3

I’m Watching You

I spend the greater part of my life watching people.

Not people watching at the airport in some cool sociological experimental kind of way. Not watching my fellow Target shoppers to see if maybe they are filling their carts with a magical life changing product that I need to purchase immediately regardless of cost.

No. I spend my life watching my children do random crap. I am their audience. All day, every day. That is my life. It doesn’t matter what I had planned to do, it all comes screeching to a halt at the words, “Hey Mom! Watch me!”

Watch me!

Mom!

Mom, look!

Look at me!

Watch! Watch the whole time! Don’t turn your head at all!

They add that last bit because indeed one time I DID turn my head. Oh, I turned it real good. To the left, if I’m not mistaken. I turned my head, and my eyes went with it, and I put my attention on something else for just a quick second. A little tiny second. I didn’t even think they would notice. But they did. Because they were watching ME, watching THEM.

You looked away

No, I didn’t.

You did!

Well, only for a second. But I looked right back. I didn’t miss anything.

You missed the whole thing! Now I’m going to have to start over.

Oh, dear God.

So now, when I’m watching the thing-that-I’m-supposed-to-be-watching, a cannon could be shot off right next to my ear and I wouldn’t even blink. I wouldn’t budge. I wouldn’t turn my head or flinch in any way. I would go on watching my daughter show me the Irish Step Dance moves that her friend taught her during kindergarten recess that day with an intensity that defies logic. It’s either that, or she will start over. Take it from the top. And as 73% of my day is spent watching things the first go-round, I can’t afford to waste any remaining precious time watching it again. I just can’t.

I’ve watched flips being flipped, dance moves being busted out, video game good guys beating the video game bad guys. I’ve watched the trailers to Five Nights at Freddy’s IV and V. I’ve watched towers being built using all the cups in the 100 pack of plastic cups that I just bought. I’ve watched kids gargle. I’ve watched kids making bubbles using the entire bottle of soap in the bathtub. I’ve watched kids sledding, skating, swimming, and shimmying. I’ve watched kids taking pretend selfies of themselves using pretend phones, kids pretending to walk on a runway while pretending to be models. I’ve watched how high they can throw a ball into the air, and how many times they can kick a balloon before it touches the ground. I’ve watched them jump up and touch the ceiling light thingy even though I’ve told them not to because it could come crashing down and crack their heads open. I’ve watched them twirl. I’ve watched them flexing their muscles (suns out, guns out). I’ve. Watched. It. All.

You’ve watched it all, too. I’ve seen you watching your kids perform some random circus trick while you sit at glassy-eyed attention. I’ve seen you not blink. I’ve marveled at your ability to not move even when a hornet buzzes by your ear. The only tell-tale sign of distress is the trickle of sweat running down your temple.

We should form a support group called “The Watchers” and we can just meet once a week and give each other pep talks and watching tips. Maybe have a couple of staring contests while we are at it. Then we could hang out on comfy couches, talk about how crazy our lives are, and watch each other drink margaritas.

4

The Hurry Up Guy

Becoming a parent has brought me love.

Becoming a parent has brought joy.

Becoming a parent has brought me a little “Hurry Up Guy” who sits on my shoulder and screams in my ear ALL THE TIME.

He sounds like this:

Hurry up!
We have to go!
Vamanos!
Let’s get a move on!
We’re late! We’re late! We’re late!
Fall in line!
Let’s go!
What’s taking you so long!
You need to make haste!
Why are you moving SO SLOooooooow?!
You have 5 minutes to get there before you are LATE!
Late!
You’ll be late!
Late, late, late!!
Come on! Go!
Move it!
We have to be somewhere!
CAN’T YOU GO ANY FASTER?!

It makes me crazy. Bat. Shit. Crazy.

That damn Hurry Up Guy makes my heart pound and my blood pressure rise…and not in a good way. More like in an annoying, oh-my-God-I’ve-got-to-go-faster-and-faster-and-faster-I’m-going-so-fast-I’m-probably-burning-tons-of-calories, kind of way. He makes me sweat and freak out and scream at everyone around me to hurry the hell up!

Why don’t my kids have the Hurry Up Guy on their shoulders? They’re the ones who need him. They need someone (besides me) to scream at them to get off the couch and to get in the damn car so that we aren’t late for school AGAIN. They need someone to light a fire under their butts. They need to be the ones who wildly shriek the words, “Let’s go everyone! Hurry!!”

I didn’t even know the Hurry Up Guy was part of the package when I kids. I had no idea. No one told me. Sure, I’m somewhat familiar with the little fella. I’ve had him perched on my shoulder at other times in my life. But he usually just stays for a quick visit; just for an event that I need to get to. Then he skedaddles. But now the Hurry Up Guy is like a house guest that just WON’T LEAVE! He is ALWAYS there.

The real kicker is that he screams in my ear even when I don’t need to be hurrying. Like, sometimes I have nowhere I NEED to be, but still the little guy is screaming “hurry up!!” I try to take a deep breath and remember that I don’t have to be hurrying right now. I don’t need to be in fast motion. Or do I? I’m so used to spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil that slowing down usually just means that I’m forgetting something. At least that is what the Hurry Up Guy tells me it means. He’s sort of a jerk that way.

I want the Hurry Up Guy to go on a vacation. Or take a long walk off a short pier. Or to go pound sand.

I want the Simon & Garfunkel guy on my shoulder instead.

I want the Slow Down You Move Too Fast guy.

The I Got No Deeds To Do, No Promises To Keep guy.

I’m Dappled and Drowsy and Ready to Sleep guy.

I want to let the morning time drop all its petals on me.

Life, I love you, all is groovy.

Because, seriously, life is WAY too groovy to just be hurrying through it from one thing to the next. With a weird little guy sitting on your shoulder.

See ya later, Hurry Up Guy! I’m going to go watch some flowers growing.

Doot-in’ doo-doo,
Feelin’ groovy.

0

I Have No Pride

There was a time (not that long ago, and yet, somehow forever ago) when I would have never (ever) in a million zillion years been caught dead out in public looking like something the cat dragged in.

There was a time when I would never have gone to the grocery store with my gray roots showing, my hair frizzed out to oblivion, wearing the same jeans I had had on for the past 2 days, topped off with my husband’s gigantic hooded sweatshirt (with the big bleach stain on the elbow from the time that I spilled bleach onto an entire load of his clothes.)

There was a time when wearing makeup meant putting it on a freshly cleaned face, not having it still on left over from the day before.

There was a time when I would have absolutely refused to get behind the wheel of the car, while still wearing my pajamas…and slippers…with my hair twisted up in a huge towel on my head like a turban, to drive my 7th grader to school.

There WAS a time. 

But that time has gone.

I used to have pride.

But now I have kids.

And you can’t have both.

Well, maybe YOU can…but I, obviously, can not.