Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sharper

How do the Buddhists do it?

How do you maintain the awareness of all you have to be grateful for? Last night, around 1:00 a.m., about the fifth time in an hour that the Girl woke me up, I lost all sense of perspective. I stood there, in the middle of her room, exhausted, knowing that I should be deliriously happy ... because she was healthy enough to keep waking me up, because she was not lost at sea after a horrible disaster, because she doesn't do this every single night like she did when she was a baby ... and all I wanted was to go. to. sleep!*!$!! Such are the limitations of the human heart, I guess. Or else I just suck.

*******

After another political ... "disagreement" ... with my mother, I growled in exasperation, rolled my eyes, and said to the Girl, who was running around under foot, "Honey! Repeat after me: Democrat in 2008!"

The Girl: Blank stare.

"Ok," I said, "How about just 'No more Bush!'?"

The Girl: Blank stare.

"[SB]!" my mother snapped, "Don't go putting words into the child's mouth. She can't even tell you what she thinks."

The Girl: Blank stare.

"Sure she can," I said. "Can't you, sweetie? Tell Grammy what you think."

The Girl: "NO MORE BUSH!"

Sniff.

***********

For someone who used to be the epitome of "shy"--I'm talking glasses-fogging, knee-shaking, nail-biting, whispered-word shy--I'm pretty thick skinned. I really don't care too much what people think of me, I have no problems with speaking up in a crowd, cocktail parties only scare me if they run out of vodka, and even being left for another woman hasn't dampened my confidence in my ability to be ignored by men. (See? I'm not even afraid to make really stupid jokes.) Heck, I figure, I know I'm a dork, and some people like me anyway, so hey--either you will or you won't, but why should I get all in a lather about it? Except when it comes to one social group:

Other mothers.

Dear lord, why do other mothers--specifically the mothers of the Boy's classmates--make me feel like a junior high girl again? I always end up feeling completely inadequate--because I'm divorced, or because of the Boy's behavioral challenges, or because I work, or because I eat stinky cheese--I don't get it. I HATE feeling this way. And it's absolutely ludicrous! And I don't even think it's them, I really don't! I think it's time for my bi-annual return to therapy. I spent 10 minutes today going through the class directory trying to figure out if I was the only single mom in his class! What is WITH that?

5 comments:

Laura said...

I'm so like that with other mothers, because I work, because I work at a college, because I can never remember when the parties are or the after-school activities. I don't judge other parents based on their kids or their jobs, but for some reason, I expect the other parents to be judging me. It's so weird. I do realize that I don't have a lot in common with some of the other mothers. Maybe that's why.

Anonymous said...

CM here...OK, I have to defend you here...How dare you feel inadequate around other mothers? You are the BEST mother I know and you do all you do for your kids despite--and maybe BECAUSE OF--all the challenges of the psychotic divorce episode and the behavior extremes and the workload dumped on you at your job. You LOVE your kids, you make it to the school functions and carve out time to volunteer, and you somehow MAKE it through everything that every day throws at you. I'm constantly amazed at your capacity to handle all the stuff and still be a wonderful, human parent. Don't beat on yourself--LOVE that you are THERE! You might not have much in common with the SAH moms who dress in those natty sweats outfits and give the dumb candle in addition to the group gift...but if they are good, human parents, they will look at you and MARVEL at how you cope and give and make your kids' world better.

Psycho Kitty said...

GM: Exactly! I honestly don't feel judgemental unless obvious harm is being done to a child, and then I'm not so much judgemental as insanely furious. Well, at least it's nice to know it isn't just me!

Chica! You commented! I would be so screwed if I didn't have you for a friend. I'm just saying.

Krupskaya said...

We need to get our kids together in the same school NOW, so we can not judge or be judged by the Other Moms. I always feel like I'm in junior high, too, when I pick John up from kindergarten. Lack of makeup? Lefty views? General idea of the world around me beyond the county line? Could be. Or just being a little different. That's always the killer.

Psycho Kitty said...

Krup, I have to tell you that the other day the Boy was being especially rowdy (something to do with Ninja Turtles, I believe) and I actually found myself thinking, "See, now, I bet John would be ok with this..."