Another observation I made when my daughter was four: There was a time when I found myself vicariously shopping through my daughter as a way of making up for the way I dressed as a child. OK, maybe I did this again last week. But I always look for sales and I try not to spoil her – I just don’t want her to be caught in a polyester pantsuit on picture day. I realize that doing this will never make my own 1970’s bell-bottom disasters disappear, but it hopefully will give my daughter some sense of reasoning when she gets older and starts making fashion decisions on her own. I think she’s naturally talented, actually. At three, she’d turn a t-shirt into a night skirt and a tank top into a belt, without even thinking about it. It’s been fun to watch. She pairs polka dots with stripes and drapes herself in beaded necklaces – think Mrs. Roper meets Fancy Nancy. I look forward to seeing what she can do in her teens – on the other hand, let me just enjoy this time, soak it up, and stay in denial a little longer.
This is an observation I made when my kids were toddlers: You call a friend to vent. It’s a miracle – you actually get her and not voicemail. Quality phone time with a friend is so precious and rare when your kids are little – it’s like ice cream without freezer burn. But something tells you you’re going to pay dearly. During those 10 minutes of blissful chatter, your toddler decides to have a tantrum, unravels all the tissue paper in the house, colors “pretty pictures” on the kitchen wall and disconnects the phone base that’s buried under the load of laundry you just folded. You tell her you’ll call her back. You leave two voicemails a week later and decide to catch up via e-mail and at the playground until your toddlers go to Kindergarten.
In my 30’s I watched Dawson’s Creek. NONE of my friends watched it. And I mean none. But guess who is married to Tom Cruise? That’s right, one of the show’s biggest stars, Katie Holmes. I also watched Melrose Place and 90210. OK, I confessed. Now it’s your turn
Here’s a link to an interesting (but refreshingly brief) study on stress eating.
Share your favorite dessert recipe!
One of my favorite things to snack on when I’m stressed? Chocolate. Why chocolate? I don’t understand the question. I could fill a phone book with the reasons why I love the stuff. I am a chocoholic. I once discovered that a box of gourmet milk chocolate coconut clusters can replace your husband – at least for a couple of days. (This is not something I’m proud to admit, but I had to share, in case you might need this kind of advice the next time the man in your life goes on a business trip and your kids are sick and you can’t go beyond your driveway.) When I run out of real chocolate in my house, I find a way to satisfy my craving– whether in the form of chocolate syrup, micro-waved chocolate chips, powdered cocoa or dry brownie mix. You name it, I’ve tried it. My biggest shame to claim? On Halloween night, after my children go to bed, I secretly stash enough mini chocolate bars (that I hope they don’t miss) into the freezer to help aid my sanity level throughout the month of November. By Nov. 10, my face has broken out and I go on a pseudo chocolate fast – but it doesn’t take long for me to get past this speed bump.
What’s your food of choice for stress-eating? Chocolate? Cheese? Share your favorites. Recipes welcome.
My 10-year old lost two teeth at school the other day and said it was ok to leave the money on his dresser. This rendered me, yes me, speechless. He said he has known about the Tooth Fairy for a few years now. “But don’t worry, Mom. I won’t say anything to my sister.” God help us all, he’s 10. When did my baby boy become a tween?
What did you wear to the bus stop or pre-school drop-off today?
My friend claims she won the award for looking the least attractive at drop-off the other day. “Hotness,” was the term she used to describe her oh-so-frantic ensemble. She was running so late getting her kids to school, she pulled a dirty tee-shirt over her shower-less body and went without make-up. I have to admit my hair was greasier, my shirt smelled of wet dog and my cords were covered in dog fur. I went right home, showered and put on a cute outfit!
Haven’t washed my hair in two days. What’s the longest you’ve gone?
Tip for greasy hair here>
What happens when your child doesn’t care if you volunteer anymore?
Last year, my son was in the 4th grade. I had signed up for winter recess duty for the umpteenth time. I walked out to school playground, proudly wearing a new colorful scarf I found a few weeks before. I was trying to not look like I was trying too hard. This was a new school for my son, less than a mile from where he attended K-3rd. I wanted to make a good impression. To the other kids? The teachers? My son? I haven’t a clue. This is where I get a little nuts when I get a little nervous. But I was excited to see him. That’s one of the reasons I like to volunteer. Not to become PTO president (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but to take a breather from work and see my kids in their element. I glanced around the sports court and monkey bars. I finally spotted my son at the edge of the field playing tag and giggling with a group of boys. I smiled. There were so many kids this year. Girls taller than me, boys that looked like teenagers, and students I’d never seen who were obviously from the other neighborhood elementary schools. There were so many girl cliques, it was stressing me out. Was I in high school again? I was smiling at students I didn’t know; meeting new mothers who obviously volunteer more than I do and saying hello to kids I knew since they were in kindergarten but not so sure they remember me now. A hollow feeling came over me. Like Pepto on an empty stomach. I looked right at my son. He was running back and forth, chasing other kids. I waved. He didn’t wave back. Maybe he didn’t see me? I waited another few minutes. He didn’t acknowledge me. I swallowed my gum. I realized that I would remember this day for as long as I live. The day my kid became a tween. I cried in my husband’s arms that night.
What do you “cheap out” on as a mom?
I completely cheap out on buying bottled water at the movies. I’d rather splurge
on movie tickets for 8 kids and sneak in my own water than spend $5 per water bottle. I can’t help it. I learned this from my maternal grandmother. My cousin and I were the only kids at Red Sox games that had to eat a sack lunch. I’m not sure what was worse: the smell of tuna salad on my hands all day or the looks we got from all the cool, hot-dog-eating kids.
Do you have any embarrassing physical motherhood “side effects”? I’m talking about something that still affects you regardless of how old your children are. Mine is never being able to do jumping jacks without wearing a liner. Need I say more?
Please share your most embarrassing motherhood “side effect” here.