Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No pants? No problem.

So the other day I took Sara to the dentist.  In the waiting room there was a mom with 4 children.  They all kind of looked like her so I assume they were all hers.  Two of them were wild--with a capital 'W".  One of them, about 3-4 years old had a dirty shirt on and a diaper.  That was it.  No pants.  Now, the old me would have totally shook my head and thought "what an awful mother."  When I say "old" I mean me-- but before I had kids.  I have said this over and over again and I will say it until the cows come home; I was an awesome mom---before I had kids.  But the mom version of me barely glanced at the kid in a diaper and just kind of gave the other mom a slight head nod, like, "yeah...been there."  Most days I can hardly get pants on myself, let alone a defiant preschooler and you just have to pick your battles.  I am sure that mom was having a "day".  That is what I call days when everything goes wrong, the kids are acting like turds, and I just want to hit rewind and start all over.  I call them "days" because I don't really think they are bad days...any day I wake up and my children are still with me and healthy is a good one.  So I just go with 'days'.  So why do I bring this up?  Because, like I said, the old me would have been so judgmental of that mom.  Sadly, I am sure she got a lot of holier than thou looks that day...and what is even sadder is that I bet most of them came from other moms.

I never really believed in the whole "Mommy Wars" concept.  I thought it was just a myth started by some writer for a ladies magazine that was short on material with a deadline looming.  This past week I have seen some pretty nasty things that made me realize the mommy war is real and the battle is raging!

I am part of a few Facebook groups for moms.  They are meant to be a place where moms can go and ask questions in a supportive, non judgmental way.  There are so many times I see a post and think to myself, really? Did they just really ask that?  If I don't have any value to add to the conversation I just don't say anything.  If there is a topic I don't agree with, some of the hot topics are vaccinations, sleep training, VBAC's, healthy foods, I just stay out of the thread and go on with my life.  Just because I don't agree doesn't mean I am right and they are wrong or vice versa.  The anger and downright meanness coming from those groups and some online articles with comments posted to them, have made me see that despite what I thought, us moms aren't all in this together and moms can be a pretty judgmental group.

I have my own way of parenting my children.  My friends might do it a little different.  Hell, Chuck does it differently.  Many people have the complete opposite style from me.  You know what?  We are all doing what we think is best for our kids.  There is no right or wrong way to parent.  I believe you do what is best for your particular family.  Now, if I see someone beating their kids, then yes, I would call them out on it.  Short of physically harming your child I am going to let you deal with your kids your way and I will deal with mine my way. 

So that being said, here is how I am raising my children;

The only time I buy organic foods is when they are on sale and they are the better price point for the item I am purchasing.

I vaccinate myself and my children.  I don't believe the government is trying to poison us and I don't believe they cause Autism.  I do believe in protecting my kids from dreaded diseases.

My girls love frozen waffles with butter, syrup, chocolate chips and sprinkles for breakfast.  I off set it with healthy choices the rest of the day.

Emily, who is my lightest, fairest child loves playing with a very dark skinned black baby at her playgroup.   She is so happy playing with that baby I put a black baby doll at the top of her list for Santa.

Anna loves wearing superhero undies.  A black Batman pair is her favorite.

I don't feel my house is really clean until it smells like good, old fashioned Comet and bleach.  I don't feel vinegar does the trick.

I had a repeat C-section...could have tried for a VBAC but didn't want to blow out my uterus.  I labored for 36 hours with Sara before having a section.  24 hours of that was un-medicated, not by choice...just a bunch of hippie nurses telling me I didn't need them.  The last 12 hours I labored much more comfortably with a constant flow of pain medication and that was WAY better!!

I don't allow electronics during meal times, at restaurants or in the car (except if it is a really long car ride, like more than 1.5 hours).  I think my girls should be able to entertain themselves and I think ipods/ipads in a restaurant are rude. I also believe there should be family conversations around the dinner table. Every night we all go around and talk about the favorite part of our day.

In that same vain I limit their TV watching during the day.  For no other reason except it makes my life easier.  They are total nags when they zone out in front of the TV, "Mom, I need a snack"..."Mom can you gt me a drink?"...if they are off playing they are much less work for me.

I have used the proper names for all their body parts from the get-go.  They know girls have a vagina and boys have a penis.  At the same time I totally lie to them on super hot or super cold days...I say the news reporters said we have to stay in today due to the weather.

I am not a huge advocate for co-sleeping with your kids.  I like having my own bed.  That being said, Emily was in her crib for 12 months and now at 13 months she has been joining us in bed at around midnight.

Sara is going to be 7 next week.  Her favorite TV show is The Middle.  I let her watch it.  She also loves any type of doctor show, for her the gorier the better.  Again, might not be the most appropriate shows, but I let her watch them.

She also knows about my not so secret crush on Anderson Cooper.  She knows that the Coop and I could never be together...not just because I am married to Chuck, she knows that the Silver Fox has a boyfriend.  It is just another random fact to her because, like Katy Perry says, "it's no big deal!"

Speaking of Katy Perry, my girls (Emily included) prefer her music to that of Laurie Berkner (a great kid's singer).

There is a bully in Sara's class.  They have been together for the past 2 years.  The girl is relentless.  I have given Sara some problem solving skills...ignore her, walk away, tell the teacher...they haven't worked.  Just the other day I finally told her just to be mean right back to her.

I think the score should be kept in little kid's soccer & baseball games.  Sometimes in life there is a winner and sometimes a loser.  Good life lesson to work harder.

I don't throw the game to let my kids win when we play a board game.  The winner is the winner fair and square.

I make my kids wear helmets every time they get on their bikes, even if they are riding a tricycle.

I had my kids later in life.  My vocabulary was already well established.  Swears sometimes just come out.

The biggest debate of all....Stay at Home Mom vs. Working Mom!!  I work part time.  I feel like I have the luxury of being a mostly stay at home mom.  On the days I am home I can't wait to get out of the nut house.  On the days I work I gripe about having to get everyone ready and out of the house on time.  I see the pros and cons to being a stay at home mom and a working mom...and truth be told, if I had to pick I am not sure which side of the fence I would come down on.

So that is my parenting style.  Chuck's is different.  When I am not home it is a whole different ball game.  We don't always see eye to eye on issues, but the kids are alive and happy when I come home from work so that is all that matters.

I am not saying I do it all perfect.  I know I don't.  I make it up as I go along each day.  I am sure I am doing many things right...I am just as sure I am doing things my children will bring up in therapy later in life.  I am pretty sure the perfect parent is as real as a purple, flying unicorn. 

So the next time you see a kid out and about without pants...don't judge...just be thankful you were able to get your kids dressed before heading out into the world.  Because at one time or another we are all going to be 'that parent'. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Electric! Boogie, woogie!

Yeah the story I am about to tell you is a lot less fun than the Electric Slide...

Sorry I have been MIA lately, a whole lot going on and at the same time nothing really going on.  I have been meaning to sit down and write a blog but I just have not had more than 3 minutes to myself the past few weeks.  The following are a few things some of my faithful blog readers might get a kick out of.

So a few posts back I mentioned I was suffering from carpal tunnel and I needed to have an EMG.  Well, surprisingly EMG did not stand for the "Easy Muscle Guidance" I was hoping.  Oh no my friends.  There was nothing easy about this test.  Not by a long shot.  So I walk in the room and I see a bunch of electrodes, computer screens and a bed.  The doctor has me get up on the bed and take my shoes off.  Huh, shoes off, oh it must be so I don't get the bed sheets dirty...sure no problem.  I took them off and got comfortable.  IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH KEEPING THE BED CLEAN!!!  It was so I wouldn't kick them at the doctors head as he shocked the sh*t out of my poor T-Rex arms!  After hooking me up he said, and I quote, "you might feel a slight tingling".  Effin Bastard was a LIAR!  After the first pulse I shrieked like a school girl.  It hurt like a son of a bitch.  He would shock me and move the probe to another part of my arm.  I could see the electrical wave length on the computer...sometimes it would spike up and sadly other times it didn't.  I quickly learned that was not good.  It meant he would have to shock the same spot again, only this time he would dial it up a bit...literally, he would spin the dial up a few notches to get a higher voltage.  I would sit there all tensed up, barely breathing waiting for this torture to end.  Finally after about 10 minutes it did.  Then on to another fun part of the test.  He took super long needles, stuck them right into my arm, deep into my muscle and then he made me move my arm to measure the muscle.  That was awful, but believe it or not it was way better than getting shocked for 10 minutes straight.  I survived!  Thank Christ!  Then it hit me...he was going to have to do the same exact thing on the other arm.  At this point I am vibrating with either pain, electricity or sheer fear...or a combo of all 3.  So I try to make small talk to at least have some sort of distraction during this very, very uncomfortable procedure....that is the Child Life Specialist in me.  Well, I get the one person on the planet with absolutely no sense of all.  I was saying how this torture device could come in handy, imagine if your nemesis came in for an could dial up the voltage and really make them your b*tch.    Now, I know the first rule of medicine is first due no harm...well I am calling BS on that because this test really was causing me harm, but this doctor didn't even crack a smile, he just said as dry as can be, "I never thought to do that...I would never do that" come on!!  Never crossed your mind?  Like ever?  I find it really hard to believe that in between patients when he is alone in his chamber of pain he never thought of ramping it up a point or two for some belligerent a-hole of a patient.  I like to think of myself as a kind, compassionate person but let me tell you, if anyone were to cross my children I have at least 3 murder plots in my head I could pull from on a moments notice.  But hey, I guess that is just me.  I survived the test, put my shoes on and hit the road.  I swear to God I was so full of electricity, if my car died that day, or who we kidding?... anytime that month all I would need to do is open the hood, lay my hands on the battery and it would start right up.  I was afraid to take a shower for fear of electrocuting myself but I did my community service and did are welcome.  Fortunately my muscles/nerves were fine and at this point I don't need surgery...even if it flares up again I am just going to pretend everything is just fine...

So Sara has been super sick this past week.  High, high fevers for 5 days, stomach pains, etc.  Thankfully she is fine now, but it was a miserable stretch.  So one night at about 3:30 she woke up absolutely miserable.  She was burning up and her fever was 104.  Of course all I have at home are grape chewable Advil tablets and berry flavored generic Tylenol.  Sara will only take Grape flavored liquid Advil.  I know this and for some God forsaken reason I only remember this smack dab in the middle of the night...never in the afternoon while I am leisurely strolling the aisles at CVS.  Yeah right, when was the last time I ever did anything leisurely?  Sometimes I make myself laugh...but I here I am finding myself driving to a 24 hour pharmacy at 4 a.m.  It is really dark and spooky out, of course their is really thick fog to add to the already unpleasant drive.  I see a shadow up is an elderly lady walking down the street at 4 a.m.  OK, so now I am freaked out...did I really see her? Is my mind playing tricks on me and it was just a thick patch of fog?  Was it a ghost?  She did have a bright orange vest on so I am hoping it was just an octogenarian out for her early morning constitution.  Either way it was super creepy and it made me speed it up a bit.  So now I am a few towns away about a mile from the 24 hour CVS I was heading to when I come upon a 24 hour Rite Aid.  I slam on the brakes and pull into the Rite Aid.  Now, if you have never been to a Rite Aid at 4 a.m. let me tell you...It is quite the adventure.  There were only a handful of us in the store and I can say with almost 100% certainty I was the only one with anything close to a full set of teeth.  At first I didn't see anyone.  I am wandering around seemingly alone when I happen upon one sales associate sitting on the floor.  She had a bunch of products strewn about on the floor in what looked like an attempt to restock the shelves.  I say attempt because there was only one box of tooth whitening kits on the shelf and she didn't look like she had much energy, or desire for that matter to place any more kits on the shelf.  I asked her where the children's pain relievers were and she halfheartedly  pointed me towards an empty wall.  OK then.  I ventured on because wandering the aisles of a Rite Aid in the middle of the night was clearly something on my agenda for the day.  I stumble upon a young guy and ask him where the children's meds were.  Just as I ask him I notice  they are right in front of me and man does that strike him as funny.  He laughed and laughed like this was the funniest thing in the world...ever!  He may or may not have been under the influence of an illegal substance.  The only other person in the store looked like a stereotypical, pedophile-looking creepy guy.  Kinds of looked like Kev from the show Derek.  (Side note:  if you have not seen the Netflix show Derek, you NEED to check it out!  So, so good!)  Now, in defense of the creepy pedophile I did look a bit white trash myself.  OK, really white trash.  Had I wanted to, I could have driven to the Rite Aid or the Jerry Springer show and fit right in either situation.  I had on some black yoga pants...I know, ironic as I have never once done yoga.  Needless to say I don't exactly have a "yoga" body and should not, under any circumstance wear yoga pants without an extremely long shirt over them.  I did not have that type of shirt on.  I had whatever T-shirt I was wearing to bed.  I may or may not have had a bra on.  A sweatshirt and baseball hat.  Flip flops or sneakers tied the look together.  I was so sleep deprived I can't remember which.   So as this guy is skulking around the store looking for God knows what I find what I need and head to the checkout.  Of course, because I was really looking to get in and out quick there was no one to be found.  I start to head back to the back of the store to find the oh so helpful sales associates.  Emphasis on the ASS.  As I am walking back there I am thinking this is the perfect store/time for someone to rob them least of the stuff in the front of the store.  The two workers are sitting on the floor between the aisles all the way in the back of the store.  Oh and yeah, they are stoned out of their ever loving minds.  So if any of my blog readers happen to be of the criminal persuasion and you need to find your next place to rob, you're welcome...oh and I'll take some packs of Nyquil if you can score some.  I also come to the realization that if some sh*t were to go down, I am the brains of the group and I would have to go all Rambo on their asses.  Thankfully we did not come under siege from a marauding gang of suburban hooligans. After circling the store several times I find myself in the checkout line behind our local version of "Kev" and he is arguing with the saleslady, who if you remember correctly is not of her right mind.  He is arguing over a 30 cent price difference.  They went back and forth for a good 4 minutes.  I wanted to punch them both in the throat, take my Grape friggin Advil and go.  I did not.  Why?  Not because I felt the moral obligation not to steal that sh*t, but because I know I would mostly likely get arrested and if anyone, anywhere EVER saw the God awful mugshot that would be taken I would have to enter witness protection.  I would never be able to live that one down.  So I stand and patiently wait my turn as I come up with several very plausible ways to dispose of a body and never be caught.  Consider yourselves warned.  So I finally get home, give Sarita her meds and try to shake off that whole experience.  Sara is much better now and I have Grape Advil on my shopping list and trust me, I will make sure we never run out of it again!

Last but not least we have a thief living among us.  For the privacy of my children and just in the off chance she may want to run for public office someday I will not divulge her name.  So one day we headed out to get some stuff at Wal-Mart.  I had a list ready and prepared the kids ahead of time we were not getting anything that was not on the list.  No Exceptions.  Of course they bombard me the second we get in the store.  We are in the craft section and one of them sees a red feather boa and asks for it.  I remind her yet again we are not straying from the list.  She begrudgingly puts it back and gives me the stink eye the entire rest of the trip.  A few hours later we are home and one of them pulls a large red feather from behind her back and asks the other one if she wants it.  The one not holding the feather asks if she got it from Wal-Mart and she says "yeah".  Well that is it!  The one sister, who happens to be of the anxious variety starts panicking.  "You stole that!", "You are going to go to jail!", "What if the police find out?"...the phone rings and she is having a full blown anxiety attack...she is sweating, turning pale, crying and trembling "Mom, is that the police?"  "Are they coming to get ________?"..."What are we going to do?".   Mind you, the stealee is cool as a cucumber.  I assure the nervous nelly that the police were not on the phone and they were not coming to get her sister.  So the criminal totally has her defense in place...."_______ it is only one is not a big deal."  This sets the other one off again.  Now I know that I am going to have to address this with my delinquent child but, it was not the time.  I could not gather myself together enough to complete a sentence without giggling.  So I let it go.  The next day I am alone with the crook and I bring up the illegal feather.  I ask her about the red feather.  I ask her if she took it from Wal-Mart and she said yes.  I said, "you didn't have any pockets of a coat on, where did you put it?"...""in my pants" is the answer I got.  We had a whole chat about having to pay for things, even just one feather, etc., etc.  It ended in tears and me apologizing to her about how it is my job to teach her what is OK and what isn't and I must not have done a good job teaching her about ownership.  So we moved on.  A few days later it hit me...she hid the flippin feather in her that goes to state of mind; she knew what she was doing was wrong!!!  She covered up her crime.  She is good, wickedly so.  Just like a true con artist...she turned it all around so I was the one who felt like I had done wrong.  Well played my nefarious little felon...well played indeed.

So like I said, not as fun as the electric slide, but it will have to do for now.