Ever since I found out I was pregnant with "Mommy" I have told time by pregnancy and children. There are times I actually have to think about how old I am and I actually guess wrong! Through the years my major life events have been connected to "Oh that happened when I was pregnant with
Calvin" or "This happened when the Consiglieri was a baby." Although going to the bathroom seems to be a normal life occurance for most people. When you have six small children or 14 grandchildren, going to the bathroom is a major life event!
First let me say that when I was a young mom with six small children, I must tell you that they were close enough in age that we spent a full 13 years with someone in diapers. Although potty training can be annoying, the joy in having one less set of diapers to purchase is beyond anyone's imagination. I sometimes wonder during those years who actually was being trained. Were the kids learning to use the bathroom or was I being trained to get them there at certain times?
Outside of the cost of disposable diapers (We did try cloth ones for a short time. Not that cheap and certainly more unpleasant!) it is wonderful to not have to clean up after the messy ones (you know, poop) or the ones that leaked! Of course that means running to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so with someone! And let's talk about accidents! That is the absolute worst!!!! And that is only the stuff you deal with in your own house. Inconveniences at the least, gagging at the most.
What happens when you decide to venture out of the house with a newly de-diapered child? Initially there are a LOT of accidents. As your experience goes you start to investigate locations prior to arriving. You have mapped out in your mind the location of every bathroom facility. In your own mind, this becomes the heart of your adventures and you even go so far as to plan outings based on the quality of the bathrooms. Are they clean? Do they have a changing table? What do I do if I need to use the bathroom too?! What do I do when my child decides to crawl under the door and escape? So many details to clutter your life!
You also start becoming a pack mule. The diaper bag now gets loaded with three or four outfits "just in case." You start limiting liquids before you leave home. It's logical, right? What goes in must come out, so don't put anything in!
Eventually as the kids get a little more confident in their bathroom skills, they decide to help you in rating facilities. If you are traveling, you suddenly find yourself stopping at every single rest area. I can just about guarantee that I have been to EVERY rest area between Washington DC and Colorado, and Florida to Michigan! I even thought I could outsmart them by carrying a portable potty chair in the van when we traveled, because you always have that one child (and sometimes more) that has to "go" right after you have passed a rest area and the next one is 50 miles away!
So moms, when you look back at your vacation pictures you might not remember going. I am pretty confident though that you will remember the trip based on bathroom necessities and who was in need at the time because of their age! Maybe I should put together a book advising moms on the best bathrooms!
I hope you have a blessed week! Enjoy the hassles of the the little ones. Believe it or not, one day you will miss it!
I remember and have used a lot of what I learned in my Psychology classes as I raised my kids. I was never really crazy about Freud's theories. In my opinion, you have to be pretty twisted yourself to come up with that stuff. I cannot argue toomuch with Erickson's theories about a stable person building on basics like a pyramid. Most of the time, I feel pretty stable and there have been plenty of times when my "pyramid" did not come close to the shape of the ones in Egypt! I really cannot remember which psychologist came up with theories about babies hitting an age where they would not venture over the edge of a platform because they could finally discern depth. Apparently that guy never babysat!
However, Pavlov! He was a genius! The part of his work that I remember most is the Pavlovian response where a bell would ring and a dog would respond predictably. That guy clearly spent time with children!
Let's start with this one. Ask my grandchildren not to argue. I can guarantee you that these little people will bicker and argue non-stop for at least 12 hours or until their endurance runs out or my stamina causes me to snap! And believe me they can find that many things to argue about, all the way down to one of them eating the one single potato chip in the bag that the other one wanted.
And we can continue with this. Please be quiet the two babies are taking a nap. As soon as those words leave my lips a temper tantrum of epic proportions begins. The screaming becomes so loud that the hour and half nap barely lasts 30 minutes. I can promise you that Pavlov was right about the predictable response!
And how about this one? I have instructed the kids that if they need to talk to me, especially when I am working on the computer, to please come up to me and tap me on the shoulder and wait. That instruction goes in one ear and their bodies react by screaming to me from a four rooms away or walking up to me and immediately talking and asking questions. Too late for me, the train of thought is gone!
And finally, the kids have been taught (just kidding about that) or at least told that when Nana is on the phone doing business they need to be quiet. The phone actually touching my ear creates and instant and severe response in my grandchildren. They begin fighting over which one gets to play with the Prince Eric and Ariel "Little People", Foam Blocks fly past me as they are hurled in anger because someone dumped the blocks out of the truck, screaming ensues because one of them wants ALL the trucks and God forbid you should touch one of the dinosaurs without permission!
Can you imagine what all that chaos sounds like to the Administrator, Board Member or insurance company that I am talking to? And then I finally lose it an the conversation goes from professional to me stopping mid-sentence and saying intelligent things like "if you make one more sound about that dinosaur I will bake him in a pie in the oven!" Thankfully, with Covid so many people now work from home that they get it. Also, enough people know what I do all day long that if they were in the room with me, they would simply pat me on the head and smile.
I have always wondered what it might be like to go from Point A to Point B without the interruptions, screaming and "needs". I usually start at Point A, zigzag to Point G, double back to Point C and completely forget why and what Point B is. Now there is a psychological study that has never been attempted - the mind of the mother with small children!
Have a blessed week!
As a kid I loved to read. Actually, I still love to read. My taste in books has changed some. As a kid, I loved crime novels and mysteries. I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and most especially Sherlock Holmes. I loved reading and trying to solve the mysteries along with the characters. As an adult, I still love mysteries, but I have moved into solving real-life drama.
One question I always have is what is the purpose of poison ivy and mosquitoes? An even greater unsolved mystery in my life is underwear and socks.
Let's start with underwear. Can anyone explain to me where it goes? Generally when I babysit if an article of clothing gets dirty or if the kids arrive in pajamas, I throw their clothes in my wash. Pook's wife has asked multiple times where their daughter's underwear has gone. She started out with packs of them and is down to a few. I am absolutely clueless! I have checked the clothing piles of the other kids, and her underwear is NOT mixed in with theirs. I am clueless.
The other issue with underwear is how it gets to be in certain places. I know the kids have underwear on when they are at my house. I will be straightening up the house and low and behold there is underwear hidden behind a door or under a bed or in a toy box. When I ask how it got there . . . no one knows. I know who is wearing what character of underwear each day and I can ask that person and that child has no idea how their underwear got behind the door. Weirder yet, I check them and they have underwear on. It's a mystery all right. I would think that underwear is one of those things that you always know where yours is. I know I do!
Socks are a different story. Socks can end up just about anywhere. The kids generally arrive with socks on, but in the course of playing they get removed and tossed to the side or picked up with the toys. I get that. What I do not get is how each week as the laundry gets done I end up with a pile of ten or twelve socks without matches. Now, some of the kids are committed to never wearing matching socks so when I wash them I never have matching socks. That accounts for a few pairs, but I still have ten or twelve every week that I send home with moms to find the mate. Most of them come back to me with a daughter saying, I don't have the mate to this or it isn't our sock. So, where do they go? I know I lose forks and spoons to the garbage, but socks too?
And, what do you do with a lonely sock? Adult socks can become dust rags and window washing cloths or even puppets. A child's sock just doesn't have enough gumption to make it anything other than a lonely sock.
Perhaps the sock industry has built something into these clothing items that makes them disintegrate under certain conditions so that parents are forced to continue to buy socks in bulk quantities! There's a conspiracy theory for you! Perhaps the washer and dryer industry is in cahoots with the sock industry and the socks are disintegrating in one or the other machine forcing parents to buy more socks. Whatever the truth is, I have plenty of lonely socks to share.
My husband came up with his own solution to socks before Nike thought to put an R and an L on their socks. He got himself and marker and puts symbols on each pair of socks. I have to admit, at the very least we are able to track his socks. I think a better plan is to install a microchip in the socks as a locator.
Oh well. I guess we may never know the answers to all of life's mysteries, but it sure keeps my brain going. I hope you have a blessed week and are enjoying the beginning of summer!
Sad to say, after 15 years of being with us The Iron Lady has crossed that "Rainbow Bridge". I am not really sure who came up with that name for a pet that passes. I guess it makes some people feel better, but not me.
But let's give tribute to the Iron Lady.
She became part of our family because Pistol had separation anxiety. As a puppy, he absolutely lost his mind whenever we left the house. He managed to chew the door off his "bedroom" (which is a more pleasant term for cage). Anyway, Doc made the mistake of leaving town for a few days and it gave me the opportunity to think about things. What I decided was that Pistol might settle down if he had a friend. My mistake was in taking the Consiglieri and Mini Me shopping for a friend with me. They each fell in love with a different one. Mini Me picked a tiny Yorkie and the Consiglieri selected a beagle. Okay! So we got both! While that might sound crazy, it worked!
From the start, the Iron Lady (Belle) was something else! She LOVED her food! She was so enthusiastic as a puppy that we had to spend time teaching her some restraint. Any time we left she would manage to get into something food-wise. (And no, I did not decide that a diet buddy would be helpful for her!) We came home one evening to find that she had managed to unscrew the lid off a salt shaker, which I am not sure how she managed to get her jaws on, and enjoyed a significant amount of salt. Unfortunately I was not the first to discover this. Mini Me got home first and decided that she looked thirsty. Any woman knows that Salt + Water = bloating and swelling. And boy did she bloat! Swelled up like a balloon!
There was another incident when we realized that she could climb onto the kitchen table (maybe that is how she got the salt shaker) and finished up some meat. She never quite knew what to do when she was caught. Especially when she was still standing on the table licking the butter dish! She would usually get that "deer in headlights" look and then jump! And we cannot forget the Thanksgiving that she managed to eat two whole pumpkin pies! This pup had a cast iron stomach! (which is how she got the title "Iron Lady"), She actually got into a little mouse bait and it did not effect her at all!
She was the sweetest pup I have ever seen though. She spent at least ten of her fifteen years sleeping on top of my head every night. She loved to cuddle up, hated to travel, hated baths, hated running and walking, but loved to sleep. . . and snore! The kids could love her all they wanted and she never retaliated. Finding her in her bed last Tuesday morning was rough. I was certainly happy that I had taken the time to check on her before I went to bed the evening before. It makes me smile to think of how much love she gave. Gosh, I really wish people would take the time to learn more from dogs. Have a blessed week. Smile when you remember someone who is gone. Make sure you remember someone before you lose that chance.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!