Sorry/Not Sorry

 

hair meme

Imagine the 80’s.

Now imagine 80’s hair, bangs to be exact. Nope, EVEN bigger with EVEN more hairspray.

Now imagine 8-year-old me sitting on the edge of the bathtub in our powder blue bathroom as my mom brushes, fluffs, and sprays my bangs into what can only be described as The Feathered Poodle.

feathered poodle

There was whining about how much longer I had to wait, complaining that she was hurting me, and endless fidgeting while she tried to finish up as quickly as possible. I know I wasn’t the most agreeable client, heaving exasperated sighs in my mom’s face and ignoring all of her pleas to just sit still. When she accidentally pulled my hair as a result of my inability to follow directions and remain motionless, she had to have felt some smug satisfaction. This is exactly how sorry/not sorry became a thing. Sure, she was sorry, but not as sorry as she said. She did try to warn me after all. I admit I’ve been guilty of this a time or two since having kids, so I know my mom had to feel this way also.

My mom would never have hurt me intentionally, I mean, other than making me look like a circus poodle. She was (and still is) the sweetest, most patient person I’ve ever met, but some tiny part of me knows that she couldn’t help but smirk at my momentary discomfort. I’m sure I had it coming anyway. Despite my adorable appearance (HA!) I could be quite bratty, but only to my mom. That old saying that we hurt the ones we love the most proving true.

My mom liked doing my hair, probably because she was good at it, and maybe that’s why I can’t be bothered. My hair skills are meh at best. She’d spend time separating my stick-straight hair into sections, wrapping it around spongy pink rollers that I’d sleep in, just so I could wake up and have curly hair which would then be a nightmare to brush out. Sometimes she’d braid it in one tight braid at the top of my head and I’d swing it around like a helicopter. While I loved the outcome, I didn’t love the process.

Now that I have two daughters I know what a pain doing their hair can be. Simply hearing the word, “snarls,” gives me PTSD, and must be why I keep it as simple as possible. Their options are: up in a ponytail or down. That’s it. I can’t imagine curling bangs, elaborate braids, or anything else that requires more than two minutes.

I love these moments in parenthood when we get glimpses into what it must have been like for our own parents, the realization that they were human beings, trying their best with kids who made remaining calm and patient impossible at times. Doing my girls’ hair now and having this understanding of what my mom must have felt helps me realize that one day I’ll look back and remember only the happy memories too, like feeling my little one’s silky golden strands between my fingers or her big sister’s perfect curls, pulling them down just to watch them spring back up. I won’t remember the rushed mornings of battling tangled bed-head as we run out the door, and hopefully they won’t either.

In the end, even if my mom was genuinely sorry for accidentally pulling my hair, that feathered poodle look makes me think she got away with the ultimate revenge. Well- played, mom. Well-played.

 

 

My Christmas Story

 

When I was little, Christmas was marshmallowy moments of pure happiness sprinkled with glittery anticipation. It was thrilling like nothing else. I’d count down the days as soon as Thanksgiving hit, growing more and more excited with each X on the calendar. I’m sure it drove my mom crazy since now my daughters constantly ask if Christmas is here yet, thus making me totally insane.

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My daughter has picked up where I left off

 

We all remember at least one Christmas that blew our minds and made us scream with pure joy. For me, it was when Santa left $3 in my stocking. I couldn’t believe how rich Santa was to leave me three. whole. dollars. Who knows what I even did with all that cash…probably blew it on candy. And to think those three dollars were probably a last minute idea on my father’s part when he felt like the piles and piles of presents he already got us weren’t enough. I totally get that now.

Then I got older, Christmas turned into something else, and the only thing that has brought back any kind of happiness to it, is my children. Now it’s simply about making Christmas as special for them as possible. I struggle with wanting to give them everything their little hearts desire, and not giving them too much, fearing it’ll make them greedy little jerks…

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More than all the toys, I hope we’re giving them magic, the kind they unwrap and keep in their hearts, the kind that will always bring them happiness. I want them to feel the wonder of a holiday that’s about so much more than the things they asked Santa for. Christmas is going to change for them as the years keep coming, but I always want them to feel that certain spark of excitement because I realize we don’t get enough of those as we get older.

Unadulterated Joy

 

It’s a…Book!

I’ve given birth for the third time!

It doesn’t have ten fingers and ten toes, or a perfect button nose. It’s not a boy or a girl…it’s a BOOK! And to get it out into the world was nothing short of a miracle.

I’m thrilled to announce the birth of my first book,

One Funny Mummy - Ebook Cover

One Funny Mummy Defines Parenthood (in 140 Characters or Less)

I’m not claiming to be a parenting expert, but I’m sort of an expert when it comes to delivering babies and punchlines. I much prefer to deliver the latter even though it’s not easier, and sometimes it’s just as painful, but it’s rewarding in very similar ways.

While I normally feel bad for babies born in the month of December, I’m super happy that my baby is just in time for Christmas. Just in time to be stuffed into every stocking you come across. Because who doesn’t want to wake up on Christmas morning and laugh about parenthood?

The book is a best-of collection of my funny-because-they’re-true tweets that perfectly sum up parenthood. Get yourself a giant cup of coffee, (or a giant mimosa) settle into the couch that’s covered in shredded wrapping paper and plastic packaging, and read the whole thing while the kids play with their new toys.

It’s the perfect gift for anyone who likes to laugh or needs to laugh, but doesn’t have a lot of time to read anything longer than a sentence (ahem, that’s everybody these days)! You’ll feel great knowing you did your part to spread a little holiday cheer this season, not to mention, you’ll be my favorite person ever.

Plus, if you don’t buy my book it’s like saying my baby is ugly…and you don’t want to be that person.

 

 

Caring is Hard

IMG_0485But I care. A lot.

Like most parents, I want the best for my children. But to give them the best means putting my own wants and needs on hold which can be very hard to do. It means putting my phone down, turning my distracted mind off, and interacting with them. It means reading books together when I’d rather not, going for walks when I’d rather not, playing games when I’d rather not. It’s fighting this feeling of not doing anything worthwhile. It’s reminding myself that these are the things that are actually worthwhile. These are the ways to create a fulfilled child. (You know, the whole reason we bring these little people into the world in the first place.)

Just the other day my husband and I received the highest compliment you can get as parents of young kids. A woman sitting near us in a restaurant said that we had lovely children who were so well-behaved. Granted, she might’ve had a little too much vino and we had only been there about 20 minutes before she left, so she saw them in their prime–while the crayons were still keeping them busy and the sugar from their chocolate milks hadn’t kicked in yet. Nonetheless, I stood up to accept my parent of the year award and to make a heartfelt speech about sacrifice and selflessness to our fellow diners. Kidding. We thanked her and then snickered that boy had we fooled her.

Why should I care what this complete stranger thought when I know my kids are well-behaved? I’m well aware of what it’s taken to make them this way–most of my sanity and all of my patience. At least in that moment it felt like my hard work had paid off. I guess that’s what I was thanking her for…for noticing.

I have so much I want to accomplish, yet by the time I’m done trying to mold my mini-mes into self-sufficient decent human beings who feel loved and understood, I’m just too mentally and physically exhausted to do anything but zone out to the world and keep ignoring everything I’ve put on the back burner. So I remind myself that this time in their lives where they actually want me to be a part of everything they do is short-lived and that my time is better spent sharing life with them even if it costs me my own.

Weird is Good

I was reading to my daughter like we do every night before bed. She interrupted me like she does every night, but this time she said something that caught me off guard.

She said a kid called her weird. She sounded so sad, and for a minute, I was too.

My first reaction was to tell her to ignore this kid, but I paused and tried to think of something better, something that would help her for the next time it happens.

Then it came to me.

I told her that being weird is a good thing. It means you’re not like anyone else. So the next time someone calls you weird, you should say thank you. She laughed a delighted little giggle and I felt good, like I’d said the right thing at the right time.

As I was reveling in my parental sense of accomplishment, my daughter turned over, laughed again, and deliberately farted on me.

I couldn’t sum up parenthood more perfectly if I tried.

My 15 Seconds

While some people get 15 minutes of fame, I’m thrilled I got 15 seconds!

Last week I was surprised to learn that one of my tweets made it onto Good Morning America!

Yes, that Good Morning America, the one on national TV.

Someone messaged me on Twitter saying that George on GMA read one of my tweets about back to school. Surely that can’t be right, I thought. This person must have me confused with someone else.

I tuned in for a few minutes before getting the kids ready for school, but nothing. Then I rushed back home after drop off, knowing that I might have a chance to catch it, if it was true. So I got my phone ready (we don’t have a DVR anymore) and waited with my finger over the record button. And this is what happened…

It really was my tweet! I was shocked and elated! To say it made my day would be a massive understatement.

Immediately I sent the clip to my husband and my mom and awaited their reactions while doing a happy dance around the living room. They were so excited. Of course my husband asked what I got out of it and of course my mom said she watched it repeatedly and sent it to everyone in her phone.

While it’s true I didn’t “get” anything out of it (except for bragging rights) it taught me an important lesson that you shouldn’t hold back or edit yourself because you never know what might happen.

Twitter used to be a place where I could get my thoughts out without second-guessing myself, but the more my account grows, the more I doubt and question everything I write. I didn’t think this tweet was anything special, it was just a true account of something in my life. It made me laugh, but I knew it wouldn’t be overly popular, certainly not morning news program popular.IMG_1759

But that’s where I was wrong. Apparently it was morning news program popular and the crowd’s reaction, whether it was genuine or played up for the cameras, was very much appreciated. It gave me a boost of confidence and taught me not to doubt myself.

I soaked up every last second of psuedo-fame, knowing that the next morning I wouldn’t be featured on TV and it’d be back to doing dishes, packing lunches, and folding laundry…you know, all the things that inspire great tweets.

 

 

 

For the Love of God Eat Your Dinner

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.