Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Price of a Shower

It is 6:30. Hubby just left and of course the kids wake up just after the garage door closes. I whip up a quick breakfast of waffles and milk. Kate requests to eat in front of the TV. Pre-children, I would have scoffed at such an idea. Post-children, and all I can think about is the 30 minutes I would get from my kids being entranced by one program of Team Umizoomi and breakfast. I allow it. I move their little table and chairs into the living room. 
They are settled in and practically comatose. If I go now, I can take a quick shower before they even realize that I am gone. 
What could go wrong in the ten minutes that I am in the shower? The doors are all locked. There are safety latches on all of the cupboards and outlet covers on all of the outlets. What could go wrong? I make a dash for it. 

Let me tell you what can go wrong in ten minutes. I swear, literally ten minutes!

1. Neddy sat too close to the TV which angered Kate. Kate pushed Neddy over and Neddy chucked her milk cup across the room spilling its contents onto the carpet.

2. At some point Neddy decided to remove her diaper in her bedroom and then she or Gilbert pooped on the floor in the living room. 

3. The shower curtain flies open and Kate is crying because she threw her drum across the room and it broke. She wants it fixed. RIGHT NOW!

4. Kate tries to climb into the shower and then cries because she is wet.

5. Neddy climbs up into the bay window and...  how do I know this? Because she begins to cry until I emerge from the shower covered in soap, wrap a towel around me, and attempt to save her. She is not stuck. She is pretending to be stuck in the mud and wants me to save her. I see the poop, step around it, place the kids back at the table and run back to the shower.

Nothing else can go wrong. I only need two minutes to rinse. 
Not good.
I finish my shower and creep out into the eerie quiet. TV is still on. Breakfast is still on their plates.

6. Neddy has emptied my purse in her search for gum. She has my chap-stick and has hollowed out the tube. There are chunks in her hair and on her face.

7. Someone wanted strawberries because the colander is dumped on the floor in the kitchen.

8. Someone tried "broomin" because the broom is out and lying in the middle of the floor. 

9. Kate is finally located in the play tent and she is rubbing lip gloss on her forehead. She cries because I take "her" make up away and then runs to the bathroom so she can see her eyebrows.

You think I am exaggerating? I dare you to stand close to me the next time you see me. I promise it won't be good because I am skipping showers for the rest of the summer. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

I Can't Handle the Truth

I have always found a child's desire to learn to be fascinating. They want to know everything about everything all the time. Maybe it is the teacher in me, but to look at the world with wonder through a child's eyes is something I think adults could benefit from more often. 

Am I the only mother in the world that also finds a child's curiosity to be exhausting? After much self-reflection over the last ten minutes, I have discovered that my children have turned me into a compulsive liar. They no longer accept "Because I said so..." or "I don't know..." or even silence as satisfying explanations to their weird questions. 

"Kate, please don't lick my face." 
"Because it is gross."
"Why is it gross? Because there are germs?"

"Neddy don't hit the dog with the wand."
"Because it will hurt him."
"Because he doesn't like it."

Their incessant "Whys?" and "How comes?" have led me to search for more exciting responses. 

Rummage Sale-ing
"Kate, please don't open that mailbox."
(Normal response: Because it is not ours and that is bad manners.)
"Because there are bees in it and they will sting you."

Drive-thru at McDonald's
"Can we go on the slide at McDonald's?"
(Normal response: Because we are late and we need to get home)
"Because the slide is broken."
"Because a little boy ate too many cheeseburgers and he went down the slide and broke it."

"Mom, I hear a baby crying."
"Why is he crying?"
"Because he is sad."
"Why is he sad?"
(Normal response: I don't know.)
"Because he was standing up in the cart and one of the workers spanked him."

Sometimes my answers teach a lesson, sometimes they are just far fetched stories that I want to see if she will remember, sometimes I don't even know that I am doing it! Unfortunately, my Memory Keeper Kate, seems to store everything that I have ever told her and tends to bring up my stories at times that I deem inappropriate because other adults look at me like, Why would you lie to your kid about that? Answer: I CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! The regular answers just lead to more questions! 

I realize that some of you will gasp at the thought of me unnecessarily lying to my children. Try to look at it like I do -- it isn't lying, it is maintaining sanity.