Monday, October 19, 2009

Proud to be a Scary Mommy.

"What is a Scary Mommy, you ask? I believe a Scary Mommy is a mother who doesn’t leave the house wearing lipstick at all times. A Scary Mommy loves her kids to death, but will admit to feeling totally overwhelmed and exhausted by the gig. A Scary Mommy doesn’t really care what other people think, and a Scary Mommy thinks that all mothers win when we admit our weaknesses."-Jill from Scary Mommy

Recently my old roommate from College came to visit with her 3 year old son. We had lost touch over the years and this reunion was special to me. I've changed so much from who I used to be before I had children. Let's just say that in College I was one taco short of a combination plate when it came to being a responsible person. I was also pretty flighty, fluttering around to whichever fella would pay attention to me and leaving my poor roommate in the dust.

I wanted to show her that I was all grown up and a good mommy. I cleaned the house to unrealistic proportions in her honor. Not too clean though, I left dirty dishes in the sink so as to not appear that I was trying too hard to impress her. I rotated our toys, putting the educational wooden toys on the shelf and tossing the electronic toys under the bed. The house looked spic and span and as I drove to meet her and her kiddo at a restaurant for lunch, I felt very proud of myself. I would not let her know that I was a "Scary Mommy" (a term coined by one of my favorite Bloggers that represents the anti-super mom). I would put my best face forward and present to her the closest thing to June Cleaver that I could.

It failed miserably. She may not have even noticed that my facade was cracking all around me throughout our entire visit. When we met up at the door of the restaurant her son was dressed like an indie rock kid. Donned head-to-toe in Levis and Converse tennis shoes, he was practically shining he looked so cute.

I glanced down at my 4 year old, Griffin, who had his cowboy boots on the wrong feet and paint all over his hands and clothes from an art project that he had been working on earlier. My 6 month old had dried up snot on his cheek. "So much for clean kids," I thought to myself. My son gallivanted over to hers and asked him..."Do you like pirates?" Her little boy shrugged. Griffin has known about pirates from day one. When he was just two years old he would barrel around the house with a fake hook for a hand and yell "ARGH!" as I walked by. My old roommate smiled and said "Oh, he doesn't know about Pirates yet." Griffin kinda' scrunched his face up as if to say "Huh?" and we moved on.

During the meal, her son sat very politely and ate his food while we visited and caught up on our lives. My son kept interjecting and asking questions like..." Do you like Spongebob? Do you like Lego Star Wars?" Each time the answer was no or that her son didn't watch much TV. I told her "If it's something in the media, video games, or anything inappropriate for a four year old, my kid knows about it." The facade cracked a bit. The Scary Mommy in me was fighting for air. Griffin would jump up and dance if a fun song came on as her son sat intently and ate his lunch. It quickly dawned on me that I have a Scary Kid.

It did not get much better once we arrived at our house. My son walked in and said "It looks so clean in here? What happened mom?" My old friend was gracious and pretended not to hear it. In my mind I tried to convince myself that she hadn't heard it at all. She looked around the house taking it all in. I must admit that my house is kinda' crazy. We have a 2 person trampoline in the living room. It looks like American Gladiators with a safety net and everything. An entire corner is dedicated to Griffin's toys and he has a little table where he eats snacks and plays. To someone just arriving into my life, I'm sure that my kid looks spoiled. Well, he probably is, but having all of this kid stuff easily accessible to him makes my life much easier. If he is a bit rambucutious I just throw him in the trampoline and "voila", I can clean the kitchen unbotherd. The Scary Mommy in me believes that kids should have fun and that home should be a soft place to land. The Scary Mommy in me believes that television is okay in a child's world and that video games are just part of being a kid.

Well, that backfired in a big way because as the play date progressed, my son begged to play video games at least ten times. I tried to encourage him to go play with a wooden toy or use his imagination but he was persistent. "Can we at least watch TV?" he asked in desperation. In an effort to keep him occupied, we turned on the TV and let the boys watch "Harold and the Purple Crayon". I figured that was a harmless show. My old roommate was kind and didn't seem too shocked by my son's addiction to the television. He also intermittently begged to eat some cotton candy that he had won the day before at Chuck-E-Cheese. I tried to talk over his request in hopes that she would not notice that my son was having sugar withdrawal. We had a great time chatting but in the back of my mind I knew that she probably could see through my attempt to appear perfect.

By the end of our visit, I had gone limp and quit trying to hide my inner Scary Mommy anymore. As they put on their jackets to leave, Griffin and I rolled on the floor and wrestled. I had him in a head lock and he was screaming at the top of his lungs "We're a human pretzel!" over and over. My old roommate smiled down at us as if to say, "There you are Leigh. It's so nice to see you!" I smiled back and gently grinded Griffin's face into the carpet as we said our goodbyes. A true Scary Mommy never lets her kid win without a fight!

*This is an entry for a contest over at Scary Mommy. You can campaign for me by leaving a comment giving examples from past Blog posts that make me a Scary Mommy.

28 comments:

Loukia said...

Great post! I have tried to be 'perfect' before in front of others, but screw it, you know? Nothing like being true to yourself... it feels so much better!

Cassie said...

I have a couple of scary kids myself. Good luck in the contest!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

You don't have a scary kid...just a NORMAL kid!!

blueviolet said...

You make scary look great!

Andrea said...

Sounds normal to me! hahahaha!!

Blessings, andrea

Alicia said...

hahaa!! oh so true!! i don't even hide it anymore...i just embrace it! any wearing dried snot and video games are what being kids is all about!

Erin M. said...

I was thinking the same thing---if YOU'RE scary, then I'm scary too, and I know a helluva lot of Scary Moms!

This is a terrific tale, and I'm going over to vote for you now.

I was even getting teary at the end. I think part of it is PMS and the crummy day I've had, but also because I can relate so much to trying soooo hard so much of the time. It's hard to try and pretend life & motherhood aren't messy. They just are. But we're all in it together.

Daffy said...

I wanted to sneeze all over the perfect mommy for you. Thanks for keeping it real! Great entry for the contest too!

I don't think you're scary - I think you're real. Seriously, who wants to play with a kid who doesn't know about pirates? Really...

Tiffany said...

i'm scary for sure then...my house is never clean and my two year old pretty much knows the nightly line up of the Bravo Network.

and Griffin sounds great. every kid should know about pirates!

kys said...

How did you hide your Scary so long? I feel sorry for your friend's kid. I'm totally voting for you now.

Tami G said...

Your a GREAT scary mom!!! I Love it! I've known for years that I'm not winning any "mom of the year awards" for being perfect! now - winning for having the most well versed kid on the latest tv shows and RAP videos out.....I got that! LOL
GREAT post....I love it! :)

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

beautiful, brilliant post. love it love it LOVE IT. :)

JennyMac said...

GOOD LUCK!!!! If you are scary, you wear it well!

Reluctant Housewife said...

I loved this post. Your kids sound just like mine!

Yeah. I so related to this I feel like I could have written it.

You're awesome!

Adventure Mom Janna said...

This is my favorite entry so far! I entered as well. I like the way you approached the topic rather than just listing a bunch of things. I love trampolines!!!

leigh said...

In my lovely friend's defense, her son is a cutie pie. This was a self imposed suffocation of the Scary Mommy in me. Thanks for having my back though ladies!

Leigh

Scary Mommy said...

I so adore this post!!! I used to try and put on that perfect mommy act, but I'm over it. It's exhausting and silly and just no fun at all. What's the point? It's much more fun to just embrace our scariness. :)

Organic Meatbag said...

I've seen some scary mommies in my lifetime, but you're definitely not one of them...you seem to be a very pleasant mommy...hahahaha

Barbi said...

Very well written! You paint a great picture of a scary mommy!

Mommy Words said...

Great scary mommy post! This is SO something that would happen to me...I mean my 1 year old can say Dora. And really only Dora. Oops!

I am now following! you can find me at www.mommywords.com

SO much fun! Can't wait to get to know you better!

grendelskin said...

Thank you for sharing a terrific post!

Atlanta said...

Hey Chica, Just wanted to stop by to read the Post and vote for you and your scary kid. Makes me feel like I am voting for me and mine! lol ;) I swear I'll be back to read and catch up on other posts. Really. I swear.

melissa said...

great post. good to know that i'm not the only one who allows my kids out of the house in shoes that are on the wrong feet. and generally, my son is not only wearing his spiderman light up boots on the wrong feet but he has the whole costume on, in lieu of clothing.
and i don't care.
i think it's cute!!
-melissa
http://www.rockanddrool.com

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Great post! I loved the ending where your true self shone through and your friend was more than happy to see the real you.

How does she get her kid to be so quiet and sit so still? I must know her secrets!

Deb said...

I love it when my kids dance around! Sometimes I even join them when they're swaying to the muzak in the grocery store.

Great post!

Loukia said...

Congrats on being a runner up in the Scary Mommy contest! :)

San said...

Love your post!

I'm planning to set up a huge playarea with my boy too. Not sure if a trampoline can fit, but it sure sounds fun! Your boys are blessed... they have one cool mommy! ;)

scrappysue said...

love this. the things we try to do for others, instead of ourselves. congrats on being the fan fave!!!