344 days without yelling, 21 days of loving more to go!
Dear Gorgeous Turquoise Blue Ocean,
Where art thou? I should be sitting by you RIGHT NOW! Did you not see my smoke signals tonight telling you to inform your private all-inclusive resort to send the private jet to come take me away? Did you not see the steam come out of my head as #1 broke down into pieces just like his taco just did? Did you not see the steam come out as #2 kept telling #1 that his taco was perfect and that it didn’t break because he held it right? Did you not see the steam come out as #3 insisted he wouldn’t eat tonight but would wait until dinner tomorrow night? Did you not see the steam come out when I took #4’s temperature and it read 103.7? Clearly you need glasses. Or you need to stop drinking my margaritas.
I really hope to see you soon, this mom needs a vacation!
The Orange Rhino
One beautiful day this past summer my husband and I sauntered outside to the patio, drinks in hand. A vodka tonic for him, a Corona for me. We had huge, and I mean HUGE plans to sit at the patio table and enjoy said beverages. After all, it was the perfect late afternoon for doing so. That is what grown ups do right? I mean, that is what we used to do, pre-kids. Just as I pushed my lime down and turned my bottle upside down, my vision of relaxing turned upside down.
“He pushed me!”
“He took my toy!”
“Waaaaa” (I fell).
“Mommy, mommy, mommy, MOMMY, I need you NOW.”
Ah. I sighed. It was another day in the life. I chucked to myself that I actually thought I would have a peaceful afternoon with 4 kids under five and a half and decided to make light of the situation.
“Hey honey, lets pretend we’re not here. Let’s pretend we’re on a tropical beach somewhere before kids. I’ll go first. I’m in Mexico. I’m wearing the bikini I wore on our Honeymoon. The one that will never ever fit again. I look thin and have no stretch marks. Oh, and I still have boobs because I haven’t nursed 4 kids yet. I am reading a book and I am not getting interrupted. Oh wait, the waiter just interrupted me asking if I would like lunch and another Strawberry Daiquiri. YES PLEASE.”
My husband TOTALLY caught to my idea. He even closed his eyes for this little exercise, which while started out feeling silly, ended up feeling awesome.
“No wait. Not Mexico. I’m in Hawaii.”
“Well, shouldn’t we be together in the same place?” I said.
“Sure. How about Dominican Republic, where we had our first vacation.”
“Oooooh, Perfect. I am SO there” I eagerly replied. By now the kids had sorted things out and were playing peacefully so we continued our game.
“I have just finished a beer and another one is on the way. I am about to eat Nachos without sharing them and then I am going to take a nap. A nice long nap. So long that we might not eat dinner until 7 or 8. GASP. We aren’t going to have dinner at 5. Oh, hey babe, can you pass me my sunglasses?”
We actually continued this visualization exercise for a good couple of minutes. It was A LOT of fun. We were complaining that we had kids? No, not at all. We were just finding a way to find peace in the middle of a really long stressful day. And it worked. Not only did it keep us from yelling but it also gave us a little secret joke to bond over.
The next weekend my husband was dazing off, hand in heads. My six year old asked him,
“Daddy, what are you doing?”
“Daddy’s in Machu Picchu.”
“Huh? Where? You’re not there you are right here in New Jersey! Only mommy goes to Machu Picchu!”
I burst into laughter. I knew exactly where my hubby was and I immediately went there too. And it kept me from losing it. I actually have become a regular in “Machu Picchu”; my private jet is parked next to the Mini-Van. And my kids know I go there OFTEN as they always hear me say, “Give mommy one moment please, she needs to go to Machu Picchu.” They think it’s hilarious. I think it’s a saving grace!
Why this story now? Why tonight? Because I was going to lose it tonight at dinner and my 4 year old sent me on vacation.
As I was shaking my head and taking deep breath after deep breath with every single piece of taco meat thrown on the floor my sweet #2 looked at me and said,
“Mommy, do you need to go to Machu Picchu?”
Oh I SO DID. And I SO WENT. I put the crumbled taco pieces down, sat on the floor, and pictured myself by the beautiful ocean. I heard it crashing against the rocks. I smelled the fresh air. I tasted the perfectly blended Strawberry Daiquiri and I let the warm sun soothe me. It was fantastic. It was just the vacation I needed.
I never thought that I would be one to “visualize” in order to relieve stress. But then again, I also never thought I would be a yeller. And guess what? I’ll take the trip to Machu Picchu any day of the week over yelling. Any day.
Who’s with me?
* My husband and I randomly picked Machu Picchu. I think there is a funny commercial about moms in Machu Picchu? So maybe we aren’t that original and Machu Picchu doesn’t seem to be at the beach! But at least we are on vacation, a quiet one. Even if only a few minutes, or seconds.