That’s when I began to realize that during the first few months of my son’s life, I would not be living out any idealized role of mommy; I was a mad scientist, trying to figure out which baby soothing techniques would make him stop crying: a combination of white noise and bouncing, pretending I was at a wedding and doing The Hustle or taking him outside for some fresh air.
I think my solution is to refrain from assumptions altogether when I’m in public. I’ll stop playing along with other’s comments about her getting married one day, or meeting a man, or whatever. At home, I’ll adopt new words into my vernacular with her. I’ll illustrate differences through play — I can show her two girl Barbies kissing and two Ken dolls kissing.
Now what’s the catch-22? Typically, the kids are so desperate for my attention when we are together that they resort to whining and crying and just generally being awful in order to get that attention. Surprising absolutely no one, that kind of behavior only annoys the shit out of me and makes me irritable. Which means I’m short-tempered. Which does absolutely nothing for my ability to properly deal with their whiny behavior. Which means it only gets worse. Which makes me tell them to just leavemealone! And the cycle starts again.
While tucking my son into bed tonight I was flooded by grief and joy simultaneously. He is eight, so I am used to this. Every time he goes and grows up he leaves me with this memory of the younger boy he left behind that day, vanishing in my arms as I reach down to kiss him goodbye. Tonight is different though. Tonight, perhaps I am the one who grew up a little bit too. It’s amazing what a call from school can do.
Most days as I push our stroller up a hill loaded with my son and a week’s supply of groceries and feel the muscles in my arms and legs working, I am reminded of the total body workouts I used to enjoy at my local gym. Not that long ago I lived a very different life — one that included a husband, a charming little house that we owned on a tree-lined street, a fulﬁlling full time job, a fun fashion part time job, volunteer work as a board of director for two companies, four weekly gym workouts and a circle of friends for dinner parties or BBQs and occasional travel.
I grew up in Alabama so I’m well-versed in the wonders of the humidity in the region, and though my son spent three years living in the South before we moved back to Oregon he didn’t remember this particular sensation. I was struck by the funniest feeling, and realized I’ve never considered what it will be like to raise my child in an entirely different environment — and largely different circumstances — than I was raised.
Guys, summer is almost upon is… which means it’s TOTALLY time to get ready for con season! We’ve chatted about taking a small child to a con (totally doable), but never before have we waded into aspirational con territory for many a parent-child duo: taking your teen to a con. Luckily there are tons of options this time of year — there’s a con for just about every form of geekery you can drum up. Harry Potter fan? Check. Horror movie aficionado? You got it.
If you guys are looking for a laugh, get pumped because I found it for you: yesterday Warmland Films released the first installment of Convos With My 2 Year Old. The video series is brilliant: they’re taking actual conversations between a two-year-old and her dad and replacing the two-year-old with an adult male.