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This list has been in draft form for quite some time now as I periodically add to it. But at some point you just have to share and pray that you’re not the only one spouting sentences that you never anticipated.

Things such as…

“Is that oatmeal or a booger?”

“We don’t kiss with teeth.”

“Please don’t touch the toilet while Mama’s peeing!”

“We don’t color on our diaper.”

“Get your hands out of the poop!”

“Is there a [lion, monkey, elephant] in the car?”

“Manny [the dog] doesn’t have to dance if he doesn’t want to.”

“Please get the [toddler] knife out of Mama’s face.”

“Why are there sunglasses on your penis?”

“Show me how you wash your armpits.”

In fairness, I’m sure I could have expected some of these. But the sunglasses one…I didn’t see that coming.

  1. Ask him to wear his boots so it will be easier to walk from the car to daycare. (You know he hates being carried anymore.) Concede to sneakers, but tell him he can’t walk in the snow then.
  2. Put his milk – which he wasn’t drinking anyway – in the fridge to save it for later. Only once it’s gone will he decide he wants it.
  3. Attempt to stuff him into his jacket (which wouldn’t have been necessary if he would have just put the damn thing on the first time you asked instead of running away from you).
  4. Strap him into his car seat after explaining that it’s too cold to walk that far [to daycare] and Mama has to get to work and you’re already running late.
  5. Carry him from the car to daycare because you’re wearing boots and he’s not, even though you explained the concept of boots and snow to him rationally just 15 minutes earlier.

If you follow these 5 simple steps (in any order, for your convenience), you, too, can ruin your child’s life* to the point that he shows up to daycare with tears on his face and your daycare provider asks you what you’ve done to him, you monster.

You’re welcome.

*Or morning, whatever. Same same.

They say that you learn something new every day.

On Tuesday I learned that there is no parenting book in the world that prepares you for the sheer terror you feel when your 15-month-old takes a header down the stairs.

My heart rate sped up just typing that sentence.

In that instant, as I saw N lose his balance, tip head first down the (thankfully carpeted) stairs, and hit every step as he log-rolled down, I forgot everything I’d ever been taught about staying calm in a crisis.

I screamed and cried and screamed some more. I’m sure I scared both the dog and the baby (and likely Husband, who was just about to get in the shower). And I ran like hell down the stairs to pick N up and start feeling for broken bones.

Luckily, Husband was right behind me, because my shaky hands and tear-filled eyes were not the most effective at that point.

Now, more than 48 hours later, N is fine. Hell, he was fine less than an hour later, albeit with a Harry Potter-esque scratch on his forehead.

I, however, am still feeling the mom guilt of having that fall happen on my watch. I felt helpless and terrified and panicky. And if I think about it too much, I still feel all of those things.

I was a little worried that N would be scared of the stairs from here on out – I know I’m scared of him on the stairs. But he’s not. In fact, he wants to come down them like a big boy now, holding hands with someone and walking down like a little adult.

Something tells me that there will be more tumbles in our future. I just hope my heart can handle it.

Let’s start with the simple fact that I am not a natural when it comes to golf. Mini-golf has taught me that much. But, I thought to myself, how hard could it be to just go to the driving range and smack the shit out of the ball?

Answer: very.

As part of my 30th birthday weekend, Husband surprised me with plans to do several things that I’d never been able to cross off my past birthday lists – including a trip to the driving range.

We got our clubs and basket of balls, and Husband started giving me simple lessons on stance and swing. “See how my hands are here?” he explained, holding the driver, as I stepped in closer to get a better look. “This is how you want to hold it, and then you bring it back, like this.

*SMACK*

It turns out that I was paying such close attention to how he was holding the club, that it took me by surprise when the end of it crashed into my face.

Luckily, he wasn’t gearing up with full strength, otherwise this fun birthday trip may have ended with broken teeth and a trip to the hospital. As it was, we finished our brief lesson (through tears, on my part), and I finally found out first-hand how unnatural a golf swing feels for me.

drivingrange - terrible swing

Photo courtesy of Husband, naturally

For every decent hit I got (and there were a few), it seemed that I also had a number of bloopers. One blooper in particular dropped barely a foot from where I was standing.

Just go ahead and pick it up,” Husband said. “You can reuse it.

So I did.

And as I was bending down, a baby bee stung me right in the center of my top lip.

In that moment, I realized that I’d forgotten how much a bee sting (baby or not) can hurt. Especially in such a sensitive area. That had already been hit with a golf club.

But after a brief rest and a well-placed ice pack, I was back in the game. And I only asked Husband to make sure my lip wasn’t swelling every other minute or so.

I found my stride toward the end, and hit at least a few balls past the 100-yard mark – a vast improvement from the complete misses and bloopers that I started with. And despite the minor injuries, the outing was ultimately a fun way to celebrate 30. Which is probably why Husband suggested: “Why don’t you take a ball to remember the day?

Oh, baby,” I told him, “after all of this, I really don’t think I’m going to have trouble remembering our trip to the driving range.

It’s all relative

When I was younger – think, about 7 years old or so – I remember taking an acting workshop. Nothing fancy, just a short class one summer at the local community center, most likely. (Mama can fill in the details.)

The point is, I remember one exercise where we had to come up with a character. We had to decide the age, sex, career, mannerisms, etc. of this persona that we were going to portray. When the teachers (who were probably in their early 20s) came around and asked me about my character, I told them, “I’m a middle-aged woman.

So about how old do you think that is?” one of them asked me.

Oh, you know, 30,” I responded, nonchalantly.

I don’t remember the teachers’ reactions, but I have to imagine that it was either a laugh, a groan, or somewhere in between.

I’ve thought about that character exercise a lot in the past few months, for one very specific reason. And that’s because today, according to my younger self, I have officially become middle-aged.

And I’m surprisingly okay with that.

I loved my 20s – a lot of good things happened. But, as with any decade, there were also a number of shitty things, too – things that I’m not sad to leave behind.

I’ve never really been one for dwelling on the past. I do love old stories, and can get nostalgic with the best of them, but more often than not, I focus on what’s ahead.

So in that spirit, I decided it was time for the birthday list to make a comeback – a little 30 for 30 of the non-ESPN variety.

It’s an ambitious list, but it’s worth a shot. I just hope my newly middle-aged body is able to keep up.

I am 29 years old.

I am too old for hickeys.

But apparently, my hungry, teething, 4-month-old did not get that memo.

nicohickey

Thanks a lot, kid.

Note to self: feed him immediately next time.

Road trip conversations

Me: When you see a road labeled “business” what does that mean to you?

Husband: It’s like having a local or express lane.

Me: Right, but which one would it be?

Husband: Local. Why?

Me: Oh…well, in my head, the business lane was always the express lane. Because I always imagined that if you’re on business, you want to get there faster.

Husband: No…[many jokes involving the phrase, “Out of my way! I mean business!”] but I love the way your brain works.

 

And I can’t even blame this one on pregnancy brain.

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