Helpful hints and tempting tidbits on how to really screw up your offspring

What? You thought you couldn't possibly damage your child in just a few, short years...Ohhhh, I beg to differ.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oh Yeah...And Then There's Me.

I've given you the low down on everyone in my family.  I suppose now I should talk a bit about yours truly.  Great.

I am so fancy and multi-faceted I just don't know where to begin.

Let's start with my teenage years.  I was super cool and knew everything.  I stayed out past curfew and pushed every little button I could.  I smoked ciggies and drank beer.  Watch out!  I was a rebel.  I had a hot mouth and talked my share of trash to my parents- specifically to my mom.

Sound like anyone I've written about?  Mmmmm Hmmmm.  My mom wished these kids on me.  I distinctively remember her words:  "I hope you have children JUST LIKE YOU!"

OMG.  I totally did.

So, back to me.

All I've ever dreamed of being was a wife and mother.  Here I am living my dream and I suck at it.  I don't keep my house clean. I constantly lose my children and animals in the piles of laundry littering my house.  I'm not a chef.  I don't enjoy cooking and we eat a consistently rotating menu of about 10 meals-  most of which contain hot dogs or tater tots. My people do love fruits and veggies, though.   I don't set a good example for my kids.  I don't react to their antics with fluff and sugar- I yell.   I punish them with chores and time outs  instead of hugging them and lovingly explaining their shortcomings. I don't always like them (I DO always love them).  As much as  I'd love to tackle a fancy craft project each day with my little darlings, I more often find myself cleaning dried snot off the couch or scrubbing blue barf out of t-shirts.  I go to sleep at night upset with myself thinking of all the things I could be enjoying and how quickly this time goes by.  But....then the dawn breaks and I'm jostled awake by my little darling, The Big One screeching, "Mommy, get me out of my room NOW!"  Ahhhhh, bliss.

No one told me that my lack of patience would be so greatly exacerbated by giving birth.  Parenting is a constant exercise in patience.  But what about those of us who hate exercise?

That brings me to my next facet...body image.  It's been a constant force in my life.  And not a cool, "May the force be with you." kind of force.  It's force that's made me binge, starve, over exercise, under exercise and constantly critique myself.  Even thin as a rail I wasn't good enough.  At some point I must have subconsciously given up and decided that I'm just gonna be a blob.  My body is not my friend.  And that's just the body image part.  My body has also worked against me in ventures involving fertility. Isn't that what a woman's body is made to do? Procreate? My body begs to differ.  We endured two years of  tests, drugs, surgery and procedures but we finally won!  Success!  Pregnancy.  Ohhhh but my body couldn't let that be the end of it.  My pregnancies were not without complications.  More injections, restrictions, bed rest and finally an emergency C-section (both times!)  Thanks Body.  You're awesome.

Ok.  So there's that.

I'm also a photographer.  I've loved taking pictures as long as I can remember.  My passion has grown since giving birth to the two most beautiful subjects.  I could never do it for a living but taking pictures makes me really happy.  Really happy.

I've moved away from California twice in my life.  The first time I left I moved to Seattle.  After 4 consecutive months of rain I called my mom and begged her to bring a raft and  rescue me!  The second time I left California was due to the suckfest our economy was going through.  Working in the mortgage biz wasn't really working for me anymore.  We'd heard good things about Austin so off we went.  It was definitely an adventure.  We had The Little One while we were there which was exciting.  But alas, Texas is not California and I just couldn't hang.  We came home last February and I've never been more happy.

I'm generally a fun, happy kinda gal. Being myself means being a cut-up, laughing a lot and goofing around.  I wish I could be myself with my kids. I wish I wasn't "Mean Mama" so much.  I aspire to be Fun Mama.  Happy Mama. Good Mama. I don't know why I feel like letting go with them equals them not learning to behave.  I want them to be good people so badly that I'm forgetting to teach them to be fun people.  Each night I pray to the Gods of parenting that I'm not raising a couple of sociopaths.

Good and bad, I am who I am.  I'm on a journey to improve myself that I fear will never end.  I have my ups and downs.  I have kind of a 'take it or leave it' personality and am grateful to those who've chosen to 'take it'.  There are even a few parts of me that I hope my kids inherit.  I try to teach them and mold them but mostly I try not to ruin them.

So, yeah.  That's me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Saving Grace- "The Good One"

Each day in this house is a challenge in one way or another.  You've met "The Big One" and learned of his antics. You've been introduced to "The Little One" and her dramatic talents.  I've deemed myself  "The Screwer Upper" so you can imagine my stellar parenting skills.  Then there's "The Good One".  Aka: Daddy.

The Good One is just that.  The level headed one.  The fair one.  The calm one.  The fun one.  The silly one.  The one who brings home the bacon.  He's my lobster.  Without him I would surely be straight jacketed, rhythmically rocking back and fourth in a heavily padded room.  He's saved me, offered me alcohol, calmed me, supported me and unconditionally loved me on many, many occasions. I love him dearly.  He is the peanut butter to my jelly.  Oh, don't get me wrong.  He has his faults. I mean, what man actually hits the toilet every time. But whereas his are faults mine are full-on incriminations.

What?  You don't believe a person could possibly be so unequaled?  Hmph.  Listen to this...

The Big One and I recently took a trip together.  I had this crazed fantasy that we could spend some nice, quality time together and I could reestablish my reasoning for becoming a parent.  No, I hadn't been drinking.  I just have this fairytale continuously running in my head.  Fast forward to night 3 of our trip.  The Big One, running on merely hours of sleep is STILL awake at midnight!  I am running on slightly less rest but still have the juice to whisper-yell at my guy.  "GO. TO. SLEEP!", I bellow.  "But I'm thirstyyyyyy and I'm not even exhausted yet-uh!" he argues.  I begin my usual list of DS tomorrow, nap tomorrow...and then a big one (which is met with much less disgust than I had hoped), "You go to sleep or we are going to go home tomorrow!"  (Yes, I was actually going to follow through on that one.  I was that over it).  Finally, though looking forward to some alone time,  I lay down next to him to police his sleep.  I sat there and began to sob. (Hmmm, me, cry?  How unusual.)   What is wrong with this child?  What 4-year-old can be awake for 18 straight hours and not fall immediately asleep?  My 4-year old, that's who.  As I lay there still and silent I text The Good One and try to let go of some of my anguish.  He suggests that maybe everyone is over tired.  I cry harder.  He apologizes for my misery and wishes he could help.  He says he'll speak with The Big One in the morning.  I remind him that our first born is more intelligent than to to think that a threat from 850 miles away will be actualized.  He's out of answers.  I love his support of my overly dramatic sentiment but remind him again (yeah, we've been here before) that helping me find answers as to our son's behavior would be the best way to help me.

The rest of our trip was fun and relatively uneventful. Fast forward to our homecoming.  Kisses.  Hugs.  "I missed you"'s.  Good times.   I ask The Good One for a recap of his time with The Little One.  Blah, blah...Happy Meal.  Blah, blah huge bubble bath.  Blah, blah pancakes for dinner.  Blah, blah Legoland.  Blah, blah bookstore to find parenting books.


My husband read a book?  Wha?

Yes, my friends.  My man listens and actually acts.  He is currently reading a book about dealing with difficult children.  A book we don't already own.  One that I haven't read. (I think it's the only one left that I haven't read).

He is amazing.  He makes me better.  He is all that I am not.

And, he's all mine.  *sticking out tongue*