Letting Go

Let go, let them flyParenthood is an endless exercise in letting go. It’s incremental, but steadfast and relentless. The first thing you must let go of is every preconceived notion you ever had. Second to go is your life as you ever knew it. And, finally, comes the remainder of your days when you must let go, little by little, of your very babies, who you’ll want to hold onto more than anything.

There is no better parent in the world than an adult who has no children. He/she knows everything, all of which learned by observing the countless errors of every parent in his/her path. Having a baby of one’s own is to go from knowing everything to slowly realizing you know nothing. This does not happen all at once. Not at all.

I’m not pregnant yet? You mean there’s more to it than just doing it? Small thing. Lesson learned. I now know everything.

Finally, we’re pregnant! There is really no excuse for gaining 60 pounds just to birth a 7 pound baby. 15 pounds is completely attainable with just a little bit of discipline. I’ll just eat right and exercise. Just 300 extra calories for baby.

What sick motherfucker called this morning sickness when it’s actually every-time-I-move-sickness? Ugh. Well, at least now I know everything. Hmm, I seem to barf at the thought of any food other than bagels. OK, so I’ll eat a couple of bagels for the first couple of weeks, and then when my all-freaking-day sickness has passed I’ll return to a healthy diet. Now, back to those parenting books!

Holy crap Cinnamon Toast Crunch is like heaven on Earth! I’ll totally have that spinach salad for dinner.

I actually cannot lift my arms or keep my eyes open. Must have food that requires no waiting or working. Like this sleeve of Girl Scout cookies. Then the gym!

Putting on my gym clothes was exhausting. A little nap and then the gym. Oh, shit. It’s tomorrow.

At least I can be sure of the “9 months on, 9 months off” rule. And, truly, I’m sure I can manage it in 4 months, what with breastfeeding and a bit of exercise and restraint.

We stubbornly hold onto the idea that we still know it all, despite every piece of evidence to the contrary. Incredibly, our faith in our parenting superiority outlasts our ditched birth plans, breastfeeding surprises (nipples can crack?!), babies who didn’t read the sleep manual, and those finally-donated old jeans. Despite all the floundering in those early weeks and months, we still sit in judgement of parents whose 2-year-olds shove, whose 4-year-olds whine, whose 6-year-olds run through the playground at breakneck speeds dangerously close to our precious toddling snowflake.

One day, we parents finally come to the uncomfortable realization that we don’t know a thing. We let go. This tends to happen right around the same time as our children let go of us. They can now stand away from us, and sometimes prefer to. They go to school. They have a life that we are not directly orchestrating or even entirely involved with.

What the hell is this? Haven’t I let go of enough? I let go of my life, my body, my sureness of my own abilities and knowhow. But now I need to let go of my babies? No. No effing way.

But we must. We must let them wander, climb, make friends with people other than our friends’ kids. We must endure their heartache; watch their awkward moments; let them make mistakes; let them take risks. Holy hell- let them go to boy/girl parties; let them go to dances with dates; let them drive! *Author hyperventilates*

There she goesAll I want to do is hold on. As much as I love seeing them grow up, I just want them to freaking stop it already. All these long legs, newfound slang, attitudes, and pop culture can suck it. Just stay here- in my arms- for a moment longer.

I know enough to know that I don’t know much, but I know this: the future holds more and more and more letting go. I’m not ready. Are you?

 

‘Twas Three Days After Christmas

 

‘Twas three days after Christmas, when all through the house

not a creature was resting, not even a mouse.

The stockings were strewn on the floor with no care,

spilling their goods- Saint Nicholas had been there.

 

The children were hopped up and jumping on beds,
while sugar from sugar-plums went to their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and dad in his cap,
had headaches and dreamed of a long winter’s nap.

 

Down in the living room there arose such a clatter,
I stood from my chair to see what was the matter.
Into the room I slowly did wander,
only to trip on the crap thrown asunder.

 

The floor all covered with presents and trash,

all the things I’d bought and wrapped- all that cash!

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but some miniature Legos my bare feet did fear.

 

What a mess that took over the house so quick,

I blamed in that moment that prick St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles my minions they came,

as they whistled and shouted, I called them by name!

 

“Now Luke! Now Sally! Now husband! Now Santa!

Clean up this disaster, don’t tell me you can’t!

From the floor to the ceiling, even the walls,

Put it away, put away, put away all!”

 

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So through the room the pine needles they flew,

from my dead tree full of needles and tinsel too.

 

On this side the toys on that side the books,

all those presents discarded with barely a look.

As I cradled my head, and was turning around,

on the couch I spied laundry spilling to the ground.

 

What the fuck will I do with all of this shit?

Put it away? Or just burn all of it?

I can’t drag the tree out of here by myself.

So I’ll just eat a chocolate from up on that shelf.

 

And why not? Chocolate is fine for breakfast,

says this mom who’s expanding right out of her pants.

These kids have been home for infinity days,

as I’ve wandered around in a food coma haze.

 

To the stores I must go to make my exchanges,

for sizes, colors, and miscellaneous changes.

My work will not cease, it will never end,

thank goodness for chocolate sent by a friend.

 

If you think your house is bad on this day,

just take a look at mine and hear when I say,

“You’re doing just fine. The mess does not matter.

I am the mom who will make you feel better.”

 

This is the view, left and right, from my desk,

the rest of the house is the same, so don’t ask.

Go finish that cake and those cookies. Don’t fear.

You’ll get back in your jeans, first thing next year.

 

Christmas messChristmas Mess

Why Kids are Like Stoners

(Originally published in March of 2013)

As I field constant requests for food, put on really weird TV shows that my kids zone out to, and repeat myself a million times to people who immediately forget what I just said, I realize that my kids are like stoners. I must not be the first person to arrive at this conclusion, as evidenced by some children’s programming and toys. Like this mini two-sided lunchbox based on a show that would certainly be improved by a joint:

This is an actual mini metal lunchbox

Is there any explanation for this other than SpongeBob got stoned?

Top 12 reasons kids are like stoners:

  1. They laugh at everything;
  2. They are always up for a snack;
  3. They are easily impressed;
  4. They always answer “Yes” to “Do you want syrup on that?” regardless of the food. Ditto for ketchup;
  5. They think they make great music with bongos and tambourines;
  6. They do this
  7. They think they’re funny. (They are not funny);
  8. They think they have good ideas. (They do not have good ideas);
  9. They inspired the whole concept of sensory tables;
  10. They can’t remember what they did yesterday;
  11. They get distracted by shiny objects, moving objects, stationary objects, imaginary objects;
  12. They watch Yo Gabba Gabba as if it’s normal.

    Like this guy's not stoned. *

    Like this guy’s not stoned. *

* Source: March 26, 2010 - Source: Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America