My Mother’s Day was spent on a flight back from Atlanta.
During this trip, I stared at beautiful Instagram shots of mothers and their children in fields of lavender (I’m not making this up) reading captions like, “My life was nothing until little ____ was born.”
Here’s the truth: I admire those who feel like this but I do not feel like this.
As a matter of fact, my Mother’s Day entailed a flight back from Atlanta* where I recall having more than my usual quota of disagreements with Maya.
(*Incidentally, we had a great time in Atlanta. Great hotel, great food, great weather. I don’t want this post to be totally negative – just like 98% negative.)
I lectured Maya about mixing her clean and dirty clothes in her suitcase, “For God’s sake, it’s not like this is the first trip you’ve ever taken – you know better. Now I have to wash EVERYTHING because you were too lazy to get a plastic bag.”
I also believe I whispered on our flight (in that scary – I’m-About-To-Lose-My-S@#$-Lethal-Whisper) that “I can’t be responsible for what might happen if you kick me or my purse one more time.”
But the icing on the cake was the fact that Maya did absolutely nothing to mark the day. She didn’t even give me a card.
For a minute I wanted to blame Ali, as this is how I get through most things that anger me, but then I realized that:
- Although it may often seem like it, I’m not Ali’s mom, so why should he worry about Mother’s Day?
- Plus he was traveling prior to Atlanta so he couldn’t exactly facilitate anything.
- And at 11-years-old Maya is old enough to know better.
Frankly, it’s been a week and I’m still annoyed. It’s like not like I asked for a designer handbag or something…I just wanted a card.
So in summary, Mother’s Day = a day with tons of Hallmark-created expectations and very little delivery.
Especially in my house.
About 3 months ago, I asked Ali to pick up laundry detergent.
I specified he needed to visit Duane Reade and only Duane Reade.
I instructed him to purchase Ology detergent and only Ology detergent.
I encouraged him to take a photo of our nearly empty bottle so as to avoid confusion.
Then the craziest thing happened!
Ali brought home the right detergent. And not just that, he bought TWO bottles because they were on sale.
I commended him for his forward thinking.
Two weeks ago Ali found himself at Duane Reade again – honestly, he’s there every other day – where he picked up 2 additional bottles of detergent.
Because they were again on sale.
When he returned home with this unexpected surprise, I was a bit concerned with our inventory levels but swallowed my storage fears and instead commended him (again) on his forward thinking.
Yesterday Ali came home with 2 additional bottles of detergent.
This brings our current inventory to 5 bottles of detergent (one just finished) in an apartment with no storage space. None.
Sorry, but I can no longer celebrate Ali’s forward thinking because I do believe he keeps buying detergent just so he can watch me stress out about where to store it.
Because what could be more fun than continually hauling heavy bottles of detergent home with the main purpose of annoying your wife?
Not much I guess.
It appears that Ali has caught a touch of my micromanaging disease.
Just last week – while we were in Los Angeles – my husband so kindly delineated how I needed to “pull into that driveway, reverse, and then go straight” in order to turn the car around.
He even used hand gestures and I’m sure that if he’d had a piece of paper he would have drawn a detailed diagram.
His instructions were quite welcome because I haven’t really been operating a vehicle for the last 24 years, I’ve only been pretending.
In other news, Maya’s Spring Break is finally coming to a close (thank God for that).
Also, I bought a new pair of New Balance shoes in navy blue (yes, I really did purchase something that isn’t black), and resurrected my beloved Target hat from the depths of my closet (see below picture) now that temperatures are far more reasonable.
The Whole Foods in Union Square finally grew a brain and created an Express Lane during the high peak lunch hour (now I only have to wait an average of 15 minutes in line to buy my lunch, instead of the usual 18 minutes. I am beside myself with happiness.).
Oh, and I burned a batch of homemade crackers (I ate them anyway, because I cannot waste food).
There isn’t much else going on but Ali and Maya are due to fly back to NYC tonight so I’m sure I’ll have more sarcasm to share shortly.
I decided not to buy Maya a gift for her birthday this year.
I came to this decision because Maya still hasn’t opened the sewing machine I bought her for Christmas. The one that she’s always wanted. The one that she had to have.
This sewing machine – in it’s original packaging – taunts me every time I walk by her closet because:
- It was a giant waste of money.
- It’s taking up much needed closet space.
- Few things trouble me more than wasting money. Or space. (I know I say this about everything.)
I also decided not to buy Maya a gift because I couldn’t think of a single thing to buy her.
Me: Instead of buying you a gift I want to take you somewhere. Where do you want to go?
Maya: Dos Caminos.
Me: Anywhere else? Maybe a show?
Maya: No. I just want to go to Dos Caminos.
Apparently all it takes to make my child happy on her birthday is lunch at a sub-par Mexican restaurant. A restaurant that features unfriendly service and $26 guacamole.
Although I can probably fly to Mexico for the price of the guacamole at Dos Caminos, I’m not going to complain for once.
Mostly because Dos Caminos won’t ever taunt me from Maya’s closet, and that in itself is a gift.
I went into last weekend with much trepidation, knowing that with Ali out of town it was up to me to entertain Maya for 48 hours.
You’re probably thinking, “Must you worry about everything Ameena? She’s not an infant for crying out loud. Just put her in front of the TV.”
(Side note #1: I despise turning on the TV before 8 pm. It somehow depresses me.)
(Side note #2: Nothing makes me feel like a worse parent than when I see Maya zoned out in front of the TV. Except when I see her zoned out in front of the iPad. Or zoned out with Ali’s phone in her hands. — > This one tops the charts.)
Ultimately the weekend went fine.
Since the key to keeping Maya happy is to feed her, much of our time involved restaurant lunches, cookie and donut making, and one hectic visit to Trader Joe’s (20 minute line – nuts).
We also went to Michael’s – a store that I just don’t understand- to buy useful things like green fondant.
The weather was great so we hiked through midtown (6+ miles) and then hit up the library and Barnes & Noble.
We wandered through Grand Central.
We didn’t fight. Nobody was injured (although I nearly fell on my face while rock climbing at the park). The TV didn’t get turned on until after 8pm, and even then, just for half an hour. I even got some work done Saturday night.
I’m not sure why I work myself into such a panic about dumb things like keeping Maya busy, but somehow I do.
Wish I could say I’ve learned my lesson, but we all know I’m already worrying about this weekend…
I wasn’t particularly concerned with turning 40. Until Ali plastered the walls with foil signs that read “Happy 40th Birthday!”
Yes I know he meant well. Yes I know I should appreciate his efforts to decorate more. But I’m just throwing it out there that the number 40 looks VERY large and ominous in printed form.
Plus one sign was substantially crooked. (Sorry, I couldn’t hold that back.)
As I waited for Ali to join me for my birthday lunch I concluded that I really don’t feel 40.
(Side Note: My husband was 25 minutes late to lunch…nothing new there. Sorry, I couldn’t hold that back either.)
Okay, so I mostly don’t feel 40. Especially if I ignore my:
- bad knees
- gray hair
- unpredictable temper (not sure if this has anything to do with age but it seems to be getting worse)
In any case, my wrinkles, gray hair, and bad knees are limping onwards to 50.
This means that Ali has exactly one decade to learn to be on time. And to use a leveler when hanging a foil “Congratulations, you’re over the hill” sign.
I’m not holding my breath.
For years other parents have been warning me that it only gets harder.
The truth is that I laughed at these warnings, knowing that NOTHING could be harder than the non-stop diaper changing, the sleepless nights, the formula mixing, the bottle cleaning, the sleep training, the potty training…and don’t forget the terrifying Costco runs.
(I haven’t been back to Costco since Maya stopped wearing diapers. I cut up my membership that day and will never go back. There are few things more dangerous than a Costco parking lot.)
And while I’d rather do anything than any of the above, I will admit that Maya has been working my last nerve the last few months. Not sure how things are going to progress but Maya’s just 10 and I’m already over:
- the drama (“I HATE French and I HATE math and I HATE things that aren’t fun.”)
- the teen lingo (“That’s amazeballs.” Really?)
- the obsession with technology (I couldn’t give a @#$% about Minecraft. Seriously, I have no idea what it is and don’t want to know.)
- the lack of appreciation for all that I do for her (I still do her hair and make her lunch for crying out loud.)
The icing on the cake was this past Sunday, when I insisted she practice her French on the iPad for 20 minutes, before we headed out for lunch. My reward for that apparently offensive suggestion was for her to ignore me for the hour it took to walk to Soho.
I was tempted to keep walking to see if she’d finally ask “How much farther?” but lunch was calling my name. (I’ll save that experiment for the next bout of silent treatment.)
Looking back I should have just enjoyed the silence and turned on my audio book. That’s what Ali would have done, I’m sure. But instead I cycled between anger and frustration at her lack of respect (and yes, even admiration – I had to take a moment to appreciate her ability to not speak for an entire hour to prove her point).
Need to nip this in the bud…any and all suggestions are welcome.