Ballad of the Sucky Mom

Franny is off to school today, for an open house there. We get to meet the teacher that she will have for the next three years, because in her school they start you with three-to-six-year-olds so the older ones can show you the ropes, and when you are older you can have a try at being a leader. Not even three yet, and I’m all ready turning her out into the world. I would lose my mind, though, if she stayed home longer, and she isn’t even one of the difficult ones.

I am partially relieved that she is getting out every day because I know that I am a 50% sucky mom. I break all the rules: sometimes I yell when she spills stuff on accident, because I have to clean up sticky mess. Sometimes I put her in time out just so I won’t dope-slap her. She has this sweet little blondeness and is so smart sometimes, but sometimes I want to grab her by her little shoulders and just say, “Quiet! No more anything for an hour. Read a book,” or “Aren’t you listening to me” I said ‘yes’ twelve times all ready.” Sometimes I feel like my brain will eat itself if I have to be around someone who asks me questions all day and then doesn’t listen to the answers. She alternates between that and having “poo-poo” Tourette’s syndrome. Some people say “um” or “uh” or “yep” to mark spaces in sentences, but Frannie says “poo-poo.” It’s like having your own little Gollum around, but without the loincloth and raw fish eating.

“That’s a big doggy poo-poo,” she’ll say, or “I don’t want to take a nap poo-poo,” or “What are you poo-poo doing, Mama poo-poo?” I kind of feel sorry for her, since she can’t seem to stop herself.

Aaah…topic? Yes.

My mom tells me I went to preschool also, but I don’t remember any of it. She says that I cried in the corner the whole day for two weeks until she had to take me out. I guess I wasn’t ready. I do remember kindergarten; I was totally overwhelmed but excited about being around so many other children, since my nearest neighbor out in the sticks was a mile away or something. There was a dairy farm next door, but the electric fence and dozy cows weren’t very friendly playmates.

I brought my teddy bear to school, which concerned my grandmother. She told me very gently that the other kids were going to make fun of me, and she was right. The bus picked me up in front of our trailer in B.F. Egypt, and I climbed on with her help, clinging to my lumpy teddy bear with the wind-up music box buried in his guts that you could zip out for easy washing. The third graders had a blast baby-talking at me until I wised up and left the bear at home on the third day, and I did okay after that.

I was always loud and funny and quick at school. Some people hated me to the point where I was able to needle them until they physically attacked me…this actually happened more than once. I was never the most popular kid, but I usually had a little posse of my own to play with.

I had a thought in the last couple of days though…what if Frannie is the pariah? There’s always one, right? She could be that kid who incessantly eats boogers, or paste (although paste-eating never lost me any friends), or that kid who is a biter or pants-wetter until the fifth grade. I think she will definitely be that swearing kid, unless they socialize her out of it. I am not looking forward to that parent-teacher conference, because I just don’t care if she swears.

What if all this poo-poo talk makes her end up in the corner during free play, talking to herself, shunned by all the other kids? I don’t want this to be the beginning of years of social misfitism.

I can just see it… It’s her poo-poo corner, yessss…other nasty kids can’t have it. Poo-poo.

In Other News

I finally put my links/about page in alphabetical order, because I think it was just turning into a clusterfuck. I added a couple of new ones, too. Someday I would like to add scope notes about every entry, so I can tell you why all these peeps are not assmittens. People email me sometimes asking what they should read because they are new to this strange and dorky subculture, and I think that would help. The other part of me just wants to hoard these authors to myself, because I don’t want them to get big giant heads and write posts about how many hits they are getting.

I have not been visiting you all enough lately, and sometimes I just pop in and lurk without commenting. I am looking forward to my cushy uni job which starts in two weeks, so I can blogroll during the downtime. I have never had such a busy summer. I hate!

13 thoughts on “Ballad of the Sucky Mom

  1. My 5 year old son has the same problem. Only with him it’s “butt”.
    “Austin put your shoes on, we have to go.”
    “Ok I’ll put them on…my butt.”

    He has also said
    “Can I have some more cereal…for my butt?”
    “I want some butt koolaid!”
    “Mommy the dog is sleeping by my butt!”

    He just started kindergarten. So we’ll see how that goes…with his butt.

  2. My friend’s nephew says “butt-stain” a lot.

    Our homecare person is born-again, which will probably cause a problem when Mia really cranks into some top-notch cursing.

  3. YES! I am a 50%er parent. Half the time I think I’m actually really good at it. The other half I feel like I am just a drone sent by the psychotherapy association to ensure they will always have clientele.

    I think I’m going to aim for 60% good now that I get half a day everyday to work on being a nice mom.

  4. Lurking w/o commenting is becoming a chronic behavior of mine these days, so I understand you perfectly. Just can’t seem to muster up anything to say, consarnit.

  5. Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but when I was about seven my dad dropped me off at my grandparents’ house in the smallish simulated-Mayberry-RFD community of Stanwood, WA. And I was fresh out of Eugene, which is also a small town, but which distinguishes itself from Stanwood by being a small COLLEGE town, and also by not being a Mecca for upper-middle class cocksmiths from the manicured suburbs of Southern California. And as far as that goes, the strangest thing about Stanwood was that a lot of it was, like, faux-small-town, built for the benefit of California retirees who thought of themselves as epistemologically connected to the ethos of the wild west, but who were actually just lazy stupid suburbanites with too much money and terrible taste in pants

  6. Always a pleasure, Joshua.

    And Melissa: The psychotherapy drone thing is cracking my ass up.

    Hi Jack!

  7. Aw…don’t worry…

    The sad truth is that if she is intelligent and interesting at all someone will hate her. She will figure stuff out, I’ll bet. And learn her own interesting and creative ways to cope with the cruelty and brutality that is grammar school.

    You seem like a good mom to me. But my theory recently is: Being a mom sucks so who couldn’t or wouldn’t suck at being a mom?

    I don’t mean kids suck–just: Who could be good at something requiring such superhuman abilities? I can’t imagine such a person.

  8. I think the mom-suckiness must be preparation for real life. Do perfect mothers turn out unprepared children?

  9. I completely fucking hate non-sucky moms. (Undestanding, of course, that my definition of sucky mom merely means that you are not a resident of Stepford.) Truly sucky moms wouldn’t take the time to write about their parenting.

    My girl’s quasi-Montessori (which has done nothing–nothing!! to temper her sass except when she’s IN class, and that took two years) is riddled with those horrible perfect glamour/robotron moms. Thankfully this year I have three comrades who sit with me on the lawn after class. Our kids run around screaming, laughing, and eating clover, while the offspring of the Child Magazine subscribers are quickly herded into their parents’ Excursions and Navigators.

    I suspect that your girl, and mine, are the happier children.

  10. Josh, they broke the motherfucking mold when they made you, compadre. You motherfucker, you. :)

    I was just trying to imagine Pesci as a kid. Like, from “Casino”, just shorter…bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaa

  11. There is no such thing as the perfect mom, or the perfect kid. I’m a kindergarten aide, so I’ve seen a lot. That and the fact that I am the mother of the First Grade Problem Child have led me to believe that, since kids are individuals and have their own personalities and temperaments, mothers cannot be held solely responsible for their child’s behavior all the time. Perfect mothers have turned out horrible children, and horrid mothers have somehow produced wonderful children. Each individual has their own karma, and their own issues and is not a blank slate for their parents to upload perfect behavior into, like good little automatons. I was just accused by my own mother of not “loving” my daughter enough. Her definition of love is catering to J’s every whim and never saying no because “saying no is damaging to the psyche”. What a load of bullcrap. Or butt-stain.

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