Thursday, October 22, 2009

10 Secrets of Motherhood

#4. Boys are from Mars. Girls are from Venus. It's not nurture, it's nature all the way. I was skeptical until I watched my infant son transform into a karate-chopping, car-bashing, body hurling, loud as can be toddler. If you buy your son a doll in the hopes that he will be in touch with his emotional side, prepare to see that doll used as a projectile or a battering ram. If you buy your daughter a pick-up truck, she will probably dress it in pink and invite it to her tea party. That's not to say that there aren't exceptions, but I think it's safe to say this is the rule.

#5. Mother= Guilt. Stay at home and working moms alike are united by this fact. It's the reason we stay home, the reason we go back to work, the reason we have a hard time letting them cry it out at night, the reason we don't tell anyone how much TV our kid watches. I'm pretty sure it's the root of everything. If we could just stop trying to be perfect, we might shake ourselves free of it. But if you can't beat it, embrace it. It connects you to every other woman and Catholic on the planet.

#6. You will suck at something. Nobody is a perfect Renaissance parent, so don't be surprised if you find yourself lacking in one of the major child-tending categories: organization, discipline, outside play, inside play, storytelling, singing, housecleaning, and scrapbooking/record keeping. Yes, scrapbooking has officially been added as a parenting category thanks to its wave of popularity and its ability to make most women feel domestically challenged. I suck at outside play. I get bored of kicking a ball to my son, pushing him on the swing for what feels like an eternity, or getting dragged into a game of tag. I really suck at tag-- mostly because I'm too self-conscious to play. It requires me to showcase my awkward running style and a body prone to excessive bouncing. To cope with his ceaseless requests, I invented a new version called "Turtle Tag" that allows me to chase him in slow motion. My son has totally bought into Turtle Tag. I am the laziest mom ever.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 Secrets of Motherhood

#7. Yes, it's amazing that your body can produce life. So keep that in mind when you wake up in the recovery room to find your stomach (riddled with unforeseen stretch marks) lying next to you on the bed. Nobody tells you this fun little secret: your body will never be the same again. You can lose weight, yes. But you will probably always be a slightly more jiggly version of yourself. I'm not sure why but it's easiest to explain in terms of mattresses: Your extra firm Sealy posturepedic belly will (if you're lucky) devolve into an extra-soft Sealy posturepedic floor sample with visible signs of wear and tear. For those of us who start off with the extra-soft Sealy stomach, we end up sporting a used waterbed from the 1980s-- the kind that hangs out on Craigslist for months before someone agrees to pick it up for free.

Friday, October 9, 2009

10 Secrets of Motherhood

#8. Restaurants=torture. Imagine you're on vacation in the hotel restaraunt (as far as you dare to venture) and your hyperactive 18-month-old son has no interest in sitting still. You haven't even ordered yet and he's frighteningly close to meltdown. The only way to survive this situation is to turn his napkin into a bird, pour the sugar packets into a heap on his plate, invite him to drive his Matchbox car (sprung conveniently from your purse) to make tracks in the "sand", and then -- when he quickly tires of that -- hand the toddler your wallet and allow him to remove, throw, and replace your credit cards as he pleases. Your neighbors stare in horror, but you know it's either that or your son will bang his spoon on the table and scream like a jungle bird for the next twenty minutes. No matter what, you'll work up a good sweat as you struggle to come up with your next form of entertainment. You probably won't sweat enough to lose that extra baby weight, but you will sweat enough to swear off restaurants forever.

#9. Children are meant to be ignored. I'm not saying you should ignore them all the time, but you don't have to pay them attention every second of the day. Maybe this is obvious to most people, but I had the idea that I needed to mother my child nonstop. As it turns out, this will quickly lead to burnout and a child with no sense of independence. So start them young. Let them cry if you're in the middle of making dinner or if you're getting dressed. Ask them to observe a "moment of silence" if their constant chatter in the backseat of the car is tempting you to veer into a telephone pole. Think of all the times that your parent ignored you as a child and be proud to carry on this important parenting tradition.

#10. Put a TV in every room. This goes along with #9, actually. Yes, we've all read the studies about TV stunting your kid's brain development and ruining their lives forever. All that aside, you will probably not survive with your sanity unless you consider the television mommy's little helper. This rule, by the way, does not pertain to those rare (freak of nature) children who will play for hours with a stick or a building block. Those children are rare, like unicorns and attractive bus drivers. I'm talking about the kid who doesn't sit down for anything. The one who fidgets nonstop at dinner, who runs in circles around the house when he's home sick, and who follows you wherever you go (toilet included). I know parents who use the television-induced coma to their advantage and slip some healthy foods in their kid's mouth when his defenses are down. Before you judge, consider this: the brain cells they are losing watching TV will surely be rebuilt by all the key vitamins and minerals they may mindlessly ingest. The other secret is this: no mom admits to how much TV their kid watches. That's because there's this snobby attitude that the more TV you let your kid watch, the trashier a mom you are. Therefore if someone tells you they allow their kid to watch 1 hour of TV a day, a good rule of thumb is to add 3 hours to get the real amount of TV their kid watches.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

'Cause My Bloggin' is Bloggalicious

Introductions are unnecessary. Do you really need to hear why I decided to enter the blogalicious world of self-obsession? Or what wisdom I plan on bringing to the table? I'll make it easy for you: I'm no different than any other wannabe writer out there, searching desperately for someone who has enough of a time surplus to read about the trivial issues of my life. As far as wisdom goes, there will be very little. As if this isn't enough of a tease, I must also admit that I'm kind of a quitter (just ask the local Bally's). So you can expect to see a collection of entries in the next week or so followed by a dramatic tapering off of entries as I start to lose interest in publishing the fact that my life is rather plain and boring. Now that we have been acquainted, thanks for squandering some of the precious moments of your life on my blog. If you caught the Beyonce reference in today's blog title, give yourself a big hug. You win the Reference of the Day. And yes, that is as high falutin' as they will get.