The Mom Olympics

There is a lot of competition between us moms. Am I caring enough? Do I speak in sweet enough tones to my children? Do I discipline the “right” way? Do I never EVER put convenience above hygiene or general cleanliness? Am I making activities educational enough? Oh, that other kid knows his ABCs at 18 months, should mine too? The list is endless. Add snarky looks from other moms who OBVIOUSLY do it better than me and other moms who could OBVIOUSLY learn so much from me and my mommy-skillz and my self-esteem is always tip-toeing on the wall between the confidence of Kanye West and George-Michael Bluth.

My vote is that we stop this arbitrary and objective competition and hold one that matters for realsies and can actually be scored (preferably by someone holding big white signs with numbers 1-10 on them).

Enter the Mom Olympics.

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We will have general areas of expertise with sub-events in each area. This is an Olympic year, after all. Let’s get in gear, Mama.

Hygiene

  •  Nail-cutting: Momletes would be judged on speed, overall precision, and ability to hold toddler still during event without clipping skin or using “scary mom voice.”
  • Diaper-changing: Momletes will be given a toddler with a dirty diaper who has been fed 3 pixie sticks and shown a light-up toy that is just out of reach and then evaluated on swiftness, ability to keep diaper pad clean, and least number of wet wipes used.
  • Bath-time: Momletes will be given two children ages two years apart to fully bathe while being scored on memory of and cleaning of all parts and crevices, creativity with bath toys, lack of actual or perceived soap-in-eyes, and least amount of body splashed.

Bedtime

  • Bedtime Story: Momletes will be judged on use of theatrical character voices, maintaining control of situation with tired, banshee children, and resistance to urge to suddenly shut the book mid-story and say “the end.”
  • Bedtime Ninja Crawl: Momletes will be given an only somewhat sleepy child and tasked with putting said child to bed, only to be asked by child to “lay down for a minute.” Momletes will then have to wait until child is asleep and then do her best stealthy escape without waking child up with movement, sound, light from outside of room, or annoying 6th sense of child.
  • Post-Bedtime Victory Dance: Momletes will be allowed to include a partner for this event, and will be scored on enthusiasm, overall choreography, creative inclusion of partner, with bonus points given if dance is continued all the way to the place where wine is kept.

Sickness

  • Nose-Sucking: Momletes will be evaluated on ability to hold down child while keeping his/her hands from swiping the bulb mid-suck and completing actual snot-extraction with only her two arms, and also instinctual knowledge of whether there is more gunk in child’s sinuses, paired with decision of whether or not it is worth it to retrieve said gunk or just call it a freaking day.
  • Comforting: Momletes  will be judged on use of soothing tones, creative use of unnecessary medical items (ie: bandaids) as a placebo effect to trick child, and resistance of using the phrase “suck it up” with over-dramatic children.
  • Immune System: Momletes will be scored on dodging of sneezes, coughs, and throw-up, remembering to take Vitamin C tablets (even though science has told us that this mostly does not work), and of course, sheer internal will to not get sick.

Communication and Media

  • Listening: Momletes will be paired with a 7-year-old who had an interesting day at school and then have to listen to the child turn a simple story into a 30-minute saga while being judged on head nodding, tracking sounds that make her seem interested, resistance to checking time or letting mind wander, and performance on detailed quiz at the end.
  • Deciphering Cries: Momletes will be played a series of cries, screams, and tantrums and tasked with deciding whether each one is a result of child letting go of a balloon or of breaking an actual bone.
  • Instagram: Momletes will be paired with a toddler who couldn’t care less about being photographed and then scored on ability to use creative lighting, difficult positions, and non-cooperative child to create the best photo shoot with the wittiest caption.

Being in Public

  • Grocery Store: Momletes will be given 3 children and an extensive shopping list and then evaluated on tantrum policing, control of situation on cereal and snack aisles, and will-power to not abandon cart and carry all children football-style to car.
  • Other Children: Momletes will be paired with a child in dire need of a nap and placed in a dentist office waiting room with badly behaved children whose mother is at the point of waving a white flag and doing nothing to control them. Momletes will then be judged on ability keep child from also turning into a monster and resistance to crazy-eyes.
  • Mall-Escape: Momletes will be placed in a crowded shopping mall and paired with a child who has been told “no” multiple times when he or she requested to purchase wildly unnecessary items. Momletes will then be scored on attempts to keep child’s spirits up, followed by ability to stop child from laying down in the middle of the mall while throwing a tantrum, and finally, discretion on best timing to airlift child and take situation to restroom or vehicle.

Playtime

  • Park: Momletes will be tasked with taking a child to the park and evaluated on ability to push child on swing with vague “correct” speed and height, coming up with new and convincing reasons why she cannot play tag beyond a quick 3-minute stint, and knowledge of when to put down phone and look attentive to child for the sake of other, judgy moms.
  • Arts and Crafts: Momletes will be given multiple children with varying personalities and tasked with casting their hands, putting together a gingerbread house, and supervising them playing with a bead set. Momletes will be judged on ability to pep-talk herself before activity begins, willingness to throw structure, order, and instructions out the window, and coming out of event without crazy-eyes or more than one child punished.
  • Make-Believe: Momletes will be scored on correct portrayal of character they barely remember from some children’s show, enthusiasm while being stabbed by fake sword, shot by fake gun, or otherwise slayed as a dragon, and ability to expertly repeat mildly decipherable line of dialog fed to her by child.

The award system will be tiered with:

Gold: Night in a hotel to yourself

Silver: Drinking an entire beverage while it is still hot

Bronze: Getting to pee alone

I really feel like this should be a thing. Can we get on this? 

What events am I missing? Lay ’em on me!

Love, Alex

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Little Joys

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I’m typing this while laying in bed. Not that that’s important, I just thought it was worth mentioning. I’ve never written a blog post from bed before. I should make it a new thing. This is comfy.

ARE YOU BORED YET? SORRY.

Anyway.

I thought I’d share a quick list of the joys that motherhood has brought me so far. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times where I want to cry. Just the other day, I told my baby child that he was being kind of a butthead BECAUSE HE WAS OK. But much of the time, this non-mushy mama feels all the feels and smiles all the smiles. So here you go. The best things:

1. Whenever I wake him up and he immediately smiles at me…just before stretching and doing this hilarious duck face every.single.time.

2. He’s been making this surprised face lately that’s just so funny. Like when we mock-throw him in the air, he will open his mouth really wide and gasp. It’s almost like he’s overacting on purpose. Putting on a show. The other day, he had been with my parents all night so I could sleep off a cold, and when we walked in he did the surprised face like “OMG you’re here. I could just die I’m so happy!” (You have to say it in a southern belle accent, otherwise it doesn’t sound as funny as it seemed that day.

3. We just started solids, so he is learning how to swallow nonmilk food and not spit it all over the place and me. So he gets frustrated and will whine a lot during these feeding times, even as they are getting better. But the best part is that he will whine and fuss, but as soon as I make a big deal out of him taking a bite and swallowing it correctly (“Yay Grady! Good job buddy!”), he immediately stops whining and gets this huge grin on his face….and then back to the whining and stuffing his bib in his mouth, but I digress.

4. We try really hard to communicate to Grady that people are ok if we say they are. We want him to have a healthy fear of stranger-danger, but not of the babysitter or friend at church that wants to hold him. However, he has started the phase where he categorizes people as “mommy” and “not mommy.” Most of the time, he’s cool with “not mommy,” just as long as “mommy” is within eyesight. Anyway, the other day he turned his shoulder to my mom for the first time while I was holding him and she tried to take him. For a second, my mama heart was full because realizing that he loves me too and wants to stay with me is huge.

5. He has started squealing, especially when he thinks something is funny. So anytime we do something repetitively during playtime like tickle him and then stop and then tickle him again or give him raspberries on his belly, he anticipates the next time and will squeal with excitement. It makes me smile just thinking about how cute it is.

Ok, that’s enough mushy for now. I have realized how different I am in regards to my son compared to my usual non-touchy-feely self. I’m down with it. He makes me so happy.

Love, Alex