My Little Pony Epidemic

So, let me tell you all about the My Little Pony Epidemic that has swept into our house like a kind of malicious influenza. Let the record show, Marilyn brought home this strain of (so far) incurable sickness and while Joe and baby Judah seem to be immune, and Sam is fighting the irresistible urge to like My Little Pony (I will later both prove that he has The Disease and probably make him hate me), Marilyn and I are full-blown, never coming back, off the deep end, addicts/patients. [I however, still maintain that it was torture which did me in. You try being subjected to MLP 18 hours a day and then not sing the theme song].

And before you go jumping on your high ponies, hahaha (crack head). No. I don’t let Marilyn watch t.v all day long (okay, some days I do, whatever- I think I told you before I don’t get regular showers, without tv I’d get No Showers, consider yourself lucky). But when the t.v is off, the iPad is on, and we downloaded a MLP game (it seemed like a good idea at the time) and when the iPad and the tv are both off? [Like when the power is out and the batteries have been drained dry] then she whips out her real live (made in China) My Little Pony toys. And she insists that I play with her.

So let’s just set the scene here shall we? I will be nursing Judah, happily watching Law & Order SVU and in will traipse Marilyn with her pretty blonde curls and sparkling blue eyes. “May I watch My Little Pony, please, Mommy?” she will say. Something will take my heart within its icy grip (I’m assuming it’s Nightmare Moon) and squeeze until I say “Yes darling, of course, we’ve only watched this particular episode eleven billionty times today”

We will finish watching approximately 14 (hundred) episodes and I will be bouncing the baby on one knee while trying to drink my icy cold coffee (not by choice, but by the black hole of time that I am sucked into on a daily basis trying to keep other people alive and happy).

“Can we play on the iPad?” Marilyn will ask me with feverish excitement. I swear I can see sweat beads of delirium sprouting on her angelic face. There is no point in fighting, so I turn the game on. This MLP game has (the dreaded) in-app purchases, so she is not allowed to play it alone. Even though I disabled in-app purchases she once managed to buy something for over fifty dollars (if my husband is reading this, don’t worry, i-tunes refunded us!). Currently we are level who-even-cares and we’re trying to beat back the darkness that Nightmare Moon has bestowed upon Ponyville, or Equestria, or Cantorland… I don’t even know what realm we’re in anymore. More importantly is that at the end of this level we’ll be able to obtain Scootaloo, one of the baby ponies. Marilyn’s stance on Scootaloo’s arrival is something akin to the exorcist in the scene with split pea soup vomit. She must have her NOW. (Which often leads me to playing this ridiculous game after she goes to bed so I can collect enough bits and gems to get her this stupid pony in hopes that she will Leave Me Alone. I told you, full-blown, never going to be cured). We’ll finish with the iPad game and I will be ready to put Judah down for a nap. (Cue the Angels singing) I may just get some breakfast now! (Or lunch, since it’s already 1230pm) or maybe a shower! I might check in online and see how the rest of the world is doing.

“Mommy?” comes that voice, the voice I created with my husband and then nurtured lovingly inside of my body for nine long months. “Mommy will you play My Little Pony with me?” So I do. I do it starving, and begrudgingly, giving each pony The Stare (oh come on you slackers, The Fluttershy Stare)

 

 

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I have begun to have a love hate relationship with everypony in Equestria. Look, I get the allure. I am a child of the 80’s. I grew up with Pound Puppies, Fraggle Rock, Rainbow Brite, GEM and yes, My Little Pony (to name a few). I remember having these toys as a kid (well, kind of these toys, China has made some improvements, namely that their orbital sockets are now roughly the size of a human brain). But I am hungry. I smell vaguely of this mornings burping session with Judah and I really want to know if Oliva and Elliot get this serial rapist off the streets. So yeah, I’m That Mom, the one who is just So Happy when her cannot-play-alone-EVER 6-year-old comes rushing through the door from school. (I told you, I had subsequent children to free me from the need of having to actually play with my kids, I have important things to do, damn it, like pin crafts that I’ll never actually create).

So I’ll bribe my son. “Sam. If you play My Little Pony with Marilyn, you can play the wii until bedtime!” but he needs little prodding to plunk down next to his sister and partake in the fun. Remember I told you that Sam is trying to resist the temptation? Yeah, well temptation just leveled him.

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Evidence of Family Life

I read some blogs, some journals, some facebook chronicles about women for whom raising children is a calling. I post a lot of photos on facebook of my day to day family life. They are stills of a (sometimes) controlled chaos. I often delete ten photos where one person has their eyes closed, or is crying, or refuses to get in the photo at all, for every one that makes it on there. Sometimes I think people feel I am one of these moms I envy, I’m not. These moms feel rejuvenated upon waking each morning to their childrens smiling faces. (I sneakily lay out breakfast items the night before in hopes they will fix it themselves and leave me alone till 9am) These moms eagerly count the hours until their children come home from school. They pinterest crafts and actually do them. They sit on the floor with their children and play for hours, games of make believe and wonder. (I had subsequent children to take care of this need) These moms cook meals that contain all the food groups (unlike yours truly, for whom when they decided ketchup was actually a vegetable, sighed a breath of relief ‘I have been feeding Marilyn veggies then!’). For these mothers, patience knows no limit, they never tire, it seems they have boundless energy and no commitments or obligations other than to fill their childrens days with magic and love.

For me, motherhood sucks the life from me the way someone might suck bone marrow from a particularly delicious short rib. I’m not even half joking. And I love being a mother. Can we just get that clear right now? I love being a mom, more than I ever in my pre-mom life thought possible. But I also love being a person, a woman, and I am finding it difficult to balance those things. I wanted nothing more than to stay at home with my kids again. I cried most of the days I went to work, I hated leaving them, not being home to tuck them into bed at night, or share their days after school and I would never, not for anything (except to save my family from certain financial doom) willingly go back to work. But I don’t know how to balance being a person with being a mom. I have always been such an all or nothing kind of person.

I think about writing here and then I see that the floors need to be swept. I think about sitting down to write anything, a poem, a blog post, a journal entry and I feel absolute guilt. I am always trying to get ahead. I think to myself, if I can just get ahead then I can relax. If I can just get ahead of the laundry, ahead of the mess, ahead of the chores, then I can write. But there is always more laundry, more dishes, more school pickups or doctors visits or sick kids. I never get ahead, I just get behind on me-things like the blog or writing.

And can we just touch on the fact that motherhood is not a creative outlet? It is often a thankless job with no boss to tell you if you are doing a good job and nobody writing notes of appreciation. No way to even tell if you’re doing it right, until the final product is released into the world and by then it’s mostly too late. I feel lost a lot of the time even though on a baseline I am happy and content. (By this I mean, I have a checklist in my head and I can check off the things that I think should make someone happy. Solid marriage, check. Healthy children, check. Roof over head, check. Food in fridge, check.)

I find, lately, my brain has turned into something resembling the consistency of split pea soup. I spend my evenings doing mindless ‘social media’ things like facebook or addictive games, or watching tv shows with Joe. I’ve always found it much more difficult to write when I was in a good place in life. Maybe because that naturally meant there were good things going on, or more people involved in the everyday goings on. Since I’ve had children the years have yielded little results, matched pretty much by my efforts. The funny thing about this is, that motherhood is sometimes a sad thing for me, it can be very lonely.

I don’t think about things like the blog or poems or deeper wants every day, or even every week, but when I think about these things.. these things that were such a big part of me before I had kids, they too, make me a little sad. I worry sometimes that at 40, the kids will be mostly grown and I will not have a single idea of what to do with myself or who I am. (And then conversely, I think, a lot of people are just having children at 40- what am I complaining about?)

I hope this doesn’t sound like a bunch of whining, but then again, if it does, just remember that I listen to whining most of the day and I rarely get out to anywhere that requires more of a dress code than not being naked so… whatever. (Oh you thought you were going to get a nice little ending tied up in a package of pretty pink bows and ribbon? Sorry, this is real life).

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(Don’t get jealous, it only took me 43 photos and a temper tantrum to get this evidence of daily life).

Time Passes

Time Passes without permission. I last wrote in here on November 19th 2012, which is shameful. And it was also a lifetime ago. I gave birth to my third (and probably my last) child, a boy, named Judah Michael, on December 4th. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of epic proportions.

You may (or you may not) know what the early weeks of parenthood are like… and if you do, you should fill me in because it’s all been a blur to me. Now Judah is rounding out on month two of life, and I feel like for the first time since before Thanksgiving, my head is back above water.

On Tuesday I did something I haven’t done in over a year. I set aside a few minutes to scratch out a rough draft of a poem. So I’ll leave it here as a draft, with the intent of coming back and polishing it up. Kind of like leaving an article of clothing at That Persons Place so you have a reason to return.

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I carry your sleeping body with utmost care,
the kind of gentle afforded only to precious cargo.
In the darkest hours of a silent night
I am the watch tower, you are the siren.

Lay you down with relief and regret,
half running to the door, yet also lingering long.
Every day turned over is one lit to the flame.

Hours or minutes have passed,
Your bleating lamb wail bursts open,
I can feel light flood and surge,
the sleep-steps bring me at once to you.

Noises similar to the rocking of a wave,
an ocean full of arms and beating hearts.
You settle heavy and sweet.

The house sleeps, but not the watch tower.