Category Archives: Martyr Mama

New

6:00 a.m. is the new 7:00 a.m.  I’m hoping 8:00 p.m. will be the new 9:00 p.m. soon.

Kindergarten is the new first grade.  I know, I say that a lot.

The afternoon carpool line at school is the new inconvenient truth (it’s new to me, anyway).  Mamas all over the country are trying to make the most of the time they spend trapped in their cars waiting and waiting and waiting in carpool lines that I’m sure wrap around the Earth at least twice.  Speaking of the Earth, I have breaking news.  Global warming is real, and the number one cause is the carpool line.

Cookie tantrums are the new Kefir tantrums.  With the new school schedule, I have an hour to kill every morning between dropping Dylan and Riley off at school.  Every morning.  I could go home, but if you knew how much effort it takes to get the kids in the car in the first place, you’d understand why I’m avoiding doing it twice.  I could also enroll Riley in the early care program at school, but it’s expensive (and I’m a Martyr Mama). So far, we’ve alternated between going to Publix, Target, Whole Foods, the bank, and any other place I can think of to kill some time.  You’d think this would be easy for a Shopaholic Mama like me, but its not.  Riley’s outburst yesterday morning over a sugar cookie from the bakery at Publix at eight o-clock in the morning was damning evidence that this routine is unsustainable.

My bed is the new Riley’s bed.  Again.  Boo.

Food therapy is the new occupational therapy.  After almost a year of weekly occupational therapy (with the most bestest therapist on the planet), we’ve moved on to our next challenge.  After a false start last week, we’ve officially begun food therapy.  It’s going well so far, but we’ve started with easy or “green light” food to establish trust and structure.  Shit will definitely hit the fan next week when we transition to “yellow light” food.  That’s when food therapy will be the new happy hour.

Math parenting is the new attachment parenting.  Move over, Mayim Bialik!  As it turns out, good parenting simply requires logs, columns, some simple addition and subtraction, and most importantly, statistics.

When Dylan was an infant, I kept a log of all of his diaper changes.  There were four columns in my, ahem, poop log: date/time, wet, poop, and notes (where I recorded which breast I started with for each feeding).  Lunatic Mama!   I suppose I could have added up the wet and poopy diapers on a daily or weekly basis or churned out some statistics on how often poopy diapers resulted from breastfeeding on the right side first, but let’s be honest.  The poop log was for my sanity.  It gave me a sense of control in an absolutely uncontrollable situation – motherhood.  Here she is:

Yes, I still have the poop log.  I can’t bring myself to throw it out.  It’s a relic that should be preserved if for no other reason than to show a struggling Mama that there’s at least one Mama in the world crazier than her (me).

Nearly six years later, there’s a new log in town – the dinner log.  It has more columns and is way more mathematically advanced than the poop log ever was.  The dinner log has seven columns including: date, number of opportunities (bites available), number of occurrences (bites taken), percentage of success, length of breaks between bites, length of entre meal, and notes.  The dinner log is no joke.  I think I’m going to start a bedtime log for Riley.  Even if the statistics are grim (and they are), at least I’ll feel less nutty.  The future of parenting is in math.

Bumblebee is the new Lightning McQueen.  The boys are newly obsessed with Transformers, and their favorite game is to shout “Bumblebee!” every time they see a yellow car.  By “yellow car,” I mean anything yellow, including actual cars, trucks, vans, school buses, taxis, diggers, dump trucks, and cranes (there’s a lot of construction going on near our house), street signs, street lights, buildings, houses, the sun, flowers, and trash on the side of the road.   If it’s yellow, they yell.  Yeah, you don’t want to be in my car.

Married to Jonas is the new Keeping Up With The Kardashians.  Okay, maybe not, but let me tell you, the Jonas Family is a serious bunch.  The term “over achiever” doesn’t even begin to describe this brood.  If nothing else, these shows are excellent insomnia entertainment.

Running is the new walking.  Disgusting hot and sticky South Florida weather be damned.  I’m running my first 5K of the year on September 8th.

Missouri Representative Todd Akin is the new village idiot.  I usually keep politics out of this space, but rape, pregnancy and abortion are inextricably linked to motherhood. Regardless of your political affiliation or your belief about choice, it’s our responsibility as voters to be aware of the dialogue about the female reproductive system happening at the highest level of leadership in our country.  The notion that a woman has the power to prevent pregnancy (i.e. “shut that whole thing down”) during a rape is not only disrespectful to survivors of rape, but also to women (and men) struggling with fertility issues and women (and men) who’ve suffered the loss of a pregnancy.  This botched-biology nonsense is misogyny and proof that women’s bodies – or anyone’s body for that matter – should not be legislated.  Period.  (Speaking of period, I’d love to hear Akin’s theory on menstruation.)  Okay, I’m done.

On a lighter note…

Nicki Minaj is the new Mariah Carey.  Apparently, when Mariah found out Nicki was being considered as a judge for American Idol, she hung up the phone.  You go, girl.  (p.s. I don’t know who Nicki Minaj is, but apparently she’s hip with the youngsters.  I’m old.)

Is there anything new going on in your life?

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Filed under food issues, Martyr Mama, math, motherhood, parenting, politics, school, toys

Outsourcing

You might think the mere act of carrying Dylan in my belly for 37 long, bloated weeks would make me uniquely qualified to to help him overcome his aversion to food.

It doesn’t.  In fact, it appears that, as his Mama, I am unequivocally the least qualified candidate for the job.  As far as food goes, Dylan and I are like oil and water, or gas and a match.  I dread helping him with homework when he’s older, and if I ever have to homeschool him (which, by the way, would only ever happen at gunpoint), I’m certain it will end in tragedy.

So, what’s a Mama to do?  Outsource.  You can outsource almost anything related to parenting these days.  The most obvious example of outsourcing is childcare, but a brief Internet search reveals a plethora of professional services available to parents, including:

Baby nursing

Baby-proofing

Eco-proofing

Potty training

Parent coaching

Sleep training

Preschool selection

Private transportation

Thumb sucking termination

Baby shower, babymoon, and birthday party planning

Discipline training

Please and thank you coaching

Etiquette training

Personal shopping

Wardrobe dispute consulting (my personal favorite!)

Life coaching

Lice removal

Birds and bees (sex) talking

Bicycle training

Homework helping

College touring

There isn’t much we have to do anymore if we don’t want to (and if we have the resources to pay for it).  Regardless of socio-economic status, though, there are Martyr Mamas like me who wouldn’t want to miss out on any of these amazing, invaluable, and/or insanity-inducing parenting moments…except for lice removal.  If lice enters my house, I’ll pay any amount of money to have someone else clean the mess, and those people better bring a big ‘ol jug of wine with the rest of their supplies.

As a Martyr Mama, I want to be solely responsible for teaching my boys everything they need to know to be happy, healthy and successful in life.  I want to fix all of their problems and prevent trouble from ever entering their personal space.  I want to prepare them for healthy relationships, teach them the difference between right and wrong, encourage them to love themselves, and help them understand what’s truly important in life – love, health and happiness (and their Mama).  I’m not delusional (well, maybe a little bit).  I know I can’t do it all by myself.  I just wish I could.

Last spring, when I was in the beginning stages of diagnosing Dylan’s sensory issues, I realized I needed a level of expertise that I couldn’t provide no matter how hard I tried (and boy did I try).  Early on, Mike and I met with a child therapist.  The “Feelings Doctor,” as Dylan came to know her, was a great resource for us, and Dylan liked her a lot (especially the toys in her office).  A lot has happened since then, including finding an occupational therapist whom has literally transformed Dylan from the inside out.  The only mountain we’ve been unable to move – yet – is food.

If you’ve read about it, heard about it, or seen it on television, I’ve tried it.  I’ve made games and charts, offered rewards, played with the shape and presentation of food, planned rainbow menus and done a dozen other things to make food fun.  Nothing has worked.  About six weeks ago, I had a panic attack (again) about Dylan’s food rules, and I decided to bring the Feelings Doctor back to the table.

With the Feelings Doctor’s help, we’ve set up a green light, yellow light, red light food labeling system and have hosted weekly picnics at her office with a variety of green, yellow and red light foods to try.  We haven’t had much success yet, but she’s making more progress than I’ve been able to make at home.  The truth is, sometimes you need another cook, or someone other than Mama, in the kitchen.

Of course, I want to be the one who does It.  I want to be the one who gets Dylan to take that first bite of chicken, mashed potatoes, pizza, or spaghetti.  The one who teaches him that eating protein and vegetables will make him healthy, strong and fast on the soccer field.  The one who reassures him that trying new food won’t make the world crumble around him; rather, that it will open up new experiences and adventures, and expose him to new people, cultures, and traditions.  The one who teaches him that food is one of life’s greatest joys.

I’m a (Martyr) Mama.  I can’t change that, and I can’t help but selfishly want to be at least partially responsible for all of the wonder Dylan experiences in his life and the greatness he achieves along the way.  But I’ve also learned that sometimes it’s best to step back and let someone else do the pushing (or the delousing, thank you very much).  That way, I’m free to watch in awe and when he finally decides to leap, or, in this case, eat.

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Filed under food, food issues, Martyr Mama, parenting