Mistake It to the Limit

Don’t you hate it when your head runs away with you?  I’ve been finding myself randomly awake in the middle of the night for an hour or more, running through holiday lists: who gets cards, who gets gifts, when do we get paid and what bills need to come out of those checks and how much do we have extra for Xmas stuff.  I kind of hate it when I get this way.  It’s going to be a lean Xmas this year, but that’s absolutely OK.  I mainly just want my kids to be happy. Giving them the gift of magical holiday memories is a top priority for me.

(I just had a great idea for people like friends and colleagues, and I wish I had thought of it a month ago: rather than buying gifts for each other, why  not batch-cook food, freeze it, and have a swap?  It’s like having a group of people take turns making your lunch for a week or so.  Dammit.  Maybe next year.)

I’ve also been worrying about my kids.  It’s that generalized parental worry, wondering if you’re doing enough or too much.  Stella’s doing so well academically, but socially I worry.  Am I arranging enough play dates?  Am I finding enough activities to help her develop her non-academic interests?  And I disagree vehemently with first graders having homework almost every night, yet I become Tiger  Mom snapping at her to “pay attention” and “finish your work before you play a computer game” after school.   Is she going to despise me for that one day?

And Felix?  Is he developing “normally?”  I have no idea, despite the fact that he’s my 2nd child and I should be a “pro.”  He refuses to learn the alphabet – just isn’t interested.  I suspect he knows more than he lets on, but what do I know?  By his age, Stella was reading.  Then I kick myself for comparing them.  Obviously her development was not typical.  But what if Felix isn’t as clever as I think he is?  What if he can’t get into kindergarten (yes, in 2 years because mommy is psycho) because he can’t pass the entrance exam in which he’ll have to demonstrate that he knows his ABCs?  And this new game where he likes to come up to people – often me – and hiss and scratch like a cat…what if he claws up some kid at school? I’m not ready for a “your kid is showing antisocial behavior” discussion.

Clearly I’ve lost my damn mind.  Sure, having children will warp your brain – the noise, the arguing, the noise, the school obligations, the noise, the doctors’ appointments, the noise.  My kid brother has a 2 year old little girl – my niece – as well as operates 2 successful boutiques.  He somehow finds time to do stuff like go to gyms, read books, argue politics and philosophy.  I think he must have that magic pendant that Hermione Granger had in Harry Potter – the one which allowed her to go back and forth in time in order to take a zillion classes.  I otherwise don’t see how he can do all that.  It’s all I can do some days to make sure my kids are fed.

Pressure. It’s a lot.  And now all over Facebook I see where I should be talking to my children about treatment of women and how my son needs to be taught not to objectify them.  Sorry.  I kinda thought that was a given if you were a conscientious parent. It didn’t necessarily require a special dissertation.  But apparently I may be wrong.  I’m probably wrong about a lot.

I guess I can only hope that my best will be good enough – that whatever mistakes I make along the way won’t be terminal.  That my kids won’t be assholes and will achieve whatever academic and professional successes they decide they desire.  That they will remember that their mom really tried, tried to give them magic when it counted.

My Griswold wanna-be inflatable collection. I like how they disguise the weeds in the flower bed. Maybe next year I can do better with that.

My Griswold wanna-be inflatable collection. I like how they disguise the weeds in the flower bed. Maybe next year I can do better with that.


About larva225

Working mom. Is there any other kind? Geologist. Nerd.
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7 Responses to Mistake It to the Limit

  1. w1nt3l says:

    All you can do is what you think is best for them. I fall back on my what my parents did with me (what I can remember….some hazy days in there….bad decisions) and usually what pissed me off the most was in reality the best choice. Sure, I was pissed, hated my parents sometimes, but when I got old enough to realize they were right (which I admitted to them in my 30’s) it made so much more sense. I am now the combination of my parents to my daughter. She told me last night I was being a mean Dad because I took away her iPod for 2 days for mouthing off to my wife. I just looked at her, straight faced, and said “Goodnight, I love you” before shutting the door. It felt like the best I could do at the time.

    On a side note, if you’re kid brother has a spare magic pendant for sale, I’m in no matter the price. Could really use one of those on occasion.

  2. joey says:

    I like the swap meal idea, too. You’re an idea girl, huh?
    I’m sure you’re doin a bang-up job. I know the pressure is real, but I feel like you’re conscientious, as you wrote, and by all accounts on the blog, you’re attentive, and LOVING, sooo…I mean, that’s sorta the thing. 🙂

    • larva225 says:

      I try. That’s all any of us can do. And I think this year – a tough one by most standards – it feels just BAD to buy stuff for people just to buy them something. I would rather have a pile of frozen soups and stews that I know someone made with happiness to take for lunch at the office than a bad bottle of wine jammed into one of those decorative tasseled bags that you feel compelled to keep but then never use. I think I have a dozen of those damn bags. Maybe I’m a bit Grinch-ish?

      • joey says:

        Heh. I dunno. I think there are people who love the set-amount-compulsory gift exchanges and there are people who don’t. I don’t, and I am NOT even a little Grinch-y.

  3. Anxious Mom says:

    Felix will probably invent something that says/writes the ABCs for him before he says them straight up for you. Baby Girl can count to 16 (random as that is), but WOULD NOT do it for us when we asked her. I’d overhear her counting with her toys, and when I’d ask her to do it again so Sam wouldn’t think Mom was a crazy person making shit up, she’d go, “1…2…3…7!” and stop and laugh. She KNEW. Second kids!

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