Friday, July 08, 2011

Giving it to you straight about motherhood... or I haven't used the bathroom without an audience in over a month

Yeah, yeah, there's a ton of books, blogs and other resources out there about what it's really like to be a mother. But I'm going to give you the straight poop with a look into my life from just the last 45 minutes.

Motherhood is:

-Holding your son's attention for a minute or two by singing, dancing, clapping, waving and any other inane thing you can think of... and him turning around, finding the tote bag we keep library books in and having it hold his attention for almost 10 minutes.

-Learning to use the toilet while a little one is using your legs to pull himself up to standing. Privacy? What's that?

-Being so tired, you mess up the lyrics to "Old McDonald Had a Farm." Apparently, around here, ducks say, "duck, duck!" rather than "quack, quack!" If FunnyKid ends up having to repeat pre-school, I'm going to feel so responsible...

-Using your child as a dumbbell by lifting them from the floor to the ceiling multiple times. Hey, anything that gets me into shape and keeps FunnyKid laughing is a win in my book.

-Feeling good about yourself because the kiddo bumped his head and was immediately comforted by your touch and voice. Then immediately not feeling good about yourself when he bites your shoulder. Hard.

-Being able to write this post one-handed while simultaneously wrestling a baby. Don't get me wrong, he's still winning the match. My only victory will be hitting "Publish Post" if only I can get my hand free to do so.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The day trip that only cost $50, my sanity and my will to ever travel again

While FunnyKid and I were vacationing at my sister's house last week, she and I decided to take FunnyKid and the two cutest nephews in the world to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for a day. We figured hauling around three kids ages 2 1/2 years, 18 months and 10 months would be a little stressful, but were willing to do it for the experience.

We had an "experience" alright.

The fun started with finding a place to park (and finding out we would be paying $23 for the privilege) and then trying to get into one of the buildings where the shops and restaurants are. Handicapped entrances, which we needed in order to get two strollers into the building, were hard to find and required a long walk to get to them. Having done this before, we were smart enough to have packed a picnic lunch rather than try to navigate a restaurant.

Because FunnyKid is still limited by crawling, I had to get used to the fact that my nephews were able to take off in two different directions with no notice. More than once, kat's lil sis went after one while I tried to head off the other with my stroller.

We adapted well. Kat's lil sis is very laid back (she has to be with two toddlers!) so it didn't bother her when the boys got soaked in a fountain and when we picked a spot on the grass to change diapers (there was no way we were going to navigate handicapped entrances again to find bathrooms). And she barely batted an eye as we walked along the water with one of her boys throwing a temper tantrum because the carousel was being repaired.

While one of the most fun parts of our trip was taking the boys on a water taxi to a different part of the city, it was also one of the most challenging. On our way out of the Inner Harbor, we had the advantage of full stomachs and cooperative kids so even having to empty the strollers of kids and bags before boarding and then begging the boat employees to help heft the strollers onto the boat didn't bother us.

The way back was a different story. Both the moms and the kids were exhausted and hot and hungry. It was a recipe for disaster. Basically, I tried to divide my time between keeping FunnyKid from throwing himself overboard and talking one of my nephews out of disappearing under the seats, while lil sis had a wrestling match her younger son to keep him in the seat, suffering multiple slaps to the head in the process (I think I had the better deal because at least FunnyKid is too little to put up much resistance).

The way home included tons of traffic and overtired kiddos who kept waking the others up. And the irony of it is that all of the boys are too young to ever remember the trip outside of looking at all the photos we took. We agreed it's going to take some time for us to forget the experience and try to take all the boys out again with just the two of us. Eight or nine years ought to do it.

Monday, July 04, 2011

At least he let me come back

The Pretend Husband called me one afternoon last week and said, "You know, you should go visit your sister and nephews. You both stay home with the kids and there's no reason you can't go in the middle of the week." I said he was right and thought that I should plan a trip to visit the cutest nephews in the world soon. But the PH was thinking even more immediately.

"I think you should go this week."

His reasoning had something to do with having a very busy week ahead of him at work and not wanting to feel pressured to get home to see FunnyKid and I, but he was so persistent, I started to get a little suspicious. When I told him I had spoken to kat's lil sis and would be leaving the next morning, the PH said, "Why don't you leave tonight? You can get in the car at FunnyKid's bedtime and get there around midnight."

If I had taken his advice, it would have meant leaving within two hours. Maybe more experienced moms can pull off packing for herself and her kiddo and being out the door in 120 minutes, but I need more time to prepare. I stood up to the pressure and kept the plan that didn't involve me driving five hours in the middle of the night with no notice.

So FunnyKid and I took off the next morning-- but not before I set up nannycams around the house, put a tracking device on the PH's car and paid the neighbor to keep an eye on things (with binoculars).