Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Baby, New Baby Smell

My baby niece was born the other day after quite the ordeal, and my sister came out of it a bit ruffled but completely transformed into a mom.  I am so happy for her and my brother-in-law for I know they are going to make wonderful, loving parents.  I couldn't get to the hospital fast enough to see her, and I'll be honest and say I was a bit salty that just about everyone had gotten their hands on that tiny baby before me, but as soon as I got her in my hands, I snuffled her up just like one of my own.  Of course, none of my children were this tiny when they were born.

And so began the instinctive bum patting and the swaying from side to side that I missed so much.  Then came the obsessive baby smelling and baby talking and more baby smelling and more talking silly and taking pictures and showing her off (although I have no idea who I was showing the pictures off to since everyone had already seen her).  Yes, I digress as usual.  I realized I was ignoring my sister, and when I looked at her I could tell she couldn't have cared less.  The poor thing was exhausted and my heart went out to her.  I also thought to myself that I did not envy this girl at all.  I thought about my own first couple of weeks with my son and how I could barely form complete sentences, let alone put two feet in front of the other.  I thought about how I made countless trips from my bed to the crib in the middle of the night and how I did, in fact, nod off on my feet quite literally a couple of times before I realized, in my sleep-deprived haze, that it would be best if I just sat down in the rocking chair.  I thought about the tears I shed when I couldn't figure out what the cries meant or if he was getting enough to eat. 

The list goes on and on of all the things belonging to a new mom that I could share, but I won't because I really don't want to scare her if she reads this, and I know that since there is no handbook to guide us and we just go on maternal instinct, that my sister will be fine.  She is more than capable of handling this journey, and on the days she thinks she's doing it all wrong, I know that there will be those moments for her that tell her she's doing it all right.  She's so got this.  Hell, if I haven't screwed my kids up too bad so far, she's got this in the bag.

*cheers Auntie Jess*

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Smiles My Daughter Gives Me

So Jillian left me this week to go camping with her friend, and when I say camping, I mean give me a break because I don't consider being in an RV at a campground which is more like a resort camping, but that's probably just because I'm jealous as hell.  I mean why wouldn't I be jealous in all honesty?  The girl gets away from me and my loud mouth barking orders at her.  She gets away from her brother, and while she adores him, I mean he's two-and-a-half, so come on, no explanation needed there.  She gets away from chores and a specific bedtime, and most importantly, she gets to go giggle incessantly for hours on end with her girlfriend.  This is the part I am most jealous of if I'm being honest.

Sure, there are the belly laughs I have with my friends when I'm lucky enough to find time to hang with one, but nothing compares to that giggling with your bestie about those inside jokes that you share.  I remember my 8th grade bestie and how we rode our bikes all over town during the summer and all those sleepovers we had and all those late nights giggling about all those things teenagers giggle about and bugging my mom to let me go to camp with her one time and the list goes on and on. 

Of course, this is not to say that I don't appreciate my adult friendships no matter how much they ebb and flow because the ones I share belly laughs with totally get me and I appreciate them immensely.  They are the ones I call to when I need to run away from my mommy-world for a couple of hours just to only end up bitching about my mommy-world over beers or wine or margaritas (depending upon which friend I'm with at the time).  These are the few precious moments that keep me hanging onto my sanity ever so tightly.

So as I sit here waiting for Jillian to get home from her adventure I am smiling knowing that this is one of the many memories she's made for herself and that I allowed her to make for herself.  Dare I admit that I have, indeed, missed the pouty face of hers and her stompy feet, but I feel like I pulled out my A+ mommy card by letting her go.  I just consider this time and the many more to follow as my trial runs for when she leaves me for good, leaves this house for good and makes a life of her own beyond me.  I know for a fact that these trial runs will do me no good when that inevitable moment arrives that she doesn't *need* me anymore, but I hope for her sake that I do then what I struggle to do now, let her go.

In the meantime, where the hell is she because I need someone to take out the recycling and sweep the floor.  I'm exhausted from doing all her chores this week.  Besides, I really miss those hugs and I need one right about now.

*cheers my friends*

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Much-Needed Pep Talk

So I've received a not-so-subtle hint from my mother that she wants to read more stuff from me.  So you all can blame her for this one as I can already tell that I don't have much to offer in the way of humor this morning, but who knows as I've been known to surprise myself sometimes.

I'm not really feeling *it* this week.  I'm feeling pretty invisible lately; friends, husband, kids (well, kids I guess are a given), just a general invisibility that comes with being a mom working from home I suppose.  Hell if I know,  as I'm probably just making shit up in my head to justify my mental nature.  Everything is just an annoyance to me and this annoys me.  So maybe if I stop and think about the things that have made me smile this week it will help shed this invisibility cloak that I apparently have acquired that I never really wanted to have (even though every time I watch Harry Potter I am jealous that it exists -- at least in a fantasy world).  Per usual, I digress and so in no particular order here are the things that made me smile this week:

1.  Driving in the car with Jillian and singing and dancing in our seats to pop radio (thank you Gail and your spin class music). 

2.  Having Andrew sit on my lap while he looked at pictures on my phone over and over and over again and laughed at himself and his sister (he didn't realize that my ploy worked -- use the phone to get snuggles out of him).

3.  Watching Andrew and Jillian play Just Dance 3 on the Kinect.  That alone will get a smile out of the crankiest, PMS-filled, annoyed mother.

4.  The highlight of the week was meeting a talented, funny, beautiful woman, Jill Smokler.  She has written a book, "Confessions of a Scary Mommy," and you can find her at Scary Mommy to see exactly why this would be a highlight of my week.  She won't let you down.  She never has let me down, and she is always there when I am in need of a confession or two to make (but I'll never tell you what mine are).

5.  Today I will be taking Andrew to Jillian's school for a book lunch.  Basically, you bring lunch and a blanket and sit out on the front lawn of the school while all the kids ignore their parents and play with each other.  Yes, my *perfect* daughter will be ignoring me, but what makes me smile is that she will be showing off her brother. 

6.  My mom called me and checked in on me this week, and even though I felt like I had nothing to say, which I didn't, at least she didn't forget about me.

7.  My oldest and dearest friend, Bek, checked in on me too this week.  This makes me both sad and happy because *I* should be the one checking in on her due to certain circumstances lately, but it made me happy because in all that she has going on in her world, she took the time for me.  I need to remember this and pay it forward.

8.  Watching Andrew dance the "Hot Dog Dance."  If you know what I'm talking about, you see why this makes me smile.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's okay because it is one hell of an annoying song.

So, it's kind of a short list, but I will try not to dwell on that because I'm sure that list, while shorter than some, is probably longer than most.  I will count myself blessed and move on.  I don't know if writing this made me feel any better, but it sure did make me sound whiny.  I hate whiny.  I want to rip by ears of my head when I listen to Jillian whine so I can only imagine that you just might want to rip your eyes off your face reading this.  That gruesome thought makes me smile.  I apologize for that (not really) ... you guys get me and I appreciate it much.

Now, big girl panties up in 3 ... 2 ... 1. 

*cheers my friends* 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Middle School Anxiety for ME!

So I went to middle school orientation last night, and I learned two things; that (1) I apparently need new glasses because the screen was blurry from the back row of the auditorium and (2) I should start on a daily regimen of Xanax now.

I mean it all started out fine with the principal talking about how wonderful the school was and how he felt like his job wasn't a job at all (to which I cry bullshit because you're the principal of 6th, 7th and 8th graders) and sunshine and roses, and oh good, I already can tell I'm going to like this school.  Then after he starts talking we go to the assistant principal who starts talking about how this school is a "high-achieving" school, and I'm all like oh yeah, my daughter's college resume is going to look wonderful with painted roses around the word "high-achieving" school.  I settle in for a good listen, as good as I can settle into this hard ass wood chair that barely fits my adult-sized ass.

Suddenly, and out of nowhere, I'm slammed straight up in the face with acronyms for which I can't remember what the fuck they stand for now because I'm trying to take notes on my iPhone because fuck me if I'll remember all this shit in five minutes.  So we move past the acronyms, for which I will find out later the meanings, to the math, the dreaded math, and how the entire school-based curriculum is being overhauled, and oh would you look at that, it's going to take effect right when your gloriously barely-hanging-onto-math child will be entering the 6th grade.  I sit up straight feeling my heart in my throat and get all teary eyed.  What the hell am I getting myself into because as the world of homework sits right now in 5th grade, I don't do a damn thing with her, not because I don't want to (well, that) but because I don't have to.  She's totally got her act together.  I check in with her teacher when need be.  She's got a grasp on her math now.  She turns her stuff in on time.  She's excelling in everything (except math), and I'm a happy camper. Apparently, this is all coming to a screeching halt next year as the math teacher who is speaking up at the podium is speaking in a tone that clearly expresses her own stress.

I sit up straight in my hard-as-brick chair and look around at the other parents' faces.  Clearly, from the way I see it, I am the only one concerned about anything middle-school-related.  What is wrong with me I think as I look around at all the tarts texting on their phones and the husbands of said tarts are yawning in their seats.  I start sweating and panting (or at least I feel that I am), and thankfully, these teachers start talking about the amount of time these wonderful and rainbow-hugging teachers put into tutoring before school, after school and even have classes during the daytime for tutoring.  I start to relax a little more when they tell me that they have this new (for me it's new) system at this grade level where every parent has a code and access to the child's grade and homework daily.  Ooh yeah, I got this I say, and then I remember how the fuck am I going to remember to check the goddamn program every day when I more often than not forget to change a diaper until I smell shit.

*breathe in, breathe out*  I leave befuddled and fumble for the keys to my car as if I had been drinking for the last hour-and-a-half only to be greeted at the door to an excited almost-6th grader asking all sorts of questions and has all sorts of giddy smiles on her face.  I look at her like I do about 90% of the time and say, "Jilly, you're gonna love the crap out of this school," and I go grab a wine glass and shakily pour myself some wine and write myself a note to call the doctor tomorrow for that prescription of Xanax that I am going to need pretty soon.

*cheers my friends*