Bottle Fairy Update

Sshhhh, she's falling asleep. I can hardly believe our little girl is closing her eyes, gripping that ratty, yellow silk blanket, and soothing herself into sleep without further aide. For over three years we've anxiously handed over a bottle of milk-sometimes 3 bottles- and waited for Shelby to melt down into peaceful slumber. We'll have to whisper now because Shelby is sawing logs next to me in bed. Oh, did I forget to mention she's falling asleep in our bed now? Yeah, well, ya win some, ya lose some. The trade off has been a new bed partner and unbelievable credit card debt!

But, somehow, it makes it all worthwhile to watch my little girl lie down in bed, close her eyes and put herself to sleep without a bottle cradled in her mouth.

It all began, and it all ends, with the Bottle Fairy. That Bottle Fairy has dropped presents on our doorstep every so often for 4 weeks. From wood puzzles to Italian suede boots, from bubble machines to boxes of new school clothes. That Bottle Fairy sure knows how to bust the budget.

After seemingly endless gift arrivals, Shelby spent each morning scouring the house for her present from the Bottle Fairy, knowing full well she survived another night without the comfort of a full bottle of milk. I tried my best to stretch the rewards few and farther between but when FedEx delivers, there's no hiding a gigantic diesel truck and an earthquake worthy knock (no doubt at nap time).

"Eeewwwww!" Shelby would squeal as she sped towards the door, "the Bottle Fairy sent ME something else! Eeeeeeeeeee(more ape like screeching)!!!!!!!!"

And never mind the drab wrapping or lack of sparkling, thoughtful card written in fairy penmanship, Shelby was all about the present and the bragging rights.

"Look at my pretty new boots," she demands from any passerby who'll make eye contact, "they're from the Bottle Fairy!" Chest puffed, hips twirling, proudest grin forming across her sweet face. And then she whirs out of sight at warp speed on pixy jet fuel like some fancy rocket child blasting off to Neverland in a cloud of big girl smoke.

I've added up the financial damage and, once the Bottle Fairy refunds me for the first pair of red boots that were too big, we have invested a grand total of $158.74 into the Anti-Bottle Pact. Half of the items were back-to-school-basics like shoes and clothes. The other half, pure bribery. But, the tab is not closed just yet. Like some half wit, I cooked up the proposal to ask the Bottle Fairy for a playhouse!

I know what you're thinking and yes, it DID sound like a grand idea...at the time. John and I have been feverishly designing our final landscape plans before crews arrive this Monday. We knew we were reducing our back yard to a blank slate, so what better child friendly element than a playhouse to fill a corner of our plans?! What a load of crap!

I've spent the past 2 weeks obsessively scouring the Internet for "The Perfect Shed (I mean Playhouse)". And I've reached two conclusions: #1 Perfect Sheds only exist for Perfect Millionaires who wish to fork over $4000+ for the right shape and size to suit a yard. #2 The people who buy the following playhouses are breeding some bizarre culture far from reality. Observe.

I mean, seriously, who's kids ARE these????

If you're a budget shopper, and think that small spaces are cozy, this wee home is offered at a mere $18,999.99. For further details, click http://www.lilliputplayhomes.com/grand-victorian-playhouse.asp



Last Friday I cracked. In hindsight, I realize there were a few events leading up to this moment that landed me in the nuthouse.
There was the windy day I rode bikes to the beach with the girls, hair in my face, muttering under my breath as we made our way down the dirt path to the sandstorm when I slipped and --mid air, clutching the baby -- BOOM landed smack on my now flattened butt cheek. Oomph.
There was the morning walk I embarked on with Shelby and her own tiny stroller & baby doll, hoping a calm stroll would lull Ana to sleep. We stepped into the street and Shelby started crying, "Mommy, I'm tirrrrreeeedddd." "Sweetheart, you just asked me to go for a walk," I continued leading her away from the house.
She, with great effort, dragged herself alongside me wailing, "I don't waaaanntt to goooo! I'm tiiiiirrrreeeeddddd!" gathering tears and volume as we slowly moved around the block. Exactly one quarter mile, and 20 minutes later, I made it back to our driveway, both kids screaming, Shelby slung over one shoulder, her tiny stroller and doll dragging behind us like a casualty of war, my nerves frazzled and nobody within a 2 mile radius napping.
There was the coffee shop playdate where our four children (mine and hers) took it upon themselves to have a shrieking contest at our table. Although I applied my most restrained chiding to my own children, the other mother seemed not to notice and continued chit chatting away to the dismay of my nerves (and everyone else's in the shop). Then we, stupidly, dragged both strollers and all four children into an antique store. Can you say four bulls in a china shop?
Oh, and did I mention that my youngest has taken to nighttime, hourly screaming? Apparently this is how she's dealing with cutting teeth. Yes, every hour, screaming at the top of her lungs. Every F&%#$ing hour.
My sanity was smothered by a snowball of frustration (and two young toddlers) that gathered speed all week until !WHAM! I pummeled my unsuspecting husband with cold, frighteningly harsh accusations for hours until all the iciness melted away to tepid, salty tears.
The ranting, the raving, the finger pointing (at my husband's surprised, deer-in-the headlights stare) all came down to one thing: my failed endurance of enthusiastically parenting, not one, but TWO demanding, needy children. The finish line (for summer, and the looming harvest season ahead) is still light years away and I just tripped, skinned both knees and am now lethargically dragging my withered self along the Lego lined pathway of parenthood with miles more to travel before I break through the Golden Ribbon and stand on the podium. Barbie and her friends stopped cheering me on a few miles back. Where's the Aid Station, people?
To my credit, I have survived 7 weeks, 4 days and 13 hours without preschool, without a husband (kicking in to help between surf sessions and his weekend job), at home, mostly alone, with two kids. Those of you out there with more children, I want to take this moment to salute you, kiss the ground you walk on, and implore you to hand over the keys to your secret, AND your Happy Place because I've recently lost mine.
Send in The Wonderpets, the phone, the phone is ringing, there's a mommy in trouble.