Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Letter to Santa

This was too god not to steal from my cousin and post here!

Dear Santa,

I've been a pretty good mom this year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than the doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. Sold enough popcorn and cookies to send a small town to scout camp this summer. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, (I've had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles,) who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years to write again.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy/toy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint-resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that won't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide a few candy bars.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. A nice hiding place to talk on the phone would be a real "plus"!

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother/sister," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog or the neighbors.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to shower, brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container. Here's a novel idea...I get to go to the restroom uninterrupted...and alone!

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and I think my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. (I suspect he wants his crayon back.) Have a safe trip, remember to leave your wet boots by the door, then come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to the cookies on the table but please don't eat too many (you'll make yourself sick!) or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can just keep my children young enough to continue believing in you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

How Do They Do It?

My husband is off deer hunting this week so since Saturday morning at 4:00 a.m. I’ve been a “single mom”. Ever since I had a child, I’ve had a new-found respect or awe for single mothers. This week has only reinforced that feeling.

While certainly realizing how much my husband helps in the parenting of our daughter, conversely I realize how taxing it is to do it on your own! Take Saturday for example. After getting to bed around 11:00 the night before after celebrating my birthday, hubby was up and out the door by 4:00 a.m. Although I tried to go back to sleep, somehow my body knew that I was now the only responsible person in the house –and thus, I slept with one ear open toward the baby monitor. When 6:00 a.m. rolled around I figured I had better get up even though my body wanted nothing more than to sleep in (I knew I should have turned down the 3rd glass of Chardonnay). I knew that if I wanted to be able to so much as brush my teeth and use the restroom without a committee I’d better do it before my little one woke up.

By 7:00 Coco was up and ready to go. I had managed to at least get up, get my hair back in a pony tail and get my teeth brushed. I was however still in my PJs. The morning was a long blur of trying to get stuff done around the house while simultaneously trying to entertain and keep an eye on Coco. It seemed no matter what I had in mind, she was going a different direction. She wanted to play in the kitchen until I started to do the dishes – then she decided it was time to go pull ornaments off the Christmas tree. We played around the tree for a few minutes until she decided it was time to go pull all her books out of shelves in the living room. We hung out in the living room until she decided it would be fun to chase the cat through the house. And so on and so forth.

Finally, I decided that I had to balance the guilt of not getting anything done around the house with the guilt of needing to spend quality time with my daughter. I sat down and played “blocks” with Coco for 20 minutes. Then, I left her quietly playing with her toys to go do the dishes. Thinking back on it, I did see her come into the kitchen with me. I just figured she was pulling everything out of the utensil drawer as is her fav hobby whilst in the kitchen. That was until I heard the sound of a hundred Cheerios hitting the floor. I turned and this is what I saw:

But even as tired and frustrated as I was, you just cannot get mad at that face. And to her credit at least she was eating the Cheerios – not just being naughty by dumping them out. Soooo I got down on the floor and we both had some Cheerios (from the top of the pile thank you). After that, we scooped them up by handfuls (such fun) and put them back in the bag. We then walked the bag and box to the trash and threw them in. And on to the next thing... and the next thing… and the next.

All I know is that by 1:30 I was so glad it was naptime I could have sung hallelujah – but very quietly so as not to risk waking her!