You know what’s “fun” about living with chronic anxiety? Sometimes the fear that looms ever-present in the back of my mind numbs me to my socially-acceptable feelings of anxiety. Avery’s first day of Kindergarten has been vague and looming. Her friends’ mothers have been getting teary-eyed, saying how just yesterday they were babies. I would nod as they lamented, but inside the feelings weren’t mutual. It crept up on me when the first day of school arrived and I looked in the mirror and saw myself, AND the mother of a kindergartner.
It’s like when you’re bending over the sink to wash your face at night and you feel vaguely vulnerable but when you look up there is another face behind you in the mirror and in a split second you go from anticipation to startled panic. (Side note: that actually happened to me recently and like the calm, quick-witted woman I am, I reacted by falling to the ground silent and breathless as if I’d been shot. If it would have been an attacker, he probably would have paused to laugh. Which also brings to mind the question, why don’t high schools offer Self Defense classes?)
1. After managing 30 years with no fractured bones, I was finally taken down by a 1 year old girl. Savvy got a little carried away jumping on our oversized ottoman and as she threw herself at me, the side of her giant noggin made contact with the bridge of my nose. I heard two very loud cracks and saw stars. When the nurse asked me what happened, I pointed at my wispy-blonde-haired, bright-blue-eyed, sweet-smiling Savannah Sunshine and said that she was the culprit. Then I added, “It was my own fault, I shouldn’t have asked her where she was last night.” As it turns out, this is not a funny joke to medical professionals. My dad, on the other hand, thought it was hilarious when I said it to him later. You win some you lose some.
I ended up with a mild concussion and the x-ray showed my nose is fractured in two places but not severely enough to reset it so I have to wear athletic tape over it for a couple of days while it heals.
Luckily my sis showed up with a latte to drive me to my parents’ house which allowed me to pretend I was being chauffered to my country house to recover after getting some elective work done. #RHKC
2. A conversation from this morning…
Avery: “Mommy, when Savvy is older she will be able to read and she will stop throwing food on the floor.”
Me: “Yes, she will. And so will you.” (*Thinking*: Because, newsflash, you can’t read either, Avery, and I’m constantly cleaning up after you, so let’s not throw stones, shall we? Glass houses and such? Mm?)
Avery: “Also you will have to share your wine and your car keys with us.”
Me: “Well that escalated quickly.”
And those are the actual things.
I think one really fun and also super annoying thing about being married to someone is that you are permanent roommates.
Examples of times being roommates is fun:
- Impromptu dance parties when Nelly comes on Pandora.
- Drinking and watching Netflix and not having to drive home.
- When you have an itch right in the middle of your back and you can’t reach it yourself.
- Throwing food in the air so the other one can try to catch it in their mouth.
- Having someone around who understands any minor feelings of hostility you may have toward your children. My favorite account of this was when Avery was being a brat to me at dinnertime and I was trying to keep my cool. Kevin grabbed a bag of broccoli and dramatically pretended to hit her over the head with it behind her back, all while she was still rattling off her snotty demands, completely unaware. Now that is the kind of parenting move that builds camaraderie.
Examples of times being roommates is super annoying:
- Constant scolding for not parking far enough over on your side of the garage. How much precision is really required here? What am I, an astronaut?
This morning I woke up early and was looking through my phone, as I often do when I can’t decide if I can go back to sleep or not. Out of nowhere, Kevin said to me in an alarmingly accusatory tone, “You did it again.” I felt busted. Yet I knew not for what. Me: “Um, what?” Without missing a beat he said, “YOU BERATED THAT F*CKER ON THE RADIO!”
This is the kind of thing that I categorize in the SUPER fun part of being married to your roommate. I live for the times when he talks in his sleep because I find it so thrilling. I carry on the conversation as long as possible with the delicateness of a bomb defuser so as not to wake him, gleaning as much information from his subconscious as I can.
Although it’s not always fun. Once, when Avery was a newborn and still sleeping in a cosleeper in our bed, I made Kevin go to the guest room so one of us would actually get some rest after what had already been a long night of feedings and diaper changes. I woke up shortly thereafter to Kevin standing over me, cradling a pillow and mumbling robotically, “Take the baby…take the baby.” A chill of panic shot through me as I pictured our newborn baby decoratively arranged on the guest bed where the pillow had been. To this day, I’m not sure if this was the act of an exhausted, sleep-walking new father or the scam of an evil genius, but he was never in charge of getting up during the night ever again. Well played, Roomie.
(Avery was still safely in her cosleeper in case you were wondering. And if you weren’t wondering, what is wrong with you?)
From our honeymoon in Maui 2009: Roomiez 4 Lyfe.
To say the sky looks gray to me today is an understatement. When I get a moment to myself, I cry. This is why.
Leave it to my kids to make me laugh when I feel like sobbing. This morning I was in the basement watching The Mindy Project on Hulu and drinking my coffee (with no less than 6 different interruptions) when I saw my 1 year old Savannah toddle over to her 3 year old big sister Avery in their play area and hand her an ever-so-coveted doll. In response Avery non-chalantly said, “Thanks B*tch.”
I wish I could say I was shocked, but this is not the first time that has happened. Playing it cool, I said, “Oops, AJ, that’s an adult word.” Sweetly she said “Sorry, Momma, is that a bad word?” My (self-serving) philosophy is that we don’t have “good words” and “bad words” because frankly I don’t think cussing is really that bad as far as vices go. Also my taste in music is questionable for the toddler set and we have Sirius radio so nothing is censored. Again, I explained to Avery that there are kid words and adult words…
Me: Kid words are words like ‘owie’ and ‘boo boo’. If Daddy got hurt and announced he got a boo boo that would be weird because he’s an adult and it wouldn’t sound appropriate. He would just say he got hurt. Just like it’s not appropriate for you to say the other word.
Avery: So only Britney Spears can say B*tch?
Me: Um, yes, Britney Spears can say whatever she wants. Because she’s an adult. And because “it’s Britney, b*tch.” (Okay I didn’t say the last part but it was tempting.)
My sunshine when skies are gray.
Avery selected her outfit for school today and requested a “low bun” hairstyle. As I oohed and ahhed over her choices, she expertly posed for my all-too-familiar iPhone camera. Over breakfast, she said to my husband “It’s gonna be a long day…Babe, give me a kiss.”
It occurs to me that the words hashtag, blog, and mocktail are a normal part of her three-year-old vernacular. She often requests Pellegrino in her orange juice to make it “sparkly”.
I view all these things with a sense of pride as well as a sense of fear. She is so much like me. She is SO MUCH like me. And I’m picking up things from her too. Sometimes I inadvertantly tell my husband that I need to “go potty”. Once in a while I use the word “forcause” in place of “because”. I’ve rediscovered books and TV shows I loved as a kid. Avery and I cuddle and watch Avonlea every night before bedtime. (Does anyone else remember that show from Disney channel?)
Avery knows the alphabet and please and thank you. We practice reading and counting and watch PBS. But until the age of 2, when we were in the car she mostly listened to Jay-Z. Maybe this is why she’s so good at rhyming.
I’m reminded of a phrase I heard once (or probably saw on Pinterest) that says, “if anyone is going to mess up my kids, it’s going to be me.” Isn’t that the truth? What they don’t tell you about being a parent is that you are growing up right along side your baby. Here I quit my job to spend all day every day with my kids and somehow the two of us are morphing into one three-year-old-going-on-30.