Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From Hell: The playdate


So I've decided to start a mini-series titled "From Hell" as so many of my experiences could easily fit in this category. So sit back and enjoy my first installment....which truly was the playdate from hell.

I have a very dear friend who lives about 2 hours away whose children are the same ages as my older two. She and I only get to see each other about once a year as the distance, the jobs, and the children make it hard to find the time. So I was thrilled when I received a text that she and her girls were coming down to see the new baby and have a playdate. (RJ is just enamored with her older girl.)

The day came and they arrived and we all headed up to the playroom. Everything seemed to be going perfectly. The kids were playing (albeit TRASHING the playroom) having a blast and we were catching up. (I didn't realize how much I missed adult conversations until this day.)

RJ and T (the two five year olds) were in RJ's room with the door shut when I heard the screams. I ran to the door and flung it open to find them both on the bed with hands around each other's throats literally choking each other. As I yelled for them to stop they twisted and rolled and toppled off the bed into a heap onto the floor. The wails came next and were soon followed up with the "I hate you's!"

At this point we decided heading to the backyard to play outside may be a better idea. So we herded them all out to the play gym. Again, things were going great. She and I sitting in my adirondack chairs with our feet propped up chatting while the kids ran around and played in the sandbox, on the slide, in the drainage ditch, etc. That's when it happened.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw her 3 year old fall off the third rung of the ladder and land in a heap under the slide. Being the mother of a boy who would classify as a category 3 hurricane I naturally didn't even flinch. 
"You're fine. Brush it off!" I called from my seat barely even looking in her direction.
But she didn't move. My friend, sensing something different, jumped up and ran to her. Scooping her up as the wails began. She carried her over to the chairs hugging her tightly and rocking her.
"Where does it hurt baby? Tell Mommy where it hurts."
"My tummmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!" She screamed.
But that's when we saw it. Something just didn't look quite right about her arm. As we both stared at her wrist and forearm we realized it resembled an accordion. It was bending at the wrong places in the wrong directions more times than is natural.

We both immediately flipped into full blown fight or flight mommy mode. She scooped up C and began running to the front yard to put her in the car. I immediately grabbed her 5 year old and began dragging her to the car. It was about this time that T (the 5 year old) realized that her little sister was hurt- and hurt badly. Well.....banshee screaming does not even begin to describe the decibel level of T's cries. She began to hyperventilate shrieking at the top of her lungs as I buckled her in the carseat. Even C- the hurt one- began to look at her funny.

As my friend ran into the house to collect their things I feverishly tried to pull up the Urgent Care center on her GPS. (Remember they live 2 hours away and have no idea how to get around.) T was still hysterically screaming and my own children were running around crazy.

"GET IN THE HOUSE!!!!" I screamed to my kids as my friend jumps into the driver seat and peeled out of the driveway. 
"TEXT ME AND LET ME KNOW HOW SHE IS," I yelled as she sped away.

I took a deep breath trying to collect myself before I went back inside.

Finally I turned around and walked through the garage and into the kitchen. Standing there in the kitchen looking up at me and grinning was RJ. In her hands was a rotting maggot-covered carcass of a turtle who had clearly been hit by a lawnmower. The stench threatened to knock me over.

"Look what I found!!" she said excitedly. "There's all sorts of baby worms on it."

She barely had time to get the words out before i shrieked, grabbed the decaying mass with my bare hands and chucked it out the still open garage door into the yard.

"THEY'RE JUST BAAAAAAAAABIES THEY WON'T BE SAAAAAAAAAFE!" she screamed as she burst into tears. and in the same breath she looked down at her goo-covered hands, the odor so pungent it was almost visible wafting off of her hands. "THAT'S DISGUUUUUUUUUSTING!!!!!"

The next 20 minutes are a blur as I frantically tried to scrub the decaying flesh from her hands while simultaneously phoning the hubs to ask him to meet my friend at the ER to help her with her 5 year old while they casted the 3 year old. I'm not sure why but there was a time out for RJ during which I allowed DC to pick the TV show.

Screams erupted from RJ when her brother picked "Umi Zumi" (or howeverthehell you spell it). Followed with "I HATE YOU!!!!!"

Now she has never uttered such words to me before and for a moment we were both stunned as the words hung thick in the air- mingling with the still fresh smell of dead turtle. I will spare you the details and end with putting the kids to bed early and funneling a few beers like I was a freshman in college again.

And that my friends is the playdate from hell. Can you top it?
As a follow up I will tell you that C got her cast off and is in just an air cast now. And the turtle is continuing to rot in my front yard because RJ wants to take the skeleton to school for show and tell.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I am Rip Van Winkle

I went to sleep and when I woke up I didn't recognize myself.
I'm standing in the dressing room at Target under the cruel buzzing UV lights staring at myself wearing what looks like my mother's tankini wondering when this happened. The stubborn last 10 pounds of baby weight clinging to my thighs. I look like a thirtysomething mom of three. And I am horrified when I realize I am.

I know we all say it but didn't you think you'd have it more figured out by this time? Didn't you think you'd feel different? I feel like a 20 year old trapped in this body I don't recognize. The wrinkles are beginning to crawl across my face. "Smile lines" from the laughter of all those years. I even found a grey hair the other day. Where did it all go? The time? Suddenly I find myself all grown up with a mortgage and a 12 year old Suburban we lovingly refer to as "the battering ram". 
I listen to '90s on 9 and have no idea who these bands are the Today show keeps promoting. I read potty training blogs over lunch and have decided that 5-7pm is now known as "Crappy Hour".
My closest friendships are maintained via text because who has time to talk let alone actually see people. My oldest child is starting kindergarten this year. KINDERGARTEN!!! I actually asked for a dust buster for my birthday and was thrilled when I got it.
What happened to the restless untamed me? The one who turned 21 at the Tropicana club in Havana, Cuba? The one who moved to the Navajo reservation for 3 months to "find myself"? The one who quit her job, packed everything into a Nissan, and drove 3 states away with no job, no apartment, and no idea what was going to happen?
You give up things when you have kids. You give up yourself and the person you thought you were. You become this new person. One who's greatest joy is seeing your 5 year old do the cheer from cheer camp or sing her vacation bible school songs in front of the whole church on Sunday morning. And quite honestly I was more proud that DC went poop in the potty than when I walked across the stage at my college graduation. In fact, I don't even remember anything about my college graduation but I can tell you down to the minute when he pooped in the potty.
Hubs keeps asking me "Where did my daredevil go?" All I can see is the outcomes now and what they mean for my kids-my lifeblood. I did not know it was even possible to love so fiercely. So completely.
I miss her every now and again- that barefooted wide eyed wild child who was going to change the world. I just didn't realize that my change was going to be on a much smaller scale. I have changed My World. And for now that's all that matters. And that's enough.