The highlight of my morning…

Let me set the scene:

Ellie is supposed to be getting into the shower where Tim is bathing Gwen, who is covered in poop.

I am frantically running around with wet rags and a can of Resolve in an effort to remove said poop from the white carpet in Ellie’s room before it stains.

(Yes, I am an asshole for having white carpet installed in a home with two young children and three cats. Let’s just set that aside for the moment, shall we?)

Ellie gets curious and goes to check out Gwen’s masterpiece, as I’m rinsing out the rags for the third time.

Ellie: “MAMA! Come look!!”

Me: “I know, Ellie, she pooped in your bedroom, I know. I’m cleaning it up, hold on.”

Ellie: “No, Mama, come look!”

Me: *sigh* “What?!?”

Ellie, beside herself with excitement, gestures to one of the stains on the carpet.

Ellie: “Mama! Look! It’s a POOP STAR!!!”

I look down and sure enough, at my feet I see a recognizably star-shaped blob of poop.

Leave it to Ellie to find immense joy in the little things.

(Also, Gwen is fine and happy as a clam; it’s just a stomach bug. A really messy stomach bug.)


my life as a parent, if life were a bunch of facebook status updates

Sometimes my mom thinks she's funny and posts about me on Facebook. When she does, I make this face.

Sometimes my mom thinks she’s funny and posts about me on Facebook. When she does, I make this face.

The baby has discovered she can grind her newly-minted top and bottom teeth together. Please scrape me off the ceiling when she loses interest in this fingernails-on-a-chalkboard-esque habit.

“Mama,” says Ellie, after listening to her sister SCREAM in the car all the way home from Ellsworth, despite being offered a bottle, a binky, and a clean diaper, “babies don’t know what they want.” Wiser words have never been spoken, kid.

Ellie is throwing a ball and encouraging Gwen to go get it. Yes you read that right–she’s trying to play fetch with her baby sister. I am witnessing the source of some lucky future therapist’s paycheck.

A letter to my youngest: Umm, kid? I know you want to keep up with your sister, but this whole cruising thing is a bit much. You’re EIGHT MONTHS OLD. Please feel free to slow it down. Short of putting you in a padded room for the next month, I’m not sure what to do with you, so please stop bumping your head on everything. Love, Mama.

Life with a three-year-old in a semi-crowded restaurant: “Excuse me! Sorry. Thank you. Excuse me… thank you! Sorry, excuse me, thank you… Ellie! Oops, sorry, excuse me, thank you!” Repeat.

Second-guessing our decision to watch The Daily Show while the kids are awake. Normally it’s pretty tame, but tonight one of Jon Stewart’s punchlines included the word “penis” and now Ellie is chanting, “penis, penis, I love the penis! This is my penis!” Oh, dear.

Clothes shopping with a three-year-old means a loud, running commentary on the entire dressing room experience. “Mama, why are you trying on THAT new bra? Mama? Why doesn’t your shirt fit? Mama, you’re squishy!!!! Squishy SQUISHY BELLY! Ahahahahahaha! Oh Mama, those pants are beeYOUtifull!!!!!” I hope the rest of the store enjoyed the show.

Evening’s highlights: Ellie stomping through Gov’s after we’ve been to the restroom saying (in an uncomfortably loud voice, of course) “Measure your pleasure!” (NO idea where she got that from, but it sounds like a condom commercial.) Then we get home and she starts randomly taking off her clothes. Tim asks what she’s doing and she replies, “I haven’t the faintest idea!” Kid is crazy.

In which my kids get the best of me, as always

By the time I returned from Vegas, Gwen had begun pulling herself up. One month later and the standing is a regular thing, along with creeping alongside the couch (leaving a lovely trail of drool on the cushions behind–apparently she keeps her sense of balance in her tongue.) I can’t say I’m ready for this. She only started crawling for real 2-3 weeks ago, but apparently she’s taking AP courses in mobility. Also, she’s learned to feed herself finger foods, clap, give kisses, and wave hello, all in the span of the last week and a half. If she keeps up at this developmental pace, she’ll be starting college in about, oh, three years. Two if she really applies herself in toddler school… but those quadratic equations are a bitch when you don’t know how to properly hold a crayon. 😛

getaway driver

Gwen taking Driver’s Ed. Careful parellel parking, kiddo.

Now I not only have to keep Ellie from unintentionally giving her sister a concussion, I have to keep Gwen from giving herself a concussion. Double your pleasure, if by “pleasure” you mean “number of small heart attacks.”

Gwen is also teething, and I don’t remember teething being this… nerve-wracking. Maybe I’ve blocked it from my memory for a reason, but Ellie cut all her teeth in the span of about six months, so it was wham, bang, done. No muss, no fuss. In contrast, Gwen’s chompers are taking their pleasant time. Apparently she’s going to draw this out as long as painfully possible and suck down every last ounce of my patience in the process.

Speaking of patience or a lack thereof, let’s talk about Ellie.

A rare snuggly moment

A rare moment of peace

I have mixed feelings about three as an age in general. I realize my experience in this arena is limited, and those of you who are familiar with teenagers are looking at me with “Oh, honey, you have no idea” eyes. Ellie may have an attitude, but at least she doesn’t have car keys, a credit card, and a hulking boyfriend named Todd, right? I still have some illusion of control here.

Ellie, oh my sweet Ellie. I know a big part of my struggle comes down to a difference in personality. She is so fiery, and I am not. I don’t know how to handle all her passion and angst. That’s not to say I’m not angsty, but I’m not outwardly angsty. Keep that shit to yourself, please!

But Miss Three does not know how to keep her shit to herself. Miss Three wants us to know about everything–every single thought in her adorable blonde head. All. Of. It. All the drama, all the time, like a Lifetime movie marathon on constant repeat.

And the noise! “Mama? Mama?!? MAMA! Hey Mama! MAMA!!!!” By the time I go to bed, every last nerve is fried and overstimulated to the point where I can’t sleep. I’m physically buzzing in an effort to keep up with my kids. Like a junkie who gets high on silence and desperately needs a fix.

Mostly, I can’t believe they’re growing so fast. Every time I look at Ellie climb the rope ladder to get to the big kids’ slide, Mama!, and every time I look at Gwen’s chubby legs taking tentative steps alongside the furniture, I am reminded of how much has changed in the last three years. I’m frustrated because I can’t hold onto it. The kids are always slipping out of my grasp, literally and figuratively. They want to move, they want to go, and I won’t hold them back, but part of me wants my babies to stay innocent and sweet and chubby and attitude-free. So much change in such a short period of time is overwhelming. Such is parenthood, I suppose.

this is the part where i torture you with more photos of my kids

Because this is my blog and, well, I just can. 🙂

Sisterly loveBig smilesMama's eyesPout

If you have to ask why there are so many more photos of Gwen than Ellie on Flickr these days, then you’re probably not parent to a hyperactive three-year-old. Most photos of Ellie are nothing more than a blur, because she gives me all of half a second to take a photo, stopping only briefly to yell “CHEESE!” before finding something infinitely more interesting than mama and her camera phone.

Gwen, on the other hand, is mostly stationary… at least for the time being. I don’t expect that to last for long, as she’s discovered rolling over allows her to get from point A to point Toy, albeit more slowly than she’d like.