I’M GONNA FO IT IN DA TWASH!

Thinking back on the last 11 and a half years of my child’s life, I always remember her “Terrible Twos” period and the absolute terror I would feel as a parent not knowing just what she was going to say to someone, or how she was going to act.
You always want to teach your child to be respectful of others, to have manners, say please and thank you, and to chew with their mouth closed. When they reach 2, all of these things become void. They OWN you. One will say that they would never negotiate with a child. That person has never had to deal with a toddler. EVERYTHING is a negotiation with a toddler.
“Be a good girl and momma will give you some ice cream”
“If you go to the grocery store with momma and be a good girl, MAYBE they will give you a slice of cheese”
“No, we can’t buy that right now. No sweetie, not today. Don’t you cry! Be a big girl! Shhhhhh! Shhh! Stop it now! If you stop crying mommy will get you the toy,, you need to stop now though.. Ok, just put it in the carriage”
“Pick up your toys and then you can have a treat. No, no treat now, after you put your toys away like a big girl. What did I say? PUT. YOUR. TOYS. AWAY.
GET. OFF. THE. FLOOR.
SARAH?
WHAT DID MOMMY SAY?
1…
2….
3!!”
(Notice that every negotiation usually has a countdown. Besides the “Because I said so”, it’s one of the biggest parent cliches. Also, notice it never usually works, and you usually have to go into the “halves” or “quarters” of some numbers. For instance:
“1…
2….
2 and a half..
2 and three quarters..
2 and three quarters plus 5…”
So on and so forth..)

One of the most trying times for me with Sarah was her “FO it in da TWASH” phase. Translation: “I’m going to throw this in the trash”. What she would say this about wasn’t always garbage either. In fact, it was never garbage, but anything that made her angry or anything that she happened to dislike. It was all going in the twash. Trash. Sorry.
Movies, toys, her father, me, her birthday, etc.. if it made her upset or angry, it was going right in the trash. She began every “twash” sentence with “FINE”; As in “Fine! I’m gonna FO it in da twash!”. If you heard “Fine” come out of her mouth, you knew what was coming.
One particular Christmas I decided to let her open a gift before she went to bed on Christmas Eve. I bought her a gorgeous nightgown that was made to look like a princess dress, with tulle and sparkles, the whole nine. Since she was going to bed I thought ‘what better gift to give?’ She could go to bed dressed as a princess. She’s going to love it!
So as my little princess sat down with the wrapped gift, excited to open it, I grabbed the video recorder and began to film.

Now before I go further I will say this: I know kids hate getting clothes. I was a kid once too. I also remember getting these kick-ass She-ra pajamas though, and I LIVED in them. I was fricken She-ra now! YES! So I had the thought that since it was a “princess gown” and not really pj’s, she would love it.

Did I mention that my child’s name actually MEANS Princess? Look it up.

So there sat my mini-princess, all pretty, all smiles, tearing the wrapping paper off if the box, excited as can be. She opened the box took 1 look and

“FINE!” (Uh oh)
“IM GONNA FO IT IN DA TWASH!”
(Ugh)

While I fought to put the camera down, this little “princess” picked up the box, stomped into the kitchen, opened the trash can lid, and dropped it in, me chasing behind her to try and stop her.

“Sarah! That’s not nice!”
“I’m fo-ing it away! FINE!”
” But Sarah, mommy got you this nice princess dress for you to wear”
“NO! I NOT GONNA WEAR IT! FO-ING IT AWAY”
“Sarah, you know Santa is coming tonight, he’s not going to like this. He won’t leave you anything if you’re going to act this way”
“NOOOOO!!”
“Don’t you want to look like a princess?”
“NO!!”
“Why not?”
“NOOOOO!”
“Ok you’re going to bed then, lets go!”
“NOOOOOO!!! AHHHH!!!”
World War 3 begins.

I eventually negotiated with my own child about not throwing her gift away, and actually wearing it to bed.
I was tired.
I was frazzled.
My hair was a mess.
I was covered in child tears and snot.
I still had to play Santa and get the gifts out.
It was close to midnight and I knew she’d be up at 5.

But I still won..
She was in the damn nightgown.
She may have fo’d it away..
It may have been in the twash briefly.
But she was quiet
She was asleep
And she was wearing it.
Winning.

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The Curve Ball Gets Thrown

Usually when you watch TV or any movie that has a labor scene, they make the whole process seem like you are put on a stretcher/wheelchair from the minute your foot leaves the inside of your car, raced down a pristine white hallway surrounded by medical staff, and then put into a surgical room where you spit the baby out, cry, and then go home. Unless the baby’s dangling from your lady parts, this is pretty inaccurate.
I was dropped off at the intake/triage at the hospital. I had to waddle my fat, wet ass over to a woman sitting behind a desk for her to tell me to have a seat and wait to be called. When I WAS called I had to sit and write my first novel. Piles and piles of paperwork; sign here, initial there, license here, insurance card there.. And you have to do all of this while leaking like a faucet, sitting in a puddle, and having contractions. Once that’s done, more waiting! Good news though; all the waiting gave me time to give into my paranoia and anxiety. While we were driving into the hospital I noticed the nearby children’s hospital was sealed off at an entrance, they had an anthrax scare.. Hmm comforting.. And hey, it’s the 13th.. And I’m in labor room 13….AHHH!! I was fairly certain I was going to die at this point.
Once we got to Labor Room number Bad Luck, they were ready to give me the epidural; another thing that movies and TV seem to romanticize. Getting an epidural hurts. It hurts like hell. It feels as if you took the tail end of your spine, and plugged it into a light socket. When they began to insert the catheter, the left side of my body started to involuntarily twitch. I thought I was going to be paralyzed, because of bad luck labor room 13. Once the medication took effect though, I felt no pain. In fact, I felt nothing. I WAS paralyzed! I was the epitome of dead weight. Because of my “healthy eating” during my pregnancy, I was 235 POUNDS of dead weight. It took 4 nurses to move me from side to side to distribute the medication evenly. If that doesn’t make you feel like a moose, then I don’t know what to tell ya..
I was STARVING, and horribly thirsty. I chugged water and ate ice chips like crazy. Around midnight they gave me the go ahead to try and get some sleep.
Sure I’ll sleep, hooked up to machines that are constantly beeping, my boyfriend who was loudly snoring, and lets not forget the blood pressure cuff which would inflate every 15 minutes cutting off the blood supply to half of my brain.
Sleep didn’t happen. But at least it was now the 14th…
At one point in the night I felt something, almost as if I were defecating.. I called the nurse into the room.
Me: I think I’m going to the bathroom
Nurse: You think you wet yourself?
Me: No, the other one….
Nurse: Well let’s take a look.. (Lifts up the sheet and sticks her head dangerously close to my special purpose..) You aren’t going to the bathroom, it’s her head.
Me: WHAT?! (Envisioning my daughters head popping out of my purpose)
Nurse: She’s crowning
Me: WHAT?!
Nurse: You will have to start pushing, let me get the doctor
Me: WHAT?!
The nurse left the room and came back in with the doctor. Suddenly my dark quiet room was brightly lit, and filled with nurses scurrying around preparing the room for labor. I had a nurse for each leg, which they held at an angle and told me to bear down.
Doctor: We can see her head!
Me: AHHHH!
Doctor: (Tells the nurse to get a mirror, and in walks the nurse with a giant rolling mirror, displaying my lower region for all to see, complete with head) See?
Me: PUT. THE. MIRROR. BACK!! I DON’T WANT TO SEE THAT!
Sorry, I’m sure you all think labor is beautiful and all that crap, but when you have a full view of your vag performing Stretch Armstrong super hero tricks to accommodate the full head of hair making its way out, there’s nothing pretty about it. Back away from my vag and put the damn mirror away.

Bearing down got harder and harder. As much as I wanted her out, my body was failing to get the message. I developed a fever and started to go in and out of consciousness. They decided to get the Dyson and vacuum her out..
Ok not really, not a Dyson.. But they did attach a hose like instrument to her head, so they could safely get her out as I was borderline useless at that point.
Looking back on it now I wonder WHY. DID. THEY. NOT. DO. THAT. IN. THE. FIRST. PLACE?!?! It could have saved me the agony of hemorrhoids! Now I’m doomed for life because they couldn’t be lazy like me and just suck her out.
I felt a ton of pressure, and then a huge release. They held her up, but then quickly whisked her away since they said there were traces of meconium (baby poop) in my amniotic fluid. Once it was determined that she was safe, they held her up once again to show me.
I didn’t give birth to an infant. I gave birth to a 4 month old. She was huge!
My boyfriend: Ha! She has your butt!
I just gave him the look. You know the one.. The one where your eyes pop from their socket holes, and flames shoot from your ears? That one.
They brought her over to me, she was beautiful. Absolutely precious. She gazed at me with her blue newborn eyes. So curious. Her fingers dancing and already trying to grasp. She was a stranger, but I loved her. She was mine.

My little curve-ball

Every so often life will throw us a curveball, sometimes interrupting a good time, sometimes to teach us a lesson. I have a feeling that my little “curve ball” was especially meant for me; possibly sent from a passed on relative to get my ass back on track. I wasn’t exactly headed in the best direction, My priorities were that of any 18-19 year old. I was motivated by greed, I was lazy, and I expected things to be handed to me. What I got handed to me wasn’t quite what I expected though..

It was the month of January, the year 2001. At the time I was working, and in a relationship. I was unhappy with my job, and not exactly happy in my relationship. I was irresponsible, and flighty. I had issues with fidelity. I was 19, and not exactly ready to settle down into something serious. My boyfriend at the time was a bit older, committed, and ready for a long term thing. Our differences were an issue. He knew I wasn’t faithful, and he didn’t trust me. I knew I wasn’t happy, and shouldn’t be in a relationship. Our co-dependency kept us together though. Neither one of us felt comfortable together, but we also didn’t want to be alone.

I started feeling sick towards the end of the month. I thought it had to do with stopping my anxiety medication, and really didn’t pay much attention, but when I failed to get my period, my attention came back quickly.
Just to be on the safe side, I took a pregnancy test. Because I was in my late teens, I had the immortality complex. I never thought that that test would come back positive.. But as I sat there on the toilet, holding the stick I had just pee’d on, mouth agape, I was proven wrong.
Here’s the thing with pregnancy tests. If you’re pregnant, you’ll know. That test will come back positive in SECONDS. They say to wait three minutes, but it’s really only 3 seconds you have to wait. The 2 minutes 57 seconds left is time for you to register what you’re seeing.

So there I was, on the toilet, mouth hanging open, heart racing, stomach regurgitating, eyes welling- SHIT! I was pregnant.
Once my ears stopped ringing and my hearing slowly started to come back, I heard my boyfriends muffled knocks on the door, becoming more urgent as I wasn’t answering.

“Are you ok?”

“No” I replied.. “I’m pregnant”.

I stood up slowly to avoid the head rush, pulled up my leggings, flushed, and blindly walked to the door and opened it. I could feel him taking me into his arms, but I couldn’t move. My arms were pinned to my sides, I was stiff as a board.

“I need to call my mother”.

I walked into my parents bedroom, grabbed the phone and dialed the school. At that time, my mother was a principal. The minute she heard my muffled “Mom?”, she knew.

Mom: “what’s going on?”

Me:(sobbing)

Mom:”You’re pregnant aren’t you?”

Me:(sobs)

Mom: I’m coming home.

That was the extent of our conversation until she got home and took a seat to speak to us. The obvious questions were asked, “What are you going to do?” (No idea)
“Are you getting married?” (No)
“What are you going to say to your father?” (Shit!)

That was the question that scared me the most. I KNEW my father was going to flip his shit hearing this. I thought maybe I wouldn’t tell him.. Just say that I’m getting fat, and oops! Here’s a baby! How’d that get in there?

But that wouldn’t work..

Of course I was right about my father. His shit=flipped. He kicked my boyfriend out of the house, called me a product of his stupidity, said my child was a bastard and that he would have nothing to do with it. He didn’t speak to me for the next 7 months.

The next few days were a blur. Lots of whispering about me during my mothers phone conversations, lots of ignoring me by my father, and lots of crying from me. The only person that was genuinely happy was my boyfriend. As he spoke of how happy he was I would sob into my food.. Which there was a lot of. Depression + pregnancy= food frenzy. My face was usually stuffed with fried food from Friendlys, Shakes from Burger King (which I suddenly had to dip my hamburgers in), and hot weiners. My weight skyrocketed. In the first 3 months alone I gained 20 pounds. My baby was the size of a plum at that time, so the whole eating for two excuse was BS. My pregnancy didn’t make me fat, my fat ass made me fat.
I remember one morning in particular I ran out to Dunkin Donuts. I got a coffee cake muffin, 2 sprinkled donuts, and a box of 50 munchkins. Now seeing that the muffin ITSELF was 700 calories, you can do the math. “Free Willy 4, Willy Has A Baby”.

As time went on I started to accept my pregnancy. The one thing that helped me accept it- SHOPPING! I had my child’s nursery decor bought when I was only 3 months along. Everything I bought, even if not from the baby department, was “for the baby”. Curtains? For the baby.
Home decor? So the house would look nice for the baby.
Maternity Clothing? Because I am having a baby.
Books? DVDs? So I am entertained while I am building the baby.
See how it works?

I’ll never forget the day when I found out that my baby was going to be a girl. Can you imagine the shopping I did after I found that out? Although to be honest, I always knew I was having a girl. I had a secret “girl baby” stash hidden in the upstairs closet. I started buying baby girl clothes just a month into my pregnancy. A mother just knows.
After I saw my baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen, I couldn’t get enough. At my monthly exams I would make up complaints that she wasn’t moving enough just so I could go back into that room and see her again on the screen, sucking her thumb, or flashing us with her tush. My complaints of her not moving enough were far from the truth too. She was QUITE the mover; Often kicking me in the ribs, or my lower regions (which was especially “fun”). She would hiccup every night, whenever I went to bed. I would lay awake for at least an hour waiting for her hiccups to subside so I could fall asleep. Once I was asleep though, the heartburn would kick in, and I was up again. My pregnancy was easy for the most part, but the heartburn was the worst! I made sure to carry a container of tums with me everywhere I went. To this day I hate eating tums because of the amount of them I had to consume while pregnant. It was the equivilant to eating a box of chalk. Yuck!
I won’t even get into the gas.. Lets just say it rivaled the heartburn.

Another weird symptom of the pregnancy were the mosquito bites. I was pregnant throughout the summer, and the Mosquitos found me quite delectable. I was secreting some sort of scent that drove them crazy. I was at a family party one night and remember getting bitten everywhere; Through my clothing and on parts I can’t even mention. The next day I was swollen, covered in bites, and mildly feverish.

As my due date grew near I started to become more excited about meeting the little person inside me. I would watch TLC’s “A Baby Story” every morning when I woke up, and cry every single time.
My baby shower was small, just a group of family and a few friends. My mother put it together to surprise me, but when she was overly adamant that I was NOT to do anything on that particular Sunday just because she wanted to do lunch, I pretty much had it figured out.
Things were going great, I was happy, my family was coming together, things couldn’t have been better. Then it happened..

September 11 2001, I woke up usual time, around 8:30, laid in bed for a bit, and the phone rang. My boyfriend was on his way to work and heard that a plane flew into one of the Trade Towers in NYC. He told me to turn on the TV to see what was going on. I waddled downstairs, and turned it onto channel 10. I saw Tower 1, big gaping hole in its side, with billowing black smoke. I was just about to answer him when I saw the second plane hit. I screamed, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He said he would call me back, and hung up the phone. The pentagon was hit, United 93 went down, and I thought the world was ending. Panic filled my chest as I realized that my child had less than a month until arrival, and I was bringing her into a world where horrible things like this happened. As the never ending threats started to pour in, I was too afraid to leave the house, and too scared to stay home. My boyfriend at the time worked north of Boston which was threatened. I begged him to come home but he wouldn’t. I was alone. I didn’t move from the couch that day. I watched the news, watched New York city being rained on with paper, watched people jumping to their deaths because it was a better way to die, watched the towers live as they crumbled. My heart hurt, as I sobbed into the couch pillow. I’ll never forget the way I felt that day.
That week was somber to say the least. I had to get the rest of the nursery furniture so that Friday I ventured out. It was the night of the candlelight vigil. I remember driving down Newport ave, my daughters crib and nursery items in the trunk, the street lined with people holding candles. It was also the night of the wake of the Pawtucket couple that died on one of the flights. The funeral parlor had a line that went out the door, down Newport ave, and around the corner. It was absolutely surreal. People lined the streets, heads bowed, just watching the flames of their candles. Your could hear a pin drop that night.

The next few weeks were filled with color coded security threats, and Anthrax scares. I couldn’t tell which was distracting my thoughts more- my baby, or 9/11.

Sarah was due on October 5th, but October 5th came and went. As much as she loved trying to push her way out, she was still there. For 9 days. I was ready to take her out myself. As much as the impending doom of labor pains scared me, I wanted her out! I was hot, fat, gassy, moody and just plain done. I was set to be induced on the 14th. We had to be at the hospital for 6am. The day before, my nesting REALLY kicked in. I HAD to buy new curtains. I meant business! As I waddled around Ann&Hope I noticed my back pain was a bit more painful, but pushed through it. The minute I got home, I had to sit down. Damn my back hurt, but I was also carrying a beer-belly full of baby, and chalked it up to that.
My boyfriends mother came up from Texas for the birth of our baby. She arrived that afternoon with his sister who stayed for a short time to hang out before we went and had my “last meal”. His sister kept insisting that I was going to go into labor that night because I was so uncomfortable, but I felt that would have been too ironic. The minute she left, my baby pushed against my lower region so much I nearly went down. I laid on the couch for a minute to let the pain subside while rubbing my belly. I was STARVING but I was also in pain. Not exactly looking forward to going anywhere. As I laid there I felt a weird “Pop!”, then a “Whoosh!” Then a “Oh shit!” as water soaked the couch and my floor. I jumped up, still dripping, and started to panic. My water had just broke.

“OH MY GOD” I cried. “CALL MY MOM”
I was sobbing now, because it was inevitable, I was going to have this baby. Not that I wasn’t before, but 10 months of pregnancy seems never ending. You don’t actually envision the labor until its there.
My boyfriend hands me the phone.
“Is it my mom?” I ask.
“No she was in the shower. I told your dad, he said he’d give her the message. It’s my sister” he said.
Give her the message? Give her the message!!!?? What the fuck did “give her the message” mean?!? I was in labor goddammit! Not calling to chat!
I angrily grabbed the phone and his sister immediately jumped into questionville.
“Your water broke?!”
No I pee’d the couch..
“It should have happened when I was there!”
Oh so sorry, I’ll put it all back in and wait for your arrival.
“Are you having contractions?”
“No” I answered.. And just as I answered, my stomach began to tighten into a ball, like a vice. I dropped the phone and curled into a ball.
“I’M CONTRACTING!” I yelled.
“Good!” He said as he hung up the phone, “we can go to the hospital now”.
I was still on the “good”.
“GOOD?! WHAT. DO. YOU. MEAN. GOOD?!!” I asked. “THEY HURT!”.
He helped me up so I could change my soaked pants. I went upstairs, threw on a pair of pajama pants, and 5 maxi pads stacked on top of one another. I grabbed my overnight bag and made my way downstairs, walking like a sumo wrestler since I couldn’t bring my legs together due to the thickness of the padding.
I got downstairs, looked at my cats and began to cry again.
“I’m going to miss you guys..” I looked at my boyfriend “They’ll be ok right?” I was full on sobbing now.
My boyfriend just stood there looking at me strangely.
“What???” I cried
“Oh boy, lets just get you to the hospital”
And we were off…

Tween shopping!!

What’s more fun than taking a tween to the mall?

A root canal
Playing kickball with a Wasps nest
Pouring Franks RedHot into your eyes
Repeatedly smashing your head into a wall
Running laps on a 100 degree day
Walking down the streets of Harlem proudly proclaiming you love Paula Dean
Getting your haircut by Ray Charles
Running through a plate glass window
Going swimming In the waters of the cape with your Aunt Flo and a few seals
Watching said Tween now angrily dust the furniture because you told her she was doing it wrong 5 times…

Now since we have that point made, I shall begin my tale of a lesson learned. Some background info first though, for your reading enjoyment.
As a child my daughter was always easy to shop for, mainly because she never wanted to go shopping; so a clothing run was usually done online, or with a quick run to the store. I used to raid the sales at Children’s Place on a monthly basis; my child was nothing short of a junior fashion plate. She was never into anything that was horribly girly which was nice because usually that stuff was more expensive. Every once In awhile she would wear a skirt, but that was usually the result of me forcing her to wear one simply because it was cute. Asking my daughter to go shopping during this time period usually went like this:

Me: Hey Sarah, want to go to the Sarah store?

Sarah: No!

See? Easy. I would plop myself online, show her what I was buying and that was the end of it.

Now obviously my daughter started to enjoy the concept of shopping after a few years. She’s a female, usually the shopping gene hits around 8-10 (as long as its about them). Things started to become slightly harder at 10 though because not only does the shopping gene kick in, but so do the hormones. Suddenly she’s “fat” because the outfit she wants doesn’t fit her. She’s pissed because I refuse to buy the tie-dyed miniskirt at Target for her, that I would see on any skank at a Mötley Crüe show. Taking my daughter shopping had become a bit of an issue…

Yesterday it was a nightmare.

At some point along the line my daughter developed a love for anything animal print. Leopard, giraffe, zebra, you get the picture. Even better if said prints are done in colors so bright that Stevie Wonder would complain.
So yesterday began like this:

Me: Sarah, what do you want to do today? Wanna hang here? Watch movies? Relax in the AC?

Sarah: I want to go to the mall.

Me: With what money? You know I’m broke

Sarah: you don’t even have a little?

Me: Not for you to go shopping with. You have an allowance, use that.

Sarah: but I don’t want to spend MY money.

Me: But you’ll spend mine?

Sarah: Fine. I’ll get my money

We head to the mall.

Sarah seemed to have in her head that A. She was 25
And
B. the mall was one big dollar store

The items she went after were things even I wouldn’t wear, and the things that I approved of were “too much money”. As far as the items that were too much, she just didn’t want to spend her own money, Perhaps waiting for me to say “Don’t worry Sarah, I’ll pay the difference”: but that didn’t happen. So the already annoyed tween heads into Rue 21 and straight to a pair of leopard stilettos that I wouldn’t even have been able to walk in.

Sarah: I want these!

Me: Not a chance.

Sarah: BUT THEY’RE LEOPARD!

Me: THEY ARE STILETTOS

Sarah: NO, THEY AREN’T, THEY’RE LEOPARD!

Me: STILETTOS are a type of HEEL. A HEEL that YOU won’t be able to walk in!

Sarah: I’M NOT BUYING THEM FOR NOW!

Me: Ummmm.. What?

Sarah: I’m buying them for when I’m older!

Me: Are you a time traveler?

Sarah: I MEANT that I’m going to buy them now, so when I get older I can wear them.

Me: (crickets)

Sarah: So can I?!?

Me: No.

Sarah: BUT WHYYYYYYY!

And my day only gets better from there.
Now since she couldn’t get her leopard stripper shoes I was then “punished”. The old “child-reverse-psychology”.. You know you did it as a child: you couldn’t get that one thing you wanted, so to in turn PUNISH your PARENT, you turn down everything afterwards with a makeshift scowl. Regardless if you like it or not. As you can see I’m truly heartbroken that she walked out empty handed.
“I” on the other hand walked with a cute t-shirt, hair flowers, and rockabilly dress on order at Hot Topic.
Yup. I was SO punished.
The lesson learned?
If i decide to take the tween to the mall again, I need to punch myself in the face.

Fair-weather we are having….

One of the major things that we learn as we grow older is the true meaning of friendship.
I see posts or memes on Facebook all the time that try and define friendship. Memes that say true friends can go years without speaking and pick up where they left off as if nothing happened.

I think that is all complete bullshit.

Real friends wouldn’t go that long without speaking. Real friends will always find a way or reason to check in or talk to you. Sure times can get busy, sometimes days or a week or two can pass, but a real friend will take 2 minutes to pick up a phone and say hello.
The past 12 years of my life I’ve had friends come and go. Very few have remained constant. I understand that as we grow older, we can also grow apart from our friends. Same goes for our romantic relationships as well. Sometimes our interests change, or we change as a whole. Some of us may grow up, some of us may remain young at heart. Having a baby at 19 had caused me to grow up quite a bit, leaving a lot of my high school friendships behind. While I was pregnant and stuffing my face, my friends were in college, becoming teachers, photographers, etc.
I’m sure it must have been strange to have a friend that was a constant party and a ton of fun to just being a ton. I get it, really I do. No one wants to hang with the pregnant, gassy, tired chick. The one that when you try to tell her about your night out, launches into how bad the heartburn she had last night was, or how she can feel the baby’s head pushing on her yahoo. It’s a bit of a turn off, to say the least… So to the friends I have lost during that time-I get it, no harm no foul.
Fast forward a few years and I have a toddler. Running, talking, destroying, no-ing, and so on and so forth. Meeting with friends during this time became a guessing game. Will I be able to make it through lunch without a tantrum? Can we find a child friendly restaurant? I know you want a drink, but if we go to “Friendly’s” it will be more family oriented.. Yes, I understand those friendships growing apart too.. Because as you tell me about the great sex you had the night before ( using euphemisms so my daughter won’t start talking dirty ), I’m busy telling my child to cut it out, wiping the ice cream off their face, or I’m in the process of trying to find her shoes and socks she kicked off during the meal, underneath the table where every toddlers meal goes to die.

Yes, I get it, and don’t blame you one bit for moving on..

Fast forward another few years and Hey! Look at that, I have more freedom now, I can go out more, and I’m not constantly chasing a walking, talking tornado. I can listen now, and have a good time again. I can go out dancing, have a few drinks, and I can even talk about my life! There’s more to talk about now other than my child’s eating and sleeping habits, or the last episode of The Biggest Loser. I’m the old Jenn again. The fun Jenn.

But here’s the thing- I always was that Jenn. I grew up a bit, but I never stopped being me. I envied my friends that could go out and not have to be awake at 6am for an infant, but I never cut them off, if anything I silently reached out.

Now that I’m 31, I’m experiencing more. I’ve had a lot of fun, but also a lot of heartache. I was diagnosed with two different lifelong illnesses that can keep me home, cause me to cancel plans last minute, or ruin my night at the drop of a dime. I know those things can put stress on a friendship because I’ve gotten the hints when my friends put up statuses on facebook about being blown off, or vent to other friends about how I’m never around or can’t stick to plans. “Oh I’m sorry, is my illness making YOUR life harder? I was just really looking forward to spending my night on the couch in pain rather than go to the show I planned on seeing”. Funny that those same friends that got angry at my illness, were the same ones that disappeared during my pregnancy. Also funny that if they were sick or going through something, I was always the one to call and check in. Never did I think they were blowing me off.

I’ve always been one to vocalize my feelings or my frustrations. I know that holding things in can only create inner conflict. The friends that I’ve trusted know of my struggles, and I know of all theirs. Not once have I turned my back on them, not once have I judged them. Did I show concern, or silently dislike their choices they make? Yes. But never did I abandon them. Friends are there to listen, to comfort, not to judge, and not to bash.
Everyone has their definition of what they feel a friend is. For me, it’s quite simple- A friend is someone that even in your stupidest moment, will stand by you, regardless of their feelings. A friend is someone that you can confide in, someone you can trust with your darkest secrets. A friend is someone that will love you, even if they strongly dislike you for a period of time. A friend will always be there, through thick and thin, no matter what.
So when you happen to stumble upon this blog, ask yourself: Am I a friend? You may be surprised at your answer.

Fight or Flight

Memorial Day weekend; a weekend to remember those that have fought for our freedom. A weekend full of cookouts, drinking, partying, and celebrating the beginning of summer. There is a smell of charcoal in the air as food is grilled. The liquor stores catering to customer after customer buying the latest margarita mix, or summer themed brew.
This is not my Memorial Day weekend. Rather, I am on the couch in my heated apartment on this rather miserable of days, watching “Sex and the City”. It’s the episode where Carrie takes flight to Paris, cutting the cord from New York, to experience new love and a new life.
Of course Carrie finds herself in a place where she doesn’t know the language, the customs, the people, and ends up feeling completely alone; the only person she knows is her boyfriend whom she finds she didn’t know very much at all.
While all these things happened to her, I am still left with this thought; She had the courage to take flight to a place she didn’t know; a place far from home, far from what she knew.
Up until recently RI was all I knew. In my 32 years of life I have lived in the same state, in the same city, and practically in the same neighborhood. I knew nothing much outside of my own little self made comfort zone. A comfort zone that I am finding to be rather uncomfortable now..
I am almost 32 but still get told what to do, how to effectively live my life to other people’s standards, and still get made to feel bad if I fall short of doing any of these things.
If I decide to stay home on certain nights, I am being “anti-social”. If I decide to BE social and go out, I go out and drink too much. If I decide I want to spend a holiday with my significant other I “don’t spend enough time with family”. Regardless of my efforts in trying to improve my life and well being, I am still made to feel bad because its never good enough, I don’t try hard enough, or I’m not being smart enough. I find it funny that the people that do better in today’s society tend to forget the times that they struggled, the times that they needed help. They surely didn’t judge then, why do they judge now?
Granted I know a good amount of it is “caring”, but I’m 32 and I am quite capable of living my life without the judgements or orders from others.
So as I sit here and watch Carrie stumble through Paris, it’s language, and it’s confusion, I am envious.
I envy that she took flight and left everything she knew for something she didn’t.
She left what was her comfort zone, to experience something “not so comfortable”.
She took a chance to experience life.
Granted it didn’t work out the way she wanted, but she at least took that chance.

Perhaps I need to break out my inner “Carrie”. After experiencing another life and state this past weekend, I am ready to taste life more. It may not work out the way I would like it to, but that’s the chance we all have to take.