Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Badge of Shame and Mommy Brain.

I don't know if it's the bone sucking anemia or what, but if there were some sort of parachute device for life (that deployed when it sensed impending epic mama failures), I'd be a prime candidate for one.   I can't seem to get a grip on this pregnancy.  It is like a roller coaster I wasn't expecting to start...or rather, I wasn't expecting to be dropped into it while simultaneously on other lively roller coasters, and I'm still trying to dig myself out of whatever non functioning fun zone I'm vacationing in.

 Costco has been on my black list for awhile, and shall henceforth be referred to me as the black hole of insanity.    I used to have to drive thirty minutes to get to Costco, now I live smack dab within mere miles of not one, but TWO Costcos.   Oh the sweet commercialism.   It was something I was looking forward to, but no... the Costcos black holes of insanity here are a teeming mass of depraved humanity.  It's all blood, sweat and cars that no sane person should ever attempt (don't even think of trying to turn into the parking lot on a weekend).    I'm also adding Trader Joe's in Mission Valley to that list, because it took me twenty minutes to park (I'm thinking maybe lunch time was the wrong time to go?  It looked like every executive within miles, was having a business lunch at one of the surrounding restaurants).    The kids were crying for food and bathrooms, and I finally decided to give up and go home...but I couldn't do that either, because typically impatient Californians will wait with the serenity of Job if it means snagging the parking spot of someone who maybe/might/potentially be leaving (blissfully peaceful despite the long line of cars trapped behind their blinkered behinds). 

But really, all of that was just me being tired and cranky and still recovering from LOSING ROBBIE.  As in, totally lost.  As in, call security, file a missing person's report, all employees on deck looking for your child kind of lost.   I hadn't planned on going to Ikea, but it's temptingly located next to Costco the black hole of insanity, and thus its evilness extended today to Ikea, where I naively thought I could run in and grab a $14.99 highchair for Robbie   Then Jamie and Charlie proceeded to talk me into the childcare playzone, and since I felt guilty about their apartment life (see previous post) I decided a good romp in the urine balls would be good penance for myself.   (like any self respecting hippie, I sprayed them down with essential oil afterwards).    I hadn't however, realized how much I rely on Jamie to be my non stop twitter feed for his baby brother.  "Mom, he's getting into the fridge #fatbaby" "Mom, he's opening the bathroom door. #terribletwos " "Mom, he's hanging off the side of my bunkbed. #codered".   It used to be annoying, but in Jamie's absence I must have totally dropped the supervision ball, because I had Robbie by hand one second, and the next second he was gone.  Totally and utterly gone.    I'm not the type to instantly freak out, so I calmly checked the nearby aisles, including any toddler worthy hiding spots, but nothing (all while going defcon 10 internally).  I alerted a store employee who helped me. Still no sign of Robbie.    He alerted his manager, who got on the loud speaker and the full scale search commenced. 

Still nothing!  I know everyone always says that it feels like their child is missing for hours, when it's really only a couple of minutes...and I didn't start a stop watch or anything, but Jamie and Charlie were clocked in for 37 minutes at childwatch, and except for the very beginning and end, searching for my 22 month old took up most of that time. 

I kept thinking why would anyone want to kidnap Robbie?  I'd happily give him away (jusssst kidding...I think).  Or maybe he'd been abducted by aliens, it all happened so fast.  But they finally found him in the Cafe, which... I shoulda guessed he'd head straight for food.   Some mom had taken him from there to the mattress showroom where she had a puppet and was saying in a fun silly voice "your mommy will be here aaaany minute"  (To my child who didn't look like he was missing his mother at all).   I flung my now beyond hysterical self into the scene and snatched my errant child up like the typical, embarrassed blubbering mess most parents are by that point (right?), while I sobbed and thanked everyone within earshot for saving my child (whether they had anything to do with his rescue or not).     I was shaking so bad,  I was getting those spots around the edges of your vision that let you know you need to sit down or risk going out the hard way.    After calming down in the restroom (Robbie of course was stoically happy and chipper than a beaver...if beaver's can be described as chipper), I betook my shameful self home. 

I know I signed up for this, it's part of my job description.  I'm happy to do it.  I like my kids and usually I respond with my own chipper response to all the people who say "THREE boys?".   But today I accept my mommy-fail badge and hope no one recognizes me next time I'm back near Costco the black hole of insanity.

And I didn't even get the highchair.  They were out of stock.  Robbie ate his usual dinner as the family centerpiece.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rule Number Fivethousandfourhundredand...

Since I'm of course a sociologist and hold a PhD in children's health, I've solved the childhood obesity problem.  It's called "city life".   It's no big secret that humankind is en masse trading amber waves of grain for concrete jungles, but what I didn't realize (until I joined said masses) was that unless you're wealthy enough to own this amazing luxury called a backyard, you might as well preemptively order your diabetic equipment. 

We've evolved so amazingly far we replaced man-eating, saber toothed tigers with this: 

 No climbing on trees.  No climbing on fences.  Definitely no playing baseball in the empty field next door.  No riding bikes in the complex.  No riding bikes outside the complex because it's not safe. No scooters at the playground, no climbing on the outside of the playground fact, better be safe and just take a parent with you ON the playground equipment because she needs to repeat everything you two are doing so you (my dear diabetic bound child) are on equal footing vocabulary wise with the rest of the kids whose moms are following them around going "Tree! A tree has roots. Roots!".   

Don't be so silly as to think that just because you can't play outside, you will be allowed to play inside.  No jumping, no wrestling, no pretending your bunkbed is a pirate ship.   The grownups living downstairs don't pay thousands of dollars a month to hear thumping and rolling above their heads.  No trumpeting like an elephant, but you are allowed to watch a show on Netflix called least it's about an Elephant.  But no acting out Babar after the episode is over, it's too noisy.  Here, have a capri sun instead.   No splashing in the bathtub.  No galloping up and down the stairs on all fours like you're a gorilla.  The stairs have germs, and you're disturbing the grownups who are trying to smoke goshdarnit.   

Grown ups are also the reason you can't ride your bike through the complex, because they don't want to have to turn their music down, or their cell phone off and watch where they're driving.  It's just not safe. 

Since I'm apparently a country mom, (something I didn't quite realize until I moved) I missed the memo on The-Book-Of-Rules that runs city life.  My kids scaled cliffs, skidded down boulders, climbed trees, and did all manner of hooligan-ish things before I realized they were "un-safe".   I get talked to, yelled at or cited by someone at least once a day for something we're doing that's rude or unsafe.   ...sometimes my kids are particularly bouncy and they get in trouble more often than that.    I was raised to follow the rules, and be polite, so you know...I'm only freaking out just slightly.   But I'm so confused.  What am I supposed to do with three little boys? 

 In an attempt to find the answer, I started asking other moms around me what they do with their kids.   Turns out that's a really stupid question.  Like so stupid, they don't really have an answer.  "um...homework?  TV?".     My kids have a different answer, "Mommmm, you have to buy us an xbox, pleeeeeeeease".   Sigh.   I take my kids outside to play, and within five minutes they're glued to the open front door of a friend, trying to watch them play Call Of Duty. 

I think I need to just leave more often.  At least I have the luxury of using a large, fossil-fuel consuming beast to transport me somewhere children are allowed to do this little thing called exercise.   It's one of the thousand times a day I wish I wasn't pregnant.   I'm trying adjust, I'm trying to be that peppy mom who has no problem driving all over the city to organized activities...not that my kids think I'm succeeding, but I'm growing another one of those outlandish humans that annoy the crap out of adults, and quite frankly that takes energy...and iron, something I'm a little short on at the moment.

I'm sure part of it is a bit of homesickness mixed with a dollop of culture shock.   There are millions of people who adore living in the city.  And I do love how fast I can clean my apartment, it's so small and not surrounded by a mountain of dirt.

And at least we don't get in trouble for using the pool....too often. ;-)