Banana’s in Pajama’s
This morning was a typical Saturday morning. I woke up, made coffee, got a cup, turned the TV on and sat down to have a few seconds of peace. As usual these brief seconds of peace were quickly interrupted by- husband stumbling out with barking dog in tow, pet bird in cage singing loudly, boy teenagers saying I’m hungry, my daughter asking why the sky is blue and 15 other philosophical questions it’s too early for, and the doorbell ringing with 3 other neighborhood children asking if someone can come out and play. This insanity seems to be my life. My favorite part is when the husband looks at me confused (as if it’s not every Saturday) and says “This place is banana’s?” Being the smart ass I am I always come back with my wonderful singing rendition of the old children’s show theme song of “Banana’s in Pajama’s are coming down the stairs….”
This morning it hit me for the first time. I had forgotten most of the words!! This hit me like a ton of bricks. My parasites are growing up. I spent so many years watching Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and PBS that I had every theme song memorized. There were many nights that we put the kids down at 9 and at 10 pm the hubby and I would look at each other lovingly and say “Why are we still watching Wizards of Waverly Place?” I like Selena Gomez and all, but sometimes adult TV is just in order.
Now this morning when I had this epiphany – I decided to see how many of these wonderful catchy theme songs I could remember. I got in the shower and tried to remember Caillou. With my oldest I was forced to endure Caillou for a minimum of 3 hours a day for a minimum of 2 years. I knew every word and sang along lovingly for years. I could only remember the first stanza. So I sang “I’m just a kid who’s four, Each day I grow some more” and then it hit me again- nothing. I went to get dressed and tried to sing Bob the Builder and then Thomas the Train and again nothing. What had happened to me??
I can still remember every word to the Big Mac song and most every jingle that was ever written in the 80’s so why couldn’t I remember these precious memories from the parasites childhood?? Had it really been that long? Is my brain so full of useless knowledge that I can only remember my childhood useless knowledge and not theirs? Will I soon forget how they looked or the cute and funny things they said? Now I am reeling from this strange realization and my eyes begin to fill with tears. I am devastated thinking how could any mother forget such things. I must be a failure.
About the time I am about to lose it and sit and have a good cry the insanity begins again. Suddenly I am bombarded with questions, accusations, and innuendos. Mom- what do we have to eat? Mom- I don’t have any clean socks. Mom- Where did you hide my hoodie? Honey, where is the coffee? Mom- Johnny hit me in the balls. Mom- Are you almost done? Mom, Honey, mom, honey question question question!!
Then it hits me – I haven’t forgotten their childhoods. I can’t remember the theme songs because I just don’t have room in my brain anymore from trying to keep up with where they are supposed to be, where they have hidden their cloths from themselves, finding the food they can’t find that is on the refrigerator door and so on.
About this time I started to sing the circus theme song with all the do do doodle do… etc. I still got that one down perfect!!
And I Thought It Was Just A Normal Day?
I woke up this morning and was convinced it was just another Friday. I woke up the kids, sent them to school and sat down to drink my coffee before starting my very normal crazy work day. As I flipped through the TV I learned it was a double holiday. I had NO idea I was missing out on another one of these made up useless holidays, much less a two for one. This one is even more confusing than the made up Hallmark Holiday of Valentines Day is to men.
Today is National PI Day and International Sleep Day. Now you did read correctly – I said National Pi Day, I could understand National Pie Day or even National Hug an Engineer Day, but PI. How is one supposed to celebrate a number- Much less a non whole number? How exactly do you celebrate 3.14159? Do we sing “Jenny- I’ve got your number” and change the lyrics to 3.14159, do we eat 3.14159 percent of a pie, do we just get the calculator out and just do random math problems?? I am so confused!!
Adding in International Sleep Day to this made up holiday does help me make sense of this- a little. I understand sleep and especially the fact I never get enough. I KNOW how to celebrate sleep!! It consists of curling up in sweats, crawling in my bed, closing my eyes, and yelling to the kids “I SAID BE QUITE- I AM TRYING TO TAKE A NAP” a hundred times. I understand how to celebrate sleep, but my little darling parasites seem to have been confused on mommy sleep celebrations since before coming out of the womb.
I have decided the best thing we can do when the world throws us ridiculous holidays is to roll with it now. Especially when they make it two-fer. I am going to get in my sweats, crawl in my bed with the calculator, do some random math, and take a 3.14159 day nap. See ya St Paddy’s Day while I pick a four leaf clover and drink green beer!!
The Child Did What??
I really do have an evil streak and have always loved making people a little nervous. When it comes to involving my children I find it even more amusing. I bet you think I’m talking about turning into the MAMA BEAR and protecting the little A-holes and scaring people who are responsible for them. What would be the fun in that? Everybody seems to be doing that today- even at the expense of common sense. Any adult that calls, concerning your kids today, is so nervous you can basically hear the shaking over the phone. We all know “THAT” parent “Yes Mr Principle I am sure you think you saw my little Johnny do that, but that just is not possible because he just wouldn’t of and he told me he didn’t and if you think you are going to punish him I’ll go above your head” I really wish principles could say “Yes- you dumb ass parent, just because I saw him do it obviously doesn’t mean he’s lying to you either” Well- I guess you all know why I’m not a teacher or administrator now.
I like doing it a little differently. Differently isn’t the right word- opposite is more correct. I learned this skill from my father who when he took me to school the first day handed his hand to my teacher to shake, introduced me and said “If she misbehaves in any way and you are forced to punish her please let me know and she will get three times that punishment at home.” Needless to say- that at home thing was waaay scarier than anything that sweet woman in front of me could do so I wasn’t getting in trouble.
I love making today’s educators a little scared I may hurt my own parasites. Trust me the reactions are priceless cause it’s so not what they are expecting. The poor school nurses who are tasked to call parents every time one of our little darlings does anything dumb or even remotely gets a boo boo have it the worst. I have abused these poor women unmercifully for years. Trust me I think they have me on speed dial and a heart around the last day one of mine will be in their school. My favorite was when my darling daughter was 5 and she brilliantly wadded up a sticker and promptly shoved it in her ear. The following nurse conversation went something like this:
Nurse- Ms Ross- typical long pause because of shaking
Nurse: This is Nurse Ratchet at the elementary school and Sally has a sticker in her ear
Me: A What?
Nurse: A Sticker and it is so far down in her ear she is going to have to go the doctor to have it removed
Me: Excuse me? She DID WHAT??
Nurse: She has a sticker stuck in her ear
Me: PUT THE BRILLIANT CHILD ON THE PHONE- tone loaded with sarcasm
Nurse: Ms Ross she is going to need to go to the Doctor
Me: Yes I GET that, but please PUT THE CHILD ON THE PHONE
Nurse: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, unless I have another child in your office who was dumb enough to shove a sticker down their ear- again tone loaded with sarcasm
Nurse: Giggling now- OK
I have spent many a day on the phone with the elementary school nurse for one dumb child maneuver or another for 10 years. Our conversations are always similar. She starts out all nervous because she believes I may be upset because my little dumbo Johnny hit his head on his desk and me asking- Does he look hurt? No- well send him back to class. I guess there are parents out there that think by a teacher watching them and saying “No- please don’t do that” it will somehow work miraculously better than when they say it and he bumps his head anyway. I wish there was just some form I could sign in the nurses office that says:
Yes I understand they are children and they are clumsy and I give you permission to not call me with the exceptions of:
1) Profuse bleeding- stitches or very large bandage needed
3) Projectile vomiting
4) Obvious broken bone
5) Black Outs for no reason
6) Stupid action that requires doctor visit (Ya know you’ve gotta cover the brilliant sticker in the ear)
If none of the stated above applies I give you permission to wipe it off, put a band aid on it and send them back to class.
Now because of “THAT” parent I am sure I would have to sign it in blood for fear of legal action. “That” parent seems to believe that this building full of people who have dedicated their lives to children are really just a bunch of incompetent boob heads who know absolutely nothing about our little darlings. I’m sure my telecommunications background definitely qualifies me to know more of how to treat little Susie’s injury from falling on the playground and skinning her knee than the trained nurse in that office.
I’m telling you the next time the school calls for injury or especially disciplinary actions- try living in a reality where little Johnny isn’t perfect. Actually act like you have respect for the adult on the other end of the phone and say “THE CHILD DID WHAT??” This causes pregnant pauses of confusion while their brains catch up to understanding this long ago behavior. Trust me- if you have an evil streak and like to make people uncomfortable- just act like a parent.
It’s Not About Me!!
Before I start this blog on marriage I probably should give it a warning. If you don’t have a sense of humor, get offended easily or in general think your shit doesn’t stink, I would strongly suggest you stop reading now. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna insult all men and women equally. I don’t think you can write anything on marriage without offending someone so – honey I’m apologizing early.
Now I am going to preface this with saying my husband and I both come from a long line of parents, grandparents, great grandparents that stayed married through good times and bad- sometimes even when I’m not sure they should have. I am not by any means going to say there are never valid reasons to get the heck out. There are always valid reasons to get out. Everything I’m going to say takes both parties and no one can do it all alone. I just sometimes think our society has started to believe that people and relationships are disposable. We believe everything is disposable so why not people and why not relationships? Sometimes it just seems easier to quit than to figure it out. What I am going to say is there are usually more reasons to stay than to go if you are willing to see past – It’s all about me!!
Here are a few things I’ve learned
1) If you don’t think they are the best thing since sliced bread and you have any doubts- DON’T GET MARRIED
I know this seems a little harsh, but I promise you if you don’t both believe, down to your bones, that this man or woman is the best thing that God ever put together and placed them on the planet to make you happy before you get married- don’t do it- cuz I promise you it ain’t gonna get any better. That ole saying of “The most difficult years of marriage or those following the wedding” isn’t a lie. The happiest you will ever be is dating- so if you’re not deliriously happy at the site of each other before the wedding- 5 years in the site of them may make you want to commit Hari-Kari. Heck- you still may want to smother them with a pillow at 5 years in, but the memory of the stomach butterflies will keep you from doing the deed. Now there is a difference in normal wedding jitters and doubts. Normal wedding jitters is “I don’t wanna go because of all the people staring at me” or “what if he doesn’t feel the same way about me” Real Doubts are “I really don’t think they are the one” If you or a friend ever says that – get the car and speed away from the church as fast as possible. I mean do the best Julia Roberts run away bride impersonation you can. If you don’t- just be prepared in 5 years to talk yourself or them off the ledge during divorce.
2) Don’t Over Think It
That book “Men are from Mars/ Women are from Venus” is right on!! I consider myself lucky because I had a lot of guy friends when I was in my teens and twenties. When guys are just your friends you learn more sometimes than when you’re dating. Now I wouldn’t say being taught every derogatory term for women was lucky, but it has served me well at times. I always loved working in sales offices with men who would be talking about their weekend and assuming that no female would “get” their conversations. If I joined in their faces were classic and there was a lot- “that’s just not fair”. Male friends talk to you and give you insights into what’s actually going on in their brains during a relationship. You know what ladies- if it’s going good- there’s not a whole lot of thinking about it going on at all. They have quick epiphanies and then go on about their business. The men who do over think things most women would rather run over with their car than listen to anyway. The only times men put some thought into it is when it’s NOT going well. If you really think about it – it’s probably pretty smart and we could learn something here. When a relationship is good- don’t try to over think it and make it bad- just roll with it and be happy. Everyone moves at their own pace in a relationship or marriage. If you push or try to move someone beyond their own pace- it causes over thinking. Over thinking has a way of popping in bad ideas when you were perfectly happy to start. There will be enough stuff to truly argue about -(who is taking to practice tonight, who is changing the diaper, who is doing the 2 am feeding, who is getting the parasite up at 5:30 for extra football) Learn to let the little stuff go! Does it really matter if he forgot your birthday as long as he cooks dinner- probably not?
3) Get Over It
When you live with another human being it’s never pretty all the time. Did you like your siblings or parents every day? What makes you think you’re gonna like your spouse everyday? Trust me – you won’t!! Before you get married it is all sunshine and rainbows and you think it’s gonna stay that way. The reality is it’s more like sunshine and thunderstorms. It can be very similar to summer afternoon thunderstorms in the South. If you’ve ever experienced these it can be beautiful one minute and suddenly the sky is black, the wind is howling, lightening is popping, and it’s time to duck and cover. In marriage- the sunshine is where everything is going great – we’re in love, getting along, and life is good. The thunderstorm usually comes when someone feels slighted, gets their feelings hurt, or feels under appreciated. These usually aren’t on purpose by the other party- sometimes shit just happens. Then the yelling, crying, not speaking, punishing or however you do it starts After these thunderstorms pass there is usually a period where the sun is shining and it’s still raining. My granny always said “The devil’s beating his wife again” This is the most important time in any marriage. You poke your head out and see if it’s safe. How you both decide to handle the devil beating his wife period determines how you move forward. Believe it or not- that’s usually up to you. You can live bitter and choose to believe that the person meant to hurt you or forgive them and get over yourself and live happy.
4) We come before the children
I think this is one huge mistake many couple’s make after the children (or parasites) come along. We are taught as women that our children always come first. I have always gotten horrid looks and accusation because I dared to ask – why? Usually when I ask this question in a group the looks of shock crack me up. You would think I had just said I’m an atheist in the middle of prayer meeting. The last time I checked – I was here first and if I don’t at least semi take care of myself how in the world can I take care of them. If I need to sit on the deck and put in earphones for 30 minutes in order not to kill them- shouldn’t I be allowed? Second here was my marriage- aren’t we doing them a disservice if we don’t take care of our marriage so they will grow up seeing normal relationships interactions? Society keeps harping on me about being their roll model- shouldn’t a healthy relationship be part of that? Now- the relationship we show them isn’t always sunshine and roses- sometimes it’s cussing and shoe throwing. Aren’t those both parts of any relationship? What is wrong with saying to children- that have taken 80% of all of my time- “sorry- this is mommy and daddy time” and locking the door?? They ought to understand that when mommies and daddies stop wanted to spend “adult time” together and locking the door- that’s when they should worry. Happy mommy and daddies – lock the door!! They get their time and quite frankly we deserve ours.
5) Punishment is for Parenting
Punishment can only be dispensed in a relationship where one has power and the other is weaker. You can punish your children because basically you hold most of the cards. I have no problems explaining who is in control in that relationship daily to the parasites. In that relationship- mama is queen and daddy is king!! Marriage aught to be a relationship of equals. Now I’m not saying that the distributions of labor, money etc is always equal- cuz it’s not. Mama’s will typically do most of the baby stuff- not because we want to or they don’t want too- we are just wired that way. Every marriage has their own distributions of labor and as long as both parties can deal- none are wrong. I don’t care and no one else should care how you divide it up- as long as you’re happy. What I mean by equal is RESPECT. Aretha had it right when she sang R.E.S.P.E.C.T. In a marriage you each need to respect what each other does and brings to the relationship. Each of you have your strengths and weaknesses and if you did it right you balance each other well. Just because one works and one takes care of the house and kids doesn’t mean one is more important than the other. Truth is- the world would fall apart without either. Watch a parent who is married while one goes out of town for a week- It’s hysterical as they suddenly try to do everything. I have friends that I respect tremendously that are single parents and do it everyday. I would rather overlook a bunch and suck up my pride some days than EVER be left alone with the children!! I’m like grandpa in that commercial “please don’t leave us with the babies” You could say- I respect him just for being here. I have known many a couple that live in a permanent state of punishing each other. She cuts him off so he misbehaves. He misbehaves so she cuts him off and the spiral continues. Spirals have an evil way of turning into black holes of abyss where there is no escape. I may just may be lazy and selfish though because I have never seen a reason to punish myself for his bad behavior.
6) You don’t have to be my everything
I never want anyone to tell me I’m they’re whole world nor do I ever want anyone to be mine. One that’s waaay too much pressure and two I can barely be my own world- much less yours. I’ll be glad to walk with you through life, but for gods sake don’t make me responsible. Why do some people think that there is only one person that’s the end all and be all of your life? We both had lives before we met which were full and fun- we should each enhance those lives – not take them over. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. If your partner isn’t the best listener about certain issue’s- get a friend who is. Hell- get one for everyone of your partners weaknesses- you might survive.
7) Just Tell Them What You Want
There is a little trick my great grandma taught me about human behavior and it’s true for love too. If you pay attention- a person’s actions will show you who they are deep down. Humans have a tendency to project onto others their own thoughts and needs. If you’ve ever dated a very jealous partner, who you have never given a reason, chances are they themselves are a player. The trick to why they are jealous is because part of how they justify their behavior in their own brain is to say everyone does it so you must be too. Now love is very similar. We as humans typically show our love to our partners the way we ourselves want to be loved. The trick is to watch, learn and listen to what your partner is teaching you. Now- Women typically have it easier in this arena. Women- bare with me before your heads explode. Men have a tendency to tie up intimacy, love, appreciation and affection all into one general area- sex. Women can spend 10 minutes (ok 3 for some) and your partner come away feeling loved and appreciated. Punish them with none and you are basically telling them you do not love them. The last time I checked – telling someone you care about you don’t love them or care about their needs is just mean! Now women are a little more complicated and their needs could be many things. They could see love in lots of things from cuddle time, listening time, to you taking the trash out. I believe in just tell em what it is!! Don’t try hints and don’t try implying – just tell your partner what you need and why. If ya did good and married well- they’ll try their little best to make you happy. They may not always succeed, but the effort is over half the battle.
The real thing I’ve learned from watching marriages that have lasted from 5 to 50 years is that both partners usually have the ability to say and believe – It’s not all about me. They see the big picture and go through the up and down roller coaster called marriage understanding- my mama’s favorite saying- this too shall pass. The amazing thing is it usually does.
I’m on the phone!!
When I was a child we lived in, what was then, a pretty rural area. I grew up next door to my Grandparents and my Great Grandparents. I come from one of those good ole southern families that everyone you’re related to lived or still lives within a 20 mile radius. Our Palm Sunday family reunions (which is a family from 3 generations back) still has almost 100 people a year. Mainly cuz it’s always easy to drive about 1/2 mile down the road.
Now because we lived in a rural area growing up my Grandma had a party line. For those of you youngin’s who have never heard of a party line- let me explain. A party line was a phone line that was shared by many houses. Everybody had a phone, but not only did you have to wait for people to get off the phone in your own house, but also about 5 of your neighbors. Every home had the “phone table” in a public place, because every phone had to have a jack (and those babies were expensive). If you picked up the line in your house and your neighbor was on the phone you could hear their conversations. Needless to say this was a point of many a nights of endless gossip for southern women drinking sweet tea and snapping beans. It is also the origin of “I’m on the phone” This statement started off innocently enough to let you people know you were using the device at that particular moment.
The next generation of the phone was much easier device with push buttons and long cords and were actually private to each house. My house actually had two lines so we were living in high cotton. The jacks became less expensive so we put these wonder devices in every room. I even knew people that placed them in the bathroom right next to the throne. Nothing like bullshit coming out of both ends! 🙂 We thought these long cords were the best invention ever as a teenager. They allowed for much more privacy. I could take the phone into my room or a closet and talk (or whisper) for hours and hours. Our parents would stick their head in and we would say in a very annoyed tone- “I’m on the phone” Teenagers and phones were inseparable and parents all over the land hung their head in despair and thought they had lost their children forever.
The phone transformed again in my 20’s. We now had cordless phones. These developed before my parasites came along.. These phones were AMAZING. I could take them in to any room with or without a phone jack. I could even take them outside. These were essential to my survival with three young children. When I had two children in my lap crying at 2 am, my husband was snoring, and I really needed my mom- I could call her for help or at least see if she knew the number for a wandering band of gypsies to come buy them. I think I called her for that number several times, but she always convinced me that I would have to give a refund so what was the point.
As they grew we got this new and amazing invention. They were originally called a cellular phone or cell phone. It could be used anywhere. In the car or in the woods you were always accessible. The best part was I could now hide from the parasites on occasion and actually finish a conversation with a friend I hadn’t been able to complete for at least 3 years. My conversations for years had gone something like this:
Me: Hey -How are you?
Friend:- Fine- How are you?
Me: Bobby get your sisters diaper off your head and back on her!! Oh I’m fine
Friend: Good – How are the kids?
Me: No- I said now- get her diaper off your head!! Oh they’re great! How was your vacation?
Friend: Vacation was great- We spent two weeks on a yacht in the Caribbean. It was beautiful and the snorkeling was fantastic
Me: Oh that sounds wonderful! Crap- I’ve got to go Sally just stuck her finger up her brothers nose and now it looks like WWF in my living room.
After the invention of cell phones I could, just like in my teens, find nifty hiding places in my home to talk on the phone and have an actual adult conversation. I have hidden in closets under cloths, my car in the driveway, the bathroom, and outside in the woods. The woods seemed to be the best because the little detectives found me every where else. I think children can actually smell mother alone time like a hunter tracking prey. They can’t find their shoe’s laying in their bedroom floor, but they can find me hiding in the bottom of my closet under 3 layers of clothing to come find their shoe’s.
The one thing I am convinced of though is that once a mother picks up a phone it immediately becomes invisible to anyone else that lives in their home. It’s like a super power. They seem to be able to see it when it is laying on the counter, but put that baby up to a mothers ear and poof it’s gone! They suddenly come in and immediately start a conversation like there is nothing next to your face or your mouth isn’t moving at all.
Some days it seems like the only thing that hasn’t changed in my entire life is one phrase and it just gets more annoyed and louder. “I AM ON THE PHONE”
Cuz I said so!!
Everyone has lofty ideal’s when they start out on the joyful journey of parenthood. We all spend the 9 months of pregnancy excited and looking forward to this little bundle of joy which we will love and cherish. We will not and I repeat not say the things our parents said or do some of the things our parents did we did not like. We will negotiate and work out our differences with our children- they will be brilliant right?? . We will hug them and tell them we love them when they misbehave- they will be brilliant right? We will talk and have intelligent conversations with them- they will be brilliant right?
Then the inevitable happens and the child is born. Within the first year you start to have a sneaking suspicion the child may not be brilliant. You spend the whole year working with the child and the first word they truly understand and can say is “NO” and they have no intention of negotiating with you at all. You struggle with trying to explain: that’s dangerous, that’s hot, that’s bad, that’s scary, that will break etc etc etc. The child still looks at you steadfastly and says “NO”. After the negotiations fail you resort back to the tried and true method of – OK I’m bigger than you so I will just move you. This method works every time and you start to think- hmmm- maybe those who have done this before me, might of been on to something 🙂
As they grow they learn new words and start to use your words against you. I was a parent who never spoke baby talk to my children. My eldest was about 2 when we were standing in the grocery store check out line. He had been sitting in the cart through the whole shopping experience and was just about at the end of any 2 year old’s patience limit. He pointed at the ground and said “down”. I said “No” so he pointed again and said “Down” in a more forceful manner. I again said “No” at which point my two and 1/2 year old looked at me and said “Down- mommy that’s not negotiable” Now the negotiable was a little garbled, but hey- I got the point. He stayed in the cart, but I realized he was smart. He wasn’t smart in the way I had expected- more in the way I dreaded.
This new found child intelligence turns quickly into the “WHY” stage. Now for those parents who have not survived the “Why” stage yet- get ready because you will shortly find yourself saying things you never ever expected. The “Why” stage sneaks up on you. As a parent you have spent the last 3 to 4 years teaching this little being who you made all about the world. This little fat faced toddler now thinks you are the most brilliant human on the planet and know everything. My favorite conversation every went something like this:
Chid: Mom- Why does that man have a chainsaw in his truck?
Me: Because he was cutting down a tree (perfectly good explanation- I thought)
Child: Why was he cutting down a tree?
Me: Because it was probably dead (I think I’m doing well)
Child: Why was it dead?
Me: Because some bugs eat trees and they die (OK- now we’re teaching)
Child: Why do they eat trees?
Me: Because just like us they need energy and have to eat
Child: Why? Why? Why?
After the next few why’s and my explanations of each I found myself trying to explain a bugs circulatory system to a 4 year old. Right then and there I learned that sometimes a perfectly acceptable answer is “Just cause”
After the why stage their intelligence suddenly turns into the most evil kind of all. At about 8 to 10 they now have the skills to out negotiate you!! They ask to do something and you say “NO”. They then look at you, with that 4 year old cherub face (which they’ve mastered now) and say “Why?” Being the intelligent parent, who wants to always be reasonable, you spend about 4 to 5 minutes giving them many valid reasons for your decisions. Then something terrifying happens!!! That child- who until now thought you were the smartest person in the world- turns into Matlock, Ally McBeal, and Jack McCoy all rolled into one. He could now, at 9 years old, get a job in any court room in the land. He’s arguments are brilliant, valid, and worst of all – better than yours. You try to negotiate, but somewhere around 30 minutes in you realize by the smirk on the little shits face- you are beaten.
This is when you learn the most important and tried and true lesson of parenthood that has been passed from generation to generation. This lesson is painful to learn because it goes against EVERYTHING you believed while you carried them and changed their cute little diapers. It is a beautifully simple statement with no negotiations possible. They hate it because it seems sooo unfair. A perfectly good explanation to any child’s question is “BECAUSE I AM YOUR MOTHER AND I SAID SO!!”
There’s always “The One”
We hear about “the one” a lot in life. “The one” perfect person, soul mate, friend, job, house, outfit and on and on. We spend most of our life waiting or searching for that perfect “The One”. I’m not sure I believe in “the one” in most of those circumstances. I know some do find it early, but I think most of us have many many “One’s” over our life times. These “one’s” fill different spaces and needs as our lives progress through the craziness.
I only started to believe in “The One” after this long insane ride through motherhood. If you have multiple parasites (or those wonderful little creatures who you gave birth too) you will understand my version of “The One”. My version is “That Child”
This “one” hits you right between the eyes- you weren’t waiting, or expecting, or probably even wanting it to come. It’s “that child” who was born with the innate ability to push every button you have until your head starts to spin like the Exorcist, you scream, threaten, and in general look like you should be committed to the asylum at any second. The amazing thing is that this child (who has accomplished this monumental feat of turning you into The Wicked Witch of the West) now stands looking at you confused. He has even said in these volatile moments “Wow mom- Why are you so mad?” I’m not sure if he really is dumb enough to not know or if I he believed somehow in that hollow head that this would help. Needless to say- either way- WRONG!
The first two parasites I birthed did not come out of the womb with this skill. They were pretty good at listening, minding, not arguing and in general not making moms head explode. Maybe that is why I thought having a third seemed like a brilliant idea. Note to self- more children than adults – never a brilliant idea!! The older parasites have their moments, but they are fewer and much farther between. They now sit and watch “the one” with faces of astonishment at – what they call -stupidity.
Now “the one” also came with a built in survival skill set. I believe God put him all together and looked and said “oh my, she may kill him before he’s grown so we may need to make him funny” Well they may of overdone it, but he IS funny. He uses his humor to convince perfectly normal adults to protect him when he turns me into the raging lunatic. When he was little he could wrap an entire room of adults around his finger in about 30 seconds flat. Now this would be great, but after he accomplished the feat he would walk up to an adult call them a fart knocker and smirk at me. I would get up to punish the child and most adults would hide him while laughing and say “Now Val, he’s just so cute and funny” OK- just cause he’s cute he still can’t call adults fart knockers. (NO I STILL DON’T KNOW WHERE HE EVEN LEARNED FART KNOCKER)
He can be stubborn, argumentative, loud, difficult, manipulative, never gives up, never forgets, funny and is the baby. Basically all of my husbands and my own traits that drive me bat shit nuts all rolled up into one package of my insanity. Basically “The One” is “That Child” that shows you your own strengths and weaknesses magnified by 1000 every day. Remember when your parents cursed you with “I hope you have to pay for your raising” Yep you guessed it – that’s “THE ONE”
That’s My Job!
There are divisions of labor in all facets of life. At work the engineers design, the sales people sale, the project managers manage, the installer installs, the stocker stocks, and the cashier checks you out. In most companies, these positions don’t overlap and people get downright testy when you step over into their role. Almost all conflicts in a business have to do with someone getting in and someone wanting them out of their world.
Marriage is similar to business. Every family does it differently, but we all have our divisions of labor. As long as they are negotiated and both parties are content and there’s no bait and switch in the agreement then everything should be fine. I was a simple lady and I hate bait and switch so before we were married I advised the love of my life that I never wanted to:
1) Touch Trash- ick
2) Change Light bulbs- Yes I know it’s a little thing, but it just annoys me
3) Mow the grass and do lawn maintenance- it’s freaking hot in Ga
4) Take my car in for maintenance- Those men lie to women
If I was going to have to do these things I saw no real reason to get married. I had a daddy who would help me if I was sweet to him and eventually I could hire a 17 year old to do them for the view. I will give him credit and I married good- cuz I haven’t done any of those yet
Now in exchange I said I would:
(Get your minds out of the gutter- that’s a whole different entry) 🙂
1) Do the Laundry- which I promptly hired someone to do
2) Do the Dishes- which I promptly didn’t do to his specifications so he demanded he do them
3) Do most of the day to day of the children- Damn he got me there!!!!
When I made this deal- I thought I had this licked! I had negotiated and pulled off the deal of the century. I had this made and he was a sucker- Boy Howdy was I wrong!
Through the first infant – things were going great and my deal was solid. I realized I had gotten out maneuvered after the 2nd child in 13 months was born. The night I realized I shouldn’t ever be allowed to negotiate again was the evening about 2 am as I had a 2 week old and a 13 month old in my lap crying as the love of my life lay snoring. This night- I realized I had been had!!!
Now I am reminded everyday that you should never negotiate without understanding the full terms of the contract. No one ever told me it had such clauses as:
1) All Children come to your side of the bed- even if you maneuvered it the farthest from the door
2) Bathrooms were made for audiences and the commode is just your stool for conversations
3) Getting children ready to go to school is a 3 hour morning ordeal
4) Philosophical questions are really hard to answer before coffee
5) Children only know your number when they forgot something
6) Taxi services for sports, friends, school, etc etc etc – require more hours a week than sex ever did
I’m glad there is no warning label or a true contract that allows negotiation before parenthood. There’s no way either party would ever agree to any of the stipulations. However; once the parasites are here and you look at their little helpless, wrinkled faces you know you’ve been had and will probably never sleep again. You believe it will get better as they age, but t doesn’t- because they just grow into much larger, deeper voice helpless parasites . So when I’m dragging myself out of the bed at 5:30 am for his weight training and look over at the love of my life who’s still snoring and want to quietly strangle him – I don’t. I remember – I negotiated this crappy contract and That’s my job!!
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