Diary of a Woman Who Has Three Hours to Herself (to Squish In Everything)

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[preschool dropoff]

Woohoo! I’m free!

Are they ok? Wait, doesn’t one of them have a stomachache?

I’m a bad mom for needing to send them away.

I’m so happy!

[anxiety attack]

Breathe slowly, you idiot!

I’m really gonna enjoy my time off this time.

I’m not going to waste it.

I have to stop at this store first.

Dang it, they don’t have it.

Just one more store.

They don’t have it.

Argh! I’ve wasted a whole hour. For no reason!

Drive home faster so you can relax faster, you dork.

This anxiety attack is giving me an anxiety attack because I’m wasting time on the anxiety attack.

What do I even want to do? What do I even like anymore?

Oh, lemme just look up this thing online. Maybe I can find it.

Dang it! You wasted another HOUR!

Ok, Melissa, buckle down and write. For real. It’s the only thing that helps you.

Virus warning? WTF??

Did I lose that work? NO NO NO NO NO NO

I’m gonna stare at this ceiling for a while in the depths of despair like Anne of Green Gables.

ONE HOUR LEFT? LOOK AT THIS MESS! Why haven’t I cleaned anything?

What is wrong with you?

[pace, pace, pace] Which mess should I start with? The worst one or the easiest one? When was the last time I cleaned this dog bowl? OMG.

Maybe I should put on some music. Or take a bath. Those things always help.

Music. Ok, Talking Heads is my cleaning music.

“Slippery People”? How can I not dance to this? Dancing helps anxiety. Dance it off!

Wow, why can’t I dance like that when people are around?

Maybe I’ll unload a few dishes while dancing.

Wait, look at that pile of clean clothes.

Look away. Look at it again.

I really need to clean the toilet. Maybe I can dance-clean the toilet.

Ok, focus, Melissa. Sit down and make a list. Prioritize.

Look at that pile of clothes! JUST LOOK AT IT!

Oh, wow, DJ Shadow? [lost in a romantic college-era dorm-room Christmas-light trance]

OMGosh I have to LEAVE TO PICK UP THE TWINS!

Wait, I didn’t eat.

Isn’t it a beautiful day outside? Why wasn’t I outside?

[start the car]

Get it together, woman!

It’s Time to Eat My Words: My Son is Going to Preschool

Yes, the mom who got her fifteen minutes of fame one year ago from an article she wrote entitled “Benign Neglect: A Case Against Preschool” is now sending her son to preschool.

Yes, I changed my mind.

I don’t often change my mind about anything. But it’s time to eat my words… a little bit. Time to shove that blog post partially in my mouth and partially chew it.

I wrote that blog post in August of 2013. It was selected by wordpress.com to be featured on their home page as a “freshly pressed” blog post. Suddenly, I had hundreds of likes and followers. Suddenly, a whole lot of people were listening to me – when I was simply trying to document my crazy parenting for my three small sons.

I stand by what I wrote. I still believe that parents and teachers should not push children too quickly. I still believe that play is serious and important work for toddlers and preschoolers. I still believe that memorization is not learning. I still believe in the necessity of free time for children. I still believe in ending the competition and the Mommy Wars. (I even started a Facebook group for like-minded mommas.) I have nothing to prove, and neither do my children.

However, I have decided to send my son to (a play-based and non-pushy) preschool for several mornings per week this year. Why? I said I didn’t quit my teaching career so that someone else could teach my son, and I meant it. But I also said that the only thing that would convince me to change my mind would be the twins coming up behind him.

three on fenceThe twins prevent us from having a normal life. It has become clear to me that my son needs something of his own. He needs time away from the babies. He has plenty of socialization with kids his age – playgroups, walking groups, swim lessons – but he needs time away from the world of the babies. He needs time away from the baby gates that hamper his independence. He needs time away from the twin fights.

I can’t give him everything that he needs right now. So much of our day-to-day life is consumed with surviving: meals, clean-up, poops, repeat. I am not finding time to teach him the things that I wanted to teach him. I am just not able to live up to the dreams I had in my head. I am a professional: I am trained specifically for his four-to-six year old age bracket… and yet, my teaching skills seem to be on a shelf that is just too high for me to reach right now. It breaks my heart.

I know this is the right thing for him. I still practice “benign neglect”, but now I have a case in favor of preschool. I’ll have to be “okayest” with that.

3-Year-Old Kid Quotes, Part 2

[This is the censored version. Sorry.]

Just like DaddyR: Don’t sing that song to the babies. They don’t like that.

R: The babies will be baptized? They will need floaties?

R: This is the fall-down potty. It’s okay. We can go to Lowe’s and get a better seat.

R: Momma, cut your poop-ons. [coupons]

While running to his blankie after lunch:
R: Blankie, I’m so happy to see you!

Daddy: Give me a hug.
R: No.
Daddy: If you’re sick, a hug makes you feel better.
R: [Hugs Daddy] I all better now.
Momma: Give me a hug, too.
R: No. I alde-ready got all better.

R: Daddy sucks the leaves up with his leaf vacuum. That’s what he ‘doos’.

R: I’m gonna go on a date. To Harbor Freight. [A tool store]

R: I will go pee-pee by myself. Momma, you come with me.

While pointing to our old black dog’s white whiskers:
R: Cleo has too many whites.

First-ever lick of a lollipop:
R: It’s like a binky!

Me: What did you today at preschool co-op?
R: I cried.

While I was pushing the triple stroller (which weighs much more than I do) up a hill:
R: Why you tired, Momma?
Me: Because this stroller is heavy.
R: You have a lotta kids. 1, 2, 3.

In bed:
Me: Don’t worry. Jesus will watch over you tonight.
R: Jesus can’t watch me. It’s dark.

R: Will you sleep with me, Momma? Not with Daddy?

Me: Who will give me a hug?
R: Not me. I alde-ready give you a hug.

R: I will dream about Fiona Apple. (!)

R: I don’t want to go outside.
Me: I do. I need fresh air.
R: I don’t need fresh air. There’s fresh air coming in the window.

To his brother:
R: Shake your booty!

About his brother:
R: Where we buy him?

R: Jesus is not our brother. Our babies is our brother.

While laughing hysterically at his brother:
Me: What’s so funny?
R: He has a PENIS!

R: Who gave you this toy? God?

To his brother:
R: Don’t be happy right now!

R: This house is dirty. We need to vacuum.

R: The washing machine is broken, Daddy. I think we have to go to Lowe’s. Oh no! They only have lawn mowers at Lowe’s!

R: I think we need a new baby.
Me: I don’t know if I can grow a new baby in my belly, but that would be nice.
R: We can go to the hospital. I can go with you.
Me: Oh? Is that where we get babies?
R: Yeah. Only 1 baby this time.
Me: Not twins?
R: No. I will give the babies back to the hospital.

While clutching his favorite book about Jesus that we had lost:
R: I FOUND JESUS!

While pointing to my shirt buttons:
R: Momma, I like your butt.

 

[Apparently, I am raising a semi-religious manly man who is a bit grouchy. I love him!]

***Bonus clip: Typical parents-of-multiples ridiculous mini-fight:
“Every time something important happens, you’re always making a salad!”