For all the ways the Internet enriches my life (hello, never bored pooping), it also does a helluva job making me feel like a terrible mother and general all-around human being. Because if the Internet (and it's beautifully tweaked Wordpress sites) are to be believed, doing crafty things with and for your child, creating rambling meals chock-a-block full of exotic yet earthy ingredients, while capturing every exquisite expression to ever spread across their little faces, is the NORM.
If you were to document my last 48 hours as a Mom you would see the following:
Let's start with a pitiful multi-layered sulk as Stella decided I was last place in her life, even when she bailed and needed reassurance her knee wasn't shattered. It was Grandma or nothing at all. If she could have said "DON'T TOUCH ME, ASSHOLE," she totally would have.
Me plopping her in the kitchen sink where she played with measuring spoons for almost an hour as I slumped in front of her, not creating new water-inspired tunes, not weaving a daisy chain into her finally curling over her ears locks, or doing anything at all to create a lifelong homespun memory. Yes, I did take a couple of pictures with my phone but I mostly stood there glancing wistfully at my cup of tea (aka evening energy) getting lukewarm just out of reach and wondering (seriously) with a knit brow if her waterlogged diaper would eventually explode into a wet wad of cotton and urine.
Once she had declared she was doneherethankyouverymuchMama, we moved to the bathroom. Since the Internet tells me that all good Mamas have their precious vintage-clad baby girls already toilet trained by now, she got plunked on the big girl potty with the wee girl seat attachment. Mama encouraged her by crouching and clapping and holding her down and ignoring her cries of protest by thrusting her potty book into her hands (the one she's already ripped all the movable tabs out of, like good job guys, I broke this in 3 careless flip-throughs, how very special.) About a minute later with a perplexed look on her face (scratched by her nails I let grow too long), she made some nice tinkling noises in the toilet. I reacted like she had pushed her glasses up her nose and recited the cure for cancer. Not 5 seconds later the special toilet attachment gave up and fell down into the toilet. Taking her with it. Like cartoon-style, where her nose was now touching her knees. In Olympic trial-setting time I unwedged her from her watery trap and hoped against hope that this hadn't completely traumatized her. I also noticed how badly the toilet needed to be cleaned.
Once she was in her pajamas, not ones I had sewn out of my Grandmother's lace curtain scraps, but rather Disney-branded hand me downs (shock! horror!), I attempted to put her in the high chair for an evening snack. This warranted a determined body stiffening aka like trying to bend a piece of warm plywood in half and strap it in for some oatmeal (generic WalMart brand - not organic and sprinkled with spelt and flax and the rest of Mother Nature's colon ninjas) and berries. Then she slapped me a couple of times in the face. I immediately felt better about calling her a dick in an email I had sent out earlier in the day. So, now what? What would Internet Moms do? Sitting in their beautifully collated kitchens, in their lightly untucked sheer polka-dotted blouses with their intricately braided and pinned hair and swipes of red lipstick and delicate earrings. What the f-ck do they do when their kid hates their guts? Instagram is powerless now, bitches.
I looked helplessly over at Nuv, glared at the exposed nails in the wall that I hadn't covered with loving family portraits in good frames that don't fall and shatter just by looking at them, and promptly called SuperNanny, drank a 2L of Coke and spent the rest of the night in Sephora trying on eye shadow. (Lies.)
We instead decided on a toddler version of a time-out in the corner of her couch, her butt nailed down down by a great daddy glare. Oh but she hugged me afterwards, and the clouds cleared and my heart leapt and my uterus didn't feel so very snubbed. Sometimes good cop pays off.
When Stella grows up, I hope she knows that when you have a kid, sometimes it doesn't change you a whole lot. You're still selfish, still terrible at creating meals that aren't 2/3 cheese, still abysmal at crafts, hanging photos and interior design, and still need constant reassurance that you're a good person.
What does happen when you have a kid is it creates a living breathing (hitting) inspiration for change. So, I need to stop circling the Internet, feeling like it's my adversary/judge and poking me in the eye at all turns, get down on the floor with her, all her 400 books and dolls and blocks, and just be a mama.
Is it ok if I still check facebook on my phone while I'm down there?