Archive for February, 2010

please, for the love of God

Dr. Phantom Cough,

Could you please go away.  I am sure that this is some sort of karmic joke.  Or maybe it’s God trying to convince me to go to bed earlier.  But please, I’m begging you, go away.

It seems like the minute I decide to fall asleep, the toddler starts coughing.  It’s not a serious cough. It’s not phlegmy.  There is no fever. There is no runny nose.  It’s like a tickle in the throat.  What is killing me is that it is a persistant, non stop cough.  The kind of cough that should be cured by taking a drink of water. Yet it is not.  It’s the kind of cough that is akin to Chinese water torture.

And you are not cured by a drink of water. You are just slightly placated by water.  I lay down, fall asleep and then you make the toddler cough and cough.  I have to get up and console him.  I have to give him another drink of water, which involves going downstairs.  In case you forgot, I was sleeping.  I know I should be prepared Mr. Cough, but there was no sign of you during the day.  It’s only when I am finally able to fall asleep that you come.  There is no coughing before midnight.  It must be linked to my heavy eyelids.

So you cough and cough.  And then we are up all night long.   The toddler coughs.  I console.  He coughs.  I rock.  He coughs.   I fetch medicine and water.  He coughs.  I rock.  and he finally stops coughing.  Or maybe it’s that I’m so tired I can’t hear him.  I scare myself.  I force myself to wake up.  I drag the toddler in bed with me.  He coughs.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD!  I force him to drink water.  he coughs.  I rub his back.  We finally fall asleep.

What seems like ten minutes later, I’m woken to little toddler feet shoved in my face.  I straighten his body.  cough, cough.  At this point, I’m ready to scream.   More water.  We fall asleep.  Ten more minutes later and an elbow is pushing into my spleen.  I call mercy.  I get up and walk around the bed.  I figure the bed is big enough for both of us.  I’ll take the other side.  Ten minutes later,  a toddler is laying on top of me, coughing in my face.  I consider moving to Istanbul.  or at the very least, sleeping downstairs.

So Mr. Cough, please, this is day 4.  I don’t know if I can handle one more night of the cough.

Not so lovingly,

A very tired Mom

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This week I dropped Marshall off at Awanas and McKayla off at youth group.  I had two hours to burn and three kids left to tote around.  This meant that I couldn’t do any meaningful or productive shopping.  It was too late to run any kind of errands.  Two hours wasn’t really enough time to go home and do anything without having to stop in the middle.  Two hours also wasn’t long enough to go anywhere interesting.

I went to Target.  I figured we could easily meander the large aisles filled with evidence of mass consumption and consumerism.  Maybe we’d even find something to stimulate our economy.  I was sure we could easily spend two hours in the blink of an eye.

I pulled into the parking lot, found the perfect spot, opened the van door and found Mikey asleep.  Crap.

I decided to wake him up.  The lure of florescent lights and the dollar spot was calling the youngest of my offspring.

I loaded everyone into the red shopping cart.  A toddler up front.  A toddler and a big kid in the back.  I tried to convince Mike to walk, to ride on the back, to gallop, to scoot, but he wasn’t having any of it.  His legs were so tired.  He was freezing. Why didn’t he ever get to ride in the cart.  Please imagine all of the italic words said not only in a wining voice but also with his arms flopping exageratingly around.  He was one step from looking like a fish flopping on dry land.  The stroll through Target was now no longer a stroll but a workout.  I, of course, chose the only cart with a defective wheel.  crap.

As we walked in, I counseled the kids on our purpose.

Me:  Repeat after me:  “I am not buying you anything! nothing!”

Mike:  How about something from the dollar section.

Me:  No.

Mike:  What if we’re good?

Me:  No.  Repeat after me. I am NOT buying you ANYTHING!

(begrudgingly repeated)

Me:  We are going to be on our best behavior.  We are going to use our library voices.


it goes on and on, I won’t bore you with the long list.

I then gave them a task.  Everyone works better when they have a job.

“Don’t let me forget.  We need to buy socks, deodorant, and conditioner.”  I thought about giving them random items like “jack daniels, wine and chocolate”.  I figured it would be entertainment enough to walk through Target with a toddler constantly reminding me we need some jack daniels.  The responsible side of me stuck with the essentials.

Then we walked inside.

We didn’t make it past the dollar spot before rule number one was broken.  Suddenly we had a cart full of mass produced crap that they were “just holding and looking at”.

We wandered up and down all of the aisles.  We looked at every toy in minute detail.  We compared every nerf gun and lego set.  We made Christmas and birthday lists for next year.

We checked out.  Without any toys.  With quite a few crying toddlers.  With a Dangerous kid standing up in the cart.  You know how all of the carts have the crossed out picture of the kid standing in the sitting section?  My kid was doing this.  While I was trying to pay.  While a different toddler is screaming.  While Mike is climbing in and out of the cart (I’m pretty sure this is a crossed out picture too).  crap.

“Boy are your hands full!”  some innocent lady behind me says. I’m not sure if she was meaning to be sympathetic or sarcastic.

Normally I don’t care.  I’ll just smile and nod.  But going on week 2 of single parenting it, my patience is consistently running on empty.

“You have no idea lady.  No, idea”

and after this long trek through Target, I found that we still had an hour to burn.  How the heck was that possible?!

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spring training

The last few weeks have not been very indicative of our typical sunny California weather.  Rather it’s been torrential downpours that last all day long and seem to have no end in sight. We’ve been cooped inside.  The natives started to get restless.  Many hours were logged on the wii fit.  Outside activities became inside activities.  There was scooter riding throughout the house.  Running inside suddenly became acceptable.  I was pretty much allowing anything that would wear them out.

Finally, the rain seems to have momentarily stopped and the skies are more blue than gray.   And suddenly my back yard has been transformed into spring training.  The anticipation of baseball season has inspired Marshall to spend every available moment working on his skills.

This weekend Marshall had try outs for Little League.  This will be his first year in Minor baseball.  He is excited for the competition.  He’s excited to play on a team named after a major league team rather than a minor team.  He’s excited to be a better player.

I’m just excited that today his energy can be burned outside.

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