Adult Kid

We’ve all heard the tired cliché, “Wait until you have kids of your own; then you’ll understand.”

Usually, we get this from our parents with whom we’ve had some disagreement or misunderstanding, or yes, even a full-fledged screaming match (e.g. with Mom…again).

::rolls eyes::

But how often do we think about when we are old and gray like our parents?

Newborns

Parents of newborns deal with late night feedings, messy diaper changes, inconvenient spills, a barrage of items to tote around (don’t forget to get the baby), and having to adhere to an infant’s schedule.

Babies are so tiny and helpless, AND WE ADORE THEM! You could be exhausted, drained, tired, on the brink of an anxiety attack; and yet you* will still get up each and every time the baby monitor starts lighting up like Times Square on New Year’s. They can’t thank you or call out, except for the crying, and yet you don’t resent them.

*”You” in this case refers to good mothers and/or fathers, where such is the case. Depressingly enough, we all know some lame moms and dads.

::rolls eyes::

 

Not So Newborn

But as the children get older, parents often talk about how hard it is, how unappreciated they are.

The kids begin talking (complaining) and doing (asking you to do) more and more things for themselves, and you begin to notice all the little AND big things you do for them that go unnoticed, and without a thank you. I mean sometimes, you get a loose hug or a forced, “Thanks mom”, but more often than not, your children will take you for granted, and yet you continue to cater to their every need, demanded and unspoken alike.

They think you are a pain, or uncool, and that YOU just don’t understand what THEY are going through, what they want or what they need.*

*Some of you who know me and my family, are thinking, just wait ’til your 9-year-old daughter is a 13-year-old nightmare.

I know, I know. I have a loooooooong way to go before I’m licensed to preach, but I have learned a thing or two from my own parents along the way and from the relationships I’ve been able to observe around me.

And, unfortunately, myself to be included, we are mostly failing, not at parenting our children, but at taking care of our “Adult Kids”.

Adult Kids

What the heck is an “Adult Kid”?

And please don’t misinterpret this as a derogatory term.

As far as your parents are concerned, you will always be their “baby“, but, unfortunately, at one point in their lives the roles begin to reverse and they become an “Adult Kid”.

Several years ago, this short anecdote was brought to my attention by my father. I don’t have the original he showed me then, but there are several versions you can find around the internet. This one is from Snopes.

******

The Wooden Spoon

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson.

The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table.

But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

“We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was now served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.

Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food from when I grow up.”

The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family.

And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth got soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.

*******

The Shift

Somehow, as we get older, our responsibility as a parent and adult becomes more important than our responsibility as sons and daughters, or even as brothers and sisters.

“We” are no longer our parent’s problem, and we’ve got our own problems to deal with. Our parents take a backseat to our own parenting. Suddenly they find themselves with no one to look after them. Suddenly, there isn’t a family unit that can depend on each other; instead, everyone has been broken off into independent sectors. To each his own.

The truth is your parents, grandparents, or even siblings may eventually become as time consuming and/or costly as your own children. They need to be taken care of; perhaps even fed, bathed, or changed; taken to the doctor or market. They need to be nurtured, talked to, and listened to just like your kids do. They need love and attention, even when it is burdensome.

No one will admit that their children can feel like a burden, because they think that will make them sound like a bad parent; however, how quick we are to express how much of a heavy load our elders have become.

Your parents would never choose to put a strain on your life, in the same way a baby doesn’t choose to come into this world.

 

100/100 or 50/50 ?

We demand so much of our parents and elders, whom rarely demanded such from us. No one is saying it is easy to care for either an infant or an elderly person; nor am I suggesting one can’t voice their discontent or frustrations. We are only human. However, we must not forget our Duty. Yes, we LOVE our family, and we should do all things out of love.

But guess what?

Love is about sacrifice, and sacrifice usually means doing something you don’t really feel like doing. I read a quote on Facebook today about marriage being 100/100, rather than 50/50. You have to be willing to give everything; and this applies to any relationship with a loved one, not just marriage.

We have to love and support each other even when it is hard and inconvenient; even when we do not think our actions will be reciprocated.

Often times our loved ones ARE aware of the lack of attention and of just how much of a hindrance they have become in our lives. To the point where some begin to wonder, “is this really living?” and “is this really worth living?”

Life can be difficult enough when you are young, healthy, and independent; imagine how it must feel for your elders, or those who are sick and dependent on others for care.

That short story really touched my heart years ago; it still gets to me every time I read it. Yet I can’t say that I have done much to change. As of late, however, it keeps coming to the forefront of my mind.

And although the main focus of this post has been that we should care for our elderly loved ones, it is really a call in general to not abandon your family. No matter the distance (please do not break out into the Backstreet Boys), no matter what may occur between you and your loved ones; forgive and forget, move on and love on.

1 John 4:20  (NIV)

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

REMEMBER: Kids are like sponges, observing and ABSORBING everything around them. Let them observe and Absorb your good ways.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Challenge

I challenge all (10 of you reading this) to take just 5 minutes out of each day for your parents, grandparents, or any loved ones that might need your love and attention. 5 minutes is a mere .3% of your day. YES, POINT 3 Percent. Not even 1 %!

Do the math. You spend a lot more time in the bathroom doing your necessities, so to speak; let alone on useless nonsense like social media and the internet.

::raises hand::

(Guilty as Charged)

Leviticus 19:32 (NIV)

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV)

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

The Tooth Fairy “pays” a visit

My oldest son is 6 years old. He just recently had his first loose tooth. He would not let anyone touch it, so it hung in there until the last thread of gum gave out.

My mom sent me the picture of the gaping hole after he finally lost his tooth one day while at her house. His eyes were beaming with joy.

When I picked him up that night after work, he showed me the tooth excitedly. Abuela started to tell him how “el ratoncito” was gonna pay him a visit.

Seriously, a rat is going to visit you to take your tooth away and leave you money? I quickly interrupted her creepy Cuban fairytale, and told Gaby how the Tooth Fairy would be coming to leave him a surprise under his pillow.

“YES!” He said pumping his fist. “The Tooth Fairy is gonna bring me a lot of dollars!”

He brought his bottom front tooth home bundled up in a piece of crumpled Bounty, inside a Ziploc bag.

That night, after story time with his brothers and sisters, I reminded him that the Tooth Fairy would be visiting him.

“But Daddy says the Tooth Fairy isn’t real,” he said forlornly.

Luckily, my husband couldn’t see the little flames that flickered in my eyes.

I texted him immediately, “The Tooth Fairy is REAL.”

“Go ask your father again. He was probably just confused.”

They all ran to the living room, except their baby brother, David, of course; he’s only three months old.

When they came back, Gaby was happy again because Daddy had said the Tooth Fairy WAS real.

“See, I told you. Now lay down so we can pray, and you can go to sleep so the Tooth Fairy can come.”

“Oh, No! My tooth is in the kitchen,” he cried like the true drama king that he is.

I assured him that I’d get it when he went to sleep, and place it under his pillow for him. Sofy turned off her night light, and we prayed while I finished giving the baby his bottle. Usually, Gaby is asleep before I even say,”Dear Lord, thank you for this day.” Or as Vicky says, “Dear Lauren.” But tonight I noticed he was quite fidgety.

“Gaby, what’s wrong?”

“I’m scared the Tooth Fairy is going to come, and I’m going to see her.”

I was a little surprised at his sudden fear, but as I left the room, I assured him,”She’ll come while you’re sleeping. Don’t worry. Goodnight guys. Love you.”

No sooner did I put the baby in his crib and lay down in my bed, than he was standing right next to me.

“Hey, buddy.”

“Mommy, I’m scared to see the Tooth Fairy.”

I propped myself up on one arm and caressed his terrified face. “Okayyyy. How about I put the tooth under my pillow instead? And she’ll leave you a surprise here.”

He shook his head in agreement. I got up and walked him back to bed. He has his own room, but he sleeps in his sister’s room, on the top bunk.

“Alright, good night. Remember, you are here with Sofy, but you really have nothing to be afraid of.”

I kissed his worry creased forehead, went back to my room, put the Ziploc under my pillow and lay down again. Not 2 minutes later he was at my bedside.

“Gaby you have to go to sleep. We all have to be sleeping or the Tooth Fairy won’t come.”

“But what if she goes in Sofy’s window instead of your room, and she goes to my bed,” he asked, wringing his hands nervously.

“Uhhhhh. Quick, think fast”, I thought to myself. Ah ha!

“You know what? I checked online, and the Tooth Fairy is not working tonight. So you don’t have anything to worry about.”

That’s it, moms.

Give up.

That’s parenting, on the spot, at it’s best.

I’m. A. Genius!

WHAT?!? She’s not coming. She’s not gonna bring me lots of dollars?” He was flabbergasted, as was I!

I looked over at my husband who had been listening as the drama unfolded. Both of us mouth agape.

#ParentingFail.

So, I got up and led him back to his bed, again.

“Okay, listen Gaby. The Tooth Fairy is very nice and very smart. She’s like Santa, kind of. She won’t come unless we’re all sleeping. I promise you won’t wake up and see her. And to be sure I’m putting the tooth under my pillow. She can sense where the tooth is. Please don’t worry.”

I kissed him goodnight and went back to my bed.

I peeked in on him after a few minutes. He tossed and turned for quite a bit, and had the covers pulled up over his head, hiding. But eventually, sleep overtook him.

The next morning he found five 2 dollar bills in the Ziploc under my pillow. I think they are lucky [another unfounded Cuban belief. #Guilty] and I had hoped it was enough restitution for the emotional strain of the Tooth Fairy’s visit.

“Sofy! Vicky! Look what the Tooth Fairy brought me, a hundred dollars!”

What?

“No. No, Gaby, that’s TEN dollars!”

Oh boy.

Pity Cat

If you utilize any form of social media, then it’s very likely you have encountered the Grumpy Cat meme.
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But…I bet you’ve never seen the Pity Cat meme…
20130523-003611.jpgOk. That is a really cute, sad kitty, but we all KNOW a Pity Cat.

They thrive off your pity and NEED your attention. Yet, rather than get attention by doing something positive, they focus on all the “bad” things that “happen to them” and ONLY them.

As with Grumpy Cat, we often enjoy drama and BS, like Maury and Caso Cerrado, more than we enjoy hearing good uplifting stories.

Pity Cat is often motivated by other Pity Cats through likes and friend requests across the social media board. Some “likers” probably really DO sympathize with Pity Cat. After all, they are sad, annoying, and pathetic.

I warrant I’ve had my fair share of whiny, complaining, “I need a vacay, NOW!” type of post; however, for the most part, I refrain from bombarding timelines.

Side note: I do need a vacation, and I’m taking one this weekend!

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YES!

Typical posts from Pity Cat consist of:

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Ohhh, damn. Traffic, huh? The cars must’ve magically dropped out of the sky and surrounded yours.

We LIVE in Miami! There is always traffic, and yes, an overpopulation of hispanics—Cubans to be exact. And I LOVE IT! In fact, it’s a little off putting that one day, when there isn’t traffic, someone honking at you, or cutting you off, and you actually get somewhere on time. If you DON’T like the traffic, or us “Cubans”, please move away.

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Bills? What are those? Oh, you mean like phone, light, & water bill, rent, car payments, insurance, food expenses, and so on. You’re right, you deserve to win the lottery; nobody else has to work long hours or pay bills.

How about the infamous…

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You know what? I will go over there right now to watch your kid, so you can have that drink!

Put. Down. The bottle! It’s called, Sarcasm!

It really might be 1 drink, but how big is the glass? Or perhaps, just a couple of innocent glasses of wine. After all, leading doctors recommend wine with dinner, right? It really doesn’t matter what they are saying now-a-days; doctors change their minds every time they go to the bathroom. Stop hiding behind statistics, and the latest pill pushing medical reports. It’s like adding “LOL” at the end of a rude or sarcastic message, it doesn’t hide your disdain…unless the person is an imbecile.

#JustSaying #WinkyFace #SmileyFace ❤

Let's face it, it's never 1 drink. You either think you have more tolerance than others, or believe that you know when to stop. Seriously though? I don't know about you other moms, but my kids do NOT sleep through the night, and they are 6, 4 and 2. When it’s not a bad dream, random fever or episode of vomiting, it’s one or more of them asking “mommy, can I sleep with you.” So, what do you do then, that “one” night when you and the bottle finish each other, and your kid wakes up crying, sick, or just scared, and you don’t…

Guess what, Pity Cat? Everyone has tough days, and bills to pay, mouths to feed, and mucho trafico throughout. Stop Winening! (spelling intentional)
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If you think you NEED to drink every day to get the “edge” off, you’re an idiot!
20130523-015923.jpgLOL
::remember to insert smiley face to take the edge off::

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The Jackpot

“Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Sofia begins 5-6 conversations a day with that question.

“Sure,” I say, quickly pondering what outrageous interrogation will ensue.

“Is it hard to be a Mommy?”

This was the second time in the past week that she had asked me. The first time, I responded with a lot of Uh’s and Um’s, but this time I was more prepared.

“Well, sometimes it feels hard, because I’m tired from work, but you guys make it easy, because you are so wonderful. Why do you ask?”

“When I’m a mom, I’m gonna have 6, or 4, or 5 kids.”

I was glad to hear that response, because I didn’t want to frighten her away from her dream of having so many children.

Women aren’t easily motivated nowadays to have one kid, let alone 6, or 4, or 5.

9 months of swelling, indigestion, and 20 to 60 pounds of weight gain—yes, I gained 60 pounds throughout each of my 3 pregnancies, on a 5’1″ frame, you could say I “got around; then a long, tedious, painful labor and delivery—with or without an epidural, it bites; 30 to 45 endless nights, of crying and crankiness, and not just you, the baby is adjusting to living outside your body, as opposed to the water world they inhabited for 40 weeks; 40 torturous nights without intimacy, where you think, “I’ll never say no to sex again!”—that doesn’t last; add on the throw up, poop, pee, and other things you can’t identify that babies spew all over you; and all of a sudden, before your baby is even walking, it’s settled. You’re done. “One baby is more than enough!”

You’re right! All of that does sound awful; but there are rewards in between. Sweet smiles and giggles; gentle tugging at your hair while they nap; eyes that bat softly to sleep to your lullabies, despite your awful singing voice; and when they start talking, it’s all over.

That first time they call you Momma or Daddy, it’s like hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall. Ok, I know it probably seems like there’s NOTHING better than hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall, but I feel that becoming a parent is like buying a ticket and winning the jackpot every day.

So, when Sofia asked me if it’s hard to be a mommy, I quickly answered no. I don’t mean to lie to her, I just don’t want her to fear motherhood and all the responsibilities, sacrifices, and spit-up it throws at you.

What is the right answer to that question?

I don’t know, but kids don’t know that you don’t know. So, just give it your best shot.

Tonight, I lay next to my curious daughter, after reading a story and praying. She said “Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Third time’s the charm, I thought. I was ready with my fairytale response about motherhood.

“What is it, Sofy?”

“Mommy, what’s a solar eclipse?”

Mouth agape, I blurted, “Go to sleep!

Quality versus Quantity

Every morning, without fail, my two year old asks, “Mommy, you going to work?” She looks up at me with those big brown droopy eyes, and frowns with genuine concern.

It breaks my heart every time I answer, “Yes, Vicky.”
I feel guilty to leave her when she pleads: “I wanna stay with you”, “I wanna work, too”, “Mommy, don’t leave”, “Mommy, I miss you.”

I feel like I’m abandoning her and her brother, failing them, by not being able to grant them this one wish.

This morning, she woke up and came to my room as usual, sniffing her giraffe blanky. “Mommy, you here?”

“I’m in the bathroom,” I said from my vanity where I was doing my makeup.

“Mommy, I sit too?”

I scooted over to the edge of the chair so Vicky could sit next to me. She adjusted the lighted mirror so she could see herself.

“Mommy, it’s my turn.” She took the blush brush from me and began to apply “Honey Lust” M.A.C. eyeshadow to her cheeks. I handed her a small eyeshadow applicator, and she selected another color which she commenced to dot madly below her brows.

“Mommy, I pretty?” She batted her long eyelashes at me and pouted her lips.

“Your beautiful!” I said squeezing and kissing her cheeks, and I meant it.

“And you know what? Your going to work with me today!”

She didn’t really say anything at first, but her eyes gleamed, and she sort of squealed. She held her face in her hands, and said excitedly, “I have to get dressed!”

I had promised my older daughter, Sofia, that I would leave work early to pick her up from school and take her to the mall to eat Johnny Rockets. So, I figured I’d make it a “take your daughter to work day”, as well.

We went to my office for about two hours, then came home to meet up with my sister so we could pick up Sofy and go to the mall together.

My husband and son were outside throwing around the football when we got there. I watched through the glass patio doors as they played catch. The goofy smiles on their faces as they chased each other across the yard; my son’s laughter when his dad grabbed him by the waist and lifted him high up in the air; the pure joy in their expressions made me want to stay and join them. I reached for the handle, but hesitated.

I was on my way out to spend the afternoon with my three girls–Sofy and Vicky, and my little sister Marta. She is seven years younger than me, so I always felt more like a momma, than a sister.

The boys needed their horseplay, and the girls needed their shopping and pampering, and eating at the food court, of course. I decided not to interrupt their bonding, and instead set off to pick up Sofy.

Sofy was really excited to see the three of us waiting for her by her locker. She got out of the line, pointing at us so her teacher could see we were there to pick her up. She grinned from ear to ear as she showed off her little sister to her friends and teacher.

“This is Vicky”, she said, smiling proudly as she introduced the mythical creature they had heard so many stories about.

“Mommy, can we go to the park,” Sofy begged in front of her classmates and teacher. I wouldn’t say no anyways, but when one of her best friends chimed in that he was going to the park, too, I quickly agreed.

Yes, one of her best friends is a boy, and he’s a cutie too. Needless to say, I’m in a heap of trouble when she gets older.

We watched the girls and Sofy’s classmates chase each other from tree to tree, just like the squirrels. I pushed Vicky on the swings, while Sofy played on the see-saw with her friends. The whole while Sofy smiled and laughed giddily, with that same emotion Vicky had expressed earlier that morning, and like Gaby while playing with his dad. If there is one commentary that is unanimous amongst people that know my daughter Sofia, it’s that she always has a beautiful smile on her face. You can’t fake that unwavering happiness.

At the end of the day, I suppose every parent fears that they don’t spend enough time with their kids. But, I firmly believe that the quality is just as important, if not more so, than the quantity.

Tentacles

My son and oldest daughter drew these pictures of me.
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You may have guessed my 4 year old boy, Gaby, drew the one on the left.

“Mommy, it’s you. You have 14 legs.”

If you count, there are actually fifteen tentacles, which is good because that means I’ve got at least one arm. I look like I belong a thousand leagues under the sea. I don’t know if he’s comparing me to Ursula or Oswald. In any case, I suspect I look fat.

Sofy gave me brown hair and nice big eyelashes—those are real, by the way. I’m also wearing what appears to be a red robe. Am I a disciple? Am I late for supper?

I’d never compare my self to Jesus or even esteem myself in the same league, but you have to admit, there appears to be a biblical reference here. Mary Magdalene? Perhaps. My middle name is Maria. Interestingly enough, my daughter didn’t give me any feet at all. AND, I also have only one hand in her drawing.

Should I be concerned about these too completely contrasting images? Despite the age difference and creative development of the artists, I can’t help but read into it. On one hand, I could be pretty speedy with all those feet. I could potentially get a lot accomplished, except I’ve only got that one hand. On the other foot, (I’ve only got the one hand) I ain’t goin’ anywhere without feet. But, I do have hair, full red lips (at least a bottom lip), and a flattering red robe that was hip circa 33 AD. AGAIN with the one hand thing. I’m probably hiding candy from them in the other.

What their drawings also have in common is a big smile. Phew, that’s a relief. More often than not, I find myself rushing the kids to get dressed, or brush their teeth; scolding them for tattle taleing, biting each other, yelling or making a mess with the toys. I begin to worry they’ll think I’m always mad, at them. It’s hard to keep a happy face at the end of a strenuous workday, but they have been anxiously waiting for me to get home. And they are happily obedient, as long as I devote every waking second to them.

It’s hard to divide your attention equally with each child, so I try to read and pray with them collectively each night.

Tonight, I read them a short book about the rainforest and some of its native inhabitants. Sofy was all ears, asking questions about the animals beyond the stated facts. For the most part, I couldn’t answer, and I wouldn’t make the answers up either.

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Parenting Tip: Kids are like elephants. (I never quite understood this phrase so I googled it) They never forget anything you say to them, so try your best to always give them true and simple facts, and peanuts if they’re not allergic.

While I was reading about Orangutans, my youngest, Vicky kept interrupting me, “Mommy….Mommy, I’m! Not! Sleepy!”

“O! Kay!,” I’d say and continue reading despite her unhappy disclaimer.

“Mommy, can I have leche? Two leches.”

“Yes, Gaby, as soon as I finish the story.” I proceed to read about the Toucans, Lemurs and Tarsiers, careful to show them each pictured animal before reading its name and factoid.

“Mommy, I’m scared,” Vicky whined, covering her face with her blanky as I started reading about the Green Tree Python. Sofy helped assuage her fears by adding wide eyed, “Those are REALLY dangerous.”

“Mommy, can I sleep here,” Gaby asked.

“Sure, climb up to bed.” Sofy has a bunk bed; although Gaby has his own room, he sleeps on the top bunk for the most part.

“No, I wanna sleep here,” he groans and points to the floor next to Sofy’s bed.

I want to argue against this, but it really can’t hurt. I try to let them enjoy the silly, harmless, though sometimes messy, things that seem to bring them such genuine joy—i.e. Play-Doh, bubbles, camping on the floor in your sister’s room.

“Mommy, I’m not sleepy,” a less energetic Vicky insists.

“Vicky, just count sheep. Count ten sheep like this, 1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3 sheep.” Sofy demonstrated, but yawned after 5 sheep. Is this actually working?

I finally wrap up the story, and prepare a makeshift sleeping bag on the floor for Gaby.

“Ok, everybody, let’s pray.” I thanked God for each of them; for daddy; “for Abuela Gladys,” my son interjected; “for ALL the family, Gaby,” Sofy corrected; I thanked Him for school, toys, crayons; “for M&Ms,” Gaby added excitedly, “and the new house!” We prayed for Mima’s health, for “Daddy ’cause he has a cough”, and “for Nicole’s hair to keep growing”.

Every night, Sofy prays for her friend who was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the first grade year. Thankfully, Nicole is in remission. Sofy was very excited when she saw that her friend’s hair was growing back.

When everyone seemed satisfied that we had prayed for, and been thankful for EVERYTHING, they still weren’t “sleepy”.

“Okay, I’ll sing you guys a song.” Nobody made a peep, so I started in right away.

Twinkle Twinkle is an obvious favorite for them, but I have several songs I enjoyed singing to them as infants, and even now. The Beatles, ‘A Hard Day’s Night‘; ‘The Way You Look Tonight‘ as performed by Frank Sinatra; and ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow‘ from The Wizard of Oz, are my personal favorites.

By the time I’m done singing, Vicky and Sofy are fast asleep. Gaby, quickly gives up camping, and shadows me as I first carry Vicky to her bed, then head to my room to shower and go to sleep, or rather, to write this blog.

He sits quietly in the bathroom until I am done with my shower, even though he can lay down with his dad who is already in bed.

“Mommy, can I sleep with you?”

“Of course,” I say wrapping my tentacles around him.

“I’m going to drink my leche and go to sleep, so I can snore like daddy,” he says grinning from ear to ear.

I smile and quietly say a quick prayer, “Dear Lord, Please don’t make me share a bed with the Predator AND Chewbacca. AMEN.”

Immortality?

Men… Warning: The short that follows is about “That Time of the Month”. Which time? The annoying, bitchy, PMSy time, when all you men do is mess things up for us. And, NO, we don’t act like that ALL the time! Well…

I was 9 when I first discovered I was immortal. I mean how else could I lose that much blood and still be walking and talking. (I warned you.) Maybe it hadn’t been a dream, and I had been bitten by Brad Pitt in the middle of the night.

I was turning! ::DUM Dum dum::

Oddly enough, I had no trouble walking about in the daylight; although it felt nearly impossible to get out of bed to go to school.

Maybe I’d sleep better once I had my own coffin.

I still enjoyed eating Frosted Flakes, despite the pack of bloody liver steaks I had seen in the fridge—they were for the dogs, big dogs.

Needless to say, I was not a vampire; I was becoming a woman.

I wonder if Eve is up there laughing every time a girl gets her period for the first time. “Oops, did I do that?” All Steve Urkel like.

It was the beginning of all my insecurities and uncertainties.

I started to grow these awkward little peaks; the flimsy cotton bras from JByron’s offered no kind of support, physical OR emotional.

Then…the hair.

When my 6 year old daughter recently asked me why I had hair on my butt, I found myself stifling laughter.

“When am I gonna get hair on my butt?” She continued to investigate, staring at me with her head to the side like I was some freak show exhibit. I didn’t want to explain that it’s not called a butt, so I simply answered, “When you’re bigger.”

“When I’m 16?”

“Probably sooner.”

“When I’m 7?” She asked wide eyed with concern because her birthday is only a few months away.

“No, not yet! We’ll talk about it another day.” I ended the conversation abruptly, frustrated that I didn’t have all the answers despite the fact that WE did bite the apple from the tree of Knowledge.

I’m convinced that before that ill-fated day, we didn’t have to shave our legs or pluck our eyebrows. We became angry, bushy beasts after that cursed serpent came along.

Don’t get me wrong, men have it bad, too. They get easily excited by fully clothed women, even not so good looking women. Imagine how hard it was, literally, being naked with us all the time. Poor Adam…

Back to my immortality!

So, you’ve got some semblance of boobs, hair everywhere, your hormones are out of control and you start getting pimples.

Let’s not forget the significant discomfort of “Flo”, the corny nickname says it all; the accompanying cramps and headaches, and the “fun” accessories we have to carry around for most of our lives.

“Mommy, is that you diaper,” my two year old, yes TWO year old, asked mockingly one day, grinning and covering her face with her yellow blanky.

I do try to hide these things, but when you have 3 kids, it becomes increasingly difficult to do anything in privacy. A NY THING. If you don’t lock the door, you’re bound to have an audience.

Marriage/Parenting Tip: always lock the door before engaging in any physical activity that might otherwise require Daddy explaining to the kids that he wasn’t hurting Mommy.

Thankfully, they didn’t just invent those white bulky mattresses we call “Pads”, but also, TAMPONS!

::insert a sun rising and birds chirping happy day here::

Yes, tampons changed my life. No more embarrassing bulge in those unflattering P.E. shorts. No more missing fun pool parties or the beach days when your friends decided to skip school.

Tampons, did not actually give me the nerve to do that, BUT the choice was there!

Tampons were great. Even after some of the stories I heard.
For example, My best friend’s mom told us how one time she finished her period as usual, but then noticed a foul smell several days later. She FORGOT to remove the last tampon!

“Oh, man!” I thought, “That could never happen to me. I’m not immortal, but I’m not a complete idiot either.”

Well, funny story…