Sunday, August 23, 2015

Please, Remind Me

Dear Daughter,

I will never forget that you are the most important person in my life. I will never forget that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I will never forget your first cry, your first smile, the first time you said "mommy" or any of the other things people associate with parenting. As we move forward into this uncharted territory of adolescence, though, I might need help remembering a few things, so please remind me:

Your world is growing. This is the first time in your life that your identity isn't rooted in our family. You are no longer simply my daughter, or 2 and 3's big sister. You have to be your own person now. Remind me that you're still figuring out who that person is.

When I'm pulling my hair out and trying to figure out what exactly it is you want, remind me that you have no fucking clue what you want either.

When your problems seem inconsequent in the grand scheme of life, remind me that everything is the most important thing ever during these years.

When it seems like you hate me, and you push me away, even if it hurts me, remind me that I raised a young woman who is able to stand on her own.

Remind me to respect your feelings (even when I'm completely, utterly fucking baffled by them) because it will help you respect your own feelings later on in life.

In turn, please remember I've never done this either and I'm probably going to fuck up a lot. Keep in mind, that as you become a woman, I still see my baby girl. I want you to be a little girl forever. I want to be able to fix all of your problems with a band-aid, a kiss and a popsicle.

Remind me that I can't fix everything for you and I shouldn't try to, but remember you can always come to me for anything.

Most importantly, during those times when you do hate me, remind me that you still need me.

P.S: Some people might try to tell you that these are the best years of your life. That's bullshit. They suck. Remember that they suck for everyone. No matter how they present themselves, everyone around you has the same insecurities, worries and confusion.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Back Then

Everyone told me that time would fly, that before I knew it, she'd be all grown up and I'd be wondering where the time had all gone to. 

I won't wonder.
I remember.
Back when everything was a new, shiny bundle of love, insecurity and fear.
Realizing the wonder of seeing the world through your child's eyes.
The diapers and bottles and dead end jobs,
trying to make ends meet, feeling worthless because you want to give her more, but simply can't if you want to feed her.
Realizing that love is not finite, because maybe you were afraid that you simply weren't capable of loving another child with the same ferocity that you love the first.
Realizing that instead of running out of room, your heart simply grows, and grows and grows. 
The fears and insecurities and the love.
The war on terror.
The homecoming.
The fear and the worry and the love,
the soul crushing loneliness,
the jobs and the bills and the diapers and the horror,
when in the midst of "clean your room!" and "stop doing that!" you realize you haven't told them how amazing and beautiful and important they are that day.
The conversation about right and wrong overheard one day during play that makes you realize, however you're screwing up, you're doing something right.
The hope and the love and the fear.
Trying to remember who you are.
Feeling like a monster for wanting to be anything more.
The diapers and doctors and bills and jobs and the suffocating helplessness
that very first time you realize that they've earned their own pain and have a right to feel it.
The love and the pride and the hope.
Wondering if you've done enough to make them strong people.
Realizing you made mistakes and didn't kill them.
God, the heart-breaking love.
Now, still.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sometimes Parenting Sucks

Well, actually, a lot of times parenting sucks. It starts to suck, I think, the moment the tiny alien-looking thing is placed in your arms. There's a few moments of pure joy and wonder and then this intense fear, sort of like dread.

Suddenly everything you do, everything you are, is centered on this helpless baby and you're sure that somehow or another you are going to seriously fuck her up. Or forget to feed her. Or maybe let her die because you didn't check to see if she was breathing often enough. Something drastic and horrible is going to happen anyway. At least that's how it was for me.

The jury is out on whether I have seriously fucked up any of the kids. I have to admit that I have, on more than one occasion, forgotten to feed them. Why are they being such assholes? Oh. they haven't had breakfast yet, and it's 11:00am. I didn't actually forget to feed them when they were infants, so I'm counting that as a point for Mommy.

Anyhow, the point of this entire rambling entry? Previously mentioned helpless baby girl is quickly approaching her teens. Even people without children know where this is going...

The eye-rolling.

The moodiness.

The "I know the grass is green, but since you said it was green, I'm gonna find some way to argue about it... because fuck you, that's why."

Psychologists tell us that this is simply the child trying to establish herself as an individual entirely separate from the parent. Television sitcoms tell us that this is a period of adjustment, frustration, and, of course hilarity. At times, it even is.

What no one tells us is how damned much it hurts. 

No one mentions the day that you realize, quite suddenly that your baby girl is much, much closer to being a woman than your baby. No one mentions the tears that come when the arguing reaches the level of, what the are we even arguing about and why can't she just not argue with a single fucking thing I say? That level that makes you wonder what you've done to make your little girl hate you.

She used to love you in a way that can't be described. You were her everything. Now, it seems you are merely an inconvenience she is forced to deal with. Yeah, it hurts. 

No one mentions how heartbreaking the moments can be, when she decides she needs her mommy again, just for a minute. They're bittersweet and steadily spaced farther and farther apart. A part of you knows that she'll always need her mommy. The rest of you knows that it will never be in the same, all-encompassing, mommy-can-fix-everything way it always has been.

And of course, you're supposed say something about the woman she is becoming, how proud you are of her, how you're so pleased with the way she is turning out. She's going places and doing things... and she's leaving you behind.

And so you say the things people expect to hear. You pretend that her sudden dislike of you is normal and acceptable, and sometimes you even joke about it. But inside you admit every so often that even though she's going to be an amazing woman, you'd just as soon have your baby girl back.

Sometimes, oftentimes, parenting really, really sucks.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Facebook Super Moms

I love Facebook, mostly because I don't actually have to interact with real people but still get to feel like I am. However, I often come across posts that seriously irritate me. I mean irritate the Hell out of me to the point that I must express my irritation in a bitchy blog post.

This one has been irking for a while:

It probably irritates me so much because I have some 500 pictures on my profile. The majority of these pictures were taken in bars. This is because my good friend Kensey loves to take pictures. There is a significantly fewer number of photos of my kids on my profile. Probably because here in Indiana they won't let you take your kids into bars. But also because I have some fairly strict controls on the photos I share of my kids. Who wants any random asshole to have access to pictures of their children?

But of course there's more than just the face value of this particular card that pisses me off. 

I'm sure everyone knows THAT mom on Facebook... Every single post is about how awesome her kids are, how proud of them she is. There are not a few photos of Little Jimmy's 4th birthday, the whole two hour affair was captured using continuous shooting and all 40,000 pictures were posted for the world to see.

See what an awesome mother I am? See? See?

I have to wonder who, exactly, they are trying to prove what to. Not that people shouldn't be proud of their kids and love them and all that shit. Those people are cool. It's the moms that somehow forgot they were supposed to be people that annoy the ever-loving shit out of me.

Look little Sally is the student of the week in her kindergarten class! Complete with a photo of the "award" that every single kid gets a chance to "earn" regardless of...anything. 

I don't even mean the moms who share their kids shit all the time. I mean the ones that NEVER share anything at all about anything else. Okay, you love your family...your kids complete you and all that shit, but Jesus, do you even have a personality anymore?

I want to just outright ask these women someday who the fuck told them that in order to be a mother they had to forgo being anything else, ever. I'd also like to ask them what they are going to do later on. You can not build your entire identity around your children, you simply can't. Someday, those kids are going to leave, it's what they do. It's equivalent to building an identity around a significant other, having them leave you and trying to figure out just who the Hell you are afterwards. Not healthy.

And of course, there is the larger issue. Why do these women act this way? It's because, although generally unspoken, we have certain expectations about mothers. Friends, family and society in general has certain acceptable norms concerning motherhood.

There is a certain pressure to be all the mom you can be and never let on that you're anything else. It is expected when you are asked to describe yourself that you say, I'm a mother, wife, something, something. It's nearly unthinkable to describe yourself in anyway without mentioning "mother."

If you were to ask someone without children to describe themselves, chances are they would list qualities... I'm kind or funny or an asshole, or whatever.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is pretty simple: Motherhood is something that happens to someone. Of course it changes you and it's amazing and your entire world view changes. But still, having kids is something that you DO, not something that you ARE. There's still a person underneath the mother, and it's okay to let people know that.

Bitching over now.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Conversations With My Peanut Gallery

It's been a while since I posted here. Like a really, really long while... So to catch up a bit, Trinity is now 12 going on 35. Cadence is 8 and defies any explanation, she's simply Cadence. Quinn turned 5 today and he's hilarious. He hasn't been diagnosed as autistic, but he is being evaluated later this month.

And so... onto the totally random conversations, mostly with Quinn:

Cadence: Well, how come you get to do (whatever the Hell she wanted to do) and I don't?
Me: Because, Cadence, I'm an adult.
Trinity maybe snorts: You've never been an adult Mom.

Me: Quinn, come on, you have to put pants on today.
Quinn: But Sissy's friends aren't even here.

Me: Come on, bud, let's get you in the tub. You are a stinky boy.
Quinn: Well. I like to be a stinky boy. (Picks up his foot and pretends to smell it) I am not stinky, look, it's just dirty.
Me: Well, yeah. That's why we need to take baths.
Quinn: Well. You said I could keep my dirt. Remember?

Quinn: Well. If you don't buy me a Happy Meal with a chocolate milkshake? My not gonna be nice to you...

Hours later...
Me: That isn't nice Quinn.
Quinn: See. My told you to buy me a Happy Meal.

Me: No, Quinn, you have to keep your pants on.
Quinn, with a deep exaggerated sigh: But Momma... today is the hottest day for the rest of my life.

Quinn: My never going to school. School is for girls.
Me: But you could make all kinds of new friends...
Quinn: My HATE friends.

Quinn: You aren't pooping Sissy, you don't even have a towel.

Quinn: Well if you don't let me watch my movie, I won't give you all my diamonds. Or a million a bucks.

Me:  Aren't you ready to get a haircut Quinn?
Quinn: I already am a handsome boy.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Inducing Labor

I hate being pregnant. It makes me a bit crazy, a whole lot uncomfortable, and fat. Those women that are all “I loved being pregnant”…they are either insane or lying.
Not that it is all bad. The boobs are pretty awesome. At least until they begin leaking breast milk. Then they are not even a little bit awesome.
Feeling the baby move inside of you is an amazing experience. Sadly, the novelty soon wears off. When the baby is big enough to stretch from your pelvic bone to your freaking throat, it starts to really suck. I find it's bearable until around the seventh month. When I am no longer able to tie my shoes without holding my breath I start considering induction.
There are multiple suggestions for inducing labor at home.
They are all lies.
I think someone made it all up to keep pregnant women busy in that last, really long month.
Castor Oil
Castor Oil is thought to stimulate the intestines and therefore the uterus. I should have been skeptical, but I was desperate. Really, really desperate. I threw up the first half of my strawberry - castor oil milkshake, and gagged through the rest. Castor Oil does, in fact stimulate the intestines. It tastes a bit like asshole. Which is sort of ironic. To this day I can not look at a bottle of Castor Oil without unconsciously clenching my butt cheeks. I am awake for hours with cramps, and rather than giving birth, I end up breaking open the baby bath supply gift basket to steal some Desitin in an attempt to put out the fire on my ass.

The doctor told me to try having sex to encourage labor. There is a hormone in semen that softens the cervix. Sex? Really? Probably not, Doc. I am thirty-five pounds over my normal weight. It is an effort to even roll over in bed. There is this weird line on my belly. My boobs are each bigger than my head. I haven't shaved my legs since the last time I saw them, and I don't even want to mention what used to be the bikini line. I am also acutely aware that semen got me into this predicament. And this guy is telling me I should have sex. I plan on never having sex again at this point, thank you very much.
I am not sure how walking can induce labor. Maybe it has something to do with gravity? I figure if walking is good, then jumping off of a chair repeatedly should work better. It doesn't. I wonder if walking up Mt. Baldy will convince the kid to come out, but I am too pregnant and lazy to get off my butt to try it. Plus I would have to put my shoes on, and I am already out of breath from jumping off the chair.
For the record, this one is really supposed to work. There must be a trick. I spent a whole three minutes looking it up on Goggle and maybe three hours rubbing the spot on my ankle. All I got out of this were bruises.
Herbal Shit
There seem to be a few different herbs that can induce labor.  You don't have to take them orally. You can apply them to the cervix. Uh. Yeah. Probably not. As desperate as I was, herbs scare me. How do you even get that shit?
"Hi, I'd like a bottle of Evening Primrose Oil and really long Q-tip, please. Oh, and you don't have to have a diagram on female anatomy, do you? No? Oh well, back to Google then."

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I'm Going to be Jewish Next Year

I am going to be Jewish next year for Christmas. I do not know very much about Judaism…but I am pretty sure that they don’t have Christmas trees. Which is the only reason that I am going to convert.
Maybe you are confused right now. Let me set the scene for you:
Despite my better judgment, I am going to set up the Christmas tree, in the middle of the day, with all of the children. I know better, I really do. If I could, I would set the damn tree up at night while they are all in bed…or skip it all together. But, since they have been bugging me for a week straight about the damn tree, I am guessing that will not be an option. Down come the totes and boxes and bags and the tree.
The very first thing the kids do is tear into the totes and boxes, while I yell at them to hold on a damn minute. I may as well be talking to the wall. Instead of setting up the tree right away as I had intended, I have to spend the next twenty minutes removing any glass ornaments and breakable decorations from the boxes, bags and totes. Now, I am able to begin the tree.
The tree is relatively easy to assemble, and only takes about ten minutes to set up and plug in. God bless the person that invented the prelit tree. There is an entire box full of lights that I don’t need. Quinn promptly begins removing every strand of lights in the box. Awesome.
Cadence cannot help herself, and she is busy removing everything that I told her not to touch. “Aw. Look Mom. It’s a baby.”
“Aw. Look Mom. It’s an angel.”
“Aw, look Mom, it’s Tinkerbell.”
Aw, look Mom…”
Seriously I am feeling like beating the kid with the damn Tinkerbell, because now Quinn has spied his sister, and he joins in the new game.
Except Quinn can’t talk much, so all comes from his is
“Aw,” and then, when I don’t respond, “MOM! AW!” He yells, because he compensates for his lack of vocabulary with volume.
Trin, God bless her, is waiting patiently on the couch, wearing the same overwhelmed expression I suspect is on my own face. I am now feeling very UN-christmasy.
Finally, after a bunch of “awing” back at Quinn, and threatening to ground Cadence for the rest of her life if she doesn’t start listening…we are ready for the decorations. I hand them the decorations that people have given them for Christmases past, and the homemade preschool ones.
Cadence is in awe of the tree, and places her decorations very deliberately and with more care than I have ever seen her give anything. She is transformed by Christmas magic. My little hellion is gone, replaced by a quiet, careful, sweet little angel. Until….
Quinn can not hang decorations, his motor skills are limited. So, he decides instead, to remove every single decoration that he can reach from the tree. Still, Cadence remains calm, taking them back and hanging them high in the tree while standing on the coffee table.
Quinn is now hit with the realization that the coffee table is not a coffee table. It is a Christmas decoration-stealing-assistant. Shit.
So, while Cadence screams at Quinn to get away from the tree, I make several trips to remove him from the table, during which cadence screams at me to give her more decorations. And Art? Art has escaped to his happy place, and seems to not hear any of this commotion. After the umpteenth trip to pull Quinn off of the table, I finally deposit Quinn unceremoniously into his father’s lap, breaking Art’s reverie. He looks startled. I wish I could learn that here-but-not-here trick he has.
Cadence and Trinity hang the remainder of the ornaments, while Quinn squeals and bucks in an effort to escape his father. Well, good. Art now has the same someone please shoot me expression that Trinity and I have perfected. At least we are all in this together.
        I am thinking that there is a lot less bullshit involved with the Jewish candle thing. I betting Quinn would only attempt to steal a candle once. So, I am going to look into converting to Judaism. Right now.