20 things I’ve learned since becoming a mom

  1. Sleep is not necessary. Even when they sleep through the night I will wake up covered in sweat because it’s 4 am and both of my kids are still in their own beds and clearly something terrible has happened and I need to go check up on them!!!
  2. Everyone will judge you. Especially when they see you feeding them “organic” gummy bears for snack.  I’ve learned to roll my eyes and turn away. Relax, Judgy McJudgerson, I do not give them organic gummy bears for snack…they’re too expensive. I get the generic brand.
  3. Watching Disney Channel without the kids is nothing to be embarrassed about. Neither is wanting to meet all the actors.
  4. I  REALLY appreciate the quiet moments. Any quiet moment. Like, REALLY appreciate. Even if it’s only a couple of minutes of golden silence.
  5. #4 is a lie. There are no quiet moments.
  6. I no longer feel pain. My boobs are immune to little punches and headbutts. My ribs no longer feel the pain of little feet kicking in the middle of the night. Stepping on Legos doesn’t even hurt anymore. Ha!
  7. OMG! Totes Amazeballs! DUH!!! I. Can’t. Even!! BF4L! So totally cool!!!! Adorbz!!! Awesome Sauce!!!
  8. Going to work is actually relaxing. Mondays are a bliss.
  9. Little secrets are the best. Even if you end up with an earful of spit.
  10. Therapy is overrated. I bury my face in a pillow and scream.
  11. Homemade birthday cards and cakes frosted by little hands beats any other gift.
  12. I stopped being a cool mom the minute they turned 5.
  13. They love to prance around wearing all of my makeup. They usually end up ruining the makeup and that’s OK because they have already ruined the rest of my stuff including my youth so what gives if they shatter a case of eye shadow or two or use my mascara to draw because they are not allowed to use sharpies…
  14. Breakfast for dinner is ok. Chinese for dinner the next day is ok too ;)
  15. There is not enough coffee in the world and Starbucks is my mothership.
  16. “Can I have just ONE piece of candy?” is usually followed by, “Can I have just ANOTHER piece of candy?” is usually followed by, “I have a TERRIBLE tummy ache and I want to throw up.”
  17. Movie night is holy. Amen.
  18. Doing homework is not and paper mache can go to hell.
  19. Relaxing weekends are non-existent. Unless I trick my husband and tell him I have a gazillion errands to run so he must stay with the kids all day but I secretly go get a massage and a pedicure and a manicure and maybe stop by the mall to do a little shopping. Then yes, some weekends are relaxing.
  20. I don’t have a #20 but it seemed like a good number for the title. Sorry, I’m tired, I have laundry to do. Coffee.

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    The end.

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my daughter pinocchio

I’ve realized that my 4-year-old daughter will either be the greatest story-teller ever or the next Pinocchio, because this child of mine sure can lie.

The other day I walked into their room and couldn’t even get pass the mountain of toys that was blocking my way. There was so much stuff lying around, I needed a GPS just to get to their closet. So I asked them to clean it up. After about 20 minutes of nagging and trying to convince me that they had better things to do like staple papers together, my patience was running its limit, so I did the next best thing and offered them money.

My favorite one that day oldest one, being the smart cookie that she is, took the money and started cleaning up.  The youngest one, well, she had a very reasonable explanation about why she shouldn’t clean up.

“I shouldn’t be the one cleaning the room because I didn’t make that mess!”

“You didn’t make the mess? Really? So if it wasn’t you, who did it?”

“Ok, I’ll tell you, this is what happened, for real. You see, last night when the whole house was sleeping a black tornado came in the house and picked up all the toys and just THREW THEM ALL OVER THE PLACE! It made such a mess mami, but that’s why the room is so messy.” 

“A tornado came in the house and only messed up your room?”

“Yeah, I don’t think tornadoes like toys.”

” Tornadoes are very loud, how come I didn’t wake up?”

“It was a black tornado for real. FOR. REAL!!! You see, I tried to wake you and papi and Antonella up, but everyone was sleeping really hard, sooooo I went outside and took the broom and pushed the tornado out the window!”

Let me just add that her face was dead serious. Not one smile.

“Did you really do that? You must be very strong because tornadoes are very powerful.”

“I am strong because I eat ALL my veggies.”

No she doesn’t. Not even one.

“So who’s going to help your sister clean the toys?”

“I don’t know…” She turns and walks away, stops, turns around, hand on hip and says, “…AND YOU ARE WELCOME!”

***

One day, I saw that her shirt had a big cut on the front. I knew it had been her because I’d already caught her trying to cut her hair. So I asked what happened to her shirt and this was her incredibly, believable explanation:

“It was Hello Kitty, she cut my shirt.”

“Hello Kitty? As in the doll?

“Oh no mami, don’t be silly! Dolls can’t move! My FRIEND Hello Kitty! Duh!”  Insert eye roll.

“You have a friend named Hello Kitty? Really?”

She does not. Obviously. What kind of parents would name their kid Hello Kitty?

“Yeah. FOR. REAL!!! You’ve never seen her before, but she’s not my imaginary friend. You’ve just never seen her. And she totally cut my shirt.”

As she walks away with the scissors still in her hand.

***

 At dinner:

“Itala, please eat all your food.” 

“I really can’t mami.”

“Why can’t you eat your fish?”

“Because it didn’t qualify.”

“It didn’t qualify? Qualify for what?”

“It didn’t qualify to be eaten today, so I really can’t.”

 

I can’t make this stuff up.

Pinocchio-Girl--31433

ay ay ay

 

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I’m just not ready

My youngest princess-ninja just turned 4 and I was not ready for it. Just the other day I was changing her diapers and today she’s asking me for privacy every time she needs to go potty.

I’m not ready to send her off to kindergarten, even though that’s 1 year away, but in mommy time it’s really 5 minutes.

I’m not ready for her to stop wanting to sleep in our bed, even though she has made a permanent dent on my ribs.

I’m not ready for her to stop playing Barbies and babies, even though I get on her nerves every time we play because I just can’t get their voices and accents right (obviously, they all come from different islands, each with their own exotic accent, and it’s not enough for her that I already speak with one).

I’m not ready for her to start being more independent, even though I try to teach her to be and secretly love that she won’t leave my side even when I’m in the bathroom.

I’m not ready for her to give up her tantrums, even though it makes the vein in my forehead want to pop, because I know that all she wants is my attention.

I’m not ready for her to start talking like a big kid, even though sometimes I don’t understand half of what she says, mainly because I don’t know if she’s speaking english, spanish or spanglish, but I’m pretty sure she makes up her own words most of the time.

So I sat down with her and tried to reach some sort of agreement.

I tried to convince her to stop growing so fast, because sooner rather than later she’ll be as tall as me and is going to take my clothes without my permission, but I’m really just not ready to stop shopping at The Children’s Place. And her response was:

“Well, then stop feeding me veggies and give me more candy.”

I asked her nicely to never, ever stop talking like a baby because it’s just so damn cute. And her response was:

“Can I PLEASE then stop going to school?”

I politely asked her if it was ok for us to pretend she was turning 2 instead of 4. And her response was:

“Don’t worry mami, I’ll still love you even when I’m 4. I’ll even love you when I turn 148.”

I tried to persuade her into choosing the nearest college so that she would never have to leave the house. I even went as low as telling her that I don’t ever go anywhere without her, so she should never go anywhere without me. And her response was:

“The reason you don’t go anywhere without me is because you have no social life.”

Ok, so I made the last one up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she does say that when she understands what having a social life means.

Clearly, I was getting nowhere with this kid. So I did what every other mom in my predicament would do. I got pregnant. No, not really, I just went out and bought her a toy baby, because that’s what babies play with.

Isn't she a beauty?

Isn’t she a beauty?

 

 

 

on the market for some nerves of steel

You know when you don’t want a certain day to arrive and it comes by so quickly that you kind of miss all the days in between? That’s what happened last summer. Not because I was enjoying it so much, but because Antonella was starting kindergarten. I basically spent the whole summer preparing myself for this day. And by preparing I mean obsessing and worrying. I think I cried one day while almost squeezing her to death. She thought I was crazy and offered me some water.

kindergarten

Pre-K was heaven for me, not so much for my bank account, but for my mental health. That small building was like a little protective bubble where I would drop her off every morning and pick her up in the afternoons.  It was a peanut-free school with only 5 classrooms and an army of teachers. Everyone knew which parent belonged to which child, no need for name tags.  So when I was registering her last spring, I obviously brought with me a never-ending list of questions.  After a meeting that went way past its 30 minute limit, the registration lady told me: “Don’t worry, they either sink or swim. And trust me, most of them will swim.” That didn’t help at all.

mothers

So before setting my child free in the maze-like hallways of elementary school, I sat and explained to her all the different scenarios she might bump into and the best ways to handle them. Basic things like don’t share snacks and here’s a Life Alert button just in case you fall down from the monkey bars ;)

Too much?bubblewrap

The bus ride back from school was her favorite part. She felt like a grown-up, riding solo in that bus with basically no adult supervision. Kindergarteners got assigned seats up in front. Antonella got to sit with her best friend and another little girl.  Everything was rainbows and unicorns in kindergarten land until last month.  She started coming home complaining that this other little girl kept bothering her on the bus.  We wanted her to try to solve her own problems, so we stayed out of it, just advising her to ask this girl to leave her alone and if worse came to worse, to tell the bus driver (there’s so much the driver can do, after all, I’d rather she keeps her eyes on the road).  But fumes slowly started coming out of my ears when she came home crying TWICE, because little Ms. Brat couldn’t keep her hands to herself. Not only was she verbally bothering my child, but she had started using her lunchbox and whatever she had handy to, and I don’t even want to say it,  hit my daughter on her head.

Me, sans the red moustache. 

steam

So what do I do? Instead of confronting the other girl’s parents (because I am still hoping there is no malice behind this), I take ten deep breaths and  send a handwritten note to my daughter’s teacher asking her to change her bus seat. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because for some reason, they still want to play together during recess. It’s like she’s Mr. Jekyll at recess and  Mr. Hyde on the bus.  I don’t get this child really. But they do seem to care for each other, weird.   Turns out, the school made a big deal out of it. They called this little girl’s parents, the bus driver blurred out my daughter’s name to them and all hell broke loose.  To quote the little girl “Antonella, I’m sorry, but my mommy won’t let me play with you anymore”. Yeah, like my child is the one with the problem.  These girls are just 6 years old. Is this bullying or just teasing? I don’t get this, they’re just 6.  It still baffles me that little girls can be so mean this early on.  I need to pop my bubble and get myself some nerves of steel.  This s&!%t is heartbreaking!

By the way, Antonella was over this from the moment I sent that note. Me? I’m still lingering over it.

This is my heart. My child is obviously much stronger than me. 

heart