Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shame Meets A Pot Of Coffee

Obviously I'm as bad a blogger as I was a lesbian, a yogi, a student, a dieter, a non caffeine addict, etc.  However, unlike that whole "ooh I'm going to get in shape and reinvigorate my soul" phase, I've decided to come back to this and give it another go.

Why have I been so horribly neglectful you ask?  Well for starters I realized that going back to school actually entails a lot more effort than sitting at a coffee shop with a pink laptop and purple glasses whilst surrounded by books looking both sexy and studious all at once.  The picture looks more like me sitting on my bed surrounded by overdue assignments, with hair I haven't brushed in 3 days, crying into a red bull watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy and thinking "I should've just gone to medical school.  THEY still look good."  Basically school has been a bigger adjustment than I had anticipated.

Secondly, my baby is no longer a baby.  He is now what I like to call a no saying, attitude rearing, temper tantrum throwing, sugared up bundle of badness.  And I thought keeping up with a baby that cried 24/7 was hard to do.  Ha.  Kid stuff.  This child now has a mind of his OWN.  He doesn't think the world revolves around mommy any more, now he is fully aware that the world in fact revolves around him.  Don't worry though, I'm pretty sure I'm going to survive this.  I'm slowly learning to laugh at the sheer insanity of trying to reason with a toddler.  A toddler with sweet blue eyes, big ol dimples, and a personality ten times bigger than my own to boot.  You cannot negotiate with these unreasonable creatures called toddlers.

Thirdly, I've re-entered the dating world.  Sort of.  Not really.  But there is of course a boy to blame for my blogging neglect.  I find it very comforting that for every problem I have, I can always trace it back to being the fault of some member of the penis clan.  Screw personal responsibility.  Am I getting off track here?  To avoid discussing my relationship?  Of course.  I hate to taint a new relationship by giving life to it by putting it into words.  That's a fancy way of saying I have commitment issues.  That I'm steadily working through!  But I mean come on, what single mom who still vividly remembers the horrors of taking care of a colicky newborn ALONE wouldn't have commitment issues?  Or any single mom for that matter!  I just like to make my situation sound even more tragic obviously by throwing that "colicky" word around.  Trust me, that word invokes fear and pity alike. 
Ok I think I'm out of excuses for my shameful blogging behavior.  I hope you all can forgive me and we can some how move past this.  Thank you and good night!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Somewhere Between Lonely And Dating, There's Me

I come from a generation where the idea of “dinner and a movie” has long since been replaced by too much alcohol and a sketchy night on someone else's couch. Where a goodnight kiss use to be in order there is now the awkward good morning as you're making your escape, preferably without eye contact. I'd ask where has the romance gone...but I'm pretty sure the word “romance” has lost all meaning anyway.

No, I'm not bitter, I'm really not. I'm just mourning the loss of a fantasy pop culture snatched away from Generation X with Britney Spears music videos and the invention of “teen soaps.”

I've never been good at dating, I went straight from lectures about not dating until you were ready to get married to one night stands. However now that I'm a single mom I find myself re-evaluating the concept of dating. I've bid farewell to my wild days but it's far too late to say hello to old school courtships. So what's left? Fitting in a date between chasing around a toddler, attempting an education, and work? Do I really what to sacrifice the short time I have to just sit in front of the tv, eating my weight in chocolate, and letting my mind turn to mush and replace it with flirty small talk, push up bras, and awkwardness?

I hate dating because I don't understand it at all. I suck at all of that, and I suck at it ten times more now that I'm a Mom. I'm not boring, but I'm not exactly exciting either at this point, at least not to anyone above 4 feet. I can't even see myself having sex with the lights on, like ever. God forbid someone see what motherhood has done to my ass.

I miss being 15, waiting for my first kiss. I miss the possibility of taking it slow. I miss getting excited about a relationship instead of feeling dread at the thought of having one more thing that drains my energy.

I know it'll get better though, I've been single for about a year and 9 months now (basically since right after I got pregnant) and although I'm finally starting to feel like I might possibly be open to the idea of a date or two I also know that there's no reason to rush into anything. What is the pressure with being in a relationship anyway? I don't understand why everybody is always “looking” if they're single, when did the idea of being single (which does not mean being alone by the way!) for an extended amount of time become so tragic?

Yes, I'm kind of trying to convince myself here. But honestly, I don't want to be one of those people who dates just to date, or gets in a relationship just to be able to change their Facebook relationship status. I'd rather wait until I find someone who makes me feel 15 again. Who makes me actually WANT to forgo a night of Grey's Anatomy reruns. So until that person moseys on into my life, I'll keep doing what I'm doing. There's something to be said for not having to shave your whole body anyway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Of The Ridiculous Nature

In case any extra evidence was needed that I'm losing my mind, I spent yesterday morning searching for my car keys.  It was super fun.  Then I found the ignition of my car.

Obviously I blame the one year old.  I swear I use to be somewhat more sane.

I also seem to recall a time in my life where I was able to carry on a conversation without talking babies.  Now I'm always able to find some casual way of sneaking my son into it, and I honestly don't know what I use to talk about. 

"Oh you completed your master's degree?  That's awesome, did I mention I created life last year?"

"New job?  Yea that's great, did I mention my son can say HI?  Seriously."

Don't worry, I'm working on a smoother transition.

Back to my losing my mind.  I think it's just these past couple weeks.  I recently discovered I have been neglecting personal property taxes on my car (which is worth approximately less than a latte) for a couple years.  I guess I've moved so many times they were having difficulty finding me but last week they caught up with me by sneaking in a little hold on my driver's license.  Nice guys, I appreciate the creativity.  Which, by the way, I found out after spending a good hour at the DMV.  Nothing tops off a trip to the DMV with a bored toddler who's going through his throw-himself-on-the-floor phase like finding out it was a complete waste. 

Sorted out that mess by spending the rest of the day on the phone with several counties treasurer's offices, commissioner's offices, the prime minister, the president of France, etc.  Apparently this state doesn't fuck around when it comes to a couple hundred bucks...

I also have been spending this week doing my new favorite activity, daycare hunting.  I'm about to give up and drop out of school because obviously everyone but me is incompetent when it comes to caring for my child.  Honestly though, how can you really trust a complete stranger, license or no license?  I'll admit I'm going a little overkill here, I've already rejected two people because although everything looked great, they were nice, I'm pretty sure I was getting a bad vibe.  Not positive, but I had a hunch.

Speaking of school, I found out yesterday that when I enrolled for my classes instead of enrolling at the campus I wanted for some reason I enrolled at two different campuses, neither of which are the one closest to me.  Awesome huh?  So now I will be driving an hour and a half to one, then leaving and driving 30 minutes to another one, then driving an hour home. 

And people think I'm exaggerating when I say my life is ridiculous.   

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Evaluate and Re-group, Bring It Monday

At this point I'm going between tears and laughter faster then… toddler.

I cry because I'm exhausted, burnt out, and today my child managed to destroy the entire house and has now decided the phrase “no Conor don't! No!” is the funniest thing he's ever heard. Then I laugh because I'm, fortunately, still able to see the humor in the ridiculousness of life and also because Conor is hella cute even when he's practicing to be the lead screamer in a heavy metal band.

Hey at least he has goals.

I hate those bumper stickers that say “my child is on the honor roll at blah blah preschool.” I hate them because they're bragging, but they're not intimidating. They need to add a little more such as “my child is on the honor roll at blah blah preschool, MY child has goals, MY child is on the fast track, what exactly is YOUR child doing with his life? What are YOU doing? Do you not even care that your roots are showing?” Because then you not only will question your 4 year old's motivation for success but also your own skills at this thing called life.

Yes, today I'm cracking under the pressure in case you couldn't tell. Today the world is one giant bumper sticker glaring me down and questioning my motivation for success. Today I'm cranky.

As exhausting as it is to keep up with someone who has a complete breakdown when he's not allowed to open a cabinet or climb on a couch or eat a stink bug, I do have to admire the raw emotion. No trying to hide, disguise, or bury any feeling. Kids take on every angry, irritated, frustrated, sad, disappointed, excited, happy, whatever that may come at them.

Obviously I'm not going to take this inspiration too far. I know that in most situations it's not appropriate to bite a co-worker when frustrated. But I also know bottling up the bad stuff until it explodes into a grown up sized break down is also no good.

So the End of the Week Deep Thought is this...somewhere between childhood and regret we need to find some kind of a balance to handling our emotions.

I'll be more brilliant next week, once I'm able to remember that coffee does not equate a well balanced meal.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crazy Is Just A Side Effect Of Awesomeness

As you all might have heard, everything changes when you have a baby.  There's the usual stuff everyone talks about, ie you discover a love you never thought possible, items around your house lose all meaning but to be categorized under "choking hazard" and "safe," countdowns to bedtime start around 5 am, etc.

Then there's the other shit.  The definition of "hey guys let's pull on all nighter!" changes drastically once you have a child.  What use to imply loads of questionable fun now invokes fear.  Pulling an all nighter with a screaming baby can never be a rollicking good time, no matter how many shots of tequila you've had.

Calm down, I jest.  Tequila and tears never go hand in hand.

The definition of "party" also goes to hell.  Parties use to be all about the booze and beer pong.  Now I scoff at the idea of a beer pong party for several reasons.  First they're a breeding ground for germs and what not.  You go to one of those things and I guarantee the next day you'll find you've come down with a bad case of meningitis or pregnancy.  Secondly they usually start once I'm already passed out in the sweat pants I've been wearing for two days straight.  Also they require a level of concentration I've long since lost due to hanging out with a certain little person who has the attention span of a gnat.    

A party to me is enjoying a glass of wine and staying up past 9.

And of course we all know the way a woman looks post baby is never the same.  If it is the rest of us reserve the right to hate you, justifiably (yes, I'm looking at you J. Lo).   I'm not just talking stretch marks, extra pounds, and a stitched up vagina here.  If you're anything like me you have your mid life crisis early after giving birth, chop off 11 inches of hair and bleach it blonde.  Something you never would've done before, but suddenly it just "makes sense."  Don't worry, I've since taken back some of my dignity and gotten ridden of the bleached blondeness.

But seriously, this is why I love Britney, who of us here haven't gotten an intense urge just to shave it off after an especially draining week of shopping, tanning, drinking, and having a nanny?

Things that use to mean nothing to us become our life lines or our luxuries.  Coffee.  Sleep.  A shower.  Clean clothes.  Push up bras.  Etc.

If a guy tried to make us turn our lives upside down and change everything we'd ever known, we'd call them an asshole.  Isn't it funny though how some tiny human being who we've know a tiny fraction of our lives makes it all incredibly worth it?  

Let's face it, parents are an insane group of people.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Luckily Normal's Not The Goal Here

A soon to be first time mom once asked me if I had any advice for her. At the time I was 3 months into colic, my hair hadn't seen a brush in weeks, my post pregnancy diet consisted of coffee and reeses peanut butter cups, I was sleeping in 45 minute increments, had the pediatrician on speed dial, and for fun I liked to sit in the bathroom and have a good cry.
Obviously my first thought for her was “DON'T DO IT.”

This however would not have been of any help to her. The only slightly useful thing I could think of to say to her was “sleep while you still can.” While that is incredibly awesome advice, had someone said that to me while I was 8 months pregnant, 70 pounds into it, and desperate to meet the baby boy I was growing inside me I probably would've punched them in the face for the sheer stupidity of their “advice.”

Now that I've graduated from the first year of motherhood, feeling pretty cocky because my child is alive and well, I wonder what I would say now, if asked that same question. Probably not much because the biggest thing I've learned this year is that being a mom is 10% instinct and 90% winging it. However I know what I wished someone would've told me before I gave birth (actually there are a lot of things I wished people had told but I doubt I would've believed them) is this...don't take advice about something you don't want advice on. Moms love to dish it out when they think they've learned or come up with some brilliant parenting strategy. But I didn't ask you if you think my not breastfeeding my son was the reason he liked to cry a lot, I didn't ask you if you thought letting my child sleep in bed with me would cause him a serious drinking problem later in life, I didn't ask you if you thought I held my child too much or worried too much or was crippling my son's independence.

If something works for you, keeps you from losing what's left of your mind, then DO IT. If driving your child around at night to get him to sleep means you get some sleep then screw the repercussions and do it. Moms love to talk about “habits.” “Oh you know you're instilling bad habits in your child by doing that right?” Dear God, I'm too sleep deprived to worry about fucking bad habits. I'm 22 and have a bad habit of drinking my weight in coffee, do I blame my mother because she gave me a bottle in the middle of the night until I was 4? Well, yes...but I'm smart enough to figure out that it's not my parents fault that I like my crutches, they just realized that early on and went with it. Kudos Mom and Dad, kudos.

So there you have it, my insightful thought of the day is take a hint from Nike and just do it.

Self-Assured Is A Dirty Word

I love that our society is so self obsessed to the point where we believe even our thoughts to be so clever that we just must put them out there for the world to read and revel in. And by love I mean I find it incredibly comforting that I'm not alone in my egotistical indulgences.

When I was little I was under the impression that as soon as my mom drove through a green light it immediately turned red, after all WE no longer needed it to be green so really, what's the point? Kids and their firm belief that the world revolves around solely themselves is endearing. Then we grow up and while we do become aware that there's a whole world of people with bigger problems and better ideas then our own, we still behave as if it's all about me. It's not quite as endearing, it is how ever entertaining. And really, what is this world here for if not to entertain me? In the words of Kurt Cobain, here we are now, entertain us.

I'm so glad I'm alive in the 21st century. I don't think I'm clever enough to have survived without cotton candy colored laptops and self sufficient coffee machines.

I swore up and down I'd never let my toddler get lost in the hypnotizing glare of a television. I know it's not a necessity, I COULD entertain my energizer bunny 24/7 with educational counting and shape games, physical activities, and an array of learning experiences. That was, after all, the plan. But one sleep deprived, sick from heavy caffeine intact, confused on a daily basis as to what exactly is going on year later and The Backyardigans are my new best friends. Olivia can get it, that pig is the shizzle. I know, I know, the electronic reliefs of today are stunting the intellectual possibilities for the geniuses of tomorrow (ie, my child). But I mean if you really want to analyze, we probably don't need to be as smart tomorrow anyway. We have google for that. Plus my kid is hella cute and in the end, isn't that what really matters?

I'm just kidding. He's brilliant as well, that is of course the only reason I allow him to watch tv. I know a little tv won't damage the brain of a true genius. Lucky boy takes after his mama. After all, his mama has a blog she's so smart.