My Husband is Grateful

And being the good Christian wife I am, I should be happy that he’s grateful, right? Here’s the problem, though, I’m also human and when he said the words, “I’m grateful” today, I took them out of context, and it made me resentful and angry.

Being a stay at home mom is under-rated. I’ve heard some claim it’s over-rated, but really it’s one of the most thankless and at times degrading jobs a woman will ever have. On the plus side, it is also one of the most rewarding and loving jobs. Today, with my Drowning in the Terrible Twos Davey, was not one of the days that I enjoyed. Truthfully, today was one of the days that I not only envied my husband, but I despised him as well. Not very Christian-like of me, I know.

I’ve been so proud of Davey lately. We seemed to have rounded the corner finally with potty training and he’s been using the potty on a regular basis with minimal accidents, but for some reason on Tuesday he’s regressed back to not wanting to potty. It’s making my life miserable. I’ve come so far with him. Should I just put him back in pull ups and let him come to me when he’s ready to start wearing big boy underwear again? Or should I just keep following the path I’m on with him? I don’t want to ruin our progress.

Here’s my conundrum the past few days…Davey will sit on the potty, but he refuses to use it. Instead he holds it in and waits until nap time or bed time when I put on a pull up, then pees and poops at that point. I don’t know what’s changed in the past few days, but something has and it’s really no good for my patience. I’ve tried reasoning with him, which is like reasoning with a terrorist. I’ve tried bribing him, which is like dangling meat in front of a vegetarian. I’ve tried threatening to take away his toys. I’ve tried encouragement, songs, reading books, dancing…you name it, I’ve tried it the past few days, to no avail.

Today, I decided that Davey would sit on the potty until he peed or pooped in it. I took a pull up off of him at 7:30 and 1 cup of milk, tea, 2 cups of water, and 5 hours later, he still didn’t want to pee. He had it in him! I know he did! And I was determined that he was not going to get the better of me and hold it in until nap time and pee in his pull up. No, sir! I know where he’s gotten his strong-willed, stubborn streak from…ME! What he should know is that I’m the master and I will win, or so I continued to tell myself. Now here’s where the “I’m grateful” remark came into play with my husband…

While sitting on the potty, Davey begins a barrage of nasty tones, words, and accusations all directed towards me! ME!?!?!? Not only did he tell me that he didn’t love me, nor did he like me, but he also told me that his Daddy was his favorite, I’m a mean witch, and Daddy is the best. I believe his actually words were, “make daddy come home and you go away forever.” Are you kidding me? Why do I get to deal with all of this abuse? I’m the one that carried him for 9+ months, have a lovely scar from the surgery and a belly that will never be as flat or hips as slim as they once were because of him. I’m the one who suffered through leg cramps, horrible heartburn, sleepless nights, and weeks of recovery pain after having him. I’m the one who gave up my career to stay home with him, to be an active part of his life, to take the responsibility of molding him with my own hands. I’m the one who doesn’t get the luxury of overnight business trips in nice hotels with no screaming kids. I’m the one who deals with getting peed on, vomited on, and even at times pooped on. And yet, I get treated like I’m the wicked witch of the west!

My husband says to me, during my rant, that he’s “grateful” which in turn caused me to unleash a bombardment of angry words at him. I said to him “You’re grateful that you’re seen as the good guy and I’m the bad guy or are you just grateful that you are working AND out of town and don’t have to deal with the unpleasant side of raising our boys?” Was that unfair on my part? Perhaps, but in the heat of the moment I didn’t want to hear his “I’m grateful” comment even if I did cut him off before he finished with “I’m grateful that you’re the one who’s capable of handling our boys and I’m grateful that you’re their mother and I’m grateful that you take care of them.”

Well, I suppose I’m glad his grateful, but for once JUST ONCE, I’d like to be seen as the good guy. I’d like to be seen as the favorite parent (that’s selfish, I know). For once, I’d like to make it through a day without Davey calling me a mean witch. I don’t want my husband to be grateful (well, really I do). What I want is to have my loving, cuddly relationship I had with what was once my sweet boy. I want my cake and eat it too.

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Hi, My Name is Mischief and I Approve This Message

I’ve spent the better part of my blog writing about my first born son, Davey. It’s not unusual once you consider that he is the reason for the start of the blog. This morning, though, I woke up feeling a tad bit guilty that I haven’t really allowed my second born, Henry, to grace the words of my writing. Why is that? Perhaps it’s that he is so young and for the first couple of months he’s more like a blob, a phrase I’ve stolen from Angelina Jolie when she spoke of her first born, Shiloh. I thought she was heartless when she said those words, but having become a mom myself, I understand just how right she was. For the first couple of months, they don’t have much of a personality. They eat, sleep, poop, and cry. That’s it. But those days have long since passed with Henry. The boy will be 8 months old in a couple of weeks and I can’t help but wonder why I haven’t shared more of my adventures with him. Here’s the answer I came up with…I DON’T KNOW.

My Henry is the happiest baby I’ve ever met. He constantly has a smile on his face and doesn’t mind sharing that with the strangers of the world. I compare him a lot to Davey and how he was at that age, which may be a “no no”, but I like to see just how different they really are. He has two teeth, a lot faster than Davey did. He started crawling at 6 months and immediately began standing as well. He has a bottomless pit for a stomach, as I’ve had him on solids for a while now. And he sleeps! He actually puts himself to sleep without being rocked. I have him on the same nap schedule as Davey. So many said it would never happen.

Henry Mischief 2

Here’s the big difference between my two boys and the one thing that makes Henry so exhausting. He’s Mischief with a capital M. This child isn’t happy unless he’s terrorizing Davey, either by tearing apart something that he’s built or not allowing him to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in peace. He loves the toilet and dog bowls, things Davey never bothered. He chews on furniture, shoes, and basically anything he can get his hands on, including any part of my body. He was actually trying to chew on my shins the other day.

I suppose the one thing that really sticks out, the one thing that is the most annoying habit of little Henry is his incessant need to try to climb baby gates! I put those gates up for Davey when he was about this age and not once did he ever try to touch the gates, chew them, sniff them, kick them, or climb them. It’s almost as if they were an electric fence of sorts and he never went near them. Henry? All of the above items I listed which Davey NEVER did, Henry does. It’s exhausting.

On the plus side, he’s keeping me on my toes which in turn is keeping me on my weight loss track. I wouldn’t want a docile baby. Where is the fun in that?

Please note the carnage of the Davey’s train tracks in the floor along with the demolition of his pieces of artwork all at the hands of Henry in the picture below. Sigh. My little one man demolition or basically any other pre-toddling 8 month old. Happy Wednesday.

Henry Mischief

You Go, Girl!

There was an overwhelming sensation that came over me. I wanted to flee. I wanted to say, “screw this” and just walk away. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to do everything except the task that was staring right back at me, the one thing I’d worked hard for over the past few months, the one thing that only a day before I was so excited about. I glanced over at the clock, hearing the seconds tick away even though there were waves of voices all around me. Should I pray? What for? It seemed almost selfish, after all I was the one who gotten myself into this. I was the one who thought it would be a wonderful idea to compete in a triathlon. Now as the minutes faded and I watched the minute hand hit the “12”, all I wanted was for this insipid thing to be over, and just as I thought that I might sneak out the back, I heard the whistle blow and the sound of the first swimmer jumping into the water. It was too late.

I’m guilty of having grand ideas, of seeing wonderful events in the future, things I know I can participate in, but then immediately second-guessing my mental state once the day of arrival is here. I often wonder what I was thinking. I fear that I’ll fail and people will be laughing at me. I fear that I’ll injure myself (physically, mentally, or emotionally) and never recover. I fear that I will be just average, and that’s not what I want.

After almost 20 years of running (not from my fears, although that thought has crossed my mind), I decided to up the ante a bit and compete in my first ever triathlon. I wasn’t completely naïve as to what I had decided to take on. I knew it would be difficult, but I knew I could handle it. The only true worry I had was swimming especially considering that the older I’ve become the more I seem to have a developed a case of claustrophobia. Once my head is under the water, I can’t swim. I panic. I think, “what if I need to breathe and I can’t?” Truly, drowning is my worst way of dying. Don’t confuse my fear of swimming with the fact that I can swim. I’m an average swimmer, not too fast, but thanks to my long body, I can reach the other end of the pool a lot faster than the average swimmer. I can keep myself alive, which is the true point of swimming, at least for me.

Sunday morning, I tossed out those fears even as I stood surrounded by 140+ other women, and conquered any doubt I may have about my ability to complete a triathlon (and NOT be last). It really wasn’t until I completed the bike portion, when I saw the greatest cheering section a girl could ever have, that I knew this wasn’t just a great thing for me, it was also a wonderful and encouraging experience for my boys. I finished the 2.5 mile run with my almost 3 year old screaming, “go, mama, go” as he ran across the finish line with me. And when I thought I had not an ounce of energy still left in me, I was able to pick him while still running and laugh along with him.

Crossing the finish line with Davey!
Crossing the finish line with Davey!

My husband has always been my encouragement with any endeavor I partake. He maintains faith and confidence in me, and tells me how great I’m doing. When I have an “I can’t” moment, he immediately counters it with a slew of “you cans”. I am blessed.

I’ve run a lot of races in my life and my husband has been at 90% of them, waiting for me at the finish line, yelling for me to push myself, but this race was different. This race was the first I’d ever competed in with all three of my boys cheering me on. I felt like a super hero. I truly felt that Davey saw me as Super Mom, and my heart just exploded with the excitement.

My parents never participated in events like this. Athletic events were never really their forte and it’s not something they made the time for. I don’t want that for my boys. I want them to see that Mama is more than just the one who takes care of them, and perhaps seeing me in this arena will encourage them to participate as well.

And while I was sick at my stomach, miserable and unable to sleep the night before my first ever triathlon, I’ve decided to do another one. That’s right. I have a masochistic nature, a desire to torture myself. What can I say? As long as I have that same cheering squad as this past weekend, I’ll be alright. I can conquer anything.

My cheering squad!
My cheering squad!

With That Twinkle in Her Eyes

I didn’t see her. I suppose I was obliviously to everyone around me except for my own son, but she saw us. Within a matter of minutes, she ran over to me and Davey as we danced along to the live band. I watched her head tilt to one side as she grabbed Davey’s hands and pulled him towards the middle of the basketball court (the dance floor). Her hair a golden honey, with little spectacles that only seemed to make her blue eyes brighter. She smiled and looked up at me before giving Davey a huge hug and he reciprocated. While still holding Davey’s hand, she grabbed the hand of another little girl, who then grabbed another girl’s hand and so on until a circle was formed and the five-some were dancing together.

I watched Davey in amazement as he laughed and spun around in circles. He let go at one point, just to clap his hands before reaching out and grabbing hands again. I shouldn’t have been shocked, after all he loves other children, but this little girl was different and while I noticed it quickly, perhaps my son did not or maybe he did and just didn’t care. I worried that he may come running to me to ask what was wrong with her. And what could I say? “Nothing is wrong with her, son. She is just as she should be, just the way God created her.”

A few moments later, I watched a man walk up. He was my height, with salt and pepper hair, but looked as if he were my age. He had an athletic build, and a warmness about him. He didn’t look my way, but I heard him ask if he could cut in as he joined the circle grabbing the little girl’s hand and Davey’s. It took only a split second to know he was her father.

As the song ended, the other children dispersed, but Davey stood there with the little girl who I quickly learned was deaf, and allowed her to hug him before giving a high five. My heart melted. The band started up and she grabbed Davey once more and the two of them cut a rug while her father and I stood aside. We didn’t speak much, the father and me, but he did tell me she was deaf. I smiled and asked if it was difficult. He said at first, but not anymore.

After the song ended, I grabbed Davey’s hand and told him it was time for lunch. Her father came along and signed that to her as she gave Davey one more hug and then a fist bump. He waved goodbye to the little girl and she waved back. When we made it to our picnic blanket, I told my husband and mother-in-law about the little girl.

Davey quickly devoured his lunch as he watched the little girl continue to dance and once he was finished he asked if he could join her, so he and I went back to the dance floor.

I haven’t been able to get the dance out of my mind. My heart breaks for the little girl, but it really shouldn’t. She’s special, but so is Davey. She has a wonderful, loving and devoted father and so does Davey. But, I suppose I can’t get it out of my mind because I find myself taking our wonderfully healthy boys for granted. We are blessed beyond measure. Not only are my boys healthy, but my Davey has a beautiful heart as well. He didn’t flinch when she touched him, the way the other children did. He didn’t question if there was something wrong with her, he treated her like every other child and enjoyed the moment. I’m proud of my sweet boy. And as a side note, I’m impressed with his dancing skills which he did not get from me.