My Not-so-typical Teenagers

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
January 21, 2017

To be a parent to teenagers and toddlers often puts me into a weird parenting tug-of-war. Then I take a step back and realize the advantages I have. This week I focused on a little ode to my beautiful teenage (well Liv, 12, is technically not a teenager yet..) daughters.

I am in my car, with two toddlers. Only a two and half hours until home. I reassure myself. A quick check to the rear view mirror reminds me that I am alone with them. The older two are at home. Help Mommy! Ipad stuck! Jackson shrieks as I pull onto the freeway. He locked it. I curse. Mamamamamamamamamamama!!! Cece chimes in. Her arms reaching out trying to hand me the bag of cereal she was eating. I watch as she sprinkles half the bag onto the car floor I had just cleaned. I see a Mickey Mouse book beyond my reach. Refocusing my attention on the road, I turn up the music. “I had that dream; that you were mine. I had that dream a thousand times; The car seems lonely, I realize how much I miss my girls.  I don’t hear their chatter: silly, sarcastic, intelligent, confusing, and comforting. I want to see their faces when I surprise them with hot chocolate from Starbucks; a gesture of appreciation for them fixing the Ipad for Jackson or replacing the cereal in Cece’s outstretched little arm for the book in front of her feet. My thought haze dissolves as Cece coughs up green Lucky Charm tinted blob of vomit.

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Ode to “Me-Mowe”

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
January 7, 2017

Ode to Me-Mowe

(Pronounced like cow, but with an M. that is Cece’s word for Mickey mouse)

Dear Mickey Mouse-

Let me start off by saying I am a big fan. I have been since I was in diapers. You and your crew were my first friends. It is nice that you now spend so much time in my home again. At the risk of being judged by other parents, I am just going to come clean: I let my kids watch a lot of TV. I don’t mean to, but we are all happier people when the TV is on. See, you still bring joy to my life. But you already knew that, you are a smart mouse. I can’t quite figure out why you are still friends with Pete, he is seriously an asshole. But I am sure you have a reason, I won’t doubt you know what you are doing. You, little mouse, have become generation-less. I like how you have become quite musical in this new generation. The hot dog song? And kids eat it up. (pun intended) Anyway, like Goofy trying to remember quite how to say Toodles, I am stumbling over my words. What I really wanted to say was thank you for being there to help out this week.

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Breathe

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
December 31, 2016

I am running around the house trying to prepare for another holiday gathering. Presents need to be wrapped bought, and my house is in its normal state of cluttered chaos. Why do they need to dump the toy bins to play with one little thing? Cece has attached herself to my leg and Jackson weaseled a bike in from outside and was running over my foot, again. The girls were just waking up and their faces were glued to some device. I was letting Josh sleep in since he was fresh off two double shifts. I stood there, looking down at my ratty sweat pants tucked into my slipper boots and stopped in the now familiar command: breathe

“Hell of a winter we are having, eh?” An imagined passerby calls out to me smiling at the two toddlers playing around in the back yard. I tell myself they are some how missing the piles of dog poop were buried under the snow then thawed back out. Another thing on my to do list. I sigh as I am oddly reminded of the three-inch layer of dust on my windowsill. Jackson and Cece are battling each other with sticks as the dog darts out of the way. They are probably too young to be playing with those sticks. Oh wait, I stopped giving a shit what people thought especially in the judgment free zone that is my back yard. The trees are shaking in the loneliness that comes about when all your leaves have fallen. The breeze causes a ripple shiver in my shoulder. My watch dings. Breathe. I inhale, my gaze softening on the babies giggling around the yard. I exhale these insignificant moments of my day that I
will most likely forget tomorrow. I just breathe.

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The Daily Grind

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
December 22, 2016

6:20 AM:

(Work Life): Alarm goes off. I yell upstairs for the girls to wake up; and roll over with the relief that I don’t have to be up for another two hours.

(Home Life): Alarm goes off. I am lying next to Jackson in his bed since he decided 11PM was the perfect time to wake up and party. In attempt to cuddle him back to sleep exhaustion set in. I stumble over him, trying to get over the toddler containment rail he hasn’t needed for the last six months, and creep out of his room- overly conscious of the consequences of him waking this early. I yell upstairs to the girls. “It is 6:20, are you guys up?” “Yes!” they both groggily lie. I find the couch to go back to sleep, snuggling under a knit blanket listening the girls bustling around above me. They eventually migrate downstairs and the creaking of the gate to the basement tells me they still have yet to take their clean laundry upstairs to put away. I remind myself to make my daily (ignored) plea to have them complete this task. I’m awake. The temptation of a toddler early morning overcomes my urge to go back to sleep. It is the only guaranteed chance I get every day.

7:30 AM

(Work Life): Jackson is crying. I give Josh the giant guilt sigh and he gets up.

(Home life): I am devouring a warm fresh cup of coffee trying to decide the best way to spend the last of my time. I should write. I should fold laundry. I should unload the dishwasher, go for a run, or finish my Christmas shopping, shower, answer emails, plan meals, clean the fridge, update my resume or even masturbate. Something. One more scroll down Insta-Land. I promise. “Mommy. Mommy Mommy Mommy. Let Jackson out!” he cries.

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Toddler Vs. Teenager

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
December 9, 2016

Jackson: DA!

Layla: Jackson Stop!

Jackson: DA! DA! DA!

Layla: Oh my God. You are so annoying

Jackson and Cece fight pretty often. I am used to their fights. They usually start with food or toys. Jackson has it, she wants it, and he won’t share. She, now quick and agile, manages to outsmart him and get it. He screams. I grab it and hand it back. She throws herself on the ground in defeat. I split the food or find another toy and they calm down only to repeat this scenario five minutes later. My day is filled with meltdowns. Trying to be one of those moms that limit their kids’ TV time to a responsible eight hours, I have had enough of fire fighting dogs and high-pitched mice, and I turn it off. Meltdown. Jackson yells “NOOO my Paw Patrol. My TV.” “NO! Paw-po-tay!” Cece echoes as they turn the meltdown toward me.

Layla and Liv fight pretty often. I am used to their fights. It usually starts with “she is hurting my feelings” or “she won’t talk to me.” It turns into hushed hissing at each other and sometimes full out wrestling. I am often a character in their bickering. “Look you hurt Mom’s feelings” like I am some delicate little flower that can’t handle their little spats. (Some days I am). Honestly, all I really want is for them to unload the dishwasher. When they aren’t fighting they are really weird and giggly. Like they have a million inside jokes that I just don’t get. They are sitting on the couch, laughing, and watching some YouTube video. They are talking back and forth so much and so fast I can barely understand a word they are saying. Are they talking about people at school? Or a show they watch. “She has had like four ex boyfriends since the beginning of the year. But he is a pure child. I was starting to like them, and ship them but…” gibberish to me. Jackson and CeCe are playing on the floor. They have a little game of looking at each other and yelling “DA” followed by hysterical laughter. I sit in my recliner, the perch of motherhood, smiling at the chaotic life that I created.

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