The Ugly Truth.

At one point time, it was a recurring scene in my bathroom.

Saturday.  Early evening.  We’d just finished a delicious dinner of Penne Pasta and Chicken, that both boys actually ate.  It was nearing bedtime.  The last leg of the marathon-day of being at home with my boys all day long.  Because I tend to fall asleep somewhere between 8:30-9:00 from some kind of deep, tired-to-the-bone cellular exhaustion, I knew if I’d wanted to take a relaxing bath, it was now or never.  The boys had gone outside for one last hurrah and my husband had settled himself in his chair to watch a baseball game.

Sneaking upstairs with my allotted one glass of wine per evening, I tip-toed up to the Master bathroom and silently shut the door.  I put on Pandora (my Sufjan Stevens Station) and drew a bath.  I poured gobs of lavender Bubble Bath into the streaming water and set my wine on the side of the tub.  With a head-band keeping my short hair out of my face, I retrieved the package of my Cucumber and Oats mud mask kept in one of the drawers, and liberally applied the lime-green layer all over my face, careful to avoid my eyes and my nostrils.  Looking back at myself in the mirror, I was eerily reminded of the scene in Mommy Dearest where Joan Crawford ran around the house in her robe and mud mask screaming, “No more wire hangers!!!”.

Why is it always in our mud-masks and pajamas that our kids decided to mis-behave?

With the bathtub filled with water that I like almost-too-hot, I slowly lower myself in, settle down so the water is up around my neck and take a sweet sip of my wine, my mud mask slowly beginning to harden.  I can feel myself relaxing.  The hectic day almost behind me.  My nerves, taut from 6:30am on, slowly loosening.

But, as any mother knows, it’s dangerous to allow yourself to relax, unless your children have been asleep at least 45 minutes.  It is futile to let one’s guard down and allow oneself to enter into the realm of tranquility when bedtime isn’t for another half hour. Honestly, what was I thinking?

I hear the main door downstairs shut with a slam and the sound that always, always follows:   “Mom!?”.

My eyelids shoot open in panic as my ears follow the footsteps of my 6-year-old son fervently searching for me downstairs, calling out “Mom” every few seconds.  Then, footsteps coming up the stairs.  “Mom!?”.  I refuse to answer and actually pull the shower curtain all the way across in the hopes that it will serve as a ruse.

But alas, I hear the bedroom door open, sneakers coming across the carpet and in one swift move, the bathroom door flies open, hitting the wall behind it, as my 6-year-old comes in and announces to the shower curtain, “I have to poop”.

“Seriously?” the shower curtain responds, not hiding its irritation whatsoever.  “Seriously?  We have three bathrooms in this house and you have to poop in this one?”.

Oblivious to my tone, he gets comfortable on the toilet and matter-of-factly responds, “Well, I don’t like to poop alone.  I like having company”.    Plop, plop, plop.  The tranquil ambiance of my Bath time slowly receding.  I take another long draw from my wine glass as he proceeds to tell me all about the imaginary game of “camping” that they are playing outside by the brook that I mind-numbingly listen to.

To my dismay, another set of familiar footsteps are nearing.  Up the stairs, across the carpet and in the doorway.  “Mom!?” I hear my 5-year-old son bellow.  And all at once, the shower curtain is swiftly thrown open.  I’m smacked in the face with a pungent layer of poop that the shower curtain had been holding at bay, and standing before me is my 38-pound twig of a son, top-heavy with our required 4-wheeler helmet that probably weighs as much as he does, and often throws him off-balance.

“Mom, can you do my helmet?” he asks, tipping his head back to reveal the disconnected straps.  I down another gulp of wine and reach up to thread the straps that I have to fasten and un-fasten a hundred times a day.

“Ach!  Ugh!” he starts gagging.  “Mom, not so tight.  It’s too tight.  “.

Ooops.

My 5-year-old attempts to turn around, but bumps into my 6-year-old who (is apparently finished) hollers at him to “watch what you’re doing!” and the boys proceed to fight in my tiny bathroom that no longer smells like the calming aroma of lavender, but now smells like a ripe mixture of bowel movements, dirt, 4-wheeler gasoline and boy-sweat.

I sharply pull the curtain back across the tub as the sounds of their bickering move back across the carpet, down the hall and down the stairs.  I reach for my empty glass of wine and sadly realize that I binge-drank it in less than 10 minutes.   My water is now luke-warm and the bubbles, almost all gone.   I sigh and get out, Sufjan singing a melancholy song, mocking me and my sad attempt to foster some kind of peace in the house.  I abruptly shut him off as the water loudly drains and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, my mud mask crumbling off and falling into the sink.

It was a moment such as this that catapulted me into this new phase of Motherhood that could be aptly named “Go Away”.  Much to my dismay, I had always envisioned myself calmly and warmly guiding my boys toward Independence.  Holding firm in my stance that they do things for themselves, trusting in their abilities.  Ushering them toward Self-Reliance with a smile and wink.

Like everything else in my life, it is unfolding in ways I had never imagined.  Sitting in front of my computer frantically typing away at notes or trying to get some kind of work done, they barge in wielding an Ice Pop and some scissors, “Can you open this please?”, obeying my strict orders not to use sharp scissors alone.

But alas, I’ve noticed that the longer I am a mother, the lower my standards sink.

“Do it yourself” I say now, my desire to not have to immediately drop what I’m doing now trumps the likelihood that they will sever a finger.  I’m just willing to take that risk.  I know scissors cannot cut through bone and we have a lifetime supply of Star Wars band-aids if they do in fact nick themselves in the process.

In the last few months, I’ve noticed myself saying the following on a daily basis:

No.

Do it yourself.  Yes you can.

Go away.

Get off me.

I’m busy.

I don’t care.

In sharp contrast to the idealistic fantasy I had of warmly shepherding my boys toward autonomy with the confidence and assurance that they needed, it more closely resembles that of a Bouncer tossing two drunken delinquents out into the dusty parking lot of a dive bar rife with Hell’s Angels motorcycles.  Why can nothing go as planned?  Why must I always envision aspects of motherhood as a Utopia when I know damn well it’s more akin to the final scene in Reservoir Dogs?

I guess no matter how my boys separate from me and arrive at the gates of self-sufficiency (whether it’s with suitcases packed and smiles upon their faces, or my foot on their behinds sending them skidding along the gravel), it doesn’t really matter, as long as they get there.

At least, that’s what I like to tell myself.

 

 

Yes, I know I’m limping. My son did it. He pulled some crazy Ninja moves on me.

So, this past weekend my older son Si went ice fishing with my husband both days, all day long.  He woke at the crack of dawn, groggily excited and came home happily exhausted.    This gave me and my Beloved Bozo some one-on-one time, which I’m always grateful for–with either of my boys.

With that being said, one-on-one time with Bozo is–well, it’s become a lesson in ninjitsu.  I love him more than I love myself, but Dear God, I am not cut out for his energy.  He is a non-stop sword-wielding Ninja, hockey playing, wrestling maniac.  Here.  I’ll give you a timeline of what Saturday and Sunday pretty much looked like for me while I go get the Icy Hot and the heating pad:

6:30am:  While standing on the arm of the couch ready to jump and hollering:  Mom!  Can I watch Ninjago!?!?!?  I need to practice being a Ninja!!!!  Then, he jumps off doing ninja moves in the air and lands at my feet.

I mumble ‘yes’, grab the remote, set him up and shuffle toward the Keurig.  I was going to give up coffee, but I think it best if I start Monday.

This is Ninjago.  Bozo's newest obsession.
This is Ninjago. Bozo’s newest obsession.

7:30:  Mom!!  Can we play Ninjas!?!?  I need to practice being a Ninja.  I’m the red Ninja and you be the Blue Ninja ok!?!?  Mom?!?!?   Mom!?!??!  Here, I’ll get the swords.

No, honey, I’m not playing Ninja.  It’s 7:30 in the morning.  I need to wake up.

8:00:  Mom, NOW are you awake!?!?  Can we play Ninjas now!?!?

No.  I’m not awake yet.

Why can't he just practice with himself!?  See, I've seen him do it before!
Why can’t he just practice with himself!? See!?  I’ve seen him do it before!

8:30:  While in the shower, trying to wake up enough to play Ninja:  Yo!  Bozo!!  Stop jumping on my bed please!!!  I said stop jumping on my bed!!!  Why are you standing on the bathroom counter!?!?

9:00:  Mom, can we play Ninja now???

Yes, we can play Ninja now.  We proceed to have a fierce Ninja fight with our light-up swords in the office, down the hall, in the living room, in the kitchen, he’s swinging as hard as he possibly can and twisting and turning and every now and then I pretend to stab him in the butt.  He’s actually pretty darn good at this whole Ninja thing, but I think I strained  a muscle somewhere. 

Okay……(panting)….okay, momma needs to rest for a minute okay???  Where’s some water???

9:40:  Mom, can you be my goalie??  Wanna play hockey and you can be the goalie??

Ummm… (how can I buy some time here)……Let me just pick up the kitchen a bit okay, it’s a mess.

10:00:  Mom, can we play hockey now??

Get off the counter, you’re going to smack one of those lights.

MOM!! CAN WE PLAY HOCKEY NOW????

Yes, we can play hockey.  We set up the small net and get our two miniature hockey sticks and a tennis ball and play a bit of hockey on the kitchen floor for a little while before I have to stop because my knees are aching from crawling and diving all over the floor and I’m tired of having to dodge his slap shots.  I think I pulled another muscle.

Okay, mom’s done for a while now.

10:30:  Mom, your doggie is trying to play with you, see (he acts like a puppy dog, pawing at my legs and barking).  Oh, hi puppy dog.  Nice puppy dog.

Mom, your doggie wants you to wrestle with him!!  This I don’t mind so much because I can basically just lay on the living room floor and he tackles me.  So, we wrestle on the living room floor with some tickling here and there too.  

11:10:  Mom, can you make me a Ninja suit because I need to practice being a Ninja!!!  I take two old pillow cases and try to make him a Ninja suit with scissors and some thread, realize what a ludicrous idea it was,  give up, and tell him I’ll buy him one later.

Wanna play Ninjas again???

Let’s go outside and ski around instead, huh?

We ski for a bit, but Bozo only wants to ski downhill and anytime he has to try to make it uphill he cries and whines that he hates skiing and takes his skis off.

12:00:  Mom, I wanna go on the ice rink instead.  So, I lace up his skates, lace up my own skates and we clear off the ice and skate around for a while more with our hockey sticks.  Then, we head back inside. 

12:45:  Mom, watch this!!!!  He jumps from the arm of the couch, slamming into the cushions making explosive noises.

Awesome Bozo.  You wanna read a book?  Pick a book and I’ll read it.

No.  I hate reading books.

Damn it.

Then, Si and daddy get home from fishing, and this happens:

Perplexed?  Wondering what exactly you're looking at?
Perplexed? Wondering what exactly you’re looking at?

This is Bubble Wrap.  From a UPS package.  They each took a sheet, laid it on the living room floor and proceeded to jump from the back of couch onto the Bubble Wrap over and over and over and over.

All.  Evening.  Long.

Are you tired yet?

As I write this, both of my boys are peacefully sleeping in their beds, gearing up for another fun-filled day of Ninjas and Bubble Wrap Popping while I reflect on my weekend with my little animals.

I’ve learned that even though, in the moment, I’m begging and praying for them to just sit and read a book or zone out in front of the t.v. so I can breathe a minute, I wouldn’t want them any other way.  My boys are healthy and energetic and happy and excited and imaginative and I’m so, so lucky that they are.  I love seeing them pretend to be Ninjas as they fly off the couch.  I love their imaginations and the fact that they think they are super heroes.  Or dogs.  Or cows.  Whatever.  They absolutely exhaust me to no end with their constant motion, but I’ll take it.

Along with some Tylenol for my headache, and Ibuprofen for my sore muscles, and some wine for my nerves, and I should really start running again and I should probably stretch first, next time they ask me to play.

I ‘m beginning to think that the amount of time I spend blogging is directly proportional to the amount of mold in my house.

Mom is coming over to watch the boys as a last-minute favor to me (What would I do without her?).  I’ve only got 45 minutes until she arrives.  How do I get the house in good-enough shape for the woman who stores bottles of bleach in every one of her rooms, vacuums daily, and whose house smells like an over-sized Country Apple candle?

Quickly.

And just the big stuff.

I’ll start with the laundry, because that is where the odor is coming from.  I’ve noticed it for the last day or so, thought it was the garbage, but realized that even after I emptied the garbage, the house still smelled like a soiled diaper that someone forgot at the bottom of the Diaper Jeanie.  I guess my scented candle “Summer’s Day” has stopped working.

The over-flowing hamper.  I don’t dare reach my hands down in there, but what choice do I have?  She’s on her way!!  The deeper I get, the stronger the smell.

That’s where my leggings were!?!?  I’ve been looking for them for a week”.

After pulling out the endless stream of inside-out, damp and cruddy clothes, I sort them and realize there is one piece left at the bottom.  But, it’s stuck.  It’s stuck to the bottom of the damn hamper.  Dear God.  I tear it from the bottom and notice that it is the shirt my older son got yogurt all over 4 days ago and that it’s stuck together:

“What the fu………Mold.   Awesome.  There is mold on my dirty laundry.   Could there be anything more indicative of a lazy and neglectful mother than finding MOLD on the dirty clothes!?!?!?”. 

Am I the only mother who has ever let the laundry go so long that I found mold????

Don’t answer that.

Whatever.  Mom doesn’t need to know this.  Here, let’s just throw the white load in the washer first and…….what the fu……why are there clothes in the washer?  And why are they dry!?!?

After sifting through the mysteriously dry and stuck together clothes in the washer, I realize that it is the load I threw in three nights ago just before the 2-hour premier episode of Downton Abbey and forgot about.  And for what???  The premier sucked anyway!!!  I’m sick to death of watching Lord Grantham pace the castle floors about the fate of his estate!!!  And I wish Lady Edith would just grow a pair already.

So now, I have to re-wash the load of colors, and wait to put in the moldy clothes later (what’s another hour anyway.  They’re moldy).

Laundry Room:  In Process.

Next, the dishes.  I stop and take a really good look at the condition of the kitchen.  Sippy cups and water bottles are strewn all over the counters, half-full of a variety of different liquids.  Why the hell are they still using sippy cups for Christs’ Sake???  I’ve got to get on that.

Plastic bowls with half-eaten granola bars and orange rinds litter the kitchen bar, dirty spoons stick to the counter, a loaf of bread is sitting there open, and there are odds and ends just scattered here and there among it all:  a stapler, some rubber bands, used gum, glitter, a screwdriver, and the newspaper which is half-soaked in orange juice.

And that doesn’t even begin to explain the sink.  It’s almost as if someone made a game out of how many dishes they could compactly shove into each side of the kitchen sink.  A veritable game of Tetris made of cutlery, plates and coffee mugs, each garnished with coffee grounds and squishy macaroni.

Just throw them in the dishwasher, I think.  But no, the dishwasher is full.  of clean dishes.  Why is the dishwasher full of clean dishes?  Because no one likes to empty it.  There is just something so insane about perpetually emptying and filling the dishwasher over and over and over.  I’d rather wash dishes by hand than empty the damn dishwasher just to load it back up again day in and day out.

So, I do what everyone does when they’re being lazy:  I take all of the dirty dishes out of the sink, and then put them back in the sink, except in a really organized way, so that it looks like I sort of did the dishes.  Plates on the bottom; then bowls on top of the plates; all of the silverware stashed in one large cup; glasses of varying sizes condensed into a four-story glass tower; etc.  I’ll wash the counters, shove everything else in the Junk Drawer and Voila!  Mom won’t even notice.

Now, it’s time to tackle those toilets.  Contrary to mine, I could literally lick my mother’s toilet bowls.  I really could.  If someone ever Triple Dog Dared me to, it would be no big deal and I’d do it in a second.  That’s how clean they are.

Not mine though.  Mine have varying colors of yellow underneath every toilet seat, behind every toilet seat and usually running down the toilet itself, dried.

When do boys learn to aim???

Am I the only mother who has ever sat down to pee, only to get the backs of her legs wet because no one else in her house can aim?

Don’t answer that.

No matter.  I’ve got only 20 minutes left and I’m still in my pajamas.  I grab some of the wipes on the back of the toilet and get to town scrubbing.  Then, I grab some clothes detergent, dump a little in the toilet and hope that the detergent, plus the toilet scrubber will get the toilet clean enough in case mom has to pee.  On the bright side, I notice that the breeze-way doesn’t smell like urine anymore.

Winning!!

By this time, the laundry that I am washing for the second time is finished and in the dryer, and the moldy and smellier load is in.  I’ll just shove the rest of the dirty clothes into the hamper and spray some Febreeze in there.  She’ll hear the washer and dryer going and think I’m so on top of your game.  I’ve only got to make sure to remember to vacuum up all of the stray raisins that are in the couch cushions and behind the recliner.

But it won’t matter.  All this work I do?  It’s child’s play in my mother’s world.  It’s all in vain.  My definition of “clean” is her definition of “disgusting”.  Because, when I get home a mere two hours later:

There are PILES of clean laundry on my kitchen counter.  Folded.  In some fancy way that I don’t know how to duplicate.

The dishwasher is empty, the sink is empty and there isn’t a dish in sight, except my mom’s glass of Ginger Ale with ice sitting next to her laptop as she plays around on Facebook.

The boys’ lunch boxes have been scrubbed inside and out and are air-drying on a towel she set on top of the stove.  I thought their Spider-Man lunch boxes were a Tawny color, but I guess they’re actually Light Blue.  And later, when I take the towel off, I realize that she scrubbed my stove.  I can see my reflection staring back at me in disbelief.

All of our beds are made; any and all dirty clothes that had been strewn all over the upstairs have disappeared and are waiting for me on the counter, folded and fresh-smelling; my kitchen floors have a smooth feel to them under my feet as opposed to the sticky and somewhat bumpy feel they had before, and she gives me some pointers on how I can keep my wash cloths from looking like each and every one of them is covered in snot stains.

I don’t know about you all, but my mom is from that “other” generation of moms.  A generation where they were……well, crazy clean.  She’s insanely efficient and organized and……just incredibly clean.  And she doesn’t clean my house because she’s disgusted by me.  She just wants to help.  And she does help.  And it feels so nice to have her helping me, even though I’m 37 years old and my laundry grows mold.

I’m lucky to have a mom who wants so much to help me out.  She’s there for me when I’m in a pickle, spoils my boys and basically cleans the shit out of my house.  And I appreciate it so much.

Even if I can’t find the colander later that evening.   Or the Peanut Butter the next morning.  Or my cutting boards.  Or figure out where she put my favorite sweater that she has hated for years and years……

Seriously, does YOUR mom put you to shame too????

If you ever find me asleep but groggily chanting ‘roll-up pants, roll-up pants, roll-up pants’, PLEASE wake me up!!!

And so there we were.  Again.

My younger son, Bozo, throwing an epic  tantrum in his car seat with all the bells and whistles, screaming, “I want to wear my roll-up pants!  I want to wear my roll-up pants!!”, thrashing, and kicking the back of my seat while I sat up front, driving 50 miles an hour completely dissociating from the entire situation.  It was my only escape.

I should have a sticker on the back of my car that asks, “How Am I Driving?” because on these mornings, I really have no idea.  However, let me back up a bit.

For about a year and a half/two years now, we have all had to endure what we like to call Bozo’s “Diva” behavior when it comes to his clothes, among other things.

He has two pairs of pants that he will wear and only two.  One pair he calls his “roll-up” pants because about 8 months ago they were too long and we had to roll them up (now they’re too short and have patches all over them).  The other pair he calls his “blue pants” because they’re a darker blue.  They too, have patches all over.  And the holes are now creeping out from under the patches on both pairs.  Here, I’ll show you:

IMG_3654
“Blue Pants” and “Roll-Up Pants”, respectively.

As a matter of fact, ALL of my boys’ jeans look like this.  Here, I’ll prove it:

I took this picture over a year ago.  Just picture about 10 more pairs to this pile since that's how many more pairs I've had to boy and patch and mend and ultimately discard.
I took this picture over a year ago. Just add about 10 more pairs to this pile since that’s how many more pairs I’ve had to buy and patch and mend and ultimately discard.

But, back to the issue at hand:

Then, Bozo has two shirts that he’ll wear (an angry bird pair and a yellow shirt) and only one pair of socks (green camo socks with a hole in the toe).  He likes those socks because they have virtually no seam at the toe, which irritates him, and because he can pull them way up high and tight.  Before he found these camo socks, I would normally have to bring down 3-4 pairs for him to try on.

So Bozo will only wear two pairs of pants, two shirts and one pair of socks and there are seven days in a week:  you do the math.  With all total combinations, this only allows him 4 different variations of the clothes in one week, which is not enough.  I can’t do laundry every single day and I can’t allow him to wear dirty clothes to school.  He already looks like a little hobo, I really don’t want him to smell on top of that, or else someone is going to call Child Services on me for neglect.  I was already paranoid about this when, about a year ago, he refused to even wear clothes to school, but would only wear his pajamas.  And they

began to look ratty and torn and get holes in the knees and he started to outgrow them and I figured any minute I was going to get a call from DCF saying I was neglecting my kid.

Which brings us to our daily morning debacle.

It all starts with the announcement, “It’s time to get dressed”.  With that, comes a barrage of whines and protests from both of my boys, but at least my older son just puts on whatever is there.

But Bozo over there!?  Oh he’s just getting warmed up.

He sees the pants I’ve laid out for him.  ” I don’t like those pants” he whines.  “I know, but your other two pants are in the wash.  They’re dirty.  You’re wearing those”.

“Noooooo…..I don’t LIKE those pants!!!  I want my roll-up pants!!!”

“I just told you they’re dirty.  You’re not wearing dirty pants to school, plus the holes have gotten bigger and I have to figure out a way to patch them again!  Now put those on RIGHT NOW” (no matter how many times I say it, I know deep down, none of this will fly).

He refuses and heads into the laundry room to find his dirty, holey roll-up pants nonetheless.   He comes back out livid and stomping.  He attempts to put on the perfectly good patch-less pants and complains and whines the whole time about how they feel and how they fit and so on and so on.  He’s on the floor kicking, saying over and over, “I want to wear my roll-up pants, I want to wear my roll-up pants”.  And then he yells at me because he didn’t want to wear his yellow shirt today, he wants to wear his angry bird shirt and I should have known that!!

By this time, the bus has arrived, so I take Si out to get on.  When I come back in, Bozo no longer has pants on.  “What are you doing???  We’ve got to go soon!!!??”.

“I don’t like that UNDERWEAR!!!” he yells at me.  “Will you go upstairs and get me some more??”.  “No!” I say, “because I have NO IDEA which ones are ‘good’ underwear and ‘bad’ underwear and no matter which ones I bring down you’re not going to like them.  Only YOU know which ones are okay, so YOU go upstairs and get them and HURRY UP!!!”.

See, now I’m pissed off.  Because I’ve got to get to work a bit early today and this morning is only getting worse.  I try to pack the car with everything else (bags, lunch boxes, my computer, etc) so that as soon as he’s dressed we can go.

He comes back downstairs, angry and fuming, but with underwear on.  I’ve got the cammo socks in my hand (thank god).  He pouts and won’t look at me as he gets his shirt on….but then decides to perform an encore of the earlier scene about the pants.

“I want to wear my roll-up pants!!!!” he starts to whine.  This is in the mud room of our house with me dressed and ready to go and him, laying on the floor surrounded by boots with only a shirt and underwear on.  Now, I’ve found myself in this situation before mind you.  And I don’t handle it the exact same way every time.  Some days I say “FINE”!! and grab his roll-up pants because I can’t take it anymore.  Some days I got great sleep and am not in a hurry and can take 5 minutes to sit with him and move through it more slowly.

This morning was neither of those mornings.  His pants were in the bottom of the hamper, shoved way down with the smelly old kitchen wash cloths and dirty underwear, so there was NO WAY I was sending him to school in them and I don’t have extra time to cater to his wardrobe issues.

So, I have to force-dress him today.  That means, putting him on my lap, getting the pants on and pulling his socks on, pulling his boots on and getting his jacket on ALL while he writhes and cries chanting, “I want to wear my roll-up pants, I want to wear my roll-up pants”.

I get him strapped into his car seat, I get myself buckled into the driver seat and we pull out of the driveway and head to school

I hate mornings like this more than anything.  And it’s actually not even because of the effing roll-up pants.  It’s because I love my little Bozo more than anything and I hate that we have to say good-bye in the mornings after having had such a horrible time together.  I hate that my little goof-ball boy who makes me laugh and is the biggest cuddle bug EVER, can throw me into such a fit of rage that I have to “check-out” just to stay sane.

And unfortunately, it’s not just his clothes.  It’s his picky eating, it’s bedtime ( he doesn’t want the sheet touching his body, he wants the soft fleece blanket touching his body, so I’ve had to strip his bed before to rearrange what order all of his bedding is in)…..

It’s a lot of things.

It’s frustrating.  It’s exhausting.  It’s enraging.  Sometimes it’s actually comical and all I can do is laugh at how ludicrous the situation is.  Sometimes, when all the planets are aligned, it’s a non-issue.  And I’ve noticed those days happening more and more as he gets older.  (not often enough, but I’ll take anything at this point).

It’s also not a lot of things.  It’s not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  It’s not Sensory Integration Disorder.  It’s not Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Our children are not diseased or disordered.  This is how children have been since the beginning of time.  They’re willful and stubborn.  They can’t control a whole lot in their lives (especially their emotions), except what they want to wear and what they want to eat.  There is nothing “wrong” with them that needs to be fixed by a psychologist or doctor.

Wouldn’t that be just so much easier for us?

Alas, this is Life.  This is Parenthood.  This is what being Almost-5 is about.  This is nothing new.  Medieval mothers in Europe dealt with the same little Pains In The Asses that we deal with today.

Merek, I begeth thee to PLEASE don thoust frock right this minute!!!!
Merek, We begeth thee to PLEASE don thoust frock right this minute!!!! “No!  I Shan’t wear it!!!”.

These are the experiences that make us a Family and Human.  Which means, that after mornings like this, you cuddle in bed together and show each other how much you love each other and what might help things go more smoothly tomorrow, and then you get up the next morning and try again.

And then someday, when he’s twenty and perfectly normal and healthy, and brings his girlfriend home from college, you take out his two pairs of pants from when he was 4-and-a-half and you tell the story of him lying sprawled out on the kitchen floor in his underwear every morning before school screaming, “I want to wear my roll-up pants”.

Aaaahhhh….sweet, sweet revenge.  Someday you’ll be mine.