Friday, May 28, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Skimpy Sleepwear and Spontaneity

It's Friday!!!!

But not only is it Friday, it is the Friday before a long weekend.

And not only is it the Friday before a long weekend, but it is the Friday before the long weekend that marks my husband's last week of school. 

Which means four more days of "Where daddy doe?  Daddy teach tids?  Want daddy tum home!"

So needless to say, I'm feeling pretty good.

And I want to share it with the world!

So I am participating in The Girl Next Door Grows Up's Feel Good Friday.

Since I can't seem to stop thinking about all things happy (my second cup of coffee not at all the least of these) I'm just going to spew it all out there... cover your worlds with a little sunshine (okay, maybe it's my third)!

1.  Skimpy Summertime Sleepwear

No, not mine.  Unfortunately for my husband I enjoy the old cotton pants and baggy t-shirt when I climb under the sheets.  No, the sleepwear I reference here is that of my two little men.  There is nothing cuter in the whole world than a baby in a little t-shirt with his tiny, diapered rump sticking straight up in the air.  Or a nudey toddler under his Thomas blanket (that he insists on donning even in 80-degree, non-air conditioned heat).

2.  A Break

My husband finishes a month-long break from grad school classes this weekend.  I reaped multiple benefits during this reprieve including a near strike from all evening cooking/ dish washing responsibilities.  Of course my husband also reaped multiple benefits including more free time in the evening to do with as I pleased (wink, wink)!

3.  A Baby To Hold

I was always a "baby person."  I loved, loved, loved babies.  But surprisingly, I did not enjoy the babyhood of my first son.  I loved him, of course, and at times I soaked in the moment, but mostly I looked for ways to put him down and walk away without drowning in guilt for just a few minutes.  I completely forgot why I ever wanted to hold babies.  Now that my "baby" flails his way out of my arms the moment I scoop him up I finally remember.  Just in time for baby number two.  And suddenly I can't get enough of it.  I understand now that this baby period is the shortest in his life.  That all too soon those chubby thighs will toddle across the grass instead of wrapping around my waist.  That those dimpled hands cautiously exploring my face will grip tree branches and baseball bats in what seems like minutes.  That hurried toddler pecks will replace the drooly, open-mouthed kisses of infancy.  So slobber away baby boy... I'm soaking it up! 

4.  Homemade Iced Mochas

Alright, it's no Starbucks mint mocha chip frappucino, but it's cold, chocolately, and I don't have to drive fifteen minutes both ways while alternately blasting rock music and poking at my children's legs chanting, "Wake up, wake up, wake up" so I can enjoy said delicious beverage during the only peaceful, 30-minute nap overlap of the day.

5.  Mysterious Weekend Adventures

Our Memorial Day plans: Wake up.  Start driving.  Find fun.  Find excitement.  Find a hotel.

I'm a big planner (in theory), so we'll see if I can follow through (I'll update next week). 

Hope your weekends are full of spontaneity, sunshine, and sitting around doing nothing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Can I do this?

So I know I am scarce these days (well, this past week at least).  But things have been crazy around here lately.  There are meals to cook, dishes to wash, and, well, TV to watch.  Lots of TV to watch.  Before you think that's a lousy excuse, you must understand it was season finale week.  I need proper time to mourn the loss of quality television programming and accept the arrival of laughable reality TV shows (that suck you in the moment you turn them on). 

Now I don't know if you can do this when your blog is less that four months old, but I'm going to recycle an old post.  I figure I posted it before anyone read my blog, so it shouldn't make a difference, right?  Maybe I just shouldn't have said anything.  Oh well. 

So here's a glimpse back at my early days as a mother of two. 


The following is a letter I wrote to a friend in the final days of her second pregnancy. I think it serves as a quick snapshot of my life with two kids and, well, momhood in general.


I know this is supposed to be a letter of encouragement, telling you what a great mom you are (which is true) and how easy life with two kids will be (which is not true at all). But I realized as a new mother of two sometimes I just want to hear how other moms function with multiple children. With my first I tried to do everything perfect. Now that there’s two I’ve given up trying to be perfect and simply try to get by. It’s not always glamorous, but it’s my life. So here it goes...

The morning my water broke my husband jumped out of bed with excitement, just the picture of the perfect father thrilled to meet his new son. I in turn snapped at him to be quiet because, and I quote, “I’ll be so mad if you wake up The Tine.” Lovely.

I thought I would miss my son terribly during our stay at the hospital. Instead it felt like a mini vacation. Nearly 24 hour room service, more distraction-free TV than I watched in the last two years, a romantic dinner for two, and best of all, free babysitting... for both kids!

I let my newborn cry.

Last week my oldest son woke up with damp pajamas after soaking through his diaper (we ran out of the overnights weeks ago and still haven’t replaced them). I was so tired I simply changed his diaper and zipped those damp pj’s right back up. And despite the faint smell of urine surrounding him I didn’t change his clothes until after nap time nearly 8 hours later.

Later that day when I finally got him changed he wouldn’t put on his shirt. He walked around like a little construction worker for the rest of the day (his unusually long buttcrack hanging out of his diaper and everything).

When the baby wakes up he grunts like an agitated bear. It sounds like nails on a chalkboard in the middle of the night. I cover my head with a pillow until I can tune him out no longer.

The Tine ate chicken nuggets and watched an entire movie before 10am today.

I tried to cook dinner for the first time the other day. Somewhere between my oldest son literally hanging on my leg (arms and legs locked in a death grip) and the baby screaming from his infant seat I told them both I didn’t want to be a mom anymore.

Bady smiled that goofy toothless grin that’s so ridiculous I laughed out loud. I decided to stick it out as a mom a little bit longer.

When the baby poops in his clothes I don’t wash them right away. It almost always comes out.

On Bady’s first car trip to my parents he began crying five minutes from home. With my first son I would have pulled over the car, swept him out of his seat, and comforted him any way possible. This time I looked at my husband and said, “It’s just five more minutes,” at which point we turned up the music and averted our eyes from the rearview mirror.

I find most of my prayers these days center around getting the baby to sleep. People are suffering all over the world and all I can think about is how I want nothing more than a good eight hours.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All before 10 am

These mothering maneuvers may not win me parent of the year, but they sure could make you feel like one.

1.  Pretending not to hear my toddler chanting, "I'm hungry, I'm hungry, I'm hungry" just in time for his third breakfast of the morning. 

2.  Laughing hysterically when the little baby boy yanked a toy from his brother's sticky hands, snarled ferociously at him, and sent the big one running to his room in a tornado of tears.  Don't worry, I soon after followed the toddler and folded him up in my arms (while snickering quietly behind his back).

3.  Asking The Tine if he wouldn't rather watch some Elmo than make me brave the boxes of diapers, baskets full of neatly folded laundry, and 6 month-old baby gifts (still in their bags) to reach his box of craft supplies at the very top of the closet.

4.  When that delicious baby woke up from his nap I scooped him up, nuzzled his tasty little neck, and told him I wanted to love him to tiny pieces so I could then eat him up, spit him back out, and do it all over again.  Is that so weird?

5.  The Tine climbed into our bed this morning all too early and soaking wet (yes, my toddler is wetting his bed while still wearing diapers).  I was too tired to retrieve a change of clothes, so I groggily removed his damp pj's and sopping wet diaper, threw the blankets over his bare little body and told him to just lay there (making sure of course that any naked butt rubbing take place on his father's side of the bed).

6.  When the baby spit up on the floor The Tine proceeded to clean it up with his sock.  I personally am appalled at his behavior and have no idea where he learned such a disgusting habit!

7.  My innocent little toddler confessed to eating a stone.  I find it hard to believe, but he seemed to keep his facts straight, so who knows?  Of course after the 15 minute interrogation I asked, "Did you really eat a stone?" to which he replied "Nooooo" as if the joke was on me for ever believing him in the first place!

It's all in a morning's work! 

Happy Thursday from my household to yours!

Monday, May 17, 2010

When the world keeps on going, but I just can't move

I feel frozen lately.

It's like, I go to the gym and I have all this time to think while I'm prancing on the elliptical (you know, taking advantage of the childcare).

I read these parenting and organizing magazines that make me feel like I want to make over my life.

Like if I can just get some sort of cubby or shelf or teal wicker basket for every corner of my house then somehow I can regain control.

Or if I can teach my toddler the alphabet with one hand while stimulating my infant's developing senses with the other, all between loads of laundry, then I can finally breath.

I can rest assured that I am the mother and wife and household organizer that I am supposed to be.

So I drive home in an endorphin-driven frenzy of ideas and motivation.

I prepare each child a healthy lunch and cheerily whisk them off to bed.

What lies ahead is 45 minutes of peace.  Of quiet.  45 minutes to organize my life.

But I just can't move.

Piles of folded laundry and month-old mail and drying dishes start closing in.  Smothering.  Suffocating.

I turn instead to the buzzing white of my computer screen.  And somewhere in its vast depths I numb myself to the sense of failure that is everywhere.

Shopping with my husband today I pointed out a twenty dollar mail organizer. 

All the man said was, "Do we really need that?" and I practically stormed out of the store. 

He tried desparately to pull me out on the car ride home.  To understand why this was so important to me.

I mean, we already own a perfectly nice mail bin.

The words escaped me at the time.  I kept rambling about how I want to redecorate and how everything needs organized.

But I think what I meant was this.

Yes, we already own a mail bin, but that's not what I want.

It's too revealing. I want something to hide the mess. Something to tuck it all neatly away so I can pretend it's just not there.

I need to cover it up.

Because lately, at night, I lie awake with my heart racing.  I think about books that need returned and friends I need to call and rebates and paperwork and cleaning and all the things that are piling, piling, piling.

My throat closes up and I pry my heavy eyes open, straining toward the light of the television, hoping the laughter will somehow drown out my thoughts. 

I need something to hide the mess.  Something to tuck it all neatly away so I can pretend it's just not there.

I need to cover it up.

Because tomorrow I face another day with its lists of to-do's and should've-done-months-ago's.

And I keep thinking if I could just start... just organize the mail or put away the laundry or send that e-mail... then everything else will fall into place.

But I can't. 

I feel frozen...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Goodbye kiddos, hello margarita!

My in-laws live about 30 feet away from us. 

At first I hesitated at the close proximity.  I mean, what if we were doing a little something in the living room, accidentally leave the blinds open...

Or even worse, what if they're doing a little something in the kitchen, we happen to glance over (wondering what's on the stove and whether it is worth fishing for an invitation) and...

You get the point.

But we couldn't beat the rent and we are pretty tight with the landlords (also my in-laws), so we moved in straight from the honeymoon. 

Now I love my in-laws.  I really do.  They respect our privacy and, unlike the many comments I receive regarding Everybody Loves Raymond, they completely control their nosiness, refraining from any unannounced pop-overs. 

That being said, we certainly experience both highs and lows.

But in the end, what really matters is...

The free babysitting!

We try our hardest not to take advantage, but the people love their grandkids.  It's like they can't get enough.  And really, who am I to deny them that simple pleasure?  Right?

Evenings out, however, remain rare for my husband and I. 

I feel too guilty imagining my mother-in-law flipping through the four channels on our big box of a television when their 50" (right?) HDTV sits a mere 30 feet away, taunting her with its Food Network and Lifetime movies.

And also, my kids cannot do without me at bedtime.

Oh crap, I forgot my husband's reading again... what with  this post about my partial nudity and all.

Fine, so maybe they don't exactly need me.  But they certainly want me.  Prefer me?  Tolerate me?

Okay, okay.  Those boys could care less whether I am there or not.

I mean, at first The Tine chants, "Mommy doe?  Mommy doe?  Mommy doe?"

But then cookies and bubbles and the undivided attention of Grammy and Pap abound and when I rush in early the next morning he tears around the house, demanding, "Brammy Pap doe?  Brammy Pap doe?"  (translation:  Where did Grammy and Pap go?).

And that baby really does adore me, but when it comes to bedtime he cares very little about anything apart from his fuzzy pajamas and snuggly, warm crib sheets.

So when date night rolls around every couple of months or so, I spend approximately 30 minutes pre-departure strangling the control freak mom inside.  You know, the one that wants to dictate minute by minute the itinerary of events for the evening.

I hold back, but it must come out somehow.

So here it is. 

10 Things You Need to Know about Dinner, Bath, Bed, and My Sweet Little Babies

1. When feeding The Tine, name the meal according to its most appealing ingredient.  For example, a chicken wrap involving a whole wheat tortilla, baked chicken, sprouts, parsley, and a tiny sprinkling of cheese, must be referred to as a "cheesy wrap" for consumption purposes.

2.  Stick what you will in Bady's mouth, bottle, spoon, pizza (you know I'm kidding on that one, right?  Because it is a choking hazard and I will probably explode with worry if I don't clear that up)... unless it is milk-producing flesh, he will clamp those little lips and no amount of airplanes or "boop boop" noises will open him up.  Don't worry about it, he will just wake up 16 times tonight to make up for it.  And in an attempt to ease my guilt for leaving him in the first place, I will quickly oblige.

3.  Do not touch The Tine's clothing.  He recently watched Head to Toe with Elmo and insists on undressing himself.  Blood may appear when he wrenches his diaper to his knees without undoing the tabs, but please remain silent while he proves his manhood.  Afterwards profuse clapping and the singing of high praises is required.

4. The Tine adores his bath.  He loves duckies and bubbles and drinking the warm, urine-filled water.  But he considers the actual bathing process a complete injustice.  For full cooperation please place Elmo in a seated position on the pot, making sure he retains an unobstructed view of the bath.  Use the phrase, "Elmo is watching" at the first sign of tantrum.  Do not worry about scarring the child.  We already have that covered.

5.  Just so you are well informed... that boy will do anything to stall the bedtime process.  He will want to eat a vitamin on the potty immediately after bath.  He will ask for multiple stories and, right when you are ready to remove him from the toilet, he will start yelling, "Peepee come down!  Peepee come down!"  Do not be fooled.  Nothing is coming down.  Except perhaps that thread of sanity that is currently hanging by a wee little string.

6.  Just go ahead and pick a book for bedtime.  I used to let him choose any book he wanted.  Big mistake.  Then I narrowed it down to two.  And while watching him put his finger to his lips and mull over his choices with a long, drawn out, "hmmmmmmmmmm" was super cute at first, it got annoying fast.  He can veto the choice, however, which he indicates with a long, whiny, "Nooooooooo."  In this case give him a choice or two.  I mean, I'm not a freaking dictator, I just want to sit down already.  Is that really so wrong?

7.  After you read the book, he will want to read it to you.  It is another stall, but go ahead and let him.  I mean, we're not going to beat those other preschoolers with a couple extra minutes of sleep, but if I can get him reading by three... (evil laugh)

8.  After tearing the book from his surprisingly strong little hands he will want you to ask what he did today (which he will remind you about by saying, over and over again, "Do today?  Do today?  Do today?").  He will rarely ever tell you what he actually did that day.  He will always tell you he went Pap's house, whether he did or not, because we laughed at that once.  Then he will want to know what you did today.  And he actually listens.  I don't really care if this one's a stall because it is so stinking sweet.

9.  He will not kiss you goodnight, but pour on your kisses lavishly.  Hug his tiny toddler body until he pushes you away and blow kisses as you leave the room.  Don't bother going far.  A curtain call awaits very shortly.  More kisses and hugs and away he goes to dream land.

10.  Oh crap, the baby!  Yeah, you can just put him in his crib.  He will be slumbering shortly!  (But don't rest too easy, the toddler years are not far off.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dreading the dishes: There's an App for that

I am not all that into music. 

Sure, as a teenager I spent hours in my room pining after the Backstreet Boys and screaming Spice Girls lyrics, but my interest weaned to nearly nonexistent levels after college.

It is not that I don't enjoy music.  I think I really get the art of it.  I love myself a good melody and mulling over deep lyrics (though not too deep, not poetic symbolic deep... that stuff frustrates me). 

I just never know what to listen to.  My husband owns an iPod, but the vast selection of songs makes me feel like a claustrophobe in an elevator.  My throat tightens as my eyes nervously scan through artists, songs, and albums too numerous and varied to choose. 

On my more courageous days I venture a musical guess, only to experience complete disconnect with my album of choice.

In less adventurous times I throw the thing back at my husband and savor the silence.

But not tonight.  Oh not tonight.

Tonight my husband created art in the kitchen.  A delicious Thai feast that left my taste buds buzzing and my kitchen... well, a disaster.

Piled dishes, cilantro-covered floor, and some kind of hard core glue holding my butt to the chair.

I needed some kind of motivation, a small piece of inspiration...

I needed an app for that!

And I found it.

It is called Moodagent and it is unbelievable. 

You just move these fun little bars to match your mood at the moment, and Moodagent generates a whole playlist of songs (from your own library) based on that mood.

Or if you are completely indecisive like me and start to panic that you placed the Tender bar too high and Joy too low, you simply pick a song.  Just one song that you're really feeling and a whole playlist of songs with similar moods magically appears.

(And the best part is, it's free!)

So I'm listening to music again.

And loving it. 

I have yet to come across a song I am not in the mood for.

And instead of dreading the dishes, I look forward to them.

I may have even wiped an extra counter or two just to prolong the fun!

(But don't tell my husband!)


More tips at We Are THAT Family!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't make me come out of this computer!

I am a complete perfectionist.

I would say I hate that about me, but in all my perfectionism I only want to be a better perfectionist.  Perfectionizing in all areas of life to a perfect degree.

So while blogging is a sweet relief, it also constitutes the worst form of torture.

In the form of...


(duh, duh, duh)

I hate that little button.  It seriously taunts me.  (And in a British accent of all things.)

"Would you like to publish this post?  No seriously, you're going to publish this junk?  I mean, I was kind of kidding there.  I didn't think you would actually put these meaningless words on display for all the world to see.  Wait.  What are you doing with that curser.  Get that thing away from me.  Seriously, don't... come... any... closer..."

Well, you get the point. 

I simply cannot post every day. 

When I strive for quantity a vicious cycle commences.

I post.  A few days pass and I get a little jittery.  I notice my bloggy friends are writing two or three posts to my one.  And good ones at that.

So I turn one out.  I ignore the sassy British lady and publish that post.  I breath a sigh of relief and step away from the computer.

And panick. 

What in the world did I just put out there?  Did it even make sense?  Why would I word it like that?  Did I really just use passive voice for three paragraphs?

Well, maybe no one read it yet.  Oh crap, a comment.  Now there's no going back.

I need to write something else.  Quick.  Publish.



Did I just write an entire post about laundry?

Now there are times when I am proud of what I write.  When my words at least make me feel something.  I love capturing my emotions at any given point and knowing that in five years I can look back and experience this time in my life all over again.

And perhaps one day I will appreciate my sentiments on the hazards of laundry day.

But probably not.

Oh well, guess it's time to publish this post.

No, you shut up.

Am I publishing a post about publishing posts?  Why yes I am.

Do you have a problem with that?

Oh yeah, well I don't like scones.  So take that.

You're right, I love scones.  I can't get enough of their floury goodness and delicious chunks of chocolate and raspberries and...

Stop trying to distract me!







Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gifts from the kids, straight from the heart (and butt crack)

What my children gave me this mother's day.

6:45 - One vomit soaked baby and crib

6:50 - Laundry

7:00 - My biggest fan screaming my name... over... and over... and over. 

7:45 - A potty partner (nothing like a baby on your lap, unraveling toilet paper, to say, "you will never be lonely again!")

8:00 - One ham and cheese scramble coming up!

8:30 - Dishes.

9:00 - A hot, quiet shower.

9:15 - A card, hand-made and delivered to a dripping wet mommy... and the question, "Mommy penis doe?"

9:16 - Laughter

9:40 - A father-son outing and a quiet house

9:55 - One poop-filled diaper... and pants... and shirt (at which point I am pretty sure my 6 month-old smiled and exclaimed, "Happy Mother's Day!")

10:00 - Laundry

10:10 - A late departure for an afternoon with the in-laws

11:00 - 3:00 - Mother's Day Festivities (Train museum and lunch.  It may be Mother's Day, but if toddler's not happy, nobody's happy.)

4:30 - Baby laughter (and hungry toddler tantrums).

5:00 - A sweet sibling moment that went something like this...

The baby cried as I mercilessley sucked mucus from his congested, little nose. Meanwhile, I heard The Tine in the background, rooting through the fridge, mumbling about the baby. I imagined he would emerge with a yogurt demanding that I abandon the baby and help him with his snack. Instead he ran over with a bag full of Bady's cold teethers, pulled one out, and proceeded to shove it in his mouth, repeating, "It's otay baby, it's otay." When the baby shot a grin his way he absolutely lit up and proclaimed, "Daddy, baby happy, baby happy!"

6:30 - A tiny, toddler hand, gently stroking my cheek

6:31 - The knowledge that said tiny, toddler hand just minutes earlier explored the mysterious crevices of tiny toddler's butt crack.

6:32 - More laughter.  The "butt"-induced kind.  (The best kind.)

7:30 - Sweet memories: After a day of fun-filled, train-happy activities I asked my toddler, "What did you do today?"  To which he responded, "I poopoo-ed at Pap's house!" (That was sixty dollars I'll never see again.)

7:45 - A break... finally!

Hope your Mother's Day was filled with the kisses, laughter, and poop-filled diapers that let you know you are loved!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Honey, I'm Cooking Indian Wearing Nothing But an Apron (Now Will You Please Read My Blog!)

My husband was this blog's original reader.

For a while he was the only reader. 

He sat next to me when I jumped out of my chair, electried by my very first comment (thanks Helene!).

He explained why someone else's picture suddenly popped up on my blog (and that followers are not the same as stalkers).

He discussed with me the content of my posts and used it for insight into the workings of my mind.

Now I am not bragging many followers and I certainly can't claim status as a comment queen...

But those of you who (for some reason) care about the things I write... well, you apparently lifted a serious burden from my husband's shoulders.

I can't get him to read this thing for the life of me. 

I write posts about him, about our "hoyney" toddler , and even one about how much I suck (I mean, he could have a field day with that one)!

I quiz him regularly with seemingly casual questions, which, after an appropriate amount of blank stares and head nods, I simply retort, "You would know if you read my blog."

Nothing works.

He claims he is waiting for time to sit down and enjoy it (okay, I have to give him one thing... the man is king of sensitive excuses that are practically impossible to argue with).

So I am brainstorming some future posts in the hopes of reclaiming what is rightfully mine... the complete absorption and near obssesion of my husband (that was in our vows, right?).

These ought to do it.

1.  An Apple a Day (ipad review and giveaway)

2. Doing Business While Doing Your Business (10 Ways to Stay Entertained in the Bathroom)

3. How To Brew Beer in Your Basement

4. My Thoughts on Lost: So Much More Than a TV Show

5. One More Check: How I Completed the Laundry, Cleaned, and Cooked All in One Day

(Okay, he may not read that one, but he would certainly get a good laugh from the title.)

6. Hungry No More: The Decision To Pack My Husband's Lunch for the Rest of His Life

And if all else fails, the title of this post...

7. Honey, I'm Cooking Indian Wearing Nothing But an Apron

Of course I don't know if he will read this or just book it home (to be bitterly disappointed by my empty kitchen and puke-stained t-shirt).

Either way, I got his attention, didn't I?


What title would get your significant other clicking that link faster than a McDonald's drive-thru?

Monday, May 3, 2010

At the End of the Day (Where I Want To Be)

A hot pink corvette, giggly girl, and crooning Elvis can only mean one thing.

 Someone got married!

Okay, so it was just my cousin.  Not too exciting for any of you.

But they did it.  A semi-planned elopement of sorts.

(And I have to say, I get it... I really do.  As an avid procrastinator and disorganized mess, wedding planning was nothing short of torture.  And with all the pressure to invite everyone and their mother, literally, I completely understand.)

So her parents threw her an adults-only celebration party (she refused to call it a reception) this past weekend.

And for the very first time since the birth of my first son we left the kids with someone who was not our parents.

Two someones to be exact.

My high school and middle school-aged cousins.

While this may seem crazy, the eldest cousin completed babysitter training (whatever that means) and they are both like 30 year-olds trapped in teenage bodies (plus we were less than 10 minutes away should chaos ensue).

I was nervous, but not about the kid's safety (Okay, that's a big lie.  For anyone who knows me I am ALWAYS nervous about my kid's safety.  In fact, I possess the unique ability to project disaster into every possible situation.  Not to brag, but it's one of my few talents!)

So anyhow, I may have spent a few sleepless nights imagining my toddler falling in the pool, my panicked cousin dropping the baby to go in after him and... well, for the sake of maintaing some semblance of sanity, I will leave it at that.  Just know it did not end well.

But I would picture those things with my parents, in-laws, husband, and even myself.  So that wasn't it.

I was nervous for one simple reason.  My two little boys are fatal attraction, borderline obsessed with me.  I mean, really, it is kind of creepy.

Every night my husband puts my son in a bath while I get the baby to bed.  Literally just sticks him in the tub.  And every night, the minute his bottom submerges, my needy little man begins the momma crescendo.  It starts as a whine and builds to a panicky scream.  "Momma!  Momma!  Momma doe?  Need Momma!!  Momma!!!"  Every night.

And even though he shares me with a mommy-dependent toddler, our little bundle of baby manages his own mom addiction.  I am like heroin to him.  He is such a little baby I sometimes forget he even notices me.  Until I go away.  And he reminds me in no uncertain terms that he expects my arrival very shortly.  And continues his obtrusive reminders until my return.

So when I left the kids happily snuggled up to my doting cousins I felt both proud and relieved. 

I went to that party and I drank a glass of wine.  (Okay, half a glass of wine.  I was so woozy halfway through that I gave the rest to my husband.  Can you tell I lead an exciting night life?)

After two plus hours of barely thinking about the kids I called my cousins, just to check in.  Everything was great, he said. 

I wanted to ask if the baby fell asleep and if The Tine ate, knowing full well that both events would set the tone for the rest of the evening.

But I didn't.

I decided to play the cool, laid back mom, resting in the knowledge that my kids were okay and glossing over the details.

Big mistake.

Fifteen minutes later I received the dreaded phone call.  I could barely hear my cousin what with my frantically screaming duo in the background.

I jetted home (in a safe-ish fashion), my heart pounding in my chest and doubts pounding in my head.  

The kids were calm when we walked in the door, but resumed their desperate sobs at the sound of my voice.

They were fine, of course.  But the baby, in fact, did not sleep.  And my toddler grew frantic upon hearing a clock, which he mistook for the doorbell (announcing mommy's arrival).

It so was not a big deal, but I left with this weight in my chest.  

Was I an irresponsible mother?  Were my cousins scarred?  Would they hate my children?  Would my children hate me?     

But then I recalled a conversation from earlier that evening (pre-disastrous phone call).

My uncle told us about a time he babysat my aunt's (his sister's) kids.  After a few hours he was forced to call her.  "Come home," my uncle demanded, "he won't stop screaming."

My uncle is now 50 plus years-old.  A successful lawyer.  Single, no kids.  What he remembers most from that evening is this...

"I expected her to be mad when she got home.  But she wasn't.  She was happy to be home with her kids.  She actually wanted to come home to them." 

My aunt nodded from across the table and an hour later, in the same situation, I agreed.

I wanted to hold my babies.  To sit between their carseats and listen to my toddler relate groggy stories about his evening.  To gaze into my baby's eyes as I rocked him to sleep.  To lay down with The Tine while he played with my hair, eyes fluttering closed. 

To stand with my husband's arm around my shoulders, looking down at our sleeping children in a room thick with satisfaction and joy.

My carefree days are truly over.  Long gone.

But standing in this place, I can honestly say, I am lucky.
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