A few Saturdays ago we were getting ready to go to a party. Lula was very particular about her party dress. And her party shoes. She spent extra time on her hair. Glossed her lips. Even packed a small purse. She hippity-hopped through the living room while I gathered up keys and bags. I had that Miss Clavel feeling that something wasn't right.
"Lula, are you wearing underwear?" I asked.
She took a flying leap down the hall and answered, "Almost."
Erik and I went together to exchange our Texas drivers licenses for California. Ten business days later, only mine arrived in the mail. After weeks of waiting and one failed phone attempt resulting in being on hold for over two hours, we went back down to the DMV.
When it was finally our turn, the woman worker was able to determine that Erik's license had been returned to the Post Office. Diligently making sure that Erik was indeed the man he claimed to be the woman asked where Erik had held other driver's licenses:
Mine was messy. Friday night, I resisted the urge to purge the checking account and drag the girls to Oracle Arena in the hopes of attending the Miley Cyrus concert. Unbelievably this milestone (Mileystone) wasn't even on my radar. It was the two fifth grade girls dressed in denim short pants, wife beaters, black vests and skinny ties swinging around the playground pole Friday morning that tipped me off to the event. Fifth graders know. While I thought that pulling off the show would assure me a spot in the hip mom annuals, I couldn't justify the price tag - especially when my girls were more interested in going to see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Three tickets to the movies, please.
Saturday, after the annual California Coastal Clean Up, we cruised into the city for Maggie Mason's life list food fight. What kind of a mother takes her kids to the heart of San Francisco to throw whipped topping on total strangers? Me! Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me!!!
(Hazel is in the long green tee. Lula is in red. I'm wearing a light blue tee and blabber on about a spatula towards the end.)
Let me start by saying, on occasion, I have been complimented on my mothering. Once in awhile I heard the words "You are a good mother."
And while I accept the compliment on the outside, I mull it over in my head on the inside. I wonder if people say this to me because there isn't anything ELSE to say. It's not like I hear:
I can't believe you finished the marathon in under 4 hours.
Saw your new novel made the best seller list.
Your doting husband is on such a short leash, what's your secret?
I had no idea you spoke: Italian, French, Japanese and Swahili.
Tofu, seriously? It tastes just like filet mignon!
Not that I won't take the "Good Mother" badge. I love to hear that. I just worry that it might be camouflage speak for "You could be doing so much more with your life" or "With out children, you'd be positively boring."
Hazel went on a sleepover last Saturday night. For us, sleepovers started early, in Kindergarten. She was ready, I wasn't. Since then there have been many more. There has never been a tearful call in the middle of the night. A plea for a pick up. A beg for a opt out. Quite the opposite.
Sunday morning I was greeted with a voicemail message instructing me to pick her up later rather than sooner. My kids have never clung to outside the school door. They have no problem leaving me. They talk of plans to spend entire summers at their grandmothers. They can't wait to grow up and live with their friends in a pet spa/art gallery/restaurant. I try and tell myself that this is a sign of good parenting. That they feel secure enough to go out into the world with confidence. But sometimes it feels like they're trying to get rid of me. And it all seems to happening way too fast.
Good grief! Did you catch Jon Gosselin on ABC Primetime his interview Wednesday night? I could hardly watch. Tool alert! Tool alert! Saved forever for prosperity. Dug your own grave. Your kids will be taunted with this interview for the rest of their lives.
I wouldn't say I am fan of either one of these two reality TV stars. Although, I have been a bit obsessed with the melt down of their marriage. Here's the big things that get on my nerves:
1) Why in the WORLD were 20 somethings given fertility assistance resulting in two sets of multiples? I thought fertility treatments were a last resort effort reserved for people who had tried for years to get pregnant and had no success. Seems like their doctor is to blame for the pre-boarding on the crazy train.
2) Who the HELL gets a Winnie The Pooh tattoo on their ankle? Ahem, Kate. I can see why you ended up with Jonny Boy. Seriously, Winnie The Pooh. I'm trying to imagine walking into a parlor with your A. A. Milne book.
3) The matchy-matchy wardrobe business. Not really sure why this annoys me so much. I guess if you have a child army a uniform has its advantages. I'm probably just jealous. My head tends to spin every time I walk into a Gymboree. Seriously, Kate probably uses Gymbucks™ for wiping or scrap paper.
The thing that really bothered me about the televised interview this week was Jon's little baby fit explanation that he hadn't been "out" for over 8 years. Poor guy, he'd had to parent v. hitting the happy hour. He had to take care of his children v. being present at the birth of beer pong.
I'm sure this scratches a personal nerve for me because my father has used a similar defense. My dad likes to say "I spent the best years of my life raising you." Now taken at face value, one might thing he meant that parenting me was the highlight of his life. Except that it was followed by some Jon-ish stammers of not being able to go out with his friends, not being able to travel to St. Tropez with his methfaced girlfriend and being a single parent really cut into his Jon Hardy budget. Wait, it was the 70's so I guess the girlfriend was on pills and he wore Munsingwear™. *sigh* But either way, he wants sympathy for parenting during his 20's. So if my dad is any indication, Jon's will still be complaining about missing out on keg stands and body shots long beyond the time all eight of his kids have hung up their own beer goggles. (TLC had Aiden's specially made with his prescription.)