The Mommyologist and Life Without Pink have a little “contest” going to find the ONE MOM in ALL of Blogdom whom they can proclaim “Not Mom of the Year.”
I’m here to tell y’all that blogger is me.
I mean being “Not Mom of the Year” material is kind of what I do around here, what with being Not a Supermom and all.
So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell y’all exactly WHY I think I’m Not Mom of the Year material.
Cool. I’ve got my flame retardant suit all zipped up.
My child watches television. And way more than the recommended daily allowance of “20 minutes a day after he’s two years old” schtick that they tried to sell me at the pediatrician’s office. If it weren’t for The Wiggles and Chicka and Patty and Ricky and Curtis the Owl and The Mighty Jungle I don’t know how I’d make it through my morning coffee. And you do NOT want to see me without my coffee. (Read HERE to see what that looks like…)
Television might have saved my summer. I love you Sprout Network.
My child’s diet consists of Goldfish crackers, Cheerios, and more Goldfish crackers. With the occasional piece of fruit or cheese thrown in for good measure. I don’t know that this needs much more explanation. I’m just happy he’s eating SOMETHING. And I buy organic milk, but I don’t go out of the way to buy him organic vegetables. Because, I mean, he’s going to feed them to the dog (or try) and I’ll end up throwing them away. If he’d eat canned Spaghetti-Os I’d feed them to him three times a day. Sooo….yeah.
Thank you Pepperidge Farm and General Mills for creating something my child will eat. You both might become potty training tools in the future when I throw your products in the toilet and tell him to aim.
(Also, thank you Anti-Atkins Diet people for making me feel GREAT about the carb-heavy diet I’m feeding my child.)
We stay in our pajamas for most of the day. I have nothing to say about this except, his pajamas are shorts and a t-shirt and look like actual clothes. My pajamas are a tank top and yoga pants and give me that “I just came from the gym” look (though my arms, thighs, and flabby mid-section do NOT give me that same look).
I still sleep when my “baby” sleeps. I realize that he’s almost 16 months old and for all intents and purposes (notice that’s not “for all intensive purposes”…) he sleeps through the night and I should too and should have no reason to complain about not getting enough sleep. But for reasons I already wrote about here, I don’t get enough sleep at night.
So I nap when he naps.
What this REALLY means is the laundry doesn’t get done. The dishes don’t get put into or taken out of the dishwasher. The floor doesn’t get swept. The trash doesn’t get taken out. I don’t get showered.
And I start back to work in two weeks and will no longer be allowed to nap in the middle of the day.
I probably don’t talk to my child as often as I should during the day. Perhaps I should carry on conversations with him about astrophysics or other stuff about which I know just enough to not look like an idiot at a cocktail party (which is something I’ve never actually been to, oddly enough…). Or Shakespeare.
But the response I get from him is “slkdighnltdls BUBBLES shidjlkfhtbbbfffffttt. Ahhh Dahhhh” and then I feel like a failure at conversation. So that’s kind of why the TV is on. Because at least there are sentences coming out of it. Even if it does spend the day trying to get me to buy a Pillow Pet.
Here’s the thing about all of these things that make me “Not Mommy of the Year.”
When my child is watching television, he’s very often snuggled up on my lap on the couch. It’s our morning thing. And if he’s not sitting IN my lap, he’s sitting right next to me rubbing his chubby little baby feet all over my legs or patting me like “Mom…this is the funniest dance EVER they are doing. Do you SEE this!?!?” And then he’ll lean up and give me kisses.
SHOCK! We BOND while watching TELEVISION. Who’d’ve thought that possible!??! (Uh, me, apparently.)
That carb-heavy diet he eats? It isn’t half-bad for you. The brain needs carbohydrates to function. His brain is growing and learning things at the speed of light. Or sound. Or other things that move really quickly. So his brain NEEDS carbs. Also, we managed to get him to eat a few black beans yesterday and a few blueberries this morning. And occasionally he’ll eat A bite of chicken. So we’re not doing half bad.
(Also, the pediatrician confirmed my suspicions. He is, in fact, growing and healthy with a diet consisting of “baked and not fried goldfish.” My efforts to keep him a baby forever by not feeding him three square meals a day have been thwarted. CURSES.)
His pajamas look like actual outfits. I’ll say that again because I feel it bears repeating. Me not getting dressed every day is two-fold. 1) My pajamas are more comfortable than my real clothes for lounging around the house. 2) Not getting fully dressed every day is an attempt at NOT making more laundry for myself. Plus, I only have two pairs of shorts that fit. And one of them doesn’t even fit all that well. So, yoga pants forevah! Or until I go back to work in two weeks and have to put on a dress and heels and makeup and such again.
I have nothing to say about the naps except that there is something incredibly rejuvenating for me about a mid-day siesta. I think the Spanish are right on the money with this one. Naps help me feel refreshed. A good nap can do as much for my mental health as my anti-depressants. I get all crankypants and then I take a nap in my comfy bed and I wake up feeling ready to tackle the next thing on my never-ending to-do list. Which brings me to my next point:
There will always be laundry and dishes and floors and trash and showers. But the weird thing is they WILL get done when I go back to work because we’ll have to do them before and after work. I don’t spend all of my time when Joshua is awake cleaning my house because we’re doing things like watching TV. Or playing with blocks. Or reading books. Or napping. Or going to the grocery store. Or for playdates with friends.
I will only have this time with him for a short time. Eventually, he’s not going to want to hang out with me anymore. At some point, I will cease to be his everything. And I know that’s the natural order of things. So I’ll save the spotless floors and pressed laundry for the times when I need something to occupy my mind so that I DON’T just think about how my son has grown up before my eyes.
I was joking about the talking thing. Mostly. I don’t talk to him about Shakespeare (yet) and I know nothing about astrophysics (it has something to do with outer space, right??) but I do talk to him. “Mama’s making coffee now. See?” and “You want a snack-snack? Which one?” and “See what I just made with these blocks?” and “Look at the trees and the rabbit over there. Do you see the rabbit?” and “Do you know how much I love you? Because I love you a million.” and “Thank you God for this precious baby boy.”
None of us is perfect. And if we say we are, we’re probably lying to ourselves and everyone else. I think it’s important to teach children that it’s OKAY to not be perfect. It’s OKAY to make mistakes. There’s something to be said for embracing that imperfection, you know? It makes us perfect examples for our children of what, exactly, it means to be human when we show the world our imperfections.
So, now I’m off to catch the last hour of his nap with a nap of my own.
So I can wake up rested and recharged and ready to be imperfect.