Thursday, June 16, 2011

Real Housewife of Toddler County

So, yes I will admit that I am a housewife fan. Bravo sucked me in and I couldn't help myself. Since I don't work outside my home anymore I don't get my regular dose of drama, bitching, or synchronized menstrual cycles. I don't really miss it but drama drama and the fantastic lifestyles of the housewives caught my attention and now my DVR is set to record Orange County, New Jersey, New York, and Atlanta. I often watch late at night while I am getting caught up on other things or during nap time when it's nice to have a little something on in the background. I haven't found the Miami or Beverly Hills love so from those I am safe...for now. So called "Reality TV" in general has kind of roped me and held me hostage, though it occurs to me that very little of it is based in actual reality. The housewives certainly are not. The show in fact in a total misnomer b/c most of them are decidedly not what you would think of when you think housewife. It's more like I lesson in how to be a MILF and make yourself look like an immature 40+ yr old fool on national television. Part of it's charm maybe? I guess that is the point in a way, it's what every housewife dreams of? The cars and the money and the maid I mean, not the looking like a fool though I imagine that might just come along with the deal anyway. I don't know. The reality that these ladies live in kind of implies that I as a "housewife" (aka stay at home mom) don't really work at all and it's all just peachy for me. Life is good and I can sit home with my baby and be lazy. As any stay at home or work at home mom will tell you (and be careful b/c if you suggest this to one because they might just beat you to hell and back before they tell you) that nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not in the O.C. I'm afraid, I live in the seriously reality based toddler county (so would that be T.C. ? lol). My day to day life doesn't get to include shopping, unless you count skimming ebay looking for great diaper deals or going to the store for milk and cheerios between temper tantrums. My life doesn't include "Frenemies" but rather a slightly clueless husband and an adorable toddler who seems to be perpetually stuck on high speed.

Our mornings start off with a bang as we run through the house mommy singing the itsy bitsy spider and twinkle twinkle little star at the top of my lungs while Nicholas squeals in delight. Playtime has begun! Dumping toys out of various containers all over the house is a ritual that repeats itself several times a day and makes keeping up with cleaning an almost a full time job in itself. You HAVE to keep it up though, otherwise the mess becomes almost overwhelming. Besides what if prince charming... eerrr I mean a relative or friend stops by? Don't want them to think you are lazy or untidy by nature. The fact is left to their own devices a toddler can destroy a room (or an entire house for that matter) in 20 minutes or less. Unlike the housewives on TV I don't have a maid or a nanny to help run damage control or pick up tiny toy cars. The 2 hours of work I did getting the house in shape earlier in the day or late the previous evening is undone in a matter of moments. Frustration isn't exactly the right word here but it'll have to do since this is a (mostly) G rated blog. No wonder so many mom's go ape on their husbands when they come home and point out the messy dinning room table or ask obnoxiously "what did you do all day?!". What indeed. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times more closely resemble feeding time at the zoo than any actual human meal time. An impatient toddler who screams and yells at the top of his lungs and bangs on the baby gate that keeps him out of the kitchen  (where did the chimpanzee come from and what did it do with my toddler??) while you prepare said meal or snack is oh so much fun. Advil anyone? You would think he never gets fed if you witnessed the hell he raises while he's having to wait for me to slice up a banana, cook and egg, or pour juice into a sippy cup. Still wonder why mom's get addicted to pain meds, alcohol, or chocolate ? Come over to my house for an afternoon and I'll show you. :p As if the food prep wasn't painful enough, that floor you just moped, yeah you're going to need to re-do that in spite of the four legged clean up crew. Some things are just to sticky for even a dog to clean up lol. You are also going to need to either pin the crazy hyper toddler to the floor to wipe him down or dump him in the tub for a bath to get various substances from the meal off him. This is especially true after meals containing foods like oatmeal, yogurt or ANY kind of sauce. Banana is wonderful fun to try and scrub out of hair, my advice would be not to let it dry there! I spend half my morning watching the clock thinking "oh please, let it be nap time!".  You're probably thinking that once nap time arrives and the little monster goes to sleep peace and quiet returns and relaxation reigns. Not so fast. All those messes that hurricane toddler made over the course of the morning, yup those have to be cleaned up on top of the days regular chores which in my case include things like dishes, general cleaning, laundry, as well as garden and animal related chores. My toddler only takes one nap a day. I get ONE shot at getting things done and only two hours tops to do it all. So if somebody happens to ring the door bell and set the four legged alarm systems off well then I'm screwed. :/ On good days though nobody comes by to try and sell me a Kirby and I can spend nap time zooming around at top mommy speed putting everything back in it's place, getting the daily chores done, and if I am REALLY lucky even having a meal, which is usually the first (and sometimes only) meal of the day for me. Of course, why I really bother to clean at all is still one of life's great mysteries. I know that within ten minutes of waking up from his nap all my hard work will be for naught and Nicholas will have returned to the living room to it's previous state of disaster. I love him anyway. Our afternoon is spent much the same way our morning is and making a mess is great fun. If it's not to hot sometimes we can go for a walk or to the park. Those are exceptionally good days. If walking or the park isn't an option there is always the little kiddie pool in the backyard - if you can keep our duck Daisy from jumping in and pooping in it. This is Florida though and this time of year it is generally to hot and humid to spend much time out doors unless you happen to be in the water and then you have to watch out for sunburn. Nobody wants a cranky teething SUNBURNED toddler.... dear lord I shudder at the very thought! Sometime after nap time we have a snack which I sometimes have to hose off of the toddler and then I spend the rest of the afternoon running around picking up after and playing various games with my son. When the husband comes home, well he just adds to the mess, as husband's tend to do whether they mean to or not. He also is tired from his day at work and doesn't feel like running around with the energizer toddler. This equates into NO break for mommy. Unlike husbands who go to work and get lunch breaks, and hour long drives in the car to be alone and listen to music or have quiet time the real housewives of toddler country get no such reprieve. My husband is in fact under the impression that staying at home with the baby is easy and I don't do much during the day. One day I'll probably snap and smother him in his sleep for this I'm sure, but so far he's been careful not to voice that belief often. Now it's evening time and in addition to dealing with a toddler I have to clean up after my husband who tends to leave random things just laying around. Then move on to prepping dinner, feeding the baby, getting baby dressed and ready for bed, conducting story time and convincing little Nicholas that it really IS bedtime and he needs to go to sleep. After baby is in bed I must finish and serve dinner, take care of the nightly chores for the chickens, duck, and dogs, and maybe just maybe when I am finished with all that I can sit down for a few minutes. The house by this point in time is still pretty much a wreck from the afternoon's activities by the way and so at 10:30 when husband heads off to bed I begin picking up and cleaning once again as well as getting caught up on any chores I wasn't able to finish through the course of the day and cleaning up after dinner. In my household floors, counter tops, and litter boxes tend to get cleaned sometime between 11pm and 1am. Laundry is also folded during this time usually. Oh and by the way, if you think all that is a lot to handle I'll feel obligated to add that I also work from home as a pet groomer and trainer on top of everything else I do.

I am super mom :P The only time I have a baby sitter is when I need to travel to a client's home for work. Otherwise it's all me and I have learned to juggle life with a toddler fairly well (I think). To be sure, it's definitely hard, it's stressful, it's exhausting, and sometimes I hate it. You know what though? For right now I wouldn't have it any other way! Would I enjoy having the bank account of one of the O.C. housewives, suuuure! Would I enjoy their lives? Not a chance. Mine is hectic and loud and busy just like theirs but it a MUCH better way. They can have their drama and false housewife title, I get the worlds most adorable little boy who keeps me on my toes. Not much out there can be better than that! :) 

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