Saturday, December 24, 2011

Children of Mass Destruction

[I started this last week and my blog stopped working, so I was out of commission for a few days.  I'm BAA-AAACK--and I decided to continue on this one. I don't know HOW I got from A to Z (I rarely DO!), but at least I finally FINISHED it!]

I don't know what's WRONG with me. I KNOW there is a list of the MILLIONS of things that we definitely KNOW are wrong with me, but some things are still a mystery. For example, all three children are now at school, yet my brain seems to still be fuzzy and I don't get NEARLY enough done considering the little people only hinder me for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. Don't get me wrong--they do a FANTASTIC job of hindering me--they passed Hindering 101 years ago and are now working for a Master of Science in the Hinderance-of- Mother degree. It is AMAZING how skilled they are--so much so that they do not even have to BE here to hinder my progress. Gifted children, I tell you...

When all is said and done, I have at least five good hours to myself EVERY DAY. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That was a bit dramatic since it actually isn't true. I don't have that time on weekends, so it's not EVERY day,  but twenty-five hours a week are ALL mine--unencumbered by yelling, screaming and fighting, or little people running around behind me undoing what I've already done. Unless I'M the one in a hindering mood--then I'm in trouble.

You see, I KNOW that after the last seven years of giving up my mind, body and home to three little people, it's going to take a while to bounce back, but I still cannot help but think that TWENTY-FIVE hours should be enough hours to get SOMETHING done. I can't even say that I am resting or napping (which I LOVE and feel we all have EARNED)--I am even too tired for THAT on most days. In my defense, my children wake me up almost EVERY night for some reason or another. I have a friend who told me that she locks her door at night, so I tried that and it worked--BRIEFLY. NOW they simply knock on the door and keep knocking. If we don't answer, they assume we can't hear them so they start POUNDING. And screaming. LOUDLY (as if there are OTHER kinds of screams) until one of us finally gets up to talk to them. Depending on the day (or WEEK) we've had and how truly exhausted we are, we either A. coax them back to bed--THEIR OWN beds (which--when I do it at least--takes a good hour or two depending on the child and the night), or 2. grab them and silence them by bringing them to OUR bed (which ensures immediate silence and a HORRIBLE (if ANY) sleep to follow). Each child takes a turn doing this to us each night of the week (perhaps giving us ONE night off, during which we wake up anyway since we are so used to doing it) and THEN all three will do it on the same night (THAT is always SO MUCH FUN). I know what you're thinking--"The Supernanny would NEVER allow this to happen..." right? "No WONDER these children are up every night--there is no consistency AND they let their children sleep with them!"  Don't you think I KNOW that?! It is SO EASY to be on THAT side of the computer. I was there once--all judgy and well-rested. *SIGH* Well, those days are gone and here I am now--the person who allows her children to wear her down on a regular basis.

There is something you should know about having children (if you haven't already learned it through experience). Having children in the house is like sharing your home with Iraqi insurgents. Maybe not EXACTLY like that, but you can't trust them--AT ALL. They are cute--I will give them that--sometimes RIDICULOUSLY so, but what a great way to conquer the enemy, don't you think? Go all Cindy Brady-meets-Shirley Temple-meets that kid from Jerry Maguire--on their a@$&s? That ENSURES victory, doesn't it? Here's how they do it. They start out acting like you are the ones in control. They slip into your hearts undetected and then one night, BAM--a nightmare. On just a few hours of sleep, you think, "My child just had a nightmare--how can I turn him away? What kind of person makes a sweet child deal with a nightmare all on his own? I have nightmares ALL the time and I don't want to be alone when I wake up--why should a small child who is MUCH more adorable and vulnerable than I have to be alone?"

He doesn't. You first try to bring them back to their own beds and console them by rubbing their backs and giving them hugs and kisses. Easy enough, right? Easy for some, but in THIS house, the children crawl up your body while hugging you and refuse to put their feet down on their beds, indicating that their BEDS are the source of the nightmares. If they were in YOUR bed, they would be much safer from the horrible nightmares. You fight for as long as you are able to do ANYTHING at that time of night, try to force them to lay down with you in THEIR beds (which is only slightly detrimental to your scoliosis) which only works SOMETIMES and always results in your staying with them for a good three hours of slight dozing on and off while you try to figure out HOW to escape without throwing the child into a fit that will wake up the entire block. After that happens a few times with EACH child and one day with ALL of the children, you start to think "What is the big deal if they sleep with us? It's not like they are going to do it as TEENAGERS. In FACT, when they are teenagers, they won't even want to spend ANY time with us--they CERTAINLY won't want to SLEEP with us, so REALLY we should WANT them to sleep with us now. SOME people have "family beds" and if those children can make it through life unscathed, certainly my allowing my child to get into bed with me so that the noise will JUST stop--I mean--so that the NIGHTMARES stop--isn't going to be detrimental, right?  Only it IS. Because ONE night with ONE child turns into THREE nights with THREE children while negotiating with them in the off  nights to just sleep in their own beds. Of course, they don't want you to give up completely and they LIKE the routine (yes--the good news is, you finally  have a routine. I think you KNOW what the bad news is...), so they usually grant a reprieve somewhere in the middle of all this. On THIS particular nightmare-free night, your spouse will usually be up either coughing or using the bathroom an impossible amount of times just to be sure that you do not get any sleep at all even though your children are finally letting you. Stonewall Jackson couldn't have planned it better. You see, with so little sleep, you confuse easily. Add to that any illnesses or weaknesses you may already have and they see your white flag waving before you even KNOW where your white flag IS.

While you are in this state of sleep-deprived-dementia,  they use ALL of the persuasive marketing tools (you know--the ones you learned about in high school--maybe even college or GRAD SCHOOL--YOUR children knew them as toddlers--I told you, GIFTED) on you, their favorite (and most effective) being circular reasoning. Depending upon your degree of SDD, they may not even have to go the complete circle (so to speak) before your confusion get the best of you, so you cave and allow them to play ping pong on the roof with their little sister--AS THE BALL.

Every so often they will throw a red herring at you and slip in some name-calling--these kids ARE clever--and it is all too much for your exhausted brain. You know you would trade even the cutest one for five uninterrupted hours, and THEN you get to deal with the guilt (yes, guilt IS for the weak, and I think I've shown just how weak you are at this point) of being the mother who jokes about trading her children for sleep. Their rhetoric works just as planned and suddenly THEY are in control. Only it isn't sudden at all, is it? They strategically planned to conquer...YOU...and they succeeded.

We really need to look into using small children to fight our battles. There would be no use for WEAPONS of ANY type of destruction--we would have "CHILDREN of Mass Destruction" and if we got these little people on OUR side, we would definitely win--just think of the innocent lives we would save by doing it like this. I know it SEEMS wrong and inhumane, but remember--the only "weapons" would be under four feet tall and would not use physical means to defeat the enemy (except for the occasional kicking feet or freakishly strong elbow lean on the pelvis).

I've read (and others have told me) that children know when you are not feeling well and they adjust their behavior accordingly. When I read (and heard) that, those discussing it indicated that children feel sorry that you are not well, so they become better behaved. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Clearly THOSE children are not in on the "plan." THOSE children do not realize that the time to attack is when your enemy is weak. My children sense weakness and make their moves. I was sick the other day and you would have thought that fifty-three children stormed the house, armed with baked goods (and FROSTING of course), candy and toys. By the end of the day, they were quite literally jumping ON me and I was quite literally BEGGING for mercy. And I was AWAKE for [most of] this. They just...kept...talking...until I had NO IDEA what was happening around me and I couldn't make it stop.

 I'm waving my white flag vigorously, but they scoff at my flag and continue the fight. Though I admire their tenacity, I am THIS is why so many parents say, "One day you are going to have children JUST LIKE YOU and I am going to laugh...and laugh...and LAUGH!" I hate when my mother is right.


  1. Ha! I love this post! I have 3 small boys ages 5,3 and 1 and they all end up in our bed during the night. My 5 year old waits for us to go to bed and then he quietly makes his his way over to our room and sneaks into our bed. If we are still awake when he comes to our room he will turn around, get back in his bed and try again later. lol. Some people are sooo against kids sleeping in their bed but i know they will grow out of it. Plus, im just to dang tired to put them back in their beds. My 3 year old sleeps in his bed most nights but if he wakes up and realizes his brother is not in the room with him, he makes his way to our room. I dont remember the last time I had a good night sleep. lol.

  2. That is so funny because that is the reason we tried the whole locking our door thing--our daughter would sneak in EVERY night and we wouldn't even always realize it until we woke up thinking that we had a horrible sleep because our spouse was kicking and hitting us during the night, only to turn and find her sweet sleeping face appearing to be innocent of sleep-harassment! Do you think it has something to do with being outnumbered and our children being so close in age? Mine are 7 (almost 8), 6 and (just turned) five. I will tell you that it gets better as they get older. I feel I need to tell you that because when mine were five and under everyone told me, "It just gets worse!" That made me cry. Every night (since I was awake anyway...). It DOES get better(which is a bit disheartening to think it WAS worse)I promise! Not that THIS post is too reassuring...:o)

  3. sure kids are terrorists but moms are masters of threats, bribes, interrogation, and torture (are you sure you don't want to eat your vegetables? this ice cream is soooo good.). you're just outnumbered. if the kid-mom ratio were one to one, you'd have already conquered the child of mass destruction. : ) this is why i need a twisted sister wife - someone to help me because my husband isn't as tough as me with the kids.

  4. I TOTALLY want a sister-wife! I was so disappointed when my Mormon friends told me that sister-wives aren't actually a "thing..." Is that wrong of me?! And I love your view on it--the MOTHER as Jack Bauer (or Sydney Bristow)...I'll TAKE it!


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