Monday, September 30, 2013

Names and Faces

As soon as she could voice an opinion, Gumball did.

Immediately, she renamed herself. At Disney, she was "Gator Gumball." Ride attendants and staff would call her "Princess," and my dear Gumball would scowl and say, "I'm NOT Princess. I'm Gator Gumbo!" In the absolute most offended, indignant way possible.

Now she is "Tractor Dump Truck." She recently told me that her name is actually Tractor Garbage Truck Dump Truck." Sometimes she corrects me when I call her by her given name.

Funny enough, or not, that's also what she wants to be for Halloween. A garbage truck. How do I make a garbage truck costume that my opinionated daughter will wear?

My little baby Gumball started pre-preschool this fall. She has bravely spent 12 hours a week with 9 other kids. She is the youngest in the class, and so shy and quiet. My heart breaks leaving her each day, but the time apart has been good for the both of us. I've enjoyed learning how to can, and then canning every goddamn thing in sight. Grocery shopping alone is wonderful and uplifting. On Fridays, I've even started horseback riding lessons. Riding a horse makes me feel fully alive. I love it so much.

I broke up with the nicest man ever. He cried three times in eleven dates. I couldn't take it. I felt like I had to be strong all the time, and the pressure was too much for me. I don't want a knight on a white horse. I'm not waiting to be rescued. I cannot take on that sort of responsibility. But he was awfully sweet.

The sweetest smelling man/boy ever has gone away. His absence hurts my heart. It really fucked me up when he told me that he loved me. I give my love freely, but never lightly. For him, "love" means something more like, "I think you're a cool person. Sort of. And I like you, a little bit, for the moment." I miss his smell, his backrubs, the way I felt in his arms, and the freeness I felt in his presence. But his selfish, immature ways, his childish cruelty, and his need to be with every woman he meets is just too much for me. He is toxic for me, but I miss him daily.  


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pessimism

Tonight, we had a family meeting at Gumball's school. I wonder how many years it will take before I can introduce myself as Gumball's mom, without shrinking inside over the empty space where I should be introducing her dad. It hurts.

I'm feeling pessimistic.

Crabby.

Exhausted.

Lonely.

Men are endlessly disappointing, even when my expectations are lowered. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Loving

I've gone on many dates this summer. With several different kind, intelligent, unique, beautiful men.

Yes, men. No women. Why? No reason. No women wrote me back on the online dating sites. Disappointing, but out of my control.

With the first days of September already passing by, and Gumball with all of 12 hours of pre-pre-school under her tiny, little belt, I feel like summer is over. And with it, my carefree summer days and nights of hand-holding, first kisses, dirty texts, getting to know each other, long emails, and late night phone calls.

I met two particularly lovely men. Each with gorgeous souls. Each one perfect on his own. If I could combine them, I would have the perfect man for me. I think. Perfect. The one: tender, arrogant, wide-eyed, childish, impractical, obstinate, selfish, thoughtless, loving, filled with curiosity and wonder. He smells like sunshine, and his kisses make me melt. He doesn't want to date, just wants to be with whomever he chooses. And apparently, he chooses a lot. The other: considerate, kind, thoughtful, raw, messy, playful, giving, funny, hurting, lovely... and the best daddy-figure I've seen. Yes, daddy-ness factors in, somehow, some where. I don't know what weight to give it, or how to think of it, but I know that I want my Gumball to have a mom who is happy and fulfilled in a relationship, and I want her to have a father-figure someday. Shouldn't I be the one to provide her with the best life possible? Doesn't that include two parents? He wants to date me, and brings me flowers and beer. He writes me poems, and rubs my feet. But he is still a mess about his ruined marriage, and I feel like if I leaned on him, he would collapse. And yet...

At this point, I feel unsure about what it is that I want. Unsure about how to proceed.

God, somedays I feel like a failure as a parent, and a failure as a person.

I know what I would do if I was 25 and child free. I think know what I'd do if I were 45. But now? I don't know what to do. I'm scared that I've met the most perfect man for me, and may be about to let him go. Or not? I don't know.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Re-entry: Taking it One Stupid Question at a Time

A. What are your favorite smells?
B. Can you go a whole day without caffeine?
C. Who knows more about you than anyone else?
D. What song did you last listen to?
E. Do you have a crush on anybody?
F. Do you like The Beatles?
G. If you could choose one color to wear for a whole year, what color would you choose?
H. Do you cook often?
I. What was the last film you watched? Did you like it?
J. Can you sew?
K. What is your favorite fruit?
L. Are you health conscious?
M. Go do the Kinsey scale test, what number result did you receive?
N. Do you curse a lot?
O. When was the last time you had a pint of beer?
P. Are you pro life or pro choice?
Q. Is there a certain food you often crave for no reason?
R. What was the last book you purchased?
S. Where was your last vacation?
T. Do you shave your pits?
U. Did you ever play seven minutes in heaven?
V. Girls, when was the last time you went out without a bra?
W. Guys, when was the last time you went shirtless in public?
X. Have you ever broken a bone? If so, how did it happen?
Y. How do you like your eggs?
Z. What was your last argument about and who with?


A friend reminded me that I haven't been writing much. It's good to be missed, and I needed the reminder. She said something about answering questions, and that sounded like an easy way to get my mind back into writing. So here I am.

Summer is always busy for me. I have this irrepressible urge, that all Northerners know, to spend every sunny moment outside. If it's warm, and sunny, I'm probably near water. As naked as public standards allow, glistening with sunscreen and (probably) bacon fat, and chasing my half naked kid around, holding her bathing suit bottoms and screaming, "Gumball, STOP! Mama said stop!"

Kid, summer, trips, friends, dates, gardening, and cooking. It's been a joyous summer.

A. My favorite smells: my daughter's head, freshly mowed grass, the ocean, and Marc Jacob's Lola.

B. Caffeine: I regularly go entire days with no caffeine. I like coffee, but caffeine doesn't like me to sleep. As it turns out, I am very sensitive to caffeine. Give me a delicious iced coffee (double skim, 1/2 decaf) and I'm the life of the goddamned party. As long as you like sweaty fools.

C. Who knows me the best: I'm an open book. I don't feel a lot of shame about my choices. I try to live with a clear conscience and clear heart. I think quite a few people know me very well, but my mom knows me the best.

D. I last listened to "Dancing Queen" by Abba, bc I'm trying to load CDs into iTunes as I write.

E. Do I have a crush on anybody? For fucks sake. I'm 38. I have crushes on everybody!

F. I prefer the Stones to the Beatles.

G. If I had to wear one color for a year, it would be black. Simply bc it would be very hard to match colors. Non matching colors drive me crazy. Plus- I'd always look more dressed up than anyone else.

H. Do I cook often? Yes. Constantly. I love cooking. It's one of the ways I express myself.

I. The last film I watched was "World's End." I loved it. It's hysterical and dark and sweet.

J. Can I sew? Depends on your definition of "sew." I bought a bunch of fabric this summer, and planned on sewing lots of skirts. Maybe I'll make fall skirts.

K. My favorite fruit is mango. Followed by nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe. I hate pears. Gross!Who enjoys a fruit with sand built-in?

L. Am I health conscious? Yes. Surprisingly health conscious for a fat person. I eat very well, and exercise regularly.

M. I think I'm pretty much in the middle of the Kinsey scale. I've answered questions before that indicated as much. Right now, I find myself more attracted to men. I sort of think it has to do with a couple of things though, none of which have to do with my sexuality. I'm not looking for a father for my Gumball, but I wish she had one. I think that affects who I'm attracted to.

N. Do I curse a lot? Depends on your definition of "a lot." I love cursing. The other day, a friend posted  a meme on my wall in Facebook that said, "After four drinks I start using "fuck" like a coma." I think that's pretty appropriate.

O. The last beer I had was the night before last. Pumpkin Spice.

P. I am adamantly pro-choice. That way, we are all allowed to have our own opinions and make appropriate choices concerning our own health care needs. Choice. I'm also unapologetically feminist through and through. 

Q. I crave all fatty, salty foods. All the time.

R. The last book I purchased was "Broken Harbor" by Tana French. I love her so much.

S. My last vacation, about 2 weeks ago, was a 3 night, 4 day trip to York, Maine with my dear friend and our kids. We ate 16 lobsters in 4 days and I gained back 4 lbs.

T. Yes.

U. No.

V. Not recently. Post breastfeeding, my nipples could cut through glass and need to be contained. Plus, I love lacy, fancy bras.

W. N/A

X. When I was 14, I broke my little toe by kicking a dresser while wrestling with a friend. Epitome of dumb.

Y. Over medium.

Z. My last argument was with the sweet-smelling, beautiful boy I used to spend time with. I was rude about music he likes, and then compared him to an Avril Lavigne song. Burn...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This is My Life

I haven't been writing much lately.

Online dating is serious work. And seriously depressing. I'm on Match and OKCupid. I've written between 150-200 people. If anything, that's an underestimate. I've heard back from maybe 20.

It's ok, though. I have a huge crush on someone I met. He smells like candy, tastes like sunshine, and makes me feel dreamy. He also has a girlfriend.

Well, had a girlfriend.

Either way, this guy is never going to love me, and I'm a dumbass for wanting him. Like usual.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer and Sundry

I was feeling verbally constipated, until I realized that my "all important" words only matter to me, ultimately. I can bluster and bitch, but I'm the only one who lives these words. And I'm not ashamed. I am doing the best I can, and I feel like I'm even learning to occasionally choose the easy path over the moral highroad.

That's a funny lesson to learn, right? Occasionally, I think I make things harder for myself than need be. I want to be as kind, and moral as possible. But goddamn, sometimes even I need a break. And that's ok. I want to be moral, but I also want to be happy.

It's been a busy spring and summer. Little Gumball and I took our first trip alone. Needless to say, our second flight, alone, together, was canceled. We hung out in an airport for 10 hours. More or less. Gumball was a champion. Patient, happy, and adorable. People stopped me to tell me how wonderfully behaved she was. We arrived in Raleigh at 8pm, went out to dinner, and traveled to Duck, Outer Banks. We had an amazing week of beach, wild horses, delicious food, and dolphins. Gumball was an amazing travel companion. And I got to do karaoke for the first time. I sang "Like a Prayer" and it was amazing.

And if I can ever figure out how to join Google Plus, without using my real name, I'll upload the video.

I also got to spend 2 days with my former stepsons. I was overjoyed to see them, and Gumball was enchanted with her half brothers. No one made a big deal about their relationship, or the past. I didn't want to cause the boys one second of discomfort, and I wanted everything to be light and fun. I felt my heart soar, break, and then rebreak when I saw them. I was incredibly happy to get to spend time with them. And incredibly sad to know that I may never get the chance to see them again. Honestly, it's too painful for me to think about, or write about. I miss those boys so much. Letting them go, again, made me feel approximately 500 years old. And there's nothing I can do about it. 

Then we came home, played with our friends, and went on a trip to Santa's Village with some of our best girls. We played on rides, splashed in the water, and refused to sit with Santa. The grownup girls enjoyed wine and cheese in the parking lot every night. It was a terrific trip, and the White Mountains of NH are just spectacular.

And it's summer. The condo association opened a pool. Warm weather is glorious. We're happy and healthy, and Gumball is doing well with her potty training.

Life is good. 


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

The last time I wrote, excitement and hope were percolating inside me, dripping and splashing, bc I was chatting with a chef online. I was excited bc it seemed like he and I had a whole lot in common. The day after I wrote, I was curious about why the chef hadn't responded to my last message. So I looked at his Facebook page. And... he unfriended me! It really crushed me, for about 12 hours. I'm over it now, but really? Who does that? Fool. It's totally his loss.

This week, the weather was spectacular and we spent every possible moment outside. Gumball loves playing in the dirt, making nests and houses for sticks and pinecones. Picking dandelions. If she gives me one, she says "and no moh." And she laughs about it. If I stop weeding, chasing her, and building houses, and try to lie down for a minutes in the sun, she jumps on my back and bounces around like I'm a trampoline. Sometimes I sneak some cuddles and kisses, but mostly she piles leaves on my head and tries to break my back.

Gumball has been a little... spicy lately. Full of chat, vigorous, and not at all helpful. Worst of all, she doesn't flinch when I threaten a time out, so I've had to follow through with several time outs in the past few days. She also finally discovered that she could get off her mattress at night. She likes to get out of bed, face the video monitor, and talk to me. It's very creepy. I don't know how she knows to do that. Also, I have the cheapest video monitor available, and I can't respond to her. It drives me nuts when she wants to play all night. I am wondering if it would be a good time to eliminate nap, but I so DO NOT want that to happen. I need my afternoon nap/rest/free time. Nap is the only thing keeping me from letting Gumball watch tv, I think.

Today is Mother's Day. Mother's Day is bittersweet for me. I have a mom, who deserves to be celebrated and pampered more than anyone I know. I have a toddler, who requires constant care and attention. So I do my best to make my mom feel special, and continue with my regular obligations. I know this is a Hallmark holiday, designed to make all of us feel inadequate and dissatisfied, but I so rarely hear praise about my mothering, or receive any sort of recognition for all that I do, that this holiday fills me with bitterness and sorrow for all the love and support that I don't get. I am reminded, too, of the way my ex would always buy at least a card for his ex (and current) and how I thought he was so thoughtful to treat her so well. That is bc I am a fool. All his talk about appreciating her for raising his sons. And he has never once tried to see his daughter, or done anything for her mother, me.

Despite this, I had a wonderful day today. My brother, S, was visiting. He gave me a beautiful card and told me how proud he was of me and what a good mom I am. Then my mom came over with a cake, and chocolate covered strawberries that she made for me. And presents. Then we all went out to lunch, and when we came home, we worked on the garden for a little bit, and then Gumball and I took a long nap together.

I am lucky, and blessed, to have such an amazing mother, and such a wonderful (spicy) kid.