Saturday, February 13, 2010

Can't Win.

I've been tired lately.

Since about August, in fact. And, no. This is not an announcement regarding my uterus. My goodness, people.

August is when Claire became an insomniac. At least, according to this definition.

She wakes up in the middle of the night about 4 times a week. She usually wakes up between 2 and 4am. Sometimes she asks to watch a movie. Usually "Baby Signing Time." (She's addicted.) Sometimes she wants cereal.

I used to give in to her midnight demands because after getting her what she wanted, sometimes she'd go back to sleep. And then I got to go back to sleep.

But then sometimes she wouldn't. And I wouldn't. And then we'd be up all day. Tired. And grumpy.

Very grumpy.

The thing is, I have sleeping issues already. Even without catering to an infant insomniac. Perhaps you remember this. Or this? Or maybe this.

I need sleep.

So this week I started not giving in. Because giving in doesn't appear to be solving the problem.

The other night she came into our room (as usual), climbed on our bed and said, "Sump-ing to EEEeat, Mommy."

I tried my new tactic. "Claire, sweetie. See out the window? See how it's dark outside? We have to wait for morning when the sun comes up."

For good measure, I signed "sun," wrapped her in my arms, and closed my eyes bidding sleep to return.

"No, Mommy, no!" She whimpered. "EEEEeat!" More whimpering. I tried to quiet her to keep her from waking Daddy. She finally succumbed to a blissful silence.

A blissful silence of five or ten minutes.

Then we repeated our dialogue.

In fact, we repeated it every ten minutes for two hours.

Last night I got an extra bonus when Claire whined long enough to partially rouse Brad. He started reciting math equations. Something about derivatives. And x. And exponents.

I'm so tired.

Wish I could recover like she does.

But I can't. Because while I sleep the monsters come, possess my children's bodies, and trash the house.

Also, yes. That is a TV screen against her face. I realize it is possibly causing irreparable damage to her brain. I turned it off. Promise.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Hypothetically speaking, let's say you're sitting with your children at a mall food court. It's one of those places where the tables are spaced at a barely comfortable two feet apart.

And let's say that a family comes and sits at a table next to you. And your child looks at them curiously, intently.

And let's say that she observes--innocently, honestly--that "Some people have dark brown skin. And some people have light skin."

And let's say that she was not so quiet saying it.

And then let's say--hypothetically of course--that she immediately points to the large family on the other side of you. With an arm that's fully extended.

And let's say she remarks (also quite loudly), "Mom, those people are not speaking English."

Would you blush? Hang your head? Give your child evil eyes? Make some weak comment about not pointing?

Or would you do something more socially appropriate? And... what would that be, exactly?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A more productive day.

Today, I didn't sleep during Claire's nap. (Although if you had a two-foot tall insomniac living at your house, you'd be begging for sleep too.)

Instead, Grace and I played math. She likes it. I promise.

We use toothpicks bound in tens for manipulatives. Because manipulatives are expensive. And I am cheap. And toothpicks are just as fun.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mission: Drive Mommy Crazy.

Granted. I have not given the munchkins tons of attention today. I have been distracted. And tired. I took a really long nap.

This is what the children did while I was sleeping.

They filled up water bottles, turned them upside-down, and ran back and forth across the carpet creating water streaks across the floor. They repeated this many times.

They coated the kitchen table with milk. Which dripped onto the carpeted dining floor.

They dumped nuts on the stairs.

They drank cups of sugar. And then dumped the sugar onto the table to mix it with the standing milk.

And then I woke up.

And there was much weeping and perhaps yelling.

And they went to their room.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stepping Down

If you need a good laugh sometime, and you are the type of person who doesn't mind awkward humor, you should really go with me to a step aerobics class sometime.

My complete lack of coordination is hilarious.

Well. It would be. If it weren't so mortifying.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Count with Me

1 Door handle broken on my car. It happens to be on the driver's side. In case you were curious, the answer is yes. I do look ridiculous opening the passenger door and climbing over the stick shift to my seat.

2 Cups of bleach in today's laundry.

3 AM. The hour of the morning that brought Claire to our room, asking to be fed.

4 Netflix movies entering our home today via "Watch Instantly."

5 Episodes of Grace vomiting before noon today. In our room, in her bed, in the shower, in the toilet.

6 requests from Claire, asking me to help her spit in the toilet. She is not sick. Presumably anything Grace does is imitation-worthy.

7 PM. The hour both children woke from late afternoon naps.

8 PM. The hour of dinner. It consisted of saltines and Popsicles.

9 Minor injuries. Our children jump from a half wall in our apartment for kicks. I'll post a video as soon as I overcome my fear of being reported to CPS.

10 PM. The hour I intend to get the kids to bed. But I'd better hurry. I have two minutes.


Our complex caught fire today. It was being re-roofed. And it's chilly. And apparently tar doesn't spread when it's chilly. So the roofers were using a blow torch to heat up the tar.

I'll bet you know what happened next. Since tar is famously flammable.

Brad happened to be outside working on his truck when he saw smoke and heard the roofers cussing like sailors in their efforts to find a way to turn on the outside spigot. They needed a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Brad rushed a pair on over.

Yes, yes. My very own hero.

However, with the immediate crisis averted, the roofing super started chewing out our superintendent for not having the spigot ready for such emergencies. There was more cussing and a lot of what Brad described as passing the buck.

Brad finally interrupted him. "Wait. You're not blaming our super for the fire you started... right?"

And that was the end of that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Grace starts a community ballet class tomorrow.

As I tucked her in for bed tonight, she adjusted her pillow and exclaimed, "Mom, I am really so so excited for ballet."

She grinned. A grin that could have single-handedly ended the Cold War. She looked at the ceiling and sighed, "I wonder will there be a recital."

It wasn't really a question she expected me to answer because her head snapped back to face me and she earnestly inquired, "Could you please help me with my tights tomorrow? They are *fragile* and I don't want to *rip* them."

I assured her I would, and her gaze wistfully returned to the ceiling.

At this point, Claire, who had just been reminded of the tumbling class she would begin this week, started attempting somersaults on the bed. She plowed into Grace who hardly noticed.

I kissed them both, turned off the light, and began to shut the door according to Grace's precise width instructions.

And then Grace softly called, "Mama?"

"Yes, sweetie?"

"You're beautiful," she said.

I had just returned from the gym. I assure you, I looked like a sweaty Richard Simmons.

Apparently her joy has made everything lovely.

I kissed her again. I squished them both and told them how happy they make me. And then I left, wondering.

I'm not sure I can recall the last time I was awestruck. Or the last time I even expressed excitement.

Maybe that's why the world seems slightly less lovely these days.

Anybody know where I can get me some awe? And let me spare you a suggestion: I won't be enrolling in ballet.