Whine: You know you have a problem when you’re straining your cold Diet Coke through a sieve to see if it’s still drinkable after your two-year-old takes a sip with a mouthful of half-chewed peanut m&ms. It’s not, by the way.
Cheese: I have a new blog design. For Mother’s Day I gave myself the gift of letting Mr. Dad do the dishes while I monkeyed around with Photoshop to make my very own Whine and Cheese picture header. And it’s darn cute, if I do say so myself, although it kind of makes it look like I have twelve kids. Yikes, even I’m not that crazy.
That video was fun, wasn’t it? What’s not fun about an ironic 80s mullet and shoulder pads?
I recently made the mistake of taking inventory of my post-Brother-Bear physique. (Can you still call it a physique if it’s made of 97.25% JELL-O?). The highly scientific process of pinching my ample muffin-top and other related squishy parts revealed that it was high time to get off this couch that I’ve been sitting on so long I’m actually not sure where it begins and I end. Afraid to brave The Gym with The Children, I settled for getting verbally slapped around by a woman who has abs that look like they were built by the third little piggy and his bricks. Mine look more like the abs of the actual little piggy himself. Although in my defense, my abs have had to accommodate whole other human beings and whatnot, but Jillian sure does not care when she’s yelling at me to DO. MORE. CRUNCHES.
Anyway, what was I saying? I get easily distracted when I’ve had to dump most of my Diet Coke down the drain. Ah, yes, my helpers. So I was huffing and puffing (can you tell what book we’ve been reading around here lately?), doing pathetic girl pushups and Lil’ Sis was climbing on my back. You know, like you see in those movie montages about people getting all buff and having other people sit on their back to demonstrate their buffness. Except in my case I can’t even support my own weight, so adding hers really didn’t do much because I was basically just lying flat on the floor anyway. I thought maybe Jillian would give me an A for effort. But then again she would probably just kick me in the head, but I’m not sure.
Then Big Sis stripped down to her “workout attire” which was a pair of blue tights with strawberries on it and not a whole lot else. So we were all in the living room doing jumping jacks and crunches and hip circles with varying degrees of success and grace, and I was doing my best not to jump, crunch or circle on top of anyone. We all managed to survive the workout somehow, although my trek to the shower was slow and agonizing. Did you know that lunges hurt even worse after you stop doing them and try to walk?
I got in the shower. Have I told you about my new shower?? It’s like my own personal sanctuary. It’s the nicest room in my house, actually, designed and built for me by Mr. Dad, the Michaelangelo of tile design. It has pretty new fixtures that aren’t chipped and rusty, little custom insets for my shampoo and a bench. It’s glorious. Our water bill is really going to be awful now, because I’m going to set up a permanent residence in there. Sorry, I told you I was distracted today. . . I was sudsing up when I heard a tiny voice paging me from other side of the shower curtain. Since I was halfway through shaving my leg (which is so much easier in my new shower, have I told you about my new shower? with the bench? for leg shaving?), I had no other option but to let my tiny interloper hop into the shower with me. Which meant answering lots of questions about exactly what I was doing, and how exactly do you explain leg shaving to a two-year old who imitates everything you do? I could see exactly how the gory reenactment would go. So I tried my best to be surreptitious and get out of the shower before her internal danger-magnet fixed itself on my razor.
My exercise and leg-shaving exploits got me thinking about motherhood. Right now I spend much of my life as I imagine the people who train monkeys do: “Sit here, eat this, don’t pee on that, wave on cue, please don’t stick that in your mouth.” But what my chronic lack of personal space, property and privacy has shown me is that motherhood is about a whole lot more than telling people to eat their peas, which is a good thing because they rarely do. For me, motherhood is about shaping people with values, and not just the ones you can get at Wendy’s for 99 cents.
But values don’t come around just because I try to do the right thing in front of my kids. I can eat my peas and drink my water to try and trick my kids into eating a decent meal, but eventually one of them is going to catch me squirting the whipped cream directly into my mouth and then the jig is up. I’m busted. (No, seriously. I got off the phone with someone the other day so she wouldn’t have to listen to the hissing of the aerosol can as I gulped down that creamy goodness. Did I mention my gelatinous physique? I wonder if there’s a correlation.) I can also tell my kids that in our house we use a kind voice and we don’t dissolve into hysterics just because our sister decided she also likes the color red and if you don’t stop yelling you’re going to time out. But if I throw a conniption fit when they dump a cup full (or ten) of water onto my bathroom floor, I’m pretty sure I’ve negated the whole “we use a kind voice” baloney I was trying to feed them.
I’m not saying I have to be perfect. I mean, I’d really, really like to be perfect, but that’s not the point. The point is that I can say the right thing most of the time and I can do the right thing lots of times while my kids are looking, but in the end, what I really care about is going to show up and ooze out, and I just hope it’s not whipped cream. I’d love them to pick up on the fact that I think the book is always better than the movie and helping a friend matters more than almost anything else. I hope what they see when I think they aren’t looking is that I think their Dad hung the moon even if I once and a while slug him in the shoulder. And that even if I sometimes lose my cool over bathwater, I really believe that they are the Most Amazing Kids in the Universe. So as long as that’s who I am and what’s inside of me, I think that’s what they’ll see because, believe me, those little eyes don’t miss much, especially if you’re trying to hide your m&ms.