You may know that I have 4 kids. Ellen is 3. She helps me keep my foot in the young-mom pool--for now. I need the young mommy blogger contingency to keep my numbers up here on the blog. (If my biannual check from Blogher dips down below $30, my husband might have to get a job.)
parenting my own way the best I can, but I have to admit that as I enter the next ten years with these kids I feel as insecure as ever. My no-sleepover policy is making me feel like the mom who carries special spray to sterilize pacifiers whenever they drop on the floor. Hold up--I'm that mom?
What is a big deal and what isn't? There aren't really any baby books about this stuff. I find myself texting desperately to friends, "Halo is bad, right?" or "Will I regret a trampoline?" And last night when my son wanted to bake cream puffs with his friends at 11:45 I was paralyzed with indecision. It was getting late, but. . . cream puffs! To add to my confusion one of the other moms dropped off a carton of heavy cream. OK. So I guess it's a perfectly normal thing for a group of 13-year-old boys to do over spring break. Could be worse?
One day I realized Sam had forgotten to take this fork with fishing line attached to it to school for a project. I know about the ages and time increments for letting kids cry it out at night, but at what point to you not drop off the fork with fishing line at the school office for them? I don't know. It's like how they used to say hugging kids would spoil them. In 50 years there will be a study about providing unlimited forks with fishing line attached in order to make your child feel secure. Maybe?
Now that they are older my kids actually go places and tell people things I say like, "My mom told me to run away and scream if your dad tries to kidnap me. Hahahahah." Yes! I said it. And I still maintain that it is good advice along with boldly asserting, "This is not my father!" I guess I should add, "If he doesn't try to kidnap you, be polite and don't tell him that I thought he might kidnap you." I'm regretting all that early language development we used to work on. Say what you will about us latch key kids from the 70s, WE KNEW HOW TO KEEP OUR FAMILY SECRETS.
Then there's my incredible cheapness. I'm just totally cheap in general, unless it is something for myself. I have to be! Times anything by 4 kids and you get a big number. But my kids have generous friends who take them to museums in Salt Lake City and buy them lunch or rent skis or get dessert. I never do anything like that. I feel like I should return the generosity of my kids' friends, but if I do it right after they bought my kids something it seems insincere and unnatural--like I'm keeping score, which I am, but only because I owe so much. Still, it's like being the second person to say, "I love you." It just never comes off as well. I've gone from resenting those little play dates who would whisper "Ask you mom for some food," to being a full-on mooch. I thought it was a recession? I'm just not carefree and fun and I never will be. Should I be?
Nevertheless, I do still make an effort by talking about comic book movies and Justin Bieber and wearing skinny jeans even though I shouldn't because sometimes I think mutton dressed as lamb looks cute. I don't know what I'm doing.