Drop off Disaster

I prep my oldest son even before we reach the school parking lot. He knows by now how to buckle and unbuckle himself and how to stand ready (hunched over) by the back “lift-gate” (we have been practicing). Okay, so maybe that needs some further explanation…
As you all know, I have three kids and we TRIED to put them all next to each other in the backseat of our new (oversized) SUV. Heck noo, did NOT work…
The oldest two were fighting like crazy, which made me frustrated and scream way too much. I was also worried about the tiny (okay not so tiny) baby back there.
After weeks best described as catastrophic, we had the brilliant idea to put the oldest in the third row!
It was a bit tricky with the big stroller and all the other baby stuff (car seat adapters, extra toddler seat and what not) but we made it work. We also had to teach our oldest to buckle himself. The problem is, I didn’t WANT him to be able to open the back liftgate on his own (way too dangerous). So every time he (we) went out of the car, I had to open it for him.

So back to the dreaded school car line…

As soon as we are on school property I yell for my son to unbuckle himself and to prepare with his backpack and such, for me to come open the back for him.

We have arrived early enough so that there won’t be a lot of cars…there still IS, but we are amongst the first in line (pat on back).

As we approach the green “drop off zone” I slow way down and then come to a complete stop in front of the school, I put the car in park (and apply the parking brake for good measure) and open the door…

As soon as I do this, cars (people of course but you know what I mean…) start honking (these are moms and nannys and the occasional dad, mind you) and by the time I’m in the back of my car there is also yelling (I’m not kidding).

When my big handsome boy jumps out with his backpack, I feel so proud of him but of course the moment is completely ruined by even more severe honks and yelling ( “hurry up”, “come on”, “unbelievable”, “must be a new mom”, “she will make me LATE”)…

As I rush over to the driver seat, a school “representative” runs after me screaming “this is NOT how we do things”.

Yet as I see my son struggle with his huge backpack I feel an urge to go help him out, to go steer him in the right direction, to show him the gate and his classroom. I swollow hard and manage a wave to the car behind me as I speed off away from the school parking lot.

Theoretically I know he knows where to go and that he won’t be lost (or gasp “stolen”) but I can’t help the moment of “mommy panic”.

As I drive off I feel sad and disappointed. Well that didn’t go according to plan! I almost want to call the school to make sure he made it to his classroom safely. I feel worried and stressed. I have to call my husband to relay the fiasco…
Well, that’s it!!! I will NEVER ever expose myself or my son to that car line EVER again!!!

Next stop Kindergarten- Part II

img_8223img_8221img_8220img_8226img_8237img_8228The first day of real school comes sooner than we expected (its probably like that for everyone). All of a sudden it’s the morning of THE FIRST DAY of kindergarten. We have plenty of time to get ready (when does that ever happen?!) and my son carefully puts the clothes on that we laid out for him the night before. He lets me brush his teeth and his hair (this is not normal mind you). He goes potty without complaining (I know…odd), he even has some breakfast (who is this dude?).

Now even though we woke up super early (and I promise myself that we will keep this routine…all the while knowing we probably won’t make a week…) it is hard to plan for the needs of the toddler and the baby as I’m trying to help my oldest for his very first day of school. The joy over the 4 months old sleeping through breakfast is short lived as he freaks out for milk as we are about to leave. Good thing we are early…not as early after my two year old decides to poop the second I back out of the driveway though…

Knowing that we will have to park and walk, greet the teacher, other parents and have coffees with the moms (a school arranged “activity”) afterwards, I know I have no other choice than to leave the two boys (one of them crying, worrying that we are going to be late, the other one bawling over more milk…or needing to burp…or some left over colic or I don’t know…just to be difficult) to unlock the door, go back inside (without letting the dog out) to take off (well half of it) her carefully picked out outfits to change this diaper!

Poop on the leggings! Oh well, sniff on some in the nearby laundry basket (or you know, bathroom floor…close enough) and on they go! Okay! Grateful that we still have minutes to spare!

Back in the “cry car”, we manage to get the whole crew towards the school.

Now the new school has an odd parking system. They do have a parking lot so that you can park and walk your kiddos to school, but it’s really small and a first come, first serve kinda deal…
If you do park and walk (considering you do get a spot) you can’t leave though because you are stuck with the line of cars blocking your exit, driven by parents who are trying to drop off their kids curbside (we are not allowed to do this with our precious, tiny kindergarteners just yet). My plan is to park across the street at a nearby church and walk to school (only problem being crossing the busy street, with the only cross walk located on the furthest end of the block).

Now we are officially running late, I can’t really justify jay walking with a baby in a carrier, a toddler in one hand and a kindergartener (gulp) in the other, so of course we walk the long way towards the “legal” crosswalk. Except the two year does NOT want to walk (like at all), its tears and snot and “carry me mama”, dangerously close to “tantrum town”. But mommy can’t carry her two year old-because she also has a 4 MONTHS old…and a 5 year old who wants all attention on him…because today is his very first day of “real” school…

So even though we make it across the street, which is slightly hazardous because I’m letting the oldest hold on to the carrier with the little baby while I basically drag the toddler after us with both hands. Calm down-she is fine…

But unfortunately she is not exactly fine. As we finally reach the gates of the school. I know where the classroom is and where to enter and drop off (I even timed it “perfectly” because of course I did…except you can NEVER time anything perfectly with 3 kids in tow) and we made it-with exactly 1 minute to spare mind you. This is when it happens, everyone is already there (because hello most important Milestone ever- first day of kindergarten people!!!) and my little girl trips and falls.

It happens right in front of everyone and when she had finally stopped crying and walked like a human…you know like actually walking (not being dragged against her will…oh that will). I mean seriously I had not much to do with this fall, except maybe I should have paid better attention to her…but like I said, oldest’s first day of school happening as we speak.

The fall is not that bad and she doesn’t even cry…until she sees the blood that is. As you may know, our daughter is a preemie (my water broke eleven weeks early so I was put on hospital bedrest before they had to take her out six weeks prematurely due to the risk of infection) and it may not be related but when she bleeds, she bleeds a lot. All the big blood disorders have been ruled out thankfully but unfortunately her blood does not clot properly and we will have to evaluate her further to find out more.

As we enter the school gates, blood is gushing from our little girl’s knee soaking through her dirty leggings. Of course we get some “gasps”, and “oh my Gods” and “is she OKAYs”. My son is freaking out about his sister one second and the fact that it is, you guessed it, his very first day of school the next.

I promise not to cry…

About the whole situation in general but about it being my tiny firstborn baby boy’s first day of school in particular. It’s not like I haven’t left him in school before…but that was three hour preschool…THIS is different…

Of course I’m not going to cry, I know I won’t, who does that? (apparently these women…) but not me, no never…

I’m in shock and beyond surprised, because as my oldest lets go of my hand to go join his brand new classmates, at his brand new school in front of his brand new classroom…

I cry…

 

 

 

Monster Trucks and Insomnia

Has anyone else been woken up in the middle of the night (especially during pregnancy when sleep is so hard to come by) of a monster voice (completely loud, scary and distorted)? Been forced to face your fears (toddler in tow) sneaking around the house (slightly terrified and not so slightly exhausted) just to find the source of this hellish sound? No? Doesn’t ring a bell? Hmm,
Well…
What if I tell you the source was a battery operated (freaking) toy!!! Maybe now you follow me??
I seriously looked everywhere- EVERYWHERE before I found it, tripping on boxes and random stuff (did I mention we are moving??) and stepped on my fair share of little Legos (ouch! Why will they be the last thing we pack?)
Guess where I found this Devils device?
In the completely natural, as well as logical, place for a black and orange toy truck…- in the shower!

That was my night last night, unable to fall back asleep, even if my princess (no way that was her nickname in the pitch black house where everyone else seemed to be sleeping just fine) eventually did. I laid their cursing my inability to relax my body enough to just slip away- and then- as usual the thoughts come. The scare that is pregnancy, the lack of control, the worry, the fear of history repeating itself- except this time way, way worse…

It had been kind of a weird week, it started with something really odd happening. I felt that I at least had to mention it to my nurse but like I told her the “story” was kinda hard to explain without the Lego cars and Duplo people (that is how I explained to mom over Skype and hubby after work).

I drove my kids to my son’s school as usual in the morning- kinda late- also as usual. When I park I see that someone is sitting in the car next to me, she appeared to be on her phone and without kids in the car- obviously she hadn’t been late. As I rush my 4 year old and his “why questions” out of the car armed with his latest art project, lunch boxes (snack AND lunch), going back to the front seat for the “lunch bunch ticket”, putting shoes back on (at least I didn’t forget them), I see in the corner of my eye that the mom in the next car puts her phone down and turns her car on. I am late so I attempt to catch her eye. Maintaining eye contact, assuming that we get each other I move my way into the tight space (remember I’m not exactly skinny mini nowadays…not that I ever was…but…just saying). She is in one of those ginormous SUVs (black and hard to distinguish from all the rest) sitting very high up. I judge that I can still get darling daughter out of her car seat (and in my arms) but I did NOT count on her starting to back out. I must say I have a split second to panic slightly- she sees us right? Again I think we are on the same page as I signal to her that I will move me and my son out of the way so that she can pull out. As I close the door on my girl I realize that the driver and I are not on the same page- AT ALL…

I push my (luckily very skinny) son flush against the car while I turn towards the huge car in the very tight space as she rapidly reverses-taking the corner- AND my stomach with some speed. I actually scream, flailing my arms for her stop as my big tummy pretty much gets smashed by the left front of her vehicle…

She does see my then- looking surprised and slightly confused…did she not see the whale with feet trying to safely get her kids to school on time?

She then tries to pull forward again, making it worse by squishing my baby bump yet again. I yell for her to stop and she comes to an abrupt halt- actually looking appropriately scared now.

I managed to squeeze myself (not easy people) as I push my son (who is completely fine by the way) back towards the back of my own car. As soon as my sore stomach, son and I have reached the back of our car she reversed again and speeds away…

I get my daughter and we speed away ourselves- by foot that is- towards class.

Hours later I can actually feel the pain. I google the heck out of what I had just experienced but I think google is even more confused than myself.

What the heck happened this morning??
I know however that baby is probably perfectly fine in her (his?)  cushiony cocoon- me- not so much.

Later on both my sister and my mom agree that baby should be okay but that I should ask the nurse just in case, that the mom driver probably sat up too high to see my huge belly…but why oh why did I not even take her license plate number…? (I guess that was the last thing on my mind…and anyways what would that help?!?)

The week continues with another urinary tract infection and I wouldn’t even be worried except during my last pregnancy  a UTI developed into a full blown kidney infection…which might have been what caused my water to break prematurely…so yeah- worried!
We had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription on the way back from my son’s school.

Both kids are in rare form. My daughter refuses the cart and decides to run around pushing everything off the shelves while my son is whiny and super loud- asking (yelling) for some cookies. I rather not hold my girl too much right now but the adorable toddler turned shoplifting maniac doesn’t give me much choice as she stuffs her clothes with chocolate and some random medication (wait are those…condoms?). Returning the stuff is challenging while holding the squirming animal, bending and lifting while simultaneously managing a preschooler who screams that I am leaving him and that I’m being a bad mama! (Pleasant isn’t he!?). As we stand in line (kind of- at least I am trying) to finally pick up the antibiotics I can both see and feel the stares. This man actually goes as far as asking the old guy in front of him “can you even stand these screaming kids?” I want to snap back but I’m all out of energy, besides they are both being REALLY annoying. Even the pharmacist promises several times that we are almost done with the transaction and that I absolutely don’t need a consultation on how to take these pills. Who is he trying to convince me or himself. As my son screams for me to stop pushing him when I simply try to steer him towards the automatic doors I see the mixed looks of pity, understanding and pure irritation. They are all probably looking at my huge belly, thinking I can’t even handle the two I already have!!

To round up my week- my big ultrasound followed by my regular obgyn check up imagedidn’t exactly go as expected…

 

One of those weeks…

It’s been one of those weeks- you know the ones that push you closer and closer towards the metaphorical cliff of a complete mommy meltdown (psychotic break more like it). Full of blow out diapers AND toddler as well as preschool tantrums. Forgotten lunches and late mornings. Fighting siblings (“head butted” and bit lil battlers) and cancelled play dates. Runny noses and coughing kids, escaping dogs and extreme lack of sleep (for moi- what else is new?- I do try to make sure my kids get THEIR sleep). More shots as well as bad news at the doctors’ – which is really what is the worst about this week- about everything…

Our son keeps getting into trouble at school because of the elaborate “fart noises”, four teacher meetings, three different teachers just this week. We thought he was over the hilarity of the sound- until we figured out that he was copying the Gringe, who apparently was sticking his butt out making that very sound in the Christmas play we took him to (so much for culture, right!?).

And oh yes, almost forgot (not quite) I dropped my kid off at preschool without shoes- barefoot! It was 52 degrees (that is believe it or not actually VERY cold here…being from Sweden I cringe slightly at this) and drizzling (of course it was).
You would not believe the judgy eyes penetrating me as I walk him into the classroom. Well does anyone care that one of those blowout diapers happened at the same time as a preschooler’s tantrum, a forgotten lunch box (remembered at the last minute) AND being late (er than normal)…? No, probably not. So it happened and I do feel like I deserve that bad mommy award more than ever BUT I DID tell him to put shoes on- repeatedly- I swear AND I went right back home to get them (even IF my toddler slept both ways in the car forgoing her nap-and my sanity…).

Of course that very same morning I put my new cellphone (the one sent to me by the insurance company because my daughter very lovingly threw my old one on the tiled bathroom floor TWICE) on the hood of the car, in the midst of the leaky (through her clothes AND mine) diaper, the four year old tantrum, the forgotten lunch AND being late and drove off with it. Aha! Yes, sure did…

I’m way too embarrassed to disclose anything else…except my very last insurance claim allowed for the next TWO years sounded like…”cellular telephone thrown out of a fast moving vehicle”.

My son didn’t get to go to the playground that morning because his very very bad mommy had forgotten his shoes (even though said son is fully capable of putting his own shoes on- and does so every morning…excuse me, every morning EXCEPT this one), looking forlorn sitting inside on a chair waiting for me.

By the end of the school week he explains he is in so much trouble his “face” (meaning a picture of his face) is not only NOT on the board in the classroom, on its way of making it up on the “super kid” chart, but not even in the running anymore. He is actually upset about it and I’m hoping the inappropriate noises will go away (Gringe noises or not). As I pick him up on Friday there is another incident report saying another kid scratched and pinched him (it’s a scratch pinch mama!) because (get this) he wouldn’t stop his…DINOSAUR noises!!

My pregnancy is progressing and the baby looks so much like a baby even on that black and white screen now! I just wish with all my heart and soul that someone could tell me for sure that everything is okay with our baby. Hello (can you hear me?) I’m already half way there…still meaning I have to suffer the worry of another twenty weeks give or take (if this baby decides to be full term) if there is something…not right (I refuse to say- or think WRONG) with this baby kicking around inside my belly. Because if there IS something wrong it will be of the unavoidable, unfixable, permanent kind…

Honestly this week has been dragging along with the dull background pain of “not knowing”. The fog of uncertainty is getting to me more than anything. All I can do though is believe…and pray and hope…and stay strong and positive. This is another layer I didn’t want this time around (who does?) but somehow I thought this pregnancy would be the easy one, like third is the charm or something…
Going into it with the preconcisting conditions of preeclampsia and premature rupture of membranes as well as strep B and reoccurring UTIs I knew it wasn’t going to be easy per say (but not that I would have all the complications of BOTH previous pregnancies present in this one) but at least I thought the problems and fears would be related to these issues…

BUT the odds are certainly in our favor and the risks extremely low (just not as low as we would have thought/imagined/expected/wanted/wished).

I round this week up with a disastrous Christmas party,getting locked out of my own bedroom by two very short little troublemakers and the unmistaken sound of sirens as I “run” a YELLOW light…

Before the Alarm rings… (by a very TIRED mama)

My alarm rings for the first time at 6:15 in the morning- 6:15…and I hate it- therefore I have a second alarm set for 6:45 (which I totally snooze until 7). I have been doing this since I was old enough to set my own alarm clock and in the midst of hating (I mean really hating) mornings, it kind of works. I mean it DID work…
Enters: kids!
I know it’s the same for everyone (which doesn’t seem entirely true by the way) and isn’t that the price to pay for parenthood (so worth it…right!?) but I really freaking value my sleep- OKAY!???
Then you shouldn’t have been a mom you say! Okay, first of all: who are you? And how dare you? Second of all; I know, I know- you have a point (huge sigh) but I am (barely) functioning here and I’m doing (pretty) fine!!! So there!
Go to bed earlier they say, well; ever heard of toddler sleep regression? No? Then stop talking (judging) right now! Besides I have this little thing called a part time job- I might only be a professor online but they do actually expect me to deliver university worthy courses and that people, means actual work and putting in the hours in between poppy diapers, grocery runs and preschool pick-ups! This is by the way my very round about way to tell you all that “I AM TIRED” really, really tired! So even if I signed up for this gig, I still really hate mornings!! Got it!

So this is what happens now BEFORE the alarm rings- yes you read right- before!!!
There are two kids in our bed. Husband has left (fled) already- and before you feel sorry for his early mornings consider this A. He actually likes mornings- yup! I married a freak! And B. He doesn’t get to be part of our lovely morning routine AKA hell (slight exaggeration here I know but still pretty much true) so yes he escapes and no; no need to feel sorry for him.
So there I am TRYING to sleep, trying to get those extra precious moments of zzz time while I usually have random fingers in my ears (no not mine), up my nose (again, I swear not mine), a butt in my face as well as a sliver of bed left to “sleep” on because at least one open mouthed snoring kid has decided to sleep diagonally on the bed (like it’s perfectly normal).

Even before the kicking starts (picking up in speed as well as frequency and intensity) aiming at stomach and face mostly (and other vulnerable parts), the slow twitching of eye lashes start (oh yes, I can hear them) and then the slow excruciating whining (worse than any chalk on any blackboard…truly). The older one awakens first with the words “MAMA ITS NOT NIGHTTIME”, the volume alone… and the words…the dreaded, dreaded words! My LEAST favorite moment of any day! Then we have the eyes, the bright, wide open eyes (kill me now) and the bouncing body (shuddering), next sentence is a toss up between “look, the sun is up” or the yelling of “what happens next mama?” “what happens NEEEXXXT?” Straight into my ear!

I am a pretty good mom, I promise and I love being a mom, adore my kids etc. etc. but the mornings…

Okay, said kid is being so extremely loud that of course he wakes his sister up (the bouncing alone) and she always wakes up crying! (Let’s face it, I would too if it was appropriate!) I console her as tear turns to hysterical laughter at her oh so hilarious brother (oh how I don’t agree- but she is his biggest fan after all).

Then the jumping starts…

I usually try to grab another couple minutes of shut eye- insert more hysterical laughter here…for anyone who thought I was being serious…or successful…

Well, I “try”, that part is true…

So before the alarm rings, I have a 4 year old screaming his head off that it is in fact “not nighttime”, a crying/laughing/jumping toddler, am sore from all the kicks and oh so so tired. I still refuse to get out of bed (obviously) so while holding a hand around my squirmy girl’s ankle and trying to ignore my screaming boy, at least I try to still rest my head on my pillow (until said pillow get snatched away and suddenly involved in an impromptu pillow fight).

And then the alarm rings (loudly).

This is what happens between the first alarm and the second (because being the most stubborn person stuck in her ways, and did I mention “morning hater” I still refuse to get out of bed); I rescue someone from falling off the bed, I dry tears, I send someone to the restroom, I turn on cartoons, I find iPad, water, missing sock, teddies, dinosaurs (all from bed), I defend myself from kicks, slaps, hits, bites, licks…even sloppy kisses and violent hugs!
I yell at someone, tell someone that I am sorry for yelling, rescue one from the other and the the other one from the first one…yeah! I think you get the idea. All the while, I’m trying to snooze like I always have since being able to set my own alarm…well, those were the days…before kids!

And then the second alarm rings (loudly)

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