“Cinderella, Cinderella”

My husband took the girls to the grocery store this morning. He does this almost every Sunday and after he leaves, my head fills with ideas of what to do for that glorious hour…I could read, watch TV, take a long shower, write in my journal, straighten up the clutter, start the laundry, organize toys, ugh just thinking of these mundane chores causes my spirit to plummet.  Gee that happened so fast.

Usually I just sit, almost paralyzed with the idea of an hour to myself, while the clock ticks and my minutes of freedom just pass me by…is there something wrong with me I wonder? I guess it’s like people who get out of jail and don’t know what to do with themselves…I waste so much time thinking and before you know it, the door busts open, the house fills with the shrieks of little girls, “Mommy, mommy- we ate donuts and we bought Scooby snacks and can I eat them now please, please, please!”

Sigh– the peace and quiet is over and I have yet another food battle on my hands.

I might as well just start going to the store with them from now on.  This jailbird does not sing – Maya Angelou clearly was not writing about me.

On this particular morning, I looked up, I looked around, and then I looked down. I saw crumbs and dirty marks all over the floor…I started getting anxious, and a tight feeling started in my shoulder muscles, the start of a panic attack beginning to form.

There was no quick sweep and spot cleaning my way out of this – I had to bring in the big guns.  Pine Sol.  I don’t know about you but I absolutely hate mopping the floor more than any other household chore. There is nothing gratifying about it, it’s so time consuming, so many steps, filling the bucket, mopping the floor, getting out the brush and scrubbing the corners, rinsing, drying with the towel, and when you done, it still doesn’t look much different and it’s dirty within five minutes of my kids eating some snack.

And they are ALWAYS hungry. They always want a snack. And they always leave a trail.

By the time I got motivated to actually start the mopping, the girls were home and I said to Gia, “Hey, want to play Cinderella!”

“Of course,” she said with a giggle and started dancing and wiggling about so excited.

“Great,” I thought to myself.  This is the answer to all my mopping woes.

We got the bucket and I gave Gia a brush to scrub and she starting scrubbing and giggling and whooping with delight.  She was so enthusiastic about this chore. “Look at me Daddy, I’m mopping, I’m Cinderella!”

A smile spreading over my face, “I am ingenious,” I thought.

Thoughts racing through my head like a run-away train, this is so awesome, we are going to mop all of the time, we are going to clean the bathrooms, were going to put away clothes, and straighten up rooms without bribes of ice cream! My cleaning woes are lifted forever, or at least until she’s out of the princess phase, hmmm, maybe we can make games out of this, the possibilities were endless.

Humming along, lost in thought, I suddenly realized I was alone. Stranded on the tile. Not a princess in site.

“Giiiaaaa! Where are you? What happened to my Cinderella, we have to clean and then get ready for the ball.”

“I am not Cinderella- I’m Gia, and I don’t want to help you anymore- I’m tired and I just want to lie down.”

Card catalog anyone?

It has come down to this very sad fact that I am a technology prisoner in my own home.  My husband bought me an IPad this past Christmas.  Upon opening up this gift Christmas Eve, I was ecstatic and pleased, pysched to surf the net, with a yearning to read or watch something other than My Little Pony and Bubble Guppies.  I felt a flutter of hope – hope that I might actually get maybe ten minutes during the day to mentally check out of kidsville and feel like a real person.

But alas, my little one did not agree with that idea. Take for example today.  We had such a fun play date with friends.  My mommy friend even baked me something- me – SOMEONE FINALLY MADE SOMETHING FOR ME! After a year of baking cookies, muffins, and cupcakes for everyone else, a friend made me something. It was such a nice surprise and I felt touched.

For those of you out there who want to do something nice for someone out of the blue, just take the time to make or bake something, it really feels great to the recipient. To my friends who are reading this- this has absolutely nothing to do with you, although a batch of cookies once in a while is really not that big of a deal, but um, really, don’t take offense. But, seriously, it’s really not that hard to follow a recipe and make something. I mean, how lazy can you be?

Sorry, off on a tangent there…like I was saying, the morning went well, the kids played, snacked, ate lunch.  After the friends left, we played with toys on the floor, we danced, and we read books.

The minutes were dragging, I was totally clock watching.  It’s Friday, the Happy Mommy Lets Play doll batteries were running low and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch, and download a ridiculously cheesy chick lit novel. Heck, I didn’t even want to read it, I just wanted five minutes to purchase it.

But, no, I can’t. Not even for a moment can I sit and do something on an electronic device. We have a kindle, an iPhone, and a computer, actually two computers but no matter which mesmerizing device I use the little one comes over and tries to use it.  No substitution will do, and if I try to put all electronics away, a major tantrum erupts …

Lately tantrums have resulted in the disappearance of little Arianna… behind the couch, behind curtains, in closets and her latest favorite- the dryer. Yes, the dryer, she gets in, closes the door and hides. Scary, isn’t it.

I actually prefer this to the all out, toddler on the floor, red faced and screaming her heart out scene we are all familiar with.  At least the disappearing act is quiet.

Standing in the middle of my living room, feeling trapped, frustrated and desperate for a mental break, an earth shattering idea came to me….the library…ahhh yes, remember that place we used to go to take out books and do research before the internet and eBooks. 

Suddenly the idea of the library seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel, so promising, so full of freedom.  

“Come on kids, get on your coats and shoes, we’re going to the library!” I enthusiastically said. 

“What? The library, but why?” asked Gia.

“To find some fun topics to learn about, what would you like to find out about Gia?” I asked.

“Unicorns and kittens!” Gia shouted.

She was so excited, I was so excited, and Arianna just gets excited at anything, except going to bed of course. It was going to be a great rest of the afternoon…

We approached the extremely bored looking librarian at the children’s desk and asked her if she could help us find books about kittens and unicorns.  That woman perked up like someone offered her free tickets to a Caribbean vacation.  Well, maybe not that excited but she was positively thrilled to find us some books. She hopped right up and got all of these books for us.

I’m thinking she doesn’t see our kind too often- you know, those that actually go to the library to learn- from actual books.  She brought back the stack of books and to be perfectly honest, my girls completely lost interest in the books once they spotted the computers.  They happily skipped over to the computers, clamored happily up on the chairs, and then stared with frowns, confused and perplexed- these computers had mice. Remember those?

They were frantically trying to touch the screen and play the games displayed and were quite disappointed when nothing was happening. 

“What is wrong with this computer MOM!” “This stinks.”

I guess the library isn’t that exciting after all.

But, I did end up getting a few books for myself, good old fashioned, library scented, with well-worn paper pages.  I checked them out, hugging them to myself, dreaming of a bubble bath,  my Mommy’s Sippy Cup filled to the brim (twice)  with a full bodied red, comfy pajamas, clean, fresh smelling sheets, all tucked in reading a book…sounds amazing doesn’t it?

I did mention that this was a dream, right?

Guilty as charged

Today was Arianna’s very first gymnastics class, and I had Gia with me, who is not in the class but sat on a bench like a good little girl the entire time, although she was itching to jump in the germ infested pit of colored plastic balls that the toddlers were in hog heaven rolling around in.

Pretty sure there is some contagious disease lurking on the yellow ball but I just smile and cringe as my daughter partakes in the funky (or some kind of funk) pit of fun.

Speaking of smiling, I have this sort of fake smile for 45 minutes straight as I stand around with moms I don’t know and who are clapping and smiling just like me (Wonder what’s really going on in their minds… “Ugh, I am so tired, what am I making for dinner? I really do not like that woman, Do I really have to sing this good bye song, I hope Jim does not want it tonight, there is noo way, I am bloated, drained, and exhausted).

At the end of class, we were gathering our coats and saying our goodbyes, and Gia asked if we could go to Dunkin Donuts, hard for a child to resist when we did park right in front of one and she is kind of used to going there.

Funny thing is when I was pregnant with Gia, I could not even go into a Dunkin Donuts without gagging from the smell. Perhaps I should get pregnant again to help me break this donut store addiction of ours. Future child would hold an important role in our lives- the baby that stopped munchkin madness!

Of course we were going, I already had that in mind when we parked our car near one and Gia was amazingly well behaved during the class, despite having to sit next to a boy,  a major sacrifice for her.  She is passionate about her disdain for members of the opposite sex!

Before I could even say anything, this woman next to me piped up and said, “Awww, I know right, such guilt, I mean I gave my daughter a rice krispie treat for breakfast, it’s something at least.”

Again, there’s that fake smile again, with a forced laugh I said, “Yea, I know what you mean.”

But, what I wanted to say was “LADY- Did I ask you for your opinion? Do I care what your daughter ate for breakfast, Do I look guilty or perplexed about the choice to take my kid to get a donut- do you have any idea that I write a @#$%ing blog and the main driving force behind it is our love of the donut shop?”

But I didn’t.  I put on the fake mom smile – oh wait, it was still frozen on my face like some happy muppet, and said “Well, she did do such a good job of sitting here and my kids already had eggs for breakfast so I’m sure its fine.”

Of course it’s fine, their my kids, it’s my choice, and I have no guilt whatsoever and the part about the eggs, I made that up!

But I’m pretty sure if I told her what I really thought, I would have major guilt, not glazed with a side of blueberry muffin guilt.

So we go to our second home and Gia didn’t even want one- she wanted a bagel and cream cheese. Take that Ms. Rice Krispie.