Monday, August 29, 2011

Stella, This Could Be You Someday

I'm down to one.  Stella and I dropped a very cheerful Cole off at preschool this morning.  He didn't even say goodbye to me.  How desperate are my children to get away from me after this summer? 

I guess the feeling's mutual.

In his/my defense, he was way too infatuated with the extensive collection of My Little Pony available to him.  He was last seen brushing a small pony's fake pink tail with joy.

Have fun Cole. 

With the next five hours wide open for Stella and me, I decided to treat her to a day of education. Some of you might be thinking, Children's Museum, park, even a walk around the neighborhood to talk about the trees and dead grass due to lack of, no, no.  I decided to show her a day of duties of a stay at home mom. 

We had already made an 8:00 stop at the grocery for two dozen mini cupcakes for Cole to share with his class and celebrate his birthday, that simply WILL NOT GO AWAY.  This is day three of special treats and happy birthday wishes.  He went from being totally in the shadow of his big brother's kindergarten limelight to dominating our world for the last three days straight.  It ends today Cole. 

And no, I'm not going to buy you a My Little Pony.  Not today anyway.

So, with one trip to the bus stop, one grocery store run, and one drop off at preschool, Stella was getting a really good look at what her future could be if she doesn't plays her cards right. Next stop was Starbucks to go to the bathroom, because no self respecting mother of three can hold her pee for longer than one hour, and a pricey beverage to make us feel good. 

The Starbucks bathroom trip was another lesson in motherhood.  If you are in a public restroom, you always try to strap as many children as you can in to a stroller so as to avoid their ability to touch EVERYTHING. I forgot my stroller, rookie mistake.

Stella worked her way around the bathroom, checking out the tampon trash can while I shrieked at her to move away, and then moved on to putting her head right by my ass as I squatted over the toilet to pee, even poking my butt...twice.

(I'm a squatter in public restrooms, I'm exposed to enough fecal matter at home by the ones I love, I don't want to touch anything from a stranger.)

After a thorough hand washing for both of us and a paper towel assisted exit, we moved on to order a drink to accompany us on the most important Mom duty, grocery store trip #2 of the day. One of the tricks of enjoy this horrid task is to carry around a $5 drink so that you feel like something must be going OK in order for you to be able to pay for a drink that costs that much.  It's important to ignore the reality that is your checkbook when deciding to get this drink or all the fun goes out the window.

Other than the beverage, the grocery store is filled with a thousand decisions about cost, nutrition, meal planning, consumption, and the evil emails forwarded to you that list hidden poisons in certain types of bread/fruit snacks/cereal/yogurt that fill you with fear if you make the wrong choice.  Don't get me started on the parenting magazine articles that terrify me, I read them, but then try to block them out immediately.

Really, the only joy that can come of the grocery store trip is that the check out person will ask you your birth date while scanning your alcohol purchase (there is almost always an alcohol purchase,) and make a sweet comment about how you don't look that old.  This is sort of a crappy compliment because although they are saying you look younger than your age, they are still pointing out that your real age is old. 

It's not their fault though, most of them are 17 and they just don't have any perspective yet.  It's best to take it as a compliment and squeeze some joy out of the fact that a teenager thinks you look young-ish.  I explained all this to Stella and she was very accepting of this being her future.  She's a champ.

Next stop is home for the unloading process.  This is pretty easy except for the fact that Stella wasn't interested at all in learning this part, and was insistent on trying to climb on Aiden's bike.  That didn't go well.  It might have not gone well five or six times in fact.  I get pretty distracted when trying to save my Dove bars from melting in the hellish heat we have going on here.

This is also crunch time.  Stella now has to go down for a nap around 11 in order to get enough sleep during her one nap before I have to wake her up to go get Cole at 2.  It's also lunch time and most likely there will be a dirty diaper and some sort of extreme mess created or small toy which is cherished by a big brother will be smashed and small parts will be eaten.  It's a tough time, but it's going to happen.

Stella was kind enough to help me unload and then load the dishwasher after she tore apart the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made her, because I am all sorts of gourmet like that.

She did a pretty good job getting the clean dishes out to hand to me, primarily because I only left her the plastic plates.  She mostly put them in different areas of the house, but I appreciated the effort and that's probably where they will end up being anyway so maybe she's really just smart.

We had more difficulty loading.  When I turned my back for a moment to wash a pot I noticed she was licking all the dirty silverware she had just put in to the dishwasher. This is poor form Stella.  I don't think most mothers do that, you have a ways to go in this area.

She graciously spent the rest of our preschool time napping so that I could write, email, and read two whole pages of my new InStyle magazine.  It might take me two months to read that magazine, but now I am two pages further than I was before.

I actually had to wake Stella up to go get Cole. This was horrible, but I am definitely happy she slept that long.  I decided she and I could continue our lesson on Wednesday when we are alone again since nothing happens once Aiden are Cole are presenting and dominating the situation anyway.

I did give her a very quick pep talk when Aiden and Cole were all in tears about not wanting to run an errand with me at 4:00. We were going to pick up birth control pills though and there was NO WAY IN HELL I was taking a chance on not getting those.  It's important to know your limits as a stay at home Mom, and though my children bring me immense and profound joy, I have reached my limit for children to take care of right now...and forever.

Sometimes you have to run an errand amongst tears.  Sometimes they will be your own, sometimes they will be your children's.


Prudently Painted Vintage said...

Have to teach them young! Way to go. Before you know it Stella will be running the house for you. Give her a couple years and maybe she could do all your choirs ;)

On a side note, get on the floor (is that the name?) came on while I was running this morning. I immediately thought of you, which may be a bad thing because I will now associate you with extremely hOt weather and horrendous humidity while running. Bot a good combo I may add.

Emmy said...

Okay I love loved this post! And yes it is bad form to lick dirty silverwear, unless it was covered in chocolate...or cookie dough. Yea, yea I am sure the magazines say something about raw cookie dough too.

Glad you enjoyed your time.

Impulsive Addict said...

Omg. Who are you and where have you been hiding? You are hilarious! I think I may love you. Thank you to Emmy for tweeting you out. You know, similar to pimping but legal...

Bobbi said...

I applaude your ability to retain humor and utilize writing skills while caring for three, shall I say "wonderful," children (or at least one). I was chock out of funny today and wrote a rather boring and depressing post, myself.

Your writing always (ok, almost always) puts a little pep in my step (as I walk up the stairs to bed) at the end of a long day.

Kimberly said...

Too funny. I love that Stella helps you with dishes the same way Gabe helps. Did she also try to break the dishwasher door off by standing on it? That's Gabe's drive in life right now.

I can't believe Cole got to celebrate his birthday on the first day of school! Lucky kid. If that doesn't make going back to school (or just plain going to school, in his case) great, I don't know what would!