The tree is up; I turn to both kiddies and say "No touching the Christmas tree. Understand." Addison answers, "Yes, we understand." But do they really? After all Jackson is only one. A very curious one.
They seemed to be doing somewhat well with the concept. I did have to tell Jackson "no" a few times. As expected. How much does a one year old really understand...
Obviously not much...
I guess the Pug didn't get Jackson's pancakes after all.
Not quite sure which one is responsible for these...assuming Jackson since finding the random decorations I have been keeping a watchful eye on him and have witnessed him trying to shove all sorts of toys, paper, food and beverages into the tree.
Though rewarding, being a stay-at-home mom isn’t easy. In fact, I was surprised to find it’s the hardest job I have ever had. Most days are spent without a single adult conversation, quieting my child’s screams at home or in the store, wiping poopy butts, making bottles, making five different things for breakfast and lunch, disciplining, splitting up battles, getting toddlers to nap (at the same time), doing laundry, hauling a double stroller while entertaining two toddlers and walking three dogs, cleaning house and planning nightly meals often leave me wondering, “Is this really worth it?” The “I’m just a mom” syndrome attacks routinely, suggesting the world is moving on without me while I watch Yo Gabba, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the Wiggles with my 3 & 1-year-olds for the one millionth time.
Like anyone, I have good days and bad days. Admittedly, even a bad day at home is better than the worse day at an outside job. But I often find myself answering most how do you do it questions with “Well, I am just a mom.”
On a really good day, Addison and Jackson are cooperative, playful, hungry at food time and actually eat what I make, sleepy at nap time, the housework gets done, I find a bit of time to write a blog post and most importantly, to enjoy one-on-one time with the kiddies.
Most typical days for this stay-at-home mom go like this:
Wake up when Jackson wakes up (between 5:30-6:30am), change him, get him a bottle. Rub open my eyes and luckily if he is not screaming I can find time to pee. Addison is usually just waking up (7am-ish). Make Addison juice and get her on the potty. Make them breakfast. Jackson throws it overboard. Make him something new to eat. Pour a cup of coffee and pray I can get at least 2-3 cups in me. Clean up Jackson. Clean up his highchair. Clean up the floor. Clean up after breakfast while the kiddies are watching The Cat in the Hat. Start the laundry. Play with Addison and Jackson. Get them down for a nap. Clean up any bottles. Check email. Start writing a post. Until they wake for lunch. Prepare food, let them eat, clean up Jackson, clean up his highchair, clean up the floor. Change them into daytime clothes. Take the dogs for a walk. Stop a pint sized meltdown. Call the hubby and hound him about when he is coming home. Dinner...bath time...bed time. I sit down on the sofa.
Now during this constant activity I am often rewarded with dancing, talking, laughing, playing, hugs and kisses. Addison even helps take the laundry out of the dryer (while leaving a trail behind her) and once folded Jackson likes to throw the clothes on the floor. They both really enjoy helping.
My life, as a stay at home mom, is not glamorous or relaxing but I do get paid with "I luv yous", hugs and kisses that just melt my heart.
I think friends are shocked by how easily I slipped into this life. Hell, I'm more shocked than they are (especially by my hygiene issues).
And p.s. hubby it is so not hot to ask how many days it has been since I have showered… that will not get me moving. Because by this point, I have had all I can stand of other humans hanging off me. So sorry. No shower tonight. Rain check please…
“Mommy, I’m going to time out!” I turned to look at Addison, whose juice cup spilled all over and under the sofa and side table. She looked back at me defiantly. “I made a big mess,” gesturing toward her juice cup that was now laying on the floor (while Jackson happily splashed in the puddle). “I am going to time out,” she reiterated. “You…you can’t have a time out,” I stammered “it’s MY job to say when you get a time out – you don’t get to tell ME when you are having one. (By this point Addison already placed herself on the time-out mat (which is really the dog bed), along with her dinosaur and Jackson (who follows behind her every move and I am sure he had a part, other than splashing, in the spilled juice). “Addison, you are not getting a time-out. We need to go wash your hands, rinse off Jackson and you are going to help mommy clean up this mess.” As I am holding Jackson and she is following along to the sink she begins screaming “I want my time-out, I spilled my juice.” I tried to explain the mess was an accident and she did not deserve a time out for an accident-“we all have them“. Well, this made matters worse and she was now in a full fledged meltdown.
I thoughtfully considered what the hell just happened? The spilled juice, the request and her attempt for punishment, my response to her bold demand, all orchestrated by a barely thigh-high child who thinks a snowman is called a “nu-sa.” Meanwhile, I am cursing myself for giving into a three year old by allowing her juice in a cup with a crazy straw rather than giving her a sippy cup. This was my fault; I knew what was going to happen the moment I handed her the juice. Did I really think she was going to listen when I told her “Addison be careful and do not take it to the sofa.”? Why did I give into her request for the lady bug cup? Was it because she was so sick and finally feeling herself or because I wanted to be a “good mommy”? But I am certainly not going to give in to her demand for a time-out. What kind of push over does she think I am?
She is a firecracker. I get it; she is three. She is trying to find her way and establish a sense of self. I like that she’s trying to run circles around me; the key is to not let her know when she has succeeded, or let her see my slight smile of "you-go-girl"approval as I turn away from yet another Addison mini-meltdown.