Hannah peed in her potty today. I didn’t even have to tell her to. She just went and did it. She said she had to pee, went to the potty, pulled down her pants and diaper, and went.
How completely wonderful. It was like a small miracle. I was sitting here in my husband’s small home office, getting ready to have the luxury of writing something, when I heard her small voice from the other side of the door. “Mama!” she said. My first reaction was complete annoyance. I hear that all day. “Mama!” But then she said, “I peed in the potty!” Well, that was different. I turned around and opened the door. “You did?!” I said proudly. “You peed in the potty?” My husband had come upstairs behind her and he confirmed it. It had really happened. She had peed in the potty.
I bought these little toy surprises at Kroger to give her when she pees in the potty. Two of them have been LOL Surprise Dolls and this last one was a My Little Pony. They’re stupidly expensive- almost $3.00 per toy surprise candy but oh well, she needs an incentive, and I like the things too. Inside a box is a chocolate egg and a capsule. If the candy companies followed the pattern of Kinder Eggs in Germany the capsule would be inside of the chocolate egg. It’s a big plastic capsule with a toy inside and almost impossible to swallow, but we have some dumb law in the U.S. that says these capsules can’t be put inside the eggs. Stuff like that really pisses me off, like unnecessarily so. Anyway, she opened her little capsule and there was a Princess Twilight Sparkle inside. We’re saving the chocolate egg until after lunch.
I’m starting to feel very irritable now. Maybe it’s all the coffee I drink every morning. I’m a total coffee junky. There’s just something so reassuring about that morning coffee- how warm it is, how sweet with cream and sugar, the aroma. And I love the kick, the caffeine buzz, and I overdo it until I’m cracked out and twitching.
Speaking of dumb laws, I also hate that law that children’s pajamas have to be sprayed with these carcinogenic flame-retardant chemicals unless they fit skin-tight. Ugh, so stupid! Who came up with that idea? And why in G-d’s name can’t we change it? The flame retardants, to me, are far more dangerous than the possibility of my children’s pajamas catching on fire. We never use our gas fireplace, or we haven’t yet, and we almost never use candles or anything else that you light on fire. And yet I can’t buy my daughter a cute little nightie dress because every single one of them, even ones made out of fucking organic cotton, have to be sprayed with flame retardants! Ahhhhh!!!! Things like this just make my head want to explode. I’ve noticed I get angrier and more hung up on things like this than other people. I wonder what my deal is… I guess I just feel so helpless. I see stupid things happening all the time, and what can I do about them? Nothing. Just look at our government. That’s a whole other can of worms I don’t even want to open.
Also, if loose fitting children’s pajamas have to be sprayed with flame retardants, why don’t loose fitting children’s day clothes have to be sprayed? Are children more likely to spontaneously combust at night? I shouldn’t mention using the flame retardants on clothes during the day. The assholes will probably do it. And it all probably has to do with some deal with the companies that manufacture flame retardants. So dumb.
“Did you poop?” I just heard my husband say. “Why didn’t you poop in the potty?” “Well, Chad, one thing at a time,” I called out through the door. She’s almost 3. I don’t know why my kids are such late bloomers when it comes to potty training. I’m so jealous of those parents whose kids do it at one and a half. Still, she’s doing better than Sammy. He didn’t potty train until he was three years and eight months! At least she’s moving in the right direction now, at two years and ten months.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I don’t want to do much actual mothering on Mother’s Day. I honestly just want to be left alone. That would be beautiful. If that sounds mean and selfish to you, then you’re not a mother, or you’re not a mother of small children and you’ve forgotten what it’s like, or you’re a mother who never had to be solely responsible for your children for long, infinite, never-ending stretches of time. Maybe you took them to daycare while you worked. Maybe you had a relative help you. But if you’re sitting there thinking, “Aw, you should treasure every single second with your children! How dare you not want to be with them on Mother’s Day, of all days?” I’ll tell you why. Because I’m with them all the fucking time. I’m with them in the morning, and I’m with them in the night. I’m with them at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m with them when I go to the bathroom, when I take a shower. You get the idea. As much as I love them, I don’t want to be with them absolutely every waking moment of my life. Sorry. And absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Coronavirus quarantining has made things a bit harder for me as a mom, although not dramatically so. I wasn’t getting much help before. My husband and I have lost the ability to go on a date night. Our old neighbor who used to babysit for us (not old in age, but from our previous neighborhood) has health issues and breathing issues. She’s one person that should definitely be careful during this time, so she can’t come any more. My mom is also someone who is in a high-risk category for coronavirus. She’s 68 years old, and of course the risk of dying of this disease increases exponentially with age, so she can’t come around either.
Maybe it’s for the best. Before the quarantine we were having so many fights. I really wanted her help with the kids, and she was wanting to help me less and less. I feel a lot of resentment towards her about it, to tell you the truth. It was bad enough that she wasn’t wanting to help much anymore, but at the same time she had to insult me about the kind of job I was doing, telling me I’m lazy, my house is so messy, her house never looked like this, etc. I just remember so many of the mean comments she made when she was coming to “help.” It got to the point that I was having a hard time deciding whether I wanted to have her come help or not because I didn’t want to deal with the insulting things she’d say. It bums me out thinking about it.
Then she would always tell me I didn’t appreciate her. How could I appreciate her when every time she came over she told me what a lazy slob I am? She would moan and grumble and insist on doing my dishes, even when I told her not to. When I said, “Hey, just leave them, I’ll do them” she’d exclaim brightly, “No! I like doing them!” Then an hour later she’s moaning about how exhausted she is.
She’d always make a big deal of accomplishing all these things, cleaning, watching the kids, having all this energy, but she knew she was going to be there for only three hours and then get to go home! It was always like she was trying to show me, “See, look at everything I can get done! You’re so lazy and inefficient!” But our deal was that she come three hours a day, two days a week. I’m sure if I knew I was only going to have to be at it for three hours and then get to go off and do whatever I wanted for the next two or three days that I would be able to run around in a frenzy accomplishing things too. It’s a lot harder when it’s your 24/7.
My husband is taking the kids to the store with him. How absolutely wonderful. I have to watch them all week while he’s working. He sits up in the office working. That’s his job. I watch the kids. That’s my job. And try to keep the house clean. I kind of suck at that one but am working on getting better at multi-tasking. I have my little goals every day with the kids. I’m really set on teaching Sammy to read, although sometimes I push him too hard. I want Hannah to potty train. Already they are dealing with the burdens of my parental expectations. Sigh.
This day in May is beautiful with a wide open blue sky. It was chilly and rainy all day yesterday. Ah, and there’s Chad pulling out of the driveway in the Highlander with the kids. Bye! I won’t miss you! Sorry! I do start to miss them after a few hours though. Stockholm syndrome.
Anyway, the day is pretty, cool with weather in the sixties, not one of those super-hot springs like the ones we’ve had for the past few years that make me flip out about global warming.
I’m enjoying my garden. That’s one thing that gives me pleasure in these days of coronavirus quarantine and endless parenting. And I try to go for runs. Running is good for me, and some days it feels good too. I enjoy running listening to punk music.
Punk music has really been a special part of my life. I like how angry it is. I wish I had been better at being a punk as a teenager, when it was more age appropriate. I guess I have anger issues, pent up frustrations that have built up through the years that find expression in music that is fast and kind of angry. Not always angry though. It’s melodic, or the kind of punk I like is. And it’s about hope, and change, and yeah, a lot of the time it is angry.
I like Social Distortion. I’ve really gotten into them recently. I had Mommy’s Little Monster in high school but now I’ve discovered they had a lot of good tracks not found on that album. My favorite album by them is their self-titled. I like how classic their sound is. They just have well constructed, catchy songs. There’s something strangely comforting about listening to to them for me.
I like the Swingin’ Utters, especially the album 5 Lessons Learned, and Bad Religion. I really like Jesse Michaels’ most recent band, Classics of Love. And I love the old Rancid album Out Come the Wolves. That will always be my favorite from them. I remember when I had that album on tape when I was in high school. How old fashioned and quaint. Sometimes I’ll listen to the Dance Hall Crashers on Spotify, or a mix of bands. I just need fast music when I’m running, something to keep me going. Ha, and I’ve also listened to eighties pop. It’s cheesy but those synthesizers will keep you moving. And I can’t forget Green Day, which were the band that started my love of punk bands and will always be my favorite. Their first four albums are like the soundtrack to my teenage years.
The kids are gone now. My husband is gone now. The house is silent. This is amazingly, spellbindingly peaceful. No one is calling, “Mommy! Mama! I’m thirsty! I want to watch videos on YouTube! Mama boob!” Hannah’s always asking me for boob. She’s obsessed. I’ve been breastfeeding for almost six years now. I still give it to Sammy sometimes too, even though he’s almost six. Go ahead and judge me. Whatever. He loves it. The only reason I let him have it is because he asks for it, otherwise I’d be happy to quit. My kids love their boob.
Maybe I’ll take a nap now. Or go for a run. We’ll see. But the possibilities are endless. Later,
Oh, and here’s some Social Distortion ♥