That Mid-Winter Rut…

Photo: Remember grass? Remember soft breezes and sun-kissed skin? Remember the sweet sound of the wind racing through large, green leaves? Remember the smell of the playground first thing in the morning? The sound of children’s laughter in the throes of mid-morning play? Remember how much the smell of fresh-cut grass and newly blooming flowers seemed to enhance the taste of your morning coffee? Remember the ease of knowing that dinner was a marinated meat thrown on the grill and a potato salad already made in your fridge? Remember when the only thing you needed before you left the house was freshly shaved legs, a little bit of sunscreen, some sunglasses and maybe a twist-tie for your hair? Yeah…those memories are starting to fade for me, too.



I’ve been having the same conversation on repeat for weeks now.

Ursa Minor: “I want [anything and everything goes here], Mama. I want [thing]!”

Me: “I cannot give you that right now” or “I will give you that later” or “It is impossible for me to give you that”

If I give Ursa Minor a response in the positive, (“Yes, I can give you that. Please give me a moment.”) then he will chase me and scream incessantly until he obtains his desired thing. This is, of course, accompanied by repeated “I want [thing]” and stepping on my feet.

That’s bad enough. Emperor Ursa Major has his own contribution, of course.

Ursa Major: “Mama, [comprehensible sentences about utter nonsense] and you better [some sort of directive goes here].”

Me: “Baby, what are you talking about?”

Ursa Major, frustrated: “You need to [directive here]!”

Me: “Boy, I don’t ‘need’ to do anything, first of all. Second, if you want something from me, you need to make a request.”

Ursa Major, crossing his arms and huffing, screams: “Well now I’m just MAD! Because I’m MAD, Mommy!”


There are also the newly discovered wrestling matches that the boys seem to want to have, which I have to break up. Or the screaming matches that the boys have over the two identical Melissa and Doug trains that we have (Ursa Major has decided that both of them are his and he likes to combine both of them together and make a super train out of them both). Oh, and the fun game of “I’m not going to eat my breakfast but I’m going to be ridiculous and hungry in about 90 minutes). There is also my new favorite, “I am going to decide that I’m done with my meal, you are going to put me down, and then I’m going to scream until you are done with your meal.”

It’s been… in a word… exhausting…

Both of the boys have acquired significant language skill of late. They are having a lot of fun exploring language (calling stuff “humongous” and feeling good about themselves when other people are impressed) and the power of their voices. Ursa Major, especially, is doing all sorts of exploration with feelings and emotions, expressing his own and reading it on others. I’m sending a lot of time answering the question, “what’s happening, Mommy?” as I go through my day. See scenario:

Ursa Minor has made a mess of some kind. I have discovered the mess and have let out a how of displeasure.

Ursa Major: “What happened, Mommy? What happened? What happened, Mommy? What happened?”

Me, cleaning up the mess or shooing children away from the mess: “don’t worry about it. Just be cool and go play.”

Ursa Major: “Did [Ursa Minor] make a messy mess? He’s always making a messy mess! Why did you make that messy mess [Ursa Minor]?? Mommy, are you gonna clean up the messy mess?”

Me, growling: “Yes. I now have to clean up the messy mess…”

I love my sons, and I’m proud of them for working on their language skills. They both speak clearly, powerfully, impressively. I like that they are confident when they speak, looking people in the eye and commanding attention.But…

These are the times when I want to go screaming back to the workplace. Especially on the days when The Husband comes home and he’s all grumpy after work so he doesn’t really want to talk about anything. The preschool moms only seem to want to talk about their preschoolers and the annoying things that they are doing. On Tuesday morning at school, I mentioned a recent episode of OnPoint that I’d caught in the car and two of the moms sorta scowled and were like “oh my God, I can’t stand to listen to talk radio in the car. Do you really listen to NPR all day? Don’t you want to relax in the car??”

I think my brain died a little bit when I heard that.

I’ve written this many times: Stay-at-home motherhood is a lonely business. I didn’t know that I could feel so isolated while being surrounded by people for the entirety of my days. It’s maddening. I’m like a walking Poe poem or something.

I think I’m feeling a lot of pressure this week thanks to the Lightspeed deadline (I got some great feedback on my draft. I just hope I can execute the changes I need to do before Friday), preschool stuff, and, of course, my in-law visit on Saturday and Sunday.

This is how anxious I am: I had a very classic anxiety dream last night. Seriously! I had a dream about tonight’s upcoming preschool meeting where I, somehow, ended up in an outfit full of holes. Also, the meeting didn’t have enough seats, and every time I found one, I was told I needed to get up. It was the strangest thing but totally classic! Full of feelings of insecurity and feeling like the odd-man out. I don’t know how to really combat these feelings except to try harder to find connection to the school and this community. Then again, I’m kinda at a loss as to how to make that happen.

And as for the in-law visit, I already have my escape plans. As a matter of fact, visitors to the blog over the weekend might walk into a few changes, as I plan to sit right here in my office and do blogging stuff while my in-laws are downstairs visiting. If they get too annoying, I’ll find myself at a coffee shop. Either way, I am not going to subject myself to the normal annoyance that these visits entail. I told my husband that the boys are old enough now that he should be able to handle all of the elements of a visit without me–with exception of the cooking. I’m happy to cook for those people all day… mostly because I’m happy when I’m cooking. But I no longer feel the need to be attentive to them and entertain them. I just don’t feel compelled to extend my hospitality to them beyond what well-trained courtesy dictates (which still, in my opinion, is probably more than they deserve).

If you are a regular reader living in the deep south (Georgia and the Carolinas), please know that I’m thinking of you today. I hope ya’ll stay warm and keep your power. The Husband and I were married in Raleigh, NC, and I spent a good bit of time in the Raleigh-Durham area during my undergraduate days, so I have a little bit of love for the Southeast and I’m concerned about people who I know and love down there. Stay safe!

And for all of my other readers, let’s all do a dance for spring… We’re getting ANOTHER foot of snow tomorrow and I’m exceedingly depressed about it. It’s also screwing up my Valentine’s Day plans! I hope I can get out on Friday morning and go to H-Mart! I’m making lobster bi bim bap for dinner that night. Oh, also this French Silk Chocolate Pie. Because, I mean, it looks AMAZING!!!!

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.





6 Comments Add yours

  1. This was good for me to read. I’m feeling super frustrated with my little man’s lack of skills when communicating. This is a reminder that I shouldn’t hurry that up too much! 🙂

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      giiirlll…. once they start, they never ever ever stop! Mornin’, noon and night! just talkin’ talkin’ talkin’! I know that i shouldn’t complain. I really, really shouldn’t complain. But when you say the same 15 words all day every day (or “no” at least 150 times) it gets real old, real fast!

      1. Yes. I am fully aware. Unfortunately. Since my littlest is so limited on his vocab I hear Mommy like 1500 times a day. Literally.

  2. I live near Raleigh! The kids are in the bath right now, and I am trying to prepare them for the fact that it may be a few days before their next hot bath…hopefully that won’t happen, though, but the ice is pounding on the windows as we speak.
    I want you to go read this blog post, right now. Really, do it.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      First–stay safe in the storm. I really hope you stay warm and safe and keep your power.

      Second–thank you for that link. That was absolutely perfect and will certainly sustain me for a little while. Wow… so beautifully written and so right on the money. These are the reminders that a soul needs. Thank you!!

  3. Jennifer Butler Basile says:

    So many great lines! I don’t ‘need’ to do anything! My brain died a little! Ha!

    I see myself in your conversations with your boys. In that respect, spring cannot come soon enough! Hope the weather doesn’t add undue stress to the other stuff you already have going on.

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