Category Archives: Motherhood

Sometimes I Want The Biggest Piece Of Cake

A few years ago I was watching my husband serve cake and I noticed that he gave himself the biggest piece. I started paying more attention to how things were distributed. When I made dinner (or dessert) I gave my husband or my daughter the most, the biggest, the best looking, and let’s be honest, the least burnt of whatever I was making. I kind of just assumed that was what every cook did. Not my husband. He gave himself the prime choice.

Then I noticed that, given the choice, my daughter did the same. She’d try to get the biggest or best of what ever was being offered. This didn’t just happen with food either. It happened with all sorts of things. At first I thought getting the smallest piece was just a mom thing. Mom’s sacrifice for family all the time. My behavior wasn’t anything new or special. This was completely normal behavior and something I could blame on socialization and uber capitalism.

Then I observed myself stepping aside so other people, even non-family members, could have the first pick, first opportunity, best seat, or most coveted of whatever was being coveted. I figured they probably wanted it more than I did or possibly deserved it more than I did. I’d pride myself on being polite. I didn’t seem to need the biggest or the best. I just sat back and watched everyone else trying to get it. On the plus side I never had to feel bad for taking what someone else wanted. I could make-do with the smallest piece of cake guilt free.

Sometimes I Want The Biggest Piece Of Cake

After a while I started to wonder about myself, what kind of person doesn’t try to get the best or the most of everything? Was this a sign of low self-esteem? Was I so afraid of disappointing someone else that I would happily disappoint myself instead? I started to think about all of the opportunities and experiences I may have missed out on by settling for second best. All of the opportunities that had gone to someone else out of etiquette. Should I be resentful? Angry? Sad? Was there any benefit to perpetually occupying last place?

The answer to all of my questions was yes. Yes, sometimes I have let people have things because I thought I didn’t deserve them. I’ve suffered from Impostor’s Syndrome and that has stopped me from asserting myself more, but I’ve also found great joy in watching other people get what they want. I like giving my husband the least burnt toast and my daughter the biggest piece of pie. I like to see their faces light up. I enjoy seeing people who have worked hard win.

Still, I know I am angry with myself over some missed opportunities.  I am often frustrated with my incessant need to be nice while simultaneously struggling with feelings of guilt over the times I have chosen myself first. Those moment often appear in my thoughts when I go to bed. My personal, guilty boogey man.

Then I questioned if I was truly being nice. Maybe I was trying to avoid conflict. I’ve always found winning embarrassing. Maybe I just wanted to avoid the responsibility that comes with being or having the best.

I finally came to the conclusion that it was complicated. Navel gazing almost always is. It’s one of the quickest ways to exhaust yourself with mental gymnastics. There is no one answer and like most of life we are delving into many layers of gray and hoping to come out with something in black and white. I decided I should take action. All of this thinking wasn’t getting me anywhere anyway.

I gave myself the biggest piece of cake.

My family was shocked, but I think they understood when I explained that sometimes I want the biggest piece of cake too. The world didn’t end. I do, however, have to exercise more. The biggest piece of cake comes with a lot of extra, empty calories which means getting the biggest piece of cake may not always be what it is cracked up to be.

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

How To Shower In A Public Bathroom While Camping If You Are Six Years Old

How to shower in a public bathroom while camping if you are six years old: An Instructional Manual.

How To Take a Shower In A Public Bathroom While Camping If You Are Six Years Old

Step 1: Run to the bathroom as fast as you can, confident your mother has brought everything you need.

Step 2: Attempt to input door code slowly, twice.

Step 3: Cry that you input door code too slowly and it won’t open.

Step 4: Tell mom to open the door.

Step 5: Run as fast as you can into bathroom.

Step 6: Say hello to all the people as if they have been waiting for you to arrive.

Step 7: Listen to mom tell you to go into shower stall, but ignore her until she says it at least three times.

Step 8: Hit the button on the air dryer for fun.

Step 9:  Enter shower stall.

Step 10: Loudly exclaim that “…it smells like poop in here.”

Step 11: Remove clothing as slowly as possible.

Step 12: Get in shower.

Step 13: Complain it is too hot.

Step 14: Get out of shower.

Step 15: Get back in shower.

Step 16: Complain it is too cold.

Step 17: Get out of shower.

Step 18: Get back in shower and pretend to wash body with soap until mom looks furious.

Step 19: Use the soap to draw on shower wall.

Step 20: Yell at mom that you are washing your body.

Step 21: Declare body clean and demand mom wash hair.

Step 22: As soon as shampoo hits hair scream that you have to pee and run out of shower,  through bathroom, past grandma’s who gasp at your nakedness, and enter toilet stall.

Step 23: return to shower.

Step 24: Say loudly, “I decided to pee in the shower instead.” Then ask, “Don’t you do that at home too, Mom?” as loudly as possible.

Step 25: Rinse soap and shampoo off.

Step 26: Get out of shower and realize mom forgot your towel.

Step 27: Dry wet body on mom’s T-shirt.

Step 28: Put clothes on.

Step 29: Scream while mom attempts to brush hair.

Step 30: Pretend you are dying from hair brushing.

Step 31: Unlatch shower stall and run for camp with tangled, wet hair flowing down back.

Step 32: Yell, “You’re mean!” to mom while running away.

Step 33: Completely ignore mom as she says she may never take you on vacation again.

Step 34: Roll around on dirty floor or ground as soon as possible.

Step 35: Avoid taking another bath for almost a week.

 

Save

Stop Being A Snail Right Now

I went to Walmart yesterday with both kids. Now, the baby often falls asleep in her car seat so in a desperate attempt to not wake her I usually put the entire seat into the back of a shopping cart. Of course, this leaves very little room for actual shopping items, but whatever, it’s the best I can do. Anyway, so I am at Walmart with both kids when the screaming begins.

This was no ordinary screaming. This is the kind of screaming that is so loud it takes you a moment to even localize the sound. This is the kind of screaming you feel in the pit of your stomach and the dark recesses of your soul before the sound even registers with your auditory system. After a moment I realize it’s my baby screaming at the top of her lungs like someone is stabbing her through the heart with a rusty nail. In a panic I fling the garden hose in my hands aside and get her out of the car seat as fast as I can.

As soon as I pick her up she stops screaming as if I have bumped some sort of “off” switch or turned her upside down and then right side up again (like those old fashioned dolls that used to cry).  She immediately starts smiling at all of the customers who were previously scowling at our disruptive, blood curdling aisle entrance. This baby girl is no dummy. She starts using her charm to smooth things over and before I know it complete strangers who were, moments ago,  giving me death threats with their eyes are now cooing at her and telling her how lovely she is.


Stop Being a Snail Right Now
Random pretty flower photo.

Anyway, I now have to hold her because putting her down somehow reactivates the scream machine she possesses inside her tiny body. Putting her down also turns up the volume. I just want to buy my random junk and go home before I get banned for life due to creating obscene noise pollution. I look at my semi-filled cart, squish the baby to the side of my body and attempt to push the cart with one hand, but it will not budge. I look around and there is the six year old, legs planted, pushing against the front of the cart like a Superman reenactment.

Me: Move! I need to drive one handed. You’re in the way.

Kid: OK.

We take two steps when suddenly the cart stops moving again. I look down and now the kid is hanging off the side of the cart with her feet dragging behind her.

Me: Come on! Get up. I need to get to the bread so we can go home.

Kid: OK.

We take another three steps or so when suddenly the momentum slows. There she is on the other side of the cart trying to jam her foot in front of the back wheel. Her foot obviously wants to be run over.

Me: Look, this is your last warning. Stop it or we are going to leave this store and you will have to have soup for lunch.

*She hates soup. It’s her Kryptonite.

Kid: OK.

We make it to the bread section. I toss some into the cart. By this time I am sweating because moving this cart around Walmart with one hand is no easy task, and people are in the way, and the baby is grabbing things off the shelves as we go by. The six year old is walking in front of the cart as slowly as possible and I day dream about giving her a flat tire. Or, if I am honest, running her butt over, hopping in the cart, and riding it straight to the longest check out line in the world…because this is Walmart and they never have enough cashiers. But, I don’t because that is not how good moms behave. At least not in public. Then I notice that my kid is now lying on the floor, on her stomach, practically begging me or any other shopper for that matter, to run her entire body over.

So, I walk over and hiss, “Get off the floor right now and behave yourself. I’ve had enough of this!” She gives me the big, sad eyes and says, “OK, Mom.”

We finally get through check out and I strap the baby back into her car seat, pile bags of groceries around her head and aim my cart towards the door. Finally we are blowing this popcorn stand when out of nowhere I see my six year old daughter flying through the air next to me with her hands stretched out ready to capture some invisible tiny bird. She crashes to the floor with her hands inches from being run over by the back wheels of my shopping cart. I find myself staring down at her completely at a loss for words. I want to ask her what the hell is going on, but I read once that you should never swear at kids. So I count to one hundred instead and then say as sweetly as I can through clenched teeth, “What are you doing? Did you hurt yourself?”

She got up slowly, dusted herself off, and said, “I’m just pretending to be a snail and so I needed to slow your cart down. Snails don’t move that fast.”

To which I replied, “Stop being a snail right now. You can play that game when we get home.”

She got up and we exited through the automatic doors and her eyes lit up as they gazed upon the beautiful, shiny Redbox machine. The whining for a movie began and I reminded her that we could watch Netflix at home. I told her if she just kept walking at a normal, non-snail pace that I’d put any show she wanted on as soon as we got home. I’m happy to say we made it to the car without further incident. Then we watched some dreadful Barbie cartoon I never knew existed.

I’ll spare you the details.

The End.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save