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Mom Fail June 18, 2013

Hello friends!  It has been quite awhile since I have posted but I am back with a few stories to share. 

I want to talk about “mom (or parent) fails.”  Unlike “mom guilt”, “mom fails” are experiences that your children will, without a doubt,  point to when they are adults and say,  ” Yep, that was the moment she screwed me up.”  They are the moments they will absolutely tell their therapists about in their later years.  Honestly, I have so many “mom fail” examples that it was difficult to narrow them down for this post.  I have picked the worst (in my mind) of the bunch to share with all of you.

When my daughter was a baby, she would  scream bloody murder when she was in her car seat.  I mean SCREAM.  It was so upsetting, it had me in tears many times.  When she was about 18 months old, we were headed back from the airport in Washington state, it was about an hour drive.  Just like all the other times, she started screaming and crying at some point along the way.  I was so annoyed by this behavior at this point that I turned around and told her to knock it off, that mommy had had it.  She looked at me and proceeded to puke all over the backseat.  I was convinced it was the food she had eaten on the plane.

Fast forward a few months, and we were on our way to a new state.  Our car was all packed and Caroline was all set up in the backseat with her coloring books, books and puzzles.  We were not a half hour into our trip when she started whimpering and I said, ” Oh, no. Don’t start.  We have a 6 hour drive.  Look at your books and behave.”  Two minutes later, I heard a huge splash and she had yet again, puked all over the backseat.  ” Hmmm, another tummy bug?”  I thought.  Y’all, this happened about a dozen or so times over the next year.  I would scold her for crying and tell her to deal with it and to just read her books or color.  It wasn’t until my mother said,  ” You know, she probably gets carsick?”  Ummmm, no, that hadn’t crossed my mind once.  No, I just yelled at my poor carsick child every time she cried and felt sick.  Strike one.

When my oldest son was about 2, we lived in Atlanta, Georgia.  One morning, my husband and I decided to take Caroline and Cooper to a children’s museum downtown.  We packed up our bags and headed out.  We arrived downtown, found a parking space, took out the stroller, put Cooper in and set out through busy downtown Atlanta.  We were looking around and pointing buildings out to the children when we came to a busy street.  We stopped at the traffic light and waited to cross.  When the “walk” light came on, we stepped down off the curb and PLOP went Cooper right out of the stroller, onto his face on a busy street in downtown Atlanta.  Nope, neither my husband nor I had bothered to buckle him into the stroller.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, mistakes happen.  Yes, that is true but what made this mistake worse was that my husband and I could not stop laughing.  Of course, we picked up our sweet boy and made sure he was alright but we couldn’t stop laughing in the process.  Strike 2.

About two years ago, around Halloween,  my daughter asked to watch Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.  Now, my children are not easily frightened.  Honestly, they just aren’t bothered by things like ghost stories and such.  I agreed to let my daughter and oldest son watch the video.  I found it on the computer for them then pressed play.  Well, unbeknownst to me, my four year old son, Brady, had come into the room.  About 2 minutes into the video, he starts screaming at the top of his lungs and crying.  His hands were over his ears and he went running through the house yelling, ” Stop!!! Why would you show me that?????  WHY??????”  Now, it must be stated that Brady is a bit, okay, a huge bit, overdramatic. He started hyperventilating and rolling around, wailing and saying, ” Why, why, why, why????”  Now, he didn’t even actually see anything scary but it was enough to give him nightmares for a good month afterward.  Strike 3.

Last summer, on our way down to Florida for our family vacation, we decided to stop in Savannah, GA.  We walked around and explored that beautiful city and our kids asked to go on one of those trolley ghost tours.  It went around the city and basically gave a history lesson with a few ghost tales thrown in.  Our kids love history and we thought they would love it.  We were told that it wasn’t scary and besides, it was at about 6 pm so it was still light on that summer evening.  We boarded the trolley and set out on our adventure.  It was interesting and fun and the kids ( well, the 10 and 8 year olds) were really engrossed in the tales of the city.  At the end of the tour, the trolley stopped at an old ship chandlery ( a place that used to sell nautical items long ago) along the river.  As we were getting off the trolley, the tour guide stopped my husband and said, ” This is a staged part of the tour and it might get dark.”  Well, our kids aren’t scared of the dark so we decided to go on in.  We moved in to the old store and it was indeed dark and cold, with it’s stone walls and floors, but it was neat as well.  We took our seats in the back of the store.  Everything was lit by candlelight and it was a bit spooky, but the kids seemed fine……before all hell broke loose.

The “candle maker” came into the room and started telling a ghost story about a sea hag or “witch.”  He played his part well and told the spooky story to perfection, but the kids were enjoying it.  Then, a huge wind blew through the shop, the lights went out, doors started slamming and a witch flew by the window.  All 4 kids started screaming.  My daughter was holding onto my husband saying, ” Daddy! Help!” My oldest son kept taking deep breaths and saying, ” It’s okay, it’s okay.” and whimpering.  My 5 year old was sobbing and burying his face in my shirt crying, ” Mama, mama, mama!!!!!!”  My 3 year old just scooted closer to my husband, shoved his thumb in his mouth and sucked ferociously.  My husband and I looked at each other and just laughed.  Strike 4.

The final “mom fail” I will share with you, is referred to as the “circus day incident” in our house.  I believe, thus far, in my son Brady’s 6 years, that this has traumatized him the most.

Last year, when Brady was 5 and in preschool, the 4 year old classes all had a circus unit.  It was cute and they did circus themed crafts and read circus stories.  At the end of the unit, they had “circus day” for which they were able to dress up as a circus character.  As I mentioned, all the four year old classes were doing the circus theme and they all had circus day……..but on different days.

We carpooled with our neighbors to preschool last year.  My friend and I took turns dropping off and picking up our boys from school.  The boys were in different classes and they each always came home with many papers and crafts and since they didn’t have a backpack, sometimes their papers and art got mixed up.  Well, I picked up the boys one day and brought home what I thought were Brady’s papers.  I saw a paper saying that Brady’s circus day was going to be the next week and he was to come dressed as his favorite circus character.

Circus day came and we dressed Brady as the strong man.  He wore his Hulk costume and was excited.  My friend picked Brady up and took him to school that day.  I saw that his friend was also dressed for circus day and I thought nothing of it.  Well, Brady came home from school without his costume on because it just so happened that that day was NOT his circus day, it was his friend’s circus day.  Brady came in and asked, ” Why did you send me in that costume?  I was the only kid in my class in a costume.”  I apologized and explained that I read the wrong paper.  Brady was not understanding.  He said, ” Mom, that was embarrassing.”  He brings this mom fail up every few months and tells me just how humiliating it was.  Every time he has had to dress up for school since then, he grills me about the date and time asking, ” You’re sure? Remember what happened in preschool?” I will never be able to live that one down.  Ever.

There you have it, a few of my “greatest hits” if you will.  There are many more and if you ever want to feel better about your own parenting, just ask me about my “mom fails.”  I assure you that you will not be let down.

 

Calgone, take me away…… February 26, 2013

I never get “free” time. Seriously, even when I get me time it usually involves doing something for my kids or they are all up in my ding dang business. I’m not complaining, it is what it is. I know when they are teenagers I’ll probably miss them pushing notes under the bathroom door while I’m trying to go. Maybe?

What I don’t understand is why they NEVER bother their father when he’s showering, pooping or on the phone. When I’ve asked them about this they have actually had the nerve to tell me that, ” Dad doesn’t want us to bother him.” What. The. Hell? What about my yelling, ” LEAVE ME ALONE FOR 5 FLIPPING MINUTES” has led you to believe that I want y’all to bother ME????

My husband says, rather smugly, that it’s because I have “allowed” this behavior to happen and now they don’t see boundaries. Please spare me. I am pretty sure I have set boundaries and they just don’t give a crap.

Last night I wanted to take a hot bath. When I tell my kids where I’m going they always act like I’m going on two- week trip to Siberia and they ask all kinds of questions that I’m positive that they come up with when I tell them I’m taking a bath: Did you sign my homework sheet? Can you look over my paragraph? Where’s Red Hulk? Can you make me chocolate milk? Can you play a game with me? These requests always come after they have otherwise been ignoring me for the last three hours.

Last night, my three sons were at a friend’s house, so it was just my daughter asking questions. Then she had the nerve to whine, ” But I wanted to take a bath! You’ll use all the hot water!” You’re damn right I’ll use all the hot water. Now, leave me alone. I got my beer and book and headed for 20 minutes of relative “peace.”

I had about 5 minutes of solitude when I heard my bedroom door slam open and see the bathroom doorknob twist back and forth (of course I locked the door). Then the rapid knocking started.
Me: ” WHAT? Who is it?”

Blake: ” Uh…..Blake Blake Kew-eee (Kelly). Is that you, mommy?” Who the hell does the kid think it is??? Bob, from down the street?

Me: ” Yes, it’s mommy and I’m taking a bath. I’ll be out in a little while. Why don’t you go play with your playdoh while daddy is making dinner?”

Blake: ” No, I don’t want to. Open this door, mom. I’m home from E’s house. Did you know I’m home?”

Me: “Yes, I can hear that you are home. Did you have a good time? I want to hear all about it when I’m out of the bath.I will come find you and you can tell me AFTER my bath.”

Blake: ” Well, we wrestled and played fuperheros (superheros). We watched TV and Fofie is fo funny(Sofie, the dog, is so funny). We were running”……..balh, blah, blah.

Me: ” Blake?” He was still rambling on and on. ” Blake?” Still going. ” BLAKE!!!!!”

Blake: Finally stopped, ” What, mommy?”

Me: ” Go downstairs with daddy, okay? I will talk to you in a bit. Go on, mommy wants privacy.”

Blake, quiet for a few seconds, then:” Um…….where was I? Oh yeah, then we played in E’s room and…..”

Me: ” Blake stop it! Leave the room now! I mean it!”

Blake: ” Mommy, get out of that bath, I hungey.”

Me: ” Dad is in the kitchen! Go ask him for some cheese or crackers. GO ON!”

Blake: ” What we having for dinner?”

Me, freaking out and yelling at this point: ” BLAKE, GO OUT OF HERE NOW!!!! DAD IS MAKING DINNER! ASK HIM!!! NOOOOOWWWW!”

Blake: ” Ooookaaay……….Mommy?……..Mommy?”

Me, growling: ” What?”

Blake” ” Can I have some almond milk?”

You get the picture? I spent 15 of my 25 minute bath trying to get him to leave me the flip alone. When I came downstairs my husband asked, ” How was your bath?” Blake smiled and said, ” It was great! Right, mommy?” Ding. Dang.

 

37 Decembers December 9, 2012

Filed under: aging,birthdays,getting older,motherhood,Parenting — ddl6 @ 4:21 pm
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Well, it’s December, the month that I was born.  As I have gotten older, I have this love/dread thing with this month.  On one hand, I love Christmas time and I look forward to it each year.  On the other hand, it means I will be one year older…..sigh.

This whole getting older thing didn’t really bother me until about three years ago.  After I had my fourth child and  it dawned on me, that time of my life, the “having babies” part, was over.  I suddenly felt very old and very wistful.  I waited my whole life  to have babies and it was over, in what seems like the blink of an eye.  Now, that baby is 3 years old, I have a kindergartener , third and fifth grader and I’m left wondering how it all went so fast.  I find myself saying that a lot-“It goes so fast.”  I hate it when people say that to me, but it’s the truth.

My children are growing so quickly and I am feeling “my age” more than I used to.  I am trying to embrace getting older.  No really, I am, but it’s ding dang difficult when I am reminded I am no longer the Spring chicken I used to be.  There are many things the signify my getting older and I’ve jotted down a few……

  1. When I had my first child, I was always the “young mom”.  Honestly, by 5 or more years.  Now, with my youngest son, I’m one of the older moms.  I was waiting outside my son’s preschool classroom to pick him up.  There was a group of 5 or so moms, all with their baby slings and strollers and they were all freaking out because their 29th or 30th birthdays were approaching.  It hit me, that was almost 7 years ago for me!!! I felt sick to my stomach.
  2. If I have a couple of bad nights of sleep, it SHOWS.  I look like death.  The dark circles under my eyes turn black and puffy, the fine lines around my eyes are more pronounced, and my skin loses all color.  No more going a week and only sleeping 3 hours a night. That could damn near kill me.
  3. My dad.  He can never remember how old I am.  The last couple of years, when he calls to say happy birthday he asks ” Now, how old are you again?”  When I tell him he always says ” My God!  Are you really?  You’re getting up there, aren’t you?”  Thanks Dad.
  4. When I go shopping in certain stores the music is so loud I can’t even concentrate on what I’m shopping for.  Also, the stores are so dark.  What are they hiding?
  5. There are things that used to seem way too far off to worry about, but now they aren’t so far off.  In fact, they are rapidly approaching.  Things like getting a mammogram, getting glasses (my eyes aren’t what they once were), having a colonoscopy and Lord help me, menopause.  Ugh!
  6. I have moved into the 35-44 age bracket.
  7. I have always had a somewhat bad mouth but lately I find myself cringing at the use of the F-word and vulgarity in general.  I was reading a blog post someone put up on FB and every other word was an F-bomb.  I thought to myself ” Now, that is just gratuitous.”  Maybe that’s more of a sign of maturity?
  8. I like Richard Marx and other music on the soft rock channel.  Deal with it.
  9. When I indulge in more than 1 cocktail, glass of wine or beer the next 2 to 3 days are a recovery period.  Gone are the days when I could practically finish a bottle of vino myself.  My head hurts just thinking about that.
  10. I get heartburn if I eat too late at night.
  11. The kids that I used to baby-sit are now in college or graduated from college.
  12. I say things like ” Kids nowadays have no respect for their elders.”  Nowadays? Elders?  I also say ” Back in my day.”  when I tell my kids about when I was a kid.
  13. When I was younger, I would go to the beach and work on the perfect tan.  Now, I wear a wide-brimmed hat and I lather up with SPF 50.  I don’t check for tan lines at the end of a day in the sun.  I check for wrinkles and age spots.
  14. All the actresses “nowadays” are about 19 years old with 40-year-old leading men.  That annoys me.
  15. I drive a minivan………and I like it.
  16. My 20th high school reunion is less than 2 years away.  What!?
  17. When I go to a doctor who is younger than me, it makes me uneasy.  I think,  “This “boy” can’t possibly be qualified to write a prescription for me.”  I always feel like I need to ask to speak with a “grown up.”
  18. When I see Zac Efron without a shirt, I think ” DING DANG!”  and that makes me feel kind of pervy.
  19. I don’t know why this makes me feel old but it does:  I own and actually sometimes wear a tankini.
  20. I used to think ” I will NEVER have any kind of “work” done.  I will age gracefully and NATURALLY.”  That’s easy to say when you’re 28 and all hell hasn’t broken loose .  Now I think, “MEH, what could it hurt?”

I don’t mean to sound so gloomy about getting older.  I truly know that I am blessed to have lived 36 years and I thank God every morning I wake up and every night before I go to sleep.  I just don’t deal with change well.  I don’t even like to change  sides of the bed.  I will embrace all of the change though, for my children.  I will also “embrace” Botox, a good eye cream and push-up bras.  Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to me.

 

Boys, Boys, Boys October 7, 2012

Filed under: boys,brothers,children,motherhood,parenting — ddl6 @ 11:57 am
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I consider myself a “boy mom.”  I have one awesome daughter whom I adore,  but I have had three boys in a row and I have been in” boy mode” for almost 9 years. I feel like I am part of a special “boy mom” club.  I always bond with moms of boys right away.  Most of my good friends are mothers of my sons’ friends.  I do have a couple of close friends who are mothers of my daughter’s friends, but most of them also have sons.  I feel like they “get” what it’s like to be a mom to boys.  I always feel better when my boys have teachers who are moms or dads to sons.

Boys really are, in my opinion, a whole different ball game, no pun intended.  As much as I told myself I was going to parent my girl and boys the same way, it just hasn’t worked out that way.  I had a lot of preconceived notions about boys before I had them and I have been proven wrong many times.  Raising my girl is not what I expected either, but that’s another blog post.

To be honest, I still can’t believe that I have three sons.  When I was younger and I pictured my life, it was always with two or three daughters.  Maybe that’s because I only had a sister and I wasn’t really around boys growing up.  I just never thought about being a mother to boys.

When I was pregnant with my first child, a girl, we didn’t find out what we were having.  I never said it out loud, but I REALLY wanted a girl.  I planned a girl nursery.  I had visions of ruffles, hair bows, dresses, pink, pink and more pink.  I would look at little girls and get so excited to have my own.  I just HAD to have a girl.

When I gave birth to my daughter, they had to take her quickly to make sure her lungs were clear because she had meconium (she pooped on the way out). For two or three minutes, we had no idea if I had a boy or girl.  My husband asked what it was and the mid-wife smiled, “You have a beautiful baby girl.” I sat straight up and screamed, yes, screamed “I GOT MY BABY GIRL!” To say I was excited would be an understatement.

I had my little girl and everything was going according to my “plan”.  I became pregnant with my second child and I thought ” Oh, another little girl…smile, sigh” Then we went in for the ultrasound and the technician asked us what names we had picked out. I told her ” Grace…………… oh, and Cooper.” As an afterthought.  She checked out all that she needed to and asked us if we wanted to know what we were having and we said, absolutely. She began to type in a name on the screen and she started with C. Hmm,I thought, that was weird, Grace doesn’t start with a C………wait……….Cooper? A boy?  I was having a……boy?  I immediately started to panic a bit.  What was I going to do with a little boy? Boys are wild and rambunctious.  Boys are loud and they wrestle. They pee everywhere.  They have a penis!  What if I had to start watching and liking football??? What would I talk about with a little boy?  How would we connect emotionally?  I was very naive and a bit sexist, if I’m being honest.

Our first little boy was born and he is beautiful and wonderful. He was followed by two other beautiful and wonderful little boys. Our home was quickly filled not with baby dolls, Barbies, princess dresses,but with trucks, cars, balls, blocks and so on.  But, those things were not purchased just for our sons, they were for our daughter as well.  My visions of baby dolls, frilly dresses, big bows and pink, quickly flew out the window when my daughter began voicing her opinion.  My girl is not now nor has she ever been, a girly girl.  No way.

I spent so much money on smocked dresses with matching bows for every holiday or event we had.  She would rip out the bow and hike up the dress so she could jump over couches , climb trees or wrestle. The dolls, baby cradles, purses, and shoes went untouched.  When she discovered her passion for reading, it wasn’t princess stories she wanted to hear and read, it was adventure and science fiction stories.

My boys are all, indeed, a bit wild and rambunctious.  They are loud and they do like to wrestle.  They jump off things that are too high.  They like to smash things just because.  They barrel down the stairs instead of walking.  They pee all over the toilet seat and the ding dang floor.  They love sports, especially football.  Yes, they are all “boy” and they are different from my girl in many ways,  but those differences make them wonderful.

I didn’t expect my boys to be tender-hearted or sensitive.  They are much more so than my daughter.  They love lovin’.  They love to cuddle and have “talks” with me.  They are caring, sweet and kind.  My daughter is all these things as well, but she has more of an edge than my boys do.  She has a much more independent attitude than the boys. She’s a tough cookie, and always has been.

My good friend and I have had many conversations about being mothers of boys.  We have talked at length about how having sons helps us understand men just a little better.  They really can’t help some of the things they do because it’s just who they are.  Being the mother of boys helps me understand how hard it is to be a boy today.  There’s a lot of pressure on boys to be strong, not to show too much emotion, to “suck it up” and be a” man.”  It’s not easy being a girl either, but I knew that.  I didn’t understand about being a boy until I had my sons.

As I mentioned earlier, I feel like I’m part of a special “boy mom” club.  I can’t tell you how many times, when I am out with my boys, women come up to me to make a comment.  Whether it’s, “Hey, I have 2 boys at home.” or ” You remind me of myself 20 years ago. I have three boys.” or “I have 8 grandsons.”  Women want to make a connection.  I don’t get that when I’m with my daughter.

My husband has four older brothers. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was very young and I have never had a chance to talk to her about her experiences as a” boy mom.”   There are so many things I wish I could ask her and learn from her.  I will always remember what my husband’s grandmother (his mom’s mother) told me when I was pregnant with my first boy. She said ” People always asked Sharon if she wanted a girl.  She always answered, ” My boys love me so much.  I get to be the queen of the castle.””  I think that is the best description I have heard about being a “boy mom.” My boys do love me, they tell me how great I am and they do treat me like a queen…….it’s good to be queen.

 

Surprise August 9, 2012

Expect the unexpected.   I think that phrase pretty much sums up motherhood for me.    It’s a roller coaster ride with twists and turns that you don’t see coming.  Each day brings new joys, new heartaches and new adventures.  The vision I had of motherhood is nothing like the reality.  I naively thought because I was around many children all the time before I got married that I had it all figured out. Boy, was I WRONG.  I have been pleasantly and at times, not so pleasantly, surprised.  I have narrowed my surprises down to a list of ten.  If you are so inclined, please share with me your own surprises.  I love to hear other mother’s, actually, other parent’s stories.  It’s comforting to know I’m not alone on this crazy ride.

  1. The first surprise was the absolute and all-encompassing love I feel for my children.  I expected to love them, of course, but I didn’t expect my heart to feel as though it would burst just looking at them.  I would stare at them when they were babies and cry because of the strength of my love for each one of them.
  2. The next thing that shocked the hell out of me was that you can love more than one child with that fierce, powerful love.  When I was pregnant with my second child, I would call my mom and cry because I was sure I would never love him as much as I love my daughter.  My mom assured me that would not be the case, but I don’t think I believed her.  Then I took one look at his little scrunched up newborn face and my heart swelled just as it had with my daughter.  I was once again, in love.  I fell in love two more times after him.
  3. My next surprise was that even though I love and adore all my children, a couple of them have personalities that just mesh better with mine.  The same is true for my husband.  I felt badly about this for a while, because I wanted everything to be equal all the time, but just as I am a person with a distinct personality, so are they.  I am okay with this fact now, but it took me until I had my fourth, to be okay with it.
  4. Parenthood is exhausting, especially in the beginning, and I still can’t believe what I can and could accomplish on 2 hours of sleep.  I can make 25 cupcakes for a class, clean the house from top to bottom, help with multiplication homework, plan a party, and so on.  It kind of makes me feel like a rock star.
  5. Before I had kids, I heard about the “mama bear” instinct.  I didn’t fully understand the truth and strength of this instinct.  I have been a ” mama bear” a few times and let me tell you, I think I could rip off someone’s head with my bare hands or lift up a ding dang truck. When I feel like my child is hurt or has been wronged it is a visceral reaction.  Look out.
  6. I loved my husband before we had children.  I mean really loved him in an eye rolling, gag me kind of way, but watching him become a father has made that love even stronger than ever.  Watching him walk around the house singing to a screaming newborn, play countless games of catch or comfort my daughter as she cries because her feelings have been hurt, is a beautiful thing.
  7. The next surprise is actually a big one for me. The fact that I can take care of a child that is puking and not pass out or puke myself, is flipping amazing to me.  I had a serious issue with vomit , growing up.  I can honestly say, of all the things I worried about when I thought of being a mother, the fact that I would some day have to take care of a barfing kid scared me most.  Well, now I have been puked on, caught puke in my hands and even had a kid puke in my mouth.  I have conquered my fear.
  8. Before having kids I had a so, so relationship with my body.  I was always trying to “improve” it somehow because it wasn’t good enough.  When I looked in the mirror, it was the flaws that I saw. Now, after being pregnant four times and breastfeeding four babies, I have accepted my body how it is.  I marveled at how huge my belly and breasts got,  but not in a negative way like I thought would be the case.  I carried four tiny humans in my body and I nourished them with it too. So what if my butt is not as high? So what if my boobs have to be tucked into my bra?  So what if my kids say my belly is “squishy” and “comfy”?  I truly don’t care anymore.  It’s a welcome surprise.
  9. I had a miscarriage 9 years ago and I’m surprised at how much it still hurts to think about.  I thought that with time,  I would forget that pain of losing “what was to be”, but each year on the day that I lost the baby and the due date of that baby, I am sad.
  10. Finally, I’m surprised at how ding dang hard it is to be a parent.  It doesn’t get easier, the difficulty just changes as the children grow.  My heart is broken on a daily basis. I’m constantly worried about these four little people I have been blessed with.  There are some days I can’t form a complete sentence because I’m so overwhelmed and exhausted. But, I love it.  I really ding dang love it.
 

The TALK August 5, 2012

Well, it happened. The day I had been dreading for 10 years arrived and there was nothing for me to do but face it straight on. We had the “TALK” with our daughter. I am proud to say, we made it through and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It did break my heart just a bit because I just kept picturing my sweet girl as baby, playing with her toys. I swallowed my fear and tears and told her the truth. My daughter handled it, like she does with most everything, with grace and humor, and a little bit of disgust.

It was about 9 pm on the night before we were driving 10 hours to the beach for a vacation. The boys were asleep and I was going around trying to get everything organized and ready to leave. My daughter was curled up reading (as usual) in her bed. I went in to give her a kiss and tell her to turn off her light. I hugged her and said goodnight and as I was walking out of her room she said, ” Mom, at Jenny’s house the other day, there was a book about babies and where they come from. There was a picture of a naked man and a naked woman. What is THAT about? I don’t get it.” I’m sure all the color drained from my face and I started to go into panic mode. What the hell was I going to say? She caught me completely off guard. I had no idea where to start. I am a person who likes to be in control and prepared and I was neither. But she had initiated the conversation. I couldn’t just brush it under the rug. I had to mom up and do this. I took a deep breath and said, ” Honey, get comfortable. We need to have a little talk.”

She looked at me suspiciously and asked, ” What kind of talk? You mean “THE TALK”?” How did she know about the talk? ” You know where I’m going with this?” I asked. She thought a minute and then answered, ” Well, not really, but I know some of my friends have had “the talk”, but they aren’t allowed to talk about it.” Ding dang it! Exactly what I was afraid of, that she heard it from someone else! I asked her exactly what she had heard and it was nothing too significant.  It was weird and inaccurate, but not significant. Whew, lucky break.

I started off our little conversation telling her about the changes girls go through when they reach puberty. She looked a little shocked about some of the bombs I dropped, but was interested and asked many questions. I ended that part of the talk with the fact that a couple of the things we talked about , would happen every month. She looked horrified and asked, ” Wait. What? Are you kidding? Every single month? That stinks!”  You’re telling me, sister.

After we finished the “what’s happening to my body” part of the talk, I told her I needed to bring her dad in for the next part. “You need to bring DAD in? Why?” I explained that her dad and I wanted her to be able to talk to both of us about anything at all.She looked skeptical, but accepted it.

I went to look for my husband and found him watching “Wipeout” all alone, laughing uproariously and completely unaware of the direction his night was about to go in. He saw me and started to rewind the show. ” You have to see this! It’s hilarious!”  Good Lord, the man loves Wipeout. I whispered, ” No. Come on. Sissy asked about how babies are made. Let’s do this.” He sighed, ” Really? We have to do this now, at 9:30pm? I’m watching Wipeout.” I love the man, but sometimes he just doesn’t see the urgency in certain situations. ” Yes, we have to do it now. She’s waiting.” He got off the couch, but not before making sure ding dang Wipeout was paused.

When we both walked in her room, she started laughing nervously, ” I don’t know if I like this.” I started laughing, because that’s what I do when I’m nervous. My husband shot me a “be serious look”. Oh please, now he’s the expert. Typical. I shot him my ” don’t you dare tell me how it is” look. My daughter thought the whole thing was amusing. Well, that amusement was about to end.

We started out talking at great lengths about marriage and commitment. We explained how making a baby should be something that two people who are committed to one another should do. Then we moved onto the sperm finds the egg part and how it’s fertilized and yadda, yadda, yadda. If you are looking for hard-core info here, you better find another blog. I’m not getting into it again until I have to and I have to do this three more times. Anyway, so I thought that we had covered all the basics without getting too….graphic. I did most of the talking and I was proud of myself. She listened and nodded and accepted all that we said. I  wrapped it up and thought she didn’t seem too grossed out or upset. She was still smiling and making eye contact. A great sense of relief washed over me and then she asked, ” So, I understand how a baby is made and grows now, but how does the sperm actually get into the woman?” DAMN IT!!!! We were so close. So very close.

I took a deep breath and looked at my husband. He gave me a “go on” motion. My daughter was looking at me with her gigantic, innocent, hazel eyes. “Well, the man puts his…… penis in the woman’s….. vagina.”Oh God, I said it! I said penis and vagina! I prefer dinky and Gigi, but this was serious.   Her eyes got even bigger and her mouth dropped open. “What?” She squeaked. “You guys did THAT four times without telling me?” She started to tear up a bit and said, “Okay, I am weirded out by this whole thing now.” I kept telling her about what a miracle the whole thing is. She kept saying ” I’m never doing that……ever.” I told her that is how everybody came to be. Me, her dad and brothers. She responded, ” Mom-mom and Pop-pop? Oh, no! I don’t want to hear anymore.” Yeah,I think that was enough trauma for one night, no need to bring grandparents into it.

For the next week or so, she would come up to me at random times and say, ” I’m still freaked out by “the talk” you know?”But she came to me and my husband on separate occasions and asked us thoughtful questions.She asked us to get her a book about it. She is the type of child that wants cold hard facts so she can be informed. With each question, it gets a little easier and less embarrassing to talk about. By the time I explain it to my youngest, I’ll be ding dang Dr. Ruth. Does that age me? Is Dr.Ruth still alive? What I mean is, I’ll be a sex expert.

For the last year or so, she has been after me and my husband to have another baby. After” the talk” she told us she wasn’t so sure she wanted another sibling. A couple of nights ago, as she was helping clean up the kitchen, she said, ” I do think you and dad should make one more…….. BUT, that’s one party I DO NOT want an invitation to.” I just love that girl.

 

Save the drama for another mama…….. July 28, 2012

Filed under: children,mom friendships,motherhood,Parenting — ddl6 @ 1:58 pm
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I have been a mom for almost 11 years now and I think I am finally getting the hang of making good “mom friends.” The women that I consider to be my close friends are all amazing ladies who I admire and respect. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they make me laugh and aren’t offended by sarcastic nature and foul mouth.

It has been through trial and error that I have come up with a list of the types of moms that I try to steer clear of. I’m open to giving anyone a chance but there are types of moms that I just know I will never click with:

  1. The “my life is so much more difficult than yours” mom. Being a parent is mother flipping hard….for everyone. We all have a million and one things to do on a daily basis. Get over it. Have a glass of wine and just deal.
  2. The “all negative,all the time mom”. Oh Lord, this mom is very difficult to be around. Nothing positive comes out of her mouth. She can see a rainbow and her reaction is ” Yeah, but it just rained for 2 hours.” I feel like I am a pretty positive person and I like to surround myself with positive people. I can’t listen to how bad things are. I have to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have to laugh about things.
  3. The “I know best about EVERYTHING” mom. She knows how much sleep your child should get. What your child should be eating. What your child should be watching or not watching. She has no problem sharing her know it all-ness with anyone who will listen. Thanks but no thanks. I don’t presume to know what’s best for every child or every parent. I don’t care to hear anyone else’s opinion, unless I ask.
  4. The “insincere sweet” mom. You know the type: So damn happy all the time, always kissing arse, just phony. I am not fooled at all by this mama. Let me tell you what I’ve learned about her, folks: she is usually a big old bitch. She is judgmental,insulting, and is the first to bad mouth someone…….with a big old smile.
  5. The “disciplinarian” mom. I don’t like to discipline other people’s kids and I sure as hell don’t like another parent to discipline mine. I will step in if somebody is getting hurt but other than that, I stay out of it. It’s not my job to scold other kids. I have four of my own to deal with. There was a mom who had a baby 2 months younger than one of my sons. My son was 6 months at the time and her kid was 4 months. My son was grabbing her son’s foot and she stopped, pulled my son’s hand away and said ” No, no! You need to be gentle! Be nice!” My 6 MONTH OLD, just looked at her and drooled. He should have bit her.
  6. The “hater” mom. Jealousy is a bad thing. I recently saw a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I absolutely agree. I believe you have to be happy for other people’s accomplishments and good fortune. Unfortunately, there is a good deal of competition with everything nowadays and there are some parents who become competitive about parenting. Some moms want to be “the best” at everything and seeing someone else’s success threatens them. Scary.
  7. The final mom I try to avoid is one I’ve talked about before. The “my kid would never” mom. This mom thinks her kid is a ding dang angel. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and think they are great. I also know that kids will be kids and they are in no way perfect. When a mom automatically says ” My kid would never do that.” I laugh. Um, okaaaay. It has been my experience that the child of the “my kid would never” mom usually HAS done it and is probably the ring leader. Just sayin’.

Don’t get me wrong, I have made some great mom friends over the years. They are all supportive,smart and kind. My favorite quote of all time is by Maya Angelou, ” When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” That sums it all up. People are who they are and either you click or you don’t. Save the drama.