My Dirty Shirt
I hate waking up to the sounds of children hollering. But that's how some Saturdays begin. (Why do children wake up so early on the weekends?) Usually, I hear loud footsteps thumping down the stairs, followed by the sounds of morning cartoons, but this morning, I slept soundly and didn't hear anything until the hollering started. That sort of set the tone for the rest of this day. The children argued and whined and complained their way through the day.
By mid-morning, TwinBoyB had spent time in his room alone--twice--for fighting with YoungestBoy. TwinBoyA spent fifteen minutes alone in his room for being sassy to me. That was a battle I had to win immediately. I saw a future-teenager lurking in his eyes and thought that teenager should know that I meant business! His attitude improved considerably after that.
And now, at 9 p.m., my shirt is dirty. My shoulder features smooshed banana from Babygirl's breakfast. The center stains appear to be dried mucus from her nose. Garden-variety dirt was scattered over the lower front. (Babygirl threw it at me with great glee.)
I appeared in public in this dirty shirt this afternoon. We took the boys to buy pumpkins at the local produce store and I didn't have a chance to change my shirt. Who knew that changing shirts would require so much effort?
(Scene at the produce store checkout lane:
TwinBoyA: "Mom, can I have this?" He holds up small tin of expensive hard candy.
Me: "No. That's too expensive. Here, let's get these." Places three peanut butter chocolate candies on the counter to purchase. Price: Three for a dollar.
TwinBoyA: "I hate those. That's peanut butter. I want this."
TwinBoyA: "Please, mom? Please!"
Me: "No. I don't even know how much it is. Oh, look here, it's a dollar nineteen. That's too much."
TwinBoyA: "Mom, you only care about money. What if I repay you with the allowance I'll get in two weeks?"
TwinBoyA: "I can't believe you won't even make your son happy."
Then, as we're walking out, "Son, when we walk out this door, I do not want to hear one more thing about that candy. Is that clear? I said no and I meant no."
TwinBoyA, grudgingly: "Okay.")
Sigh. Ungrateful kids. Now I understand what my dad was talking about!
Babygirl did not nap today. I attempted three times to put her in her crib, but she would not stay. So, she slept only thirty minutes while I nursed her. This lack of sleep did not affect her energy, of course!
Yesterday, I took her to the doctor for her 12 month check up. Yes, I know, she's 13.5 months, but I'm marching to the beat of my own drummer. The doctor was uncharacteristically unhelpful and started the visit by saying, "So, what can I do for you?" I was puzzled and said, "We're here for a well-baby check and shots."
I think Babygirl had already started fussing and crying. She did not like the nurse taking her temperature or weighing and measuring her. She's a very cautious baby who does not appreciate strangers coming into her personal space. Anyway, she screamed during the whole exam and the doctor and I had to talk around the wailing.
The doctor was extremely concerned about Babygirls's weight (18 pounds 12 ounces) and height (30.5 inches). Babygirl was 8 pounds 8 ounces when she was born and then held steady in the 25th percentile until now. Now she is below the charts, which apparently freaks out medical types.
The doctor said if she didn't put on some weight within two months, she will need to have some tests! I nodded and agreed, but when I left the office, I had a sick feeling in my stomach, like I have failed as a mother, like I received a C- in a class that I expected an A+ in. She doesn't need tests! Her developmental is completely normal, but the doctor wouldn't know that, because she failed to ask!
Anyway, Babygirl got four shots and cried in protest, but stopped abruptly when they were over.
I spent the day noticing how little Babygirl ate. I even made peanut butter cookies to fatten her up. She took one bite and spit it out! She eats a bite her, a bite there, but has a dainty appetite. She probably will take after her paternal grandma who is a tiny little thing.
So, this day ended much as it began. I passed out bowls of popcorn to the children. The bowls were the exact same size, filled to the brim with popcorn. TwinBoyB said, "Hey, no fair! My bowl does not have as much as theirs!"
"Son," I said, "The bowls are perfectly fair."
"No, they aren't! I don't have as much."
"Son," I said, "If you complain, I will take away your popcorn and you can have nothing."
Why does a child want to test his parent's resolve? He carried on with his complaints and I went over and said, "Okay, give me your bowl."
"Noooooo!" he wailed. And he put his bowl behind his back. We both had a grip on the bowl.
I said in my firmest mom-voice, "Give me the bowl right now or you will go to bed immediately!"
And he handed over the bowl and then started to sob. I told him that he'd better get a grip or he'd go straight to bed.
He complained a bit more and nearly bought himself an early bedtime. "I'm hungry!" "My face hurts!" "My throat hurts!" "I feel dizzy!" "I only ate three bites of dinner!"
He even offered to eat a banana, which is what I always offer when they say they are hungry and it's not time for dinner yet. (They always refuse my offer.) I said no.
It's amazing to me that some kids continue to test the boundaries year after year after year. TwinBoyA has been attempting to wrest control of the family from me since he was a year old!
Some days, I want to do a little happy dance when the darkness falls and they are finally in bed. But I resist the urge and save my energy for the laundry which still awaits. Sigh.
Posted by Mel
at 9:08 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 30 July 2004 10:41 PM PDT