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I have a secret for you…

Shhh. Don’t tell a soul. I know I look like I’ve got it all together over here: my perfectly plucked eyebrows, my luxurious every-hair-in-it’s-place mane, my nutritious meal rotation. (Stop laughing.) But, I’m fairly certain that 99 percent of the time I’m doing this all wrong.

Big has a meltdown at school: do I 

  • A.) scold him
  • B.) send an email to the teacher explaining the problem in depth with solutions and a reference to his IEP
  • C.) talk to his school psych
  • D.) all of the above

D. The answer is definitely d. I’m not sure what to do so I do all the things. Probably, I should let him work it out on his own, but that wasn’t on the multiple choice test.

The Wee One is defiant at mealtime: do I: 

  • A.) ignore the behavior (because that’s what the therapist taught us)
  • B.) engage the child because he’s just like me and I can’t seem to resist
  • C.) exhibit the patience of Job and sweetly work through the problem
  • D.) let his father deal

B. Totally b. He’s me. But with a penis. And a ginormous head. I’m sorry, husband. This must be what it’s like to deal with me once I’ve committed to something even when I’m wrong.

Every time I take my children to the grocery store do I 

  • A.) regret the decision immediately
  • B.) proceed to find everything on my list plus healthy, fun Pinterest worthy snacks
  • C.) look like a mad woman saying things like “quit licking the conveyor belt. Why would you lick that?!”
  • D.) Both A. And C.

The answer is D for duh. I know this yet I do this to myself all the time.

I sometimes have a vision, a sitcom version of who I want to be as a mom. Maybe like Angela from Who’s the Boss or Elyse from Family Ties. You know, the mom who kind of had it together, never yelling, making the right choice 85 percent of the time and when she didn’t, it could be resolved in 25 minutes. Reality has me more as a Roseanne but with a better looking husband. 

Everyday, I make about 432 wrong choices. Some big. Some small. The interwebs would have me believe that I’m supposed to be perfect, but I’m not. I have a secret for you. Neither are you. Neither were your parents or their parents or the parents way back at the beginning of time. We’re all just going around making the best out of our wrong choices and still winding up doing pretty darn good enough.

My kids are pretty happy, but let’s face it the interwebs lie about this too. They make it look like everyone is always on a family photo shoot: laughing and looking perfect, but sometimes it’s stay in your underwear and eat cereal for supper and be happy that no one got kicked out of school this week. And if we keep our kids happy all the time, what does this do? They certainly don’t learn how to cope.

Every night, I think, tomorrow I’ll make only 300 wrong choices instead of 432. Instead, I herby give you permission to be imperfect, to not listen to the lies of Pinterest, family photo shoots and the sitcom in your head. To be good enough.  

 

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A Day in the Life

I haven’t been blogging much lately; perhaps life has been too easy (OMIGAWD did I just think that and put it down in black and white? Knock on wood, quick.) or maybe life’s been too crazy. I’ve started and stopped a blog about my dog no fewer than six times now. One of them was about Big and how he’s coping by asking “Where’s Emma?” every time he walks past one of her spots. Another was all about her origin story. And another all about my routines being off because almost every one of them has something to do with her. But, I stopped them all for one reason or another; they weren’t coming off as authentic. Or they were sappy and I had to stop because I was bawling while typing with two thumbs. 

You know what is authentic? My crazy day and thought processes. Basically, I should be a life coach.I’ll break it down for you.

4:30 am Wake up and think about juicing that spinach that’s quickly wilting. Reach for coffee canister instead. Select strong. Drink 3/4 pot before making and packing lunches. Start stinky dishwasher. Wait. Double check that you put in dish soap.

4:55 am Check in with favorite Facebook group. Laugh so hard you wake Juanita the turtle.

6:30 am Go in to wake your children by singing and turning on lights.

6:31 am Lovingly pour cold cereal into bowls and get morning meds ready.

6:40 am Go back in to the smelly den of the man cave in training and nudge oldest child and gently saying, “c’mon, big boy. Rise and shine.”

6:45 am Once again enter the death trap that is the kids room, elevating voice just below that which can be heard by the neighbors, issuing threats you will neither remember nor carry through.

6:55 am Give obligatory five minute warning that it’s almost time to go and please put on socks and shoes.

6:56 am Make to-go coffee cup and prepare husbands lunchbox.

7:01 am Again raise voice to decible just below illegal levels and say, “Put. On. Your. Socks. And. Shoes.”

7:02 am Head out the door.

7:02:30 am say for the second time in as many days, “For the love of god boys, how many times do I have to tell you not to wait to pee on the tree when we’re already running late?!?”

7:05 am Turn on egnition to car, make sure everyone is buckled in, select tunes, and put car in drive. 

7:30 am Drop off Big. Every day I say, “Backpack, Seatbelt, Mama kisses.” Every day he says, “That’s the wrong order mama.” Then with a wave rather than a kiss, I tell him to have a good day and that I love him. 

7:40 am Repeat above step for the WeeOne except receive kisses.

7:45 am -2:30 pm (Monday and Wednesday) Drive to preschool. Teach nine four and five year olds all the things. Not only am I a life coach, I’m Mary Poppins.

7:45 am (Every other day of my life) Go to the store. Because I’ve forgotten toilet paper or paper plates -again-. Spend upwards of $120. Leave. 

9:30 am Arrive home. Carry in all packages in one load pack mule style. Realize you’ve forgotten toilet paper and paper plates –again-. 

10:00 am Start first load of laundry. Unload dishwasher and load last nights supper dishes. Quit judging me. After supper, I like to sit on the couch with my boys and receive all the cuddles.

10:45 am Sit down on the couch for “just a minute.” Check Facebook. Become silmultaneously horrified and in awe of Hoda and Kathie Lee. How do they get away with drinking so early. My God that is a big glass of wine.

11:00 am Decide to write meaningful, heartfelt blog. Swear off blogging forever this time.

11:05 am Remember the laundry. Good job, you! That’s a load that won’t have to be re-run. Add water conservationist to the list of things I am.

11:15 am Realize you’re hungry. Also realize the sink is clean and that you don’t want to dirty dishes. Settle on a bowl of frosted flakes. Okay, two. That’s less calories than a cheese burger. Now you’re a nutritionist too! 

11:30-1:00 What happened here?!? No one knows. Some soap operas, vacuuming, mopping, toilet scrubbing. Now, I’m a biohazard technician too.

1:00 pm Decide to remedy the Great Cookie Dough Tragedy of 2015. Check of the box under chef.

2:00 pm pack cute little boxes of homemade cookies for the pick up line all while trying to wind up a blog in a creative and clever way and texting with a friend about the meaning of life. Add supreme multitasker to your skill set.

2:21 pm Sh–. You need to be in the car five minutes ago and you need to pee. Scratch multitasker off.

2:29 pm Cr– on a cracker why aren’t you in the car yet. Sunglasses, even though it’s overcast you must have your sunglasses. SonOfA you’ve got a potty mouth in your head when you’re flustered.

2:30 pm Put car in drive, roll down the windows, select tunes from your youth and DRIVE.

3:00 pm arrive for the 25 minute wait to pick up first kid and assume the position on iPhone. 

3:25 pm Think to yourself 836 times “Child do you ever shut up?” Relax, you’re only a bad mom if you say it out loud 836 times. Also, this is clearly a rhetorical question because he is your child through and through.

4:15 pm Arrive home. Check chickens (gag a little. Chickens are gross, y’all) and backpacks. Try to remember to clean out lunchboxes, actually wiping them down with a Clorox wipe this time. 

5:30-7:59 pm Go through every emotion ever. Cook, sweep, eat, sweep, beg and pleade for children to shower, sneak in some documentary time with the Big one.

8:00 pm Ensure all bedtime rituals are kept in proper order. Hugs, kisses good nights and I love yous followed by the quilt parachute. You did it! You made it! Without giving them too much to tell their therapists in ten years.

8:05 pm Holler “What?!?”  across the house and through shut bedroom doors. “You’re thirsty? Get up and get a drink, then! I love you too.”

8:10 pm Start last nights zombie show, hoping you stay awake just in case they reveal if Glen is still alive. Add survivalist to that growing list of accomplishments because you totally only screamed once and you saw that thing with Darryl coming from a mile away.

9:00 pm Pat yourself of the back for making it all the way through without falling asleep. Feeling accomplished start this weeks John Oliver episode. What?!? It’s 9:55 and  you only just now fell asleep on the couch. You could be a current events commentator.

10:00 pm Get in a race down the hall with your husband to see who gets to pee first and therefore doesn’t have to turnoff the last light. He always wins. Sometimes it’s a hockey match to see, but he always wins.

10:04 pm Marvel that you were tired three minutes ago. Why aren’t you tired now? So, you lay there kind of proud of yourself and your little family that you all survived another day. 

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Even “Typical Moms” Do That

If you are the mama to a kid who is not the typical kid you’ve probably heard, “oh, my kid does that ALL the time.” My kid perseverates. This means thoughts, objects and things that seem pointless become obsessive. Right now it’s ice. Maybe it’s  because he has spent his life in Texas and hasn’t seen much of it in his ten years and nine months on this earth, but if he opens the freezer one more time, heaven help me.

The thing is, he comes by this honestly. I’m completely neurotypical. I’m as quirky as the next gal, but I’m the one the arrow points to on the “I’m With Neurotypical” t-shirt. Here are four things even a “typical mom” does.

1. Perseverates. Like a boss. About lots of things see my blog about my Pottery Barn sofa here. Or, right now I’m perseverating on why I can’t seem to write what I want to say clearly, with ease, like ever.

2. Worries. Again, I excel here. Currently, I am worried about six things, none of which I have control of. I come from a long line of worriers; this gene has been passed down from my grandmother to my father, from my father to me and finally from me to Joe. Unfortunately for him, he’s hit by this on both sides of his family tree.

3. Picky Eating. Say the word sauerkraut and I gag. Instantly. Not kidding. The same could be said for potato salad, coleslaw and a lot of other foods of questionable ingredients and texture.

4. Avoiding Social Interaction. In all honesty, Joe is a much more social creature than I am. He craves social interaction.  It’s just doesn’t look typical.  In my younger days, I was much more social. It didn’t exhaust me to be around people; I loved working retail and partaking in chit-chat with my customers. Somewhere in there I became a closet introvert. I still like seeing people and having friends in theory. But it’s exhausting and takes work and stuff.