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!

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