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You know what this world is lacking? Authenticity. So I’m going to put out some unapologetic honesty in the hopes that it will counteract all the people who are trying to be something that they aren’t. I’m a big believer in balance. You take a vitamin, you eat a cookie. You drink a beer, you drink some water. You eat cake, you go for a walk.
The Earth is full of women who are not willing to be authentic, and as a result, almost all of us are lonely. The authentic ones have trouble finding other authentic ones, and the ones who are faking it just end up with a bunch of other equally fake friends. Womanhood can be incredibly isolating, which is why the handful of friends I’ve got who really know and understand me are stuck with me forever.
Why is it so hard for people to just speak the truth? It really will set you free. Tell you what, I’ll start: Potty training is hell and I’m so thankful for mommy amnesia because eventually I’ll forget how much it sucked. Today I had Doritos for breakfast and M&M’s for lunch. I want to yell “What the FUCK?!” at least twice per day, but I don’t. It’s going to happen one of these days because I feel like I’m surrounded by crazy people. I already feel terrible about it and it hasn’t even happened yet.
Sometimes I am really annoyed that I don’t get paid for being a stay-at-home mom. My job is hard. All I want is a paycheck so I can buy myself a plane ticket and go somewhere … because I’d like that.
I don’t believe anything they say on the Fox News Channel.
I smear Vaseline on everything. Like my face.
This weekend I tried to sell two stacks of old jeans at Plato’s Closet and they said they were too outdated. I took them to Style Encore which is similar, but geared toward women in their mid-twenties to mid-fifties, and they said my jeans were too outdated.
What the fuck.
Carpool is terrible.
That’s right. I’m writing a blog post about carpool. The people of this world who are doing real things, like anything related to accounting, delivering babies, or the Ebola virus, are entitled to roll their eyes. A friend of mine from high school (Hi, Genya Dana!) has a PhD and is now a Senior Science Policy Officer at the U.S Department of State. She sometimes reads my blog, and if she reads this post I would expect her to roll her eyes. I’m totally fine with it. I would too.
But … silly as it is, this is my life. Right now my world is wrapped up in figuring out the public school system and potty-training my middle child, and those two things pretty much leave me spent by the end of the day. It’s a damn good thing I’m not working at the Center for Disease Control or the U.S. Department of State. Just the thought of it makes me panicky; the stress of it all would render me asleep under my desk by noon.
When I first became a stay-at-home mom, I had all these ideas of what certain mom-like things would be like. Carpool was one mom task I figured I’d be doing eventually. It sounds so fancy: carpool. You hear of parents sitting in the carpool line, and I never quite got a grasp on how horrible it really is. After three days of waiting for 30 minutes, twice a day, in an ass-long line of cars with small children screaming from the backseat, I mentioned to Maverick that maybe he could ride the bus.
The bus!!!!!! His eyes lit up with excitement. Desperation eroded whatever worries I had about putting my 5-year-old on a big yellow school bus, and on Monday morning I got us all dressed and began the long walk to the end of our street. We stood at the busy corner and we waited. Not ones to waste time, Maverick and Asher spent the longest 8 minutes of my life throwing pine cones, sticks, and rocks at cars (NO!), into the street (again, NO!), at houses (NO!), and at each other (NO!). They then proceeded to stand in ant hills, peel bark off pine trees and dig holes in someone’s yard, all while I tried to stop them and keep the baby out of harm’s way and smile and wave to the people who drove by as if all was well, so they would not notice that I was completely losing my mind.
And then, the bus arrived. The driver took one look at us and asked which house we live in. When I told her, she said “I’ll stop in front of your house from now on — it’s much safer there.” And I thanked her for making my life exponentially easier as I tried to keep Asher from boarding the bus behind his brother.
I planned to get a picture of Maverick as he climbed into the school bus for the first time, but it was too late. As I was talking to the driver, he found a window seat and waved excitedly as they pulled away and Asher sobbed.
At 3:40 that afternoon, the bus came back and deposited my child, as if by magic. He’s been taught and fed two meals — breakfast and lunch — and transported to and from our home without me doing anything except getting him out the door. Public school is the bomb, y’all. So far I am completely a fan, definitely the mom who goes overboard with appreciation to everyone who plays a part in my son’s education because I CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT THEIR HELP.
So THANK YOU, Mrs. L the bus driver. I would have hugged you, but you said you had to go.
This is it. The day has come. Everything suddenly lined up and I realized that my life is ENJOYABLE and MANAGEABLE for the first time in a very, very long time.
Seemingly overnight, things went from impossibly hard to easy. Robbie is home for dinner and weekends (still a major novelty) and my sweet-yet-exhausting Maverick is in school 7 hours a day. Even though I still have two other kids at home, they are just easier for me to manage — they’re calmer, I suppose. Today we three sat at the kitchen table for lunch and enjoyed the sweet sound of nothing.
It. Was. Amazing.
I have so many ideas, things I want to write about, projects I want to do this year, and after a long period of chaos otherwise known as summer I finally time to think. So please excuse me while I go soak up the peace. I earned that shit.
Today, as mentioned in my previous post, I needed a break from my children so I chose to attend a Spin class.
I have been to exactly one Spin class in my life before today and it was a very long time ago. I had forgotten how badly it makes you hurt in all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons. I mean, sure, riding a bike for an hour is tiring and I’m a little sore from that — but the bicycle seat is what really gets you. My sit bones feel bruised. I made the mistake of sitting on the edge of the bath tub tonight while I waited for Asher to finish using the potty and I gasped in pain. Apparently that startled him and he nearly fell into the toilet, which would have made for an interesting story … but … he caught himself.
I find it ironic that the hour I spent getting yelled at by a spin instructor was a welcome break from the remaining 12 that I spent getting yelled or cried at by small children. On the up side, I did not pass out during class, fall off my bike, or collapse when it was all over — mainly because I refused to be shown up by all the much older, much more in shape people present. So I walked slowly and smiled brightly, like NO, I DON’T WANT TO VOMIT, WHY DO YOU ASK?
At one point during class, the instructor was explaining intervals and said, “You should feel slight nausea right now — if you don’t feel slightly nauseous you aren’t pushing hard enough. If you actually throw up then you pushed too hard.” I cracked up, like really guffawed from my spot on the back row, but no one else found this to be funny. Maybe they were trying to keep their cookies in check.
I often find myself laughing loudly when no one else is.
There were a lot of men in the class so I immediately texted Robbie that it’s a shame we can’t do this stuff together. He needs the cardio, and quite frankly, I think it would be fun to kick his ass.
He didn’t respond.
I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to my body, it’s always been a little fat and I’m totally okay with that, but if I am going to keep up with the kids I really do need to be in shape. Also, if I’m not going to earn a paycheck I might as well have an ass you can bounce a quarter off of. This is my logic.