Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. the February Blahs

So, it snowed. Again.

Here I sit, watching Super Baby eat lunch. He is on his second hot dog, third cheese stick, and I have no idea which number grape. Maybe 17th? The same thing he has eaten every day for a week. I know he isn't bothered by this, but I am fairly sure I am not winning any mom points for feeding my 13-month-old the equivalent of a Slim Jim (Mild Beef 'N Cheese 2 pack variety). I should feel some shame, but all I can think about is Randy Savage breaking down my door with his massive Slim Jim powers. At least it would be something different.

Super Toddler has his bare feet pushing into the back of the couch, as he watches Cinderella upside-down. He must want to shake things up for his 3rd watching of the day. He is wearing jeans and a dinosaur shirt, adored by a backwards dress-up dress, a broken tiara, no less than 4 necklaces, and I am fairly sure he has somehow tucked a wand behind his ear. He is also eating grapes. Upside-down. While watching TV. Sigh, no mom points today.

The problem here is that we got spoiled over the last 2 weeks. Awesome Mom was off work for a week, which resulted in a glorious week of playdates, teenage-like phone calls, and coded gossip. Then, we had a week of spring, which got us into jackets and out of the house. It was amazing. And then, it snowed. Again. So, here we sit. Losing it and losing to sloth, yet again.

Now, this simply will not do! (Can you tell I have been watching Cinderella on repeat?) I will NOT go quietly into the bored afternoon! I will NOT give into the February Blahs! I am Awkward Mom; champion of the mediocre, the average, and those who try really hard with less than stellar results. I will not sit here feeling sorry for myself, we are going out. Snow or no. I have no real need to go to CVS, but they are having a killer sale on Easter candy (yes, Easter). I decide we better stock up before Lenten guilt sets in.

I leap into action; we dress in a flurry of hats and boots. Super Toddler wants to go as is. Long conversation about outside clothes and inside clothes, which results in the compromise of dress off, coat on, hair bow under Daddy's Cubs hat, 2 necklaces (1 out of coat, 1 inside), dinosaur boots, tiny gloves on and gripping a bright red wand. Super Baby is much more accommodating, bundled hence:

We head to the car, which is mercifully brushed off due to yesterday's playdate with Awesome Toddler and thanks to Awesome Dad. (Further proof they are aptly named.) I load the Super Boys into the car with my usual deftness; losing a glove, dropping a sippy cup in a passing snow bank, and leaving my Diet Pepsi on the roof of the car. I blast some C is for Cookie, as we pull out of the parking lot and into the big world. We are rock stars.

Rock stars with overdue books. Our first stop is the library. Super Baby is asleep the second we leave the apartment complex, so I plan to just use the outside drop box. Haven't discussed this plan with Super Toddler yet, but he is focused on getting a coloring book at CVS (I didn't mention that part of our dress compromise?) so I figure I'll address things when we get to the library. Which would have been a lot sooner, but since I was singing along with Cookie Monster, I forgot to turn left and it looks like we are taking the long way. Oh well, at least we are out of the house.

I finally arrive at the library, pull into the circle drive, flick on the flashers, and prepare for the onslaught of abuse from the backseat. None is forthcoming. Odd. I peek back there to be air kissed and told that "the ball is tons of fun" by a distracted looking Super Toddler. While I ponder this, I open the door and step into an ocean of sludge water. Oh gross. What is this thing? It is the size of a Great Lake. I think the iceberg that took out the Titanic floats by. My boots are saving my socks, but the cuffs of my jeans (which weren't tucked into my boots in a misguided attempt to not look like a jockey) are now drenched. Fabulous.

I race the books over to the drop-off box and back. I attempt to levitate over the Evil Puddle of Grossness but fail. I must not have that super power yet. I settle for hiking up my pants and trying to take only 1 huge step in the dead middle of it. This results in my falling into the car, splashing water all over my coat and smashing the horn with my face. This freaks out the people leaving the library, does not wake Super Baby, and results in a half-hearted giggle from Super Toddler.

We pull out of the library and head towards CVS. Super Toddler has no objection to my changing the CD to Mumford and Sons, which I suppose isn't too surprising, as he thinks they are "dance music." (Please may this be his definition of dance music for awhile yet.) But he usually can at least muster an objection just on principle. I peek at him in the rear-view mirror to be confronted with sleepy eyes. Uh oh. What time is it anyway? 2ish. Well, in the land of Awkward, that is still fairly early for naps, but I may not be accounting for the sleep-inducing power of winter coats/heated car. I turn the heat off and speed toward the store. Sleeping Super Baby is no problem at the store. Sleeping Super Toddler is another matter. I will have the choice of waking him and hoping he behaves (hear all those parents out there laughing?), carrying him while pushing the Super-Baby-laden umbrella stroller (perhaps a sprint move, but by no means a marathon attempt), using the enormous double stroller (not appealing given the tiny aisles at CVS), or going home. I shoot for plan B: blast the loud songs, talk about princesses, and hope he stays awake.

I am a block from the store when his eyes flutter shut and I exhaust my Rapunzel jokes. (How do we know that Rapunzel went to a lot of parties? Because she liked to let her hair down!) Sigh. Guess we aren't going to the store. I turn around and head home. However, I am still unwilling to let a soggy trip to the outside drop-off box at the library be our sole outing for the day. This day of my rebellion against the February Blahs, Sloth, and Boredom! This day of inspiration, this day of freedom. Our Independence Day! Wait, wrong movie....

So, I pull into the parking lot at the forest preserve and gaze over the frozen lake. Here is where I spend the next hour. I spend it trying not to look like a drug dealer to passing cross-country skiers while I write terrible poetry about naked branches of longing and the endless solitude of eternal winter. When I am not imitating a 13 year old goth, I count icicles. I am captivated by the peeling bark on nearly birch trees. I try to make to do lists only to be distracted by a rather curious squirrel. Super Toddler's forehead looks moist, so I turn off the heater and write with frozen fingers. I change the CD and listen to the unusual mingling of backseat baby snores and Eminem. I try not to worry about the potential health and/or psychological implications of allowing my children to nap in swaddled layers, bolt upright in the backseat of a car parked in a relatively abandoned park while listening to someone who refers to himself as Slim Shady. The car is so quiet (minus Eminem's colorful additions), I can't remember how to think in such quiet. My thoughts are suddenly very loud. Are they always this loud? Are they typically drown out by requests for fruit snacks and hurt knee kisses? Am I usually unable to hear them over the demands that I open the cheese stick, turn on the movie, take the picture, get him out of my toys? I am usually lost in a chorus of mommy, mommy, mommy, take off my shoes, put on my dress, save me from the witch, the orge, look at me, mommy, look at me, uh, oh, the cat threw up, can i have this, why aren't there any dragons at the zoo, mommy, mommy, mommy, poof me, help me, hug me, change me, feed me, hold me, love me.

And you know what? I miss it. The chaos, the crazy, the relentless monologues about princess antics and cat vomit. These uninterrupted thoughts of mine aren't all that great. Mostly, I am listening to me shout about me. Me and my failure to make unique, nutritionally balanced meals 3 times a day. Me and my inability to make my children's clothes from raw wool, reclaimed thread, and talent. Me and those 8 new wrinkles I found this morning. Me and the hole in my shirt. Me and my dirty floors and 4 baskets of unfolded laundry. Me, sitting in the parking lot of a lonely park, while my children sweat to death in the backseat. Me, a sad cousin to the million other stay-at-home moms who seem to resemble June Cleaver in their pearls and patience. Me; ugly, pathetic, weird, untalented, and very very awkward.

No wonder these thoughts are so easily drown out. What wants to listen to this? I wanna hear what I usually hear: bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, Mommy, I love you. You're the fairy godmother. MaMa! You fixed it! You are so beautiful, Mommy. Hugs! Mommy, I love you this much! Tell me a story. Mac and Cheese again? Awesome! Mama! Mommy has Rapunzel hair. Watch this with me! Poof me, hold me, love me! I love you. Mommy, I love you.

Super Toddler grunts and opens one eye. I smile at him in the rear view mirror and whisper, "Wanna go watch Cinderella?" He grins and nods and promptly falls back asleep.

Awkward Mom made it home and, through some impressive negotiations and only minor screaming, got both boys in the apartment, out of coats, and in bed for real naps. Where they still are as she types this. Catch you next time on the Adventures of Awkward Mom!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awkward Mom vs the Non-Princess Story

Awkward Mom attempts a non-princess-themed bedtime story. Silly Awkward Mom. (per usual, Awkward Mom is bolded, and Super Toddler is not....although we all know it should be the other way around.)

Once upon a time Sun and Storm were having a fight. They each thought that they were the most powerful force of nature. They decided to settle this with a test. A man was walking along the road....

A princess!


A princess was walking on the road!

Oh...well...OK. A princess was walking along the road....

In the deep, dark forest.

Ummmm...I guess. So, a princess was walking along the road through the deep, dark forest. She was wearing a cloak around her shoulders.

A pink cloak!

Sure thing; it was a beautiful pink cloak. So, what happened was, Storm and Sun decided that whoever could get the princess to take off her cloak first was the most powerful force of nature.

Pink cloak!

Right, her beautiful pink cloak. So, Storm went first. And he called upon his buddies, Rain and Wind. Storm, Rain, and Wind attacked the poor princess.

(Blowing wind noises, via Super Toddler)

Rain poured all his water down on her and Wind blew all her breath on the princess, but all that princess did was hold her cloak closer around her.

(Super Toddler attempts to spit on me...a la Rain. He is quickly encouraged to play Wind instead.)

Finally, Rain was all out of water and Wind was all out of breath and Storm was very very tired.

(Super Toddler falls out of the bed in his imitation of tired Storm.)

So, Sun stepped up and gazed down at the beautiful princess...

In her beautiful cloak!

Right, in her beautiful cloak. And Sun smiled at her and opened his sun-beam arms wide, sending the gentlest warmth right to her.

(Opens arms wide and knocks me in the side of the face.)

Ouch, umm, ok, where was I?


Right, well, Sun was shining so nicely and the princess was getting so warm in that beautiful cloak of hers. What a lovely day, she said, as she took off her cloak. The End.

Then, she puts the cloak on!

No, sweetie, she takes it off because the sun is so warm and gentle that she doesn't need it.

She wears it!


Because it is so beautiful! The End! (Then he blows in my face.)

OK, well, I am not one to argue the powerful force of beautiful princess cloaks. Speaking of beautiful, lovely readers, I hope your suns have been as gentle as ours has been today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. Sloth

Dearest readers, usually when we leave you hanging like that, we are battling that nefarious and wicked villain known only by that bone-chilling name, the Cold. However, this time, our 2 week blogging absence was week 1 of snowy-house-bound-stir-crazy and week 2 of too-busy-with-playgroups-playdates-hanging-out-with-Awesome-Toddler-and-her-sidekicks-Awesome-Parents. Needless to say, we have been busy being awkward and have tales a plenty to curl your toes and straighten your hair; we'll get to those week 2 antics, but first a little photo essay of the week before all this activity.

Am I the only lazy parent who sometimes doesn't want to bundle up her children in enough layers to shroud the sun and venture into the frozen tundra of February Michigan? Am I really the only one in the history of parenthood who sometimes lets them stay in pjs all day long watching Cinderella and Toy Story on repeat until Super Toddler's bedtime stories start to bleed together into weird amalgams of piggy princes and cowboy fairy godmothers? Really? It's just me, huh? OK....well, this is awkward; don't really have the words to express my swirling feelings of total inadequacy. So instead, here are some photos of our week of sloth!

If you are at all curious about what our uniforms look like when we are battling (and losing to) Sloth, here's a peek. Bright red pjs for holidays several months past work like a charm!
PS...Why yes, Super Toddler is hanging a chain of baby links over the arm of the couch and pretending it is his Rapunzel hair...that's normal, right?

Frequent naps are needed when spending a week holed up in the house. The Super Cats provide excellent tutorials in proper nap technique; there are many options throughout the day to observe their flawless methods.

Must keep up your strength when engaging in a week-long battle with Sloth; floor Cheerios are an excellent source of nutrition, vitamins, and, apparently, mirth.

When fighting that Sloth minion, Boredom, coloring an old box with red markers works wonders. This also provides Awkward Mom with tons of wall cleaning and laundry for her own personal battle with Boredom. A two-for-one really!

Make sure to take many crawls up and down the hallways; must maintain morale and keep our limbs from atrophy, you know.

If all else fails and Boredom is winning the war, pull out your secret weapons; Pots and Pans! Sure to stave off Boredom for quite awhile. Small headache and ringing ears side effects, but well worth it, I have found.

Balloons work too, and there are little to no side effects here. Perhaps cuteness overload in some. Again, very powerful super weapon in the battle against Boredom.

Long story short, readers: the Awkward Family completely lost to Sloth and Boredom. Complete and total failure. Annihilation. However, don't pity them, though; the next week is a rousing success, full of gymnastics, playdate extravaganzas, and Super Baby is now eating avocados and numerous sausages (just a little fun fact for your day)! More next time on Awkward Mom!!

Just a friendly reminder to get those cat naps in!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Toddler Bedtime Story #4

Apparently, everyone wants to attend the ball.

Once upon a time, there was a fairy godmother. She lived in the woods and made magic. Fireflies live in the woods too, hundreds of fireflies. And they want to go to the ball.

Wait, the fireflies want to go to the ball?



To dance.

But, can they even dance? I mean, they don't have any feet.

They dance like this. (He proceeds to shuffle/wiggle around the room with his hands plastered to his sides. It looks like a cross between traditional Irish dancing and a bee waggle dance.)

OK, I see. So, what happened?

Well, the fairy godmother poofed the fireflies to the ball. But they were outside. On the trees. They dance on the trees, like Christmas trees.

Christmas trees?

Christmas trees, all bright.

Oh, they light up the trees like Christmas lights!

Yes, they light up the trees and dance in the trees and the princesses come outside and say "how beautiful."

How beautiful is right.