Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whine, Whine...Wine

Hmmmm. Seems some time has passed since my last post. If you're wondering why that is, it's because there's NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT MY LIFE. This is a critical problem. I like looking at the humorous side of raising four children - and living with five (ahem) - but there just hasn't been much to laugh about since August.

No tragedies, no traumas... just not funny.

Needless to say, I'm back in the dark place. Not that my whole life is dark. I'm back to teaching two days a week and I love being in the classroom. Something about it just feeds my soul. Grading papers? Dealing with slap-crazy, totally insane, where's-my-padded-room parents? Not so much. But I am totally and utterly passionate about what I get to do in that classroom.

My marriage? Pretty good, considering we're in the midst of football season. I haven't seen much of the hubby since my last post, but I haven't had to set myself on fire to get his attention yet either. Auburn is undefeated so I'd say we're doing pretty good and "War Eagle," thank you very much.

The house? I've got a ton of unfinished summer projects in the works, but it's still standing, it's relatively clean, and Christmas decor covers a multitude of sins. I can't complain.

Family? Friends? Well, there's never enough time in the day to be the daughter, sister, or friend I want to be, but I've got some pretty amazing people in my life who let me pick up in the relationship wherever we've left off - even if it's months between conversations.


Hmmm. The children.

The children. Sweet Lord, how do I even begin to address the children?

See? I got nothin'. This is where it's just DARK.

I am really struggling in the Mommy-role these days. I'm probably the only mom in the carpool line who cried when the teacher wished me a "Happy Thanksgiving Break!" And dear heavens, Christmas is right around the corner. No school for them. No school for me. I told my dad the other day that if I go missing over the holidays not to come looking for me. I don't want to be found.

The problem - and you've probably guessed it from the title of this post - is whining. My children are extraordinarily whiny. And there are four of them. I wake up most mornings to my nearly five-year old twins laying on the floor by my bed, rolling around, whining "Huuuuuuuuuuuungryyyyyyyyyyyyy. Huuuuuuuuuuuuuungryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy." Once breakfast is over, their mantra increases in volume until, by the end of the day it's "HUUUUUUUUUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! HUUUUUUUUUUUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYYY!"

And before you contact the Department of Child and Family Services, yes, I feed my children - multiple times a day.

Of course Ella, who is now six, is the master whiner. She's a bit more theatrical than her sisters, so her whining usually involves a series of acts.

"Can I have a snack, Mommy?"

"Not right now, Ella. We're about to eat dinner."

"Yes! I want a snack RIGHT NOW! (foot stomp) You NEVER let us eat! (more foot stomping) It's so NOT FAIR! (now she's throwing herself on the floor) I'M STARVING!!!! (she throws in an "arrghh" of frustration to punctuate her point)"

And then, unfortunately, there's the three-year old boy - who's going to whine simply by virtue of the fact that he's three. And he has mentors.

I've got to tell you that I really feel like I've tried everything to shut down the whining. First of all - and most importantly - I've never, ever given in to the demands of whining children. Which makes me wonder, "Why do they keep whining?!?!" They get time-outs, vinegar water, toys taken away, TV privileges revoked... and still they whine.

I'm in a really dark place. I'm one discouraged mommy. I knew that motherhood would be extremely difficult when I started - I wasn't delusional going in. But I have some really strong-willed children - you can ask any one of my friends, family-members, or babysitters. And I've lost my humor somewhere along the way, because I can't find pleasure in motherhood. It's work, and that work just gets more and more intense with every passing stage.

Can you give me some hope? Does someone out there in blogland have some sage or brilliant advice to offer me? Please - tell me how to stop the whining before I'm numbing myself with my own good wine!