Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Special Guest Writer: The Heir and (Non) Spare

You know how some days you think you’re all that, like you can do anything? I had one of those days recently. After reading what I call my “daily dose of parental humor”, RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND, I thought to myself, “I could so write this stuff. I’m snarky, brilliant and quite the wordsmith in my own right, not to mention modest.” (What? I like to talk myself up)

I called a friend to see if she thought I should submit a guest post to RANTS. “OMG, you’re perfect, what with all that wine you drink” she squealed. So, I pitched the idea to Lydia and Kate. They were like “Sure, why not? How bad could you be?” Awesome! They totally wanted me. Practically begged me. To stop stalking them. But, since there are days when they are both totally PMS'ing, they figured a backup plan couldn’t hurt. (If you’re reading this, please say a prayer for the Cap’n and McLovin, cause Lydia and Kate must have their little “friends” in town).

I sat down to pen my masterpiece when a state of panic kicked in. My hands started shaking so bad I almost spilled my Pinot. I said almost. What have I done with all that braggin’ and beggin’? After all, I’m about as qualified to write a post for RANTS as Paula Deen is to write an article for InShape Magazine. I don’t have any stories of domestic chaos about one kid screaming while the other roasts marshmallows over a bathroom candle.

Like an 18 year old boy in the heat of passion, for half a second I considered pulling out. But I had already bragged to my Facebook friends and received words of encouragement like “give me a minute to bask in your awesomeness.” I’m not one to disappoint my friends, certainly not my Facebook friends. They might stop sending me those daily invites to join fricken Farmville. Isn’t Facebook supposed to be like a real life conversation (only virtual) and without a commitment to waste more than 3 minutes of your life with a guy you went to high school with, but don’t remember? I would not send my real life friends a request to help me buy a pig, eliminate my neighbor with a machine gun, earn little rocks for my little rock pool, send a YoVille gift (WTF is YoVille?) or hit me in some online pillow fight. But, I digress.

Then it hit me. I could be the voice of the under-represented “MOS” Mommies of Singles. Cause, I have just one child. By choice. And it’s awesome.

So in honor of my all time favorite bloggers, I’m going to give it my best shot.

I don’t know about the rest of you MOS, but I’m amazed at the looks I get when I answer “no, we’re done,” in response to being asked when we’re going to have another child? Here is just a sampling of some of the dumbass comments made by actual friends:
  • “Don’t you think it’s selfish to have only one child?” – If by selfish you mean you wish like hell your grocery shopping, road trips, school pickups, mornings, noons and nights were 1/2 as easy as mine, then yes. I’m a wee bit selfish. To you.
  • “He won’t have anyone to go through your death with.” – This is a valid reason to have multiple children? “Honey, let’s make love and produce another pal-bearer.”
  • “But, doesn’t he get lonely?” – It’s not like we make him sleep in the garage and forbid friends. In fact, he had several stretches where he slept in our bed. He wasn’t lonely. My husband? He was lonely.
  • “When you go to amusement parks, doesn’t it suck that someone always has to ride the rides alone?” – This one totally got the Maude face. Yeah, I’m gonna go through another 9 months of the ever-expanding ass experiment just so I have a buddy on the Matterhorn. I’ll take one for the team and sit with a stranger. Or a character. Or a mongoose.
  • “My sister and I are best friends.” – Um, congratulations? My best friend is my best friend. I’ve spent more time over the last 33 years with her than with my actual sibling. Of course, he’s a boy. Cause my parents were too damn selfish to keep trying for a girl so I could have a BFF with the same bloodline.
What if us MOS made similar comments to MOM (mommies of multiples)?
  • “Don’t you think it’s selfish to produce a sibling for your child?” – Because he seemed an awful lot happier when he didn’t have to share his happy meal.
  • “They’ll fight over your estate.” – Before you’re even dead.
  • “Don’t they get sick of each other?” – Cause my brother was ready to kill me by the time I was 8. Seriously, he came pretty close once in what we now call “the unfortunate rocket-ride incident.” I have the scar on my bottom lip to prove it.
  • “When you go to amusement parks, doesn’t it suck that you have to spend $2000 just to get in?” – And, aren’t you afraid to lose one on Tom Sawyer Island?
  • “Does it bother you that they totally seem to hate each other?” – I’ve got one friend who, every SINGLE time we get on the phone to chat, has to interrupt the call at least 547 times to tell her oldest to take her sister out of the trash compactor.
I love being a MOS!!!  Especially to a boy. In my castle, I’m the princess and the queen. I share the grand master suite with my husband of 8 years, The Prince. Appropriately named after he proposed on a gondola. In Venice. Italy. To me. I’m not necessarily hard on the eyes, but can be a bit rough on the soul. A friend once gave me an embroidered pillow that reads “I’m not bossy. I just have better ideas.” She knows me very well.

Our 6 year old, lonely, ur uh, I mean only, Jonesy (Indiana Jones reference) and his Guinea Pig, Noodle, share a room down the hall. Jonesy hates the nickname Jonesy. We used to call him “Little Man,” but at 4’2 and 72 lbs, that just didn’t work for us anymore. In one of his few defiant moments, he protested “do not call me Jonesy anymore!” He proclaimed that he wanted a new nickname and announced it was to be “Bob.” I’m concerned about the functionality of the right side of his brain. But, what the boy lacks in creativity, he makes up for in utter adorableness. We continue to call him Jonesy. He’s over it.

Downstairs, in the mother-in-law suite, lives my father-in-law, also known as Pappy. He’s 86. And, he’s been living with us ever since we got married. He moved in while we were on our honeymoon. I KNOW! Our family is rounded out by our two large dogs who also sleep in the grand master suite. Sweet! I’m not sure who’s snoring keeps me awake most at night, The Prince’s, the dogs’ or Pappy’s—his room is directly below the grand master suite. My life is badass!

The snoring is nothing compared to the constant “shooting of cannons,” our family’s term for farting. I hate the word “fart.” And “toot” is so played. There are days when I feel as though I’m living with the monarchy of flatulence. Pappy, the king, cannot travel the 50 foot distance from our family room to the mother-in-law suite without powering his journey with those rapid-fire infractions that seem to plague old people. You know the ones. Where everyone, except the 6 year old, pretends they don’t hear them? Though Pappy actually has no idea his ass has turned into an outboard motor—it’s that regular. When he “takes his throne” you’d swear the castle were under attack by a sniper with a semi-automatic.

The Prince sleeps on the left side of the bed, always on his left side. And, because of his fantastic ability to frequently “shoot his cannon” in his sleep, I haven’t slept on my left side in 8 years. And Jonesy, the little heir to the throne, is now at the stage where he enjoys shouting a battle cry of “fire in the hole” then running up to his dad, lifting his leg, and not only shooting, but aiming his cannon. It’s stunning.

Don’t even get me started with the dogs.

I’ve taught Jonesy a lot of life lessons in the past 6 years, but none he’ll thank me for more than these two:
  1. Girls (including mommies, schoolmates, neighbors, girlfriends, grandmas, and wives) do not find the fine art of shooting ones cannon ½ as funny as you do. In fact, we mostly find it to be a gross reality that we must endure if we are to live with men.
  2. Girls never shoot their cannons. Even when you think you’ve heard or smelled something, you are mistaken. Never mention it. Just assume you are wrong. Since you’ll be a man, you’ll get used to being wrong.
I’m pleased to say that my life is much bigger than the crowded house of stench where I reside. I have a husband who truly adores me. Just me. We’ve made this amazing boy who lights every dark place I ever had before him. All by himself, no sibling required. And we share our lives with a lonely old man who fuels our son’s imagination with wonder, history and wisdom. LOL - I said “fuel.” And as for being an MOS, I wouldn’t have it any other way. So suck it, MOM! (not you mom, relax).

My life is badass!

A special thanks to Daisy B. for writing this awesome post. We are your biggest fans!
xo, Lydia and Kate

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22 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post......I am a MOS of a 4-year-old boy and around the time he turned 2 (which seems to the the age at which the parents are supposed to start reproducing again) I started getting questions from EVERYONE on the planet about when we were going to have another one. It is my pet peeve. Even the janitor of our building a work--a woman who only knows I have a child because I have photos of him on my desk in the office--has asked me about it. And then been very disapproving when I told her we were done. I am so thankful for this post because it is so nice to know there are other MOS out there who feel the same as I do AND because it has given me some awesome and snarky responses when I get THE question in the future. Thank you!!!

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  2. Ok, let me bask in your awesomeness... just ONE more time! As a MOM, there are days I so envy you MOS's. You ROCK, Daisy B! ;)

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  3. And I'm your biggest fan, Lydia and Kate. Mwaaah! Love Daisy B!

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  4. Love this! I'm actually a MOM, but my kids are really spread out, so for a long time I was a MOS and happy with that! I'll never forget a comment I got from a 'friend' after #2 was here--"Don't you feel like I real Mom now? People with one child just don't really get what it's like to be a parent." HUH? As you can imagine I was beyond Maude face! To me good parents are about the kid and living life--not about fulfilling some personal dream about what a Mom should be. You go Badass Daisy B!

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  5. Awesome post! As much as I like being a MOM, I have to admit when my MOS friend spent the holidays in Tahoe, I was jealous. Traveling with two small children is ridiculous, so we spent our holidays in Alabama. Sigh. Rock on MOS ladies! :D

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  6. Awsome job Daisy. I had kids 23 years apart. so I am a MOS and a MOM. Both of the jobs are hard and both are great. Loved your writing.

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  7. LOVE IT! LOVE IT!! My only son is 2.5 and my MIL asked me while I was still in the RECOVERY ROOM from my c-section when I was planning on having the next one. Morphine is the only reason she is still alive!! Even complete strangers feel the need to ask me if I plan on having another. Someone even told me that I was STUPID to only have one child. I could go on and on and on with this topic....

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  8. Absolutely wonderful! Visit again soon!!!

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  9. Daisy B.....you ARE a badass ;-)

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  10. Thank you so much! First of all, you're hilarious and absolutely should be blogging. Second, I have an 8 month old and despite adoring her beyond belief, I really don't want any more. But as you stated, this is apparently tantamount to harboring Nazi sympathies. But alas, my husband really wants two, so I'll do it again. But it's nice to know I'm not a sociopath just because I only want one :-)

    Jessica

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  11. As I sit here reading this, my three year old son is sitting curled up in my lap, farting and giggling. I feel your pain.

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  12. Daisy B badass! Please come back and write another tribute to MOS everywhere! Rants for the masses, Daisy B for the MOSes. :)

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  13. Well, I am an *actual* MOM -- to twin boys, but still enjoyed your post. Very funny and very well written. And the shooting of cannons? Yes, there's a lot of it in this house, though I must admit (because I'm posting Anonymously!) that I can hold my own. :-)

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  14. Even though I've got two, I think it is totally obnoxious of people to question why you don't want more kids! Maybe you could tell them, "because I won't ever have to choose who to save in the hypothetical question of 'if both of them are drowning, who do you save?'" That'd shut 'em up!

    I have two teenage boys and even though I'm 41 years old I still have people tell me I should try to have a girl! I love my doctor, but she's an old woman who told me I should have a daughter because daughters will take care of their parents when they are old, but sons won't! Gimme a break!

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  15. Hysterical. Hilarious. Daisy B is awesome!

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  16. I am a MOS of an 8 year old boy. I am constantly being reminded that "I'd better hurry before it's too late" to have another child... *sigh*

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  17. I laughed so hard at this post that I have tears running down my face! I am a MOS myself, and do I understand the pressure people put on you to keep shooting small people out of your lady-cannon! Hey, to each their own, but we are quite pleased with our one little freak.

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  18. So I think it must be the same set of stupid people running around questioning all of us. I have four and constantly get the "I hope you're done now!" comments as if my children are so terrible that I should never, ever burden this world with any more. (I have plenty of support to counter this idea since the teachers have loved them all and pretty frequently ask when I could have another so they can have one more to teach. Love my teachers!) I think these same stupid people must see you and feel they need to go to the other extreme and comment on the lack of a crowd following you around. Apparently it is only ok to have two children who are not twins and who are between 2 and 4 years apart. Otherwise, get ready for the Stupid Parade every time you leave the house!

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  19. What a great post. And I just love your line "We’ve made this amazing boy who lights every dark place I ever had before him." Someday your son is going to read that and have tears in his eyes. That quote should be in everybody's babybook. You have given your son a beautiful family, and I wish you much happiness always. Fondly, a step-MOS, originally, who became a MOM nine years later to twins! Talk about a family...ha ha! :-)

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  20. Love It! I am also the mom of an only boy child and a husband that gang up on me.

    Its awesome!

    I think these thoughts all the time! But truthfully I know that I just SUCK at multitasking.

    Yeah you heard me right!

    I'm better at trouble shooting engines (hence my interest in engineering) than looking after 2 or more kids. So the one I have is lucky that I decided he gets my full attention! If not there would be chaos in my house or the stove would be on fire more often.

    Yeah I said more often because its happened more then once.

    Besides I came from a family with 6 kids and I only really hear from any of them on holidays.
    6 KIDS! You'd think one of them would have turned out to be my best friend!! But nooo! I just had to be a tomboy so really my husband fit the bill more than anyone else because 5 of those 6 kids are girls who are a lot more "girly" than me and the boy left over was so radically different than I that I just ran out of best friend options in the immediate family.

    Yes I get you! Ohhh boy do I understand!

    And my son, (dont know what I would have done if he had been a girl) is the light of my life! He helps me chop wood, play video games, AND cook!

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  21. I am a MOS. When I was a young girl I dreamed of my future (like most young girls do). I knew that I would have a boy and a girl, and I had their names picked out. I was going to have one right after the other so that I could get rid of bottles and diapers and get them into school close together.

    I never thought that doctors would tell me that I couldn't have children. Or that by the grace of God, I would get pregnant anyway (without even trying). And I definitely didn't plan on a high-risk pregnancy that could've killed me and/or my baby!

    When I gave birth to a healthy child, I praised the Lord. My dreams had come true. No, they weren't the dreams of a little girl who had micro-managed her future. They were the dreams of a grown woman who had been told that she'd never be a mother, and was now holding a beautiful son in her arms!!!

    After sleeping through most of my pregnancy, the thought of doing that again while taking care of a small child was enough for me to hold off on another kid. Now that my son has just turned 9, I realize that if I got pregnant again now, my son would be 10 when the baby's born. Are you kidding me?!!! There's just no way that I want to start this journey all over again.

    I have been asked countless times when I would have another. I always answer, "My one is more than enough." I mean that in more than one way.

    First of all, my son has Autism which, for several years, filled every moment of my life -- including the ones that could've been used for making more babies. And, secondly, my son rocks! I love that Daisy B. said,

    "I have a husband who truly adores me. Just me. We've made this amazing boy who lights every dark place I ever had before him. All by himself, no sibling required."

    I thought for a moment that she was talking about my life!!!

    I think that it's ridiculous that:
    1) Anyone should have to justify their decision on how many children they have.
    2) People feel they have the right to judge the decision on whether or not it's good enough.
    3) It apparently never occurs to others that maybe the mother physically could not have more children, and being asked 'why' causes her great pain.

    I have 'legitimate' reasons why I do not have more children. If I took the time to explain them, people would sympathize and understand. I do not take the time to explain because the decisions my husband and I make are no one else's business. And having to explain myself feels like I am somehow legitimizing their nosiness.

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  22. Check out my blog post about this:

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/blogs/my-journey-so-far/being-a-mos

    *By the way, I found you through SRMM! You ladies rock!!!*

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