Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are You There God? It's Me, Rachel

This past Sunday we finally had our 10 month old daughter Raegan baptized. Why did we wait so long? Because we are horrible Catholics, that's why. Seriously. Christ sees us coming, and he turns and mutters to Gabriel under his breath, "Oh great, not these fucking assholes again." Without a doubt, we do not attend mass as often as we should, as often as we'd like. To be honest, we were quite embarrassed and anxious to ask our priest, who never sees us, to christen Raegan. Our options were few: bite the holy bullet and ask, or change religions.
(Would we get to meet Tom Cruise if we converted to Scientology?! That should be a selling feature on their pamphlet. I would also consider becoming a Jehovah's Witness. I would only visit the people I didn't like though. Gave my kid a dirty look in the grocery store? Gossiped about me at the Tupperware party did ya? Guess who's getting weekly visits and pamphlets for the next two years to try to save your lying, whoring ass...See you later during the most inconvenient time of your day!)

We don't go to Church because my husband works on the weekends and the thought of trying to wrangle three kids by myself during mass turns my bowels to burning liquid. I see other babies at church sleeping soundly, nestled at their parent's neck and toddlers sitting silent and serene playing with their homemade quiet books, and I think to myself, "HA! Fat fucking chance." Dryden would take that quiet book, turn around waving it and yell to whoever was sitting nearest to us, "LOOK! I GOTTA BOOK! WANNA PLAY? LET'S SING: wonder pets, wonder pets, Jesus loves you..." All the while I'd be swatting him and hissing "Shhhh!" in my most pissed off whisper. Meanwhile, the baby would have crapped herself (probably leaking out, ruining her dress that I had to hold her down and wrestle her into) and the toxic fumes being emitted from this Diaper From Satan Himself would gag and sicken everyone around us. I wouldn't be able to change her right away though, because she would inevitably be screaming for a bottle. A bottle that Noëlle would undoubtedly have wandered away with on her quest to be picked up and snuggled by everyone present in the building. That would be me, trailing after her from pew to pew whispering fiercely, "Get ov...Get back...come here...Jesus Christ get over here NOW!" At the end of the mass I would be exhausted, furious, embarrassed, and would have cursed every vile word known to mankind in my head. Now doesn't that sound like a renewing, spiritual weekly ritual to you? Me neither.

(After that rant, I forget why I like going to Church at all...)

Our priest was cool- he understands how life can get. So on Sunday we had our family and close friends over to help celebrate Raegan's induction into the Church, and into our parish community. My Mom had to let out the seams and McGuiver'ed the dress to fit Raegan- that's how long we waited to get her baptized :s The Church echoed with the sounds of kids playing and laughing and having a great time, and Raegan's god parents Marc and Marie took their jobs very seriously. We are fortunate to have family and friends who always come to support and rejoice in our young family's special days; they shower us with gifts, and carve time out of their busy lives to show that they love us, and that we are important to them. God has bestowed upon us these blessings, and we will renew our efforts to repay him in kind.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Confessions Of A Terrible Mother

No parent is perfect. That being said, most parents start out with grandiose intentions; the first time we hold that tiny, wrinkled baby we vow that we will be amazing parents. Whether we promise to be better than, or as good as, our own parents- we all have a gauge to compare our parenting against. Somewhere along the way, reality sets in. It's impossible to be attentive 100% of the time, some meals you make just suck, there are days when your patience is shot to shit, and sometimes broken promises are unavoidable, regardless how much it pains, and shames, us to break them.

I am not "most" parents. The very first time I held our first born, I closed my eyes, snuggled her tight, and silently promised not to fuck up too badly. I had no delusions of grandeur, I refused to lie to her- this real, live human being that I was suddenly responsible for. I knew there was little chance that I would prove to be the first Perfect Parent ever created; I just had my fingers crossed that somewhere amidst the flailing, and fumbling, trial, and error, good intentions, and ambitious ideas, that in the end I would have helped raise a truly fabulous person.

Five years in: parenting is hard. Three babies in four years was/is exhausting. Figuring out how to raise a developmentally challenged child is a daily struggle. Sometimes parental shortcuts must be taken. I'm confident enough in my role as Mom to admit to doing these.

- Floss my three year old's teeth? Sure every night. And by every night, I obviously mean every third or fourth month.
- I have been known to put on an extra long cartoon so that I can catch a nap on the couch after a too early breakfast.
- You only want to eat yellow things today?! Sure, I don't care. Here's a can of corn.
- Endure 30 minutes of yelling, or let kid take milk to bed. Seriously? Homo or 2% my friend?
- We've donated an iPhone and an iPod touch to The Keep The Children Happy And Quiet Foundation. A worthy cause btw, look it up...
- You want to take 4 bubble baths today? Will it shut you up for at least 20 minutes each time? Cool. Lets get Bubblelicious!
- There was a good three week period recently where all the kids worn nothing but jammies. I may, or may not, have taken part in Jammie Fest 2012
- We taught Dryden to fetch Kleenex, pacifiers, milk bottles, remotes, beer, diapers. Some would say we are lazy. I say Dryden is earning his eight quarters/week.
- I am guilty of doing The Spot Clean. Wash all my floors? Fuck that- I'm just washing the spots that are dirty. Wash under the couch? Why- so lost toys have a clean hide out??
- "Saku! Come eat this off the floor please" is said daily at our house.
*Saku is our dog for those who don't know. We do not have a child named Saku who is only permitted to eat accidentally dropped food off the floor. Even I think that's horrible parenting...
- I pretend not to notice when Dryden sneaks a mini chocolate chip to Raegan. That's because I've already stolen a handful of them myself.
- When baby Raegan is in a rotten mood, she gets a handful of cheesies. No questions asked.
- Noëlle sometimes steals sips of my neglected, or misplaced, coffee/latte/cappuccino. I let her- she stopped drinking when she was 18 months old, so on the odd occasions that she drinks anything I'm impressed.
-I let Dryden plays with babies. Raegan loves playing with trucks. Will he turn out to be gay? Because of stuffed dolls? Grow up. Will she be a butch tomboy? No- but she just might fix your car on the side of the road after you overheated the engine and broke your fan belt.
- I let my kids sing their gibberish nonsense songs as loud as they want during the singing parts of mass. It's our trade off for them being (ever so slightly) quieter during the readings. Whatever, Jesus thinks their songs are awesome. I do too.
- I let Noëlle play with all of the cutlery on the floor in the kitchen, the pens in the cup holder from the office, my necklaces hanging in our bedroom, spin the toilet paper roll in the bathroom, and pull out the kleenex from the boxes in every room. I don't understand how her brain works- I just know that these things being her joy.
- I've lied about what time it is to hurry bedtime up a bit. Ok, ok, a lot.
I did it tonight as a matter of fact...

No Excuses!

What's this microphone for?
Can I just really speak what I want in my blog and you'll type it for me!!
This is fucking brilliant.

I'm gonna blog like crazy now

Yogurt pail rabbit on the TV.
(Ok, there are a few kinks to work out yet...)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dryden & Jay-Z = Kindred Spirits

Today I was nagging our three year old to pick up his toys, to be nice to his sister, to remember his manners, and to listen to Mommy, when suddenly he threw his hands up over his head in exasperation, sighed loudly, and said, "it's tough being wittle Momma!" Really?! me thinking...

Toddler Problems:

#1 That awkward moment when you hug your father's leg for five minutes in a crowded room, only to look up and discover that this moustached imposter is not your Daddy.

#2 Relaxing after a long, tiring afternoon and enjoying the best poop of the day: Mom ruins it by pulling the bathtub plug...

#3 Sippy cup of milk rolls under the couch- arms too short to reach it. Meh, Mom will discover it next week.

#4 Conspire with Dog to steal Baby's cookie: treacherous Dog betrays me and eats the entire thing. Asshole...

#5 Mess up the words to ABCs in front of friend. Feel like an idiot.

#6 Why do they keep scheduling these play dates with the blond girl? OMG- I think I'm involved in an arranged marriage!!

#7 Potty training is a scam my fellow kids! Unite and stand as one: "Hell no! We won't go (on the potty)"

#8 That awkward moment when someone in the playgroup smells like piss, and you're the only one with a wet spot in the crotch of your jeans.

#9 Spend all morning rearranging the Tupperware, pots and pans, and cutlery. Ungrateful Parental Unit does not appreciate my efforts.

#10 Mom locked the bathroom door- how am I supposed to keep her company and ask her 78 questions in under 60 seconds now?!

#11 Dad farted, blamed it on me. Again.

#12 Dog farted. Everyone assumes it was me. WTF?

#13 Cannot pronounce my "R's", "L's" or "H's." Am mocked relentlessly at grown-up parties. Bullying: it's everywhere.

#14 Dad cancels Netflix. My life. Is over.

#15 Mom is on a health kick; my standard peanut butter and jelly with the crust cut off is replaced with a roasted veggie and quinoa salad. Yeah, that shit is getting fed to the Dog. Good thing I hid cheesies in the toy room.

#16 Bed time is announced suddenly- get that "deer-caught-in-the-headlights" look. No where to run and hide. Well played Parental Unit, well played.

#17 Poppa bought me a 10 pack of Timbits: 6 of them are the cherry flavoured ones. Fail.

#18 Took my Big Wheels truck out for a joy ride; got a flat near the mailbox..had to call the Dog for a tow. FML

#19 Dog buried 18 of my Hot Wheels cars in the sandbox- spent all morning excavating to retrieve them. Was too tired to fight off nap time...

#20 Yelled "SNACK" 67 times before the female parent got the hint.

#21 Dad is incompetent: I have to help him "fix" everything. I also have to hide his tools so he won't lose them.

#22 If Mom sings that effing "Clean Up" song once more I'm gonna lose it!

#23 Dad insists I play with Baby- really? She eats dirt off the floor and laughs at her own feet. God, this is slumming it- I hope none of my friends see me.

#24 Male parent thinks I'm his servant: taught me to fetch his beer. I'll secretly "fetch" it more often when I'm 16 ;)

#25 I got 99 problems, but a diaper ain't one.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview With A Vampire...Teacher, I Mean Teacher.

Last week I went to my very first parent/teacher interview at Noëlle's school. As I sat there, on an itty bitty chair- my knees scrunched up near my chin- I had to smile. Today would be exciting for many parents; hearing how all their hard work teaching and preparing their little ones for school had paid off. They would learn about their kid's social interaction with other kids; they would hear about their child's budding friendships. They would be told their kid has great manners, and silently pat themselves on the back for helping teach them their ABCs and 123s. Today, these parents would receive all their kid's art work- masterpieces that will adorn their walls for now, and their memories forever. They would tour the classroom and envision a moment of their little one's incredibly busy, and highly stimulated day. Parents will get instructions and encouragement on how to help their darlings continue to grow and nurture their sponge-like brains. The anxiety, nervousness, and doubt parents felt on the first day of school as they waved goodbye to the bright yellow school bus carrying their sweet child for the first time would dissipate forever with this interview. Their kid is fine- doing wonderfully actually.

As I sat there at the 12 inch high table waiting for the teacher, I knew that my experience would be slightly different. Noëlle started school in January of last year, so we weren't entirely new to her classroom and routine. We wouldn't be receiving a pile of Noëlle's art work to take home; the teaching staff is always so proud and excited when Noëlle makes something that they send it home right away so that we can revel in her cleverness and artistic ability immediately. There will be no life altering surprises about Noëlle's progress- her teacher and EA send a letter home every day telling us how her day was and what she did. We've already been told who our daughter's special friends are: a handful of boys and girls who go out of their way to include her, help her, and play with her. We've seen first hand how compassionate and accepting the kids in her class are on our numerous visits to her classroom.

"Why are you going today Hun? We kind of already have all this stuff covered," my husband correctly pointed out. I guess the truly honest answer would be that I was going for myself. I still wanted the experience that the other parents of four year olds get; I wanted to feel the same as them, like I have a place within their community. I really just wanted a small taste of what it would be like if Noëlle was "regular." At the end of my time with the teacher I hadn't heard anything that I didn't already know- and I was incredibly pleased. That told me that Noëlle's school was doing a fantastic job keeping us informed and involved. I left feeling confident in their ability to care for, and lead Noëlle. I was happy that she had kids around her who thought she was great. I left with many of the same feelings that parents of normal/typical kids have after their parent teacher interviews- and for that, I was eternally grateful.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cross Section Of A "Lazy" Sunday

Wake up (refreshed) to a silent house.

Sneak downstairs and indulge in a hot 20 minute shower- in complete privacy.

Enjoy coffee in the kitchen while reading the morning paper.

Realize that I am dreaming. Fak.

Wake up for real.

Release three ravenous monsters from their bedrooms.

Discover Monsters all have colds. Double Fak.

Drink a glass of water. I Hate it.

Discover Kleenex inventory is dangerously low. Toilet paper inventory: above adequate. Noses, meet Cottonelle...

Spend morning trying to force feed meds, wipe raw, snotty noses, and smear Vicks vapo rub on anything flesh tone.

Remind myself constantly:
They're sick, that's why they are whiney/annoying today.
They're sick, that's why they are whiney/annoying today.
They're children, that's why they are whiney/annoying every day.

Big milestone: Baby discovered how to remove diaper! While there was a huge shit in it.

Clean up shit. Obviously.

Duct tape diaper on.

Make strong coffee. Hide in the bathroom to drink it.

Emerge from bathroom. All three kids sitting outside the door waiting to be...entertained? Fed? Yelled at?

Make healthy lunch. Kids hate it.

Drink a glass of water. I Hate it.

Eat healthy lunch, agree with the kids: it sucks. Strike #1 Pintrest.

Feed the dog healthy lunch- he licks his bum instead.

Learn that our three year old has decided that nap time is purely optional. He exercised his option to scream "No!" over, and over again.

Cry briefly for the loss of my daily nap and/or afternoon "Me Time."

Break out the Christmas decorations and spend the afternoon being festive with Dryden.

Clean up eight dropped Xmas bulbs.

Put unbreakable bulbs on shopping list.

Drink water spiked with juice. Hate it a little less.

Fish mistletoe out of the baby's mouth; replace with cookie.

Fish half a pine cone out of baby's mouth; replace it with a bottle.

Fish bits of garland out of baby's mouth; replace it with a cheesie. Stop. Eating. Everything. You. Porker! Put Christmas stuff away for now.

Survive the rest of the afternoon and evening in a blur of soggy diapers, hot tempered tantrums, battles to the death over toys, stubbed toes, and dog puke.

Tuck in heavy eyed children.

Tuck in exhausted husband.

Spend hours doing laundry. Rejoice when it is complete...for all of 15 seconds until I discover more unwashed clothes. *Big Sigh*

Pour a glass of vodka...with a splash of water. Finally love water!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes

This morning was sort of a no-frills day. I knew we were just staying at home; all I had planned on our itinerary was goofing around with the kids and continue my quest to deep clean the whole house this week. So, while getting dressed this morning, I just threw on one of Nick's old Montreal Canadiens T-shirts. (Some will say,
"Dress for the job you want." I say, "Dress for the Mess You're Cleaning.")

When I woke up our three year old son, he looked at me queerly and said, "Momma wearing Daddy's shirt!" "Yup," I said. "Do you like it on me?" "No", he replied (a little too honestly.) "It's too lumpy on Momma." Hmmm...if I was in total denial, I could attribute this to the fact that I have big boobs- hence the lumps. (My lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps. Christ, I hate that song. Now it'll be in my head all night.) However, I did a brutally honest evaluation, and concluded that Dryden was correct: I was lumpy everywhere. And yes, "lumpy" is a euphemism for "FAT."

I have totally slacked on the weight loss front. As a matter if fact, I forgot all about it. Dryden's lumpy observation reminded me that I never wanted to be a Fat Mom. I suddenly remembered being at my cousin Donna's baby shower- I don't think I was even in high school yet. That afternoon, my mom told me never to let myself go after having children; it would be one of my greatest regrets. This is the only time I can remember getting this type of advice from her. And true to form, it was advice that I didn't heed. I decided tonight that it wasn't too late. Tomorrow morning will start (early and chilly) with a walk. My vitamins and supplements are coming out of the cupboard where I can see them and remember to take them. Nick picked up some pre-made salads- no excuses. I have a goal: to be less fat when we go down south in April. Less vague: I want to look, and feel good in a bathing suit. Everything starts tomorrow: new efforts, new energy, new habits. Tomorrow. Tonight I made the unhealthiest dessert I could find on Pintrest (I made Reese's Peanut butter squares. *Amazing!* Actually not the least healthy- all the sinfully unhealthy treats are insanely labour intensive. Slutty Brownies are like four different desserts in one! Too much effort for me.)

Here's to chocolate and peanut butter!!
...and to exercise...I guess.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Coffee STAT!

What is this mythical "extra hour of sleep" I've been hearing about all over my FB feed? If I am reading it correctly, it insinuates that these people actually get an EXTRA hour of sleep today. How is this possible, I asked myself; and then it occurred to me that these people belong to the category of Childless Humans. These "extra hour sleepers" are also the ones staying out partying until dawn, nursing a hangover in a tomb quiet house, watching TSN or the morning news without having to negotiate with toddlers for the TV, and wearing hoop earrings and platform shoes whenever they frigging feel like it.

There is also a sub-category to The Childless Human: Parents of Older Kids. These people have offspring that are either grown and moved out of their house, or they are sleepy teenagers who refuse to get up before noon. Either way, Parents of Older Kids have survived their kids' childhood, and as a reward, they are granted an annual 60 minutes of additional sleep. How I envy their benefits package...

In our house, I was not foolish enough to anticipate extra sleep- my kids' internal clocks will wake them up at their regular time. What I didn't foresee, however, was them waking up even earlier than usual. Ugh. I'm almost certain the moon was still out. Daylight savings time does not mean an extra hour of sleep- for us Parents of Small Children, it just means an extra long day trying to entertain, educate, and nurture these sleepless little bastards. (I'm joking! I love them. I just clearly need my fourth cup of coffee right now...excuse me.) { I have been up for five hours already...or does that "extra" hour count for two? Do I carry the 7 and multiply it by the power of 10?! Have I been up for 87 hours straight!!??!! Baaaaaaahhhhh! }

*slaps myself* Hold it together bitch! It's almost over. Stay strong Parents of Little Kids- we'll get them back some day. Until then, have another coffee and steal a nap on the couch when they aren't looking.