I told you I was all or nothing. I take a few days off writing and then, suddenly, it’s been a month.
The thing is, if I don’t stick with a habit, I tend to forget it. I like writing and I love getting all of the crazy brain palooza organized by putting my words on the page, but I find myself plagued with self doubt and an overwhelming sense of self-consciousness. I really can’t write using my authentic voice if I’m self-editing or worrying about what other people are thinking when I write.
In the past month I’ve not only been a Bad Motherblogger. I’ve pretty securely cemented my place in the running for the Bad Mommy Award (if they gave out such things). Here is just a short list of what I’ve managed to accomplish.
- After our lovely moment bonding over her trauma/discovery/awakening re: The Tooth Fairy, I enlisted Bookworm’s help as the Official Tooth Fairy Assistant. She has since lost 2 more teeth and did a bang-up job selling her belief and excitement to her little sister. Until said baby sister lost a tooth and, well…the Tooth Fairy forgot to come. Uh Huh. That’s right. Somehow I got it pretty much right for nearly 11 years and brought Bookworm into adolescence believing and then I completely blow it for the 7 year old. I think The Tooth Fairy’s Assistant covered like a boss, but I cannot believe we did it. The worst part is that I wasn’t home the next night and Circus Dad followed my instructions to use the My Tooth Fairy App (check it out if you have little ones!) and leave the photo for her. The Assistant wrote a note in glitter pen and left “fairy dust” all over her pillow…but both of them forgot to leave her the MONEY. #facepalm
- The girls wear school uniforms, which I love, and which eliminates so much drama for Girl Moms. The only real area the girls have for self-expression is their footwear and hairstyles. Thank GOD my girls have lost interest in fancy hairdos, so we have a ponytail assembly line in the morning and we’re out the door. But shoe selection can take upward of 10 minutes. A couple of weeks ago, The Bean found a box of shoes I had saved for her from when Bookworm was younger. She hated most of the shoes and we donated them or passed them on. But she did rescue a couple of pairs of ballet flats and one really obnoxious pair of Sketchers that light up and have some bizarre Justice-style graffiti pattern on them. The only real rule I have for them re: shoes is that they must wear proper trainers for PE days. Sketchers do not count. So on regular uniform days, my girls can wear any shoe that conforms to the uniform code. A couple of weeks ago, The Bean decided that her sister’s old (very old…I’m thinking Kindergarten? And definitely made and bought in China) red ballet slippers were her fashion statement for the day. We hadn’t even gotten her IN her classroom for the morning when one sole completely came off. I’m not sure if it was the Chinese manufacture or the Thai climate that rendered the shoes useless, but it didn’t matter. The situation was such that the kid was literally sporting one shoe-and that one was precarious. I told her I’d swing by after Boot Camp and bring her replacement shoes. No later than 9am, I promised. And then I got busy. Doing what, you ask? Well, drinking coffee. And paying bills. And then getting cleaned up and dressed and to my nail appointment. At 11am I get a phone call from an unknown number and The Bean explains that she has borrowed her Teacher Assistant’s mobile phone to ask if I could please bring some shoes because she had to stay in for first recess and was going to have to miss lunch recess, too, if she doesn’t have shoes. Blink. Gulp. Worst. Mom. Ever. Shoeless Kid. Almost all day. The shame.
- For being such a sensitive person, I’m strangely unsentimental about objects. I save almost nothing. Maybe it’s because we’ve been so nomadic? But I think it’s not that. I just abhor clutter and I don’t see why I need to save junk. It’s not like I will ever go through the box of artwork the kids made starting in Pre-K. But my lack of sentimentality when it comes to the girls’ little projects is not a good thing. Each year, a the end of the school year the kids come home with the giant bag full of their work and art, and projects and 7000 worksheets with gold stars and smiley faces on them. I immediately take out the giant bin that they each have that is full of what they have deemed necessary to save from their previous years of work. I make them sort through, keep what still matters and toss the rest. Then they sort through what they brought home and put it all back in the box and we shove it back on the top shelf of their closets. Only to see the light of day again on the last day of school the subsequent school year. Bookworm is a hoarder-she will probably need a second box this year because she saves giant projects and notebooks. The Bean is like me and saves almost nothing. Whatever. I have a folder in my filing cabinet where I save little notes, and cards and pictures they have made that were especially sweet or had some kind of meaning. I also have teeth, but not because I’m saving them. More because I truly do not know what to do with them. I digress. What I do not save are the paper placemat masterpieces that the girls make me when we go to Chilis. Or the macaroni necklace we made together in Girl Scouts. That is not to say I don’t save the homemade gifts they have made me-macaroni included. I just don’t keep things that are every day. I probably should. It would provide me with more of a day to day snapshot of them growing up. That way, my Timehop flashback photos wouldn’t give me such a permanent heart attack. But I don’t. Last week we were having mommy-Beanie time and my little one asked me if I would save the picture she made me of me looking suspiciously like Elsa from Frozen. I said sure! I would even put it up on my bulletin board next to my desk! She looked at me askance. Just then, the Bookworm popped her head up over the side of the sofa and emerged from her literary fugue. “No you won’t. You don’t save anything we make you.” She asserted. Thus ensued a whole conversation about how they know I don’t really care about their artwork and the things they make me. OMG. I’m such a bad mom! I think this transgression puts me over the edge and into the inescapable lead for the Bad Mommy Award. I went straight upstairs and hung up Bean’s artwork. That evening, Bookworm glanced over at me and raised one cynical little eyebrow and then directed her attention to my bulletin board (which did have other artwork by the girls-admittedly mostly at least 3 years old). “Nice, mom. That’ll show us”. The inscription at the bottom of the picture says “Dear: Mom I love you so much can you
plecspleas keep this picher then you will never forget me. Love: Kiki”. (Let us not get into the spelling, lack of grammar and the hilarious attempt to correct said atrocious spelling with yet another misspelling…this will only set me off on a rant about school.)
I have spent a good amount of time really thinking about my Bad Mommy moments. And here’s the thing. I’m so outrageously flawed it’s embarrassing. I read at least one parenting or family improvement or self-help book a month. I worry and agonize and fret and then…ultimately? I let it go. Because I totally suck. I put pressure on them when I shouldn’t. I push them to be more disciplined and better behaved and kinder and more thoughtful and to try harder. I insist that they be polite, but I encourage them to stand up for what they want and to speak up. I make absolutely no sense. But I’m counting on one thing. That my presence (omnipresence?) in their lives will overshadow and make up for my abundance of flaws. My overwhelming and shameful mistakes. My unintentional (but real) damaging of their tiny little egos.
My takeaway is this: I will not muck up Tooth Fairy Duty again. I really will not…and the Tooth Fairy Assistant will get a commission for her job in reminding me. I will remember my kids when they need something during the day, because they really shouldn’t ever wonder if they are more important than my nail appointment. I will replace the artwork on my bulletin board and do a better job of showing them the items I have saved. Because my girls are my heart…and for all my lack of sentimentality…it kills me to think that they might not know that deep in their souls. I will also forgive myself for my utter suckery. And I will try harder.