Saturday, April 12, 2008

the pain is ... unbearable

The primary reason that I am able to function every day is because I know that Charlie will be home in the evening to help out. And at the end of a long week, I know that he will be around to entertain the kids so that on Saturday morning, I can do things like change our linens and go to the grocery store to restock our house for the following week.

But today...

Today, Charlie is working on the jungle of lumber and screws that will soon take over our entire backyard. The parts that he needed arrived yesterday. And because he hopes to get this thing put together as soon as possible, I told him this morning that SURE he could have the WHOLE weekend to put it together while I kept the kids busy.

Today, there are Santa Ana winds howling in from the north east and I thought it would be great fun to take the kids out to fly a kite. But flying a kite in 40-mile per hour winds with three-year-olds and a nine-month-old, by yourself, isn't too bright. Because children that are three-years-old don't always follow simple directions like "Stay away from the string" and if they walk in front of a kite and tangle themselves up in the line before it is whipped in to the air, the kite string will cut them like a friction saw and you will listen to screaming for the next HOUR.

Today, our children are convinced that the world revolves around THEM. Whatever it is that they want, they shall have. So even though their uterine comrade is laying on the ground crying in agony over the 1-inch cut on their leg from the kite string - they will insist that IT IS THEIR TURN TO FLY THE KITE. And even though the winds are so fierce that they would be sucked out of the earth's atmosphere, IT IS THEIR TURN. And if I don't listen, they will lay on the ground and kick their feet while screaming and thrashing about, hysterically.

Today, after threatening to leave the kids at the park if they didn't get their tushes in to the car so that we could go home, I arrived home to remember that since I didn't go grocery shopping this morning, the only thing that we had to eat in the house was garlic cheese bread, avocado, organic peanut butter, bleu cheese, pickles and caliente chips. Which, unfortunately, are not the most pleasing foods for a three-year-old palate. So, they drank lots of milk for lunch. And ate sour pickles.

Today, my baby has started to cry every time that he sees me. He is happy as a clam when he forgets that I exist, but as soon as he remembers, and notices that I am not holding him in such a position that he can pull EVERY hair out of my head, he is wrought with tremendous sadness. He has also discovered that he doesn't like avocado much either and with foods that he does not like, it is best to pick them up and SMEAR them in our own hair.

Today, I realized that ALL the chores that Charlie and I usually split up on the weekend are falling squarely on my shoulders. And unless I want him to take a break from building the playground - which will only delay the day that I can put our children in the yard and they will STAY there - I need to go change some oil and rotate a few tires. Or, take out the recycling and pick up dog poop. Same difference.

Today, I realized that without any kind of break from small children - with no relief in sight until NEXT weekend - it might be necessary for me unwind by taking a nice hot bubble bath.

With my hair dryer.


  1. I am a long time lurker. Two summers ago my husband decided to build a deck on the back of our house. It saved us over $15,000 but I had my children who were not quite 3 and not quite 1 by myself every weekend. This deck took from Mothers Day till late August to build. It was sheer torture. My kids still look out the back window of the house and yell Daddy where are you!! I had to hire a cleaning person every other week since I also work part time at night. I hope building goes fast!!!

  2. Sometimes I read your blog for a reminder that things COULD BE WORSE. I feel like my life is difficult with undisciplined 5, 2.5 and 1/2 year old children, a husband out of town for 10 days, a dog, a mess of fish I can't remember to feed, and various household tasks to get done. Then I think of how much more horrific it would be if I had three middle children and a baby. And no playset, since darn it, that playset is the best thing that ever happened to me. Those kids are out there playing almost every day...and I live in Colorado, where it snows and isn't 73 degrees every day (having lived in San Diego myself I can say that).
    Wish I could help you out, woman.


  3. "uterine comrade" and "friction saw"

    I'm still laughing.

  4. HA! "Uterine comrade"! "So fierce that they would be sucked out of the earth's atmosphere"! "Wrought wiht tremendous sadness"! Bath...with a hair dryer!

    Also: my Henry is totally with your Henry on the "mommy proximity" issue. Only he also requires access to my glasses, so he has something to chew on while he's yanking out all my hair.

  5. i think i love you.

    in a totally non-creepy, non-stalkerish sort of way.

    of course.

  6. I suggest you call in some reinforcements to help Charlie. Espically if you would like to ever see him again on a Saturday or Sunday.
    And espically if you would love for your children to enjoy the thing before they are 5.
    And espically if you would like to get it off the grass before the weeds grow over it.
    I have friends who have maybe the same play set.(Purchased at Sam's Club) The assembly instructions read "Takes 2 intelligent adults 16 hours" took AT LEAST 25 hours. Good luck! It WILL be worth it.

  7. LOL! I am sure it really isn't too funny, but it's funny to read. heehee
    OH! The 9 month old stage...what fun! They cry when you are near, when you are away, when strangers come in...OIY! Makes your ears bleed. But, 9 month olds are also so darn cute, aren't they? Such HUGE sponges.
    Sorry it's been a rough few days, but just think, maybe next week they will be happily playing in the yard!

  8. Well, it's amazing how much I didn't realize my husband did around here until he left the country for 18 months. Almost three months down and 15 to go--do you think my bathrooms can wait that long?

  9. "The primary reason that I am able to function every day is because I know that Charlie will be home in the evening to help out."

    Amen. I live for 6.45pm, as my husband walks out the door at 6am and that's it until he gets home. I know that when he rings at 6.15pm it is never good news, as it usually involves traffic or late meetings or the boss walking into his office at 5pm (a common and horrendous occurrence as far as my schedule is concerned).

    Please, please get someone to help Charlie with the playset. It's bad enough knowing my husband has to fix the tap (faucet?) in the bathroom this afternoon. A playset would *Kill. Me.* For your sanity, please get help!

    Though of course I could be incredibly selfish and say 'no, I am sure Charlie will be fine and speedy', and then enjoy the hilarious blog-fodder this particular endeavour is generating.... bwahahahah!!!

    [the only thing I find placates my 9mo old daughter at the moment is her big brother.... such a wonderful developmental stage, huh!]

  10. Ditto on call in friends for help with the play-set, once it's at a suitable stage where a team can work on it together. Order pizza and get a case of beer for afterwards, and maybe a couple of gentlemen will come help out.
    Re: kites, one full size kite that only mom can hold isn't much fun, as you've discovered. We have had some success with making shopping bag kites for the kids. All you need is a ball of string and some thin grocery bags with handles. Tie a 6 or 8 foot piece of string onto one handle. The wind will fill the bag and let it "fly" up. They can run around the park or the back yard if the wind is moderate to strong. And if somebody lets go of the string, who cares, just give them another "bag kite" from your stash in the kitchen.
    Good luck!

  11. Hi Jen

    I literally just noticed today that you posted comments in my blog! (I never get comments, so I never check) Thanks!

    I think Charlie should call your minister to come over and help with the playset because A) his sermon caused Charlie to throw out his back, B) his sermon resulted in beautiful baby Henry and C) you have not had an "appetite" since then (C is kind of a weak argument, but A & B are strong)

    Anyway, it looks like Charlie made a lot of progress, so maybe save the minister "payback call" for another thing (like babysitting so you and Charlie could have a date).

    Hang in there!

  12. Well, just to encourage you, I think you are super mom. Flying kites, taking them "fishing" are really making some special memories.