Learning to obey the “Mommy Fog”

There are days when I’m as sharp as a tack; ready to take on my day with gusto, gumption, guts. These days, it’s best not to be in my way. As I may have mentioned, I have a tendency to “mow” people down in my path. It’s an Aries rising thing. These are the days I feel my best.  However, I always get the impression others duck when they see me headed their way on these particularly “productive” days. I’m always questioning why. And I realized, people gravitate toward calmness, and I’m anything but.

On the days when I’m out to change the world, I usually end up alienating myself. People who’ve claimed to see me in public will wait to tell me after the fact. “Well, I didn’t say hello because you seemed distracted,” is a pretty common response.

I’m always distracted because I’m always thinking.

Thinking alienates me from the rest of the world? How can this be?

I’ve fought with this issue most of my life. So, I’ve decided to be more aware of the fog. All mom’s have it, we just kind of exist under and within it. It follows us where ever we go. The origins of the fog date back to our very first experience as new parents; new moms. It’s the “What the fuck just happened?” state of perplexity. This eventually forms a cloud — a fog  — over our heads. As far as I can tell, it’s permanent. The longer we’re a mom, the thicker it gets. You can learn to live with it; it’s even possible to be a productive member of society. Time slows down, things fall into place. Life looks good. I’ve marveled at those who’ve chosen to obey the fog. Three kids in tow at the park or the supermarket, letting them run and climb and scream all while strolling as if they haven’t a care in the world. They’ve let the fog take over, instead of fighting it. Classy.

My fog is a low, warm fog; it shifts with my changing moods. Lately, it’s been thickening, calling me to seek refuge. I usually fight it, I can’t get anything done if I’m aimlessly drifting.

But maybe that’s the point.





Every time I try to be June Cleaver, I end up like Joan Crawford.

Birthdays really bring out the worst in me. It happens to be one of the few occasions during the year I actually look forward to. So much so, my unbridled enthusiasm ends up crushing my plans and in some of the worst ways possible.

Today is my daughter’s 2nd birthday. Here’s a quick recap of how my celebratory endeavors turned ugly. Fast.

June Cleaver was my muse as I began the day by dressing my daughter up in some frilly pink clothing. (Truly out of character; I never dress her in pink clothing.) (Red flag #1.)

Dropping my daughter off at her school, I’m eager to get back to my kitchen to bake some cupcakes.

I never bake. (Red flag #2.)

Back in my kitchen, I’m zen as I assemble and combine my ingredients.

I’m never zen. And certainly NEVER in the kitchen. (Red Flag #3.)

I start to whistle. (Perhaps the biggest Red Flag of them all?)

I place my cupcakes in the oven to bake, and I wait. In what resembles a 1950s housewife type of Valium induced fog, I find myself in the bathroom actually trimming my cuticles with a cuticle remover.

I own such a tool? (Red Flag #4.)

Several minutes later (about 20 to be precise), I begin to smell baking soda and burning. Exit fog. Panicked; I begin thinking about how dirty my oven is, and my mind goes berserk. Have I cleaned it lately? If so, with what? Toxic chemicals? Did I use the self-cleaning option? Does that even WORK??

I feel my blood pressure spike; I have to bring these cupcakes to my daughter’s nursery school for a party in 45 minutes!

Borderline bonkers, I conduct a Google search on the heat of ovens and how they can vary from one to the next. I read that my oven is probably “normal” hot. Sigh. Thank you, Google. You are my church.

I breathe and then spot some sugar and flour on the counter near my blender; I missed a spot? I run to the cabinet and grab my trusty Method spray and take care of it, post haste!

The burning smell returns, this time accompanied by smoke and my detector’s alarm. I open the oven and see that the once happy, rising tops of my cupcakes have now fallen flat, hard and blackish. Oh, and I have about 3 minutes to cool and frost them.

I run into the bathroom again, flash blow dry my hair into a mangled frizz bomb, and sprint back into the kitchen; helpless but bound and determined to salvage at least five cupcakes.

Note: This is where a rational woman would stop and admit defeat, head to the store and pick up an alternative. HA! Not this delusional momma.

My daughter and her friends will have cupcakes; even if they are burned, damnit…  and they’ll like them!

I place everything in Tupperware, and I’m off!

Just as I aggressively pull the door shut, I spot my keys on the table (about 8 feet away from me). SLAM. Locked out.

It’s pouring rain.

As good luck in bad situations would have it; I spot an umbrella on my porch. I grab it with force and anger; my mind quickly fleets to the image of Mommie Dearest grabbing a handful of her daughter’s hair as she screams; “SCRUB, Christina… SCRUUUHB!”

I begin speed walking to my daughter’s school, zig-zagging around puddles like a mime (I neglected to mention, I’m wearing the thinnest sandals I own), trying not to drop two awkwardly balanced Tupperware containers full of charred cupcakes. Smiling at passing cars, crying, and then, eventually laughing myself back into that lovely fog.

“When are you guys having the next one?”

And like clockwork…sign it happened.

20 mos post-first born, in fact, just as all my friends said it would. The first time I heard it, I was completely caught off guard. In my kitchen (my home, my comfort zone), I was approached from the rear by a friend of the family.


The sound of that lone syllable echoing in my head was enough to keep me turned around at the sink; chin tucked into my neck just enough to show I was listening, but intent on getting the dishes clean.

I knew what was coming; we just had an enjoyable dinner complete with all the “oohs” and “ahhhs” that accompany a family gathering where a toddler is the highlight of the evening.

“When are you guys having the next one?”

There are so many things wrong with this statement, beginning with the presumptive “when?”.

How about the word; “next”? I mean, just how many are we talking about here? Four? Five? Furthermore, when does this “when?” end?

My answer; one that’s been rehearsed over and over since even before my first (and ONLY) child was a concept:

“Oh no, just one for us. One is more than enough.” Big fake smile.

<Small, very real rage>.

Why so angry? I thought you’d never ask! Please, let me list these reasons in bullet points for you– in fact, why don’t I choose asterisks instead? Asterisks are ornamental… friendly and less likely to be used by someone on a war path to prove a point, right?

* My husband and I are not breeders.  True, we’ve got some killer genes to pass on, but unless you’d like to talk about a surrogate offer, we will stand behind our word, thank you very much.

* We enjoy our nightly couch time.

* I like having time to blow dry my hair. It’s a priority. Sue me.

* Believe it or not, we actually WANT to spoil our child.

* We’re not a baby factory for our parents. We get it; our folks want grand kids. But guess what?  They have other children they can harass.

* We do not care to make our friends who have multiples feel better about their situation by having several of our own. We love you, but it’s your problem you have no time to: shower for more than 3 minutes, eat dinner in peace without being the target of an Ella’s Kitchen Squash Broccoli puree boomerang, and catch-up on Mad Men. I cry for you, really… I do.

If you approach me with this question, be prepared for my canned response. But please know, I will be more than happy to show you to the door if you press me for more information. And if you ask me in public, there’s a good chance I might throw a scalding hot cup of coffee directly at your face and run screaming “I need an adult!!”

Maternity Peeve Latest VBA Award Nominee!









Just when I was about to consider this entire weekend a total loss, I get an email from http://jodileasplace.wordpress.com/talented  telling me my insignificant little blog has been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. <SMILE>. Thank you, kind lady!

So, paying it forward VBA style… here are a few first-rate blogs I nominate for this distinguished award.





I would love to nominate more… I’ll just need to poke around some. Bear with me, my daughter and I are both leaking from the nose. As I type this, I am on snot-patrol.

Oh, and as requested… here are the “7 Things About Myself” in no particular order of importance.

1) I have one hell of a pitching arm.

2) I’m addicted to hand-sanitzer– but only if it contains the highly toxic (and flammable) chemical Triclosan.

3) I hate my birthday.

4) I think Elmo’s World is pure stoner entertainment.

5) I once sang with the Harlem Gospel choir. On my birthday. I didn’t hate my birthday that day.

6)  I check my bed for spiders and other arthropods on a nightly basis.

7) The ghost of Abe Lincoln visited me when I was 12.