Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Why my house is a mess even though I clean all day

Whining Warning; This post contains a lot of whining

Benjamin woke up bright and early yesterday morning completely obsessed with the idea of playing basketball. It was all he could talk about and he talked about it a lot.

"I get ready! Go backy-ball team! Me...I need mine backy-ball! Sun come up—backy-ball day," he nattered on and on about basketball.

Unfortunately for him, yesterday was actually take Miriam to preschool day. I explained this and he said, "Aster Mimi go pee-school, me...I go backy ball team!"

"I'm not sure that's going to happen, little buddy," I said. And it didn't.

We dropped Miriam off at preschool (co-op with Lincoln) and then I had the gall to drive home. Benjamin was livid. He screamed the whole way, only calming down at intersections long enough to beg me to turn the wrong way.

"Go 'is way, Mommy! Go 'is way!" he'd plead.

I'd turn the opposite (and correct) direction.

"No! Not 'is way! Mom! Mine backy-ball team not 'is way! Mom! Go uzzy way! Stop! Mom! Nooooooo!" he'd scream until the next intersection.

He is like his father (and like his father's mother) and knows his way around town pretty well. I, on the other hand, still rely heavily on the GPS because I was born without a sense of direction, so it always amazes me when he'll tell me step-by-step how to get to church (which is a twenty minute drive withI believe, six turns). Anyway, the point of all that is to tell you that he knew exactly where we were going and it wasn't where he wanted to go. In my defense, I wasn't quite sure where to take him. You can't just show up at Cameron Stadium and say, "My son would like to play and/or watch basketball now, thank you."

So when we got home I showed him the little basketball hoop we have in the backyard but it was too cold outside to be interesting, I guess, because he went down the slide once and then asked to go inside.

Once inside I settled him down in the living room with his cars while I cleaned the bathroom.

Andrew listens to a bunch of podcasts and has suggested some to me that I've never touched. And there's a good reason for that. My kids are drawn to sound like magnets. I made the mistake of putting on some music to motivate me to clean the bathroom and Benjamin had to wander in to see what I was up to...because noise. So I turned it off, got him re-interested in his cars, and returned to work in silence. My only company were my thoughts and my thoughts weren't remotely motivating.

Still, I got the bathroom tidied up and scrubbed down (as well as a couple of loads of laundry going) then we went to pick up Miriam. We came home for lunch. Benjamin started acting like a little boy who needed to go potty but insisted on finishing his lunch first, so I let him—because I was hurrying to get dinner in the crockpot in time for it to cook—and then I took him my freshly cleaned bathroom, mind you.

I didn't notice that he had a significant poop-smear in his underwear, which then smeared all over the toilet when I lifted him onto it. Oh, and then? Then he missed the toilet completely and peed all over the floor. Awesome.

The rest of the afternoon went fairly smoothly, but mostly because it was nap time. I put Benjamin down and while we were waiting for him to fall asleep Miriam volunteered to put away the clean dishes, which was nice, except that when she was finished she asked if she could watch a show and I told her she couldn't. She lost screen privileges for the day because her behaviour the previous couple of days has been less-than-ideal (lots of screaming and fighting).

She ran to her room in tears. I told her that I was going to take a nap and that she had to entertain herself. She was welcome to cry on her bed if she wanted to, but there was also any number of things she could do. I listed off all sorts of things: read a book, play with dolls, make a craft, and so forth.

She grumpily sniffed, "I'll just take a nap, too!"

"Fine with me," I said, but I heard her out at the table later working with paper.

When I woke up (to the sound of Benjamin pounding on his door (even though he's perfectly capable of opening it himself)) I found about a dozen paper hearts had been stuffed under my bedroom door. Miriam was fast asleep (which was probably exactly what that grumpy-pants needed).

The afternoon was spent playing outside and doing homework. Dinner (stew) wasn't a smashing success but it wasn't terrible either. Benjamin thought it was too hot and dumped his water into it (even though I'd told him not to). Later in the meal he accidentally flipped his bowl, splashing the watered-down contents all over the table, the bench, himself, and the floor. Awesome.

After dinner I turned my attention back to laundry. I piled the clean sheets on the couch (on top of another load of laundry that I hadn't folded yet) and went to move another load into the dryer.

It was around this time that I discovered Benjamin's underwear was suspiciously soggy. Underwear is all he was wearing because I'd just peeled his broth-drenched clothes off of him, remember?

"Benjamin!" I gasped. "Did you wet your pants?"

"Sorry, Momma," he said, hanging his head.

"Where did you pee?" I asked.

"Right on the couch!" he chirped.

No, not there!

"Where on the couch?" I asked shrilly.

At this point Rachel stepped in to see if she could tame the beast (me). I have fourteen (I think?) weeks left of this shot. Some people don't have any problems with it at all. I don't think I'm one of those people. I feel like it's a big shot of first-trimester, right in the butt. Suddenly, all I want to do is cry all the time and sleep all the time and everything's disgusting again and, honestly, I thought the second-trimester was supposed to be a bit of a reprieve. And it was until I started taking these darn shots. I realize that they're for a good cause but I'm such a mess of hormones I can't even think straight. And to top it all off they're a literal pain in the butt.

"Benjamin, Benjamin," Rachel said soothingly. "Where did you pee? Tell Shasha where you went pee."

"Right on the piwwy," he said.

Rachel brought me a pillow from the couch.

"Here, Mom," she said. "He peed on this."

"This pillow," I pointed out tartly, "Is dry."

"Oh," she said. "That's weird. He told me..."

Come to find out, Benjamin had not peed on a couch piwwy (pillow) but on a piwwy (pile) of laundry. Awe. Some.

I took Benjamin to the bathroom and then sent him to his room to find pyjamas and then sit on his bed until I could stand to look at him again. Meanwhile, I angrily shoved that load of sheets—that, yes, yes, were damp with fresh Benjamin urine—into the washing machine for the second time that day.

Somehow I managed to make it through scriptures and prayer and story time without losing my patience (except the one time I said, "Rachel, I am quickly losing patience," but even that was said somewhat patiently) and I had all the kids in their bed by the time Andrew got home (at 9:00), though none of them were asleep yet.

For the record, Andrew missed dinner and bedtime on Monday. He missed dinner and bedtime on Tuesday. He'll miss dinner and bedtime today. And on Thursday—I'm really looking forward to Thursday—he'll miss dinner but not bedtime. So Thursday should be a good day. Because the kids will actually see their father, which is probably a healthy thing. I can't remember. When is graduation again?


  1. Oh Nancy, what a day! I am so sorry. Although you still tell it in a humorous way, so one day you can read it and appreciate it in a different way...

  2. Yikes! When I read these i'm like why is it we agreed to have kids again. So I'm going to tell you my four kid secret. We didn't potty train aylin until we had just got home from thanksgiving. She'd been three about a month. She literally just potty trained herself. I hate diapers and I think three is ridiculously old but I'm telling you it was the least stressful of them all. She never has accidents. She can hold her pee forever. I don't have to remind her to go or pleed or beg. I know when she says she has to go we have a few minutes before I need to find a potty. She basically just decided one day to be potty trained. It is heavenly. I think it is true maybe the more kids you have the morr laid back/lazy your parenting gets, but this one thing was not all bad ;). Hope Andrew comes home soon!!!

  3. Could I maybe echo Crystal for a moment and suggest a break from potty training for a while? Little boys take a lot longer than girls, typically, and this many accidents suggests to me that he might still be a bit young. We actually waited until just after Taylor turned 4, because we tried at 2 and he was just not physiologically ready due to his small size. When we finally trained him for real, he never had a single accident. Ever. It was such a savior for my sanity and his emotional well being. You're tired and stressed and pregnant... Look for sanity in the form of pull-ups. 😃

  4. I'm so sorry Andrew isn't around to help much. You're a saint!