It has not escaped me that most of the things I post on my blog are happy and lovey and full of dancing glitter fairies and little impish children flitting around the room upon clouds spun of gold and crinoline.
And then, there's the other side of being a Mom. And it goes a little something like this:
2:00 a.m. Wake to Luca in her room moaning loudly. Go to her room. Find her writhing around like something terrible is wrong. Ask what is wrong. "I need water." she answers. Point out to her that in her toddler bed and tucked between the headboard and the wall are no less than 7 bottles, each with water in them. "Oh. I lovvvvve you Mama." she says. Kiss her cheeks, cover her with her blankie, stumble back into bed.
5:35 a.m. Luca repeats my name from the other room, "Mamamamamamama. Katie Kahle! Mamamamamamamamammamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamaaaaaaaa."
Drag self out of bed, lift her from her bed (notice her legs are little popsicles because she refuses to sleep with her blanket on and make promise to self to put her in long pants tonight), bring her back in to my bed where I wrap her up with me in my blanket and we fall back asleep.
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
Rohan cries from his crib. Get out of bed to retrieve him as I hear the shower turn on in the bathroom and Darrick starts his morning ritual. Open Rohan's bedroom door to find him, pants half off, standing up holding onto his crib rail jumping up and down and smiling like a lunatic. Go to pick him up as he grabs wildly for me, grab his blanket, use toes to retrieve the Bop he's thrown across the room so I don't have to bend over. Return to my bed and lay him next to Luca.
Watch Luca and Rohan tackle each other, giggle, etc. for 10 more minutes while Darrick showers, shaves, dresses.
Get out of bed and pick up Rohan to carry downstairs. "I wanna up-you-go too, mama!"Luca begs. Balance Rohan on left hip, ask Luca to stand up on the bed, lift her onto right hip. Have her grab Rohan's blanket off the bed. Walk into hall. Have Luca hold on tight so I can move my hand and grab the door handle to shut it (doors have to be shut in our house to keep the dogs out of trouble). Turn to see both her door and his open, both fans on. Turn off his fan, close door by pulling handle with tips of fingers. Turn off her fan. Close her door in same manner, almost losing grip on her and dropping Rohan's blanket in process. Use toes to pick up his blanket without bending over.
Turn to go downstairs and see guest bathroom door open. Have spark of genius and stand next to it and say to Luca, "Would you please grab the handle so we can shut that?" She does. MUCH easier. Wish I was smart enough to think to have HER pull the handles of the first 3 doors.
Carry both kids downstairs. Set Luca on couch, where she immediately grabs the throw, pulls it over her, and lies down. She must be related to me if she just woke from a full night's sleep and is already eager to lie on the couch.
Set Rohan on the floor, where he screeches because clearly I have Highly Offended him by daring to set him down. He grabs my pajama pants so that I cannot walk away. I pick him back up. With 1 hand I grab a diaper and clean clothes for Rohan, then set him on the floor to change him. Get the dirty diaper and pants off, and he does an alligator roll away from me and attempts to escape. Grab an ankle and roll him back over. He hollers at me for being so annoying, I laugh at the holler. He wrestles away from me and crawls, half-naked, across the room. I hop up, grab him, lay him back down, and he hollers again. Luca brings a play phone over for Rohan (singsongy voice: "Here you go, Romo. Here! A phone! Look! Awww!")and he bats it away. Finally get the diaper on Twisty Baby and sit him up to change his shirt. Make a game of Peek-A-Boo out of it to keep him from being mad over the shirt changing.
Make coffee while balancing a nearly 26 pound 1 year old on one hip. While still balancing him, get a bowl of cereal for Luca, pour him a sippie of milk, get coffee mugs out and ready.
From the other room as I am doing this, Luca chimes in:
"What are you doing Mama?"
"Making you a bowl of cereal."
"Because it's time for breakfast."
"Because you need to eat before you go to Laura's (daycare)."
Put Rohan in high chair and spread Cheerios on tray. Sit Luca at her table with bowl of cereal.
"I need apple juicy."
"Yeah. Apple juicy."
"You may have some apple juice once you finish your cereal."
"You have to eat before you can have juice, Luca."
Suddenly understand with complete clarity why I heard the phrase 'Because I said so.
so many times as a child.
Attempt to pour the coffee as Rohan screeches. Apparently he is not amused with dry Cheerios for breakfast, but we are out of bananas, which is what he usually eats. Start to unload clean dishes from dishwasher. Darrick comes downstairs and looks over at Luca.
"Luca, get your feet OFF the table and eat your cereal please."
Darrick puts a bagel in the toaster while Rohan's screeching hits a fever pitch. I look at Darrick. He looks at me. My look wins; he goes to retrieve Rohan from the highchair.
"Luca, get your feet OFF the table. You need to eat your cereal."
"Do it. Now."
I finish unloading the dishwasher and making the coffee. Darrick butters his bagel while balancing Rohan on one hip, then goes to sit down with him and feed him some bagel. Luca tells us she's done with her Cheerios, and brings me the bowl, sloshing milk onto the tile. I hand her a wet paper towel and ask her to clean it.
"We need to clean it up so no one slips in it."
"Oh. Can you carry me?"
"Um. No. Mommy is working right now."
I load the dishwasher as Darrick entertains the kids. My work is interrupted no less than 3 times by Luca, with requests of "Up-you-go?" or "Carry me?". Run out to grab Luca some clean clothes from the dryer (What? You remove your clean clothes immediately from the dryer and hang them? Congratulations on your child-free lifestyle choices.), come back in and toss them to her and ask her to get dressed. Stand in front of our downstairs mirror to apply my make-up. Luca climbs up onto the table below the mirror and plays with the bottles and tubes.
"Do you want this, Mama?" (holding out mascara tube)
"Nope. Not yet sweetie."
"I'm not ready for that."
"Because I need to put this stuff (waves hand in direction of make-up) on first."
"What about this? Do you want this, Mama?" (holding out eyeliner)
"Not yet, sweetie."
"Because I'm not ready for it."
"Oh..............are you ready for it now?"
"Not yet sweetie."
It goes on like this until I finish my make-up (which takes less than 4 minutes, a fact that amuses me when I consider how long I used to spend in the leisurely beautifying routine). Then I run upstairs to get changed and Rohan and Luca follow me. I close the toilet lid to keep his hands out, change my clothes as he grabs at my legs and turn to head downstairs. He whines to be picked up, and so does she.
"Carry me, Mama?"
"You can walk sweetie."
"No I'm a baby. I need you to carry me."
Mentally calculate which is worse: giving in to her whims or being late. Choose 'being late' as worse.
Hoist Rohan up on my left hip and Luca on my right, remember to have her pull the door handles shut, and carry them both downstairs again.
"Luca, I need you to put on your shoes please."
"I'm going to wear my sandals."
"Sweetie, you need to wear real shoes. You may bring your sandals in the bag, but it's too cold out this morning for sandals."
"I'm gonna put my sandals in my PINK purse in Rohan's bag."
"Ok. Do you need help?"
"No. I can do it myself. I'm a big girl."
Pack the diaper bag for 0.25 seconds until I hear whining from Luca.
"Luca, what's wrong?"
"Luca, you need to use your words. Can you ask nicely, and not whine, please?"
"I need help getting my sandals in my PINK purse."
"Ok. I am happy to help you."
"Thank you Mama."
Finish packing diaper bag. Grab comb and barrette and ask Luca to come over so I can do her hair.
"I don't need my hair combed. I'm good. Thank you anyways."
"(stifling laughter) Yes, we need to make your hair look pretty for Laura's house."
"I want apple juicy."
"You may have apple juice after I comb your hair."
Comb her hair and only have to grab her to keep her from running away twice during the process. Go to get her juice. Remind her that she STILL needs to put her shoes on.
Hand her a pair of shoes. Find car keys. Turn around to see her putting on a different pair of shoes than the ones I handed her (handed her tennies, she's putting on her red dress shoes from Christmas). Decide to pick my battles and that really red dress shoes look fabulous with pink pants and a neon colored shirt anyhow. Pick up Rohan and balance him on left hip. Sling diaper bag over right shoulder. Grab keys and coffee in right hand. Ask Luca to grab her apple juice and follow me.
"It's time to go to Laura's house."
Go into garage. Set down diaper bag next to my door. Open Luca's door, take cup out of her hand and put it on top of car so she doesn't spill it while trying to climb in. Go to other side of car and open door to put Rohan in his seat. Luca has crawled over her seat and is trying to get into his.
"Luca, you need to get in YOUR seat."
"Rohan sits in this one."
"Because it's his seat. Please get in your seat."
She steps on a toy on the car floor, which makes noise. She picks it up. I give her The Look.
"I love you, Mama."
"I love you too, sweetie."
Buckle Rohan in. Give him his blanket. Close his door. Go back around to buckle Luca in, working around her toy. Hand her the juice cup. Get in the car.
It's now 6:56 a.m.