“Did I shave today? No, no I did not.”
“Did I shave today? No, no I did not.”
When I was a brand, spanking new blogger, I pitched an idea to NickMom and patiently waited for a response. Then I got one: A BIG FAT NO. That’s the thing about being a writer, you hear lots of “nos” all the time. I would venture to say we hear more nos than we do yes, but this particular no really bummed me out because I loved the site and wanted a spot on their contributor list.
So I boo-hooed for awhile, and planned on never pitching an idea to NickMom again. But recently I got a little inspiration from another writer that “no” really means “not now.” I love this idea: “no” really means “not now.” So I submitted another idea, NickMom said yes, and I did a roundhouse kick in the air and landed in a split because I was so stinking happy.
Well hey there, friend! Are you new around here? Did you wander on over after seeing my TLCme Life Hacks webseries or catch one of my appearances on the Today Show? Great, I like you already! We love new people over here at Questionable Choices in Parenting. Let me give you a quick tour.
I’m Amanda: Candy Land loser, yoga pants enthusiast, a mom of two, Life Hacks Expert, a Lifestyle/Mom/Family writer and personality. You’ll find a lot of my life hacks and parenting tips posts here or over at my other site AmandaMushro.com. You can see some of my TV appearances here!
Something important to note: I’m all about fun. Even if that means turning myself into a turkey for morning TV!
So stop and stay awhile! Check out my TLC webseries or check the Can You Hack Motherhood tab for my very best life hacks. If you want to giggle, click on the Laughs tab and check out some of my funniest posts. If you want something a little more heart warming, check out the Family tab.
I already know that I wear my heart on my sleeve; I just wasn’t aware that I also wear every single emotion on my face too.
“How are you doing?” seems like a simple pleasantry between two people. But this was a loaded “How are you doing?” and not in the Joey from Friends “How you doin’?” kinda way, but in a “Are you OK?”
In the fall, my boy will be headed off to kindergarten and today I’m at kindergarten orientation registering him as a new student. I thought I had my emotions in check, but I caught the eye of the principal mere moments of entering the school.
“How are you doing?” she cautiously asked.
I consider giving the polite answer of “I’m fine, wonderful, excited, thrilled!” but in that moment, when she and I are eye to eye, I know she’s on to me.
“I’m…” I continue, “I’m going to try to keep it together today.”
“But they haven’t even gotten to school yet! You’ll be fine.”
In my attempts to hold back a sob, I answered with a too forced “Sure.”
So what was it that gave me away, Mrs. Principal?
Was it my eyes? Did they defy me with the telltale signs that I was crying in the shower this morning?
Could you sense that I had been punched in the stomach when I pulled up to your lovely little school?
Could you see on my face that even though I’m standing in a school that parents and students love, that is surrounded by a neighborhood that people flock to simply to attend your school, a school that has artwork and student achievements wallpapering the walls, that I’m searching hard to find something I don’t like.
Could you sense the dull pain in my chest? The pain from realizing that in a few short months I will be putting my heart on a big, yellow bus and I’ll wave and wave until I can’t see him and just like that, he’s off to school.
Let me assure you, Mrs. Principal that my boy, he will be fine. He will walk the halls of your big school and he will show everyone how smart, kind, funny and sweet he is. He’s so sweet he’ll rot your teeth and he’s so funny, he’ll make every teacher laugh. He’ll make friends and he’ll be JUST FINE, more than fine. So really all of this, this face I must be carrying today, it’s really about me.
It’s about me all excited and wistful and scared all in one at kindergarten orientation. It’s me chiding myself for being so emotional and knowing my Mom friends will have a field day with me when I recount this ridiculous interaction between you and me.
But I just can’t help it and apparently, can’t hide it either. So I will watch your presentation, be befuddled by the carpool, nod quietly when you show us the playground, and try my best to not make an audible sounds of distaste when I see the “kindergarten hall”
Because, after all, Mrs. Principal, in a few months you and I will see each other in the hallways for parties and PTA meetings, and I can assure you I won’t be crying then. And maybe in a few years, when I make this kindergarten orientation trip for my daughter, I won’t be crying. Probably, I will probably be crying.
So you and I might be right back here, and you can assure me it will all be OK and I’ll believe you.
My to-do list has about 357 things for me to accomplish today. The only way I am going to get it all done is if I move at warp speed and drink three more cups of coffee. The problem is, I already know I will be slowed down by my boy.
I usually call him my Poky Little Puppy because even though I struggle every day to not eat his cute face, that man moves at a snail’s pace—-ridicilous. I wrote about me being a fast moving mamma and my boy taking his sweet time and it’s on Huff Post Parents today– I know, fancy right? Click here and be magically transported over to read How my Little Boy Has Slowed Me Down
What does a toenail, a car battery, and an expensive vet bill all have in common? Well, friends, that’s exactly what my husband got for the celebration of his birth this year.
Before we had kids, birthdays were a really big deal for the two of us. Now our birthdays are celebrated in between hockey and dance classes with a crappy cake from the grocery store. But this year would be different, I was going to plan a fabulous birthday dinner for my husband (read: get a babysitter and make reservations). But we know what happens to our best laid plans…
Five minutes before our babysitter was set to show up for my husband’s big birthday date night, I giggled that I was signing his birthday card with a broken crayon and was really feeling guilty that I couldn’t come up with a good gift for him. Eh, at least I had reservations to a fancy new restaurant and would make out with him after dinner. That would totally make up for my crayon scribbled card and lack of an inventive gift, right?
Just as I put the last xo on his card, I heard the running footsteps and the panicked cries of my son, “Mommy, come quick. Suggie is hurt!”
Racing downstairs, I ran every scenario over in my head. Maybe our old dog got into a fight with that creep poodle across the street, or maybe that Yorkie from three houses down finally got revenge for all the time Suggie pees in his yard. When I hit the bottom steps I found what can only be described as a horror movie: blood up and down the staircase. It could’ve been a scene from The Walking Dead (minus the zombies and Daryl)
Her toenails had gotten too long and when she was running up the stairs, one got caught in the carpet and………. *shivers*
You would think after having two kids and several undesirable situations with bodily fluids I could handle this from my dog, but then you would be totally wrong because I was feeling woozy and was going down for the count. My husband had an injured dog in his arms, was blocking kids from the bloody mess with his body, and used his foot to prop me up from sliding down the stairs. And they say men don’t multi-task.
Aaron carried a towel wrapped Suggie out to his car and I ran after them clutching tissues and credit cards knowing both would be put to good use at the after hours emergency vet. But I stalled when I opened the door to Aaron’s car.
There wasn’t a single goldfish cracker anywhere. How could anything we own not contain at least one goldfish cracker? At this point, I just assumed the kids shed the fish like skin.
“Babe!” Aaron barked from the back, “Let’s go!”
When I turned the key, the car sputtered and faltered.
I tried again. Sputter, sputter, sputter, silence.
The battery is dead. The battery in the freaking car is dead. Of course it is.
New plan: get into my car, spend a small fortune at the emergency vet, call AAA, spend another small fortune, drink LOTS of wine when we return home.
We handed over a sad injured dog and the emergency vet returned our gal to us looking like this:
I’ve heard that after a while dogs and their owners start to look alike. Here is Suggie all hopped up on pain meds. Oddly enough, this is exactly what I look like after drinking a bottle of wine!
While waiting for the AAA guy to install a new battery in the middle of the night, I helped myself to the wine I planned on sharing with Aaron. Because nothing says “I love you, birthday boy!” like your wife lulled to sleep on the couch after inhaling a half a bottle of pino grigo.
So this birthday celebration was an epic fail, but Suggie is on the mend, I’ve promised Aaron a do-over birthday, and to think, I was worried I wouldn’t have a gift for him. However, there are no returns on the black toe nail and car battery.
Night after night I would watch the honest and brave women walk up to a microphone and share their stories of motherhood. I would laugh and cry with them and say over and over “Me too!” Watching the videos for past Listen to Your Mother shows inspired me to be brave enough to share my own story. I agonized which piece to read, made edits–then took those edits out–and added a few more changes, and took the plunge and auditioned for the Washington DC cast. Weeks later I was pacing the floors refreshing my email every three seconds until the email came from the producer Kate–“You’re in!”
Honestly, I cried and let out a scream that sent the dog racing out of the room (very fitting–you’ll see in the video). Then I panicked. My piece was my usual humor and parenting fail post and so many pieces I had watched online were so heart wrenching and brutally honest. What if my reading didn’t add up to those women sharing such personal stories?
My fears of not measuring up were put at ease when the director Stephanie told the cast how each of our stories served the greater purpose of telling an entire story and taking the audience on a ride full of ups and downs, tears and laughter, sympathy and empathy, and the perfect blend of motherhood.
I love this show. I love the women in this show with me. I love Stephanie and Kate for choosing me. I love this story. And I love that I get to share Listen to Your Mother with you.
While you won’t need the tissues for this reading, I hope it makes you laugh and you watch the videos of the DC cast and the other cities!
Having a sick kid is the worst, but trying to get an appointment at the pediatrician’s office that doesn’t run into lunch, nap, school pick up, or a time that has you waiting in the “sick kid” section of the waiting room longer than you were in labor with your sick kid, means you better get those fingers ready and dial the pediatrician’s office the second they open up!
Your turn! Share when you were feeling the pressure!