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The Floor is Lava

Bedtime (bed-tahym) n. –

  1. the time at which a normal person usually goes to bed
  2. the time at which my children shift gears to FULL. FLIPPING. TROTTLE.

Bedtime around here has always been a bit painstaking.  When Gabe was first born, he had serious acid-reflux that, of course!, always triggered at nighttime.  His tummy finally settled as he grew and when he was about two he would put himself to bed.  He still does this (thank God!), but now he wakes up during the night to either a) pee or, B) have a full-on night terror.  Good times, y’all.  Connor has never, I mean NEVER, been a good sleeper.  Not even now.  He’s four and an acrobatic, ass-kicking ninja from the fiery ball pits in the sky.  Co-sleeping with him is less like co-sleeping and more training to kick Chuck Norris’ ass — with your eyes closed.  To date, Mason has been by far and away my easiest to put to sleep and the most likely to stay asleep — until lately because: erupting teeth.  Can’t really fault him for that, and most nights he still sleeps pretty well.  HALLELUJER.

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When your kid gets out of the bed for the millionth time to “go pee”.

Those of you who are parents know my plight well.  You probably read all of that and pictured your own sleep-anxiety-riddled spawn and experienced a cold chill down your spine.  No, that’s not winter coming; it’s bedtime.  In t-minus eight(ish) hours.

For those of you childless individuals, I have a pretty graphic example of what bedtime is like — around here, anyway.  I’m sure there will be some Betty Badass momma who is scoffing at my inability to keep my children in their beds (we’re not even going to talk about their pajamas).  But this example is coming from a real, live, nannyless parent.

Imagine, if you will, a less-chaotic opening scene from Titanic.  “Rated E for Everyone” Rose and Jack are enjoying each other’s company playing, I dunno.. freaking Rook.  And then, out from nowhere, an alarm sounds.  A band of pirates (read: the children) ram into the ship, causing it to collide with an iceberg (read: your patience).  Your recently thought “unsinkable” vessel plummets into the abyss.

THEN SHIT GETS REAL.

I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret: there is a way to train for bedtime.  It’s painful and a bit legendary — but it’ll save at least a few hairs from being ripped from your noggin.  If you’re still hangin’ in there, then follow along:

  1. Journey to the worst part of your town and find a group of stray cats.
  2. Pick the leader of the cats and bring it home (make sure you’re up to date on your shots).
  3. Give said stray cat laughing gas and a wine cooler.
  4. Now try putting that cat in a bubble bath.
  5. THE FLOOR IS LAVA.

If you can survive that, then there’s a 62% chance that you’ll survive putting children to bed.  Notice, please, that I said survive.  I didn’t say you’d be successful in getting your kids to stay and sleep in their beds.  I mean, I’m not a miracle worker here and Jesus has bigger fish to fry than making my kids stay in bed.

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I’m not going to lie to y’all, though; there is something infinitely more terrifying than sleep-allergic children that exists (and oddly enough, my preference).  And that is when the kids who never put themselves to bed… PUT THEMSELVES TO BED.  Gah, y’all — I just made myself dry heave a bit.

When Connor puts himself to sleep it isn’t because he’s trained himself, or that he’s super tired, or just needs some quiet time (what is that, anyway?!).  No, no.  It’s because at 1:15AM he’s going to be puking.  In his bed.  And down the hallway.  And then in my slippers — in my room.  I mean… I just can’t even.  And then after the puking?!  He’s totally fine and ready to roll, leaving me a gagging, half-asleep, pants rolled up to my navel hot freaking mess.

You may be thinking, “There’s an obviously better option here, Sarah; pick your battles!”

Oh no, friends.  It may seem obvious.  Sure, most people would rather be a bit sleep deprived than swim in an ocean of Kool-Aid vomit.  But I’m not necessarily one of those people.  I can’t say I’m one of those, “If I don’t get my eight hours of sleep…” people, because let’s face it: I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of sleep (not consecutively) in going on nine years.  But I am one of those, “If I can get at least forty-five minutes of sleep I won’t hit anyone with chicken nuggets at Walmart” people.  Y’all — I’m not trying to go to Walmart jail for assault with frozen foodstuffs.  So as terrifying as it is to watch my kid’s head spin around like he’s in need of an exorcist, all the while spewing what I can only hope was something he didn’t find off of a public restroom floor, I’ll take puking kids over sleep-deprived Mombie any day.  Because kids are going to throw up, anyway, and I’d rather be somewhat alert to deal with it.

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I can’t be the only one here who deals with that bedtime struggle.  Hit me with some of your favorite bedtime stories below!

**The above post was written entirely out of humor.  No animals were trapped and given wine coolers or laughing gas, nor were children harmed in the making of this post.  I, on the other hand, might possibly have a bruised lung courtesy my ass-kicking ninja child.  All crappy, can’t-take-a-joke comments will be kept on this page so that people with a sense of humor can see what a turd you’ve been.

 

cropped-untitled-22.jpgA SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse wearing monkeys who live there.

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Paper Moon

It’s the last days of school for my kiddos, and leave it to Connor Gray to show his ass as a final impression.

No, really.  He mooned his class last week and I. was. MORTIFIED.  Why’d he do it?  Because CONNOR, that’s why.  I wish to God there was another explanation, like he was overcome with madness or there were literal ants in his pants.  But, alas, he was just being my socially inappropriate four-year old.

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You may be thinking, “Now, Sarah; there are worse things that could have happened”, and you’d be right.  I mean, he could have peed in the class fish tank, leaving future pre-k’ers to refer to the fish as “Goldie” for reasons not necessarily pertaining to her golden scales.  He could have rolled and flooded the bathroom (side eye to my eldest heathen).  There are a number of things that could have happened.  And is this a huge deal at the end of the day?  Eh.  Yes and no.  It was worth discussing and the entire time he and I talked all I could do was picture him running buck-naked at his high school homecoming game — “The Streak” blasting in the background — and me, checking the bank account making sure we could post bail.  Clearly, I’m over-reacting.  I’m a mom to a kid who epitomizes middle-child syndrome — it comes with a territory.

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Truthfully, if it was gonna happen I’m glad it happened now instead of at the beginning of the year or, you know, years down the road when he’s in high school.  I’m glad it happened now — when his tuckus is still small, hairless, and cute.  Now — when I don’t have to worry about a fellow classmate posting it to YouTube.  Now — when one day I’ll remember this and grin (maybe even chuckle).

Kids’ one job in life is to embarrass the pants off their parents until puberty.  At that point, it’s our turn.  Connor has no idea what’s headed his way, that’s for sure!  I got to thinking about mommas and the little humiliating moments we get to endure.  Some things are absolutely mortifying.  Others, though — I wonder if its us moms not knowing how to adequately react to the situation in that moment.  Something that triggers a momentary lapse of know-how, that inevitably sends us into a tailspin.  For me, that’s pretty much it.  I already struggle with knowing how to relate to my littles — I’ve been a self-proclaimed “old soul” all my life.  Thinking like a kid, let alone thinking like a boy, is super challenging for me.  It’s something I’ve half-assed worked on in myself — until the day of the mooning, that is.

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It hit me like a ton of bricks that I desperately need to learn how to better connect with my boys and to become more intentional in my parenting.  There is nothing more humbling and yet quite so satisfying as being taught a life lesson by one of my kiddos.

So what about you?  What embarrasses you or has embarrassed you as a momma?  What was your takeaway from that moment and how do you think about it now?  Hit me up in the comments.  And if you enjoyed this post, I ask that you share, share, share!

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A SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse-wearing monkeys who live there.

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Stuff Southern Mommas Say

As a kid growing up in the South, I learned the difference between sarcasm and sincerity real fast.  I learned that tone only makes up about 40% of each individual way of speaking; the other 60% is all in the body language.  And y’all — ain’t nobody got that tone and body language down-pat quite like we southern mommas.

Before I had kids, I only thought I’d inherited the gift prematurely.  Psh!  I was a timid little dormouse until I had kids.  These days I speak sarcasm so fluently, most people think I’m the nicest, most sincere person they’ve ever laid eyes on.  My kids are little smart-asses, too, but they don’t got nothin’ on their momma.  Y’all call it being passive-aggressive; we call it issuing a dare.

Oh, sure; we mean what we say.  But the true brilliance of SM language is the ability to almost speak in code with the eyes.  You may HEAR, “Go right on ahead and touch that fence”.  But if you’re paying real close attention to the shifting of our gaze and the clenching of our fists, then you know what we really mean is, “Go ahead and touch the fence, smart ass.  But we’re not going to the hospital and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna listen to your bitchin’.”  So this brings me to the topic at hand: stuff southern mommas say.

  1. Excuse me?!
    Y’all, when you hear this you better hit the ground runnin’ and hope to God we can’t get our flip flops off in time to chuck it at the back of your head.  I have said, “Excuse me?!” so many times to my kids that the last time I sneezed, the boys both cleaned the entire house and offered to cook dinner.  Poor babies hadn’t even done anything — that time.  But momma don’t play.  And if momma ain’t playin, ain’t nobody playin’.
  2. Go ahead and touch (insert object here) after I said not to.
    This is the ultimate “don’t even think about it”.  Most of the time I don’t even have to come through with a punishment because whatever it is my kid(s) has (have) touched is punishment enough.  Case in point: I told Connor not to touch my straightener the other day.  Now, I’m not above baby-proofing and there’s no way in hell I’d have that thing low enough for Mason to get to it.  But Con is old enough to know (and I’ve reiterated enough) that the damn straightener is HOT, and just like the oven, we don’t touch it.  So what’s he do?  Well, the little smart-alec went in and just barely touched the plate.  I mean just barely; it didn’t even leave a mark.  It scared him more than it hurt.  But he knew to “suck it up, buttercup” because I’d already told him, “Uh, don’t touch that”.  However, sometimes the kids slip up and still come running after doing something less than intelligent.  In those cases, we hit ’em with…

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  3. Don’t come runnin’ to me.  I don’t want to hear it.
    Here’s the phrase that often gets us southern mommas in a fair amount of hot water, but we don’t care.  Listen, a kid’s gotta learn at some point in his or her life how not to do stupid things.  We like to call this “experience”.  If you haven’t experienced something, you’ll never know the rewards or pitfalls that whatever-it-is can bring you.  It’s kind of like riding a bike: once you learn, you never forget.  So in the bicycle ride of life, you gotta bust your ass a few times before you’re riding a Tour de France.  Also, on a less logical basis, this really means, “I TOLD YOU SO.”
  4. Bless your heart.
    This one has been done to death, but there are so many possible meanings to this phrase.  Sure, we may mean we’ll pray for your momma and them — but probably not.  Generally speaking, we’re telling you in the nicest way possible to get over yourself.  Hey, sometimes we all need to hear it.

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  5. Oh, honey.
    “Oh, honey” is simply a less condescending way of saying, “Bless your heart”.  Sometimes we even mean, “Oh, honey”.  However, the sincerity is limited to the death of a loved one, a bad hairdo, or getting into Ole Miss but not LSU.  If you’ve been “oh, honey-ed” recently but haven’t experienced any of the above scenarios, then someone out there thinks you’re a few bricks short of a house.
  6. Lemme say it one more time.
    For the love of God and all that is holy, don’t make that woman repeat herself.  Unless, of course, you enjoy frostbite.  Then go for it.

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  7. God don’t like ugly.
    Stop runnin’ your head about your cousin’s sister’s fiancé.
  8. Did I ask who put it there.
    No, I didn’t mean to insert a question mark.  This is a STATEMENT, y’all.  Not a question.  And if you value your hide at all, you’ll pick up whatever it is that’s on the ground, table, or couch FAST.
  9. I know you did not!
    Gabe’s teacher reminded me of this one yesterday and I laughed out loud.  I’m constantly saying this to my boys.  The look on my boys’ faces when they hear this — Lawd.  I can’t even put it into words.  It’s definitely a “deer-in-headlights meets aliens are coming” kind of face.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have never heard ya momma say, “I know you did NOT!”, let me fill you in on the meaning: your ass is grass.  You will soon to meet your Maker.  Hit the deck, Bud, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.  In short: you’ve really screwed yourself and there’s no gettin’ out of it.
  10. You’re killin’ me, smalls.
    Okay, so this one may not be limited to us southern moms.  But I know for certain we say this A LOT.  And, really, it speaks for itself.  Say the kids aren’t really being bad, just… “plentiful”.  Coming in and out, in and out, in and out… letting out the “bought air”.  Or runnin’ wild in the heat of the day, all up in your house?  You don’t really want to jerk a knot in anyone because your own momma taught you to pick your battles.  So the next best thing to clotheslining your own spawn is to simply let out an exasperated, “YA KILLIN’ ME, SMALLS!”  The kids get the message, count their blessings that there is still breath within their lungs, and for a solid two minutes there is peace.  It’s only fair — about ten minutes into more rough-housing, one of the aforementioned statements is going to come rushin’ out of your mouth faster than a Nascar at Daytona.

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  11. Lastly, You are my sunshine.
    I don’t want anyone leaving this post thinking that us Scarlett O’Haras, Blanche Devereauxs, or Ousier Boudreauxs do anything less than love our kids.  They are the lights of our lives.  Our reasons for loving anyone from the mud to the moon.  And, yeah — sometimes they are our emergency trips to Target for a big-ass bottle of Tylenol and a box of wine.  But they teach us as we teach them.  They love us as we love them.  And one day they’ll leave the nest and have children of their own.  Until that day comes, we’ll be back porch sittin’, summer day spendin’, and on the couch cuddlin’ with our littles.

    Until they piss us off.  Then they better run.

 

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Does Everybody Know What Time it Is?

If you instinctively answered, “Tool Time!”, then you might be a product of the nineties, or you’re at least familiar with sitcoms from that era.  I grew up watching Home Improvement with my dad; it brings back good memories and it’s a show I don’t mind my own kids watching.  Coincidentally, the things I remember laughing at as a kid (things I likely laughed about because my dad was laughing, too) are things that I laugh at now because they are so relatable.  The other day, my husband and I were talking about one of the episodes.  It hit me when Evan was mimicking a scene from Tim’s bit that we are, in fact, living out in our own version of Home Improvement.  In this particular scene, Jill is complaining to Tim about their eldest boys’ incessant bickering and is trying to come up with a logical way to correct the issue.  Tim’s response?  His trademark grunt, a quick room switch, and all’s well that ends well.  Naturally, Jill wasn’t very happy to be kept out of the loop, but even she can’t deny that the problem at hand is, well, no longer a problem.

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All of a sudden a flood of H.I. episodes came rushing to the forefront of my brain with one very clear thought: WE ARE THE TAYLORS.  It could be worse; we could epitomize the Conner family from “Roseanne”.  No thanks.

I’ve been putting an enormous amount of time into thinking about my theory, because, you know… I’ve got a lot of time on my hands (*snort*), and I think most of us mirror if not a full-on sitcom then at least a character, or group of characters, from a sitcom.  You think I’m kidding?  Go ahead.  Think about your favorite show or a popular show from any era.  The odds are, if you’re honest with yourself, that there is something out there that you can relate to at least a little.*  Hell, a good friend of mine is practically living out “Everybody Loves Raymond”.  Now that’s a show that’s great on a screen, but Lord have mercy am I ever thankful that I’m not living across from Marie, Frank, and Robert!

I think that’s the key to good writing, though.  A good writer has to pull his or her audience in enough to get them invested.  Generally speaking, an audience member becomes “invested” when he or she can relate to a character’s personality or situational moments.

For me personally, I can relate to Jill.  I’m married to a (not-so-idiotic) Tim and I have three boys who are all wildly different and who make me crazy.  Her days of being a SAHM really hit home for me as far as her feeling she isn’t living up to her potential, but I’ve also been a working momma.  Like Jill in later episodes, I know what it is like to juggle work and home life, hoping everything comes down in relative calm, only to wake up to a souped-up toaster gone horribly wrong.  Talk about being a chaos coordinator.  Yikes!th

My boys even fit the Tool Time bill.  Gabe is very much like Brad — likable, funny, and a little spacey.  Connor is the poster child for middle-kid syndrome, much like Randy.  He is smart and quick and, somewhere down deep, a sweetheart.  Mason is only four months old, but I’d be willing to lay a bet he’s calm, mild-mannered Mark.  Someone who just wants to fit in and be involved.  Most importantly, they are all mine and I love each of their unique personalities — even the crazy parts.

I’m not completely deluded; I know it’s just a TV show and we’re obviously not living in Detroit next to a know-it-all neighbor.  But somehow, on a super weird level, it’s sort of nice to know that there’s some writer out there making up storylines about a life that, I’m just being honest, really stacks up to my own real, off-screen life.  So think about it; what characters remind you of you and yours?  I’ve shared with you my weirdness — now it’s your turn.

* Side note: if you’re relating to things like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones, you’ve got bigger fish to fry and perhaps you should scale it back to Barone level.  Just saying.

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