Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I need a minivan

As most of you already know, I drink Diet Dr. Pepper. I need it every day. I try to limit myself to two or three cans a day which I know is terrible but it is what allows me to be human in the morning. It helps me “play well with others.” Unfortunately, I occasionally run out of my precious Diet Dr. Pepper. Or, sometimes my husband drinks the last one without telling me or replacing it. He is always very sorry afterwards, on many levels.

Earlier this summer, I had run out of my nectar from heaven and I was getting desperate. This wouldn’t be a problem for most people, right? You would get into the car, drive to any gas station, fast food restaurant, grocery store, whatever, and buy yourself a cold one. But for me it is a problem in that I had five kids with me that day. And I own a car that does not accommodate five car seats. In my desperation, I came up with an idea. There is a gas station that is probably half a mile from our house. I can almost see it from home. So, I put the two babies into my double stroller and put the two next youngest kids into the wagon. The last kid was my own so he had to suck it up and walk. I attempted to push the stroller, which is approximately ten feet long and 300 lbs while I pulled the wagon. It was not easy. We walked and walked and I was sweating profusely and my hand was getting a cramp from steering the stroller one-handed. Two kids had started to cry and there were buzzards circling overhead. Then I looked back and to my dismay saw that we hadn’t even gone a block yet. Defeated, I turned our little parade around and went home to think of another way to get through the day.

But that isn’t the point of this story. The point of this story is that I was telling a friend about this day. And he told me, “Next time you get that desperate, please call me.”

I thought it was so nice that he would offer to take time out of his day to bring me a drink. I wouldn’t have thought of asking someone to bring me a drink – it seems so silly. But now that he had offered…

“Oh, I don’t know – I would feel bad asking someone to get me a Diet Dr. Pepper and bring it to me,” I told him.

And he replied, “No, I don’t want to bring you a drink. I want to take a picture of you trying to get to the gas station with all those kids.”

What a turd bucket.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I don't even like corndogs

As a daycare provider, I have the option to be in something called the Food Program. Basically, I fill out tons of paperwork and promise not to feed the kids anything that tastes good, and they reimburse me each month for some of my food. It’s worth it because six little kids can eat a truckload of Ritz crackers each day. And since I don’t have a fountain of free juice flowing in my backyard, I will take all the reimbursements I can get. I normally make like $3.00 an hour but with my Food Program money, I make almost $4.00!!! And lots of hugs. Sticky little hugs.

So last weekend I was trying to come up with some new menus for the kids. I have to have three weeks’ worth of menus planned and they just rotate over and over again. This seems like it wouldn’t be a hard task, but it turns out that it DOES take a rocket scientist to come up with 30 different meals that little kids will eat. It’s impossible. Because in addition to being something that they will eat, it has to meet the Food Program requirements. Here is an example:
I found out that little kids will eat corn dogs which made me really happy because they are frozen and all I have to do is heat them up – and add a milk portion, a fruit, and a vegetable, but whatever. The problem is that the food has to be labeled for the child nutrition program (which means it must be bought in bulk from a place like Sam’s). So I got a gigantic box of corn dogs with the appropriate label and started serving them up only to be told after I bought a box of 50 that they MUST be all beef. But alas, my corn dogs are beef and turkey.

It makes me wonder – who made up that rule? And why? We all know that hot dogs are made of knee caps and eyelids. So why does it matter if they are kneecaps from a cow or from a turkey? Are bovine eyelids more nutritious than turkey eyelids? I don’t know. Fortunately, I can ponder that question as I eat the remaining 45 corn dogs. Because I would never break the rules on such an important matter and feed them to the daycare kids. I guess now I have to scratch corn dogs off the menu – tuna casserole, here we come! Mmmm, tuna kneecaps…

Monday, August 10, 2009

first day back

Today is the big day. Or at least one of the big days. It is the first day of school for teachers in the area which means I will have five or six of my closest friends with me again starting now. Last night I could hardly sleep because I was so,…er,…excited.

I was thinking about what makes home daycare a hard job. Contrary to popular belief, I do not sit on the couch eating bon-bons all day and watching soap operas. I prefer to eat my bon-bons in the kitchen, yo. Really, though, what makes it hard is that I do not enjoy chaos. And there are moments, mainly the moments around lunch and preparing to go outside, that feel like chaos. When everyone needs my help at the same time and I just don’t have enough arms and legs to handle the job. I’ve found that there are a few ways to control chaos but only two are legal. One is to make a pretty solid routine and stick to it each day. I try to do this. The other is to have fun and educational activities for the kids to do. This one is harder than having a routine because it requires me to do a lot of planning. Little kids have a short attention span. Like, three minutes. So on a typical day, I have to come up with roughly three hundred activities. And don’t even think about doing the same thing two days in a row!

If you happen to think of me today, know that we are having the time of our lives making pretzel necklaces and Lego towers. The time of our lives. Somebody get me a bon-bon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

for sale: one half of king sized bed - barely used

I have a mom-related complaint that I would like to file with anyone who will listen. Are you ready? (collective nod, please.)

I am tired of not getting sleep. After three years of someone waking me up almost every single night (there were possibly a dozen nights in the last three years where I was in such a heavy coma that the house could have collapsed and it wouldn’t have disturbed my slumber) I am tired. Tired. Tired. My boys are three and one and this business of needing something in the middle of the night is getting old.

Wyatt is still up at least once a night. I’ve tried to just let him cry it out but it’s hard to ignore his cry. He only has one cry – it’s the same whether he means “I am one half a degree too warm” or “A bear is mauling me and just ripped my arm off.” Same exact cry. Plus, we put him in the same room as Wesley so now when he cries he is waking up Wesley, too. And he seems to like this new leverage.

Wesley, on the other hand, wakes up in the middle of the night needing something probably every other night. Sometimes I am sleeping and I awaken to feel someone breathing on my arm. And when I peel my eyes open, he tells me, “My leg hurts. Can I have some Zyrtec?” which means he most likely doesn’t have a future in pharmacology. But sometimes he doesn’t come into my room, he lays in his bed and screams, “Mom-may!!!” until I wake up and stumble into his room. Then after I get in there and break my baby toe or my kneecap on the train table next to his bed, I see what the problem is – that he has fallen out of bed. And I use the word “fallen” loosely. Because his bed is a toddler bed which is very low to the ground. So he has basically rolled out of bed and descended a maximum of six inches in elevation. And instead of just getting himself back into bed he feels the need to make me come in and roll him back over. Never yells for Dad-day, always Mom-may. It’s a popularity contest I would like to lose every once in a while.

I’ve read that being a mom is a pursuit which requires selflessness and patience but I’m running all out of those two things. I’m thinking of going on strike. Anyone have any witty ideas for my picket signs?