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Ch-ch-chaanges

Two things happened since I last wrote:

  1. I performed Live Sketch Comedy at a well-known venue.
  2. My daughter pees on toilets now.
  3. I guess also WordPress updated their templates? So the layout for writing posts is different. I know I said “Two things,” but while working on this post, it occurred to me that this specific third item was also remarkable and should be noted: software has changed.

The performance was great. Thrilling to be on stage, but also terrified of getting and spreading Covid, because we had to be unmasked to perform. But it has been over 10 days since the performance, and I think we are okay. The audience laughed, and perhaps most inspiring to me was our stand-up opener was not particularly good, and I thought, “HEY! I should get back into standup.”

The potty training was great too. And by great, I mean an interesting week.
Friday: Excited to wear big girl underwear. No interest in sitting on potty.
Saturday: Fine with wearing big girl underwear. Refusal to sit on toilet. Held pee until a bath Saturday night.
Sunday: Fine with wearing big girl underwear. Screams and tears around sitting on the toilet. “It’s scary!”

Monday night: All tears and screaming and her running to get a diaper, and me refusing to put it on her, and then her trying to put the diaper on herself, and then pee all over the floor and her crying, “LOOK AT THIS MESS! WE HAVE TO CLEAN IT UP!” all within one foot of the toilet. Three times. We were thinking we would get a note from the school saying we should take a break, but we are so grateful they kept up with her. Yesterday at home she told us when she had to pee and was happy to get on the toilet, and this morning too! 

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Letter to My Toddler’s Teacher?

Dear Teacher,

Thank you for all you do! She might have mentioned recently that, “Mommy eats a lot of cookies.” I can explain. They were on sale, and they are chocolate chip.
Also I don’t let her eat any. I thought I was stealthily eating them in the corner, but I think she spotted me when she abruptly stopped playing with Legos and started doing laps around the kitchen counter.

Also she might have mentioned that “Daddy sleeps in the basement.” I can explain. We have ceded our marital bed to her. She sleeps sprawled in the middle, I sleep in the lower right corner, curled on the edge of the bed, and Daddy needs sleep, so he sleeps in the basement sometimes.

And maybe, it’s possible, she has shared that she gets a popsicle after school every day. This is also true. She takes them out of the box herself and presents each of us with one. They are low in sugar and calories, and we like them too. So here we are.

Have we lost control? I would offer that no, we have not technically _lost_ control, because we never really _had_ control.

Also I’m sorry this morning’s drop-off was chaotic. We’ll try harder.

Thank you again!

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Guilt Level – High

My guilt level is off the charts. My kid is sad at school, my parents are sick at their home, and I am riding my Peloton listening for inspiring quotes. Related note: the most inspiring quote I heard was one from Alex Toussaint the other day, which was something along the lines of, “Perform like you are in front of a sold out room.” I love this quote, and I think my mom would too. I have this mindset already most of the time. If you know me in real life, have seen me perform, and are thinking, “Really?” just know that what you have seen is indeed the upper limits of my talents.

Anyway, the other day I resolved that by the time my kid is old enough to be asked the question, “What do your parents do?” my daughter will respond, “My mom tells jokes.” And the person inquiring will respond, “Okay, but what does she really do?” and my kid will say, “She’s a comedian!” I will also accept, “Clown!”

Now that I sit back and think about this goal, I realize it’s telling that I didn’t aspire to be so successful that no one needs to even ask my daughter what I do. For the record, I do aspire to be that successful, but I think it’s good to manage my own expectations.

Back to guilt! So I feel very guilty because the school told my daughter that the reason I cannot come to school with her is that I need to work. And I am not working right now. But I am lying to my daughter about going to work. Every morning I tell her I have to go to work, and that is why I cannot come to drop-off or school. The school specifically recommended I not come to drop off, which has been a good recommendation for all of us.

I also feel guilty because my mom got three bug bites on her palm, and rather than go over and argue with her about letting me help with my dad, I stayed home, and I opened the washing machine dryer, I took out pants and a shirt, and then closed the dryer door and walked away. I left the clean laundry in there! Then I walked downstairs, and I took one clean plate out of the dishwasher with the clean plates to have a piece of cake, and then I closed that dishwasher, full of clean dishware. I felt really bad about that too.

Is this self-care? It feels kind of awful.

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School Drop-off 4

Yesterday after school she said she liked school and she caught the rain! She seemed shaky but genuinely better than the day before.
This morning she woke up and said, “I don’t like school.” And then holding back tears, she said, “I don’t want to go to school.”
The holding back tears is the hardest to see, hear, and feel inside.

David held her for a while too as she continued to tell us that there are too many kids on the playground and school is hard. Then David drove her to school on his own because the school thought that would be better than both of us coming. The director recommended we get her there earlier so she could setting in with the kids, and so we did this morning. And in retrospect we thought we should have done that on day one too, so she could watch the other kids come in and not be the last person joining an established group.

When we pick her up, we bombard her with questions about school, and now I completely understand why parents do this. A while ago my sister was complaining that my mom kept asking her what she had for lunch. “I had a sandwich, mom! I mean who cares!?” But I totally get it. I don’t care what my sister had for lunch, but I want to know EXACTLY what my daughter had for lunch, how it tasted, how much she ate, where she ate it, who she sat next to, what it was wrapped in, what she drank, what utensils she used. I WANT TO KNOW IT ALL! I want to know what they talked about at circle time, what they did for play, what the library looks like, who the other kids are, what they are like, whether they poop in school, if diapers are changed standing up, truly no detail is too small for me.

Right now we ask how school was, and she thinks really hard, and then replies through her wet eyelashes, “Good!” But then she looks off to the distance and looks back and says, “I cried a lot.”

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School Drop-off 3

The school director this morning shared that she had been crying all day for the past two days.

We were like, “Oh, you mean, for a while after drop-off? Or like the morning?” and she replied, “No, all day. The teachers remind her to breath, she breathes, and then she starts crying again.”

We suspected as much, but it still did not feel great.
I really did not expect school to go this way. Part of me thought the school would tell us she was so advanced they would move her up to the older class, and I would feign modesty.

Anyway, the director shared that this is the first time she is not getting what she wants, and it is very difficult.
“What does she want?” I asked.
“You two.”

Today at pickup her voice still sounded hoarse, but she seemed more cheery. So we are hoping it’s getting better. And she told me she liked school, she played, and she caught the rain, which was great, because this morning she kept repeating, “I don’t like school!”

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School! School.

TODAY IS THE SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL.

She had been excited about going to school, because we have been talking about school for months. On the playground one day, a kid on the swing next to her told her he was going to school, and she excitedly replied, “I going to school too!” Also, Daniel Tiger goes to school.

So yesterday morning in bed, I said, “You know what today is?” and she sleepily replied, “School.”
She told me she would be taking Baby Yoda and lunch box to school. (Her water bottle is a Baby Yoda water bottle.)
I had laid out her outfit for the day, and she said, “Not this one, this one,” picking out a dress. She also went and selected different socks. She hugged Minnie Mouse, and said, “Oh Minnie, you’re so sleepy!” (This Minnie Mouse stuffed doll is asleep at all times.)

Downstairs, David said, “Let’s pick out your shoes!” This was a mistake, because none of the shoes she likes are school appropriate. Negotiations ensued, and finally she put on sneakers with Velcro straps. She has a pair of sneakers in size 5, 5.5, 7, and I think she’s actually a size 6 right now. She wore the size 5.5 shoes. We took a family picture, got in the car, I put sunscreen on her, and we headed to school. We are supposed to drive up to the gate, and take her out of the car. As I was unbuckling her, she softly said, “I’m scared, mommy.” It took a lot for me to say, “You don’t have to be scared, you are brave,” and not, “I’M SCARED TOO!” and start crying. She didn’t start crying though! She took the school principle’s hand and walked to the gate to join her classmates.

Then David and I drove home, teary eyed. We went to Coscto, bought her a giant toy, came home, I exercised, and then at 2:45 pm we received a “Day in the Life” email where the first paragraph said, “Practice self soothing skills while crying at home. I had her focus on taking a deep breath in and exhale and that helped her calm down.” To which David and I both thought, “We need to go get her immediately.”
Pickup was at 3:30 pm, and we spotted her in the playground clinging to one of the teachers. The teacher walked her to us and said, “She missed you a lot.” She definitely seemed shaken, and her eyelashes were wet. In the car she told me, “I cried a lot.” At home when she cries, she tells me, “I cried a little, better now.” This was the first time she said she cried a lot.

This morning, she calmly said, “Come to school mommy,” and I explained I couldn’t. I shared that parents weren’t allowed at school, because it was an opportunity to learn and to make friends. Then she thoughtfully nodded, and said, “Mommy, come to school.” This discussion continued for a few minutes. We got dressed for school, with her picking out an ensemble that does not match at all. Then we headed downstairs for breakfast, and she put on her size 7 sneakers.

Then it started, “I don’t want to go to school.” “I don’t like school!” “School is hard!” “NO!”
We got into the car, and I applied sunscreen (and she helped) and then she said, “Lion King songs.” She loves the Lion King music. “Bad Lion song,” she asked to hear this morning, which is fine, because we have heard “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and “Hakuna Matata” a lot.
When we needed to take her out of the car, there was another kid screaming and crying that he did not want to go to school, and our daughter began the waterworks! “Did you work on her breathing?” the teacher asked, and I shared we did. She clung tightly and screamed, “I DON’T LIKE SCHOOL!” The teacher asked if she told me they did yoga yesterday, and I said, “Oh! No! She didn’t!” But blog, guess what, my daughter HATES yoga even more than I do. This isn’t even a dislike I have told my daughter about. Every time I try to do yoga or engage her in it, she said, “No no no,” and walks away.
In my head, I was like “Ugh, really? No wonder she hates school.”

Finally I put her down and ran toward the car, as David helped pass her to the teacher. It was difficult, and I did not like it, and I hope she’s okay.

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It’s April now

I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but I would describe motherhood as being exhausted and in love – all the time. And I’ve always have a questionable relationship with time, but now I see it even more as an abstract concept. My child is growing, hesarta mashala, and my parents are, I don’t want to use the word withering, but their bodies are not able to keep up with the love and spirit they still have.

EDIT: I wrote this in April and never published it, because it was incomplete. But I’m publishing now (August) and picking a random April date to publish it.

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Uh, another update I guess

It’s January 18 already. My goodness. I think my previous post was pre-January 6. A simpler time? No. A complicated time. Now it’s just _more_ complicated.
Our neighbors used to have a blue line flag on their porch, and on January 8 I noticed it wasn’t up anymore. I originally thought they took it down because they realized it was potentially a hate symbol, or at least carried by people full of hate. But now I wonder if they took it down because they needed it for the rally!

If something happens to me suddenly, I need David to know I loved him deeply. Even though we’ve had several arguments these past couple weeks, I’m so lucky to have him. I still listen to love song lyrics and think of David. “Oh, this is love, love, love, love, precious love,” or “You want me, I want you, baby, My sugarboo, I’m levitating.”

Edit: I wrote this on January 18 and never published it, because it was incomplete. Publishing now.

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New Year Resolution: PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER

This year has been an interesting one, because it started bad and then got worse. I don’t want to list how we were fortunate this year, however, because the last time I wrote about being happy, my dad had a stroke. Am I saying I jinxed us? YES. YES I AM.
Did I cause the worldwide pandemic with that post? No. I’m not a crazy person.

It’s been over a year since my dad had his stroke, and I have learned some things that I want people to know:

1) Get Power of Attorney over your parents while they’re still of sound mind. It’ll make things a lot easier.
2) Find out your parents’s email passwords and phone passwords. When people are in a hospital, and you need to log in to check on the payment status of a bill, double authentication is going to be a nightmare without these things.
3) Medicare is fine, but Medicare Supplemental is necessary and you should get a quality plan while still healthy.
4) Doctors are just guessing a lot of time.

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Her First Word

Her first word was really “no.” She says “Na na na na” and waves you off to reject whatever you have offered her that she does not care for. She started this around 10-11 months.

Her second word is “duck.” She whispers it once and does not repeat it. We only know this because we have independently experienced this phenomenon at 14 months and one week.

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