Hiya. You’re stuck with me again because I’ve made a personal goal to write more, even if that writing is barely edited word-vomit. That’s how I started this shindig, and when SiteGround, my expensive hosting service, billed me for my soul again this past December, I said to myself, “Self. Let’s resume this shindig!” Actually, I said: hey dummy, you’re wasting a lot of money, but that’s neither here nor there.
So, here we are. Back doing what I love, getting more bang for my buck, which is what frugal #HusbandWTF loves.
Random thoughts first…
I’ve taken a step back from Facebook because it’s stupid. When I made a hilarious joke about my daughter commenting on how attractive Jeffrey Dahmer is (FUNNY), the book of face shut me down for hate speech or terrorism or something. I did my time in virtual jail, but months later, my reach and engagement and all the other things that made my Facebook community fun are still in the toilet. It has started to feel more like a job and less like joy and to that I say, no thank you. It’s not me, Facebook. It’s you. But I miss my community and our fun, so I’ve invited pals to join me on Instagram where I spend more time than I’ll admit watching funny animal videos and things that make me smile. Because that’s what self-preservation looks like in this century, OK? I also vowed to start writing again, which I’ve already said so let’s move on.
Grievance 1: My husband is mean
#HusbandWTF won’t let me get another dog. This is rude and selfish of him. He should at least make me one of these hilariously adorable dog prints of Charlie Bear the Rescue if he wants to stay in my good graces.
Grievance 2: Health scare
My perfectly healthy 13-year-old son started balding. I first noticed it while we were playing knee hockey in the living room, something we do to hurt my knees and also bond and stuff. It was a perfectly round spot the size of a quarter. Upon further inspection, which happened immediately and looked a lot like me pinning him to the ground and forcibly grooming him like a mother macaque, I saw hair receding from behind his ears and at the base of his neck. I did what any well-informed parent would do and earned my PhD at Google University, convincing myself and anyone who would listen that he had a life-threatening disease. Cue sleepless nights.
Fast forward to several doctor and dermatology appointments, two round of bloodwork, too many phone calls because people are dumb and gave me another patient’s test results, two sleepless weeks as a result of the dumb, and constant fighting with #HusbandWTF because he refused to match my manic worry, we finally had ourselves a proper diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata. My beautiful boy continues losing hair.
I know: It COuLd bE wORsE. Stop it. I’m allowed to be scared and sad and all those things…though I acknowledge it could be worse. Thankfully, my child has yet to arrive at the point in his life where he cares about anything except sports and food. But eventually, and likely soon, his physical appearance will begin to rank among his priorities and I pray he remains this nonchalant about his hair loss. Sad music plays us into the next grievance…
Grievance 3: Her body is changing, parts are rearranging…
In the early 1990’s, I was a preteen girl. In the early 1990’s, I could barely stand myself. My almost 12-year-old daughter is there now, and lemme tell ya: she’s defying all odds. She’s still super sweet, very helpful, and consistently loving. Yesterday morning, she announced: “Hugging is my love language. Someone bring it in!” I quickly obliged, mindfully holding her a few seconds longer, painfully aware any day now could be the last she asks for or accepts a hug. The mood swings and eye-rolls are a’comin’. The “you don’t know anything mom!” is a’comin’. She’s already in that uncomfortable, weird space: the push and pull of adolescence. She experiments with my eyeliner then builds a blanket fort with her 8-year-old sister. She asks questions about breasts and periods, then picks up a pretend phone and plays school. She’s stressing over friends and boys and sometimes clothes, then asking for another stuffed animal. I remember it well, my girl. Stay little as long as you possibly can. Please and thank you.
Grievance 4: Santa’s not real it’s fine everything is fine
A few days before Christmas, our 8-year-old found out the truth about the elf and Santa and all the things. Just this week, she revisited “all the lies parents tell” and asked for confirmation that her birth date is actually her birth date. Sigh. She had already been asking questions about the elf, then a big ooopsie on #HusbandWTF’s part sealed the deal. He had taken a picture of something and I was in the background, elf in hand. That is not a euphemism. And those of us who are fluent in ELF know humans cannot touch him or the planet implodes or whatever. This next part is kind of funny and would’ve been more so had it not been my child: both #HusbandWTF and I have a video of our 8yo’s dance routine on our phones so she can use the “screen mirror” feature to play it on the TV and practice. Well, she went searching for the video and instead came across the elf evidence. She then put it on the TV and zoomed in, zoomed in, and ZOOMED IN until none of my gaslighting “you’re not seeing what you think you’re seeing” worked. She cried and I lied and it was a beautiful Christmas memory. God bless us everyone.
Eventually, she felt happy to level up, though she was pissed everyone but her knew the truth. I quickly threw her big brother under the bus, confessing he only recently found out the truth and he’s a TEENAGER so if anyone is a baby, it’s him! Parenting gold, really. She then asked if she could touch the elf. It was so sweet and innocent and beautiful that it made me want to punch my husband for denying me that second dog. I clearly need a baby version of something. WHAT ELSE WILL I DO WITH ALL THESE MATERNAL INSTINCTS.
Grievance 4: “Can we please normalize…”
Every time I read anything anywhere, someone is making a plea to normalize something. Like:
Normalize mothers working!
Normalize mental health!
Normalize the value of a good meme!
Normalize a morning BM!
Listen, it’s not that I don’t agree that all those things should be widely accepted as someone’s normal–it’s just that it’s actually called consideration and tolerance, and if we’re still having to ask for it, GAH. I’m tired. Dear Diary, it has been almost a year since I’ve written anything of substance and mean people and small minds are still prevalent. Boo.
Can we please normalize writing with zero direction or purpose and ending abruptly just because we can?
Life Seeking Truth & Other Wild Things says
Since you and Facebook are divorcing and I barely get along with it, I’ll put MY TWO CENTS HERE lmao
I have MISSED YOU lady!! Missed your silly and your ramblings and all of it. Thank you, for embracing what you do so well. Much love to you and ***big massive squishing hugs*** I am so very incredibly sorry to hear about your son. Relieved it’s not “worse” but still. That is beyond terrifying, to know somethings *wrong* but not WHAT’s wrong.
I’ve been there and done that with my 24yo who announced last year that he is trans. It wasn’t exactly an “AHA” moment, but some things absolutely fell in line. I’m struggling to learn a new way, new words and new ways of speaking, but the hardest thing is that acceptance and compassion and tolerance you mentioned- wish we didn’t have to ASK for those things, particularly from people who are supposed to love our babies.
I’m living vicariously through you as my own writing still languishes. Hoping to make this year the one I get back to words… I miss them as much as I miss those pre-teen hugs (Good news Mama, the hugs return when they get old enough to figure that Mom and Dad aren’t complete morons.)
As to the elf thing…. We told ours that Santa only brings pressies to those who believe… so at 26 and 23, they still “believe.” 😉 Problem solved. Another thing that helped us a lot was The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, an animated movie that depicts his magical life and how he became the icon that he is. It’s lovely and a nice transition for kiddos from magical to “realistic” thinking that lets them hold on to the wonder.
Can’t wait to “see” more of you. *hugs*
Stephanie Jankowski says
Hiiiiiiiiiii! And thank you xo I hope you find your way back to writing because even reading your comments, it’s obvious you’ve got a gift. Hugs to you, too!
Jamie Laws says
♥️Yay! Looking forward to reading more of your “stuff” because it’s fun, true, and just so easily relatable.
Stephanie Jankowski says
Thank you, pal!! Miss seeing you guys around! xo
Jump'n Jack Flash says
Very nice and amusing read. Glad you are back in action and writing again. Keep it coming!
Stephanie Jankowski says