1. Huck: “I don’t want Christmas time. I want punching time!”
2. Alma: “Can I change my name to Bagheera?”
3. Alma: “My bum is saying it wants to sit down.”
4. Alma while looking at a picture of me as a baby: “So, I was in your tummy then?”
5. Alma: “Can you write me a good letter to Santa?” Me: “Of course, I will make sure it’s a comprehensive list.” Alma: “‘Cause, sometimes I’m good. Sometimes I’m bad. So, you can make it a GOOD letter?” Me: “Uhhhh, not how it works.”
6. Alma: “Am I Indian?” (Huh?)
7. Huck on what we should all be for Halloween: “I’ll be Batman. Daddy is Spiderman. Alma is Engine Turtle. You are Human Cat.” (I told him once I could be Catwoman.)
I’ve been writing in a journal since I was able to write. I’ve been shoving stacks of my innermost, private thoughts inside cardboard boxes for decades.
They now accumulate dust, cowering in shame, paranoid about the possibility of being discovered.
My mind is always racing and when I don’t harness my thoughts, they turn black and ugly. Writing them down gives them wings, they fly off giving me peace.
I sleep better.
To write without sharing feels empty.
I am not an author. Probably never will be. So, for those who aren’t talented enough to publish their thoughts, sharing them online is the best alternative.
There’s no way I am the only woman who struggles with the daily travails of being a working mother.
I don’t belong to a support group.
My busy schedule and time trapped in traffic preclude me from spending quality time with other moms.
Not to mention that every spare second I have is spent with my husband and children.
I don’t have friends I chat with on the phone.
I don’t do “girls night out.”
My conversations with my mother are limited to several minutes a night while I’m stuck in traffic and she’s cramming to post news online at work.
It’s all too easy to feel painfully alone in my world.
When I share my struggles, I feel connected to people all over the world who are muddling through motherhood. Whether they comment or not, like a post or not, they’re out there and now they know I’m out there too.
Oh, how I wish I was not so alone.
Bam. Now, I’m not.
Despite having a public blog, I’m still a relatively private person.
My following is not huge.
I am no Baby Sideburns.
My children can’t read, so there’s no risk of doing damage to their psyches. Even if this blog were to remain “in the cloud” forever, I am guessing they won’t be enraged that I’ve outed them on struggling through potty training or temper tantrums. In fact, I wish my mother had captured those moments from my childhood so I would’ve had a better idea of what to expect as a new mom.
Honestly, I don’t plan on writing the blog forever. I certainly wouldn’t be doing it if my kids were at an age where they were perusing blogs online.
I’m trying to put a humorous spin on the frustrating, the annoying, the disgusting and unbearable aspects of parenting toddlers.
I hope I’ve been able to make it clear with my style of writing that I absolutely adore my children.
I don’t think they’re monsters.
They’re not exceptionally evil, stupid or gross. In fact, I think my children are exceptionally smart, good-natured, kind, talented, creative and beautiful.
I just think that along with all of that AWESOME, there’s a whole lot of AWFUL. It’s worth a chuckle and that’s the point.
I’m not a fat, drunk.
I just enjoy hyperbole.
If that’s unclear, I am an even worse writer than I imagined.
There is so much from my life that I refuse to share with the public.
There are feuds and fears and venomous hatred, private family matters and workplace-inspired outrage.
When my daughter came home from school with a humiliating story, I did not share it.
When my husband and I get in a spat, it’s between us.
Plenty is off limits and as long as I’m the one at the helm, I can be selective in a way that works for my family.
I share, I hide and it’s my decision.
My daughter is 3, and simultaneously 16.
There are the obvious ways, like wanting to paint her nails every single day. We’ve told her that she can only do that for special occasions, but it doesn’t stop her from begging and whining EVERY SINGLE DAY. She’s already had two boyfriends. Xander was adorable, smart and sweet. Gus is cute, but more of a lackey, jumping up to get her bag for her every day and opening doors.
The less obvious ways are driving me insane!
Today, on the way to the zoo she said, “Turn the music off! I’m trying to rest!”
Tonight, she started screaming “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” from her room. (par for the course) I contemplate whether there is even a remote possibility that she’s gouged out one of her own eyeballs with a colored pencil and pray that she just has to pee.
In reality, she called me in there to say, “I want to play with the strings from the toy, not the toy.” I said, “That’s fine.” To which she responded with disdain, “Take the toy out of my bed, so I can sleep!”
I know this is the point in her life when I need to be “putting my foot down” and “laying down the law.” But, there’s the other part of me that happens to overhear her imitating my “angry voice” when talking to ME.
Today when she was exasperated and trying to explain her goal in putting a certain blanket on a certain doll in a certain way she said, “No, it goes like this. See how that works?”
That’s my phrase. That’s my “I’m so pissed off at right now I could spit blood in your pretty little blue eyes… you just threw food at me intentionally, more than once, you’re going to time out, see how that works?!?”
Do I really want to create a little monster version of myself?
(As I write this, she is screaming “Mommy” from her room right now. I am guessing a serial killer isn’t hovering over her bed watching her scream my “name” repeatedly)
There are ways in which her maturity is cute, almost endearing. She loves to “mother” her little brother. She comforts him by saying, “It’s okay, Huck.” She rewards him saying, “Good job, buddy!” Mostly though, she just sounds like everything I dreaded about eventually having a teenager. She already rolls her eyes. She already says, “Daddy is crazy.”
In five years that will be, “Daddy is stupid.” In 12 it will be, “My Dad is such a f&^ing retard.”
What happened to the sweet stage? I thought we were supposed to get past the Terrible Twos and into the whole glorious, brilliant and doting child stage. She sometimes tells me unsolicited that she loves me.
Then there’s the day recently when she said, “I love Daddy, you love me, but I don’t love you.” I asked her if she was confused and to repeat herself. She said it again, “I love Daddy, you love me, but I don’t love you.” Crushed by someone so small she can’t even put on her own shirt. Breaking my heart daily.
I know I need to grow a pair, but I’m afraid my daughter already beat me to it. She’s walking around with bowling balls. I’m just the unlucky pin that suffered through labor to bring her into this world.
Any day now, I fully expect her to walk down those stairs dressed in ripped jeans and a crop top and ask, “Can my boyfriend spend the night, I mean what’s the big f&*ing deal?”