Saturday, November 13, 2010

happy meals and alligator teeth

finn's head was full of nightmares last night and apparently they are contagious. after crawling back into the space between bryan's back and cheeto's face i curled into the dark spongy of my mind that allows me to be chewed upon by an alligator. it didn't hurt as bad as i thought it would. but did you know they can open doors? if you find yourself caught in a bathroom bleeding from teethmarks on your abdomen from their jaws, know that there stubby clawed legs can turn doorknobs. and they bark when they're mad. and, yes, i do know that alligators don't bark. but there it is.

sometimes i am not the perfect model of parenthood. i have allowed our daughter to enjoy a bowl of chocolate ice cream, a chocolate croissant, chocolate milk. not at the same time, but there it is. we have taught her that french fries taste good in ranch dressing and we sometimes coat her peas in butter and cheese just to get her to eat one. yes, she has been given a happy meal. we've since opted out of fast food as an option. but there it is.

she has watched television and listened to music not geared towards children. she has jumped on the couch with her shoes on and i know, for a fact, that last night i gave her a warning to stop doing so and then didn't follow through when she continued. i have told her to hold on while i finish typing an email and to go find a toy to play with so that i can finish dinner. i do not always buy organic vegetables and sometimes leave lights on in other rooms of the house when bryan is not home because i get scared of dark shadows and my imagination. and there it is.

it is somewhat conceited to have children, yes? to think that, of course, we'll be able to take care of them with smiling faces and perfect precision. that we won't sometimes want to drive through taco bell justified because it is at least the healthiest option out there. that we won't ever tell them to find something to play with so we can buy a few minutes of nothing. that we'll be able to cut the smoke in the middle of the night with the precision of soft words and forehead kisses. until we crawl back into our own heads and find ourselves trapped in bathroom, bleeding from alligator bites.

so there it is.


  1. How did you know I needed to read this? Sigh...

  2. don't ever doubt, you are a good parent. bad parents don't bother to question. i enjoy your writing. keep on.

  3. Amen to all of that (and have been there, done that, continue to do so... to all of that...) it makes us real. And I think it's good for our kids to see that, you know?
    (and I prefer blue cheese dressing on fries, but I think we can still be friends :))

  4. I think you fare on the side of better decisions than some I made with you - but parenting is still all a crap shoot - pre-parenting we make fervent self-promises that we will raise only the right way with boundaries, standards and wholesome diets. Real-life actual parenting wears many hats, some askew albeit well-intentioned but needing to be just a little selfish. Losing all of yourself in becoming a parent is not healthy for either of you. So the few minutes you steal by shushing, go-get-a-toy- for-a-minute, not-while-I'm-on-the-phone, one- more-minute-please, not-in-here-or-on-there- please - all of these escape our lips in spite of best intentions. My discipline as a parent is much easier being a grandparent - yes, I will let Finn escape recriminations more than I did you, but if I'm not mistaken, just as you knew when my voice got very quiet that you had crossed that line a bit too far - she also knows when you mean business - and she will love you just as much, as you knew I always loved/love you. And you love me in spite of or maybe even because of some of my mistakes. Others, I can only thank you for forgiving me.

    And I can't slay your alligators any better now than when you were younger - my nightmares are not alligators, but someone very dark and cruel harming me. No face, just a harsh form creating graphic violence everywhere I go. 3-4 times a week I get up at night to play games on the computer just to calm down. Maybe I just watch the news too much???

    Anyway, Finn is so well rounded that she's a joy to be with - can't wait to see y'all tomorrow!!! xxoo Mom

  5. i think ... i do, that by allowing children to mess up once in a while it teaches them better how to deal with alligators in the future. we can help them fight the ones today and in that aid, we give them tools for the future when we're not around. i know they will remember that about you. i fight my alligators too, i remember the times that my mom let me get away with stuff and the times she made me toe the line. both taught me a lot.

  6. this reminds me of the 'not perfect' series. i kept meaning to do a post on that.

  7. Having kids is such a big thing. I've been thinking about it more and more, as more and more of my friends are going down that road. It's weird and seems so foreign but also beautiful and inevitable. Mostly I'm just afraid that I will never be mature enough. Are you ever ready for it? And if not how close to ready is ready? Ugh... Too many questions, and the fact that I'm even asking them scares me!

  8. sometimes it is so perfect to hear that not everyone is perfect, especially parents, here on the web of always perfect. xo thank you

  9. Your writing makes me smile. Thanks for that.

  10. Your gift for words astounds me. Just flat knocks me down.

  11. I'm with Relyn. I'm not even going to comment on the content, because geesh. that's a conversation between mothers that could go on and on. but they way you say what you say? Woman? Wow.

  12. you sound like a great mom to me!!!! too many restrictions and rules and uptight attitudes lead to freak children. you will not do that! :)

  13. ohhhhhhh~

    fuck and fuck




  14. Krista, I do believe it is somewhat conceited to have children. I never thought so until I had my own.
    YOU are an awesome, awesome write, my dear friend.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you three!


use your kind words.