Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Earning The Wins.

Sometimes I actually say, "If you don't listen to me I'm going to throw your Barbie Vet Station into the yard."

When such a statement rolls from my lips, several things happen simultaneously.

First, I picture that handheld book I refer to once in a blue moon that tells me I'm destroying my child's self esteem when I say things like this. And that thought, of course, damages my self esteem.

My second thought is that I can't believe I own any type of Barbie anything, much less allow my daughter to play with any type of Barbie anything. As a kid I played with Dusty. She was the "tom boy" version of Barbie and was much more palatable to me. I guess Dusty has been discontinued.

Then I think these thoughts in quick succession: "Some people have seven kids." "Some people have three kids." "Some people have triplets." "Some people are single mothers." None of these thoughts comfort me.

Then I start cooking dinner, I change diapers, I continue cooking dinner, yes, sometimes in that order. And I let them watch too many episodes of Peppa The Pig while I cook dinner with my debate-ably dirty hands. Just kidding. I always wash my hands. I never lotion them. You should see how dry they are.

Then they take baths, most nights. And they brush their teeth, every single night (and morning). That's my non-negotiable. I told them they'll get bugs on their teeth if they don't brush. The book doesn't mention what bugs on teeth is doing to their self esteem.

The twins and I debate every single move we make all day long. From what to wear to when they'll get dressed to what they'll eat to how hot what they're eating is to how much milk is in their cup to what color their cup is to which car seat they sit in to which sneakers they'll wear and on which foot they will wear them on.

Everyday, we hit repeat. As if I didn't win every single debate the day before. They make me earn the wins. Daily. It is literally maddening.

Like clockwork, I miss them exactly 60 minutes after they go to sleep at night. Sometimes so much so that I sneak into their rooms to look at them while they're sleeping. And some nights it wakes my daughter up. You've never seen anyone in your entire life go from sound asleep to wide awake as quickly as my daughter, Katie. And she ends up sleeping in our bed with us. "Gasp" from all the people who don't have kids who are planning on having kids who think they will never do anything wrong when they're a parent.

Sometimes people who don't have kids like to offer sage advice like, "they need to learn to understand the word no." If you are one of those people with no kids miraculously still reading this boring blog who feels compelled to say that to someone with kids, you are an asshole. Love, Kristen.

My kids (almost) always look grown ups in the eyes and say hello and goodbye. They say please and thank you. They give hugs and kisses unless they've got a sixth sense on you. They "take turns" with friends pretty well. You know, sharing isn't exactly instinctual.

I used to have part time help but I haven't in about three months. I'm with my kids 24/7 unless I'm away with the band. I've been reluctant to bring someone else into the mix because on some deep dark level I clearly love the day long debate with two almost three year olds. I like knowing I'm the one to blame if their self esteem gets a little ding in it. I also happen to like the way they smell and I like hearing all the little things they say all day long. They're really funny. And really smart. And nobody that isn't me can make them feel like they're as funny and smart as I do. Don't debate me on that. The fact that I happen to not mind Peppa the Pig is a bonus.

And I've never lost a debate when employing the "I'm going to toss the Barbie Vet Station out into the yard" tactic.

At some point you just have to say "F*** what those stupid books say."