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Relinquishing Control

November 11, 2010

I like things done the right way (aka my way) and thus I am terrified to relinquish control of anything unless I absolutely have to – as was the case yesterday. 

For the first time this year, Ali had to pick Maya up from school.  In addition to being terrified he wouldn’t be able to tear himself away from his computer in time to get her, I was also concerned that he would forget to…

  1. Bring her a snack.
  2. Keep track of her water bottle – she’s already lost 3 since September.
  3. Make sure she goes potty before heading to the park/playplace.
  4. Threaten her within an inch of her life to keep her sweater ON.
  5. etc.
  6. etc.

God, sometimes even I get tired of hearing myself nag.

Maya looked cute in the morning...I won't scare you with an "after" picture.

Anyway, things went as expected.  As in, Ali forgot all of the above.  

My starving, dehydrated, chilled-to-the-bone child was taken to a nasty mall food court where she was fed sodium-laden, bottom-of-the-rung-quality chicken from Panda Express.  I couldn’t find the courage to ask about the potty situation.  Some things are better left unsaid.

I’m trying to be positive though – at least I didn’t have to witness the piteous looks she received from the other food court patrons who likely assumed that Ali was a single dad.  Because why else would a kid have dirty fingers, unkempt hair, and soy sauce all over her face?

Nobody can accuse me of not looking at the bright side of things.

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68 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2010 3:41 am

    Just think – the next time Ali has pick up duty – it can only go up fro here. 😉

  2. November 11, 2010 3:53 am

    When we have kids, you just gave me reason not to ever give up control to my husband.

  3. November 11, 2010 4:08 am

    he he he… he needs phone alerts for each item.

    But at least he managed to get her home (so he remembered one of the items on the list, right?)! 🙂

  4. November 11, 2010 4:14 am

    i recall a story my mom used to tell me about how one time (she still rmembers it, i believe it was in the 80’s) she left my brother who was then about 1 alone with my dad for a day and when she came back he was COVERED, head-to-toe, in his own poop.

    it is for these reasons that i like to consider myself a young feminist

  5. Jenn permalink
    November 11, 2010 4:37 am

    🙂

    Do you dress Maya or is that your fashion savvy?! How old is she anyways? She looks 7 or 8!

    Oh Ali…just think – at least he’s good material for the book 😉

    • November 11, 2010 8:48 pm

      The dress and sweater were me…the pink shoes? All Maya. Not bad though for a 5-year-old!

  6. November 11, 2010 5:09 am

    I will bet anything that Maya was absolutely in heaven after the experience with her dad yesterday too, huh. Having been a daddy’s girl myself, I’ve been praying ever since we brought her home that that relationship would develop between Doug and Sophie. It’s started now and I’m sure would end up being just like what happened with Ali and Maya. What great bonding for them.

  7. November 11, 2010 6:04 am

    Maya’s top is adorable! And that is hilarious about people assuming Ali is a single dad! 🙂

  8. November 11, 2010 7:10 am

    I’m serious…can I borrow Maya for a month. I think she is beyond precious! You should come to SF and bring her and we’ll make it a bloggie weekend!

  9. November 11, 2010 7:16 am

    Clearly he needs more practice. Put him on pick-up duty for the rest of the month!

  10. November 11, 2010 7:20 am

    Hahaha – I am convinced only I do things right too.

    Hey, at least you can shift the blame to Ali when the therapy conversations start…

  11. November 11, 2010 7:34 am

    I love Maya’s outfit here! Everytime I leave kiddies with the hubby, I’m afraid to come home to see what state the house is in. I swear, I’ve even had thoughts of sneaking his laptop away with me so he’s forced to “watch” his kids. If it weren’t for the fact that he’d just take the kids with him to buy a new one, I would’ve tried it a long time ago.

  12. November 11, 2010 7:57 am

    I like mayas dress. at least she was stylish with soy sauce all over her face.

  13. November 11, 2010 8:09 am

    I’m with Amy on this one–he remembered to pick her up AND bring her home. Thus, this is a good Dad/daughter experience.

  14. November 11, 2010 8:20 am

    Wow…first pick up day all year for Ali. It’s NOV! Well, I guess this is why you always do it!!

  15. November 11, 2010 8:43 am

    Ha! Men just don’t know how it’s done. I personally think it’s b/c they are big children themselves who only think about the self, so, of course, another person’s hunger or discomfort is not on their mind;-) I could, however, be wrong as well as a sexist. All things are possible in this life (smile).
    Glad Maya survived a day with Daddy…!

  16. November 11, 2010 8:44 am

    Oh man, had to laugh at the Panda dig there. It probably is pretty low quality food, but it is just SO good. haha

  17. November 11, 2010 8:45 am

    I think this is the beauty of Dad times versus Mom time, kids just learn that things are a little more “negotiable” and daughters especially eat that up. Still to this day I know that when I am with my Dad I can get away with just about anything, including an unkept messy look. 🙂

  18. November 11, 2010 9:08 am

    Hey, he at least got her name! That’s a semi-win.

  19. Leslie permalink
    November 11, 2010 9:16 am

    Kudos off the top. Your post was so hilarious that I had to read it to my mother. She didn’t realize it was you – she thought I was just reading her something funny off of the internet. After hearing your latest, she enthused, “Wow, that girl is so talented! I love her turn of phrase.” She then asked who the writer was. When I said it was you, she said you should write a book. Case Closed. Next!

    You won’t be able to hear my next speech, but there’s a crucial section called Productive Negativity as opposed to gratuitous, repetitive, exaggerated, emotional, unproductive negativity. Ali needs the Productive Negativity section ‘cuz the guy messed UpUpUpUp. But then, once your New York Times best-selling book is optioned for a television series, he can provide the comic relief that all the male viewers can identify with, proving once again that the male mind is not wired for multi-tasking.

  20. November 11, 2010 9:18 am

    I sometimes wonder if your blog is to Ali what the reviews and gossip online is to celebrities – terrified by what could be on there, and refusing to read it.

    With that said, I love this post! It depicts you as super-mom for knowing the details and Ali as dad-in-training (still), which I think a lot of dads are still at that age (of the child). And I decided you get brownie points for telling everyone else about it. 🙂

    Cheers!

    • November 13, 2010 9:24 am

      I think Ali is scared to see what I write…I have a feeling he doesn’t read my blog anymore. And I really can’t blame him!

  21. Kath (Eating for Living) permalink
    November 11, 2010 9:21 am

    LOL, fortunately children are able to survive a lot! 🙂

  22. November 11, 2010 9:26 am

    i love maya’s outfit! wayyyyy cute!

  23. November 11, 2010 9:43 am

    Oh please, the other foodcourt patrons would have been too busy nagging their own kids, or enjoying the very fact that they had no kids with them to even notice someone else’s kid…see, I can look on the bright side too!
    Cheer up, quite frankly I think it’s impossible for your beautiful daugther too look anything less than the epitome of the well-loved child.

  24. November 11, 2010 9:58 am

    I always cringed when my Dad picked me up from school, my mom always came prepared with snacks. My poor kids..

  25. November 11, 2010 9:58 am

    Mmm, Panda Express! I find a strange comfort in horrible food court food. I bet Maya will look back on this day fondly 🙂

  26. November 11, 2010 10:39 am

    I like to control everything too, especially since my attention to detail is way keener than my fiance Nick’s. But I’m hoping that through years of marriage he’ll mellow me out. I love Maya’s dress, by the way!

  27. November 11, 2010 11:36 am

    With all the technology in the world at his finger tips, he could set an alarm reminder of some kind? hehehe…

  28. November 11, 2010 11:46 am

    Aw, Ameena…the highlight of childhood is going out on a solo date with your daddy, munching on things your mommy won’t let you….I still have such fond memories of that with my own dad…I would order 20 McNuggets and 2 ice-cream cones, and he would take me to look at the pond and tortoises. This was when I was about 10, and he would be overseas for 4-6 months each year, so I cherished our time together….ESP those chicken mcnuggets.

    • November 11, 2010 4:10 pm

      Yes, this exactly! I loved being able to drink soda. My mom never let me but DAD always did!

  29. November 11, 2010 11:51 am

    I still want an after picture. West LA mall food is not terrible though. Too many carb-phobic Los Angelenos that put kripy kreme in bankruptcy.

  30. November 11, 2010 12:01 pm

    Oh I can SO relate. Ali sounds just like my husband. I find it’s best just to not ask. You don’t want to what happened. Kids are alive? Okay then, carry on. PS> Your daughter is ADORABLE!!

  31. November 11, 2010 12:02 pm

    haha thats men for you!!
    At least he got her home in one piece right? Thats a plus.

  32. November 11, 2010 12:36 pm

    Awww, she is so cute. At least he didn’t lose her!

  33. November 11, 2010 1:22 pm

    Too funny. At least you knew in advance that all of those things would be forgotten.

  34. November 11, 2010 1:26 pm

    Nobody ever takes care of the baby as well as her Mommy! That’s what I always say anyways.

  35. November 11, 2010 3:23 pm

    That’s so funny Ameena but I reckon Maya would have had the best time doing all those crazy things you end up doing (& eating) when Dad picks you up after school. Love your nagging girlfriend…., you say it like it is 🙂

  36. November 11, 2010 4:11 pm

    I get tired of hearing myself whine at Andy. I nag too don’t get me wrong but I whine EVEN more. It’s a little out of control.

  37. November 11, 2010 5:56 pm

    haha…i forsee my husband doing the same thing when we (eventually) have kids. he can barely feed himself, let alone another human being.:p

  38. November 11, 2010 6:00 pm

    This is terrible to say, but I basically always assume that lone Dads at the food court with disheveled children are going it alone.

    And then I try not to give them That Smile.

    E for effort.

    What’s kind of tragic is that Maya probably thought the whole affair was fantastic.

  39. November 11, 2010 6:30 pm

    I’ve learned to just lower the expectations (alot) when I have Scott manage the boys. That way when things actually go the way they should, I feel like I got a bonus.

  40. November 11, 2010 6:34 pm

    Ahahahaha. Reminds me of when I left my daughter with the hub for the first time. He was paranoid, I was paranoid…and she was aghast! The teacher had to braid her hair in school … but have to say that the hub is a lot better now. You do need to relinquish control!!

  41. November 11, 2010 9:38 pm

    I used to leave lists for my husband whenever he had to do things like this. Finally, I think he has got it down. But, it also did come down to me having to loosen the reigns a bit and realize that the children can and will survive a day with Dad.

    Funny!

  42. November 11, 2010 9:51 pm

    Oh you are a sweetheart. I’m a control freak too. I can only imagine how fun its going to get around here when we have a daughter or a son. At least she’s pretty darn adorable…and I know Ali is too.

  43. squigglefloey permalink
    November 12, 2010 12:50 am

    This is hilarious. However, I remember when I was younger my favorite part of going out with my dad (I used to be daddy’s little girl until I hit puberty– then we went our separate ways hah), was doing things with him that my mom wouldn’t let me do. Like eat greasy Chinese food (that my mom didn’t like), or drink soda. Ahh, to be daddy’s little girl again 🙂

  44. November 12, 2010 4:29 am

    If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. That’s my motto. So as long as you were not actually AT the food court…then it never happened. For all you know, they were at a museum enriching her cultural life. Right? Right.

  45. November 12, 2010 6:19 am

    At least he picked her up. Right? I like to set my expectations for my husband right about there.

  46. November 12, 2010 6:28 am

    No one does it like mom, just ask my kid. She tells everyone “that’s not the way Momma does it.”

    Makes me feel good.

    It’s a small consolation that we don’t have to be around to see others crash and burn.

  47. November 12, 2010 8:20 am

    when my husband is taking care of our son he’s in charge and in order to remain married (haha) I have had to learn to relinquish control too.

    a bit anyways.

    I want it to be the ME show…so bad, but he’s him and I am me and somewhere in the middle is our son, raised in two polar opposite worlds.

    I hope in the end he is “balanced”
    we’ll see.

    Maya is ADORABLE, soy sauce and all!

  48. November 12, 2010 12:05 pm

    I’m sure my mom felt the same way when taking me to the mall as a kid. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, people are so often caught up in their own stuff that they don’t even notice others. What a nice, self-centered society we live in. I kid, I kid…

    Have a good weekend Ameena!

  49. November 12, 2010 12:47 pm

    you and me? we’re so cut from the same cloth. i won’t tell anyone about your panda expressed-child if you don’t tell anyone about my mcdonaldsed-one. deal? love the post! 🙂

  50. November 12, 2010 6:54 pm

    Awwww…I bet Maya loved her Panda Express 😉 From the stories you share we should be happy that she was picked up 😉

    She might be a tad thirsty all night tonight from all the msg in her food….eeek!

    xxoo

  51. November 12, 2010 10:43 pm

    Oh no…yikes! Dad’s can sometimes be a bit off with these things, but at least he did not loose her…
    One time my kids dad lost track of my youngest and he was only 18 mo old. My brother was the other adult in charge…Long story short, in returning found my young toddler walking along a major desert highway. I let them suffer for many hours to try and find him…they so deserved it 🙂

    • November 13, 2010 8:34 am

      My God that must have been terrifying!! A desert highway? Insane!

  52. November 13, 2010 5:07 am

    Maybe u should put a little necklace on Maya, something that says, “if found, please call ….” LOL
    At least you got her back in one piece, even if she did look a bit disheveled 🙂
    *kisses* HH

    • November 14, 2010 9:29 am

      What a cute idea…I love it HH! Is it nuts that I’m actually considering this?

  53. November 13, 2010 5:46 am

    Haha, aww, Ameena 🙂 You always make me smile. The best part is, I’ll bet Maya loved the little detour, and I’m sure she won’t remember it in future years anyway 🙂 I know just what you mean about have a hard time relinquishing control. I’m putting together a theme meal in a high school cafeteria this Wed. where me and two other girls are feeding 400 (!) high schoolers. Yes, high schoolers – probably the toughest critics out there. I’m having a hard time letting go of some of the tasks – I’m so tempted to cut all those gosh darned carrots myself, plus stirfry 400 portions of rice, just to make sure they turn out ok. Now, if that isn’t messed up, I don’t know what is 😛

  54. Sri permalink
    November 13, 2010 5:31 pm

    I remember my dad picked me up one day a year – the very last day of school. And while all the kids were gone – I would be the last one waiting for dad to come. The moment he arrived – i would burst into tears and he would take me to get ice cream. Every year, year after year it would be the same. But atleast I remember it! And my dad always said sorry! ha ha looking back i feel like I should’ve cut him some slack!

    • November 14, 2010 7:29 pm

      I feel for you! And your dad. So far I’ve been able to make sure that Maya isn’t the last one to be picked up but maybe one day I won’t be able to make it happen! Hopefully Maya will cut me some slack too. 🙂

  55. November 14, 2010 3:03 am

    This is why dual households rule…it super balances out all of our need to control all the time. I loved that my dad would be the bad guy in some areas (no extra allowance, come home on time) and awesome in others (fries for lunch). Mom always nagged him for parenting, and that was just awful for his self-esteem and their relationship.

    I LOVE your daughter’s spunk…and your positive nature.

  56. November 14, 2010 4:43 pm

    I think a good throatpunch will solve everything.

  57. November 14, 2010 6:42 pm

    It can only get better from here, no? Next time, he’ll remember at least 1 item. 🙂

  58. November 17, 2010 12:16 am

    Haha, sounds familiar. I don’t know why men have such bad memories! I always have to send reminder SMS to my bf. Maya looks very cute 🙂

  59. November 18, 2010 7:12 pm

    Ah, now I get the Panda express leftovers that Ali had at the inappropriate time another day 🙂

  60. nadia permalink
    November 29, 2010 7:50 pm

    hysterical….too much!

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