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It’s parenting, not a nightmare.

My name is Colleen. I’m a mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old and have come to the conclusion that even though they drive me nuts, I am going to thoroughly enjoy my crazy, willful kids and be a happy mom. What follows are my revelations and how I plan to make my house a happy one, no matter what tantrums come my way.

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Bleh

Sad-Cat-1I suppose it’s fortunate that I didn’t get sick until my family was well… but damn.  I spent the entire day yesterday lying in bed feeling horrible.

I’m taking it easy today, but really I’m just tired.  Those 24 hour bugs are a bitch, but at least they live up to their name.

That’s the thing about being sick.  It gives you all this free time, just lying around.  And yet, you can’t do a damn thing!  I couldn’t focus on anything.  I couldn’t read or write… I could barely watch a movie.  When everything is swimming in front of your eyes it makes it very unenjoyable.  So then you come out of it having accomplished absolutely nothing except taking extra naps.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t complain so much.  I mean, how many times have I said I wished I could take a nap?

Fine.  Then this is me bragging to all the other healthy moms out there.

I took two naps yesterday!  Ha!

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The Truth

85d0a294b16c8df5e424cd379b18e004You know those comedians that talk about how you can’t just blithely walk out the door to go somewhere when you’ve got kids?

It’s true.  In the old days, before kids, you’d just put your coat on, grab your purse and go.  Nowadays you put the kids’ coats on, struggle to put their shoes on (once you find them), get the kids strapped into car seats, go back inside for a potty break, repack the toy bag because their favorites change every half hour, go back out to the car, run back inside because you forgot your coat… the list goes on.  You don’t just walk out the door and go where you want to go.  You have to start this plan a half hour early in an attempt to get anywhere on time.

Here’s another difference between life before kids and what life is like now…

Illness.

When you have a sick child it’s bad enough.  When you and your child are sick… you’d better hope you have two of everything.  Two cups, we don’t share.  Two movies cued and ready to go so you don’t have to get off the couch.  And two toilets within easy reach because you do NOT want to clean up yet another mess.

Well, we have made it through the battle yet again.  I have done five loads of laundry in the past two days, cleaned both toilets and scrubbed the living room and bedroom carpets with spot cleaner and deodorizer.

If I come down with what my family had, they had damn well better be healed and healthy so they can take care of my every whim.

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It could be worse

cute-animals-sleeping-stuffed-toys-7This morning began ominously.  My husband didn’t feel well (though still went to work as it wasn’t terrible) and my almost-4-year-old complained that his tummy hurt.  A few hours later he’d thrown up three times.  Apologizing after each one.

My aggravation at his complaining over everything dissipated and I went into nurse mode.  Never have I handled the grossness of vomit so well in all my life.

Now it’s a wait-and-see situation.

I think the most selfless thing I’ll ever do has been done this day.

I put my son down for a nap in my bed.  I’m risking my linens, my nighttime haven and my perfectly fluffed pillow to make sure he rests comfortably.  If that doesn’t get me in good with Santa this year I don’t know what will.

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Reverse Logic

hqdefaultAs the season dictates, I am faced with daily questions about Santa from my almost-4-year-old.

‘Why does he sit in a big chair at the mall?’

‘Why does he eat so many cookies?’

‘How will he get into our house?’

Most things can be explained by the traditions of Santa and the simple belief in magic.  But then you get the more complex problems, like the fact that we don’t have a fireplace.  Red flag right there.

Fortunately we have an easy out for that one.  We’ll be sleeping at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve.  Problem solved.

If he ever asks a question I don’t have a solid answer to, all I have to do is look at him like he’s crazy and get all sarcastic.  This usually does the trick.

‘But mommy, how does he fly?  The sleigh doesn’t have an engine.’

*gives my son a confused look* ‘Neither do birds… I don’t see the problem…’

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Bright Future

Animals-With-Butterflies-EMGN5I got a brief glimpse today of what a play date could look like in the not-too-distant-future.

We arrive at the friend’s house.

The kids retreat to a playroom.

Ahhhhh……..

Of course this time around that only lasted for about 5 minutes.  But I have high hopes for the future!  Can you imagine it??  Time to just chat with the adults and not spend every other sentence saying ‘Oooo, that’s a cool truck!’ or ‘Wow!!  I’ve never seen such an awesome shoe before!’

So I keep wishing, and hoping, and planning, and dreaming…

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I’m cool with that

2774495a64c5286d8f3d2ead84c0089a--grooming-dogs-grooming-salonI’ve decided to take a more straightforward approach to trauma-inducing activities such as haircuts and trimming of fingernails…

Bribing.

Rather than spend ten times the amount of time it would normally take to accomplish the task and end up with everyone in tears and fed up with each other, I’ve chosen the path of blatant bribing.

‘If you let me trim your hair, you can watch Sleeping Beauty.’

‘If you don’t throw a tantrum while I trim your fingernails, we can go play at the toy store.’

It may be an easy out, but in actuality it can be tougher in the end.  Reason being… follow through.  If they fail to comply with the parameters of the deal, you have to be willing to withhold the promised prize.  Then it’s just a matter of decided which was worse, the tantrum you tried to keep them from throwing or the tantrum they threw after the first one because they didn’t get what they wanted after all was said and done.

But in those golden moments of time when they stick it out and make it though the task at hand without incident…. Priceless.

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Holiday Shopping

BUCNVHwCcAAoXYTIn a lot of respects, my almost-4-year-old is very giving and unselfish.  In other ways he’s the typical child and will only focus on his own wants.

A prime example of this is during holiday shopping.  He can’t seem to get it into his head that we are looking for things to give to other people.  All he can seem to find are dinosaurs and trucks.  I have this funny feeling that not everyone on our shopping list would appreciate these gifts.

So, I have the perfect solution.

Get everyone those dinosaurs and trucks my son picked out and then tell them that if they want to actually make use of their gifts, they are more than welcome to come and babysit and my kids will show them how to play with them.

What was that about being selfish?  I would never be.