Posts Tagged ‘preschoolers’

In praise of the five-minute mommy nap

December 4, 2011

Tis the season of trying to cram too much living into too little time and space. Some years, we here at the Mommy Prayers candy-cane crunching headquarters cook and shop and decorate and entertain like mad fools. Other years, we declare ourselves to be having a soulful/non-consumerist/relaxed holiday, and wind up exactly as frantic and exhausted (soulfulness, we’ve discovered, takes energy. Who knew?)

All this, of course, is a cue for the youngest among us to immediately begin fighting every bedtime and, inexplicably, waking up before dawn on some of the darkest mornings of the year. Over at the lovely Standing in the Shadows blog, Sarah Buttenwieser’s preschooler arose at 4:45 one recent morn, leaving her in a state she oh-so-accurately described as being groggily wide awake — too tired to think straight, too wired to go back to sleep. A dangerous fugue, especially this time of year, as you could easily emerge from the fog to find you’ve inadvertently purchased some toxic toy or another.

The solution, of course, is one of the most blessed gifts every bestowed upon humanity — the afternoon nap. No, not for your kids, for you, exhausted parent. True, between cookie-baking and tree-decorating and Charlie Brown-watching and catalog-ordering, your chances of getting that nap are low. But it’s a magical season. A mom can dream, can’t she? Or, perhaps, pray:

Prayer for My Five-Minute Nap

Dear God, I cannot go on. It is four in the afternoon, my morning caffeine high is long gone, and I have hours and hours to go before I manage to get to bed. I am quite certain I could crash to the floor this instant and sleep like a rock for a week. I cannot read one more syllable of Owl Babies to my little  monkey chattering here beside me. I cannot even lift my hand to turn the page. Five minutes, God, and I’ll be a new woman. Please and amen. 

In defense of the corn-maze mom

October 16, 2011

Here at Mommy Prayers headquarters and cider-donut repository, every day feels like a maze of one sort or another, so I feel compelled to come to the defense of the hapless family currently being ridiculed nationwide for calling 911 to be rescued from a corn maze. (Punchline: They were only 25 feet from the entrance, ba-da-dum.)

They’re catching especial hatred for having a three-week-old infant with them, with comments along the lines of “who brings a newborn to a corn maze at dusk?” and “those people should not be allowed to procreate,” etc. etc.

It’s not till you read that they also have a preschooler that the story makes more sense — and boy, did it bring back some baaaaad memories.


It’s not the snow, it’s the %$#* snowsuit

February 10, 2011

My kids have not gone to school in more than a week. They were dismissed early last Wednesday in a snowstorm, and the schools haven’t been open since. The administration keeps telling us they’re shoveling the schools’ roofs…with a single teaspoon, apparently. You may begin feeling sorry for me now.

But not that sorry — because I remember what it’s like when every day is a “snow day” — when you’re stuck in the house with a baby or a toddler or a preschooler, or two or three or four, and there isn’t any school to go to and it just will not stop snowing.

My best girlfriend and I used to laugh at the moms of older kids who’d complain about the endlessness of February school vacation — we’d be like, “Suck it up, whiners, do you forget that this is our lives — figuring out fun and cheap things to fill up day after day after day of frigid temps and ice-covered sidewalks?” (more…)

The van that de-sands: If only this were true…

July 18, 2010

The Mommy Prayers summer outpost (i.e., our same old house, only now with 70% more wet towels moldering the place up) is under siege from the season — ants, compost that’s decomposing a bit too enthusiastically, endless laundry as the heat wave causes us all to change t-shirts six times a day… Don’t get me wrong, I love love love summer, but I can’t be the only one thinking, whoever wrote that song about “summertime and the livin’ is easy” probably didn’t have kids.*

What we all really need? This: a van that de-sands. And that’s not even mentioning the frosty cocktail for mama:


(From the Summer 2002 issue of Brain,Child Magazine, for all you archivists out there.)

* actually the lyricist was DuBose Heyward and I just spent a long Google-y time trying to figure out if he did have kids, because the Mommy Prayers copy desk is nothing if not scrupulous about accuracy. We turned up nothin’. If you know, let me know!

Shy children and other stressy social stuff

April 20, 2010

Lots of social-type drama with Firstborn this past weekend. If you think a) boys don’t get drama-ful and b) it gets any easier as they get older, you’d be wrong and wrong again, O sisters.

But don’t worry, it’s never any more emotional and wrenching as that first time you took your precious babe to playgroup and he or she was the only one hanging back or, worse, plastered onto your calf the entire time. To mark that, a few stanzas from “Prayer for My Shy Child”:

Dear Lord, other kids aren’t staring at the toe of their shoe, thumb in mouth, hanging onto their Mama’s knees for dear life.

You get a special kind of knife-y feeling to the heart when you watch your child at the playground, or at preschool, or on the outside looking in on a rowdy scrum of toddlers, and you wonder, “Is my kid okay? Will s/he ever have friends?”  (more…)

A Duo of Headbangers

March 8, 2010

Mommy Prayers actually has not one but two entries dedicated to headbangers. Prayer for Head-banging Music Turned Up Loud should be pretty self-explanatory if you’ve ever insisted, at the end of a long day, that you and you alone (emphasis on alone) need to run to the store, whereupon you collapse into the driver’s seat, turn the key, and crank the stereo up to eleven.

The other headbanger, unfortunately, isn’t funny at all — at least not when it’s happening to you. True confession, Prayer for My Head-banging Toddler was written with a certain somebody in mind, a somebody now old enough to object to his name appearing in print. I will honor that wish, though, as far as I’m concerned, the kid deserves to be outed for what he put us through. (more…)

Prayer for a Dead Hamster

February 23, 2010

Some of the prayers in Mommy Prayers are 100% autobiographical, like Prayer before the Grocery Store or Prayer for My Grandmother; some are everymom-type prayers (Prayer for My Jeans, Prayer for No Sex Tonight) and some are a mishmash of stuff from the inside of my brain.

Prayer for the Dead Hamster is one of those. I like to think of it as an ode to all the small dead mammals I’ve known in my lifetime, and there’ve been a few, believe me:

1) I used to babysit for a family who had four kids and a hamster. When the hamster died, the mom put a potato in the cage as a replacement. My brothers and I laughed ourselves sick about how stupid we thought that was, but now I realize that mother was brilliant. Hamsters are 100% nocturnal, and during the day they’re about as much fun as a potato. Trust me on this point.

2) Our own hamster, Sammy, lived a long and productive life (well, three years) in a cage that we kept in the corner of our kitchen, which some people found kind of disgusting but I found kind of companionable all the way around. It was winter when we found him dead, and the ground was frozen stiff, but my son, weeping copiously, adamantly vetoed the “burial at sea” plan I was promoting.

Instead, we put the little guy in a fancy jewelry box with nice tissue paper and put it on the highest shelf in our unheated garage, where he promptly became double-stiff, once from rigor mortis and a second time from the cold. The plan was, we’d bury him properly in the spring. (more…)