Sometimes in defending our rationale for stopping at 2 rugrats (why do we even have to defend this? We gave the world two beautiful, charming, intelligent, funny, darling girls, isn’t that enough?), my husband or I will quip that we didn’t want to be outnumbered. Two parents vs two kids. Even teams, right?
That is the theory. Here is our reality.
More often than not the father and I are solo parenting rather than team parenting. I work by morning/early afternoon; he works by mid-afternoon/evening/night. When not at work we are each on duty as PIC (parent-in-charge — no joke, this is a term we use, as in, “I don’t have to answer this question right now, you’re the PIC.”). Now the parental team is down by one and the littles can double-team.
I notice this most when I am trying to clean (really, I do try). I can, reasonably, only clean one room at a time. More often than not I will emerge from that room only to find one or two or three of the other rooms in the house have been systematically destroyed by Team Tiny (yes, that would make us Team Huge, we’ve accepted our weight, you should too). I literally cannot keep up to them – they are messing up the place twice as fast as I can clean it (but I believe that it was Mother Theresa who said, “clean it anyway”…).
So, I’m looking for recruits. Who wants to proudly wear the Team Huge jersey and clean up after my family for no compensation? Anyone? Anyone? Huh, crickets in December. Odd.
Our oldest used to alert us to her deviant behaviour by saying, “Don’t look at me”. Sometimes she’d be caught doing something that she shouldn’t and before I could say anything she would say, “Too late. It’s already done”. As though she were saying – Look, Mom, you might as well not say “don’t do such and so”, I have already done it; let’s just move on to being friends again.
She’s either in training to be the worst criminal ever (“911? Are there any patrol cars near such-and-such address? I’m about to rob a liquor store”), or she’s developing a conscience.
One day after Halloween she’d reached her paltry limit of daily candy rations and was refused more. Shortly thereafter she asked me for the scissors so she could cut something (she has shown responsible scissor use since this previous incident) — but told me that I couldn’t know what she was doing. Only her sister could. I found her scissors and was going to let her be — assuming she was making her wonderful mother a wonderful card, but my mother-radar must have kicked in and I went into her room to investigate. She had a small package of 2 Starburst that she was attempting to open, and another one hidden under the pillow she was sitting on. Clearly her level of subterfuge is advancing (she was in another room, the package for her sister was hidden beneath her), however, she still has more learning if her criminal career is to amount to anything. Telling a mother that you are doing something that she ‘can’t know about’ is a red-flag, and, c’mon, at least close the door – or better yet, find a more discrete hiding place.
In her defence, she felt very miserable when her bad deeds were exposed, and she was sharing with her sister (you know, honour among thieves).
I don’t like to be touched all that much. One of my quotes in my high school senior yearbook is “Don’t touch me”. My mother still says this to me mockingly whenever she puts her arm around my shoulders and I reflexively flinch. My purpose here is not to delve into my own psyche, I share this merely to lay the groundwork for the following:
I am the Miley Cyrus* of my household.
I seem to be immensely popular with little girls aged 2-5 years who live within my home. I can’t go anywhere in my house without being followed by one or two of them – often screaming. I can’t sit anywhere without being crawled upon. I can barely get through the night without a crazed “fan” wanting to crawl into bed with me. It is exhausting (without the benefit of being hospitalized for exhaustion as some celebrities find themselves in the lucky position of being — can you imagine being given the gift of doctor mandated rest? Ahhh). Thank goodness they only have one play camera and only one of them can effectively use it. Having flashes constantly going off in my face would just be over the top.
As my first paragraph would indicate, being adored has it’s drawbacks for me. There are a few people in my life who aren’t put on the ‘no-touch list’, my husband and children being the primary people given a pass. But there are moments and days when I long for the rise in my husband’s fame from Canadian TV star to Justin Bieber, so that I might sit in peace.
In the meantime, who wants my autograph?
*Please note, I use Miley Cyrus as a comparison for her current level of fame — all comparisons between her, her antics (award show or otherwise), her clothing choices for sitting on wrecking balls (notably her birthday suit) and I end with that one comparison alone. Ok, ok, my hairdresser did shave the sides and back of my hair UNDERNEATH hair that came down to my cheek, merely so it would lie right. I really have no idea what she was thinking, and in reality it was long enough to pull back into a Brad Taylor kind of thing, so again, no comparison to Miley (kudos to anyone who gets the Brad Taylor reference – yous my peeps).
I thought that I could leave my 1 1/2 year old and my 4 year old unattended for the 5 minutes it takes to shower (ok, 8 minutes; ok 10). I’ve done it before with no catastrophic results. Other parents must shower.
Alas, the scene I found when I emerged the other day would indicate otherwise.
My first indication something was amiss was the plaintive calls of the little one. She was stranded on top of a large basket of clothes where her sister had deposited her before abandoning her for more tasty and deviant diversions.
As next I found the big one traipsing out of my bedroom holding a pudding cup (retrieved from a high cupboard courtesy of a floor to chair to counter climbing expedition) that she had been in the process of opening with scissors which were now pudding-covered and IN HER MOUTH. (I have heard running with scissors is frowned upon. I suspect ‘walking with scissors in mouth’ is not really a grey area of this particular danger)
Turns out I can only shower when Daddy is home or the kids are in restraints. And the big one is still on probation for her multiple violations.
The other day my 4-year-old wandered into my room, and upon seeing my made bed, widened her eyes in surprise and said, “Whoa, Mommy”. She then asked if she and her little sister could “try out” my bed. She climbed up, laid against the pillows and asked, “Where is your blanket?” Thinking she was referring to a specific favourite blanket of mine, I told her it was in the laundry. She said, “No, what do you sleep under on this bed?”.
Not only did my made bed come as a surprise to her, but she was wholly unfamiliar with the concept of her parents made bed. I KNOW (in all-caps, bolded and underlined for extra emphasis) that I have made my bed periodically over the last 4 years of her life. It is not a sight unseen for her. But I shudder to think that it was long enough ago that she had no recollection of that bed being made. In my defence (if such lapses in housekeeping and parenting are defendable – and the iron-clad bastions of modern day social mores, women’s/parenting magazines and the internet, would indicate they aren’t), we have recently purchased a new duvet cover and it may just be that she’d never seen the bed made with that particular configuration. I am going to go with that explanation, if only so I can sleep tonight (in my currently unmade bed. Sigh).
Last night I had the glorious privilege of sleeping with both my kids (as sarcasm doesn’t always transfer well in an online environment, I will be plain: that is sarcasm). As I laid there NOT SLEEPING for a period of time, I plotted my 140-character revenge. My comment would be scathing (well, scathing AND funny).
And then the big one woke up, hugged me and said,
“I like you. You are so pretty”.
And now I know: that girl is a mind reader and she knocked the evil Tweets right out of my head. She may play a non-reading, JK-attending child, but she knows. She knows…
I try really, really, really hard not to be one of those parents who says, “Guess what my kid said” (or did, or the math problem he/she solved).
This is me failing at that objective (as is having the blog to begin with, I know, I see that).
A few weeks ago, I went on a canoe trip with my brother, sister and her husband, Dad and other family. Grandma graciously helped out with all the grandbabies left behind. One morning at 4:30am, my 3-year-old climbed into Grandma’s bed (a woman who is known for her loud snoring). A short time later Grandma awoke to said grandbaby poking her face and then chirping,
Is there any way you could sleep without making that noise?