Just Heather

In my hometown this weekend, I found myself at Wal-mart. Not my first choice by any means, but options are limited in small town America. As I walked to the U-Scan, I stopped at the fridge to grab a Sunkist.

The guy in front of me said that he had never seen anyone do that with such style and grace. I have no idea what that means, but he proceeded to tell me I was gorgeous. It was very weird, and a little creepy, but I have to admit I still loved hearing it.

What girl wouldn’t want a guy to tell her she is gorgeous?

I left a few weeks ago to spend a fabulous 5 days with my newborn nephew. I left hubby in charge of the 3 kids and took off. I had this thought in my head that he might realize I don’t have it all that easy. I think he had this thought in his head that a week with a newborn would make me want another of my own.

It was a big negative on both counts. I really enjoyed my nephew and he’s a great baby, but it’s pretty spectacular to hand him over to Mom whenever he cries, poops or wakes up in the middle of the night. I’ve never had that before as I’m always Mom. I also know my own mistake—I made it too easy for him.

I had all the laundry done and the house clean before I left. I planned the meals, purchased the food and wrote out the recipes before I left. I wrote out an easy to read schedule of where our kids needed to be when and what they needed to bring. I wrote out a daily schedule of our kids’ routines and activities.

Basically, I laid it all out for him. No one tells me when to take Stacia to soccer. No one tells me what time Lorelai takes her nap. No one tells me what time Brenia eats her meals and snacks. The hardest part of this motherhood thing is figuring it all out—even when it changes on a daily basis. He got to skip that part.

Something tells me he wouldn’t find it quite so easy if I simply packed my own stuff and took off for a few days. Some place warm, maybe. Like a beach, far far away. Where margaritas flow like water.

Not that I’ve given it any thought.

Allow me to give you a few excerpts from my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

  • Took my sick, crabby baby to the doctor. She either has the start of a sinus infection or will require regular medication for seasonal allergies. I never thought I’d say this, but I really hope my baby is sick.
  • Got a phone call from the principal today. Some psycho kid threw a chair at my daughter. Knowing my daughter, however, I’m sure it was provoked. The kid says she was “saying mean things on the bus” which is odd since she hasn’t ridden the bus for two days.
  • Sent said child to bed without dinner because she threw an all out kicking, screaming tantrum when we tried to talk to her about what may have led up to the Bobby Knight incident. She will not, however, be in trouble for yelling obscenities at the kid on the bus as I would have too if he tripped me every day.
  • Had to call up all knowledge of Heimlich for my baby who choked—real and actual choking—on the food her sister left out after lunch.
  • Caught my 4-year-old stealing candy that I refused to buy for her. This stealing thing has become a problem, though this is the first time it has been outside of our own home. I’m raising a klepto here and not really sure what to do about it. She seems pretty remorseful and I’m hopeful our conversations got through to her.
  • Had an interesting experience at the store when a coupon for $1.99 rang up for $1.00. The idiot cashier told me “that’s how it worked” and offered to “explain coupons” to me! Ha! I wanted to scream, “I’ve been on CBS, the front page of the Chicago Tribune and syndicated across the nation as a ‘coupon expert’ and you want to teach me how coupons work?!” Instead, I used my coupon at the back of the store while I paid for Lorelai’s prescription where the pharmacist had no problem getting it to work correctly. Then I came home and shot off an email to their corporate office about the moronic “manager” and how rudely I was treated.

I hate feeling out of control. With 3 kids this is a common occurrence, but after many years I finally managed to gain control of my calendar at least. I carefully write each days activities into my daily planner, transfer it to the family calendar and add it to Outlook so I can send it to hubby’s cell phone. It sounds like a lot, but it really is a simple process that helps me out. I get to physically write every 3 times so that by the time it’s written everywhere it needs to be I have it memorized anyway. Next to each day, I also write down my menu plan. Plan being the operative word, but we do fairly well. It helps to plan dinner next to the day so I know if I’ll be away from home or too tired to cook.

Last month made me crazy because every time I planned something I had to follow it up with “unless my sister has her baby.” I felt like I should be writing that each day in my calendar. Nothing made me happier than when the doc agreed to schedule an induction so that Daddy could come home from his base. The mean military nixed that idea by telling him when they sent him home at Christmas because base camp was closed he used up all his leave for the first half of the year!

I’m in a strange sort of limbo again, though it is not nearly as bad. This month, my cousin is due with her first baby. As soon as the little princess is born, my own family will arrive to visit. Everything I do now is with the thought that I may have a full house by morning. Both of them have been due right in the middle of the month so it throws everything off kilter. She could go two weeks in either direction so the entire month of May is up in the air. At least this time I don’t constantly need to have a bag packed and the gas tank full.

I loved having everything planned out with my last two pregnancies. We scheduled their birth dates 3 weeks in advance. Granted, the last little bugger decided to arrive a week ahead of schedule, but I didn’t have that out of control feeling about it. Now, of course, she keeps me off kilter on a daily basis.

I am looking forward to summer when all the babies are born and my calendar frees up a bit. It will be filled only by made-up things and fun (free) events. I will plan our summer days and actually write things like Library Day on the calendar. This way I have a plan in place, the kids know what to expect and hubby knows where we are on any given day so he can ask the girls about their day at dinner.

In a way, I still have no control. My calendar controls me. And I love it.