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You’ve Got Your Hands Full

Once a year the neighboring town has a huge community yard sale. I wanted to go, but alas, it was the one Saturday that my lovely husband was scheduled to work. However, today I woke up and the sky was bright, and all 3 kids were in a good mood, so off we went.

The yard sales are wildly popular, so the whole town turns into gridlock. So after weeding through traffic, we turned down a side street, found a parking spot, and unloaded. I strapped the little one to my chest, and plopped the big boys in the double umbrella stroller. Normally I would let the big boys walk, but the traffic was so thick, I felt that they would be a lot safer seated in a stroller. As I walked around the neighborhood perusing different yard sales (that were very picked over due to the fact that we weren’t early birds) people kept staring, and pointing, and gaping their mouths open a little. I wasn’t getting it, but then someone actually spoke to me. “Wow! You sure have your hands full!” I replied back happily, “Yes, full of blessings!” And it continued. Within one block three different people stopped to tell me how full my hands were. And each time, I took it as a compliment, smiled, and offered a kind word back.

I’m now quite used to navigating life with three kids that are 4 years old and under, and today everyone was well-behaved. It was easy, and I was excited to be “that” mom to these strangers. You know, the mom with a pile of small kids, who still manages to be put together and happy. Her kids are well-behaved, no one is crying, whining, fighting, spitting, or yelling “POO POO” the top of their lungs, and then giggling wildly. She remembered the sunscreen, her sweet little baby is giving everyone smiles, and she isn’t wearing clothes drenched in baby vomit. People thought I was that mom, and I was loving it. With three small kids, I rarely get to be that mom. It was awesome. For about 5 blocks. Then we came to the hill.

The path we took led us up a steep hill with no sidewalks. I was doing okay at 1st, but then the baby started to cry. I (of course) hadn’t brought a pacifier and the pre-nap meltdown was in full swing. I did a goofy bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy walk up the hill to try to calm him to sleep. “You’ve got your hands full!” I replied with a smile and a quick nod.

And then the hill got steeper. And I was feeling the full weight of the 80 or so pounds of toddler and preschooler I was pushing up the hill in the full heat 90 degree day. “You’ve got your hands full!” Bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy. A forced smile and a bright “Yep!” Bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy.

And the top of the hill was no where in sight. The baby spit up all down the front of me. I started to sweat. I forged on. Bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy. “Mommy! I gotta go potty! I gotta go NOW!” I double my speed. “Hold on buddy. We’ll be to a bathroom soon! Please try your hardest not to potty in your pants.” Bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy. Sprint.Sprint. Sprint. Bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy. Sprint. Sprint. Sprint. “You’ve got your hands full!” A half-smile and a half nod.

Yeah, I’m no longer “that” mom. I’m sweaty and hot. I’ve got a crying baby and a preschooler trying not to pee his pants. I’m so different from “that” mom, I can’t believe that I (or any one else) mistook myself for her. I’m a mess, just trying to keep up with caring for my three small boys. Then we arrive at the top of the hill.

The baby is suddenly quiet. He has succumbed to the many rounds of the bounce-bounce-jiggle-shimmy and is asleep against my chest. The big boys are chatting with each other about all the surroundings. I ask my oldest how he’s doing holding his potty in, and he replies “Oh, I’m fine mama. I’ll go potty when we eat lunch.”

I’m back to me. I’m by no means “that” mom, no matter how much I like wearing her perfectly coordinated shoes. I sometimes get to pretend to be her, but life is usually quick in snapping me back into reality. Sometimes I’m the sweaty exhausted mom, dancing her grumpy kids up a never-ending hill, but usually I’m just me. In clothes that rarely match and flip-flops carting my three awesome boys around, soaked in spit-up, making occasional emergency potty runs, breaking up fights over matchbox cars, watching my big boys delight in the big, exciting world around them, and feeling the rise and fall of my tiniest boy’s chest as he naps against me.

I don’t need to be “that” mom to know that my hands are indeed, full of blessings.

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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in kids, Parenting

 

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Seeking Mom Canidates

You must be available to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will allow you to have a second job, or go to school, or perhaps have a hobby, but you must be willing to drop these other thing immediately if we need you.

You must be willing to work from 6:30am to 8:30pm, and you will be on call all night, every night.

You must be able to multitask. This does not just mean that you can throw a load of clothes in the wash while making breakfast. You must multitask on a higher level. You have to be able to read the ingredient labels of food in the grocery store while holding a wiggling, screaming 25lb toddler, while managing to stop the preschooler from knocking over an entire display of wine bottles. Olympic gymnasts who have experience in law enforcement will be considered.

You must be able to run fast, with cat-like reflexes. Wether the child decides to wander into the street or hug a feral cat, you must always be prepared to spring into action. *On a related note, for your own safety, you should be fully vaccinated. Your job interview will include a 20 yard dash.

You must be okay with cleaning. No, not “light cleaning duties.” You must change diapers, wipe bottoms, and inevitably clean barf off of the long-haired dog. Additional duties include cleaning jam off of the couch, applesauce off of the floor, and perhaps even poop off of the walls. A haz-mat suit will not be supplied.

On a related note: You must be comfortable with being barfed, peed, and pooped on. Yes, it will happen at some point, no you are not allowed to cry, and you may not be allowed to shower right away.

You must be organized. You need to be able to wrestle both kids into their clothes, pack the diaper bag, let the dog out one last time, and still be able to find your phone and keys. You will also need to keep track of dentist appointments, doctor appointments, vet appointments, play dates, and birthday parties. You will need to be able to do this all in your head because the one year old already ate your calendar.

On a related note: You will need to have an excellent memory. You need to be able to remember what you need from the grocery store even though you left your list on the counter at home. You will also need to be able to remember where the toddler put his blanket, and where the baby left his shoes. You will also need to remember when you left your keys in the fridge.

You must be creative. As this job doesn’t always go according to plan, you must be able to roll with the punches. For example, if you run out of diapers, you must have the foresight to try this.

Duct tape. Not just for ducts.

You must have no need for privacy. If you would like to be in the bathroom alone, arrange to do it while they are napping. You must be comfortable with at least one (but usually more) person in the bathroom with you at all times. If you lock the door, you must be prepared to hear them bang on it the whole time you are peeing.

You must be a first aid expert. You will need to be able to kiss boo-boos and put unnecessary band-aids on places that aren’t even cut because it makes them feel better. You also need to be able to remain calm enough to call the doctor’s office when the child falls out of the shopping cart or starts peeing blood. We prefer an M.D. for this position, but nurses will also be considered.

You must be a master chef. You must be able to cook a wonderful nutritious meal that adults will enjoy, that kids will also be willing to eat. You must do this even though one of the children currently refuses to eat anything that is not orange. Culinary school graduates will be considered.

Work attire is casual. Sweatpants are common, and pajamas are acceptable. We ask that you are willing to both shower and wear jeans on dress-up days.

Because of the demanding nature of this job we have determined that $16/hour would be fair. Since this job is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, that works out to be a yearly salary of about $140,000.

You will not be getting that. We will pay you with the love of these adorable people instead.

What do you mean, you'd rather have the money

 

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in kids, Parenting

 

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Sweet Victories

So my NaBloPoMo tally:

Total posts:10

Slightly passive aggressive sentiments: 4

Posts about NaBloPoMo (including this one): 3

Not great, I admit. However if any of you would like to come over to watch my kids and do my laundry so that I have more time to blog, I’m all for it. Really though, I’m kidding, I don’t do laundry, that’s what husbands and dark-colored sweaters are for. Perhaps next year I will do better (on the blogging, not the laundry) or at least have more realistic expectations for myself. I’m going to now brag about myself so that I can feel that even though I was a NaBloPoMo failure, I am still successful in other parts of my life. So these are the highlights that I accomplished in November:

1. I finally figured out how to personalize the little sidebar thing on the right. admittedly, WordPress does try to make it easy for you, but for the last 6 months, I kept wondering what in the heck a widget was, and why my blog kept encouraging me to personalize them. I didn’t know what they were or how to personalize them, and the word widget kept creeping me out, so I just avoided my widgets all together. You may now take a moment to admire my personalized widgets. Aren’t they pretty?

2. I rocked my college Chemistry class. Technically, until I take my final, it’s not in the bag. However, I took the last regular test this week, and I feel really good about it, so I feel that a 4.0 may actually be within my reach. This is probably the thing that I’m the most proud of. I’m about 9 years older than the average student, so I feel pretty good about my old lady brain this month.

3. I made a new friend. Laugh if you want to, but stay at home mamas are not usually presented with tons of opportunities to make new friends. It’s not like elementary school where you can just run up to the kid with the awesome Teddy Ruxpin back pack and ask if they want to play kick ball at recess. Adult friendships take a bit more finesse. My lab partner and I hit it off, and we chat socially, as well as chemistry-ily (chemically?). Plus we already have a post final wine date planned. Which, may I mention, is another advantage to being an old lady student- I can have a drink after finals. Wahoo!

4. I got all my Christmas shopping done. Please refer to my Black Thursday post. It was both awful and awesome at the same time. But it’s done. Done, done, done. Okay, I’m done bragging. Done.

5. I have taught my 3-year-old all of his colors. All of them! It’s amazing. As of October, I was ready to take him to the doctor because I was SURE he was colorblind.

6. I’ve got my 3-year-old consistently pooing on the potty. I realize that you may not want to hear about his poo, but I most certainly didn’t want to ever clean it off my walls, so realize that these unpleasant truths just tend to be part of life, and give me this one. Although, I’ll be the first one to admit that the poo-training may have had less to do with my awesome parenting, and more to do with “sucker-treats” (or dum-dums, as you may call them). I’m still claiming the victory though.

7. I got to feel smarter than my computer for once. Pertussis, it’s a real thing, even if 07 Word doesn’t think so. Take that Windows Vista! I know more about childhood vaccines than you do. And I’m done gloating about being smarter than the spell-check. I feel the need to embrace spell check’s inadequacies, because it’s usually so condescending. It’s like “don’t you remember your 4th grade spelling tests, Nicole?” It’s rare that I get to mock spell check the way it mocks me, so you bet I’m going to run with it. (Edit: let’s not talk about how spell-check just nailed me for misspelling both ‘inadequacies” and “condescending.” And now I feel like I need to spell-check this sentence. AGH! I misspelled sentence. I probably misspelled “misspelled” and “AGH!” for that matter, but I’m leaving spell-check alone. I have pertussis on it, and that’s all I need.)

I’m celebrating the little victories right now. Because if there is anything I have learned from being a multi-tasking student-mama, it’s that I’ve got to take what I can get.

 

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