When we bought our house three years ago, Miles was 2, Alice was 1, and I immediately became pregnant with Simon.
The house that we bought had been vacant for two years. Prior to that, a woman had smoked in it for 20 years.
There was wallpaper everywhere. In the kitchen, in the dining room, in the bedrooms, in the bathrooms – and even on a few ceilings.
We saw this total wreck of a house, and decided that it just had to be ours.
Shortly after moving in, I quite my job to become a stay-at-home mom. So there I was with a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old and wildly pregnant – spending all of my naptimes peeling wallpaper and painting rooms – trying to get our house in order before the baby was born.
Was my mom there to help?
Did she move in with me for a month or two to help with the kids or with the house?
No, she did not.
I tell you this because as I write this post, my mom is in Florida living with my brother and his family.
And if you read her comment on yesterday’s post – then you know that she’s in Florida to help them paint.
My brother and his wife just purchased a house that needs to be painted from top to bottom. The floors need to be replaced. It needs a good scrubbing – not unlike the state of our house when we bought it.
While we had to move into our house immediately – and paint/peel wallpaper/replace carpeting around our furniture and our children – my brother has the luxury of waiting an entire month before they need to move in.
So what did my mom do for her favorite child?
Well – she’s been there for more than three weeks now. She’s learning to paint. She’s preparing meals. She’s running pick up and drop off for the kids. She’s picking up supplies. She’s doing their laundry. So that my brother and his wife can spend every minute they’re not at work at the new house getting it ready for move-in day.
Am I complaining? No.
Am I whining? A little.
Do I need to remind my mother that I was pregnant with two toddlers running around and trying to do all of this? YES.
Does my mom clearly love my brother more than me? Yes.
Am I jealous? You betcha! My mom can scrub a toilet like no other – I could really use her help up here.
Does my mom owe me? I think so…
PS – The ladies at Prescribe Nutrition are sharing my all-time favorite breakfast recipe right here – maybe you should give it a try this weekend!
It’s often the case that my mom and my daughter FaceTime eachother in the mornings before Alice goes to preschool.
It’s also often the case that my mom is still in bed during their morning conversation.
Sometimes I listen in, but most of the time I’m busy getting the 2-year-old dressed or the 6-year-old on the bus. Or eating breakfast. Or checking in on Facebook. Or just sitting there staring into space…
But I just happened to be part of the conversation one day last week, when I saw the strangest thing happen.
There was my mom, sitting in bed talking on her iPad to us – and in walked my dad – delivering my mom’s morning cup of coffee.
“Mom,” I said. “What exactly just happened there?”
Oh – your dad knows how much I like to have my coffee first thing in the morning, so he delivers it to me in bed.
Apparently this has been going on for the last five years. My mom stays in bed until her coffee is delivered.
And – only after she drinks that first cup – does she get up and start her day.
I pushed her to please share her little secret with me on how I could receive some similar treatment at my house.
And she finally admitted that when she first retired, she wasn’t always the fastest to hop out of bed in the morning. And eventually – after many mornings passing her by – this became their new routine.
My dad gets ready for work, brews a pot of coffee, delivers my mom’s first cup to her in bed and heads off to work. After she’s finished the last drop, she starts her day.
I was shocked.
Me: So let me get this straight. You stopped getting out of bed, and so my dad started bringing you coffee?
My Mom: Yup. Pretty much.
Using my mom’s advice, I decided to give it a try. When Even Steven got up for work and woke up every single person in the house, with his ridiculously loud everything, I told him I would be staying in bed until he delivered my morning coffee.
I woke up 90 minutes later.
I raced downstairs in a panic to find that Even Steven had left for work.
The television was blaring.
Alice and Simon were playing on the iPad.
Big Hairy Dog was drinking out of the toilet.
And Miles had eaten four containers of applesauce and was busy gluing them together to make a rocket ship.
Which I’m pretty sure means that I’m a terrible mom.
And I made a poor choice in husbands.
If only he weren’t so cute…
PS – When I asked my mom to please send me a picture of herself drinking coffee in bed – so that I could include it in my blog post – this is what she sent me.
Bonus points if you can name that movie.
The next time you suggest a camping trip for the entire family – and you pick the place – the answer is no!
Or, Oh that sounds like fun.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a wonderful time in the woods with the kids – once my heart recovered from the hairpin curves and the drop-off cliffs on either side of the truck – for miles and miles!!
And this after getting a text that read “Really cool campground – kind of hilly.”
Hilly? Really??? That’s what you call those drop-offs? I was terrified each time a child went outside that we would lose them over the edge.
The beauty was stunning for sure – and Dad was a miracle worker – backing the trailer in between all those trees on a tiny little path with a death drop… the only thing truly missing was a wind storm to make all my fears come true.
The 4-hour drive that turned into 7 grueling traffic–filled hours, ending in a climb up a mountain side that threatened to give me a nose bleed was topped only by the thrill I felt when we went exploring on Saturday, and you let the children try the trails on their own – in spite of the warning signs…
I really tried not to care or watch as they tripped down and up the paths and explored the caves and the edges… and to your credit – they lived.
And looking at the pictures – we had a wonderful time for sure.
But this time, I have really learned my lesson. No more trusting you.
It reminds me of the time I trusted your pregnant hormonal self when you set me up with your hairdresser for a special cut that you claimed was perfect for me.
I wasn’t allowed to look in the mirror for 3 hours – and when I did my hair was an inch long (or less) all over my head. Even my best friends asked “how could you let her do that to you?” and they were talking about you – not the hairdresser.
“I trusted her,” was my reply – which is what I said to your Dad when we were hours into traffic and he asked if I had any idea where we were going.
“Did you even check this out?” he asked.
My answer? “I trusted her.”
Well, that was your first mistake. He said that silently – but I knew what he was thinking.
So I love you dear daughter, and I love spending time with you and your precious family – but next time, I pick the spot – got it?
Now please excuse me while I check out what my new favorite blogger is up to today.