Happy Mother’s Day

I didn’t get to finish my Mother’s Day post yesterday because I have two kids.

I totally get that Mother’s Day brunch must be one of the toughest shifts for a server to work, but gee whiz, lady. Put some of those acting classes to use and pretend you’re happy to be there. It’s my special brunch. Odie made the reservation weeks ago. I don’t want to hear about how you’ve been there since 8:25 a.m. and the work has been crazy. Surely you have some sort of training in waiting tables during busy shifts?

It was not what I’d hoped it would be, but it was special anyway. Crayons and Cheerios were flying everywhere. I got a bit grumbly when my mimosa didn’t come for 15 minutes. She also messed up Viva’s order, but it isn’t like that kid was going to eat it anyway. She’s three. I asked her if she could pretend, just for one day, that she’s five, but she said no. The mimosa did eventually come. We enjoyed a nice breakfast together as a family of four. There was nothing relaxing about it. Maybe in a few years we can do like the family at the next table and give the kids iPads while we parents eat in grim silence. Now THAT looks like family fun.

One of the best Mother’s Day gifts I got today was Odie getting both girls dressed to go out. Putting Viva in clothes can make a Bloody Mary at 8:00 on Monday morning seem like a reasonable idea. She pivots. She hops. She head bonks. She declares, “I’m a mermaid!” and falls to the ground. She’s like one of those string tension toys where you push the button and it collapses. While I admonish her to stand up straight, hold still, put her foot here or her arm there, she ignores me while going “Whoooooooooaaaaaahhhhhhhh!” and wobbling around. She also vetoes outfits. The more I like it and declare it cute, the more she hates it. Odin help me if I force her into an outfit she doesn’t want to wear. If I tried to arrange some Kelle Hampton style photo shoots, all of Viva’s pictures would be of her in adorable outfits throwing rage tantrums.

Those who don’t have kids or who use different parenting styles than I may chuckle and think I let my child rule over me. No, but she’s old enough to know what she wants to wear and I’m not going to force her into what I think she should wear. I don’t need that level of control over my kids. I have no ego investment in her looking adorable.

I could certainly identify with what Dooce wrote last week about having a three year-old. My Viva and her Marlo are just weeks apart in age. I’d say maybe Marlo is acting out because of the divorce, but my three year-old acts the same way. Just a different version. Saturday I dragged her by the wrist through Target. There are so many cute summer clothes at good prices, but Viva will have none of this. “I don’t LIKE that. I don’t WANT it” is her constant refrain, intoned with as much whine as possible. She tried to sit on the floor to demonstrate that she was mad.

“Mommy, I’m MAD.”

“Well, be mad in the car on the way home. Get off the floor.”

I am privileged to be a mother. I love my children. They really drive me nuts, sometimes, though. In the mornings, when I want to sit and drink my coffee while the Motrin kicks in, they swarm me. We have no fewer than five pieces of furniture in our living room, but both my daughters only want to sit on me. Pringles is going though a phase where she wants to rip my lips off my face. Viva wants to watch something on TV, and as soon as I put it on she will whine, “I don’t like that! I don’t want it! I don’t want that one!” and as soon as I turn it off, she’ll explode in tears, “I wanted that! I want to watch that one! MOMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAH!!!!”

And I want to come out of my skin.

Then, hours later, they fall asleep. Sometimes I feel tortured with guilt for being impatient or feeling irritated with them. They look so peaceful and innocent while sleeping. Remorsefully, I reach out and stroke a silky curl. In her sleep, Viva mumbles, “No! I don’t WANT it!” and I feel better.


About Mrs Odie

Friendly Pedant; Humble Genius
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10 Responses to Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Meghan2 says:

    I am actually fairly strict with my kids. They say kids need structure, maybe that’s true I don’t know, i just know I need structure. So we have a structured home, but I give as much control as possible to the kids over choices that are about them, that will not effect them the rest of their lives. Clothing falls into that category. We go to the sale rack of a store and I say “Get what you want” to all my kids from when they were about 3 (they range from 6-14 now). The only caveat is it must follow school guidlines. Then they all have chosen what they want to wear and dressed themselves since they were able. If it is clean, you may wear it, what do I care how it looks, the kid is clean, clothes clean and the kid gets to make a fashion statement and they will live to see the next day. No biggie. Besides, I have discovered that my 6 year old really has some style. She throws together the most outrageous stuff and it looks so much cuter than anything I would have come up with. The funniest thing was my now 10 yr old. When he was five he was certain that collared shirts were meant to be paired with sweats, the style was a bit off, but he was happy, clean and loved.

  2. amybeth824 says:

    I was totally one of those waitresses during the Mom’s Day shift yesterday. I worked the dinner shift, though, so less toddlers and more elderly couples with their adult children. It can be seriously tiring work, especially if it’s a double, but in my opinion I’m there to enhance your dining experience, not to be a part of it, so I never share anything like that with my tables. Or, anything with my tables, because there’s nothing like sharing your dreams and aspirations with strangers and having them respond, “Hey, can we get some extra napkins?” to remind you that you are making $4.25 an hour. Re: dining with kids: I’d much rather have a table like yours than witness the totally detached Nintendo DS-wielding tweens. That shit just bums me out.

    I’m glad you had a fun day with your family. Happy belated Mother’s Day!

  3. Summer says:

    oh it’s all the same over here too. My kids are 1 and 3.

  4. kareenirae says:

    We did both Mother’s Day breakfast and dinner, neither of which was remotely relaxing. During breakfast, while S jumped up and down in the booth and crawled under the table, I gazed with envy at other tables with 2 year olds happily coloring on their menus with crayons. That is not my kid. All she does with crayons is break them in half. During dinner, I came armed with books because at home (with no distractions) she will sit in her room and “read” books for 45 minutes by herself. But she was having none of it. Didn’t even want us to read to her. She wanted to sit at all the other empty tables and blow out the candles. So we broke out the iPhone, because it was the absolute only way she would sit at our table. At least the ABC Elmo game she played was somewhat educational. I think we’ll wait until she’s 4 to go out to dinner again.

  5. Oh God. This is what terrifies me about having kids in the future – I just don’t know if I would have the patience. Especially as I would most likely be “blessed” with a kid that was just like me when I was young, i.e. a complete and utter fucking monster. My mom raised 5 of us pretty much singlehandedly (my dad worked two jobs while we were growing up, still does) in a small house and I honestly don’t know how we all survived to adulthood. She is a freakin’ superhero. I would have murdered us all.

    That said, a friend of mine has two young kids and she loves hearing my mom talk about us all now that we are adults – she says that must be what makes the difficult younger years worthwhile. I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day despite everything!

  6. Maine Mummy says:

    You just described my life re getting the two yr old dressed!

  7. My son is only 10 months old, but he is slowly but surely getting there. To him, getting dressed takes away from play time. So I just do it quickly. What he truly hates is diaper changing. He screams and cries and throws tantrums over it. I have to use one arm to hold him down and another to change the diaper. I usually just end up with poop all over me.

    Happy Mothers Day! This is Lin by the way, the woman on bed rest last year for about a million years. Sorry I haven’t commented in a while. I’ve been busy but I always make time to read your blog.

  8. Mindy says:

    Isn’t it funny how little girls start caring about clothes at such a young age? My nieces all had their own fashion senses at age 1.
    My boys, 6 and 2, have no strong opinions about what they wear. Which makes me happy, I gotta admit. Because I’ve always enjoyed putting together their outfits.

  9. Kim says:

    LMAO literally.
    You are my new guilty pleasure.

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