Teething and all the nonsense

Mack has been teething for the last two weeks. Since April 26th to be specific. 

Before I had kids, moms would mention teething and I would sigh for them sympathetically and nod my head when they talked about it being awful but secretly I wondered why they were complaining about their kid crying a little extra and every now and then. So now I look back on that mentality and kindly think to myself, payback is a bitch.

To my more sensitive readers, a friend who is a pastor told us once that a well-placed cussword can be really funny and effective. I am taking this to mean it’s okay to publish one on the internet where most of my readers are conservative Christians. I won’t mention his name, but thank you Craig.

Anyways, this is my story of motherhood. I basically was one of the most judgmental non-mom’s. I saw kids crying at the Target, throwing fits in the aisles, holding their parents hostage in a corner of the store with their crazy tantrums and thought to myself, sheesh, my kids won’t be like that. I seriously thought you could shape and control how your children act in public.

Lou reminds me every time we leave the house that this is not true, and just in case I forget, she will throw something out of the grocery cart, like a large container of spaghetti sauce and the breaking of the jar and the explosion of tomato will instantly remind me that no, I cannot control my children and no, I NEVER EVER have it together in public whether or not my kids have coordinating outfits and bows in their hair.

Nothing is ever like you think it’s going to be (at least I can speak for that in my life) and teething is especially like that. Do you remember how you got your teeth? Has the thought even crossed your mind? Let me answer for you. It sucked. Thank your mother for helping you endure this terrible time. Write her a second Mother’s Day card that says, “Thank you for drugging me so much when I got my eye teeth, I don’t remember it because I was so young and sedated but I’m sure it was horrible for both of us. I love you Mom.”

Now every kid is different in this department. Lou got in her teeth and we barely noticed. I didn't even know she had any teeth until she started biting me. She cried for like 15 minutes when she got her one-year molars and I almost called 9-1-1 I was so confused as to why she was bawling on the floor, drooling and holding her mouth.

Mack won’t sit still long enough for me to really understand what exactly is going on in there, but I know it’s bad based on the steady stream of tears and constantly wanting to be held. But then set down on the floor. But then held again. But then set down on the floor. All. Day. Long. Bless his heart. His coping mechanism is to have me read him the same page of the same book over, and over, and over again. This is the page:

He's not giving me much to work with here.

I love being a mom (must always make this disclaimer, I feel) but I so do not love this phase.

Basically this is a long explanation of why I have been absent from the internet, not that anyone noticed, but an update all the same. I do love to write and blog but only if the circumstances are 75% perfect. My personal blogging requirements are an hour of quiet, some pictures on my phone or camera to use, and enough coffee to get my brain thinking. The past two weeks the only quiet I experienced was driving myself to Whole Foods yesterday in silence (Happy Mother’s Day to me), I lost the memory card for our camera during the move (who knows, it’s probably packed in one of my many “MISC” boxes, I am so unhelpful to myself), and I can’t get a full-mug of coffee down and I think it’s weird how often I think to myself, “I wish I could inject this into my veins.” Is that not just such a weird thought to have?  But yet I find myself thinking that same thing over and over again. I’m so glad we don’t have access to drugs in our uppity suburbanite neighborhood. As far as I know. Don’t worry, I won’t look into it. 

But because I always feel like I have to end on an optimistic note, we did have a nice Mother's Day over here at Casa Crazy (thank you children's Motrin). I sat outside for about 20 minutes by myself, gazing off into the distance pretending to relax while staring at all of our weeds. Mike made me my favorite meal which is oddly: chicken fried steak. I had never tried this until after we got married and it is Southern and good and I am not ashamed that this is the best thing I've ever tasted. And it helps that my husband is an awesome cook. Yes, I am trying to make you feel a little jealous. I'll have to post pictures (another time of course, because of all the crying happening in my house right now) of the great gift he got me (my request of course) which was a few new Spring clothing items (which I picked out and ordered on the internet using his credit card, also of course). 

Happy Day After Mother's Day to all my sweet family and friends. 

And in case you are needing to hear this today, a good friend and I were texting last night and she has a five-year-old and two-year-old triplets (yes, three at the same time!) and saying that it is hard to fight against the mentality on Mother's Day that you want to feel so special and loved when HELLO YOU ARE A MOTHER and you still have to take care of all the things you normally take care of, because it's not "Make Your Husband Hate His Life Day." 

Here is a wonderful quote about Mother's Day from Anne Lamott who I keep quoting from because I am just learning to love her writing more and more.

"But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path. Ha! Every woman’s path is difficult, and many mothers were as equipped to raise children as wire monkey mothers. I say that without judgment: It is, sadly, true. An unhealthy mother’s love is withering.

The illusion is that mothers are automatically happier, more fulfilled and complete. But the craziest, grimmest people this Sunday will be the mothers themselves, stuck herding their own mothers and weeping children and husbands’ mothers into seats at restaurants. These mothers do not want a box of chocolate. These mothers are on a diet.

I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge — not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!”  

Mothering has been the richest experience of my life, but I am still opposed to Mother’s Day. It perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents."

Amen, Anne! It's so true. I don't need Mother's Day, I just need to be loved and appreciated. And seriously, WHO DOESN'T! I am grateful that my worth doesn't come from what my husband nor children nor anyone else thinks of me. I am grateful that when I stop to think about it, I do not intrinsically NEED my husband nor children to love and affirm me, I need God to. And thannnkfully He does. 

When you have tiny ones, it's hard to accomplish the Mother's Day wish-list of  "take a nap, have some alone time, open gifts, not cook, not clean, have world revolve around me." And please don't look at Instagram nor Facebook to compare your day to anyone else's because I can tell you already, if someone is getting gifts and breakfast in bed worth taking pictures of, their day is probably going better than yours. So as always, I have to fight against my standard entitled-self-centered-mindset and just enjoy my sweet little family. The lesson I keep fighting, and that keeps being taught to me over and over again, thank you Mack!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post! I literally was amening and nodding to the teething thing lol it's as if we need to be even more heavily sedated to endure their pain lol love you!


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