Tuesday, January 29, 2013: Can You Hear Me Now?

Dear Babies,


How many times a day do I say that?


NO, you don’t eat toothpaste, you got a little on your brush and that was it. NO. No more. No more. It’s not food. Stop eating it. Stop sucking on it. No. We brush our teeth just a little, like this {insert mommy brushing} and THAT’S IT. Give it to me. Give me the toothbrush. Give me. GIVE IT TO ME NOW. No more. No.Ā 


I like our beads system {cough, bribe system} because it reminds me to reward good behavior, as if I am training a dog.

That’s it, I’M TAKING AWAY A BEAD! I’ll threaten and then will back pedal schizophrenically, “NO! I mean, you earned those beads for sleeping in your bed last night, that’s good! Let’s see if we can get more good beads! Let’s see if we can listen…”

Meanwhile, it’s all deaf ears for me.

It’s constant stress. It’s constant pressure. It’s constant go, which in a quest for perfection will inevitably lead to a constant sense of failure. Like, duh.

Yes, in this job description of “mom,” not getting your child out the door in time for school because she was having a meltdown over wanting to eat toothpaste gets filed in that spinning brain of ours as butting-head-against-the-wall failure.

As well as the throwing of the spoon.

The pouring of the cereal bowl over the head after we’ve just gotten dressed–and I’m talking milk with soggy Rice Krispies, and those bad boys can stick and can be worse to get out of hair than gum.

They don’t listen! is the sentiment I cry these days, when, meanwhile…Am I listening to myself?

Am I really expecting two creatures who poop standing up to have reasoning skills and to listen?

I got mad last night because you ate a pound of Muenster cheese while grocery shopping at Uncle Giuseppe’s–cheese which I doled out to keep you quiet and happy so I could pick out tomatoes without you taking from the bottom and causing an avalanche for fun, like two cheeky monkeys–and then at dinner you were full and didn’t eat the stuffed shells I had made. (The nerve!) Your dad came home and asked, how were they?, and of everything from the day, the good, the bad, the time I reached my hand into my pocket to pull out a tissue, felt something wet but thought it was a baby wipe so I took it out to blow my nose with it anyway and didn’t realize until I smelled the thing, pressed up against my nose, that it wasn’t a wipe but a slice of bologna, I blurted out, “they didn’t eat dinner!” As if this was this crucial, life defining thing.


Obviously, it was I I was mad at there.

In fact half the time that’s what’s going on. It’s not what you guys are doing, or not doing, or no {mental picture of you knocking over the vacuum and eating the fuzzy old cheerios that spewed out onto the floor thinking each time I shriek no! it’s hilarious}, mostly doing; it’s the internalizing on my part that builds and builds and builds, until suddenly all of these stupid tiny things that are really nothingyou didn’t want to play with the other the kids at the birthday party, big deal!–have accumulated to a weight.

…This morning at school a teacher who had been out sick with the flu was back. She smiled when she saw you guys. Said it was really good to see you. You could see it in her eyes she was genuine. She was truly happy to see you. You smiled at her. You gave her a high-five.

“Such sweet kids,” she turned to me and whispered in an aside. “Really.”

“Oh thank you, I credit so much to you guys,” I said, which is true. You guys have grown so much–and so nicely–because of this experience of school.

“No,” she stopped me, “we credit it to you. A mom makes a difference, trust me.”

And she shut the car door and you guys took her hands and walked off into the building as usual.

But, after hearing what she said, I drove away affected.





4 thoughts on “Tuesday, January 29, 2013: Can You Hear Me Now?

  1. Anne Schenendorf says:

    Amy, when I read this is was a sent as a blessing/s.o.s./billboard sign to me that I was not the only one questioning every parent decision made in the last 24 hrs. What happened was, my wonderful climbers had decided it was a great idea to use a basket as a stool(thank you to all the mommies who have informed me that I am not alone in this) and climb up behind the tv and toss things like the dvd player and cable box. I generally am pretty calm but for the life of me I couldn’t believe they did this-again. Then I read this and I got to the cheeky monkeys’ amusement of taking out a mountain of tomatoes and it was the all the perspective I needed. It’s them- those adorable cheeky monkeys(btw, I was calling them that all day and they seem to love it). I was reading this in bed and I wad laughing so hard by the balone wipes that tears were rolling down my cheeks. Greg asked what was so funny and I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell him. After reading- he agreed. It was hysterical and someone else did have as complicated a day as me. Thank you!!!!

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