Mother’s Log: a week with no kids

July 11, 2018: Day 2 of Solitude

Yesterday’s excursions left me wiped. My whole body is grateful for a day of rest and sleeping in.

So far the only accomplishments of the day are making the bed, making a vegan “chicken tortilla” soup, boiling beets for a beet & goat cheese salad, and taking the girls’ bikes to the shop to have the brakes fixed.

My new sunglasses and flip flops have arrived and I could not love amazon prime any more.

Heading to the beach to read and possibly nap… I have no worries, guilt, nor regrets…

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Mother’s Log: A week with no kids

July 10, 2018: Day 1 of complete Solitude

8am: Instead of sleeping in today, I wake at a reasonable hour. It’s odd not having to make breakfast, clean up, or listen to any sibling rivalry, imaginative games, or the echoing crash of the marble run on the stone floor that reverberates in your head like a pin-ball. I thought I might miss all of that. I do not.

8:13am: I finish my coffee and unsweetened cashew milk. (It’s gross but healthier than happiness, I suppose.) I dress and leave the condo without even making my bed. As someone who thrives on organization, this, surprisingly, does not bother me one bit.

8:27am: I head out to the boardwalk on my bike, so far not having a uttered single word to a single soul. I head toward Atlantic City at a decent speed, only using my voice to let others know when I am passing them. Music blasting in one ear and the freedom of not shouting at my kids to stay to the right, pass on the left, and to plan ahead is magnificent.

9:56am: I just got back from the ride. End to end, it was a 17 mile trip. Not quite as long as I had wanted but more than my tailbone and lower pelvic bone were prepared for. They are quite angry with me, as is my non-thigh-gap.

10:03am: Damnit. I really do need to make the bed. And I guess I’ll fold the pile of laundry that’s been sitting in the guest room for 2 days.

10:38am: Spoke with Brian. He’s having a busy day at work and would love it if I came home to surprise him. He keeps asking. It’s cute and annoying at the same time. Either way, it’s not gonna happen. I love him, but I’m really enjoying this solitary.

11:34am: I mount up again and ride another 4 miles to the bay. My ass hates me. So do my feet, because I am wearing flip flops and manage to literally flip one off coming to a stop, therefore using my bare foot to land. See kids? This is why we don’t where flip flops when we ride. Duh.

11:58am: I’m going on a 2 hour solo SUP excursion in the bay. The waivers have all been signed and the young gentleman gives me directions on which way to paddle based on the tide and wind. I am so excited!

I follow his directions and paddle north, watching the wildlife of turtles, small jellyfish, egrets and other marina birds, crabs, and a plethora of jumping minnows during the low tide. It took all of 40 minutes, but I decide to head back.

12:49pm: Unfortunately the tide may be coming back in and the winds have changed so that my efforts are meaningless. I am paddling as hard as I can and am staying in the same place, possibly moving backwards. What. The….

1:46pm: I have been nonstop, hardcore paddling for an hour. The wind is so strong that if I stop, I will be pushed backwards and therefore cry.

I paddle towards the docks where the surf shop kid said it would be easier. The wind and waves knock me into the docks. This is not easier. He is a kid and knows nothing. I paddle back out, attempting to make a beeline for the surf shop, which is now in view. I glance up to see the damn water tower behind the surf shop smiling as it mocks my efforts. I’d like to give it the middle finger but I’m afraid to stop paddling.

Just keep going. You can do hard things. Hopefully you’ll have a 6 pack and toned arms by morning…Dig. Dig. DIIIIG!

2:00pm: My 2 hours is up, and by my calculations it’s going to take me at least another 2 to get in. The buoy in front of me is not getting any closer and the osprey nest to the left of me is still to the left of me.

I see another SUP heading towards me. Shit. It’s the kid from the surf shop paddling out to “rescue” me. Lovely. He approaches my board just as a boat whizzes by, causing me to lose my balance, my sunglasses, and my dignity. I climb back up, fall again, climb back up, and allow the kid to tow me in for a bit. This is not how I expected this to go.

2:17pm: We finally made it back. My whole body now hates me from the day I put it through. I inquire to the surf shop kid how often this happens, thinking it must be often. “Twice a month” he responded, humiliating me even more, “But it’s usually from inexperience, not from Mother Nature, so you’re good,” He tries to make me feel better. It does not work. At. All.

2:21pm: I hop back on the bike and ride the 4 miles back to the condo. Once I arrive safely, I hop down and manage to break my flip flop, which was already in poor condition. I go upstairs, order new sunglasses and flip flops, shower, and decide that relaxing on the beach can wait until tomorrow…I need a nap.

It’s the thought that counts…sometimes…

It’s no secret that Mr. TheKing often needs more than a hint when it comes to gift giving. My realization of how bad his lack of intuition for gifting was solidified a few years ago when he got me, (or rather, himself), a bottle of cologne for Hannukah in hopes that it would somehow benefit him in more ways than one. It did not… At least not that crazy night. To be fair, we had agreed not to get each other anything, so at least he tried?

The following Christmas I gave him a short wish list and told him that anything on the list would be appreciated. I also left him with a specific request to not get me a purse or appliance. He went rogue and got me both. He delivered it by giving himself the appliance so that I could make one of his favorite recipes and then put the purse in the appliance box. Well delivered, but not well received. I should note that he is known for his practicality and I do use both regularly, but that’s not really the point…

A few months later I took matters into my own hand and bought myself a ring for Valentine’s Day. I actually wore it out, then wrapped it and gave it to him to give back to me. He was very surprised by what he got me, especially because we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Last year for my birthday he went above and beyond. MTK planned an awesome surprise party for me. Unfortunately, he had to ruin the surprise by telling me about it the day before while on a 14 hour drive because he realized that inviting 50 people over to the house the day after you get back from a family trip maybe isn’t ideal. However, I will say that although I wasn’t surprised, I’ve never unpacked from a trip so quickly and it really was a fantastic party and sentiment. 

That all being said, below is the conversation we had at lunch yesterday about the gift he got for my upcoming birthday:

MTK: You’re coming home in 2 weeks from the shore, right?

Me: Yes. 2 weeks from yesterday. 

MTK: Ok. That gives me 2 weeks to build your birthday gift. 

Me, raising an eyebrow in curiosity and fear: What do mean, “build?”

MTK: I just have to figure out how to put it all together before you get home. 

Me: Um, is it something from my wish list? I don’t recall asking for anything that needs to be built…

MTK: No. It’s not something that you want. 

Me: Super! Is it for the house?

MTK: No

Me: Is it for outside?

MTK: Nope. It’s not anything you’ve ever mentioned. 

Me: Oh. You know I keep a list on Amazon, don’t you? Will I like it?

MTK: Probably not. But I did put a lot of thought into it. 

Me: Is it something I need?

MTK: No. 

Me, now laughing: So let me get this straight. You got me something I don’t want, don’t need, and have never mentioned?

MTK: Yup. You’re probably going to be mad. 

Me: Awesome. I’m not sure if I want to know now so it gives me 2 weeks to prepare and get over it, or if knowing will make me angrier over the next 2 weeks so you should keep it a surprise. I’m just gonna go ahead and be grateful you planned something and cross my fingers for the best. 

MTK: Just remember, it’s the thought that counts and I put a lot of thought into it. 

Me: But did you really?!?!?!

Stay tuned for the big reveal…

It Happens

It Happens

That moment, when you have just finished a lovely ladies afternoon with your 4 year old and her friends at Sweet & Sassy for their first pedicure and you’re on your way to school to wait for dismissal of your 6 and 7 year olds:

While on route, the school nurse calls to see if you can pick up your 6 year old from kindergarten early, because another child had an accident in his classroom that he was not directly involved in.

He did, however, step in it.

Literally.

And is in need of a change of clothes and shoes {and to be sanitized in a clean room decontamination area from head to toe just as a precaution.}

So you ask if you can pick up your 7 year old early too because you don’t have time to go home to get him showered, changed, and return to school before actual dismissal time.

Which of course is fine because the school recognizes what a crappy situation this is.

Minutes later, you arrive at school and carry your now sleeping 4 year old instead of waking her because

  • She is shoeless from getting her first pedicure,
  • It’s a cold, rainy, winter day,
  • Keeping her locked in the car is generally frowned upon in the parenting {and legal} world,
  • She’s often quite unpleasant upon waking,
  • And frankly, you have enough “schtuff” to deal with, so you keep it real and carry on.

In the school office you begin to sign your children out but get stuck on the section that asks for a reason for the early dismissal.

You want to write in “it happens” but politely defer to “minor accident” to decrease the load of paperwork that may follow.

You and the school office manager have a good laugh in apparent solidarity, I-can’t-evens, and what-the-hell-just-happened-ness, while your {now awake} 4 year old shows off her toes and you instruct your son to stop moving around and not to touch ANYTHING, especially with his shoes which is a problem because, as he points out, he can’t fly.

You walk to the car where you open the back of your SUV for your son to climb in so that you can remove his shoes with a plastic bag while you buckle in your youngest daughter and your oldest daughter, still confused about why she had to be picked up early too, jumps in muddy puddles and avoids the car like the plague.

She finally gets in car, making sure to complain about the smell, while you wrestle with a plastic bag and your son’s sneakers and shout, “Sit down! Get buckled! PLEASE! Just be quiet, and stop moving!”

Once the shoes are safely removed, your son begins to climb over the back seat and that’s when you notice that he clearly sat on his feet before realizing his shoes were covered in IT, so you instruct him to stop immediately and remove his pants, inside out, to place them in the plastic bag with his shoes.

He is clearly embarrassed by this and he tries to pull his shirt down to his knees to cover his boxer-briefs but at this point you’re just yelling orders, “Just climb over! Get in your seat! Buckle up! We gotta go!”  While wondering what-the-hell the parent parked behind you must be thinking about your parenting style.

But then you realize that you don’t really care that much and you carefully signal to safely exit your parking spot, ahem: peel out, to head home and begin the decontamination process.

You get home and unload the children, sending your son straight up to the shower while starting the sanitation load of wash. You take a minute to pour yourself a glass of wine because, on days like today, it doesn’t much matter that it’s not 5 o’clock anywhere…

Hours later, when you FINALLY have time to take a deep breath and unpack, you discover your son’s CLEAN rain boots were in his book bag the whole time and realize that maybe, just maybe, you have your parenting shit together, afterall.

CWK #24.7.365-7.11: The F Word

Lady J, timidly: Mom? What does fuck mean?

Bud: Heh, heh. Fuck.

Me, more than a bit dumbstruck: Where did you hear that word?

J: Stewart* asked me if I know what the “F” word is and I told him, “No.” Then Mathew* spelled it: f-u-c-k. I told them I didn’t know that word, but I could sound it out. Mom? What does fuck mean?

Inner-momologue: Oh Fuck! Crappity crap crap fuck this shit and the asshole who mentioned it to a second grader and now my kids know it, even though I’ve probably fucked up a few times in front of them too, FUCK!

Me: Well, first of all you should both know that it is a word that is rude, disrespectful, and will get you sent to Mr. Wollensky’s* office immediately, should you say it at school. In school, it’s worse than “stupid” or even “hate”. It will also get you sent to your room at home.

J: I know that, but what does it mean?

Me: Well, most adults use it when something goes wrong, like “Oh no!” or, “Oh dear!” 

J: Why wouldn’t they just say, “Oh no” or, “Oh dear” then? Or even, “Oh my goodness?”

Me: Sometimes, in the adult world, things go so wrong that a stronger word comes to mind first. It’s not polite, but it happens. 

Bud: Fuck! I can’t buckle my seatbelt! Heh, heh, heh. 

Me: Bud, you may not use that word. Not even to repeat it. Next time, it’s a timeout. No warnings. 

Bud: Poop. Well, I guess that’s ok. 

J: But, Mom, if it just means, “Oh no,” then why is it a bad word. What does it really mean?

Inner momologue: Fuuuuuuuuuck!

Me: I honestly need to discuss this with Daddy before telling you the real definition of the word.

J: Why do you need to talk to Daddy about what a word means?

Me: You asked a great question and I want to answer it honestly, yet appropriately. It’s a word that has some pretty grownup meanings and I want to make sure Daddy and I are both present for this conversation…

… The conversation we had at dinner included explaining that the word “fuck” was a derogatory word that often referred to disrespectful references towards outer appearances and inappropriate behavior. In their language we used terms such as “bucket dipping” and “bullying” and made sure that they knew it was a word that is never acceptable to use towards another person nor to be accepted in a humorous manner when directed at another person. We let them know that anyone who refers to them using that word is not a friend and that they may stand up for up for themselves, while they also have an obligation to stand up for others if that word is used against them and to report it to us, a teacher, or another trusted adult….I hope it fucking worked….

#innocencelost #herewegrow #convoswithkids #thefword #sothathappened

*all names have been changed

The End of Innocence 

Yesterday, while cleaning off my desk, I moved a picture Lady J drew for Toothiana, our tooth fairy, to put in her keepsake binder and accidentally left it out in plain sight before properly filing it. Of course she found it and asked why I still had it. Trying to think fast, I told her that Toothiana returned it to me so that I could save the memory just as Toothiana saves the original memory in the teeth she collects. If you’ve read William Joyce’s books about the Guardians of Childhood or seen the movie Rise of the Guardians, this makes sense, and J accepted this as truth. 

Today, while on the phone to his parents, Mr. TheKing mentioned that I go to the bank to get two dollar bills all the time. We only use two dollar bills for tooth fairy money. J was within earshot and immediately looked at both of us with The Look

…Looking forward to tomorrow night’s bedtime conversation, you know, once she has time to mull it all around for a bit longer…

#SoThatHappened #ParentingFail #TheEndOfInnocence #HereWeGrow

  

Convos with MTK: Hanukkah Gifting

It must be said that Mr. TheKing is extraordinarily generous but truly needs help when it comes to gift giving.  Even when provided with an explicit wish list, he often goes rogue and tends to favor practicality over desire, which, although useful, is also a bit…um…boring… Two years ago, we decided not to get each other a gift for both Hanukkah and Christmas, or so I thought:

Originally published on FaceBook on November 29, 2013

30 days of thanks: day 29

Mr. TheKing: I got you a Hanukkah present.

Me: You did? I didn’t know we were doing that this year. (I’m intrigued and excited)

MTK: Well, it’s “for you-for me”

Me: Does that mean it’s for me and somehow benefits you? (I’m suspicious)

MTK: Kind of…

Me: Vodka? (Maybe that bubblegum flavored one I’m kinda curious about)

MTK: Better than vodka.

Me: What could be better than vodka? (I say jokingly…but not really)

He pulls out a bottle of Polo Sport…

Me: Oh! So it’s for you and you think it will somehow benefit you too…I get it! Vodka would have worked better.

He just smirks.

Today, I am thankful for my husband’s sense of humor and the fact that he still sees me as 24. He keeps me laughing on the inside…and feeling young & pretty on the outside.

polo sport

Mondays

That moment when your threenager comes into your room in the middle of the night because she’s scared or something to that effect and climbs all over you and your husband for no less than 2 hours until she finally settles in a horizontal position across your pillows which you happen to be using and when Daddy suggests that she moves she begins to sob an uncontrollable “Oh Woe Is Me” sob that makes you unwillingly rise from your non-slumber and carry her back to her bed and lay down next to her so she calms down but then you fall asleep only to be woken by your husband an hour later because the sun is rising so you slip out of her bed so as not to disturb the now-sleeping-beauty and begin to get ready for the day by getting your other children dressed, fed, making lunches, and all that other schtuff that makes mornings absolutely and maddeningly entertaining if you were a fly in the wall but you’re not, so you’re just mad, probably from the lack of sleep for the better part of a decade.   But then the princess emerges from her kingdom mere minutes before it’s time to depart and you think, “Effit. Keep the pajamas on and here’s breakfast to go, Kid” because it’s time to go and MONDAYS

You arrive at school and you hear the comments about your daughter still in her pajamas but you don’t let it bother you because 1) You made it to school on time for her older siblings  2) She’s the youngest so rules don’t apply to her…duh… 3) It’s not a school day for her anyway 4) MON-DAY {nuff said.} 

After a busy but accomplished day of cooking, cleaning, and playing dress up you inform your threenager that it’s time to get out of her dress up clothes and into real clothes where upon she immediately ventures upstairs to put on a fresh pair of pajamas, tights, and her tap shoes which she disliked SO MUCH that she insisted on dropping dance class, which you did just last week, but now she is happily tapping off into the sunset to pick up her siblings at school, where people notice that she is wearing yet another pair of pajamas and that her “outfit” makes no sense and you STILL don’t care because 1) You made it to school on time to pick up her older siblings 2) She’s still the youngest so rules still don’t apply to her…duh… 3) It wasn’t a school day for her anyway 4) She looks adorable 5) MON-DAY {nuff said.} 

#thiskid #threenagers #thirdchild #mondays


Fall…ing

That moment when you have just ordered your marathon outfit, new shoes, battery backup for your phone, runners pack for long training runs, and signed up to compete in a local hat trick (5k+10k on Saturday plus 1/2 marathon on Sunday) that’s in 2 weeks which is good because it takes place 2 weeks before your full marathon so it’s meant to be your last hurrah before tapering and you’re even more excited about it because your 7 year old daughter is going to run the 5k with you. So you go out to run a quick training mile with her, but your not-quite-4 year old wants to join the “girl’s run” so she comes along for a warm up 1/4 mile and while running next to her you roll your ankle on what was likely an acorn but probably just clumsiness and you’re thinking, “OMGoodness that hurts like a &$@!!!!!” But after a few steps you’re ok, so you bring your younger daughter back to your house and run the rest of the mile with your older daughter and everything’s fine until 2 hours later when you take off your shoes to get changed for a family fun night of bowling and you start to feel increasing pain in your foot. So you take some ibuprofen and inform your husband that you can no longer walk or put pressure on your foot AT ALL and you get into bed to elevate your feet while your oldest daughter plays nurse and gets you ice and stays by your side so your husband can take the younger children to get a new movie (since bowling was cancelled) and an ace bandage for your injury. But then, as you’re waiting, you are actually writhing in pain and using your Lamaze training that you never actually needed during labor and delivery because EPIDURALS but you’re glad now that you took the class because you might actually hyperventilate and you’re now shivering in shock and thinking , “Damn that little acorn. This better just be a bruise because come hell or high water you are running in that marathon in less than one month.” And also, “Eff you Universe, Mercury in retrograde, and Murphy! Enough of these Shannanigans!” So you call your husband and tell him you think you might need an X-Ray. So your in laws come over to watch the kids while your husband takes you to an urgent care facility and the doctor offers you a pain killer shot in your ass which may or may not burn and you’re thinking that you’d rather not feel like your ass is on fire. So you politely decline pending the X-Ray results which fortunately show no break, just a bruise, which is FANTASTIC news. So you gladly take the air cast and crutches knowing that you’ll be just fine and back at it in a few days and hobble off into the sunset… 

 

CWK 24.7.365.7-11: Nice Try, Doc

Pediatrician: What was his last temperature?

Bud: I didn’t let Mommy take my temperature. I don’t like the thermometer under my tongue.

Pediatrician: Bud, if you don’t let Mommy take your temperature I’ll have to tell Santa to put you on the naughty list. You don’t want Santa to bring you a lump of coal, do you?

Bud: That’s ok. I like coal. We find them on the train tracks near Grandma and Grandpa’s cabin. Also, I’ll still get Hannukah and Birthday presents so don’t worry about Santa. And, now I know how to put the thermometer under my tounge because the nurse showed me! Isn’t that great?!?!

And that is how Bud got early admission to any med school of his choice…

 
#HowDoesHeKnow? #YouCantFoolHim #truth #outofthemouthsofbabes #NiceTryDoc #Bud