July 30, 2015

The Bedtime Circus

I hate bedtime. I didn't used to hate it. My older two children always went to bed without much fanfare. No whining, no last-minute requests for drinks. There was bath time, a story, tooth brushing and hugs and kisses. I never realized how spoiled I was then.

I'm the Ringmaster AND the head clown.

As they got older they would add to the routine--get themselves a drink, find a lovey to snuggle. There were sometimes whiny requests to stay up later but the routine rarely went off the rails and it certainly wasn't the circus it is these days. Then came my third child.

When she was an infant bedtime was still easy. The big kids did for themselves and she could be nursed down. But when you have a baby when your youngest is seven, she becomes a toddler who grows up witnessing the independence of her older siblings there will inevitably come a day when she will seek to establish an autonomy of her own. Mine has declared bedtime her dominion.

The Bedtime Circus here isn't fun or entertaining for me. Every night I get intensely (and probably unreasonably) frustrated that it is not as simple as it once was and I loathe it's inescapable occurrence. I often feel an unbidden rage come over me as it nears and I frequently "lose my shit" during the process. It doesn't take much to push me over the edge.

It begins with the acrobatic endeavors of my youngest (now four) trying to escape capture and avoid the defeat of sleep. We can go from whining to downright refusals. There are often "forgotten" tasks--drinks, loveys, trips to the potty. Sometimes there is a concerted effort by all three to hide or to switch beds. Every next minute burning into the time I have to myself (and with my husband) before seeking my own restful respite.

Lately though, I have come to realize that it is probably becoming equally dreaded by my kids, and when you think about it circuses are meant to be fun and entertaining.

I love my kids. They are good kids and they mostly get along, despite the age differences and distinct personalities. I am trying to step back and appreciate the artful chaos of each evening. How it can be gratifying to see so much love between them even when they seem to be banding together in what feels like an effort to drive me mad. When the circus gets going, and the performers all do their parts, it should be thrilling and amusing and even breathtaking.

        It is three kids in effortless choreography around me and each other, getting a last drink of water, a dose of allergy medication, hugs and kisses. 

    There is the interpretive tooth brushing dance where the older two do-si-do around a small sink and a small sister who likes to make a spectacle of every task.  

      Clowning antics as they race each other back to their bedrooms:  shucking and jiving, playful shoving and lots of laughing and silliness. 

     It is the littlest one's gravity-defying climb to the top of a loft bed, perilously hopping up the ladder and once up there, leaning over the side to wave her long hair upside down. 

       For me a walk of fire across my son's bedroom floor littered with Lego bricks. There is gasping (and frequently cursing under my breath). 

       And finally the graceful swan dive of my very tall oldest daughter, down to her soft pillow-top mattress, falling into a deep pool of restful sleep. It is this I envy her. 

Our circus is probably not unique and it can be challenging--as all live entertainment is--but I have to appreciate the effort of the performers. Someday this circus will move on and I will be left with a dusty top hat, wondering what the next production will be.

Bedtime is a circus around here. #TheBedtimeCircus @notsosupermom_

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July 13, 2015

The Affair

About two and a half months ago I began a new relationship. I had seen this guy and I knew I had to have him. I tried to find out as much as I could about him. I looked for him everywhere, Googled his name, talked to people I knew had had contact with him. It was almost embarrassing, but I knew I wouldn't be able to live without him. By mid-May, he was mine.

We do everything together. Everything. This wasn't much of a problem in the beginning. I was so happy to have him and he made me feel good about myself. He was quietly encouraging and he made me feel like a better person. Sometimes I even snuck out for long walks with him. He had me doing things I hadn't done in quite a while. But things were moving fast.

I soon realized that I began to rely on him entirely too much. I was constantly looking to him for approval. I would check in with him all day long, interrupting my work and time with my husband and kids. I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible--pretending to check facebook or play Words With Friends on my phone--but really I was secretly checking in with him. It was shameful.

My good friend, Misty, finally pointed out the truth:  my fitbit was turning me into his fitbitch.

I am your fitbitch.

In reality he was the clingy one. He needed to be with me constantly and I started to resent his persistent presence. Did he need to be on me ALL THE TIME?! I just couldn't shake him off. This was starting to feel like a bad relationship.

Things were getting downright uncomfortable. If it got hot and heavy in the bedroom, I began to feel like fitbit was a third wheel. Was there a protocol for this? Did my husband even notice he was there? Has proper etiquette been established for these situations? Was it impolite to leave him on my wrist when my husband and I were getting naked? What if it gets in the way of, um, things?  Is this what a threesome feels like?

Ultimately the most important questions about sex with the fitbit on had yet to be answered: how many steps am I tracking and how many calories am I REALLY burning?

Is there a protocol for this? Is this what a threesome feels like? @notsosupermom_ #TheAffair

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July 6, 2015

Always and Forever (and Ever, and Ever, and Ever....)

I feel uniquely qualified to write about Shark Week, which for my purposes should be renamed Shark Season. 
The story of a period without an end.

About 4 years ago, I gave birth to my third and final child. It was decided at the time that I would not get my tubes tied while I was still in the hospital and in the throes of hormonal chaos, in case I regretted the decision to do so. My only regret now is NOT having done it. Since birth control is a necessity (because a fourth child is a don'teventhinkaboutit) and in deference to my husband's aversion to all things medical, I decided that I would go on Depo-provera, a birth control shot that I would get every three months. In addition to not having to remember to take a pill every day, the shot came with the possible side effect (read: BONUS!) of curbing or eliminating my period. Sign. Me. Up.

I got my first shot back in December of last year. The doctor told me that my desired "side effect" could take up to three shots to go into effect. Three months later and three months later, and the desired side effect is exactly non-existent for me. But that may be putting it mildly. What's actually happened is that not only am I not NOT getting my period, but I am getting it for weeks. And weeks. And weeks. Out of the roughly 12 weeks per shot, I probably have my period 7 or 8 of those weeks. Apparently I have the Energizer bunny of periods: it keeps going, and going, and going.

And now in the end game of the third shot it has only been getting worse. I have had flash flooding that has had nothing to do with the torrential downpours that have plagued my South Central Pennsylvania town in recent weeks. I have had to leave work and other public places in search of dry land and clean undergarments. This is not the birth-controlled, carefree-married-sex driven (and period-free!) existence of which I dreamt. 

Unless one's husband is into riding the red tide, I can assure you that having one's period for eight weeks is not conducive to having too much sex--which sort of defeats the purpose of having birth control in the first place. No surprise that Pfizer isn't advertising this particular possibility. Or maybe they should explain that the real birth control happens when you can't even squeeze in a quickie because this tide just isn't going out.

Now Aunt Flo hasn't been here all day all the time. A few times she has made herself somewhat scarce.  It is these opportunities that have made this marginally bearable, but unfortunately the unbridled freedom of sex without consequences has been squelched. The staff has been stifled. The muff muffled.

I think it's time to take the old tubes in for a little trim. It won't prevent Aunt Flo from stopping by, but at least her visits will be a lot shorter. She's seriously overstayed her welcome here.

Aunt Flo has seriously overstayed her welcome. #SharkSeason2015
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