I’m Wearing Mommy Panties

I’m wearing mommy panties.

Let’s define “mommy panties,” shall we?

Mommy panties: (noun) Underwear that: could easily be mistaken for men’s briefs (minus the added bulge), is often purchased in a clear-plastic sleeve containing at least 5 pairs of identical underwear, acquired at a big-box store and is by no means considered sexy. *Not to be confused with “Granny Panties.”

You know why I’m willing to bet you’re wearing mommy panties, too? Because you probably buy your children’s underoos in bulk, as well. And, you want to wait to buy those cute little Victoria Secret panties until you’ve “lost those last few pounds.” Or, you’ve been married so long now it doesn’t matter what you wear. Or, you’re just too frugal to spend $15 for a single pair of underwear that your dog is likely to drag out of the laundry basket and destroy anyway.

So, it’s come to this. A choice of white, black or grey, nondescript, formless, shapeless, asexual underwear purchased in a plastic sleeve at a store where I can also buy three gallons of milk in one convenient container.

The deal is – I bought these underwear that are horrible because I went to store after store trying to buy cute panties but I’m too damned cheap to buy them. So, in desperation and frustration, I bought the plastic sleeve. They are horrible – but not as horrible as when my husband pointed out that they were pretty darn ugly.

I want to be the girl who matches the underwear to the bra but I don’t have the time or the money or the energy to be that woman.
So, I’m wearing mommy panties.
And I feel like it’s a slippery slope into granny panties.

 

Pre-School Dating Protocol

My 5-year-old, by all accounts, is something of a ladies man. Often times, when I go to pick him up from pre-school, girls will run and hug him as they say goodbye. And, like a ladies man, he ignores their attention. Though, I’ll tell you what he doesn’t ignore: when his older brother and sister give him a hard time, taunting him that he “has a girlfriend.”

What cracks me up here is that if you ask him, he will tell you he does indeed have a girlfriend. Any guesses on who it is?

It’s me.

“Mommy’s my girlfriend,” he sing-songs as he walks around the house or while snuggling me. Last night, while tucking him in bed, things escalated quickly beyond just dating. He repeated the words, “Mommy is my girlfriend,” but then he took me by the hand. He held it and said, “Do you want to see what the boys do?” Now, when a child asks you this, you tend to have a certain degree of trepidation when responding. So, with a dose of hesitation I said, “sure.” He took my left hand and kissed it saying, “That’s what they do in Frozen!” Then, he looked back down at that very hand and at my wedding ring and vowed, “One day I’m gonna put a ring on you.”

Anyone else dealing with the Oedipus Complex in their house? Should I be planning a wedding? :)

Do You Suffer From 3rd Child Syndrome?

Do you suffer from the following?

  • “Racing” heart
  • Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
  • Sense of terror, or impending doom or death
  • Feeling sweaty or having chills
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Peeing yourself just a little.

Okay, fine, I added that last one – but I think you know what I’m saying. According to WebMD – these are the symptoms of a panic attack – or as I like to call it, “3rd Child Syndrome.” This syndrome is known (well, only by me and a few friends at this point) to set in after the birth of a third child. Patients claim to have been fearless or at least not a scaredycat (also a medical term) until child number three entered the world. Patients complain that at some point after, they began to be nervous around heights and driving in snowstorms.

Case in point –

Patient name: Mom Land

Scene: Mountain hike near a large canyon in Hawaii

Incident: Mom Land spazzed like a cat up a tree after encountering a dangerous cliff. Patient expressed experiencing the above symptoms and having to pretend to have a bag to breathe in while completing said hike.

3rd Child Syndrome can be a debilitating disease. It limits fun hikes, sky diving and drives on snow-covered highways at night. As of yet, there is no known cure. (Well, maybe wine.) Do you or someone you know suffer from 3rd Child Syndrome?

 

Taking Turns Being God

“When is it going to be my turn to be God?”

It’s an odd question. I’ll give you that. It’s even more odd when it is asked by your five-year old, with obvious annoyance in his voice.

Let me back this up for you. It was bedtime. Prayer time, to be exact. We were saying our nightly, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” with a few add-ons, when my son interrupted, demanding to know when it was going to be his turn to be God. He seemed pretty annoyed that God’s been God for a while now, essentially saying He should let someone else take the reins for a bit.

I explained to my preschooler that being God was not like playing with a truck on the playground. This is one thing that is not shared – and even if it was – we pretty much all learned it wouldn’t work, thanks to movies like “Bruce Almighty” and the sequel, “Evan Almighty.” There are some things in this world that are better left alone. This is surely one of them.

So, how do you explain to a child that, although we make him share his toys with his friends and dessert with his family, he certainly not get to take his turn being God? Or, maybe the more fun question is, what would life look like if your child was able to play God for a day?

The Gifts Under the Tree

By now, you may be on top of it – already packed up the tree and decorations and cleaned up all evidence of Christmas 2014. Or, maybe you’re holding on to tradition and keeping the tree up a few more days, savoring another successful Christmas. Chances are – either way – you are tripping over the mess that is Christmas past. The packaging, the tiny toys that fell out of the stockings, the little pieces of wrapping paper that somehow did not get picked up on Christmas day and the new toys and gifts that were so feverishly opened on Christmas morning – they are all there to greet you with every step. Especially if you bought your child legos. In which case, it’s a random brick there to say “hello” every time you walk into your living room barefoot.

As I find myself torn between wanting to pack up Christmas and claim my living room back – and wanting to keep the warm feelings of Christmas day and celebrating Christ’s birth for just a few days more – I catch myself thinking about what it is I will remember and treasure from this Christmas. There’s the material stuff  – sure, like a new coat from my husband, a gardening belt from my mom, a new curling iron from my daughter, a coffee pot from my dad – but what is really going to stick with me (beyond curly hair, because I have certainly missed having a curling iron!) are the memories from Christmas day. It’s the way my daughter was thrilled that her little brother got her the mood lamp she’d hinted at so clearly in the store – and the vision of tucking her in that night with the lamp enveloped in her arms, under the covers. It’s the way my 9-year-old son paused in realization when he opened the wrapping to see a box to a remote-controlled helicopter he’d been wanting for months before excitedly screaming, “YOU GOT IT!!!!” It’s the way my four-year old boy waited oh so patiently for my husband to assemble his new snowmachine sled that he’d been eyeing every time we stepped foot into the store. And beyond those material things – my memories are filled with moments like taking the kids and their new sleds to the big sledding hill and flying down the hill with them, laughing all the way, seeing my daughter’s eyes light up when I told her she gets to make Christmas day dessert this year, and listening to my sweet little boy say his prayers that night and look at me in a way that said it really didn’t matter what he got for Christmas this year – he was happy.

My family was truly blessed with the gifts of this Christmas and most of those weren’t ones you’d find under our tree.  What kind of blessings and memories did Christmas bring you this year?

The Pop In Freak Out

Have you ever had to go back to the preschool/day care because you had forgotten something? You know, after you’ve dropped off your child and they are well entrenched in their daily activities that happen without your presence… and then, suddenly, there you are. You’ve already done the round of bye-bye kisses and hugs. And yet, now there you stand. You’re back. You’re doing the pop-in and they’re doing the freak out.

I get that kids thrive on routine and the parental pop-in is incredibly jarring for their little minds (and hearts.) But, man, oh man, nothing feels quite as horrible as watching your child completely melt down when they realize you aren’t taking them with you.

My kids went to their dad’s for the week yesterday. But, when they were dropped off at school & preschool, the bag of pillows & blankets for preschool nap time was accidentally left behind. So, I thought I’d drop it off on my way to work this morning. It’ll be easy, I thought. I’ll just sneak in and he won’t even see me, I bargained. Except, he did see me. His cubby was directly off to the right of where he was standing. I walked in. He didn’t notice me at first. I froze. You know, like in those wilderness shows (or Jurassic Park) where they tell you not to move because they can’t see you unless you move. Well, turns out my preschooler isn’t a T Rex. (I’m sure his big brother and sister would argue otherwise.) There was a pause of recognition as he looked up and locked eyes with me. Then, “Hi, mommy?” I squatted down for a hug. He wrapped his arms around me and before long, I felt the tears slipping from his cheek onto my neck. “Why are you crying?” I asked. “I want to go with you!” he cried. Oh, my poor baby boy. It’s not like they’re mean at daycare or anything. In fact, he likes it there. It was just the unusualness of it all.

Soon, I had to leave for work. I tried telling him all the consoling things like I’d see him tomorrow and he could call me tonight, but it was to no avail. The teacher had to pry him from my arms. She told him to come stand by the window so he could wave to me as I pulled out of the parking lot. As I walked quickly down the stairs and out to my truck – with my heavy heart slowing me down – I could still hear him crying. When I made it to the designated waving place, there he stood – pressed against the glass, with his face in his hands, sobbing. His teacher had him wave goodbye to me and I drove away feeling like the world’s meanest mommy.

How do you handle the pop-in? Surely, you’ve forgotten a lunch box or snow pants or something and had to run in “really quick” only to be emotionally pummeled for doing so. So, what do you do to make that transition easier for you both?

 

 

Mean Girls

There’s a reason that movie with Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams is still watched religiously by some. It’s because it’s true. Girls can be mean. Boys too, yes, I know. But girls – particularly middle school girls – have this way of digging under another girl’s skin. They know what buttons to push. Which insecurities to target. And they can be just plain mean. Mean Girls should have been set in middle school. Except then it would be a horror movie, not a comedy.

My 12-year-old daughter is in her first year of middle school. So far this year she’s fallen face first into a bench in the locker room on the very first day (several people have asked me if she was pushed), been shoved to the ground and bullied by another girl on the school bus, and been called a “fuck face” by a teammate and once-upon-a-time friend of hers. Yes, it’s been an eventful year – and it’s not even Thanksgiving.

What I haven’t mentioned is how, in that same stretch of time, she’s been uplifted by friends who saw her saddened to lose a wrestling meet, encouraged by a friend who told her not to worry about bullies and invited over for a dance party in that same friend’s living room. There are mean girls. But, there are truly wonderful nice girls, too.

When my daughter called me during school earlier this week to tell me she overheard her teammate calling her a “fuck face” to another girl, I took the “kill her with kindness approach.” I told her how she shouldn’t let someone else’s actions impact her own character. I told her to continue being kind to this girl and, in the words of the great Taylor Swift, to “shake it off.” So far so good.

Middle school was rough for a dork like me. I had the big glasses, pulled up over your belly button pants and was 100% oblivious to the “beauty” needs other girls my age were struggling with. So, I made friends with other friends like me. Cue the Island of Misfit Toys theme… Yes, Perks of Being a Wallflower had it right. The trick was to find others who weren’t necessarily just like me – but liked me for the dork that I was. The dork that was okay with laughing at myself – better to point out your own flaws than to have a bully do it for you.

Mean girls aren’t going anywhere. In fact, the original  just celebrated its 10 year anniversary last month. A reunion of mean girls. There’s enough material there to bring you sequels in the vein of the “Halloween” movies for years and decades to come.

What do you tell your kids when they encounter mean girls (or boys)?

 

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