Saturday, May 31, 2008

I am a bitter woman, hear me roar

I am a bitter woman. My husband left early this afternoon for Las Vegas. For 6 days. No, he is not going just for fun - it is for work. But I am still bitter. I am left alone for 6 days with 2 kids, a cat and a guinea pig. And work at home and work at work. You know, before having children, I didn't think much about the difficulties faced by single parents. After having children, I am truly amazed. I don't know how single parents manage. And stay sane.

But more about my bitterness. Tomorrow is my son's end of the season t-ball party. It is a pool party. I'm responsible for a dessert and beer. Which is also making me bitter because I'm trying to show up the other moms by making homemade baseball-themed chocolate lollipops and it is taking longer than I wanted. I'm not supposed to admit that making the lollipops is an exercise in proving I'm a good mommy, am I? Yes, my name is Jennifer and I'm trying to prove I am a supermom (although I know that I fail miserably most of the time).

I am also responsible for keeping my children safe - but I absolutely dread putting on a swimsuit. I didn't even own one until yesterday. I have yet to lose the "baby weight." Can it still be called baby weight when your youngest child is 3? How long can you call it baby weight - does it still work when they are in college?

So, how am I going to manage a pool party with 2 children who are going to want to go in the pool without putting on a swimsuit? Can I bring the Wii we bought for my husband for Father's Day (that my son gave him weeks early because he wanted to play)? I suppose that would show that (1) I am a bad mommy and not only do I let him play, but I am encourage him to play instead of going in the pool just so I don't have to face my fear and put on a swimsuit; and (2) that I'm a bad guest. So much for faking the supermom crap.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bad Mommy Moments & Mommy Confessions

One of my favorite bloggers, Michelle over at Mommy Confessions has confessed to recently reaching a breaking point when one of her kids, fondly known as the demon seed, tagged 4 rooms in her home with black pencil. Not the end of the world - yes, Michelle, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (or the Target knock off if you are saving money) will quickly remove those marks. Granted, those nifty magic erasers may not be the "greenest" or least toxic item you can buy, but it will save the demon seed.

Michelle invites all other moms to post their bad mommy moment confessions. I'll be guest blogging my deepest, darkest bad mommy moment as soon as I can figure out which of the many most shames me. Or perhaps most needs confessing. Are you on the edge of your seat?

On the flip side, the kids truly have to be horrible to get me to a breaking point. I'm a pretty easy going mom. Want proof? Here are my children after painting Valentine's Day cards for their dad . . . in my breakfast room . . . we had a good time and that is paint, not mud (non toxic paint):

Please don't try this at home!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bad Mommy Moment #1,323

Today is Memorial Day. And before I write anything else I just want to honor those that have given their service and their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

My children played outside most of today. It has rained off and on the past two days, but today was sunny, if a little cold. Again, the weather has been extremely odd for Los Angeles. In any event, both my children were playing outside with water balloons and buckets. And, I am a bad mommy. It wasn't until they were outside for quite a bit that I realized that they didn't have sunblock on. It wasn't entirely my fault - my husband set them up outside so I sort of assumed that he had taken care of it.

Of course, I shouldn't have assumed. He never really remembers about sunblock.

So, now they both have burns. And I just feel horribly guilty. I'm fair skinned, so I know the importance of sunscreen. Yet, I let my kids get sunburns. Aarghh . . . . bad mommy moment number 1,323. I'm sure there are many more to come.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese, Potty Adventures and Going Commando

My husband needed to work on his PhD today. He is on the 15 year plan right now. Or more. I stopped keeping track about 10 years ago. In any event, he needed about 6 hours of time to work, without interruption, so I volunteered to take the kids out. And I just want to point out that I never get that luxury, because even when I'm supposed to have no interruptions when working at home, he still interrupts me every 10 minutes or so with questions - where are Princess' socks? what should I give them for lunch? do you really let the guinea pig run around on the grass? etc.

A fellow mom friend who was also abandoned by her husband today (who needed to work too) and I decided to brave Chuck E. Cheese with our 4 kids (2 each - we each have a boy and a girl - the girls are 3 and the boys are 5). I convince her it will be okay. That perhaps we'll have fun - at least we could, if we drank enough beer.

And it mostly was. (And we didn't drink any beer.) Although it was cold and drizzling here on and off (rare in Los Angeles in May), Chuck E. Cheese wasn't crowded. The kids had a great time. My pony-crazy daughter rode the horse (it is a horse that moves with a screen in front showing a race track) for about an hour without being interrupted. My son and his friend played basketball, skeetball and an alien shoot-em-up game for about 2 hours. We had a few interventions along the way. Then, my son runs up to me, visibly upset:

"Mama, I went pee in my pants."

Usually, this wouldn't be much of a problem because I am known for having extra clothing, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, spare change, blankets, towels, stuffed animals, DVDs, assorted tools, and a small army hidden in my minivan. But not today. The day before, my husband forced me to clean out my car because he wanted to vacuum up some kitty litter that had spilled all over my car (from a box purchased at Target - not used kitty litter). For some reason, he thought it ws toxic, although I only buy the kitty litter made from wheat. So it isn't toxic.

In any event, I didn't get the assortment of items back into the car. So I had nothing.

"Well, do you still need to go potty?" So, off we went running to address the need. And I discover that my son's pants are wet, not just slightly damp, and he needs a change. Super mom that I am, I realize that there is a used children's clothes shop in the same strip mall, so we head over to purchase new clothing while my friend watches the remaining 3 kids. However, the shop only has nice boy pants in a 6, and no underwear. We make do - I tell my son he can go commando. He looks a me strangely, but agrees. I roll the pant waistband.

After maxing out on Chuck E. Cheese, we decide to go see Prince Caspian. Which is fine and goes well, except I make 2 potty trips with my son and 1 with my daughter. And each time I go, I ask each kid whether a potty trip is needed, but they are completely unable to coordinate bathroom trips. So I'm not sure what happened in parts of the movie. With 3 potty trips for me and 2 for my friend, I think the people at the end of the aisle were a little annoyed.

On the way out of the theater, my friend and I both ask whether anybody has to use the potty. Of course, no one takes us up on this offer, being much more intrigued with the video games.

We head towards the car, and then my friend's son pipes up that he has to go. Number 2. Right now. So she ducks in to the nearest store. I wait with other three outside, where they are mock fighting with straw swords. My friend comes out and he son is wearing her sweatshirt tied around his waist, and nothing else.

"What happened?"

"The bathroom was being used and he didn't make it. After all that junk food, he had a blow out. Standing in line to use the bathroom. So I just threw out it all out and wrapped the sweatshirt around his waist."

"He got his shoes?"

She just looked at me wearily.

Okay, so now both my son and his friend are commando. Not the best day for potty runs. So, we continue to head to the car, through the rest of the outdoor mall. The darling children pretend that they are centaurs from Prince Caspian. And my son's too big pants fall down to his knees, displaying one bare tushie to all, while his friend loses his sweatshirt entirely and displays everything. And the two of them think that it is awfully funny, so we had a heck of a time rounding them up. And hustling them to the car.

At home, I ask my husband whether he got his work done. He says that he did. And that he had time to sit in the soft sided jacuzzi and take a nap.

And he asks, "So, did you have fun?" Am I allowed to hit him?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shopping with 1 husband and 2 kids = HELL

The family went shopping today. Yes, we stupidly went shopping on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Not my idea. My husband (aka Smug Dad) (and better known to me as PITA - pain in the a$$) bought a new computer, so he wanted to move his old computer to the family room. And that, of course, necessitated buying a desk for the old computer to put in the family room. Which meant that we had to go shopping.

My husband, of course, cannot go shopping by himself. Even with specific instructions. I think he does it just to prove that he can't go shopping, but he always comes back with the WRONG THING, and then a whole bunch of something else we don't need. Send him to the store to get toilet paper, and he'll forget the toilet paper (despite a written list) and come back with 2 pounds of strawberries and 4 tubes of toothpaste. I truly do not know what goes on in his mind.

"Where's the toilet paper?"

"Oh. I forgot."

"That's what you were supposed to get."

"I got toothpaste. And some strawberries for the kids." He says this proudly. As if I should give him a gold star. And I'm trying to hunt down some baby wipes or something else I can use so I can just go to the bathroom.

So, back to the story, I mean who goes shopping with the ENTIRE family on Memorial Day weekend? Especially with a husband that HATES TO SHOP (unless it is for tools). Not my idea of a good time. And we weren't doing any light shopping - we tackled Ikea. 1 cranky mom, 1 smug dad, 1 Karate-crazed 5 year old boy and 1 Princess. In Ikea.

We head up the 2 story outdoor escalator.

"Mama, has anybody fallen off?" asks son. I don't know. I'm trying not to think about it as my son leans precariously over the rail to see just how far down it is.

We wind our way through IKEA to the office section. My daughter and son devise a new game that involves scooting around on the chairs with wheels while I try desperately to round them up into some semblance of polite behavior. Another mom smiles knowingly at me.

"I have to go potty," says the Princess. One bathroom trip down. Meet up with PITA and son. They have picked out the desk, but have not written down where it is located in the self serve section of IKEA. Back to the office section to figure out what aisle and bin selected desk is in. Find it, get in line, another potty trip, this time with son.

We go to lunch at Charo Chicken. I get 2 potty trips with Princess and 1 potty trip with son. I don't know why I always get the bathroom trips in public. But I do. When we are cleaning up, PITA says he has to go the bathroom and I sweetly ask if he needs an escort too. I get an eye roll.

Then we head to the mall portion to get son new clothing and Princess new underwear. The mall has a play area, so PITA and my adorable children head to play while I tackle Old Navy. Old Navy has shorts for my son, but does not have pink underwear for the Princess. The Princess will only wear pink or ponies. That is all. So, I go next door to The Children's Place. Which does not have underwear, but has plain white bike shorts that I get for under dresses. But, the sales associate ringing up customers is extremely SLOW. And that is an understatement. How hard can it be to ring up customers? Pretty hard when you obviously can't do simple math and rely on the computer to do all the work. Apparently, if you type in the wrong amount of cash you received from the customer and the customer tries to give you back the extra money you gave in change, it must be the customer that is wrong, not you & the computer. Let's see - it was $18.32 and I gave you $20.32, but since you typed in $200.32, I should get back $182 isntead of $2? I like the math, but . . .

Escape the store and head over to children and PITA. "Where were you? Did you go window shopping? What took so long?"

Hmm, yeah. That's what I was doing. I went strolling and window shopping. And then I got my nails done. Which, if you know me, I never do. Actually, what I was doing was contemplating how far I could get with that $182 before I got dragged back to my life.

My husband: "You know, it was getting a little hectic here. The kids were just running around screaming, and it is sure loud with all these kids. I think I need a nap."

I should have taken that $182 and run.