Sunday, December 29, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. the Christmas Haze

It is still Christmas! I have 12 days and that tree is staying up until Epiphany. 16 years of Catholic school talking here, so you just keep your New Year resolutions to yourself for a couple more day, OK? I'm not ready.

Awkward Mom doesn't mean to sound testy, she is just dealing with the Christmas Haze. A fog-like villain that covers your living room in legos, stuffs your fridge full of fancy cheeses, desserts, and really nothing that children like to eat, and renders you so insensible that you have no idea what day of the week it is. What day of the week is it, by the way? Sunday? You don't say.....

Given that I was dead sure it was Friday, I have some serious battle to do with Christmas Haze, not to mention villains 800-broken-down-lego-boxes-in-the-basement and the-recycle-bin-won't-hold-anything-else. Since I have been on a diet of candy canes and Christmas cookies for 4 days straight, I might also take a nap. Since I also haven't gotten fully dressed in those 4 days, that shouldn't be too hard. Creating a coherent and halfway sensible post, however, is proving beyond me, so enjoy these photos of the Supers and I will catch you in 2014!

Awkward Dad made his annual Kolaczki.
Note the Oreos off to the side,
just in case Santa felt more American this year.

Ultimately, we decided Santa was Polish. 
We had no carrots, so the reindeer got radishes. 
They didn't seem to mind. 

Super K. opening the first of many
(many many many many) legos sets. 
4 days out; they are no longer sets, 
but a giant pile that I think ate one of the cats.

Super Toddler played with this horse stable for 45 minutes,
ignoring all other toys that her brother eventually just opened for her.
I am putting this one in the win column.

Super K. and his new friend. 

Super Preschooler and his (slightly larger) new friend. 

His Star Wars Walker is basically the dog every little child wants,
with none of the mess. 
Also in the win column.

Stocking Time!
And yes, Santa brought her Slim-Jims. 

My favorite moment of Christmas this year;
Super P. is horrified that Super Fetus receives no gifts, 
so he gives him/her his new Ewok doll and insists that I cuddle them together.
It is amazing and not awkward in the slightest. 
OK, having an Ewok doll in the first place is kinda awkward. 
But Super P.? He is all kinds of perfection. 

We'll see you guys in 2014! Oh, and you can tell us your new year's resolutions if you want to, but don't hold your breath for Awkward Mom's. Since her birthday falls at the end of January, she always gives herself 3 extra weeks to settle on her resolutions. She likes to start them at the beginning of her new year. It's awkward, what can I say? 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Christmas Photo 2013

And this here is why we can't have nice things....

The Shove your Sister Pose. 

The Out of Control Jazz Hands Pose. 

The No Eyes on Mommy Pose. 

The Zoning Out Pose. 

The Messing with Hats Pose. 

The Peek-a-Boo Pose. 

The Out of Control Jazz Hands Pose - Take 2. 

The Let's Pretend We are in a Wind Tunnel Pose. 

The Bored Now Pose. 

The You are Never Getting a Frameable Christmas Photo out of This, 
so Why are you Still Trying?
Can we have some Candy Canes and Chocolate Santas now, Please?

Classics all. May your Christmas Eves be fun, festive, and full of awkward moments that you remember to photograph. Give yourself the gift of future hilarity. You won't regret it! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In being Awkward!

This photo is for anyone who still had doubts as to my true awkwardness. This is how I go about getting teacher gifts ready for least the red is festive.

Posts to come soon; we are battling a mega-cold over here. I think even Super Fetus has it; can fetui sneeze? It would explain the jumping he/she is doing in there. On top of my bladder.....

So, we are in being awkward. Hope you are all in and warm as well. The awkwardness I won't wish on you. It ends up being sticky and hard to get out of the grooves.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Opening Gifts

No; not the whole Christmas eve vs. Christmas morning thing. Not yet, at least.

So, we have completed our Kindergarten Birthday Party marathon. No one set any record times, but still, we finished the race. Just in time for Super K. to come down with the fever/cough/plague that is racing through his school. He basically collapsed on the finish line and is currently ailing on the couch. It is a matter of time before he passes this to his siblings, so this post will be pretty brief. You don't have time to be reading about birthdays anyway; not while you have Jesus' to get ready for, that is.

Here's the thing: living in an university town has ups and downs. Ups being cheap booze and downs being dealing with undergrads who think that leggings are pants. There sometimes feels like there are more downs, but a definite up is the vibrant international community that universities attract. Nearly half of Super K.'s class are children of people from around the world, brought here by the university. Some are professors, some are students, all are fascinating and opening up our eyes to the vast and beautiful world out there beyond the Michigan snow.

3 out of the 4 birthday parties in our recent marathon were for some of these international children. Which meant we got to dance, sing, and party with Chileans, Indians, and Brazilians all within a week. We also bounced with most of them, as the parties were mostly Bounce House Xtreme affairs, and then we feasted with them. Thankfully, in that order. Oh Readers, the food. I can't even tell you about how amazing the food was. I seriously can't; there are not words lush enough.

But interestingly, despite the balloons, goody bags, cakes, and all other hallmarks of traditional American birthday parties, we did NOT open gifts with them. Oh, gifts were brought in, handed to the birthday child, who gushed thanks and appreciation, but then they were tucked away in a pile somewhere, totally forgotten by all the children in their glee for bouncing houses and free-flowing juice boxes. There was no ceremonial opening of the gifts. No tearing through paper and desperate parental attempts to remember which gift came from which person. We ate cake and then each guest was presented with goody bags overflowing with tiny toys and more sweet delights. The children all left on a cloud of mirth, probably due to massive sugar highs, and I didn't even notice the lack of gift opening until we were in the car and I had no lingering shame about my child attempting to open someone else's gift, like usually happens.

Was this just happenstance? Just these three families? Did it have to do with their international status? They are all from various parts of the world, so it isn't like the whole rest of the world could be less materialistic than the USA, right? (She asked with a slightly self-aware smirk.) I don't know. And frankly, I don't care why it happened. It happened and it was delightful. And I am totally gonna try to steal it for the next birthday party I host. How much luck do you guys think I will have with this plan?

Is this truly an international thing? Or was Awkward Mom just raised in extremely gift-opening-right-away environments? Please let us know in the comments. We want lots of ammunition at our fingertips when we try to sell this plan to Awkward Dad....

Because any attempt to minimize this kinda thing would be welcome.
And really good for Awkward Mom's mental health. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Christmas Good Enough

I have been looking at my Christmas budget and I think Uncle Billy has lost the money. Plus, I can't find Zuzu petals to make them into a festive craft. It is starting to feel like Pottersville around here..... 

This is how I feel these days:

Surrounded by festive cheer, 
and yet distractedly staring off into the middle distance. 
(She is really watching Super Why, 
but go with me here.)

The Christmas season (Yes, purists, I know we are really in Advent) is beautiful and I want to give in to the magical moments that happen each day of it, but I find myself instead worried by lists of to-do. Presents for teachers. How much everything is costing. If our homemade gifts of jam and bread are going to be as ridiculous as they are starting to feel. That everyone we know seems to have a birthday in December and how to make them feel the specialness they deserve despite sharing a month with Jesus. The endless lists of holiday events, that too require a gift of some sort. Holiday sweater envy. Trying to create a balance of spiritual wonder and toy delight for my children. Dealing with all the Grandparent gifts that keep arriving and out-doing anything that Santa is intending to bring. Crafty-mom envy, which always flairs this time of year. Basically, the stress and to-dos are endless and I can't even zone out with It's a Wonderful Life and rum-laced eggnog because someone "borrowed" my copy like 8 years ago and Super Fetus can't handle the sauce. So, like an ostrich striking her head in the sand, I stand awkwardly near the tree and stare off into the middle distance. Or watch the Super Why where they talk about Halloween. I have no idea why this episode is playing on December 12th. I have no idea how we got to December 12th and nothing is done!!

I want to look like this:

Totally focused on the moment at hand,
surrounded by festive cheer.
Bright and alert and in the spirit of the season.
Even wearing red!

I am on Facebook. I see you Elf-on-the-Shelf moms with your crafty ways; making cookies and knitting stockings. I see that my mother was done Christmas shopping and wrapping the week before Halloween, when she stashed everything in my basement. I see the lights up and down my street, and the 4 blow-up scenes my neighbor is sporting this year. I see the Christmas specials on TV and the happy, festive family in the commercials where the mom isn't crying in the kitchen because her cranberry-orange bread bubbled over in the pan and is making the smoke detector go off. That mom never freaks out and threatens to cancel Christmas because she is tired and overwhelmed and just wants to hibernate until 2014. No, she is focused on the moment, surround by festive cheer, bright, alert, and wearing a beautiful red sweater she probably knit herself. I will never be her. I should just give up and go back to bed, right?

Or maybe I could just accept that I am awkward and human and not bathed in the flattering light of a commercial that was probably filmed in August somewhere in Hollywood. Maybe I could accept that I write really good Christmas cards, that might arrive on the 12th day of Christmas rather than December 1st. Maybe I could accept that I have had the Muppets Christmas album playing all week. Maybe I could accept the thoughtful birthday gifts that I have selected for my friends unlucky enough to share a birthday with the sensory-searing explosion that December is. Maybe I could accept that I have raised children who can visit Toys R US without demanding anything, without producing any major freak outs, and that Super K. picked thoughtful and loving gifts for all his (4!) friends unlucky enough to have December birthdays. I could accept that we made time to attend each party so they would feel special, no mean scheduling feat. I could accept that no, I did not knit their stockings out of reclaimed wool, but I did scored .99 stockings from Meijer and some felt stick-on letters and made personal ones that they are just as excited about. I could accept that I didn't lose it when the head fell off the 2nd wise man but calmly super-glued it back on. I could accept the Good Enough Christmas, rather than the fantasy Perfect Christmas that only exists in commercials that are trying to sell me premade cookie dough or giant-bow-decked cars.

I could look like this:

Dressed in some holiday-inappropriate shirt, but at least it is red.
Surrounded by festive cheer,
slightly distracted, but smiling a little.
Perhaps sipping some eggnog while I ponder my giant list of to-dos, 
or perhaps pleased by the fact that someone got me a new copy of It's a Wonderful Life for Christmas.....
Just enjoying the Good Enough Christmas. 

I really do need a copy of It's a Wonderful Life, people. 14 shopping days left....just saying.....maybe Sam Wainwright will buy it for me. Hee-Haw and Merry Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Letting go

We are currently running a birthday party marathon. Super Kindergartener has 4 classmates with December birthdays, so within the span of a week, we are attending 4 birthday parties. 3 of which are at the Xtreme Bounce Zone. (No E is needed when you are talking about that level of bounce.) But today, I want to talk about the party that was Xtreme in a whole other way. A more My Little Pony way. 

Super K. and I amble into the hall the family has rented and transformed into a riot of color and cheerful chaos. We aren't early in the slightest, but they are still setting up. Putting up 5 candy stations, a buffet, 7 tables with handmade balloon centerpieces, a cake tower under a rainbow made out of balloons and flowers, a gift table, 3 ball pits, a tumbling ramp, and a life-size, climbable cow statue does take time. It is all My Little Pony themed (minus the cow), which we should have figured out from the singing invitation, an emailed slideshow with the birthday girl's face superimposed onto the likes of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. Super K. is quicker than I am, so he picked all of her gifts out of the My Little Pony aisle at the toy store, which was a riot of a whole other kind, mostly related to shopping in December. That's another story that I am still too traumatized to tell, but point is, we are well-equipped for this party, gift-wise at least.

We don't know anyone, except the birthday girl and her parents, who are understandably busy, so we stand around awkwardly in the doorway. It's what we do best anyway. Adorable Kindergartener (the birthday girl) rushes over, grabs Super K.'s hand, and they run off to climb the cow. Never did figure out how the cow related to things, but I have plenty of time to ponder this as I continue to stand awkwardly in the doorway, clutching a crooked Pinkie Pie gift bag in front of me like a shield.

Adorable K.'s mom comes over to welcome me; this is gracious but complicated by the fact that she speaks very little English and I speak very little Spanish. Shamefully and despite 4 years of high school study, my Spanish continues to hover around requests for the bathroom and declarations that the empanadas are delicious. I understand more than I am willing to try to say because my accent in horrible and embarrassing, so I am aware of the lovely things she is saying to me. I just can't really respond more than nodding and smiling a lot. She talks to me very slowly and clearly, probably because I am just nodding and smiling like an idiot, but it helps with my understanding so I go with it. She floats off to prepare for the interpretive dance act (more on that later), and I resume standing awkwardly by the door, letting the waves of happy conversation wash and flow around me. I am acutely aware of how lame and out of place I look amid all these vibrant Chilean women, laughing and looking fabulous. I wish I was way less white and lame; clear would be nice. Then I could be invisible. I can NOT wait to leave.

A song starts and Adorable K. and her cousins drag Super K. out onto the dance floor. He looks like I feel. He has no idea what is going on and what is expected of him; I can see the tears in his eyes from here. Super K. doesn't like attention on a good day; he won't sing in front of people he doesn't know. He hides behind me when we are in crowds. He recently refused to do the Christmas pageant because "people might look" at him. He is rather shy; he takes time to warm up and he has a healthy dose of my socially anxious genes. It appears that the song contains directions about what dance step to do next. They are, naturally, in Spanish. If there is one thing Super K. hates more than people hearing him sing, it is people watching him dance. He looks like he is going to throw up. They begin to dance in a circle; slow, then fast. Hopping on one foot, then going backwards. Holding hands, then spinning around. I am getting dizzy just watching it and I am fighting everything in me that wants to swoop in there and carry my child, and probably myself, to familiar safety. I am debating just grabbing him, when I see Adorable K. turn to Super K. and smile. He smiles back. He still doesn't know the steps, but he does them. Just a hair behind everyone else and with a slight shrug, like "OK, well, so I look silly. So what?" There is some move where they all lie on the floor and the children start to roll around into each other. Super K. laughs a little. Then he laughs a lot. Then they all hop up and bounce over to gorge on cookies and cotton candy at a table guarded by the smiling visage of Twilight Sparkle. The dance is over, but I can't quite get it out of my head. The tune was quite catchy, but I think you know that isn't what I am talking about.

Super K. feels out of place, I know he does. He can't understand what anyone is saying. Everything around him is wild and loud and new. He doesn't know what he is supposed to do or say. What a frightening experience for anyone, let alone someone who is 5 and kinda shy. And yet, he just gives in to it. I can see him feeling all his feelings over there and still standing next to his friend with a willingness to try. "OK, so I don't get this. Well, maybe if I stick it out, I will. Or someone nice will explain it to me. Either way, look; Cookies!" I actually watch and see the exact moment when he shrugs and just goes for it. Allows himself to look silly and out of place. Allows himself to laugh and have fun despite having no clue what this fun is. Allows himself to just let go of all that control we delude ourselves into thinking that we have. He is 5 years old and has the wisdom to just let go and open himself up to a new experience. I am 35 and hugging the door frame like an idiot.

So I let go of the door frame. I let go. I put my shield/gift in the gift pile, pick up a cookie, and talk to the next person I see, in my broken Spanish with a comment about the extrano vaca in the middle of the room. She laughs and says, in perfect English, that I am right, that cow is totally weird.

We have a lovely time. There is a magician, a fire act that lights the cake's candles, a Pinkie Pie pinata that Super K. refuses to hit, and the aforementioned interpretive dance act that involves the birthday girl using a wand to bring to life My Little Pony shaped balloon animals that her uncles have mounted on remote control cars, while her mother throws glitter on everything in sight. The party ends in a carnival-like dance with everyone whirling crazily on the dance floor around the weird vaca; myself and Super K. included. Just letting go of everything but each other.

I don't have any pictures from the My Little Pony party or of the weird cow, 
so here is a picture of Super K., my mom, and her caballo instead.
He is no my little pony, but he is just as magical and wonderful. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Animatronic Alvins

Antimatronic Alvins in Ann Arbor; I love the alliteration, but the reality is actually pretty awful. 

So, my mother-in-law and I differ in our opinion about animatroic toys. She finds them adorable. I find them slightly less adorable than mosquitoes and root canals. Naturally, the children agree with her and she buys some for them every Christmas. And various other holidays. And sometimes just because she happened to be in Hallmark. Luckily, I have convinced her that some of them want to live at her house because "it delights the children to visit them there." She went for it, so that is how I unloaded the Valentine's Day bull that sings in Spanish for some reason and the Roller Skating Casper the Friendly Ghost, who is wearing a vampire cape and who, incidentally, started to sound like Bela Lugosi when the batteries were dying. But I have had less luck with the Christmas ones and most of them live here. Thankfully, they "sleep" for 11 months of the year in the basement, but the day after Thanksgiving, all 3 Supers want to know where the "talking toys" are. And upstairs they come, like a pack of singing werewolves. Which is just as scary as it sounds.

My least favorite is the hula-hooping Alvin the Chipmunk. Mostly because the children are constantly removing the hula-hoop, which leaves him whirling his lonely hips like some furry Elvis, lustfully luring my children to him with his siren song and Santa hat. Well, this year, Super Toddler finally broke him. Of course, she only broke the hip motion part. Now, he forlornly sings, while the motor spurts and clicks in the background, trying to shake a little shimmy out. His little head is kinda drooped to the side, making his paunch all the more noticeable and sad. I guess he is like Fat Elvis now.

This is better experienced than discussed. Here ya go:

The Supers decide that Fat-Elvis-Christmas-Alvin is too sad, so they give him a friend about 10 seconds in. It doesn't make him any less sad, but they seem to find it adorable. 

Can't wait to see who shows up to traumatize me this year! 
Tis the season! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Work

At the end of the day, it all comes down to Legos. 

So, Super Fetus, while skilled in many ways, clearly can't count. Child thinks this is trimester 1 if the vomiting I did all night is anything to go on. I suppose the less said about that the better. Point is, I was not in the best emotional place this morning and it was my turn to drive the car pool. Every Wednesday, I drive the carpool, and every other Wednesday, I drive Super Kindergarten's schoolmate's mom to her bus stop. This was such a Wednesday. We chatted (she is super sweet), we got to her bus stop, she got out, and then this happened.

Super K.: Where's your mom going?

Sweet K.: Oh, she is going to work.

Super K.: I see. My mom doesn't work.

Now, he has never said this before. I suppose it just never comes up. Well, today it comes up that I don't work. Of course it does. The day I am feeling weak and gross and awful because I WORKED at growing a human baby all night long. I felt like the floor was dropping. Which could have been a wave of nausea or it could be all the respect I thought my child had for me flying out the window. They sorta feel the same. But Super K. wasn't done.

Super K.: My dad works.

Sweet K.: Yeah, my dad works too.

Super K.: Wow! Both of them?

Sweet K.: Yeah.

Super K.: You must missed them a lot.

Sweet K.: Yeah. But she doesn't work every day. And he is home at night and somedays.

Super K.: That's good. I hate it when dad goes to work. I wish he'd stay home and play legos. Mom stays home and plays legos, it's fabulous.

Sweet K.: I bet. What sets do you have?

Super K.: Oh, a ton. Like this Batman one with the Joker....

Sweet K.: You have that one?! That's awesome!

The Lego discussion took the rest of the car ride and probably could have taken the rest of the morning, if they weren't in different classrooms, but I wasn't listening. I know enough about legos and I needed to deal with the warm fuzzy feelings that felt suspiciously unlike nausea.

Work is such a loaded word to a stay-at-home mom. We like to qualify what we do by saying that we don't work "outside the home" or that we don't work "for pay." It is painful to us that our fellow "working mom" sisters might think that we are slothing around at home while they are out actually working. This makes us feel less, shamed, and like we have something to prove. We certainly work. We work all day long. "It isn't easy what we do," we shout. "We're just as good! We're just as important! We contribute! We WORK!" We might as well be shouting "Validate us!" Which is silly. That isn't anyone's job but our own. Not to mention, our children do it so well and without the constant barrage to do so. If we take the time to hear them.

Work isn't a loaded work to Super Kindergartener. It means a job you leave the house to do. It has nothing whatsoever to do with how he views me as a person that I don't have a job. It has nothing to do with his respect for me that I don't have a job. It has nothing to do with how much he loves me that I don't have a job. I'm his mom. He gets to see me most of the time. And that makes him happy. Sweet Kindergartener's mom goes to a job and he sees her some of the time. And that makes him happy. Children adapt to their surroundings. It is kinda what they do. I don't want to get into a working mom vs stay-at-home moms thingie. There is no need. This battle I am having isn't with anyone else anyway. It is totally with myself.

Because the reality is that I don't see staying-at-home with my children as work. I guess, in the technical sense, it is my job, but anyone who has worked outside the home and/or within it will tell you that job is not an effective word for raising children. It just isn't. I don't know if there is a word that fully expresses the frustrating, fulfilling, maddening, marvelous, confusing, compelling, loony, loving, and utterly consuming experience that raising other human beings is. It would be a big one. Thesaurus should get on that because then I would be able to say: "Oh me? I don't work right now. I {insert hugely understandable and descriptive word that means to parent}." And the other person would say, "Oh yes, I work right now, but me too!" And then we could bond. It would be awesome and fabulous, like Legos.

You know what? I am just gonna start telling people that "Oh me? I don't work. I lego." 

It would be pretty accurate. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Stuff they didn't tell me (Vol. 2)

It is time, once again, for a list of random stuff that I was not told at the baby shower. I swear to you, more experienced moms think it is funny to keep this stuff from new moms. Don't be that mom, sitting on information that could potentially bail another mom out. Be a help, not a hindrance. Or at least make sure she is aware that one day, despite all efforts, her child will discover chicken nuggets, "oh, thank goodness, it's just pee" will enter her lexicon, and that she should start buying stock in chocolate while her lovely bundle of baby is still in the womb; you know, just the basics. If you want to review the other stuff I wasn't told, check it out here

1. They poop all the time, and I am not just talking about the babies. Those are actually the easy poops, as hard as that is to imagine at the time. Once potty training hits, it gets even crazier and you will be convinced that they poop all the time. Plus, they will always get the urge when you are at the zoo and have no idea where the nearest bathroom is. 10 to 1 that this will be a ground-hogging situation. (Oh, God bless the urban dictionary.....keeps me young.)

2. If your child likes dolls, he or she will most likely find the ugliest, scariest, most frightening doll in creation to fall in love with. You will have no idea if it is a boy or a girl, unless you are one of those super progressive parents who insists on an anatomically correct doll but then your child will probably insist that it is the opposite gender just to mess with you. This doll will very rarely be dressed and usually carried around by a leg, which you will get used to but visiting adults will not, so prepare to explain early child development often or get used to hiding the thing. It will probably talk when squeezed or something incredibly weird. Enjoy the nightmare of having to tuck this thing in with your child every night.

3. You child will go from eating everything in sight to seemingly subsisting on air. This will happen randomly and without warning. When you are begging them to please, just eat some cake, call the doctor or your mother. You've gone round the bend. They will tell you that it is perfectly normal and as long as your children aren't losing weight, they are fine. But you'll believe it more coming from them, so make sure to call.

4. Stop buying toys that talk. I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I know they are flashy. I know your children beg for them. I know some claim to be educational. You are only hurting yourself and you are going to hurt the toy when the batteries start to die and it freaks you out by randomly going off in the middle of the night. Trust me.

5. Get some Magic Clean Erasers. You are gonna need them. If you want to make them, knock your crafty self out. Look! There is even a thrifty Pinterest-approved version!

6. A word about Pinterest; if you are crafty and become a crafty mom, you are gonna love Pinterest. Or whatever crafty-comparison-clique replaces it someday. Embrace it; that is what the internet was made for. (Well, that and porn.) But if you aren't crafty and don't want to be a crafty mom, do not despair! Head on over here and laugh with the rest of us non-crafty folk. Making fun of stuff is what the internet was made for. (Well, that and porn.)

7. Do not worry if you don't have an Elf on the Shelf. It is not required, despite what about half of your mom friends are gonna tell you. God bless you if you don't know what a shelf elf is. Something not right with those eyes.......

P.S. No judging if you fall in love with the idea of a Santa Spy and delight in the antics, but if you give me one, I am totally re-gifting it. Fair warning.

8. You will have to understand stuff like this:
Me: Wait. So, Jabba the Hutt has children with him?
Super Preschooler: Yes.
Me: Like Hutt children?
Super Preschooler: No, regular children.
Me: Did he steal them?
Super Preschooler: No! They are on the bus.
Me: The bus?
Super Preschooler: Yes, Jabba drives it. He is good now.
Me: Oh, I see. But wait, how does he drive it?
Super Preschooler: With his arms. He has arms, Mom.
Me: OK, but what about the break and stuff?
Super Preschooler: That is what his tail is for.
Me: And he got on the bus how?
Super Preschooler: He moves sometimes. Haven't you seen the movies?

You won't have any hope of understanding stuff like this, so just pretend. And no laughing because pretend play is serious business when you are 3.

9. You probably won't like Elmo. And if you do like Elmo, you probably won't like Jake and the Pirates. And if you do like Jake, then you probably won't like Bob the Builder. And if you do like Bob, there will be someone new to dislike. Or there is always Barney. Whichever one you don't like, your child will adore. Guaranteed. It stinks, but it gets you ready for the teenage rebellions to come. Think of it as practice.

10. They will figure out how to undo those car seats. It will happen way before you are ready.

11. Most stuff is gonna happen way before you are ready, so take a lot of pictures.

12. Especially the embarrassing bath ones that they are gonna hate you for someday. 
Can't put a price on embarrassing your kids. 
Obviously, don't put any butt ones on the internet, 
but keep those for when you meet their future spouses. 

Share this list (and any homegrown wisdom you have grown yourself) with the new ones. Come on now, don't let your sisters take fruit snacks to the park playdate and fall victim to the crunchy moms. Be helpful out there; it's a jungle of judgment! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Pew-mates

Dear This Sunday's Pew-mates-

Let's review, shall we? First of all, you unceremoniously shoved my child further into the pew to accommodate yourselves. Startling, but I suppose understandable. You were late and in a hurry, after all. Then, during the readings, you engaged in a barely whispered conversation, that I could totally hear, about the inappropriateness of my son's Star Wars sticker book as "church reading material." You may be right, but I doubt you heard any of the actual readings in your ire. Then, you acted put out when my 5-year-old had to squeeze by you to take up a can of food. Yeah, I suppose that was annoying. Having to move a few inches so a child could give some food to the hungry. Guess your huffs and puffs were warranted there. Then, when he got lost on his way back and couldn't find me, you declared, "Oh goodness, he is probably going to cry now." Don't really understand why the potential tears of children made you roll your eyes. But that eye roll was nothing compared to the one I received when I had to haul my pregnant self past you to go fetch him. Yes, I am huge. I get it. After sighing at us upon our return and your repeated glares at his Star Wars book, I am surprised that he wanted to hold your hand during the Our Father at all. I certainly wouldn't have.  After this kind and forgiving gesture on his part, there was no need to wipe your hand on your pants the second the prayer is over. Yes, I know he is sticky. He is 5. Couldn't you be sightly sneaky with your wiping? And finally, after all that, you have the nerve to turn to me after church and say "Well, I guess someone just doesn't know how to act in church yet." You go ahead and interpret my "Yes, some of us are still learning" any old way you please, but know this; I was not talking about my 5-year-old son.


Awkward Mom

PS Next time, perhaps not sitting next to small children might ensure you have a more positive church experience. Or maybe actually listening to the readings, especially if they have anything to do with tolerance and patience. Just a thought.