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An awakening

So I’m sitting here at a campsite having a moment of revaluation as a parent.

Living with my mother has been challenging for my family. Don’t get me wrong, we are beyond grateful in a time of crisis for our family that has turned into a huge boon for us and our future along the way. But no house was meant to house 8 people (three families) all in very different phases of life for an extended period of time. I’ve lost my way and lost sight of the person I was meant to be to my child(ren). I’m supposed to be the best mother she deserves ESPECIALLY in the hard times. Not only when it’s easy.

I’ve lost sight of that. And I hadn’t even seen it. I’ve used ‘just surviving’ and ‘transition’ and ‘life is hard sometimes’ in the midst of my own pain and lost compass as an excuse to phone it in, yell, be lazy and turn on the TV. When Scott decided not to come camping I thought it’d be a good time for Susan and I to get a break but I just had a surreal hour plus in the tent with her: not worrying about schedules or the baby or my family or the house. She talked to me and I listened. We laughed. I heard, for the first time (again) how kind of a soul she is. We snuggled. I taught her how to make a pallet out of a folded comfortor, just as my father (the king of appreciating the moment) taught me. I was the recipient of a million spontaneous kisses. I learned my daughter believes friendship casts a spell on you (it totally does) and that she still can’t wait to learn to be in love like me and Daddy. We shared chips, hugs, books and so much love. I didn’t even have to ignore the clock, I simply forgot it. She was the one that said to me “Mama, we’re having such a great time that I wish I wasn’t tired…but would it be okay if I went to sleep now?” And when she did, I was touched and I was the one that wanted to cry and wail that I wanted to stay up with her. It gave me a refreshed perspective on what it must be like to be four and a half years old, spending every moment of your day orbiting a bright light in your sky and never wanting to close your eyes and be in the dark.

After she snuggled down in her first ever pallet, I remembered a moment almost exactly 4 years ago when she she was 9 months old: I had had this singular moment of clarity; I sat on the floor with her while she did a puzzle and just…enjoyed the moment. Just enjoyed it. The peace, the quiet, the harmony with the chaos that is this life revolving around Sol on this rock. It is a moment I’ll remember forever. The moments where I can just be are so few I can count them on one hand. When I married my husband, met my future children and nursed my daughters for the first time are among the top few.

I have lost sight of that.

Tonight, here in these woods, brought me back to the priorities of this life.

I need to be a present, engaged, loving parent.

Not just for my kids.

Not just because of my kids.

But for me.

I’d better remember that, lest I lose everything I was ever made to be here for.

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Don’t worry…

So at dinner one evening I’m talking to my husband about how I’m feeling melancholy and bored and like what I spend every day doing doesn’t matter. (It does, I get it. I just am used to being fulfilled not by wiping butts but by caring for sick people…okay, so wiping butts. But at least I get paid well for it…)

 

Susan pipes up: “Don’t worry, Mama!! You’re not the worst mother ever.”

 

Thanks, kid.

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STFU

So this may come as a shock, but at this point in our relationship you may have gathered by now:

I have a fairly foul vocabulary.

I know, you’re floored.

In my efforts to not be the parent of “that child” that constantly says “fuck this shit” and “shut the hell up” and other really awful ones like “jizz receptacle” on the playground, I’ve started creating my own curse word abbreviation substitutes. I know, I’m not original, but whatevs.

These include:

The basics:

B – bitch

Effer – fucker (also has other variations of which I am sure you are familiar: effed, eff, effing, etc etc. “Fuck” is a very versatile word that way. It applies in every part of speech)

Shiz – shit

 

The more complex:

STFU – shut the fuck up

GTFO – Get the fuck out

 

And the cosmically impressive:

SOMFGYCB – seriously, oh my god you fucking crazy bitch (<- okay this one’s not real but it would be awesome if I could remember that many letters in the correct sequence on the regular)

 

So this evening, I’m on the phone with a friend and Kathryn the (no longer a but we still call her a) baby is talking on and on and on in her crib, which prevents us from putting Susan to bed, as they are currently sharing a room. (We’re living in my mom’s basement for the moment. It’s long story. We are grateful. And cramped.)

 

So I say to said friend on the phone “Can you hang on a second? I need to go tell Kathryn to STFU.” (see above dictionary)

My husband says “I’ll go try to settle her.” (or something like that. I fully admit I wasn’t really listening…)

And Susan (the four year old) pipes up with: “Tell her to STFU, Daddy!”

 

 

Is that better? I’m not really sure….

 

 

And I totally need to pay homage to one of my favorite, awesome mom bloggers: MWDAS. Another combination of letters!! (It’s “Moms Who Drink and Swear” for you newbies). Check her out. She’s fan-fucking-jizz-recepticle-tastic:

http://www.chicagonow.com/moms-who-drink-and-swear

AND you should buy her book. Or get like ten friends to follow my blog and I’ll lend it to you a-la-kindle style. 😉 And no, she’s not paying me to say this or is even remotely aware that I have posted this. She’s just been a total inspiration regarding what it’s like to be a mom who….drinks and swears. It’s like my mecca. Anyway, check it out. You won’t regret it. 

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Vagina Monologue

And the vagina monologue with my wonderful daughter Susan continues.

 

So let me set this up for you:

 

Today, my daughter painted her hair in preschool (or her friend did it, or she accidentally slung it, depending on what story you believe) so she came home with stiff, blue hair. This was a decent amount of paint as her hair is dark brown and the color was still quite noticeable. She did however, pay homage to my friend Rane and her awesome, brightly colored hair. (Yes, Rane, you!!).

Also, while she was in preschool, she announced that I have a lot of curly pubic hair on my vagina to the world during snack time. For more details, see this post: https://parentingseatpants.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/my-mamas-vagina/

And, I’m training for a 5K, which means that about 3 times a week I get to disappear and run [the fuck] away from my family for about 30 minutes or so. Tonight was one of those nights. (Hooray!!)

Being the ingenious, smart, excellent-at-time-management parent that I am, I elected to shower with the paint covered four and a half year old to conserve both water and time. We showered and removed copious amount of sweat and blue paint from our persons in less than ten minutes: record time.

Of course, the Murphy’s Law of Children (which I really should get around to writing about – but Murphy ironically keeps getting in my way) dictates that for every situation well time-managed with children, there is an equal, but completely opposite situation that’s time is completely, the fuck, wasted. (I get that that particular “the fuck” doesn’t really flow well here. It’s a work in progress….but it bears emphasis)

So, because of old Murph, once we finish with the shower it takes my daughter nineteen hours to dry herself off and brush her goddamned teeth. While she’s doing this, I take stock of my private area and agree that I do, in fact, need to get out the weed wacker and calm some things down. So I figure since she’s taking a year to brush her teeth I’ll just do a little personal hygiene in the meantime. I dust off the mustache trimmer that my husband and I share for our various hair care and get to work. (For those of you that think “eeeeew” – I feel really, really saddened by your sex life…)

[I’m going to take this moment to address those of you that are skeeved out by me not only showering with my child, but also taking care of my “lady patch”, as it were, with her present. To those of you who feel this way I say this: screw you. I refuse to live in a world where it is unacceptable for my child to see my naked body. I feel no shame about it (okay, a little shame, but I’m really working on that for the sake of my daughters) and neither should they. I don’t believe in “introducing modesty”, I don’t think my child should be shielded from appropriate nudity, in appropriate situations/circumstances, by appropriate people (read: trusted adults, parents, doctors). I think that to teach my daughter to love them selves and not worry about the things that can plant seeds for eating disorders or lifetimes of poor self esteem and sadness, I need to be as comfortable in my own skin, in their presence, without fear or shame or a societally imposed sense of propriety as I hope them someday to be. Yes, even at four years old, do I feel strongly about this message and how my actions of hiding my naked (GORGEOUS) form from her may convey that message (that is frankly of far greater importance than that of ‘modesty’, if you ask me. Which you didn’t. But I don’t care). And yes, she often sees my husband naked, too. Nope, this is not wrong, either. The human body is normal, people!! NORMAL!! I want my daughters to grow up confident and comfortable with the words and sights and nuances of the human body. Jesus, she’ll have to have a pap smear some day, and she does not need the traumatizing experience that I had at fifteen. After I had already had sex. Go ahead: ruminate on that for awhile.
And point #2 regarding me shaving my junk with my child present: STFU. I don’t hide brushing my teeth from her. Or washing my face. Or nursing her sister. Or her dad combing his hair. It’s all about taking care of yourself. I certianly don’t go out of my way to ensure she is present as that’s a different kind of creepy. But if she’s there, I think of it the same way I do when I’m brushing my teeth which is: “Whatever. I’ve got like sixteen seconds to think about this shit and I actually should get it done so this doesn’t keep getting all in the way when my husband and I actually get around to doing it” Tooth brushing and pube trimming: it’s all the same ilk, inmyveryhonestopinion. Kinda like the breastfeeing/bottle feeding debate. Whatever, dude.
Okay, I think I’m done for the moment.
 *climbs off soap box*]
But I digress. Back to the incident at hand.

Anyway, I’m about halfway done (this process takes like 3.79 minutes) while Susan hasn’t even made a dent in six of her teeth….

and the power goes out.

 

 

 

 

I’m not even going to tell you what happens next. I think your imagination can probably fill in the blanks far better than I ever could.

 

 

 

 

 

I will mention that I may need to call my waxer first thing in the morning….

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“My Mama’s Vagina…”

So, we’re back to the (now) four and a half year old who is (yes, still) obsessed with vaginas (and penises, and boobs, and butts…..the list goes on and on).

The preschool my oldest attends is an fan-freaking-tastick Unitarian Universalist cooperative. This means that all the parents participate in the program as classroom aids in lieu of hiring an assistant. It’s a very cool, cost effective way to have a closer hand in your child’s early education. (if you’re local to Frederick check it out: http://www.frederickuu.org/circleoflife )

This also means that you become really close to the other parents in the program, so when your daughter announces (at snack, with all the students, teacher and volunteer present) that “My Mama’s vagina has curly hair ALL over her vagina. There is a LOT of it. A lot.” you get a text immediately informing you of this interaction…..

*sigh*

The problem is, she’s right. I need to take care of some landscaping.