Cheers to all you mamas out there who just might be, “Sipping Your Way to Sanity.” Here’s to those who’ve had a killer day at work and came back to a tantrum. To those who’ve tried to leave their house an hour earlier but were busy wrangling the herd. To those who have wanted to basically stick their fingers in their ears, scream “LALALALALAAAAA” and pretend, for a mere moment in time, a blip in reality, that they never had children. This post, my fellow mamas, is for you…
Sipping My Way to Sanity
THERE IS LITTLE MEDINCINE that cures the insane to sane, the child shrieking shouts to child chill-outs, the husband headaches to husband halos. Little in the way of help for such abhorrent ailments. You can’t yell, can’t pray, can’t plead your way to the sanity Gods and Goddesses. When nothing else seems to work, and you feel defeated yet again, this simple solution might find you well: I’ve come to realize that you can most certainly, and should surely, start sipping your way to sanity. This is a skill in which I’ve become quite adept.
Sip, slurp, “Sure!”
Sip, slurp, “What?! No problem!”
Sip, slurp, “Spilt milk? Who cares!”
If I had a prescription pad it would read:
“One glass of wine per hour. Not to exceed one bottle per day.”
And, that would be my doctor’s handwriting. Barely legible, but kinda cute. (Side note: WordPress won’t allow me to keep my original and adorable font). An unnecessary point that I thought I’d share.
The problem with this is that we shouldn’t be drinking a bottle of wine per day. I wish that were an acceptable thing to do and that I wouldn’t be a shit teacher, colleague, and mom if I opted to imbibe daily in such a fashion. In fact, I wish that style was in fashion! I’d rock the shit out of it! Quick! Someone get Gucci into the wine making industry! I think this would make the winos of the world look more acceptable. Though, I think my face would get fat, my liver further damaged (four years of college plus about ten more because my mind never left that ‘university of booze’), and I’d most likely stop going to the gym (God bless Zumba classes and treadmills with TVs), and in turn gain an additional thigh, which Lord knows I most certainly can’t afford to gain. I sometimes pretend there is a parallel universe where all of the “no, you shouldn’t-s” are “yes, you should-s” and vice versa. Yes, I could see myself in a perfectly pretty place like that.
I had a crazy day at work last week. My students were fucking mental, and getting ready for multiple concerts makes my anxiety soar through the roof. You’d never know it by looking at me but I truly detest the weeks leading up to performances. The day itself? Totally cool as shit. Ugh. I came home and G-man was sick and in quite a mood, it was raining hard, again (note-to-self, this is what makes Oregon so beautiful so I should forgive Mother Nature…again), and I totally forgot to go to the store for food. What’s worse? I. Was out. Of wine! How could I have let this happen?! Someone upstairs must hate me today (rule of thumb for mothers: place blame elsewhere…always). So, instead of going to get food, I plopped my kiddo in the stroller, walked with the speed of light to the wine store next door (yes, next door- a blessing or curse in disguise… you decide) and voila! Bought myself a sultry and too expensive beautiful bottle of Pinot Noir. Oh, yes, I did. “Food? Pshhh… I’ll throw some things in a pan!” “Crying baby? Double ppshh! I’ll turn on the tube while I throw things in a pan.’ “Students and looming dark concert cloud following my sanity to hell? Triple pshhh! I’ll drink that shit away!” I confess, those are the days where I very well might have the entire bottle of wine. Plus, that shit spoils if you leave it overnight, right? (wink)
In reality, at the end of the day, all is forgiven. When my little man tells me, “Mommy, Ms. J (his nanny) doesn’t have eyeballs,” or “When I get older I’ll have a vagina then, okay?” or “Mommy, you need lemon for the hummus. You don’t know?” After he had gotten me all of the hummus ingredients without me reminding him, and I had actually forgotten the lemon. What a precious piece of pie. He’s my main squeeze, and it is he who is truly my best medicine.
A holiday gift to yours truly was to get a move on with my book, “One More Sip of Whine.” It’s a book comprised of short stories about my adventure thus far, as a mother. It’s raw, real, honest, foul-mouthed, and I hope, hilarious. *Side note: As I write this, I am at a ‘child play land venue’ downtown Portland. Why do I love it? My child is amongst the other batshit crazy kiddos in what looks like a cage in a kiddie jungle, as I sit and type this with a glass of pinot grigio. Bless the man or woman who created this space. I think I’m in love with you… *Back to business: I’ve previously shared a few of my chapters (each short story is a chapter) with you all and thought that I’d share the beginning of the book: My introduction, and the shortest and very first chapter of my book, “Dear Abby.” I’m SO excited that my book has been through its beta readers and is now in the editing process! Do I realize the harsh reality of getting a book published? I think I do. I’m totally stoked about it anyway and am proud of myself for attempting to move in this direction!
I wrote another book about my experience as an expat in Beijing, China that I will self-publish when this current book is all said and done. It’s called, “Crazy China Sh#% (Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do).” This book was written to better explain to my friends and family what my life was truly like on a daily basis whilst living in such a foreign place. I’ve just started 2 new books as well. My first ever, to be self-published, e-cookbook AND a book that details Greyson’s life as a 3 year old, month-by-month. Writing is my therapy and a place that lets me escape and relax, a comfy pocket of my life to retreat to. That being said, I love cooking & eating food just as much, hence this blog! And, I did name it foodgalleygab… let us not forget the ‘gab’ portion of this space and place! I’d love to hear your opinions on my intro and first chapter, or opinions on any of the other 3 chapters that I’ve previously posted. Many thanks and I hope you enjoy this crazy book journey with me, as I’ll post the whole process as it happens. Happy Saturday!
“One More Sip of Whine”
I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE WRITING this book because no one could’ve ever prepared me for the absolute insane and yet, insanely wonderful ins and outs of motherhood. There are no words, however, I’ve tried to use many in this book to describe to you my experiences. Did I ever expect that a little person would be poking me in the vajajay and screaming “vagiiinnnaaa!” Or shouting like a madman “I’m crazy, mommy! I’m so many women!” Excuse me? No, I absolutely did not expect this to be my life. It’s a totally and completely, crazy and fucked up ride. I’m not going to preach to you about the latest studies in child rearing because I’m making my own up as I go. Unless, of course, the study states something that I’m already doing right, in that case, I win. Killin’ it as a mama. I have no idea why I thought when I became a mother I’d be in the elite five percent of motherhood. I’ve been knocked off that pedestal… hard. Those elite moms are often what I will refer to as the ‘mother shamers’ in this book. Also, it’s a code name for ‘not taking responsibility and feeling totally okay about my batshit crazy child rearing ways.’ I’ll get all real on ya at times and explain the seriousness of some of my struggles, but the rest? Well, that’s just a comical twist on the fact that bringing a kid into this world challenges every last sane and sleep deprived bone in your body. And, that sometimes, I think a glass of wine is the best medicine for almost all child related ailments (for you of course, not your child, I’m not that much of an asshole).
It’s the moments when your kid escapes the shower wearing his underwear on the top of his head while shouting “I’m so cute!” And, now you’re running late to a birthday party only to notice you failed to put mascara on both eyes after you’re miles away from home, but your new philosophy since becoming a mom has become “fuck it!” To virtually every facet of your life. Phew! Words to live by. When the word ‘sex’ is something you think you remember from your college years, and the word ‘poop’ is something you use in almost every sentence. When you think the world is over because your child might not be going to Princeton, when in fact, he has yet to begin preschool, and you’ve not figured out why all the mother shamers got on that shit while their kid was still in utero. Yes, it’s all of these beautiful moments that at the end of the day, make your life so totally weird and nuts but somehow, makes it the best life you’ve ever lived.
My lil’ man is the coolest little shit on the block. His name is Greyson and he rocks at life. He was born in Beijing, China because I was working there at the time and I think that makes him even more rad. He is bilingual and bad ass and I love him more than Brad Pitt. G is the reason my world spins so crooked but so right. My husband, bless his Scottish heart, deals with our shit daily and I think is entertained by our unpredictable ways. And this, folks, is my life.
I’m a total mess! I’ve screwed up and this mistake can’t be taken back. I’m losing my shit and it all began with me getting stupid drunk in Shanghai on Valentine’s Day almost three years ago. I mean, I could barely see straight kinda drunk. Weeks later, I found out I had done it; I’d gone and gotten myself good and knocked up. Fast forwarding, I now have this little baby… fast forwarding some more, I now have this little toddler… and his dad, my husband. My boobs have never felt the same and I barely breast fed (which I cried about daily for 6 months and am pretty sure I’ve been added to the Motherhood of Shame list. You don’t believe me? I assure you, it’s real. It’s a secret, or really, not so secret society of mother ‘shamers’), I’m developing cellulite overnight, my baby hair is coming in at a rapid rate and I regularly look like Alfalfa, my husband tells me I’m sexy and I tell him to ‘shut up’ because we both know that’s a big fat lie, and I’ve ignored my friends for approximately two years now guaranteeing me little return in the friendship department. I love my child but I think I love my brandy and wine almost as much. I thought I was a tiger mom but now I think I may be the most underachieving mother and wife who’s ever lived; and guess what, I’m TOTALLY okay with that! What’s wrong with me?! Am I going to hell in a hand basket with an empty bottle of booze?! Surely, the Devil knows this is my worst fate, and I will, therefore, receive just that. What can I do to score some sweet points with the Mother Goddesses? I’m a good person, I swear! Wait, I don’t think I’m supposed to swear. See! I don’t even know the rules of this sick and twisted game they’re calling “motherhood.” Help me, Abby! Help!
DEAR MOMMIE DEAREST:
Has it occurred to you that you may be affecting your husband’s self-confidence and possibly giving your child a litany of bad examples with your love affair of alcohol and general disregard for the people in your life? You say you’re a ‘good person’ but this may not be the side of yourself that you’re letting your child, husband, and friends see or get to know. I’m not advocating for ‘tiger mom’s’, however, I do not think accepting failure is the alternative you should take. Perhaps reflect on the impact of your actions to others and to yourself, and then slowly make positive changes like thanking your husband and spending quality time playing with your child; pick up the phone occasionally to check-in on your friends to maintain or rebuild your relationships.
Dear Moms (and Dads),
Here is a snippet from my upcoming book, “One More Sip of Whine.” It is 5 different styles of poems – mostly humorous. #3 is my particular fave. I have no doubt that you can relate! Parenthood is the craziest hood you’ll ever roll through. My goal was to express that in 5 short poems. I’d love your opinions before the editing of the book is completed so please leave comments! Enjoy the read!
Some Mothering Poems to You, From Me
1- Roses Are Black
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Someone took over your life that was you.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Your days are now filled with pee pee and poo.
Roses are black, violets are dead,
Deep down you must know you are out of your head.
2- A Haiku of Truth
Like thunder, their roar
Rain, your tears that start to pour
Scream, shriek, more, more, MORE!
3- A Tangled Slew of Rhyming Words
Shitting, pissing, screaming, unfit
Mommy shouting daddy “fuck it!”
Penis, ‘gina, keep your hands off!
Headaches, hormones, “need a wet cloth!”
Dolls that make shit tons of noise,
Oops! Mom broke those talking toys!
What the fuck was one and done?
I should’ve said “boy run or none!”
Thomas, Blippi, Tayo, Poli,
Oops! Mom ‘broke’ the fucking TV!
I want, I want, I want, MOMMY!
I give, I give, MY SANITY!
Hitter, biter, licker, kicker
Bruises, scratches, ice packs, LIQUOR!
Try to cook and then relax,
Mama needs her pills, XANAX!
Knock it over, pick it up!
Someone needs a bigger cup!
Tissues, boogers, burps, and farts,
Legos missing favorite parts,
Redundancy turns into booze,
I do not want green eggs and ham!
Shove it, be a fuckin’ man!
Brush your own teeth! Go to bed!
Where is my mind, I’ve lost my head…
4- A Cozy Couplet
Baby brewing in the womb
Sanity is leaving soon
5- Acrostic Poem for Dummies
Brainless act in Shanghai
Aspire for perfection – fail and sigh
Body shaming boobies – Buh-bye!
Your youth is gone – a new one – arise