Warning: PMS

April 22, 2011

Remember that Saturday Night Live commercial for Annuale, the birth control pill where women get their period once a year? Side effects during the menstruation are severe: potential growths and absolute insanity.

Before my monthly Aunt Flo I become unbearable, nasty, explosive and confrontational. Last week I warned my husband when he came home and asked about the mess. “I love you dear, I’m incredibly irritable,” I said before lashing out at him for being home late on the one night a week I ask that he comes home before the kids’ bedtime.

The following day I had a confrontation with a new babysitter. Our regular sitter cancelled at last minute and with my brother in law and sister in law in town I scrambled for a replacement ultimately finding an available sitter recommended by a friend of a friend of my other sister-in-law. The email exchange made her appear like Mary Poppins’ second cousin at $15 an hour. When she arrived both kids were bathed, one asleep the other should have been going down in 15 minutes.

Of course she let my daughter stay up later and gave her food (and I am sure did not brush her teeth again). I later noticed she moved magazines to cover up the yogurt stains on the table lest she actually wipe the table.

When I came home and paid her slightly more than $15 an hour for her time she complained without specifically asking for more money. I held my ground and explained that her regular employer pays her $15 when the child is awake. “Two children are more,” she said. As she kept counting the money and looking at it on the counter, still lingering, I finally asked, Would you like more money?

She avoided answering yes but still did not leave. Finally I pulled out a few more dollars and told her to take it “for my sleeping son.” She did not like my comment and told me so. At last she left refusing the additional money.

While I knew I would never use her again, nor would I be so eager to invite a stranger to watch my children again, I could not stop thinking about the confrontation, wondering if I behaved properly.

Emotional and premenstrual I did not want to spend the rest of my evening with my husband consumed by a woman I would never see or employ again.

According to The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari, that the mind can only focus on one thing at a time. As negative thoughts come into one’s mind, one can immediately think of something more appealing. In order to distract myself, I started going down on my husband. It’s probably one of the few times that a bitch of a babysitter became an aphrodisiac.


Free Range Children

October 8, 2010

I began reading Lorna Lenore Skenazy’s book Free Range Kids: How to Raise Self-Reliant Kids (Without Going Nuts with Worry) and thought I found my guru. An advocate of letting children enjoy childhood without helicopter parenting, the author, like me and my parents, is not afraid to let their children fall or get a bruise.

As I read more, it confirmed how I allow my kids to run. They run in an open field near the apartment.
They run down the sidewalk, knowing to stop before they reach the curb. They run down the hallway playing peek a boo with the doorman. At three and one and a half my kids love to run and be kids. And I support this.

Yesterday they were playing one such game in the hallway when the doorman buzzed me. I brought the kids inside and continued with our nighttime routine/ negotiation. While in the tub my daughter asked who was upstairs. When the noise became louder and I realized my husband was not coming home early to surprise me, I went up to see four police officers standing in my apartment.
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Bad Mommy Strikes Again

September 27, 2010

Every New Years, and about four other times throughout the year, I vow to be more organized. I’ll make a dent in the piles of papers on my desk and file documents in what was once intended to be color coded folders. This lasts about a week.

I’m also a bit of a commitment-phobe. I don’t even have a steady schedule with my babysitters. My husband swears it will make my life easier, but I struggle to bring myself to do it. I had a therapist once force me to commit to a time slot with the understanding that I could change it with 24 hours notice. Surprisingly, I kept most of our sessions. Had he been a better therapist than a) I might still be seeing him and 2) he would have addressed my issues with creating and adhering to a schedule.

Now that my daughter is at pre-school, I’m forced to drop her off and pick her up promptly. The second week I was confused about the pick up time, so, oops, one late day. The following two weeks I anticipated my son waking up in time for us to rush 13 minutes to the school. This plan backfired at least twice leading to one phone call and one scolding by the head of school.
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Another Faux Pas

February 8, 2010

This year for my son’s first birthday I did not invite everyone I knew, just people I liked and friends with children. I had even been debating hosting a party, but how could I refuse the photo op? No surprise, the party evolved into a larger soiree than expected. Since it was for the children and I was hosting at home, I did not sweat it.
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Public Rants

September 15, 2009

Seems like everyone is having meltdowns lately. Well at least some public people are which exonerates us normal folks whose breakdowns are not publicized.

Serena Williams ranted at an umpire’s call and lost match point based on poor decorum. I’m all up for maintaining a sense of dignity when playing a gentleman’s sport. (I’m using the term gentleman despite my Smith education and its masculine inclination to describe well behaved and civil.) While Serena should have been penalized for her outburst she did not deserve to lose the round. The same way that the World Cup revisited its tie breaker rules after a game was won with penalty kicks, the US Open should revise its poor sportsmanship rule. This is of course coming from a mom who does not play tennis and did not have the opportunity to watch the video, although I may go to youtube shortly.

I don’t want to watch the video while the babysitter is making bottles in the other room. Having her work in the open apartment and be able to glance at what I am doing or at least hear sounds from the computer forces me to at least appear productive, hence no youtube or crossword puzzles.

Kanye West stole Taylor Swift’s spotlight at the VMAs Sunday and later went on Leno to apologize. He admited to being drunk that night and responding to Jay’s question said he had not had time to mourn his mom’s passing in November. I never thought I’d have so much in common with a superstar rapper. I know we lost our mom’s in different ways but the tragedy still stings. I miss my mom so terribly. I believe she would be proud of how I am conducting myself professionally and personally.

I know she would delight in my kids and wants to be here for them and for me. But I know she does not *need* to be here. She has given me tools and skills to help me tackle it all. While I am freed from her definitive and sometimes oppressing opinion/ advice, I want her here.

On a recent afternoon I could not get my daughter to sit in the stroller or walk home and I was expecting a visitor. Walking along the river promenade past tables and chairs littered with people who were free at 4:00 in the afternoon I lost my temper. “It’s enough! It’s enough! It’s enough!” I screamed lifting my daughter in my arms. Strangers from every direction put down their books, paused on their computers, interrupted a cell phone call to stare at me. That was plenty of witnesses for me. While it was not a huge deal I’m glad I do not have to answer for that moment or watch it again or cringe knowing my friends could view it on youtube.

Happy Go Lucky

November 20, 2008

My sister has told me that I am one of the more positive upbeat people she knows. Really? Years ago I had self diagnosed myself with a mild case of depression and bipolar disorder with a slight case of ADD. Was it the result of reading too many psychology books or wanting to explain my mood swings?

It’s true, I can be positive and optimistic for other people, but when it comes to me, I can rationalize the positive and think of something on an empirical level but my emotions don’t always follow.

I look back on my life pre-husband and *ALL* of the foolish choices I made when it came to men, and there were many. I’m embarrassed that I let myself be so used, that I put myself out there in vulnerable and compromising positions, that I traded sex for emotional intimacy, that I acted, in hindsight, pathetic. Multiple Times. I’m not proud of where I was, and at times I was okay with the compromises I made, because it was the best available option and brought me closer to what I wanted at that moment. I guess that’s part of the whole growing-up, that’s-where-I-was-at-that-time process.

And I am sure all of the assholes who crossed into my earlier life helped shape me into who I am and made me appreciate the real thing when he came along. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been flashing back to memories of laying beside a guy in bed and snuggling slightly, putting out feelers to see if he was interested in intimacy, waiting for a response. Frustrating. I wish I could go back and tell that girl that I once was, “it doesn’t matter. This guy isn’t worth it. He’s playing games and the more you indulge him in the games, the more he’ll play and the shittier you will feel.”

It’s all in the past and please g-d I won’t have to be in that dating/ courting situation again. I should be happy that I was naive enough not to know any better and blah blah blah.

Disappointing Sex

August 28, 2008

A friend of mine raved about her new boyfriend and just how talented he was in bed. Apparently when he was younger he canoodled with an older woman who trained him.

What a symbiotic relationship: she was able to mold this young energetic kid who was probably eager to please into her personal nymph and he got the guidance and direction that every teenage boy should have.

My friend broke up with him but they remained platonic friends even while she moved in with a new boyfriend and subsequently got engaged. (She then called off the wedding but was actually married last weekend to someone else, but I digress.) My friend did end up connecting me with her ex, the well trained alleged stud in the bed.

One joint led to another one night and I decided to test out the goods. What single lady doesn’t deserve a great fuck? So we meandered into the bedroom with my hopes (among other things) high. I do not know if my friend has had limited sex or I have had a lot or this guy pulled out all of the moves for her (which I doubt because what guy is not going to try his best to impress on the first go around? Readers: thoughts? ) or something, but he did not deliver. He came through, but as for mind-blowing-knock-my-socks-off-I-want-to-come-just-thinking-about-it sex, not so much.

We romped a few more times, each time hoping that some amazing move would emerge. While he did have one or two original (at the time) signature positions, it was certainly nothing amazing. As for the older woman who trained him, maybe she was once a nun.