My Hero (a story featuring kids in mustaches)

The craziest thing happened to me last night….

I was on way home, walking through the forest, when I heard the leaves rustle from above. Just then,  woodland nymph appeared before me.

She looked friendly enough. Sure, she had a villain’s mustache, but she was smiling and singing and she had a heart on her shirt. What villain wears a heart T-shirt?The nymph looked like she wanted to show me something, so I took a step toward her.

“What is it? What do you want to show me?”

She smiled, turned and flitted away. I followed. After a short while, the nymph came to a clearing. She looked around, smiled and stopped.

“What’s here? Did you want to show me something here?”

She turned and locked eyes with me. Just then, I felt a tug on my sleeve. I looked down to see the funniest little elf.

He had a villain’s mustache too….but his eyes were so big that I decided that he MUST be kind and honorable.

“Oh, who are you little buddy? Do you want to play?”

The elf’s eyes sparkled as he stared at me. Then I heard the nymph giggle. I turned to look at her, and as I did, the elf snatched my bag and ran away.

“Oh no! You’re not a nice elf at all!”

I chased the elf deeper into the forest. I was about to catch up to him when the elf turned and threw my bag off the trail. I crouched to collect my belongings, but as I did, I felt a sharp crack to the back of my head. I felt my body being pulled across the ground….for being so small, these folks were strong. It was then that I realized what was happening.

They were taking me to their leader.

I’d heard the horror stories. “Little Z” was ruthless. What would happen???

My heart was racing as they blindfolded me. What were they going to do? Nobody knew where I was. By the time anyone realized I was missing, it would probably be too late.

Just then, I heard a crash and glass breaking. Somebody shouted “Oh no, it’s HIM!!”
There was a scuffle and howls. And then there was silence.
Still blindfolded, I felt myself being carried. What was happening now???

Finally, I was set down on the ground. I took off my blindfold and found myself on the original path, where I’d first seen the woodland nymph. Then I looked down and saw my savior.

He bowed to me.

My Lady..

And then he was gone…..

I really need to move closer to work. My commute is getting weird……..

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A 3 Year Old, A Love Triangle & a Little Bit of Incest

Over the weekend, I walked into the bathroom to find Zaven looking at the pipe under the sink. When I asked him what he was doing, this conversation happened:

 

Me: What are you doing
Zaven: I lost my wedding ring down the drain.
Me: Ummm…huh?
Z: My wedding ring went down the sink…I have to to take the sink apart.
Me: Wait…wedding ring? Who are you married to?
Z: (pause) Aunt Phae
Me: Aunt Phae? And what does Uncle Paul think about this.
Z: (turns to look at me…completely calm and straight faced) I don’t really care what he thinks.

 

Whoa.

I, for one, cannot WAIT until he starts pursuing real, non-incest, relationships. I’m sure there will be NO drama at all. Nope….no drama AT ALL.

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Back to Work….I’m okay

I’m half-way through my second week of work following an eleven week maternity leave. This is the third time I’m done this, so you’re THINK that I’d happily float back, excited to my friends and stimulate my mind.  Yeah…not so much.

It’s fine. I’m not crying on my way to work anymore. I’m not waking up in a cold sweat, panicking that I was going to forget something anymore. I’m okay.

I just don’t really want to go.

After Amelia was born, I sobbed about coming back to work. I was leaving my baby for the first time. It helped that Jason was home by the time I left for work, but I was LEAVING my BABY.

With Zaven, I couldn’t WAIT to come back to work. He wasn’t a demon, but he was certainly a little more challenging then Amelia had been. I’d also fallen out of love with the mom-group I’d found when Amelia was a baby (actually, it was a pretty ugly, everything below-the-surface, break-up). Either way, I needed adults and I needed the newsroom.

This time, I stayed firmly in denial that I was going to have to come back to work. I didn’t firm up childcare until the last minute. I didn’t stock the freezer with pre-cooked meals (I really should have done that). I didn’t even get the random appointments out of the way before I came back (oil change…I REALLY should have done that).  There was never any doubt that I’d return to work.  I WAS going.  I just didn’t want to accept it or prepare for it.

Leading up to my return, people would bring it up. “So, back to work soon, huh?” would be asked with either sympathy or excitement, depending on the person. I’d just sigh and cut them off as they were about to ask about childcare (that was ALWAYS the next question). I didn’t want to talk about. I didn’t want to think about it. Like my three year-old screams in the middle of a tantrum- “I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT!!!” (and then I mentally throw myself on the floor, kicking & screaming)

But alas, I’m an adult. And, as an adult, sometimes I have to do things I don’t want to do.  I have to remember what I tell Zaven when he asks why I have to go to work- I have to go to work to make money for our family. I have to go to work because work is where I exercise my brain (and, ahem, sometimes write my blog). I have to go to work because that’s where I see and talk to adults every day…and talking to adults makes me happy.  I also have to remember that, ultimately, my children are proud of me.

So, I’m okay.  I’ll be okay.  We’ll ALL be okay.

Just one quick question- Can anyone tell me how to get three kids up and out the door in the morning and then get myself to work….on time?  Thanks.

Gentleman at Walmart

With Amelia starting school, Zaven & I are back to our school year routine of sitting around the house staring at each other.  For the first 2 days of school (Thursday & Friday), the two of us hung around, pretending to do housework (me) and asking where Amelia was (him).  After a weekend of having his sister home, I knew that Zaven would be sad to see her go again.  So Monday morning and packed him up and we made our long overdue trip to Walmart. 

I don’t go to Walmart much, I can generally get everything I need during my weekly grocery shopping trip at Kroger.  However, after a vacation (yes, it was a month ago) and all-around chaos at our house, we had a perfect storm of needing toilet paper, paper towels, dog food & shampoo.  So…off to Walmart we went.

(It should be said that the other advantage of Walmart is that there’s a McDonalds in the store…and I hadn’t had a Sausage Biscuit in a LOOOOONG time.)

After an hour and a half of shopping (yeah, that should hold us for a while) we checked out.  Zaven, always the gentleman, handed me things to put of the counter, all the while saying “Mommy, I help!” and pushing me if I reached for anything myself.  I thought “Oh, that’s cute, I wonder how long it’ll be before has falls asleep.” 

But, much to my surprise, Zaven was not finished helping.  As we pushed the cart toward the Exit, Zaven started pushing me, reaching up toward the pushbar and screaming “NO!  I PUSH THE CART!” 

I thought that he’d give up quickly considering that I had 65lbs of dogfood in the cart.  Not so much….he was determined.

 

So, we spent 15 minutes standing in front of Walmart in the 90 degree Georgia heat while Zaven pushed and pushed…never making it more than a couple inches.  It was AWESOME.

Finally, however, the heat and exertion wore him down and I was able to float an idea that was to his liking. 

Good thing too….because that junk was getting OLD.  I assured him that I was flattered by the gesture and that it proved that he was very strong and masculine.

…..and he was passed out by the time we got out of the parking lot.

Validation From a 5 Year Old

For the most part, I really like being a working mom.  I’m proud to be a working mom.  I enjoy telling people that I’m a working mom.  There are, of course, days that kick my butt and make me feel like I’m doing a half-assed job with everything (parenting, housekeeping, work…).  But, generally, I feel pretty awesome.

That being said, there are things about it that are just…hard.  These things have nothing to do with your ability as a parent.  They don’t happen BECAUSE you’re a good/bad parent and they won’t (necessarily) effect how great you are at being a mom.  You can be the best parent ever, but these things are still going to pop up.  Childcare issues, separation anxiety, exhaustion, unforeseen extra hours at work…they’re all going to get you.

The issue that has been bugging me since last August is my lack of face time with Amelia.  We get up at 7a so Amelia can get to school for 8a.  I pick her up at 2:30 and we’re usually home by 2:45.  Then we have about 30 minutes together before I have to drop both kids at our neighbor’s house and go to work (4p-midnight).  In total, I have about 1 hour with Amelia per day and, in general, at least one of us is scurrying about trying to get dressed and ready for school/work.  In the last seven months, I’ve come to accept this fact.  I don’t like it, but I accept it.  I’ve found the good in the situation- I have a lot of individual time with Zaven (similar to the time I had with Amelia before Z was born), I get to drop Amelia off at school in the morning AND pick her up in the afternoon, I don’t have to be part of the bed-time drama Jason has the opportunity to have his own time with the kids.  We’ve also learned to appreciate the QUALITY of our time together, even though the quantity is lousy.  We snuggle, we laugh, we talk….it’s all good…I just wish there was more of it.

I’ve come to terms with this scenario, but every so often I wonder about Amelia.  Am I selfishly chugging along thinking that we’re all okay and bullying Amelia into agreeing?  Am I so hopped up on my internal pep rally that I’m ignoring my 5 year old’s loneliness?  Every couple weeks, Amelia will make a comment like “I wish you didn’t have to go to work.  I wish you could stay home and play with me”.  It’s never overly dramatic, and it passes.  It’s almost like her saying “I wish I had a pet unicorn” (sure, don’t we all).  But should I worry?

This morning, on the way to school, she let me off the hook.  We heard a Comcast ad on the radio and Amelia misunderstood the “Ditch the dish and get cable” sentiment and said “That’s what you do Mommy, Satellites!  People should use satellites because that’s what you do at work.”  After a few quiet moments she said “Mommy, I’m really glad that you work for CNN.”  Um, wow, thanks.  I asked why and she said “It’s good that you work at CNN because they give the news and you help customers with satellites.  It’s a very important job.  I’m glad that it’s your job.”  I was a dumbfounded, but thanked her.  Then I asked if she ever wished that I didn’t have a job and she said “No…because then you wouldn’t work there and see your co-workers.” (It should be said that she answered me like I was a complete idiot for asking.)

So, there you have it.  My daughter doesn’t hate me for having a job.  She thinks I’m very important.  I’d venture to say that she finds me awesome. 

Incidentally, Working Mother magazine has a feature this month about working mothers and their adult children.  It turns out that these children are likely to grow up and be just fine.  Nice.