I miss pre-parenthood weekends. I miss reading more than five pages of a book a time, and being able to leave the house on my own whenever I want to. I miss naps. I’d like to linger over the Sunday paper with three or four cups of coffee, consumed while they’re still hot; I’d like to embark on an outing that lasts more than an hour and a half; I want to see a fucking matinee.

JB and I try to give each other breaks to get out and do something for ourselves but the majority of our weekends revolves endlessly around the kids — outdoor markets, playgrounds, trips to the farm — and that is as it should be and I love doing things as a family, but goddamn if I don’t also sometimes feel like parenthood is a sort of jail sentence, where the life you used to have is just obliterated, even small comforts like showering on your own schedule and eating a quiet dinner are a thing of the past, and it’s not like you’d trade it for anything and it’s not like you aren’t content and happy and often joyous in your new life but GOD. DAMN.

It’s been a particularly trying couple of days around here (PERHAPS YOU CAN TELL). Riley’s been whiny and fractious and generally a horrific pain in the ass, and based on his symptoms (mild fever, refusing to eat, complaining vaguely about something in his head hurting, a smattering of tiny red sores in his mouth today) I’m fairly sure he’s got Hand, foot, and mouth disease, which as far as I’m concerned should be re-named 3-ft-tall Asshole disease because holy god does it ever transform a toddler into a–well, anyway, I love my son with every molecule of my being and I really am sympathetic to his plight but if ever there was a weekend that called for a fistful of Xanax this was really and truly it.

(Sadly, I don’t even have any Xanax. The one time I foolishly asked for a medication to help me deal with stressful issues the doctor put me on an antidepressant which made me crazy when I stopped taking it, which, wow, how creepy is that?)

(And yes, we’ll take Riley to the doctor if he doesn’t get better, and no, I don’t want to hear a story about a kid whose parents thought he had 3-ft-tall Asshole disease but it turned out to be Hantavirus.)

Anyway, JB and I are planning to take the day off from work tomorrow, drop the kids at daycare (assuming everyone’s health seems in order) and head out for a long day hike: a tiny reminder of the pre-kid activities we used to do. I feel like I need this outing in a deep cellular level, and I can’t wait.

Lastly, have you seen this print ad?

evolvead.jpg

It’s for Trojan condoms, the message seeming to be something about how guys who don’t use rubbers are pigs and guys who do get to (safely) bone the hot blonde bikini chick. There are many visual treats to enjoy in this advertisement, but I’d like to draw your attention to one particular section of the page:

evolvead2.jpg
I guess at least the “suntan lotion” isn’t going in her mouth, but oh MY.

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April
14 years ago

Huh. I think I had that Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease when I was in high school. I always wondered what that was. It was painful and made it hard to eat, but didn’t last very long. I hope Riley gets better soon! And enjoy your kid-less time.

“Coxsackievirus”. Snerk.

kirida
14 years ago

ZOMG PIG WANG!

Jamie
14 years ago

Pray that it’s not hand/foot/mouth. I used to work at a gym teaching kids gymnastics and that shit is highly contagious…day cares won’t let Riley near them if he’s still contagious.

I feel really guilty for saying that, like an evil bearer of bad news or something, and really hope it’s not true. Of course, my vote is to act oblivious to any symptoms and act like you had no idea…you deserve this hiking trip!

WaltzInExile
14 years ago

I was going to say something encouraging about the short-lived-ness of HF&M (aka 3’T-A disease) but then that pig shot his lotion all over the girl and well, speechless.

Half Assed Kitchen
14 years ago

Or perhaps a conversation with your husband without 525 interruptions. Yeah, that would be nice.

mixette
mixette
14 years ago

Well…thanks to that informative link, I know that at least it isn’t possible for those poor women to contract HOOF and mouth disease from those non-condom-wearing swine.

This also gave me some disturbing “Porky’s” movie flashbacks!

clarabella
14 years ago

I’ve heard of HFM being called “Daycare Disease” so regardless of the contagion, he might have contracted it from there. I doubt they could blackball him without telling the majority of their “clients” (is that the right word?) to stay home.
Regardless of what I’ve “heard,” I think you deserve a day trip more than ever, especially if JB’s going to go waaaaay out of town again.
Take your chances. Have a good time. I hear the outdoors is often an aphrodisiac, but I won’t tell JB if you don’t. Unless you want to. Hardy har!
Best-case scenario, you get some alone-time with your husband and miss the kids so you cherish their time when you get back. Win, win! Right?

Swistle
14 years ago

SRSLY.

Also, how DO people get Xanax? Because it seems like it should be EASY to get if you have kids, and yet NO. Testing has shown that “asking for it” = “not getting it,” so what IS the secret? A special handshake? A code word?

Niki P
Niki P
14 years ago

Seriously- you are my favorite mom on the face of the earth. It will get better I promise you.
I called my 13 yr old a Giant Douche Bag the other day to the parent of a friend of my 11 yr old. I thought she had a good sense of humor. Ha. Turns out NOT. Oh well, at least I won’t worry about getting invited to those pesky PTA meetings!!

Joanne
14 years ago

Oh, I feel for you with the HFM disease, what a bummer. I hope it passes soon. Your outing today makes me jealous that a) my kids are not in day care and b) that my baby won’t take a freaking bottle. I love the idea of doing something during the day, I hope you have fun and can re-energize a little. Sometimes that’s all it takes!

jonniker
14 years ago

HFMD sucks. It went around my nephews’ school a few weeks ago, and my brother-in-law, who was already sick with a cold, picked it up as a nice side bonus. The sores and the sore throat are the worst part — you know, in so so far as an ADULT could share with us the feeling of having it. Poor Riley. It sounded miserable.

(This doesn’t mean I’m hoping that he uh, doesn’t get to go to daycare and give you a break. Off you go, dear child!)

ashley
14 years ago

Holy Lord. Is that a pig wiener?

Casey
14 years ago

I’m with you on the need for a few kid-free weekends. Weekends are like any other day with constant kid drama and screaming. There is never one second to relax, ever. I miss sleep and I miss football, it’s impossible to watch with a kid screaming in your face.

Hope you guys enjoy your time off together.

Lisa V
14 years ago

It really does get better as they get older. I’m amazed at how much better parenting is now, my kids are 17, 14,10 and 6.
The 6 year old is the only real pain now. And he is 10 times easier than a 3 year old.

I know it seems forever right now, but it comes back, that freedom.

Maria
14 years ago

Wow that ad is amazing. LOL.

Also I’m glad you guys are playing hooky in a couple of days. That was going to be a suggestion. George and I dropped the chipmunk off to see the 9 am showing of Batman back when it came out and we felt like such tremendous rebels. I get what you mean about everything being turned upside down though.

We’re lucky to have my parents close enough by that we can grab dinner together once in a while, but I feel weighed down by the knowledge that once this new bean comes in a few months I’m going to be tied back to the breastfeeding/pumping thing which, while ultimately rewarding for me personally, was 100% of a pain in the ass if I wanted to do things other than gaze lovingly at my kid.

Wah!

Mel
Mel
14 years ago

Maybe it’s my horribly poor eyesight….but what the hell is going on in the ad directly across the page from the “suntan lotion incident”????? That looks a little suspect to me, but then again I’m not really into beastiality! blah

Hopefully you can enjoy your alone day and Riley wakes up tomorrow perfectly fine….well here’s hoping right!

Claudia
14 years ago

Just wanted to say: I remember that time very well. In fact, like it was – oh, two years ago. But, it DOES get better. This probably won’t make you feel better to learn that my kids are 7 and 4 and only this summer has life kind of taken a turn for the better. I know that seems eons away but kids grow kinda fast. Now that they can go off on their own and (kill each other) play together, I can sit with a cup of coffee and read the paper, fairly unmolested, or read a book on the deck. Until I have to help count the cicada skins my oldest has collected or break up a fight (my youngest likes to play “fight” – she made that up and its exactly as it sounds). Life does get easier with kids. You’ve just got the two hardest ages TOGETHER. Hang in there.

Nancy
Nancy
14 years ago

We had a rash of cases of HFMD at daycare a couple weeks ago (pun intended). My girls never got the rash, but I think they both had mild cases. Local pedis were getting 10+ new cases a day for awhile. Yay.

Hopefully everyone will be on the mend soon, and mom and dad can enjoy a day playing hooky together (or whatever you kids call it these days. HA!) Have fun.

Hillary
Hillary
14 years ago

My mom always used to say she wanted to run away from home, and I thought she was being melodramatic. Now I’m a mom and yesterday, I wanted to run away from home. The Boy is teething and climbing all over me. Then, when I got him down, the husband wanted to be sitting close enough to touch me. And he had invited friends over for football, so I spent three hours entertaining another toddler. Ack! I drove to Target in a dead-silent car and then wondered around the aisles for awhile and felt somewhat better.

Clueless But Hopeful Mama

So sorry about the HFMD, Linda. My 2 year old had it last spring and I swore it was almost as bad as stomach virus (and I don’t say that lightly) because she was such a PAIN in the arse for SO LONG. Here’s hoping it passes soon.

And every time I get sad and mopey and resentful that I don’t get the luxurious weekends of yesteryear, I try to remember that they will come again (interspersed with driving your teenagers to the mall and being instructed to drop them off blocks away so that OMG no one SEES YOU.)

Claire
14 years ago

Completely irked by squirting pig!

My kid is only just one but I am feeling that crunch of no more weekends doing what we like, what I like. He was a pain on Sunday – Jekyll and Hyde style all crazy one second then sweet little boy the next. I hope you guys enjoy your hike; I am interviewing a babysitter today so that – hopefully – one of these nights my husband and I can, you know, spend some time actually talking about non-kid things. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Karen
14 years ago

OMG the pig!

By the way, you get the freedom all back once they’re teenagers. But it is totally not worth it.

Korinna
14 years ago

Oh, my sweet heavens. I feel the exact same way about the weekends.

I kind of feel like, “What’s the point?” of even participating in a Saturday or Sunday. They used to mean relaxing time with husband, quality time with the DVR, eating out at restaurants, seeing a movie with friends. Now it means not relaxing, no quality time, ordering meals to go and scarfing them down once the baby has fallen asleep and hoping I get the time to call my friends back.

I miss my weekends more than I miss my sleep.

ben
ben
14 years ago

That’s better then the damn “Viva Viagra” ads (because my kids at least aren’t singing about condoms. Yet)

SART
14 years ago

Yeah, our boys must be on the same schedule. Nugget started running a fever on Friday night and yakking on Saturday morning. Shot our weekend all to hell. We ended up spending the vast majority of two days laying in bed watching Sponge Bob (whom I hate with undying passion) because that was the only thing that would calm the never-ending whining of the sick 3 year old. I’ve never been so happy to drop that child off at preschool as I was this morning. I know that makes me a bad mom, but I don’t care. It is so nice and quiet in my office this morning. Hee.

kristylynne
kristylynne
14 years ago

That trojan ad is just weird. What were they thinking?

Also, my kid had hand, foot, mouth. It didn’t turn him into an asshole. He didn’t seem to feel a thing. But then, in general, he can be sick as hell and he always acts like he feels fine. (Unlike my whiny-baby husband who makes everyone miserable when he gets sick.) I caught it too, and it was only mildly unpleasant for a short time. Here’s hoping that Riley gets over it quickly! Enjoy your day off.

Laura S.
Laura S.
14 years ago

It may seem like forever right now, but you won’t have to wait until the kids go to college to have time to finish a book or go to a matinee. I have a daughter who is almost 13 years old and a son who is 3 1/2 months old and I would agree that it definitely gets easier as they get older. Well, maybe not easier but you definitely get more “me” time back in your life. For instance, before my son was born in May, I actually read the first three Twilight books in a matter of a few days. Of course book 4 has been out for over a month now and I haven’t even managed to look at page one – a fact that has promoted my daughter to repeated question whether giving birth to her brother has melted my brain. Could be! But hey, maybe the seeing the reality of how much time it takes to care for baby will keep her from wanting any of her own for at least the next 15 years or so.

Hope Riley is okay and you get the chance to go on your hike.

Erica
Erica
14 years ago

Ok, I read your blog every day and never comment. But, I must tell you that I love reading your stuff AND when I saw that picture of your bicep…I went on Amazon and bought 30 Day Shred. You inspired me, nice pic.

Peace.

Jamie
14 years ago

OK, I actually feel relieved that i am woefully ignorant about the contagion of HFMD. Though slightly embarrassed…

Probably cause we worked at a gym and my boss freaked all the parents out by telling them that there had been a case of HFMD (probably from daycare) with a student.

Hope you enjoy your hiking trip!

Caleal
14 years ago

I TOTALLY THOUGHT THE SAME THING ABOUT THAT AD, OH MY GOD.

I showed it to FOUR DIFFERENT PEOPLE. And no one saw a problem with it. No one. I had to point out the obviously overtly wrong pig, and no one got it until I told them. And then THEY called ME sick.

I”m so glad I’m not the only one. And also, that I’m done going from person to person clutching my inappropriate magazine ad and looking for affirmation.

Jill
14 years ago

I was giggling to myself reading the first part of your post and thinking what would have happened if you had written this on ParentDish. And then I got to the Trojan ad and thought that maybe it’s a good thing that you didn’t, because I seriously think the internets would *explode* if those commenters had to deal with this post.
Carry on, Linda, carry on.

christina
christina
14 years ago

My son got HFM about a month ago at daycare and it turned him into a 21-month old MONSTER. What a miserable, miserable week of my life! I’m sure he was just as miserable though. Daycare wouldn’t let him back until he’d been fever-free for 24 hours, btw.

nonsoccermom
14 years ago

Wow, that ad is something. I don’t even know what to say. Just…wow.

My husband asked me this weekend how long Saturdays and Sundays would continue to just be about survival. They certainly are not relaxing at all. Our kids are 8 months and 6 years, and while the 6 year old doesn’t require as much maintenance, the baby is EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING. I feel your pain, is what I’m saying.

Good luck with the HFM disease, and enjoy your day off!!

christina
christina
14 years ago

I forgot to mention – it’s a virus and there is nothing the docs can do to treat it. Just make sure Riley doesn’t get dehydrated (lots of fluids, popsicles, etc). That’s the biggest concern with HFM. To help with the mouth sores our ped suggested rubbing crushed antacids in his mouth. Um. Yeah. If you’re brave enough to try that, lemme know how it worked for ya! LOL

Kelly
14 years ago

Oh holy hell. That sounds like one fun weekend.

Have fun on your “day off” tomorrow!

Liz
Liz
14 years ago

My friend’s kid got HFMD last Friday. I saw him yesterday and he was almost 100% better. Just a few little pimply sores on his feet.

My husband on the other hand… He got to go on a business and pleasure trip to England last week. Then two days after he got home he was diagnosed with pneumonia. It’s pretty crappy having an almost-3-year-old and a very sick 32-year-old.

Danielle
14 years ago

Sundry, I am new to your blog (thanks, Google Reader!) but, oh, I sympathize. I don’t have any kids myself, but just recently am single again after living with a guy and a dog for six years, and feeling like I had two kids at times. I have much more peace now. Enjoy the day with your husband and I will pray for you to have more peaceful moments in the future.

Di
Di
14 years ago

Oh GAWD…yes, we are suffering the end stages of HFMD around here. Of course, we have it in the early toddler version, WHERE SHE CAN’T TALK AND TELL YOU WHAT SHE WANTS..

I very nearly ran away from home last night while getting the laundry.

I am sharing this with my brother, who’s daughter gave the stupid sickness to the Small Girl in the first place.

Leslie
14 years ago

Oh man I miss my weekends and the freedom I had in my pre-kid days too but sadly I can hardly remember it. I hope you get to go on your day hike – that will be good for you in a major way and I do hope Riley feels better soon. I just want to go to the gym tomorrow night when my hubby gets back home- he’s been FISHING IN MONTANA FOR FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT! Yep. But that’s a whole nuther story.

H
H
14 years ago

Years ago, when my son was nearly 1, our friends were coming to visit with 3 small children (inlcuding a 6 mo. old infant) and I warned them that my son had little bumps on him (the following week he was diagnosed with HFMD.) I wasn’t sure what they were at the time but this family thought I was a paranoid mom and made fun of me. It was NO BIG DEAL, they said. So they spent the weekend with us, went home with 2 toddlers and an infant and every last one of them, including the parents, came down with HFMD. Baby refused to nurse, the toddlers were ornery as hell and the parents felt like shit. I felt badly for them but also was a little satisfied that the PARANOIA was well founded and they were a little sheepish about making me feel stupid. HFMD, while not deadly, is no fun, no fun at all.

Brooke
14 years ago

Trojan has another ad in a bar setting, pretty similar but without all the metaphorical images, I think.

We have 4 kids: 11, almost 9, almost 9, and 5 months. I sure enjoy weekends more than being at work, even if the kids are around. I guess we just don’t crave the activities that we can’t do with kids. We don’t have a sitter, our folks live far away. But we do all go out to dinner and have fun. We have our friends and their kids over for BBQ and swimming. We go to the dog park with one of those friends. I guess it would be nice to have some alone time with the husby, but it’s no big. We watch the DVR stuff after the kids go to bed, also I read then. I guess it gets better as kids get older; you just deal with different things.

Good luck!

Maria
14 years ago

Wow, that advertisement is rampant with not so subliminal messaging!!! Are guys really that impressionable?

My kids have both had HFM (although I thoroughly enjoy calling is Coxsackie instead). My daughter, who was around 18 months at the time, had a tough case. Not only did she have it on her hands / feet / mouth, it was all over her body. She had blistering sores that were hot to the touch (her 104 degree fever emanating from the tips of each welt) and they were everywhere. Not an inch of her flesh was saved. After a frantic trip to the Children’s Hospital (of course this happened over a weekend), the message was the same as if I had not just spent the last 5 hours in a waiting room…ride it out. The fever and sores lasted for a week. We were told as long as we kept her hydrated her body would take care of it on its own. But the docs did at least get to marvel at seeing what they called the worst case of HFM to grace the hospital. That made me feel SO much better (my daughter too)!!!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

Enjoy your day off together!

Bumbling
14 years ago

Trojan ad featuring pig wang = Gross. I am in no way shape or form a prude but DAMN.

H.F.M. = horible memories for me of having BOTH kids sick with it at the same time. Crazy-making.
Enjoy your day with JB, you certainly deserve it.

LLL
LLL
14 years ago

go to a psychiatrist to get Xanax, not a regular MD, they are far too conservative about such things….that ad is just gross (although I had to laugh, think someone got paid real $$$ to come up with that…heh heh heh)

lisa
lisa
14 years ago

I hate the boring, over-priced, white-bread town where I live, but it has one thing going for it: Grandma. Grandma saves our weekends, and I would never move away from her. Before kids, I never realized how intoxicating two hours of freedom could be.

Gina
14 years ago

I love this post! I have twin toddlers at home, and boy howdy, I REALLY miss some of those pre-kid days. Thank you for being being so honest with your feelings…I always can relate to your posts on parenting!

Kristy Hall
14 years ago

Do you live at my house? My little a**hole was out in full force this weekend (my worst fear is that it isn’t teething, it’s just the new 20-month version of my son).

Our weekend ended with my son sinking his teeth into daddy’s shoulder while being escorted out of Walmart like a sack of potatoes. There really is nothing like getting bit by the little tyke that holds you hostage all weekend, every weekend.

Hope your day with the husband was relaxing and free of any errands or kid duties.

MGF
MGF
14 years ago

YES… Our weekends are filled with kid stuff.
How I long for my monsters to be else where to sleep in, drink coffee and just be for hours until lunch.
Why did I have kids?????

Well I love them- but how can I have the best of both worlds?