Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh the joys of building! (Also known as the 2m wet t-shirt contest)

We are about at the halfway mark on the addition to our home.
So let me give you a status update.
Walls? Up.
Floor? Down.
Roof? In progress.
Kids? At their heathen finest.
My sanity? Gone.
My marriage? In the crapper.
Homicidal urges? I'm just waiting on the roof to be done and then my sniper rifle and I have a date planned.
For the past week, my dining room wall has been missing. It has been replaced by various construction materials, including tarp, wood, and . . . well, nothing.
It's 90 degrees out and I have and open air floor plan. from my dining room, you see open air.
Hot, saw dust filled air.
And last night was just the cherry on top.
Last night, it rained.
In my house.
At midnight.
The Man went out to scale the roof and throw boards and tarps and saran wrap and children's birthday table cloths over the edge of the old roof and the new addition to try to stop the flood I was out there, turning our night into a debacle that included a wet t-shirt contest.
The neighbors voted. The Man's ta-ta's are perkier in the wet and cold.
Thirty towels and two hours later, we had stemmed the main flow and given up on the rest.
And I was mad because I had just finished all of the laundry and now every towel in our house had to be washed. Again.
All because Mother Nature decided to take a whizz on our house.
The day before we were putting up roofing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mommy and her little leach

I love my daughter.
Most of the time.
But since we put a kabash on sucking the thumb, she's found a new obsession to cling to.
She wont' sleep unless she snuggles me until she finally gives in.
Put her in bed without me, and you hear what I'm listening to right now.
"I'm not sleepy!"
"I want you!"
"Ima mad atch you!"
Followed by blood curdling shrieks.
Since she had an ear infection last week, I was weak.
I succumbed. I snuggled her and kissed her and rubbed her back until she fell asleep.
Now I'm slapping myself for being such a dumb shmuck.
I didn't do this with my boys. No, they like my husband, got my foot up their little butts to get them out of my bed.
I gave no quarter. If the menfolk wanted a snuggle, they could do it someplace else and let me sleep.
But, with Punk, it's different.
Not right. Definitely not sane. But different.
And I'm reaping my rewards. Through earplugs. And a radio blaring. In the car as I drive away from my screaming toddler.
Is it because she's my last? Because she smells sweet and still like a baby while her brothers smell like dirt, and gas, and boy?
Is it because her laugh reminds me of my daddy, or because she is a mini me before I lost the innocence of childhood?
Is it because I see the way The Man and our boys dote on her, like a princess, and I enjoy watching my guys make fools of themselves at her chubby, piggy toes?
I've always believed my first baby, the baby I lost, was a girl. My heart will brook no argument. And a part of me feels like Punk is my chance to love that baby like I love my others. Like maybe I wasn't ready then, and, when I was given Punk, it was the heavens opening up to tell me it was finally my time.
Or, in the universe of the real and sane, it was the heavens opening up to snicker at me and whisper that I was getting paybacks for all I put my own mama through.
So I let my baby get away with more than I should, more than my boys, more than I thought I would. all the while O know that I'm going to have a battle of epic proportions on my hands in, oh, about five seconds when she realizes I am trying to stand firm and not go in for a quick snuggle.
Just until she falls asleep.
As I peer around the doorway and watch her talking to her doll and waiting for me.
Because she knows.
She knows I'm there.
She knows I'm weak.
She knows I'll be scooting her over right . . . .about . . . now.
Hell, I held out longer than I did last night!
Vive la resistance!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rites of passage

Next Thursday, my boy, my Bug, will be a preschool graduate.
It is a pebble in his academic career, but I find myself feeling both saddened and joyful by this rite of passage.
Not even a year ago, I never imagined the road we would traveling just to get Bug through a school day.
I never dreamed we would be working so closely with teachers, special educators, and principals just to teach him to get through a normal day.
I never thought my child would physically fight his teachers over obeying classroom rules and sharing of toys.
And, now, today, while far from perfect, is a far cry from the dark days before.
I find myself looking back to days of hope, hugs, and heartaches as my son struggled to understand what was expected from him in a world that just doesn't make sense.
I wept tears of frustration and sorrow as I watched him struggle to make friends each day.
And those tears filled with elation when I saw him sitting in a group of children, simply playing like any other child would.
My stomach clenches remembering every days we have gone to the school, studying his teachers face for signs of a good day, hoping for signs it was a good day with every fiber in our being. And being crushed when she shakes her head and tells us Bug got a sad bear.
Is this year an indicator of Bug's entire life? No, but they are wounds that, as a mother, will turn into scars I will carry with me for life.
Because, while I joke through tears about my son being "that kid", the knowledge that he struggles every day for things that come so easily to his peers makes me cheer all the louder for his little successes.
Bug's school does not host a graduation ceremony for them, but the day Bug completes preschool will be a banner day for our family.
And, as he stands proud, I will stand beside him, one hand held out to catch him when he stumbles, because I know he will.
And, just like I tried to do this year, I will not let my boy fall alone.
When he falls, because, assuredly, he will, I will cushion him, wrapping him in my love as securely as I would a blanket.
And I will look forward to each year to come, as he finds his own feet and his own way, through kindergarten and elementary school, high school and college, knowing what we've done here is give him a foundation for his future.
Which will surely be so bright, my boy will have to wear shades.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day Gifts

My children are gifts.
And some days, I want to return them.
Yesterday was one of those days.
They fought. They coughed and hacked and snotted over me. They kicked and hit and bit each other. They whined and cried and screamed.
The Man was at work so I was on my own with the chaos.
There was no breakfast in bed, no long, luxurious baths, no nothing but the heathens and I in a death match.
But they redeemed themselves and stopped me from putting them in a box on the corner labeled "FREE TO A GOOD HOME."
They made me Mother's Day gifts, and greeted me with them with excitement and giggles and much pride.
And, as I admired their gifts, I realized, that somewhere, in their demented pea brains, they loved me. Sort of. Maybe. Or they were bribing me in order to insure their survival.
Whatever works.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Firsts and lasts

When I was handed my first child, I knew I was responsible for feeding, clothing, and caring for that wriggly, pink bundle.
And, every day, I have tried to do so.
But I'm noticing now that my children are beginning to not need me as much.
And, while thrilling, it is also sad.
They have begun asserting themselves over little things.
And each milestone I celebrate with a smile and tears.
The first my son buckled his own booster seat.
The first time he made his bed.
The first time Punk put herself to bed without me.
The first time I started to sing "House on Pooh Corner" and Bug stopped me, stating he didn't need me to sing it. He could do it himself.
The first time Boo brushed his own teeth without being told.
The first time I trusted my sons, while watching from the doorway, as my sons opened the driveway gate for me.
The first time my son saw me carrying in groceries and quickly went to help out.
And the only time Bug has said to me, "When I all grown up and a doctor, you can come live with me in my big house. And if my wife doesn't like it, she can just leave!"
And so, I look at my babies and realize one day, one time, it will be the last time for so many things I take for granted now.
Snuggles in my lap.
Running, sloppy kisses.
Kisses to make it better.
And sweaty little hands to hold.
One day, I will reach for them and they will be grown, independent,. and I will know I have done well.
And I will smile through my tears.
Because that first will be my last.