Posts Tagged ‘parenthood’

A couple of days ago I read something that said “Try as hard as possible not to lose it with your kids. You’re all they have in the world.”

And, it really shook me. I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m all they have in the world.


Because sometimes I hear this crazy woman yelling (like, full on YELLING) at her children for something so ridiculous. And, she’s me. But, it’s been 900 times that I’ve calmly mentioned the ridiculous little thing.  Please stop doing that.   Stop doing that.  I mean it, stop doing that now.

And, so the 901st time? I lose it a little.  More than a little.  And I yell.   And, I’m a pretty good yeller.

I’m all they have in the world.

Will they hear that banshee shriek over and over in their little brains, seemingly on replay like a mistreated DVD?   Will they remember that yell and think that their mother (for even that one instant), might not have loved them with every fiber of her being? That I wouldn’t lie down in traffic for them?  That they aren’t simply everything (everything.) to me?

Or, will they remember the snuggly Mom? The “tuck me into bed” Mom?  The one who can’t resist pulling them to me for a kiss and a hug as they stroll past me in the kitchen? Do they replay that Mom in their heads? The smiling, adoring me?

Or, the other one.

Lord, I hope it’s the “good” me. They deserve that me.


Parenting is so freakin’ hard.

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Judge me as you will but if my kid’s a total derelict screw-up, I’m totally going to be the kind of Mom that does this.

And, wipe that smirk off your face.


Apparently, Tracy Morgan of SNL fame (“fame” is a bit of stretch but whatever…) feels the same way I do about The Giving Tree.

I mean, seriously, Shel.  You’re killing me with this one.

Where’s Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout who will not take the garbage out?   She was so much easier on the emotions.


This t-shirt is awesome.   Love it.   Ordering one immediately.

Do you get it yet?

Here’s a hint.  It reminded me of this little gem from “Just Shoot Me”.

(Shout out to mkv and spr, my partners in quarterly hilarity)

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See this guy?  I think I may have married him.

Well, ok, so maybe he doesn’t look exactly like that.  Maybe more like THIS.

Yeah, that’s him.

For the most part, I’m pretty even-keeled.  I don’t get overly excited about good things nor do I get overly upset about not-so-good things.  I may raise my voice but I’m almost always tightly in control of my emotions.  This was actually a bit of a handicap when I was climbing the corporate ladder because, apparently, bosses need to see that you are enjoying yourself.   You can’t just do your job well.  You need to act like you love doing your job well.

When I was working at a PR firm, I placed a story about lightbulbs on the Today Show.  Freakin’ lightbulbs.  No joke.  It was a story I’d been pitching for months.  I’d worked hard on developing a relationship with a certain segment producer and all my work paid off.  When I got word that the story was a go, I sent my client and my boss a very matter of fact email letting them know.  I explained the story angle, the air date, the taping date and the travel arrangements.   Shortly after I sent the email, I received a phone call from my boss, asking that I come into her office.   She was amazed I hadn’t reacted more enthusiastically.  She was clearly bothered by the fact that I had scored such a HUGE placement for my client, on a top television show, and that my email could very well have been about placing a Public Service Announcement in the local weekly.   Where are the exclamation points?   The smiley emoticons?


A year or so later, I was working at a giant financial institution doing Event Planning.  It was a great job but a hard job full of travel and details and finicky clients.  I loved it and did well.  Well enough to eventually get a generous raise from my boss who called me into her office to give me the details.  She said very nice things about my work.  She said very nice things about my future within the group.  She presented me with a very nice salary increase.  I said “thank you very much” and smiled.  Then I was ready to return my desk.  She, apparently, wasn’t ready for me to return to my desk.   Because at my next review she brought up the fact that she was very disappointed by how I reacted to the raise.   That I didn’t turn cartwheels and sing “Happy Days Are Here Again” as I leaned over to kiss her fashionable shoes.

Whatever, lady.

I earned that raise.  I said “thank you”.  I’m just not the unbridled enthusiasm type.  Those that know me well, understand this trait.  I’m not a jump up and down, screechy, over-exciteable kind of girl.  I tend to be rationale and calm in most situations.  And while, surprisingly, this trait hurt me in the corporate world, it’s helpful to me in my role as a stay-at-home Mom.  Kids need an even keel to depend on as their own little ships toss about from one emotional outburst to the next.   We weather the storms nicely as a team, the three of us.  Most of the time.

But, sometimes, somedays…it’s the perfect storm.  And the seas have just tossed Mommy around a bit too much in too short an amount of time.  The screaming, the fighting, the whining, the gimmies, they all collide in one big ole’ tsunami.   (Alright, enough with the metaphor.) These are the days when I hear my own yucky Mommy voice in my head and I’m yelling and ranting and rapidly becoming that Mean Mommy.  The one who tells them they’re driving her crazy and doles out time-outs like popsicles on a summer day.

The one who can. not. wait. until. Daddy. comes. home.

Because I don’t often lose it.

But, when I lose it?  I really lose it.

“Losing it” this weekend occurred after a long day of what I viewed to be “Little Boys in Paradise” activities.   The beach, dinner out, playgrounds, sidewalk chalk, play dates and birthday parties.  They were back home and, with bottomless adrenaline tanks,  racing and chasing and screaming and throwing things around the living room.  Darting around the fireplace with its “you’re going to crack your head open on that thing” stone riser.   And, when I discovered Little Brother’s beloved “Bah” (a stuffed rabbit) flung between the fireplace and the screen for roughly the 900th time in the last two days, I snapped.

Without thinking, I rushed over to the fireplace, grabbed “Bah” and threw him as hard as I could across the room.

Which, of course, sent Little Brother into a frenzy of tears.

Stop crying!  Enough! Both of you!  Go to your rooms

And, then I may have heard the sound of angels.  Harps playing softly as the living room entryway came aglow.

Husband stepped in.

He doesn’t intervene in the true sense of the word, though.  He doesn’t swoop in and try to mediate.  Probably because he knows we’re beyond that point.  You know, what with me throwing stuffed bunnies and all.   No.   He doesn’t tell me I’m over-reacting (which of course…I am) and he doesn’t tell the kids that ignoring me countless times is ok.   He just…diffuses.   He steps in and gently takes the parenting reigns from my tightly clenched fists.   And I, gratefully, let him.

Not long afterwards, I hear them all reading a story in Little Brother’s room.   Calm.   A giggle here and there.

And they all eventually emerge.  Happy.

And find me sitting peacefully alone in the living room.  Happy.

I’m sorry, Mommy.


Me too, guys.

Thanks, Husband.

Thanks for saving, if not the day, at least the moment.  For understanding me.   For caring for them, and for me, so well.   For recognizing that it was Mom, not the kids, in need of a little time out.

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We loved the show Ed.   I mean come on, a bowling alley lawyer?  Does it get any better than that?

Seriously, we laughed out loud regularly at that show and how many sitcoms can you say that about anymore?  And, I think Ross is still having a little mental affair with Carol Vessy.

Here’s a classic little clip from the show.

*Credit to Always Home and Uncool for discovering this video.  I totally stole it.

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I’ve mentioned before that Big Brother has become something of a fussbudget when it comes to dinner.  And, I’m not exactly serving up brussels sprouts and organic chicken.   I’ll feed the kid Kraft mac & cheese, a chicken patty, spaghettio’s, whatever.  Just eat it, punk.   Nutritionally, he’s fine.  He loves all fruits and most vegetables, gets a boatload of protein from countless lunchtime pb & js.  But, the main course is killing me.
And his latest?  After I’ve indulged him by letting him request the night’s main course (I know, I know…I’m creating this monster), and he’s settled in his chair, he’ll proceed to eat everything else on the plate and then tell me his main course is cold.  “Mom?”  (“Yes, W.”)  “My mac is cold.  Will you reheat this for me?”
And, I do.  Once, sometimes twice.  But, it’s really starting to bug me.  The act is getting old.  So, when the request came a few nights ago, and subsequently the first reheat, I place the warmed meal in front of him.
“Is it too hot now, Mom?”
“I don’t think so, W”
But still, just in case, he talks to Little Brother (who will happily eat anything) and plays a bit.  Waiting for it to cool.  A minute or so later he deigns to lift his spoon.   And, for something like the nine milllionth time in nine million days he rolls his eyes and says to me…
“Oh no, Mom.  It’s cold again.”
Well, I lost it.  In a fit of total frustration, I raced over to the table.  Took the spoon out of his bowl, slammed it back down onto his placemat, yanked the bowl away, marched back towards the kitchen, threw the bowl in the micro and with my back turned to them said….(not quietly)
“You know what, W?!?   Next time, you won’t get a choice!  Next time, I’m serving you POOP!
Yup.  I said that.  I did.
And after about two beats of stunned silence later, from the table I hear,
“Mwaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Noooooo, Mom, please don’t serv…”
Oh my goodness.  Does my child actually believe that I would serve him feces?  Seriously?
Back at the table, wrap my arms around him.  “Oh, W.   Stop.   I wouldn’t do that.  I was kidding!  Really.  I promise, honey.  No poop for dinner.”
Sniffling.  Collecting himself.  “You wouldn’t?”
“Oh, no.  Of course not.  I mean, imagine the logistics of that.”

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I had lunch yesterday with a girlfriend of mine.  One of those friends with whom I can discuss anything, say anything, do anything.  We lived together in Boston once upon a time and, while our other two roommates were off at their own jobs, she and I spent all day long in pajamas, playing hooky from work, watching ridiculous television, eating like pigs, laying around like sloths and laughing….our…asses…off.   She does that to me.   Every so often she makes me belly laugh so hard that I can’t breathe.  Isn’t that the best feeling?   We all need more friends like that.

Anyway, the point is, we can talk without any screening.  Which makes me somewhat hopeful that I wouldn’t actually have the following conversation with anyone else.

Me:   So, how’s she doing?
Friend:  Oh, terrible.  She’s so lazy.  I don’t even know if she has a job.   She has no motivation.  Living with her parents.  It’s pretty bad.
Me:   Oooh, do you think she’s ON DRUGS?

I mean, really.  It was barely out of my mouth before I realized how I sounded.  OLD.  O-l-d, OLD.  Christ.  It rattled me.

I think I need to get out of my Mommy cocoon, score a joint somewhere and collect myself.

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