It Never Ends

It’s an average spring day in May at my house.  3/4 of the kids are at school.  The laundry is spinning, the sink is piled with breakfast dishes and the dishwasher is loaded with clean dishes that need to be put away. I’ll get to those eventually. I’m sipping my coffee with one hand and logging onto my bank account with the other.  My 2-year-old, Maggie, is begging me to paint.  She pleas her case over and over again as she swings on the dining room chair legs in a rhythmic fashion.  She has already mastered begging.  Her tone and persistent whining are like fingernails on a chalkboard to an exhausted mom searching for a few moments of peace.

“Can I puwease paint somefing… anyfing..puwease Mommy!

I talk to myself.  Why paint?  Paint is messy.  Attempting to buy myself a little time, I respond. “Maybe later honey.  Why don’t you color?” 

“Nooo!  I don’t wike colors.”

I ignore her nasty attitude and study her.  Her arms are crossed tight and her eyes are angry but there is something adorable about her.  I love the innocence of her problem.  It makes me smile. I think psychologists call this motherly love. I call it happiness. I’ve learned that fighting with a 2-year-old never goes well. It’s best to smile and watch their bad attitude dissolve.

Ted is literally laying under my feet and slowly rolls onto his back.  He needs me to rub his belly with the heel of my foot.  I oblige and he thanks me with his chocolate-brown eyes.  

Bing.

The sound of a new email snaps me out of my daze.

images

Subconsciously that subtle bing sound gives me a mild panic attack.  Who is it this time? Perhaps it’s the team mom or the class mom. It doesn’t really matter I suppose.  Much like a child screaming “Moooooom!”  The fact that someone needs me for something I really don’t want to do makes me instantly annoyed. I mentally respond to emails with the same attitude I give my children when they cry my name.

“Whaaat? What do you want?”

I finish paying a few bills and then click over to my inbox and check my new message.  The title alone makes me cringe, “class sign up” It’s that time of year again when I am forced to donate obscene amounts of time, money and effort into school parties, sports, after school activities, teacher conferences and random celebrations.  Every single email requires some type of commitment from me.  I open the email that was sent less than 10 minutes ago, yet I am the last parent to sign up.  And by the way, how the hell does that happen? Did the class mom call all of her friends and warn them that a sign up email would be sent and to get ready in 3-2-1?  I mean really?  Ugh.  The only things left on the list were cupcakes and cookies.  Go ahead and call me an overachiever but I was kinda praying for napkins or paper plates.  I stared at the screen hoping another parent would magically sign up for both items right before my eyes and all the motherly guilt would be lifted from my soul but that did not happen.  The only mom’s left to sign up were the slackers; myself included. Sigh.  Should I do cupcakes?  No, Maybe cookies? Hmmm…distracted by another email.

Bing

Mrs. Doherty,

Will Flynn be at baseball practice today?

And then another, Bing

Mrs. Doherty,

We are asking parents to send in a donation for the teacher gift?

Bing

Mrs. Doherty,

Will Molly be at soccer practice tomorrow?

Bing

Mrs. Doherty,

Will the 2-2:30 time slot work for our parent/teacher conference?

Bing

All dancers will need a hair bow to match their costume for the dance recital.

Bing

Just a friendly reminder that we have you signed up to bring orange slices Saturday.

Bing

Have you paid your team dues yet?   They are due this week.  Thanks so much!

Bing, Bing, Bing...

It never ends.  Slowly but surely my calendar fills up and my bank account is depleted.  All I did was check my email and my mood completely changed.  I went from having a great day to feeling overwhelmed and broke.  I close my laptop to hide from the world.

“Mommy?  Can I paint now?”

“Yes Maggie.  That’s a great idea.  Let’s paint.”

Suddenly, painting sounds like an amazing idea.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?

I cannot wait for the summer.  I have absolutely nothing planned.

I’m An Amazing Liar

I constantly lie to my kids to get them to do what I want.  I’m getting so good at it that some might consider it a mommy super power.  They were flying out of my mouth this morning like it was my job. I spewed three absolutely effortless lies in less than thirty minutes.  I know lying is wrong but what if there is a hidden positive lesson?  Does that make it better?  For instance:

LIE #1

I told Maggie that if she didn’t stop whining, the window would break and all the squirrels would come inside and sit with her while she ate her breakfast.

squirrel at table

*nom-nom-nom-nom* “I’d like to make a toast to the girl who made this possible” *belch* “Cheers Maggie!”

How creepy is that?  And what kind of mother comes up with that shit?  I’m not sure where that came from but it worked.  I hate whining.  I bet in hell there are kids who constantly whine.

LIE #2

I told Teagan that if she didn’t eat her waffle, her teacher would be able to see that she was hungry and she might not move up the behavior chart today.

Behavior Chart

Make better choices Teagan!  Eat your waffle!

Teagan aims to please, so she chowed down.  C’mon?  Every child should eat breakfast and she needed to focus.

LIE #3

I inspected Molly’s teeth after she brushed them for approximately 3 seconds.  Then…the lie…The tooth fairy watches you brush your teeth, ya know?  She KNOWS that you forget the molars. There is no way you will get money for those when they fall out.   Why would Peppermint leave you a reward for a yellow tooth?  This worried Molly and it should.  She ran back upstairs and brushed again.

tooth_fairy_2

I’m watching you Molly!

Am I alone here? Do other mom’s tell lies?  What’s the biggest lie you have ever told your children?

Mommy, I tired.

Here I am again.  I know these walls well.  It’s the only place in my home that is private.  The only place I can vent my emotions.  The warm water comforts me as tears pour down my face.  My thoughts run wild.  How many more times can I be defeated?  Every time I get pushed down I brush my knees off and stand tall.  Sometimes I stand there and gather myself but eventually I move forward.  One foot in front of the other until suddenly I am in a different place.  Like so many people, I too have endured a plethora of disappointments.  From a child in NICU to real estate loss, multiple unemployment stents, law suits, the loss of a pet and family to medical issues.  We have lived through it all.  It’s been years.  Yes, I said YEARS… since I have had any kind of stability in my life.  I consider myself a positive person but I am also human.  I’m exhausted.  I don’t understand God’s message.  It seems that nothing.  Absolutely nothing is going right. No matter how hard I push forward.  No matter how much I celebrate the simple joys,  I can’t seem to catch a break.

Suddenly, I am slapped out of my pity party by a little voice.  I couldn’t see her through the steamy shower door but her voice lifted me.   “Mommy?  Are you in here?”  I wiped away my tears and answered her “Yes baby.  I’m taking a shower.”  “Ok Mommy.  I wait wight here for you.  Ok Mommy?”  “Ok sweet girl.  I’ll be out in a minute.”  I wiped some steam off the window and peered out at my little girl.  She was sitting indian style, twiddling her hands with nervous energy.  She did not know I was watching her and she did not know how much I needed her at that moment.  All she wanted, was to know that I was there for her.  ‘Mommy?’ she asked a few seconds later.  “Yes love bug”  “Are you almost done?”  “Just a couple of minutes.”  She repeated my words in confirmation “Mommy hold me in a couple of minutes.”  “Yes, Maggie.  I love you.  I will hold you when I’m all done.” ‘Otay mommy.”

I turned off the shower and wrapped a towel around my body.  Without hesitation I picked up Maggie and held her close as I promised.  “I wuff you mommy.  I tired.”  I kissed her on her head and thanked God for the blessings in my life.  Maybe this is the message.  A reminder to love my family.  These past few years have taught me one thing; unconditional love can conquer any disappointment.  She snuggled her head on my shoulder and soon I felt her whole body relax.   I  walked in circles around my room.  Swaying my hips the way moms do and gently brushing her hair behind her ear.  “I’m tired too baby.  I’m tired too.”

 

Have a great weekend everyone!  Celebrate the good things in your life and rest when you need to!

 

 

Well, It’s a Start?

Greetings!  Summer is over and Mrs. D is back!!!  I sent my 3rd baby to kindergarten this morning (sniff, sniff).  Her teacher is Mrs. S.  She is the same one Molly had.  I love her to death!  She asked all the parents to describe their child in the form of a letter. Here is my verbal diarrhea. I thought honesty would be the best policy, right?

 

Act II – We meet again.

Heeelllllooo there Miss S!  You brave soul.  Going for a double dose of the Doherty girls, huh?  First Molly and now Teagan.  I love that!  You have no idea how excited I was to hear the news!  Hip Hip Hooray!

First of all, sorry we did not make it to orientation.  I am a slacker and we were at the beach.  Horrible, I know.  I can’t even think of a way to make the beach sound like a legitimate reason to miss my child’s kindergarten orientation, so I didn’t bother sugar-coating it.

Anyway, here I am at 11:30pm the night before the first day of school, looking at paperwork and scrambling to look like I have it all together for my little sweetie coming to you in the morning.

A letter to describe my child:

Teagan is a quiet, gentle soul.  She is my third child out of four and by many standards she is a true middle child.  She is usually very agreeable and has a heart of gold.  She really does.  I’m not saying she is perfect by any stretch but she almost always has good intentions.  She loves rules and structure and on the first few days you may see her “deer in the headlight” face which will probably make you want to hug her.  Can I give you permission to do that?  Are hugs allowed in school?  I don’t know but if you need my permission, you have it.  A hug goes a long way with Teagan.  She is my easiest child to discipline. If she annoys you, just give her “stern eyes” and she should straighten right up.  It is quite possible that you may see tears with stern eyes but I’m OK with that too.  I don’t want my kid being the classroom brat. Oh- and email/call me if she is ever a problem.  You poor teachers deal with too much.  I will follow-up on my end as well.

What else?  Mmmmm..she eats like a bird.  She is left-handed.  She is very creative and slightly artsy.  She is quiet but social.  She is certainly NOT an athlete but she has more grace than I will ever have.  Not to brag BUT…girlfriend can hula hoop like a champion.  I’m serious.  She barely moves those little hips and that thing doesn’t stop. Actually, maybe she’s a dancer?  I read in your newsletter that you are a dancer. Maybe in your spare time (ha ha) you could check that out for me and let me know. This way I can either move forward or cross “ballerina” off of her list of talents.  I’m sorry to say this but she does whine.  It’s awful and we are working on it but it’s true. I’m so, so, so sorry!  I thought it might help to let you know that I hate it too.

I don’t know.  I’m just throwing it all out there.  My goal for her this year is fairly simple. I would like to see her develop a love for learning and to build her confidence as a person.  I’m sure some of these letters that you are forced to read are obnoxious so please don’t sit my kid anywhere near their brats.  It has been my experience that obnoxious parents have obnoxious children.  I’m sure you can understand my concern.

Maybe I made you laugh or maybe you will drink a whole bottle of wine tonight dreading  an entire school year dealing with “Teagan’s mom” / loon.  I can only hope that I am celebrated and not dreaded.  Either way, I want you to know that I respect teachers and I have a great admiration for the ones that do it well.  You are definitely one of the great ones!  Teagan is in great hands!  We are both looking forward to a wonderful year!  No pressure….now go get ’em tiger!!!

Ronda