Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Babies, Boys and Boredom

I hate playing with my kids.

There, I said it.

Yes, I'm a horrible mother.

Possibly even a horrible human being.

But very few things make me want to stick a fork in my eye like playing with my kids.

I hate reading board books (really, they should just call them 'bored' books) and pointing out that that's a dog! There's a cat! There's a mouse! There's Elmo! *yawn*

I hate building block towers. And knocking them down again. And building it up again. And knocking them down again. And building it up again... *yawn*

I hate walking around a park slower than a snail in the direction one might take if one were extremely inebriated.

I hate chasing someone for 2 steps. And then having them chase me for 2 steps. And then chasing them again. And then having them chase me again. And chasing them again...

I hate repeating myself more than 4 times in answer to the same exact question. Constantly. All day long. Otherwise known as, toddler conversation.

All of this is what "playtime" is like with someone under age 3. And it's fine for 20 minutes. Maybe even an hour. But when it drags into the 3 hour range, each and every day, for YEARS, you start to want to cry. And I KNOW I'm not alone.

Checking out any kiddie park or museum, you'll see nannies, babysitters, and parents alike all on their smart phones, trying like heck not to die of boredom. No judgment from me. Or Louis CK. He has a hilarious sketch about being bored to death by playing with his kids, with the great punch line - Sorry, I'm bored more than I love you.

But just as kids start to become more interesting at age 3 and up, I'm discovering a new kind of boredom: Boy play.

Boy play typically involves everything that I (as a classic and lifelong girly-girl) have always avoided out of sheer disinterest.

Superheros and villains *yawn*, construction vehicles *yawn*, fighting and swordplay *ugh*, and, most recently for Judah - hotwheels.

Just a tiny fraction of Judah's beloved car collection.

It's all he wants to do now. Every time we go to Target he spends every single hard-earned dollar of his on hotwheel cars. He literally has over 50 that he hordes in his backpack and all he wants to do all day every day is "play cars."

I have no idea what I'm doing, but wheelies are always good, right?

See, that very concept is foreign to me. What does that even mean - play cars? Zoom them around? Roll them back and forth? Spin them on their backs? Pretend they are on good teams and bad teams and fight each other? I just really don't get it.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down my desire to NOT be bored to tears.

I should know better because Judah begs me to "play cars" with him all day long and sometimes I even comply. But honestly, I just sit there with a blank look on my face and Judah eventually gets lost in a world of his own (or thankfully Noah needs a diaper change or something else "urgent" whisks me away, to my enormous relief).

But I do feel bad.

I feel bad that one of the things I dread the most is hearing Judah say - Mommy, can you play cars with me?

I dread it. I dread it with every fiber of my being. Because it presents the catch-22 choice between life-sucking boredom when I say yes or crushing mom-guilt when I say no.

Some days I'm bored more than I love him.
And some days I love him more than I'm bored.

But every day, I'm dying just a little bit either way.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Today I jokingly called Judah "Hilarious" and Judah jokingly acted offended.

Noah instantly jumped to his brother's defense and spurted out an amazing speech for a 25 month old.


Two full sentences! Whoah!

I always feel like Noah is my "bonus" baby. With Judah, I was so caring and attentive - always trying to make sure I was "developing" him well, reading to him, labeling things, eating all my prenatal vitamins. But I let everything slide with Noah. Too busy. Too tired.

If results correlated with effort, Noah should be a mute little toadstool. But he's just as talkative if not more so than Judah was at that age.

I call him my little Grumplestilskin.

And more importantly, he's hilarious too.

A Dream Deferred

I have a dream.

That one day, my house will not have random crap on every surface.
That I will get rid of all the "baby" stuff.
That I will have a cleaning caddy with a sponge, gloves, and detergent under each sink.
That my files will make sense.
And in short, that everything will be ORGANIZED.

After 2+ years of pining and wishing, and hoping, and desperately wanting, this dream was supposed to start becoming reality this week. This was supposed to be the beginning of the 2-week period I set aside for EPIC CLEANUP 2015. I even told the Spouse that I refuse to cook for 2 weeks so I can finally get a grip on the clutter.

So OF COURSE, this is the week my car chose to break down. OF COURSE the check engine light would go on and the car would stutter like a panicked cat. And OF COURSE the mechanic would tell me he fixed it and then I would drive it home the next day, only to find the problem wasn't fixed and I'd have to drive it back and leave it there again and then drive it home again.

All my kid-free time for this entire week has now been taken up with fixing the car.

Story of my life (with kids).

No, it's not their fault the car broke down. But it's typical. The frustration. The constant, unending, frustration. The fact that it takes unbelievable will and grit and determination to move one tiny pebble of fate, only to have an avalanche crash down on you the next day.

It is impossible to get much done with little kids. Just to "maintain" feels like an uphill pipe dream. No sooner have I washed the dishes then someone's spilled and crumbed all over the floor. And no sooner have I swiffered the floors then someone's decided to dump all the crayons and bristle blocks and puzzle pieces all over the house. And no sooner have I cleaned up all that then someone's peed all over the bathroom. Et cetera. Et cetera. Ad nauseum.

But they are cute.

Everyone's favorite time of day - TV time!

 And they love each other.


And they are growing up alarmingly fast.

Best buds

Which is how I console myself each and every day I see hundreds of things out of place and cluttered.

Breathe. Focus. Perspective. Repeat.