Calgon Take Me Away!

   It’s been a long day. I’ve been up for almost 18 hours. I just want to lay on the couch and catch up on my three episodes of “Glee” that are in the DVR. But, that’s just not going to happen. It’s the witching hour. Moms, Dads, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the time just after your child’s bath, just before bedtime, when they have somehow gotten their second wind and are ready to party like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. It’s the time when your speed is set more like Barry Manilow’s “Mandy.” It’s time for bed…A.K.A. mom’s chill time.
  I try to give the “let’s chill” signal by dimming the lights and getting my daughter a little snack. We do a little reading which is always the same book because that’s what she loves. I wish she would realize it’s no longer Valentine’s Day and Elmo has figured out who sent him “this beautiful valentine.” But that’s o.k. It’s really cute the way she gets excited each time we read it like she’s never heard the story before. Sometimes this works, other times, I try to lay down while she tries to pull me off the coach with all her little might. She gets frustrated. I get frustrated. She starts to cry. I feel like I want to cry. What on God’s green earth could you possible want? You’re clean. You’ve being fed. Most times, you’ve had a pretty good day with lots of playing and attention. Can’t Mommy just chillax? Ha! Yeah, No.
  Since I wake up for work when most people are enjoying their sleep, my couch/DVR time is really limited and precious.Sometimes I get up to see what she wants, other times I just let her work it out herself. Meantime, I’ve paused “Glee” on the DVR for the third time. If my husband is home, he can see the frustration building. I can feel horns coming out of head and the female dog inside me is barking to come out. It kinda feels like Michael J. Fox in “Teen Wolf.” (but not nearly as funny) You just can’t control it. And bam…it happens. I start yelling like a crazy woman. My husband sometimes just sits there, other times tries to take control of our daughter and tells me to calm down. My daughter usually just stands there and looks at me, probably wondering what my problem is. There just comes a time of the day/night when you can’t take much more. Then of course, I feel bad for losing my temper. But, I just wanted to watch my “Glee”.  Is that too much to ask?

  Some parents have told me they just put their children in their bed or crib and let them lay there and cry it out until they get so tired they pass out. Different strokes for different folks I guess. If I do that, I still have to hear her scream. I still can’t watch my “Glee”. Problem not solved. Oh Calgon, Take Me Away! (or just let me watch my “Glee”) 

It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl! It’s a ….

    Surprise! You hear that word a lot if you go to a party where someone is celebrating some kind of milestone birthday. You hear it sarcastically when you’ve just heard something you really wish you hadn’t. I’ve noticed the majority of the surprises in my life aren’t things I really want to remember. But there are a handful that I hold near and dear to my heart. One of those is the surprise of not finding out the sex of my daughter before she was born. I remember everyone saying, “Oh my God! How could you wait?” “Don’t you want to know?” Of course I wanted to know, of course I was curious. But my husband and I thought the element of surprise would far outweigh the benefit of knowing months before the baby was born. We were right. I remember the second my daughter was born and the doctor said “It’s a Girl!”. My emotions were already at their highest peak, and that just made it all the better.

  Despite the feelings of euphoria of not finding out the sex of my child during my first pregnancy, I swore I would find out with my second.Why? Simple, it would be more convenient. If I knew I was having another girl I could just start washing clothes and I would be all prepared when the baby arrives. If not, I could start going shopping for everything blue I could find. But, the more I talked with my husband, the more I began to realize I really wanted the surprise again. It kinda felt like if I knew, it would be one less thing to look forward to on that special day. There would be no more surprises, except for the whole going into labor thing! 
  So when we went for the mother of all ultrasounds and the tech asked if we were finding out the sex, we said no. She told us to look away for a second and I can honestly say I did. Although during the whole thing I was looking in that area to see if I could see any sign of a third leg. I couldn’t help myself. It was like Adam and Eve and the whole forbidden fruit thing…okay maybe not that dramatic. Even though we decided not to find out, I was still so curious. I looked. I couldn’t detect any male parts, but then again, I’m sure the tech wasn’t focusing down there too much.
  As she left, she asked if we wanted her to write the sex down on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope and give it to us. She said then if we changed our mind, we could find out. We just had to open the envelope. We both said no way. That’s like leaving a crack pipe on the counter for a recovering drug addict…you know just in case you change your mind. No thanks. From what I hear, we are in the minority for not finding out. But that’s okay I usually like to do my own thing anyway, so it’s kinda fitting.
  So this time around, I won’t be prepared for blue or pink and that’s o.k.  Instead I will be thinking of another gender neutral theme for the new baby’s nursery and looking for those yellow and green clothes.  During the next 20 weeks my husband and I will start to think about possible boy and girl names and probably argue, just like the first time around. But, in the end, it will all work out. The nursery will be perfect. The name will fit, and with God’s help we’ll have another healthy surprise.

The Perfect Present

   Many men search and search for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Where do I go? What do I get? What does she really want? Jewelry, flowers, a fancy dinner…they’re all great gifts, but not really what I’m looking for this Mother’s Day. Although if they did come my way, I wouldn’t say no! (Mama didn’t raise a fool!)
   Although I’m only about to celebrate my second year of this joyous holiday, I’ve quickly come to realize being a mom can sometimes be a thankless job. Don’t misunderstand me though, the rewards are great. Seeing your child do something or say something for the first time, or just getting a big old hug and smile are heart-warming. But sometimes, you just need a little something extra.
   As mothers, we do so much besides take care of our children. Often times, we’re the cooks, the maids, the organizers, the financial planners…etc. And those jobs are just ones that have to do with the house. Many of us work outside the home, which brings on a whole other dimension of responsibilities and headaches. We do all these things with hardly ever getting a “thank-you” or a “good job” or a “hey, can I help you with that?”. I’ve learned all the hats we wear as mothers just seem to come along with having a uterus.
   So this Mother’s Day, it would be great to actually hear the appreciation through words, not just gifts. They say actions speak louder than words. But, not when those words are never spoken. Although you may know you are appreciated, it would be nice to hear it once…and really it probably will only happen once! I’m not talking about a sappy litany of appreciation and love sponsored by Hallmark. A simple, “Thanks, you’re the best” would really be the perfect present. Guys, if your little ones can’t the words out yet, it’s your job to be the spokesman. Those words will never rot and smell bad in a vase in a week. They’ll never be forgotten at the bottom of the jewelry box or be spent on something foolish. They’ll actually be something remembered, something treasured…the perfect present.