The Reality of the Myth

I have what one could call “The Grass is Always Greener” complex. When I worked at the paper, I used to sit around, secretly planning on how wonderful my life would be when I got to be a stay at home mom. I’d make myself a nice big breakfast every morning while my child lounged in her bouncy seat, listening to the music from the Ancient Mayans on the CD player.

Then I had a baby and I got to stay home with her.

First things first: I do not make breakfast. I like to go out to eat for breakfast but since uh, that costs money, my morning ritual starts with a bowl of Fruit Loops. Second. My child hated the bouncy seat and third, I only listen to the Ancient Mayans and their chanting if I’m lying naked on a massage table while someone I don’t know slathers me down with oil.

In reality, my mornings are a haze as I spend the majority of the time lying on the couch, PBS Kids on, trying to sneak in extra sleep while my child hits me in the head with my shoes. Eventually, I wake up and make us both breakfast. Since Miss E is now to the point where she can feed herself (not using utensils,) our breakfast of choice for her is eggs and a banana.

(Please also remember she is now allergic to milk so she pretty much can’t eat anything and boy, does that make my life fun.)

Then we have days where Mama went and used all the eggs to make sugar cookies the night before and the bananas were eaten by that monkey that also comes along, hides our bills and steals all of my Old Navy tanktops.

So, a breakfast of cantelope it is!

Here’s the deal: Cantelope, to me, is a decorative food. It is like parsley in the fact that it is on the plate in a wedge, one you might take a dutiful bite of just so you look like you care about your health while scarfing down pancakes and maple syrup.

We eventually move on to naptime for two reasons: One, Mommy needs to get ready because we are going out to lunch with a friend. Two: Damn, she’s cranky and isn’t it time for a nap yet?

Only problem? Someone has to poop her pants before falling asleep so there goes naptime. In an attempt to convince her to go to sleep, I go to fill her bottle as a bribe. We’re out of soy milk. Even though we are a “No juice for the baby” household, I fill her bottle with half apple juice (all-natural to keep with the hippy theme) and half water.

If she drinks all that juice, we’re going to have to move on to Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. I think we might have some beer hidden somewhere. That would have to calm her down, right?

“They” say that parenting is hard. It really isn’t in the way that I thought it would be. Sure, changing big nasty poopy diapers is annoying. Yeah, sometimes I grumble when I have to wake up in the middle of the night to a crying child.

In all honesty, it is those moments, the one when your child crawls across the room, flings herself on the floor, gives you a Look and starts crying that are the hard ones. What did I do? Why are you crying? And why, oddly enough, do I find it kind of funny?

It is the moments when nap time is skillfully avoided and nothing is considered satisfactory that I find difficult. I often mutter throughout my day about this being my “punishment.”

Hell hath no fury like a 14-month-old that won’t take a nap.

22 Responses to “The Reality of the Myth”

  1. Undisclosed
    September 18th, 2005 22:43

    Maybe you could melt some Tofutti ice cream in her bottle, I bet she’d love that!

  2. Texas T-bone
    September 18th, 2005 22:50

    Actually, hell hath no fury like a 2 and 1/2-year-old who won’t take a nap. And who holds the strength of 10 bodybuilders and a will of iron. And has sharp teeth and fingernails. Legs like an ox. And laughs when he farts.

  3. Hillbilly Mom
    September 18th, 2005 22:53

    My first son’s favorite game was to climb up on my lap, hold my face in his hands, and then HEADBUTT ME! Next, he would examine me closely, and either repeat the mommy abuse, or scream with glee: “MOMMY BEEB! MOMMY BEEB!” Which I think means “bleed,” because splitting my lip seemed to be his goal. Kids. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t put ‘em in a 55-gallon drum.

  4. JustLinda
    September 18th, 2005 22:58

    It’s mind-numbingly hard. It’s I’m totally in a rut hard. It’s now that I finally have the time to exercise and clean, I really don’t have any intention of exercising or cleaning hard. It’s I’m wearing my pajamas all day and you’ll be lucky if I brush my hair hard. It’s the more I sleep the more I need to sleep hard. It’s I know I said I’d never do this but I’m going to let TV raise you and Chef-boy-r-dee feed you hard.

    Yeah, it’s hard.

    If only cantalope had magical illegal-drug properties that made everything funny and gave you lots of energy…

  5. mrtl
    September 18th, 2005 23:50

    We limit juice (4 oz a day, then 6 once she got older) because it usually goes right through her. Back in the days when she wouldn’t nap until she pooped, apple juice was my best friend.

    Now why’d you have to go and bring up cantaloupe. Hopefully it doesn’t stick in the cranium, because it’s downright dangerous for me to go near the stuff when I’m pregnant.

  6. AMP
    September 19th, 2005 05:50

    holy shite…do we have twins here? i cannot believe how well you just described my daughter. and dude…what up w/that well-placed poop that ruins naptime? do these bastard girls know how to work us or what?

    that half-half juice things works here too. don’t feel guilty…we WERE a ‘no juice for the kid’ family also…ha. isn’t it great how all the pre-conceived ideas and notions just go down into the toilet after the baby is born? No. No it isn’t.

  7. Tuesdayef
    September 19th, 2005 09:21

    I agree with Texas, hell hath no fury as TWO 2.5 year old that won’t take a nap now that they are in toddler beds.

  8. NinaKaye
    September 19th, 2005 10:01

    Our oldest kid did that poop to stay up thing. I swear, he’d shit just from touching the mattress. The baby, I only remember her pooping/sleeping when she was under a month old. She’s pretty much been “regular” ever since.
    I have mommy amnesia, so I can’t really remember her crying and me not knowing what the problem was, but now, she’ll cry so hard she can’t talk, and I think that’s worse. When she’s actually trying to tell me, but can’t stop crying long enough to talk.
    Naps? We’ve pretty much given up on them. I started working a few weeks ago, and since I work right when she’s supposed to nap, she never gets a nap. At least 2 days a week she’ll fall asleep on the floor after I get home from work, but I kind of enjoy when she doesn’t nap because it means she’ll go to sleep early that night and I’ll actually get some peace.

  9. Mir
    September 19th, 2005 10:19

    I used to take advantage of the naptime poop to start putting my daughter on the potty just prior to nap. (Because she was my first, and I was still laboring under the misconception that I had any power whatsoever over her actions.) Anyway, one day she was sitting there and I went to answer the phone. While I was grabbing the phone, she pooped! And FREAKED OUT! And stood up midway through and cried and pointed at the poop on the seat. I thought it was pretty funny, until she peed all over the floor while I was trying to calm her down.

    Maybe I should’ve given her some diet cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper.

  10. Dillygirl
    September 19th, 2005 10:45

    Honestly, I’m in that “secretly planning” stage where, yes, I’m sure it’s going to be nothing like I imagine. But still, reality is no fun. Dreaming of days filled with me and baby just bonding, picnic lunches in fields of dandelions, trendy trips to Starbucks, and tons of time lounging at home… I think I’ll stay in dreamland for a while longer. But thanks for the wake-up call.

  11. Kristin
    September 19th, 2005 11:52

    Hell hath no fury like a four year old boy who laughs in your face when he gets the belt, who thinks its funny to run from you (and fast by god) into the street when your hands are full of groceries, who loved to call me a “fucker” when he was pissed (I find a bar of soap in the mouth works best in this situation), and just loves to cut his older sisters hair when shes not paying attention.

    And hell hath no fury like a 2 year old girl who wouldn’t cry when she pooped at nap time, but would smear her poop on the walls, crib, clothes, face, and bottle! Who thought it was funny to color on her baby brothers face with magic markers, and who back talked from the time she could talk (I found soap works really well for this too!).

    This is what punishment is really like. :)

  12. Torrie
    September 19th, 2005 11:57

    I am so with you on the grass is always greener situation.

  13. Angela
    September 19th, 2005 12:53

    Oh my God… people, stop! I would like to keep my fantasies about being a SAHM with beautiful sleeping children and my hair floating serenely about as I glow with an inner light… please do not steal my dream!! The headbutting does not fit into my equation!

  14. Em
    September 19th, 2005 13:19

    What I find hardest is the isolation (especially in the winter) and the CONSTANTness of it. I was a full time nurse before. I knew busy days. But I could hide in the bathroom for 2 minutes of uninterrupted silence. Who would bother you in the bathroom? Well, at my full time mom job, the 2 kids fighting over who gets to hand me the toilet paper. That’s who. 2 kids who noticed you weren’t watching them watch television and JUST KNOW you are having a fun party behind that door that they have no intention of being left out of. Like I told my husband - I wouldn’t trade it, but I miss the old life a little.

  15. MollieBee
    September 19th, 2005 15:21

    SJ, My sweet stinker STILL has poop all over the world accidents. I swear, I thought I would be done with this “shit” already.

  16. sherry
    September 19th, 2005 15:30

    What I have found hard is that after that first year of motherhood all my friends who had kids at the same time I did went back to work. Canada has a one-year maternity leave so we had a great first year of getting together fairly regularly (especially in the summer) and then all of a sudden they were all working and I wasn’t and it was pretty lonely.

    And as Em mentioned, it’s really hard in the winter (I’m Canadian eh). At least in nice weather we can go outside and play together but for two straight years we spent the entire month of Januay inside other than going to the car to go to the store because the wind chill was so brutal that we couldn’t possibly go outside to play.

    I have to go back to work part-time after the new baby is born (when she’s around six months old) for financial reasons anyway, but it will also be nice to have some social interaction with people who don’t stomp their feet and throw toys when they’re frustrated.

  17. D in Minneapolis
    September 19th, 2005 16:20

    I miss autumnville:(

  18. Tammy/averagemom
    September 19th, 2005 16:29

    I was on the phone with my sister-in-law this morning, and just after I said “Aidan! Put the couch back together!” She belowed at her kid “Hey! Where’s the rest of this poop? Don’t come puttin’ just half a poop in my hand! Go get the rest!”
    This is not at all what I imagined my life would be.

  19. nancy
    September 19th, 2005 19:13

    Please don’t get mad at me, but that was a great post. Thank you.

  20. Susie
    September 19th, 2005 19:21

    Liam may or may not still take a nap. I wouldn’t know because I’m passed out under a pile of laundry. Who put those daydreamy SAHM bullshit thoughts in our head? Bastards.

  21. Shelley
    September 19th, 2005 21:11

    If I didnt know better, I would think you are describing a day in my life.

  22. Kristie
    September 20th, 2005 08:52

    I so agree with you on that one. Anyone that has a child around that age knows what your talking about..I have a 15 mos old and when shes laying in her bed screaming and refusing to take a nap I just want to go get in my bed and scream and cry sometimes. *L*

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