Wednesday, May 30, 2012

eating out

I love to eat out. Someone else cooks, serves and cleans up.  Bliss, right? Not always, when you have three kids.

Ordering is easy because the twins eat macaroni and cheese and french fries or pancakes and bacon.  And that's about it. Oh, and bananas. And barbeque sauce. On everything. Lack of barbeque sauce equals trauma and actual tears. Bring the barbeque sauce.
Their little sister eats almost anything, so that's easy too.  If you are dining with us, you have approximately 41 seconds to scan your menu and decide what you want because we WILL be placing our order as soon as we see our server. None of that "let me take your drink order and I'll be right back". Nope, be ready people. Ordering is easy, let's not complicate matters when they will surely complicate themselves soon enough.

What's not easy is the wait for the food.
Most of the time, I spend the first 15 minutes doing word searches and refereeing arguments about whose blue crayon it is. And speaking of crayons, they should all be triangular because I am so tired of picking them up off the floor under the table. But my kids aren't. They love to get under the table...and not come back out. And when I finally coax them out, one will inevitably bang his or her head climbing back into the seat. And then yell really loudly. Like we haven't been through this 72 times before and didn't see it coming.

Sometimes they offer to bring the kids' food out as soon as it is ready, which seems like a fabulous idea until you realize that your children, who were STARVING, have eaten 3 bites and are now "all done" and you just got your food. 
Oh wait, what's that? My food just came, and it's hot, so someone has to go to the bathroom? Of course you do! Oh, and you want to go with us, because you're "all done" eating and now you're bored? Oh, and you want to go too, because the other two are going?  Well, ok we go.  Field trip.

And have you noticed that it is impossible to be little and not touch the toilet? I mean physically impossible, because the toilet is as big as the munchkins are.  And it is FUN to flush the potty, even though it is loud. So loud, in fact, that a little person must immediately cover his or her ears with the hands that were just all over the toilet. 

Wash wash wash, and back to the table.  On the way, at least one little one will yell across the dining room "Daddy, I pooped/peed in the potty".  Some patrons will laugh, some will be horrified.  It is what it is, people.  Kids pee and poop a lot, and they do it in public restrooms, and they are proud.

The food is lukewarm at best, and the kids are already bored.  This is when I order the scoops of ice cream or pudding.  It usually comes out pretty quickly, but not quickly enough to avert at least one child dancing beside the table, one asking for my phone, and one dunking his or her hand into my drink and announcing "I want the ice".

I'm a quick eater. Always have been, and I learned to eat at warp speed having twin babies. When the third came along, I could practically inhale anything without even chewing.  But my husband still tries to leisurely eat and enjoy his dinner. He even orders all you can eat dinners sometimes, like we have time for that. Just eat damnit, don't make a production of it.

The next time the server glides by, warily eyeing our table, I go ahead and ask for boxes and the check. Because at this point we need outta there, now. All three are either dancing around the table, or having a secret meeting in their clubhouse under the blasted table again. Probably trying to feed each other food off the floor, and cracking up.

We wrangle them all towards the door, and on the way we get looks which range from "awwwww" to "thanks for ruining my meal, chumps".

Load everyone up and head home. One will ask for nuggets when we pass a McDonalds.

Get home and stick leftovers in the fridge. Stand up and turn around to find a little face looking up at me. "Mommy, I'm hungry".


    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Reasons I will never home school my Children

    I have a few friends who home school.  It's not a debate to me. I don't care if you choose public, private or home school, as long as it is what is best for that individual child. It is a choice for parents to make, and really no one else's business. I don't care if you breastfeed or bottlefeed, I don't care if you co-sleep or sleep-train. (Although I have kids hanging on me all day, I sure as hell don't want them in my bed all night. But that's me.)  I don't care if you potty train at 18 months or 3 and 1/2. As long you are doing what is right for your babies, I think you are a good mom. But I will never home school my youngins..and here is why.

    - I have been through school already.  Couldn't wait to finish. Why would I want to go through it again?

    - I have ADHD. No, seriously I do, and the thought of having to stay on task and keep multiple others on task while reviewing mundane things is too stressful for me. Yes, I have taught my kids to count, and their letters and phonics and colors and shapes, etc. But I mean an entire day of teaching kids about necessary things in a structured manner for 12 years..., wait, what was I talking about....?  Look at that hummingbird..did you know they are carnivorous?  That means they eat a T-Rex...

    SEE! My children can not be expected to learn by following my stream of consciousness thought patterns...

    Plus, my ADHD makes it impossible to even keep my closet organized. Forget about a year's worth of school supplies, books, movies. Right now the box that holds my kids crayons also contains hairbows, a broken pair of sunglasses and a thermometer. It's ok, there's a method to my madness and I can always find everything, but my children's education should not depend on it.

    - I hate math. I really hate it and it would never work for me to teach anything other than the basics. Because I don't understand much more than the basics. Although I am very good at calculating percentages off of a price, er number. If my kids hate math, I will not be able to help them. If my kids love math, maybe they can help me.

    - I need a break. I do. I love my children with every fiber of my attention deficit body, but it will be good for me, and them, when they start school.  They are in a mom's morning out program now on Wednesdays, and if they are particularly cranky on a Wednesday morning I think to myself, "better someone else has to deal with this than me!"  I kiss them bye and laugh all the way to the car.

    - I am not qualified to make sure my children are exposed to information in all subject matters. Period.

    - I am easily manipulated by my little chuckleheads. I am a softy.  I hate to say no. I want them to be happy ALL THE TIME. I know kids need to be prepared for the real world, and the real world is not fair and sometimes they will be upset, sad, angry, frustrated. I am not necessarily the best person to teach them this lesson. Nope, I'd rather them come home to me and let me try to make it all better.

    and lastly:

    - At some point I'd like to get my hair cut again. And go to the doctor without kids.  Or grocery shop without kids. Or watch trash TV for 2 hours straight on a rainy morning. Or finish a cup of coffee. is like a free babysitter!  I am so taking advantage of that.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Adventures in Pediatrics

    Having three preschoolers means you get to see your pediatrician, a lot. When two of them were preemies and seem to have a nitch for catching every virus which is within a 50 foot radius, and are asthmatic, you get to visit even more. And when you have no family within 500 miles and your husband works 45 minutes away you get to take all three to the doctor, even if only one is sick.

    It's fun's how it goes.
    First, you pull into your own reserved parking spot in front of the office. Anger sets in if anyone dares to be parked in your spot. Did you not see the reserved sign, with the picture of my kids and me, that clearly states "Most Valuable Patients". Get the hell out of my parking spot. I swear I could practically claim squatter's rights at this doctor's office so don't mess with me.

    Then you unbuckle all three kids and line them up, saying "this is a parking lot..please do not run off like that" at least 4 times. At least they don't have far to run because your reserved parking spot is the closest one to the door. Then you all four breeze in together like you own the place, because I mean it is your 2nd home (the grocery store being a close 3rd). Greet all the medical assistants and nurses by name..who in turn greet you back by name and comment on how much your children have grown since they saw you last...three days ago.

    Oh the fun of the waiting room. It's like a bad shopping experience. What can you come in with, exchange, and then leave with? Hmmm. We have Strep...let's see if we can find a good Rotovirus germ around here..and eat it.
    Or, well, we have an ear about we bring home something that makes us vomit in two days.

    And the toys..oh the waiting room toys! We must touch them all! They are, in fact, veritable petri dishes of delight. Oh, you can bring the Leapster and break out Angry Birds on your phone, but it will not fascinate your children as much as the blocks that were just played with by the kid with Swine Flu. No no, the infected toys sing to kids, like Sirens in the Odyssey. Play with me, lick me, share me with your brother and sister. Gag

    Off to the triage room..where the kids fight about who is first.
    "I have a fever."
    "No, I have a fever."
    "I had a fever first."
    "But I have a cough."
    "Well I throwed up."

    While the kind and patient nurse checks one "fever" there is undoubtedly one child jumping up and down on the scale, and one opening drawers and cabinet doors. As you turn your attention to the sick child for a minute, one of the others starts playing with the garbage can. Seriously, is there anything grosser than a garbage can at the pediatrician's office. I don't even want to get into this....ugh, just ugh.

    After you have weights, temps and blood are off to the exam room. Which has books! Yay..books! That have been held, sneezed on, vomited get the picture. So you play "I spy" with three kids..which lasts about 2 minutes. Then they are bored, and one finds yet another garbage can to play the drums on and the other 2 begin climbing up and down the stool leading to the exam table. Fighting ensues...
    You get to say fun things like "Let's use our inside voices" and " We don't push, because it's not nice". When you want to say "Oh My God, Shut UP!" and "Get your hands off your sister before I smack you". But you don't say these things because you are a good mom, and because you just know that the doctor is in the hallway and she will hear you. And she is judging you. She is. She is judging your parenting style and making notes about it. She is standing outside the door and listening to your children call each other barf bags. She has heard you have to tell them four times that they cannot climb on the table, and to get out of the drawer and stop touching that damn garbage can, and she KNOWS. She knows you have no control of your children and that they manipulate you and you are hanging by a thread. But she also knows that you love them more than life itself, and that you are doing your best.

    The doctor comes in the room, and is greeted by two excited voices, and one child pretending to be shy. If your kids are like mine, they immediately bombard the doctor with stories of how sick they are and how they have new shoes.

    During the exam(s) one will fall off the table. (seriously, this happens to me). The others will continue to play the drums on the damn garbage can, and tell you how thirsty they are repeatedly. This is when you start threatening that they will not get their lollipops on the way out. This will backfire because then they cry and wail "but I want a lollipop" and you say, "well then you need to be nice and quiet while your brother is with the Doctor", but you want to say " then shut the hell up for two minutes." But you don't say that because you are a good mom, and there is that whole judging thing you are trying to avoid.

    The exam itself goes pretty smoothly because your kids are so comfortable at the Doctor that there isn't much fear or protesting.

    You get your diagnosis, your prescriptions, and the doctor then tells you that it is ok to lock yourself in the bathroom with a glass of wine when you feel like you are about to lose it. Because she is a mom, and she gets it. Even though she is judging you, she gets it. And you love her for it.

    You think you are done, but is now time for stickers and lollipops. This is much more complicated than it sounds because it has to be just the right sticker..and there is only one purple lollipop and they all three want the purple lollipop..even though everyone knows red is better. The very kind receptionist/M.A. digs out more purple lollipops from a drawer. Perhaps it is just to get you and your crying brood out the door already. You yell over your shoulder that you will call to schedule a follow up, because you just cannot think enough right now to commit to an appointment time. Then you load everyone up, and head to the pharmacy (where they also know you and your children by name). But that is a whole new blog....