Brenda’s Banter: November 26, 2014

Hi. My name is Brenda and I am a stay-at-home mom with three under seven-year-olds in the house.
Save me!
No, no, it’s not as bad as all that.
I have most of my sanity, and as for my sense of humor? Well, you’ll have to tell me.
The truth is, my kids are wonderful. They are, not to sound boastful, the absolute best huggers in the world. I mean they’ve mastered it. My oldest son, for instance, gives what he calls the “boa constrictor.” It involves all four of his appendages wrapped around me in a bone crushing hug that often topples us to the floor.
My youngest son specializes in the flying leap hug, in which he launches himself at me from across the room, the couch, the monkey bars or anywhere you happen to catch him in the mood. My niece, who I have the joy of watching each day, tried his flying leap hug one day. It was so authentic and enthusiastic I nearly cried, and then I did when her knee caught me solidly in the stomach. Oof!
But if my kids are great huggers, they are even better kissers.
They are dynamo at those sweet pecks on the cheek, and those butterfly kisses across the face are to die for. But the best are the puppy kisses, the slobbery, wet licks of a three-year-old pretending to be a puppy.
Yes, those are wonderful. . .
My munchkins are incredibly imaginative, too, always pretending to be animals, and the louder the animal is the better. And they are so talented. You should hear how they howl like a wolf and hoot like an owl. Then again, maybe you have. If you live within the Maple Lake city limits there is a good chance of it.
It was so cute the other day when they were pretending to be cats; the way they rolled around on the floor, hissing and screeching and scratching.
“But mom, cats scratch,” my son argued with that knowledgeable air only a slightly offended three-year-old can muster.
“Yes,” I said mildly as I tended to a battle wound on my older son’s neck, “but not nice kitties. Lets pretend to be nice kitties.”
Really my only complaint about being a stay-at-home mom is the solitude, that lack of adult contact.
For 12 years I worked for community newspapers which are a small town’s social hub.
People came and went all day long with news, gossip and what-not. Some we turned into stories, some we just listened to with a smile on our faces. When I decided to stay at home with the kids three years ago, I was suddenly adrift in the solitude of my own home.
I missed conversations where the topics were something other than Pete The Cat’s new shoes, or why the Power Rangers always have to kill the bad guys twice to win. Who knows?
In my angst I’ve found myself participating in some odd behavior. Lately I’ve been dragging the kids down the block two or three times a day under the guise of “getting the mail” when I, and probably the kids, too, know perfectly well the mail only comes once a day and it’s usually not before noon. We do this, of course, on the off chance that my neighbor is outside pruning her bushes. In my defense, these chats are sometimes the only way I find out what is happening in the outside world.
There have been some embarrassing ramifications of my loneliness as well. Like the time I tried to engage a random caller in a conversation about the price of milk and how horrendous it is, only to discover I was ranting to a recording. I had apparently won a cruise.
There was a point last winter when I had such a bad case of cabin fever I let a vacuum cleaner salesman in off the streets to clean my carpets.
We don’t even have carpets! We have all wood floors!
Happily, I’ll be covering sports for the Messenger this winter which should get me out of the house enough to satiate my need for adult conversation and diminish the side-effects of being a stay-at-home mom.
Now you’re probably wondering what the moral of this long and unwieldy tale is.
Well, I don’t really have one. I’m no Aesop.
But maybe I can offer something: don’t let a vacuum cleaner salesman into your house if you’re feeling lonely. That’s how a family with no carpeting ended up with a very expensive Kirby.