Tell Mama

I give up.

I surrender.

My white flag, a pair of granny panties haphazardly attached to a lonely old mic stand, waiving high in the air.

A symbol of defeat, a symbol of sadness.

A symbol of  old identity and new identity coming together as one sad, pathetic, almost middle aged lady wondering where the hell her tube tops and the boobs that used to look so fabulous in them went.

I tried. i thought I was better than this. I thought I could run faster than the flames of time that were lapping at my reflection as I pondered my new wrinkles, the new gray hair, my droopy bosom, and the weird ugly blood vessel spots on my face.

I wanted to break the mold. I THOUGHT I COULD REMAIN HOT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! CHILDREN BE DAMMED!

But now, I just weep.

Laser treatments, hair color, facial masks, Spanx and Victoria’s Secret can no longer mask what I know to be the truth.

I am a 36 year old mother.

And I wear yoga pants.

I’m too tired to go out.

The thought of going  to a loud club or bar after 10PM makes me want to hide inside my own uterus.

I want to stay in with my daughter every Friday and Saturday night.

I don’t care that my husband wears t-shirts that say ” Maris street block party 2002″

And I need wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Cry Cry Cry

My twin sister just wrote this post. 

I was devastated last night reading it. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t even cry. I felt like someone punched me in my face. I could cry now just thinking about it. 

I feel guilty about crying, because no matter how terrible this makes me feel, Jill feels 1000000000 times worse. I shouldn’t even have a “sad” button, because nothing I am sad about comes close to her sadness.

I cried on Tuesday because Georgia was constipated and couldn’t poop, and was screaming and it sounded like I was torturing her. She was late for school and I was late for work. I wanted my mom to come over and help. This is like the worst thing going on in my life. meanwhile, my twin sister is all alone and thinking about a future too horrible to even make up or imagine, and I am crying because my kid can’t shit today. I don’t deserve to cry.

I don’t know what to feel. I feel so guilty. Even when we are together without the children I can smetimes feel her thinking about Mason and what if she is missing his breakthrough moment? It makes my chest feel so heavy, and my stomach feel so empty, and my heart just breaks and breaks and breaks. Why did this happen to her? Why did this happen to Mason? What the fuck? 

We don’t just sit around and act depressed, but her post last night really upset me. 

We do fun things, we go to karaoke bars, we have sister night and watch stupid movies, she calls me when Mason does something cool, I call her when Georgia does something cool. we go to brunch and we laugh a lot. It isn’t all doom and gloom. But seriously, what the fuck?

I worry about Georgia too. I think of how shitty middle school girls are and I pray that she is nice and that everyone is nice to her, I pray that she always stays safe. I think about how many times as a young adult I got into a car I should not have gotten into because the driver was drunk, or all of the terrible decisions I’ve made throughout my life. Sometimes I can’t believe I made it out alive. I am terrified. But, for the most part,I live in the bliss of ignorance. Nothing has happened yet. I can think about these things, but also dream big for her, because, well, why the hell not?

Mason already got in the car, so to speak. His car accident already happened. Jill can only go day by day. Mason’s future is unknown. She can only mentally handle small periods of time, like, “Maybe one day he will be potty trained”.

Life sucks. I hate when people say “special needs children go to special people” because WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

My sister deserves to experience all of the joys a mother and son should experience during this phase of life and not have to fucking worry about if he will talk or if hes will able to us a bathroom, of if he will be able to live on his own. Some stupid phrase is not going to make anyone feel better, or special, or like they were hand picked by god to take on a fucking challenge.

If there is God, I pretty much hate him right now for doing this to my sister and nephew.

Aside

Potty Talk

A blog about children would not be complete without a post on potty training. 

The reason I even entertained the idea of potty training is because Georgia starts school in September, and they have to be potty trained in order to attend. Now, I spoke to the directors and they said of course at 2.5 years old, their expectations are not the same as for their kindergartners  and that they mean potty trained “within reason”. So, whatever. Sounds good to me!

We first introduced the potty to Georgia when she was around 1.5 by the recommendation of our pediatrician.  She did not recommend potty training specifically , but just letting Georgia become familiar with it. Letting her play on it, sit on it with clothes/diaper on, watching us go to the bathroom (yeah, i know TMI). So whateves, we had some potty conversations, she sat on it. I think she actually WENT on it when she was around 14 months old, but really didn’t understand the concept so while I as her mother was thrilled that we had some potty action, I did not make the mistake of thinking that meant she was mentally or physically ready to start using the bathroom. Think of how stressful that is for a ONE YEAR OLD. ONE. YEAR. OLD.

Using the bathroom is a big responsibility, and like sorry i was just not ready to put that on Georgia. So for the next year we read potty books,  she occasionally went on it, we discussed diapers vs big girl pants and finally in May, two months after she turned 2 years old I decided that we would kick it up a notch. 

We went to Target and I made a big deal out of her picking out some big girl pants, and I took a week off of work to do some naked training. Naked training consists of no clothes, potty in front of the TV,  me asking every 5 minutes if she had to go to the bathroom, and an M&M for reward!  It was exhausting for her and it was exhausting for me but she did a GREAT job, of course had a few accidents but was understanding the concept , learning to ask us for help when she had to go, and those were the two most important aspects for me…not necessarily if she was successful.

If she asked for a diaper I let her wear one for a while because I did not want to stress her out or make it a negative experience. To empathize, I went back to my experience with learning how to breastfeed. The nurse cut me a break when I asked for formula on the second day.  The relief and the step back allowed me to make three steps forward in being able to successfully breastfeed within a week. I used the same approach with G. 

So after the week of naked training, we were doing half undies, half diapers. We kept telling her “no diapers at school” and she would say ” Big Girls don’t wear diapers!” so the message was getting through.

My sister Saint Caitlin took the brunt of it that month, and really helped us out while she was training my nephew Jules. We bought a portable fold up potty to take in the car or wherever in case she had to go. Accidents were accidents and did not cause us ridiculous amounts of stress. When she had them I made sure to tell her I was so proud of her, and the important part was that she tried her best. Stress free for her was my goal. 

So now it is three months later. She wakes up in the morning and goes potty. She wears her big girl pants all day ( except for nap time), and when she comes home from Cait’s at 6PM if she asks for a diaper I let her wear one  (sometimes she does not) but these requests are getting few and far between. Same with accidents. Maybe 2 per week?  It isn’t noticeable. We’ve been out and about in the city and not had ANY while we are out, they all happen at home or at Cait’s.

I think by September she will be at the perfect point in her potty training for school. I’m really proud of her for trying so hard. In conversations with her fabulous pediatrician, she stressed that TRYING was important and the outcome was second. I took the advice to heart and will always be proud of Georgia as long as she tries.

Sleeping Angel

According to parenting books, advice online, and  live feedback from others, I’ve done a disastrous job at forming good bedtime habits for my daughter. 

I admit, I took the lazy approach to bedtime, and did not stand my ground when Georgia began to protest right around the time she turned 2, mostly due to us taking away her binky.  Before that, putting her to bed was a dream most of the time. A story and a smooch, she was good to go! We never really had that sleep deprivation that people speak about when discussine new babies or newborns. Yes, the actual newborn age was hard, but it was not because we were not getting enough sleep.

So anyway. back to my lazy mom story. In March/April right after Georgia’s second birthday, we decided to quit the binky cold turkey…it was hell for three days. Like seriously.  My fist mistake was telling Georgia that I lost it.She frantically started searching under couches, in her toybox, in cabinets. “Mommy, please! Help me find binky!” she desperately cried while looking under the couch. I couldn’t take the pathetic, sad look on her face. I LIED to her and she was asking for my help. Me. Her mother. The savior of all things gone wrong. 

My heart broke with guilt, and I desperately looked around for someone else to blame.

Um….sorry Buckley. 

“Georgia, it is not lost. Buckley ate it. I did not want to tell you, because I did not want you to be mad at Buck”

She stared at me, and I swear a moment of almost relief came upon her face..as if maybe there was a chance for her to find it!

She marches over to poor clueless Buckley.

“Buck, why you eat my binky?  Hey Buck, get my binky out of dere!”

Buck just licked her face, and she sort of gave me the side eye. I could tell she was mad at him. Oh brother!

“Mom why Buckee do dat?”

“It was an accident,” I say.

“Member when I had accident I pooped in the bathtub?”

Great! An out to this binky conversation!

We being talking about how accidents are okay, and how they happen sometimes…blah blah blah…binky was forgotten for the day. 

But not at night.

Oh. My. God. The SCREAMING.

Georgia has never been a screamer. I can think of about 3 times where she had a real honest to god toddler temper tantrum. Usually when she is grumpy, she just TELLS me she is grumpy and asks “to relax on the couch”  

Relaxing on the couch consists of pillow, milk, and blankie, and mickey mouse clubhouse. We’re good to go from there.

So anyway, Chris and I were not used to this kind of behavior. We brought her in bed with us on the first night without binky, and just held her while she screamed and screamed, and screamed for hours…and hours… and hours…

“I’M GOING FOR THE BINKY RESERVE!” Chris yells at me over the wailing. I’m like crying  at this point because I don’t know how to calm Georgia down and I could tell Chris was really upset which was making me more upset.

“NO!” I yell back.

‘ DON”T DO IT! JUST HOLD MY HAND!! WE’LL GET THROUGH THIS!!!”

Chris nods and we both just close our eyes and try to drown out Georgia’s horriffic screams. ““MOOOOMMMMYYYYYY MY BINKKKYYYYY PLLLLEEEEASEEEEE MOMMY MOMMY HELP MEEEEEE HEEEEEELP MEEEEEEEEE!”  

hiccup hiccup, violent cough from crying so bad.

Jesus fucking christ? Where is the goddamn binky?

I jump up. Chris grabs my arm.

“Stay down! We’ll regret it in the morning! JUST STAY DOWN!”

“DAAAAAAAADDDYYYYYY MOMMMMYYYYYY AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” ‘ AHHHHHHHHHHHHH” “AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH    HEEEEEELP……….!!!!!!!”

Then. Darkness.

Now it is dawn. Birds are chirping.

I peek open one eye. Georgia is sleeping. 

I look at Chris.

He looks at me.

We survived the first night without binky! Yippie.

So anyway, this exact same scenario happens for the next two nights. Ungodly screaming. It was never like this when she was an infant. It totally sucked ass.

On the fourth night, when I am rocking G and reading her story she puts her hands on my cheeks and says ” Mama, can I sleep in your green room again?” 

I tell her yes, but remind her that there are no more binkys in my room. 

“No more binky. Buckley ate dem”. 

Humm…this seems promising. I take her in my room and we fall asleep together.

And now, almost four months later, to the horror of good parents everywhere-my child sleeps in bed with my husband and me.

Now I can see where people are like WTF, she never slept with you and now you’ve gotten her into this bad habit at 2 years old.  I’ve even had a NON MOM shake her head at me and tell me this was “not good”

Here is the thing. What was really ( because let’s call it what it was) a lazy attempt at parenting-I was too tired to deal with  the binky sadness, and screaming, has turned into the sweetest part of my life.

I love having Georgia in my bed at night. We pretend we are getting on a spaceship, we put on our pink space suits, we hide from daddy under the covers, we sing songs, we butterfly kiss. She seriously looks at me and goes, “mom, lets talk” and demands that we share a pillow. We pretend we are birds, we pretend we are butterflies. One night I told her to close her eyes and use her imagination to see Aunt Nancy’s farm, and now she loves to “use her magination” to go to the beach, the farm, Grandma’s house.

She is only two. I am NEVER EVER EVER going to get these years back. I have no idea what our future holds, and I cherish every freaking happy or sad minute I have with this girl and I want to desperately to remember it all, I wish that she could remember it all, but I know she won’t and  I know I won’t.

What I CAN hope for is that she remembers a feeling. A feeling  that I am lucky enough to remember. A feeling my mother gave me when I was REALLY little, probably around two or three. I don’t remember specifics, but I remember lying in bed with my mom and feeling safe, and loved, and snuggled, and warm. Jill and I would fight over who was snuggling better, who she was looking at, who’s arm she was rubbing. I remember loving my mom SO MUCH, and she was right there next to me, and it was the BEST FEELING EVER. 

I can’t force Georgia to remember any of this, or to think it is special, or  to cherish it.

 But *I*do. And  the “experts” and internet are really missing out.

When Georgia is 15 she is going to beg me to go to sleepovers, she is not going to want to hang out at our home or with me, and I am thankful that my decision to co-sleep with my daughter came out of  my laziness and need for sleep.

 

In Your Easter Bonnet

So I have been totally been getting SCHOOLED in the “daughter clothing department” throughout my first two years as a mother.

When I first envisioned bringing Georgia home from the hospital, I envisioned it to be something along the lines of a movie premier. Me, in a fabulous outfit, baby weight gone, holding my beautiful daughter in her first, very expensive dress from some store that I really can’t afford. Flash bulbs going off, people crying… hysteria of new papal announcement proportions!!! I had seen my friends pictures on Facebook… eyes gleaming, holding their newborns, family by their side…out of the hospital and on to experience all of the GLORY that is motherhood!

Um..okay. What the fuck. That is not what happens. or that is not what happened to me anyway.

First of all, when I envisioned going home from the hospital, I did not envision wearing a HUGE maxie pad the size of P-Diddy’s yacht, nor did I expect my stomach to look so totally disgusting. I also thought I would be able to at least put some make up on and do my hair.  And that someone would be ready with a camera to document the epic event.
Fail, fail, fail in all areas. My glamorous “going home” outfit was not to be. My hair was in a wet bun, and I was in my fucking pajamas. At least they were new.

On to Georgia’s “going home outfit” It was from an adorable children’s store called Dimples and Dandelions. It was like $80. The hat had an adorable flower on top, it was white, it looked so snuggly and NEW!!  My daughter would be seen as the most fashionable girl leaving the hospital. Mothers would look at me with wonder. “how is she so fabulous for being a new mother?!”
Not. She shit all over the white outfit within 4 seconds of wearing it because I did not put her diaper on correctly or something. She went home in a normal onsie and some pajamas. At least THEY were new.

Okay, now on to my hospital exit ( I know this part is not about clothes but just..I have to describe it) . It basically went like this.

Girl who did not want to be at work: Do you want a wheelchair?

Me: Um…I don’t know.

Girl who did not want to be at work: SIGH (LOUD)

Me: Do people usually have wheelchairs?

Girl who did not want to be at work: Sometimes

Me: Um…that is okay. I can walk.

Girl who did not want to be at work: I recommend you get in the wheelchair.

Okay I get in the wheel chair. Now, about those “leaving the hospital” pictures. There needs to be someone to take them.

No one was there.

I was just like, wheeled out to the parking lot, holding my new baby in the car seat, terrified to put her in the car, Chris was terrified too and no help at all. We were like deer in headlights, the “girl” was just like “See Ya!” when we got to our car.

No outfit. No pictures. No postpartum glow. There was also a snowstorm. i was wearing Chris’s puffy jacket.

$80 down the drain for a poop stained white outfit that no one ever wore.

Okay..you would THINK that I would have learned my lesson. But no! For her first Easter, I go to Janie and Jack and purchase her first Easter dress. Again, around $80.

Now you have to remember, at this point our budget had not really been affected by having a child. Mostly everything we needed was given to us at our shower, so to me running in Janie and Jack and purchasing a dress was NBD. I’m all like, “I don’t understand why EVERYONE doesn’t shop here! “

I seriously said that out loud and thought it, and I am embarrassed to admit it. But I’m being totally truthful. I like, thought that was going to be our way of life. Shopping there for every little sock.

Anyway. Georgia wears the Easter dress. She is in it. It’s a little big, and it looked cuter on the hanger, but again, I am such a good mom because my child is STYLISH.  I pat myself on the back.

Ten minutes into Easter, she pukes. She craps. She screams. Exploding diarrhea everywhere. I am in the bathroom with her. I don’t know what to do. Where do I put her? Can I put her on a floor? Do I need to find a changing table? how do I change a baby that is projectile vomiting?I put her in her pajamas.

Not a shit in sight after that.

Okay. Now let’s move on to our trip to Cancun. She is 9 months old during this time.

I buy her an “airplane outfit”. Ralph Lauren. I am sure you know what happens next.

 The pilot is getting the cabin ready for landing. Flight attendants are collecting drinks. I hear a bubbly fart sound that sounds like it came out of the bog of eternal stench. I take Georgia and run to the bathroom. There is a line. The people let me go ahead.

OMG I was sweating my girl balls off. I’m in the airplane bathroom. If I was worried about putting her on a regular bathroom floor, what the fuck am I supposed to do in the airplane?? OMGG ALL THOSE PEOPLE IN LINE!! Georgia is screaming her face off. I rip off her shitty Ralph Lauren “airplane outfit” and …toss it in the trash can that leads to I have no idea where. There is shit all over her. Again. I have paper towel, baby wipes, she is shitting in mid air. I am trying to clean up the bathroom. I’m yelling “I’m so sorry” to whoever is left standing in line. I wanted to D.I.E.

i come out. No one is in line.

“It sounded very stressful in there, so everyone just sat down.” A lady pats my hand and says to me. I must have looked like totally horrified, because another woman said, “Don’t worry, we have all been there.”

Airplane Outfit Fail.

Bathing Suit Fail.

I forgot to bring her Christmas dress to mexico. So I don’t even know what would have happened, but okay another $50 down the tubes.

So then we are finally past the exploding shit phase. And she is crawling. YAY!!  She can wear her nice clothes!! No wait…boo. She is drooling all over everything. And her clothes are filthy because she is on the floor all the time. And learning to eat solids. Baby food all over the place.

OMG it just goes on and on.

I DID have success at her first birthday. I bought her a lovely outfit. She wore it. No mishaps. There are pictures…however I decided not to press my luck, and started shopping at thrift stores for clothes. You can get the good brands and over half price, she wore them once, and I didn’t feel guilty. I was learning to budget…yes I envisioned everything to be  Pottery Barn , Janie and Jack, when now my reality was becoming Target and Thrift Stores. My own shopping habit was dwindling due to finances. I was shopping for things on SALE. …this is a big deal for me.

But still! I could not give up my need to make my child pinterest ready! Now she can walk! I can dress her up the way I want! MUHAHAHAH.

No.

“I WANT THOMAS SHIRT!” I WANT YELLOW JAMMIES!! NOOO FANCY SHOES!! BAD DRESS! NO TIGHTS!!”

She wants to wear the same damn shirt every day. She hates all of the dresses I buy her.

She wants a Minnie Mouse Dress.

I buy her all these nice clothes, and she wants to dress like a fucking mouse.

FML.

Aside

Pinning and Winning!

So I have had a love hate relationship with pinterest. It has made me feel inferior. Like a bad mom. Disorganized, uncreative, and basically like I suck.

I loved looking at all of the cute ideas though. And the more I pinned, the more I told myself that no one was really recreating their pins. The world was filled with lazy pinners! Like me! I have nothing to worry about!

Until…my board called BATHROOM.

Chris and I decided to renovate our 2nd floor bathroom. it’s really small, and kind of looked like a bathroom from the 80’s. Okay, it WAS a bathroom from the 80’s and as not to offend the previous owners (my grandparents!) I have to say that for 1980 whatever it was a perfectly acceptable bathroom. But for 2013…no.

Chris and I first went to some bathroom store to see what was out there, and I was so OVERWHELMED with everything, tiles, tubs, faucets, omg I had no idea what I wanted. There was too much to choose from! I couldn’t decide on anything.

I went home and went on pinterest. I rarely ever pinned anything, I didnt really know what people were actually doing with their pins… I figured it was more like an inspiration board and that it would help me decide what I liked. Sure enough-a pattern started to emerge. Black and white. Subway tile. clean and sleek. yay! I knew what I wanted. Kind of. It was still hard to imagine that my bathroom could ever look like one of these cute bathrooms I had pinned. But-I have to say, I think i did a good job!
Here is the link to my Pinterest Board Bathroom

And here are some pictures of my newly renovated bathroom.I think pinterest was a HUGE help in organizing the look of what I wanted. These pics aren’t great-I wish I could take a pic of the whole thing, and obviously I am still  looking for the perfect quad light switch and have to hang stuff on the walls. What do you think? Did I get close to my inspiration boards?

bathroom 3

bathroom 5

bathroom 7

bathroom 8

bathroom1
bathroom10

bathroom 11

And now I’m depressed again, because if my bathroom board came true, how many of these other fantastic boards are coming true??!!!

Over the Rainbow

My sister Jill has a new blog. It is about her life in real time after finding out that her son Mason has autism. Or is on the autism spectrum…I’m still trying to learn all of the appropriate lingo and follow along, and keep up, and stay informed.

When we were pregnant…

When WE were pregnant.

My whole childhood and much of my adult life is WE. Very little of my life has been “I”. When WE were little, when WE were in high school, when WE moved, OUR friends. We both were singers, on cheerleading team, on swim team, played soccer, had the same friends, shared clothes, walked alike, talked alike. Identical cousins. Except sisters!

When our biological father died in 1999, I was heartbroken. The last time I saw him I was 6. The last time WE saw him we were 6. We thought we would meet him one day. At his funeral my heart broke for Jill, who was so sad, and I know she felt the same for me. We were sad for each other, but not sad for ourselves because we knew exactly what the other was feeling and we just wanted to take the pain away from the other one. We have never talked about this, but I just know it. Because I knew exactly how she felt.

I know how she feels about many things and anything in our life that has caused heartache…a lost relative, a boyfriend dumping or cheating one of us…I don’t know, we have experienced it all together. It’s like, I’ve never felt alone Ever. Even during bad hair styles of the 80’s, because most likely Jill had the same one (except for the great hair crisis of 1995 in which my mom accidentally cut all of my fucking hair off) But there was plenty of empathy on Jill’s end and she ALWAYS told me I looked great.

So, big bangs aside, with Mason’s autism diagnosis, she is just alone. It is her. Not we. I can’t do anything to help her feel better at this time. I feel guilty for crying, becuase then I feel like I’m crying because something is wrong with Mason. And there is nothing wrong with him. He is perfectly Mason and all of his little funny things are now part of his personality and who the fuck am I to cry over them? I am not perfect. None of us are, none of us have the perfect life or the perfect children. I guess we all just envision things a different way. Which brings me back to where we started.

When we were pregnant, this wasn’t even on our radar. We just talked about them being best friends, going to school, who’s graduation would mom attend if they were on the same day?? We looked at clothes, blankets, boppies, binkys and oohed and ahhhed over each other’s nursery. We helped each other with registries ( um, I mean I copied Jill’s), made fun of people with birth plans because even though you think we are nice, sometimes we are assholes. But you can be an asshole with your twin, because she will never talk about you behind your back. And if she is mad at you , she’ll just get all up in your face. And in one hour you will kiss and make up. Actually, you don’t even “make up” You call your twin an hour after your big fight and say, ‘Are you going to see the Les Miz movie next week?” and it is just forgotten because being mad at your twin is pointless. Even if you get slapped across the face by your twin after bad night with tequila.

I guess what I’m saying is that….I love Jill. And I love Mason. And I hope she knows she is not alone. And I am SO thankful for all of the support she is receiving from everyone. I can’t offer any words of wisdom. I don’t know what this is like.

I know what she dreamed about before Mason was born, because I dreamed these same things when I was pregnant. ( No, I am not talking about chili dogs lathered in pineapples. I am talking about giving birth to the next Olympian)

You don’t dream of all of the things she is facing right now. She did everything right.

And maybe that is the point. She did everything right. And has the perfect little boy for her. He is not society’s idea of perfect. This is not a challenge that any of us are up for when we get the big positive. But life is not what we put on facebook, life isn’t always the journey we imagine, and even though we are struggling righ now, I truly believe that we are all going to be touched by Mason in ways that we can’t even fathom. He is our little man and I know he is going to make us all so proud!

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.