I'm not going to sugar coat this one - Being sick, with kids, SUCKS. Being sick, with sick kids, SUCKS BIG FAT - fill in the blank with whatever is like the worst thing you can think of because basically, it's a living hell.
Let me paint you a picture. Your head is so full of mucus you feel like it may ooze out of your eyeballs, your throat feels like you have been gargling bathtub gin for a week, and your body aches like you worked out with John Cena - an yet, you did none of these things that might actually be kind of cool to witness someone else go through. We are not going to talk about coughs today, because that phase of colds lasts for fucking weeks, and I just don't want to think about it. So here you are, sick as a dog - all you want to do is crawl into bed, down a bottle of NyQuil and pass out cold. Doctor's orders - fluids and rest. But...no. Once you are a Mommy you can kiss that dream of a peaceful painful recovery goodbye.
Here's your reality once you have a kid - or worse yet - multiple children. Let's take your head first. Yes, it's full of mucus, so much in fact that you can actually feel your eyebrows being pushed out of your face from the pressure. Instead of silently rubbing your temples to ease the pain, maybe applying a nice essential oil and wrapping your head in a scented heated cloth, you have a 4 year old that has decided that today is the day to rehearse every songs she knows from Mamma Mia - at the top of her lungs. Meanwhile, your newborn has also managed to catch his first bug, and while sporting an awesome fever, is uncontrollably crying all day..and all night. Side note, you can go ahead and kiss your sleep training goodbye at this point. The pounding in your head is unbearable - you silently dream Twilight Zone remedies for releasing the pressure or temporary deafness so you can have just a moment of peace.
Now, the throat soreness. Sure, it would be great to sit around and sip tea with honey and lemon, and cuddle up with a blanket and binge watch Ru Paul's Drag Race, butt NO! Not you! Not anymore. Now you get to spray on that disgusting Chloroseptic shit in your mouth just to have the capacity to firmly send the 4-year old to timeout for deciding that creating "Sidewalk Chalk Soup" in your living room was a suitable cure for boredom, or for singing the still screaming newborn to sleep for the 18th time today. You leave them on the couch cuz you are too exhausted to take them to bed.
And of course, let's not forget about the body aches. In the past, you would fill up a nice hot bath, put on a face mask, maybe cover it with a warm cloth and melt away into a blissful ephoria, followed by a naked fall into your bed where you would sleep for 10 hours only to be awaken by the gentle grumbling sound of your stomach needing food.
Ya, no. Now, you find yourself reaching for whatever drugs are in the cabinet that can offer you some sort of relief for the pain, because you not only won't be relaxing...you will also not be sleeping. No, no, no. That ill infant will make sure of that. You might as well find the good psedoephedrine shit, cuz it's going to be a long ass night.
And don't think you can ask your husband for help. They try, at least, they think they do, but honestly, they just don't get it. When they are sick, they lay in bed for days and leave you to fend for yourself with the kids. They are just too weak to move. That's fine with the kids, because Moms have all the answers. But when Mom is down, you not only get more requests from the kids, you have Hubs trying to figure shit out too. You might as well just stay out of bed and med up.
I don't mean to deter anyone from being a Mommy. It's an incredible experience and I wouldn't change it for the world. What I would suggest however is to stay hell and far from anybody that is sick, take a daily cocktail of every single immune system booster on the market, and get your rest. If you can be a Bubble Boy - do it. The temporary humiliation is much easier to bear than the grueling sick alternative. Sorry, no happy ending on this one people - your Kleenex box is just going to have to stay half empty today.
Once upon a time I wouldn't sleep - by choice. I could go for DAYS without sleep, albeit, chemically enhanced, but nonetheless, I could rage it.
In my early twenties, I once stayed up and partied for 7 days. Please note, I was extremely unhealthy back then, and I would not condone that kind of behavior for anyone, but still, my capacity to pull all-nighters was commendable.
Fast forward a few years. I was in my late twenties, living in Nashville, and had replaced certain chemicals with an obscene amounts of alcohol. I could take it back then. We would go to work in our downtown Nashville office, walk out the doors at five, go “Honkey-Tonkin*, stay out until 4:00 am, cab home, sleep for 2 hours, get up, throw on makeup and be at work at 8:00 am. That would happen at least once a month. On the other weeks, we would just party downtown on a Friday night, and roll home at like 3:30 am. No problem.
In those days, I could do what I would call “down weekends”. I would get home from work on a Friday night, get into pajamas, and not get out of those pajamas until Monday morning. The weekend was spent in bed, eating randomly, napping regularly and drinking martinis while binge watching countless hours of "Say Yes to the Dress" or some other stupid wedding show on Bravo. It was glorious. Once I almost burned down our house because I decided to make soup out of a roaster chicken, forgot it was on the stove, passed out, and was only awoken when the fire alarm went off and the house was filled with smoke. Apparently chicken carcasses don't do well in just a pot with all the water evaporated. It took 4 hours to clear the house of smoke, and 4 days to get rid of the smell. I am surprised my husband still married me.
In any case, down weekends were the bomb. It didn't matter if my sleep bank was low, I could just fill it up again over a weekend. A few naps, a late rise...and wallah! Total renewal.
Then...I had kids. And honestly, I haven't fucking slept in 5 years. From pregnancy, to infancy, to the introduction of the toddler bed accompanied by the 3:00 am "Mommy can I snuggle?" request that turns into your bed being taken over by a horizontal sleeper - and then you repeat with the second kid. My sleep bank is so in debt, I may never get back in the black. Yet somehow, we moms persevere.
Our kids will cry, cough, whine, scream, sing, talk to imaginary friends and downright refuse to sleep, yet we, somehow, can handle that shit and still function at work the next day. I won't lie here - I pretty much can't party anymore, because regardless of how much fun having cocktails with friends may be, the 5:00 am creepy kid standing next to your bed breathing in your face so you wake up will be there...watching...waiting. Hangovers are just not possible; there is literally not a single peaceful moment ever to just recover.
I miss sleep. I dream of kid free vacations where all I do is have a couple cocktails, take an Ambien, and sleep for like 15 hours. Some people wish for a European tour, I wish for a fluffly mattress with 6 totally dedicated pillows on a bed I don't have to make, blissfully dreaming about exotic locales...And a body eraser that could just easily remove all my cellulite.
I wonder if it ever comes back. I mean, after this, don't we have to worry about our kids for the rest of our lives? Do we just need to remain sleep deprived for ever? Only time will tell. In the meantime, let's just assume I will be needing the biggest cup of tea you have ever seen every AM, cuz my shit may fall over from exhaustion.
We the parents of small children would like to give you a few pieces of advice regarding what we view as "kid friendly". This applies to several different types of venues, most notably, restaurants. Below we will list our our grievances by topic and provide a short explanation of what would need to be presented in order for us to believe your establishments were indeed set up for families.
1) Natural Ambient Noise - like as in Roadhouse LOUD. We parents often have small kids that are whiny and dramatic and can hit pitches that would freak out small dogs, so we need a place that has so much bustling background noise, it sort of drowns them all out. We WANT our children to be seen but not heard; it keeps the dirty looks from single newlyweds sitting at the table next to us to a minimum.
2) Alcohol and STAT - while I personally don't know a single one, I do understand that there may be some parents that think drinking adult beverages around your kids is a sin. For the remaining 95% of us practicing sinners, raising upstanding members of society is hard fucking work, and we need a cocktail...like 5 minutes ago, so please...be quick with the drink orders...and feel free to just double me up. Thanks.
3) Elbow room/ Stroller Capacity / High Chairs/ Slings - Many of us have little ones, and there is nothing worse than entering a place that literally has no idea what to do with your stroller, your assisted sitter or your infant seat. Come on World - get it together - more people are going out - parents got money - help us to help you! If I have no where to park my kid, I am headed elsewhere.
4) Baby Changing Tables in the Bathroom (Both in Men's and Women's) - With all the hoopla around Gender Neutral bathrooms, the only result I have seen is that I am now exposed to disgusting urinals that I used to be able to avoid unless I was peeing in my pants at a concert and chose to go to the Men's restroom. What would really be neutral is to ensure that both the Men's and Women's bathrooms have diaper changing tables. The fact that most places only have tables in the Women's room (if at all) is just unacceptable. The 1950's are calling and they want their gender roles back.
5) Fast Food Timed Service, but with way better food - Here's the scoop people: any non-tantrum time with a kid is borrowed time. They have an attention span that can be occupied with the provided crayons and coloring sheet for like 2 minutes, and whatever us parents bring (because we never enter a restaurant without some sort of activity bag) for maybe 13 minutes. This means you have 15 minutes before we have Chernobyl 2.0. If you take 45 minutes to get us food - YOU'RE FIRED.
6) Kid's Menu - We parents already dread ordering for fear that our kids will change their minds on what they want to eat in a matter of seconds, so please, please don't make me order a full size quesadilla or some sort of artisan duck confit mac and cheese for my child. They will hate it, and I will hate you.
7) Kid Cups WITH LIDS - Kids are messy and clumsy as fuck - please, please, PLEASE, we beg of you, have cups with lids. It's really not that hard. If you put a full glassware glass in front of my kid, I will immediately go into Fight-or-Flight mode with the anxiety that that shit will be broken in a matter of seconds. Like milk all over the fucking floor with shattered glass everywhere broken. Save your Busboy 15 minutes and the disgusting task of cleaning up smelly milk an invest in cheap plastic cups with lids. It will also save you on napkin cleaning costs. You're welcome.
We hope that you have taken these things to heart and can at least admit when you are NOT kid friendly. We won't hold it against you - although we may never get the chance to dine with you. The rising cost and availability of babysitters these days has made Date Night just a pain in the ass, and you will most likely be out of business by the time my kids can stay home alone, so good luck to you. We wish you the best.
For all those establishments that are out there that are ready to accept this challenge and deliver accordingly -we salute you - and remember, we always tip well!
Let me start off by saying that I know this post will most likely cause some sort of geographical divide or uproar. I live in Southern California, and depending on where your locale, you may have a different opinion. For example, if you live in Florida, Hawaii, places in the South or Arizona where it is hotter than Hades, you may adamantly disagree with me. That's fine. I don't fucking care.
That being said, I am just going to lay it out there - a Onesie is NOT a complete outfit for a baby. If you go into public or take your kid to daycare or whatever, in just a onesie, your kid is half naked. Period.
You may be wondering why I am even writing about this. It's simple. My mother. My mother and I have disagreed on this point for ages and I figured I would put in writing my utter disdain for the quarrel. Babies are mini-adults...let's treat them as such.
Let's examine some photo evidence.
Now, when you look at both these pictures side by side, one looks far more complete than the other. A woman would not leave the house in just a bodysuit, unless she was wearing legwarmers and shiny tights in 1980 going to Jazzercize, so your kid should not leave the house in just a bodysuit either.The only exception is one of those one piece outfits that has built in shorts. There is no VDL (Visible Diaper Line) and I am all about those things...they fucking rock. Buddha has a thousand of them. However, this does NOT include those one-piece sleepers. They are sleepers. Babies sleep in them. Just because they are called "Sleep and Play" does not mean that babies should go to school in them...they are pajamas. Babies at daycare in pajamas look stupid. I am not an advocate for Mom-shaming , but in that case, you fucking deserve it. Put your kid in some clothes for goodness sake.
Hubs also has an opinion on baby dressing. He thinks that shorts over a onesie are "superfluous" and should not be worn because they just cause delay in getting to diapers. Hubs, I love you, but you are WRONG. I challenge you to go out in just an undershirt and tighty-whities one day and see how society judges you. I will be on call to bail you out of jail for indecent exposure.
You may be asking what I am trying to accomplish by this post. The answer - absolutely nothing but pure polorizing home politics. At the end of the day, my Mom is going to continue to take off Buddha's pants around her house and tell me that "Those shorts are hurting his belly" or "Don't you think he needs more room to stretch out", and honestly, for the free babysitting that I need occasionally, I will take it from her. But, I just wanted to state for the record...treat your baby like your toddler, please. Complete outfits will help them to grow into functioning members of society, fashion conscience and confident. If not, always blame your mother.
They say that "Apples don't far from trees", and I wholeheartedly agree. Of course, I don't know who "they" are. "They" seem to talk a lot. But in any case, in this instance, I think they are right.
My daughter, sadly, is a mini version of me, in every single aspect. This becomes especially apparent when we disagree about something because inevitably, she will counter argue with the same rebuttle that I would, thus leaving me speechless, because I would have said the same thing. It sucks. Losing to a 4 year old is just as ridiculous feeling as it sounds.
Now, the problem with having a clone and being a parent is that you know all the harsh realities of life, as you have lived for however many years you are alive. In my case, I have pretty much 40 years of getting my ass kicked, having the waves pummel me and having molehills turned to mountains that I have had to claim. That type of terrain has hardened me and I want to raise my daughter to be strong enough to take it. That being said, when I get notes from school saying she basically MMA'd a kid while standing in line, I get a little torn.
On one hand - you want to raise your daughter to be strong, not take shit from anyone and be resilient; able to pick herself back up from anything that pushes her down. On the other hand, you can't have her Mike Tyson her classmates at school, because the school will essentially kick her out. And besides, you don't want the bully kid - those kids are just assholes.
However, when you sit down and figure out how to parent around that, you end up watching 15 episodes of the UK SuperNanny to figure out how to properly discipline without being a complete asshole that breeds some sort of terrorist or has a teenager someday doing lines off an urinal. Its hard. Really hard. This is where a parenting manual would come in super handy.
All this being said, there are times when you are damn proud you made a minature version of yourself. Case in point - cookie decorating for sure includes eating frosting directly out of the tube.
And everytime you watch a musical, in this case, Mamma Mia, then you should for sure find something to dance on in your favorite tie-dye. HELL TO THE YA!
But look, at the end of the day, we can only do the best we can. We can only try to raise our kids in a way that gives them a foundation of love. None of us are perfect - Lord knows I should be dead at least 3 times over with all the shit I have done in my life - but we learn and we live on. And that is all I want for both of my kids - live, learn and live on! I guess, as a parent, that is all we can do: equip them with the best tools we can and pray to all the guardian angels out there to watch over them. Maybe mine (all 75 of them) can take a break from me and watch over this next generation - however, they may need some backup.
I realized tonight that my daughter C.C. has inherited my cumbersome, never regular, and always inconvenient virtue of puking. I have a long history of involuntary vomiting.
I think my first public upchuck memory, since I am pretty sure I blocked many of the most embarrassing moments out, was in the 6th grade when my biology class was dissecting a frog. Did you have to do that? All I have to say is Hell to the No! I don't know if it was the act of actually pinning a dead frog to a bowl, the smell of formaldehyde, or the clearly pubescent body odor smelling boy that was my lab partner, but I barely made it out of the classroom into the hall when all hell broke loose.
I could NEVER and have never made myself puke. I know that eating disorders are a disease and I don't take them lightly, but like any other teenage girl in Orange County, I tried to make myself throw-up to see what all the hubbub was about. All I was able to do was stab myself in the back of the throat causing me to choke and not drink warm beverages for 3 days. So never was this voluntary - nope - I would just puke at the most inopportune times, although not often. Then, I grew up and started drinking.
Incidentally, why is the term "throw-up"? That makes absolutely no sense to me. Whenever I do it, it is projectile out front or with my head down. I don't even like imagining the idea of putting your head up and puking upward - it wouldn't really work right? I mean, eventually, if you didn't choke to death, sheer volume would force some out of your mouth, but that just seems terribly inefficient and messy. I think that term is stupid, and therefore I am going to stop using it. Thanks for your time.
The years went on, and I would usually only get sick when drinking. I would never get sick when I was so full I wished I could puke, like Thanksgiving, or a sushi buffet. No, no, no. It would only happen while partying. I am pretty sure I got alcohol poisoning once during the Super Bowl in San Diego - I stopped drinking for a month - mostly because I puked for like 17 hours - water wouldn't stay down. To this day I can't even smell Goldschlager.
That being said, being a drunk puker came to be quite convenient, albeit always expensive. I would go out, be life of the party, dancing on bars, buying everyone rounds of shots, accepting offered rounds of shots...then realize...oh shit...this is not good. I would head off to the bathroom praying all the way for no line (another question, why the fuck is there ALWAYS a line in the woman's room and not the men? I mean, fuck, piss and go Ladies, piss and go). I would puke in the bathroom and then head back to the bar. Of course, that was very shortsighted thinking, because later that evening, when home and the room would start spinning, I would essentially sleep on the bathroom floor. It got to the point where my sister and I kept a pillow and blanket in the downstairs closet for just such occasions. Maybe that is why I became such a semi-germophobe. My head was sleeping on home shitters all the time so I wanted them bleach clean.
Then, years later, I completely RUINED a Nissan X-Terra having puked all over it, after eating Pimento Cheese. For those of you not from the South, Pimento Cheese is AMAZING, and so yummy you just sort of keep eating it. I had never heard of it until we moved to Nashville - but it became an obsession. Problems arise however, when people pour shots of whiskey along with it. It was not pretty and I don't know how my friend whose car it was, remained my friend after that. The vehicle basically had to be crushed because the smell literally never left the vehicle. It was like that story that was going around years ago of the guy that forgot he had a frozen turkey in the back of his car for like 4 months, got pulled over, the cop thought he had a dead body in the car but discovered the turkey and the insurance company had to total out the car. It's a true story, I saw it on the internet.
These days, my puking only happens when I have a blowout diaper and there is litterally shit all over my hands, I have to pick up dog poop, or my daughter pukes on me. She does not drink alcohol for the record - she is 4. She just suddenly feels sick in restaurants and need to go throw-up - totally at random, and so infrequently I forget it is a thing. But, like me, it is almost always at inopportune times. One time, bless her heart, she waited until she was in my car in traffic...that was fun. That was actually the day I got laid off during mat leave, so I will just chalk that up as one of the Top 10 Shit Days.
In any case, as her mom, when the time comes, I will most certainly be explaining to her that we are special, and that as much as you will be the party girl, clinging glasses and buying shots, we have limitations. Limitations that I am sure she will ignore and test to the fullest- because she is my daughter. I just hope she calls me to hold her hair back.
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.