Thursday, April 28, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. Reststops

Well, they are back! And, surprisingly, no worse for the wear; although, I highly doubt Awkward Mom is gonna travel solo with the Super Boys for quite awhile....

Car travel with the Super Boys is actually pretty easy. I believe I have mentioned (a thousand times) Super Baby's tendency to sleep anytime he is in the car. And while this causes massive issues later, for the moment, it is bliss. Super Toddler is currently enamoured with letters of any shape and size, so he is "spelling" things out the window. I kinda wish he hadn't seen that XXX store off highway 94, but somethings just can't be helped, I suppose.

No, travel with them is a breeze. It is when we have to stop, there are problems.

Now, our current trip to Awkward Manor is about 7 hours long. Don't let that pesky time change fool you, it is a whole 7 hours. We have many superpowers in the Awkward family, but super bladders are not included. Therefore, we need to stop. Right now.

I have little interest in changing diapers in gas station bathrooms, and I always feel like I have to buy something if we use the fast food restaurants. Not hungry and trying desperately to avoid a repeat of the "Value Gas Incident" (don't ask), we are left with the next reststop. I was hoping for one bustling with other traveling families, but I got one with a horde of sleeping truckers and one lone pickup parked at the edge of the lot. I scan the pickup with my special mom-vision; I don't love it but it isn't setting off any immediate danger vibes, so I commence the de-car process.

You all know what I am talking about. The part where you have to remove the children from the car, hoping the one you take out first doesn't run off into on-coming traffic or into the arms of whoever is lurking in that pickup truck. I roll the dice and remove Super Toddler first, with strict instructions to stay next to me. He, of course, runs off to check out the commemorative plaque that is hanging near the trash cans. Well, at least it was the other direction from the creepy pickup and I can still see him. I move to Super Baby's side of the car, and proceed to wake him with my gentle "hi, sweet, sleepy angel." My sweet, sleepy angel then proceeds to scream his displeasure at being roused into my right ear, while my nose is assaulted in another manner entirely. Let's just say, turns out we stopped at just the right time.

I holler to Super Toddler, while gingerly propping Super Baby on my hip, trying to dislodge neither him nor the diaper bag, which, for some reason, is half open. Not wanting to delay either bathroom emergency (his or mine) one minute more, I shuffle/race to the front door. This is, of course, delayed anyway by Super Toddler, who follows us like he is on a country stroll; stopping to smell imaginary flowers or pausing to watch a very real bug parade across the sidewalk. I am so pleased there are no witnesses to my rather urgent and not very sensitive commands for him to hurry up.

We make it into the bathroom, finally, and I shut Super Baby and myself into the stall. Super Toddler loudly complains his non-inclusion in this and proceeds to crawl under from the next stall. I put Super Baby next to him and banish all thoughts of what microscopic hazards could be lurking under them. Once relieved physically and mentally (delicate, I know), we erupt from the stall to wash all hands vigorously.

As I am setting Super Baby on the changing table, 2 older women enter the bathroom. A glance convinces me that they are not the pickup's inhabitants, so I commence changing Super Baby's diaper. They enter stalls and I promptly forget them, as I am immersed, unfortunately, in my current task. By the time, they have come out, I have Super Baby in a new diaper and am struggling with his pants. We are on attempt 3, as he seems to think it is quite funny to put both legs in the right pant leg. Distracted, I hand the diaper to Super Toddler, asking him to throw it away. He hesitates, and not for the standard reason of not wanting to touch a diaper. He is usually cool with that. Turns out to get to the trash can, he has to traverse the space by the 2 strangers washing hands. I inwardly celebrate this stranger anxiety, as I turn to assess our bathroom neighbors. They appear to be 2 rather grandmotherly types, with pastel polyester pants and sensible shoes. No alarm bells are ringing, and anyway, if these two fairy godmothers turn out to the witches in disguise, I am fairly sure Super Baby and I can take 'em.

I tell Super Toddler that it is alright, and he heads across the room. I return to my pant struggle, and by the time I am finished, I turn to find all three of them playing with the hand dryer. I mean it, playing with it. These sweet little ladies are showing Super Toddler how to turn it upside down and blow your hair with it. One is making faces like she is in a wind tunnel. The other one makes a paper towel fly like a bird. All are giggling like this is the best toy in existence. Super Baby joins the fun, and I think we spend about 15 minutes letting the hot air and magic whirl around us. People come and go, the reststop is suddenly very busy, but it doesn't matter. I can't really think of any reason good enough to interrupt Super Toddler's laughs or the smiles of these ladies, so I don't. By the time we leave, one touches my arm, her eyes never leaving Super Toddler, and whispers "enjoy it. It goes so fast."

Yep, fairy godmothers, for sure.

There were other reststop visits on our trip, but none were as magical. However, none were half as gross as the "Value Gas Incident", so you count your blessings, right? See you next time on the Adventures of Awkward Mom!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Awkward Mom vs More Travel

Will they ever sit still? The Awkward Family (minus Awkward Dad) is heading for ports unknown. Well, actually, the port is known. And it really isn't a port. Anywho, we are heading for the Ancestral Awkward Homestead for the week. We'll be back with tales of awkward antics. Try not to have too much fun while we are gone!

Super Baby is ever on the alert!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. Boxes

Awkward Mom has unpacked 51 boxes and can't exactly feel her arms, so you know what this means. Pictorial blog entry!

Dearest Readers! How are you? It feels like it has been a year! Moving is such a crafty villain; making time totally irrelevant and well, then, there are his other 198 evil powers to consider. But no matter! We have vanquished him. Mostly. Awkward Dad's office is a whole different level of moving villain, one I am choosing to ignore for the moment. And for many a few weeks, months. Let me be honest, you never really know how long Evil Mess in Awkward Dad's Office will hang around.

So, wanna know how the move went? It went very well; we were a total super team this move! That has never happened before. Usually, it is me and Awkward Dad lugging things around at a snail's pace, while swearing at each other and trying really hard not to lose a cat or child in the process. This time we were joined by Awesome Dad (moving team leader), Awkward Uncle (team work horse), and Excellent Dad (team marathoner, with extra super powers involving carrying 2 boxes at once). It was insane, readers. I would turn around and half my house would be gone. The Awesome-mobile assisted admirably and we were moved in record time. I can't begin to thank our Super Moving Team enough!

Now, the unpacking has fallen to me, and it isn't going as quickly. But wanna see my progress? Here it it:

Original Living Room.

Current Living Room. (Ignore the car seats...Awkward Dad won't put them back for some unknown reason)

Original Nursery.

Current Nursery. Sleeping Super Toddler is merely a bonus.

51 empty boxes. (I have already rehomed 10 of them!)

So, readers, Awkward Mom continues her mighty battle against unpacking! And soon, we will be back to normal around here. Super Toddler has a few tales for you, featuring ghost princesses, cloud dragons, and the ever faithful fireflies. The Super Boys are now attending a weekly class, and you know the awkward will be flowing there. Plus, we are traveling to the Ancestral Awkward Home for Easter; eggs, bunnies, and surprises, oh my! See you next time on the Adventures of Awkward Mom!

Super Baby never misses a chance to conquer (aka climb) clutter!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. Careers

So, we are deep in our week of crazy, and we have many tales of travel and stories of sorting. Including one where Super Toddler tries to pack a cat. We'll get to that, but right now Awkward Mom seems to have something else on her mind.

There are 2 questions that I hate. The first one is "What is that smell?" The answer to this is never good and it is never for the faint of heart. The second question that I hate is "What do you do?" The answer to this one is usually messier than the smell question.

The thing is: I am a chef, who specializes in mac-and-cheese-fusion cuisine. I am a doctor whose entire arsenal consists of Sponge-Bob band-aids, Children's Tylenol, and kisses. The latter are surprisingly effective against most bangs, some falls, and 99 variants of cooties. I am a taxi driver with some of the worst fares on record; they control the radio, leave everything sticky, and never tip. I am a hair dresser, costume designer, and a personal assistant of the Tooth Fairy. I am an architect, focused mainly on couch forts, and I have advanced skills in Lego construction. I have powers of persuasion that make politicians blush, and I have toy mediation abilities that make lawyers green with envy. I am a garbage collector, an accountant, and I run my own dry cleaners. My deductive insights into t-shirt stains and whatever that crust is give anyone on CSI a run for their money. As a singer, my talent lies in my enthusiasm rather than in any talent whatsoever, but my improvisations are legendary. (This goes double for my dancing.) I do seasonal work for the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. In my role as a spiritual advisor, I deal with weighty theological questions, such as: are angels holy princesses? And what is Jesus' favorite color? As an artist, I have 2 periods: stick and large flowers. I am a social worker with an encyclopedic knowledge of developmental milestones, and I usually have the wisdom to ignore most of them. I am a maid. I am an actor. I am an event planner who comes armed with innumerable funny voices and wet wipes. I teach spelling, math, basic botany, preliminary physiology, manners, reading, beginning biology, phonics, and all kinds of early education. But if I am being honest, Sesame Street is doing the lion's share of the work on that one. I am a night watchman, who guards some of the most valuable treasures on the planet.

I also have qualifications that are not easily classified. I am fluent in Toddler and Dr. Seuss. My knee can double as a horse. I am immune to most forms of whining. I routinely clean up toxic waste without the benefit of a Hazmat suit. I know how to brush someone else's teeth. I can function on 10 minutes of sleep. I can operate any DVD player or recording device known to man if the end result is Shaun the Sheep and quiet children. I know 9 versions of Cinderella and all the words to Goodnight, Moon. I can open a juice box with one hand, while cleaning a screaming baby's dirty diaper with the other hand, in under a minute, in the backseat of a car, which, let's face it, is much more impressive than anything currently taught at MIT, NASA, and Harvard.

But, my goodness, look at that! It is way too long. My asker would wander away before the second sentence. So, here is what I normally say: "Me? Oh, me. Well, I'm just a stay-at-home mom."

Many hugs and kisses to all of our fellow parents out there! Parenting, and all the smells that come with it, are not for the faint of heart. Much love!