The Bed of Pain

I desperately need a shower. And maybe something with caffeine..and prozac. Z was awake for an hour and a half between 2:30 and 4. It was a NIGHTMARE. I finally bodily dragged her out of our bed, took her to her own, and said, “If you want to stay in Mommy and Daddy’s bed you will be STILL and QUIET.” Poor thing, she was crying, but she agreed. But then I was all irritated and my heart rate was up so it took me forever to fall back to sleep. She cuddled with me, though, and stayed asleep until almost 7:30. I took her to the bathroom and got her out of her diaper (she still wears them to bed at night), got her a snack of raspberries and Cheerios and brought it to my bed and told her to amuse herself until 8:00. Then I kinda dozed for awhile. Wearing earplugs, of course.

UGH. In twelve years, she will be fourteen and want to sleep until noon, and I will get her up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays to do chores. Revenge shall be MINE!


Yes, I’m laughing, but I’m also kind of crying.

Reverse Placebo Band-Aid Drama

Z’s a happy child. She laughs, tells jokes, loves it when I hide behind a corner and scare the pants off her when she least expects it (this runs in my family).

She also tends toward the melodramatic (this also runs in my family. Fine. Just me. Shut up before I go cry myself to sleep).

Last week my mom was visiting (a.k.a. Free Babysitting While I Hide in my Bedroom with the Computer). Mom needed a band-aid, so I got her one, and I got one for Z as well. I remembered seeing this cute little girl in music class wearing band-aids all over her body – arms, legs, tummy, so I thought it would be fun for Z to have a band-aid and match her Gran. Boy, was I wrong.

I picked a spot on her hand for the band-aid, and maybe this was my mistake – the spot had a little tiny boo-boo. This boo-boo was probably 1/32 of an inch long, the teeniest scratch imaginable. But once the band-aid was in place, the boo-boo transmogrified into a Grievous Wound.

She babied her hand for the entire day, cradling it in her other hand, wrapping it in blankets, asking for an ice pack. She ate exclusively with the other hand, prefering to rest the wounded hand in her lap during meals. At first it was cute. Then it sparked a few eye rolls. If it hadn’t been coupled with whining during dinner, I probably would have been fine. (But what’s a Grievous Wound if you can’t whine about it?)

Z: I don’t want Daddy to take my band-aid off at bathtime.

Husband: I have to take the band-aid off at bathtime, but it won’t hurt.

Ever-Suffering Mother: It’ll be fine, Z. There’s nothing wrong with you.

Z: [voice substantially higher in pitch] But I don’t want Daddy to take my band-aid off! It hurts it hurts!

[dialogue repeated enough times to make the most patient of mothers (I know I can’t even hope to fit into that category – I can’t even type it without feeling like a hypocrite) lose  her cool.]

ESM: If you whine about it again, I’ll take the band-aid off right now.


Alas, a few minutes later, my drama-queen-in-training could not help herself. She said something about the band-aid. Granted, she didn’t use a whiny voice, but I was done. Done with dinner, done with her drama, and done with that dumb band-aid.

I got up, grabbed her hand, and took the stupid thing off (the band-aid, not her hand). It was only hanging by one side, anyway (again, the band-aid, not her hand). And guess what: She. Was. Fine. A quick, whiny protest as I tossed the offending adhesive bandage into the garbage, and then she was back to eating her dinner.

With both hands, this time.

The Weekly Chore Schedule (Or, Trying to be Less of a Slacker Mom)

Welcome  to my home. Wait, wait, don’t step there. Ouch. Those Duplos really hurt. In fact, you might want to keep your gaze on the floor as you navigate our hazardous halls. If you stumble on a stuffed animal and grab the piano for support, you may want to wipe off the dust that sticks to your fingers. I’ll turn around and pretend not to notice if you want to use the curtains for this.

Yes, welcome to my home. I know I’m not completely alone in this. My house is cleaner than some, but much messier than others. It’s messier on days when we come back from the library and I have a delicious new book to read (Hello, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams–wow!)

To give myself a tiny bit of help, I devised a chore schedule. This is the slacker mom’s chore schedule. Please realize that I’m easing into this chore thing, and I’M A SLOB OKAY!? There’s my disclaimer. Even as easy as this chore schedule is, I STILL don’t get everything done.

This is embarrassing. I can’t believe I’m posting this. Okay. Here goes:

Monday: sweep and vacuum

Tuesday: dust (This is a stupid chore. It always gets overlooked. Besides, whenever my mother visits she is so appalled by the layers of dust coating everything that she dusts. So I don’t have to.)

Wednesday: whatever (Yes, seriously. Wednesday is “Whatever Day.” Maybe we run errands. Maybe I read a novel.)

Thursday: laundry (Actually, I do laundry all week. Thursday is “fold the mountain of laundry in the family room” day.)

Friday: clean sinks and toilets

Saturday: clean tub and shower

Sunday: Whee, Sabbath! I try very hard not to do chores on Sundays. This is the chore day where I SHINE. Except for dishes (see below).

Every Damn Day: wash dishes (Oh, how I hate them.)

I am sure there are stay-at-homies out there who do all those things in one single day. The thought of this makes me break out in a rash. My mother has hope for me yet. Two of my Christmas gifts:

I really hate dusting. Yesterday was dusting day. Z and I got it done, but just barely. We didn’t use the Swiffer Dusters Extender, though. Maybe next week!

I hate the dishes too, but as they’re unavoidable, I’ll use the fancy dish drying mat. Thanks, Mom! (Um, that is said without any trace of sarcasm, really. And just so nobody thinks anything bad about my mother, I will also disclose that one of her gifts is sending me to an SCBWI conference. So she didn’t just get me housekeeping accoutrements.)

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Pee

Fantasy: The Ever-Suffering Mother sits on the couch with her NEW, BEAUTIFUL, FANCIFIED laptop, typing away at her Great Work of Young Adult Literature, putting on the finishing touches for her PUBLISHER (this is a fantasy, after all. Indulge me). As she types, she listens to the sweetest sound in the world: “Mamam! I went poop in the potty! I’m going to clean everything up now, wash my hands, and give myself a sticker! Don’t worry about anything. It’s all taken care of!”

The Ever-Suffering Mother sighs contentedly, shifts slightly to accommodate Clarkie, who naps peacefully on the Ever-Suffering Mother’s feet, and calls back, “Nice job, Sweetie! When you’re done, come in here to give me a hug before you finish washing the dishes and mowing the lawn!”

Here is our potty-training lexicon:

  • Go, go, go, go, GO!
  • Poop and pee go in the potty.
  • Tell Mama when you have to go.
  • Big girl underwear!
  • Just like Mommy and Daddy.
  • You may have a sticker after you wash your hands.
  • Good job, Z!

Your potty is covered in stickers. You have pull-up diapers. You even have big-girl underpants with some obscure (to me) cartoon character on them.

You tell me (sometimes) (when it is convenient for putting off bedtime) when you have to go.

So what’s the next step? What’s the next thing for a (lazy, often-inconsistent) mom to do? Am I supposed to keep on keepin’ on? Because if that means “keep on cleaning up pee in Z’s favorite spots in the house,” I don’t know if I’m ready for the Great Potty Training Experience.

Or is that “experiment”?

Everything with you, my precious, willful, sparkling daughter, is an experiment.