february: the final frontier

this is how it all went down.

i’d just given birth and, because my son was 11 pounds, i delivered my dignity along with him, leaving me disabled, for weeks, unless heavily medicated.

it was a preschool morning and i, somehow, managed to get dressed, as well as the kids, and then made my sore ass and their cute butts down the stairs, out the door, and in the car. we even made it there on time. it was amazing.

unfortunately, there, after all this effort, instead of a cheer squad ready-set to celebrate my achievement with high fives, was the parent sign up sheet for the halloween party that was scheduled for the following week. this is not the stuff that dreams are made of: i fail miserably at cute mom. the very mention of pinterest gives me anxiety and, on occasion, makes me hostile (you’ve been warned).

i began to sweat but, fortunately, was quickly pulled from my place of fear by my unreasonably competitive spirit (thanks, mom). damned if i’m gonna opt out like some flake, my inner monologue asserted, and i approached the sheet, handwritten in perfect preschool printing, with my head held high.

i scanned the options (cupcakes, cookies, other things that required skill) and, then, relieved, my eyes zeroed in on the cheese and cracker platter. it was a cop-out, but it was a deal. we always have cheese, we have a pantry full of crackers and i felt that regardless of my current state (i.e. inability to perform basic bodily functions), i should, at least, be able to manage that.

no one will even think less of me, i thought, considering it was pretty obvious i had bigger issues to contend with (as evidenced by full brief adult diapers visible above the waist of my sweatpants).

as it turns out, i managed to forget that i’d committed myself to the easiest contribution and on the day of i noticed on the calendar that i had scribbled: “be cute for preschool”, in what looked like a menacing, drunken script. with minutes to spare i mad-frantic hacked up some cheddar and threw it in, of all things, a zip lock bag, complete with a paper plate (admittedly, weak choices) and a bag of stone wheat thins. not quite what i’d envisioned providing for the merriment of my son’s first preschool celebration but i, delusional, assumed it would be good enough.

needless to say, whilst funneling into the classroom i couldn’t help but observe the amazing spread of wholesome and delectable treats also making there way in, held proudly above the makers shoulders as they unzipped the coats of their children with one hand. i cringed, my entire body shrunk, when i saw the other mother’s cheese platter complete with a variety of fromage choices cut out in seasonal shapes and figures (we’re talking about pumpkins and acorns here people) with a wide selection of cracker pairings attractively displayed on a carved wooden serving dish.

head down, i slinked to the food table, infant car seat bumping along my shin as i shuffled my pathetic remains forward. i casually placed my offering on the table providing no eye contact and no conversation, so not to draw attention to myself and in hope of it all going unnoticed.

i left embarrassed and upon return home, i debriefed with my father, who had arrived for his shift as assigned support person, present to intervene should i fatigue, hemorrhage, or melt down to the point of being unable to parent. another mother failure, i reported. sucked it up hard at today’s cute mom attempt, i confessed. patiently, he heard my ridiculousness and shallow musings about the mom race.

fortunately, by pick up time, i’d snapped out of it. eff it, i’d decided. in the classroom i confidently collected my child and scanned the food table to see if any leftovers required gathering. there it was: my ‘effort’, untouched. even the children knew it was a flop. i shrugged it off and then marched over, scooped it up, and made our way to the car.

my father, having accompanied me for the ride, was still in the car with baby. he wisely remained silent as i wrestled my sugar-high boy into his car seat and then collapsed into the driver’s side with a whine- rejected snack in lap.

a few minutes later he broke the silence. “so…”, he began, tentatively, “it all came back”.

just then, before i could reply, the big boy asked for a snack.  “well, looky here son”, i replied, “i happen to have some crackers and cheese ready, just for you”.

my dad and i, delirious, laughed all the ride home.

so…. it’s valentine’s day. you’d think that months later i would be healed from the ego wounds i suffered so many months ago. well, perhaps i have. this said, the depths of my vanity are profound and i have been waiting for months to redeem myself.

and, now that i am continent, can walk with some grace, and generally function like a regular woman, i did. i participated in some role play and put on the ol’ apron. i read and re-read the recipe. i measured, mixed, and swore. i created havoc, and cookies. i dressed myself nicely, walked my son in proudly, placed the platter down whilst engaging as many people as possible. i returned, sure that my treats would have been well appreciated.

and, they were. that’s right, bitches.

p.s.- i realise that my cookies looked like pinterest cookies after they made friends with the blender. whatever. the point is, i baked something, all by myself, the end product resembled a valentine’s cookie, and they were full of sugar. the good moms might scorn me behind my back for not making something with whole grains or a super food but the kids apparently liked them and i got a story out of it. frankly, this adventure turned out better than the last vanity fuelled activity i shamefully participated in i.e. forcing my engagement and wedding band on my sausage of a ring finger trying to prove to myself that i’d lost enough baby weight to get away with it. in the end, my finger went numb, purple, and swelled up until it looked like an angry penis. the rings had to be cut off. no word of a lie.

Advertisements

8 Comments to “february: the final frontier”

  1. My fav so far…for so many reasons– thanks for the belly laugh.

  2. lmao. i remember the halloween party story, the “sequel’ almost made me pee myself. oh, heather… good stuff.

  3. Heather…you really are a great writer. You have that perfect combination of honesty,humility and confidence…and you seem to hit the nail on the head repeatedly. My girls are almost 6 and 2.5 and I have sometimes forgotten (ie: blocked out) many of the things you remind me of in those early days of (a) having one child and then (b) having 2….it’s crazy, yes? Good to be able to have a laugh and realize how ‘the same’ most new mom’s experiences are……..thank you 🙂

  4. F*cking way to go Heather!

  5. LOL ~ oh Heather – LOVE it! Dave just said “it would have been funnier if they didn’t touch the cookies” hehe – noooooooo we are not evil – really. We want you to triumph… even though as your FB post says, its a public service to not be smart, sassy, attractive AND ‘cute’. Don’t make me hate you. =)

  6. Incredible … love this post!

  7. Great stuff Heather, your writing is an inspiration. You forgot to mention that Grandpa inhaled the rejected cheese and crackers too. They were delicious!

  8. Heather, I love your honesty, your humour, and the way that you tell your stories that make me want to keep reading more. Don’t stop writing, love it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: