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Trying Not to be “That” Mom, and Failing

As I said on MB, from here on the hot and dry West Coast, it was difficult to get a true understanding of the effects of Hurricane Sandy on millions of East Coast and Midwest residents. But in looking at pictures of the cleanup and hearing about those that lost their lives, I am sending all the positive vibes possible in an easterly direction.

Insert awkward segue here…

To my utter surprise and delight, my son decided to join a local youth volleyball league a few months ago, and has decided that he truly likes playing this sport.

As a mom who has been desperately seeking a sport for her son (anything, I would have taken pretty much anything! Fencing, swimming, whatever!) just so that he can get out and set some physical goals for himself, this was welcome news.  I don’t expect him to become some sort of pro player of anything, but I do think that getting the discipline involved in sports, as well as the physical and emotional outlets, is an important thing.   And dare I say that I think he might have some natural talent?

Did I mention that I played volleyball competitively for years?  Or that I also coached for years, including at the junior college level?

So when I see some well-meaning city employees who may or may not have much experience playing volleyball trying to teach my son improper form or telling them to do ridiculous things like trying to return a serve by setting, I sit on the bleachers and try to shut my damn mouth.  As I slowly clench and unclench my fists.  Kidding! Sorta!

Last weekend after my son’s game, I couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I HAD to know why they were encouraging these youngsters (8-10) to engage in something I consider sort of wrong (trust me, I am being a bit anal, but I am also thinking that they shouldn’t be introducing bad habits) I went and asked the coach.

The young man looked at my 41 year old self and gave me some sort of unsatisfactory answer, to which I responded with another question, which in turn I’m positive earned me the nickname of “Old Hag Who Thinks She Knows Everything.”

Sigh.

 

Monday Teeny Poll

All right, 84% of you hate the idea of the candy corn Oreo.  10% want to at least taste one, and 5% are all over them.  I think I need to eat one just out of sheer curiosity.  But I’ll let someone else buy the box.

Now, have you heard about the college professor breastfeeding her infant during a lecture?

Oh How the Pendulum Swings

It is difficult to believe in this age of attachment parenting that ideas such as this were once popular:

Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight. Shake hands with them in the morning.

When you are tempted to pet your child remember that mother love is a dangerous instrument. An instrument which may inflict a never-healing wound, a wound which may make infancy unhappy, adolescence a nightmare, an instrument which may wreck your adult son or daughter’s vocational future and their chances for marital happiness.

Shake hands with them in the morning! That is classic!

My son would come into the bed when he woke up in the morning and snuggle with me/us until we kicked him out. I never saw that as unnatural for a second.

Now that quote up there? Totally unnatural.

And of course, written by a man.

 

via Sociological Images

Push and Pull

When I recently accompanied my son and a friend to our local county fair, I got a glimpse of my future for the next few years.

You see, my presence at the fair with them turned out to be that of a wet rag, a damper on all the fun they could be having if it wasn’t for grumpy old mom pointing out that they had run out of money for games, or that no, it wasn’t worth walking across the entire fairgrounds just to eat some chocolate covered-bacon.

But yet, I was also a necessary evil, as I was also playing the role of chauffeur, line stander, and ATM.  But my son pretty much tried to act like I wasn’t really there most of the time, which is good, really.  I mean, if he was holding my hand and begging me to ride the bumper cars with him, it would probably be some kind of red flag.

On the other hand, I’ve got my toddler, as needy as all get-out.  She is an affectionate child, so I am often the recipient of hugs and kisses and sometimes elbows in the stomach, it all depends on just how affectionate she is feeling at the moment.  She is still of course dependent upon me for a great many things, although she is much more independent overall than her brother was at this age.

It’s just really odd for me to have one child figuratively pushing me away as he gets older and tries to find his own footing in the world, and at the same time have this greedy little time-suck known as a toddler to deal with all in the same day.

Motherhood is hard, y’all.

I Could Totally See Myself Doing This

These parents have put so much time and effort into training their Olympian children, can’t we give them a bit of a break when they get emotional?

If they sat there stone-faced, then they would be accused of being uncaring.

I come from a long and proud tradition of “parent heckling” during sporting events. My sister played basketball, and my dad was fond of screeching her name and clapping as she was preparing for a freethrow. With me, it was right as I was about to serve the ball during a volleyball match, which is a point in the game which requires quite a bit of concentration.

Huh, maybe that’s why I never made it to the Olympics.

Yep, it had nothing to do with the fact that I was much too short and much too slow.

Nope, I’m gonna blame it on my Dad.

That’s what parents are for.

Enter Sasquatch

It was a well kept secret.

Nobody told me about what would happen to my feet.

Yeah, you know, those things that, prior to the birth of my son used to be a size 8, and are now a size 9 after my daughter.

I had a size 8 foot for many, many years.  I was never informed that pregnancy would cause my feet to both spread and elongate.  For a little while I tried to jam my feet into those 8’s, but barring some drastic measures a la Cinderella’s stepsisters, it wasn’t gonna happen.

When my son was only a few months old I attended a wedding, and it never even entered my mind that I wouldn’t fit into my old heels.  Agonizing hours later, I came to the uneasy conclusion that hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of perfectly good shoes were going to have to be donated.

During the seven years between my son’s and daughter’s births, I managed to build up a fairly sizable selection.

Only to have my hopes dashed again when I tried on my 8.5’s.

So it has been a year or so that I have been devoting to yet another set of shoes that fill all of my needs.

I’m still not finished.

If the shoe industry was smart, they would run ads inspiring women to get pregnant.  Why has nobody pushed this angle before?  Pregnancy equals different shoe size, equals big money for new shoes.  Get on that, shoe industry.  You’re welcome.

That’s Twice Now…

That my son has gotten to view astronomical events (one that will never happen in my lifetime again, nor his, probably) that I never even got to take a tiny peek at.

It’s wrong for a mother to be jealous of their own kid, right?

The recent solar eclipse was almost totally visible from our part of the world, and my husband took my son to a local museum to view it.  Me? I had to stay home with our daughter because a) the eclipse happened too late and b) I’m apparently the only one who can feed her a decent dinner and put her to bed.  So I marveled at how dark it went as I was giving her a bath, and that’s about all I got out of it.

Today was this rather awesome event, and my dad took my son to a very exclusive location where he got to hear lectures from Harvard professors and view the eclipse through $25,000 telescopes.  Me?  I knew when it began and when it ended, but I saw nada.  Again, the whole toddler thing.  And don’t even ask about why didn’t I have eclipse glasses or something, they’ve been sold out around these parts for weeks.

So tonight I’m swanning around in some sour grape juice, attempting to remember the last time I was able to go out and do something whenever I wanted.

Which was about ten years ago.

Phooey.

But, uh, it’s all worth it?

Right?

Happy Pre-Mother’s Day!

Some quotes from one of my favorite moms, Erma Bombeck…

One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is.

There’s something wrong with a mother who washes out a measuring cup with soap and water after she’s only measured water in it.

When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.

Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.

Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, “A house guest,” you’re wrong because I have just described my kids.

It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows.

My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.

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