Monthly Archives: September 2010

Walking into Disaster

As I walked into the house after a not so good run, I opened the door so slowly, trying to make a quiet entrance into the house -all I wanted to do is wash away my pain by sneaking into the shower without anyone bothering me. As I gently opened the door I was met with a full blown disaster and a big ole bellow from the six year “I’m not going to school” which was quickly followed by an even bigger bellow of “I DON’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL”. I did a quick survey of the situation and found that 1) that both kids were up, still in their pj’s sitting in front of the TV that was blaring SpongeBob and breakfast was nowhere in sight (major rules being broken.) 2) that their Dad was still fast asleep. With steam coming from my ears, and smoke billowing from my nose I was pissed off. I reluctantly told myself that I’d have to wage this battle on my own. That’s what we do, right Moms? I rolled up my sleeves, tore off my running shoes and figured that I’d dive in deep, hell, I am already beat up might as well take more abuse from the kids.

I tried my hardest to figure out “why” the six year old was protesting school. I went down the entire list of possible scenarios that might have occurred: Is someone being mean to you? Did the teacher yell at you? Were you being mean to someone? Are you tired, does your belly hurt; do you have to go poopie? I pulled everything out of my tired old hat, and the response to every question was a very emphatic NO! Followed by throwing himself on the couch kicking and screaming, in a colossal meltdown of all meltdowns, it was like he was the wicked witch of the west and I threw water on him. Imagine it was that easy?

My annoyed level was at a boiling point now, and since there was nothing I could do to fix the situation, I did the obvious…you know I dreamed of what my life would be like in the 50’s, let’s say in the show Father’s Knows Best. It would of course be a glorious sunny morning, there would be little humming birds flying around behind me as I skipped through the kitchen preparing a three course breakfast. The kids would be neatly dressed and pressed in their school best, hair combed just so, sitting quietly on the couch reading the encyclopedia. The hubby would be still asleep, nestled under the covers, I of course made sure that I shut door so he wouldn’t get disturbed but not before I placed a cold compress with a faint scent of lilac across his face to reduce the morning eye swell. I made it a point to have his eggs, bacon, and toast prepared just right so that when he was ready to get up and start the hard day ahead of him, he’d have a nice fully belly. Of course, after I hopped out of a most relaxing shower, I had a little rabbit fix my hair in beautiful ribbons that cascaded down my lovely ensemble of a pencil skirt in chocolate brown, a lovely cashmere sweater, with the cutest and most comfortable shoes – all of course purchased at Saks’s that fit me just right.

When my little nightmare burst, I shuddered a little and found myself with the pillow in my hand heading for my husband’s side of the bed. My little plan never played out because lunch boxes whizzing past my head faster than a stealth bomber, the little guy waving his finger back and forth, shaking his butt singing “you can’t get me”. Since the decision to avoid jail time was made for me, I thought I’d just “get” the little bastard, I faked him out and successfully captured him when the hubby stumbled out of bed, (perhaps he felt me lurking about) scratched his head, and continually bumped into me while I was trying desperately to get ready for work, get the kids dressed and fed for school which by this time the protests stopped because their father was farting the theme of Sponge Bob – nothing like a good distraction to get a kid back on track and focused. As much as I hate the flatulence from these three boys, I do truly thank the hubby for that.

The kids were running as fast as Flo Jo when we walked out the door, I had Cheerio’s stuck to my shoes, and as we entered the car with hopes that it would start is of course when I realized that this chaos makes my world go round; that even though I am on the brink of a meltdown, a colossal meltdown,(which I will be taking tips from my 6 year old on how to conduct), that I am lucky to have all this, all of it including the farts!

Posted in That's Life, The Little Buggers

Am I Race Ready?

My oldest son came home from first grade, exhausted, putting away the how to cut scissors and picking up the how to spell dictionary can be quite a culture shock for a six year old, and that combined with homework, a new phrase and experience, is enough to give any elementary school newbie, even ones with cool crew cuts and a cutting edge black backpack he insisted on having for the first day of school, a full blown melt down. Which was exactly what happened when the cruel reality that summer was over, this hit home when he realized he wasn’t allowed to eat dinner in front of the T.V., when the moment began his eyes grew big and round, his bottom lip quivered, well it hit me too. Suddenly my eyes grew big and round and my bottom lip quivered. As he screamed on the top of his lungs “I HATE SCHOOL” I screamed, “HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO RUN A 1/2 MARATHON IN 4 WEEKS!”

My husband, the hottie fireman, who basically cleans and cooks and workouts in the sanctity of his firehouse without, I might add, the pitter-patter of little feet that are constantly getting in your way, laughed at me. Laughed! ‘ Cause he knows that not only did I literally eat my way through the summer, I have a hazy memory of a few good nights of drinking and eating like the ‘ole college days –late night french fries dripping in mozzarella and brown gravy is so delish when sporting an excellent buzz, I also recall suffering the consequences of not having a 20 year old body any more. So while my children were running around behind me, the husband grinning and laughing and all of them letting “bombs” rip I went looking for something to spark my motivational fire, (besides my thighs rubbing together, and my kids turning on the stove ‘cause they want to “cook”). For my 40th I had gotten a great birthday gift from my besties – A Nook! My OCD kicked in to high gear and I downloaded books about running. Instead of actually running maybe reading about running could whip me into shape!

I sat myself down on my sticky pea green couch, goldfish and trix “swirls” sticking to my ass as I gobbled up : Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall, Ultramarathonman By Dean Karnazes,50/50 Secrets I learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 days and How You too can Achieve Super Endurance By Dean Karnazes Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea. Let me tell you, I gained more insight, more inspiration, more motivation, than if I actually sat down with Steve Prefontaine or Mother Theresa (okay, maybe not that much), but a lot. I’m usually not into books like these, because I have an attention span of a gnat (I blame two pregnancies, two very active boys, and my past indulgences in shotgunning beer and downing funnels) and usually they run flat with a lot of “to-do’s” and taunting the reader but not these, these reads were terribly awesome. I mean, so fabulous that they motivated the hell out of me. I tackled my 10 miler like a beast and went from a 2 second wall sit to 1 minute in two days! My sons are doing sit-ups, butt kicks, high knees with me as well as jumping from the bosu to the couch like they are superman, with the “up, up & away” screams and all. This new found motivation is just bonding us as one big fricking family. And, AND I am finally paying attention to fueling my body and not using it as a feed bag. My favorite by far is Run Like A Mother, because if I didn’t know better, I’d think that Dimity and Sarah planted a chip in my brain, downloaded every thought I had since I began running 2 years ago, extracted the data, deciphered my babble during the hard as ass runs, and put it into writing. From the excruciating first mile, to explaining what a tempo run is in lame-ass terms, to the perils of running after giving birth, or while having to take a pit stop, I mean, I can’t go a mile without some sort of bodily movement. I’ve peed, and pooped (and tooted!) across every inch of Long Island, and as one the fine ladies explained “Not my proudest moments, but not particularly bothered by it either”, is exactly how I feel – my running partners, not so much.

Am I race ready? Well for this one I’m as ready as I can be, especially since I know I’m not really competing against anyone but myself, but BEST part of this motivation, is that when my family sees me on the race course, I won’t scare the crap out of the kids, even with the preparation that I did, there is a slight chance that they won’t think I was dying, and I can, hopefully, wipe my husband’s stupid sloppy grin off his face when I make it across the finish line on my own two feet and beat my best time. Okay, so maybe just crossing the finish line is enough. And maybe just maybe I’ll train better for the 15k, which is exactly 1 month from the damn Half Marathon I’m running in two weeks!

Posted in Mangia Mia Fitness Pia, The Little Buggers

Paying the Price

Today was my interval training for my half marathon (in um, 23 days). I went hardcore, a bad ass Mother I was running as if I was saving my children because the meteor that I was imagining was flying right at us. When I finally reached my house, I was dripping with sweat as if I just jumped out right out of the pool, my legs were all achy from what I consider a damn good run, I fumbled with the door, ready to take on the day, and to my delight, the house was silent, not even water dripping from our annoying sink, everyone was still asleep. Perfect!

I headed to the kitchen boogieing down doing my best Beyonce impersonation as the ending of “All the Single Ladies” blared through my headphones. I undressed, pounded some water like a frat bro pounding a beer and hopped into the shower. When I emerged from the shower, I was ready to combat whatever first day of school jitters came my way instead what I heard was the faint sound of Oswald coming from the TV. I sneaked around, and saw two comatose kids staring at the idiot box. I whispered “damnittohell”, rule number 1 broken already, on the first day of school nonetheless. I was upset but talked myself calm, or so I thought “Deanna, you just had a killer run, breathe, take a moment, breathe”.

Ya see I set a whole boat load of rules for this new school year 1) No TV till you’re dressed with your shoes on, 2) Eat Breakfast at the kitchen table NOT in front of the TV, 3) No TV till breakfast has been eaten, 4) No TV until teeth are brushed… see a pattern here? I don’t care if it’s Sponge Bob’s last episode EVER there is NO TV until they are ready for school and breakfast is successfully moving through their digestive tracts.

Last year’s morning routine was an utter disaster. We were late 55 times, yes you read that 55 times. We live less than 1 block from the school, our total commute time is 7 minutes, and that’s with lollygagging, looking for dinosaur fossils and chasing birds. I have no one to blame but myself but this year is a different story, this year I tackle my structure demons as if I am slaying a dragon. I wanted a fresh start, a routine, something that we could all grip our teeth into. I figure, I don’t need to be a militant mom but a little structure and routine never hurt anyone. The new routine: Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, have milk, brush teeth, wash face, & TV if there is time, and only if there is time. We went over the new rules and routine countless times, days and days before the first day of school. I made both little buggers repeat after me and I randomly tested them at odd times of the day – during the bath, after breakfast, on the way to the store. Yes, I did, I became THAT mom for a few days.

I explained explicitly why we needed this new routine; I went into that Mommy was working now, is very busy, and really can’t handle it all (I so know my limitations, I take that as a good character trait!) and I went on and on about us being a team. I was 100% sure that we were all on the same page. Silly me, I was preparing a 3 and 6 year old for a battle only meant for adults.

I’m so focused on getting into a routine because this summer I had no rules. Bedtime, who needs a bedtime! Candy, sure! Soda, guzzle it! I lived haphazardly without a schedule or a to-do list in sight and paid the price. The price: 8 pounds, and zit the size of Cancun on my face, plus my race pace was slower, and my little buggers were all juiced up on junk food like some Jersey Shore cast member during a night at “Bada Bing” fist pumping and all. I desperately needed a routine, we all needed a routine. I needed a calm, serene household and since I can’t run 24 hours a day because I’m a wife, working mom, sister, daughter, friend, maid, cook, dishwasher, seamstress, garbage collector, I needed, no I WANTED to incorporate some structure into my historically unstructured life.

What occurred in next five minutes is still a blur. What I remember is I told both boys to get into the kitchen for breakfast and to shut the TV off. I remember hearing the cry from the 6 year “I’m not eating breakfast”, to the three year old shouting “Mommy said shut OFF the TV”, if memory serves me the 6 year old still crying, stomped over to the 3 year old and yelled two inches from his face “SHUT UP STUPID” subsequently the three year old slapped the six year old across the face. I tried to comfort, and calm everyone down until a bomb went off and both boys wrestled each other as if they were on WWF smack down. Arms were flying, legs were kicking. I lost all control. ALL CONTROL. Next thing I know my hand went across both faces harder and faster than I ever imagined. I’ve never hit my children before and this was an odd sensations – humiliating, yet powerful, but a power that I now know can never be abused. The boys stopped in their tracks and as fast as they jumped on each other is as fast as the tears came flowing from their eyes, actually we all cried, the boys certainly more dramatic than their 40 year old mother. After they peeled themselves off the floor they had just thrown themselves on the 6 year old screamed “I got slapped twice” – cutting the tension like a fart in church – we all broke out in hysterical laughter.

I hugged the crap of them, apologized, and kissed every bit of their bodies until they wriggled out of my grasp. I tried to explain why it was so important for us to work as a team, and to listen to Mommy and Daddy – knowing that I was clearly talking to a wall, and that I am sure as trees in a forest that I’ll be replaying this scene more than once in my life, of course with the hopes that I don’t take my issues out on these little buggers, I’m not opposed to a kick in the pants every once in a while, today, this situation just came from my angry place. What I do know is that I need to recognize when my Angry Deanna comes out to play and take her out on the road – a new form of road rage if you will.

Posted in That's Life, The Little Buggers