Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Timing Is Everything

Q: What do a gash on an ankle, a baby with her hand stepped on, a turned over bucket of bark dust and a confiscated pair of screwdrivers all have in common?

A: They all shared the same 30 seconds of chaos in our living room.

Some families just have a fantastic sense of timing like that.

Have you ever noticed that while driving in the car with a bunch of little kids that it is nearly impossible to listen to the radio? I can't tell you how many times this scenario has played out in my car:

~reach for knob to turn on radio~
"Mom, how do you spell 'road'?"
~for the next 10 minutes I have flashbacks of grade school spelling bees~
~reach for knob to turn on radio~
"Mom, I want to tell you a story"
~for the next 10 minutes I listen to each child tell their story~
~reach for knob to turn on radio~
"Mom, why is there a tractor on the road?" "Why?" "Why?" "Why?"
~for the next 10 minutes I try to answer all of the "Why?" questions that my three year old comes up with.

And so the vicious cycle goes. Perfect timing. Just reach for the knob and wait for the questions to start. I can feel my neck muscles start to tense up just THINKING about turning on the radio. Sometimes I try to sneak my hand over there all stealthy-like. Or dart my hand over there in a flash. It never works. It's like there's an invisible force field around the radio that the children are directly connected to by invisible tethers. They can feel my hand enter into the force field and they must intercept the interference like little superheros.

Or something.

Ah yes, timing. It's all about the timing.

For instance, there was this one day when I was 9 months pregnant this summer and just HAD to get out of the house. So I packed up all the kids, drove over to town and pulled into the parking lot of my favorite children's resale store. I can always find a good bargain there. At least I can when I'm not distracted by the voice of the old biddy telling my kids what to do and what not to touch.

In we all trooped: my big waddly self and my three little ducklings in a row.

Out we all shuffled: my big waddly self carrying a wet three year old and my two little squawking ducklings trailing behind.

We were there exactly long enough for my three year old to find a cool toy, get distracted by it, forget she needed to use the potty and PEE on the floor of the store.

Oh yes. She did.

I suppose I could have just bought her a new pair of pants there and continued on with my plans for the day, but seriously, I was so embarrassed I couldn't get out of there fast enough. In the car I stripped her down, took off her sweatshirt, wrapped it around her legs, buckled her in and we drove straight home. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. That was our entire outing for the day.

Mostly, though, we have issues in the timing of our children themselves.

First, there was the great timing of getting pregnant just in time to be at the fat stage of pregnancy (15 weeks) while standing up in my best friend's wedding. At least the bridal shop let me exchange my dress for a bigger one. *sigh*

Then there was getting pregnant with our third when the second was only 8 months old. While taking more than one precaution. *sigh*

But the best one was our fourth. Whatever you do, don't have this conversation with your spouse:

"Honey, let's take a break from trying so I am not pregnant all summer or having a baby right when the kids are starting school. I think it would be best not to have an August or September baby."

What's the old saying?

If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mommy School

Well, you'd think after this many years some of these lessons would have been learned long ago. I don't know, maybe they were and I just can't remember!

Things I Have Learned Recently:

1. Adding to the list of prime times for baby blowouts: 6:55 AM. As in, RIGHT when we are piling into the car to get to school on time. I thought church was the main target for blowout time, but now we have a DAILY prime time. Fun.

2. Being new-mommy tired makes a girl loopy. I don't need alcohol embarrass myself. I'm quite capable of doing it all on my own while sleep-deprived. Just ask the poor couple Colby and I went on a double-date with this weekend. Not only did I talk baby talk, call my husband "Daddy" in public, and have to stop for a nursing break in the wal-mart parking lot, I actually fell asleep in the car on the way home. I was SO not going to be that mom.

3. All of those great, wonderful, healthy things I craved while pregnant? Completely replaced by cravings that include chocolate, chocolate, and, um.... chocolate. Oh, and more chocolate. So. Replacing that bag of hubby's peanut M&M's that disappeared has been... somewhat of a challenge. I'm quite sure I replaced them... twice...And I don't even LIKE peanut M&M's! I may have to rescind that statement now. Still not really sure if I like them. Might just be the hormones, you know.

4. Diaper bags not only have to be restocked, they have to be UN-stocked. Because if you don't, the whole car will, in fact, start to smell funny.

5. What do you do when you've left the diaper bag in the car overnight and the wipes have frozen solid AND you haven't had a shower in 3 days? Shove one frozen wipe under each arm and VOILA! you've killed two birds with one stone. Defrosted wipes AND smelling fresh as a daisy. Everybody wins. Except maybe the mom in the perfectly clean car next to you with perfect hair and perfect kids wondering why on earth there are very high-pitched squeals coming from the front seat of the car next to her.

6. If you've ever wondered what to do if you find yourself in the mall bathroom with a half-naked baby because you, once again, FORGOT to stock the diaper bag and have no new diaper to put on her - just peel and slap a sanitary pad onto a burp cloth, snap it into the onesie and off you go - this is of course, a VERY short term solution.

7. NEVER say never. There is always more to learn as a mom, whether it's your first time or your fourth!


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