The last Friday of March Break came quickly. It had been a boring week, with no plans, lots of snow and lazy days. By Friday the sun was finally shining and I was ready to get out of the house! Georgia was at Gramma’s for a sleepover and Dakota was sleeping in until noon, so that just left Turner & I. “Do you want to go for a drive?” I asked. He was happy to get out of the house, but didn’t want to get dressed. Since it was still early (8:30am) and I had no plans of getting out of the car, I agreed to let him stay in his pajamas. (Plus, he looked so cute and snuggly in his full piece snowman fleecy pj’s!) We hoped in the car and headed off!
Before I knew it, we were in town and headed to Walmart. I asked Turner if he wanted to stop and he was excited. I agreed he could have a Kinder egg and I needed to pick up a few things. When I opened the door to get him out, I remembered he was still in his pajamas. Oh well! With his jacket and boots on you couldn’t really tell they were pajamas. Plus it was early and there weren’t a lot of shoppers, so in we went. Turner enjoyed a large Kinder egg while we were shopping, I picked up a new mop and broom, we bought Gramma some new clothes for her birthday and I even managed to sneak a few Easter gifts in without him noticing. Over all it was a good shopping trip and Turner & I both enjoyed it.
We drove around town for a bit before I remembered that Dakota had asked me to bring her McDonald’s home for lunch. We hadn’t been to McDonald’s for quite awhile, so I thought it would be a treat. When we got there the drive thru was busy, so we went inside. And that’s when I became the mother that brought her son to McDonald’s in his pajamas.
It was innocent enough at first, just running in to pick up a Happy Meal for Turner and a chicken wrap for Dakota. But when we got inside we realized they didn’t start serving lunch until 11:00.
It was 10:15.
I gave Turner the choice of staying and waiting or going some where else. He chose to stay and wait. Since we had no other plans for the day I didn’t mind waiting. We decided to buy a Happy Meal toy to keep him busy while we waited, and he had picked up a small bag of plastic bugs at Walmart, so they came in with us to play, too. We headed to the children’s area.
We found a table next to the Lego table and settled in. Another boy was playing with the Lego and Turner quickly made friends. When Turner took his jacket off to get comfortable, I smiled nervously at the other mom. I felt a little ashamed that Turner was still in his pajamas. I even offered an excuse. “We weren’t planning on coming in…” She smiled and we continued to talk. And I felt better. Who cares that he was in his pajamas? They were clean. He was clean. And he was having fun.
Turner played with the blocks, his plastic bugs and his car for over an hour before he was ready to order lunch. And in that hour we built Lego houses for the bugs, raced the car, sat with the Ronald McDonald statue, talked about our trip to Walmart, what he wanted the Easter Bunny to bring and the dream he had about Batman. We made friends with other kids and parents, we smiled and talked when the older people in the restaurant came over to say how cute he was, and we made up games to play with his bugs. He had an unlimited imagination and I went right along with him.
We had fun. We played. We talked. We laughed.
So yes, I was that Mom at McDonald’s. I was that Mom that got down on her knees by the Lego table to play with her son. I was that Mom that allowed her son to race his new car in the empty section of the restaurant. I was that Mom that sat with Ronald McDonald and laughed when Turner said I looked silly. I was that Mom that listened to her son as he talked about Batman, Green Lantern and Flash. That Mom that listened while he talked about his sisters, his Dad and how much he loved his family.
Yes, I was that Mom that brought her son to McDonald’s in his snowman pajamas. But I was also that Mom who had fun. That Mom who spent quality time with her son. That Mom who created memories.
And my only regret of the day?
I regret not having a camera with me to capture these memories.
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday and we had plans to go to the Valley for lunch and make a day of it, seeing the pumpkin people, visiting a corn maze and having family pictures taken, after visiting Matt’s grandparents and family. Unfortunately, we decided last night to cancel our plans because both Matt & I aren’t feeling well and we didn’t want to pass along our germs to Matt’s family. Needless to say, we are all dissapointed. But we decided last night that we would enjoy our day at home, sleep in, have a big breakfast and supper, and just be lazy.
I guess the kids didn’t get the memo about sleeping in.
Around 6:30am I was woken up by the sound of rain and a warm feeling down my side. That’s when I realized that Turner was sleeping, completely naked, curled up to my side and he had just peed in his sleep. It was all over me, him and the bed. (Lucky for Matt he was still sound asleep on the opposite side of the bed, completely oblivious to the fact that half of the bed was covered in pee, because he had the dry half of the mattress.) Now, is it wrong that I thought, just for a minute, that if I close my eyes and went back to seep, it would be ok, and I could deal with the pee later? I know, I know, but it was still dark – on a Sunday!! Anyway, neither Turner nor I could get back to sleep, so we headed downstairs.
When we got downstairs we found Georgia wide awake and watching tv. “I got up early to go to Grammie O’Toole’s!” she said excitedly! Apparently she had forgotten that we weren’t going to the Valley. When I broke the news to her she started crying and then I felt bad. When she asked for something to eat I offered her Girl Guide cookies, which helped calm her down – and get me one step closer to the shower, since I was still covered in pee.
With Georgia and Turner settled on the couch, watching Batman and eating chocolate cookies, I was free to get in the shower. (I know – chocolate cookies for breakfast is being a horrible parent, but sometimes you have to do what ever it takes to get a shower. Please tell me someone else can relate?) I pulled back the curtain and realized the kitten had peed and pooped in the bath tub. Sigh. I guess I needed to clean the bath tub, first.
Finally I was able to get into the shower, enjoying the hot water and the quiet coming from the living room.
And that’s when the cramps started! Horrible pains in my stomach. So I tried to hurry through my shower, washing my hair and getting cleaned up before what I thought was going to happen happened.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to rinse all of the shampoo out of my hair or dry off before jumping out of the tub and running to the toilet. As soon as I sat down, I heard Turner yell from the kitchen “Poop!!”. Coincidence? Maybe. Then he came running in to the bathroom yelling “Dog poop! Dog poop!”. In my hurry to get into the shower I had forgotten to put the dog out.
Have you ever yelled “Don’t touch the poop! I’ll clean it up in a minute! Please shut the door so Momma can poop!!”? I have. (And I don’t think this was the fist time.)
Luckily the cramps didn’t last long and I was able to get cleaned up, throw on some pajamas and make my way out to the kitchen to see what kind of mess the dog had made. Only what I seen first wasn’t the dog’s mess, it was Turner’s. He had dumped the entire craft basket out all over the kitchen floor! There were colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks, stickers and who knows what else spread out over the kitchen floor. (Luckily, it wasn’t close to the dog poop, so I guess I can count that as a plus.)
So let’s recap – so far this morning I have been peed on, had a bad case of diarrhea, cleaned up cat poop, dog poop and all of the craft supplies.
And it was only 7:30am.
While all of this was going on, Georgia was crying on the couch, this time because she had been playing with the kitten and the kitten had scratched her finger. The sight of blood was enough to get Georgia whining and crying and Turner thought it was funny, which only made Georgia cry more.
So I calmed Georgia down, got Turner settled with a new episode of Batman, and went to switch over the laundry. That’s when I realized that our older cat had been locked in the porch all night and guess what I found? Yup – more cat pee and poop to clean up!
So, if you are keeping track, that’s pee – 3, poop – 4 and me -0.
While I was cleaning up the cat’s mess and doing laundry, Turner got into the package of tomatoes. And, as frustrating as it was to see a whole package of tomatoes wasted, he looked adorable sitting on the couch with a tomato in each hand, eating them like apples.
But when I went to get my camera, to get a picture of all of this cuteness (and to keep my sanity) I realized that when Turner had climbed up on the counter earlier to get the craft basket, he must have also gotten my camera. It was laying on the counter out of the case and when I tried to turn it on it refused to open.
I eventually got the camera to open up, but by then Turner had thrown the tomatoes on the floor and refused to have his picture taken. I did manage to snap this one, but that was about it.
By now the poop has all been cleaned up, the laundry started, I’ve had a shower, the craft supplies have all been picked up and my camera has been fixed. I decided to deal with the tomatoes on the floor later, after a glass of pop and a Facebook break.
That’s when I realize that we are out of pop. (It was also about the same time that Turner dumped the popcorn kernels left over from last night all over the living room floor.)
I need pop!
For those of you that don’t know, I am a Pepsi addict. I used to drink Pepsi all the time, and still have cravings. I have been Pepsi free since the end of May, but I still need something fizzy every once in awhile so I usually have 7-Up in the fridge to take away the Pepsi cravings. This was one of those times I needed the fizz, and there was none.
I desperately started digging around for change. In the end I had enough for a pop and a bag of chips if I combined my change and what was left on my debit card. (Desperate times, and all that…)
So I drove to the store, in my pajamas and bought pop and chips at 8:30 in the morning.
And that’s what kind of day it is going to be today….
I’m lucky that my mother-in-law will take Georgia & Turner after school. It gives our sitter shorter days, Matt & I don’t have to worry about rushing home and it gives me an hour or so to myself in between leaving work and picking up Matt. But for the next week or so, my mother-in-law is working later and not able to take the kids, so I have to drive to the sitter’s right after work, then head back to town to pick Matt up at work. Now, I’m not complaining. We’re very thankful to both my mother-in-law and our sitter and this post isn’t about our babysitting arrangement.
It’s about me loosing my patience with the kids today, in that hour of time we have before picking Matt up from work.
Yesterday was great – we spent the extra time at the playground. But today was payday – which meant I needed to get groceries and take Georgia & Turner with me.
I should have known, when I picked them up and they started arguing before they were even in the car. I should have known when they argued in the car over this or that. (“Turner won’t let me look out his window!” “Georgia put her window up!!”) I should have known that they were whiny and cranky and would not be fun to take to the grocery store.
The entire trip was frustrating. Trying to plan meals with a small budget is frustrating enough – but add the kids whining for everything they see and I can’t concentrate on numbers and lists. Add kids climbing in and out of the cart or running straight down the meat aisle to the other end of the store and I miss items I need. Add the kids throwing things in the cart, while I’m trying to take them back out and I forget what our total was up to. Add lots of whining, yelling, crying, begging, climbing and straight out not listening and you have our grocery shopping trip.
I remember at one point apologizing to an older lady when the kids walked right in front of her cart. “Don’t worry about it, Dear, I was there once, too.” That made me feel better for a second, a split-second, because that’s when Turner decided to take off running.
I tried to be firm, I tried to keep my voice calm, I tried to smile, I tried to not draw attention to ourselves.
But I failed.
Once outside I thought the kids might calm down, but as I loaded the groceries into the trunk, trying to hold on the cart so it wouldn’t roll away, Turner climbed into the driver’s seat and laid on the horn. I swear every head turned to look at us. I swear every person in the parking lot heard me yelling at Turner to get into his seat.
After successfully getting the groceries into the trunk without loosing the cart, scratching any cars close by with the cart or loosing my kids in the parking lot, I opened the back door to buckle Turner in and found him marking on the car door. I grabbed the marker out of his hand and threw it on the ground – only to hear Georgia crying that it wasn’t her marker – it belonged to a girl in her class and she had to give it back tomorrow.
Yes, I was that mom on her hands and knees in the Sobey’s parking lot, trying to reach a marker (that didn’t even have a cover for frig’s sakes!!) underneath someone else’s car while one kid cried and the other yelled, as I repeated some not so nice words in my head and I felt like every person in the parking lot was looking at me.
Yes, that was me.
And – after all of that, I was late picking Matt up from work, our pizza for supper was cold, I missed group, and I had only bought about half of our groceries!
So, I bet you’re wondering why I titled this post “To The Women Ahead of Me At The Grocery Counter”, huh?
See, we took the kids home, where we ate cold pizza and the kids continued to pull on my last nerve. Turner peed in his pants. Turner hit Georgia with his plastic snake so Georgia punched him. They fought over the cat, the tv, the toy sword and who got to sit beside me. They both refused to eat supper. They screamed and hollered while I was on the phone.
I needed to get out of the house, so I went back to town – by myself – to get the rest of the groceries, and that’s when I saw the mom in front of me in the line at the checkout.
The mom with the little boy who had his face painted like a tiger. The mom who wore yoga pants and no makeup but still seemed put together. The mom that was laughing and joking with her son, who looked to be around 6 or 7. The mom that looked happy and patient and talked to her son with respect, not anger or frustration. The mom that made small talk with me, the cashier, the other customers in line, all while talking and laughing patiently with her son.
… so, to the lady in front of me at the grocery counter, thank you for reminding me how I’m supposed to talk to my children, even when I’m frustrated or angry or depressed. Even when I am out of patience and want to scream and yell, right there in the middle of the grocery store.
Thank you for engaging with your son, for laughing and joking with him. Thank you for your pleasant smile when you caught me watching you, and thank you for bringing a smile to my face when I felt so frustrated. Thank you for giving me the encouragement I need to go back home to my children, where I can hug them, kiss them and be thankful for all I have.
The agency I am with (La Garderie) took all of the care providers out for supper tonight.
I got to have a shower and dress up, leave the house all by myself, and enjoy a few hours of good food and adult conversation.
We went to Rudders, a local seafood restaurant down town on the water front. I had Fettuccine Primivera with chicken and butterscotch cheese cake – both were delicious!
Then, because it was such a nice evening, I took a short walk along the waterfront.
It was nice to get out of the house for a bit.
Positive/Negative for today:
How are you enjoying this beautiful weekend? I had plans of playing with the kids, going to a birthday party, helping Matt clean up around the yard, and taking the kids to the beach. But instead – I am stuck on the couch, inside, while every one else is outside enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures. We also had to cancel our camping trip with friends next weekend. A sprained ankle is not fun in the middle of the summer.
But, instead of letting it get me down, I am trying to find the positive in my situation.
Friday (just a few hours before the sprain) I seen my councillor. It had been a few months since my last visit so we had lots to get caught up on. We talked about the storm, the weather, my mood, our plans for the summer, the kids, etc. What I was feeling most concerned about was that, since being home from work, I was starting to feel cranky, overwhelmed, confined and depressed, just like I did before I chose to go back to work. I hate feeling this way, especially since I was looking forward to spending summer vacation with the kids. Why did it make me feel down instead? My councillor recommended walking by myself for at least 30 minutes every day. I felt motivated. I was going to do it!
That night I sprained my ankle. I didn’t even have a major accident, just stepped out of the barn, on to the grass, and rolled my ankle. (I was talking to Matt when it happened, so apparently I can’t walk and talk at the same time!) So much for walking 30 minutes every day. So much for trips to the beach, the playground or camping. My feelings of isolation and depression were probably going to get worse, not better.
But, instead of letting it get me down, I am trying to find the positive in my situation.
So here are a few reasons why spraining my ankle may turn out to be a good thing:
For Turner, I am hoping this break from Momma may be a good thing. It seems like we have digressed since staying home. He is right back to wanting Momma all of the time, clinging to me, crawling on me, and sleeping with me. I love the extra snuggles, but it can get overwhelming at times. I am hoping that by Matt putting him to bed, and me not being able to do everything he asks, maybe he won’t be as dependent on me when I do get up and moving around again.
As for Matt, Dakota & Georgia, I am hoping this gets them in the habit of helping out a bit more around the house and cleaning up after themselves.