Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Scary Good Idea

No matter how hectic my life is these days there are a few things that I find time to do everyday, kiss my kids, call my mom, and read Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy is a creative genius, a prolific writer and is as real as it gets about the gnitty-gritty of motherhood.  She also inspires greatness in others...

Please read her post entitled, "A Thanksgiving Dinner for Everyone."  You'll be glad you did.

Too Much Time on My Hands

It's 4:40 AM and I am faced with a dilemma, rearrange the family room OR attempt to snag the fragments of thoughts floating in my head and weave them into a legitimate blog post.

I'll likely do both. Simultaneously.

I will begin to dismantle the living room at which point Mini-Monkey will wander down the steps and request "cereal with no frozen blueberries, no frozen  blueberries, NO FROZEN BLUEBERRIES, do you hear what I'm saying?!?!?"  Yes, Mini-Monkey, I hear you.

I'll brew myself a 2nd cup of coffee as I prepare the breakfast of three-year old champions and answer four hundred million questions, including "How do these rings come off?" Referring to my wedding rings.  I'll answer her, "They don't.  You see Mini-Monkey, when a man and a woman fall in love and get married, sometimes the man will knock-up the woman four times and her swollen sausage fingers that trap her wedding rings will be just one of many reminders that they are connected FOR LIFE."

Monster-Monkey will appear and will ask in his husky voice, "Can you please write Diary of a Wimpy Kid on my Book-It report?  You know the one that Daddy had to make because Mini-Monkey drew all over it with pen?"  Got it.

I'll return to the family room to continue the rearrangement and catch the tail end of a Bob Costas interview with accused sex offender and former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. This will remind me of the post that I started to write about my reaction to the scandal prompting me to abandon the family room again to attempt to finish my Penn State post. 

Once seated in front of the computer, the Mellow-Monkey will likely decide that he is sick of the swing and needs to be fed RIGHT NOW and so I'll return to the family room. 

The quiet act of feeding Mellow-Monkey will give me time to drift...off...to....

"Mom!" Middle-Monkey will be standing in front of me, smiling.  "You fell asleep!" 

At this point, I'll look at the clock and realize that it is 6:39AM and I still have to shower, make lunches, and get everyone ready for school.

The family room will remain disheveled, the blog posts unwritten, and my mind will still swim with ideas.  I will drink four more cups of coffee and I'll try again tomorrow. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tough Times Make Tough People

Intestinal fortitude is what my father calls it.
It is what separates the "men from the boys." 

Having a "little bitta guts." 

The "it" my father is referring to is the ability to tough it out no matter the situation.  And growing up "it" was the standard by which all persons were measured. 

This past weekend I saw "it" in my kid. 

As nearly ten inches of snow fell on our South Central Pennsylvania community, the Northern York Polar Bear Smurf football team came together on a snow covered gridiron to play for the title of Smurf Superbowl Champion.

The cold was intense, the snow, relentless.  The wind whipped across the field creating near zero visibility conditions.  And yet the boys played on.

The scene resembled a battlefield, brave warriors struck down by the harsh conditions.  There were tears and sobbing as one by one the boys succumbed to frozen feet and frostbitten fingers.  Some wailed on the sidelines and begged not to be sent back into the game. 

But not my kid. 

My kid played every down and when it was over, he played game #2. 

All told, Monster Monkey and company played four games during the historic snowy weekend.  He never cried, he never complained, he never quit. 

The Smurf Polar Bears did not win the Superbowl, they didn't even come in second, but they are champs in my book just for playing.    

There are many times in my life when it was my father's voice in my head that kept me moving forward in an effort to prove myself tough.
"Come on kid, are you a Coffman, or what?" 

In choosing a mate this was also on my short list of imperatives and I found all that and more in the Monkey Maker.  A person who quietly rises to every occasion, making seemingly impossible undertakings look effortless.  A person whose character was forged in trials by fire. 

As a result my Monster Monkey and his siblings are genetically predisposed to this tough as nails attitude from both sides of the family and that is something that makes this Reluctant Momma pretty proud. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lost & Found

I find myself adrift in a sea of unfolded laundry and unfilled picture frames.  Somewhere amidst the forgotten book fair money and unpacked lunches is my sanity, lost.
I find myself seated clad in only a towel feeding a baby who has learned to wail exactly three minutes after he hears the shower come on.  My wet mop of hair drips down my naked back sending goosebumps over my body.  The chill brings on a new growth of prickly stubble over my freshly shaven legs, oh well, at least I tried. 

A battle ensues down the hall between two Monkeys, Mini & Middle over a Cabbage Patch kid and two match box cars.  Anchored to the baby I am forced to yell from my current coordinates to try to quiet the fray, "Shoes & socks!!!! Brush your teeth!!!!"

I find myself squwaking from my chair that we are leaving the house in 10 minutes "with or without you" which we all know is NOT true.  I watch precious moments tick off the clock as my hair drys sans product and will thus resemble a dirty dish rag placed atop my head.

When the baby FINALLY finishes his bottle I find myslef with exactly three minutes to throw on clothes that I can only hoep are from the "clean basket" and toss a hat on my head. 

I find myslef on the ground floor and things here have not gone well.  Cheerios have rained from the Heavens all over the kitchen and our dog has decided she prefers "Honeynut" to "Original" and will not be partaking in the bounty on the floor. 

I find myself nose to nose with a still shoeless Monster Monkey find that his breath smells like his brother's feet.  Apparently my earlier yelling was less than effective.

The Cheerios will have to wait as I now have bigger fish to fry.  I threaten the Monster with the loss of all things electronic in order to get his "young ass" ready and out the door.  That outta do it.   

In the meantime Mini & Middle Monkey have resolved their conflict but have seemignly joined forces against me as I attmept to drag myslef out the door.  Carefully navigating the narrow passage in the garage I find them underfoot every step of the way.   I carry the "baby bucket, my cell phone and a pile of thank you cards that should have been sent out three weeks ago in one hand and my precious coffee in the other. 

With both hands occupied I find myslef unable to open the door of the Hum-Vee we recently purchased, I am forced to set something down.  Thinking it is inappropriate to place a newborn on the floor of the garage I place my coffee perilously on the roof of a riding lawn toy that occupies space in our cramped garage. 

I swing open the door of the Tahoe and climb up so that I can hurl the baby into the middle seat.  This is an acroboatic act deserving of it's own billing.  The vehicle is ten feet off the ground and normal sized people need a running start to get in even when thier hands aren't full.

As the Monkeys scramble up into the car I hear the sickenng sound of ceramic hitting concrete and I know that my coffee has met it's demise.  "Sowwy I spilled your coffee, Mommy."  Mini-Monkeys says remorsefully.

"That's okay, peanut, it's not your fault."  I reply, "It's all Daddy's fault." 

I find myself silently cursing the Monkey Maker for taking my mini-van from me with the power sliding doors and amenities made for a mom.

At long last I find myself buckeled in and ready to drive the 1.2 miles to drop the boys at school. I am sweaty, stressed and seventeen minutes late. 

Overwhelmed, I take a deep breath and with a quick glance in the rearview mirror throw the car in reverse.  I catch a glimpse of my precious cargo, the loves of my lives and I find myself grateful.  As much as I think I am lost at times, with them, I am found.