Welcome to the Team Avery Website!

In the spring of 2008 my then 19-month old daughter Avery lost most of her sight to congenital cataracts.
The Delta Gamma Center for Visual Impairments in St. Louis was there for our family in our greatest time of need; teaching us how to alter our lives to incorporate a visually impaired child. To help them continue helping other families like us, we have formed Team Avery/ Team Margaret. ***To read about Avery's story, go to the Archives and visit Blog "Avery's Story" from January 24th, 2010.
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mother of the Year

Have you ever felt that your mothering skills are not up to par? Well I’m here to make you feel better about yourself. Let me tell about my day. I’d like to say that this was an abnormal blip in my otherwise stellar week, but you know I’d be lying. And I’m nothing if not R-E-A-L.

My day began at 4am. Our 900sq foot house is so huge (sarcasm: heavy) that my husband’s alarm wakes at least one child up daily.  Today it was Avery…not good. Groggy, I let her crawl into my bed and politely told her to “stop talking and go to sleep.” HA! As I drifted in and out of sleep, I heard snips of her chatting like “I’m firsty, I need a drink,” “I need to peeps (tee tee),” and of course, “MOMMY! GET UP!”  I ignore her until she knows she has me:  “Mommy, it’s light out that means it’s wake-up time.” Damn! At this point my son Auden has been screaming for about 20 minutes, so I give up.  I take the pillow off my head and walk like a zombie to the Nursery.

The smell of poo is the first thing that hits me as I walk in. When I regain focus, I see my whimpering son sitting in a gigantic pool of chocolate milk. Crap! That’s not chocolate milk!  And where are his pants??  Fully awake now, I sprint 2 feet to our tub and run a bath. Telling Avery not to touch “brother’s huge disaster,” I grab Auden and toss him in the tub. Much screaming ensues (from both of us) as he tries to get out of the tub while I’m scrubbing the nipple-to-toe mess that is my son. Soon I have a fresh clean baby, diapered and clothed. I feel a brief sense of pride that Auden is out of his pajamas before 9am.

Then I hear it: Knock Knock. Too late, I realize that I scheduled my son’s Parents As Teachers (PAT) evaluation for early this morning. I skulk to the door in a fleece and my most embarrassing pair of jammy pants. They’re Hannah Anderson (i.e., bright!), orange and red striped. Brian likens them to Harry Potter’s tie. My hair is unwashed and sticking up in clumps; I’m like Albert Einstein without the genius. Auden is barefoot. Avery wears a fairy tee-shirt (covered in juice), red patent leather dress shoes, and no pants…just “big girl panties” that are sideways and crotch side out. The disaster that is Auden’s crib is beginning to ferment and perfumes the air. This is bad, but is no match for the chaos that is currently my living room.

We are going house hunting in a week and moving to Georgia in 4 months. Thus I have suitcases and trip clothing (which has been carried out into the open by my kids), boxes, and bubble wrap adding even more disaster to my current “kid friendly” d├ęcor. Broken crayons, toys, puzzle pieces, and snowy boots add to the look. My PAT educator had to step over a wayward cereal bowl to get into the house. 

*Side Note: I’ve decided that, not only will I spend snow days getting a jump on this moving business, but that our empty house may be sell better than our full one.  What prospective buyer wants to peruse my little bungalow and see 800 pictures of my kids?  Or the “artsy” photograph I have of my belly from each pregnancy? Or even worse: Brian’s massive collection of Urology Textbooks. Eek! Titles include “Male Erectile Dysfunction,” “Male Sexual Reproduction,” “Gynecology Oncology," and my favorite, “What Your Poo is Telling You.” I have begged and pleaded to have these books burned, but my husband is adamant that they are useful reference books. Still, he better not go blaming me when our precious princess Avery is the most sexually educated of all her peers. I have nightmares of both kids hiding in a dark upstairs corner, snickering and sneaking looks at the extremely detailed pictures of genitalia. Sigh. Why, oh why could Brian not pick a more glamorous surgical sub-specialty?  But I digress…

The PAT educator and I exchange pleasantries, then I sprint into my room to put on some jeans. That’s when I hear my Ipod mix change from “kid music” to my “running mix.” First song broadcast over the house?  “Crazy Bitch.” Let’s just say the lyrics are reeeeally inappropriate for kids. Nice. I run BACK out of my room and yank the Ipod out of the stereo, compose myself, and try to act like a mother of two (even though I didn’t do the dishes and am stuck sipping coffee from a pink plastic Princess cup). Amid boxes, toys, and the high-heeled shoes my son is suddenly preoccupied with, we sit down on the rug for our evaluation. Of course the rug is covered in cookie and chip crumbs. And somehow with 4 inches of snow on the ground, there was still an ant IN my house. I know this because he chose a very inopportune moment to crawl across the floor by my PAT educator…no doubt on his way to eat the errant Fruit Snack next to her, abandoned on the floor from this morning’s “breakfast.”  My educator politely ignores the ant and begins the Denver Screening Test. Immediately my son decides that television is much more interesting than stacking blocks, and a 10-minute temper tantrum ensues. The debacle finally ends when I pull the plug on the TV so that Auden is unable to turn it on.

The hourlong visit continues without any improvement. Avery chooses this morning to recite the words she is NOT supposed to say:  "we don't say shut-up, stupid, or God Dammit." Auden uses my moment of shock to his advantage and sneaks off - climbing up on the table to dance. Neither child cooperates and I spend the entire time chasing someone around the couch. Finally the poor frazzled evaluator leaves, probably driving straight to DHR to write me up.

I'd like to say that I pulled it together by the end of the morning, but I didn't. The TV/Babysitter went right back on so that I could make lunch and get ready for my run. Since I missed breakfast and was starving, I grabbed two packages of Fruit Snacks, a granola bar, and washed it all down with somebody's chocolate milk.  Next stop: run, school, doctor's office, Target, and laundry.  My goal for the rest of today is to not lose one (or both) children during these errands. It's hard being Mother of the Year, but somebody's got to do it.