Friday, January 8, 2010

The Mouthy Mommy Leaks A Book Chapter...To Bad It's Not One She Is Using.

The Mouthy Mommy has had an exceptionally long day of chasing after a toddler and helping someone else's nightmare, I mean child, with their homework. Because of this I did not take the time to research anything and my mind is way too tired to dig up any shenanigans. Sorry, I'll try harder next week. Luckily, I did manage to find a book chapter I wrote that I refuse to use because well...It's terrible. Not terrible like a monkey wrote it, but it's not my best. I thought about just deleting it, but I found it wasteful to throw out something that seemed to be coherent. So I'm sticking it here. Read it if you want. It's not that funny and I didn't end it strong. Truthfully, you may be better off printing it out and using it as toilet paper. That's what I'm doing.


At the end of a long and challenging day, I crawled up on to the bed in a daze as I had every night for the last two years. It was finally bed time and the house was quiet. These days I had a routine for everything so before I could lie down, I took some time to build myself a comfy pillow fort, one behind me to support my aching back, one under my feet to ease the swelling, and two under my head for maximum comfort. Then a few more seconds to check the baby monitor volume, shut off the television and snuggle in. Beyond exhausted, I threw myself down and shut my eyes. Darkness closed in quickly and my mind went blank. Every muscle in my body started relaxing and I slipped gently into oblivion.

Suddenly a shriek tore through the qiuet darkness. “MAMA!” My eyes popped open and struggled to focus on the laser red numbers of the alarm clock. It was 12:30 in the morning. My son two-year-old, Carter, had only been a sleep for two and a half hours, and now he was ready to abandon his Sponge Bob clad room, that I had spent a small fortune decorating, and join me in mine.

I sat up and glared quickly at my husband on the right of me. I could see that he was fast asleep and I silently cursed him for that. He was such a sound sleeper that he never heard Carter screaming into the monitor, or at least that’s what he always told me. In our house, I am queen of the night time patrol. When Carter begins to howl, it is my job to pacify him. I threw my feet on the floor and marched huffing and disoriented through the house to fulfill my mommy duties. The house was dark and big enough that I had to walk through the living room and family room to get to him. I didn’t get far before I tripped over some fake plastic keys and flew into the coffee table. My fall sent various cardboard books and dinosaurs scattering noisily to the floor. Even in the day time I lack grace, so at night in the dark I am doomed. “Damn it Carter,” I whispered to myself, my knee throbbing. Carter was still screaming and now with the added noise of my fall, the dog was beginning to bark. “Watlie, shut up or you’re going to the pound, and I’m sending your buddy Carter with you!” She scampered off with a huff. By now our old Sheppard mix was used to these nightly shenanigans, which is why she spent most of her nights sleeping in the hall by the baby’s room. This allowed her to avoid becoming a speed bump as I stomped through the house. With a small limp, I rounded the corner to greet Carter at the gate in his doorway.

“Mama yet me out! I go night-night your room?” he said, tears streaming down his red cheeks. He had a blanket in one hand and a sippy cup in the other. His blue pacifier was laced with snot. “No, you’re a big boy. Now get in your bed,” I whispered at him lovingly, but annoyed. As I opened the gate, he ran for his Sponge Bob refuge.

“Come on buddy,” I said with a smile as I tossed him over the guard rail into his twin-sized bed. “Mama loves you but its night-night time. You are a big boy, and you don’t need to sleep with me. I will see you in the morning.” I kissed his forehead and covered him with a small throw blanket. “See you in the morning!” I called to him one last time before I exited the gate.

I stumbled back to my room, this time thankfully without any casualties. The time was now 1:15 a.m., and I was confident I could squeeze in about four and a half solid hours of sleep if I drifted off now. I crawled back into bed, re-adjusted my pillow fort and closed my eyes. Fifteen minutes later, I was out cold and he was up again. I threw the covers off of myself and punched my husband’s arm. He didn’t even budge. “Ass!” I muttered loudly as I jumped from the bed. “Coming Carter!” I called as I carefully walked through the house again. The dog was now sleeping on the couch and didn’t even look up as I swished by.

When I got to the gate this time my tone was less than loving. “WHAT?!” I shrieked. “Mama, I go night-night your room!?” The boogers and tears were still flowing only this time he was sobbing. “Fine!” I said in a rough tone. “Let’s go!” I grabbed him under his arms and hoisted him over the gate. The second he was close to me there was silence.

Carter always knows exactly how to push my buttons. I am his personal slot machine. He will keep playing me until I pay out what he wants, and it doesn’t matter to him how long it’s going to take. He has all the time in the world and he always wins.

When we got to my room, I laid Carter into the center of the king-sized bed, shoving him a little closer to my husband than to me. I climbed in behind him and laid down, finally able to get some sleep. My pillow fort was in shambles now so I just grabbed a few and stacked them under my head. Defeated and tired I took one last glance at my boys and passed out. Around 2:30 a.m., I awoke again with shooting pain running up and down my spine. Carter had managed to wedge his head up against my back and push me so close to the edge of the bed that now my head was resting on the night stand instead of my stack of pillows. I lifted my body with one arm and pushed him with the other behind my back. “Scoot over, Carter,” I said in an irritated hiss, while I rolled him back toward my husband, Steve. It didn’t take but a second for him to start rolling back toward me. I was still irritated, but I had to giggle to myself. Does this kid have some kind of magnetic force that’s attracted just to me? I gave him two more shoves, and he settled inches away from my face. Though he wasn’t too far from me it gave me enough space to lay my head back down on one pillow and ease myself away from the bed’s edge. I shut my eyes for what I hoped would be the last time until morning.

A few short hours later the sun rose and so did mine. Both were fresh and ready to start the day. I rolled over and noticed Steve staring at me from the bathroom doorway. “What time did you bring him to bed?” he asked in a curious and judgmental voice.

“Um, about 4:30 this morning,” I said back quietly as I turned on some morning cartoons. I knew that 4:30 was a complete lie but I had promised him I wouldn’t allow Carter to sleep with us all night anymore. Steve insisted we were creating bad bed time habits for him, and if we didn’t stop now he would be driving home from college to curl up with his mommy. “I thought you were going to make him stay in his room until 7 a.m.? What happened?” he asked me still carrying the same judgmental tone.

I felt my blood begin to boil. Who was he to judge me when I am the one hauling my ass out of bed 50 times a night to take care of the baby while he sleeps peacefully? All I wanted was a few hours’ rest uninterrupted. I tossed a few choice phrases around in my head before settling on something I knew he couldn’t argue with. “Carter felt a little warm and because it was already 4:30 and so close to morning I thought I would bring him to bed with me so that I could monitor his temperature.” Steve looked at me with one eyebrow raised. I had a sinking feeling he wasn’t buying it, but he was late for work so he didn’t have time to argue.

“OK, well, I got to get going. You two have a fun day.” He kissed us both and walked from the bedroom and out the front door, lightly slamming it behind him. I looked over at Carter, his hazel eyes beaming at me. I smiled and kissed his cheek. “Good morning, baby. Do you want mommy to get you some milk?” The words no sooner left my mouth when he broke into a loud sob. “No! I want my daddy come back!” Giant tears began rolling down his face. Angry and exhausted I clenched my teeth and snarled to him, “Oh yea, well daddy is busy working. Maybe you should have spent quality time with him last night instead of torturing me if he’s so great.” I couldn’t believe the nerve of this kid. If it wasn’t for me rescuing him he would have been stuck behind bars crying his eyes out all night and now he wants his daddy? I’ll never understand how kids are programmed. How they punish their primary caregiver and perceive the one that abandons them all day as a superhero. I let the thought exit my mind as quickly as it came. There was no way I could explain this to a toddler. I threw my legs over the side of the bed and moved toward the kitchen to fetch his cup of milk. It was now 8:15 a.m. Time for the day to begin.

Our days were always filled with routines and surprises. There were bills to pay and clothes to clean. Carter would do his best to break me throughout the day so it was time to put my game face on and plan our activities. I poured myself a giant cup of coffee with extra sugar, took a giant swig and brought Carter his cup. He was quiet now and enjoying his morning programming. “Here’s your milk buddy.” I said while slipping the cup into his little hand. He never broke his gaze from the TV. Wanting to cash in on his attentiveness on something other than myself, I walked quietly into the bathroom. I stood there for a few short minutes examining my face in the mirror. It was amazing to me how in two short years I managed to age ten. I could hear Carter in the distance shuffling to get down of the bed. I took a deep breath and quietly chanted “I love being a mom, I’ll survive this.” I was hopeful that saying the words out loud would ease my frustration. Seconds later, the door flew open and behind me a small figure came running in, arms spread shouting “Mommeeeee.” I turned to see his smiling face beaming up at me and suddenly nothing else mattered.

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