I Have A Dream

Overheard in the locker room at the YMCA this weekend.

Young girl: “Hey, Mommy, blah blah blah, jabber jabber babble…..”

Mom: “Will you just stop talking for 15 minutes?”

Young girl: “Blah blah blah………”

I wept inside for the Mom. Wept. I know you. I know your life. I know EXACTLY how you feel. You love your child to the depths of your soul. You would throw yourself in front of a bus for her. You would then lift the bus with your superhuman strength to make sure she wasn’t caught under it. You would saw off a limb if it meant saving your child from the horrors of some grave disease. But, you just want the endless chatter to cease sometimes. Just the simple pleasure of 15 minutes of quiet. 15 minutes to shore up and rest your brain and body for the next round of pummeling.

I am in the middle of a divorce, but my soon-to-be-ex and I have already started a custody routine/schedule. This past weekend was “my” weekend with the kids. A 3.5 year old and an 8-month old. And, it was a three-day weekend. (Thank you very much, Dr. King. NOT looking forward to Presidents’ Day.) At the end of the day, with only a wee 20 minutes until bedtime. The time otherwise known as the “sweet release.” The time when the chatter and hopping and grunting and drooling ends. I actually wished that I was getting a colonoscopy. Only because I could be alone. Just alone with a technician while jacked up on some “twilight” cocktail. No discipline to dole out, no chin to wipe, no mouth to feed, no fairy dresses to put away for the 17th time. Just me and the gurney. One with my flimsy paper gown. Just thinking about it gave me the fortitude to keep going.

Now that the dishes are done, the trash is out, our gear locked and loaded for tomorrow, I am ready for the sweet release of sleep and work. I have never enjoyed my job more.

I am the Grinch

It is not even Halloween yet and I have already invoked the wrath of Santa on my 3-year-old. During dinner while she was grabbing her brother, eating her PBJ, teetering in her booster seat and reciting the latest episode of Dora all at once, Santa “called.” I picked up the phone, held some horrified one-sided conversation with him about no presents, lots of coal and lists involving naughty and nice children.

Talk about snapping to attention. She was an angel for bedtime. Mostly. Except for the new thing where instead of walking from point A to B. She runs. Or hops. Or does the electric slide.

As Dora would say, “Feliz Navidad!” It’s a looooong way ’til Christmas.

Do I Feel Lucky?

At this time in my life there is a sound that fills me with dread. A dread so finite that it pierces my forehead. It is the sound of birds chirping.

One might say that birds chirping is a sound filled with wonder and hope. For me, it’s a sound that means my 3-year-old is going to be up within the hour. Not just up, but UP!

Mommy, Mommy, let’s play, let’s play with everything in the house that does not in any way resemble a toy, let’s go to the park and watch me run off and not listen to you when you call my name and chase after me with that godforsaken double stroller holding my little brother, let’s fight over who gets to buckle me into my car seat, let’s fight over what order we are supposed to be putting on my diaper and jammies for nap, let’s debate over me not napping, let’s discuss the finer points of Dora and Swiper’s adversarial relationship, watch me flail about until I collapse with exhaustion. Mommy, MOMMY, CAN WE PLEASE DO ALL THAT AND MORE?

Not that I don’t love my kid. I just don’t love this stage that she’s in. Couple that with an 8-week-old baby, a dwindling maternity leave and a serious lack of sleep and I am like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

She is a vampire of the day. We race around to feed her unquenchable thirst for stimulation and she sucks everything dry in its wake. Once it’s light out, you had better run and hide. I have the teeth marks to prove it. Sure, Daddy helps. He helps a lot. But he doesn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to whip out his boobs for the younger spawn. I feel like the bride of Dracula.

Today, when she got up from her non-nap, I ambled into the kitchen to check the clock on the microwave and it was simply flashing “End.” I said out loud, (to the microwave) “You got that right.”

I am seriously considering checking into a hotel for a 3-day lock-in. Seriously.

Back in Black…a black stroller that is.

Whoever invented double strollers needs to be shot. Steering a double stroller is like steering a boat. Not a small boat. A big ass boat. Filled with 50 pounds of kid. And approximately 40 pounds of that is wiggling and wanting to get off and on and repeatedly play with the sun visor. A boat would be easier because at least have the water helping to cradle you with its watery give and take. The hot streets of St. Louis are no match. They are an unforgiving landscape of potholes, gravel and dog shit. (Who lets their dog shit in the street? Seems like it would be uncomfortable. Physically for the dog. Emotionally for the walker.) Or better yet, it’s like an RV. It’s just this big lumbering thing on wheels that may just be more trouble than it’s worth.

My ass has been kicked by a toddler today and she is now taking names. With an unwashable marker.

Better Late Than Never

Whoever (whomever? Never could get that straight) invented Daylight Savings time clearly did not have kids or pets. Believe me, I am the happiest person on earth now that I am no longer driving home in the dark. The S.A.D. days are over! Let’s celebrate in the streets! Oh wait, it’s been raining for 700 days straight after our 18-month winter and the thermometer (or is it barometer?) still hasn’t crept over 70 degrees but maybe three times.

Weather aside, those first few days of DST are brutal. Everyone at work is all groggy and hungover-like, making blunders right and left. Day two I actually felt drunk at the end of the day. My cats stare at me like I am a crazy person. “What, woman? You feed me early, yes? In honor, I shit on floor one hour early! Mmm…fooood.”

My kid was wasted tired at her 7:00 bedtime and was up like a baby bird all chirping and shit at FIVE-O-CLOCK in the MORNING. Calgon, take me away, I need some Wind Song on my mind.

Hawaii and Arizona don’t even participate in this ridiculousness. I mean, let’s face it, they have their own problems.

Netflix Retraction

Ok, who’s the ass now? Yesterday, I witnessed my precious little angel bear crawling along the floor with something in her hand. Oh, well, what do you know? It was a DVD from Netflix! She was scooting it along the floor with possibly a large-ish hunk of debris between it and my hardwood floors.

Naturally, I was concerned about the scratching of my floor and in that instant realized I am the asshole. I am the one who renders DVDs scratchy and likely inoperable for others’ enjoyment.

I openly apologize for interfering with anyone’s viewing of Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic. My one-year-old daughter found it quite entertaining. Us, not so much. It was funny and all, but the overblown media hype gave away all the good jokes so early on. When she actually unfurled her brilliant comedy, it all seemed a little familiar and somewhat stale.