Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don't Let The Kids Hold The Menu Hostage

The other day, Late Blooming Dad said, after justifying the choice of a certain restaurant for Sunday brunch that didn't have much in the way of kid fare, "I'm not going to hold the family hostage to kid food."

So off we went to this place, even though the few kid items on the menu didn't fall into the usual list of foods acceptable to Thing 1, aka The Picky One.  Thank goodness Thing 2 has a broader palate and can be more easily assauged.  Thing 1 doesn't go much beyond dry cereal, muffins, pancakes, French toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, plain roast chicken and potatoes, cucumbers, pizza, grapes, pears, and only two forms of mac n' cheese:  Koo Koo Roo's or the Annie's kind that comes in the shape of Arthur.  Not a terrible diet, but a dull, dull, dull one if you're not a small and stubborn being.

At first the meal went pretty well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When You're A Twin Mom, Every Day Is Operation Overlord

The other day Late Blooming Dad remarked that just getting out of the house with our five-year-old twins, which invariably involves the packing of jackets, spare clothes, sippies, favorite toys, the various and sundry items required for a specific activity (ballet? swimming? gym class? school carnival?), a half-hour of coaxing toward the door, more time spent putting on shoes, taking them off when minds are changed ("I don't want those, I want these!"), putting on the other shoes, the doubling back from the elevator for the forgotten item (or, if you're unlucky, doubling back from whatever point already underway when you have to get the stuffed cheetah without whom SHE WHO MUST BE PACIFIED cannot go anywhere), can make every day seem like Operation Overlord.

For those who are not familiar with Operation Overlord --

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sleep Vs. Getting It On: The Tired Mom's Dilemma

Last night, I was at a support group for parents of multiples, and the guest speaker, a clinical psychologist, brought up how important it is to maintain intimacy with your partner after having children. She meant every kind of intimacy, not just the in-the-bedroom kind, but when hands went up for questions, one mom said what was on a lot of our minds: "How do you have sex when you're tired?"

She really should have said "exhausted," which is the word that kept coming up again and again among the new and recent parents in the room. And even Late Blooming Mom, who is going on five years at this parenting gig, but has to work AND be mom AND be wife, is having a hard time getting to the getting-it-on part of the wife gig sometimes.

The guys in the room were tired too, and some of them said it certainly doesn't help anybody get in the mood when dad gets home from work and mom hands him a baby or kid as soon as he walks in the door.

The psychologist told us how relationship dissatisfaction for many couples dramatically increases in the six months to a year after having a child. Looking back, I have to say that wasn't really the case for us. We like being married to each other, liked it before kids, like it after.

What we don't like is having to juggle busy lives to the point where we barely get to see each other until after nine o'clock at night, and by the time we've wound down after that, we're often barely coherent, let alone ready to be seduced or seductive.

The psychologist suggested scheduling fooling around, so there's a designated space for it. But when I came home and suggested this to Late Blooming Dad, it only made him sad: "Is that what it's come to? How un-romantic!" He had a point. Still, in truth, I'm a planner by nature (he always points this out to me) and there have been plenty of occasions when I basically scheduled the fooling around, though I didn't exactly put it in my datebook or on his Treo. I'd just suggest, "Hey, tomorrow night, after we put them in to bed and get them asleep, let's go right into the bedroom." Sometimes I'd do this more than a night or two in advance. Not romantic in the least... but in practice, the planning didn't diminish the enjoyment.

So I guess, some nights anyway, this IS what it's come down to: a matter of scheduling. Still, there are those spontaneous times still happening, when we're not both feeling as if we can't prop our eyes open after a full day's work and then the school pickup/dinner/bath/bedtime routine, during which our children seem to make about three demands on us per minute. The problem is, too often, it's can't-keep-our-eyes-open night.

My only consolation is that last night, in that room with all the other couples, I wasn't alone in this dilemma. But Late Blooming Dad wasn't with me -- he'd agreed to stay home with kids so I could go to the support meeting. Perhaps next time I'll schedule a different kind of support meeting -- after the kids are in bed -- and make sure I sneak off for a nap during the workday. If that's what it takes, it's what it takes. Late Booming Moms and Dads have gotta do what they gotta do.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Parenting 101: Um, This Should Be Obvious, But ... Don't Bring Your Baby To A Bar. Please.

What about bars doesn't the dad in this story understand?

It's a place where people that are of drinking age go ... to drink alcohol.

Late Blooming Mom sometimes misses adult life, adult conversation, adult beverages.  "Miss" is actually too weak a word.  Sometimes I crave it.  Sometimes I'm almost desperate for it.

But not so desperate that I would take a kid -- let alone a baby -- to a bar.

To the dad in this story, I gotta say:  if you need a drink and you need to do it out of the house, get a damn babysitter.