Tag Archives: Mother

The Good, The Bad & the “Girls”

Girls_HBO_Poster

 

In my perpetual quest to remain hip I try to keep my eyes and ears open.  I sniff out emerging trends (Red jeans?  Of course!  Tucked into black boots? Hell no – Santa Alert) and admittedly, jump on a lot of late bandwagons (thank you, HBO OnDemand, for the perfection that is True Detective).

That said, after hearing my 17-year-old daughter gush over the HBO series “Girls,” a show about modern-day 20-something female friends trying to make their way in the world after college, I decided to give it a whirl.

I really didn’t care for it but she nudged me on.

I tried a few more episodes yet still got a weird, uneasy feeling in my stomach.  I told her I just wasn’t that into it.

“Maybe you’re just too old” she shrugged.

What?  Pffffft.  I think not.

Bolstered by a slew of Golden Globe nominations, I gave it yet another shot.  Still nothing.  Nary a chuckle.

I got through all 10 episodes of the entire first season and numbly thought of all the miles I could’ve clocked on my treadmill had I just gotten off the couch once in those five hours…

But I believe I’ve figured out why an undeniably hip show is eluding my undeniably hip sense of humor.

The female characters are crude.  Not in the Sex-and-the-City-Samantha-Jones cheeky kind of way but in a crass, Good-God-I-hope-my-daughter-doesn’t-do-that kind of way.

I get it.  It’s a comedy.  And I love comedy.  But the whole desensitization of really (really) private things seriously gives me the heebie jeebies.

Also, I’m not entirely convinced college educated young women are so  … I don’t know … self-loathing.  Their flippant banter about oral sex and office harassment left me wondering if young women really do talk like this. (I’m kinda hoping to hear from a few after this …   and I’m really hoping to be told I’m out to lunch.  If you’re young and hip and reading this – please check in!)

I remember feeling the exact same way when my oldest son (now a semi-grown man at 19) used to watch those man-cave scratching movies like “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express.”  Those movies made masturbation and getting stoned look like the epitome of hilarity.  And (worse) normalcy.  Poor, poor Seth Rogen’s mother …..

It finally dawned on me why these types of movies grate on my nerves and polarize me:  seeing these “characters” puts a face on my very vision of parental failing.  These larger than life portrayals of such flawed and unfazed youth are the stuff of my nightmares:  kids with no direction, no money, no motivation, and the worst:  no apartment of their own – Jesus Christ, they’re the scarlet letter symbolizing my utter failure as a mom.

No, no, NO!

I don’t want my kid spending his meager paycheck on weed.

And I’d rather die a thousand deaths than know my daughter was tolerating her boss’ hand on her skirt.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do – in real life – if these situations in these comedies were playing out in real time in my kids’ lives.   What I do know is that I would find it decidedly Unfunny.  (Quick aside:  for an EXTREMELY funny look at flawed — yet SUCCESSFUL — Generation X, Y, whatevers ….  check out “The Mindy Project” on FOX.  She just rocks, is all.)

So yeah, maybe I’m not as hip as I used to be.

Maybe I’m simply more scared.

Damn this parenting thing.

Signed,

Stifler’s Mother

 

Like, Share, & Follow Eyerollingmom!   http://www.facebook.com/eyerollingmom  www.twitter.com/eyerollingmom http://www.tinadrakakis.com

When Bad Kids Happen to Good Parents

NJ Teen

 

 

This NJ parent-suing-cheerleader case is making me see red.

Because it totally could have been me a few years ago.

I wouldn’t consider myself a mean mom, but I have been known to hand my kids a scraper and say “Get to work,” after finding dried boogers on the wall next to their beds.

 

Some days, parenting is easy.

 

Honor Roll allows a kid to keep a cell phone.

A clean bathroom gets another out the door on Friday night.

 

Clearly my parenting philosophy doesn’t involve much head-scratching so I have to admit, I was ready for the adolescence of my children.  Growing up on Long Island in the unsupervised 80s, my friends and I had mastered the art of outsmarting authority and evading evidence of typical teen shenanigans.

 

I had this, I thought.   Bring on the acne.

 

I never imagined it would culminate with a composed call to the police, asking them to come get my child.

 

It was especially trying — and surprising — when my second born, a daughter, went through her head-spinning-Linda-Blair stage first, at fourteen.  While she was screaming and carrying on about calling Child Protective Services and attempting to bore holes into our foreheads with her fury, my oldest son just flew under the radar.  A junior in high school, he was a typical, well, boy.  Immature, uninterested in school and willing to eke by with the minimum of work exerted.  By most standards, the textbook teen.

 

He was always a bit young for his age but rather than dwell on his mediocre grades we tried to focus on his charm, and magnetism.  Extremely good looking, he was similarly well-liked, mainly due to his good nature.  He was —  mother’s pride aside —  a delight and I just loved the stuffing outta him.  Always have.

 

Turns out, this extreme love came in handy when I began to hate him.

 

I don’t recall exactly when the metamorphosis of my good-boy-gone-bad began but I do remember every detail of warning, every red-flag.

 

With each incident I tried to keep perspective.  I even rationalized.  I did this, too.  The drinking.  The pot.  The skipped school.  The scummy friends.  Wasn’t this typical teen territory?  I even admitted, at times sheepishly, I did far worse (thank you, 1988).  So I tried to keep a cool head and held firm with consequences.  Even though much of the time I felt like I was swimming against a tide (a tide of parents who unfathomably presented cars for sixteenth birthdays and provided smartphones through school suspensions) I did what I was supposed to do.  My litany of repercussions included (but were not limited to):  grounding, taking phones, taking plates off cars, paying for NOTHING (yearbook, class trips, clothing, toiletries, prom, car insurance) ….. Good God, we took away everything.  We joked with friends that my son lived an Amish lifestyle.

 

He Just.  Didn’t.  Care.   About anything, it seemed.

 

When enough was enough, we finally took his four-year-college off the table.  We had done our part:  attended freshman orientation, bought the sweatshirts and travel mugs, kept our hopes high for some show of maturity.   It didn’t come.  As senior year came to an end, he still hadn’t gotten it.

 

No way, we said.  There was no chance we were going to strap ourselves paying for a university when he wasn’t even getting himself to high school – for free. We told him he needed to get his act together, prove himself responsible and start with a junior college.  It was all we had left.  We privately envisioned that kid – that headline-storied kid each year – that ends up dead in a dorm room from alcohol before classes have even started.

 

Nothing seemed to work.  So we told him to rethink his plans for the future.

 

Turns out, our Great American Parenting Plan backfired because well, he left.

 

He just left.

 

He called it moving out.  But conventional wisdom would argue that throwing some clothes in a duffle bag and heading out the door without an inkling of what’s happening the next day is no such thing.  He had run away.

 

He had had it with our outrageous rules, our absurd expectations and our irrational belief that teens should be responsible and respectful on their journey to adulthood.  So — without any angry fanfare or slamming doors —  my oldest child left our home six days before his high school graduation.

 

The situation, as an understatement, was hard.  Devastating, in fact.  It was the ultimate in rejection for a mother:  a child that doesn’t want her.

 

And I didn’t pretend to understand it.

 

But he was a good kid and we were good parents.

 

And I guess I knew deep down that he’d be back one day.

 

He was.  After a long and fretful 47 days.

 

When he returned we spent what was left of the summer reconnecting as a family and licking our wounds.  Damage had been done and both sides were duly cautious about a recurring Groundhog Day of past occurrences.

 

But things were far from perfect.  In time, familiar nagging doubts started creeping in.  There was a level of distrust that I just couldn’t shake.  At times I seemed sadder now that he was home than when he’d been gone.  Things didn’t seem much better and I wondered if I would ever again feel joy when my son walked into a room.

 

Disrespect is a mighty deal breaker in my home and I do not believe a refrain of “This is my home and these are my rules” should be up for interpretation. When my beloved son’s behavior started down the slippery slope of insolence once again, I felt stronger and wiser when I addressed it.

 

Not long after he returned, he decided once again that our curfew was unreasonable and didn’t come home.

 

When he did…  his room was packed up, our locks were changed and we were waiting.

 

I told him since he wasn’t ready to resume living in MY home with MY rules, he needed to leave. He refused.   I showed him all his things.   He still refused to leave.  I then called the police.

 

I wasn’t afraid of the neighbors seeing, or knowing, or talking.

 

I wasn’t afraid of him actually leaving either.  I realized I’d survived the last time he left, and would this time, too.  And this time, it was going to be on MY terms.

 

I realized I wasn’t afraid of anything. And that the absence of fear was indescribably empowering.

 

We sat together calmly, in silence, and waited for the police to arrive.

 

I have to say, when they walked in they seemed surprised to encounter a domestic disturbance that wasn’t terribly disturbing at all.

 

The officer in charge kindly – but sternly – let my teenager know the deal:  It was 48 hours before my son’s eighteenth birthday, therefore by law, we were required to care for him.  But only for two more days.  After that, should they get called again, they would have to take him out of the home.

It is my honest belief that a couple of changed locks and a few police cars will do wonders for a teen’s psyche.   It changed everything for us.

 

My son learned a lot of things that day.  He learned we were absolutely done. And he learned (thank you, officer) that if you expect to live in your parents’ home, you should expect to follow their rules.  Period.

 

I believe – no, I know – that once this became clear to him, it may have been his personal epiphany.  It was as if his rebellion started to break away and let some clarity emerge.  Hell, maybe it was simply a badge … or a look of “Really, kid?” coming from someone other than his own parents.

 

I have absolutely no idea why it never sank in before that moment.  I likely never will.

 

It was a dark and rocky couple of years and – no joke – at times paled in comparison to my daughter’s fright fest at age fourteen – but we got through it.  Good parents raising good kids usually do.

 

It was excruciating and difficult to do what most parents don’t seem to have the strength to do:  follow through with consequences and demand respect.  But we did.  Even though it damn well felt as if our family was in tatters, we held strong.

 

The joy of my firstborn, while on hiatus for a heartbreaking while, eventually returned.

These days as he’s careening into manhood – an Air Force Reservist and college student —  I still love the stuffing outta him and my face lights up again whenever he enters the room.

 

But I am keenly aware there are still a couple of house rules that make him squawk.

 

Ah well.

 

Too bad, right?

 

 

I so hope this story gets to those sad parents in New Jersey because their beautiful cheerleader needs a reality check.  And soon.

 

 

Follow Eyerollingmom on Facebook  and Twitter and catch all her blogs at www.tinadrakakis.com

 

 

Calling All Moms: The Mother of all Celebrations

ltym cover

I’m breaking a bit of news here.

Fair warning:  It’s the kind of news that I will likely sneak into countless conversations for the next twenty years or so (because, well, the statute of limitations has run out on my Reality TV fame and my kids and spouse and friends and family and strangers say I’m not allowed to talk about that anymore).

Lucky for me I get another chance to become the Norma Desmond of the Suburban Sunset Boulevard.

You say insufferable …

I say …

(cue in visual of a victorious Mary Katherine Gallagher)

SUPERSTAAAAAAAAAAR!

(hey now, if one is repeatedly called lame by their children on a daily basis, this is not bragging.  Just wishful thinking.)

Honestly, we all know I have been (pitifully) regaling in my fifteen minutes of television notoriety for more than a (gulp) decade.  It turns out I now have something different to go on and on (and on and on) about for the next ten years.

While not exactly Eyerollingmom: The Musical, a most humbling of honors has come my way.

One of the obvious pitfalls of being a writer/blogger is the unavoidable consequence of personal exposure.  You put yourself out there with every written word and – if successful – you can incite genuine feelings in your readers.

If you’re me – and have made the conscious decision to divulge personal parenting truths AND at the same time raise literate children  – you know at some point these kids might actually read some of your stuff one day.

And likely … they’ll be pissed.

Eventually, though, your kids might mature (might) and perhaps if you’re lucky, one day think you’re kinda sorta (a lil bit) cool.  Fingers crossed, this will become one of those times.

A while back I wrote about my daughter, who was thirteen at the time.  When the piece, “The Thinking Girl’s Thong,” was published, it duly enraged her once she caught wind of it.  Naturally since that time I’ve found countless and creative other ways of ruining her life so really, we’re good now.

Still, it was – and is – one of my favorite pieces of writing I’ve ever produced.

Here’s why she can’t be mad about it ever again:  The essay has been selected to be a part of the “Listen to Your Mother” series of shows that have been staged throughout the country for the past few years.  “LTYM” is coming to Boston for the first time later this spring and I have been invited to be one of the inaugural “performers” and read my adored ode to my favorite teen queen.

I will be joined by fourteen other inspirational writers shining a deserved spotlight on all that is good and real and true about the phenomenon of being moms.  The good, the bad (the wine?) and the lessons needed to be shared.

So … if you are a friend …

Or a (blog) follower …

Or a (Reality TV) fan … (I kid, I kid)

I cordially invite you to “Listen to Your Mother, Boston,” a show devoted to “Giving Motherhood a Microphone,” on Saturday, April 26.

Get gussied up …

and grab your guy …

or grab a girlfriend (or seven) …

or better still (if you are so, so damn lucky) grab your mom

And come commemorate Mother’s Day the way it should be:  with moms, praising moms, celebrating moms.  Truth:  Nobody rocks the way we do.

At the very least, check out the event (in 32 cities!) and raise a glass to tales of motherhood, warts and all:

http://listentoyourmothershow.com/boston/

(…and, a promise:  if I do not faint on stage, I will be graciously accepting celebratory beverages after the show — at which time you may absolutely hand down a cease and desist order of when I must stop talking about this)

Spread this awesome news, share my Facebook page and treat yourself to a mighty mom time!

www.facebook.com/eyerollingmom     www.tinadrakakis.com     www.twitter.com/eyerollingmom

WooooooooHooooooooo!!!!!!!!

Do(uche) We Really Need to Discuss This Now?

middleschooldance-448x300

 

 

All I remember is that it started with sperm.  There I was, frying up some egg sandwiches and before I knew what was happening, there were giggles and roars and it dawned on me that the boys were using the word sperm in their banter.  Third and fifth grade.  Terrific.  The thing is, I probably should’ve seen it coming – just last week one came in to rat on the other that he’d just been accused of having a mangina (you know, instead of a manhood).

 

Joyous.

I took a breath.  I can do this, I thought.  I’ve done it before.  A couple of years ago while driving around with my then-fifteen-year-old he referred to someone as a douche bag. (Flash-forward to today and this word has appallingly become part of the teenage vernacular, used in movies and television and sooooo not a big deal.  But back then it was merely on the horizon and I was aiming to halt it.)  In the best smart-ass-y voice I could muster, I asked,

“Hey, do you even know what a douche bag is?”

“No.” was his shrugged response.

“Well,” I started cheerfully, “it’s actually a bag of cleaning fluid a woman squishes up into her vagina to clean it out.”  Cue in wide grin.  “Cool, huh?”

He would’ve jumped out the window had he not been temporarily struck by mortification paralysis.  But I think it went well:  I never heard the word come out of his mouth again.

So apparently here was my déjà vu.  I had to dish out some more blunt, in-your-face reality but I was ready.  I was the master.  This was going to be cake.    Plus, as an added bonus, I had BOTH of them right there – I wasn’t going to have to go through this twice.   I looked at the two of them and began.

What I said was, “Do you even know what sperm is?”

What they heard was, “Unleash the titans.”

I spent the next twenty minutes fielding their questions…. and then extinguishing their subsequent fits of laughter at my responses.   When they weren’t falling off the counter stools in hysterics (at the thought of sperm shooting  out of the hot dogs they bite into) they were squealing at situations their sharp little brains conjured up (“…..so then Mom…where do….gay men…. put their… penises….into?”)

Good God.  All this and an explanation of porn before ten in the morning.

I did my best, answered truthfully and stressed the seriousness of taking all private matters well, seriously.  It’s a tough paradigm shift:  Kids are exposed to so much junk in such comedic ways it’s no wonder they think every sexual scenario is out of a “Superbad” movie.

Chivalry may be dead but  now modesty is on a respirator.  Good times for kids.

So it was a morning for the books.  And –  for Mom getting through it –  an evening for Bud Light.

For the record, the discussion didn’t end at the kitchen counter.  My husband found a reason to grab my 10-year-old for a Sunday car ride and got through a much needed follow-up-father-son discussion without the added distraction of a younger brother (or – cringe — food references).

And alas, before the weekend came to a close, that crazy karma came sniffing around again.

 

“Mom, I have a question…..”  My son’s voice trailed off when he noticed his brother within hearing distance.  I gently inquired if it was a question which might be best asked in private.  “I don’t know… I just don’t understand a word.”

“It’s okay, just ask.”

“What does douche mean?”

 

Baaaaahhhhhh!

 

I got this one.

 

 

For daily snark & snippets, follow Eyerollingmom on Facebook and Twitter!  You’ll laugh.  Really.

 

 

 

 

The Other Other-Woman

 

 

Two people toast with red wine at dinner

 

 

Last night I shared a glass of wine with the other woman.  We sat across from each other, not quite knowing how to proceed, not quite certain who should go first, not quite adept at morphing a previously computer-screen-correspondence into a face-to-face conversation.

 

 

 

I could see why the love of my life was drawn to her.  We were eerily similar.  I’d gathered that from our emails.  We sounded alike…on cyber chat .  We reasoned alike.  We held the same values and morals.  Yes, morals.

 

 

 

This was no adulteress.  Oh no, not at all.  This was the woman – the mother – whose home my teenaged son had run away to.

 

 

 

He called it moving out.  But conventional wisdom would argue that throwing some clothes in a duffel bag and heading out the door without an inkling of what’s happening the next day is no such thing.  He had run away.

 

 

 

He had had it with our outrageous rules, our absurd expectations and our irrational belief that teens should be responsible and respectful on their journey to adulthood.  So — without angry fanfare or slamming doors —  my oldest child left our home six days before his high school graduation.

 

 

 

 

 

And now, on the eve of his one-month anniversary date (breathe) of life on an air mattress, his preferred mother and I sat in my home and shared some shrugs.  And Pinot.

 

 

 

 

 

The situation, as an understatement, was hard.  Devastating, in fact.  It was the ultimate in rejection for a mother:  a child that doesn’t want her.

 

 

 

And I didn’t pretend to understand it.

 

 

 

I didn’t understand it because it didn’t follow the script of a Lifetime original movie.  There weren’t any “I hate you”s or abuse or betrayal or Meredith Baxter Birneys.  We’d been navigating the typical insanity that comes with adolescence and (insert back pat here), actually thought we were doing damn good so far.  There were boundaries and consequences and forgiveness and laughter and acne.  Nothing too strict, nothing too lenient.  Having survived our own teenage years in the ‘80s of New York, gawd, if anyone knew about pushing the limits of youth, it was us.  Fully aware of setting standards and precedents for the three kids that followed behind, my husband and I rolled with the teen madness.

 

 

 

Never had we imagined our rolling would come to a screeching halt.

 

 

 

At first we waited.  He’ll be back, we reasoned.  We hadn’t allowed him to take his car – surely he’d have to get back and forth to work.  But no.  He relied on his friends and – we’ll be dammned – they came through.  So far, for an entire month.  Well alrighty then.  Interesting bunch, those teenagers.

 

 

 

The other mother contacted me immediately.

 

 

 

She lived a few blocks away.  I explained to her my son did not get kicked out of our home, that this was all his own doing.  She has two teenaged sons herself.  She understood.  She said she’d keep me posted on events as they occurred and thus our cordial relationship began, allowing me to become privy to more details of my son’s life than I’d even known when he was in my own home.

 

As far as shiteous situations go, I had stumbled into a remarkably awesome one.  This other mother was sharp.  Gave him an early curfew and chores and expectations. Boundaries.  Consequences.  Hmmm.  Weirdly familiar, right?

 

 

 

She admitted she couldn’t come up with a logical excuse for – after four weeks – throwing him out.  He was the consummate house guest:  polite, obedient and respectful.  In truth, she really, really liked him.

 

 

 

Yeah.  We get that.  We do, too.

 

 

 

She talked to him daily about the value of reconnecting with his family and told him she just couldn’t  understand why he wanted to go through this without them.

 

 

 

Yeah.  Same here.

 

 

 

 

 

Still, we put a positive spin on things for the sake of the kids and silently pray that he comes to his senses and (cue in cheek-slap from Cher), snaps out of it.

 

 

 

I haven’t sat idly by, though, hand-wringing and despondent.  With the situation seemingly out of control I did what any other mother in my position would do:  hauled my ass into therapy.

 

 

 

After a full debriefing her assessment was unsurprising:  I was a reasonable person trying to reason with an unreasonable adolescent.  She said that since my son was not relying on me for anything the situation was most definitely out of my control and I should let it go.

 

 

 

Let it go.

 

 

 

Let it go?

 

 

 

Let go of a child?  (He is a high school graduate, she reminded. On paper, an adult.)

 

 

 

But…..but….but…..

 

 

 

But nothing.

 

 

 

I plunked down a few co-payments for a few weeks but eventually started to space out my visits.  She was wonderful but hearing a therapist tell you something you already know is not exactly cost effective.  My girlfriends do it for free.

 

 

 

So there is no happy ending to this cautionary tale, unless one looks at the (okay, almost amazing) relationship I’ve made with the other mother.  We talked for hours – and not just about my son.   It was obvious:  having met under different circumstances, we’d likely be good friends.

 

 

 

 

 

She is giving him a safe environment to straighten out his head and I am giving him the freedom to figure it out.

 

 

 

I am without explanation as to why my son is attempting to assert his maturity in the most immature way imaginable.  And it is unfathomable to me why he needs to go through this – or anything for that matter – without his family around him.  And it is crushing.  I won’t lie:  it is the most crushing and hurtful and indescribable pain I have ever felt as a mother.

 

 

 

But he is a good kid and we are good parents.

 

 

 

I guess I know deep down he’ll be back one day.

 

 

 

I just wish it had been yesterday.

 

*    *   *   *

 

Update:  Somewhere in between the time this author had the courage to write this….

 

 

 

…and print this…..

 

 

 

…her seventeen-year-old returned home.

 

 

 

 

 

It was a long 47 days.

 

 

 

 

 

Ironically – it was also just as long (if not shorter) as this author’s own silent treatment to her own mother…

 

 

 

… when SHE was seventeen years old.

 

Exhale.

 

College Kid Heading Home? Release the Kraken!

Woman+Pulling+Hair+out

 

My daughter, a college freshman, comes home this week for her winter break.  This means my emotions — like every other college parent’s – are running the gamut of YayyyyyyyyyyOoooooooohhhhhNoooooooooo.

 

Cue in collective nods from those who have danced this dance before me.

 

She’s had four months of independent living, coming and going at leisure, not having to answer to anyone and doing whatever in the world she feels like at any time she feels like it.  These typical rites of college passage no doubt will make her transition back to home a nightmare of unparalleled proportions.

 

Guess I’d better get my thick-skin-suit out of storage.

 

We had a tiny bit of friction during the long Columbus Day weekend.  We had a bit more (cough) differences of opinion during Thanksgiving.  But let’s be real here.  A few argumentative moments here and there are nothing compared to the barrage of discontent that will fester over five weeks.

 

Five looooooooonnnnngggggg weeks of

 

… ridiculous rules (because ‘don’t start a load of laundry and then immediately leave the house for twelve hours’ is …unreasonable?)

 

… crazy curfews (because bars can kick people out soon after midnight but parents shouldn’t?)

 

… and outrageous expectations to be – I don’t know – an active member of this family (because popping in for an occasional meal or – dare to dream – coming out of a bedroom for more than fifteen minutes at a time is … irrational?).

 

Yes, we are all sorts of looney over here.  Poor kids – it’s just like West Point under this roof.

 

I know, I tell her, I remember.  My mother and I drove each other nuts every winter AND summer I was home.  I keep telling my daughter that, like it or not, it is the way of the world.  That it is something every college student since the beginning of time will go through.  Naturally my sage sentiments fall on deaf ears.   She tries to reason …

 

It’s not fair.

She’s responsible.

She’s intelligent.

She makes good choices.

(All true, I might add.  But then she’ll throw in some crazy statistic like …)

 

She’s the ONLY one with a curfew

(or, worse)

No one else’s mother even cares what they do or what time they came home.

(No one?)

Nope.  Not one.

I then call balderdash and bam! we’re right back to a Saturday Night Smackdown.  It’s sure to be a tough time but I’m ready.  My litany of retorts isn’t very creative but it’s plentiful.

 

This is not your dorm room.

Get used to it.

It is what it is.

I felt this way, too.

Because I love you.

Because I said so.

I do trust you.

It’s only about safety.

I understand.

I get it, I really get it.

and so on…

and so on..

But nothing is changing.

A mom is a mom is a mom.

 

 

Evidently we shall never see eye to eye on this but I imagine we’re not supposed to.  I just hope she doesn’t sulk away her vacation like Greta Grump and enjoy some of the time while she’s with us.

 

The house, while still busy and loud and messy … is a brighter place when she is here.   I so don’t want to be in Def-con 12 Battle Mode during the holidays.   I kinda just want to watch movies under fuzzy blankets with her … and do a little shopping … and share some late lunches … and well, just sorta be with her.  She’s eighteen and the years are moving her into adulthood faster than I can finagle.  FortheloveofGod, she’s talking about Africa next year. I just keep shaking my head.  And catching my breath some days.

 

Maybe, just maybe, she’ll go a little easy on the old lady and go with the curfew flow and pick up her room every few days.

 

Who knows.  It could happen.

 

Santa, you reading this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIKE & Follow Eyerollingmom on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/eyerollingmom

My "New Year's" card from a few years ago. Too crazed to pull off a Xmas shoot, I bribed & threatened to get this shot. My crew STILL holds a grudge ... can't imagine why ....

On Being a (Pretty Good) Mom (Sometimes)

In the hopes my children will never read this (or at the very least, lose interest midway through and click off like they usually do), I’ll make the mother of all confessions (no pun intended): at times I am not a great mom.

 

Now … It’s not a tragic scenario by any means.  I’ve never lost a kid at the mall (which, I might add, instantly places me in a winner’s circle without my sister), but I have been known to lose track of my ten-year-old’s last shower.  And I suspect that if Children’s Services ever caught wind of the actual number of times my kids’ sheets are changed, well, there might be some action taken.

 

But so far, to date (she said, knocking wood) none of my kids have a probation officer.  To quote Michael Buble, I’m feeling good.

 

Still, I’ve got some dirty diaper secrets my kids would have a field day with — especially the next time I’m ragging about a low B in Spanish.

 

I have signed homework sheets that I never really checked.

 

I’ve feigned sleep when I heard a screaming/puking/sneaking-in-past-curfew kid in the middle of the night just to allow my husband the opportunity to fly out of bed like a rocket and deal with it.

 

I’ve had the television entertain my little ones for hours at a time, just to talk on the phone a little longer or get my house clean.  And the violent video games that are rumored to melt brain cells? Let’s just say we take our chances.

 

I will say without shame that – until they’ve been old enough to realize it – I have skipped pages of bedtime stories.

 

I have sometimes not enforced regular teeth brushing with my toddlers because, I reason, they’re just going to fall out anyway….

 

And yes, I have driven past the library only to hear a tiny voice in the backseat say in wonder, “Hey, I remember that place – I think I was there once.”

 

My err, missteps have continued as my kids have gotten older.

 

I scoop wet towels off various floors and toss them in the dryer with a fabric sheet for days at a time before washing them (and I would scrunch up my eyebrows in profound judgment if I found out you didn’t).

 

I cut off my kids’ cell service the minute I cannot withstand one more minute of backtalk … and then forget to pick them up because I haven’t heard from them.

 

I’ve texted my kid’s coach –….um .. not … entirely … sober – and squawked about my kid’s playing time (a side note: if you’re going to try this, which I wholeheartedly do NOT recommend, make sure the coach is one helluva good guy).  Nevertheless, not an entirely proud moment.  Um, AT ALL.

 

 

And I’d have to admit, some of my best Mom Moments are a little unorthodox.  For instance, I keep my cell phone charger in my underwear drawer and make sure my kids know it.  Why?  Because should it go missing – like all chargers do – I want my kids – especially my boys – to know they’d be fishing around through my panties in order to get to it.

 

I still haven’t ordered my daughter’s prom dress because she still hasn’t cleaned her room.  And that was our deal – that it had to be Mom Clean.

 

And I’ve changed the locks on one particular occasion to make a rebellious teen know for damn sure that I was completely, unquestionably, irrevocably done with his nonsense.

 

But I have to admit, it’s not hopeless..

 

I’m pretty sure that for every really (really) lousy thing I do (or, in the case of the sheets, don’t do), I make up for it in other ways.  For instance, I kiss my kids.  A lot.  And I tell them I love them — all the time.  The words are spoken so often that I now possess three sons in various stages of development who actually say it back to me:  in front of their friends, over their shoulders as they’re scooting out the door, and (yes, sir) when they’re mad at me.

 

(One time, when it dawned on me that my ornery ‘tween was attempting to become an ornery ‘tween Bedroom Mole, I demanded impromptu hug practices and made him stand locked in an embrace with me until he smiled.)  Whatever it takes.

 

My home is extremely dusty at times (here comes a pat on the back from nobody-cares-about-your-undone-chores-Oprah;  you know, spoken as if she’s one of us) and my inability to remember details makes it impossible for me to recall the name of the last antibiotic any of my kids were prescribed.

 

But I know I’m a pretty good mom regardless.  I watch my kids all the time.  Not in the “Get back here, a stranger’s going to steal you!” kind of way, but in a fascinated, still-can’t-believe-they’re-mine way.   A profound failure in keeping baby books, I do, however, try to write down both wonderful and ordinary things about our daily lives.  When I noticed my little guy’s SpongeBob underwear clear through his little white baseball pants during his very first tee-ball game, I jotted it down.  It was without question the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

 

And when my toddler loudly pointed out during an extremely crowded Easter mass that “Mommy, look, they all drink wine like you do at home!” much as I wanted to die, I wrote that down, too.

 

Nowadays I don’t have to write much down since I can immediately promote their perfections and pitfalls on (ta da!) blogs and Facebook.

 

Life’s too short to dwell on dirty sheets.  Tru dat, Oprah.

 

Kids make you crazy.  But when they’re in the back seat of a Suburban giggling over the stupidest of stupid bad-gas jokes, they make you giggle, too.  And every now and then when you’re ready to lock yourself in the bathroom for just five more minutes before your head explodes off your neck, they’ll do something unexpected and delightful to make you unlock that door.

 

When they were little, when they’d hear Barry White come out of the speakers they’d seek me out (“Mom, it’s your soooooooong!”) and spontaneously dance with me in our kitchen. How’s that for an upper?

 

Now that they’re older and (gulp) out in public without me, I’ll get the mother of all compliments (again, no pun intended) when I least expect it, sometimes from complete strangers:

 

You’ve got great kids.

 

I’m thinking a terrible mom would never be able to pull that off.

 

So I’ll be keeping my phone charge in my underwear drawer, thankyouverymuch.

 

 

 

 

 

follow Eyerollingmom on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/eyerollingmom