Thursday, December 12, 2013

i'm dreaming of a fight christmas.

that title is stretching it. on purpose. because i like the way it sounds. sometimes the sound of words is better than the meaning. <—that's why onomatopoeia is so neato.

i'm not interested in engaging in fisticuffs with anyone. this doesn't mean i'm full of free love for all. there is a very, very small list of undesirables, my distaste for whom is like snot: even after you think you've rid yourself of it, it reappears, and no matter how hard you try to blow it off it keeps coming back. if i'm a pugilist at all, my weapon is words. i throw not curse-laden punches but insightful jabs. and an indiscriminate warrior at that: i'll word-fight anyone, from the foul-mouthed, pre-teen mom-phenomena teen mom spitting profanities at her small child outside the mall; to the napoleon-complex-having guy insulting the overworked cashier at the deli; to myself (which could involve me cursing, for example, my moronic belief that i can do anything, because the mirror doesn't lie: i cannot cut hair). 

i'm a mom. i'm unmarried. i do not live with a man. unless you count my dad. yes, i'm 37 and living with the parents. i'm almost like that demographic you hear about on the news—those late-blooming crazy kids trying to figure life out at a pace much slower than generations before them—except not really because i'm a decade older than those 20-somethings. i never thought i'd be a decade older than anybody worth talking about. and then time ran past me, giggling maniacally while plastering its hand across the width of my face, screeching "FACE THE MUSIC!" the way my brother did when we were kids. so it seems i'm part of a yet-to-be-labeled demographic: the late-30s single mom who had it together and then had to de-awesome her life because of circumstances (whose ouch factor surpassed that of the evening i was dressed up and feeling like hot stuff walking toward the house of an ex-boyfriend, only to slam face-first into his glass door).

the flip side of the above flip-you-the-finger stuff is this: i was gifted a miraculous little boy. he's not even two and can spell his name, count to ten, and sing the alphabet (fyi: i rewrote that phrase from "spell his abcs" because occasionally typing in all lowercase presents me with a grammatical quandary). his off-key singing is better than anything— even cupcakes and pizza. he gives huggies and kissies with a generosity that i hope is a precursor to the sweet man he'll become. he's bestowed with impressive equanimity—with one exception: BEDTIME. not every night. just some nights.

it goes like this: we read a book in the rocking chair (like every night); i carry him to bed (like every night); he lies down quietly (like every night); and shortly thereafter he transforms into an inconsolable banshee who cannot be picked up or moved against his will because the distress of being touched at such a fragile time apparently renders his joints immobile, thus he must be allowed to continue his tearful, high-decibel tirade until some inestimable moment arrives, at which i hold him until he falls asleep. then i return him to his bed, where i realize that his sheets must contain acid—either of the skin-incinerating or psychotropic variety, both of which would elicit a similar response—because upon touching them he immediately awakens into full-on banshee insanity again.

at this point, i continue to try to hold him despite his again-immobile joints; i try to sit next to him, despite my inclination to be anywhere but; i try to talk to him, despite his acute-onset inability to hear or speak words; and i walk out of the room for a breather, despite my mother in the background saying i'm too inflexible (huh? i think i'm being pretty darn flexible, considering i'm trying to calm down a child who must've ingested a case of red bull and an 8-ball while i wasn't looking) and that i should cherish moments with him because they'll go by too quickly. (a parenthetical aside doesn't nearly do justice to what i'm about to say, so commit it to memory like it's the name of a new starbucks drink or imagine it being tattooed on the inside of your eyelids: when a person is in a stressful situation, the last thing you should do is tell them they should enjoy it.) of course, my mom is just being meemaw. she can't help herself. in her world, grandsons never turn into screaming banshees, and if they do, it's because their mammas have been parenting a la mommy dearest when not under the watchful eyes of meemaws. in her world, grandsons should be rocked to sleep by their mammas until their wives threaten to divorce them. in her world, the fatigue of single motherhood must cease to exist in the most inopportune moments, like when sleep, thus sanity, is at stake.


then again, who am i to have any emotions? like one of my friends' oblique remarks indicated, i could've prevented this whole single motherhood thing (how friendly of that friend, right?). by not having premarital sex, i assume. if you've ever had premarital sex, raise your hand. now, dip it in raw meat drippings and wave it in front of a rabid, starving dog. someone will rescue your appendage from cujo once you realize your judgment is flawed, cause hey: when you were getting it on, you were THIS CLOSE to becoming a parent. even if you used protection. ain't nothin' foolproof but abstinence, kiddos. so remember your manners when assessing the lives of people you are not.

by the way: i'm not complaining. i'm describing. there is a difference, and if you can't discern it, raise your hand. that rabid dog is still hungry.

psst! listen: fighting is counterproductive. i just want to talk like i want to fight. because i like the way the words sound. like onomatopoeia, the sound is indirectly related to the thing it describes. that "thing" being certain aspects of parenting alone. and what is that like? it's hard. like walking barefoot on gravel (which i did last summer, in the spirit of revisiting my childhood, only to realize it hurts a lot). and it's alternately soft. like a baby's fat, pillow-y lips. and sweet as the honeysuckle you sucked straight from the flower as a kid. and worth it.

you know what? i am sincerely dreaming of a white christmas. a heaping layer of fluffy snow is a cure-all. at least for a day—and isn't that the dose by which we're supposed to take life?

happy holidays, you jerks.

huggies and kissies,

mamma d.

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