Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thinking About it. . .

When you hear that familiar gurgling and your son starts to throw up as you rush him to the bathroom, do you stop and let him throw up on the stairs, or do you continue to rush him into the bathroom, making a nice throw-up trail on the way?  I really haven't made up my mind on this one. How many bites of "whatever" is the correct amount before your kids leave the table? We know they really aren't going to starve.  Is it okay to wake up the baby?  EVER?  I've always liked the idea that you should know the answers to life's possible questions before you are faced with them so that, in the moment you need to make a decision, you won't hesitate. But some mysteries remain unanswered--much like the game sensation "What's Grosser than Gross." 'cause really, I can't make a decision in that game to save my life.
I went to pick up a check from BYU.  A seemingly simple task, picking up a check, but BYU made it a really special journey for me.  By special I don't mean endearing or touching. But I love BYU, I really do, and so I'm always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  After receiving two phone calls in two days that I had a check WAITING for me (and my mind pictures some 19 year-old plain-looking coed dressed in an awesome black Chico's skirt sitting behind a sterile gray desk, holding my check and checking her watch every 30 seconds--the pressure!) and a quick glance at the checkbook, I decided to THINK ABOUT picking it up. It takes me a while to ease into these things. I know what they will entail. I know what kind of determination, patience and speed it will take. I know the kind of negotiating I must be prepared to do. For example, I know that Owen will run off. I know that he'll want to see and touch everything. He'll run and get as near to the water-fountain as he can until I yell "don't even think about it!" and he'll laugh and go try to climb a tree. I know that Phoebe will take her time walking and go in the opposite direction the rest of us are moving. I know she'll say hello to all the boys and flirt as she says "My name is PHOEBE! I'm a bean-er-ina!" and she'll pick flowers she's not supposed to and tell me she has to tinkle right when I'm trying to talk to an adult or worse, tell me that boys have a penis and she has a vagina. Hugh could be an angel and smile, instantly captivating every stranger within a three mile radius, or he'll scream at the top of his lungs like a tortured cat. I consider all the possibilities and my adventurous pioneer spirit sets it. Not all of those things will happen all at once, I know. It is a grab bag of sorts; which one will happen on this journey? Which magical combination. "So", I say to myself, "feelin' lucky?"
After being directed to five different departments in the Administration Building, I finally come to discover that I do not have a check waiting for me. It will be ready on Monday. Of course it will.
After I load the kids in the car (details of aforementioned "grab bag" not important) as two 20's something students watch (in horror? in delight? I wonder), I say, "Enjoy the show?" they laugh and I flip my hair back and laugh, too and it was at that moment that I realized that I, too, was enjoying the show: "the show" that is motherhood. NO, just kidding. They just looked uncomfortable and smiled and I got into the car and told the kids to "hang on--we've got one more stop."

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

lisa---

Don't you long for the days when you could just lock the kids in the car (with the dvd playing) and run the errands?

R

wendysue said...

Ahh, running errands. Or as I call it, "Can I go beyond Whitney's breaking point... How long to do have before the screaming begins??" I think I've calculated it down to about 34.5 minutes. That's it. No more. No less.

Julie said...

I was at Lorien's house the other day with my two boys. When it was time to go, I had to haul my screaming 2-year-old to the van and nearly sit on him to buckle the car seat. I'm not kidding. After 5 minutes of wrestling, I finally got the kid in and buckled. I shut the van door on his full-voice screaming and said "Ahh, silence." Then I hear Lorien's voice from her porch: "Wow, Julie. That was quite the performance. I am truly amazed!" So, on with the show. Thanks for the great blog.

Hailey said...

Another question: How in the world do you fairly decide whose "turn" it is with whatever it is, because it's not like we have that in the grown-up world. Because, if we do, it's totally my turn to play a part on "Lost" and live in Hawaii. Those other actors have had looong turns.

Oh, and what always gets me is when every once in a while I'll have some magical visit to the mall where both kids are sweet and cooperative and none of us end up leaving in tears. Then I am fooled into thinking I can just venture into public whenever I please. After making that mistake one too many times, we just don't leave the house during the light of day any more. I am nobody's fool.

Lorien said...

SUCH a wonderful blog! These are the mysteries of life!

I must admit, I'm spoiled. I have this wonderful wife who works at home, so I usually run errands by myself, or maybe with one child. But every now and then when the wife is gone, or he says no to the babysitting, I take them all out at once. And maybe it's been a while, or maybe like hailey, I had one good trip recently where they weren't screaming and poking each other's eyes out, and I think, "It won't be THAT bad." And then WHAM-O! 34.5 minutes later and I'm ready to put them all up for adoption. Yowza. I learn my lesson--at least for another three weeks.

I really was amazed at Julie's boy's fit. It went on and on and on...

And don't even get me started on "just picking something up" at BYU. How can so many offices be involved in one, seemingly simple act of printing out a check?

Bek said...

I like your "putting them up for adoption" comment. Or, as my husband puts it "we PAID to do this?" :-)

I have said it before and I will say it again--all women need a "wife". You know, the one who knows exactly what you need and can take children, run errands, etc and just take over when we have hit a breaking point? If each wife had a wife (I guess in some circles that is called a Nanny/Personal Assistant) the world would be much smoother. Maybe those rich celebrities are on to something....

~j. said...

I used to be one of those Nanny/Personal Assistant people, and it made me think that being a mom would be so much easier than it actually is. I did things like...sit in the car with the kids while the mom ran in to get a few things. How I long for someone like that in my life.

Tonight I'm taking my children to the mall to get their pictures taken - this is the third attempt in just a few weeks. The first two tries were utter ridiculousness. In fact, last time (attempt #2), I left without looking at the poses; I came back later with my friend and she and I were laughing so hard we were crying. Of course, Kiddie Kandids Girl was saying things like, "Oh, I think they look DARLING!" "Look how nicely you styled their hair!" "I LIKE that one - do you want to get this in a package deal?" It was unbelievable. I ended up buying one sheet anyway, just to help me remember how my day had gone. If it doesn't work tonight, I'll have to think of an alternative for my Christmas cards...maybe Guy could draw them for me...

Kactiguy said...

Jenny, not likely. I'm sure I will be too busy. You know, with all of my wifely duties how can I find time to do anything.

Lisa, I picked up a check once from the BYU. Took several months. They called every couple weeks. "We really need you to pick this up." "It's the end of the year, we need to do our books." "If you don't pick this up and we get audited..." Come on! I have things to do! I am my wife's wife you know. Finally, after loading up the kids, I go to get it. "I'm sorry, you'll need to go here for a signature and get this form there and you'll need a social security card and you bishop needs to..." It's almost worth it to have them keep it. Auditors be damned.

Bek said...

I had no idea that the BYU was so funny about giving away money....hmmm. That reminds me, I never got paid for some work I did for the church once--10 years ago. I stopped trying to get the money after about 5 years. Maybe they figure if they make it hard enough, we will all give up and consider it tithing.....

Guy, you have the hardest wife job of all. You are a "work from home" wife. That means you are always "available". Hmmmmm.

Jen--I have one word for you "MONEY". I am a quasi-photographer and I have a rule that if the kids are not cooperating, we do the shoot another time. I always bring a dollar in quarters per kid and show it to them at the beginning. I tell them that if they sit still and smile, they can have it. The longer it takes, the less they get.

Bless the capitolistic children I have worked with because it works ALMOST every time.......just a thought. I did have to do one family 5 times once...uggggghh

abelnap said...

Oh, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. The joys--eh? The joys. It sort of makes me think that our pioneering foremothers had the right idea. Travel across the country making as many children walk as possibly can. If anyone wonders off or gets lost, well, that's trouble isn't it.

Then homestead in the middle of nowhere so the kids can run and explore to their heart's content. Additionally, set them to hard physical labor like caring for animals, plowing fields, building fences. Etc. That'll learn em.

I'm with Hailey, it's our turn to be on Lost. Anyone ready to go claim it with me?

Emily said...

Has BYU not discovered the lovely postal service this country has established? It sounds like they habitually pay far more in student wages for phone calling and creative bureaucratic measures than it would cost to send it up to the old UPB and send it through the meter machine and out the door through sleet and snow. That reminds me, my brother-in-law swears BYU is running the New Deal and out to lower the unemployment rate because he works as a truck driver and every time he crashes one of the BYU delivery trucks (as in, it's happened more than once), he gets a raise and/or a compliment for his accident report sketch. He can't get fired!

compulsive writer said...

Great blog. Granted, now my kids are all in school, so I can frequently (but not always) indulge in errands run all by my lonesome self, but I still remember the good old days.

Clerks in several area stores not only knew my kids on a first-name basis, but they could also give physical descriptions of them with their eyes closed. This the result of numerous "Code Adam"s on my account, well--technically on my kids' accounts. I know what they really wanted to say--but they were just too darn polite to say it--was this: "Attention shoppers. We have an irresponsible parent--who shouldn't ever have been allowed to reproduce--who has misplaced her child(ren) yet AGAIN in our store." Amazingly, they all kept returning my kids to me instead of calling DCFS.

What I love is when you actually have the nerve to ask your significant other to take the kids with him when he runs an errand and he looks at you like you just asked for a million bucks. "I can't do that, it would take me twice as long as if I did it by myself." Hello!

AzĂșcar said...

Well, you talked me into having one child, and now...you've talked me out of having more.

Lorien said...

Compulsive--My favorite is that the reason you got your son that really cool tricycle was that so you could drive around the neighborhood and find your son more easily by finding his "wheels" parked in the front yard. Brilliant.

Valentine said...

Uh, so, you're not supposed to SHAKE babies, right?
ahahaha, I'm just no GOOD at this!
Thank you for being such a bitchin' mommy so I can enjoy your lil' pumpkins. Being an aunt is where its AT. sorry, it's true.

Valentine said...

this was so great I had to come back and read it again.
thank you for being so damn funny.
kisses.

nie nie said...

Lisa,
I cant wait to see that Bean-er-ina!

lisa v. clark said...

My bean-er-ina is always up for a performance: come one, come all!

~j. said...

Does anyone have an answer to the "throw up here or on the way there" question? I was faced with that with my daughter at someone else's house: she started to pee while standing in their kitchen, and so I carried/ran her to the bathroom, leaving a trail of pee to clean up. Would it have been better to just let her stand there and have one big puddle rather than a trail?

Lorien said...

I hate cleaning up trails...definitely go for the puddle. Then strip her right there, let the clothes soak up the mess, and THEN carry her to the tub for a bath. If the friend is offended, she wasn't that great of a friend anyway.

My daughter puked in the church once--well, 3 times by the time we left, actually--and I just ran her to the rubber carpet mat at the door and let her rip it. Then I left and Compulsive Writer cleaned it up. Now that's a friend!

Ironically, at this moment, my daughter is upstairs with her cheek on the toilet bowl, just waiting for it to come.

~j. said...

Thanks, Lorien. By the way, the event that I referred to happened across the street from your old house (the OLD house), and the friend was LP. She laughed so hard I thought there might be more puddles to clean.

AzĂșcar said...

Update: it finally happened, my kid threw up on me. Based on the advice I've read here, I decided to go for the one puddle approach instead of the trail. Of course, since it was the first time he ever threw up for real (vs. spit up) I wasn't really sure what that gurgling sound was until it was far too late.

In hindsight, it may have been better to leave a trail on our ugly, yet cleanable berber, than on the wool rug upon which we were standing at the time.

So, in long answer to your question: depends on the flooring.