Posts Tagged ‘Nana’

Nana, my mother-in-law, arrived Friday evening and I was uncharacteristically relaxed – my house was clean beyond reproach and my kids were asleep, therefore behaving. It’s a good start.

The kids were thrilled to see Nana in the morning. L was beside himself with excitement. S probably didn’t remember her, but was as happy to see her as she is to see everyone. I got to sleep in until 7:30 (some sleep-in!), T made coffee and everything in the house was peaceful.

T and I immediately took advantage of the situation and went out to run errands alone. (This was more exciting to us than it sounds, and possibly more exciting than it ought to be.) Later, while S napped and Nana and T did yard work*, I got to take L to the local town fair.

*Yard work = leveling a huge swath of our backyard for an 18 foot diameter above ground pool. This is hard work and I got to miss a few hours of it. Horay!

L and I often have “special time” together, and it usually sucks due to a combination of my too-high-expectations and his too-low-acceptable-behavior-bar. But this time was different. L was still in a great mood because of Nana’s arrival, and we were going to a fair. What would have probably been a combination to create an overstimulated nightmare a year ago, was a perfect combo for a one-in-a-million awesomely perfect, tantrum and strife free outing with L.

It rained the whole time we were there. We rode The Scrambler and had belly laughs like we never had before. Several rides later, we shared a caramel apple and L won a teddy bear who he creatively named Teddy. It was a sitcom/movie-montage type of outing. I never get outings like this. I got to relish all that is fun and awesome and wonderful about my little 4-year-old L.

A total win of a day all made possible by Nana’s visit. A win!

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I’ve written before about L’s funny conversations with Nana. The combination of his toddler-speak and her accent makes for a total communication breakdown that neither of them seems to mind or notice. As I’m often the only person in the room who understands both of them, I am witness to so many strange conversations, and I marvel that they seem to get by without full-time translators.

According to L’s pronunciation, many words begin with the letter B. He’s not excited, he’s becited. When he wants to interrupt, he says “bescuse me.” He bemembers things rather than remembers. He loves to eat bessert and his favorite vegetable is bematoes.

It’s been a little while since Nana left, but I guess she was on L’s mind. Out of nowhere L said this to me in the car, and it made me laugh out loud:

“Some people, like you and me, say bemato. But did you know that other people say tom-aaah-to?” The latter said with exaggerated fake English-ish accent, and perfect enunciated T’s.

Maybe you had to be there…

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My zen is crumbling around me as I return to the familiar territory of irritability. Just like the ugly, gigantic pajama pants that I normally put on every night after tucking the kids into bed. (You know, the ones I bought when I was 7 months pregnant, that were then cute(ish) capris but now drag on the floor even when hoisted up all the way to my boobs.)

The pants disappeared with Nana’s visit. I just pretended to be the type who keeps her jeans on until bedtime. I also pretended to be calm. I pulled it off so well that I even fell for it. But as soon as outsider eyes stopped watching, I hitched up my huge pjs and I got annoyed at everything.

I am a duck. I am a duck. I am a duck.

Fuck it. I’m no duck. I’m the mom who took off L’s doorknob yesterday and turned it around so I could lock his door from the outside, after a solid hour of back-to-back time outs where I had to stand there holding the door closed pretending I couldn’t hear his “stupid mommy!” and “poopy mommy!” and him hurling himself and all that was not nailed down at the door.

Maybe a little bit of my flirtation with zen did stick. Although I eventually yelled, it was only a little bit. I quickly regained control of myself and did the door knob thing instead, which certainly shocked and disturbed L more than any yelling I could do. When all was said and done I was able to bring my blood pressure back down to a low simmer and get on with the day.

So, I’m no zen master and I’ve lost that zenny ease I had while Nana was here. Then it was easy. I simply had no choice. Now I’m free to show my ugly-mommy side and it really wants to be seen. Here’s hoping I have some zen-retention though. I know it’s possible anyway.

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I’ve been so good. I’ve really kept my cool despite extraordinary circumstances. I’ve held it together. Apparently this really annoyed L. He needed to try harder and harder and harder to get me to blow. Of course he eventually succeeded, like he always does. That little turd.

I did not lose my temper when he purposely head-butted S leaving a big bump on her forehead.

I did not lose my temper when he whacked S with a serving spoon.

Or when he tripped her.

I did not lose my temper when he stuck his tongue out at Nana.

Or when he told her that she’s not his friend.

All of these incidences were met with cool, measured consequences. No yelling.

What did it? When he told me he was going to punch me in my face.

That’s when I grabbed him by his shirt, ripping it, and dragged him to his room yelling that I had enough. I threw a pull up through the door and told him to put himself to bed and that I was sick of his obnoxious behavior and that he just cannot talk that way to me.

I was told today that respect has to be earned, not demanded. But honestly, what do I do that doesn’t earn it? I provide him food and drink, entertainment, enrichment, and a million other niceties every day, and, lately, even a very calm demeanor! I think that I deserve not to be told that he wants to punch me in the face. Reasonable, right?

Oh, and by the way, it’s totally fucking awesome that Nana is here to witness all of this. That right now she’s in the next room while L is wailing upstairs, “you broke my shirt!”

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As many of you know, my mother in law, Nana, is coming to visit. Specifically, she’s coming 2 weeks from today and staying 26 days. She comes from very, very, very far away. Basically as far away as you can get on the planet before you’re headed back.

She’s one of those people who is so industrious that she can’t sit down and relax for even a moment. She’ll have dinner made, plus a totally different dinner to freeze for another time, and a few desserts prepared all before I come downstairs in the morning. Which I do around 6:30. Her day will continue in this frenzy of productive activity until she goes to bed, which is sometime after I do.

Here’s my problem: I am not as productive as she is. Not close. I don’t accomplish in a month what she does in a day. Which I’m normally fine with but I feel bad about when she’s here. I kind of just like to sit on the floor and play with S for a while. Maybe watch a DVR’d episode of Grey’s Anatomy or something at the same time. And, you know, blog. But that’s hard to do without feeling useless and lazy while Nana is outside hauling yard debris into the woods.

Here’s my actual, immediate problem that I need help with: I have exactly two weeks to whip my house into shape and make it look like it’s always that way. That means that every surface needs to be decluttered. Every corner cleaned. I need a plan. Any organized moms out there want to help me with a plan of attack? I look around and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of our slovenliness. I’m so busy picking up the same toys and all the stuff S empties out of my cupboards all day every day to deal with the bigger picture on a regular basis, so it’s gotten a bit out of hand. Ideally my cleaning/organizing spree would even include stuff like weeding outside, which hasn’t really been done since Nana’s last visit (when she did it).

See, I know I’m lazy. I just don’t want to look it. Help?

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