Mother's Day generally fills me with vast amounts of insecurity, inadequacy, and general rage, but this year I vowed to make it different. I've been complaining way too much lately, and I need to start finding the humor in things again. So here's what Mother's Day looks like in my house this year.
6:15 a.m.- My bladder woke me up, as is the routine of late. It's a horribly inconvenient time, so I've vowed to drink more water at bedtime, so I can be woken up while there's still time to go back to bed. Today, though, I could not fall back asleep.
7:15 - Heard Zack wake up, so I went downstairs, hoping my presence alone would be a deterrent to Zack and Noah fighting. Successful, for now.
7:30 - Zack gives me my Mother's Day present - a card with a handprint and a pack of gum wrapped in paper to look like a purse. It's really a Mother's Day present from his uber-crafty preschool teacher, but it's the thought that counts.
7:33 - Zack takes the gum back. He decides that since he made it, it was his. I tried to explain that he gave it as a gift and now it's mine, but I feel petty. I capitulate and wish him a happy Mother's Day, and he corrects me: "No, it's Kid's Day." Isn't it always.
8:00 - Noah throws his weekly Sunday morning tantrum over taking a shower, which he does willingly every other day of the week. I hate to admit that I'm a little scared of the tantrums, so when he declares that he's not taking a shower (with the kind of vehemence reserved for evil dictators) I let it go. This is classic Bad Parenting. But I really hate listening to the screaming, rage-filled tirades over something so mundane as personal hygiene, and is it wrong to hope that my day can be tirade-free?
9:00-12:00 - Church. The sacrament talks were guilt-free, which is a treat on Mother's Day in particular, when the trotting out of every saintly mother as our exemplars makes me feel so inadequate that I can barely put it into words. I know even the saintly mothers must have been imperfect, had their bad days, but you don't hear about it as much as the rest of it. Heck, even Mary lost Jesus in Jerusalem and had to go back and find him, am I so much worse? (Of course, she found her wayward son teaching in the temple, and I'd find my kid in a 7-11.)
Zack made a lot of friends in Primary because he snuck his/my pack of Mother's Day gum into church. Apparently they made up a Gum Club that is going to meet tomorrow, and Zack is going to provide the gum. Frankly, this gum has made him much happier than it could ever have made me, so I wish him well. I also wish he'd keep his gum in his mouth, because he is making a mess of it on the seat belt.
12:00-2:00 - Typical Sunday afternoon, by which I mean: tantrums, lunch, crying, cleaning up, reading the paper(s), watching VeggieTales, etc.
2:00-5:00 - A magical thing happens - Darcey goes down for a nap, and all of the boys find something to do on their own. Brad is making a comic book, Noah is reading in the craft room, and Zack is popping the arms off of Lego guys, most of which actually belong to him. The house is peaceful and I realize this is my big opportunity - I Take A Nap. This never, ever happens. Okay, it happens like 4 times a year, but inevitably someone calls or the kids start fighting and there is nothing worse than almost taking a nap. So I do it. I take a 2-hour nap, smack in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. I loved the Barnes & Noble giftcard Ryan gave me, but THIS is a Mother's Day gift like no other.
5:00-6:00 - I wake up to the smell of dinner cooking - it's frozen pizza, but hey, I didn't have to cook so no complaints here. The kids liked it, too, and for dessert I made chocolate fondue with strawberries, pretzels, and marshmallows to dip. Super yum.
7:00 - Everyone starts to lose it again after dinner, and several of us are feeling slightly sick from so much chocolate. The cure for a family tired of all the togetherness? A 30-minute car ride! Especially one where people have to share things and pass stuff to each other and listen to the same music and basically interact like human beings. I am waiting for a minivan to be invented where each seat is its own isolated pod, with its own music and temperature controls and no one can possibly kick the pod in front of him or accidentally drop something into the next pod's space, causing that child to have to retrieve it. I picture the tubes like they have at the drive-thru banks, and we can send snacks and messages and to them, and they can send their trash back to me (because that's what moms do, even in the future.) Pods, now, that's a great idea.
7:30-8:00 - We visit Ryan's grandparents in Alpine. His grandpa is 91 and pretty miserable. He has some kind of bowel issue which he is not at all reticent to discuss, and he has a lousy short term memory, so if he decides to talk about his bowels he will do it over and over and over in the course of our visit. He loves seeing Darcey, though - watching her bounce around their little house makes him just light up. Ryan's grandma has some dementia problems, but was completely lucid today, which is good. Grandma, Ryan, Zack, Noah, and Darcey take a walk around the neighborhood, and I listen to Grandpa talk. Brad watches Extreme Makeover Home Edition with the sound muted and the closed captioning on, because this is Grandpa's favorite show and he can't hear. Zack likes Grandma the best because every single time we come she offers the kids ice cream.
8:45 - We're home late and get the younger two off to bed, then we straighten the house and read scriptures with the older two. We've started using a study guide called "Scripture Study for Latter-Day Saint Families" and it is amazing what a difference it makes! It asks questions, gives quotes and other insight so that while we read we can stop and make sure the kids are getting what they are reading. Highly recommended.
9:30 - I was supposed to put the kids to bed at 9:15 but I forgot. Again. So I hustle them downstairs and we pray together and then have a group hug. I do this so I can get Brad and Noah touching, then I wiggle out of it but physically keep them hugging, and voila! Instant brotherly bonding! Granted, they aren't too pleased about hugging their brother even unintentionally but I tell them this was proof that we love each other and that this hug was the best Mother's Day present ever. I recognize that forced hugs aren't the same as genuine hugs, but I like being slightly goofy at bedtime. I'm hoping that if the last thing they see from me is me being Fun Mom instead of Angry Mom or Grouchy Mom or Nagging Mom, then they'll forget the alter egos and only remember Fun Mom. It's worth a shot.
10:00 - Ryan's clipping my coupons and I'm typing my blog. He asked me if I had a good Mother's Day and I think I did. If you took the presents out of it and just called this a Sunday, it was a pretty good Sunday too.