Thursday, August 16, 2012

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

My ten year old daughter (who I lovingly refer to on this blog as Dotter, which is actually Swedish for 'daughter' - clever, ain't I?) is somewhat, how shall I say, riddled with anxiety to the point she's probably going to have a nervous breakdown in less than a year, or a heart attack, but probably both.

Case in point: she just called me sobbing because she misses me. She's camping this weekend with her father. They haven't left yet.

What if there's a storm?
What if there's a tornado?
What if she misses me?
What if there's no phone service and she can't call me to tell me she misses me?

I told her to write down on a piece of paper what she would have said to me.

And then write down what she thinks I would have said back.

But what if there's no paper?
Or pens?
Or if there are pens what happens if they run out of ink?


My head hurts just thinking about it.

So, here's where I confess that I hope there isn't any phone service. Not because I hope she's tortured with sadness and loneliness... but because then maybe because there's nothing to do about it maybe she'll be forced to just enjoy it and be in the moment.

I know. It's not going to happen because she isn't wired that way.

And I don't know how to rewire her so she can relax and not be so worried about everything.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My how my standards have dropped.

As with any exhausted mother of an incredibly spirited toddler (read: holy f-ing god this child will not quit moving), I signed Cletus up for gymnastics class. Parents & Tots gymnastics class, if we're being specific.

Now, my number one rule of parenting is "don't sign the kid up for anything where I'm required to perform physically." Well, no, actually that's not true. My number one rule is "don't let the kid sleep with anything that might potentially strangle him in his sleep; especially a pull toy" (thanks to my mother who watched a movie where that happened and forever traumatized me with the details). My number two rule is "don't sign the kid up for anything where I'm required to perform physically."

Except this kid will. not. quit. moving.

The two sweet girls I birthed before him sat nicely. And played quietly. And never ventured to far (or too high) away from me.

The boy runs along the back of the couch, swings off towel bars and jumps from kitchen counters.

The girls played with dolls that had elaborate set-ups with furniture arrangements and multiple wardrobe changes.

The boy throws golf balls at my television set, skateboards down the hall and crashes his bike into the dining room table. On purpose.

And so, it was inevitable. I had to do something to break up our Saturdays.

Lucky for me class consists of 45 minutes of racing after a kid who just bolted across the room because he doesn't feel like stretching to the I like to Pike rhyming song. Two kids are signed up for this class: my 2-1/2 year old brute, and the smallest, daintiest 18-month old girl I have ever seen. You know how they have teacup poodles? This is a teacup baby. I swear the mother pulled her out of her pocket and placed her on the mat for warm ups. It's my job to make sure my child doesn't kill her by sommersaulting into her fragile cranium.


Let's just say 45 minutes was not enough time to wear this kid out. Which completely sucked because Dotter had a class immediately after his that we had to sit through. Originally, I planned on taking Cletus for a nice long walk while Dotter was in class, but I was exhausted. All that crawling through tunnels and jumping through hula-hoops and falling off that stupid beam (even though it was only half an inch off the floor) made me tired. And kind of sore.

Instead of pushing Cletus in a stroller I chased him down a flight of stairs to obtain what is referred to as Mommy's Magic Trick in the form of an overpriced Cheddar Chex Mix snack pack from a vending machine that refused to accept my dollar bill until the thirty-eighth try. Then I chased Cletus back up the stairs and back into the gym where I sat on the bleachers watching as he rolled around on the floor lapping up dropped goodies off the floor and listening to the judgmental rolling of the Perfect Parents' eyes.

But here's the thing. I know where my kid is: right here. Laying at my feet picking up fallen Chex Mix from the disgusting gym floor with his tongue, occasionally spinning himself around like a top before skooching over two inches to lick up another crumb. And he laid (and ate) at my feet for the entire time. I call that a win, people. I call that a win.