Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday Night with A

I reveled in rocking out to Kings of Leon while drinking cheap beer on Friday night after a peaceful and kidless car ride to Indiana with Shauna. We had a blast being only 20 or so rows away from the awesomeness that is KOL and, especially, Caleb Followill. The cool, damp autumn breeze that drifted throughout the amphitheater packed with thousands only added to the fact that it was one of those moments where you glance around, totally aware, and think, I’m so glad I’m a part of this right now. We danced, we bought over-priced t-shirts and we swooned over the band. We were typical twenty-somethings.

But I had so much fun on Saturday night, too. I don’t think a mother could ever adequately explain the joy of partaking in simple nothings with their child. There is something about your child’s impossibly soft cheek grazing your own and their genuine fits of laughter and sparkling, innocent eyes giddy with excitement that mom is down on the floor playing…these moments cannot be replaced.

After a dinner playdate with the lovely DeYoung’s, we headed home, sans agenda.

This is what this 26-year-old does on Saturday nights:

We play Cootie.

We lay on the floor and take silly pictures of ourselves and giggle at our facial expressions.

I might possibly allow Aidan to yell, “To Infinity, and Beyond!” while catapulting his growing body off the side of the couch.

We dance to Free Fallin’.

Then we pull out the futon, fill the house with the aroma of popcorn for a snack and, while I am still the bigger of us two, I act as a pillow, letting Aidan meld his preschool body into mine.

I think that all mamas need their free time, their chance to explore what matters to them, those individual moments where you figure out what makes you tick and what encourages the most joy in life - whether it be art, music, sports or something else. I will continue to go on “Mommy Escapes” and come into my own as a person, separate from my role as a mother. Concerts and brewery trips and visits to friends in other states and running races will always be important to me.

But there really is nothing like a Saturday night in with my favorite kid in the world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pulling THAT card

I’m embarrassed.

I totally pulled single mom damsel in distress to sweet talk my way out of a warning or ticket with a member of the Holland Police Department on Saturday night. This is the second time I’ve been pulled over in the past 5 weeks. Oops.

The first time I got pulled over last month sparked my pledge to pay all my bills at once. I had been pulled over for neglecting to renew my registration and then, naturally, did not have current proof of insurance in my car either. I somehow skated out of a ticket for my failure to renew, and there is a part of me that thinks it might have had something to do with the fact that Aidan’s toys were strewn across the backseat and a handful of Fruity Cheerios had made their way to the floor. I’m sure the man had no problem believing that I was not pulled together enough to have remembered a timely payment for this yearly expense.

Then the latest incident: I was pulled over because I have a taillight out. I know this; I am a procrastinator and keep forgetting to change it. I pull the expected, “Oh, really?” He of course needs identification. Which I of course do not have. I am six blocks away from my house, where the purse I was using earlier today has my license nestled in the side pocket. I am fumbling through the pile of stuff on my front seat as he hovers next to my door. I finally turn, “Um, I guess I don’t have it on me.” And then I actually say to him, “So about getting this taillight taken care of…where should I go to do that? I don’t have a husband and I don’t know how to do it myself.”

I actually say that to Mr. HPD.

Eww. I am presently the poster child for why women are ridiculed for getting out of these types of situations. And I’ve clearly made myself look way more ditzy than necessary, as though I could be dense enough to not know where to purchase a taillight.

It likely helped my cause that Aidan was snuggled into a fleece Transformers blanket in the backseat, having passed out after enjoying a perfect evening of frisbee playin’ and digging in the sand with a stunning September sunset as our backdrop.

Whatever, it worked. I’m not proud of it, but we were laughing and he was telling me to have a great night by the time I carefully pulled back onto Van Raalte.

List of immediate things to do:

Keep license, proof of insurance and registration (All three! At the same time!) in my car, I will not get this lucky again.

Go to Autozone.

Hope that I do not have any male readers, I’ll never live this down.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday's weekly round-up

This momma is:

Listening to…the Veckatimest album by Grizzly Bear

Reading…He Said Beer, She Said Wine by Sam Calagione and Marnie Old

Thinking about…making pumpkin muffins with Aidan

Working on…getting the house cleaned up for Girls’ Night!

Drinking…White Sangria tonight, a Belgian IPA last night

Purchasing…a new sifter so I can sift powdered sugar for icing

Dreading…reading more Spanish lit for my 495 class

Loving…September and its indecisiveness in electing to be Summer or Fall

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One. Two. THREE.

Why, oh, why must the mama count?

When I ask my son to do something, I feel like it should be perfectly understood that I am serious. If he would just adhere to my requests the first time around, we wouldn’t engage in these battles over what I need/want him to do and what he feels like doing or thinks he desperately requires to be content. My requests are simple. Typical. Reasonable. For his well-being. For my own sanity.

Please brush your teeth.

Please put on pants. Preferably ones that match your shirt.

Please eat two more carrots. Let’s see who can crunch them the loudest!

Please stop leaping like a cat from one couch to the other.

Please stop moving the chair over by the stove and precariously balancing yourself to sneak some dum-dums out of the cupboard.

Please pick out two bedtime stories. Fine, three.

Please say sorry. We do not hurt other peoples’ feelings.

Please do not chug your chocolate milk as fast as you can so you feel justified in asking for more, out of fear that it may be months before I relent again and buy chocolate milk.

Please do not solicit me to spend another $4.99 on a small, plastic, magnetic creature (AKA Bakugan), I am already considering buying stock in them as it is.

Please, oh please, oh please do not dawdle and just put your shoes on when I ask because I AM ALWAYS RUNNING LATE AND WE HAVE TO GO NOW.

But no.

I am a counter.

It goes like this:

Aidan. Fairly pleasant voice but I mean business.

One. A bit more stern, eye contact is always necessary.

Two. I practically bark this out, it is usually the number that gets some action.

I rarely make it to three, although I do occasionally falter and say through clenched teeth, “Do not make me get to three, young man!” I don’t like to get to three. Three is a time-out, more for me than him. I am so incensed by this point that I need to set the timer for myself so I do not blow up.

I think I’ve done something wrong in the parenting department here because, as effective as the counting usually is with him, he now expects it. There is nothing that makes my blood pressure rise faster than, “Well, aren’t you gonna count, mama?” in the sassiest voice possible from my little guy, after I’ve made an undemanding request for him to pick up his cars and move them two yards down the hall to his bedroom.

I wonder if this motherhood business is encouraging more patience from me, or if I’m losing it, bit by bit. I think I’m going to start counting in other languages. Maybe this will throw him enough to just wise up and listen to his mama the first time around.

Uno. Dos. TRES!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The First One

As a single mom/full-time employee/half-time student/ life is a bit hectic. Chaos is the norm, and I constantly feel like I'm chasing my own tail and about five seconds away from really losing it this time.

I've gotten totally accustomed to being the only person that takes out the garbage on Tuesday mornings and having to routinely get up at 3 am during the winter months to see how much white powder has accumulated in my driveway while kiddo has been peacefully sleeping the night away, so as to determine what time I will really have to get up and shovel. Again. I have started paying all the bills at once so that I don't neglect to meet my obligations in a timely fashion. If you drive by my house at 1 am, the likelihood that all the lights will be on and I will be slumped over, sleeping in a Spanish novel, is good.

I made my bed, I try to handle it the best I can.

Until this morning. This morning, as I turned on the lights and went to my usual corner of the living room to curl my hair (I do this so I can catch some early morning tunes without waking the boy) I heard something. Fear instantly pierced my body, as it does every single time I hear an unexpected noise in my home and realize, for the umpteenth time, that I am alone in this house and have a 4-year-old relying on me for protection.

I wait.

Scratch, scratch. Scratch, scratch.

Seriously?? A mouse. IN MY GARBAGE.

So what do I do, oh independent me.

I call my ex-husband. At 6:45 in the morning. To tell him there is a mouse in the garbage cupboard.

Um, not really his problem.

He calms me down; I'm near hysterics. I've not once called him like this since we split up. He rationally tells me that I will have to get some mouse traps after work, he can help me set them up.

Maybe we all need someone to lean on. Maybe independence is great, but knowing that someone will be there to catch you if you fall is even greater.

I'll be going to Meijer on my lunch break.