This is the time of year everyone is talking about thankfulness. Well, not everyone obviously, seeing as how I got flipped off in traffic a few days ago (caring means using your blinker, Mr. Pushy-Pants). So I thought now would be an opportune time to reflect on the last year and take in all that I accomplished, since I’m more prone to thinking about everything I still haven’t crossed off my to-do list.
Turns out 2015 was a productive year for me minus only a few She-Won’t-See-This-Coming trick plays and Underwhelm-Her-With-This-Whistle-Blow referee calls. Plus, I managed to get my kids almost all the way through another year of me parenting them. Don’t get me wrong, my husband has been a trusty life-force throughout this whole child raising gig. But I’m just going to reminisce for a hot five minutes about how I completely dominated parenthood this year.
By the fifth time, I realized it must be his version of tough love. Because the first four times I screamed initially in surprise and subsequently in pain. When I didn’t yell out the next time…he stopped. “That’s just life, momma dukes. But I love you anyway.”
2. I mastered perfect hygiene so that whatever I am wearing/eating/drinking/looking at/touching/breathing does not smell bad.
You would think that after being raised by a clean set of parents, spending my adolescence in girls’ locker rooms, sharing a dorm space with three other females and tackling my fair share of day-after multiple bar nights in my early 20s, I’d have the whole hygiene thing down. Negative. Apparently I needed my 4-year-old to simply say a specific sentence one morning while agitatedly waiting for me to unbuckle her from her car seat: “Mom, I don’t like the way your face smells.” Well that’s not nice. Nowadays I wake up extra early just to immerse my entire body in a tank of hospital-grade antiseptic. I dry myself off with a box of Lysol disinfectant wipes and then put on my mouth mask so as not to irritate the Queen.
3. I finally went ice skating.
I know, you’re thinking I’m kind of ridiculous. The childhood that molded me was glorious, however my single ice skating experience got pushed to an ominous compartment of my memory recall and the only time I talk about it is in a safe zone. Which exists nowhere in the present. However this past year I finally put on my Big Girl Skates after watching my daughter glide around taunting me on the ice for several minutes (other witnesses tell me she was in fact quite sweetly beaming and asking me to skate with her – but whatever). One small icy sashay for mom-kind!
4. I refrained from verbally accosting Barbie and Ken in front of my daughter.
Never mind that what I really wanted to say was that Barbie and her entitled boyfriend are whiny losers. The point is I didn’t verbalize my feelings and in this case it was a triumphant thing. Instead, I convinced my daughter that she can’t watch episodes of Barbie on Netflix because the TV breaks every time it’s on. That wasn’t exactly a lie, because it does freeze up – on apparently the only phrase Ken was taught as a self-absorbed punk: “Dude, that is so not fair.” Fast-forward to this month as she has learned to use the remote and navigate Netflix by herself. Dang kids and their motor skill development.
5. I figured out how to do my daughter’s hair.
Kind of. We have three selections: A ponytail, an Elsa braid or “down like Rapunzel.” I have watched 3 billion tutorials on how to do a fish tail braid. I have cursed 3 billion times inside my mouth.
6. I killed a spider with my bare hands and looked cool doing it.
Don’t judge me, spidey-savers out there. Earlier this summer those sneaky creeps were infiltrating the house like mold on cheese. I had probably just got kicked in the face out of a dead sleep and had possibly already taken my antiseptic bath so you can imagine my apprehension when yet another one of those guys tried attacking my son’s Ninja Turtle. My fist came out like a blur on the floor and when I lifted it up to see what I’d done my son looked at me with his proud baby blues and whispered, “Whoaaaaa!” No regrets.
7. My kids were exposed to new experiences.
Let’s not focus on the fact that one of these experiences involved gambling at the horse races and let’s not focus on the fact that my kids are actually kind of addicted to winning at the horse races and my daughter is a bookie. Let’s simply remark at how ironic it is that she was almost born at the horse races. (But Yours Truly needed a sandwich before delivery that night, so we left.) I know a lot of parents whose kids aren’t exposed to this charming, exciting past-time and maybe there’s comfort in knowing their kids are not yet aware of what the words win, place and show mean. They have their successes, I have mine. Meanwhile, my children are mapping out their trip for a certain weekend excursion to Kentucky…
8. I threw a birthday party at the zoo.
Sure, it was 105 degrees in July and Elsa was melting as was everyone’s face and SWACK was deemed appropriate dress code that day. But it was a birthday at the zoo and we all survived! If you’re still wondering what SWACK is, just think of it as the reason you don’t wear light colored pants on a sweltering hot day.
9. No one played with power tools.
Earlier this summer we began a semi-major remodeling project and there was a sea of Home Depot you-name-it on our kitchen table for about three months. Looking back it’s quite remarkable neither of my children built a shelf into the side of our dog. They really should give responsible parents some rewards points.
10. No one has pooped in the tub (so far).
Do I really need to expand on this point? Counting my blessings.
11. I didn’t forget _____.
Oh, I’ve forgotten a lot of things this year. But I didn’t forget the important stuff like Project Day (when we do Kelly Kits at home) or Library Bus Day or Color-While-Mom-and-Dad-do-Wine-Taste-Trials Day. “Mom…sometimes you forget things,” uttered my daughter in the car earlier this week. Yeah well, sometimes I remember things too. Like the really embarrassing photo I am waiting to show everyone of you on your Graduation Day.
12. Neither of my kids have been hungover.
Yes I do realize they are only 4 and 2. It’s the small victories over here. Considering both my kids are around wine all the time and my daughter could even tell you what good wine versus spoiled wine smells like, I’m happy knowing neither of them have acquired a taste for it yet. There’s that whole child services thing I’d have to deal with, after all. Luckily, my kids are just kids – who love them some milk.
13. I didn’t give in…
…To nothing and everything. To other peoples’ expectations, to my own “Am I doing enough?” dark thoughts, to my kids calling the shots instead of me, to worrying about everything under the moon happening and stifling my mother’s intuition, to the bad days, to overlooking a laugh when my kids need to laugh/a hug when they need hugged/discipline when they need self-control, to trying to do it the “right” way instead of the way for our family. And I surely haven’t given in to the whole Barbie and Ken nonsense.
So, I suppose I’ll re-up for another year.