Parenting: The Stuff They Never Tell You

I am a semi-helicopter mother and not proud of it. Here are some things I’ve gleaned in the past few years of parenting. I’m not sure how helpful this is but for those contemplating marriage and eventually kids, do read this once. It may give you a different perspective (read abstinence or hardcore contraception) or it may reinforce what you see and hear in front of you everyday anyhow.

So..here we go!

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#1 Having a conversation with anyone else barring your child is like being in a boxing match. It goes like this- you speak 1,2,3 and someone jabs you. You try to regain your balance and speak again 1,2,3 and this time it’s an uppercut.

There are rare conversations that you can have without being interrupted; till you decide to give it up and just focus on the kid. And guess what precious nugget comes your way when you do? It’s quite possibly something along the lines of – (imagine it being spoken in all caps) “You know what? My poop is all orange from all the nachos I ate yesterday!!” And you nod helplessly because you hung up on an overseas call with your BFF to hear about your kid’s bodily function.

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#2 Farts are important. If they stink, how loud they are. If you’ve noticed the abovementioned smell and noise. If you haven’t they’ll probably poop their pants trying to squeeze one out that the whole neighborhood can be proud of.

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#3 You have to watch everything you say. Literally. Imagine becoming a psychotic with visual hallucinations where the words you think materialize in front of your face. You reject a few and allow the rest of them to be uttered. If you don’t, the next time you may be subjected to a bout of , ” Gimme a break or a ” Oh for crying out loud!” from a 1st grader because you cut off digital media or pool access at pre-agreed upon times.

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#4 Pool times are deadly. The child *never* remembers that staying for too long in the water causes their skin to prune up. When you tell them their time’s up, they mimic dolphins and scoot away from you.

Wading into the pool and dragging them out leads to yells and screams tantamount to child abduction with people looking at you and your offspring in distaste for causing ripples in their recreation or serenity.

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#5 Some part of the body always hurts during homework or DEEEEP sleep to rival Rip Van Winkle’s comes on in droves and it goes away only when the threat of homework does. And then, the recovery is more miraculous than the walking on water phenomenon! Faster too!

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#6 Waking the child up in the mornings is a drama par excellence. The hands flung over the eyes a la Scarlett O’Hara, the burrowing into the covers like a mole and coiling up smaller and smaller like a worm or a snake makes you gobsmacked! One child going through all these changes in a matter of seconds is nothing short of amazing.

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#7 Say goodbye to your stereo and tv and tablets. The kid rules all and owns all. You don’t come in second. You don’t come in. Period.

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#8 Holiday destinations are decided by where the wild things are. Literally. The continent with the most venomous snakes, biggest crocs makes the cut. Relaxing at a beach? Sure…but can you also see the Inland Taipan or the Tasmanian Devil? No? Then it’s a no-go.

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#9&#10– these two are probably the most annoying IMHO. Your bedroom and your bathroom time are no longer your own. And that’s mystifying because why on earth would someone want to spend so much time talking to you through the bathroom door, wanting to know what you’re doing, when you’re coming out and even going to the extent of shoving their ever-growing drawings of dragons under the door for you to peruse while you’re focused on something entirely different and faar more important.

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They creep you out by looming over you in the weekends; the one time you don’t have to run and bundle them into clothes and catch the school bus. They whisper slowly into your ears, distorting dreams with reality; often shoving tiny fingers up your nose to wake you thoroughly and even body flop on your sleeping, unsuspecting self just to tell you they LOVE YOU. And you feel compelled to reply in kind while you blindly kick out, hoping to connect with that tiny butt and get them the hell out of your sacred sleeping space.

Ah parenting…what a ride!

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Movie Reco: The Godfather

My whole family’s been under the weather after the offspring got a bug back from school. With long periods of imposed bedrest there’s hardly any time before your mind commands you to watch a movie, or 3. Well in my case no movie is ever watchable at a stretch when my kid is around, so with all the breaks accounted for; one movie goes for at least a day or 2.

Anyhow, from the depths of my fevered brain, some voice kept throwing up movie recommendations and one name kept resounding louder than the others. Well more than the name it was the theme music that kept resounding. And while that may be schizophrenic at some level it still was THE GODFATHER!

Now I haven’t watched this movie in years but it just really hit the spot this time. James Caan, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall…it really doesn’t get any better. That it’s a bit slow-moving was discounted since my days were moving at the speed of molasses anyhow.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Godfather-

“Don Corleone: I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

“Sonny: What the hell is this?

Peter Clemenza: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

Michael: [coldly] Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.”

Michael: [Confronting Carlo over Sonny’s death] Today, I settle all family business, so don’t tell me you’re innocent, Carlo. Admit what you did. Get him a drink. Come on, don’t be afraid, Carlo. Come on, you think I’d make my sister a widow. I’m Godfather to your son, Carlo. Go ahead drink. Now Carlo, you’re out of the family business, that’s your punishment. We’re finished. I’m putting you on a plane to Vegas. I want you to stay there, understand? Only, don’t tell me you’re innocent, because it insults my intelligence. It makes me very angry. Now who approached you? Tattaglia or Barzini?”

“Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That’s what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes? Right? And you know something? Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.”

Michael:  What’s the matter? What’s bothering you? I’ll handle it. I told you I can handle it, I’ll handle it.Don Corleone:  I knew that Santino was gonna have to go through all this, and Fredo, well, Fredo was well, but I never – I never wanted this for you. I worked my whole life, I don’t apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on a string held by all of those big shots. I don’t apologize, that’s my life, but I thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone. Somethin’.Michael: Another pezzonovante .Don Corleone: Well, there wasn’t enough time, Michael. Wasn’t enough time.Michael: We’ll get there, Pop. We’ll get there.Don Corleone: Uh. Now listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.

Salut.

ReBlogged: Fee Fie Fo Fum!

Said the giant before Jack whooped his bottom and took away his essence of being a giant altogether!

Ok…how does that make any sense you ask? I’ll tell you…just let me spin out my tale a bit more…

Parenting. Glorious parenting. Tis fun. Tis joyous. Brings tears to your eyes at times (for many reasons, not all of them good) but god dammit! Why does it have to be so HARD???!!!

One mom I met a few months back at the doctor’s office said something which is SO true for most of us…we wait for our babies to talk and take their first steps and then when they achieve said milestones all we seem to be capable of telling them is SHUSH and DON’T RUN AROUND!

If my speech was transcribed throughout the day (like a court reporter does) I have a feeling most of it would start like this (especially when taken in conjunction to my communication with MLM):

Morning (before coffee)- moan, groan, grumble, curse (while stepping on some toy which has wheels or a part sharp enough to poke).

Waking up MLM- (singsong) Hey Buddy..waaaaake upppp! Good morningggg! How are you todayyy? Kissy kissy, cuddley-wuddley and all that jazz.

Getting him to brush his teeth and bathe while keeping an eye on the wall clock- To the tune of This is the Way We Go To School- this is how we brush our teeth…la la la la laaaa.
On seeing that aforementioned teeth are not getting brushed- WOULD YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH ALREADY!! JESUS CHRIST! YOU NEED A DARN JACK TO PRISE OPEN THIS CHILD’S MOUTH! OPEN UP NOW!!! GOOD BOY…see…pretty white teeth…keep them nice and clean…STOP CHEWING ON YOUR TOOTHBRUSH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! YE GODS..I GAVE BIRTH TO A GOAT!

And so the morning progresses.

On the way to school we sing Eeya Eeya O!! till new requests for songs get delivered right into my ear. And then the exchange becomes like this-
WHY ARE YOU HISSING INTO MY EAR!  NO! NO! DON’T FIDDLE WITH THE RADIO…AAARGH TURN IT DOWN..TOO LOUD..NO I DON’T WANT THE WIPERS GOING SWISH SWISH..IT’S NOT RAINING…OK FINE..NO! DON’T TOUCH THE HAZARD LIGHTS…I CAN’T SEE THE ELEPHANT IN THE CLOUD NOW I’M DRIVING! SIT DOWN NOW!!

And so we get dropped off to school, exchange kisses and promises of being good and having fun yada yada.
Then comes the coming back from school part- ( again imagine singsong happy-happy la-la voice…to start with): How was school? Did you have fun! What did you see? Did you eat your snacks? Wha..what…! NO NO…NO CHOCOSHOT! STOP LYING DOWN ON THE ROAD…NO KFC NOW EITHER…WOULD YOU PLEASE NOT KICK MY SEAT WHILE YOU THROW THE TANTRUM…AARGH….GOD! I MISS BEING SINGLE!!

Then comes the bath and evening play time: (less singsong…cheer is decidedly being summoned)- Let’s go bathe and get fresh…you’re all stinky poo-poo (yes we baby talk..so shoot me!). HANG ON HANG ON…DON’T POUR MY FACE WASH INTO THE TUB..THOSE AREN’T BUBBLES…OK YES THEY ARE BUBBLES BUT NOT YOUR BUBBLES..THOSE ARE MY BUBBLES…SIGH..TAKE IT ALL…just sit down and get clean you force of nature…

Going to the playground- Who’s going to have FUN?! YES! That’s right…10 minutes into the playtime…please share the swings…plEASE…PLEASE..WOULD YOU JUST GO PLAY ON THE SLIDES OR SOMETHING…IT’S BEEN AN HOUR AND MY HANDS ARE GOING TO FALL OFF..I’M NOT PUSHING YOU ANYMORE AND THAT’S FINAL! AM LEAVING…DON’T THINK AM BLUFFING..AM GOING…WHOA…HANG ON…DON’T RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION THE CAR IS THIS WAY…grumble grumble…curse curse…pine for alcohol and wish for a husband who worked from home!!

Bed time: RINSE YOUR MOUTH. GO PEE. GET INTO BED. LET’S READ YOUR BOOKS FOR THE UPTEENTH TIME ON THE SAME PAGE, SAME LINE, SAME WORD….

By the time the little eyes close and the HUK (hug) and kisses happen the voice is again mellow and singsong and thinking ‘ awww…isn’t he beautiful? Yeah…I can do this another day. NOT RIGHT NOW…later. much later.