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Crumpets and Bollocks: Mommy Developmental Markers: The kids are not the only thing growing

Mommy Developmental Markers: The kids are not the only thing growing

Just about every major milestone a woman can encounter in life involves vagina goo. We come into this world covered in it. Our first step into womenhood isn't a Bar Mitzvah party, no, it's our period. Losing our virginity is next. Getting knocked up for the first time, now that's life changing.  It is the circle of life we are talking about here, our vaginas are the circle of life. I don't understand why God isn't a woman, like you'd think all these savage men writing the Bible would be awe struck over our vaginal awesome, especially since we know which head they do most of their harder thinking with. I know. So much pun in one sentence. 

And with every milestone, every life altering event, follows a series of developmental phases… It's kind of like trees, where every year we drop some leaves, lay dead for a few months and resurrect with new green healthy leaves, except it's more like when a guy turns into a werewolf with the screaming and twitching and then the new him is covered in extra hairs he has no idea where they came from and it scares the ever living piss out of people, but now he can run faster and has super strength… And our growth too usually involves large quantities of goo, whether it be snot and tears, or toddler gifts.

So from that moment the goo covered pregnancy test comes out positive, growth takes on a new form.

Pregnancy  
While pregnant, we women experience the best PMS has to offer, for 9 months. Fits of rage, plots of murder, spontaneous sadness, incredible urges to eat everything, sporadic vomiting, waterfalls of tears over things like Oprah and Hallmark commercials, inappropriate joy... Through all that internal chaos, we are also coming to grips with the idea that we are going to be a mom. We have moments where we are excited about it, fearful, insecure, arrogant, at peace, worried… Like all the stages of grief except instead of it being about losing someone you love, it's about gaining someone you love. Some of us prepare like the ants in that story about the grasshopper, and we feel very confident we are ready for this baby. The money has been saved. The nursery has been painted. The bottles are in the cabinet. The diaper genie sits patiently by the changing table… Some of us don't prepare because life is not that easy where we can just shit money out of our vaginas like we can the expense… So we worry about it. We can't have this baby yet because there is no changing table to set the nonexistent diaper genie next to… Now if you are already a mom, you are laughing at this. Why? Because the next stage…

The Newborn Years

When I gave birth, I experienced all the emotions. It was like the PMS of pregnancy squashed into a matter of 4 hours. I think all women go through that, whether they opt for the epidural or not. I fully suggest the epidural if not for the awesome memory alone, but the memory will compete with holding the baby for the first time, because it is that awesome. Anyway, the developmental process doesn't happen at the hospital. That's just a vagina goo moment.

No, the newborn months of crazy is where the phases of growth hit you yet again. First you realize NOTHING can prepare you for motherhood. That's why mothers were laughing at the pregnancy stuff. The diaper genie collects dust. You end up changing diaper on the bed or something so you can sit down too for it. Why? Because your balance is way off from the sleep deprivation. The crazy of pregnancy is nothing compared to this. This is the craziest it's going to get… right? LOL. You realize your best friends, your husband, your family, useless. Nobody knows you anymore. The outside world is completely non-existent. It's just you and baby, like it's just you doing all the real work.  Everybody else is just telling you how to do it and you would do anything to shut them up, like your baby crying is a step up from everybody else's mouth. You are tired, worn out, and trying to heal on top of it. You look forward to that age where your kid sleeps all night like you are looking at the clock at a minimum wage job for the work day to end. You need a break. You need a friend. You need a shoulder to cry on. You need someone to take care of you while you take care of your baby.

The Toddler Years

If you are fortunate, by now you should be sleeping all night every night. Some parents, like myself, are not that lucky. You are finally excited that your kid is getting a little older to where he's not as needy. LOL wrong. The more your kid learns, the crazier it gets. Now they can do more than roll over and hold up their own bottle. Now they can get into things, all the things, and destroy things, all the things. The heirloom vase from your great grandmother, your favorite book, the furniture, any concept of organization… gone. GONE! Your sanity, even more gone. This is harder than the newborn years. It has to be the craziest things get. Right? So then you count down the time until we leave the terrible twos and find out there's the treacherous threes and fuck me sideways fours.

Meanwhile, you start teaching your kid the ABC's, the 123's, the circles, the squares, the color red… You as mom start doing that. You are no longer the crying newborn but a toddler figuring out the basics. You start to talk by learning to listen to your intuition and trusting your own judgment. You start to walk by figuring out how to keep the house clean enough and keep up with your child. You start to explore the world around you for what feels like the first time. You go outside once in a while and feel sunlight, and as you watch your child experience these joys, you have a new found appreciation for them. You realize what is red in your world and what is green, like the diet your family is going to eat, and how much tv you are going to let your child watch… You can read about that stuff all you want and make decisions before you have your child, but nothing is more decisive than the trial and error of experience.

During these years, you are actually crazy. You qualify for insanity under just about every criteria out there. It shows with your relationships. You think you found your real friends. The people who matter the most because they are the only people in your life. Your crazy has scared away everyone else. It's not really that you are crazy but your life is. It's actually normal to have hallucinations and an award winning bad personality when you haven't slept for 3 days. It's normal to get confused when you are distracted by kids. It's normal to put the dirty clothes in the toilet because it does have a lid like your hamper when your brain is tired. It's totally normal to forget you haven't showered in 3 days and put on a tank top on a hot day and showcase your armpit hairs to the world oblivious to your smell, when you are using all the hot water 24/7 to do laundry, dishes and keep your kids clean. Now you have decided it gets easier when they are in school…

The Grade School Years

The crazy just yet gets crazier, but by now, you are much stronger and it does get easier for that reason alone: you are getting stronger.  By now, you don't just walk, you can run and do cartwheels, metaphorically speaking. You have mastered telling people off, and you are now learning how to do it with grace as you deal with the school system. You have mastered cleaning and organizing toys (well you might, I have a learning disability when it comes to that part), and now you are learning how to organize a backpack, more specifically, the spelling words, the homework, the fundraiser papers, the party invites, the poorly written parenting magazines and nutrition articles… You got promoted from scheduling doctor appointments to scheduling after school activities.

You are now at the point where you join cliques like your children, like you can be June Cleaver popular mom who shows up with makeup and the expensive handbag bragging about how your kid pooped in the potty when he was 6 months old (no he was actually 2 but go ahead and brag away, people will fake believe you just as you fake believe their stories). Or you can be the rebel outcast mom who rocks the sweatpants and flicks your kid's booger you found on your shoulder onto the popular moms when they aren't looking. Or you could be healthnut mom discussing gluten free options for your kids and how vaccinations are destroying everyone… They are all cliques. It's not that one is wrong and the other right. They are just cliques like high school.

You also encounter playground bullying among the parents. This is when the other moms are telling you how you are doing it wrong, or how their life is harder than yours, and you back to them. The nicer ones do it in back handed compliments.  This is when you realize the schools hate you more as a parent than they ever did as a student, and you discover administrative bullying, especially if you got a kid with special needs. You are no longer alone. You are surrounded by frienemies. The wrong move could send your playground paradise packing to a new location. The queens of the slide monkey bars jungle gym rotate and some days, you are up there with them, and others you are in the sandbox playing with cat turds by yourself.

Meanwhile at home, you are still just as overwhelmed as you were with a newborn. We have replaced wiping asses with daily homework. We have replaced trying to figure out what your child's cry means with arguing with your child about what to wear to school. We have replaced folding the 7 onesies your baby went through in one day to folding the 7 princess outfits your child sported in dress up in one hour. Now, the kids don't nap, but they get hyper tired just the same, and school makes it worse, much worse. You know, the cracked out kid who found sugary pixie dust and is literally climbing the walls like a bad scene out of the exorcist. Yes. Yes that happens daily in this world. Your child still depends on you for entertainment and amusement. You have to now schedule in ACTIVE activities, even in the winter months when it's too cold to play outside, because if you don't, the house becomes the jungle gym and your cleaning becomes a much more active activity.

The Older Years

My oldest is 6. I'm not sure what to expect from the later years, but I will say this. I do know it gets harder. I know the crazy is going to get crazier. I hear parents of teens all the time say the toddler years were a breeze compared to the teenage ones.  I remember my tween years being the hardest of my childhood. Puberty definitely sounds like it's going to suck… And beyond the teenage years, I've seen parents of adults go crazy. Their kids moved out, and they are still losing their minds as parents.  So I definitely think the pregnancy equates a life sentence of insanity, one that is well worth it. 

I also have noticed with parents of older kids… the growth… we regress at some point… You know how when you were a baby and you came into this world? You remember it don't you? It was the biggest most important thing to happen to you in this life. You can't tell me you forgot? Yeah, it's like that. You will probably remember your baby coming into this world, but all the developmental shit you did during that time in your life, you will totally forget. It has to be true or women are bitches because I find it very hard to find parents whose kids are adults to empathize with parents like me whose kids are young. Only the ones who had more than 3 kids seem to remember enough to feel some sympathy. The consensus is still pretty much fuck you. So someday, I will be that woman. I will be chilling at a coffee house with my iced coffee sipping it out of a straw, and a woman is going to walk by with her 3 screaming insane toddlers, and I am going to be annoyed. I am going to jump on my high horse and be like, "I don't understand why you can't control your kids. I mean, it's not that hard. Everyone has kids and does it. You really should have just stayed home until they are not monsters like I did. I did it all. I cleaned and cooked and controlled my kids singlehandedly with zero problems, zero despair, zero depression..." Something I would never say at this point in my life. I'm sure I will be stupid and embarrass the me of now in the future. I'm sure I'll feel entitled to it as someone with seniority. All humans do this. There is such thing as selective forgetting, and I believe in selective memory just the same. We decide to our convenience what we remember to some point. In some people, it's more fairy tale than others, and in others, it's more accurate than fairy tale, but none of us remember with precision of reality.

In other moms, I have noticed they get a lot of things I would kill to have right now. A good night's rest. Naps, home alone with the kids and they get a nap. They get pissed if they have to tell their kids again not to bother them unless it's an emergency. I. Wish. They get to watch movies, with the kids, and the kids are quiet through the movie not asking them for juice every 5 seconds. They get dates with their kids, where they can go to restaurants and movie theaters. They can safely take their kids in public. They get manicures, and their nails don't turn to shit in one load of dishes because the kids did the dishes, sort of, last night. You would think with all those luxuries, they would have their sanity back. They don't.

I think the learning and stress on our "muscles" at this point become more spiritual and psychological, just like what our kids are facing as teens and young adults. They start off developing on a highly physical standpoint, and those years are highly physical on us moms. But as they mature, the developing takes on a new form, an abstract form, and as moms, so do ours. Now we have to deal with things like, "I hate you. I don't ever want to speak to you again." Now, instead of worrying about a kid falling from the top of a bookshelf or playing with knives, we worry about them running away or using drugs. Now, instead of worrying about them getting a boo boo from a bully like kid, we worry about their self esteems. Right now, I want to prepare for it. I want to read books. But I already know, it's impossible to prepare for parenting, no matter where you are with it.

I think we as moms are born again when we give birth, and we often take our new found childhood for granted. We can't wait to grow up, again. And we wonder again, what the hell were we thinking? Don't take this, wherever you are at, for granted. Embrace the learning process. Take comfort in knowing this is probably easier than what is coming. Don't let that scare you. Find comfort in the present. 


With that, very important side note, we see other moms in different phases of this development, and some of us expect them to be on our level, whether they are older or younger. It's really easy for a mom of a teen to have zero empathy for a mom of toddlers. It's just as easy for the mom of toddlers to have zero empathy for the mom of teens. We have to learn to respect each other's learning process no different than we respect the fact that some kids pee in the potty at an earlier age than others. Mom on mom bullying is a big subject now. It has to end. 

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Crumpets and Bollocks: Mommy Developmental Markers: The kids are not the only thing growing

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mommy Developmental Markers: The kids are not the only thing growing

Just about every major milestone a woman can encounter in life involves vagina goo. We come into this world covered in it. Our first step into womenhood isn't a Bar Mitzvah party, no, it's our period. Losing our virginity is next. Getting knocked up for the first time, now that's life changing.  It is the circle of life we are talking about here, our vaginas are the circle of life. I don't understand why God isn't a woman, like you'd think all these savage men writing the Bible would be awe struck over our vaginal awesome, especially since we know which head they do most of their harder thinking with. I know. So much pun in one sentence. 

And with every milestone, every life altering event, follows a series of developmental phases… It's kind of like trees, where every year we drop some leaves, lay dead for a few months and resurrect with new green healthy leaves, except it's more like when a guy turns into a werewolf with the screaming and twitching and then the new him is covered in extra hairs he has no idea where they came from and it scares the ever living piss out of people, but now he can run faster and has super strength… And our growth too usually involves large quantities of goo, whether it be snot and tears, or toddler gifts.

So from that moment the goo covered pregnancy test comes out positive, growth takes on a new form.

Pregnancy  
While pregnant, we women experience the best PMS has to offer, for 9 months. Fits of rage, plots of murder, spontaneous sadness, incredible urges to eat everything, sporadic vomiting, waterfalls of tears over things like Oprah and Hallmark commercials, inappropriate joy... Through all that internal chaos, we are also coming to grips with the idea that we are going to be a mom. We have moments where we are excited about it, fearful, insecure, arrogant, at peace, worried… Like all the stages of grief except instead of it being about losing someone you love, it's about gaining someone you love. Some of us prepare like the ants in that story about the grasshopper, and we feel very confident we are ready for this baby. The money has been saved. The nursery has been painted. The bottles are in the cabinet. The diaper genie sits patiently by the changing table… Some of us don't prepare because life is not that easy where we can just shit money out of our vaginas like we can the expense… So we worry about it. We can't have this baby yet because there is no changing table to set the nonexistent diaper genie next to… Now if you are already a mom, you are laughing at this. Why? Because the next stage…

The Newborn Years

When I gave birth, I experienced all the emotions. It was like the PMS of pregnancy squashed into a matter of 4 hours. I think all women go through that, whether they opt for the epidural or not. I fully suggest the epidural if not for the awesome memory alone, but the memory will compete with holding the baby for the first time, because it is that awesome. Anyway, the developmental process doesn't happen at the hospital. That's just a vagina goo moment.

No, the newborn months of crazy is where the phases of growth hit you yet again. First you realize NOTHING can prepare you for motherhood. That's why mothers were laughing at the pregnancy stuff. The diaper genie collects dust. You end up changing diaper on the bed or something so you can sit down too for it. Why? Because your balance is way off from the sleep deprivation. The crazy of pregnancy is nothing compared to this. This is the craziest it's going to get… right? LOL. You realize your best friends, your husband, your family, useless. Nobody knows you anymore. The outside world is completely non-existent. It's just you and baby, like it's just you doing all the real work.  Everybody else is just telling you how to do it and you would do anything to shut them up, like your baby crying is a step up from everybody else's mouth. You are tired, worn out, and trying to heal on top of it. You look forward to that age where your kid sleeps all night like you are looking at the clock at a minimum wage job for the work day to end. You need a break. You need a friend. You need a shoulder to cry on. You need someone to take care of you while you take care of your baby.

The Toddler Years

If you are fortunate, by now you should be sleeping all night every night. Some parents, like myself, are not that lucky. You are finally excited that your kid is getting a little older to where he's not as needy. LOL wrong. The more your kid learns, the crazier it gets. Now they can do more than roll over and hold up their own bottle. Now they can get into things, all the things, and destroy things, all the things. The heirloom vase from your great grandmother, your favorite book, the furniture, any concept of organization… gone. GONE! Your sanity, even more gone. This is harder than the newborn years. It has to be the craziest things get. Right? So then you count down the time until we leave the terrible twos and find out there's the treacherous threes and fuck me sideways fours.

Meanwhile, you start teaching your kid the ABC's, the 123's, the circles, the squares, the color red… You as mom start doing that. You are no longer the crying newborn but a toddler figuring out the basics. You start to talk by learning to listen to your intuition and trusting your own judgment. You start to walk by figuring out how to keep the house clean enough and keep up with your child. You start to explore the world around you for what feels like the first time. You go outside once in a while and feel sunlight, and as you watch your child experience these joys, you have a new found appreciation for them. You realize what is red in your world and what is green, like the diet your family is going to eat, and how much tv you are going to let your child watch… You can read about that stuff all you want and make decisions before you have your child, but nothing is more decisive than the trial and error of experience.

During these years, you are actually crazy. You qualify for insanity under just about every criteria out there. It shows with your relationships. You think you found your real friends. The people who matter the most because they are the only people in your life. Your crazy has scared away everyone else. It's not really that you are crazy but your life is. It's actually normal to have hallucinations and an award winning bad personality when you haven't slept for 3 days. It's normal to get confused when you are distracted by kids. It's normal to put the dirty clothes in the toilet because it does have a lid like your hamper when your brain is tired. It's totally normal to forget you haven't showered in 3 days and put on a tank top on a hot day and showcase your armpit hairs to the world oblivious to your smell, when you are using all the hot water 24/7 to do laundry, dishes and keep your kids clean. Now you have decided it gets easier when they are in school…

The Grade School Years

The crazy just yet gets crazier, but by now, you are much stronger and it does get easier for that reason alone: you are getting stronger.  By now, you don't just walk, you can run and do cartwheels, metaphorically speaking. You have mastered telling people off, and you are now learning how to do it with grace as you deal with the school system. You have mastered cleaning and organizing toys (well you might, I have a learning disability when it comes to that part), and now you are learning how to organize a backpack, more specifically, the spelling words, the homework, the fundraiser papers, the party invites, the poorly written parenting magazines and nutrition articles… You got promoted from scheduling doctor appointments to scheduling after school activities.

You are now at the point where you join cliques like your children, like you can be June Cleaver popular mom who shows up with makeup and the expensive handbag bragging about how your kid pooped in the potty when he was 6 months old (no he was actually 2 but go ahead and brag away, people will fake believe you just as you fake believe their stories). Or you can be the rebel outcast mom who rocks the sweatpants and flicks your kid's booger you found on your shoulder onto the popular moms when they aren't looking. Or you could be healthnut mom discussing gluten free options for your kids and how vaccinations are destroying everyone… They are all cliques. It's not that one is wrong and the other right. They are just cliques like high school.

You also encounter playground bullying among the parents. This is when the other moms are telling you how you are doing it wrong, or how their life is harder than yours, and you back to them. The nicer ones do it in back handed compliments.  This is when you realize the schools hate you more as a parent than they ever did as a student, and you discover administrative bullying, especially if you got a kid with special needs. You are no longer alone. You are surrounded by frienemies. The wrong move could send your playground paradise packing to a new location. The queens of the slide monkey bars jungle gym rotate and some days, you are up there with them, and others you are in the sandbox playing with cat turds by yourself.

Meanwhile at home, you are still just as overwhelmed as you were with a newborn. We have replaced wiping asses with daily homework. We have replaced trying to figure out what your child's cry means with arguing with your child about what to wear to school. We have replaced folding the 7 onesies your baby went through in one day to folding the 7 princess outfits your child sported in dress up in one hour. Now, the kids don't nap, but they get hyper tired just the same, and school makes it worse, much worse. You know, the cracked out kid who found sugary pixie dust and is literally climbing the walls like a bad scene out of the exorcist. Yes. Yes that happens daily in this world. Your child still depends on you for entertainment and amusement. You have to now schedule in ACTIVE activities, even in the winter months when it's too cold to play outside, because if you don't, the house becomes the jungle gym and your cleaning becomes a much more active activity.

The Older Years

My oldest is 6. I'm not sure what to expect from the later years, but I will say this. I do know it gets harder. I know the crazy is going to get crazier. I hear parents of teens all the time say the toddler years were a breeze compared to the teenage ones.  I remember my tween years being the hardest of my childhood. Puberty definitely sounds like it's going to suck… And beyond the teenage years, I've seen parents of adults go crazy. Their kids moved out, and they are still losing their minds as parents.  So I definitely think the pregnancy equates a life sentence of insanity, one that is well worth it. 

I also have noticed with parents of older kids… the growth… we regress at some point… You know how when you were a baby and you came into this world? You remember it don't you? It was the biggest most important thing to happen to you in this life. You can't tell me you forgot? Yeah, it's like that. You will probably remember your baby coming into this world, but all the developmental shit you did during that time in your life, you will totally forget. It has to be true or women are bitches because I find it very hard to find parents whose kids are adults to empathize with parents like me whose kids are young. Only the ones who had more than 3 kids seem to remember enough to feel some sympathy. The consensus is still pretty much fuck you. So someday, I will be that woman. I will be chilling at a coffee house with my iced coffee sipping it out of a straw, and a woman is going to walk by with her 3 screaming insane toddlers, and I am going to be annoyed. I am going to jump on my high horse and be like, "I don't understand why you can't control your kids. I mean, it's not that hard. Everyone has kids and does it. You really should have just stayed home until they are not monsters like I did. I did it all. I cleaned and cooked and controlled my kids singlehandedly with zero problems, zero despair, zero depression..." Something I would never say at this point in my life. I'm sure I will be stupid and embarrass the me of now in the future. I'm sure I'll feel entitled to it as someone with seniority. All humans do this. There is such thing as selective forgetting, and I believe in selective memory just the same. We decide to our convenience what we remember to some point. In some people, it's more fairy tale than others, and in others, it's more accurate than fairy tale, but none of us remember with precision of reality.

In other moms, I have noticed they get a lot of things I would kill to have right now. A good night's rest. Naps, home alone with the kids and they get a nap. They get pissed if they have to tell their kids again not to bother them unless it's an emergency. I. Wish. They get to watch movies, with the kids, and the kids are quiet through the movie not asking them for juice every 5 seconds. They get dates with their kids, where they can go to restaurants and movie theaters. They can safely take their kids in public. They get manicures, and their nails don't turn to shit in one load of dishes because the kids did the dishes, sort of, last night. You would think with all those luxuries, they would have their sanity back. They don't.

I think the learning and stress on our "muscles" at this point become more spiritual and psychological, just like what our kids are facing as teens and young adults. They start off developing on a highly physical standpoint, and those years are highly physical on us moms. But as they mature, the developing takes on a new form, an abstract form, and as moms, so do ours. Now we have to deal with things like, "I hate you. I don't ever want to speak to you again." Now, instead of worrying about a kid falling from the top of a bookshelf or playing with knives, we worry about them running away or using drugs. Now, instead of worrying about them getting a boo boo from a bully like kid, we worry about their self esteems. Right now, I want to prepare for it. I want to read books. But I already know, it's impossible to prepare for parenting, no matter where you are with it.

I think we as moms are born again when we give birth, and we often take our new found childhood for granted. We can't wait to grow up, again. And we wonder again, what the hell were we thinking? Don't take this, wherever you are at, for granted. Embrace the learning process. Take comfort in knowing this is probably easier than what is coming. Don't let that scare you. Find comfort in the present. 


With that, very important side note, we see other moms in different phases of this development, and some of us expect them to be on our level, whether they are older or younger. It's really easy for a mom of a teen to have zero empathy for a mom of toddlers. It's just as easy for the mom of toddlers to have zero empathy for the mom of teens. We have to learn to respect each other's learning process no different than we respect the fact that some kids pee in the potty at an earlier age than others. Mom on mom bullying is a big subject now. It has to end. 

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