Parenting: it’s guaranteed to make you sick

When my kids get sick my gut reaction is always the same: a wave of annoyance and then an overwhelming feeling of mom guilt.

Of course, I know what I should be feeling: concern for my child’s health, empathy over their current situation, even a little sadness that they aren’t feeling well.

Instead, though, I seem to always fall short. Take the other night for example. My youngest was in my room having stolen both my phone and my bed. It was a quiet night until I heard it. The sound no parent wants to hear, but can immediately recognize.

The sound of puke hitting the floor.

Instead of being the good mother who runs to be by their child’s side, I find myself muttering ‘for fuck’s sake’ under my breath and cursing our lack of paper towels.

I hate when my kids get sick.  It’s not only the fact that instead of becoming snuggly, tired and sweet my kids become whiny snot monsters wrecking havoc on the household; it’s because they are determined to take me down with them.

My kids are amazing at timing their sneezes to land directly in my face, and they also manage to insist on sleeping their sickness off as close to me as possible just to up the ante.

During this particular sickness, I was fortunate enough to have the stomach flu hit just as we had run out of laundry soap. With a serious concern with the state of both of her ends, I finally attempted to venture out a few days after the start of ‘shitmageddon’ only to have my little one fall asleep in the car. My need for a home that didn’t smell like sewage was overthrown by my daughter’s sheer need for rest.

After a few days of insanity, I found myself desensitized. My little one would find her usual spot in the kitchen (in case you were planning on eating that day), let me know she wasn’t feeling well and then proceed to puke all over herself.

I guess after shitting her pants while sleeping in my bed a little puke on the tile floor was a welcome change.

And now, with a family party on the horizon and plenty to do, she has managed to pass her stomach flu to me. So after days of cleaning up bodily fluids, I now get to experience it first hand. It could be worse though.

She could have given it to my husband.

 

 

When you rip out your bathroom and then lose your mind

Sometimes it takes a big moment to fully realize the gravity of your actions. For me it was the moment I was trying to relax in a bath and my six year old decided to come in to take a poop…which quickly turned into her throwing up all over the bathroom.

I’m not saying that ripping out our second bathroom caused this misstep, but it certainly caused this misstep to happen right in front of me.

When my husband and I toured our current home, we knew that our second bathroom was a total gut job. In fact, when we first moved in I refused to even shower in it because it was so gross. But as the weeks turned to months and I gave it many, many deep cleans I started to get used to having an ensuite bathroom.

I suddenly no longer had to share a bathroom with my disgusting children. My toothbrush finally felt safe.

And then, just as I started to get really attached, it was time to rip it out.

The stress began almost immediately. As fun as it was to rip it out, now my house was covered in dust, my bathroom accessories had no place to live and my toothbrush was free game.

And that was only week one.

The perfect way to test your marriage

Do you want to find out if your coupledom is rock solid or if you are simply treading water waiting for the breaking point?

Take a trip to Ikea.

It took taking a trip without my husband to this favourite store of mine for me to realize that every visit to the land of meatballs, textiles, and dreams doesn’t need to end in threats of bodily harm.

Our trip always starts out so promising. We hustle in the morning to make it in time for $1 breakfast, but the moment my other half sets his eyes on the massive crowd waiting for scrambled eggs and sausage links his back starts to go up. After dropping off our kids to pick up the latest virus in playland we wander around the labyrinth of furniture and textiles guaranteed to make you want to upgrade.

My husband usually starts freaking out about five minutes in. The child minding beeper turns this trip into a race against time and the challenge of getting out without draining our savings account.

The trip always reaches its pinnacle in the ‘As Is’ section. The inevitable argument of whether or not we can jimmy said furniture into our vehicle always ends in tears (my husband’s).

Recently my husband thought he would test our relationship in  a fun new way when he decided to bring a used couch home against my wishes.

I should have known something was up when he slipped out quietly post dinner with vague plans. I tried to stop him because he had threatened to come home with a forest green microfiber love seat a friend was giving away.

Fast forward to 9 pm and about -5 degrees. My husband had brought home a monstrosity and now required my help to get it in the house.

First we tried the front door, then the side door, then the garage. By this point I had considered a few ways in which I could murder my husband and make it look like an accident, many of them using the couch. Now if I was to simply walk away from this poor choice I would be considered to be ‘abandoning him’, so instead I stood and ‘helped’ as he struggled to remove all the screws except one from the hinges of our front door. thirty minutes and one freak out later he realized he could simply remove the pins in about five minutes.

The entire time I ‘helped’ by watching him struggle and pretend to hold up the door.

So now we are the proud new owners of a second-hand love seat. It’s actually really nice and is not hunter green at all (my husband is colour-blind) but a nice sage green and goes well with our decor.

Still, we won’t be tempting fate with any trips to Ikea anytime soon.

What the (S)hell??? Getting crafty with my momster

After a winter down south. my momster has finally returned to Canada after escaping our frigid winter. Of course she came home to plenty of snow and freezing temperatures and of course I took my first opportunity to bring the kids up for a visit.

Not only is my mom’s house a great refuge for the kids, but it is also a perfect place for me to rest my weary bones after three motherless months. Not only was there plenty of homemade food on the menu (any food I don’t need to make is good food) but also red wine which is always very much needed by the mid-point of March break.)

Craft time

The next morning my mom announced we would be crafting. Now my mom will occasionally be creative (we decorate gingerbread houses every year) but we don’t often sit down to make a mess on purpose at grandma’s house. Let’s just say Grandma’s house is full of many expensive things that I often have to remind my children not to touch. Every time my mom allows my children into her home she is actually rolling the dice on an insurance claim.

So when it came time to start this craft project my mom surprised me by leading us into this secret room in her basement set up with folding tables and covered in shells. I was able to glean that the project we were about to attempt consisted of gluing shells to a piece of styrofoam with hot glue. I quickly realized that a) this was not a craft designed for my four, six and seven-year-old and b) I was expected to take this monstrosity home once constructed.

Control freak crafter

So I tucked in to create this structure. I was partnered with my two younger children who were unable to help due to the high possibility of third-degree burns from the hot glue gun and my inner control freak need to make sure this god-awful tacky piece was going to be executed to my specifications.

Since my mom had gathered all the ingredients for this project, she decided that my two nieces and I would construct our sculptures in the shape of a Christmas tree and then pulled her own ‘special’ supplies. Not only was she making a half moon candle holder, but she would be gifting this monstrosity. Even with her hand-picked shells, upgraded shape and candle, she gave up about 20 minutes in realizing this was the kind of gift that could end a friendship.

Our ranks start to crumble

As the hours dragged on, the kids slowly melted away. I simply took a meal break and returned as Shelly (as my creation was later named) began to take form. My mom became my second in command, searching for the smaller shells to fill holes while I threatened to gift her Shelly for mother’s day.

“You know Melissa, people will pay good money for these in Florida. They cost $240 US in stores.”

“Well mom, you can take Shelly with you next year and set up a booth on the beach.”

Once complete, my mom tried unsuccessfully to convince me that Shelly was beautiful and I tried unsuccessfully to leave Shelly on her mantel.

The funniest part of the whole thing is that all it took was naming the statue for my kids to become attached. They were seriously bummed I wouldn’t display Shelly on the coffee table and fought over who got to have her ‘sleep’ in her room. I finally had to settle the fight by putting her in a place of honour in her guest bathroom for all to see.

So, of course, I felt the need to write this blog to explain Shelly and how she came to be. My mom still may get a special gift for mother’s day this year.

 

An open letter to my period

First of all how dare you?

While some may refer to you as a friend or even a visiting aunt, to me you are the worst kind of guest. You show up, often with little notice, and ruin my plans, sex life and more clothing than I care to think about.

You also are a pain-literally. You come with cramps and back pain and a general feeling of garbage. While I will admit, there has been a time or two I was overjoyed at your arrival, more often than not my reaction ranges from mildly annoyed disbelief to full-fledged moody bitch-mode.

Can you blame me?

I have literally spent twenty years carrying pads and tampons around like they are some dirty secret hidden in my purse while wondering why I can’t seem to get the hang of wearing white shorts and playing volleyball on my period like the girls on the commercials.

Instead it seems I have to adopt an uniform of black yoga pants, granny panties and hot water bottles.  I spent my youth hiding the fact that I menstruate from classmates, siblings and boyfriends, but now I have a much bigger challenge.

I have to hide it from my daughters.

I should say that while having your period in a normal, natural thing for a healthy woman; I just can’t bear to break the fact to my daughters that they will be getting this ‘blessing’ for the better part of their adult lives. Keeping these girls in the dark isn’t easy. Not only does my lady friend leave my bathroom looking like a murder scene more often than not, but my girls aren’t too keen on giving me privacy. The fact that they haven’t yet been scarred for life is a true testament to my cat-like reflex skills and ability to scare off my young.

While the day is drawing nearer that I will have to break this fact of life to my oldest, for now I will continue to enjoy the one perk of this monthly curse.

I get a week of track pants wearing, chocolate eating, moodiness, ‘don’t you dare mess with these hormones’.

That is until the hot flashes start to kick in.