When my children were little I was exhausted ninety percent of the time. My husband may have been exhausted too, I don’t really know because I didn’t see him much. He was working and going for his master’s in engineering. I would try to be perfect, perfect mother, perfect daughter, perfect wife….as perfect as one could be in yesterday’s sweatpants and cornflakes in your hair. We had little extra money so date night typically happened in our home after the kids went to bed. My husband would grab a movie on the way home from school and I would get the children fed, bathed and read to. I normally would sleep read to the children at bedtime.
“Mom, you are reading it wrong!” my oldest would say. Now that I mention it all of my children learned to read rather quickly because of my inadvertently adding my nightmares into their story time.
“I’m sorry! You’re right Pooh bear was not bleeding from his mouth! He was eating from the honey tree.” I would say while rubbing my eyes awake.
My husband came home and the kids were all tucked into bed. He brought home dinner that was not chicken nuggets and we were going to have date night. My husband showed me that he also brought home the movie and some candy like we were in a real theater. (again we couldn’t afford a night out and a babysitter so this was a big deal to me)
We ate our adult meal, not chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese. We cuddled on the couch and settled in to watch our movie. Again I was exhausted and I didn’t make it. I fell asleep! My husband leans over and says “Becki, Honey, do you want to go to bed?”
I wake up and look at him. “What time is it?”
“It’s one in the morning!”
“Oh No! Was the movie good?”
“I don’t know I fell asleep too!” He offers to carry me to bed which is nice but I am worried that he will realize that I have put on a few pounds.
“No, I can walk, it’s fine.” I go upstairs and brush my teeth, check on the kids and marvel at their sweet little sleepy faces in the moonlight. Is there anything more beautiful than your sleeping babies in the moonlight. They look so angelic sleeping there. I finally crawl into bed and go to sleep for the night.
The next morning comes quickly because I count last night as staying up until one in the morning. I understand that I was sleeping through most of it, but give me a break, I had to wake up enough to brush my teeth so it counts. I rub my eyes and yawn and I see that my husband is still sleeping too. Weird because who is downstairs getting the children breakfast?
I roll over in my dreamy state and check the clock and it is seven-thirty in the morning. I haven’t slept this late in……Wait, who the fuck IS downstairs getting the children breakfast? I jump up out of bed and run downstairs.
I walk into the living room first and there are candy wrappers all over the floor. I walk into the kitchen and there are both of my children sitting ON the table and covered in chocolate.
My son, always the honest one, shouts “WE HAD CWUNCH FOR BREAKFAST!”
“I see that.” I announce.
My daughter who was less likely to tell the truth looks at me with sheer panic in her eyes. Now I don’t know what the scene looked like prior to this, that I am seeing with my own eyes, now. But let me tell you how mornings usually would go in my house:
I am sleeping peacefully with a corner of blanket that I would call my butt flap. I would have one elbow in my eye socket and a foot trying to use my rectum as a slipper. Then some one, probably the boy would wake up demanding juice. I would have to take them downstairs and give them juice and decide if I was sweating in my sleep or did someone piss the bed. This morning I woke up to plenty of blankets, no sleeping ninjas and the children getting their own chocolate bars for breakfast. Which leads me to believe that these little fuckers smelled that chocolate in their sleep. My children clearly are gifted in the fact that they can root out candy regardless the situation. I am not certain if the Justice League could use them, but they are truly gifted just the same.
“I saw him with the candy and I said Mom wouldn’t be happy if he ate it without asking!” says the little girl with the fucking chocolate mustache, beard and eyebrows
“You didn’t have any?” I ask, not because I don’t know the answer, she clearly has, but because I cannot believe the audacity of this little five-year old who is wearing a chocolate. Literally the evidence is all over your face, sweetie!
She looks at me and shakes her head no. “Because I told him….” I stop her and give her another chance to tell me the truth.
“You did not eat any chocolate?” I ask her again.
She says “MOM, I told him that you would be very disappointed with him….” I hold my hand up and I stop her from lying to me mostly because I can’t hear it.
“Look me in the eye and tell me that you did not eat any chocolate this morning.” I say giving her the opportunity to redeem herself.
She looked me in the eye and then she closed her eyes and she shook her head no. Well kid, you got the right idea, you should never look your mother in the eye and lie to her.
“You have chocolate all over your face.” I say.
“I do?” she asks
“You do! So I know that you ate the chocolate too.” I tell her.
“Well, I came downstairs with my brother and he was really hungry. I saw the candy and I said to him, mom would be very disappointed if we ate this before we had a sensible breakfast. But I don’t know how to cook so I tried to think of a sensible breakfast without cooking. When I was doing my best thinking he started to eat the candy.” she says in her most bullshitting voice. “I said bud you can’t have that it isn’t a sensible meal. He said that it was nutritious and I said it is? Because I am only five I tasted it to see if it was good for breakfast and it was tasty.”
“Oh Honey that is not how nutritious works!” I burst out laughing because here is this five-year old, a child whom I have lost “conversations about life lessons with” explaining to me that candy may be good for breakfast because it is fucking tasty. Because I am laughing the kids start laughing but that nervous laughing children do when they don’t know if they may have driven their mother over the edge.
My husband comes downstairs and sees the evidence and the kids and I laughing and he too starts laughing nervously because he has gotten the phone calls at work “The children gave the dog a Crisco bath and she shit in the car!” “The children spread mud all over the neighbor’s car!” and so on and so forth. So yeah, he sees the scene and while looking at the large amount of whites in my eyes and asks “What’s going on down here? Is everything okay?”
“We left the candy out last night and the kids ate it for breakfast.” I say without even a hint of blame.
“We had Cwunch for breakfast!” my son announces like a chocolate addled child would.
“You had crunch for breakfast huh? What did mom say about it?” he asks trying to get on the same page as me.
“She thinks it’s funny!” Count Chocula announces in his pure sugar high voice.
“She does huh?” my husband is trying to read my face but I am laughing so hard that he is terrified because what he has been able to read is not good. His wife looks like she has legit snapped. I am laughing harder and harder because honestly what can we do? The children have already ate the candy. They got up by themselves and got their own tasty but definitely not nutritious breakfast. I got the best night of sleep in my life. I would trade candy breakfast for one good night’s sleep. That is my price. I now know as a parent my price is one crunch bar for one night of unadulterated undisturbed slumber. Perfection be damned. I am not going to do it again but it is nice to now know what my price is. The question shouldn’t be what would you do for a klondike bar? Turns out klondike bar is the fucking answer. I will give you a moment for you to pull your cerebral cortex back together because yeh your mind is blown. My house is the matrix where the question becomes the answer.
I get the kids all washed up and tell them that candy is not for breakfast EVER! Then I cook a nutritious breakfast that the children did not eat because they were “Too Full!” and maybe a little bit sick because they ate quite a large amount of chocolate.
Moral of my story: Perfection is a myth that can only be shattered by years of working on yourself and it starts with your children eating candy for breakfast. Also if your children do eat candy for breakfast once or twice in their life, you both learn from it. My son once ate an entire bag of peanut butter cups for breakfast on Easter because he didn’t want to share. He got sick and that was the last time he did that. My oldest daughter learned that sometimes her brother has bad ideas….it didn’t stop them from making their death trap though, but to be fair they still think that one is a solid idea and they are adults now. So you know, you win some and some you get to pull your children out of the dingle.
until next time 🙂