Monday, October 22, 2012

A Whiny Mom

Dear Blog readers,
I am ranting to you today and avoiding facebook, where I would undoubtedly be christened the "overly long, boring, whining, ranting, status updater" Here I know only my friends will come and read it and everyone else can easily ignore!  So read on to find yourself on set of the newest tragedy drama to hit a theater near you, or, if this already sounds like it's not for you- plug your digital ears!
 First off: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Okay, I feel much better. Maybe now I can relay my day without using profanities every other word. ;) Act one, scene one of this day begins at 7am when everyone in the whole house is awake and every one needs something different. All of you who have children know exactly what I'm talking about- Oldest "I can't find clean underwear!" Youngest "waaaa!(feed me) waaaaa!" Middles "Can we have pancakes for breakfast? With chocolate chips? Syrup?? Do we have butter too?!"  "Mom, Steven won't get out of the bathroom and I have to poooooop!!" "Mom, I think Steven plugged the toilet with too much paper AGAIN!!" Okay I'll stop giving examples, or THIS could take all day!
After trudging through getting diapers changed, kids wrangled downstairs, read everyone's two favorite books, get a voted on consensus for the breakfast menu and begin cooking, I remember that we have an appointment in town at 9:30am. Well, we have five kids to get ready and live 30-45 minutes from town on a good day. I call the office and sure enough (as is always the case) the appointment can't be moved. So....we turn the grill back off, shove the bowl of pumpkin pancake mix into the fridge, I throw outfits at kids and scramble to jam the littlest two into the shower with me, because there was NO way late or not that I was making a public debut with hair fashioned into a grunge faux hawk styled by grease. I don't know about you, but being late and having to scramble my jets in a hurry makes me a monster. I'd like to say I mean that metaphorically, but I'm pretty sure I really do grow tusks and become feral.  I'm a planner, I love to fly by the seat of my pants, but each component of the flight needs to have some semblance of structure to it...make sense? It doesn't to anyone else either. Call it my adult ADD mixed with a wandering personality glitch.
We are all in the car, finally. I am making muddy water and gravel fly as I break the sound barrier squealing out of my driveway and onto the highway. I do a mental check as I always do: "Diaper bag, check....though I'm not 100% that there's wipes in it" Crud. "Appointment folder, check. Ohhh except it has some baby food spilled on it." Crud. Maybe they'll give me a new one? I have to go to the store after the appointment to get groceries and a few other things too. " shopping list?" No. Double crud. I hate shopping without a list!! Everything gets forgotten!
I was told by the secretary that if we were more than ten minutes late we'd likely have to reschedule. As in another month from now, and this was a REALLY important appointment. Looking at the clock....9:32am and we still have a 10-15 minute drive ahead of us. Also, the fat bald guy in front of us that is obviously picking his nose in his cream colored Toyota pickup with the home made wood pallet sides is driving 35mph on a 55mph road. Oh dear, here come my tusks again. Sorry children for the clever and witty new traffic phrase lines you learned from Mommy today. FYI, don't repeat this please!!!
It is absolutely pouring rain and is 40 something degrees at this point, and I've made sure all the children have coats but forgotten one for myself. Lovely. We slide into a parking spot nearly 20 minutes late to our appointment and I jump out to get the double stroller out of the back, directly into the mother of all mud puddles. Could possibly be called a pond. I am soaked to my knees, and now that my pants are five pounds heavier after sucking up all that water they begin sagging in the back. Just fantastic. So I look like one of "those" moms now. A whole brood of unruly children, my hair plastered to my head and my butt crack hanging out. If I had the option of just going home right at that moment I would have. But alas, we have worked too darn hard to get here so we are not turning around yet! Babies in the stroller, older three given feral barkings to stay with Mama hog or else, we march soggily in.
This building has two options, a tiny ancient and extremely stinky elevator or the stairs of ultimate doom. Obviously, with a stroller and no ramp options we choose the elevator. Did I mention it was tiny? My three older kids cram in against a corner while I push and pull and have to keep hitting the doors with my butt to keep the automatic door closer from crushing us as we work hard to maneuver. We make it in and begin the slow decent to the second story. When the doors open there is another crowd of people waiting to get in, giving us no room to get out. Also, the stroller is stuck, with three kids pinned to the back wall. After my face flushed to shades of red previously unheard of and I'm pretty sure everyone has seen my entire butt, I get the kids out of the elevator. You'd think this story was nearly over now, but honey, it's not. The dietician graciously meets me in the main waiting room and accepts me into the appointment even though we are ridiculously late at this point. Bless her heart! The kids drive me the normal amount of crazy during the appointment running in and out of the room, asking too many questions, getting into her things, but overall nothing earth quaking or story worthy.
I think maybe I've finally gotten into the swing of the day and we pack back up into the soggy slush and into our van. We are all like aldente noodles swirling around in cold stew water about now, and we've still got two stops to make and eventually, we must eat lunch since breakfast had been skipped entirely. I swing by and drop off my husbands rented tux without a hitch, and then, we head to Walmart, the one stop hell shop. Believe me, if there were other options for places to shop in our area, I'd do that instead. I'd like to hate Walmart more, but admittedly, I still occasionally go there on days like this, when I need to go to the bank, feed the kids, get groceries and a long list of other items and really really really, don't want to have to go to seven different stores with five kids to achieve all this.
Once again we all slog into the nasty weather and brave our way into the store of wonders. We deposit the check and head to McDonald's. After we receive our five waters (imagine the glares) eight cheeseburgers with no pickles no onions (double the glares for this) and one large fry to split, we spot a seat. Before we can even sit at it, the antagonists begin their work. I must have a burning beacon on my forehead, because they come after us like zombies after the last piece of roadkill on earth. With their "My, your hands are full" and "Woweee lady, don't you know what causes kids?!" comments. Then, they want to stand in our way and stare at us for a while, because, we're that awesome. So my children begin (of course) their normal banter with these strangers who love to talk to us, straining my patience and making life's lingering moments even longer. The kids have mostly to completely finished their food after almost an hour of pushing and prodding by me and we are ready to reload and begin the shopping palooza. Four year old and infant in the stroller, toddler on my back in the Ergo, four year old being pushed my seven year old in the cart. Here. We. Go!!
We make it to the produce section with only three people interrupting us to make rude comments. Believe it or not, this is nearly a record! We gather what we need, minus all the things my fried brain has forgotten due to not having a list, and head, bulging arms and overflowing cart, to the checkout line. Baby is screaming now because it's been nearly three and a half hours since poor little bitty has eaten, and the toddlers, are all losing patience faster than me. So, clearly, we were in desperate need of teller who's brain had been so fried by the bleach she used to color her hair that she most likely can no longer do simple math with a calculator. Okay, that was cruel, cash registers are similar to calculators, and with the help of a manager four separate times and 45 minutes later, she completed our transaction.  Yes! Freedom was ours! We had made it in and out of Walmart alive! Home James!! Well, except for the stop at the preschool to drop off the twins since we'd overstayed our allotted time in town and had now missed the bus....but it was still a bright prospect.
Have you ever had those days riding with a car load of kids who were fighting so badly that you adjusted the music to the rear speakers and blasted them with heavy bass just to get their attention to tell them to be quiet, and quit killing each other or you'd beat them to it? That was today. Eventually, we were at the preschool, and I ran the twins inside and signed them in after explaining my way out of their tardiness, and wondering how crazed I must have really looked over the silent stares I received,  then dodged back out to the car...where my oldest had decided to make the toddler stop crying by getting into my purse and giving him my chocolates. Awesome. I'm seriously beginning to wonder just when this day is going to end.
Once we were home I unloaded babies, fed them and put them to bed for a nap, and gave my oldest instructions to begin unloading groceries. All was quiet and lovely and peaceful until I discovered that he had become distracted, and had left the bag with the toilet paper and the yarn in it on the sidewalk. Where it was pouring. There's a chance he won't live until the end of this story. Have you ever heard of harder won toilet paper?! You better bet he received the whole lecture in full!
In conclusion, before you become bored to tears by a profound lack of care for what happens next, I will say, I still forgot to buy a new phone while I was at the store, so I didn't get to call my best friend and tell her all of this, and in sparing facebook the world's longest status while simultaneously sparing my children their lives, you're welcome, for a page out of my life on a very very bad day.
Great love and blessings will befall all who read this, amen!  

MamaDonna <3


  1. Donna, SO glad my kids all lived to grow up! YOu've noticed the color of my hair....well........its not just age! Its lovely now when the kids come to visit, one at a time! And I can put my whole focus on that one kid for a few hours :-)

    Hint: When the car erupts in crazies, just pull to the side of the road, turn off the car, and sit silently. After a while the kids notice and start getting uneasy. A bit more of this treatment, then a quiet, "We'll start the car again when you are all ready to ride peacefully." and DON"T GO until they do! The 2nd or 3rd time you have to do this will be about the last time. Silence and lack of attention make them real nervous! (And you can be praying for calm silently when you do it...and reminding yourself that you actually do love them....

    1. I'll have to try that Noni! I sometimes catch myself dreaming of the days of one on one quality time with GROWN children. :) Don't worry, I am still treasuring their childhoods as well. They make me smile for a different reason each day, and some days I smile because I know eventually they'll grow!

  2. Oh Sweetie!!!!!!!!! There are NO words!!!!

    I have to say however that someday you will realize that was quite an impressive story. You thought you were just surviving but what you pulled off today was actually amazing! You are such a good mom... I NEVER took all of my kids to the store when they were little. Not one time, so I am a little bit in awe!

    I am sorry you had to go through such a horrible day though!

    1. Oh my goodness! How did you get them raised without having to take them all to the store at one point?? I think I may need to take lessons from you!

  3. Hi Donna,

    I know you posted this a long while back, but I was thinking of you today -- maybe it's the run up to Christmas that did it.

    Want to hear my story about shopping this week? Here it is: I drove to the store with my list. I walked down the aisles, put my items in the cart, checked out, drove home. Not one person stopped to tell me how full my hands were. Nobody loudly counted my children and asked me if I knew what caused that. Nobody had a fight with his brother in the back seat on the way home, and nobody invited me to play I Spy while I fought my way through traffic. No babies yowled from the back seat, and no toddler tried to shush the baby by dumping a huge pile of toys and half-chewed crackers on top of him.

    Would you think I was nuts if I told you I missed all that? After all the years of chasing kids, of wishing mightily for just five minutes of peace and quiet, I finally have it. And now my shopping trips are always quiet and peaceful and ... dull.

    I'm not stupid enough to tell you to enjoy it while it lasts. Because I know you, and I know you do enjoy it. And also because there are obviously always going to be some parts of raising a big family that you won't enjoy, that no sane person could. (To this day, my definition of a really good shower is one where the bathroom door stays shut for the entire time I'm in there. Luxury!) So that's not it. It's just that these days, I wish I'd taken a little more time to savor the good parts. The good parts were too often buried underneath all the uproar, and now I wish I'd tried to dig them out and look at them more often.

    Re the rude people asking you if you know what causes that, the answer I always used was: "Yes! But we enjoy it too much to stop." It works really well on the snootiest old ladies, because they never know quite what to say after that. It's also a fun one to experiment with: try saying it like you're chirpy and cheerful and clueless. Or snarky-sarcastic. Or sexy-sultry. Any way you say it, it always makes the other person blink. Playing around with the delivery of that line always amused me. Maybe I'm a bad person, but I've always thought that we should turn the tables on rude people whenever possible. They should be the ones feeling awkward and out of place, not us.

    But I think the best answer for, "You sure have your hands full" is a pleased smile. Because after all -- they could be empty.

    Happy Christmas!

    1. :) You make me smile Kathy. I agree that I will someday miss the chaos, it's a fun crazy kind of life that can't be replaced by anything else. I won't be a liar though and say I don't ache for the peace and quiet sometimes. I am excited for all my children's future ages and stages, but I think it was actually you who a long time ago said to me- You don't want new babies, you want the babies you already had to be babies again, and I have to say I already miss some of that. There's nothing more amazing and sacred than a newborn, and that is so so fleeting! In reply to your rude people responses- haha! I actually have used that comeback, and recently I was given a hilarious line that I can't wait to try out albeit a little inappropriate, because I agree, that the rude should try the shoe on the other foot. Here it is: Rude person to parent with multiple kids- "Are those ALL yours??" Parent- "Nope. I work for Trojan, these are customer complaints." :D (insert comedic drums) I don't know what it is about that one but it had me giggling for days!!