Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Dog Ate a Waffle and Other Stories of Mothering Inadequacy

See, taste, smell the rainbow.
It's all the same in this house.
Sean's been on a "business trip" for a little under three weeks.  He got home safely today and surprised Sweet Girl and Little Man at school pick-up.  They were both very excited to see him, but probably not as excited as I was.  And not just because I have missed him (I have) or that it's Valentine's Day (it is), but mostly because it increases my children's odds of survival significantly when Daddy's around.  Sure, sure, sure they haven't gone hungry or naked while Sean was gone, but I'm pretty sure they've lost the ability to hear, process, and apply the directive "Stop whining!" because I've said it too much.  It's possible I need to work on my compassion.  It's also possible my children need to stop whining.  It's most probable that neither of these things are going to happen so it's good to have another another set of hands around here.

In this relatively short absence Sean has missed:  Sweet Girl getting crazily sick and the subsequent trips to urgent care; a neighborhood Super Bowl celebration which took years off Oreo's life; Little Man having a flare up of his constant poop issues; Oreo deciding to revisit an old injury; a 100 Days of School celebration that will continue to haunt us for as long as we live at our current address; Valentine's preparation; countless bedtimes, snuggles, and most importantly three new installments of the Sofia the First series.  Don't worry - I didn't delete those from the DVR so he could catch up.  I did my best to keep us together and still appear to know what I was doing at school.  But I won't lie:  some things fell through the cracks.  It takes a lot to be a parent.  It takes a lot to be a working parent.  It takes a lot to be a single, working parent regardless how short the duration may be.  I just might not have the Right Stuff for this particular job.  I'm sure Sean will understand when I tell him he needs to inform the Army that he can no longer go TDY or deploy.  Shouldn't be a problem in my opinion.

Woe is she.
Therefore, woe is me.
To help Sean make his case with Uncle Sam, I'm writing down the irreparable harm that befalls our children (including Oreo) in his absence.  You probably already know that we are the urban dictionary's definition of 'hot mess' when visiting the doctor, so I'll skip that part.  Instead I'll tell you about the 100 Days of School project that became the urban dictionary's definition of 'epic fail.'  Sweet Girl was sick (in my defense it was not yet apparent exactly how sick she was) over the weekend but I was wisely trying to work on some things ahead of their due date.  This year Valentine's and 100 Days fell back to back and that just spells disaster for kids who aren't so great at focus and perseverance.  So I thought we would count out our 100 Skittles and have them ready to go well ahead of time.  Unfortunately, Sweet Girl did NOT think it was appropriate to merely count the Skittles.  I did not think it was appropriate to eat all the Skittles as it would require us to buy more and recount, not to mention the ensuing sugar rush would delay bedtime.  Due to her puny disposition, Sweet Girl was not in the mood to be thwarted.  She lost it.  Tears and tears and tears and sobs and tears and snot were abundant in the dining room that afternoon.  I offered a different treat.  I offered a snack.  I offered her a pony if she would just stop crying.  We don't have a pony so that didn't happen.  I finally just called a halt to the ordeal around number 67 and took her into the living room for some hugs and to see if the light in the living room made the despair any more legit.  About two minutes later I realize that Little Man had become very quiet.  And then I heard the crash of a bowl and the ting-ting-ting of Skittles scattering across the floor.  The best part though was the tinny echo of Skittles falling down the floor vents.  Now every time the heat kicks on, we have free air freshener in "Rainbow" scent.

The next week at school, Sweet Girl was a bit more whiny than usual.  Well, that's after we got back to school after an extended vacation thanks to her petri dish of bacteria and viruses of an immune system.  There was some unfortunate timing during aftercare (time the kids can stay at school under the care of teachers - it's odd) and I happened to run into Sweet Girl on my way to the gym with my middle school group.  She had a little meltdown and to give her teacher a break as well as expedite our departure to speech therapy, I let Sweet Girl come to the gym with us.  Approximately 120 seconds after she walked into the gym, she got hit in the face with a basketball.  It was a complete accident and there was no blood, bruises, or broken bones involved.  The other teacher looked aghast at the entire situation and probably mentally nominated me for Wicked Witch of the Year when I assessed that Sweet Girl was indeed OK under the mask of dramatic indignity and told her "And that's why you stay with your teacher during aftercare."  P.S.  She still wants to come to the gym every day.

Yesterday morning I realized we had run out of dog food.  The timing was rather unfortunate however, as we had a very full day of school, aftercare, and OT, as well as the required driving to and from said places. We left the house at 6:50 and returned and 7:45.  Oreo needed to go out immediately of course, and at that time I remembered (again) that we were out of dog food.  Putting it on my list I went about making dinner for Sweet Girl and Little Man.  After that it was helping Sweet Girl write out homework and Valentine's.  Then it was bedtime.  Then I thought it might be a good idea to have a bite to eat for myself.  Then I frosted some gfcf cupcakes for Sweet Girl and Little Man to have at their Valentine's parties.  Then I prepped lunch boxes.  Then I remembered we needed dog food.  Oreo looked at me imploringly so I plopped some pumpkin in his bowl and told him he'd be fine.  I also told him to stop whining.  It's just as effective with him as it is with the kids.  So this morning I got up and got dressed.  Woke the kids up and made them breakfast.  Then I remembered we didn't have any dog food.  I wracked my brain for what I could feed the dog that didn't actually require me to boil chicken and rice at six in the morning.  All the while I was packing lunches, coordinating wardrobes and redirecting Little Man to his seat so he would actually eat the waffle over which the toaster and I slaved.  About seven o'clock it's time to go and Little Man still hasn't found his seat to eat his breakfast and the Dog Food Fairy still hasn't arrived to fill up Oreo's bowl.  I tell the dog I really do love him and promise to feed him later.  I tell the kids to go out to the car.  That's when Little Man realizes he's hungry.  So while he cries about his lost opportunity for a waffle, I shoo him and Sweet Girl to the car.  I buckle the kids in to the soundtrack of "I Want My Waffle!" on eternal repeat, and suddenly I feel guilty.  I run back into the house get the toaster out, slam a waffle in, and drum my fingers on the counter top in the universal I-don't-have-time-to-wait-for-this-nonsense gesture.  The waffle pops up and I grab it to give to a handsome, if whiny, little devil.  Oreo loved it.

Don't worry.  Little Man ate a now-cold waffle on the drive to school.  But this is a good indication that I shouldn't be left in charge by myself.  It's amazing to me that we survived the year Sean was gone.  Of course I wasn't teaching middle school then......maybe that's part of the problem: middle school is a bad influence on me.  Regardless, I think this is reason enough for the Army to heed my plea for no more TDY/deployments.  Or maybe I'll just make Nana move in with us.  She's a lot nicer than I am.  Well at least to the kids.  Oreo will have to work a lot harder for a waffle from Nana.

2 comments:

  1. Clearly, you should've taught Annie to catch in your spare time.

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  2. Sounds like a fun could of weeks, and I mean for everyone. I would be nice to my grand kids but I would have gone to Walmart for dog food also. I am not a dog hater. I just don't think the dog deserves better than my grandchildren. Glad everyone survived and Sean is home.

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