On Tuesday night, I went out. Yes, out of my apartment, to meet up with actual people, who are doing things other than taking care of children. I met up with my friend Margo and some of her girlfriends to attend a Clinton Foundation benefit. The organization focuses on climate change and other global issues. So now I’m out and I’m actually helping humanity (well, to be honest, it’s my friend Margo who is helping humanity because she bought the tickets) but even so, I still feel like I’m doing my part.
I meet up with these three fun, single women who are all wearing cute, stylish summer dresses or skirts. As soon as I see them, I wonder why I am wearing a pair of jeans on this ninety degree July night. At least I have on a cute top and strappy, metallic heels but I long for a fab BCBG summer dress. It reminds me of the 4th grade when I wore pants on the first day of school and every girl wore a skirt. Of course, I wore a skirt on the second day of school and you know the end of the tale. Everyone wore pants.
So we get into a cab and immediately these super cool women are on their Trios and Blackberries, googling directions to the Roseland Ballroom and checking emails and texts. Suddenly, my Sprint Samsung phone just seems so dated and shabby. But did I mention it takes photos in color? Despite my very hot (and not in a good way) jeans and my lame phone, I enjoyed connecting with these women and not talking about children. Not once did I chime in with, “My child said the cutest thing…” This along with, “I had the weirdest dream…” causes anyone’s brain to immediately shut down.
I spent most of my twenties going out in
My 2 ½ year-old daughter Dylan was fishing for treasure in the Diaper Dekor bin.
“Honey, what are you looking for? That’s filled with dirty diapers. Please get your hand out of there and let’s get dressed.” We were late. My daughter was naked.
“I need something,” she explained.
“There’s nothing in there but dirty diapers. Come on. I’ll put a clean one on you.” I tried to keep my voice lighthearted and fun, hoping to convince her of the clean diaper adventure that was just beginning.
“I want to wear the dirty one you just took off,” she said with growing determination.
“No, it’s filled with pee. We can’t do that. Let’s go.”
As I was putting my other daughter Presley in the stroller, Dylan pulled her used, heavy diaper out of the bin and managed to put it back on. I looked at my watch and wondered if it was worth going to battle over this diaper.
It seems like parents have a million moments like these. And there is always a fine line between a zen approach to motherhood and being steam rolled by these little opinionated people. But most of the time, I try to just let things go.
The other night at dinner, Dylan was cutting her chicken with her kid-friendly scissors – perhaps not the most optimal way to cut up chicken but I must admit she was showing a certain craftsmanship for the art of poultry slicing. Given that she was also eating the food, I didn’t really mind. This morning Dylan was sweeping the walls with our swifter. I asked her to please avoid the picture frames and she happily continued on with her mission to keep our walls dust free. And last week, while sitting in the stroller, Dylan covered her entire face with lip gloss. Once again, in my “I’m really an A-type personality but I’m masquerading as a free spirit so I can have some quiet during this stroller ride,” I just ignored the beauty make over until she asked for a wipe.
I now try to save my real “no’s” for when Dylan could potentially harm herself or her sister or cause permanent damage to our home. So the day of the dirty diaper was no different. I just threw a dress over my daughter’s head (which of course she removed and put on again by herself) and then she got into the stroller without upset. I’m so zen (well, for a moment anyway).
I hated my first yoga class. A friend dragged me there, promising a physical and spiritual awakening. I was so bored. I kept looking at the clock and wondered if the yoga spirits were preventing the minutes hand from moving forward. One hour and 35 minutes. There isn’t much in life that I want to do for more than an hour and a half. Certainly, not chanting, meditating and stretching.
But after I gave birth to my first child, I was looking for something to rejuvenate my mind and body. A difficult, cranky baby can even make an A-type personality like myself ache for some quiet and solitude. So I made my way to the yoga mat again and tried more vigorous forms of the practice. This time it became an addiction.
I am hardly the ideal yogi. First of all, I hate that word “yogi.” It kind of makes me cringe, like the word “delicious” when describing something other than food. I had such a delicious walk in the sunshine. Icky. Anywho (is it just me today or is that annoying too?), enough of my literary pet peeves, back to my life as a sub par yogi.
During the chanting/spiritual message, I am anxious to get started. I get irritable if the beginning rituals drag on too long. During the class, I often forget to breathe and definitely don’t inhale and exhale at the correct times. Then comes savasana (a short restful time at the end of the class) and my mind is restless. The instructor reminds us to focus on our breath and quiet the chatter in our minds. But my brain endlessly wanders. I think of horrible things like what if something happened to one of my children? Or unexplainable things like after your child takes her first bite of sand, why does she go back for more mouthfuls?
Sometimes my husband thinks I’ve joined some kind of yoga cult. Luckily, he hasn’t noticed any of the big donations I’ve made to Yoga Sutra. He’s certainly happy that it makes his tired wife less cranky. So am I. Namaste to that.
I hope I’m a MILF. Dad, if you’re reading this right now, please don’t google MILF. Basically, a MILF is a hot mom. Let’s just leave it at that.
Pregnancy does things. That incredible baby that comes out of you doesn’t come without a few trade-offs. You can lose the pregnancy weight but your belly doesn’t always quite recover. After two pregnancies, my stomach sags outward like it’s priming up for the next delivery. No amount of yoga or core body work has improved the situation. I wasn’t even familiar with the term “core body work” until after my second child. Core body work means: endless abdominal exercises that do nothing to flatten your poochy belly. It’s in Webster’s. I swear.
So take the state of my mid-section and add that to the twenty minutes I have to get ready in the morning and I’m not always feeling my sexiest, sassiest self. Somehow a pair of sunglasses and a quick coat of lip gloss is not equivalent to a blow-out, an eyebrow wax and an intimate relationship with one’s make-up bag. So the thought that there might be a stranger or two out there (maybe a construction worker, a doorman, a postal worker or even perhaps a mysterious Starbucks barista) who would consider me a MILF would be a little pick-me-up. I don’t want to know who they are. But I hope they are out there.
The other day a Con Ed guy did yell something at me from his truck. He must have been thinking, “Wow. Who is this super hot twenty-something? Isn’t she too young to have kids? Her husband is one lucky guy.” Either that or perhaps this 30-something girl was moving her double stroller too slowly across the street. But I choose to believe the first scenario. Believing is far easier than core body work.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to grab dinner at Gusto in the
I’ve never been one to age gracefully. At nineteen, I was convinced that I was getting wrinkles. At twenty-two, I felt sorry for one of my roommates because he was so much older than I was. At the time, he was the debilitating age of twenty-six. As I entered my late twenties, I dreaded the possibility of being single and turning thirty. Of course, I was completely unattached as I waved goodbye to my twenties. Then earlier this summer, I entered my late thirties and forty is now calling out to me like an evil siren.
We all know aging is the best case scenario. It’s the fortunate ones who get to discover the grey hairs, the wrinkles and the sun damage. But still, I just got my invitation to my fifteen year Tulane college reunion. Are they serious? Wasn’t it just a few years ago that I was peeing with my girlfriends behind the bank at Rendon Inn so we didn’t have to wait in the bathroom line or playing pop-a-shot at Fat Harry’s or dancing and mugging at A.T.’s? Turns out, Rendon Inn is no longer the night’s destination for college kids and A.T.’s (along with those cheese fries) is gone. Sigh.
At least, my husband and my two daughters still think I’m young, fun and cool. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want to be seventeen again. Even if I could eat at restaurants like Gusto on my parent’s credit card. I had too much anxiety back then. But I would definitely take just one more