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Should I be More Embarrassed or Should You?

On Saturday I was solo parenting. Adam was travelling for work and I decided I would hire a sitter and go to my friend’s birthday dinner anyway. So, I washed up, got dressed, put on makeup and drove to the restaurant. The restaurant was in a mall plaza and the parking lot was very busy. It took 5 minutes of driving around to find a parking space.

After my long day with my toddler who missed her dad already I was an hour late for dinner. But I was there. I left the house. I had a tasty dinner and saw friends that I haven’t seen in 6+ months. It was a really nice dinner and I was glad I mustered the energy to leave the house.

On our way out I offered a ride home to some friends. As we arrived at my car I noticed someone had written in the dust on the hood of my car. My initial thought was “some kid thinks it’s funny to write ‘wash me’ on my car” and was ready to dismiss it when I saw that it read ‘do you know how to park’. I laughed anyway because my wheel was on the line. Oops. I made a mistake. I guess that’s what I get for parking in a full parking lot in a cramped spot.

But then. Then the old lady in the van next to my car rolled down her window and said “that was me who wrote that”.

Well, that was unacceptable to me. I thought a young adult had written it. I didn’t think an old woman would be that crass as to risk scratching the paint on the hood of my car just because my car was a little bit too close to hers.

“You wrote on my car? You could have scratched the paint. You don’t know the circumstances I had when I parked here. I did the best I could. But you took the juvenile route and wrote on my car. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

I may have said it a bit louder than necessary but I said it. Her only reply was “aren’t you a pleasure to deal with”. I just looked at her and said “you wrote on my car. Go away.”

I think I’m still processing this for a number of reasons.

  1. I was genuinely surprised that a full grown adult decided that the rational thing to do was write in the dust on my hood instead of just driving away.
  2. My friends were there and they have never seen me yell at anyone like that. They said nothing and let me have my peace. They were very supportive after but I’m still embarrassed.
  3. I haven’t had a chance to get a car wash yet so it’s still on the hood of my car, mocking me every day.
  4. I’m worried that because I lowered my SSRI dose that my anger is rising again. I don’t like being angry. It feel awful. The hot anger in my stomach hasn’t returned but my patience is thin and I am quick to take it out on strangers. Especially bad drivers.

What did I learn from this? I learned that my view of humanity is probably wrong again. I always assume the best of people. I hate being proven wrong about that.

I learned that after a long day with a toddler that misses her dad and takes it out on me that I am quick to take that out on anyone who wrongs me.

I learned that my car is much dustier than I thought it was.

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Potty Training at Night or How I am Learning to Love the Dark

I seem to have accidentally stumbled into night time potty training.

We started day time potty training almost a year ago when Beans turned 2. She picked up on the peeing immediately. We have had maybe 4 accidents in that time and all because she was too busy playing and didn’t want to stop. Lately she’s even been really good at putting her toys down and running to the potty.

Poop had been a different story. It has taken her longer to figure that out. She seems to have mostly gotten the hang of it lately. And for that I am beyond thankful. Cleaning poop off a nearly 3 year old is beyond gross.

But now. Now she’s getting herself ready to stop wearing Pull-Ups at night. And I am not so grateful. Which is awful, right? I should be grateful. I should be happy that my kid is listening to her body and become more independent. Right?

But I’m not. I am so tired of waking up two or more times every night to the loud yells of “Mama, I need to pee” or “Mama, I really need to poop” or the best combo of “Mama, Mama, mama, I need to pee AND poop”. Which right now does not really mean “I need to pee and poop”. What it really means is “I have peed and pooped and now you have to deal with it”. Which means that in the middle of the night I am zombie walking to her room, changing her pull-up by the light of the washing machine controls bringing her back to her bed and trying to convince her to go back to bed. I have too many bruises on my shins from that fucking table in the hallway that I can’t see in the dark.

I am tired. I am tired of getting poop on my hands in the middle of the night. I am tired of not sleeping through the night. Here’s where you might think “Why don’t you enlist your so called wonderful husband to do some of the night duty?” If you are thinking that then you don’t know my husband. Adam may not hear every time she gets up but if I wake him up he will jump at the opportunity to step in. The only problem is that I spend that whole time awake, listening, waiting for him to get back to bed so I can go back to sleep.

So, what’s the silver lining? She’s learning that it’s uncomfortable to sleep in pee and poop. Which means that pretty soon she will wake up before her body takes over. Which means that soon she will stop wearing pull ups to bed and I can stop buying them and destroying the planet with them in my garbage.

What it doesn’t mean is the end of night time calls to the bathroom. She’s 2. She can’t fucking go to the bathroom on her own. I wouldn’t trust her to be allowed to leave her room in the middle of the night on her own. She would just go downstairs and play. And what if she fell down the stairs? Or what if she decided the tool and medicine cabinet looked especially enticing in the dark? What if she decided she needed to sleep in our bed and then I would really never sleep again.

So, what’s next? I guess powering through the night time wake-ups. It’s technically better than having a newborn. And I will take technicalities.

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Relationships

I talk to 2 people on a daily basis: my husband and my kid.

How many people would I like to talk to on a daily basis? Probably 6, maybe 10. But, obviously there isn’t time for that. Between work, groceries, crafting, husband time, and my constant need to enhance the functionality of our home I don’t have time to talk to more people than Adam and Beans.

I wish I were closer with probably 27 people. Maybe 38. I didn’t make an actual list.

Relationships require time and effort. Close ones do, anyway. So, how do I keep close with all the ones I love?

Facebook? No, thanks. I’m a lurker on Facebook at best. I don’t really like the idea of posting too many personal things for anyone to see.

Instagram? Nope. I keep my profile public and don’t post photos of my kid, whom everyone wants to see anyway.

Call them regularly? In this busy age it’s hard to find time to nail down where neither of us are busy or engaging in much needed solo time.

Visit them? Again, busy people are hard to plan with. I am one of those busy people. We had our first empty weekend this year earlier this month and we immediately filled it with stuff to do because when you have a minute of quiet you try to see the friends you never see and you probably try to make plans with your friends with kids because someone has to entertain the toddler.

Text them? It’s enough for a short period of time but it starts to get old and not feel real.

Lament about it on your blog and hope that writing it down makes me feel better? Yup.

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In My Head Today

  1. I can’t save the whole damn planet. I’m only one person.
  2. How in the hell did my Beans get so fucking big? She’s full sentences, great memory, full blown kid. That was a bit of a fragmented sentence. Oh well.
  3. Why am I so hungry by 11:30 am? Maybe I should eat a snack at 9:30 am.
  4. I need more time to be organized. I need to be more organized to find more time.
  5. This issue at work is still not resolved and I cannot do anything about it except poke the same people over and over again. I just audibly sighed about it.
  6. I want a new shelf system for my entry way so I can move the current one to a different location.
  7. If I got a more narrow entry way shelf then I could fit the ever-longed-after chest freezer there.
  8. If I had a chest freezer already would I have more frozen meals ready to go? Would I be worrying less about dinner tonight?
  9. Shit. What’s for dinner tonight?
  10. I chose time over money when I hired our housecleaner. She is worth every penny, even though pennies don’t exist anymore. Well, they exist, but they are no longer being produced or circulated. She’s still worth it. We just had a great conversation about the best type of mop and she complimented my DIY all purpose cleaner and chose in screen cleaning cloth.
  11. My body is…. well, a body.
  12. I missed Barre class last week. I need to lift weights and tuck and balance and stretch so badly.
  13. My current book is so good.
  14. Where do I start when I re-organize my kitchen? How do I do this without disrupting my entire Saturday? Do I need to take a day off for this project? No? Maybe Beans could help in her own way? Do I have enough space to empty the cupboards and start again? Probably not. But I think that’s the best way to do it. Thinking about the chaos before the calm is giving me anxiety and making me want to procrastinate this project more.
  15. I need to study.
  16. I need to build our next DnD campaign night. But I need to study more. At what point do I postpone this to focus on studying?
  17. When can I take a day off for the spa with Adam? We could use a break.
  18. How is our budget looking? Can I buy too many clothes today? Probably not. I better close all these tabs.
  19. Do I even entertain the idea of letting my 10 year old niece sleep in my 2 year old daughter’s room this weekend when she visits? Is the payoff worth it?
  20. We haven’t played a board game in a really long time. I want to play anything. I want to have time and energy to play anything. I want us both to have time and energy at the same time.
  21. What kind of plant would survive in a hanger in front of my East facing bedroom window? Where do I get a support to hang a plant? Would it even look good there? Would it annoy me there? Where can I put a small tree in our house?
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Dear Daughter, You are almost 2.

I want to capture this moment for myself to remember how you were when you were almost 2.

You are a spectacular creature. You are determined, strong willed, loving, generous, smart, clever and sweet.

You are determined. You are currently pushing all the boundaries you can find. This week we fought with you about whether you could sit on the seat in the canoe or if you had to sit on the floor. You can’t sit on the seat of the canoe until you are big enough to understand the movement of the canoe and that you could fall into the water if you reach too far. You fought with us about how close you can walk to the side of the road and if you could walk in the road. “No cars coming, Mommy.” I hope one day you understand that that was not the point.

You are strong willed and independent. We haven’t done up your car seat buckles in months because it’s honestly not worth the fight. I will gladly wait 10-20 minutes for you to do it yourself if I can avoid you crying all the way home. You’ve been walking up and down the stairs from the moment you realized you were physically capable. It’s been a terrifying 6 months.

You are loving and sweet. The way you hug the dog and say very sweetly “my Alice” will never get old. I will never forget the first time you ran up to me when I picked you up at daycare and yelled “my mommy is here!” I also love the way you say “Hello handsome daddy” when we pick him up from work.

You are generous and expect others to be so. We will never eat a meal where you haven’t offered your milk or food to us. I have never finished all of my meal because you ask “Mommy, may I have a bite?” and I have no will power to say no. You make sure bear has some play food for breakfast before you sit down. You offer me “mom bear” every morning when I enter your room.

You are smart and clever. You know how to unlock the front door. You have figured out games and puzzles so much faster than I could have expected. You told me last week that “Old MacDonald is my favourite song, mommy”. You can count to 10 (let’s ignore the fact that you skip 5 and 6 regularly) and have been singing your ABCs for months and recognize letters in the world. You think all Canadian flags deserve the exclamation of “Go, Canada, go!” You can put on your bath robe and tie up the strings by “self”.

I love you, my darling. I love your soft kisses, your tight hugs, your desire to be your own person, your love of others, your concern for others, your tiny little naked butt, your long toddler summer legs, your gorgeous hair with the soft curls you inherited from my dad. I love your smile, your giggle, your silliness, your Grover voice, your one-octave-too-high singing voice.

I love you. Never stop being you, my sweet nearly two year old.

 

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Stop Fucking Copying Me

If you are like me, when you sit down in your car you become a slightly different person. You follow the rules are little more carefully and get a bit upset when other people do not.

Driving a car a privilege, not a right. At least, I think so. You are operating a 4,000 lb piece of machinery that can end someone’s life if used incorrectly. I happen to operate that machine with a small child in the backseat while listening to that sweet child skip all the middle letters of her ABCs. You must operate this machine while following the rules of the road in order for all of us to drive efficiently and safely.

I could list all the ways that other driver’s bother me, but it would be simpler to just say that all other drivers bother me.

It should really come as no surprise to you that I have a teensy bit of verbal road rage. I won’t cut anyone off, or follow to closely but you better believe you are getting a tongue lashing from the personal space of my driver’s seat, regardless of whether my windows are rolled up. You may get honked at, but I tend to reserve that for people who potentially put me in danger. I’m looking at you, no-signal/no-shoulder check merger. That’s how I will let you know that you are a dummy.

I wish I could explain this to my 21 month old daughter. I wish I could tell her not to listen to me while I’m driving. The problem is that it is crazy funny to hear a sweet toddler voice say “Go, you fucking dummy!” or “Damnit” over and over again.

I will admit that I have gotten better about my language in the car but sometimes there’s just that one fucking moron who thinks he can drive like no one else is on the road. I guess I should be glad that I’m teaching my kid the importance of road rules.

Image result for toddler swearing

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My new Friends are all Parents too

How do I write about this without hurting feelings? How do I address this issue without possibly making someone feel bad? Maybe by just being honest and non judgemental?

I had a baby 16 months ago. In the last 16 months I can name less than 10 of my former friends that have expressed interest in spending time with her. I say former, because, in reality I haven’t seen most of these people in probably 20 months. Most of them have never met my kid.

Last summer I was hugely pregnant and had a baby. I couldn’t drink, couldn’t party, and, probably without surprise, most of my friends disappeared. I don’t blame them.

When I was in my early 20’s, my friends were getting married and having babies and I didn’t fit into that world. I lost contact with them because we were in totally different places. I kept up with their lives (still do) on facebook, liking their kid pictures and enjoying seeing their family’s milestones, but I didn’t reach out. I didn’t try to get to know their kids.

Now I’m the one who has the kid and I get it. We have totally different day to day lives.

I eat breakfast hoping that my daughter won’t smear her yogurt hands on my nice work pants before I get a chance to clean her up. I pack four bags every night – my purse, my lunch, her backpack, her diapers – before I go to bed. I sing the ABC’s, Ba Ba Black Sheep and Old MacDonald every single morning. My plans for the weekend include trying to find ways to tire out my kid and entertain her while also somehow finally cleaning the bathroom and doing our mountain of laundry (how do three people create so much laundry?!).

Before I had a kid I hit the snooze button more times than I’d like to admit. I ate breakfast in the car on the way to work, blaring the radio. We only had to worry about two adult lunches. My house was clean. My house was clean. My weekend plans included sleeping in, binge watching MASH on the couch after making an elaborate hangover breakfast, and figuring out what we were going to do that night.

I’d like to apologise to my early 20’s friends (I think you know who you are) and I hope you don’t hold any ill will against me. I wasn’t ready for your life steps so I stepped away. I am so sorry if that felt like betrayal. It was fear on my side, not loathing.

I’ve been feeling abandoned? disowned? self-pitying? for, well, 16 months. It’s time for me to cut that shit out. I’m a god damned adult, for fuck’s sake. And besides, my closest friends are still putting in the effort. They are skyping with my kid and sending sweet little postcards and presents and these things make me happy cry.

And what’s more? I made some new friends this year. Friends that light up when they see my kid. That reach out to see how she’s doing when she’s been sick. To see if I’ve been sleeping. How I’m doing. Am I getting enough self-care (the answer is usually ‘no’)? Am I going to come to gymnastics this Friday?

Can we set up some play dates, please? I know you guys are just as busy as I. Maybe we can tire out our kids together?

It’s time for me to stop having FOMO for my former life. I never wanted to lose any friends but I’ve had a hard time figuring out how I fit into your lives with my new funny sidekick. I’m leaving the door open for friends, old and new, to come on into our messy living room and have a drink. You are always welcome…. as long as you don’t mind my kid climbing on you and insisting you colour with us.