Please Excuse the Mess

I would like to take you back to 2 B.C (Before Children). I was 25 years old, been married 3 years, had just decided it was time to have kids,  and  had everything about what I would be like as a parent figured out.  Here are 3 things the 25 year old LibertyDee knew she would be like as a mom.

  1. I would never lose my patience – why would I? I was going to raise my kids with all the love in the world and give them all they needed and wanted. I was going to speak to them reasonably and explain things to them and they therefore be very well behaved.

 

  1. I would never give them junk food – why would I? These small beings deserved nothing but the best and as long as I only served healthy foods from day one they would never want anything but. I would come home every night and assure there was a freshly cooked meal on my families table.

 

  1. I would never choose tidying and cleaning over spending time with my kids – why would I? after all my kids are perfectly behaved so they will pick up after themselves and understand the importance of pitching in as a family and help with the chores and how much time really do they really want to play with me if they have their toys and books and siblings

 

Let’s fast forward now to the present 14 A.C (After Children). I am 40 years old, been married 18 years and know that I knew nothing about being a parent.  Here is how the 3 things that 25 year old LibertyDee knew she would be like as a mom have turned out.

 

  1. I would never lose my patience – How could I not? As it turns out no matter how much you love your children or how much you give them or how reasonably you think your speaking to them. They are by nature unreasonable, demanding, stubborn little beings that will try your patience on a regular basis just because they can. IT turns out that they are their own person, they think differently than you do and what you think will make them happy is the absolutely craziest thing you could have thought of. It starts off small like throwing toys all over their room and then refusing to pick them up. It then moves into the ability to lose one shoe right before you need to leave the house. _ yes one shoe. One! And if you think I’m making this up you likely don’t have kids. And as I’m learning now that I have a teenager in the house it escalates to dealing with mood swings when you suggest they get help on a subject afterschool and their eye roll up, around and back up again followed by stomping out of the room and locking themselves in their bedroom for hours at a time.

 

  1. I would never give them junk food –How could I not? Ok. So maybe there is no real “excuse” for offering your kids junk and yes home cooked meals are the way to go but… yes but. It turn out that even though I’m a mom I also want a life of my own, I want to do things that I enjoy, things that I love, things that have nothing to do with my family and kids (unthinkable right) Well, the consequence of doing things for myself is that they cut into “mom” time and many a dinner has been sacrificed to appease the “mom needs her own life” gods. This means Pizza, takeout Chinese, and dare I say it……McDonalds.

 

  1. I would never choose tidying and cleaning over spending time with my kids – How could I not? Ok. So this one I really truly thought would be easy because I don’t even like cleaning so given the option of playing with the kids or cleaning, it would be a no brainer right? Think again. There are two big reasons why this didn’t quite work out:

 

  • I Live Here – The mess to tidying up ratio is HUGE. We are now a family of 5 and if I was not constantly tidying and/or cleaning something up the house would quickly look like something out of Hoarders. This too has changes over the years, it starts with toys and the endless crumbs from endless snacks and evolves to cups and plates by the TV & their bed, shoes in strange places ( one on its side by the front door and the other at the bottom of the basement stairs) and piles and piles of laundry – And to be fair this includes that my kids are actually pretty good at doing their chores (after some reminding)

 

  • They want to play ALL the time and it’s NOT fun (all the time) – So remember how I said “how much time really do they really want to play with me if they have their toys and books and siblings” – the answer is ALL THE TIME. I frequently haven’t even taken my coat off before my daughter is already upset that I haven’t started playing with her. And yes there have been MANY beautiful moments and memories made while we play Shopkins, make forts, tag, and even video games together but there is one thing that is rarely fun (I’m using rarely instead of never simply because I can’t bring myself to believe that it’s never been fun but honestly I can’t remember the last time) BOARD GAMES. Aughghghghghgh. From Dora Candy Land to Connect Four to The Game of Life it always turns into an argument, whining and even crying and I get stuck in the middle , playing referee and being accused of picking ”favourites”  It   I rather be cleaning ( yuppp that’s how bad it is) but usually I suck it up because ”this time will be different” – ( Enter crazy laugh here)

 

I now know that anything I think I know is only temporary. Everything I have learned as a parent is only applicable to my kids and even then only applicable to the child that I learned it about because all though they were born to the same parents and live in the same house an went to the same schools they are nothing like one another. More importantly I have learned that 25 year old LibertyDee was a sweet, well intentioned young woman who knew nothing about being a parent and owes an apology to all those young moms she had the audacity to give “advice” to.

Too Much Magic

I’m going to make this short and sweet. 

How am I expected to keep up with Santa Clause, the Elf on the Shelf and now the tooth fairy? I’ve pretty much become a big fat liar all in the name of “magic”.  

Thank goodness The Plan is now in on the Elf thing because according to him I’m “slacking” in that department. (I keep forgetting to move the darn thing so he’s stepped in to help so I can stop making up stories about why the Elf is stuck. )

Yesterday though just took me over the edge, Baby Girl lost a tooth. Literally. It fell out of her mouth and into the great abyss of her classroom never to be found. She got home worried that she would not be making any profit off this tooth and decided to write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation.


This morning she woke up and immediately looked under her pillow. Nothing. I completely forgot. The tooth fairy had not come. So what do I do? What I do best. Make up some story about how she forgot to put the note under her pillow and how things under pillows is what makes the tooth fairy’s bell go off so she knows to come and check. ( Maybe I should do something constructive with my lying and write children’s books).

Baby Girl bought my story and will try again tonight by putting the note under her pillow. All I have to do is wait till she’s asleep, pull out the note, leave some change, and remember to move the F ing Elf. Sounds simple right? 

We’ll see. 

Unreasonable #2 – Fresh Juice

It’s funny how over the past few days that I have been trying to keep an eye out on whether or not I am truly unreasonable or not, I am indeed finding myself having several “emotionally charged” reactions about what others would see as small things.  You may remember the story I told you about the lemon in my tea. This one may just be an equivalent on the unreasonableness meter.  Here’s’ my story and you can be the judge.

It was a morning just like any other morning. Baby girl was looking for her Shopkins instead of getting her shoes and coat on, Surprise was eating his second bowl of cereal, The Plan was Snapchatting (I don’t think that’s a real verb but oh well) while simultaneously styling his hair and Mr. Liberty Dee was still home although his alarm and started going off two hours prior and I was not feeling well and I was running late.

I managed to drop The Plan and Baby Girl off on time and as I got to the GO station realized I really wasn’t  well and decided to turn around and work from home  (a wonderful little perk).  I called Surprise to make sure he had headed off to school when he informed me that he was out having breakfast with Mr.LibertyDee and that Mr. LibertyDee thought I should join them. Sure I thought, they were just up the street from our house and I had to eat anyway so off I went.

Mr.LibertyDee had ordered for me and the food was just being served as I got to the table. About half way through our meal I notice that Surprise is drinking orange juice from a bottle.

Let me explain that we were NOT having breakfast as McDonalds or at some crappy breakfast buffet. We were at a place that we frequent often which serves a nice fresh breakfast and “fresh orange juice” is on their menu.  Here’s’ what happened next:

Me:

Why is surprise drinking out of a bottle?

Mr. LibertyDee:

I don’t know, that’s what they brought

Me:

Since when do they serve orange juice in a bottle?

Mr. LibertyDee:

I don’t know, maybe they saw he’s a kid and gave him a bottle to put in his lunch box

ME:

That makes no sense, why would they give “a kid” bottled juice? If he’s here for breakfast why would they worry about his lunch? (I start to scan the menu)

Look! Right there! “Fresh Juice” the menu says Fresh juice. Why do they have fresh juice on the menu and then bring over a bottle of juice and if they do that for kids it’s stupid no They’re stupid because the bottled juice has crap in it why do they want to feed crap to kids?!

Mr. LibertyDee:

It’s ok hon. I don’t think we have to make a big deal.

 

I realized at that moment that I had completely worked myself up. My heart rate was elevated , my face was warm and the only reason I didn’t address it with the restaurant is because I though maybe I was over reacting a little bit and maybe my reaction was a little “unreasonable”.

As I’m writing this though, I think that I should have said something. If you go to a restaurant for breakfast do you not expect fresh orange juice?

OH NO!!! I just thought of something…

What if in all this time I have been going there,  they have been serving me bottled orange juice in a glass? Disguised as fresh orange juice!  AUGHGHGHGHGHGH!!!!

 

Santa Stalker Returns

A few years ago, maybe 4 (it’s all such a blur), I decided to bring the Elf on the Shelf into our house. Why not? It’s not like I have anything to do over the holiday season after the kids have gone to bed and I’m exhausted right?  I had no idea what a big responsibility it is to keep the ELF thing going for a few weeks. I also didn’t realize the amount of pressure associated with the said Elf. While I was struggling to remember to move it from one table, plant holder or shelf to another, my friends on social media were posting pictures of their Elf’s elaborate hi jinx , with props and characters and storylines. 

Year two I stepped up my game and too began posting pictures of my Elf doing silly things like drawing sunglasses and a moustache on my sons picture that hangs in the living room and having a marshmallow fight with our Nutcracker and even imitating Mylie Cyrus on her Wrecking Ball. 

Although this was fun and the kids loved finding what the Elf was up to every morning, my older son, who’s more than skeptic about the whole thing, named our Elf Santa Stalker because that’s basically the premise of the Elf who’s there to silently watch your every move.  I also suddenly found myself making up all kinds of elaborate stories about why the Elf didn’t move (someone must have gotten up to use the bathroom as he was leaving and he couldn’t move so he missed his ride) , why the Elf has tags ( because it’s part of their camouflage, if someone sees them they can pretend to be toys), Why there are boxes of Elfs at Indigo (that’s for families that don’t believe, but still want to play with the Elf)  and yes, you don’t  have to tell me that that’s probably not right and I shouldn’t feed my kids all this crap.. blah, blah, blah (and I say that with all due respect) but the truth is I Love the “magic of Christmas” the fact that it’s not real is exactly the point. For 4 weeks a year I get to create something unexplainable, something memorable, something just plain fun.

Except…. after last years Elf run, I made the mistake of putting him somewhere “safe”. So two days ago when it was time for Santa Stalker to make his big return, he was nowhere to be found.  You can’t imagine the panic I felt as I rummaged through my closet, the linen closet, the back of the bathroom cabinets and he was nowhere. My mind started to race. What if Baby Girl realizes it’s December 1st and  there’s no Elf , what do I say? This is where the elaborate story piece plays a part.

Here are the top 3  responses I was ready to give to Baby Girl: 

  1. Are you sure today is the 1st? No, I think there’s a mistake because last year was a leap year. ( I know this makes no sense but she’s only 6 and I could probably confuse her enough to get through a few more days)
  2. Well, since your brothers are teenagers now maybe Santa doesn’t have to send an Elf, since it’s only you he has to watch he can do it himself from the North Pole
  3. I read an article that Santa’s Workshop needs to reduce costs and he had to cut down on Elfs so now there’s only one Elf per street and I guess he’s just not at our house yet. 

Thankfully there was no need to actually use any of those explanations as Baby Girl woke up and went on with her day without saying a peep about the Elf. I on the other hand rushed home, running though the underground PATH to stop at an Indigo store near the Go train station to buy a new Elf. Do you have any idea what happens to me when I “panic shop”? I impulse buy. I went in for an Elf and came out, with an Elf (the Delux set with book and DVD) 2 blankets and an Elf hi jinx kit. Yuppp  you read that right. It’s a kit that comes with ideas for your Elf plus accessories like a candy cane grappling hook, an Elf harness and candy cane coloured rope etc.  My hope is that although I completely over spent, due to my own disorganization, that the ideas and accessories will take the stress over what to do with Elf away and perhaps take with it the need for the elaborate, let’s just call them what they are, lies in order to cover for Santa Stalker’s inconsistencies. I’ll keep you posted. 

Unreasonable #1 – Lemon

I will be the first to admit that I can sometimes be somewhat unreasonable. I consider myself an emotional person and I don’t believe that there is room for ” reason” where emotions are concerned.  Mr. Libertydee and the kids like to call this unreasonableness “the crazies” but I have decided to celebrate my emotionally charged unreasonableness by starting to blog about these unreasonable reactions. 

Like GI Joe said “knowing is half the battle”  or Dr. Phil’s famous ” you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” by identifying these “things” and writing about them perhaps I can change. Or… maybe not… 

So let’s start with unreasonable reaction #1 shall we.

 Let me set the stage. I’ve been sick, like flu sick and I had a bit of a rough day at work and tonight was my last improv class so we did a show for family and friends but my family wasn’t there because my son got sick. Anyway , I sucked it up for the show and got home after 10:00pm, I sat on the couch, alone, enjoying the peace and quiet and thought I’d make myself a cup of tea. I love my tea. Red Rose, a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon with a slice dropped in for dramatic effect. 

What could possibly go wrong, I’m alone, I’m making tea, not a care in the world right? Well let me remind you that this is about unreasonable reactions and let you know what happened next. 

I go over to the fridge to take out the lemon only to find…., ready?????? Wait for it……someone has already cut the lemon. Lengthwise! Who the F$&@k cuts a lemon like that? What kind of savage ruins my lemon like that?? Are you kidding me? What am I supposed to do now? Cut it into wedges?? I don’t want wedges! I want a slice in the shape is a circle for my tea!  

Upon reflection, I do think that may have been somewhat unreasonable as I am drinking a cup of tea with a wedge of lemon but although it tastes the same.. it’s just NOT the same. 

I need to write 

It’s been a really long time since I’ve written anything except emails. The worst part is I think about it all the time ” I should start blogging again” ” I should write this down”, ” this would make a great post” and so it goes on and on. So? You may ask. Why? If I want to write, if I think about it all the time, if it’s really something I want to do , why oh why have I just not done it? Well let me share with you the top three excuses I have given to myself over the last year (or more)

  1. I’m not a good writer
  2. No one reads my blogs anyway
  3. I’m just too busy 

I could go further into each one but I need to make this point quickly (because I’m writing on the GoTrain and they’re going to kick me off soon) Those three excuses all can be summarized into one big reality. I’m scared. Yuppp it all comes down to fear. I fucking hate fear. I hate it because my logical self knows things like fear is all in your head and you have to push past the fear, you can’t let fear stop you from doing the things you love. But my afraid self says ” Yes! Fear is in my head. That’s the problem! I can hear it in my head reminding me over and over that this is scary. Run the other way! push past the fear? Are you kidding me? Fear is heavy. It’s piles of bricks heavy. It’s moving a mountain heavy. In fact it’s like a mountain of bricks heavy! 

Today however, I woke up thinking about everything fear has stopped me not only from doing but even trying in the past and decided that writing this blog is something I love to do and I am shutting the fear up. Because once I get down to it the only thing I’m afraid of is myself. I’m my biggest critic and honestly the only who cares what my writing is like. I am so afraid of what I’m going to think of myself that I don’t take the chance to do it. Screwed up right?  

So here it is Libertydee, your comeback post. You wrote it. It’s done. And you will hit “post” without over analyzing every word. And it doesn’t matter if no one reads it, or if the writing won’t win you a Pulitzer because you loved it and you pushed that fuckin’ mountain even if it was all in your head. 

The Mom Monologue

I have been practicing a couple of monologues for a few weeks now , preparing for when I get the nerve to audition an audition. Thank goodness I have been taking a class on this topic because I was able to get help choosing a monologue that suited me and I felt comfortable with. Funny enough neither of the characters are moms since I had been under the assumption that was pretty much the only thing I could relate to. I was also under the assumption that a true monologue had to be written by a “writer” someone who had studied writing, someone who was paid to write, someone with a summer home.

Then last night I’m at my second to last class and my acting coach says something to the extent of “ everyone has a monologue, every time we’re angry and start to talk it usually turns into a monologue” He then went on to describe how his own mom, when angry, would wash the dishes and start talking in essence delivering a monologue! This absolutely blew me away. Turn out I’m crazy when angry a monologue writer!

So let me set up the scene for you:

CharacterLibertyDee – Caucasian, 40,  mother of three.

LibertyDee has just walked into the kitchen visibly upset. Her young teenage boys have been arguing all morning, and now are complaining because they have to help clean up. LibertyDee yells speaks to the boys from the kitchen.

“! FINE! I’ll just do it myself. Might as well, why should I expect any help around here? So what if I gave you life? So what if I feed you and clothe you and keep you entertained? So what? Well you know what? Never mind. (silence for a second) No. you know what the problem is? The problem is your spoiled. Spoiled, spoiled , spoiled. Oh and I know it’s my fault. I’ve given you way too much, I’ve tried to protect you, I tried to make you happy and what’s happened? I’ve created two spoiled little kids.

(fighting back tears) The way you disrespect each other! It’s terrible to listen to. You’re brothers for god sake! You should have each other’s back you should be inseparable but you know why you’re not? Because you’re spoiled. You’ve always had everything, a house, two loving parents, soccer, basketball, swimming, video games. Everything. You know why me and your Uncle Waldo are so close? Because we didn’t have any of that! NO ! we loved each other and played together and respected one another because each other is all we had. Grandma had to work hard and she was on her own but Uncle Waldo took care of me and I loved him for it because he was all I had. We lived in a mouse infested bachelor apartment for months, forget having to share a room, we had to share a bed! And we couldn’t even speak English. But never in the history of our relationship did we disrespect each other  the way you two do. Never. Spoiled, spoiled spoiled.

I saw an Amish family the other day. A mom and like seven kids. You know what they were doing? They were helping each other out? You know why? Because they don’t have an Xbox, or a cel. phone or an ipod! That does it we’re becoming Amish!”

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, The Mom Monologue.

 

7 Things That Happen When Mom Gets Rest

I have been fighting off a virus for a couple of weeks now. It was probably at its peak at the same time I was planning for Baby Girls birthday party.  Right after the party, I was left completely wiped out. I was exhausted. Constantly exhausted. I had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning and going back to sleep is all I could think about during the day.

I finally went to a Walk In Clinic because I just knew there had to be something wrong with me. After I was examined I was told. “it’s just a virus, drink lots of liquids and get some rest”.

What?

Rest?

Seriously?

I wasn’t even sure what rest would look like?

I still had to get myself to work, I still had to take care of the kids, so where exactly would rest fit into that equation? I went on with my life assuming that I would start feeling better. After about 4 more days where I just couldn’t shake the exhaustion I went to my family doctor because surely there had to be something wrong with me. By this point I thought there had to be something seriously wrong with me because this exhaustion was comparable to having a new born in the house, I not only felt physically tired but my mind seemed to be in a fog. After I was examined and asked a million question by my doctor I was again told that it was a virus and I should drink lots of liquids and get as much rest as possible.

This time I went to MrLibertyDee for help because I really, truly, most sincerely had no idea how to get rest.

SO here is what happened:

We ordered takeout every night, I sat on the couch after dinner and watched TV with the kids,  and I got to bed by 10:00pm. Within 3 Days I was feeling substantially better, still tired but it was my regular “I’m up too early and commuting” tired.  So it worked right?  Well..as you know for every action there is and equal and opposite reaction and in this case specifically, it’s the  reaction to my lack of action.

Here’s what happened when mom got some rest:

  1. Baby Girl couldn’t be a rock star for “future job” day because her sparkly skirt is nowhere to be found
  2. The Plan and The Life argued about whose shirt was whose because laundry had not been put away
  3. Mom went to work in a skirt she had forgotten she had. Initially happy to have found something clean only to find out that the reason the skirt hadn’t been worm in a long time was because the slit in the back had split so high she could have received a citing for indecent exposure.
  4. There are napkins by the bathroom sink because toilet paper has not been purchased
  5. Our dog Molly is eating left overs because we are out of dog food (not that she’s complaining)
  6. The kids got hotdogs and dry Lucky Charms for lunch because that’s all the groceries we have
  7. The budget went out the window with money spent on Pizza, Chinese food and roasted chickens from the grocery store

Next time a doctor tells me to get some rest I’m going to make sure they write me up a prescription for a cleaner, a cook, a nanny and a personal shopper.

Mission: Birthday Party Part 3 – Piñata Placement

I finally passed out on the couch just a few minutes past midnight the night before the party. I was building castle towers made out of balloons and this entailed stringing together approximately 50 balloons and creating peaks out of Bristol board. I did it though and by the time I fell asleep the towers were done and ready to be placed on either side of our window on the front deck the next morning.

The guests were set to arrive at 2:00pm so I wanted to make sure everything was ready to go by noon. I still had to decorate the doorways, set the table, and pick up the cake and the balloon bouquet. Everything was going well until we started hearing:  POP…POP…POP… Turns out that Pinterest doesn’t warn you that if it happens to be hot outside, your balloon towers will start popping one balloon at a time until all that’s left is a balloon blob sitting on your deck.  Although I was disappointed that my towers were just a blob and the party hadn’t even started yet there was no time to dwell on it and so I left the balloon blobs on the deck (no one knew they were supposed to be towers anyway).

The guest started arriving at 2:00 sharp and by 2:30 we had 13 little girls in the house. Thank goodness it turned out to be a beautiful warm sunny day and the girls spent most of the time in the backyard, getting their faces painted, jumping in the bouncy castle and playing at the water table. When the time came to break the piñata we decided to hang it off the tree at the front of the house. I realized that I was going to have to come up with a fair way to get them lined up that wouldn’t cause any drama. In all of my brilliance I decided to line them up according to the month they were born. Little did I know that when you are 5 years old, you don’t necessarily know when your birthday is. This was a pivotal moment and had I not been able to switch gears as quickly as I did I would have had a meltdown situation on my hands.  I started to hear things like “Oh NO! I don’t know my Birthday” “I think it’s cold when my birthday is”, “I don’t know where to stand. When’s my birthday?” I could also see some eyes welling up as these little girls realized that may miss their chance at hitting the piñata. I quickly changed the game and said “ok girls let get into order by first name, who’s name starts with A?”  This was much better and I had the girls lined up in alphabetical order in no time.  We got the piñata broken, had cake and off they went. It was only two hours but I was absolutely exhausted.

I shared with you the 6 things I learned when planning a 5 year olds’ birthday party but I think at the end of the day there are only two things you need to remember:

  1. Balloons pop in the heat – they don’t care if you were up past midnight filling them
  2. When piñata hitting placement is at stake, keep instructions simple to avoid possible meltdowns.

Till next year.