Monday, 18 July 2011

Summer Lovin’ is Tough

Here's a post every mother or guardian can relate to! Welcome author Miranda Baker to Four Strong Women today!

It’s there. I can almost see it. September beckons me like all things shiny and good. My youngest child is going to full-day kindergarten. I am monstrous with delight.

Sure, I’ll cry at the bus stop, just like I cried at every pre-school graduation. I’m not certain why, though. Just one of those things hard-wired in the tear ducts I guess, because the sight of five-year-olds in mortar boards makes me snort. I mean, seriously? ABCs and 123s? College is going to rock their elementary little worlds. But I digress. I do that.

My oldest girl is almost ten, my middle girl is seven and my son is five, so it’s been nearly a decade of keeping one ear cocked for the sound of all hell breaking loose and one eye on the clock so I’m not late for pre-school pick-up. I almost can’t imagine what having every weekday to myself will be like, and as September draws near, I’m getting antsy. Even though I truly do know (as my ever-lovin’ husband is fond of saying) the children are precious, precious gifts, there are two mothers with very different voices living inside me this summer. I say one thing and my impatient alter ego finishes my sentence with something wicked.

Good Mommy: Darling, don’t touch my ankles when I’m going up the stairs. You’ll make me stumble, or worse, I might step on your fingers.

Wicked Mommy: Or mule kick you, like you deserve, ya little ankle grabber!

I love the press of their seamless flesh but Mommy’s ready for some boundaries, and the closer I get to September, the more impatient I become.

Good Mommy: Stay close. Watch out for cars.
Wicked Mommy: Oh, ye gods, stop bumping into me like drunken sheep!

It’s my own doing. I’ve trained them to stay close to keep them safe in parking lots, and they do an excellent job. I actually had to tell my son not to walk on my freakin’ feet this morning at Wegmans, which is only slightly less annoying than his other best trick. He always takes my hand when we are walking, and somehow that triggers a switch in his central nervous system. Suddenly, I’m pulling him along like I’m a tugboat, expending energy, while he drags his feet. I say, “Don’t make me pull you,” meaning it as a statement, but I’ve caught the odd look from a stranger who must think it sounds like a threat. *g*

I love them. Swearz. I nursed each of them for a year. By the time I weaned the last one, I could slam my boob in a car door and not feel it. If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is, but I’m sooo ready to move into the next phase of their childhood.

I’ve been alerted that it doesn’t get better, only different, but bring it on! Three perpetual demand machines are wearing me out. Three meals a day plus God knows how many snacks really cuts into my writing time. Dirty glasses, dishes and forks appear on the counter as if delivered by replete fairies. I suppose I should be glad they return their snacking implements to home base. I’d really be nutty if I had to collect plates from the garage, the family room and the backyard in order to serve their dinner.

Good Mommy: Move aside. Move aside, sweetie.
Wicked Mommy: If you want me to make you a sandwich, don’t stand in between me and the friggin’ refrigerator!

The real kick in the pants is that bedtime gets later every night. The children don’t want to go to sleep and yet when we finally call a halt to the day, they are abruptly too tired to climb the stairs on their own. They must be carried, led or um, gently dragged. When they reach the top of the stairs, my precious little darlings lie down on the carpet and fake snore. Adorable, right?
Now, I’m the one responsible for their touchy-feely quirks, but their ability to stay awake is my husband’s fault. He doesn’t need much sleep either, so most nights, I leave bedtime to him. Of course, if I go to bed before the kids, I don’t get laid. I suppose we could leave them downstairs watching television and go upstairs and lock the bedroom door, although it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Even when we get naked after bedtime, somebody always knocks, usually the oldest. As it turns out, meeting her every demand within thirty seconds of her having it for the first year of her life wasn’t such a good idea. Now every time her bug bites itch, she wants Calamine. She can’t sleep if the dog is snoring, the moon is full, or the hall bulb is sixty instead of a hundred watts of personal night light for her enjoyment. Unfortunately, she’s also the one who always knows the exact instant my husband decides to go down on me. And she’s relentless. She won’t go away. The blanket goes up over my naked self. My swearing husband drags on his sweatpants. He opens the door and performs some act of magic while I ponder the crack in the ceiling until he returns.
Control the kids, you say? Set limits? Make actual boundaries? Nah, they are interesting little people. Affectionate, intelligent and resilient. When I can’t gag my evil other voice and I actually say what I’m thinking aloud, they laugh. They get the joke. It’s crucial to develop a sense of humor, right? Maybe they’d like to rant about their surly waitress, the housekeeper who won’t look up from her laptop or the nerve of that half-dressed bug bite physician with the crappy bedside manner. It is as it should be. They don’t need to suffer because I sold four books last year and I’m a wee bit obsessive about getting the next two submitted to my editors. It’s all good. I can survive until school starts in the fall.
Because I believe in September… when Wicked Mommy gets her wings.
About Miranda Baker
It makes me chuckle to think about all the romantic short stories I wrote in my rather too literary creative writing classes in college. If only one of my professors had steered me toward popular fiction! On the other hand, if I had discovered my calling back then, I wouldn’t have gone to culinary school, I wouldn’t have met my husband, we wouldn’t have had three children and I wouldn’t have turned to erotic romance to get my mojo back during all this hair-raising kid raising. Please visit me at if you’d like to talk about romance, writing or recipes.


It takes two to toy with love.

Come Again, Book 2

When librarian Alisa Mane’s boyfriend accuses her of being frigid, she sets out to prove him wrong the only way she knows how—with research.

A visit to the local sex shop uncovers the sizzling sensuality locked beneath her cool façade, and she eagerly accepts the opportunity to test sex toys for SoloPlay Enterprises. Under the code name “Sologirl”, she begins exploring her body on her own terms. After all, no one was ever rejected by a vibrator.
Mark Winters needs his new DoublePlay line of toys to hit big, and there’s only one tester for the job—Sologirl. She fires his imagination with playfully erotic reviews and never fails to pick a winner. There’s only one problem—Sologirl refuses to test the DoublePlay toys for couples. With his company’s success on the line, he decides to make his offer again, up close and in person.

One look at the icy hot Mark and Alisa realizes he’s her best chance to discover if any man can satisfy her. A red-hot month of experimentation more than answers that question, but now Alisa has another problem—DoublePlay is almost ready for production and her feelings for Mark have nothing to do with business. Is she brave enough to continue playing…with her heart?

Product Warnings: This book contains a sexy librarian, an icy hot businessman, scandalous emails, scorching male/female and female/female play time, and vibrating, well…everything.

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Faith said...

Morning Miranda!

I gotta say I sympathize and laugh right along with you. I've raised 9 kids, and only 4 were my real birth children. If I had a dime for all the times I've felt the way you do and a nickle for all the meals and pbj sandwiches I've made for those kids, I'd be living somewhere in a fancy home in Jamaica! LOL, but I love every one of 'em. It has been a big learning experience raising that lot.

Jaime Samms said...

Miranda! It's like you wrote my inner thoughts! Only we home school. Lucky, lucky, lucky Wicked Mommy you are.... *pouts*

Anthology Authors said...

I'm right there with you, Miranda. It's the rare mother that doesn't have that wicked mother. How could we survive without it? We'd need to take something to counteract all that sweetness. (g)

trinity said...

Okay got one for ya! August daughter starts band camp, that means 8-10 she is to be at one school, so run home get son up so he can go to his football training which also starts in august for the whole month. Ten o'clock run back to school let daughter eat and take her to a different school at 11-3. Go home and go with son to his football training. Come home and rest for an hour before I have to run and get daughter for super break which lasts from 3 to six then I take her up to the HS football stadium and leave her for another two hours. Now mind you this is m-f in August for me!
For both kids!!
I'm so not looking forward to August come on Sept! They just couldn't do a whole day they had to break up her band camp to three different schools, and three different times. Does it say I own a gas station on my forehead!!

Valerie Mann said...

I'm feeling like a really bad mother. I have way more wicked mommy in me than good mommy. My kids are fluent in the sarcasm I spout daily. But yes, I cried at every graduation and immunization, so good mommy is in there. Somewhere. Great post! It's validating that we're all so similar!

Miranda Baker said...

Sorry for the delay...I had to make breakfast for the kids. *g* Faith, you just made every hair stand up on my body. And you have my eternal admiration for raising 9 kids and still having your sense of humor!

Jaime, I know my limits. I am not patient or disciplined enough to home school. Plus, I hate math. Where does your Wicked Mommy go to escape? Or *gasp* don't you have one?

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Great post. Been there, done that. We all feel the same way. We love our children but at some point we need a life too!

Mine are older, and I'm just about to get a life now. Got two that I'm pushing out the door as hard as I can! hee hee Good luck, hon. You've got a ways to go yet.

Miranda Baker said...

Anthology Authors, whose sweetness? The kids? Or yours? LOLOLOL! My sweetness is running a bit low this year.

Trinity, my neighborhood BFF is a soccer mom and her schedule terrifies me. So far none of my kids have gravitated toward a specific sport and I'm not masochistic enough to push them. Does it make me a truly wicked Mommy to hope they turn into bookworms who like to jog?

Miranda Baker said...

Valerie, I keep telling my 9 yr old that sarcasm is for teenagers, but she doesn't believe me. Isn't it freaky when they act just like us?

Miranda Baker said...

Oh my gods, Tess, don't tell me you're just about to get a life when your kids are leaving the nest! You'll scare the crap out of me. And you know what one of the ladies in my RWA chapter said yesterday? They come back home. Now that is terrifying. *g*

Stephanie said...

Great post!! I am already looking forward to September...and yeah...summer vaca isn't even half over yet :( But I am getting a reprieve right camp! I'm back down to one kid for 6 hours a day, M-F. Lucky you for kindergarten..I got two looooong years before we're there.

Tess MacKall said...

Mine have already left and come back home once. This time around I'm making sure they understand that the revolving door policy no longer exists!

Fabian Black said...

Great post, Miranda. :)

I've got two sons, one aged 20 and one just turned 16. I find they can be harder work now than when they were little, but for different reasons. Older kids come with a whole other set of worries. Youngest son has just been dumped by his girlfriend, there's no consoling him. The 'vengeful' mother in me wants to go tear off her head for hurting my 'baby.'


Faith said...

Miranda, don't let my sense of humor fool you, lol. I'm a lot like Val in the sarcasm department. And then when I spout off something, my kids think I'm being funny when I'm being dead serious. Oy!

Liz said...

aiight....just wait my love--until your summers are rife with "but I'm 19 now, I should be allowed to stay out until 4 a.m. and sleep until 3 p.m."
"It's MY summer vacation I wanna hang out with my friends and only stop in for gas/movie/shopping money"
"I should get a vacation from CHORES" (the last word dragged into three syllables like this:
"I'm 13 so me and my friends are gonna do a True Blood watching marathon--their parents know"
and my current top hit on this parade:
"You always tell you you want me to be honest should know... I need to go on the pill"

yes, it only gets more interesting! Thanks for the post---we've all been there (and some of us probably said the Wicked Mom words I know I did)

Miranda Baker said...

Stephanie, I heard you've got yours in theatre camp. That's awesome! I need to get one of mine in on that action next year.

Miranda Baker said...

Tess, my middle girl get teary when she talks about moving into a dorm for college. I already promised she could stay forever...sigh.

Miranda Baker said...

Hey, Libby, yup, I've heard it gets different. I remember a lot of the painful lessons I learned as a teenager. You could not pay me to be a teenager again. I'm even afraid to write young adult books, lol!

Miranda Baker said...

Faith, you don't fool me. I can tell your mental tone is strong and you channel positivity. :-)

Miranda Baker said...

Liz, your examples are hilarious! And so true. I know those days are coming for me. I remember mine vividly. I had a very entitled childhood, but my kids will not have it as "good" as I did. Two chefs don't make a ton of money, but hey, dinner is always good!

Jaime Samms said...

Oh, don't think it, Miranda. I have wicked mom, for sure. there is always the escape in tot he bathroom trick, or screaming into the pillow.

As for patience and discipline, hubs does the home schooling now. Whew!

Miranda Baker said...

Jaime, when I try to escape into the bathroom and they start banging on the door, Wicked Mommy canNOT control her temper. I'll try the pillow trick, though...

Anthology Authors said...

I slipped yesterday, and Wicked Mommy told Lily, my daughter, that she was acting like a brat. She was. I let her know that acting that way was unattractive and wondered where the nice Lily was. She told me I was "mean." My response: Maybe so, but this fit befits a brat, not you. (g) She mellowed after sitting for a bit. (g)


Miranda Baker said...

Marci, I've used the word brat, too! I think that's a Nice Mommy word. Wicked Mommy wants to say "little bitch." :-) Of course, my Lilly was born to argue, negotiate and debate...

Miranda Baker said...

Motherhood is a gift and an honor. I try so hard every day to raise them up right and damage them as little as possible. It's the most rewarding work I do. :)

DARRELX said...

@Miranda Baker. I noticed that my post had been deleted. Had I said something wrong? My apologies if so. I do agree with you in that Motherhood is a gift and an honor.

Janice said...

I raised two. A nephew and my daughter.

How do they know when mom and dad are getting down to business?

My daughter is grown now, but she's got a BF who's over all the time. So I have a different set of problems.


Miranda Baker said...

Janice, my friends have teenagers and I get to hear all about the boyfriend woes! Good luck! :-)

DARRELX said...

I have five sisters and between them they have sixteen kids. So then I have done my fair share of baby siting and nappy changing. For whatever that is worth.

DARRELX said...

@ Miranda Baker. Yes being a mother should be the most rewarding work. Everyone is born of a woman. I am not saying that women should only be bare foot and pregnant. I am only saying that it is a very important part of any society, for without childbirth. none of us would be here.

DARRELX said...

Sorry but I have to make one criticism of your book. If a guy accused a girl of being frigid. Why should she have to live to please him. Is this the stuff girls, strong women really want to read. I am just saying. Sounds more like a male driven fantasy. I got nothing against girls using tools. Better a tool then a fool. I really believe that the book plants the wrong seed about the right and wrong way to treat a woman and promotes male sexual expectations for women. Just being the Devils advocate.