Confession: I hate Valentine's Day.
I know it's a little early to even be thinking it, but it is true. Nevertheless, I am participating in BlogHers 'Letter To My Heart' event. Check it out here. And so without further ado, I give you something that is not funny, has nothing to do with parenting, and is really not a confession like any other I have blogged. Of course, in a way, it is my best confession yet.
My Dearest Heart,
There have been so many times I have wished for this opportunity. So many times I longed for a chance to ask you questions. I have always wanted you to reveal your secrets to me. I never dare ask. I have already asked so much of you through the years we've been together. And we all know, no one is a better keeper of the secrets than you dear heart. So now I am asking. I am asking you to tell me the things that only you know.
How do you go on? How do you continue to love and have faith in humanity, in love, when time after time you have been beaten down? When you have seen horrible atrocities and felt terrible pain? How do you dust yourself off time and time again and keep on beating? I don't know that I could do it without you. There are days when I just want to stop- want it all to just stop- but there you are pounding away at my fears, my insecurities. You make me go on.
How did you always know? How did you know when they were not right for me, when I was wandering down the wrong path, and when I was in imminent danger? How did you manage to look past your own selfish wants and shout to me "stop!" and "this can not go on"? How did you give me the strength to stay and fight when I had to fight, to run when I had to run, and to know the difference? How did you do that when all you really wanted to do was curl up in a little ball and hide?
How is it that you can be so kind to so many, to strangers, and yet betray me and those I love most when the mood suits you? How can you weep and cry and grieve for people that you have never met, yet not muster up a tiny tear for my pain, my own terrible, awful, mistakes? Why do you leave me guiltless and without you, sometimes when I need you the most?
Do you resent me for allowing so much pain to be inflicted upon you at such an early age? It wasn't my fault. You have to believe me. Is it because I made bad choices? Because I did things I knew would hurt you? I was young, naive, foolish. You have to forgive me. We have to move on. I never meant to hurt you. And I know that you never meant to hurt me.
So, my friend, can we call a truce? I think that we can work together as one if we just try. I think that if we promise to communicate better, you and I, we can work this thing out. We just need to be a team again. If you promise not to steer me wrong, I promise to never leave you again.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Confession: I hate Valentine's Day.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Confession: I am not always the best disciplinarian but...
I can't remember my exact reaction the first time I saw a kid haul off and hit their parent. Well, except I can actually. I was 12 and it was my then best friend who shall remain nameless for the sake of any children she may now have. We don't want little Jamie and Johnny to get any big ideas. "Hey mommy used to beat the crap out of her mom, so why can't we"? So, there won't be any naming here. But anyway, this girl used to yell and curse and throw stuff at her mom ALL THE TIME. And I would sit there flabbergasted. I'd sleep over her house and she and her mom would get into a fight about something and she would throw a vase or a shoe or whatever was in her reach right at her moms head! I am not lying. Now, some kids might have taken this as a "hey look what I can get away with if I try" moment. Not me. Why? Because I knew that if I threw a shoe with malice and forethought at the peaceful, non violent, hippie mom that I had known and loved, she would have kicked the ever lovin' crap out of me. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Because quite frankly, and I don't condone violence against children, I would have deserved it.
Fast forward 25 years. I have no idea what happened to that girl. I have tried to find her. I tried Facebook, Myspace, Classmates, all the usual avenues. She apparently fell off the face of the earth around 1991. No idea what happened to her mother either. For all I know they may have killed each other by now. But I have never forgotten the nature of that relationship. I honestly think that the only reason the mother let her get away with it is because she had so much guilt about the daughters pain over the death of her father. I just don't think she knew what to do. She didn't want to see her daughter go through any more pain. As for the daughter, I was a bit young to psychoanalyze at the time, but I am guessing that she resented the mom for living, since she was very attached to the father. Also, the mom was very wishy washy and the daughter was probably seeing how far she could push it and get away with it. Don't all kids to that to some degree? So why am I telling you about a girl I haven't seen in 20 years? Because when I was at the supermarket the other day I saw a woman refuse to buy her child a package of M&M's. As a result of this, I saw the girl who was no older than 7, kick and then bite her mom on the leg and scream "I hate you you fat cow" and storm away. I then saw the mother go after the child, leaving an unattended baby in her cart, and proceed to bend down to the child and tell her that she was "very sorry that she could not have M&M's today, but that it is NOT NICE to kick or bite mommy". The level to which this disturbed me was profound.
Would she have accepted this behavior from her boss? "Sorry Ann, you're report was due this morning and you're late, now I am going to have to kick your ass". I doubt it. How about from her best friend "you can't have lunch on Thursday afternoon? I hate you you fat cow!" Highly unlikely. So why is she taking this from her children? No really. I am asking you. Because for the life of me I can't begin to figure it out. And the worst part of it is that this little child is going to come out into society. She is going to intermingle with kids like your and mine. She is going to expect, no, she is going to demand certain things from people. And when she doesn't get them she is going to kick and scream and curse and holler. And then later in life, she will likely be a total nightmarish bitch. She will likely go on to throw shoes and vases at her parents while some other poor child, possibly yours or mine, sits by with her mouth agape, as I did, wondering what in the hell this kid is doing!
The answer? Please mommies, don't let your kids get away with this! Have you learned nothing from this blog? It is okay to say no to your kid. It is okay to put yourself first once in a while. A happy mommy means happy kids and family. They will not be irreperably scarred by you putting your foot down. I promise the long term effects will be few. You know what long term effects will not be few? The effects of unleashing on society, a maladjusted, spoiled rotten, angry, derelict of a human being, that's what. So for goodness sake parents please, the first time one of your kids goes to smack, slap, kick, bite, throw a lamp at you, etc. The first time they call you a word that they definitely should NOT be using, save maybe for the schoolyard when no grown ups are around, don't be afraid. Stand firm. Tell them in no uncertain terms that this will NOT be tolerated. And if that doesn't work, tell them that the aliens can come for the kids too.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Confession: I'm still alive!
If it seems like the posts have been getting fewer and further between lately, sadly, it is so. Gone seem to be the days when I would have 3 or 4 posts a week full of stuff to make you feel better about your parenting skills. It may be that my kids are just growing up, becoming better behaved, and giving me less material to entertain you with. Nah, that can't be it. Perhaps it is because I am overrun, overtired, overdrawn, and overweight? Could be. But probably not. Perhaps it's because it is true that your brain cells really are in your uterus, and with every child you have 'Wooosh' out go whole clusters of them along with the afterbirth. So that by the time you get to three, your mind is little more than a puddle of useless goo. Uh-uh. I don't think that is it either. Truthfully, I am not sure what it is. Bloggers block?
I think that part of it is that I am finally integrating into this whole parent life. Only took me 7 years to do- not bad right? I used to have at least five times in one week where I would do something so stupid, so ridiculous, that I would race to the computer and therapeutically type it out for the whole world to see. Even when I didn't directly do something dumb, I could always count on the whole 'kids being kids' rule to give me some good stuff to blog about. Could it be that I am getting better at this? Is it possible that I am no longer screwing my kids heads up on a daily basis? And what if that is the case? What the hell am I going to write about?
Maybe I can start a recipe blog? Yeah, but I kind of suck at cooking. Just ask my husband. Or my sister (an actual good cook). Or anyone I have ever tried to cook for. Or my local fire department. How about a fashion blog? I've seen some really cool blogs about clothes and shoes and stuff. Except I wear jeans, T-shirts and Birkenstocks almost every day. Well, not every day- only the days that I am hoping to impress someone. And not even nice, expensive jeans. No jeans that say 'Juicy' across my ass or anything like that. We're talking Wrangler. Okay not really. But whatever the equally uncool modern day version of Wrangler is. Like, Target brand jeans. Speaking of jeans, do you remember Jordache? How about Sergio Valente? You do? Ha. That means you are old like me. Hey wait, wasn't I talking about blogging or something. Wow, that paragraph was full of so many different thoughts I felt like The Bloggess for a minute there. Who's The Bloggess? What do you live under a rock or something? Listen, if you like a dose of kitten eating talk with your blog and enjoy dropping the c word- hurry on over to read her. Not like she needs me to endorse her blog. She has like 80 gazillion readers. But, whatever. I know I was trying to talk about a blog post or something.
So let's recap shall we? This my friends is precisely why you have not heard much from me lately. Behaving
Boring kids, mommy mush-brain, and too busy envying The Bloggess and her minyans. But, I promise- really and truly- that I will provide you with something to read soon. Something fun, something exciting. Even if I have to drop the kids off in the woods and let them find their own way home Hansel and Gretel style. Hmmmm...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Confession: Let's just say that sometimes slightly unorthodox parenting tactics work best for me.
This morning my daughter did not want to get dressed. This is not unusual. I deal with the dressing fight an average of four times a week. This morning however was special. Not the good kind of special either. This morning it was five degrees outside. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. I also had an errand to run and an appointment to keep. Dressing this morning was non-negotiable. My little daughter number two did not apparently get the memo.
The typical battle ensued. The kicking, the screaming, the running away and hiding. I'm no fool. I know all about picking your battles. Some days the exhausted, overstressed, mommy in me will let it slide. I'll coddle and coo and coax, and after a long, long, long, long time, victory is achieved- usually. But this morning I was cold and tired and frustrated. And so, in a particularly stellar parenting moment, I pulled out of the mommy arsenal one of my most outlandish mommyisms ever. I told my my child, my impressionable four year old daughter, that if she did not comply with my demand to put on her tights at that very moment, aliens were going to come and take mommy back to their planet to live with them. I even went so far as to explain that this is how the term "mother-ship" was coined. Yes, coined as a result of all of the mommy's abducted and hauled off to parts unknown by aliens. Hauled off all because they had wild and defiant preschoolers who refused to get dressed in the morning! I could hardly believe it myself. Aliens? Aliens? Has it really come to this? Apparently it has.
We don't have to recount all of the ways in which that was wrong. I already realize the potential for disaster that I unleashed. The proverbial Pandora's Box that I had opened. For one thing, I could have shot myself in the foot by instilling a life long fear in her that my well being was a direct result of her actions. Not to mention I could have really screwed things up by giving her a year's worth of nightmares about aliens landing on our rooftop and toting mommy away while she stands by helplessly, tights in hand, pleading for one more chance. I know. I'm horrible. But before you fret too much, before you do what you always do when you read something I've written about my awesome parenting techniques (speed dial social services), let me tell you this; the girl did not scream, she did not cry, she did not shake in fear. She simply said "mommy there's no such thing as aliens". I didn't even dare get into that one. At that point I did not care. I did not care because she spoke those words, looked up at me with her sweet little smile and she put on her tights. And out the door we went.
Feel free to call on me for more helpful pointers.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Confession: There are just some things that even we seasoned moms can't handle with grace.
Happy New Year friends! I hope that you are into the full swing of things again after all of the holiday aftermath. Perhaps you've made some resolutions? Perhaps you've even stuck with them through the first full week of the new year. If so, bravo! One of my resolutions for the new year, was to get caught up on all of my sorely neglected medical stuff. I made a dentist appointment. As I promised a fellow blogger, I made a dermatologist appointment. And on only the second full day of the new year, I hauled my bootie in for my annual GYN exam.
For most of us, going to the gynecologist rivals the joys in life we treasure such as root canal and unmedicated child birth. But still we trudge in year after year (or at least I hope that you do)to do our (other) womanly duties. And even in the face of everything that we moms handle on any given day, from juggling jobs and juniors, changing diapers to changing the world, we still get intimidated by a simple visit to the gynecologist.
Tell me that you didn't, at your last visit, follow the same pre-exam rituals that woman everywhere engage in. It starts with the painstaking efforts to trim, wax, pluck, shave, buff and shine every possibly inch of your body that may be seen by the doctor. Okay maybe not buff and shine. We'll save that for the car. But, the rest, you know it's true. It continues as we detail questions and scenarios in our head on our trip to the office. It doesn't stop there. While at the office, after mentally sizing up everyone in the waiting room and figuring out what their "deal" is, we wait for our name to be called. Once the nurse has brought us back to the promised land, we are forced to do what all woman love to do, and step on to the scale. But, not before removing our shoes to shed that extra half of a pound. Does the gyn even look at our weight anyway? And then we enter...
The culmination of all of the waiting and worrying happens when we are told to "take everything off and tie the gown in the front...". One day I am going to invent a decent and respectable gown for gynecological patients, but that's a post for another time. Standing in the exam room, alone, we begin to undress. This is the part where every grown woman, many of whom have given birth in front of this very same person, proceed to hide their bra and undies inside their other clothes. Whether it be tucked and folded up nicely underneath the pile of discarded garments, or balled up and shoved shamefully into the leg of your pants, you know you do it. Why? Why? Why do we do this? We are, for all intents and purposes, talking about a person who has in all likelihood, been elbow deep in your hoo-ha at some point in time. And yet we do it, every stinkin' time. Why?
When all is said and done, the whole shabang takes just a few minutes and it's a distant memory until next time. You're safe. Your vagina is all shiny and new. You can pull your panties out of your pant leg and go home. And while no one really enjoys the speculum, if you are anything like me, you realize that it hurts a lot less after pushing out three kids!
Read more about my gynecological escapades at my other writing gig Philadelphia Moms Blog.