I’ve sat down to write a blog post several times over the past few months. Each time, it starts innocently enough, but inevitably becomes political. It’s been pretty hard for me to think about much else, especially since inauguration day. My anxiety became so overwhelming at one point that I even added a new “resolution” to my list: Limit social media time. I haven’t been the best at it, but I did delete Facebook from my phone. Although I can obviously access Facebook in other ways, I will say that it has made a huge difference. For some reason, Facebook especially, seems to be full of misinformation and division and straight up dumb shit. So, I know that you have all come here to read about my ridiculous failings as a parent, and never fear, my devoted millions of fans, I will deliver, however, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least say…
Donald Trump is the worst. You guys!! I still think he’s the worst. I’m “giving him a chance”, but he continues to be the worst. He’s the worst. Maybe you don’t think he’s the worst, but I reeeeeeally think that when we look back on this, he will be remembered as the worst. THE WORST! That said, if you voted for Donald Trump, it doesn’t mean that I think YOU’RE the worst. I mean, I think SOME people who voted for him are the worst. But, of course, not everyone is the worst. And I’m trying to be better about that separation. Some days it’s challenging. Sometimes it feels impossible. But I’m trying.
Ok. Now to give the people what they want…
Nick shit on the floor the other day. We’re attempting potty training. And he’s actually doing a lot better than I thought he would. But for some reason, pooping in the potty is a tough concept. Nick informed me of the poop seen above while I was trying to take a shower. He didn’t say that he pooped his pants. He said, “there is poop on the carpet.” As if it magically appeared out of nowhere and snuggled up betwixt the Legos. (When I sent this pic to my family, my dad said, “right off the coast of Antarctica!” And I laughed so fucking hard. I don’t know why, but the thought of a huge floating pile up poop, stinking its way down to Antarctica, cracked my shit up). Anyways, like I said, Nick is doing much better than I anticipated. And the thought of changing fewer diapers is VERY exciting. I don’t know that you can ever be completely prepared for how much you deal with pee and poop as a parent. And I’ve never been someone who is grossed out by germs or bodily functions, so for me it’s no big deal. I also have a husband who poops more than the average bear (I mean, literally, he probably has a higher volume of poop than a bear), and I think the group text with my sisters consists primarily of us bragging about who has had a better poop that day. I was seemingly destined to have a life that revolves around poop. (Fucking glamorous, right?) The other day, Adam yelled for some help in the bathroom because the toilet paper was out. He actually said, “I don’t see any toilet paper because I used it all for my first poop of the day!” Doesn’t “poop of the day” sound like some kind of special you would order at a restaurant? “You’ll see our poop of the day is multi-colored, exceptionally fragrant, and served warm off the coast of Antarctica.”
As Nick starts to enter the “won’t shut the fuck up” phase, the conversations that I hear between him and Adam continue to get more complex and hilarious. One of Nick’s favorite things to do is correct others for “mispronouncing” certain words. So, in case you thought you knew how to say the following words, let me enlighten you…
Puke = pee-yoop
Helicopter = hell-doe-cop-tah
Doggy Daycare = doggy day-hair
Video = booty-yo
Tori = toe-wee
He will also tell you if he thinks your answer to his question is incorrect. Yesterday, we were sitting on the couch and he asked, “Mom, are you sleepy?” (Which, duh, 100%, all the time, I’m fucking exhausted.) Each time I responded, “yes, I’m a little sleepy”, he would just ask again. “No, mom, are you sleepy?” It was so weird that by the 5th time we went back and forth like this, I felt like he was playing some kind of mind trick on me. I started questioning if I even WAS sleepy! …nope, still sleepy.
Adam has adopted some new phrases that make him sound like a tiny little adult. I know it’s stuff that he’s heard either at home or at school, but I’m always caught off guard when it happens. For example, he was talking about a snack he had at school and he said, “I don’t care for the apples.” And immediately I envisioned him as some Downton Abbey character, brushing aside the help trying to serve him apples. “No, good sir, I don’t care for the apples. Now bring me my cigar so the men might retire to the study whilst the women powder their noses!” (#trumpsamerica) Another time, I was asking him about a certain part of his Lego creation and he told me “it doesn’t call for that piece.” What? It doesn’t call for it? And he says all these things so matter-of-fact. As if all 4-yr-olds talk that way. Even Nick the other day was like, “Where is my oatmeal? It is nowhere to be seen!” What??
Lately, both boys have been fixated on “bad guys” and taking them to “jail”. Adam will sometimes make a shooting sound like he’s firing a gun. As you know from any number of ranting posts I’ve made over the years, I’m not a big gun fan, even if it’s an imagined one. So the other day I asked him where he had heard someone talking about a gun. And he looked at me, dead serious, and said, “Mayor Humdinger.” To which I was obviously like, ummmm wtf? Apparently he’s a character on “Paw Patrol” who has a picture of a bomb on his hat? And Adam thinks the bomb is a gun? I’m not totally sure, but what I DO know is that Mayor Humdinger is going to get a strongly worded letter from this disgruntled constituent!
I would say the boys spend about 50% of the time playing well together and the other 50% fighting. Every time it happens I hear my mom’s voice in my head saying, “Just wait til they start fighting…” It’s the fucking worst. And sometimes one will tattle on the other. Which in some ways is good. I’d rather have Adam come tell me that Nick is pushing him instead of straight up pushing him back. However, they have both learned to gloat when they are not the one in trouble. For example, if Adam is throwing a fit after I tell him it’s time to turn off the iPad (spoiler alert: Adam throws a fit EVERY time I ask him to turn off the iPad), I will tell him that if he throws a fit, he can’t watch the iPad the next time he asks (spoiler alert part II: Of course I still let him watch the iPad because that means he leaves me the fuck alone and I can focus on important things like playing word games on my phone and seeing how many “likes” my Instagram pics get). Anyways, as Adam is losing his mind over the screen turning off, Nick will tell me, “I’MMMM not throwing a fit.” Which of course, prompts Adam to throw a fit even harder. Or, if Adam has finished all of his dinner and Nick hasn’t touched a bite (spoiler alert part III: Nick never eats his fucking dinner), Adam will be the first to point out, “Nicky, I get to have a treat but you don’t.” (Ya, I bribe my kids. What of it?) Again, suuuuuuper helpful. And in some ways, I feel like maybe they’re learning about consequences? Sometimes Nick will randomly spout out rules, but, much like his word pronunciations, make them his own. For example, “you get what you get and you don’t say ‘poop’”. He also likes to confirm random facts about the world, like, “Pee comes out of my penis, but poop comes out of my butt.” Yup. Future philosopher, everyone.
Tori is getting more and more fun, as babies usually do. She’s super interactive and sometimes I legitimately think she’s going to pass out because her smile is taking over her entire face. And it’s so funny how babies have no awareness surrounding bodily functions or sounds they might make. Any sound or bodily function Tori exhibits is usually accompanied by a simultaneous sound or bodily function. She will frequently laugh and scream at the same time. Cough and fart. Cry and fart. Babble and burp. Poop up the back of her diaper while staring into my eyes as if to say, “your move, sucka!!” I feel like we may have jinxed ourselves by talking about how good a baby she is. And she really is. Most of the time she is a sweet baby angel. But recently, she’s been getting up more frequently at night. I think she may be going through a growth spurt or something, because she does eat a lot when she gets up. But since I’ve been used to sleeping (pretty much) all night, I have no patience for her shit! And it doesn’t help that if she doesn’t feel like she’s having her needs met in a timely manner, she makes a sound that could legitimately be featured in a horror film. I felt a little scared for my life when she banshee screeched at me the other night. And then my anxious brain started going to ridiculous places, like, what if my child is a demon? My sweet baby angel Tori is actually goddamn nightmare. She’s going to somehow crawl out of her bed and I’m going to wake up to her just lying on top of me screaming. I don’t know, you guys! I JUST DON’T KNOW!! But when she’s not haunting my dreams, she really is a delightful little baby. I’m getting more and more nervous for when she starts getting teeth. It’s about at this age when all my babies start getting super distracted while I’m trying to breastfeed them, and Tori has started jerking her head to check out whatever sound she hears around her. The thing is, home girl has my nipple in her mouth when she does this, so every time it scares the fucking turds out of me. And once teeth become part of the equation…I’m terrified…
Breastfeeding is still such a crazy weird thing to me. And one of the weirdest/coolest parts is the physical reaction that I get once Tori starts eating. Whatever is released (oxytocin? serotonin? cocaine?) is basically happy juice. I’m serious. I can feel it happening and it gives me this sensation of just pure happy and love. And I get why this happens. Because ideally, I’m supposed to be gazing into my baby’s eyes the entire time I’m breastfeeding. Establishing this unbreakable bond and attachment. However, Facebook is not going to peruse itself, so lots of times I will be scrolling through my awful newsfeed when the happy juice gets released. So it’s fairly bizarre to be seeing political posts or animal videos or “she went to the bathroom and you won’t believe what happens next!” click bait and feeling all warm and fuzzy about it. Sometimes I will be watching TV and feel a weird connection to the characters (seriously, though, Rory from “Gilmore Girls”). Or if I’m eating something, it becomes the most delicious, nourishing piece of food I’ve ever tasted!! Am I worried that I’m going to become more attached to these outside things than my actual child? (Depends on what kind of food it is…) No! Of course not! But it is a terribly weird experience.
In other news – we are refinancing our house and are planning on making some improvements before moving (hopefully) in the fall! It’s both incredibly exciting and terrifying to think about. While I’m excited about these improvements, I also know that regardless of what we do, my living room will constantly look like a disaster zone. Because it doesn’t matter how many storage bins or closets or even rooms you have for kids’ toys, you’re going to step on a stray Lego while walking to the kitchen to get a drink and you’re going to think you might in fact be dying. But at least we might have a kitchen with countertops that don’t peel off! We are not the best homeowners. Probably because we aren’t handy and we’re also lazy. So simple things that should/could be done, don’t get done. There’s a spot in the upstairs hallway where a section of paint chipped off. We have the paint in the basement. It would probably take 5 minutes to just touch up that spot on the wall. But, nahhh. Almost 3 years later and we can’t muster the energy to do it. A more pressing issue that we really should take care of is a fucking animal in our wall. That’s right. There’s some kind of creature that we hear in our wall. And not just any wall. The wall in our bedroom. And how do we know there is an animal in there? Because it makes rustling/scratching/ominous noises while I’m trying to fall asleep. And I know that it’s time to actually do something about it because I’ve gone from being deeply disturbed, imagining what kind of animal it is and how many babies it’s had that are just scritch scratching around in there, to actually thinking it’s normal. Like, as I’m falling asleep, the animal in the wall is a part of the mix. Goodnight moon. Goodnight lamp. Goodnight bowl of mush (aka glass of wine). Goodnight creepy unidentified animal in the wall of my home. Totally normal.
Well, that’s mostly what’s new in my life. Everyone keeps asking if we are done having kids. And I think we might be. I don’t know. I feel like I’m not far enough away from giving birth to have a clear perspective. All that breastfeeding happy juice clouds my judgment! But whether we are or aren’t done, each day reinforces the fact that we are so incredibly lucky to have the kids that we do. That having more kids is even a choice I get to make. I know I complain on here, but I try not to forget just how fortunate I am. Having a family, or the kind of family you imagined, isn’t always possible. And if it is, it isn’t always easy. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m trying to do a better job of putting myself in other people’s shoes. Of exercising empathy. Just because something might not affect me, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter to me. So I’m trying not to be someone who just pats a friend on the head and says, “that must be really hard” (Aka: “sucks for you, not my problem.”) I’m trying to actually imagine what it’s like to be that person. To have his/her experiences or background or worldview. It can be really hard. It can be uncomfortable. But it’s important. And I’ll keep trying.