If you didn’t see my last embarrassing post, I’ve started cataloging some of my parenting missteps. And since parenting is hard and I’m an optimist, I like to frame them as accomplishments.
1.) When I came home from work the other day, Rafi greeted me with the news, “I pooped!” I responded with enthusiastic affirmation, of course. Then he said, “You poop, and Daddy poops and Lili poops!” After further affirmation, he went on to tell me, “And Grandmom poops and Poppop poops and Great-Grandmom poops and Great-Grandpop poops and Uncle John poops too!” So, Great-Grandpop has been gone for almost a year and therefore most likely does not poop. But aside from that, I’m raising a boy who knows his facts, and that’s an accomplishment.
2.) I spontaneously broke out into singing an extremely spirited rendition of “Mmmbop” by Hanson in the car (I’m not ashamed that I still love that song) on the off chance that it would make my daughter stop crying. Mmhmm, it worked.
3.) Then I tried the same thing with someone else’s baby at a wedding, and it worked again.
4.) I heard about a study that says that talking to yourself in the third person can be helpful for motivation. But Emily doesn’t like referring to herself as Emily, because we all know that’s weird. So I started referring to myself as “Girlfriend” when I’m trying to wake up in the morning. Because that’s not weird at all.
This is how it goes: Denial: “It’s OK, Girlfriend, if you keep your eyes closed he’ll stop poking your face and telling you he wants breakfast.” Anger: “Girlfriend, get yourself outta this bed right now. What kind of mother let’s her kid ask for breakfast for 20 minutes? The kind that stays up way too late blogging. Moron.” Bargaining: “Girlfriend, I know you’re tired, but if you just roll outta this bed, I’ll make you a nice cup of really strong coffee.” Sadness: “Girlfriend, I know you want to enjoy every minute you can with your kids, except for this minute because it’s 4:30AM. It’s OK to cry.” Acceptance: “OK, Girlfriend. Stop whining. Here we go.”
You may have noticed that me and Girlfriend, we walked through the five stages of grief during that conversation with one another. That is because every morning, we grieve being able to sleep as much as we want to, because we’re sure it will never happen again for the rest of our lives. But we eventually get up, and that’s an accomplishment.
5.) This is sometimes what I eat for my bedtime snack. ⇒
Yes, those are Jalapeños with cream cheese and bacon. And no, that is not formula or breast milk. I’m gross, but I’m not that gross. And feeding myself a delicious snack coupled with a
bottle container of leftover nutritious milk is an accomplishment.
6.) I sometimes allow my children to jump on our bed, and I try to always be on the side closest to Lili, to make sure that if she goes over, I can throw myself onto the hardwood floor to create a human cushion (in the
unlikely scenario that I’m not fast or coordinated enough to catch her). The lasso from our wedding hangs on the wall above our bed, and what with its cloth flowers and shiny gold thread, any baby would do their best to eat it. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the bed was not quite up against the wall – in fact there was about six inches of space between bed and wall. You know where I’m going with this.
One minute she’s on her tip toes reaching for the lasso, and the next minute she’s completely disappeared into the baby canyon. But (thank you, Jesus), she went down feet first and was just kind of wedged there, looking like, “Umm, how did I get down here, and what’s with the panic face?” Obviously, the first thing I said after ascertaining that she was alive and well was, “Rafi, don’t tell Daddy.” Approximately one second later we hear the door open and what does Rafi do? He races down the hall shouting, “Lili fell off the bed with a bash and a crash and a bang of her head!!!” Where’s the accomplishment in that? I am raising a very honest child. Then again, Mexican people have a saying that goes something like: “Only drunks and children tell the truth,” so it could have something to do with that (the child part, we don’t feed our kids liquor), but in any case, he’s an excellent story teller. Also, my girl is fearless.
7.) Today Rafi said something that really melted my heart: “Daddy, I like you, but I like Mommy better.”
Now that’s an accomplishment.