Saturday, February 10, 2007

January is Gone

And none too soon for me. Yes, I know it's been a while since I've updated the blog. It doesn't feel like that long, but look at the date since the last post -- that's what? Almost 3 weeks ago now? And so just what have I been up to that I couldn't take the time to post?

Not much, beyond a low and vicious funk, such as I hadn't experienced in a while. I can't say why it happened, really. All I know is that I was okay, getting through my days, feeling a bit of those January blahs, but maintaining quite well. And then -- bam! I was slammed by some terrible speedball of bad hormones and bad karma and bad mojo and I don't know what else. But it just felt bad. When I was a kid and got into funks like that, my mom would sing me a little rhyme: "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll eat a worm." I felt like eating a lot of worms, as January came to a close. And if nobody liked me and everybody hated me, they'd have to get in line behind ME first, as I was the one hating myself the most, hating feeling so low and touchy and irritable and straitjacketed tightly into the mood, struggling against my self and those damn voices in my head. Gosh, they can be mean.

But it's over now. January is over, and February is here, and look at all the plans taking shape: plans for a concert date next week and plans for Lily's fifth birthday party and plans to re-do our kitchen with new cabinetry, and plans to take a big Hawaiian vacation to celebrate our 10-year anniversary later this summer. Plans! How I love you. Let's get crackin'.

The picture above isn't recent at all, since we haven't had nearly any rain this season. But this is the park that's right next to our house. It looks so peaceful here, after many days of showers that flooded out all the neighborhood children for a couple of days. I thought of this picture this past Thursday, when I took the kids down to play for a bit. I had our big tote bag of sand toys, a couple of juice boxes, and also one of those freebie parenting magazines that I grabbed as we walked out the door, just to have something to read. The kids ran to the park, and both started in on digging and shoveling the sand in the shade beneath the play structure, and I sat in the sand beside them and started flipping through the magazine.

Moments later, Lily got bored of watching the sand slip through her fingers, and started in on me:
"This is a ship, okay? [Meaning the play structure] And you need to get up on the ship. Right now."
Me: "No, not right now. I'm reading this."
"So, okay, when you hear the bell ring? That means it's time to get on the ship. Mommy? I hear the bell! Get on the ship! We're going to the beach and you need to get on the ship!"
Me: "Lily, we just got here. I'm reading my magazine and I don't want to play. YOU play, okay?"
"Okay, so, how do you want to get on the ship? 'Cuz there's a ladder, or these gray steps here, and so which way do you want to use to climb up on the ship?"

This is my daughter, fruit of my loins, with a will and a stubborn spirit even greater than my own. And I'm pretty damn stubborn. I mean, really stubborn. You know damn well I got up on that ship, right? You don't think I WON, do you? I never win, but I still try, and you'd think after nearly five years I would have learned the lesson this girl tries to teach me nearly every moment of every day, but no. Sometimes I think Lily was sent here simply because the universe is telling me that what I really need to do in this life is just roll over and shout "uncle!" up to the sky. And maybe I could try that, but Lily would ignore that too, and remind me it's time to get on the ship, mom, okay? Okay! Fine! I'm on the ship! Here I am, having fun. And yes, I see the beach over there, too. But don't think you're going to make me start yelling my McDonald's order into that damn intercom-speaker thingy again, because I'm really not going to do it this time! Okay?

(But where was Tucker, you might ask? Tucker was under the structure for most of all of that, happily pushing his trucks through the sand. This is the only reason that I'm not actually in a real straightjacket, yet. For if he had the same will as his sister -- or rather, chose to use his own formidable will to push mommy around like his sister does -- , I really would be shouting "uncle," over and over, to those nice men in their clean white suits.)

In case I needed outside proof that my daughter really is a tiny bit more demanding than most, five minutes after I returned to the sand and my magazine, two other moms arrived, each with a little daughter who looked about three. And while I sat there, flipping through articles about ADD and healthy snack options, I marveled as the two women sat on a bench beneath a tree and carried on a long conversation -- without any interruptions from their kids. Oh sure -- a couple of times one of the little girls called out, "look mommy!" across the park, and the mom would cut her eyes for two seconds at her child and say, "mmmm-hmmmmm, that's nice," and once, one of the girls asked to be pushed on the swing. "Okaaaay," the mom said, but she never got up, and the kid didn't ask again. What parenting book are these women reading?? What drugs are they giving their kids? I need to get in on this action. Now!

Meanwhile, I, ever the sucker, was up and yelling into the intercom-speaker thingy, insisting that no, I really didn't need a strawberry shake to go with my order of McNuggets and fries. Okay?! Okay. Well, maybe just one shake.

And because January is over now, and a new month is here, I can tell you that this was a good day and that I didn't need a shot of tequila, or a hit of smack, or even time alone in a dark closet to recover from our outing at the park. February, I'm loving you.


Blogger Sarah and Jack said...

Oh how I feel your pain on the willful kid front. My kiddo is only 2.5, but he gets more and more demanding every day. I try to tell myself this is only a phase, but I know I am kidding myself! LOL

1:44 PM  

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