A word about this morning

It was a horrible morning.

My wallet was gone.  You decided to be up cage fighting before dawn.  Before Dawn.

There were glimmers of hope.

Your father watched you in hopes I slept in against the noise.  (But that’s his superhero ability.)  I got some emails from some of my favorite people.  It turned out I left my wallet at the last store we were at yesterday, but really that would be your fault.

Then I took you out of the house.

I should have known it was a bad idea.

It took my twenty minutes to get shoes and socks and jackets on you.  By the way, jackets are not optional when your mom declares you have to wear them.  And Tornado S, it’s not funny to keep choosing the other jacket from the one that’s in my hand.

I nearly had to drag you across the parking lot to get to the store with my wallet.  Then you danced merrily as I talked to three different people in search for my wallet I was told was there 30 minutes before.  At least, they had it.  Then I dragged you back across the parking lot. Tornado E begging for lunch at a “restaurant” doesn’t work if you’re being a pain in the butt.

Then I needed to go to the grocery store.  Then my brain must have stopped working because I also decided I might as well hit the dollar store before the grocery store because they’re right next to each other.

Which worked out well for the first two minutes.

Then you had to sword fight with the candy-filled plastic candy canes, ask for different ornaments, and innocently suggest we go down the aisle with the picture frames and candles.

I should have known better.  The aisle led to the toys.  I can only thank God that I can say “We’ll put it on your list” because it makes you leave faster than a no.  We were still there too long.  And Tornado E, what is it with you and the most disgusting, ugliest toys?

At least you both we’re adorable for the cashier as you entertained her with pirate stories.

The grocery store wasn’t so bad at first either.  You helped me find apples, cucumbers, and onions.  You even liked the broccoli idea.

Then we got to pick out dried fruit.  Then Tornado E decided, after we made our decision on the dried plums you both just had to have, that he wanted dried cranberries.  Next time, little dude.  Then the whining began.  For three aisles.  Enough for a woman to shoot me a dirty look that I was happily willing to return because it was the third aisle.  Like she knew that my kids acted this way all the time.  He’s whining, annoying true, but he’s not stealing toys.  And Tornado S, running around, not standing in one place, must move at all times.  Ah, good times.

The whining settled to a dull roar as I finished the grocery shopping.  Could you both not take off at the last five feet before we get to the cookie stand with blinking lights?  Because you almost knocked down some old women to get there, trapping me behind a line of carts.  I hate that.

Tornado E, the answer is no.  Again.  No to the sting cheese.  No to that cheese.  No to the chips.  No to the cookies.  No to the doughnuts.  No to the Christmas decorations.  No to the toy car.  No.  No.  No.

Then the dire warning about listening to me, standing still, being good in the checkout lane fell out of your ears as we crossed the aisle to the checkout.

Just as you were about to act out, Tornado E engaged the woman in front in a conversation, who said “Are you listening to your mommy?”  You became quiet and intent on the woman.  Then Tornado E had a nice conversation with her. Tornado S stayed by me. Tornado E helped me with emptying out the cart.  I swear the woman was a saint.

Of course as soon as she left, you tried to follow her.  My attention was torn between the cashier and keeping you in the store.  As we left, I discovered “the treat” I was trying to brag you with, the cardboard gingerbread house, had been moved.  It was gone.  The whining started again as I demanded you climb on the cart, keeping your feet up.

At least you snacked as I loaded the car.  But if tomorrow is anything like today, I’m packing up, and you’re living with your grandparents.

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Frustration and being Mom

“Do you ever feel like being a mom was something you were meant to be?”  my mom asked one day.  I had just explained to her how even though this wasn’t what I was planning, I was glad to have it.  That even if all my friends from college are still swinging singles, going out late at night like I used to, I’m ok with waking up at 6.  (shudder) Motherhood has changed me in so many ways.  It’s crazy.  While I still have those when-did-I-get-old-enough-to-have-a-mortgage moments, being mommy just makes me happy.  Most of the time.

Like today, Evan NEEDED attention right then and there as I was trying to listen to the news.  (I just want to have something to tell people than Evan is doing well potty training.)  He tried to wrestle me, kicking, pushing, and begging to watch Mickey, which wasn’t on for another ten minutes.  As I moved around the room to get a little peace to hear the news, Evan just followed, crying for Mickey.  Fine!  Have the Disney Channel!  I’m taking a shower!  (yes, yes, I know I shouldn’t let TV babysit my kids, but you never had a fourteen month old sneak up to the upstair master bathroom and get stuck in the sink with running hot water while you’re trying to make dinner.  Besides I stink like a guy; I need my shower.)  My five minutes of peace, listening to Dido, using my sweet pea shower gel.  Heaven.  I get out to find Sean, dancing to Dido.  And all is well in the world.  (The kid’s got moves.)

Or the other day as I race to meet my friend for dinner with the boys in tow, I hit EVERY light red.  I swear this only happens when I’m running late.  Hell, I get green lights all the way if I’m running early.  So as I hit another red light, listening to Evan tell me how his cousin is not a genius (his word, not mine, but true).  Then Evan pipes out, “I’ll drive!”  What?  “I want to drive, Mommy!  Let me drive!  I can do it!”  You have to be 16.  How old are you?  “I’m three!”  Then you have 13 more years.  “But I can drive now!”  Then the light turns green, and I can’t help but smile.

But my favorite make-Mommy smile moment happened a few months back, and I still laugh.  Evan was pleading, beseeching, begging for candy, which actually means fruit snacks.  As Evan isn’t allowed to have a crumb of food after four or I lose all hope in getting him to nibble at his dinner, the answer was no.  But Evan has his father’s sense of selling, ABC (always be closing) and wasn’t letting up.  “Candy, mommy!”  “Please, can I have candy?”  “I want candy!”  “How about some candy?”  At this moment as I rubbed the bridge of my nose begging for deafness, I answered “How about some peace and quiet.”  Evan fell silent as he tried to answer.  Finally, he said, “How about a piece of candy?”  Well, that cracked a smile and a little shame for wanting silence when Evan will always say something hilarious.  He still didn’t get the candy, but I could go on making dinner with him tuned out.  (Note: he now asks for piece of quiet when he can’t get candy.)  The kid’s a crack-up.

These are the moments that make the teething, the temper tantrums, the constant not listening seem worth while.  It’s the now spontaneous “I love you, Mommy” from Evan or the attack of the open mouth kisses from Sean.  I’m a natural pessimist, but I’m striving for optimism and (God help me) perkiness.  Between kids, I wore only dark colors to hide my weight, but I watched Evan how Evan liked me in my colorful maternity clothes and how I felt happy in them, so now I wear colorful clothes, no matter how fat I feel.  No matter how many times I put Evan back in bed at night or how late I stayed up watching a movie doing laundry, I try to wake happy (and I’m not a happy morning person.).  But I also like hearing the devil say, “damn, she’s up again.”

So to answer my mom’s question, a mom who stayed home with kids when she should have been running a business empire (I swear the woman has a head for numbers that baffles me), yes, mom, sometimes I feel like I was born to be a mom.  Except when the kids are acting up at the store, then I’m just the nanny.