Romance Isn’t Dead

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My husband and I have been together for 11 years and have managed this in spite of our four children. At the end of the day, it is all about keeping the romance alive. You have to avoid taking each other for granted and keep the home fires burning.

When my husband wants to be romantic, you think he buys me flowers or surprises me with jewelry? My husband is too romantic to waste our time and money on those tired clichés. He puts real thought into how to woo me and gets creative. One of his signature romantic overtures is to wait until I am leaning over to empty the dishwasher and to come up behind me and start humping me from behind. That makes me melt.

Another thing, he is always focused on me and my well being and health. For instance, if I tell him that my throat hurts, he doesn’t hesitate to inform me that semen will make me feel better and to offer me a dose of the cure. NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Or if I complain about being fatigued, he immediately concerns himself with my protein intake and, again, doesn’t hesitate to offer the opportunity to get my “protein injection”. He is nothing if not a giver.

Our fourth child just turned one month old and he is always checking on me from work. Just the other day he sent me this text:

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Seriously, I love that man. People don’t get our senses of humor most of the time but it is what makes me love him so much. He cracks me up. Making me laugh is the best romantic gesture he can make. Okay, aside from that wedding band upgrade I have been bringing up for the past year, making me laugh is the second best gesture.

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You’re Barking Up the Wrong Tree

If you have come here expecting to be regaled with tales of perfect children being raised by perfect parents, you are in the wrong classroom. If you have come here thinking I am going to share parenting tales that will make you feel like you are being sprinkled with skittles and unicorn piss, you took a wrong turn. I am a mother of, as of recently, four. I am a stay at home mother. Let me state, I am a stay at home parent by choice. For the record, since so many fail to comprehend satire or sarcasm, I adore the fuck out of my children. The fact that I am afforded the OPTION to be a stay at home parent is not lost on me. With that said, if you expect me to blow sunshine up your skirt and feign that every fucking second is the best minute of my life, you are going to be disappointed. Suck it.

Number One is a huge help but she is too close to being a teenager for my comfort and her attitude is a reflection of the upcoming teen years, much to my chagrin. Talking to Number Two is like talking to toast. Number Three is full blast into the terrible twos and proving that the worst is yet to come, since his response to every request is, “why” or “no”. Number Four is a boobaholic. He is tiny but, DAMN, this little boy spends more time at the tit than all my other children combined.

When you are sleeping in two hour increments, you can tell me not to bitch. When you combine that sleep deprivation with multiple children, you can preach to me about my voicing my exhaustion , much less drawing any humor from all of it.

Take a fucking joke. If you say that full time parenting is a breeze or that stay at home parents should shut up and color: get bent. If you spent any significant time with your children you would realize that parenting is not absent of frustration and, dare I say it, fucking boredom. I love my kids but day after day of Super Why and Caillou could break Ghandi. When you spend the majority of your day refereeing arguments over the last juice box or who gets to pick the next movie or who’s turn it is to play Angry Birds, let’s talk. Until then, your opinion is a “moo” point. It’s like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s moo. (-Joey Tribbianni)

If a Man Is Standing In the Forest and No One Is There To Hear Him, Is He Still Wrong?

You know those people that will be telling you a story about people  you have never and will never meet but, for some reason, they feel compelled to derail from the point of their story to fill you in on the entire life story of every total stranger that has a supporting role in their story?  That person is my husband.

Last week, my husband came home from watching a football game and was excited to inform me that he had won a little cash on the game.  I was completely satisfied with that amount of information.  It was good news, no more details necessary.  So, I have no idea why my husband deemed it necessary to elaborate any further but he did.  He went on to begin explaining the details of the bet and why he won–some crap about “the spread”.  You would think my blank stare would suffice in making him realize he was talking to the wrong person but NO.  He just kept on about some play and some player that almost cost him the money and more crap about the spread.  Finally, I stopped him and reminded him that I don’t follow football and I had no idea what he was talking about but, hey, YEAH to winning money.  You would think the man didn’t know me at all or had not spent the last 11 years with me because he  began explaining these details and concepts to me.  Pan to me, wearing the same blank stare.  I stopped him again and told him that not only did I not know what he was talking about with all this football crap but, furthermore, I didn’t care.  Not even a teeny, tiny bit.  He looked at me, a bit stunned and then began trying to break it down even further.  When I stopped him, AGAIN (Seriously–11 years), I reiterated that I didn’t understand all the rules, details and jargon because I don’t care to understand any of it, not because it has never been effectively explained to me.  I told him it would be similar to me explaining to him why some of my shoes could be worn with jeans or a dress and others were not so versatile.  My point was made and we both moved on.  I give it one month before we have the exact same conversation because, believe it or not, this conversation has taken place countless times.  The details may change but the story is all the same.

The hubs is a crane operator and will often try to tell me stories about the job.  I try sooooo hard to feign interest.  I do.  It just never fails, though, that he will get sidetracked from telling the story to explain to me the logistics of some piece of machinery or the inner workings of some generator and I just can’t keep up the charade. 

I don’t know how a generator works or why X,Y,Z would cause it to malfunction or explode.  More importantly, though, I DON’T CARE!  Bless his heart, though, he thinks I do.  Well, at least until I tell him that I don’t.  I think I am going to start explaining to him why I put my make up on in the order that I do.

He is lucky I love him.  Most of the time.

 

The Hospital Gave Me the Wrong Baby

The jig is up, baby.  You managed to fool me for a couple of weeks but did you really think you could carry on this charade forever?  Sure, you are tiny and adorable but you had to know that wouldn’t be enough forever.  You had to know I would eventually see past your adorableness.

Number Four-Don't let that angel face fool you. He is a finely trained torture specialist, specializing in sleep deprivation methods.

I started piecing it together a couple of nights ago.  Up until then, you were sleeping 2.5-3 hours in a stretch at night.  I could live with that.  I even began considering giving you the official title of “my easiest baby”.  Well, that all changed a few nights ago.  Your cover is blown.  Now you are sleeping in one hour intervals, if I am lucky.  The first night, I chalked it up to just a fluke–a bad night.  Last night–night three–I came to terms with the truth that the hospital had OBVIOUSLY given me the wrong baby.  See, I love sleep.  I don’t just mean that I love sleep, as in I enjoy sleeping.  I mean, if sleep was something tangible, I would take it out to a nice dinner, buy it gifts, marry it and have sex with it 3-5 times a day for hours and hours on end.  So, I just know that if the hospital had given me the right baby, he would love sleep as much as I do.  I mean, that is just basic genetics.  I read somewhere that the sleep gene comes from the mother but don’t go look for that study because it was a super secret study and you have to know important people to get to see it.  They could kill me just for mentioning it.

Impostor Number Four keeps me up all. night. long.  He nurses and nurses and then he pretends to be asleep.  I lay him down and he waits until I lay down and get comfortable and then the moment after I close my eyes, he starts crying.  Sometimes, he even lets me get to sleep.  He will let me sleep for 30 minutes, sometimes up to an hour and then he starts wailing.  I feel and look like a zombie.  Then, just to add insult to injury, he sleeps for hours at a time during the day, knowing all I can do is watch.  His cruelty knows no bounds.  If he could laugh at me, he would and one day, he will.

I know what you are thinking.  Why don’t you report this to the authorities.  I should, I know.   I obviously have Stockholm Syndrome.  Whoever put him up to this trained him well.

Stand Up to Bullying—Or Just Stand There and Do Nothing

I had received the letter about a month ago from the school, informing me that “Stand up to Bullying” day was approaching and as a show of solidarity in the anti-bully message, the students were all to wear pink shirts.  The order form for the screen printed pink shirts was attached or students could wear their own pink shirts.  Fine.  No problem.  As the day approached, Number Two was getting very excited and informed me that he needed a pink shirt for “No Bullies” day.  I went to the store and found a simple pink shirt for him to wear and he loved it and couldn’t wait to put it on the next day.  He woke up the following morning and dressed himself in his jeans and new pink shirt and proudly headed into the school.  That afternoon, a different little boy walked into my home.  He looked deflated, defeated–just the exact opposite of the way he had left for school.  He came into the house, climbed into my lap and said to me, “all the kids laughed at me today”.

“Why”, I asked.

“They all laughed at me and teased me because I was wearing a pink shirt.”

He went on to tell me that the teacher did nothing.  My five-year old son went to school, on “Stand Up to Bullying” day, wearing the pink colored shirt that was designated for this day and was, ironically, bullied throughout the day and not a damn thing was done.  What would have been a perfect opportunity to have a dialogue about the day’s message, was dismissed and not even my son’s teacher stood up for him on “Stand Up to Bullying” day.

See, Number Two has always loved the color pink.  He has never seen it as  a “girl’s” color.  I mean, why would I tell him he can’t like a certain color because he lacks a vagina?  That is just stupid.  Psychologically, pink is a very soothing and calming color.  Number Two has a genetic disease (X-Linked Juvenile Retinoschisis) and, as a result, he is legally blind and could potentially go completely blind at any time.  If he wanted his entire room painted and draped in  pink, you can bet your ass I would oblige him.  My point is, he still doesn’t understand WHY he was teased about the shirt because he doesn’t realize that it is viewed as a “girl’s” color.

How the hell are we supposed to help our children learn to avoid being bullies or becoming bullies if the adults in charge of the main battleground aren’t participating?  I was impressed when I received the letter explaining “Stand Up to Bullying” day and proud that my children’s’ school was really taking a proactive stance.  As it turns out, though, it was just a chance sell some t-shirts.

Tell Me About the Babies, George

Twelve days ago, Number Four arrived into the world.  He was four weeks early but no worse for the wear, at a whopping 6lbs 6oz and 19 inches.  My precious, screeching little larva and I spent four days, alone, safe in our hospital room.  Then the day came that I had to bring him home and introduce him to THE OTHERS.

This past week with him home has been a bit overwhelming, to say the least.  Number One finally resigned herself to the fact that she has another brother and her help is still the main reason I have managed to stay sane.  Number Two is completely enamored with his new baby brother.  He says “I hope our baby stays little forever” and he wants to hold him as much as possible.  He is both fascinated and puzzled by breastfeeding.  Although I breastfed his little brother for close to two years, I guess he was too young to fully comprehend what I was doing but I digress.  Several times a day, he asks or makes observations about breastfeeding.
“I don’t know how that milk gets in your boobs!”

“How did you make milk in your boobs?”

He always makes it a point to specify that the milk is in my “boobs”.  Whenever Number Four makes any hint of a whimper, he is the first to inform everyone in the room that the baby wants to drink my milk.

That brings us to Number Three.  I was actually worried about what kind of reception he would give the newest addition that would be replacing him as “the baby”.  Considering that he has practically been attached to my hip since he was born, I didn’t think he would be very accepting of this newcomer monopolizing my attention.  Much to my surprise, he is completely infatuated with his tiny sibling.  My concern has since changed to protecting Number Four from Number Three’s shows of affection.  He demands “gimme baby”, with hands outstretched.  The main problem with fulfilling this request is that his desire to hold the baby, coupled with his less than gentle handling techniques, can only be matched by Lenny’s affinity for the rabbits.  Number Three is, as well, confused by breastfeeding.  He thinks the baby is biting me.  He pats me and asks if I’m alright, then softly scolds his brother for biting and tries telling him, repeatedly, to stop.  He gives up after a few seconds and goes after whatever shiny thing has caught his eye elsewhere in the room.

So far, so good.  Four children has been an adjustment but it has definitely not been as scary as I had envisioned all these months.  I am not letting my guard down just yet, though.