Posts Tagged ‘family

01
Oct
08

Careful what you say …

When my Girl from the West was a babe in arms, I cooed a promise into one of her little pink ears:
“Mommy wants you to grow up to be whoever you want to be. I won’t be one of those mean mommies who forces her daughter to vote Republican or chastises her for not choosing the convent as a career choice.”

If my baby grew up to be a bald, lesbian shot putter, that would be OK. If she aspired to be a minimalist performance artist who wore nothing but sticks and grass and chose to live in a refrigerator box in the town square, great.
It’s not that I want her to grow into someone whose lifestyle puts her at risk for ridicule and persecution. But I told myself I’d let the blossom unfold as nature intended. No making a righty out of a lefty or anything.

However, life doesn’t always play out that way, does it?

Say your babe in arms edges closer to adulthood and suddenly begins taking on all of the characteristics you abhor? Say you are an atheist and she decides to become a Born-Again Christian. Say you are vegetarian and she decides to take up bow hunting? Say you are artsy and edgy and she prefers to try out for the cheer squad?

Get the drift here?

I see my baby spinning out of my orbit so fast I’m not sure I got the flight plan before she launched.

I can’t help but recall my teen years. What hopes did my parents have for me? What was the sound of those dreams as they collided with the reality of who I was becoming? I know one of the biggest collisions had to do with my continued failure to subscribe to their religion. To this day, almost 30 years after leaving their church, I still get subliminal messages that they are not pleased, thank you very much.

Thankfully I have a number of friends who’ve traveled this bumpy road of parenthood. Their advice to me is to stop asking so many questions already! I’ll get more answers if I listen.

So this is my challenge of late: I must cross the razor’s edge. I must keep some distance, lead by example, have eyes in the back of my head and keep my flippin’ mouth shut — most of the time.

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23
Sep
08

Glam Top 10

Welcome to another installment of Glamorous in Real Life, the brainchild of Marcy.

In this episode we examine how one woman’s biggest daily challenge has shifted from: “Should I have Greek, Thai, Mexican or Middle-Eastern food for lunch?” to “What ingredient can I add to this box of mac and cheese to make it stretch?”
Welcome to SAHM life. In a crapola economy. Where the husband is doing quite well but must travel out-of-state to achieve this. Where the toddler and teenage daughters continue to demand excessive amounts of stuff while their MomZombie is ready to employ Scarlett O’Hara’s methods of style and beauty. (Think curtain rods and cheek pinching.)
Consider these recent glamorous observations that make me feel oh-so pretty, happy and grrrr……

1. I spend too much time in my kitchen and not enough time in my bedroom.

2. I get up first, go to bed last, yet everyone else in my house “needs a nap.”

3. I have one child who clings to me like a spider monkey and another who flees the room like a cockroach when the light goes on.

4. I have had one-too-many shower-optional days lately.

5. The longer I stay out of the workplace, the more daunting it seems to go back.

6. The longer I go without a paycheck in my name, the more outdated my wardrobe becomes. (Clinton and Stacey, do you hear me?)

7. And it follows that the less money I have to work with, the more pretty shiny things I want.

8. The more obsessive about cleanliness I get, the more trashed my house becomes.

9. And it follows that when my house is at its very nadir of filth, including cat vomit in the entrance hall, the doorbell rings.

10. And it follows that it will be a hot guy conducting a poll.  I will not have showered. Something most likely will have just been scorched on the stove. I’ll just be happy I have on my “dress” flip flops. 

Be sure to check back with Marcy for more G.I.R.L. stories.

16
Sep
08

The scent of a stay-at-home woman

EXHIBIT A:

THE BACKSTORY:
A woman fancies an afternoon out with her toddler girl. Rather than weigh herself down with the shabby diaper bag and bulky stroller, she opts for a stylish shoulder bag big enough for her things and a few toddler essentials. She imagines a stroll in the park, a visit to the library, a quick swing through the nearby shopping district before picking up a bottle of wine on the way home.

THE INCIDENT:
 “Mommy, loook!” cries a pigtailed 5-year-old tugging her mother’s shirt and pointing at us. “She’s not wearing pants!”

I force a closed-lip smile at pigtail’s mother, whose gaze follows her daughter’s extended finger directly down to my baby girl’s bare legs, and then slowly shifts up to me. We are waiting for the elevator by the children’s section of the neighborhood library. It can’t come fast enough. Behind us, the wheels of a custodian’s cart screech the arrival of the clean-up crew at the women’s bathroom.

I hoist a clear plastic bag in my right hand up to the mother’s eye level, revealing the missing pants and underwear, both splattered with fresh diarrhea. I hope she got a good whiff. I hope it answers her unasked question about why my child is at the public library in a shirt, pull-up and shoes. Because, you know, I’m not trying to start a new fashion trend.

After a silent elevator ride up to the main floor, pigtails and mother cut a hasty retreat lest any germs latch onto them. I grab Girl from the East’s hand, shift the pile of picture books, above-mentioned bag of defiled clothing and my purse and head for the door.
We both move quickly on our walk of shame down a brick-paved path past gardens and park benches populated with lunchtimers, readers and gawkers.
In the punishing light of high noon all I can think is: I hope I don’t have crap on my clothes.

THE FINDINGS:
There is nothing “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” about realizing that you have only two tissues in your stylish shoulder bag, not nearly enough to combat the very unstylish diarrhea running down your toddler’s leg.
There is nothing glamorous about an unexpected, explosive illness in a bathroom that is a paper-free operation (hand-dryers only).
There is a high level of “Desperate Housewives” in realizing you sacrificed practicality for style by leaving the diaper bag at home, which contained wet wipes, spare clothes, diapers, hand sanitizer and plastic bags. Even more desperate, having to ‘fess up to the library staff and beg for paper towels and a plastic bag.
In the end, you realize there is no sexy way to walk out of a building with a half-naked child and a see-through bag of poopy clothes, both leaving a scent in their wake …
… the scent of a stay-at-home woman.

CONCLUDING REMARKS: Thanks for visiting and reading my 100th post. This has been part of a larger celebration, Girls In Real Life, or G.I.R.L., put together by Marcy at The Glamorous Life. Join the party.

12
Sep
08

Are you a G.I.R.L.?

Are you Glamorous in Real Life?
Forget the Real Housewives of Orange County, ditch the Desperate Housewives, if you want the real scoop on what goes on behind closed doors while the rest of the world is away at work, check back here on Tuesday, Sept. 16, for the first-ever G.I.R.L. Party hosted by Marcy at The Glamorous Life.

Grab a seat, pour a drink, and prepare to weep uncontrollably. See you Tuesday.

04
Sep
08

Oh, poop!

Took Girl from the East to the Detroit Zoo today for a play date with two other families. We had a great time strolling the now-deserted walkways and exhibits. The off season is the best for viewing and visiting this popular attraction.

At one point we entered the Australian Outback, in which you stroll a gravel path among the kangaroos and wallabies. There are no fences.

Girl from the East didn’t care about the kangaroos, who were all laying like lifeless lumps on the grass. She didn’t care about the wallabies poking around in the underbrush either. 

She was only interested in the gravel walkway, which she immediately began excavating. As she methodically reached down, scooped up handfuls of the brownish rock-dirt mix and walked a foot or two to redeposit the material, I saw a docent approaching us.

Uh-oh. 

Docent: Did you know that this trail is where the kangaroos leave their excrement? They don’t like it on the grass so they hop up to the path and do their business here. Just thought you’d like to know. Lots of bacteria in that gravel.

Me: Wonderful. Just wonderful.

 

***I’m not sure I believed him. Maybe he just didn’t like kids messing up the gravel path. But it was a tad humiliating to have this announced in front of other moms. As if I let my child play with kitty litter at home.****

28
Aug
08

Spin wheel, spin

It’s the last week of summer vacation, folks. Time to panic.

What? You are relaxing? Sipping iced tea on the veranda? Lucky you. I’m guessing you had the sense to schedule hair cuts and dental appointments and shop back-to-school sales well in advance of this week.

Me? I’m guzzling coffee, heck, pouring beans straight down my gullet and spitting out the pieces. I’m well on my way to a panic attack. Here’s a recent picture:

I’ve been driving all over the city like a woman who hasn’t been behind the wheel of a car in two months. (True.) And I’ve been conducting my life like someone who doesn’t have an appointment book or a phone or two children, one of whom starts high school next week.

It must be that.
The mark of time marching forward in the parenting continuum. I am now entering the unknown territory of the high school years. It’s melted my brain entirely. I have goop in my skull and it’s leaking out at a rapid rate. Soon my head will be filled with cobwebs. And then how will I find my way around to make up the forgotten doctor’s appointment, the missed orthodontic check-up, work my way through the 20-plus pages of Super-Duper Important Stuff to Know and Pay For before Sept. 2?

Spin wheel, spin.

26
Aug
08

It was a good time, really

I survived my date with Mother Nature. Oh, that girl has some sense of humor. Here I was showing up all repentant with bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolate, apparently stepping blindly into her trap. Do you know the sound of Mother Nature laughing? It’s similar to the sound of rain falling at a rate of 1-1/2 inches in 45 minutes.

And do you know what that does to a little tent pitched in the woods? Again, more laughter.

And do you know what the sound of my reaction was?  Tires spinning on the gravel, the clink of cash exchanging hands at the liquor barn, and the satisfying hiss of a bottle cap coming off a 12-ounce bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

And that, dear Internets, is how I made lemonade out of lemons.