5 metaphors that describe my working motherhood right now

Just for fun, because I just finished working and it’s after 10pm, here are five metaphoric-idiomic examples I can think of off the top of my head that describe my experience right now as a fairly career-driven, family-driven, career driven, family driven, career and family driven working mom.

  1. I’m on a roller coaster that in theory could stop, but I can’t reach the lever, and the fact is, I kind of don’t want to reach for the lever, because I’m a sado-masochist curious about where this will stop.
  2. The chicken comes first. Also, the egg. Both come first. And you rule the roost. Both roosts. You rule all the roosts even when you’re pooped.
  3. Most of the time, it’s about keeping your head above water. Sometimes you just have to hold your breath and jump in, feet first. Sometimes it’s not you jumping in, but your kid, at his swim lesson, while you’re scrambling to organize a press release.
  4. The ball is in my court. Constantly. But my hands are tied. And now my wrists are tired. And also my face. My face is tired.
  5. There is no such thing – for anyone, ever – as sleeping like a baby.

And with that, Slack is buzzing and some kid is stirring and cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon…

Loose tooth, lose control.

So now I understand why the tooth fairy is a thing. I had dismissed it as bullshit but I take that back now, because six years is in no way even close to the amount of parenting time where you can sit back, put your feet up, and act like you’re the shit.*

*there is, I’m guessing, pretty much no point in parenting when you can do that. 

Koala’s first wiggly tooth had been wiggly for… quite some time. We actually only discovered it was wiggly at the dentist – a few months ago. The same visit where the dentist pointed in the back of his front bottom tooth and said “hey, mom, how long has that adult tooth been waiting there?” and I had no idea what she was talking about.

Anyway, he had plenty of prep time. And also I lost count of how many times he said to us, “feel my wiggly tooth!” At least three times a day. Which is more than you’re meant to actually brush your teeth so he is plenty diligent.

But alas, I suppose there is no such thing as enough preparation for your first time. When you’re Koala.

The boy was so traumatized by his tooth falling out suddenly, yesterday, after months – moaning – literally writhing in shock and moaning, “but Ima, I wasn’t ready!” He was just completely taken by it. He had lost control over a body part. And it had simply up and left.

Doesn’t that sound terrifying?

So, yes, I told him that maybe there is this thing I’ve heard of, this, well, tooth fairy, and I don’t completely understand how she works, but, well, I kinda remember losing some teeth and putting the tooth under my pillow and finding a surprise in the morning.

And now Koala has savings account opened for a new soccer ball.

And who am I to stop a kid from learning some financial savvy?

Five years in, my most terrifying parenting moment.

The most terrifying moment in parenting is not having the kids. It’s not birth. It’s not the first time they fall. It’s not knowing they’ll be in the army in 18 years.

The most terrifying moment I ever experienced in my (exactly) five years of parenting was today, during the moment after which I opened the car door, leaned across the backseat, put my hand forward to pull back the baby’s car seat cover, and looked inside. That moment, in which, I was not aware my daughter had put her dolly in the car seat, pretended to buckle it in. That moment in which I forgot my newborn was actually sleeping peacefully, resting on my shoulder, even as my head held her soft back. That moment during which, on a 30+  degree day, all I saw, for a split second, was the hot, rubbery, plastic, dead face of a baby.

6 things about supermarket shopping with my son

Koala,

We’re at this point where I not only enjoy your one-on-one company, I actively look forward to it in many situations.

Honestly, for a long time, the supermarket was not one of them. And let’s establish that we still have to factor in the time of day, whether you’re hungry, and how much sugar you previously ingested in the last 30 minutes.

But today we were ripe for a nice uncomplicated weekly shop.

6 things about supermarket shopping with you, son:

  1. I love the questions. But there are so many. So many so early in the morning. While trying to accomplish six things at once.
    1. Why are we leaving the cart somewhere and coming back to it with stuff?
    2. How do you say אשכולית in English?
    3. Why can’t we get more kiwi?
    4. Why can’t we get this (enormous restaurant-sized) can of pickles?
  2. You have the capacity to say ‘Ima’ in a very loud voice two aisles over, repeating it many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many times.
  3. Do you always have this much energy every morning? I need to go hug a gananet.
  4. Reason I’m awesome #986475: I somehow managed to explain basic household budget economics to you in the produce aisle while packing onions. That was after you begged for a few pineapples, more kiwi, and 100% apple juice; that wishlist of yours might actually be reason #986476.
  5. A real wordsmith, you are. No, I had never considered it, but another way to ask me for a food item is ‘give me something so it’s b’emet that is going to be yummy for in my mouth.’
  6. Just kidding! When I went down to pick up the groceries from the car, came back up, and called for you around the house because you’ve hidden somewhere, I learned it actually only takes me about .04 seconds to go from ha, that joker! to oh my god someone kidnapped him while I was downstairs.

Also, thanks for carrying the lettuce up the stairs. I totally had the rest.

Love,

Ima (Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima Ima)

13 life lessons my kids taught me in 2013

Though I’m not really one for the Gregorian calendar’s drunken marking of a new set of 365 days, I am one for lists.

(They are a relatively inexpensive way to help keep me sane.)

As far as this list goes: Whether they mean to or not, my kids have plenty of life lessons to offer me. If you’re out there listening, children, know that either of you can easily fall back on ‘teacher’ if the astronaut/fireman/princess/brown soldier thing doesn’t work out.

13 life lessons my kids taught me in 2013

  1. I may not actually finish this list. And it’ll be ok if I don’t.
  2. You can’t possibly tell someone too often that you love them.
  3. Ask more questions. Keep on asking questions. Relentlessly. (Why?)
  4. Sometimes a fake laugh is worth it… sometimes it leads to real laughter.
  5. Give more compliments.
  6. The right kind of soft touch at the right moment can change everything.
  7. Cuddle in the morning. Make it the first thing you do.
  8. Eye contact is important (or, in other words, put the phone down).
  9. Trust your gut to know when it’s truly ok to say no.
  10. It really is sometimes all about having a good cry.
  11. I wield some pretty heavy power. Must use it responsibly.
  12. Just do it – just chase your creativity. Stop overthinking.
  13. Every breath is a gift, even while I’m staring at you creepily while you sleep.

As always, I’m looking forward to every single day to come. Especially the ones when I can ‘why?’ right back atchya.

So that’s what an Oedipus Complex looks like.

Experienced quite the strong Oedipus Complex of a 4-year old… (I officially apologize to both AP English and Psychology 101 for the doubt).

After sleeping in my bed with me last night, Koala decided:

“Ima, I want to be the abba again tonight and sleep with you.”
“But I sleep with Abba!”
“I want to be an Abba.”
“So get married.”
“I am married.” Looks at his sister.
“Great, so you sleep with Bebe and I sleep with Abba.”

All of a sudden… he’s wailing as if he’s been thrown into this emotional hell of pain and rejection… “But I want to be the abba with you…”

So huz let him walk a few steps in an abba’s underpants.

(Maybe huz ought to keep one eye open while asleep tonight).

Parents of kindergartners.

Parents of kindergartnersRemember when you were young, sweet-innocent-young, not boyfriend-naive young, no, really really young, sheltered-from-the-meaning-of-war young, and life was a big friend grab, and you managed to get yourself a pair of great friends, so you didn’t have to be left alone at play time, most of the time, and sure, they were already an inseparable pair, best buddies, but there was room for a third, sometimes…

“It’s a jungle out there.” It’s not fair to say kindergarten is ‘survival of the fittest.’ Darwin’s grand formulas take generations to brew. While every day in kindergarten may feel like a millennium, surely it’s packed with more cruelty, more raw emotion, more human-ity than 8 hours in mother nature (ever watch a documentary on lions?).

And while mother nature sits and waits, the parent of a kindergartner is doing the impossible every day, right here (anywhere), between the hours of 7 and 8am.

The parent of a kindergartner is splitting their soul.

You stand there and watch a piece of it break off and get swallowed into the mouth of the cave, and on cue, you turn your back and let life take its course. And daily, the little being you protected for so long is now becoming responsible for its own protection.

You don’t even get to be the one rolling the dice all day.

Then again, while you’re not some god, and despite your capability to love and hug tight and make triangle sandwiches, you also have the power to split your soul in half, and then half again, and again, and the knife doesn’t even have to be all that sharp.

You’re a parent, and no amount of fear or tears will change the fact that this is your job. Every day. Forever.

And then with time and experience you morph into the parent of a grade school kid. A high school student. A soldier.

And your soul keeps regenerating, or regrowing, or expanding to accommodate the splits, the breaks, the tears… leaving a young parent to wonder, how is it possible anyone makes it out of here whole?

 

That awkward moment when… (#tmi)

…your 3.5-year-old son pulls a wrapped pantyliner out of your purse in public and continues to ask, ‘what’s this, Ima?’

…your 1.5-year-old daughter’s been playing around on you and then you look down and realize she’s made inconveniently-located saliva-sucking marks on your t-shirt.

…your son is reviewing with you the fact that private parts are private – “mine is mine, bebe’s is bebe’s, ima’s is ima’s, and abba’s is ima’s.”

…your daughter is trying out the toilet, pointing to the pee, and then handing you her wet fingers.

…you have a stand-off with your son about him wanting to come into the bathroom with you and you’re trying to convince him to stay out while clenching a tampon in your fist.

Those awkward moments, brought to you by Are You Mom Enough?

What are yours?