Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winner of the Mean Mommy award

My daughter is obsessed with stuffed animals.  I know you're thinking, "Yeah?  So is every kid."  Oh yeah?  Check this out:

This isn't all of them because I can't seem to find the subject of this blog post.  Ironically, that's what got me the award in the first place, a missing "friend."

About a year ago, I started squirreling away stuffed animals that I didn't see getting a lot of action.  I amassed a half a closet full of wayward friends.  Scout and Violet were some of the first victims of Operation Pare Down the Ridiculous Number of Stuffed Animals Laying on the Floor by Kaia's Bed.  My kids had a My Pal Scout and a My Pal Violet.  For those of you who don't know, they're interactive dogs in green and purple.  They can be programmed to say your child's name, put it in a song, share their favorite food and play with your kid.  When they were super little, they kind of played with them, but hardly ever despite my confidence that they were awesome toys.

I am not exaggerating when I say the NEVER asked for those freaking dogs.  So after about six months in isolation, I put together a box of friends to take to Goodwill.  A few months ago, Kaia randomly asked me for "that purple friend that says Kaia and sings."  I played dumb and said, "Huh, I have no idea where Violet is." That was satisfactory until about a week ago.

We're in the car, on the way to Grandma's, when Kaia asks again about the purple friend.  I play dumb long enough to realize I wasn't going to get away with it this time.  So I say, "Kaia, Mommy gave Scout and Violet to some kids who don't have as many friends as you and Mikko do.  You didn't play with it much, so I thought someone else might really love it and you wouldn't miss it since you have so many other friends you really love.  I'm sure we've made another child really, really happy."  Read:  guilt, justification, excuse, plea.

She wanted to know who had it, when she would get it back, what they were doing with it, where it was....  Then she wanted to know WHY her Mommy would give away her toys.  She really loved Violet, you know?  That first fifteen minutes of honesty was brutal.  She pouted the rest of the ride and wouldn't tell Grandma what was wrong when we arrived.  I explained, feeling awful.  After that, although she's talked about it a few times since, it has really died down.  I thought maybe she'd forgiven me or at least forgotten.

That is, I thought she'd forgiven me until last night.  Grandma and Grandpa were here babysitting and Kaia went to look for her favorite Dora jammies at bedtime (in the hamper because that's just what she does) and couldn't find them.  Guess what she told Grandma Tiny?  "Mommy probably gave them to some other kid!"


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why mothers drink wine and how, even after a girls' night out, our children still manage to kill the buzz

It sounds like the title to a Fall Out Boy song, right?  Unlike many FOB titles, though, this song, ahem blog, is actually about boozing and buzz-kills.  Kinda.

See, I went out tonight with a dear friend of mine, someone I see far too little of.  We went to a restaurant catering to stereotypical women who drink wine.  Neither this friend nor I are that stereotypical....well, at least when it comes to wine.  She opted for a sangria.  Okay, so I had wine in an oh-so-cliche move, but I did decide on a flight, so I didn't just have a glass of wine.  I had four.  I'm still grinning to myself about it.

As women do, we moaned a little about our lives, fretted about the impossible balance between our personal  (motherhood) and our professional personas, and talked about those things we all catch up on when we haven't seen each other in too long.  Then we moved on to the real stuff.  We talked about our feelings on motherhood, our children's less-than-perfectness, and the decisions that have brought us to these places in life that encourage us to drink four glasses of wine (me) or one, modest glass of sangria (her).

By the end, I had decided several things.  1.  I should really drink more.  Not just at home, but out in public!  A glass of wine (or four) really loosens me up to the shit that I really want to talk about.  It also allows me to throw my head back and laugh at my nonsense life in a way I haven't been able to do since I had kids.  2.  We. Are. All. The. Same.  I don't mean that in a non-PC, we can't give special people special allowances kind of way, but when it comes right down to it, our problems are different, our circumstances vary, but we moms really all deal with the same frustrations and the same real desire to sit at home in sweatpants instead of skinny jeans.  Admit it.  You know you want to.  3.  Good friends are too good to see too little of.

Oh, and 4.  No matter how much fun you have out with your girlfriends, you WILL have to go home and reality WILL kick you in the throat.  No, seriously.  I got home and went in to give each of my sleeping angels a kiss.  I left before bedtime, something that I very rarely do and always feel incredibly guilty about.  So I covered my little man up and brushed his forehead with a kiss and moved on to my girl.  I pulled the covers up ever so gently to her chin.  She blinked a little and I smiled down at her.  I imagine this moment in my head now, now that my four-glasses-of wine-buzz is gone, like it would be filmed for a movie - I'm too close, so my features are distorted.  My grin is all crazy and clown-like (ie, buzzy and scary).  I smile down at her and say "I love you," but she probably only notices my thick tongue and, in her sleepy stupor, is really just plain creeped out by me hovering over her face trying to kiss her.  And she FREAKS out.  She sobbed for 10 minutes about wanting mommy while I held her and tried to convince her that despite my two hours of blissfully adult conversation, palatal indulgence (because let's be fair, when the kids come out to dinner, I don't get to order seared Ahi tuna), and a limited moments to pretend I am the woman I was before I became "Mommy," that I was, indeed, Mommy and I was right here.

And I am.  Becoming Mommy really always brings us back around to just that.  And while wine and good, honest conversation will always be too seldom had and too short-lived, it is always with good reason that we moms stay home to rush in every time our little ones whimper for us.  It's because we're good at being moms, despite missing the women we were sometimes.