Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Best Mom Tip #161: Give up bodily functions

I cannot go to the bathroom in peace. I feel that this is going to cause some sort of serious digestive problem for me in the future. I try to time it so that I only go when Harry is asleep and the other two are at school, but Griffin only goes to school 3 days a week so that is quite a challenge on the other 4 days.

Jay does not understand. It has taken me years to get him to remember that if he walks in the door from work and goes to the bathroom, I will freak out. I don't think he understands why, exactly, but he respects the fact that my head will spin around and I will shoot flames out of my ears if, in the first 30 minutes he is home, he has to pee. Poor man. He probably thinks I'm crazy.

But I know what the restrooms are like in his office and I cannot understand why he would wait to go here. At work, there are three stalls. It is quiet in there. There is not enough space under the door for people to stick their fingers. He does not have to stock the soap, toilet paper, or paper towels. For those few minutes, he is alone with his thoughts. Whatever they may be because every time I ask what he is thinking, he says "nothing."

The real problem is that nothing good happens while I'm in the bathroom. I hear things like, "don't worry, Mommy, Harry's o.k." and "we're waving to the man in the yard!" and "Mommy, where are your scissors--oh, never mind!"

I've also heard, "Mommy, I made a cross on the window!" I replied, "that's great, honey."
Then I thought about it. "Wait, with what?" "Just spit." How lovely.

They cannot even seem to watch TV without me if I go to the bathroom. Someone will manage to change the channel or switch the TV input or delete the recording they're watching and then the herd of elephants comes to the door to plead their case for why it wasn't their fault.

Today I managed to use the facilities in peace, but when I came out I discovered opened drawers in my bedroom. Including the one on the nightstand next to the bed that houses....personal items. The older kids were watching PBS, but Harry was wandering freely and he really has no fear of invading my privacy.

I spent the rest of the Curious George episode trying to surreptitiously search the playroom for foil packets before I find my 6-year-old trying to sound out the word "Trojan" later on in the week. I'm terrified that I will find a shiny new addition to Buzz Lightyear's spaceship or the Little People doll house that will cause me to burst into flames. It's going to be a long few years.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Best Mom Tip #160: Watch your back

My children are out to get me. And by get me, I mean they are hoping that they will drive me nuts and I will forget my rules about TV watching, how often we eat out, and wearing clothing in public. For some reason, they are highly adverse to wearing normal clothes in public.

I know they are out to get me because their attacks are too coordinated to be considered coincidences. For instance, while I was standing in the shower stall scrubbing the walls with a bucket of bleach at my feet I heard Griffin yell, "Mommy, is it OK if I umfmmssgrmd? OK, Tanks!"

You'll notice that the key part of that question was completely unintelligible. As though it were asked into a pillow cushion while facing a wall. He knows I can't come out. He's already been on several recon missions to ascertain just how committed to cleaning the shower I really am. He's looked at the fact that I've changed clothes and am wearing rubber gloves and he's decided, "yep, this is as free as it gets. Time to practice my skydiving technique off of Mommy's bed." He yells "parachuting!" while he jumps.

When my mother called and I was distracted by the ringing phone Griffin pulled all of the cushions off the sofa to make a fort. While I was looking at the fort and listening to my mother explain that even though she had been put to sleep at the dentist she was totally o.k. to both drive and talk and that she felt "mellow", Charlotte took cups of milk without lids to the play room for snack time.

When I hung up the phone Harry stole it and headed for the stairs while I tried to unload the dishwasher. When I caught up to Harry I realized he needed a diaper and by the time I made it to the play room after changing him, Griffin had spilled his milk all over his shirt.

While I got Griffin cleaned up (making his shirt the one dirty item of clothing in the house), Harry found the not-quite-empty milk cup and dumped it on the carpet. While I cleaned that up, Harry grabbed my computer and tried to start his own blog.

While I tried to retrieve my computer, Charlotte began to ask me what we were having for dinner and could we please eat out, or in front of the TV, or something fun? She also threw a stuffed animal at Harry and claimed she was just trying to put it on the stairs for later.

Then (and I could end every story with this statement) Griffin climbed on Harry's head.

My only defense is to try to keep them in my sights at all times. Or perhaps get a Sister Wife. Except that she would probably have her own kids and I really don't want to watch them, so I guess I'm just going to have to learn how to see around corners, give up sleep, and only use the restroom after 7:30pm. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best Mom Tip #159: Use A&D Original Ointment

I spend a lot of my time dealing with other people's behinds. I mean a LOT of time. Most moms do so because of the following reasons:

1. Children poop on themselves, at least for the first couple of years.
2. While potty training, they fail to wipe themselves well enough and get itchy behinds.
3. They somehow fall down and land with their butts on their feet while wearing shoes. That does seem like it would hurt, but how do they manage to do that? (And what do you do when they ask you to kiss it to make it better?)

In all of these situations, they look for Mommy. And, really, I don't want a bunch of other people dealing with those parts of my kids, so it's o.k. But it's also gross. I have a veritable encyclopedia of poop colors (and their causes) that I can never remove from my brain. I know how much of which foods to feed each kid to solve a variety of digestive issues. I don't want to know that about anyone else. I don't really want to know that information about myself.

And I have to deal with diaper rashes. I learned during my first round of kid diapering that you need to sooth the hurt and protect the skin with a moisture barrier to get rid of diaper rash. My kids had unfortunate reactions to antibiotics coupled with weak immunity to sinus infections so I got to try just about everything.

Eventually, I came to use A&D Original Ointment. The ointment creates a barrier to moisture and it is medicated to ease itchy/burning feelings. According to the tube, you can also use it on minor cuts and burns. I've never actually used it on anything else because once a tube of something is used on a behind in my house, it is forever used for behinds only. In fact, it now belongs exclusively to the behind that just used it.

Anyway, the A&D really works. Within a day the rash is better and it eases their little behinds while it works. Also, I kind of like the medicinal smell. Which is weird, but I do. I'd apologize for discussing such a gross subject, but really, what else do I have to talk about? I have a kid on an antibiotic right now and this is my life.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try to kill that damn woodpecker outside my bedroom window and I'll have something else to say.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Best Mom Tip #158: Run in the rain

I am sort of training for a half marathon. I say sort of because I have not actually registered. In fact, the next half marathon that I would be likely to run in is in January. So let's say I'm training for a 10k--that I may run through my neighborhood on a random Thursday morning.

Anyway, the point is, I've started running again. I love running. It makes me feel strong and tough and like I could conquer ANYTHING. You know, if ANYTHING involves jogging very slowly for 3 or 4 miles. Then I would need a break and some water and maybe to retie my shoe and then ANYTHING better watch out. 'Cause here I come.

I have now had enough children to recognize a pattern in my post-baby physical fitness recovery. I have learned that although I can lose the weight within a few months of stopping nursing, it takes me a full year to get my joints and muscles strong enough to run again. I have worked hard in the 14 months since Harry's birth and I am finally back to running. I love my dance classes and weight training, but running just feels different. It is liberating. It makes me feel like me again. It makes me feel like I could crush the really skinny moms with my gigantically muscular thighs. Although I doubt that will come up.

I ran in the rain this week and it was wonderful. Because it was not 95 degrees and because it feels very hard core to run in inclement weather. Granted, the only thing hard core about my life is that I occasionally touch human excrement with my bare hands, but running in the rain feels cool-girl tough to me right now. Like I should get a tattoo. Or go sky diving. Or both--maybe my tattoo should be of a parachute.

Running makes me feel like I could re-tile my water damaged kitchen floor by myself. And that I could probably just hang that drywall to finish off the attic closets while Jay is at work. Jay does not like to hear me say things like this because he occasionally comes home to find bizarre projects underway that result in us eating out for a week. He is right to be concerned.

Next week I will feel like the slowest runner ever and that I will never be able to break 5 miles and that my knees are just one more part of me that is inching toward the grave. But this week? I am invincible. This week I bought smaller jeans.