Saturday, June 11, 2011

desperate measures

I've made it a rule to never complain about my kids, and I try really hard to stick to that. Of course they aren't perfect, but most of the time it isn't their fault when they are driving me crazy and I don't think it is fair to them to announce to the world that they might be making me a little bit batty at the moment. Kids are kids. They need things. They want things. They don't have the capacity to be patient for things. And when you have 4 kids,  who all need and want and aren't patient for things, all at the same time, you can get a little batty a little faster than you would like.

M has been gone for 5 weeks. 5 weeks of no contact, except for a short letter here and there. And it isn't like he's sending me a postcard with a picture of some gorgeous beach on it. He sends letters saying someone stole his laundry detergent and he needs me to send him some, and hand drawn pictures of him jumping out of planes. And believe me, I am thankful that I do get to hear from him at all, even if it is about how he probably got some swamp flu from trekking in the mud all day, but I want to *talk* to him.

So it has just been me, and the kids, for 35 straight days now. No reinforcements, no backup, no breaks. And they are generally good kids, except like I said, they just need and want a lot of things, and they need them and want them RIGHT NOW. I'm tired... so, so tired. I just want... sleep. That's it. I'll take 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe even 6.

Last night's plan of paying the big kids 2 coins each if they slept until 7 this morning totally backfired, and both were in my bed at 6:13 this morning, asking if they could have their coins. (Yes, coins. Not nickles or dimes, or even quarters. They just want coins. Any kind of coins. Just to put in their piggy banks. Thank goodness for all of those random Euro coins I keep finding) So tonight, I've gone rogue. The battle is on. I need my sleep and I am going to get it.

A and MJs room has been stocked with a cup of water and a snack bag for each girl, along with a stack of books and some toys they haven't seen in awhile. W and CB's room is stocked with juice and dry cereal, bananas for each of them and a computer with a dvd. This is the one time I am very glad W can read, because when he wakes up he will see the note I have left for him: "DO NOT WAKE YOUR MOTHER UP, UNLESS YOU ARE BLEEDING OR THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE. And here's a dvd for you and CB to watch. REMEMBER,DO NOT WAKE YOUR MOTHER UP AND NO FIGHTING. Love and kisses, Mommy".

7 hours kids. Just, 7 hours... that's all I want... desperate times are calling for desperate measures.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

third and fourth

Before W was born, I was the perfect parent. He wasn't going to be allowed to watch TV or play video games, the computer was going to be off limits and we were going to only have educational toys. He was only going to eat organic and healthy... Fast forward 18 months and he's playing with my cell phone while eating marshmallows while watching Baby Einstein. So I wasn't mother of the year then, for sure. But I was pretty strict about only eating in the high chair and sitting properly on the furniture, no jumping on the bed and only going outside with shoes and shirts on.

Then CB came along and I got a little more lax. We didn't always eat at the table. You could often find her sitting on the back of the couch, eating her snacks. They didn't always wear shoes outside and when it was hot they were shirtless most of the time. They got away with making more of a mess than I would have like and things definitely weren't as controlled as I preferred, but oh well.

Then A and MJ came along. These girls, my third and fourth, get away with so much it isn't even funny. I kind of feel like as long as they aren't bleeding or their arm is bent the wrong way and they aren't in danger, it will be ok. There is so much that just doesn't matter to me anymore.

Sitting on the table? Fine, as long as they are quiet. Eating in the living room? Awesome, just put a blanket down and we will call it a picnic. Wearing 2 different shoes? Perfect, at least they have them on. Cereal for dinner? At least they are eating and I don't have to do dishes. Jumping on the bed? Exercise. It will wear them out before bed. Spill your plate? Fine, I'll clean it up later. No need to freak out or get upset. Things happen. A already knows how the Wii remote works, and mimics the motions as W plays Mario Kart. MJ and CB really enjoy playing Dora games on the computer. Hand eye coordination, right? (Justification is my favorite thing in the entire world)

Either I have become incredibly apathetic or I've relaxed a lot. I don't know. And all of the above really makes me sound like a horrible mother, but I don't think I am a horrible mother. They aren't out of control, they are just... curious... and there are 2 of them. And one of me. They are good kids. They listen, they play nice, the care for each other and their brother and sister, so I think we're doing ok... but my goodness they have changed me. And I am so glad they have.