Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime


Tag: Terrible Twos

How I finally found my mom tribe in a Facebook group

In 2014 I heard the term “mom tribe” for the first time.

Of my very few girlfriends, only a handful were what you would consider close relationships.  Even fewer yet were mothers.  I’d had no reason to be familiar with that term up until then, because before a cold morning in December, I’d had no use for mom tribes.

Just like most new moms, I struggled in the beginning.  I had questions, I felt inadequate, and I wondered more often than not if I was even cut out for all of this. Continue reading

To my daughter on her final days as an only child

We’re snuggled up on the couch together as I write this.  Your head resting on my shoulder, your arms intertwined with mine.

You fell down earlier while running through the hallway.  I was busy pulling your old bassinet out of the bottom of your closet, as you ran up and down the hallway, yelling with glee.  When I reached you, big wet tears were already rolling down your cheeks and you were clutching your knee.

Photo by Darian Green

And then there were four

After I soothed your tears away you asked to get into your bassinet.  You’ve been too big for it for so long now, but you were still desperate to get back into it.  Instead I rocked you, and cooed at you, and told you about the days when you used to fit into it.  Pretending to suck your thumb with your eyes half closed you smiled, laughed, and said, “I a baby.”  Continue reading

Pregnancy and the horse latitudes, what the last weeks and sailing have in common

Have you ever heard the phrase horse latitudes before?  If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s an outdated term with several different interpretations that the average person would have no call to know. The origins of the saying have absolutely no baring on what I’m about to tell you.  That is, other than to briefly explain what it is so that you can better understand where I’m at right now.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my

The horse latitudes is an old sailing phrase that indicated that a ship had reached a location with calm waters and no crosswinds.  Of course, this was prior to the days of two and four stroke engines.  Are you impressed that I know that terminology, because you should be?  With no prevailing winds, large ships would find themselves stalled out in the middle of the ocean.  Supplies would begin to run short and sailors would start to panic.

The inhumane (and insane) fix for this often began with water rationing.  The animals on board, specifically the horses, would bear the brunt of this solution.  When the ships remained moored in the middle of the sea they would begin unloading their least precious cargo, the horses. This would both lighten their load and reduce the use of their finite resources.

Continue reading

Parenting is not about the wins, it’s about living to fight another day

I’m sitting on the toilet, pretending to eat a fake carrot as my toddler stands less than an inch from my bent knees begging me to keep going.

“Eat more, mommy.”  She says, and pushes the carrot back to my face.  Again I make the “om nom nom” noise and pretend to nibble on the tip.  “It’s ice-cream!”  She yells, reminding me that I can’t even eat a fake carrot correctly, because now it’s been transformed into a fake ice-cream cone.  Get it together, mommy, her face says.  Parenting is kind of your job.   Continue reading

Reasons why a toddler is the very worst pregnancy wingman

Being pregnant is a wonderful, amazing, miracle of an experience.  You get to create this life inside of you, and then feel it grow and develop.  Eventually you baby grows to become a tiny person that you will grow to love more than you ever thought was humanly possible.  Plus, there is nothing quite as wonderful as new baby snuggles.

She yelled “It’s moving!” when she felt something, but the joke was on her because it was just gas.

Pregnancy may be a wonderful, amazing, miracle, but it’s also the most goddamn exhausting experience of your life. Continue reading

It Gets Worse, I know

I am writing this on four hours of sleep, next to my vanity and jewelry box that have both been covered in lip stick, typing on my lap top that is also covered in lip stick, while the gentle kicks of a toddler connect with my legs.  Said toddler also had four hours of sleep, spent the day running full speed through the house shrieking “no” at the top of her lungs, with only a paltry thirty minute nap six hours ago.

wp-1474547641284.jpgShe looks no worse for the wear.

I look like I’ve aged about ten years since last night.

I am done, I am spent, I have nothing left to give, and I have to do it all over again tomorrow.

Apparently, this is two*.

And apparently, this is not as bad as it gets.  As everyone so generously and lovingly and obnoxiously keeps telling me, it only gets worse at three.  To that I say… well, duh… because as of three weeks ago I thought I had an idea what I would be in for at two, but now I know that I was wrong.  Now I know better…

I know it gets worse because three weeks ago when I was getting my daughter ready for bed I noticed that her sheets were wet.  I pulled the sheets off to replace them and discovered that the mattress pad was wet as well.  As I balled up the sheets to throw them into the hamper I saw the huge orange stain on the rear side of the sheets, on the portion that is covered by the wall.  While investigating that I discovered a pile of soggy pizza flavored goldfish crackers laying in the cracks of the bed.  They were in a spot that granted me just enough access to ascertain that they were, in fact, soggy, but that did not afford me the opportunity to actually clean them up.  Which was for the best because as I was leaning over to try and wriggle my fingers between the bed slats my foot crushed down on something crunchy.  Apparently there were Cheez-It crackers under the crib.  I spent the next thirty minutes cleaning up an apparent stock pile of toddler snacks while my daughter ran up and down the hallway yelling her name over and over again.  You know, while she was supposed to be winding down for sleep.  Sleep did not come for quite some time after that (for either of us) because this night also marked the beginning of her apparent ascension into some sort of demon that does not require sleep to function the two year sleep regression.

I know it gets worse because up until last week my daughter had no clue that she could open the drawers to my vanity on her own.  She had no clue that she could use this ability to have unfettered access to my make-up collection which would allow her to wield lip stick and eye liner as only a tiny artist would, which is to say, to cover every available surface.  Neither of us knew it until she came running into the kitchen where my husband and I were getting lunch ready to show us her red stained fingers.  Now we know, now we all know.

I know it gets worse because I have spent the last three nights in a row begging, pleading, and admittedly, crying a little bit, trying to get my daughter to sleep.  I rocked her for three hours straight one night only to have her eyes pop right open as soon as I placed her in her crib.  Once I gave up and brought her into our bed so that I could finally try and get some sleep, she rewarded me for my submission by waking up every hour.  EVERY. HOUR.  I feel like an inmate at Guantanamo right now, and she’s successfully breaking down my will power with some sort of sleep deprivation, mind control, power assertion thing.  And she’s winning, by god, she’s winning.

And she knows it.

Yesterday over lunch she quietly called out to me.  I looked over at her in her high tray as she picked up the last strawberry that was sitting there.  While looking me square in the eye she wrapped her tiny little fist around the strawberry, crushing it.  The red juices and pulp squeezed out from between her chubby fingers.  It was as though she was holding the still beating heart of her enemy and enjoying the satisfaction of squeezing the final bits of life from it.  After she was done, she shook her hand to rid herself of the remains (which naturally landed all over me), and softly said, “All done.”

I get it, I feel finished too, kid.** 

I am simultaneously frustrated, cowed, and impressed.  If this is any indicator of things to come, she has a bright future as a merciless dictator ahead of her.  Either that, or a future serial killer.  Either way, I think she’ll be quite successful, and really, isn’t that what we all wish for our children?

wp-1474547670118.jpgIn the meantime, I am just going to continue to struggle through each day and keep repeating to myself the mantra which every parent I know has given me, It only gets worse.

Well, everyone except my mother-in-law, who so foolishly kindly offered for me to bring her over there for a few hours.

We’re on our way, grandmo!  WE. ARE. ON. OUR. WAY.

*My super advanced goblin child isn’t yet two years old, she is still just over two months away.  She’s just really ahead of her time with her power trip/assertion of will/desire to crush my spirt.  Like I said, she’s super advanced. 

**This is all written in good humor.  I love my little goblin and cherish every sticky hug, slobbery kiss, and softly whispered, “I you” (I love you).  Also, for the love of god, I know it gets worse and I am appreciating NOW as much as humanly possible.  Please, no more reminders of what I have to look forward to.  Please. 

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