The Tall Order of Breakfast

Here’s how it goes. The instructions from my four-year-old on how to prepare her breakfast.

Mommy: Do you want cereal, oatmeal, or an English muffin?

Daughter: English muffin.

Sounds simple enough. But no, no it’s not. Daughter tells me she wants it in threes. Threes?

Mommy: What? Like, cut into threes?

Daughter: Yes, and I want cream and peanut butter.

Cream. That’s short for cream cheese. Somehow in her crazy realm of developing language, the name was shortened. It’s the opposite of our Saturday ritual: pancake waffles. They’re really just waffles. Why the word pancake was added, I’m not sure.

Mommy: Okay, so half peanut butter, half cream, and cut into threes.

Daughter nods. I pull out the toaster and insert the muffin. I use the bagel setting, because I’m fancy like that. The bread just toasts better. Try it at home. You’ll see.

Daughter: Mommy. I said I wanted an English muffin.

Forgive me for not having the intuition to sense you wanted this particular breakfast on this particular day so I could rush downstairs first thing this morning to start preparing it. I would have set my alarm three minutes before the time I thought you’d get up, even though you wake up anytime between 6 and 7 am each day. My bad.

Mommy: Did you hear the toaster pop?

*Pop*

Mommy: There it is!

Daughter: In a star. Peanut butter, cream, peanut butter, cream.

This is my fault. Once, after I cut her muffin into fours like a reasonable person, I positioned the sections on her plate so that the unoccupied middle of the plate looked like a star. It was kind of pretty, actually.

Now I have to do this. Every. Single. Time.

Mommy: Okay. Half peanut butter, half cream, cut into threes and in a star. Got it.

My masterpiece is finished and placed in front of my daughter on the table. Thankfully, she eats it and she eats it in silence.

Now it’s time to make everyone’s lunches.

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Boom. Queen of Breakfast.

Diary of a Tired Mommy

Each morning my watch/phone tells me I made my “sleep goal.” This means I got eight hours of sleep. Theoretically I should feel rested, but that’s not the case. Ever.

“So what’s the deal, Kim?” you might ask. withings-crop

Open the app and scroll down a bit and there’s the answer. Eight hours of actual sleep are spread across ten hours in bed. Two hours are sucked up by wakefulness. The culprit? A reliant one-year-old whom Husband and I have failed to sleep train. Sleep training: insert cringe emoji.

Now we’re desperately trying to remedy a very ugly situation. It involves a barely-used crib, a twin mattress outfitted with a railing (for Baby), an air mattress (for Mommy), and an unsettling suspicion nothing’s going to change anytime soon.

Here’s a typical night.

7:00: Baby is placed in crib awake, but drowsy.

7:00-8:00: A multitude of shenanigans leading up to Daughter’s bedtime.

8:00-9:00: FREEDOM

9:00: Mommy decides to call it quits regardless of the number of items on To Do list.

9:30: Comfy cozy in bed; mind beginning to blur; small sense of hope tonight will be “the night.”

9:35: Baby wakes and begins screaming (note the distinction between crying and screaming).

9:45: After half-assed (one-tenth-assed, even) attempt to calm Baby without removing from crib, bring Baby onto twin mattress where he will sleep for remainder of night.

10:00: Fall sleep.

12:00: Baby head-butts Mommy and starts to whimper. Begin frantic head-rubbing and shushing. Once Baby has drifted off again, very carefully climb off bed and onto air mattress. Blankets are cold. Curse myself and this situation.

Not-too-long-after: Baby realizes I am gone and makes a big stink. Jump from air mattress to bed. Fall asleep.

Sometime later: Wake up to pee. Return to air mattress. Blankets are cold. Curse myself and this situation.

Still the middle of the night: Baby rolls over/has bad dream/somehow senses lack of Mommy’s body heat. Starts to cry. Climb back into bed.

4:00-ish: Wake up because who the heck knows. Move to air mattress. Sheets are cold.

6:00-ish: Baby wakes up. Instead of crying, Baby crawls off bed and crawls onto air mattress and nestles into Mommy. Mommy thinks this is the cutest thing in the world. Falls back asleep.

7:00: Mommy has overslept and has to help get two kids ready for pre-school by 7:30. Curse myself and this situation.

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For someone who adores a good night sleep, this is not ideal. Clearly, my body/mind has adjusted, although occasionally I’ll experience a lack of judgment. This Monday, for example, I spent $60 on loose-leaf tea. Yes, you read that right. I also zone out at times much more frequently than I used to. Don’t worry, I always snap back.

There’s a saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Well, I’d like to say my goal is to sleep through the night, but I’m no fool. Instead, how about bringing the number of times I wake up from ten down to, say, two? And I plan on accomplishing this before Baby becomes Pre-Teen. No one likes to share a bed with their mom past nine, right?

 

 

Crazy Mom Thoughts

Today ends my three-week stint as a single parent. Granted it hasn’t been a full three weeks and I did get some breaks over the weekends, but man, what a ride. God bless anyone who is an actual single parent!

Never mind the absence of another set of hands to help out. What was more exhausting was not having a constant support system. Gone was the person to share the misery that is a toddler meltdown, or a sick baby. There was no one to accept my eye-rolls and respond with a gesture of understanding. How lonely to be with two children all day and not have someone say, “You did a good job” at the end of it!

crazy-chartThe experience was not without several low points, some moments where I thought I would go insane. In fact, here are some crazy thoughts that crossed my mind at some point during this challenge (and I do mean challenge).

1. How did I raise such a jerk?

This sounds harsh, but kids can be a-holes. My daughter knows how to be polite, saying please and thank you, and whatnot, but she has yet to demonstrate any real empathy. She says hurtful things like, “I don’t love you anymore,” and raises her voice as she pouts. Over the course of these three weeks she has kicked me, walked away from me, and been blatantly mean to her brother. I know all this is normal for a toddler, but sometimes I wondered if she’ll always be a jerk.

2. Can I sneak this chocolate in without getting caught? 

Husband and I try to teach our children good eating habits. We emphasize sweets should be enjoyed only occasionally and in moderation.

What happens when I’ve had a rough day and want to shove four cookies into my mouth? I shouldn’t have to hide my binges from my children. I’m an adult, I can eat what I want. chocolate-2-0

But, we must lead by example. Hence the need to strategically time my indulgences. And I did indulge. It was necessary. There’s a reason people eat their feelings: it helps, at least temporarily.

While sleeping with both kids in the bed:

3. If only my left arm wasn’t here, I could really get comfortable.

You know you’re exhausted when you’d give up a limb for a good night sleep.

4. As long as I’m in the shower nothing bad can happen.  

Scenario: both kids are in their beds. Last night Baby woke up just as Toddler was drifting off and I decided to forego the shower to get into bed and end this god-forsaken day. Tonight, I need to clean myself.

At first I figured I’d do a quick rinse. Once I was in the tub though, and the water drowned out all outside noise, I just stood there. Surely I’d be able to hear someone if he/she woke up. Right? I took a long shower and braced myself when I finally turned off the water. Thankfully, the house was silent.

5. Will this ever end? 

It’s tough when you’re in the middle of something to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember being in a dark place after my son was born. I was beyond tired, constantly milk-stained, and trying to manage my daughter’s new reality of no longer being a single child. Now my son’s first birthday is fast approaching.

Everything is temporary. This goes for the good as well as the bad. While it isn’t crazy to feel overwhelmed at times, I realize it is crazy to wish time away. I did have some wonderful moments with my children while their father was traveling, but I am beyond thankful he is back home.

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Pass me some chocolate. I deserve it.