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1:17 a.m. - 2013-02-16
An Oldie and An Addendum

Dug this out of the archives. For you, darling Amy. I love you too, my friend.

Motherhood = Unrelenting Joy


Last night Wolf took off his pull-ups and peed his bed. This morning I stripped the bed and put everything in the washer. I remade his bed with fresh linens.

This afternoon I gave him a nice warm bath. Lotioned him down and dressed him in nice fuzzy pj's and put him down for a nap. I went downstairs to pee and start cleaning up the lunch mess (we were 6 for lunch today as Mike was working locally and brought his many helpers home to eat).

20 minutes later Wolf patters into the dining room stark naked and announces that there will be no nap today. Back upstairs we go to get some clothes and I find that bedding set #2 is pissed on and there is a steamy pile of crap in the middle of the carpet. I clean up the crap and strip his bed again. I re-dress Wolf and after admonishing him to not go poopoo on the floor or in his bed anymore (he giggled) I lug the bedding downstairs and open the washer and stare in horror at the load of bedding I ran earlier.

One of Wolf's pillows had exploded and the washer is clogged. It's full of soggy pillow stuffing. I wring out the rest of the stuff, throw the other pillow (which is running water and too heavy to wring) into a cooler and scrape off most of the clinging fluff and put the bedding in the dryer. I scoop out the washer and get my knuckle stuck under the agitator trying to pry more fluff out from under it. The skin on my knuckle breaks open and now I have BLOODY soggy fluff to clean up and the leftover detergent in the washer stings like a bitch in my open cut.

I go into the little bathroom to bandage my finger and hear a thud followed by a crash. Wolf is in the dining room and had knocked over a chair and then kicked a plate off the table which he is sitting on top of, smiling serenely and gnawing on leftover pizza. I realize when I went to grab him that my finger is still dripping blood and my new white tablecloth has blood on it now.

I spank Wolf, put him in the naughty chair, bandage my finger, clean up the broken plate, remove the rest of the stuff from the table, pull the 12' long tablecloth off, drag it into the kitchen and attempt to put the bloody spot under the cold water tap.

I hear that evil giggle again and turn to see Wolf grabbing handfuls of the soggy, bloody fluff from the trash bag and flinging it into the air.

"It's snowing! Whee!" says my maniacal offspring.

I feel water on my butt and realize that water is cascading down the tablecloth, onto me, and then onto the floor. I shut off the tap leaving tablecloth in a wet heap in the sink, shout at the child, rescue the disgusting gory fluff and shove it back in the trash bag. I look wildly around at my soaking wet fuzzy kitchen, my glowering child, bleeding hand, and with my undamaged hand tweeze my wet sweatpants away from my legs.

I start crying quietly and pull my smokes from my pocket only to find out that they are sopping wet too. Tears gave way to hysterical laughter and this is how Alex found me when he got home from school a few minutes later.

He looks at me, then at the mess, bends down to pick up his brother who is pulling on his leg and shouting, "Snow, Alex! Look snow!" He looks over the top of the baby's head at me and says, "So how was your day, Mom?"

I think I'll get drunk.

And that, my friends, was where I was at 12 years ago. This, believe it or not, was a pretty typical day with Wolf the Unholy Terror. Just reading it again made my stomach clench and my nerve endings started jangling.

Still, I am in a rather unique parenting position where I can honestly claim to be thrilled to have the teenager over the preschooler that was Wolf. Most moms look back on their kids' preschool years with delight. They remember spontaneous dancing and adorable malapropos. They get misty-eyed over bedtime stories and the wacky outfits donned by little guys asserting their blossoming personhood. I think back to that time and I want to throw up. The exhaustion. The constant alarms and endless messes. The biting, the way my thighs sported a line of bruises from having to keep Wolf jammed in the baby seat of grocery store shopping carts (I didn't dare let him loose in a store ever) and how he spent the entire time in the cart wailing loudly and kicking. Hard.

Today I took Wolf out shopping. And no, of course I didn't have to keep him in the cart. (*snerk*) We talked. Made some jokes. I was able to send him out to the car with the Old Navy bags while I sat on a bench and rested my aching knees. He needed sneakers and turned up his nose at the pricey sports stores and insisted we hit the Payless. No griping his life would be over if he didn't have a pair of Air Jordans. This nearly grown version of Wolf is a joy. Funny. Polite. Concerned about doing the right thing. Respectful. Easy to get along with. Not a lot of moms get to say this about their 15 year old sons.

If I knew during the hell years just how much better things would be now I might have been sanguine about that horrible long slog and maybe spared myself a lot of the pain, guilt, feeling like a failure, and the overwhelming frustrated weariness. Then again if I hadn't had to push so hard and battle every goddamn day to keep my sanity and insist my kid learn to behave Wolf might not have turned out as wonderful as he is. Argh, hindsight is always 20/20, eh?

What I do know is the end result is worth it. ~LA

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