no wonder I hate mother’s day

This is what my mother’s day looked like..real mothers day

Well, that’s not fair, I also had vomit on my pink P.j’s from when Rex threw up on me.  But, I’m sparing you a photo of that. No awkward brunch with corsage, no red roses, no sachet.

It would all be a day’s work, but being told it’s “MOTHER’S DAY” makes me cranky.  Same way Valentine’s day makes you think your in a crap relationship, when it’s just normal.  Expectations.

Mark is working hard, quite rightly, new business.  As he was rushing out the door in the AM I pleaded for some coffee, toast, NY Times and he complied.  The kids were great for 2 hours because they had a friend over.  Hey, this is ok. My stepson called me which the biggest gift that he can give me, he knows my number! (see desperate stepmom seek connection)  Then when the friend left my little ones turned on each other like demons.  Though to be fair.  I made it worse.  They would settle into a show, a game what have you and after a bit I would check in on them.  My presence was a catalyst for them turning on each other.

“I’m going to leave you guys alone” I said as I walked out of the room for 2 hours.  No fighting. I’m the problem.

In the evening things had settled down, we were watching Season Finale of one of our favorite shows, “Once upon a Time”.   Okay, day has it’s grace notes.  Then Rex threw up on me.

Well, I don’t like red roses anyway.


Mother’s day, yuck

Please do not send me one more pitch about things to do for Mother’s day.  I never, ever liked it.  Well, not true I did enjoy the breakfast in bed last year and watching my political show in peace, but really, they could do that for me another time.

Sure, would I love a massage, ear rings, sitting on Hugh Jackman’s lap?  Yes, sure who wouldn’t?

Look around.  Is there someone near you who doesn’t have a mom?  Maybe a kid in your own kids school, or an organization that supports kids in foster care. The other week I sat next to a lovely lady at a charity lunch that my mother had helped with.  She works for an organization that brings kids to their moms in prison on Mother’s Day.  It’s called Get on the bus.   I’d rather spread the love around on Mother’s day and think of the people who feel like crap on it.  Where is Orphan Day?  Or,mommy dearest day?  Ha, what about that?

But, Hugh, the key is under the mat.

Ice Skating Failure

With a sweet mother’s day present like this from Vivien I hate to let her down.  But I did.

They really make it look so easy, Kristi Yamaguchi, Peggy Fleming, et al.

I totally blew it as a skater mom. Vivien has been looking forward to skating lessons for months.  I bought her skates for Christmas.  I trucked out the Culver rink and was the first one to sign up for mommy and me skating lessons.

I was secretly scared because it’s about 30 years since I’ve skated.  But, I tried to toughen up and get my mittens in order.

We get to the rink and it’s packed with different group lessons.  I went here as a child and was much more confident on the ice then.  Vivien is excited as I laced up her pretty new, perfect white skates.  I was less excited as I put on the big, black rentals, that are clearly the largest 7 I’ve ever been in.  But, we were the last pair out, so I decided to deal.  As we stepped to go out on the ice an instructor came over to us and extended a hand to Vivien.  I suddenly realize I’m F–ed.  It’s like the top of an escalator all over again.

“Go with the teacher Vivien.”  But she got her scared of strangers, I want mommy look.  Crap.

I stepped on the ice, holding the railing as I went, and plead with Vivien to go with the teacher.

“Save yourself, I’m no good to you!”  That’s what was in my head, it came out more like, “Come on honey, the nice teacher will help you.”

We all finally got to the gathering of parents and kids. The head teacher yells out to me, “Do you skate?”

” I did …30 years ago.”

“Parents who come to this class have to be able to skate so they can support the kids.” or something like this.  I heard, “Hey dumb ass, my teachers can’t babysit you when we have little bity kids who need help here.  What were you thinking?”  She was totally right.  Both of her were.

“Do you have a friend who can bring her?” the teacher asked.  I wasn’t sure that Mark could, but I felt defensive that she hadn’t assumed I had a husband.  Like who would marry a grown woman who can’t get on the ice?

“My husband could.”

One of the teachers gave me a quick lesson in being steady on my feet.  I didn’t ever fall, but I was clearly tentative.  Meanwhile , Vivien had warmed up to one of the lady instructors and was moving a bit on the ice. The head instructor barked for us to get the kids by the “railroad” tracks, black lines over by the edge that the kids would stand on.  Okay, I can handle that.

My own hubris amused me as I decided to take on the role of experienced skater.

“Okay, Vivien, that’s right. Put your hands on the wall and push back into me.” I gained this knowledge by looking at the 3 year old and her mom next to me.  The kid did well. And I only had to move a few inches, so I was up to the challenge.  When the head instructor came around I was grateful for her guidance, but I was ok.  While tutoring a really tiny girl next us the instructor accidentally hit her finger with her blade.  The girl was not badly hurt, she had gloves on, but she was crying and her dad was throwing daggers at the teacher who was profusely apologizing.  I tried to give her a, “Oh, too bad, it happens” sympathetic face.  As I was no longer the one who felt the worst out on the ice. But, that was short lived.

“Get into a circle.”  She commanded.  Oh crap, okay, time to act brave again.  Holding Vivien’s hand we wobbled over to a sort of circle.  A couple of times Vivien clutched my leg.  I snapped.

“Don’t do that Vivien.”  The instructors said, “Honey, don’t hold your mom’s legs.” Their inside voice, “Because she probably collapse upon you.” Twice Vivien fell down.  When she did I looked at the instructors, like, “Well? Are you going to help her up?” Which they did as I put a little muscle into it as I held one of her hands.  I couldn’t do more than that without going down like a hockey puck.

“Mommy, I don’t like this.”  poor Vivien said.

“You want to go?” she nodded.  The class was almost done.  I actually was feeling pretty good as we left the ice.  I had gotten better in the last 30 minutes.  I held her hand and got us both to the exit. Phew.

She was so bummed.  She said what sounded like to me, “The first of many disappointments.  Now, I will never succeed in anything I try. I will always give up and be a stoner and live on your couch in the old folks home.” What she actually said, was, “My feet hurt and they are cold and I don’t want to come back.”

I massaged her feet and told her her aunt Cecily or daddy would bring her next week and that no one is good at anything the first time, but to please try it once more.  I offered private lessons, which she rejected, but I did get her to say she would come back one more time.

And I sang “High Hopes” to her as we drove to get a sandwich and share chocolate cake.

“Just what makes that little ole ant, think he can move a rubber tree plant..”  She liked that song.  It makes me feel better.

If You Can Eat, Eat With the Ones You Love

So, I think part of the reason Mother’s Day bugs is that I’m supposed to feel something on a certain day whether I do or not. You know, Christmas, Valentines, etc. Mother’s Day night, I was sipping wine in the backyard with my sister-in-law while my daughter ran around. (“Yeah, I’m watching you honey!”)

But last night, I took my kids to dinner with my mom and looking across the table at my mom holding Rex warmed my heart the way an eggs benedict and a corsage are suppose to do. I love sharing my children with her.

BTW, he was so good. He didn’t fuss at all, quietly fell asleep while she held him. Viv was on good restaurant behavior as well, save the crunch, crunch under her chair by a few too many tortilla chips dropped during dining.

That was very nice Mother’s Day gift. Going out to dinner with two small kids, and they were well behaved. Oh, and my mom paid!

Love My Kids, Hate Mother’s Day

I did a Mother’s Day vlog last year and not much has changed except I still don’t like it. Well, that’s not entirely true. Since the economy is worse, I like Mother’s Day because it’s a big day at my husband’s restaurant.

Yes, I’m a tad bitter because I’m not feted on Mother’s Day. But more importantly, I always feel a pang for the kids, and even us big kids, who no longer have their mothers, and this day is a knife in the heart. My mom’s father died when she was 12 and always made me sensitive to people like her. It feels cruddy if you think everyone else is running around with a corsaged mom eating Eggs Benedict, and you are left with some photographs. OMG, just thought how this day must be to a woman who has lost a child. Another hellish day in a long line of hellish days.

I know, I’m really cheery today. Happy Mother’s Day.

Be Nice to Daddy!

Oh, poor dad, he doesn’t get the fête mom does. I asked Mark what he wanted for Father’s Day and he said he didn’t know. I said, “Well, we could make a big fuss for you like I got for Mother’s day.” He turned and glowered, since he knows he did NOTHING for me for Mother’s Day. He’s not good with stuff like that, but is a great dad, otherwise. Fine with me – it lets me off the hook!

It seems like moms often are the conduit of communication between dad’s needs and children’s needs. Here is one example.

Mother-in-Law’s Day?

I’m fortunate that I have a mother-in-law who likes me. And I like her, as well. Not that bumps in the road don’t arise sometimes. Which is probably why Cafe Mom has a support group to deal with the in-law. I also love the the site where you can rag on your husband’s mom anonymously.

I have found that I have to share Mother’s Day – “my day” – with her. Of course, the irony is that right after I did this Vlog, she told me she is going to see my sister-in-law for Mother’s Day weekend, and my stepson is to be with his mom. But my husband is still working, so it was just me and Vivien. She’s too young to give me breakfast, but I got some hand-picked flowers from the weeds in the sidewalk! Fine with me. I’m so happy I have my daughter.

And by the way, if you do want to complain about mother-in-law here, please feel free. A lot of them aren’t that net savvy.