It’s 2015, I woke up on the couch at 12:01am and that is pretty much a metaphor for the year I have had: It sucked and I missed the party. I know I am supposed to be grateful, I replay that scene in Ally McBeal when Calista Flockhart bangs her head against the wall saying ,“I have my health, I have my health,” then I remember I have the flu and have been sick for most of December. Raising a germy three year old is not for sissies, neither is writing a blog.
I did do one thing I have never done and that is keep a new year’s resolution to blog at least once a week. I came close, last weeks blog wasn’t written and posted until Sunday, did I mention how the flu really ruins your life. Imagine blowing your resolution on week 52. The Journal of Clinical Psychology says that 92% of new years resolutions are not achieved. My other nine resolutions belong in that category. Over the years I have learned to be more realistic, one year I made the promise that I would write two hours every day. HMPF. Two hours every week is much more doable. I have stuck to two hours every week to write my blog and it worked. Over the year I clocked up ( I just counted) 89,051 words not including this post which will have plenty of run-on sentences so I can tot up to 90,000 words. It may not be obvious but I was an OCD perfectionist in a past life. I am more proud of this than my Caesarian scar, my whiney three year old, or any of my professional work. 80,000 words is the average length of a memoir, so I have proven to myself that with weekly goals I can finish a rough draft of a book in a year and still be able to pick up my daughter from school, work, get sick, and do all the other things I am expected to do like brushing my teeth. In 2015 I hope to do just that. I will still write my blog but I may not post as regularly.
My other new years resolutions are to try meal planning and take better care of myself and avoid the FLU, and the other one is to declutter. When I said the last one out loud to my husband, he did one of those dances he does when his team wins and then he looked up to heaven like God had finally answered his prayers. I didn’t realize our house was that bad.
I can see my mother vigorously nodding. I suppose it’s like the back of my hair. I just don’t see it.
Yesterday I was chasing Eva around the house with a brush before school and she was trying to convince me that her hair did not need to be brushed. My reply was,
“Eva if you don’t let me get the knots out then they will get worse and it will hurt even more to get them out.”
“Yes, Eva. Mommy knows best.”
“But Mommy, YOU don’t brush YOUR hair.”
I was speechless for a moment and then remembered my mother’s most quotable phrase.
“Eva, do as Mommy says not as Mommy does.”
As soon as the words escaped my mouth, I thought,
“My god I am turning into my mother.”
As I look forward to Eva’s year as a three year old, I realize that as soon as they can count to twenty they start back talking. My motherhood challenge this year will be to learn how to handle her astute observations on areas like self grooming where I am lacking. I better add self grooming to the new years resolution list.
A few days ago, I was rushing to get out of the door to drive over to Reza’s house to help her administer Piglet’s insulin, when I answered the door in a bra, it was Reza she had overslept and was dressed in only a see through nightgown, Piglet in tow. Reza and I have a lot more in common than a diabetic dog. And there was Eva shaking her head in the background at the two of us. Eva’s arms were crossed, her face full of disapproval, her body wrapped snuggly in one of her collection of four dressing gowns, the zebra one.
“Decorum, mom.” I imagined her saying. She doesn’t have that big a vocabulary yet, but that was what she was most certainly thinking.
Eva has learned very astutely how to use her observations to get what she wants. The weekend before Christmas, we were at her grandparent’s house when her cousin arrived with presents.
“Here are Christmas presents for you girls, Eva and Sadie.” Stasia said.
“Which one is for me?” Eva asked and Stasia pointed it out.
“Can we open them now?” Eva asked.
“No, you have to wait until Christmas Day to open them.”
Eva grabbed the present.
“But, I don’t celebrate Christmas.” She explained with sincerity.
Eva will be becoming Jewish, (like her friend from school) in 2015 so she can get her presents earlier and won’t have to wait through advent.
Sure enough when December 25th dawned Eva had returned to Christianity after a brief absence over Hanukkah. We bought Eva a turtle tent for the living room for Christmas, so she can have her own “territory.” After daddy set it up for her and I tried to enter, she laid some ground rules.
“If you are invited into my tent, you cannot do a boofa, if you do a boofa you have to leave.”
“I am not going to do a boofa, Eva.”
“Maybe it’s your breath.” She responded.
One thing I have learned this year, is not to underestimate a toddler. I have been dreading giving up her nighttime bottle, but when I decided to trade her bottle for getting a big girl bed, she had no hesitation and we have not looked back.
Hamma and Gigi tried to out present Eva’s turtle tent when they bought her a hot pink baby grand piano, toddler size. Eva likes to play it naked with her toes. The first thing she said when we set it up was,
“Mommy, I like to play the piano standing up.” She forgot to add naked, with her toes on the keys and her butt in the air. I am going to nickname her, Pearl, after the Elkie Brooks song.
Eva has already sussed out where I fit in the family power dynamic. The other day we went to visit Hamma and Gigi and Eva was playing in the living room with Hamma, while I was in the kitchen area with Gigi and the new puppy.
Hamma explained to Eva that the door had to remain shut to keep the puppy out of the living room.
“Why?” asked Eva
“So the puppy doesn’t chew the furniture.” Hamma explained.
“Can my mommy come into the living room, she will promise not to chew the furniture?”
I do like toothpicks and my mother and I don’t always get along but I have yet to chew her Mahogany side tables. It’s comforting to know there is territory I haven’t covered for 2015.
My sick facebook trolling came up with this link, to an auto generated New Years Resolution, I put my name in and said that I wanted to change my bad habits, and its advice was:
In 2015 I resolve to make better bad decisions.
I am doomed!
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
My total word count for the year: 90,324
I am so glad Kim Dismont told me about your blog when I told her how much I enjoyed your submission to the Memoir book – I have so enjoyed it!
When my son was 4 he told people “Daddy has a real job, mommy just has fun”. I was a graphic designer. He now works for a hedge fund so his world view pretty much never changed.
That is really funny.Thanks. 🙂 Yes Eva says things like that, Daddy goes to work and mommy stays home. Daddy is important and the fav. because he is rarely home.
I know exactly what you mean!! I have had many years of feeling like I missed the party, especially with four small babies, no money and a broken down car. Add the flue or stomach bug to that and it becomes a depression breeding ground. LOL I have now passed through this and have made it to the party, for the first time in a long time! Not that it means much, but I am very proud of you!! You are of the small percentage that accomplished their goal!! Amazing!! You are inspirational to me as an aspiring writer and make a great point about just taking 2 hours a week. Great Post!! Feel better and have I hope you have a GREAT Year!!
Thanks, I went to a course once where they said, if you want to be a photographer take one picture every day for the year at the end of the year you will
have 365 out of those choose 25 and you have a portfolio. I really do think its the only way, small goals add up. Its the only way to think things arent impossible!
We can do it. Hope you have a great year too! xx