Thursday, August 23, 2012

Confession #25: Wishful thinking happens a lot.

Have you ever noticed, that as a parent, you spend so much of your time thinking wishfully about something?

Here are some examples:

1.  You take the pregnancy test.  You wish for it to be positive.

2.  You know you're pregnant.  You wish to hear the heartbeat every time you listen for it.

3.  Your baby arrives in this wide world.  You wish for the baby to be healthy.

4.  Your baby is peacefully sleeping.  You wish she would be awake.

5.  Your baby is awake.  You wish she would be peacefully sleeping.

6.  Your baby starts to sit up on his own.  You wish he would crawl.

7.  Your baby starts to crawl.  You wish he would just sit.

8.  Your baby starts to cruise on furniture.  You wish she would walk.

9.  Your baby starts to walk.  You wish she would be sleeping peacefully.

10.  Your baby runs into the laundry room brandishing a knife.  You spend some time thinking wishfully he has learned how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches....and there are no gashes in furniture or flooring anywhere in the house.

11.  You hear the soothing sound of water trickling.  You think wishfully it is the iPod playing your meditation music....not the washing machine overflowing and running down the drywall.

12.  You hear a little voice in the middle of the night, "Mommy?"  You think wishfully that this child is just coming in to remind you how much you're loved and appreciated....not getting ready to tell you he has just peed in the bed or puked on the floor.

13.  You pick up a chocolate chip off of the kitchen floor.  You think wishfully you had double-checked its status as an actual chocolate chip before consuming it.

14.  You think about your child, wanting him to grow up when necessary, but still remain your baby when you need him to be.  That, my friends, is wishful thinking.

I don't know if parenting is delusionally-blinded by love or what it is, but I realize 95% of my day is spent wishing for the best-case, not the worst-case, scenario.  The nice thing is that I have three reminders of what wishful thinking can bring you....and I wouldn't wish for anything else.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Confession #24: I am an addict.

I am addicted to Jazzercise.  I would never have thought I would utter those words, but alas, it is true.  I find it hard to even have a conversation without mentioning the word (jazzercise).  I would like you to take this journey through (jazzercise) with me and understand why it has consumed my life.

When I first walked in the door on October 26th, 2011, I didn't really know what I was doing.  It was 5:15 a.m., and I was completely out of my element.  I have never taken dance classes or any formal aerobics classes either.  (it's obvious when you watch me...)  I was nervous about what to expect from the class and the people there.  

Nearly eight months later, I am a self-proclaimed addict.  The others who go at 5:30 a.m. would say the same things about themselves.  It's easy to get sucked into the Jazzerworld for many reasons.  

#1.  I have lost a lot of weight through this dance craze, but that is not the most important thing to me.  It is truly what I have gained that matters most.  I have become stronger and built my endurance for exercise.  My body is capable of withstanding more while exercising, playing with my children, and I have more energy throughout the day.  

#2:  While I am working out, it is impossible for me to think about anything else in my life.  My mind is sucked clean as I try to anticipate each upcoming move my body and mind have memorized.  If I do think about anything other than moving my body, I mess up and feel foolish by my own actions.

#3:  This is the ONLY place where I have walked into a building full of women and felt welcomed, appreciated, and affirmed.  There is no bitchiness allowed at (jazzercise).  If you're wearing a cute new top, you receive compliments....genuine compliments.  If you've lost weight, people notice and tell you with happiness, not jealousy.  If you say something funny, people laugh and don't talk about you behind your back about how weird you are.

#4:  There's kick-ass music. (and you can lip sync!)

#5:  There's dancing.  (and you don't have to be drinking margaritas to do it!)

#6:  There are friendships, connections, and unique bonds to be made there.  It's truly hard to explain until you go to class for awhile and your conversations move beyond where you got your tennies, or what color nail polish you're wearing.  You cheer on your friends when they reach big milestones.  You bring your friends dinner when life has given them more than they can handle.  You share in ceremonies, both happy and sad, because you know how important it is to them to have that support.  You wear spandex in front of these ladies, and you don't even think twice about know they aren't judging.

So why do I talk about (jazzercise) all the time?  Why do I put the window cling on my car to show that I am a proud member of this faithful group?  Why do I try to encourage you to come with me to class?  It's because I want you, as a woman, to feel the same way I do:  happy, confident, fun, energized, and dedicated to something that is nothing but positive.  Who doesn't want that in their lives?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Confession #23: College should have had different courses.

Many of you know that Fridays at my house are a serious homage to college days.  I sit back and think about life almost 18 years ago, and I think about how glorious it was.  Despite the fact that I had to struggle to stay awake in many of my classes due to sheer boredom, and the ridiculousness of others, college was amazing.

However, if I were to rewrite the college courses they offer, that would actually become applicable when you're a parent, I would love to do so.  The so-called "School of Life" line-up is now here for you to see:

1.  Meteorology would be replaced with "Look out the Damned Window."  This would teach parents and children alike how to look out the window before dressing for the day, as well as taking into account the day's forecast per the news or internet.  Children will learn how to accept Mommy's "weather truths" and dress accordingly with no arguing.

2.  Ed Psych would be replaced with "How to Not Lose Your Mind While Out in Public with your Child."  Strategies for diversion will be taught to parents so they can keep children quasi-entertained, at minimal cost, for extended periods of time, while still accomplishing the task at hand.  Patience mantras will be taught as well, helping parents to focus on silent, evil looks and muttering threats so others can't hear them.

3.  Diversity Studies would be replaced with "Some Kids are Little Shits.....and they always want to be friends with your kids."  This course will teach parents how to cope with the little shit in your child's class, on the block, or in the play group.  You will walk away with several strategies to put fear into the heart of this little shit that you'll ruin his life if he messes with your kid again.

4.  Philosophy would be replaced with "How to Answer Insane Questions without Provoking More Insane Questions."  Children are blessed with the ability ask unique questions.  On the other hand, you can oftentimes find yourself in an argument about some hypothetical situation that could never occur, which then leads to other, more useless conversations or arguments.

5.  Western Civ would be replaced with "Basic History You Never Learned in School."  Let's face it, your kid is going to know more about the world than you ever did.  With the internet and increasing school standards and demands, kids these days have more knowledge about historical events than their parents.  Learn the basics so you don't sound like an idiot when your kid asks you who fought in WWII.  Answer, with confidence, what McCarthyism truly was.  You'll be thankful you learned this.

That's just a random sampling of things I wish I'd studied in college that would have helped me as a parent.  Look for more courses to be added as creativity strikes.  (Such as "Faking Interested Looks When Viewing 1,000 sheets of colored papers at the end of every day of Kindergarten.....)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Confession #22: It's a small, small world.....

Okay, here's an entry with a fair amount of solemnity.  I apologize in advance, but it's a confession that needs to be made on behalf of all the stay-at-home trophy wives out there.

My life at home is very small.  I deal with small clothes, small toys, small forks, small bites of food, and small little hands and feet.  All day long.....small.  It's adorable, breathtaking, and endearing all at once.

In a whole other way, my life at home is very small.  Most days, there is just me and one other little person in my house.  This child doesn't even talk. Some days, it's me, a non-verbal little person, and a unique almost-four-year-old who is learning a lot about life and who he is.  Ultimately, though, think about how few people I interact with on a daily basis.  That number is very, very small.

For those of you who think staying at home is the easy way out, you're wrong.  So very wrong.....

It requires a lot of work in order for me to expand my world from the daily norm:  preparing food (at least three times a day), cleaning up from food preparation, washing used dishes, doing laundry, wiping runny noses, signing folders, picking up toys invisible to the child's eye, changing interesting diapers, paying bills, buying necessities for our family members to be clean, clothed, and constantly fed.

In order to feel like an adult who matters in this world, not only to my children, but to others, I have to work hard.  I annoy working friends with e-mails.  I send text messages to people I think might check their phones while they're at work or at home.  I play Scrabble on my phone and Words with Friends on my computer/phone.  I call my mom and talk to her for an hour because it's very lonely when you're at home, no matter how damn sweet those little munchkins are.  I check Facebook....a lot.  I pin things on Pinterest....a lot.  I make sweet treats for friends just so I have an excuse to leave the house and see them.  I go to Jazzercise and exercise and dance poorly with woman who like to chat and affirm that there is still a sense of humor in this lady.  I make crafty things so I can justify my desire to leave the house, buy supplies, and then explore my creativity.  And when someone wants one of my creations, I feel a huge thrill and rush of success!

Those are all ways I desperately try to expand my world.....because, to be honest, my small world is nice and perfectly adequate and all I dreamed it would be.  I don't regret a single decision I have made.  If anything, this is just a plea to my friends and family who don't understand what it is like to "just" stay at home.  Consider this a small plea to understand and tolerate me when I need to make my world just a bit bigger and brighter.

And if you ever sing the song "It's a Small World After All" from Disney Land, I will punch you as hard as I can.