Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Frogs and Intense Scrutiny

Three green frogs--tiny little things--are now hopping and swimming in their new plastic home, complete with blue rocks. Tomorrow the kids will have to catch bugs to feed their new little friends. At least they aren't hamsters. Or gerbils.

The front tire on the 1993 Mercury Sable was completely flat this morning, so my husband spent a lot of his day fixing that. He ran a lot of errands, which made me so jealous because I like nothing more than gallivanting from place to place in the car, listening to the radio and letting my thoughts wander.

I spent my day with kids, kids, kids. Nobody slept as expected. CuteBaby woke up at 9:20 a.m., rather than 10:30 a.m., as usual. Three-month old BabyBaby slept from the time she arrived at 12:15 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. She was supposed to wake up at 1:00 p.m. CuteBaby's afternoon nap was out of kilter, too. I put him in the crib at 1:00 p.m., then checked him at 1:30 (crying), and 2:00 (poopy diaper) and finally at 2:30 p.m. (sleeping). The older kids were so noisy--if I'd given them each had a megaphone, it wouldn't have been any louder. They talk loudly, they fight loudly, they laugh loudly, and the last couple of days, they cough loudly--which makes me think that I would be a terrible nurse because that coughing annoys me. STOP COUGHING!

My daughter and her almost-three year old playmate can not seem to get along. For one thing, she keeps turning on the hose outside and then spraying him. Then, she throws sand at him. Last, but not least, she hits him.

I'm raising a hellion.

The funny thing is that she scolds herself. "Do not hit!" she'll say. And then she'll say, "I will be nice!" When she hits, I put her in her bed and she'll actually suggest it, if I am distracted. "Do not put me in my bed!" she'll say with a mischievous look in her eye and then when I swoop her up, she starts kicking and screaming. (The other day, she wet her pants in the family room--she's been totally potty-trained for almost a year--and we didn't say anything. She, however, gave herself the riot act: "Do not pee in your pants!" "Pee in the potty!" "That is bad! Do not pee in your pants!" "I will not pee in my pants!" And on and on.)

By 10:00 a.m., I was ready for vodka. Only I don't drink.

I daydreamed about leaving my house and going for a long walk and I knew that could never happen. I fantasized about baking and eating enough chocolate chip cookies to make myself sick. Again, no. I said to my boys, "STOP MAKING NOISE! STOP!" And then, when they asked, I agreed to let them invite their twin-friends over, because I AM INSANE AND MUST USE CAPITAL LETTERS TO SHOW YOU THE DEGREE OF THAT INSANITY! (And apparently I'm channeling Dooce, aka Heather B. Armstrong.)

So, it was a long day. And then, my youngest son went to a friend's house to play. Then my husband took our twins to run errands and the other twins home. And one by one, the little ones I babysit left, leaving only me and my daughter for a moment. It was sort of quiet, if you didn't notice her babbling.

I reminded myself tonight as I drove away from my loud house that these days won't last forever. In a few weeks, my daughter will be three. One day she won't insist that I hold her and she won't follow me so closely that I bump into her when I turn around suddenly. She will not holler out my name first thing in the morning and she will not hug my neck and tell me, "You are my best friend!" She won't compliment my clothes and stand on the counter in the hope that she can use my eye shadow.

So, I'm trying to enjoy her constant company. But I feel like I'm under surveillance and I hate people staring at me, even if they are only three years old.


Blogger Cuppa said...

Our youngest daughter Lady Bug was one to always want to be close to me. She didn't like sleep overs at any friend's houses, and she didn't want to go to birthday parties or nursery school or any other place that took her away from us. When we went to church she would sit on the floor at our feet instead of going to junior church or Sunday school. I went to a Slim and Study program at a local church mid week and Lady Bug would again sit on the floor beside me instead of going to the children's program. She would beg me to let her stay with me, so I did.

As she grew up through grade school and high school she was still a homebody and didn't have a large circle of friends, or go many places.

Then, one day, and I don't know how or when it happened, she sprouted wings and flew away. She was the one who went to the other side of the province for her first co-op work program at university, then she went to the other side of the country (Calgary) to work for a year, and then she gave everything she owned away, took just what she could carry on her back, and went to the other side of the ocean - ALL ALONE for a year - all alone - and travelled through Europe and Austalia ALL ALONE! I didn't think she or I would survive that year, but we both did. I was a brunette and I am now a blond though! I asked my hairdresser to order my haircolour in in bulk and I visited her often that year. I am sure my hair is pure white under all this colour now.

Lady Bug had no itineray past her first week in London, so I couldn't contact her. She would just email me when she had a chance from an internet cafe and I had to hold onto the phrase "no news is good news" and try to keep my sanity.

I am happy to tell you that we both lived to tell the tale and I am still sane - I think.

So you are right to enjoy these days while you can. One day your kids will sprout wings and fly away and you will enjoy a totally different but wonderful relationship with them.

Motherhood - ain't it grand?

3:39 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

I have had more of those days than I ever care to remember. Those are the days, when I send each of them to a room, any room, as long as it isn't the room I am in and tell them to not make a noise for at least half an hour, or they won't like the Mom that comes to visit them in their room. lol.

Noah, my youngest is 7, and still is like your baby girl. He says he's never leaving me. If only it would come true. ;)

6:30 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I have a 2 year old that almost always has to hold onto my pinkie, even when I'm driving, I have to twist my arm around to the back seat so she can hold my pinkie. She goes where I go, and yeah, sometimes I wish I could go to the bathroom alone.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

The other day I was looking for a bowl in one of my lower cupboards. I found it, stood up, and promptly knocked Mr. Personality on his butt! He was so quiet and standing so close, I had no idea he was even there.

Then of course, the drama that Mama "knocked me over!" ensued.

Although he has stopped coming to the bathroom with me 100% of the time, it's probably down to 40%. I didn't realize, but it actually makes things worse, as I don't know what the heck he is doing when he's not hanging around the bathroom door.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

I grew up with people who didn't love me. As I read your blog, Mel, and all the comments, the one thing that kept coming to mind was no matter how angry you get at your kids, no matter how often they drive you crazy and you want them in any room but the one you're in, you love your children, and I know how incredibly important that is.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Desiree said...

I have to admit I was one of those little girls. I was fine at home but I didn't like being away from her if we left the house, no matter where we went.
Before my moms passing she was telling me about how I was always right there by her side and would not leave.
She said she loved it but listening to you guys maybe she just wanted to amuse me!!
I just knew if I was by "mommy" no one was going to mess with me. I always felt safe. That and little girls adore their mommies at this age.
You sound like a wonderful mom.
I don't think I want kids now though hee hee!!!

3:27 PM  

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