Monthly Archives: May 2016

Noteworthy 5/26/16

  • More things my kid has slept with recently. Lest you think I’m a horrible mother, I want to say that most of these things he doesn’t actually sleep with. He falls asleep holding them and then I extract them from his sweaty little paws so he won’t lose an eye or sever an artery while napping.IMG_1952
  • You know those days when you just loose all control around 2:00 p.m. and start shoving sweet stuff in your mouth? I really try to keep my sugar consumption in check for the most part, but I had an attack so bad the other day that there was no use fighting it. I knew we were low on goodies, but there is always something hanging around so I went to the top shelf hiding spot and, wow, the selection was dismal. There were some beat up chocolate covered raisins, a mini Krackel from Easter 2014, a partially eaten salted honeycomb chocolate bar that had fallen down behind the lazy susan, and a handful of flavored honey sticks that moved here with us six years ago. The honeycomb bar was chewy instead of crisp but I ate it anyway. Then I rummaged through the freezer and found a bag of crumbs that used to be Christmas cookies. I ate the biggest crumbs even though they were freezer burned. And then…then I ate two of the ancient honey sticks. Not only did those things move here with us, they were old when they moved. And I ate them. Not a proud moment for me, and yet here I am, sharing it with you. Why? God knows. There are some things I really should keep to myself.
  • Things you can never have too many of: 1. Lilacs. 2. Purple things that make you think of Prince.IMG_2328
  • I don’t write much about my big kid these days because she is old enough to have opinions on who knows what about her and I want to respect her privacy. She also reads this from time to time and will give me hell as only a 12 year old can if I embarrass her. This little tidbit falls into a gray area of acceptability but we were laughing about it a lot together and I think she’ll forgive me. The momentary fad in the sixth grade right now is learning sign language and talking to your friends without actually talking. Lola was practicing so much that she actually strained a muscle in her thumb. I can now add sign language to the list entitled Crazy Ways My Daughter Has Hurt Herself. Also included are gems like ‘sitting at the table’, ‘starting the microwave’, and ‘drinking from a glass’. In this house we have many strengths, but coordination is not one. Felix may be the one to break our long, glorious streak of no organized sports, and I’m starting to think he might not be related to the rest of us.
  • I bought a pair of high waisted jeans. Because I’m sexy like that. Every time I put them on I think of the mom jeans skit from Saturday Night Live. They are certainly helpful with muffin top issues, but I’m afraid of where this might lead. Next I’ll be wearing pale blue sweatshirts with pictures of geese on the front and knee-high pantyhose with my Aerosoles. I’d also like to sign up for a laughing class at the senior center (doesn’t that sound awesome?!) but I’m not over 55.
  • There are a lot of things I don’t like about having a three year old in my bed at night. The grabbing and thrashing and talking and clawing at me means that I’m woken up repeatedly. I actually can’t even fathom what it would be like to sleep all the way through the night anymore. But I tell you, when the snuggling is good, it is so good. I woke up in the early morning hours last week and found my little guy soundly sleeping with his back against my stomach, head nestled under my chin. The air was cool, the bed was warm and my pillow was just right. And my boy was still. Still. As in not moving except to breathe. It was one of those perfect moments when I’m glad I’ve been lazy about teaching him how to sleep on his own. He’s changing so quickly right now and I know that his sleep routine is going to change too. Our snuggly nights together are numbered. It will happen gradually, and we will all be ready, but I want to soak up the sweetness while it lasts; sleeping with my kids has been one of the most precious parts of motherhood for me.

Mediocre Human Being Seeking Like Minded Individuals For Camaraderie

This one is going to come back to bite me in the butt, I just know it. I’m trying to decide if I should just post it quietly or share it on Facebook as usual. In any case it’s just a matter of time before I end up shunned in the school parking lot.

A few days ago I attended the sweetest, dearest, most delightful May Day festival at my kid’s school. It was a heartwarming day, our spritely children dancing around the may pole while we gathered together as a community of like-minded families. So heartwarming in fact that it made me want to stab myself in the eye. A slight exaggeration, but it definitely raised questions about my goodness as a human being and where I belong.

I love a lot of things about the little Waldorf school that Felix has attended for the last two years. I love how they make the everyday world magical for the kids, I love the dedication of the staff, the beautiful wooden toys, the way that the innocence of childhood is protected there. These things are important. These things are good. But I’m a sucky person, and sometimes I just can’t stand the earnestness of it all.

The night before the event I got myself worked into an unflattering state knowing that we were supposed to dress in festive spring garb and pack a picnic lunch. You’d think that would be right up my alley – I LOVE picnics, I LOVE spring garb. But I also love sarcasm and snarky humor, neither of which are welcome at the May Day celebration. All the floppy hats and picnic blankets in the world can’t make up for a lack of bad attitude. When I realized that I had spent more time thinking about how my picnic would be looked on by others than I did about what we might actually want to eat I started feeling pretty pissy. The little spark of rebellion inside me was being fanned.

I behave appropriately in most situations, I’m never looking to rock the boat. But unspoken rules about how one is supposed to live give me a case of the red ass, as my friend T would say. The pressure to conform to being non-conformist pushes my buttons. I wanted so badly to show up at this nouveau hippy gathering wearing hot pants and unpack a picnic of Lunchables, Doritos and Diet Pepsi. Maybe light up a smoke and offer my neighbor a wine cooler to go with her hummus and kale chips. I managed to keep myself in line, wear a flowery blouse and not swear but it was hard, so hard. My picnic was passable – we had sandwiches on real bread (bad) but the bread had lots of seeds in it (good). There were vegetables and fruit slices for dessert. I even remembered an extra sweater for my kid. But of course, I’m me, and I had to forget something so we ended up in the hot sun with no sunblock or hats. Felix wanted to enjoy the party in the nude and made a stink about it but I insisted he keep his pants on. In the midst of all that non-conformity, my kid was the only one trying to strip, and just about the only one without a sunhat. We weren’t kicked out but I’m sure a few eyebrows were raised in our direction.IMG_2398

Most of the Waldorf philosophy resonates with me, but the rigidity does not. That part feels contrived and formulaic. When kids are all wearing the same counter-culture clothes and everyone has similar eating habits and toys and modern pioneer lifestyles it starts to smell cultish. I want the best, most magical childhood possible for my kids, we all do, but sometimes, a lot of times, just making it through the day unscathed is the best I can do. In theory it would be awesome if I could be outside with my children felting gnome houses and gardening with mindfulness everyday, but my reality is that sometimes I’m precariously close to cracking up. Putting on a movie to shut the little twits up for a few minutes while I make a dinner of frozen chicken strips isn’t ideal, but it has been known to happen because a mom who runs away from home is even less ideal. I don’t feel like I could ever admit that at a school function without truly upsetting some people and that raises red flags and hackles all over the place for me. There is a balance to strike with all things, especially with parenting, and we do each other a disservice when we don’t acknowledge the struggle and imperfection that comes with the job.

Truly, this is my problem, and I fully realize that. I’m a jerk and shouldn’t be allowed around nice people. I have reached the conclusion that it just isn’t the right community for me, though I adore a number of the people who are involved there. There are many gentle souls raising good, kind children and I have the utmost respect for that. But my life is full of chaos and compromise and small failures. It’s entirely possible that everyone else has their act together more than I do, and they never run out of stories to tell about fairies or succumb to the allure of frozen pizza. Maybe they never fear that their ears will start to bleed if their child doesn’t stop talking. If it’s fake or if it’s real, it doesn’t matter, that is not my tribe. Purity is not attractive to me. I’m still trying to find more of my people, I guess. They are the ones trying their best in a less angelic, more irreverent way. They are doing well and then messing up, over and over again, and being honest about it. They love their babies fiercely and still feel okay about calling them assholes from time to time. Behind their backs of course, I’m not a monster.