My Kid Stole My Cool

Can’t Hack It

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Can’t Hack It 1

I spent last weekend in San Francisco visiting friends.  Non-mom friends.  For the first time, the distinction between “mom” friends and “non-mom” friends became important; for the first time, I realized that though I like to think I can hang out with my non-mom friends just like I used to, I’m severely disillusioned.  Nope.  As a 33 weeks pregnant mom of a two-year-old, I just can’t hack it anymore.

***

The week after moving back to southern California, a few non-mom friends happened to be in town.  After exchanging emails to make dinner plans, one friend suggested a place and time.

8:30.

I balked. 8:30!? As in, PM!?  But that’s jammy time!  I hastily wrote my friends back, and after claiming jet-lag, asked if we could push dinner up to 8:00.  I really meant 5:30, but figured that might be pushing it for my friends whose lives don’t currently revolve around potty-training and early morning prenatal yoga.  So 8:00 it was.  The evening of our dinner arrived, and after chugging boatloads of coffee I made my way to the restaurant, praying I wouldn’t fall asleep face-first into my mocktail.*

I managed to rally, but I got lucky that time.  So let’s examine last weekend, when a silly pregnant woman attempted to recapture her pre-children days.

Friday night my girlfriends and I got together at a charming little Italian restaurant.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then lingered over wine.  (Well, everyone else lingered over wine.  I lingered over water.)  I love these girls.  I love catching up with them.  I love lingering over wine when I am actually allowed to drink wine.  But how does a sleep-deprived, third-trimester pregnant woman stay awake past 9:00 in a dim restaurant after eating copious amounts of carbs and cured meat?  It’s damn near impossible, I tell you.

Everyone seemed a little spent after a long week, and decided to disperse after dinner rather than heading out somewhere else.  Thank the good Lord – I could go to bed!  Except I couldn’t.  My friend’s neighbor fell asleep with her television blasting.  My über-sensitivity to noise meant I didn’t actually fall asleep until around 2:30 A.M.  Twas not too long ago that staying up till 2:30 was – if not the norm – not a big deal.  But now, I thought I was going to die.  No, really.  With each passing hour I could feel what little energy I possessed seeping from my body, never to return.  There’s no recovering from a 2:30 AM bedtime anymore.

I dragged myself off of my air mattress at 9:30 the next morning feeling terribly hungover, which is weird since I hadn’t had anything to drink the very night before.**  It’s a sad, sad day when your body starts to feel hungover without any of the fun drinking part the night before.  I slabbed on gobs and gobs of concealer to no avail.  I would have to face the day not only feeling hungover, but looking it.  My friends and I met up for brunch at noon.***  After devouring a massive burger, a few of us set off to window-shop.  It was a beautiful day, and after popping in and out of shops we retired to a rooftop bar where my friends enjoyed margaritas, and I shoveled chips and guac into my face.

And then my eyes started drooping.  It was around 4:00, and this was my second day in a row without a nap.  This was a dire situation.  How was I going to last through dinner?  And after, when my friends would certainly head to a bar or something.  Keep it together! I berated myself. You are still young!

Au contraire, my body told me.

“Are you okay?” one of my friends asked, noticing my glazed-over expression.  “Are you sure you don’t mind us drinking?” another asked, mistaking my exhaustion for boredom, or perhaps annoyance.

“I’m fine!” I insisted.  Truly, I did not mind my friends enjoying their beverages.  It was a beautiful day! I was in great company! Life was good!  I was just so. dang. tired.

Gorgeous San Francisco day

Glorious San Francisco day

After a couple of hours enjoying the gorgeous weather outdoors, we walked to dinner.  (Because obviously when visiting a city like San Francisco, your trip should revolve around eating and drinking.)  We settled in and my friends ordered their craft beers.

“Do you have any non-alcoholic beers?” I asked the waiter.  He stared at me in disbelief.  I had obviously offended him.  I rephrased my question.  “Um, do you have any non-alcoholic anything?”

The waiter brought me my Arnold Palmer, and that’s when I mentally checked out.  I’m pretty sure we did not all sit in silence for the duration of the meal – but hell if I can remember what we talked about.  I picked at my meal (duck carbonara) – lifting my fork to my mouth was simply too tasking.  You know something is off when a pregnant woman boxes up the majority of her dish to go.  Especially when that dish contains bacon.

After dinner the pack of us went a few doors down to a bar that was showing one of the Final Four games.  My friend Jessica’s boyfriend was coming to join us.  We debated what to do next.  Stay at the bar and watch the game? Go to a different bar?  Head to Jessica’s apartment and hang out there?  “I’m up for anything!” I exclaimed, as convincingly as possible.  Ultimately, the others decided to go home.  Once again the gods had smiled upon me – I could go to bed. (This night at a blissfully quiet Airbnb.)  It was 8:00.

As we piled into the boyfriend’s car and all headed to our respective homes/hotels, I had a thought.  Maybe it’s not just me – a pregnant mom – that can’t hack it.  Maybe as my friends approach and enter their 30s – balancing more demanding careers and personal relationships than in our early 20s – they can’t hack it either?

I smiled at this thought; I’m not alone! So here’s my proposal: Let’s all drop the facade.  Forget the trendy restaurants, the cool bars.  Let’s not even pretend we want to be there.  Next time, let’s just sit around in our sweats and order take-out and go to bed at 9:00.  Sound good?

 

*I did not actually chug boatloads of coffee.  I wish I could have, but alas, caffeine is just one thing I’m supposed to have “in moderation” or whatever.  On another note, if you have happened to run into me recently or plan on seeing me soon, I apologize for my crankiness.

**For you critics who read that and think, “What is she complaining about! That’s seven hours of sleep!”, factor in hourly wakings to pee.  And then be thankful your bladder is still intact.

*** That’s another thing.  No meal till noon?  Dinner at 8:00PM?  Who eats at these ridiculous hours? Certainly not pregnant women.  Certainly not moms of toddlers who have probably developed a routine of eating with their children, which is about every 2-3 hours beginning at 7:30 AM if your child is a bottomless pit like mine.  There is a lesson here: When spending time with non-mom friends, pack snacks.

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We Do Not Negotiate with Toddlers

Posted on Mar 16, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool

We Do Not Negotiate with Toddlers 1

We do not negotiate with toddlers. I wish this were true.  But we do negotiate with toddlers.  At least I do.  All day…  Every day…  Go ahead and file this under, “Things I thought I’d never do as a parent.” -Sigh- Wouldn’t it be great to take a hard-line with these obstinate little ones? “Eat your vegetables because I said so.” “Put on your pants because it’s cold outside.” “Go to sleep because you need sleep to live.” Done and done.  If only it were that easy.  If only the toddlers would respond to logic and reason. But no.  Toddlers don’t respond to logic and reason because they’re not logical or reasonable.  They’re two; they respond to cookies and toys.  Either that or they’re manipulative little geniuses who know how to get exactly what they want  Maybe it’s both.  So instead we parents (or just me?) endlessly cajole, bargain, and outright bribe.  I didn’t notice my shameful behavior at first.  Then one day I realized almost every conversation with my 2-year-old involved some sort of “If…Then” statement. “Eat your vegetables,” became, “If you eat your vegetables, you can have more pasta.” “Put on your pants,” became, “If you don’t put on your pants, then we can’t go outside,” which became, “If you put on your pants, we can watch Elmo when we come back inside.”  When even Elmo didn’t work, it became, “Here’s my iPhone.  Look at pictures while I put on your pants.”  (For some reason, Elisabeth was vehemently anti-pants for a while.) When did every interaction with my child become a negotiation?  When will it stop!? I thought I’d be tougher.  I thought I would weather any tantrum and firmly hold my ground.  Eventually my toddler would listen to me and respect me, simply because I know what’s best. But holy cow – have you ever spent 30 FREAKING MINUTES trying to clothe a screaming, flailing child?  Or 30 minutes doing ANYTHING that should take 2 minutes, but for the innate need of these little people to assert total domination over you?  (I suppose it’s more PC...

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The Big Reveal

Posted on Jan 26, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Hello!  It’s been almost a month, but I’m back! What a month it’s been.  After wrapping up the holidays, Damon, Elisabeth, and I said Sayonara, Japan! and hopped over to New Zealand for an almost 2-week vacation in what can only be described as one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever traveled.  But more on that in an upcoming post. After pausing real life for those two weeks, Damon and I had major catch up to do when we returned home.  One thing that included – our baby’s anatomy scan!  (Read: Gender Reveal.) It’s funny – when I was pregnant with Elisabeth, the weeks leading up to the gender reveal crept by.  During that first pregnancy, every decision felt monumental.  I felt like I couldn’t really begin planning for the baby until I knew its sex.  Pink bedding or blue bedding?  Hair bows or bow ties?  Diana Jr. or Damon Jr.? Second time around, I experienced none of that anxiety.  Perhaps because my circumstances are vastly different this time around.  I’ll be having the baby in California while living with my parents during Damon’s deployment.  (More on that in an upcoming post also.)  Boy or girl, it’s not like I have a nursery to decorate.  And boy or girl, the baby is going to get stuck with Elisabeth’s hand-me-down gear no matter what.  This time around, I don’t have to spend 10,000 hours researching car seats and cribs.  And this time around, finding out the gender just didn’t carry the same weight as it did last pregnancy. But of course, I couldn’t help but think about it.  The weeks leading up to the reveal brought the inevitable, “What are you hoping for?” question from friends, and my inevitable, “I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy,” answer.  Which was true.  Because really, boys and girls each have their pros and cons.  Let’s review. (Be aware, these are mass generalizations.  Just go with it.) Girls:  I am the oldest and only daughter.  I have two younger brothers, Will and Jamie.  So I speak from experience when I say little...

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Night Stalker 2.0

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

I recently wrote about the war raging between my toddler and me.  Guess what?  It’s still going on, and I’m still losing.  Bedtime has become the worst battle. I should cut Elisabeth some slack.  We travel a lot.  One day her dad is home.  Another day he is gone, and doesn’t come back for a long time.  It’s a lot of change for a small person, and she handles it pretty well.  Except at night.  I don’t know if she thinks that if I leave her at bedtime, I won’t be there in the morning, or if she just likes to terrorize me (I think it’s the latter), but the child will not go to bed. She launched her bedtime campaign small, insisting I sit in the rocking chair while she fell asleep.  That’s not a big deal.  That’s why they made a Solitaire iPhone app, right?  But gradually she began taking longer and longer to fall asleep.  Every time I tried to sneak out of the room, the rocking chair would give me away with a telltale creak.  Every time Elisabeth would wake. “Mama?” she’d asked, making sure I was still present. Followed by, “Mama sit down!”  Every. Single. Time.   And also, when did she become so bossy? I started to employ a new strategy.  Every time she caught me leaving, I would say, “I’ll be right back.  Mama’s just going potty.”  Elisabeth respected that.  If a girl has got to pee, a girl has got to pee.  Did I feel bad lying to my child?  Eh.  I figure on the scale of parental lies, this one ranks pretty low.  Plus, I always do come back eventually to check on her. Anyway, the potty excuse worked for awhile.  I would slip out of her bedroom under feigning incontinence, and she would fall asleep.  But then she caught on.  “Mama!  Sit down!  Mama.  Mammmmma!” She would moan until I resumed my rightful place in the rocking chair, playing Solitaire until my hand cramped. And just so I wouldn’t forget my place, she became quite particular regarding the placement of...

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My Kid Stole My Cool

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

My Kid Stole My Cool 5

Welcome to my new blog!  It took a little longer than I expected, but it’s ready now, and I hope you like it. Thanks to everyone who sent in blog name suggestions.  I got a lot of good suggestions, and several that gave me a good laugh.  I appreciate it!  Turns out though, that I came up with the name on my own.  Who would have thought it possible? Now, about the new blog.  Before anyone that knows me calls me out, I was never “cool”.  Hardly.  But on the scale of Coolness, I definitely ranked higher pre-kid than I do post-kid.  Can any other moms relate? -The sleep deprivation that turns you into a character out of The Walking Dead?  Not cool.  (I’ve never actually seen the show, but I imagine new moms are even more terrifying than flesh-eating zombies.) -The yoga pants that become acceptable day-wear?  Not cool.  But hey, they’re the only thing that fits. -The jumbo diaper bag that’s replaced all your chic handbags?  Not cool.  Even if it’s designer, it’s still a diaper bag. -The spit-up in your hair?  Not cool.  Oh, and when was the last time you washed your hair?  You can’t remember?  Me either. -The wasted hours spent browsing Pinterest in the quest to become the perfect mom?  Non cool. -The peanut butter smeared all over your clothes? And everything else?  Not cool. -The minivan? *Shudder*  So very not cool. Much of this blog is about how my expectations of motherhood were stupendously off.  I thought I could retain – if not my coolness – my pre-mom attitudes and appearances.  That I would effortlessly transition from a fun, fashion and fitness-loving, jet-setting childless woman into a fun, fashion and fitness-loving, jet-setting mom.  And while I strive to maintain my former sense of self as a mom, it certainly manifests itself in different ways.   In my personal favorite post, The Christian Bale Scale, I wrote: “I always thought I’d be that mom that everyone hates because she always looks put-together: cute outfit, coiffed hair, bright-eyed.  But no.  Sadly I’m the hater,...

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Everything I Said I’d Never Do

Posted on Oct 6, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Everything I Said I’d Never Do 3

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I’ve neglected this blog these past couple of weeks. I have no excuse, except that I’m crazy tired.  Every day I wage war against a stubborn almost-two year old, and every day I lose.  It’s exhausting. Eating breakfast.  Getting dressed.  Getting into the car seat.  Eating Lunch.  Napping.  Playtime.  Cleaning up.  Eating dinner.  Getting out of the bath.  Brushing teeth.  Night-Night time.  All battles.  Sometimes I think Elisabeth is literally trying to kill me.  That one time that she took the napkin to wipe my face, just like she did hers?  Sure, it seemed cute at first.  But then I realized that she might actually be trying to smother me.  Or that time she “dropped” her sippy cup on my head as I was cleaning up the floor beneath her high chair?  I’m pretty sure she was trying to take me out. In an effort to maintain any iota of sanity, I’ve turned into that mom.  The mom I swore I’d never be.  The mom who turns on Sesame Street so I can cook dinner in peace.  (Although “peace” now means Elmo and the gang singing loudly in the next room.)  The mom who shoves an iPad in her daughter’s hands to keep her quiet on a train.  (To be fair – have you been on a Japanese train?  They are silent.  Fidgety, crying toddler on Japanese train = super awkward.  You’d totally use the iPad too.)  The mom who bribes her child with cheese sticks or gives her the pacifier THAT’S ONLY ALLOWED IN THE CRIB so I can finish the last 10 minutes of a run without a tantrum. I was going to have a strictly non-electronic household for baby, until at least two years old.  I was going to feed my child exclusively healthy snacks, on an appropriate meal schedule.  I was going to have her weaned from the pacifier by 18 months.  She was going to be the child that thrived on my routine and rules, and should the occasional tantrum occur, I would not give in.  I am the boss,...

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