Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Letter to Myself

Dear Mrs B. (formerly Miss W.),

When I talk to myself, it's usually in real-time. So this opportunity to talk to myself in retrospect is an unusual one. I've thought long and hard about what to say to myself. I'm torn about what to say. I believe that a person has to go through what they go through to get where they need to go & be who they are. I wouldn't be who I am now without going through what I did to get here. Despite some of the tough stuff we've gone through, I'm happy where we ended up & I don't want to change that; however, I'll give us some things to think about.

Don't be afraid to say no. Don't be afraid to say you don't like something, that something isn't right, or something makes you angry. It might make someone mad for a time, but you've dealt with that before. Mad doesn't last forever, & you might save yourself some bad experiences that will haunt you the rest of your life.

Don't be afraid to be different. You wouldn't enjoy being a popular girl anyway, so enjoy who you are instead of being ashamed of it. You can't change it anyway, so embrace it. To hell with what other people think. You'll see in time that being unique is more fun than conforming anyway. Besides, you should enjoy things like dyeing your hair blue while you can. Eventually you'll have to "conform," at least outwardly, in order to get a good paying job, so have fun with it now, when it doesn't matter!

Don't worry so much about boys. Worrying about it makes you less attractive anyway. Enjoy yourself and the boys worth having will find their way to you.

Sex is overrated until you're at least into your 20s. No one knows what they're doing when they're 17 anyway, so don't stress about it. Also, there are many guys out there who will say anything to get you to give it up. Anything. Many of them are full of shit. Keep this in mind. Really.

Marriage? It doesn't change your relationship. If you have problems before you get married, nothing changes when you get married but your name & that breaking up becomes a legal hassle instead of just an emotional/logistical hassle. Think long & hard on this one. Be sure you're ready.

Oh, and about college? Any degree is better than no degree. There will come a point when you will need to have a degree. A bachelors in remedial underwater basket weaving is better than no degree at all. Are you getting this?? $11 an hour seems good when you have no bills, but when you have real bills? It's crap. You will not be happy doing data entry for the government forever. It would be easier to finish college before you get married & have kids.

And by the way? Since you have no real bills & have all that "extra" money? SAVE IT. DEBT SUCKS. Just something to think about...

That boy with the beautiful eyes? There will come a day when you will have a feeling that time is running out. Say something to him while you have the chance. I don't think it will change the outcome, but if you don't say something, you'll regret it. You'll know the moment. I know you will, because I remember that moment. I knew that moment at the time it happened. And I do regret it.

You'll make some questionable decisions (I had no idea we could drink that much tequila in one sitting...), but the result will be the conception of your son. Even though you've always hated kids, you will adore your son. He will change your life profoundly for the good. But, when his father leaves you? Be grateful. Be grateful and let him go. He is not the man you thought he was and both of you are better off without him. You will realize a lot of things after he's gone. Try not to feel too bad about yourself. Some of those decisions were "stupid." But without them, you wouldn't have your son. & he is worth it. I promise.

Above all, don't be ashamed of yourself. You've worked hard and are a good person. Don't let anyone shortchange you. You will find love. It will be a lot of hard work, as real love always is, but you will find it. Learn to love yourself first. Don't be afraid of yourself. Whenever shit hits the fan, you always figure it out. You are a strong woman.

Oh, and also? Join a class or something. We need exercise & it's easier to start habits before you have so many responsibilities. Dance or yoga or something. Just do something. We're feeling old & tired on this end...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Terrific Tuesday

I'm trying to stick to the theme I created for myself last week with the "Terrific Tuesday" post. I have not posted in several days & I'm starting to feel blogger guilt. My apologies to my 4 readers for not keeping you better entertained.

So, without further adieu, here is my Terrific Tuesday list for this week...

Today, I am terrifically tickled that:
1. I have been too busy to give in to my hormonal desire to eat everything.

2. I have only been slightly psycho due to the aforementioned hormones.

3. I have only started off 1 day this week by picking a fight with my husband (see above, re: hormones).

4. the bee my stepdaughter sat on tonight was prevented by her dress from actually leaving the stinger in her butt for us to retrieve.

5. so far, the dog has only crapped once in the house today.

6. the dog may or may not have the same reaction to ingesting massive amounts of fiber that humans do (I guess we'll see about that one tomorrow...).

7. my babysitter did agree to watch my stepdaughter on Friday so I can take her to back to the doctor's office to return the toy she stole.

8. the useless doctor's visit this morning made me miss the blissful traffic experience resulting from the overturned garbage truck on 95.

9. I was not the one being searched by 4 highway patrol officers on the side of the highway tonight.

10. I was only trapped in 2 of the 3 bathrooms with no toilet paper in the last week. Bathroom #3 went to my stepdaughter.

So, there it is half-full for one day...and, if we want to consider it half-full of wine, I'm going to go ahead & just take care of that...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I want you back!

Mama's Losin' It

4.) Write a letter to whatever is stopping you from losing the extra weight you’d like to lose.

Dear Spare Time,

I have to tell you that I really miss you. It seems like we only see each other when I'm hanging out with Exhaustion. I mean, we used to be so close. We'd watch movies together, write poetry together, go to concerts... Remember, we'd exercise together! And especially those dance classes we used to take together.

I take my fair share of the blame for our current situation. I know that once Boo was born, I just didn't have time for you the way I used to. Really, it wasn't personal. I just needed time with my son.

I know that I've been spending a lot of time with School, and I know what you might be thinking, but really, the time School and I spend together, is nothing like the time you & I spent together.

I know that you've seen Hub and Princess around, too. But they're cool, and I think you'd enjoy hanging out with all of us. It does seem as if you don't like Boo & Princess, but they're my kids, so I do wish you'd try. Even if it's just for old time's sake.

Look, having Boo has left me with like 40 extra pounds that were never around when you & I hung out. I miss our time together & I miss how fit I used to feel when you were around.

Please, I miss you, Spare Time. Just try to get used to Boo & Princess. Maybe we could take walks together again. Or maybe take that dance class we used to like so much. I know I've neglected you the past few years, and really, I feel terrible about that. But it would mean so much to me if you'd come back.

With love,
Mrs. B.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Terrific Tuesday!

I'm trying to structure my blog a bit. I've discovered that if I have an idea or theme to work around, I am not only more likely to blog, but it is more thought-provoking & therapeutic for me. Which is the whole point of doing this thing. Not for all of 10 you raging fans. ;o)

Today's topic, which may or may not stick for Tuesday depending on how I like it (i.e. depending on how long it takes me to run out of ideas for it). But today will be a simple listing of all the terrific things I am terrifically tickled about today.

I am terrifically tickled that:
1. when my Hub could not sleep last night due to his vicious sunburn, he did finally leave our bedroom at 3:00 am to allow me 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

2. I survived the mild heart attack I had upon his return 20 minutes later to retrieve the dog from our bedroom.

3. when the paper butt protector stuck to my leg in the bathroom this afternoon, it did not drip toilet water and pee down my leg.

4. my stepdaughter, after having a whiny fit this morning, slept through the hour of heinous traffic I had to battle to drop her off at the babysitter's.

5. I then got to leave my babysitter's & come to work as she (my stepdaughter) started whining again.

6. my babysitter was not wearing a low-cut dress sans bra again forcing me to witness her saggy cleavage today.

7. the body odor smell in my general area is not me.

8. I have felt like an insensitive ass on only 1 other person's blog today.

9. Despite the high heat and humidity, I have enough clean pants to last the rest of the week so I do not have to shave my legs.

10. since my Hub does not feel well, he will not notice the prickly legs for a couple days.

See, I can be a glass half-full kinda girl!

Monday, June 21, 2010

10 commandments of childhood

Part of my reading today included a fun post on Scary Mommy's page about the 10 Commandments of Motherhood. This got me thinking about the 10 Commandments of Childhood. Sort of a guide for babies.

1. Mommies like to take care of us any time. Try crying at 3 am and then at 4:15 am, they will come at any hour! I think they like unpredictable variety.

2. Mommy clothes are specifically designed to absorb any bodily fluid you can manage. This works especially well for spit up - & boys, try for the surprise pee stream if you really want to see what the cloth can handle! Best attempted first thing in the morning when the clothes are fresh & mommy's reflexes are slow.

3. Mommies like to try making new foods. They will get bored if you like the same food for too long. If you have been faithfully eating hot dogs, completely refuse them from this moment forward. It will give mommy a chance to try something new.

4. Pooping is fun to do in new and unusual situations. Try it when you're out with mommy while she's grocery shopping or out at a park. Anyplace were there aren't the usual changing table amenities. You'll be amazed at how your mommy can contort herself to get your diaper changed without letting you touch anything.

5. Naked time is awesome time! Be sure to show everyone you meet how well you've mastered naked time. It will really make an impression on new people. They will be really amazed at how quickly and efficiently you can get your own diaper or pants off.

6. Mommies like to feel needed. Be sure to cry hysterically and cling ferociously to them whenever they drop you off anywhere. You don't want them to think you won't miss them, despite the fact that you're about to have a BLAST the whole time they're gone.

7. Your very own body provides amazing stuff to play with! Watch how things change colors when you slobber on them. And your diaper or pullup is loaded with stuff that you can paint your bed & walls with. It's so much fun! Don't worry, it's washable.

8. Don't worry, the house is totally safe! Feel free to climb up on whatever you want. Pull on things, push stuff, climb stuff. Sometimes they make neat sounds like Crash! and Crack! and Bam!. And sometimes, mommy will get really excited about what you're doing & come running over really fast!

9. If you can pick it up, you can put it in your mouth. Pick up whatever might be laying around and chew on it. There's all kinds of fun stuff, crunchy stuff, squishy stuff, stuff with legs. Explore! It'll probably help your teeth to stop hurting.

10. Daddy won't do it right. Whatever you need, mommy will do it better, so be sure to scream until she comes. If daddy tries to get you dressed, make sure he can't catch any limbs. If he tries to change your diaper, get some poo on him, then scream. Wait for mommy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ode to my Hub

Since today is Father's Day, I want to blog about my husband & his role as the father figure in our household.

If you are familiar with my previous posts, you'll know that my husband and I do not share any biological children at this time. I'm still not sure if we'll try to add another one to our household. We go back & forth about whether or not we want another that we know what's involved in being a parent.

My husband and I have been through a lot together. We met in Arizona (where I am from) while he was going to school finishing his 2nd college degree. I was quite pregnant with my son - about 7 months. I had been recently ditched by my son's father & was *so* not looking for another guy in my life. I was frantically trying to save up money to get prepared for my son's impending arrival. I was scrambling to deal with my situation and was not looking to complicate things further with a relationship.

He saw what I was doing to try to prepare myself to be a mother & took me aside one day to tell me how amazing he thought it was that I was working so hard, all on my own, to be a mother. At that moment, I realized how alone I felt in the whole process, but was really touched that *someone* was impressed by my effort. My family was on the other side of the country, & my 1 close girlfriend had a lot of personal stuff going on & was not able to be there for me the way she would've liked to have been.

After a few conversations, he told me a little about his story. His ex had cheated on him several times (that he knew of). He had been working 2 jobs while going to school full time because she didn't want to work because she was pregnant. I had been working 2 jobs for the majority of my pregnancy, so I had very little sympathy for her. There was no reason she couldn't work, she just didn't want to. She complained that he was never there. One day he came home early without calling first & caught her with his friend. This was the last straw & he sent her back home to her mother and then endured months of emotional warfare. She continued to tell him what a horrible man and father he was for not abandoning school & coming back east to "be a father." He chose to stay and finish his degree. He was more than half way there & if he left, his classes would not transfer (specialty technical school) and he would still be liable for the loans. He struggled with the decision, but felt it would be best for his daughter to finish his education so he could provide a better life for her than being a server for the rest of his life.

Fast forward a year. I agreed to have lunch with him so he could give me some books on parenting. I had made it explicitly clear before I agreed and during our lunch that I was NOT available for dating & was NOT looking for a relationship. We spent the entire day talking. I had to work my 2nd job that night & he came up to visit me on my break. After I was done, we sat in his car and talked for another 3 or 4 hours. After another week or 2 of pretty much constant emailing and conversation, we were dating. So much for my explicit edict that I was not available. :|

He was there for the birth of my son, which was very meaningful for both of us. I expected to be alone and he had been deprived of being there when his daughter was born (his ex was trying to hide from him - he only found out that his daughter had been born because her grandmother called him). When my son was 6 months old, we decided to move in together. When my son was about a year (& some change) old and after several lengthy discussions, we agreed to let my son call him "daddy." He has been the only dad my son has ever known.

We have been through many ups and downs, big fights, a cross-country move, custody battles, and growing as parents and mates. It took over 4 years before I would agree to marry him, but I finally did. We have both worked very hard & grown so much together. I can't even describe how amazing it is to have a partner like him to help me face the challenges, not only of parenthood, but of life as well. I could not ask for a better man to be a daddy to my son.

I love my husband (even during those times when I want to choke him) and am proud to be his wife.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back in the Budget

Ok, so my son has started preschool this past week. After a little too much complaining from the evil babysitter (who is sorta family. Yippee.), we decided it would be best for my son to be in a less bitchy negative environment. My stepdaughter still has to go for 2 or 3 days a week until she starts kindergarten, which seems unfair but part of the reason we decided to put my son in preschool is because of the ridiculous disparity in treatment between the two kids. If she chooses to treat my stepdaughter as if her poo bears the delightful fragrance of roses., that is fine. But she will not do so while concurrently treating my son as if he is a piece of the offensively scented excrement. The dichotomous bias is not healthy for either to be exposed to.

All of these big words & then I end a sentence in a preposition. I'm blatantly ignoring the sentences beginning with conjunctions. The spelling/grammar snob in me is developing a twitch. Sigh

So, since my stepdaughter will be gone a lot over the summer (due to the custody arrangement), plus she is treated far better, plus she is starting school in 2 months, she periodically remains with the evil babysitter.

Nonetheless, preschool is expensive. Sending my son to preschool has been wonderful for him, but a little painful for us. We're hoping that the painful budget crunch will only be temporary, but we have to plan for the worst so we don't get ourselves in trouble.

That being said, there are a few things that I am fantasizing about adding or returning to the budget if it does expand.

Bikini waxing. This was originally an experiment for my honeymoon. I'd heard good things & figured if I could "man" out the pain, it would be a nice touch for the drunken antics that would be our honeymoon. I have now been to the other side & shaving just doesn't work for me anymore. Razor burn. Itching. Cactus cooch. These are all bad things. My husband didn't fight me on my request to add this to the budget. Apparently, it made an impression on our honeymoon. I'm not sure if I'm happy about this or not, since the budget currently precludes the waxing.

A Swedish massage. I got one as my wedding treat to myself. It was thirty minutes of relaxing heaven. I did this on my lunch break & my coworkers mocked my relaxation upon my return. It was inexpensive, but is not a necessity now, dammit.

A haircut at a real salon. I will not brave the untried cheapies again. I have had my hair butchered one too many times...& I am very low-maintenance when it comes to hair. I just don't want it to suck & piss me off. That is all.

Meat. My husband and I are very into meat. Meat is expensive. I have a small stockpile in the freezer, but it is depleting quickly. It is grilling season & I can actually grill a steak without turning it into shoe leather. Don't ask about that time I tried to make steak in the oven. We do not speak of this.

Organic milk. Yes, I would like to try to eliminate all those nasty chemicals, hormones, and drugs from my kids' diets. But really, I like the organic because it tastes better. At $6 a gallon though, not always in the budget. Same goes for those $5 organic eggs. I want to eat real food, really I do, but real food is expensive, dammit. I exist on Taco Bell food product.

Furniture. We bought our 1st house in August (in which a druggie apparently shot himself - God love neighbors for sharing that unsolicited bit of history) and we have maybe 2 pieces of real furniture. They do not match, so it doesn't look like it was real furniture on purpose, but they do count as furniture items. Regardless, I have piles of towels, bedding, etc. that desperately need an armoire or cedar chest. I have full-on furniture lust. I'd like to feel (and look) like a home-owning grown up as opposed to an apartment-dwelling kid. We will not bring our craptacular mattress that hates my hips and back into the conversation.

A bathroom faucet fixture. Our upstairs bathroom has a crappy pull-on faucet that is far too sticky for our kids to use. They can usually pull it on, but have a very tough time pushing it off. My husband took a cold shower the other week because my stepdaughter had left the faucet least long enough to drain the hot water heater. Did I mention we have well water? We need a better faucet.

So, for the betterment of my son, we've put some things on the back burner. Hopefully, things will turn around a bit soon. I'm tired of being prickly.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Popular Girls

I spent most of my life as a young girl (up through early 20s, actually) profoundly wishing to be a popular girl. I'm not really sure why, either. Perhaps it was because the popular girls were always pretty, or because the boys liked them, or maybe because people paid attention to them & that made them important. The popular girls always had the best clothes, the tallest bangs (this was the 80s), and seemed so with it & together.

I was the completely invisible shy girl who couldn't spend the night on Saturday because I had to go to church all day Sunday. I had homemade clothes and couldn't figure out how to roll my jeans tightly or get my bangs to stand up like that.

When I got to high school, I was still pretty shy, but not as bad as when I was little. I was a good looking girl (I realize that now, anyway), but I had "friends" (read: girls that I hung out with) that were generally accepted as HOT. Even now, in hindsight, I don't really understand why they were HOT & I could not be differentiated from the background. Confidence perhaps. Really, most of them were, well, bitches. They were not nice girls. Very mean and judgmental, even within our clique. A lot of two-faced back-stabbing. The joy I had felt at being accepted was quickly diminished by how catty & nasty these girls really were.

Because I was the "nice" one, guys would always befriend me because they wanted to get with my "friends." When I brought the guy around (never mind that I usually had a mad crush on said guy), they looked down their noses at him & treated me like a bad dog that had brought in something nasty. But, the guys were often persistent (these were teenage guys looking to get laid...they were desperately, sometimes pathetically persistent), & occasionally one of the princesses would cave & he would be accepted.

When I called them (rather meekly) on their behavior, I was cast out. In the senior yearbook, some of them bought "ad" space (where parents post letters, friends post pictures, etc.) & included group pictures from our high school years...with me cut out. A couple of them have since refused my "friend" requests on Facebook. I'm amused at what some of them have become, after looking down their nose at me. I think it's funny that I was always chastised as being "inappropriate" but the girl who couldn't say "fuck" without giggling halfway through (seriously) was knocked up before she was out of high school. There's a lot of irony for me looking back over everything.

I find irony rather amusing.

Over the years, I still occasionally have that pang of wanting to be accepted by the "cool" people. As it has always been, most people like me, but I have very few friends. I get invited to things, but I'm just not into the social, party lifestyle. I don't have anything in common with most of the "popular" people I know and I'm not really into hanging out with people who don't share my values. It's too tiring, honestly.

I think what I have always envied is the perceived confidence the popular girls had. The fact that they never seemed phased by situations that made me embarrassed and uncomfortable. I wanted that confidence. I hate being embarrassed and I hate feeling stupid. Somehow, I got it in my head that these girls didn't feel that way. I've since learned better. That at some point, everyone feels like a dumbass. Everyone cries. Everyone has been humiliated. I just haven't been there to see it.

I like who I am, for the most part. I like that I have 2 or 3 friends that would move heaven and earth for me if I needed it...and I would do the same for them. I like it that way. And after being cast out? I know I don't need them. When life has taken a shit on me, I dig my ass out of the mess by myself. Maybe that's why so many of them have since said "Wow, you're such a strong woman!"

Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Poo links

My son, who is 4, has a huge fascination with Poo. Everything to him is somehow related to Poo. He has had major control issues with his Poo (11 days of stockpiling on one occasion...dealing with that one was fun...). Perhaps his Poo fascination is simply because he's a boy. Or perhaps it's something else.

When he was about 10 or 11 months old, we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment in Phoenix. My milk supply was not keeping up with his demand & we had begun supplementing my waning supply with formula. He took to the formula well & pretty much refused to nurse a few weeks after we introduced it.

About this same time, he was getting to be pretty mobile & curious. He would now pull himself up to look at things & get into stuff so I had recently gone through and baby "proofed" the living room, which was where his crib was. His crib had an attached changing table/set of drawers/shelves attached to one side & he was quite interested in the contents of the shelves that are on the backside of the drawers.

One afternoon, I set him down & went into the kitchen to make him a bottle of formula. This was a simple task that should only take a minute or two. Our kitchen overlooked the living room, so he was fully within view. As I was mixing the formula & looked up to see him sitting next to the shelves on his crib playing with some little dark things. My thought is "Crap! I must have missed those when I cleaned off the shelves!"

I asked him "what have you got there?" As soon as I said something, the dog looked terrified and bolted from the room.

My next thought is "WTF is wrong with the dog...?" Then the light bulb slowly flickers on and I realize what my son is merrily playing with.

"Shit!" And I rush over to remove the offending pellets from his grasp.

And what do 10-month-olds do with interesting things they find & pick up? Oh, yes. As I reach my darling little boy, he looks up and grins a big brown grin. He has a gullet full of chihuahua poo.


What do you do when your kid has a mouth full of dog shit? Will this make him sick? How do I get it out? He's 10 months old, he doesn't know how Listerine works just yet.

So, here I am freaking out about the poo in his gullet and how to remove the poo from said gullet. I hold him over the sink & try to scoop the poo out with my finger & rinse his mouth out as best as I can. I then call my dad in a panic to ask if I need to take him to the hospital or what.

Admirably, my dad managed to keep his laughter to a minimum (at least until I was off the phone...or else he was very adept with his mute button) and assured me that my boy would likely be just fine, but to keep an eye on him, just in case.

It was all very traumatizing. For me. My son thought the whole thing was really amusing & didn't understand why mommy was getting all stressed out.

Now, I'm just bummed that I didn't get a picture. It would've made the story much more colorful when I tell his future girlfriends. Ah, well.

This post is part of the Word Up, Yo! weekly word meme at Mommy of a Monster Check it out!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

To baby or not to baby...

OMG - it has been over a week since I have posted. Perhaps that is why, despite the good night's sleep, I have still been a little grumpy. Lack of something this week, anyway. hehe

...moving on...

My hub and I have been together nearly 5 years now. He has a daughter (who is 5 1/2 - his ex cheated, again, while she was pregnant & he kicked her out) and I have a son (4 1/2 - his father bailed on us pretty much as soon as I told him I was pregnant). We now have custody of his daughter (her mom is out of her damn tree psychotically self absorbed mentally ill)so we effectively have 2, nearly school-aged children.

Now, we are finally married after 4 1/2 years (not in a hurry - getting divorced is a pain. in. the. ass. so we wanted to be sure we were really sure that we were surely sure). After being with someone for that long & not have any kids biologically between you, people start asking when you're going to have another one.

At work, at least 4 people (out of 40 - that's 10% people) are currently pregnant. Since I've been there - almost 3 years - at least 6 babies have already been born. Suffice it to say, I no longer drink the water there.

Add to that my newfound Twitter & Bloggy addictions interests that have linked me up to many new mommies, and my little nostalgic uterus is going berzerk.

Now, here's the thing, I sleep through the night. As soon as my son can sleep thru the night without peeing, we're a pullup-free zone. No exorbitantly expensive infant day care. We've got one starting school and another starting preschool - we're nearly done paying for child care...sorta. And the vision of having 3 to manage is intimidating at best. I am an only child, so this whole sibling thing with the 2 of them is alien to me. I'm not sure what I'd do with 3.

On the other hand, I'm 32. My biological clock is tick tick TICKing pretty loudly. Plus, I love my husband very much & there is a part of me that wants to have a child with him to tie our family together. Then, everyone would have a common link. Plus, we would each have biological children with a mate that sticks around for the actual rearing process.

Honestly, I think if money were not an object, I would be on board to have another. There would be some logistical problems of where we would put the 3rd child, being that each existing child has a bedroom of their own & it would be tough to have one share a room with a child 5 or 6 years their junior. Additionally, my boring mom-boat sedan will only hold 2 car seats. A third would mean a (shudder) minivan that we don't really have the money for...although, I suppose my outspoken disdain for SUVs & Minivans would karmically require me to be in need of one at some point. Like I said before, I really need to start being vocally judgmental of happy, healthy, rich people with brilliant, well-behaved children....

I dunno, I can't answer all of the "how would we do it" questions so that's why I haven't broached the subject. Plus, what if I regret it after we're already committed? That's a whole can of worms I don't want to open. Soon, I'll be past the window in which I would be OK with having another child. Personally, I don't want to be 40 & having a baby. 35 is about my outside limit.

It's a huge commitment that I can't quite be sure I want to make, but I'm also not sure I want to walk away from that.

Perhaps I'm just nostalgic & glossing over all that crappy stuff that comes along with new babies & raising kids....I suppose if anyone really remembered what it was like (let's not even discuss labor & delivery), probably no one would have more than 1...

Friday, June 4, 2010

All the Me I can Handle

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror & wonder how you got where you are? Are you like me in the sense that when you do look in the mirror you see many versions of you looking back? I don't mean this in the multiple personality disorder I-hear-voices sense. More like I see the different aspects of my personality that has evolved over the years - how I have been segmented & segregated to accommodate all these nifty roles I get to play.

I think my husband sees the most authentic me. I can swear in front of him. I take a certain degree of pleasure in being able to drop a few F bombs in casual conversation after penning them up all day. I can still be the foul-mouthed, pierced, tattooed metal bitch that I am on the inside in front of him. Add a few drinks to that equation and...well...nevermind.

My kids get the PG version of me. I will never pretend to be something I'm not for them (ok, other than the hastily swabbed & sloppily sterilized vocabulary). They see me as I am, with all my struggles and flaws, because I want them to understand that I am human and that it does take work to be who you want to be and where you want to be. Besides, I want for them to love me for the real me & not some character version of a "perfect" mom.

Most everyone else, they don't see me much. I might let slip that story about when I dyed my hair blue...or the debacle of when I dyed it black...& I get big, wide eyes looking back at me. I chuckle at someone's 4:20 joke & again, get the big, wide eyes-o-disbelief. In a way, it's kind of fun playing the role of tasteful, conservative grown up (my job sort of demands this...I work in a conservative field) & knowing what I know about the real me. But, sometimes, I miss being the real me. I miss being able to dress & dye the way I want to. I have to make the choice between keeping that me on the inside and making money...or letting me out & vastly limiting my options.

But thankfully, I can still see me. Sometimes I still sneak out to the outside...but you have to look closely, or you might miss it...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Confessions of a Kid Hater

I can honestly say that I never pictured myself as a parent. I mean, not for real. There was always the traditional expectation that I would grow up, get married, have kids, & (naturally) stay at home with them like moms are supposed to do with their kids. Right? (sanctimonious tirade) I always swore up & down that I just wouldn't have kids if I couldn't stay home with them. I mean, what kind of mother would dump off their kids in daycare anyway? (/sanctimonious tirade)

I discovered as I grew into my teen years & early 20s. I didn't really like kids. They're noisy, poorly behaved, & just generally obnoxious. And that kid in the restaurant who's running around & screaming? Why is no one smacking that kid?

Fast forward to 2005. I'm now 27, a few months out of a relationship with a crazy psycho stalker & have now learned a lot about restraining orders. About 3 weeks after a little too much tequila during Cinco de Mayo I discovered that I was expecting. I knew this before the pregnancy test did. The father was pushing me in a direction I wasn't comfortable with, & when I made it clear that I wasn't going down that road, he promptly left the state.

I spent 9 months worrying if I would even be a good parent. I had done the practical things I needed to do to prepare, even going so far as to get a 2nd job so I could afford the baby stuff I needed. However, I never did feel that amazing sense of bonding during pregnancy that I thought was just magically supposed to happen. After my son was born in 2006, I had an amazing sense of "OMG, what the hell do I do with him?"

I have since learned a few things.

First, not all obnoxious kid behavior is a result of stupid, apathetic, or otherwise bad parents. Kids, no matter how wonderful they are normally, at times are just straight up obnoxious little critters.

Second, If you smack a kid, you pretty much have just taught the kid to smack you back when you do something they don't like. My babysitter discovered this after she decided to give my son a "tap tap" for every little behavior she didn't like (as explained to me, this was supposed to be a gentle tap on the hand for extreme misbehavior). She calls me upset that my son had tried to hit her when he was mad at her. She said she gave him a tap tap for it & he did it again. She tells me "he just doesn't learn!" I managed to control my laughter...but wasn't quite able to control the "No, actually, I think he did learn" that came out of my mouth. She didn't get it. Personally, I think it serves her right for smacking his hand over inconsequential things (I didn't know she was doing this until he started hitting her back & she got a little less careful about hiding how often she tap tapped him...he is now starting preschool in a week)

Third, I have learned that whenever I really get rolling on a sanctimonious tirade, I'm so karmically asking to be beset with just those circumstances. I am slowly learning how to keep my damn mouth shut...or at least start talking mad crap about rich, happy, healthy people with extremely intelligent & well-behaved children.

Fourth, most moms who put their kids in daycare don't want to. If they want to actually feed said kid (and maybe even themselves), working is often necessary.

It didn't take long for me to develop a love for my son that I have never experienced before. And frankly, it continues to scare the crap out of me. I still don't know what the hell I'm doing, but I have become a lot more sympathetic to kids who are just genuinely tired (I mean, really, why is your 2 year old at Walmart at 10 pm?) and fussy. Kids don't behave the way I think they should...& for the most part, I'm ok with that...except for the running around in the restaurant part. Your ass is going to sit & wait in the car (with me, dammit) while the civilized people finish their dinner!

...besides, that "civilized" facade is getting difficult to maintain....