DIZMOMMY > May 2015

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May 27, 2015

Killing The Dino - Mom Skillzzz

Worst case scenarios were taking me over as my toddler's voice cut through the air with piercing screams. It was 10 o'clock at night and I was just about to get in the shower when something caused my normally solid sleeper to lose it. I threw down the towel and shouted at my husband, "Do you think he’s having a seizure!?!?" With no history of such, it was farfetched. And though the theory didn’t make sense, my imagination will run with anything it can recall reading about…once. 

I bolted to Dylan’s room and found him standing in his crib (yes, he’s 2 and still contained), screaming himself blue. I picked him up and began patting his sweaty back through his shirt. Does he have a fever? I wondered. “It’s okay honey, shhh, mommy’s here. It’s okay.” I offered as he sobbed uncontrollably, covering my shoulder with snot. I sat down on his couch and continued patting his trembling, sweaty body. I’d never seen him so literally shaken up before. “Why are you crying boo boo? What’s wrong?” He pushed himself up from my chest and tried to catch his breath, staring at me with pouty, quivering lips before whimpering, “I killed the dino.” 

…uh, huh? I wasn’t understanding. “What did you do?”  
“Mommy!!! I killed the dino.” He mournfully repeated, as if confessing to some grave offense. Yeah, that’s not creepy. I didn’t even realize he knew the term “kill” or how to properly use it. Obviously I'm on top of things. Still, I clarified, "You killed the dino?” 
“YES! Mommy kill the dino too.” Great, now I’m involved?! 

But I had a feeling we weren’t the ones doing the killing. You see, Dylan specializes in backwards talk. When his shoes are too tight on his massive fat feet, he says they're "too big." So my assumption? The dino killed us...in a nightmare of course. Trauma alert! So I did my very best to explain that it was all a dream, that everything was okay, and once I was finally able to calm him down enough to put him back to bed, I confirmed he didn’t have a fever and peace'd out of there.

He slept through the night without a hitch and everything seemed to be fine until it was bedtime the following day. Suddenly we were back in a tizzy, as Dylan begged, "No bed! No Mommy! I killed the dino!” Ugh. After fifteen minutes of comfort and repetitive assurance that there would be no more dinos, he calmed down enough to go to bed. And the next day, same thing…and the next day…and the next day…until a week passed and now I've added dino hunting to our bedtime routine, as he insists he “show the dinos” that are in his bed. 

We’re on week two of dino madness and it’s becoming more and more apparent that what started as a traumatic dream is now an elaborate scheme to avoid going to sleep. And as much as I want to tell the kid put a sock in it, I respect his cleverness too much to dismiss him. I mean, he has figured out how to channel a distressing event into an advantageous tool, after all. (THAT'S MY BOY!)

So yes, I clear the room for dinos and trick King Tricky into thinking his bedtime has been delayed...but the jokes on him- boyfriend can’t read a clock! We've been going to bed earlier than ever because the only thing that's killing anything around here are my parenting skills. I'm Queen of scheme here, son. 

May 15, 2015

How to Survive the Terrible Twos: Mombie Mode

Sometimes I’m a mom and other times I’m a mombie. Though I have some experience in drowning out incessant noise (a skilled learned from growing up with four sisters), the mombie performance is a new and critical survival tactic for me as Dylan ventures through terrible twodom. Activating mombie mode is easy. There’s no full moon required, I need not be bitten by a fellow mombie (though being bitten by the child will trigger a transformation), and there’s no pathogen causing the non-communicative, unemotional, distant gazing mom I mutate into. The mombie culprit? Toddlers. Specifically when: 

There’s no way out. Like when I’m driving home with Mr. Sunshine in the backseat and he suddenly comes down with a loud case of Goldilocks Syndrome. The straps to his carseat are too tight, too loose, and are never ever, ever just right. Screams and whines from the backseat ensue. ZONE OUT ACTIVATED

There’s no reasoning. It’s time to eat but the food is too hot- a major offense to my wittle big boy. And instead of blowing on the dish or patiently waiting for the meal to cool, loud pangs of dissatisfaction are spewed, food is tossed on the floor, and cries for the dejected “yum yum” on the tile are made. Meal time zombie mommy. 

There’s no explanation. The child wants up, now he wants down. And in both instances, he’s pissed. The more pissed off my toddler gets, the less I’m able to understand. My husband looks to me, “What’s wrong with him?” I stare, I grunt, and I shrug my shoulders, defeated. Full blown mombie. 

Nothing works. I’ve mastered the art of diversion- practically a parenthood requisite…but it’s far from bulletproof. I only have so many tricks in my Mary Poppins bag and though I’m willing to scrape its bottom, sometimes nothing works. Like when the memory of a donut surfaces in my toddler’s mind and he wont let it go- I’m done. I don’t have any donuts kid. Does it look like Mombie cares? 

Being a mombie is me being the best mom I can be in the moment. Non-reactive, unemotional, with one single purpose driving me to keep moving forward. And if you think that’s scary, you should see the alternative- she’s a real monster. But based upon my assessment of equally distressed children I’ve witnessed in public places, I can confirm that there are many mombies amongst us. Even dad-ombies. (Only the name for them is less cute.)

May 12, 2015

Moms At Parks: Can't You See We're Friends?

I don't want to be a helicopter mom but honestly, I have no choice. My kid makes me. I recently read a blog post all about helicopter moms ruining the park experience for non-choppers, written by a fellow mother and writer. And though I never actually considered myself a helicopter parent, by her "2 kinds of park parents" definition, I definitely fit the bill, seeing as I am the mom on the gym equipment who goes to the park and plays with her kid, as opposed to partaking in my own adult play date- like her. 

Though it does sound amazing! I would LOVE to play bench warmer…but my 2 year old won't have it. I try. "Mom, get off the seat, come here! Get down!" He barks, tugging at my leg once my ass finally meets the seat. "Ugh," I internally dread. I’d much rather catch up on my separate existence for a bit, and I’d so prefer to observe his activities from afar, but no. I'm the fun mom whose participation is demanded. Why can’t my presence be enough? I’m jealous of you, benchy. 

You see, Dads are usually thought to be the fun parent. Dads are the wild, the rough, the eternal children. But in my family, I'm that fool. And it's all fun and games until you're being dragged off the bench by a two year old following a full-day of work at the office because your son wants to put sand down your shirt. 

But so you know, bench warming momma, I'm not watching your kid. At all. You don’t have to worry about me judging you because I couldn't careless about your child testing her boundaries. If she falls, that's on you girlfriend. I let my kid fall all the time without acknowledging it. Okay that's not true, I usually laugh before pointing out the obvious, “Did you fall?” HAHAHAAHAH! 

It must be nice to sit around at the park, shooting the shit with other moms like yourself, while I run up and down participating in tot activities. But before you judge me for my involvement, just know that the only way I can get through said activities is to get into them. So yeah, I have fun. And yes, you'll see me acting like a 2 year old, roaring down slides and coaxing my son to "just come!" across the bridge. But you need not worry about my involvement hindering my kid’s social skills. He’s got skills, trust me. He's in preschool from 8 am-3:30 pm 5 days a week. He even has a steady girlfriend that he kisses goodbye each day (what up Annabelle)! So when we are at the park together, he wants to play with his mom. He thinks I'm fun. And you know who else thinks I'm fun? YOUR KID. 

Your kid starts out watching us, curiously feeling me out and deciding whether I'm a threat, a freak, or just an oversized kid.* She slowly inches near us and before I know it, I’m playing with your kid, too. The only reason I keep looking up to eye for her parent is because I don’t want you to think I’m some sick predator hitting your kid up. 

So let’s do each other a favor and show a little more acceptance. I’m not trying to ruin your park experience by playing amongst the children, and I’m certainly not judging your position on the bench. I’m actually envious of your mini-break, lord knows we all need one. So don’t judge me, either. For whatever reason, kids think I’m fun and they won’t get off my back until I’m on it, pretending to fall down. Entertaining your kid wasn't part of the plan but it certainty kept them out of your hair, didn't it? So you’re welcome. You and I are actually better friends than you think. So save me a spot? 

*I’m all three.

May 4, 2015

Modern Survival Tools - Mom Edition

He refused to get off the ground. My toddler was kicking, screaming, and publicly broadcasting that somehow, by not taking him directly to the park after work, I was abusing him. We were twenty-feet away from the front door but actually entering the house was looking more like an insurmountable quest that would take up to a week. I felt my neighbors’ eyes on me but refused to look up. I didn't have the patience to be judged and I certainly didn't have the patience to be a hero today, I was tapped out of problem solving. 

So I picked my two-year old up, thrashing body and all, put on my best Zen face and remained stoic through the hair pulling and limb wielding tantrum, unlocked the door, entered the house, and immediately put the kid in his room and shut the door before heading into my own space for two separate but much needed timeouts. And then I asked myself, “What if I’m not cut out for motherhood?” 

My threshold for shitty behavior had surpassed the cap and any confidence in my ability to rear a child had been deflated. The super mom I wanted and thought I would end up being was up in smoke. FINE. I accepted it. And honestly? What a relief. In that moment I lost both the cape and the pressure of being supermom. 

And I’m not the only parent that has locked themselves in a room and wondered how other moms and dads do it, questioning whether they’re even cut out for this parenting gig. I know this because two women wrote a book on it! And not just a book, but a survival guide for all of us appropriately titled: Lose the Cape. It’s my new favorite reference for realistic parenting and is truly a survival guide for the modern parent. From new mom problems like “To Boob or Not To Boob,” to strains associated with “The Spouse Factor, Lose the Cape is packed with valuable advice, comedic relief and legit issues parents deal with, fully equip with the tips and tools needed to tackle them. 

Though I wish this book existed back when I was pregnant, now that it has been written and is available on Amazon (literally just released April 26!), it’s my official baby shower gift for expecting parents and my go-to gift for struggling-to-be-it-all parents that are just like me (and you). And with mother’s day approaching, it is the absolute PERFECT gift to bestow on your fellow mom. If you really want to do yourself or your fellow parent a favor, help them Lose The Cape

It's worth mentioning that I didn't get compensated in any way to say any of this. But if you want to know more about the authors of the book, visit their blogs: Alexa Bigwarfe  and Kerry Rivera