Movies! You remember–those things you used to watch before you became a parent. I’m lucky if I get to watch A movie a year these days. I’m not talking about all the children’s movies I have to listen to while doing dishes or folding laundry or picking up toys everywhere. I’m talking about movies with real actors, dialogue instead of sound effects, and an actual plot line. In parenthood, it’s always too late to start a movie, and someone always falls asleep (depending on who got to choose it). Since I haven’t seen anything new, I’ve made a list of my favorites where the titles describe parenthood perfectly.
- Dazed & Confused — cause that’s how you wake up every day as a parent.
- Reality Bites — cause the reality of parenthood bites compared to what you’d thought it’d be.
- Misery — cause even when you’re sick and miserable, you still have to parent.
- Groundhog Day — cause every single day you do the exact same thing over and over and over.
- There Will Be Blood — cause kids are insane and fall down just standing still.
- Clueless — cause that’s how you’ll feel about your parenting skills.
- Sleepless in Seattle (or whichever city you live in) — cause you never sleep again.
- Fight Club — cause you break up more fights than a referee in a boxing match.
- From Dusk till Dawn — cause that’s the only time you get to yourself but you have to spend it trying to sleep.
- The Neverending Story — cause anytime your kids tell a story, it’s neverending.
These are called dvds in case you don’t know
If there was an award for world’s pickiest eater, I would’ve held the title when I was growing up. It drove my mom to the edge, and now my daughter is exactly the same. There are a handful of things she’ll eat: peanut butter sandwiches, no jelly, just peanut butter, which isn’t crazy, but still, c’mon. She won’t eat hamburgers or hot dogs, but she’ll eat the buns and even dip them in ketchup which sounds repulsive, but I did it too when I was little. She’ll eat string cheese but not mac & cheese, no pizza, no grilled cheese, not even spaghetti. None of the “normal” things that kids eat. She’ll drink smoothies, and eat an entire carton of raspberries in one sitting, but god forbid she even try a tiny bite of potato or carrot. And forget eggs unless they’re baked into a cake.
The only thing that brings me hope is that I was the same, and today I eat way more than I did in my childhood. For me it was all about texture. I couldn’t eat anything slimy or chewy. There were many nights I had to sit at the dinner table alone because I refused to finish my pot roast or my broccoli smothered with mayonnaise…makes me gag just remembering. I used to tell my mom that certain foods gave me the shivers when I had to swallow them which makes me laugh now and think, god I was ridiculous and she must have been so frustrated with me. I’m ashamed to think of all the food I wasted.
I wish I could give my kids the three-course dinner gum from Willy Wonka minus the whole turning into a giant blueberry part. Somebody please make that happen while my kids are still young. It would make dinner time so much easier. I wouldn’t have to cook a meal that no one will eat while simultaneously keeping my kids from killing each other and burning down the house in the process.
It’s no wonder that there are people who love cooking and then there are parents.
If we’re going to have these ridiculous childhood characters like The Tooth Fairy then we, as parents, need to come to a consensus on what is an acceptable reward for teeth. I can’t have my daughter going to school bragging that she got $1 and 2 starburst (don’t judge, it’s all we had in the house) when her classmate got 5 large from the supposed same fairy. Now my daughter’s going to think her teeth aren’t as worthy as her classmate’s just because this other girl’s father is apparently Daddy Warbucks.
It’s a funny thing, this Tooth Fairy business. We sneak in to take their tooth and replace it with money while they’re slumbering away. But then what do we do with the teeth? As of now I have two teeth in a bag stashed away in my dresser. That sentence totally makes me sound like a serial killer and reminds me of that one Gillian Flynn book with the creepy dollhouse. So, what to do with the teeth? Throw them away? Keep them forever and make a charm bracelet? (Kidding!) Hold onto them for a little while then bury them in the backyard? Or just throw them in the trash like a normal person?
Now that my daughter is losing her teeth, it makes me remember how she got her teeth. It takes me back to those sweet days of infancy. But it also reminds me that teething is one of the hardest things to go through for both the parents and the baby. It seems endless, taking years of sleepless nights dealing with a fussy, uncomfortable, rabid raccoon. Whenever my daughter was acting like this, I’d blame it on teething. I wish I could do that now. Now, she’s just a rabid raccoon aka defiant A-hole, I mean, six-year-old.
Maybe The Tooth Fairy was invented because it makes up for having to go through the trauma of cutting teeth and then having them fall out (or yanked out). My daughter was so excited to see the little pouch of treasure hidden under her pillow and promptly came in my room first thing to show off her prize. And when her classmate bragged about her $5, my daughter’s response was that The Tooth Fairy used glitter on her note and that made her happy, which in turn made this miserly Tooth Fairy smile with pride.
It’s here! Your favorite day of the year and one of my favorite days of my life…your birthday!
Six years ago you came into our world and taught us the definition of happiness. You also taught us the definitions of exhaustion and frustration, but let’s focus on the positive, it is your big day after all.
When you turned 5 last year I couldn’t wait to see what your fifth year would bring. To say it was exciting would be an understatement. You flew on an airplane for the first time, played on your first soccer team, started kindergarten, and recently lost your first tooth, which is adorable btw. A lot of firsts!
You still love horses, cracking jokes, and you’d eat pancakes for every meal if I let you (and some days I do).
We hope you have an incredible birthday full of surprise and joy because that’s exactly what you bring to each one of our days. I’m beyond proud you’re my daughter and am so lucky you call me mama. You are everything good in the world and we love you!
Hope your birthday is as magical as you are. Happy 6th Birthday, Miss E!
This too shall pass is simply a polite way of saying you’re screwed for now and parenthood is an endless loop of waiting for things to pass. So basically, parenthood = you’re screwed. Math has never been my strong suit, but that’s an equation I can understand.
At some point in parenthood you might find yourself wishing the time away because it would make life a little easier. Like just a few months ago when I was grumbling about our lunch routine and how awesome it was going to be when the big one had lunch at school. Cut to now and I’m sad that the three of us won’t have that time together. WTH? I was seriously just complaining about it and now I’m getting all sappy over it? Parenthood is such a weird thing because what drives us crazy one day will be the very thing we miss the next.
It’s so hard not to look to the next stage of my children’s lives even as everyone is telling me to cherish the time while they’re little because one day I’ll wake up and they’ll be starting school, and before I know it, they’ll be full-blown adults. Some days I’m like, yes, I want to be as present as possible and soak up every second with my amazingly brilliant kids and other days I’m like if they don’t leave me alone my eye is going to twitch so hard it’s going to pop out of my head.
So I’m finally learning to be careful what I wish for when I’m busy wishing things would pass because it’s taken me this long to learn that I might be screwed for now, but not forever.
I don’t know what I was so worried about…traveling with kids is a piece of cake. Wait, did I say piece of cake? I meant, takes the cake, as in, takes every ounce of energy and patience you’ve got saved up.
All kidding aside, our trip went very well. Almost too well. Going there the little one fell asleep for two glorious hours and I didn’t even drug her (although I thought about it beforehand). While she snoozed with her head on my lap, I held my breath and watched an entire movie in one sitting! It all seemed too good to be true.
Don’t get me wrong, traveling with two small kids who depend on you for most everything is a big pain in the ass. However, much to my surprise, flying was one of their favorite parts of the trip. The little one squealed with delight when we landed. See below.
From the moment we got to the resort we jumped in the first pool we saw and stayed until we were all pruney. That’s how the whole week went, only getting out of the water long enough to eat ice cream and slather on more sunscreen.
Between all the swimming and sunblocking, I finished a good book and even had time for one tropical cocktail.
We saw some gorgeous sunsets…
had a celebrity sighting…
and only brought home one stowaway…
So am I glad we went? Yes, because now they can’t say we never took them anywhere, I mean, we had the best time and made a million magical memories to last a lifetime. Would I do it again? Ask me again in a couple months when I’ve fully recovered, I mean, of course…in a heartbeat. (wink wink)
My father grew up walking the country roads of rural Georgia. He spent his childhood walking everywhere–to town, to school, to the neighbor’s farm that was miles away. He passed down his love of walking to me and now I’m hoping to share it with my daughters. They’re finally old enough that we don’t need a stroller anymore, which is nice, but stressful in different ways. They’re loose and I’m outnumbered and there are no sidewalks here and I have to corral them like wild turkeys.
When we were young, my brothers and I went for walks with our dad almost every night after dinner, now that I think about it, it was probably to give my mom a break from our constant noise because normally she stayed behind.
We’d set off on our usual route and along the way I had my small detours like balancing along the bricks of a certain driveway or a shortcut through another. We always passed The Purple Lady’s house, where, I kid you not, every single thing was purple–the house, the car, the flowers, even her hair!
Strolling along, I’d ask Papa to tell me stories from his childhood. Sometimes he’d tell me all about going to school in a tiny one room schoolhouse, walking however many miles with a group of kids he could still name as if he’d seen them the day before. And he’d tell me about the first pair of glasses he got and how he was so amazed he could finally see ants on the ground. Or how he and his older brother JR got into all sorts of mischief, pulling pranks on everyone. Toward the end of our walk, I’d run ahead and put my hands and feet in the imprints on the sidewalk on Lancaster St. right before saying hello to the yellow lab that always barked at us as we passed by.
We forget pieces of our childhood until we have children of our own and they remind us what it used to be like. I hadn’t thought about these walks for a long time until I took my girls for one yesterday. Just like my detours, they found their own along a rocky pathway, where I followed behind, feeling that long-lost spark of adventure. Then they hopped from one stepping stone to the next at the house on the corner. The big one pointed out pretty white blossoms blooming on a tree while the little one picked dandelions to carry, and I felt like a kid again, which is to say, happy.