April 01, 2007

This article from today’s NY Times may be the coolest, sweetest, most inspiring thing I’ve read in a while. I am still crying after reading it.

I know I joke all the time about wanting my son to be gay so he’ll never leave me for another (blonde, non-Jewish - no offense to all those fantastic blonde, non Jewish ladies like my friends J.R. and M.S. out there….) woman, but I am teasing - who would wish for their child a life that incoherently, sadly and unfortunately involves challenge? Of course, I’ll totally accept him, love him and celebrate him no matter which choice he makes - gay, straight, or even (gasp) Republican. Regardless, should he one day break the news to me that he’s gay, I hope I handle it - and anything else he ever decides to do that goes against my grain - just like these parents did.

I am so in awe of their fabulousness.

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