There are days when I wake up forgetting that I am a mom in my 30’s and by today’s standards, elderly. The kind of day where you wake up and remember being young and vibrant, full of life and loving every minute from sunrise to sundown. This is not one of those days. Instead I woke up to my two kids fighting with each other, which ended in the toddler crying. There’s no way to escape the reality of being a mom of two children when you wake up to your kids enacting world war three against each other, in the other room.
My kids are ten years apart in age. I know, what was I thinking – you ask… The short answer, I wasn’t. We also hadn’t planned on having a child this late in life, but it just kind of happened. The fact that they can be so far apart in age and still find some commonality to fight about is beyond my scope of understanding, but they’re innovative like that. My teenager is the sweetest child you’ll ever meet. Very calm and mild-mannered and most days, has the patience of a saint. She is also very child-like and naïve in her demeanor. A trait that makes her incredibly loveable. My toddler however is a tiny psychopath with a limited vocabulary. She is the funniest child, and is always doing or saying something that keeps us in stitches. She’s hilarious and one day will be the life of the party. On the other hand she is also a total nut job. Picture Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, but with curly blonde hair and much cuter. She has almost no sense of fear for anyone or thing. No concern for repercussions, and is at times sort of intimidating with how unafraid she is. This trait she gets from me and I have been knocked on my ass enough times to know that it isn’t always the best of qualities to have. Nonetheless, it makes parenting her much harder than parenting the teenager, because she has no real fear of authority or consequence. Case in point, she throat-punched her father a few days ago. Not out of spite, but because she thought it would be funny. It was kind of funny actually, but he is also 6 foot 4 and could squash her in one swift move. She had no fear. What’s worse, she actually told him she was going to throat punch him as she was doing it. No fear.
Right now my older daughter is home for the summer and the little one has decided to embody her alter-ego, a lunatic cat named Scruffles who by the sounds of it, is feral and probably should’ve been put down a long time ago. My toddler uses this persona to scratch, hit and basically act as insane and mean as she wants to. Each time her big sister is home, we see more of Scruffles than we do of our actual toddler. Last night Scruffles was on the prowl and the only thing I kept thinking about was how I could punish a cat who’s not really a cat, but a child who believes she is a cat. The first two options that came to mind was a rolled up newspaper to the nose, and a squirt bottle of water. I’m pretty sure beating my child in the nose with a rolled up paper and/or waterboarding her one squirt at a time are frowned upon, so you’ll be glad to know that I didn’t do either.
However, this morning I woke up to hearing loud, screeching meows and hissing coming from my older daughter’s bedroom followed by my older daughter yelling “STOP” and then heard someone hitting someone else and the fighting ensued. Naturally I woke up and lost my mind on the both of them for starting the morning off in a brawl. The toddler started crying as she usually does when she gets called out for being her deranged feline personality and the teenager, wisely went and hid in the bathroom waiting for Mom to chill the hell out. I separated the two of them and went about my morning activities. A few minutes later the little one is back in the teenager’s room and they are looking at a magazine together and talking kindly to each other. Meanwhile I am still at a ten from having to wake up to such pandemonium out of a dead sleep and am still trying to find my happy place. If curling up in the fetal position on the floor wouldn’t scare the crap out of my kids or force them to call 911, that’s what I would be doing right now. This is my life. This is what we do here.
Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m raising children, but more like I’m an around the clock guard at an insane asylum. Except I don’t get to take breaks and these loons aren’t medicated. I spent all day yesterday thinking of how awesome it was that today was going to be Saturday, until I got home from another nightmare grocery shopping trip with both kids and realized that it was only Thursday and there would be one more day of this craziness until my husband — the second guard on duty — would be home. Needless to say I was reluctant to wake up this morning, but when your kids are effectively trying to kill each other there isn’t much choice but to spring into action. There are days when I feel more like a referee at a MMA match. Like I should be standing center ring between them, going over the rules before the bell dings. “Okay no scratching, no biting, no throat punches or kicks to the groin. Are you ready? FIGHT!”
Between the echoes of chaos filling my home and the personal on-call chef l I have become to these kids, I have been trying to write. I started my second novel and have written many pieces to publish, but cannot find a single quiet moment to re-read them and edit in order to turn them out. At this current minute I am only able to write what is currently on my mind, with some form of clarity. Trying not to strangle my children. Of course I kid, I love these precious angels on earth… Okay that was a stretch, I love these monsters. Maybe tomorrow I can write something with substance, but today I’m just counting my blessings that I am not rocking in a corner on the floor somewhere. The good news is, today is finally Friday and I have almost made it through another week in this looney bin!