Like many who came before me, my theoretical parenting style (“Understanding Mom” with a touch of “I-Work-And-Don’t-Have-Time-For-This-Shit”) differs greatly from the style I’ve finally adopted (a cross between “Everything’s on Fire!” and “I-Made-This-Shit-With-My-Own-Two-Motherfucking-Hands”).
As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more comfortable being myself. I’ve found parents more like me and tossed the inauthentic, insufferable bitches in the discard pile.
About a year ago, a little asshole kid from down the block (he might be a totally normal, loving child but once you cross my kid – you’re an asshole to me) was riding by our house with Lola and I outside. He made some disparaging remark about my daughter and I lost my shit. Sure, I probably should have stopped him and had some loving mom conversation about being nice to our friends. I probably should have asked him to empathize, reminding him that he probably wouldn’t be too happy if someone talked badly about him, especially in earshot. I maybe should’ve said something to his mom. I probably should have let it go but after a particularly trying day – I just couldn’t. And sure, he was probably only about nine. But instead of all of the things I should’ve done, full of rage, I screamed “FUCK YOU! Go play by your own house!!” as he rode away.
[Sidenote: I don’t think the apple falls far from the tree. When I was in third or fourth grade my mom was taken to small claims court for giving the finger to some girl my age down the block for saying something nasty about me. I don’t remember if she actually gave her the finger or not. I do remember that she was lucky that all she got was a hand gesture.]
Then a few weeks ago I met the Sunday morning sunrise with a raging hangover. Vodka does it every time. Like a “Am-I-Hungover-or-Still-Drunk?” hangover. Like a “Why-Is-the-World-Spinning-So-Fast-Am-I-In-Another-Dimension” hangover. Like a “Surely-I’m-Close-to-Death” hangover. It happens to the best of us.
My eight-year-old comes wandering into my room with sleepy eyes and a blanket over her head inquiring as to whether we were going out to pick up breakfast. I responded as if I were giving her my last wishes from a flat lying position complete with raspy “Patty and Thelma” voice.
“Mommy’s hungover; make yourself some waffles. Please bring me a water every hour and make sure I’m alive.”
And you know, before becoming a parent these were not situations I ever visualized myself living. This isn’t in the pamphlets that Babies”R”Us distributes to expectant moms. You don’t read this shit on the BabyCenter boards. But you can’t let it box you in. I still hand make her Valentine’s cards. I’m still a full-fucking-time rockin’ Dance Mom on the weekends when we spend 48-hours at competition, fighting with the kid over hair and make-up decisions. I still throw the most bangin’ birthday parties a late-thirties mom could possibly throw.
And most importantly – I’ll still fight an nine-year-old like a bear if I’m pushed.
What’s your parenting style? Comment and let me know how outrageously you run shit.