Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Weekend Getaway: A Different View


Weekend Getaway

The Setting: A Marriott Hotel in Colorado Springs, Labor Day weekend
The Characters:
A Young (40-something) Mother (ravishing of course) traveling with her little *princes* ages 9, 7 and 4
The College Student/Server, waiting tables at the Marriot's full service restaurant
"Loraine", retired hotel guest from New Jersey who never leaves the pool
 "Suzy Q" 5 year old hotel guest

Scene One: At The Pool

Young (Ravishing) Mother:

Okay. 45 minutes. I can do this. 45 minutes and the kids will be worn out properly. I will then feel no guilt for allowing them to binge watch the Cartoon Network while I nap. It's been a long ass day. I took them to the zoo, we stayed for four hours. FOUR HOURS. Honestly, I should win mother of the year for that shit. FOUR HOURS pushing my lazy four year old uphill (both ways!) in a stroller while listening to the seven year old beg endlessly for ice cream, juice, soda, cotton candy and souvenir pennies (for the love of God why with the pennies?) Deep breath. Okay. Here we go in the water! Isn't this fun? I'm not cold. I am not cold. I am not cold. Why the hell is the water so cold? Where is the 85 degree sunshine day I fantasized about? Maybe 20 minutes is enough. Oh but look at that smile. Oh you really are having a good time aren't you? That four year old smile. May I never forget it. Yes. I'll let you cannon ball into my arms again my darling sweet baby.


Oh no. Here come the brats.  It was so peaceful two minutes ago. My pina colada would be better with fresh coconut. They always use the cheap mixes at these places. This is nothing like Hawaii. They really should have a children's pool. Why don't they have a children's pool? Well that is just rude! I am sitting right here. Do you not see me? Jumping into the water like you are the only one here? Now I bet I have chlorine in my drink! If I wanted to be wet, I would have gotten in the water, but instead I am sitting on the side of the pool...for a reason.  Oh great. No I don't want your kid to apologize to me. Oh it is so clear he didn't mean it lady.  No. No, it's fine. Really. It's fine. Ha, ha, yes kids.... yes I see you have three on your own, but guess what... that's not my fault!!!

Suzy Q:

Kids! Kids! Kids! I wish they weren't boys! Kids! Kids! Hey do you have Doritos? No fair! My mom packed carrot sticks. You want to play? Knock Knock!! (you say whose there?) Interrupting Cow. (you say interrupting cow who?) MOOOO! Hey can I have a Dorito? Is that your brother. I have a brother actually I have three brothers, no two. Actually one and a sister and a cat. Your mom is sooo pretty (editors note, we are just assuming she thought that, duh.)  Why is that mean lady staring at us?

Four Year Old Boy:

This is the best day in the world! I saw a hippo poop in the water, and I got Doritos. Now it's pool time! Yay!!!  I hope my mom will let me jump into her arms exactly one million and seventy two hundred times!  Oh no. It's a girl. And she wants my Doritos!

Scene Two: Dinner At The Hotel Restaurant:

The College Student/Server:

No, no no! Not my section again. Oh great. Yesterday I had the family of 8 who spilled five glasses of chocolate milk, split three meals and left a disaster of saltine crackers and a $4 tip. Okay. Smile. Game time! You want a bottle of wine for yourself? Um  okay. Did she not feed those kids today? They just ate an entire basket of bread while I was taking the drink order? Wow.  Wait where did the mom go? She seems to be gone every two minutes with another kid. Why doesn't she coordinate their bathroom trips, duh? Why didn't they just go to McDonald's?

Nine Year Old Boy:

I'm dying. I am going to starve to death. Oh my God nobody cares that I am dying of hunger.  The Children's menu, really? Fine! I will order the kid's hamburger but MAKE SURE YOU PUT LETTUCE, TOMATO AND PICKLES ON IT. I am not a baby! This is taking forever. I am seriously going to die a slow painful death of starvation.  Why didn't we just go to McDonald's?

Seven Year Old Boy:

I hate this place they have nothing that I like. No! I do not like pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, nachos or mac & cheese. No, no, no! Gross Gross Grossy-Gross. Fine. I'll get the pizza but ONLY if you let me order chocolate milk too. And dessert. The cotton candy at the zoo was not dessert, it was a snack!  I want an ice cream sundae from McDonald's!


Not that family again. Good lord. What is that (*ravishing*) woman thinking taking those monsters to an establishment like this. Look at them, they aren't even properly dressed, that little boy looks homeless.  I need to remember to send my grandbaby the new fall collection from Jack & Janie. My granddaughter will be dressed like a little lady, and I am sure she will only speak when spoken to! Had I known there would be children here I would have eaten elsewhere.   That woman needs to take her circus to McDonald's.

Young (Ravishing) Mother

Where the hell is my wine already????

Scene Three: The gift shop

Young (Ravishing) Mother

All I need is a freaking pull up. They have condoms, Band-Aids, Connect-Four, slippers, batteries, dental floss, where are the pull ups? How could I have forgotten the pull ups?  Fine. A swim diaper will have to do. He is four for Christ's sake! When will it end? No. No. I am not buying you more Doritos. Because you don't need them. Because you just had dinner. Which of course you didn't eat because you devoured a bread basket before the meal. Please stop making a scene. Did I mention we could watch a movie if your good? Shhhh. People are staring. FINE. FINE WE CAN GET DORITOS.
I need more wine.

Four Year Old Boy:


Suzy Q:

No fair! Those kids get Doritos again. I want Doritos. Will you share your Doritos? What's wrong with their mom? She looks likes like she has had a lot of birthdays since this afternoon. Funny.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Motherhood: The Next Chapter

When I started GetRealMama so many years ago, I was knee deep in diapers and baby food. My life revolved around playgroups, story time, and Music Together. It was a time of strollers, pack and plays, bounce houses and baby showers. A time when it seemed to take forever to get anywhere and when we took mountains of gear everywhere we went.   I was always surrounded by crawlers, toddlers and nursing mothers. It was an amazing period of my life, one where  I witnessed first steps and saw my young children experience things for the first time. It was also a period of stress, brought on by sleepless nights, ear infections and some really, really boring birthday parties (hello, where are the adult beverages???)

But that was then. Time marched on and I have (almost) left the huggies behind.  I haven't attended a playgroup in years and completely bypass the baby section of Target. My boys are now (almost) 10, 7 and 4.  That means a fourth grader, a second grader and a preschooler. Man have things changed.

A little over a week ago I sat through back-to-school night. During fourth grade orientation I was struck by how old all the parents in the classroom looked. We are talking straight-up- grown ups. Middle aged grown-ups. And I fit right in.  Now of course there are some outliers, parents who have older children in middle or high-school and are now seeing there youngest child through the final stages of elementary, but for the most part, we are no different than the other families. As I saw the grey hairs, and the fine lines etched in the other parent's faces I realized, that's me. (Though, knock on wood, I really haven't turned grey... yet!) And I looked at my son, his feet nearly the size of mine, all muscle, not one trace of baby left and I knew I had truly entered a new chapter in my life.

Even during my youngest child's orientation I could feel the difference. Packed in the preschool classroom were many first-timers. Parents taking their only or their oldest child to preschool for the very first time. Parents who were attending to a younger siblings needs, fixing a bottle, checking for a dirty diaper, while listening intently to the preschool teacher inform them about the four-year old's transition. There child might cry, this is normal. Their child will be exhausted, this is to be expected.  Their child will... I found myself tuning out as the teacher went on, I busied myself filling out the forms and wondering how I would manage to keep track of dates, and assignments.  I already knew that lied ahead. Julian will learn to read, and write, add and subtract and will give up his nap. He will start to lose the rounded toddler belly as he continues to grow. Next year he will make a leprechaun trap in Kindergarten. In first grade he will start having sleepovers and keep a reading log, and it will all go by so fast. So very fast.

As my final child passes through each stage I realize that I am leaving behind my old life and thus, my identity is shifting. In some ways it is refreshing. I am no longer loaded down with a diaper bag and baby food jars, I can enjoy the freedom that comes with more independent children, and I find that my adult conversations no longer focus around diaper rash and sleep training.  But as I drift further and further away from the mommy-and-me demographic, I  feel a profound loss.  For all of the sleepless nights and blouses stained with spit up, it really was a magical time, hazy, not perfect but magical all the same. And
I will miss it. Probably forever.