And then the kid said, "I'll just put on these fucking shoes."
When baking cookies with a toddler and baby, accept that the kitchen will look like the Keebler elves have a personal vendetta against you. Do not try to wipe the counter top. Do not try to rinse the dishes while the cookies are in the oven. Do not forget that you don't enjoy baking or that your kids are set to self destruct.
"I'd rather clean and organize my house by myself than have sex."
Take a deep breath...can you smell it? Fall is in the air, mamas! The sky's a little bluer; the breeze, a little crisper. Starbucks is featuring Pumpkin Spice lattes. The season is upon us. And with it, come my favorite fashion essentials. Scarves! Jackets! Tartan prints! Mustards and wines and emeralds! And of course...boots!
When my kids and husband rattled off exhaustive back-to-school lists, and we spent a stressful weekend walking in and out of every store in the mall (all three kids in tow) draining our bank account, I requested just one item for myself: a new pair of boots. It was to be my one splurge. Brown leather, tall enough that I could feel sassy, but sensible enough that I could walk across the uneven polished brick in my office. And, believe it or not, the stars aligned and I found the perfect pair on clearance, in my size, and I even had money left over to buy an infinity scarf.
So, I was feeling pretty savvy this morning, armed with my new boots, infinity scarf, and plethora of sweaters that didn't fit over my pregnant belly last autumn and thus feel refreshingly new. I selected a striped sweater with whimsical hues and spent an extra moment dusting bronze shimmer across my eyelids. Even these idiots were fairly tame this morning, and I was able to get out of the house and on the road for my hour commute in plenty of time.
I had an extra spring in my step, flipped my hair a little more than necessary. Smiled during my morning meetings. Until...
I was always a good sleeper. Back in my heyday, I would wake up after 9+ hours of sleep and still look forward to my nap. In fact, naps were the best part of my day.
That all changed about a week after November 4th, 2009, when I started peeing all the time. What was once 9+ hours of sleep became 3 blocks of 3-hour-stretches demarcated by groggy trips to the bathroom to pee. All the peeing (and my boobs growing even bigger...lame) indicated that I was pregnant.
And it's all been downhill from there. I'm coming up on my 5-year anniversary of sleep deprivation. "But Scarlett," you ask, "don't you have a 4-year-old son who sleeps through the night?" And if you were here, I would laugh and then ugly cry because NO, he doesn't sleep through the night. He has never once in his short little life slept a full 8 hours in one night. Roman, a 5-month-old, wakes up only once a night, which is about 1 or 2 times less than Desmond on any given night.
But whatevs. I'm used to it now. Current wake up time? 5:45 am. Current bed time? 10:30 at the latest. Current addiction? Coffee, since 2011. My body has finally almost adjusted and I'm a better mother because of it. But there are some days...my God, how I would give up eating cheese for a week for the ability to sleep through the night. Those days, when I wake up with a bitchy resting face and throw the covers off the bed with such anger, I go to the bathroom, pee, automatically take a shower (because there is no better morale boost than a long, hot, quiet shower), and strike this pose:
This pose exudes confidence and also raises your testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain (watch this enlightening TED talk about "power posing"). Many women use this in the workplace, but I suggest that mamas try it out during their morning routine or when they're coming home from work. Go ahead. No one's looking. Give it a shot. This definitely kicks all of my feel-bads in the ass and boosts my energy so that I could be a good, if not great, mother to my kids all day. Also, I do it because I secretly want to be just like Queen Bey. Don't we all?
Here are a couple things I learned this week while in the heart of potty training:
1. Never trust a toddler when she says that she did not pee or poop in the training potty.
2. Don't panic when your baby eats poop-even if it's not his own. Apparently, this happens "all the time" and just "call the doctor if there is diarrhea, vomiting, or fever" after eating said poop- again, this applies to whosever shit it is that has been consumed.
3. As a matter of fact...it's probably better all together to not use training potties when you have other babies that will be crawling in that area.
Good luck mamas!
I never had a breastfeeding problem. All of my babies latched with ease immediately after birth, nursed on demand, grew chubby and happy and whole. Smooth sailing on a sea of milk. I could breastfeed with one hand and let the dog out/stir pots of chili/fix my older daughter’s hair with the other. I proudly considered Midge, my third and final baby, a breastfed girl.
Until I realized, abruptly, she isn’t.
This time around, I am at the start of a new career, working full time an hour away from home. After my six weeks of “short-term disability” (a stark contrast to the six months paid maternity I had with my first and the flexible, part-time schedule I had with my second), I returned to work with a fully stocked freezer that looked like a hybrid of Medela parts and Jenga pieces. I wore stylish easy-access tops and sneaked away from my desk two or three times a day to pump, producing 10-12 oz. a day.
But, gradually, the time away from my baby affected my supply, and 10-12 oz. became 6-8 oz. and settled somewhere around 4-6 oz. I was producing 1-2 fewer bottles a day than Midge needed, the freezer stock rapidly depleted, and by the time she was 3 months, Midge was getting formula for most of her feedings. Yet, in my mind, because I never saw her drink the formula, I still had the image of a breastfed baby. She still feasted voraciously when I got home, fell asleep at the breast, and spent the wee hours suckling for comfort.
And really, supplementing didn’t bother me. I love breastfeeding and identify with the culture, but firmly believe that formula is a safe and nutritious alternative. My girl was healthy and content.
But then, two weeks ago, I left for three days for a conference, and my milk supply plummeted.
When walking your 2 dogs and all your kids, just get another "leash" and pull the bigger kid along. If leashes become too tangled, feel free to tie each dog on either side of the stroller handle. But be careful as children tip easily. And strollers. And usually at the same time.
Ever since I was a little girl, I always dreamed about my future: what ballet company would hire me as their prima ballerina, what my wedding would be like, what my future husband would look like, and how many kids we'd have (after I stopped dancing as a prima ballerina, of course). In my mind, my kids always looked like me: dark hair, dark eyes, cafe-con-leche skin. They would be little Hispanic mini-me kiddos.
And then I met Billy, and fell in love, and got pregnant. I started obsessing about the possible genetic combinations that could happen. Billy's ancestors were mostly English, German, and Finnish. As you could probably guess, he's white white (to paraphrase my dear friend, and brother-in-law's girlfriend, Abhi): he has blue eyes and blonde hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. I fantasized about having dark-skinned, dark-haired, light-eyed little girls that looked just like me running around our house. I was excited for that possibility.
You simply cannot do it all. Your other little ones will be delighted to help.
We love our kids. They drive us crazy. We write about it instead of going insane.