Escape of the Inner Monologue

World, inside of my head. Inside of my head, world.

The Neverending To Do

It’s funny how much is involved in keeping a little person alive, let alone entertained and happy. I’ve been reading a lot recently about the mental load of women, and at the end of each article I don’t know if I am more happy because I’m not crazy for feeling mentally drained all the time, or more sad because now I have the additional mental load of the awareness of my mental load.

I’m aware of how lucky I am on so many levels. I recognize that I have a lot of advantages others don’t, and my daughter is really the easiest kid. But nonetheless at the end of the day I can’t settle down to sleep because my brain is spinning up helpful things like “But did I REALLY write toilet paper on the grocery list?” and “I don’t have enough PTO to cover all these school breaks” and “Did my period just start, or am I just gassy?” The standard playlist of the mom at rest.

So anyway – I use an app, Wunderlist, to manage a lot of things. And I even set up a list in there for things just for me. One of the things on that list is “Write blog entry.” That item has been on my to do list for easily a year. I kept pushing it back. I either was too tired or too uninspired or too busy to ever sit down and do this one thing. A thing I like doing. A thing that is important to me. A thing that lets me practice my writing, which is a thing I love.

So I’m going to work harder to not negotiate with myself on this to do in the future.

Maybe if nothing else I’ll make lists of all the things I think of when I’m trying to fall asleep. At least then I won’t lose them. And everyone loves to read lists of 80s rap songs I still know the lyrics to, right?

Things My Child Has Said in the Last 24 Hours

“These are the rules of war: no boogers, and no hard stuff.”

“My nipple got wet and now I’m SUPER FREEZING.”

“We should use our farts to pop popcorn.”

“I have an evil plan for when we get home. Not super evil, like killing someone, but a tiny bit evil. I am going to watch that show you think is gross on Netflix.” *evil giggle and wringing of hands

Please direct all parenting award inquiries to my publicity officer. She has some free time now that she’s finished fartpopping her snack.

Monsters in the Walls

In the spirit of the Victorians, let’s tell a scary ghost story just before Christmas. It’s a better way to be in the Victorian spirit than using arsenic as makeup anyway.

When we moved into the current house, L was two years old. From the very first night, she refused to sleep in her room. Even though we’d been sure to set up her crib and make certain that all the essential, familiar items were unpacked and ready, she staged an epic protest and insisted on sleeping in the master bedroom with us. All she would say, when asked why, was that her room was not nice, and had monsters.

So I embarked on an epic effort to make the room nice. We hung her curtains, put up stickers… it was a regular Fixer Upper, Toddler Edition (more Tinkerbell, less shiplap). Still, she wanted nothing to do with the room at night. Eventually she was able to say why… there were monsters. I figured she was using her amazing imagination and working her way through a really big change. After all, I was feeling overwhelmed and out of my element after moving to a new state, so I’m sure she was too. I figured it would pass after things settled down.

Narrator: It did not pass.

Gandalf: I told you.

We would periodically have conversations with her about what would make her want to sleep in her room, which led to the purchase of a toddler bed, then a full sized bed. She would sleep in there if one of us joined her, but never alone. She insisted there were monsters.

As she got older, she was able to describe the monsters in more detail. There was a mother monster (not Gaga) and a baby monster. The mother monster did not talk, but the baby did, and the baby would tell L that the momma monster was “very bad.” The monsters were stuck in the walls and ceiling, but had very very long arms, with talons at the the tips of their fingers. Yes, my daughter used the word talons. And…the monsters only wanted blonde girls.

Gulp.

The consistency of her story, the details she included, and the way she’d talk about it so matter of factly all added up so much that now I’m afraid to go in her room alone. That plus the creepy notebook we found hidden in the basement ceiling when we moved in, and the fact that the last family who lived here moved out for apparently no reason, and how I’d been assuming it was the cats opening her closet doors all the time…

A couple days ago, L reported that the monsters were gone. They were bored, and left. Evidently we’d starved them out of house and our home. I’m grateful we had quitter monsters who decided to just peace out and find a new food source, rather than get all nasty about the lack of service. But I think I’ll sage the house just in case.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a monster-free night!

 

Spirit (Crushing) Week

Last week was Spirit Week at L’s day care. This is, as far as I can tell, an occasion scheduled for the benefit of the teachers so they can have a bit of a dress down week. Which they completely deserve.

However, I would prefer that they not schedule Spirit Week for the week after a time change. That’s just cruel to those of us who are lucky to leave the house with everything needed to survive a regular day, let alone a day requiring some lighthearted form of attire for a child who at best qualifies as half-conscious most mornings, and on the Monday after springing forward is so miserably tired she forgot to hate it when I brushed her hair.

I’ll never forget the look on L’s face when we walked in last Monday and the receptionist asked her what pajamas she was wearing for Pajama Day.

“Mommy, I’m not wearing pajamas!” I watched as reasons for her to see a therapist later in life started forming behind her big blue eyes.

“I’m so tremendously sorry, honeybunny! I forgot today was pajama day. How about you wear your pajamas tomorrow? It’s Sports Day tomorrow and you don’t own any sports things.”

“MOMMY WHY DO I NOT HAVE SPORTS THINGS?!?!?!”

“You haven’t picked any out when we go shopping.”

L emitted a harassed, exasperated sigh that would have put any Hot Topic employee to shame, but accepted the deal. Of course for the rest of the day she would innocently manage to mention her lack of pajamas at school and my heart would just break all over, crushed by the weight of Mom Guilt(TM). (“New and Improved Mom Guilt – Now with Shame Inducing Facebook Articles!”)

Tuesday, aka Sports Day, aka Pajama Day Take Two, went a little smoother, except for several parents who felt the need to point out to me that yesterday was Pajama Day and today was Sports Day. I explained that we were doing Pajama Day today because we had missed it yesterday, and also that they needed to get a fucking life if they had time to comment on my daughter’s clothing at 7:10am on a workday. I’m extremely popular with the parents at day care, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday was dress like a Grandma or Grandpa day. The school did well to call it Dress Like “A” Grandma or Grandpa day instead of “YOUR” Grandma or Grandpa day, as I was ready to send my toddler to school dressed as a rotted corpse because I think that would be seriously funny. Also L loves makeup. Also have I mentioned how popular I am?

Thursday was Stripes and Polka Dots day. L chose to layer both of her polka dot t-shirts, the short sleeve over the long sleeve. I got some use out of my otherwise fallow law degree by negotiating with her on whether pants covered in hearts qualified as a type of polka dot. If they did not, I was facing Mom Guilt(TM): Lack of Polka Dot Pants Edition (“Kit Includes Nagging Feeling That Your Child Will Never Forgive You! Some Assembly Required.”). It was the biggest case of my career. I may have a certificate printed up to celebrate the victory, which was must harder won than the only actual case I tried in front of an actual court.

Friday was Wear Green Day, which made me sad I didn’t have a tiny Billie Joe Armstrong costume available. Green is not one of L’s favorite colors to wear, but we did happen to own a pair of green pants and a t-shirt with a picture of a crocodile on it. The school evidently learned from last year, when the children staged a coup after their milk was colored green, as L did not report any glasses of “mold water” this year.

To conclude Spirit Week, I declared the entire weekend to be Pajama Day, and put aside my Mom Guilt(TM) in favor of wine. Take that, Sports Day parents.