You guys. I’m struggling. There is a reason I ran away to California for my birthday.
I’m tired of my kids. I’m tired of my laundry. And I’m tired of trying to keep up with both.
My poor husband kept asking me if it was him-was it because he didn’t plan anything? Was it because of something he said?
Oh, no. As I explained it to him, I think if I was given the option to run away from home 9 times out of 10 I would say yes. I fantasize about running away all the time. It was my birthday so I actually did it this time. My only regret was not being able to take him with me.
It was glorious. I listened to old punk rock from high school the entire way down. No one whined. No one was screaming. No one took anything away from the other. No one was touching each other. When I wanted it to be silent…it was. I watched the sun rise over the beautiful mountains of California and was close enough to just start to smell the ocean by breakfast time.
I started at the fashion district. No one peed their pants. No one argued with me about what colors I should buy. No one tried to run away from me or into traffic. I just got to meander as I wished through the shops, haggling and buying fabric at my leisure.
Next was LAX to pick up Lyndi. At the drop of a hat she flew in to meet me there. She’s pretty amazing. No one cried about not getting to ride on an airplane. No one hit their sister. No one whined for treats.
We then went to Phillipe the Original, one of my most favorite sandwich shops. The food is AMAZING, and the fact that it’s located in LA makes it even better. We peacefully enjoyed our food. We stayed in our seats. We ate what we bought. We didn’t complain, we enjoyed.
After that, the beach. The beautiful, wonderful, salty ocean. It was just warm enough that once you got in it wasn’t so bad, but bad enough we were the only ones in the water. We laid out on a big denim blanket and just let the sun warm us up. No one drowned. No one ate sand. No one screamed and cried because it was afternoon.
Finally, dinner. We feasted on seafood. So much seafood. The first thing I told the lovely, overly Californian boy that was waiting on us was that it was my birthday, and not only my birthday, but my 30th birthday. This restaurant was so classy they just brought me my ice cream cake, “happy birthday” written in cursive and no singing. It was pretty amazing. And relaxing. And there was no screaming. At any point.
I feel horribly, terribly selfish as I write this. I ditched my family. I ditched my children. All I wanted for my birthday was to be far, FAR away from them! They are making me crazy. I am making me crazy.
The saddest part? I’m sure it’s my fault. I know I could be doing better. I should turn off our tv more. I should be coloring and painting and running around with them more. I should be making them clean more. I just don’t want to. I’m tired. I’m over it. I’m lazy. If we color, it’s a mess-a mess they should clean up and they do, but then it almost always turns into more of a mess that I then have to clean up. Same goes for painting and really anything crafty. And if you do it once they want to craft things everyday. And then when am I supposed to do laundry?
I daydream of a clean house. I vacuumed yesterday. This morning that floor I vacuumed was layered. First with popcorn dropped by Paisley the previous evening. Normally I’d have her vacuum it up but we just burned out our 3rd stick vacuum. And it came down to bed time or picking up popcorn and I chose bedtime. Next Stella threw all the tops of her strawberries on the floor from breakfast and then went ahead and peed on the whole thing from her perch on the barstool. Yesterday. That floor was CLEAN yesterday. Today? Disaster. Of course I enlisted Stella’s help to clean it all up BUT let’s be honest…it’s about twice the workload having help, not half.
We also have tried 10 different cleaning solutions now to try and take the pen off of our white leather couch. You see, I thought I was being smart buying leather…and my children were still able to find the one thing that doesn’t just wipe off.
This too shall pass…it’s a phase…blah blah…best times of your lives…I’m calling BS!! Those old ladies passing me at the grocery store as my 2 year old is on her 20th minute of screaming don’t remember!! They blocked out cleaning up layers of popcorn-strawberry pee.
And then my favorite question…so when are you having more?
The real answer? Never!! Never am I doing this again! And I am fully guilty and I don’t even know why!! Why do I feel like I need to have more? This is not going to miraculously get easier!! I look at women with 10 kids and I just think maybe that’s their calling in life and I have a different one. Maybe I just take pictures of her 10 kids, or help her give birth to all of them. I haven’t gotten that calling. I think I MAYBE do this one more time but even then I am 100% scared to death to take that on. 3 kids officially out-numbers us. And honestly, I don’t know that I’m doing that good of a job with the 2 I already have-is it really a good idea to make another one?
Story-time makes it glaringly obvious. My child is the one wearing her most fancy dress for the 3rd day in a row-food stains on the front and hair unbrushed. She’s got her shoes on the wrong feet and a mirror in one hand with gum in the other. My girls HATE having their hair brushed and I hate torturing them over vanity! They like to dress themselves and I really try to let them. Stella and I spent 15 minutes arguing over which shoes go on what foot and I finally just gave up because really, they’re too big for her anyway so it’s not like she’s uncomfortable. She wildly stood out among all the well groomed little girls at the library. All of them had shoes on the correct feet. All of their hair was combed, braided and even curled. Their clothes matched (outfit and season). Paisley is the same-do I fight to make them match and comb their hair when we’re already fighting over getting up in the morning and going anywhere? Or do I continue to leave them as-is…wild and untamed? The answers to which battles to choose are becoming blurrier and blurrier.
I relish in these moments without any screaming, but they are few and far between. We talk often about being sweet to each other, sharing, saying nice things and not yelling. I’ve made huge efforts not to yell at them-you would never know. They scream at everything, all the time, always.
I know phases of this come and go. I know it will get better, and that they will grow and I will miss their bellies, being touched too much and their little hands…but will I miss any other part of this phase?
I’m sure I will. But for today, I complain.