Sunday, June 23, 2013

Patty Pity Party

I'm floating through life right now.
Not because everything is so grand and easy and sunny.
Because I'm too tired to swim.
Or tread water.

There are no spectacular problems in my life. 
Just regular ol' dreary problems.

My birdfeeder is empty. (Literally... that's not a metaphor)
I ran out of the feed I normally put in (for the songbird hoppers) about a week ago.  I put in some big seedy mix I found in the garage.  There was a few days without birds and then there were really rough looking birds that came and ate all the food.  They were like mutt birds.  Not a robin, not a dove.  But like an oriole wren mix.  Or a robin cardinal mix.  Weird. Big.  A little scary looking. I'm sure they need the food as much as the little guys- but they're lingering.  Even with the food gone.  Like this is their new route or something.  I don't want a bunch of bird bullies back there. 

I've had my sneakers leaned up against my back step for like 3 weeks.  I keep walking past them and saying, "Put those away, Patty."  But I don't.  And I bet there's mice and bugs living in them.  So I can't pick them up now.

I planted some wildflower seeds outside my back deck door.  They were supposed to grow in partial shade.  But I think it must have been a mislabeled packet.  They sprouted.  And now... they're kinda sickly, spindly, pale stems.  Most of them are just lying in the dirt.

There are little toy trucks and lego pieces and plastic farm animals and kid books ev-err-ee-where.  And instead of helping Kole pick it all up and put it where it goes, I want to get a garbage back.  And toss it all.

I spent three days last week doing all the laundry, organizing all our closets, and packing away the winter coats and clothes.  It was a monstrous project.  And now, the hamper is full.  Again!  And I had to put an extra laundry basket by the hamper because it was overflowing so bad.  I wish I was out of laundry soap so I had an excuse not to do it.

I bought three hanging baskets from Costco in an effort to spruce up my yard. One is thriving.  The other two I over-watered (maybe?) and then under-watered (perhaps?) and now I'm trying to resurrect them.  Sadly, the only place to put them in order to ensure they receive proper drainage is on the hooks on the front porch.  In full view of all passer-by-ers and visitors.  And they look incredibly sad and trashy.  I'm embarrassed.... but refusing to say they are dead.  Ken tells me everyday though... "Those flowers are dead.  Take them down."

I have a toothache.  But just got a crown put on... so nows not a great time.
Our super fun pool doesn't have a draining plug on the bottom.  So I have to step on the sides every other day and have all these gross bug parts and wings and leaves touch my legs.
I just opened my second pack of contacts and they aren't labeled.  And I can't tell if I have them in the right eye or the wrong eye and it's hurting.
Church with little little kids... is awful.  And sticky.  And not spiritually uplifting.
My Subaru's been smelling weird and I found an old moldy bottle spilled under the passenger seat. 
I can't beat Level 65 on Candy Crush Saga.  And I'm starting to feel dumb for trying.  (Just starting to though.)
Potty-training takes so long and there's so much whining.  I just want to put him in a diaper and say, "There!  Happy?"
I didn't get any mail on Friday or Saturday.  Not even bills.
There's a hole in my screen door smaller then a pencil eraser and, like, 8 or 9 bees get in a day.  Tape won't stick to it.

I just feel off.  I'm doing what I should.  I'm the above your above average mom.  I take the family fun places...we do fun things...

There's nothing really wrong...

... it just feels like...
...a lot.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This stinks.

I don't think what I am doing with Kole should be called Potty Training.  It should be called Poop-Whereever-The-Hell-You-Want-And-Mom-Will-Clean-It-Up.  Or use can use the acronym: PWTHYWAMWCIU.
I'm on Day 3.  So for three full days I've been scraping poop out of underwear and scrubbing pee out of clothes and telling myself, "He's not ready."  And then giving myself a little boost and saying, "Ohhh.  Hang in there, babe.  He'll get it.  You're a good Mom.  And you're smart.  You got this."   And then the stench of a low funded nursing home takes over my house.

Kole's loving it.  I think he loves the prospect of receiving an M&M.  I filled a jar with them and set it where he can see it and I've told him over and over, "If you go in the toilet you get an M&M!"  Oh the sparkles in his eyes.  The jar should still be full (instead of mostly empty) because Kole has yet to earn an M&M....but...I've been helping myself.  What?  Quit judging.  After the 30th time walking to the bathroom at 15 minute intervals I think I deserve one peanut M&M when Kole's not looking. Wert.

I thought we were so set up.  Fancy underwear.  (Lightning McQueen)  Special cushy toilet seat. Sturdy step stool.  I was told to have them drink lots of liquid so they remember what to do and get the hang of it.  We're an anti-juice anti-pop family.  (Well... for the tots.) So I put food coloring in Kole's water and told him it was juice.  The gullible chap believed me and wanted me to taste how good it was.
He's drinking a ton of "juice," sitting there every 15 minutes, we're singing songs about pee and poop and all kinds of words that make me uncomfortable, I have been bribing him with the promise of treats, we put fizzy pellets in the toilet water, when those ran out, I put food coloring in the toilet water.  You know- Wow!  Fun!  The water's blue!  Not buying it.  It kinda upset him.  (Mom Bomb #7584)
He seemed a little tense... so we did some breathing exercises.
I let him watch a video on my phone.
And we sit there and sit there and sit there.
 Joey remains helpful, toodling around doing his thing.  Which is climbing in the tub, opening cabinets, getting into my makeup, spreading vaseline on things, trying to put his hand in the toilet water behind Kole's bum, eating all the toilet paper he's spun off the roll.  You'd think that in a bathroom that's like 10 square feet... there wouldn't be that much to get into.  Wrong, Patty-Mom, wrong.

What's killing me is, Kole knows how to do use the bathroom.  He's so proud that he can pull his own pants down and then pull his underwear down and sit on the toilet and be "big." He seems to be stubborn about it.  Because, he'd not go on the toilet and instead wait until he was in the warmth and protection of his new undies and then release. It's been an emotional roller-coaster for the Koley.  Long days of interrupted play-time and sitting on the toilet with no success...

After 15 or so loads of itty bitty McQueen underpants being washed I told Kole he just has to be naked from the belly button down.  The child was humiliated.  "But my pants," he cried to me, "I have to wear them.  They cover me where it's private."
A proud Mom moment there.
I assured him his argument was sound and meaningful and we wouldn't go anywhere.  We would just stay home while his pants were off.  No one was going to see him naked. To this, he agreed.

(Aaaaaand... as a P.S. .... he's totally comfortable in our yard sans pants so- yeah that was Koley pushing his lawnmower this morning wearing just a shirt and sandals.)

This is where I had success.  Normally when the urge hits him he runs and hides and does his thing and then tells me he peed his pants.  Without pants he was at a loss.  He ran up to me and said, "I have to pee but where will it go?"
"In the toilet, m' good boy!," I announced as I grabbed his shoulder!
And so we ran in the house, got all situated on the toilet, and sat there while nothing happened.  I knew it was in there.  So we waited.... over 5 minutes...close to 10 minutes.  And then a little drop hit the water.  And then another.  And then, finally.... a steady stream. 
"I'm doing it, Mom!"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mom Bomb Part 2

Before Joey was able to eat grown-up food, Kole wanted to eat just like me and Ken.  He sat calmly at the table, used his silverware, and politely asked for seconds.  It was just a few young adults having dinner at home discussing their days.
And then... Joey got into eating what we're eating.
And, bless Joey's heart for doing that because feeding a baby spoonful by spoonful takes so long.

With Joey now scooching his highchair up to the table and giving eating his best shot- Kole's eating efforts have doubled!
In the wrong direction.
Instead of wanting to show Joey a fine example of courteous and correct eating- they both act like heathen piggies.

When Joey throws his food on the floor because he's uncoordinated, Koley joins the throngs!  Laughing as he litters the floor with spaghetti noodles or rice or mashed potatoes.

If Joey, unknowingly, rubs his little noggin chuck full of marinara- Kole laughs and does the same.  "Look at me!," he chirps.



So, I've started putting forth an enormous effort to pull Koley back to propriety.  
We've been reading books on manners.
Acting British.  You know, they're prim and things 
Sometimes at lunch or dinner I tell Kole he can be the Mommy and he has to sit like Mommy and act like Mommy and talk like Mommy.
That one sometimes works... sometimes backfires... and I hear him say things like, "You absolutely can NOT do that right now" or "Are you kidding me?"  or "We need some moooooooore MUSIC!"

A couple nights ago we were having meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas, and brown gravy.  I love love love brown gravy.  I had gravy for dinner with the other stuff as sides.  Anyway- Kole was screwing off.  Not eating anything.  Being a goof. Mimicking Joey. 
And then, I had a brilliant idea.  Peas and mashed potatoes.  How could I have missed it?

Me:  Hey!  Koley!
Kole:  What.
Me:  Try your peas.
Kole:  No Jose. (smirking)
Me:  Try your mashed potatoes.
Kole:  No Jose!  (starting to giggle.  He so knows when he's being bad.)
Me:  I know a fun way to eat them that you'll reallllllllly  like.
Kole: What.
Me: I don't know.  It might be too fun for you.
Kole:  What?  What is it?
Me:  Are you sure you want to know?
Kole:  Yeah, Mom!  Yeah!
Me: Like this!  You get your fork (picking fork up and talking in really sugary syrupy voice) and you get a big old glob of mashed potatoes (scooping up tremendous forkful) and then you flip them up-slide-down and dunk 'em in your peas!  (flipped potatoes upside down into peas.)  And then see?  The peas!  Stick!  To the mashed potatoes! Isn't that crazy!  And so cool, huh?
Kole:  Just stares.  Says nothing.  No smile.  No happiness is his eyes.
Me:  See?  (talking through a mouthful of potatoes and peas)  It's so much fun!  You get some potatoes!  You get some peas. And just chomp 'em up. Cray Cray!
Kole: Still staring.  Now looking a little disgusted.
Ken:  You're bombing here, Mom.
Me:  I am not!  Kole you've got to try it.  It's so much fun and you get to eat!  I love it!

I was really going overboard with the deliciousness of this combination and the fun one could have making it.  Rubbing my belly, looking at the ceiling and saying some Mmm!  Mmmm!  MMMMMM!s  I think I did like 4 demonstrations.  All equally over the top.
Kole just sat.  Pan faced.  Until finally he let me off the hook and said:

That's a bad idea, Mom.  You shouldn't talk about it anymore.


That's the Mom Bomb going off.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Mom Bomb Part 1

I've been a total bomb with my kids lately.  I wish I was a "bomb" in that ultra-cool way where, you know, you have donuts for breakfast or you let them watch back to back Thomas the Tank Engine episodes.  And you're kids clap and cheer and say, "You're the bomb, Mom!"  I think "the bomb" ran parallel to being "a bag of chips."

But I'm not the bomb in that way.

Because, we're not in the 90s anymore. 

Bomb #1

I've taken it upon myself as the matriarch to induce a little spirituality via Family Home Evening into my home.  Growing up Bradley... puts an enormously high standard on FHE.  The meetings are meetings of The Church.  With a program, a podium, and assignments to be taken very seriously.  So I wasn't about to shirk my mantle and say "We'll just spend 15 minutes together chatting on the couch."  Eh-uh.  I would conduct the meeting, there would be a review of the calendar for the week, singing time, a lesson, and refreshments.  While the kiddos were napping I went online and got a lesson out of the Nursery manual.  On Prayer.  I made visual aids, highlighted main points, tabbed my scriptures, and typed out a rough... oh who am I kidding... extremely detailed outline. I was pumped.  I was ready.  And so so excited to start this.

I made dinner that night too so there would be no dilly dallying when Ken got home.  Dinner.  FHE.  That whip was getting cracked.  By me. To me.

Interjection:  My children are 2 and 11 months.

Dinner went well and I corralled everyone into the living room.  Where they sat... on the floor.  Bad move boys.

Patty:  Hey!  This is a meeting.  Get on the couch.  Sit up, you lazies.
Ken: Patty.  They're kids.  This is good.

I felt uneasy.  But talked myself out of it.  Come on, babe.  It's their first time.  They don't know.  They can sit on the floor.  No biggie.

The night continued.  I stood at the front of the room and with a big smile on my face said:

I'd like to welcome everyone out to Family Home Evening.  I'm Mom, and I'll be conducting.  We're going to start with an opening prayer.  (kicking myself for not assigning someone) Can I get a volunteer for the opening prayer?

No hands.  Not one.  Not.  Even.  Ken.
He was just trying not to laugh at me.

I will not be defeated!
"I'll say it," I said as I thought of maybe turning around or something to make it seem like a different person.  But just awkwardly stumbled around and then shook my head and started the prayer.  Which Kole talked through. 

After the prayer I moved onto calendar review.  I expected it to take a little longer.  In the Bradley Home it was at least 20 minutes.  House rule was:  "If it's not on the calendar it's not happening."  So!  I took out my calendar and started in:

"Okaaaay.  This week... tss tsss tsss.... I have... Story time at 10: 30 at the library.  Ken?"
"I'm going to work everyday."
"Nothing else?"
"Nope.  Nothing else."
"Because if it's not on the calendar now, it's not happening."
He kinda stared me down after that.

Calendar wrapped up in 30 seconds.  I was starting to sweat a little.  I sweat more than other humans naturally but I was getting like beady around my face.  This meeting was really zooming.  And not in a "It is so good you don't even realize time is passing" way.  In the other... way.

Singing time was such an embarrassment.  I planned 3 songs.  All ones that Kole (and presumably Ken) knew.  "Popcorn Popping," "Once There Was a Snowman," and "I Am a Child of God."  No one volunteered to conduct the music so I suggested they just try following the natural rhythm of the music as I made my way over to the piano.
I sat down.  Got to the pre-tabbed page.  Played the intro.  Paused to cue the song beginning and played my heart out for one whole line before realizing I was putting on a real one man show.
A comedy act, apparently.
I kept my spirits up through "Popcorn Popping" but they fizzled significantly when "Once There Was a Snowman" turned into a dance party.  I tried taking the room down a level with "I Am A  Child of God" but Kole was just running around the couch as many times as he could by then and Ken was throwing Joey up in the air trying to make him laugh.

Welcome, Holy Spirit.  To my home.

My well-planned lesson got cut from 10-15 minutes to 2.
No one (again... not even Ken) answered my questions.  And they were eeeeeeasy.
Like what do you say at the beginning of a prayer?

Blank.  Stares.

I answered all my own questions with a big, cheery grin on my face.  I took out my visual aids at the appropriate time, but Joey snagged them and started chewing on them.  I planned to do some prayer role playing but when I knelt down in demonstration Kole jumped on my back and yelled, "Piggyback!"
Here's the real kicker (in case you thought it was way back at the calendar planning):  The lesson suggested ending with a song "Pray in Faith." Aaaaand, you know me.

I begin by saying Dear Heav-en-ly Father
Ken started smiling.  Joey starts crying.  Koley stares at me.
I thank him for blessings he seeeeeends
Ken's eyebrows are way way up.  My voice is getting the pre-cry shakes.  Joey is full on crying now.
Then humbly I ask him.... Kole tells me this song is a bad one.  Ken starts laughing.  Joey is red in the face crying.
for things that I need.  InthenameofJesusChristAw-men.

I thanked everyone for coming.  Said the closing prayer.  And made sure I blessed the stinkin' refreshments.

Andi, Me, Julie.  The reaction I was hoping for.

Pretty close to the reaction I got.  Certainly felt if not expressed.
Mom Bomb.

There's more instances like this one.  I'm finding I kinda excel at this.  Mom Bomb Part #2 tomorrow.