growinghumans


It’s Not Always About Maternal Instinct
March 29, 2016, 12:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have mentioned in past posts how Christmas went for me last year. I gave my Tiny Human what I thought were unique and practical toys. She burst into tears after having opened all of them and proclaimed that none of this is what she had asked from Santa.

To be fair she had asked for:

A Unicorn

A game (??)

Unicorn shoes

& a unicorn purse

I couldn’t really go off this list too much so I, mistakenly, strayed. In the process I felt as if I had single handily dissolved the entire magic of Christmas. I made a new plan for next year. We will march our butts through the store and make note of everything she likes.

I know that this isn’t what I should be doing, probably. I know that in some way I am feeding into her being ungracious for what she got–but I feel it was not about that. She was incredibly polite to everyone who gave her a gift. I think the fact that Santa–her main man–hadn’t gotten it together is what really destroyed her little 5 year old heart.

Anyway, I entered this new year feeling like a failure. I vowed that Christmas this year was going to be the absolute bomb.

Then, Easter happened.

I literally spent an hour and a half walking in a haze around Target trying to figure out what a 5 year old Tiny Human needs for Easter.

I couldn’t ask her like I do with Santa because I do not want her thinking that Easter is just Second Christmas. I didn’t want to just fill this basket with candy–we aren’t big candy eaters because great teeth do not run in our family on both sides. I got a few Star Wars pieces of candy. I found a little stuffed bunny that I guess she could put at the top of the pile of ALL THE OTHER STUFFED BUNNIES EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

But, what else? Nail polish? Chapstick that she can pretend is lipstick? Underwear? A purse? MORE FREAKING SHOPKINS? She has all of this crap already. She just got this all in her damn Christmas stocking.

Then, I found myself in the book section. I walked, sadly, to the beginner reader section and gave it a once over. Most of it was stupid licensed character stories that I hate. But, as I moved them aside I came across a few Amelia Badelia books. I read these! I loved these! I grabbed on. Next to them was a selection of Bernstain Bears books. Dear god, I’ve hit the jackpot! I grabbed one of those also. Books! Of course! My Tiny Human would want books!

I marched triumphantly out of Targed at 9pm.

I arranged the basket perfectly and left it on the dining room table for her to discover the next morning.

She came down and was super duper hyped over her basket. She couldn’t believe that the Easter Bunny had come and left her some things. It was a little magic bubble. Thinly made.

As the day went on and we visited with family, who all absolutely love my child and are well within their rights to spoil her,  her pile of Easter baskets grew and grew. She was literally swimming in candy. By the time we got home after Easter supper, it was nearly time for bed. My husband recommended perhaps one of her new stories that the Easter Bunny had brought as her bedtime story. She could find sight words and maybe read some of the simple words.

She shook her head. “Maybe another night.” And walked upstairs, leaving my heart bleeding in my hands.

“Why is this not coming naturally for me?” I cried quietly to myself.

Perhaps I expect her to be more like me. I was a serious child who devoured books so fast that my parents couldn’t keep up with them.

My Tiny Human looks exactly like me and so it is easy to forget that she isn’t just my clone. She is her own person. I guess maybe books may not be her thing. That is something that I will have to accept one day.

(Like maybe when she goes to college and picks a major that isn’t a humanities–like something she can actually make a living off of. )

I laid in bed that night, probably sobbing like a bipolar does in times like this whispering, “I can’t do this”, in between the sobs.

When she was younger, even last year I think, gifts were so much easier. My opinion was still her opinion then. I would pick out her clothes, style her hair, giver her gifts that I would have been tickled about when I was a small child. And it worked. She was pleased to get anything.

But now, she is five. She picks out her own clothes–I can’t even buy her clothes anymore without her present. She won’t let me touch her hair. She just wears is scraggily around her small little shoulders. She is no longer excited blindly at gifts we give her.

It’s not her fault. It’s not my fault. It’s the just the normal progression of life, I suppose. My Tiny Human is becoming Not So Tiny Human faster than I am ready. Stay small, dear child. Be the mirror image of who I envisioned you to be.

 

I suppose there comes a time in all parenting that we must finally get to know our children. For years it’s little clips of their personality, circumvented with things we think they should be doing.

And then, suddenly, they’re 5 and you have no idea who they are or what to put in this damn Easter Basket.

 



Broken
March 5, 2016, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My husband and I were talking about possible upgrades and updates we would eventually like to tackle on our fixer-upper home that we have been living in for 6 years.

“Well, that cabinet in our bathroom is definitely going to have to be replaced,” he stated.

Let me tell you a story.

Bipolar people are always portrayed as depressed, down and out, sad and stuck in bed. We have no motivation to do anything.

There is another side to being bipolar.

A few years ago, several things were going on in my life that I had absolutely no control over. As a type A bipolar woman, this was an absolute disaster. It eventually culminated into a huge anxiety attack, throwing of objects, self harming, and kicking my bathroom cabinet until is completely split in half.

As soon as I had broken the cabinet, I remember that I recoiled–I didn’t want to break anything. The monster inside of me had broken that cabinet. I slid against the wall down the ground and screamed into my folded arms.

Ever since that day, we simply hang a hand towel from that cabinet to cover up the split in the wood.

We don’t talk about it because it’s pointless. That wasn’t me. I had no control. There was nothing really at the time that could have stopped me from damaging things around me.

Men break things all the time. They punch holes in walls, break chairs, throw video game controllers to the floor. “Oh, he just has a temper,” we say.

When a woman lashes out completely beyond on control, we are monsters. We are questionable mothers, psychotic wives, questionable employees.

In a way, I want to keep that cabinet door the way it is. Looking at it when the hand towels are in the washing machine reminds me of how far I can spiral if I don’t keep myself in check, take my medications as directed, breath.

I have learned to stop taking things out of control and making them my problem. I cannot do anything about things out of my control. All I can do is control my reaction to them. Kicking cabinets until they break is not the ideal reaction.

That cabinet serves as a constant reminder that says, “You may feel like things are horrible right now and that you will never again feel normal–but look here, see how far you have come.”

It is a altar, a shrine, a broken mirror.

A reminder that you are better than you once were.