Sunday, May 8, 2016

Local Mom Needs All Her Mom Skills to Get Through Mother's Day Breakfast In Bed

Happy Mother's Day!

I like Mother's Day.  Since becoming a mom myself, it has become overwhelmingly clear to me that motherhood is not for the faint of heart, and celebrating the moms in our life is one cause I can totally get behind!

It is, of course, the best thing I have done with my life.  My kids are the source of so much joy, so many laughs, and so many moments that make my heart swell.

They are also responsible for many, many moments that I couldn't have made up if I tried.

Being a mom DOES something to you.  It makes you do things you never could have imagined.  I've caught vomit with my bare hands.  I've dealt with kids having to go to the bathroom in the most impossible scenarios.  I've made a separate place setting for an invisible friend AND talked to her for a whole meal.  And I've done things I will probably never admit to, but I've done them out of love because those little munchkins wormed their way deep into my heart and sometimes love means doing weird stuff.

What I find particularly interesting about Mother's Day is the number of people I hear from each year who have spent their Mother's Day having to draw on their best mom-skills,  or who were exhausted because they were up most of the night doing mom-stuff.

Just earlier today, in fact, I was chatting with my best friend, and she was having a tired and rough start to her Mother's Day because she'd been up dealing with her son's overnight barf-fest. 

And only a moment ago my sister-in-law reminded me that I spent Mother's Day 2015 in the ER because Knolan had taken a header off the bed, cracked his head on the wall and couldn't remember his name!

I am not bitter, but it sure does go to show that motherhood is a ruthless task master with a weird sense of humour.  This year was certainly no exception.

I woke up this morning to the smell of coffee being made.  It was such an awesome way to wake up.  But it was also kind of an alarming way to wake up because it meant that Kaycie had used the Tassimo by herself!  It's just me and the kids, so the days of waking up to coffee are behind me.  I blinked a bit and tried my best to wake up and assess whether I should go running downstairs to make sure the house was still standing.  But I listened, and I could only hear my kids happily chatting and the sounds of someone rummaging through the cutlery drawer. So, I decided not to ruin what could only be their Mother's Day surprise for me, and I dutifully waited in bed.

But then a slightly new wave of concern washed over me.  What could they possibly be making me for breakfast?  We were badly overdue for a grocery shop, and this is hard for me to admit, but my fridge is home to a lot of expired stuff!

Kaycie is a pretty sensible kid, though,  and I reasoned with myself that she wouldn't make something for me that she wouldn't make for herself.

I heard them excitedly coming up the stairs, and so I quickly pretended to be asleep.  Soon enough they were at my bedside singing "Happy Mother's Day" to the tune of Happy Birthday and I opened my eyes to see my two precious cuties completely vibrating with pride at the breakfast they had brought me.  I loved it.  So awesome!

Then as they sat my bed tray down and enthusiastically described what they had made for me, the genuine smile of delight on my face suddenly transformed into what I hope was the best fake smile ever.  They had certainly done a really nice job of putting together what they THOUGHT  was a lovely Mother's Day breakfast.  Coffee, Shreddies with berries. There was even a really sweet and eerily accurate note from Kaycie, and Knolan was proudly holding his contribution - a yogurt cup with a spoon.

They were looking at me so expectantly.  So proud of themselves.  So full of anticipation. And all I could think was, "Oh no. Oh no. Oh no."

The yogurt cup that Knolan was so lovingly holding out and encouraging me to eat?  Expired 2 weeks ago. The blueberries and raspberries on the Shreddies?  Have been in my fridge longer than I can remember.  I could literally see fuzz on the raspberries!  The milk on my cereal?  Expired 5 days ago.

I'll be honest. I panicked. I didn't have it in me to tell the kids they'd just served me food poisoning and potential gastrointestinal issues as a symbol of their love for me.  I know it looks nice in the picture, but trust me when I say I was staring at a problem... still with a fake smile plastered on my face.

I decided to go with the coffee first since Kaycie has used the Tassimo under my supervision before and I knew the International Delight creamer in the fridge was basically the only fresh thing in the fridge.  It would buy me some time.

As I raised the cup to my lips and took a sip, Kaycie squealed and said, "I put lots of International Delight in it, Mom, and lots of sugar to make it just as sweet as you are!"  She starts excitedly hugging me as I do my best to drink her sugary concoction.  It was the lesser of three evils, so to speak, so I was going to milk it as long as I could.

Then the two of them begged me to try my cereal.  I picked up my spoon and with love in my eyes, I thankfully found a few dry Shreddies and ate them, making a huge deal about how yummy it was.  The two of them started jumping up and down and hugging each other and hugging me while I kept saying how delicious it was and what a good job they had done. 

"And Mom... don't you love the fresh mixed berries we made you?  Try them!"  

Time to execute my next move... the sugar/coffee had given me enough time to formulate a plan.  I zoned in on the one blueberry that looked like it might not hurt me and ate it with dramatic flair. And then...

"Hey kids!  Why don't you guys go and pick out an outfit to wear to lunch with Gramma today?"

"But we want to keep you company while you eat!"

"You absolutely can, but Mommy has to go to the bathroom really quick and then you can watch me all you want.  I just want to be sure you have nice clothes ready."

That seemed to work, as the alpha-kid, Kaycie, suddenly got excited at the prospect of dressing her brother and she grabbed his hand and led him out of the room.

The second they left, I frantically gathered up as many of the berries and wet Shreddies as I could in my hands and ran into the bathroom, flushing them as stealthily as I could.  Why did I use my hands?  I have no idea... I never said I was good in crisis situations!

I jumped back into bed and called to the kids, asking if they had found outfits to wear.  The two of them came tumbling back in to show me what they had picked out... which was only a tie for Knolan at that point.  I praised them heavily for finding the tie and then encouraged them to join me again. I ate a few spoonfuls of the dry Shreddies and proudly showed the kids how much I had eaten.  They were so pleased, and I was so relieved!  And somehow Knolan managed to forget that he had given me that yogurt cup, which I hid in my closet - again, I have no idea why!

Maybe someone else would have just been honest with their kids, but today I just couldn't do it.  They were so proud and so excited.  I just couldn't burst their cute little bubble.

The rest of the day was pretty standard in terms of how most Mother's Days go.  We went out with my parents for a lovely lunch during which I took my son to the bathroom twice (both times he locked himself in the stall and needed to be rescued), served both my kids from the buffet before I got to eat, had to have a serious conversation about how much bacon is too much bacon to take at a fancy restaurant, had both kids asking me a million times if they could have another dessert, and finally drank cold coffee while my parents and I struggled to finish a complete conversation.  It has become a bit of a Mother's Day tradition, and to be honest, I kind of love it.

Big honking, inappropriate-for-fancy-restaurant pile o' bacon.

So yes, I had to muster up all of my mommy powers to get through my Mother's Day pampering, but the way I see it, at least we didn't end up in the emergency room this year.

Happy Mother's Day!  :-) 

Yes, he does love his mommy. He just really loves bacon and my phone a little more. :-)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Crap on a Hot Tin Roof

Out of sight, out of mind.

That is totally my mindset for so many things in life.  Unless that note that came home from school saying that Friday is Pyjama Day at school is stapled to my forehead, my kids will be heading to school Friday in normal clothes.  And oh yes... what about that birth certificate that I put away in a "really special place" so that nothing would happen to it?  Well, let's just say I've had to order a new birth certificate from the government not once, but TWICE.

And after the devastating "Gingy" incident, I suppose it should come as no surprise to anyone that the "out of sight, out of mind" rule especially applies to the crap I set on the roof of my car while I open the door and get in.

I have been a chronic offender.  I can't tell you how many cups of coffee have met an untimely demise because I continued to ignore my disturbing track record when it comes to successfully completing that critical last step in getting roof items into my car.

And there is truly no greater jolt to the system than when you come to a stop sign and the completely unexpected happens.  There you are, driving along in disbelief that you managed to successfully get the kids back in the car after a stop at Tim Hortons without one of them punching the other after the five year old needed to go to the bathroom a mere 5 minutes after you got them into the car.  Things are looking good... and you may even actually get to your parents' house when you said you would! You're driving along, listening to a great song, slowly becoming more and more self-congratulatory about how masterfully you orchestrated this last part of your day, and then you brake for that stop sign and BAM!

Actual Kirsten crap-on-roof incident.
Your windshield is suddenly coated in liquid, and for a brief moment in time you are completely and utterly bewildered.  It's kind of like when you wake up and can't figure out where you are... you can't, for the life of you, figure out where all this liquid came from, and then suddenly you remember the last time you saw that stupid cup of coffee you bought to assuage your guilt over using the bathroom at Tim Hortons... sitting on the roof of your damn minivan!

But it's not just cups of coffee, or tea even. I'm oddly proud of the variety of items I've left on the roof of my car. I mean, of course, we all have to start small.  At first I really did specialize in drinks. Hot drinks, Soft drinks.  A carton of chocolate milk. Once I got almost to the city limits on my way out of town with a 6-pak of bottled water on my roof, but then Kaycie said she was thirsty and saved the day.  :-)

But, like anything else, the more you do something, the more advanced you become... whether you like it or not.

One day I was driving along with the kids after a trip to Home Hardware.  Knolan kept insisting he heard something, but it wasn't  until he became quite insistent that I actually turned down the radio and heard it too.  Every once in a while we'd hear a sliding noise and sometimes we'd hear a slide and then a "thump".  I was completely mystified, but kept driving along.  Soon I noticed that the sound corresponded to when the car started and stopped and when I turned corners.  Not quite sure of what I might be looking for, I pulled the van to the side of the road and got out to see if I could figure out the source of the noise. Well, it didn't take long.

The culprit.
I guess I should have asked for a bag at the check out, because apparently holding on to this citronella candle AND opening my door was just too complicated of a task for me!

And there was also that frightening close call when for a brief moment I considered putting the cat carrier on the roof of the car while I got my kids in the car.  Good thing I thought better of it!

But I think my favourite and most memorable crap-on-roof incident was that sunny, lovely day in 2012 when I was headed a family event.  I had just stopped into Sobey's for some snacks was supposed to bring.  I was in such a good mood as I pulled out of my parking spot - I was really looking forward to seeing everyone!  And it seemed everyone else at Sobey's that day was in a great mood too.  As I drove through the lot, headed for the exit, people were waving at me.  One guy even gave me a friendly little honk.  Completely oblivious, I happily waved back, smiling like an idiot and in awe of my community's collective good mood.

In hindsight, it is kind of astonishing how far I got with that fruit tray on the roof of my van.  It was a good 15 minutes into my drive when there was a weird noise and then suddenly there was what can be best described as a fruit salad waterfall happening down my windshield. Even though I could see just fine, my immediate knee-jerk impulse was to throw on my wipers, and pull over to the shoulder. I suddenly burst out laughing as the wipers started catapulting chunks of melon and pineapple onto the roadway, and the realization of what I had done began to sink in.

The good part of all this is that after I stopped laughing, the fruit tray incident actually scared me enough to prompt a "no crap on roof" rule in my life.  Every time I am tempted now to put something on the roof of my car, I do my very best to ignore that temptation and figure out some other way to make it work.

And you know what?  It turns out that actually getting to drink my coffee enroute to places is pretty darn awesome!  :-)