Friday, June 17, 2011

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?

Some people are afraid of the boogie man.
Some are afraid of clowns, spiders, snakes, monsters....

As for me, when I was a kid I was afraid of The End of The World, and all the fire and brimstone loveliness that goes on in Revelations. Hey, what can I say? I was raised in a Pentecostal church where readings from Revelations were sermon staples.

Most people eventually grow out of their childhood fears, and no longer look at rain gutters with trepidation (the clown from 'It', anyone?) or squeal when a spider inexplicably ends up on their arm. (Yeah, yeah... some. Not all. I still shriek and run in the opposite direction when a butterfly comes near me, but that's beside the point.)

No, the point I'm driving at is that most people grow out of these things, and that most kids think their parents are invincible and fearless. Including my kids. Or so I thought....

A few weeks ago I hear this from the back of the car:

Ella: "Daddy's not afraid of ANYTHING."
Anna: "UH HUH! He is too!"
Ella: "Is not."
Anna: "Is TOO!"

(I'll spare you the infinite back and forth that went on for a while there... you get the drift.)

Ella: "Then WHAT is Daddy afraid of? Monsters?"
Anna: "Yes. THE IRS!"


Now, there is nothing untoward going on here with us and the IRS... we generally have a rather bland (if resentful), relationship of give and take (and take, and take, and take). I couldn't help but laugh, though. What adult ISN'T afraid of the IRS and their mighty money-demanding powers?

Oh yeah... people who don't work. I forgot.

At any rate, yeah. I think she's hit on something there... the IRS is some scary stuff.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kids. They Chew You Up, And They Spit You Out

I'm in my mid-thirties , I've been married for 10 years, and I've had two children. I'll admit that I'm not exactly super-model material. I mean, really... I usually don't wear make-up, I almost always have my kids in tow, and I drive a minivan. Needless to say, I don't exactly have a long line of guys hitting on me, or people stumbling over themselves to praise my looks.

Despite that, though, sometimes I think I look pretty good. Well, until children get involved, then all bets are off.

A few weeks ago, there was a bridging ceremony for my daughter's Girl Scout troop. Being that it was a special occasion, I got semi-dressed up in a nice dress, and even put on make-up. I thought I looked pretty good! Cue kid to make me want to crawl into a hole:

Girl Scout (walking up to me and fondling my belly): "Ms. Dawn, are you having a baby?"
Me (mortified and mumbling): "No. No baby. That's just a lot of cookies."

I went on Weight Watchers, pronto.

After a few weeks on Weight Watchers, some of my confidence returned, and then I'm confronted with this little scenario:

Ella (looking at me): "That's a beautiful shirt."
Ella (reaches out and tugs said shirt up over my cleavage): "I don't want anyone to see that."

You can't win for losing. If you're not too fat, your cleavage is too prominent. LOL!

Then, there was this gem directed at our good friend and baby sitter, Heather:

Heather: She's a lean, good looking girl.
Ella: Yeah, not at all like you, Miss Heather.

Ouch. I'm secretly glad it's not just me getting the shaft, though.

Crying's For Sissies

Once upon a time when my feelings were hurt, I was heartbroken, or had a really bad day, I would cry. Maybe it's a girl thing, but as far as I'm concerned there's no better release.

I rarely cry anymore.

The bad days still come... my feelings get hurt, and my heart gets broken, but the tears don't come anymore. I don't have time for tears - I am never alone, and it's a luxury I just don't get. I don't like to break down in front of my kids, so I just don't. Period. Now, instead of tears, anger breaks down the door.

Because I can't cry, anger elbows in and takes the place of tears. Everything gets on my nerves and I lose my patience. I don't like myself very much then.

It feels like a bowling ball sitting on my chest that I just can't get rid of.

I wonder when exactly this happened? When did I suddenly decide that crying is for the weak? I don't know, but I don't like it. I want to throw something and have a nice, big, adult-sized tantrum.

Bet you can't guess my mood today. Better duck before that book hits you in the head....