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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I first started uttering this sentence last year. I never really got it until I took a good look at my house and saw it in such disarray and I wanted to ugly cry. I only have a 7 year-old but she makes the mess of twenty frat boys. Add to that a husband and holy shit, I’m done for.

Burps and farts galore – We instilled in the hummingbird at a young age that these things were funny. Now, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. My husband came from a “prim and proper” household where they NEVER did that and I honestly don’t think my in-laws have ever let out a good burp in private which could be why they are the way they are.

There’s no farting at the table but it doesn’t stop the hummingbird to let one rip which then makes me gag. The hubby will follow that with a large burp which he never usually did until we had the bird and poop and barf were a big subject between us when she was a baby. I’ve created gassy monsters.

Clothes everywhere – Asking kids to put their dirty clothes in a laundry basket is apparently one of the most difficult tasks since they end up leaving them all over the bedroom floor and scattered throughout the house. There’s a dress laying by our front door, dirty socks by the stairs, and shorts and a skirt just lying on the floor in the kitchen.

No matter how many times I stress to my 7 year-old that she must pick up her clothes, I end up being the one to pick all of that up. Her room on the other hand is her responsibility, which is why I try to avoid it. Her complaint is that “I can’t clean all this up myself” and my response is “But, you made the mess so you need to pick it up.”

Itty bitty Lego all over – The hummingbird and hubby love playing with Legos. I’ve never gotten it and have tried to be involved too but I’m just not into you, Lego. I have found there is something more painful than stepping on a lego. A few months ago, I stepped on a small My Little Pony and I’m not sure my foot will ever recover.

The shoe fight – Not only has the hummingbird acquired more shoes than I have, which is totally my fault, every damn morning, we still go through the shoe struggle. It starts off with the simple request of her getting her shoes on and ends up with me practically on my knees, begging for her to just put on shoes that fit.

Somehow, the shoes she outgrew keep coming back in the mudroom, even after hiding them from her, and it goes back and forth with me telling her she needs to wear shoes that fit. But no, that would be too easy. She wants to wear the shoes that just a week before, were hurting her feet. Oy!

Food on the floor that looks like someone went on a drunk eating binge – The little bird is currently going through a growth spurt which is awesome but most food seems to make it on the table and the floor than in her mouth. I wasn’t sure how that happens until a few nights ago after being at summer camp all day, she came home like she had been given red bull.

She couldn’t sit still at dinner and kept on hopping up to show us some dance moves she learned or she would sing us a song. She was bitten by the acting bug last year when she saw a school play of an older friend. And, just last week, after months of rehearsals, she was in a children’s stage production that she loved doing. So, she has been singing non stop for the past few months.

I’m all for that put please don’t fling your food around at the dinner table while getting up to belt out songs. It’s not just the food left under and around the dining room table but a buffet also starts forming around the couch and coffee table. The worst things I’ve stepped on, besides pee, is grapes and macaroni and cheese. The mushy feeling on the bottom of my foot is nasty.

I farted or I’m pooping – Even when it isn’t apparent, the bird has to make it known that she farted. Then, I get a whiff and run like hell from the room which she finds hysterical. When I can finally come back to the room, I’ll ask her what she’s been eating because damn, with all the food she leaves on the floor, one would think she has nothing to release that’s so stinky and awful. I also thought after the whole potty training experience, I wouldn’t have to deal with poop anymore but nope. She has to announce it every single time.

Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart and the smells and sounds will knock your ass out.

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Being Four: The F*ck You Fours

If you’re still standing after four years of parenthood, or tilting over a little, congratulations. Break out the champagne! This is the fuck you fours. You should check your child’s head for 666.

This age made me feel like a ball in a pinball machine. One second, my daughter would be playing peacefully and 30 seconds later, she would throw whatever she was playing with in anger or frustration. Kind of like a mic drop.

So, here I am, the little pinball being whacked here, there, everywhere when it came to dealing with my 4 year-old’s emotions and attitude.

This was also when the door slamming started, like the hummingbird was 4 going on 14. The fuck you fours isn’t as what the fuckish as the toddler pms stage but it did seem to be more emotionally draining.

The sweet side to this age is that although they act like they want you to fuck off, they love hard. The hummingbird also started writing more at this age and seeing her write “I love you” on a card turned me into a puddle. I also love all the talking she did. It was cute.

Sure, I didn’t know most of what she was talking about and even though she’s now seven, I still don’t. It’s like this:

Mom, do you see me in the back seat? Mom? Mom?? Mom, I like this song. Do you like it? Mom, do you like it too? Why did you wave to that car? Do you know them? Mom, why did you wave? At school today, Tess and I played this game where we threw a ball and then hopped on one foot but if you don’t hop high enough, you have to take 10 steps back and then Spencer and that crazy boy came over and we decided to play chase and whoever won actually loses and then you have to take 5 jumps to the right and lose a turn while the rest of us hit a baseball and the other person has to shout woohoo each time we take a step….

I don’t know what it is about kids and games but they have 10,000 instructions.

Anyway, while the fuck you fours can be trying and I occasionally thought during this age how much longer until she’s 18 and out of the house, they are also at a very lovable age. Because they know if they weren’t, we would eat them.

*One Week

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Being Three: Who Pissed In Your Sippy Cup?

being-three

Being three. Holy shit. This was a tough age.

My kid would be so sweet one second and the next, had an attitude and looked at me like she was going to shoot lasers out of her eyes. I remember that it seemed impossible to make my 3 year-old happy.

It’s like me when I’m pms’ing and really want a snicker’s but all we have are peanut butter cups and I’m thinking fuck this, I want a snicker’s. That’s the attitude of a 3 year-old.

And the tantrums. Holy shit, the tantrums are epic. This is the age where vodka came into my life a little more frequently.

They really love to test the limits and figure out how to push your buttons.

But, there are the really cool things that balance it out. When they’re not throwing themselves on the ground screaming, they actually talk to where you can have conversations with them.

With my daughter and I, it was about poop because it made her laugh and my god, handling a 3 year-old is like handling a bomb so you love to hear a laugh from them. It’s much better than the ear-piercing screeching you have to deal with.

The hummingbird wasn’t a terror 24/7, like I’m making it sound. We got pretty lucky with her as she has a pretty even temperament. It could just feel like she was a devil on wheels through much of being three because when your kid acts like that, it feels like the moment is never-ending.

But then she would laugh at a poop joke and my sanity was restored for a short time.

*If You Ever Want To Be In Love

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Being Two: Like A Puppy Who Had A Six Pack Of Red Bull

being-two

If humans ate their young, this would be the age that we’d do it. At this age, they’re fine one second and screaming on the floor the next second because you cut their fruit up the “wrong” way. This is the toddler pms stage and I barely survived. I was also in a deep depression so that made it even worse.

It sucks ass. But when you’re about to run from the house with plans to move to the Bahamas, they do something really cute and then I would feel like such an asshole. I’m certain that kids have some kind of radar for this and it alerts them to enter the cute mode.

They also love saying “NO” at this age all the fucking time. Everything is no with them. For instance, you know they’re tired and need a nap but those little monsters will say no and refuse. Since tying them to a bed is forbidden, you end up with a very cranky, toddler pms’ing 2 year-old on your hands.

On top of that, “the witching hour” comes and that’s when you feel like sprinting out of the house again. No matter how much you prepare for it and try to avoid it, there was always those 2 hours, between 3-5pm, when the hummingbird acted like a lunatic.

I would bribe and beg and bribe some more but nothing ever works with the witching hour.

Finally, my husband would come home from work and I’d hand him our daughter and take off running upstairs. Later on that night, I would tell him what a hell of a day I had and he’d make some remark that she seemed fine when he got home. And then, I smothered him with a pillow.

Kidding. Maybe. Of course.

*Use Somebody

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Being One: Drunk Baby Stage

The hummingbird is nearly seven. 7 YEARS-OLD!! So, I’ve been reminiscing on the years that seem to have gone by way too fast. That used to drive me crazy, when I would hear it goes by so fast. This was before babies though.

It would always be “take in everything, it goes by so fast” you won’t believe how fast it goes” “blink and you’ll miss it because they grow so fast”. But like everyone, I thought I will pay attention to everything my kid does so I don’t miss anything and time will slow to a crawl once I was a mom.

And now, my daughter is almost 7 years-old! Seven!! What the hell?

At the time that she was one, I didn’t realize how bad I had postpartum depression and anxiety. I look back now and want to hug that person. Despite not only having a really rough timeadjusting to being a mom but also embracing it, having a 1 year-old was pretty damn awesome. It’s the drunk baby stage. What’s not to love?

Having a one year old is like dealing with that drunk, unruly friend you used to have/currently have. They’re learning how to walk so they have that nice, little zig zag walking going on. I love the drunk baby walk.

They love doing sloppy things. Sloppy kisses, snotty noses, those lovely tantrums where they can go from happy as can be to pissed off toddler in 1.2 seconds.

They eat like they just came home from a drunk bender, stuff all over the floor, clothes, walls, up their nose. Everywhere.

Being one is filled with temperamental, sloppy, slobbery, drunk walking, I want to pull my hair out adventures.

What did you think when your baby was one? Did you love it? Want to run away from home?

*No One Knows

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Stream

There are times I just want to get on here and write a stream of consciousness. Now, I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking “what the hell, that’s what you already do”. That’s true, but I try to make some fucking sense some of the time… probably without much luck.

Anyway, I thought I would start doing my own little stream when the mood hits so here goes. Also, feel free to write your own stream of consciousness in the comments.

Going back to college has been a much more difficult transition than I was expecting. I have 2 papers due this week and all the usual shit to do around the house so I feel like I’m being pulled in so many different directions… more than usual. It’s been overwhelming and my brain has been so scattered. I feel as old as fuck amongst the little ones, like I should get out a walker and pinch their cheeks, then hand them a quarter for being a good little girl or boy.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic recently and have been listening to a lot of Incubus.

Why the hell didn’t I appreciate my 20’s more? Those were some great years but I see now that I really took advantage of what was right in front of me at the time. Not that I still don’t do that.

The little hummingbird isn’t quite as little anymore. Now that we have her ketotic hypoglycemia under control now that we finally know what she actually has after trying to figure it out for the past 6 years, she is growing so much! I can’t even begin to explain how happy that makes me.

All of these years, she’s had such slow growth because of the hypoglycemia and until recently undiagnosed hyperthyrodism. Before last July, she had gained about half a pound that year. Now that she’s on medication to help both issues, she’s gained 5 pound and at least 3 inches.

It may not seem like a big deal but when you have a child that has an ailment, seeing this improvement has been amazing. Not only her physical growth but her mental and emotional growth has been blowing me away. She’s reading chapter books now and it is the coolest thing to have your child read to you in their tiny, little voice.

*Incubus, of course.

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Specifics

I had an English teacher who would say “Write as if you were describing something to someone who didn’t know anything about your subject”. I always thought that was great advice but I didn’t realize that I would be using it the most when it comes to having a 6 year-old.

Of course I don’t expect her to know the basics and it’s not like she read a life manual in the womb, although that would be nice. But, I never realized just how much I wish I could record my voice with instructions on how to do things because I always sound like a broken record, saying things over and over and over and over again.

I never realized just how specific you have to be with kids.

Wash your hands….. with soap! – I’m always calling this out to her when I ask her to wash her hands and she’ll say “I know!” in response but if I don’t say it and she comes back from the bathroom after she washed her hands, I’ll ask if she washed with soap. That’s when I get her doing the crumpled shoulders, the sigh, and her walking back to the sink to use soap.

The hummingbird still doesn’t understand the importance of washing her hands. She’ll come home from school and crawl around on her hands and knees acting like one of the pups from Paw Patrol while I make her a snack in the kitchen. I’ll say go wash your hands…. with soap and she’ll let me know she already washed her hands. When?, I’ll ask. After lunch, she responds.

Well, you need to wash your hands. Okaaaaay she’ll say. The bird will come back and I’ll ask her if she washed her hands. She says yes but I’ll quickly say “With soap?” Shoulders slumped, she walks back to wash her hands… with soap. Omg, can I start drinking at 3:30 in the afternoon? Are kids allergic to soap? Will I still be telling her this in 10 years?

The soap is right there by the handle of the faucet, yet kids seem to have selective hearing AND selective sight.

It’s right there! – It seems so simple. I’ll have my daughter picking up a mess she made and there will be something right by her foot or behind her, it’s always something close by. Enter selective sight. I’ll tell the hummingbird that the book she’s looking for is behind her on the floor near her left foot.

I’ll be in the kitchen cooking dinner and peek my head into the living room to tell her again. She’ll turn around and ask where. I respond with “On the floor, behind you, by your left foot. No, your other left foot.”

Where?, she says.

By your left foot.

I don’t see it.

Look down by your left foot. Now, look behind your left foot. Do you see it?

No.

It’s by your left foot…

That’s when I point to it.

Where?, she says.

It’s behind you, by your left foot. Right there.

There’ll be a confused look on her face.

I finally walk out of the kitchen, pick up the book, and hand it to her.

OH! There it is, she says.

*Facepalm*

You need to put the tissue over your nose when you blow. – My 6 year-old is getting much better about this now but in the beginning there was this whole thing about her trying to learn how to blow her know which I found hard as hell to explain at first. It seemed like something simple to teach. Just blow out of your nose.

She would be holding the tissue in her hand on her lap while trying to blow and I’d be like whoa, whoa, whoa! Sweetie, you need to put the tissue over your nose so you don’t blow snot everywhere.

Ick.

Bathroom manners and hygiene. – There have been museums I’ve gone to where an automated voice will activate as you’re walking into a room. And, that’s exactly what I need for our bathroom. A child cannot simply use the bathroom and boom, easy peasy. They have to make it a test of your patience and sanity.

Wipe, flush, wash hands… with soap! I say this countless times a day and feel pretty twitchy by the time she’s doing her bedtime routine at night. I’ll sometimes get ready for bed with her and guiding the bird.

Did you flush?

Yes!

She didn’t.

You did?, said with a questioning voice.

Oh, I forgot.

Can you flush, please.

And did you wash your hands?

Yes!

Really?, in my best suspicious mom voice.

Oh, no… I forgot.

Well, wash your hands….

With soap!

*Sara Bareilles

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