GUILT-Y PAR-ENT SYN-DROME
giltē pe(ə)rənt sinˌdrōm
An illness that occurs in parents when they feel bad they can’t (or won’t) give you their full attention. This syndrome causes parents to give in on things they normally wouldn’t, in order to make you – and mostly themselves – feel better.*
These days it seems like my mom is never around, which means her “Guilty Parent Syndrome” is in full swing! And trust me when I say I’ve been taking advantage of things.
So far I’ve guilted her into buying me cool things like a magic pen (which I’ve already lost), an overpriced book from the airport bookstore (which I’d already read), and even a 6-pack of double-sided tape!
(I love Scotch tape more than life itself).
Note: One thing I will not ask for again? Help with my fractions. I definitely won’t make THAT mistake again.
But a few weeks ago I felt a bit guilty about taking advantage of the situation.
You see, I was in a magic show at school and Mama promised she’d be there, despite the fact it was at a very bizarre time of 3:45 pm. And despite her incessant complaining about the random timing she did make it! I saw her just as I finished my trick.
But she looked kind of sad, and I heard her telling my dad that it took her an entire hour to get from the studio where they were filming to my school because of some crazy accident.
So anyway, I felt bad because I think she missed the entire show. And I could tell she was lying when she said her eyes were red because her “contacts were bothering her.”
Still, I have to admit that I enjoyed the cookies she brought home for me. And the Tootsie Rolls and 2 Hershey Kisses she let me have later that day.
Yes, I’m imperfect. But summer vacation is coming, and Ramadan is a week away, which means Mama will be in the most horrible mood ever.
So don’t judge! Things are going to get ugly around here…I have to take advantage of the good times.
*This syndrome appears to only affect mothers…fathers never seem to feel guilty. About anything. Ever.
We went to Philadelphia for a last-minute trip this past weekend, where I proceeded to fall flat on my face, in the middle of a busy intersection, for no less than the third time this year.
(In case you are bored / want to laugh at my expense, you can read about one of my previous trips here.)
My thoughts during my most recent “trip:”
My new and very ugly Keds may be comfortable, but maybe the fashion world is trying to tell me that ugly shoes are ugly shoes. And if I continue to wear them, I will continue to suffer the consequences.
Myself, my sunglasses, and the contents of my purse may be sprawled all over Sansom Street, but at least my favorite jeans are relatively unscathed.
If I don’t get up right now, I’m seriously going to get run over.
Luckily, Philadelphia is not New York, and no less than three nice individuals ran over to assist. They guided me to the side of the road, offered to call someone, offered to get me ice for my knee, and then offered to drive me home.
I was kind of speechless. And that RARELY happens.
My thoughts after my most recent “trip:”
My fall was probably karma coming back to bite on me on the !@#, since it happened minutes after I left Maya and Ali at a gelato place, insisting that I needed five minutes alone, where nobody was asking me if they could have more ice cream, another latte, and what were we going to do for dinner?
((In my defense, the entire weekend was spent alleviating my working parent guilt by making it the Maya show. I endured several children’s museums, 60 minutes at the US Mint, many parks, many gift shops, and the “Please Touch Museum” which, incidentally, made me want to throw myself into the Schuylkill River (Ali concurred).)*
The takeaway from this post: I am severely uncoordinated, impatient, and lack an appreciation for museums. But my jeans are in good shape.
*Sorry for the double parenthesis. But mathematically, it works.
Because time and I have been at odds with one another lately, I’ve had no other choice but to relinquish control on many things.
I kicked aside two pairs of Maya’s socks on my way to the living room because it was quicker than making her move them.
Dishes have been left in the sink overnight. Every night.
Chipotle has been our dinner more than I’d like to admit. (So why are there dishes in the sink? I don’t get it either).
I wore the most wrinkled shirt to work the other day because locating and using the iron seemed like an insurmountable project.
Maya wore a similar ensemble for reasons mentioned directly above. (Plus I maintain that children’s clothing should never need to be ironed.)
Paying library fines is becoming the rule instead of the exception.
We won’t even address my need for a color, cut, and a keratin straightening intervention (any recommendations in NYC are welcome).
You may be wondering: have I relinquished control on Ali’s life as well?
Well, the simple answer is yes. Meaning that instead of addressing the pile of pants he left near the front door (his passive-aggressive hint for me to stop at the cleaners) I simply stepped over them. And I also didn’t point out that his combination of orange jacket + orange shoes = too matchy-matchy.
Although I won’t lie, relinquishing control has been easier than expected because Delta Airlines has been Ali’s primary residence these days.
So a big thank you to Delta, for doing their part to keep the peace.
Blogging experts say that if one isn’t consistent with their blogging schedule then people will stop reading.
As a person who embraces consistency and schedule, this makes perfect sense.
As a person who has been working 1,000 hours a week, this does not make perfect sense.
In any case, I know the world isn’t going to come to an end if nobody is here to read about how I almost died of shock when Ali volunteered to shift clothes from our stackable washing machine to the dryer the other day.
I also know it’s okay if nobody knows he asked me where the dryer was.
I’m sure people can also live without knowing that since my last post Ali has been in Florida (twice), Boston, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (3 times), and is heading back to Florida this week.
Both Maya and I have given up on trying to remember his whereabouts.
And speaking of Maya, I’m sure it’s fairly irrelevant that her smart ass-ness is developing at a rather alarming pace.
Scarily, I almost find myself missing the long, sleepless nights filled with a colicky infant screaming in my ear.
This morning I woke up and decided to take a moment to put together what I hope is a fairly coherent post before I spend the rest of the day pretending that today, Mother’s Day, is going to be remotely different from yesterday or tomorrow.
Because even though this blog isn’t exactly a revenue generating machine, I do love sharing my randomness, and I value every comment left here.
I hope to be back more regularly…for those of you who are still here? Thanks for sticking with me.
My OCD is in overdrive because I haven’t posted in a while. Allow me to catch you up quickly:
Ali spent two weeks in LA, came home for 5 minutes, and took off again for Seattle, and then LA, where he currently is.
I’ve been enjoying the fact that the I have our master bathroom all to myself.
This week I became THAT girl who changes her shoes at work.
I know there’s no excuse for ugly footwear – even during a commute – but I walk miles and miles a day and my feet hurt ALL THE TIME.
I have no other choice.
Maya turned 9 and celebrated with a magic-themed party. She asked for a magician, a puppy, and a pasta bar.
I bought her Garfield comic books in lieu of a pet, served overcooked pasta and shrimp, and called it a birthday.
I got over my guilt and gave our housekeeper the green light to come twice a week.
She uses loads of toxic chemicals (although they have a lovely lemony scent), but coming home to a clean house on Tuesdays and Fridays is worth losing a few years of my life to whatever magic Ajax and Windex contain.
And finally, my credit card was stolen and instead of heading to Bloomingdale’s or Best Buy, the culprit charged up $800 at 7-Eleven.
Ali’s been on a marathon business trip for the last 2 weeks. This means that for the past two weeks I:
- Didn’t move the sugar bowl even once.
- Ate scrambled eggs thirteen out of fourteen nights (we had Chipotle one night…I really lived it up).
- Had our shoebox sized bathroom all to myself.
- Didn’t wash a single pair of someone’s thermals.
- Made the bed in one second flat (the trick is to occupy a tiny corner, don’t untuck the sheet, and use a separate blanket).
- Smashed my foot in a revolving door (this has nothing to do with Ali being gone but I felt the need to incorporate it into this post. Apparently I need a lesson in how to use a revolving door).
And most interestingly, I had zero problems handling Maya by myself. For two straight weeks. She was literally an angel.
We’re talking Best Behavior Ever.
After week one I was so confused by her good behavior that I actually asked her, “Why are you such a good girl when dad’s away, but when he’s here you don’t listen, you whine incessantly, and complain about everything?”
She thought about it for a second, said, “I really don’t know,” and then she laughed.
Points for honesty I guess?
On the rare occasion when I somehow manage to overlook something I probably shouldn’t be complaining about in the first place, my eagle-eyed sidekick Maya will inevitably catch it.
And her most recent topic of choice to nitpick was Ali’s purchase of a pair of headphones.
So Ali is not a big spender.
I obviously comment incessantly on his addiction to buying things that require charging, but in reality? His annual spending on things that plug-in probably amounts to less than what I spend on Method cleaning products (so addicted to Method).
Also, now that we are car-less and don’t have to spend money fixing his car every ten second? I know I can’t really fault him.
Maya, however, didn’t get the memo and/or didn’t care.
Maya: “Mama, did you know that dad spent $200 on his new earphones? That a lot.”
Me: “That really is a lot. The sound must be really good though. Let me listen.”
Maya: “It’s not any different from my Hello Kitty earphones.”
Me: “You’re right. It’s not really that good.”
Maya: “Dad, me and Mom think your earphones aren’t really that good. You spent a lot of money for no reason.”
Obviously Maya should have minded her own business here and I probably should have said so. But honestly, I’m just tired of being the bad guy all the time. So I figured I’d let Ali field this one.
He looked up from his laptop, made no comment, and then looked back down at his laptop.
This is often what happens when he knows that I/we are right (which is always) and secretly agrees with us but doesn’t want to verbalize the agreement in case it’s used against him in a future argument.
Which it will be anyway.
But we all play the game, right?
Only the next time Maya and I decide to pick on something, Ali has the option of putting on his average sounding, overpriced earphones so he doesn’t have to hear us rambling on.
So maybe, in his mind, they’re worth $200 after all.