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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sweetly Bittersweet Trade Offs

Hey Y'all... Yeah I guess I'm really leaning into this Southern lifestyle. Your Cali-turned-Northeast-turned-Charlotte-living mama is back! 

Now, It's been a long time and I absolutely should not have left you without a dope post to laugh to (laugh to, laugh to... fiki fiki). I realize that. It's what makes this return to the blog all the more intimidating. Because some of you are like, "Pssshhhh, this chick hasn't posted jack in over a year! She'd better BRING IT after all this time away..." accompanied by a super deep eye roll. I see you! I assure you, though, that this walk of shame back to the blog has been well thought out. Now that my "rocketship to 4" has come and gone, I am simply left standing in the vapors that characterize the passing of the toddler years while a man-child on the brink of turning 5 emerges from the smoke. Yep, my dramatic references are still on fleek...as I think the kids said in 2015. 

5!!!??? Like, how in the fresh hell did that happen? I mean, sure, there is no doubt that I have joked (lovingly) about blocking out those first few insanely terrifying infant months. "Is he still breathing? I think so...wait, he's definitely not. Oh no, he's good. How do you know? Because he just smile-farted..." What human can withstand that level of anxiety day in and day out with zero REM sleep and not want to MIB that shit from memory? Reason 4,387 for which there will be no "Take 2" on this baby having game. 

So sorry, back to the title of this jam which is all about trade offs. As I watch my precious butter bean become more and more of his own person every day, I can't help but notice how my own life and experience as a mother has changed over these almost 5 years. That said, this post will serve as an ode, if you will, to the aspects of baby parenting that we all eventually leave behind and are invariably replaced by other...um...interesting (or just plain maddening) realities. Here we go. 

Incoherent Babbles for Sass-Mouth 
As adorable as it was to watch my beautiful boy jumble together messy sentences and cutely mispronounce words, when a two-year-old is screaming indiscriminate sounds through streaming, snotty tears and YOU, the person responsible for making them stop, can't understand what the actual f%#@ he's crying for is one of the most helpless and frustrating feelings in the world. My mom and I still laugh at the time Dallas was nutjob inconsolable on a car ride over something we could not for the life of us figure out. At 2, the word "sweatshirt" doesn't always translate as seamlessly as one would think. Yeah so, 20 mins of pure hell later we threw him the "schweasherr" and he knocked off the damn screaming. 

And don't even act like you would have figured that out, Smarty McSmartersons. Yes, when spelled phonetically, I see it's not exactly the mystery it seemed at the time. 

Anyway, it's all different now. Let's just say that these days I am quite clear on what Dallas wants and doesn't want. Crystal effing clear. Those confusingly cute baby babbles have been replaced with deep, dramatic sighs followed by "Seriously?" complete with matching attitude face. Another (in)famous one is the "Mommy/Daddy, you interrupted me." Meanwhile, Jason and I can barely get through two sentences to each other without Dallas breaking in. And not for something important like having to pee or an Indiana Jones sized boulder careening in our direction... Nope, he's just updating us on the day of the week or letting us know that he doesn't really have a favorite Ninja Turtle. Matter of fact, he likes them all equally. Great, Dallas. Great. Now Daddy and I are going to go back to our convo about getting the taxes done. We've also noticed that he highly enjoys using the word "since". Like more than the average person. It's kind of weird. 

Diapers and Pull Ups for Shit Tons of Artwork and School Notes 
Now that the immense trauma of potty training has come and gone and I no longer have to chase Dallas around the house with the express intent of initiating poop functions (see that post from 2014), them diapers and pull ups are a distant memory. And as the moment comes when you know you've changed your last one...right before you shout hallelujah from the rooftops, what you don't realize is that all of the shitty diapers that you got to throw away back in them days will now be replaced with a literal crap ton of drawings, macaroni-glued toilet paper roll art projects and other random paper items that over the lifetime of one child could wrap around planet Earth...twice. 

So, what's the problem, you ask? The damn problem is that while you NEVER EVER thought twice about chucking that gross diaper into the trash, all of these preciously cracked-out, unrecognizable family portraits (where you couldn't tell the difference between you, Daddy and the dog), makeshift paper viewfinders and adorable school notes have MEANING! They can't just be carelessly tossed out in this Tuesday's trash! Case in point...look at this... 

This note - written on a ghetto half of a half of a 4x6 note card - has been sitting on my kitchen table for a week. Proudly! UM...Dallas helped Addison clean up! That note is proof that the child of my womb demonstrated a pure gesture of goodwill towards his fellow man! How do you throw that shit away??? ...BUT I NEED TO THROW THAT SHIT AWAY!!!   Le sigh... The struggle is real. Hence, 2 boxes full of art projects and school notes that will slowly decompose in my garage, never to see the light of day. Maybe if our town ever floods we can piece them all together to build a raft and save our own lives. Or something else totally useful like that...

One final trade off that I'm coming to terms with is watching the transition from that unaware, less articulate baby into the expressive, thoughtful boy Dallas is becoming. During one of our bedtime conversations he said, "Mommy, you're the best." When I asked why he said, "Because you do nice things." Through all of the whining about iPad time and TV shows and not wanting to get dressed for school or go the f$&@ to sleep, it's these small moments where I'm assured that my only child is going to be a good one. 

As I left for my work trip this week, Dallas woke up as I was heading out. He asked to walk me out and give me a push out the door like he does at school and we exchanged lots of kisses and I'll miss yous. I was carrying my bags so he opened the kitchen door, pushed the button to open the garage door and as I walked to my car I watched him wave at me, say I love you, push the button to close the garage and walk inside. It was such a simple moment...easy to overlook its significance. Not for me. He had never seemed more like a big boy than at that moment and it made me happy and sad for us both.

What trade offs are you experiencing? Are they sweet or bittersweet?

Stay sane in this weird limbo, 


  1. Hysterical and beautiful at the same time. He's going to be a very good man :)

  2. Awww...thanks, lady! These boys...:) Hope Griffin and Sully are doing well. Miss you!

  3. Soooooo Jaice is off to college next year! Ha ha..... You have a lotttt of stages to look forward to! Or trade off :)

    Something I wish I had thought about when these guys were younger was simply taking pictures of all the arts and crafts and letters from school. There is this sense that you want to keep it but end up tossing most. Take pictures though and you'll always have it, neatly stored in the digitalsphere.

    Glad to see you writing again.

  4. OMG, college! Crayyyyyy... He's going to do great! Yes, the digitalsphere. I will make it happen! These people that we make make a lot of stuff!