At breakfast my littles sat down in a tired end of the school year bad mood and asked this:
"Mom, on track and field day, can we be sick?"
Um, what? Track and field is the reason that this family has no student loans to repay. Track and field is the reason that you have been able to travel all over the place to my races and stand around bored to pieces while being forced to watch me run and the reason you have an "Aunt" Holly. I went to college on a track and field scholarship for peets sake! Why don't you just stick a knife in my heart and twist it around for awhile? As I compose myself, take a deep breath and choose not to respond, I see my husband giggling out of the corner of my eye.
Thus started my list of things that I wish my kids understood and that I just don't understand about being The Mom. That and the fact that a reader told me she appreciated that I write about things that are real. Well, buckle up, in our house this is as real as it gets. It also may explain my sense of overwhelmed exhaustion also known as motherhood. And to think, when I was growing up, I thought stay-at-home moms just didn't want to work. REALITY CHECK on aisle 5!
** I am willing to get up (or at least try), at the crack of dawn so that I can get my run or bike ride in, start making breakfast, three lunches and sometimes even dinner before you get up because I love you and that is my job. Please realize that Mommy needs a workout, her tea and her meds before being bombarded with a thousand questions at the butt crack of dawn. That is the way it is. Period. End of story. Deal with it.
** Yes, you can and will make your own bed. Why, because it is on your chore list that I, as your mother, am entitled to make for you and enforce. No, I am not going to make my bed, that is something that your Daddy does because he knows I will not do it. He loves to make the bed, he wants to, he can't wait to do it every morning, right Love?
While you and Daddy take 60 seconds to make your bed and brush your teeth, Supermom will put on her cape, feed the dog, make your breakfast, make your lunch and look over your math that you failed to mention needed done until 10 minutes before departure time, try to remember everything that needs to be brought to school, get your hair done in some sort of semi-acceptable manner and get you out the door without tears. Their tears, not mine, there is still a chance mine will come later.
** Daddy takes the kids to school. Yes, I realize how incredibly lucky I am. However, on occasion, there may be a day when I have volunteered to help out with a morning activity or Daddy has to be at work early. On these days, I will do my best not to embarrass you with my appearance (I look damn good in a page boy hat) but if I am wearing my fuzzy, red santa socks because I still had them on from the night before, you need not point them out to me with disgust or a "nice socks mom/hun" comment. I am well aware that they are still on. It is still snowing in May, I am cold and my shoes will cover them.
Speaking of embarrassment, how did our kids get that old already? When did the "you are wearing that" question come into their little heads? I am still cool, damn it!
** Unless our house is on fire, I am not going to town in my yoga pants or without mascara on so deal with the 2 minutes of extra time it may take. If I do, someone might mistake me for your older brother and then you will have to deal with Mommy crying in public.
** Do not complain about your lunch I packed. I short order cook breakfast, pack individual lunches based on each of your totally different palates and I either skip lunch or eat leftovers that no one else will eat. You have a brother and sister in Africa who may not have gotten lunch at all. If you are going to bring your lunch home half full and feed it to our spoiled chickens, I am not making you a full lunch tomorrow. Our daughter learned this the hard way. Insert my snide giggle here.
** We have gorgeous wood floors in our house. They are a beast to keep clean or at least it seems that way in the spring when the sun shines through the windows in the morning. Damn you spring sunshine! If you come home from school/work and all the shades are pulled even though it is gorgeous outside, it is because the sun highlights all your daily Wheat Thins and eraser crumbs that have created an elite club under the breakfast bar. I see them, thank you for letting me know that you do as well. The vacuum is in the closet right behind you. It is on my list of things to do!
** "Mom/Honey, there is nothing to eat!" Hmmm, how do you figure?
** Wait, STOP! I know you just stepped over that basket of laundry that needs to be put away. You went upstairs to take of your school uniform and then came back down those same stairs while proclaiming, "I'm hungry". I strategically put those baskets on said stairs because I figure you are old enough to put away your own clothes. Honey, that goes for you too!!!!
By the way, I tested this notion once, the basket sat at the top of the stairs for a week until they claimed they had no clean clothes to wear. You are 8 and 10. I am not putting away your laundry.
** It has taken me 10 years to train my husband to not ask (as often) what "we" are making for dinner. I do continue to wonder who this WE is that he is referring to???
**If, for some reason, we are going out to dinner, I do NOT want to choose the place. I make a million decisions a day including what was for breakfast, lunch and the next 25 dinners, please do not look at me and wait for an answer. Not happening. Plus, I know you don't want to eat where I want to so, why are you asking?
**Back to the never ending topic of laundry. On Sundays, "we" do laundry. When asked to please bring their laundry downstairs so "we" can do it, this is what I come back to our master bedroom to find.
Mind you, Josh and I don't have our laundry in here yet. Our kids wear a uniform to school every day. Where did all these clothes come from and whose are they??? I go through ONE outfit a day. I quite commonly will wear it again a few days later (with different accessories of course) and on most days TWO sets of workout clothes. Josh wears the same jeans all week and a uniform shirt. Our combined laundry doesn't even touch one of these piles and our clothes are TWICE as big! Oh my goodness, we have two more of these piles headed our way soon!
You may notice there are not two children present in this photo sorting their "laundry" that just exploded onto our floor. Apparently, even though they are well educated on this matter, their laundry fairy will be in shortly to do so. Whew!
** By the way, I am still not putting away your laundry.
Kids are in bed, sweet! Wait a sec, now it is time for the second half of the work day to begin.
**When husband of the year (also known as man who wants some lovin' later) offers to do the dishes so you can have that extra time to go get something done elsewhere in the house, why are only the actual dishes in the dishwasher, but most pots, pans and leftovers are still on the stove or in the sink? I have been married long enough to just expect this and smile. At least he tried right?
If yours doesn't do this, kudos to you but I know they are out there :)
** Husband that "did" the dishes, is done doing whatever it is they do after the kids are in bed, and is ready for bed himself (if you know what I mean). Why do they call out "Honey, what are you doing?" You are now folding laundry, finishing the rest of the dishes or looking over the math paper that may have actually been given to you the night before it is due?
They can't possibly be that clueless!! I have decided that the proper answer to this question, if called out to you while you are in another room is this:
"I am getting ready for you baby, would you prefer black stilettos tonight or the red negligee that I bought for our honeymoon?"
This should be said while laughing and screaming inside all at the same time. I wonder how long he will be waiting in our room? He knows darn well that drawer of honeymoon lingerie hasn't been cracked open since our honeymoon, 11 years ago. In fact, I have been reminded of that at least once a month since our honeymoon. Hello, if items in that drawer are used, that makes more laundry!
Plus, it could be worse, I could actually have to make our own bed!!! Insert full body shiver here.