Tuesday, September 27, 2011

  Okay, so here goes something I hope.  Its been months and months since I've blogged but not a minute goes by that these thoughts in my head and feelings inside of me make burning words I wish to push out....I left him.  I picked up my kids and our important papers, and I quit my jobs. I ran through my house with a roll of trash bags and twenty good minutes to clear out.  I packed up my Yukon, and I bounced.  My babies and I went to live with family until I can get on my feet in this new city.  Hurts to say that still.  I did 8 years of loving him with the entirety of my soul.  I almost died in the oblivion that was his "love".  I moved away, I filed for divorce, and I'm starting over. I go to a domestic violence program.  I go to counseling, I have a psychiatrist. I go to peer support groups.  I am a survivor of a life I never wanted to admit that I lived.  I still feel that shame I felt while in it, that prevents me from talking about it sometimes.
  I have new problems now too.  I get panic attacks.  Anxiety is driving me crazy.  Depressed, anxious, stressed out, weepy, angry, insecure, scared shitless.  I feel like my shoulders are pinned to my ears and I'm in a constant state of stress and tension and nervousness.  I go hard on myself, mean and demanding of me.  I'm my own worst critic.  Seems like I don't need him to tell me anything, I can say it all on my own.  A broken record in my head.
  I feel like the girl in How To Love.  I am insecure.  I am terrified.  I had a lot of crooks try to steal my heart.  I wonder will anyone ever even really love me.  Is there someone out there who even knows how to?  I don't even know how to love myself.  I don't know what I deserve.  I'm not even ready to love, or look for love or anything like it, but I doubt I will know it if I saw it.  I just hate this lonely.  This feeling like I spent my life trying to fix a love that wasn't ever gonna be right and now I cant even love myself.  I can't even sit in the quiet with myself and be okay with what we talk about.  Me and I don't get along.  I don't like this feeling.  I don't like to feel.  I don't want to feel.
  So I started to run.  I felt like kicking and screaming and burning down the entire world.  I felt like lashing out and attacking anyone and everything in my path.  Total destruction, utter devastation.  Hurt like I do motherfuckers, and so on and so forth.  So I stood up out of my pity party chair, put my shoes on and ran right out of my garage and down the street.  Very Forrest Gump-ish I know right, "I just felt like run-ning".  The faster I ran, the harder my breath was drawn in and out of my lungs, the less even my inner voice was able to shit talk.  I ran until my head was quiet.  I ran until my legs were jelly.  I ran until sweat poured and my lungs burned.  Felt pretty good. Until the soreness set in the next morning.  But I took care of myself and the next time I warmed up first and stretched and all that good shit.  I got my ipod out and did it right the next time, but then I even turned it off and just ran in silence.  I never pictured me for a runner, but there I was, out there run-ning.  I told my counselor and she had a book about running as therapy.  I downloaded a couch to 5K running app on my droid.  I got out and got running.  I was like NIKE, I just did it.
  Then my counselor said, maybe I need to hear my head again for a while.  What kind of shit is that?  After 28 years, I'd finally found a safe and healthy way to make my thoughts shut the fuck up and I should not do it so much?  Wow.  I need to think, I need to feel and hear myself and learn to love me blah blah blah.  She told me to journal, to blog, to do poetry and integrate that with my running.  So this morning, my fingers are running over this keyboard instead of my feet beating the pavement to the base line of Adele's Rolling Through The Deep.  And I think I may feel a little bit better....

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Need A Little Sarah Connor In Me

   Well, it's May 23rd, 2011.  The world didn't end on Saturday and even though I didn't think it would, I'm really relieved it didn't.  I am not a survivalist,  I don't plan ahead for anything.  I take life as it comes and I don't have enough food in my house to last my family to the end of the week, much less any put away in a box marked "emergency".  A friend of mine reminded me of one of the shows I used to watch with my husband back before Playstation came out with Call of Duty.  It was called the Dollhouse and the brunette slayer from Buffy was the lead character Echo.  A human "doll" who could be given a "treatment" of downloadable personality traits to make her into what ever the customer wantesd her to be.
   How fucking great would it be for me if someone could just inject me with a little Sarah Connor before the world ends or the zombies come swarming through my quaint mountain town to chew on all the babies?  I would be a post apocalypse ass kicker.  I would have the girl-balls to take on cyborgs if need be (even though its the zombies that worry me) and I would be smart and know how to make Molotov cocktails and take apart and reassemble a weapon with my eyes closed.  Maybe I wouldn't teach my girls to count by twos and tie their fucking shoes, but they would know how to take out a T-1000 or a zombie without messing up their little pigtails.  I'd raise little Amazon warrior beasts, cutthroat committee cuties!
   You probably think wow, what kind of woman would want little girls like that?!?  Me motherfuckers.  Me.  I am not ready for shit.  Luckily for my family, the biggest natural disaster that we have to worry about is this volcano that we live on the base of.  But it hasn't erupted in like 200 someshit years and after watching Dante's Peak (it fucking has Sarah Connor in it too!)  I feel confident that I know the warning signs of a volcanic eruption, and would be able to have some notice that I needed to get the fuck out of dodge with my kids, my man, my dogs, (fuck the fish), and my nookcolor.  
   But just the thought of "pack what you need and go" scares me.  How will I know what I need?  What do I prioritize?  I should've read a fucking manual on this shit ages ago instead of reading cheap romances all day. I AM NOT PREPARED!  When the earthquakes and then tsunamis devastated  Japan, and the tornadoes swept through middle America, I realized I had no clue what I would need to do.   Zombies are just the #1 name I have to put on this fear in my heart of not being ready for a disaster.  I know I can fight.  I can physically endure a tussle, but what about having the things I need to defend, feed and clothe my family.  How do I get all that shit together and into a compact-ready-to-go-container?  I've studied the lists and I know the things that I should do, but I lack the drive to put it all in one place as if that is just asking for something to happen.
   So when I turned on my computer last Tuesday and found out quite by accident through one of Aunt Becky's blog posts that the Rapture was Saturday I felt like a dumbass.  Here it was like 4 days out, and I'm just hearing about it?  Good one, fick.  I didn't believe, and I'm glad it didn't come but it made me think.
   Of zombies of course, and volcanic eruptions.  Of Stephen King's The Stand, 28 Days Later, The Book of Eli, The Happening, oh I could go on and on.  It also made me think about what I wished I had done differently if the end had really come.  The first thing I though about was a survival kit, which I wished I had had ready in case I was around for the Post Rapture Looting Party and the hordes of zombies.  So I'm gonna try and channel a little Sarah Connor into myself, just in case.
   Mostly though and  most importantly to me, it really made me think of all the shit I wished I had've done.  I even made a list.  This was shit like I wished I had kept up on my dishes and laundry so that those aspects of my world weren't always piling up and pissing me off.  I wished I had spent more time for myself, making me happy.  I wished I hadn't resented so much the aspects of motherhood that will really only last for a few short years.  One day they will grow up and not need me but until then I have to do it all for them.  I wouldn't resent having to keep them alive if zombies were after us all, so I shouldn't resent having to feed them 3 times a day not counting snacks.  It only costs me a dirty kitchen.  
   I realized I needed to stop petting the sweaty stuff.  I mean stop sweating the petty stuff and live my life in a way that would cause me less stress and resentfulness.  So I kind of made me a new I survived the non-Rapture bucket list.

  • Do the fucking dishes already! Small doses are easier to swallow.
  • Same goes for the laundry, fold that shit as it comes out of the dryer!
  • I'm not just someone's mama, I am me, and I need to take care of me.  What did selflessness ever do for ME?  Nothing!  That's what, so I need to think more about ways to make me happy.   I can't look to anyone else to do it for me.  I don't want to lose myself anymore.  I want to be a better me for me and then for my kids.
  • Dinner comes at the same time every fucking day, so does breakfast and lunch.  I bet if I keep up on the dishes better I wont mind so much having to cook all the time because the kitchen wont be dirty.  I cant cook in a dirty kitchen.
  • Don't fight the domesticity.  It's only a wrinkle in time and will be over before I know it or want it to.  I got myself into this motherhood thing and I'm in it hardcore style until they are 18.  
           Any time I ask my mom or any other older woman if she would like to trade evenly or even get a deal of a lifetime on two slightly used little girls, they say no, they did their time already.  This is what leads me to understand why women can only have kids up to a certain age, while men shoot sperm forever. Because we would go fucking crazy if we had to deal with babies for fucking ever.  Men for some fucking reason have the father role way easier than mothers get.  They can have kids forever because they never really have them like we really have them.  From birth to earth.  It doesn't cause a man any pain to have a child, it doesn't affect their body or their emotions, their souls.  We can only give birth to so many, growing them within us, nurturing them for so long.  Not so with men, it never phases them like it does us.  They don't have to lose their selves like we do. So I'm really trying to understand that and not fight it anymore, while also trying to find new ways to find myself in all of this.
  • Be a phenomenal woman.  I made a list of all the phenomenal women I wish I could download into my body.  I want a little Sarah Connor,  a little Lara Croft, some Beatrice Kiddo, and I want a little bit of Michelle Pheifer in One Fine Day where she has that wonderfully stylish hobo bag filled with everything her kid and she needs for the day.  I want some Mrs. Tuee or whatever the fuck her name was that Sandra Bullock played in The Blindside.  And I want more Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda from Sex and the City.  All four of those bitches had some bad ass in them.  And I can't forget the Mighty Ya Ya Sisterhood.  These are all fictional characters yes, and there are some real life bad ass bitches I know.  Real Phenomenal Women, but ya'll don't know them so I'm sticking with icons.
  So since the world is still spinning and my lungs are still pulling air, I had better get my shit together and start channeling my inner bad bitch so I have  my disaster kit ready for the next big scare.  We still gotta make it through 2012 before I will really breathe easily......

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beautiful Mother

    So a couple weeks ago on facebook, there was one of those Beautiful Mother Award chain postings going around.  It said the usual send to 8 others but I did it to many more than that.  I got lots back and some were from some people who have never even seen my kids or seen me in action (at least that I can recall).  I was flattered at that since sometimes I doubt my momming, but that's not what this is about.  As we near Mother's Day, I feel more and more like writing something about my momming; but that's what this whole blog is about anyways.  My momming.  
     I toyed with the idea of writing a post calling myself out on what I feel I do wrong or at least not right as a mom and  I will get to that post someday I'm sure, but this post came to my mind a little while ago and I think it's 'the one' for tonight.  Tonight, I'm going to try in as many ways as I can to tell you what a beautiful mother is to me.  I started thinking about this because when I went back and read the you're a beautiful mother award again, I realized it said NOTHING as to why we thought so and so was a beautiful mother.  Keep in mind that I am not trying to describe myself as a beautiful mother because I'm not near that cocky or self deluded to think I am, even though others do (but hey that's them).  I know I'm a good mama and I know that some of these traits or descriptions may apply to me (in someone else's opinion) but this is not a tip my fucking mama hat post.  It's a hat tip to all the mamas out there who are beautiful in my own estimations.  Okay, so here goes somethin' I hope..
  • A beautiful mother is a woman who recognizes from the moment of the thought of conception of her children that she is no longer the most important thing in her life.  Her child is.  And from the day she accepts and decides to mother a child, to the day she dies; her child comes first.
  • A beautiful mother realizes that she is but the bow.  Her job is to raise her children as her arrows.  Her goal in life is sharpening and honing them into the straightest and truest flying little beings that she can aim as she lets them go out into the world. She does her best in life keep on target, and keep her children on the right path.
  • A beautiful mother is a woman who, even when unable to stay on target  for what ever reasons the world may hold,  or keep her little arrows from flying off course; still loves and supports her children.
  • That is to say that a beautiful mother's love is undying.  A powerful force to be reckoned with indeed, she'd move heaven and hell for her children.  Her love is a beautiful thing. It is unconditional.  Awe inspiring.  She is the sun in which a child's universe revolves around.
  • A beautiful mother says to God, "Thankyou Lord for the blessings you have given me in my children, and please help me to be worthy of them."  Motherhood is sacred.   Pregnancy is the only chance in life many of us get to assist God in creating a miracle, and motherhood is the journey we take to share that miracle with the world and share the world with our child.
  • A beautiful mother's guilt unfortunately, knows no end.  She may be superwoman and wonder mommy all in one beautiful mother package, but still she will fault herself for something.  Such is the life of a beautiful mother.  She worries herself with her child's emotional, physical, spiritual, and social well being constantly.  She doesn't want to fuck up.  I don't think anyone's mama ever really intentionally set out to fuck up.  Shit just happens.  Life happens.  We just do our best.
  • A beautiful mother makes the hard choices, the difficult decisions for the best of her child no matter how those choices may affect her.  She provides for and protects her children no matter what.
  • A beautiful mother may even choose to give her child up for adoption because she doesn't think she can do it the right way, a tough but beautiful choice some mothers make for the best for their child.  A beautiful mother may be a woman who thinks of other women out there in the world unable to become mothers on their own and allows her body to be used for the growing of someone else's child, blessing someone else with motherhood.
A beautiful mother is the greatest gift God ever gave the world.  And this coming Mother's Day, I want us all to remember that it isn't what a mother looks like on the outside that makes her beautiful.  They come in all shapes and sizes and all walks of life.  A beautiful mother is a woman like you or me or her. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Princess' Frogs

  Yesterday, I came home from the grocery store to find my husband and girls tearing apart the laundry room.  They saw a frog and he jumped into the dirty clothes.  So here they all are, throwing clothes everywhere trying to find the frog and just making a big ass mess.  So I tell the girls to go clean up their room before dinner and I would try to find the frog.
   You're wondering if I found it aren't you?  You're God damned right I did.  Have I not mentioned I'm mama's daughter?  I put him in a Red Vines container and called my mama.  She told me what to do to make the little frog as comfortable as possible and my girls and I went out in the nice evening April drizzle to find dirt, grass, bugs and a piece of bark for the little froggy to sleep under.  He's got a pretty cool little terrarium set up.  I spent the evening checking on him to make sure the girls weren't shaking his little house up or anything and they didn't. They're Honey's grandchildren of course.
   Pretty sucky that I've lost a puppy in the last week and gained a terrarium of frogs already.  Yes, frogs, plural.  Today, while playing outside, Nonna found another frog inside of one of her snow boots she had left out on the back porch.  So now I have two.  I told the girls I wanted to name the frogs Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana.  They don't see the similarities.  Nonna wants to name them Shiver and Shake.  I have no idea where she gets this shit from.  I think since I got two frogs, they should obviously get fucking Disney names.  My kids don't understand the importance of the Princess and the Frog to their mama.  Frogs can't get Disney names according to them.  They're real frogs mom.
   My girls are only 5 and 2.  They don't really understand what it is to finally have a black Disney princess.  They won't grow up as little colored girls in a world where all the princesses look like Belle, or Ariel ,or Aurora.  They don't realize how groundbreaking Jasmine or Mulan were for me to see, even though I was past pretending to be a princess by the time those two came along.  They can't understand how earthmoving it is for me to see Tiana, not even my husband can because he's just a boy.  Tiana,who is a waitress like me too.  I could watch that movie from sun up to sun down and be happier than shit.  I love it sooo much.  I cry every time.  I sing to Evangeline in the shower.  "Almost There" is my new theme song.
  I get mad when they don't want to watch it. Even though secretly I am grateful that they take the little black princess cartoon for granted. Because they come from a world of Dora and Diego and Happy to be Nappy, they don't know that there wasn't always programming for children that celebrated the differences in us all as well as all of our similarities.  I am so proud of Princess Tiana.  There wasn't a Disney princess for me until now.  There was no Tyra, no Alica Keys, no Barack mother fucking Obama, just to name a few.  I grew up a mixed race child who had trouble at times identifying and socializing with the other kids of either race.  I am proud of the world I get to bring my babies up in.  
   And while race to my children at this young age is of little or no concern to them, it is always in the back of my mind.  I know that someday, someone, will judge them because of their skin tone.  I know that racism is still alive in this world and that my children will have to face it.  It is my duty to raise them to face these experiences with their chins up and their backs straight, and to not let the poison of hate in whatever form it takes break their spirits or dash their dreams.  Just because we have so many more black and other ethnic role models than we did when I was coming up, doesn't mean that they wont have to deal with it.  Racism, ignorance, intolerance, discrimination, HATE all live and breathe in this world whether or not people want to admit it or not.  My children need to grow up knowing that it is of course, the content of one's character and not the color of their skin that matters.   But also that they should celebrate the heritage that they have, the black people who have gone before them; while still respecting every person in this world as another human being neither greater nor lesser than they are.  We are all God's children.  Even little frogs that I want to name Naveen and Tiana.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our First Real Fight

    This evening, as I sat on the couch watching the clock tick its way towards bed time, Nonna came and climbed up on my lap.  I held her like I used to when she was a bitty baby, she's so longer now.  Anyways, we're sitting there, cuddling and I'm looking at her beautiful porcelain doll face thinking of how hard I love her and telling her bed time is coming for her ass.  She's disagreeing with me like a little meeny lawyer about how she isn't tired and shouldn't have to go to bed.  Looking at her little face set so resolutely, I remember our first real fight.  She was 2.
      When Nonna was 2, daddy was still property of the state, and it was just me and her against the world.  Muffin was just a twinkle in my eye at that time.  I was only about 700 some odd days into mommyhood when this little beast tried to test me.  I was ill equipped to deal with my mini me and her viscous games of manipulation and mommy mind control.  I was a stressed out, over worked, over scheduled single mom.  She was a 2 year old.
     It was a hot summer day and I was late for work.  I was always late back then because I was stuck in the single mom/single child time warp.  I say this because before I had Muffin I could never get anywhere on time.  I was intimidated by people with more than one kid, how the fuck did they do it?  I wouldn't find out for a bit yet. Anyways, I was always late and Nonna was never any help.  She'd insist on taking her clothes off right before it was time to leave, or shit her pants, or take her hair down, or go and get all fucking wet in the sprinkler while I was trying to take the trash out or load up my car.  Whatever it was to make me late, I believed she was doing it and on purpose.
   The straw that broke this mama's back was a pair of pink womper stomper snow boots.  You know the type, every kid has a pair, like the ones Rainbow Bright used to wear.  I'm trying to get her out the fucking door and on our way to Auntie's house and she goes in her room and takes off her little sandals I put on to match her little dress and puts on those god damned boots.  I'm like, "Nonna you cant wear those boots, its 100 degrees outside," she's like "no!" a 2 year olds favorite word I know, but fuck if that didn't set me off.  I tried to reason with her, really I did, but she was having none of it.  After about 45 seconds of that shit, I was livid. So I get to yelling at her and trying to take her boots off and she's freaking out and screaming "no,no,no".  Every time I tried to put the sandals back on, she'd arch her foot and curl her toes and wriggle away from me and run off with the boots.
    Now I'm sure there are those of you wonder mommies out there who have already a whole list of how I could have handled this situation, but I had none of you then.  I was just trying my best to be the best I could be and she was working actively against me.  I know that I should have just took her to my sister in law in whatever state of dress or undress she was in, I shouldn't have cared if she was wet or if her hair wasn't done.  But I did.  I barely ever got to see her, I worked 65 hours a week back then.  I felt like she didn't love me when all I was doing was working myself to death to take care of her needs.  When I dropped her off at my brother's for Auntie to watch her, she didn't cry.  When I picked her up she would though.  She treated me like I was her sitter and Auntie was her mommy.  Auntie took such good care of my baby girl, I am forever in her debt for that, and so much more.  She taught me how to be a mommy just as much as my mommy did.  But Nonna was there soo much that I felt like the least I could do was make sure she was dressed, hair done, presentable and well packed and ready for her stays at Auntie's while I worked.
    This was why the boots were such a big deal.  Not only was it way too fucking hot for me to let my kid go running around in a pair of pink foam snow boots, they were really very ugly when paired with the dress.  And I didn't want her Auntie to have the burden of Nonna getting heatstroke cuz her mama didn't know how to dress her baby for the conditions.  So we fought.  We yelled.  We wrastled around on the hardwood floor.  Finally, I picked her up, grabbed my purse and her diaper bag and tossed her in my camaro.  I'll never forget it.  I yelled, "You can't treat me like this, I'm your mama!"  As I was trying to buckle her while she did everything in her power to not be buckled into her car seat, my mom called.  I said "See now my mama's on the phone and I'm telling on you! I'm her baby and she aint gonna let you get away with this!'
    Ha. Ha.  My mom heard the screaming toddler in the background and asked if everything was okay and I told her hell no it wasn't and filled her in on the situation.  This is when my mother gave me some of the best advice I have ever received on parenting.  She said: Let the girl wear the fucking boots.  Every kid has a pair of fucking boots that they want to wear till their mamas go crazy.  It won't hurt her and it's not a fashion contest at Auntie's.  She said, she is just a baby.  Give the baby a pass.  She wont even remember this part of her life. ( Very true since I know that I sure as hell can't remember being 2.)  At this point, I was speeding down the freeway screaming into the phone at my mom "But that's bullshit mom, she's fucking with me on purpose, just get on the phone with her and tell her to leave me alone!"  And Nonna is still in the backseat crying and sweating in my car with no A/C and her fucking snow boots in the middle of the summer.  Mom told me all I had to do was keep her alive and relatively happy and that I was a good mom. "Don't traumatize the girl over some boots."
    Mom wouldn't talk to Nonna, said she said all she had to say to me and that I needed to be the mama and hung up on me.  By the time I got to Auntie's I was crying and Nonna wasn't.  I unbuckled her, and walked into the house with mascara all over my face and here comes Nonna behind me taking big giant moon walking stomps in her moon boots.  She sat directly down on the couch and tried to take the boots off now that she had reached her destination and supposedly won the argument.  I told Auntie on her since telling Honey hadn't helped.  Auntie said, "nuh uh Nonna, you gonna wear them boots all day now that you got your mama crying over them, you can't take them off."  She made Nonna wear the boots all day too.
    When I picked her up she refused to put them back on and when we got home she asked me if I could put them up.  I did so gladly.  We never went through the moon boot fiasco again thanks to Auntie making her have her boots and wear them too.  We've had plenty of battles since then but I learned a lot about momdom that day.  She may reduce me to a screaming, crying, fit throwing mama who has to act like a 2 year old to make her see the error of her ways, but I know that I am the mama and she is the kid.  She still likes to make me late.
    I learned that she is still just a baby, even though she's almost 6 now.  She is still alive and relatively happy, so I guess I'm doing an alright job.  She still tests me, she always will I guess but I'm better prepared to deal with her knowing that she just can't help it, she's just a kid.  I just can't help it either I'm just a mama.  We still fight, over lots of things like clothes and bed time and sharing with her sister.  But I still remember that all I really have to do is keep her alive and relatively happy.  I don't always win every battle, but I will win the war.  I'm still trying to be the best mama I can be and she's just being a little girl. She still hates boots too.

This is Nonna.  This was the day she snuck out and got hay all in her afro.  I was late that day too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

   I didn't really mind when the gold fish started dying.  Until the one that my 5 year old picked out for me as my Christmas present began swimming sideways and floppin around his tank.  Then I drove straight away to the next town to get Terri Dundee, aka Honey, aka my mama to come try to save this fish.  She's the only fish vet I know.  When the fish didn't make it, I said the Lord's Prayer with my girls and we very ceremoniously flushed him.  I told him he was going to fish heaven.
   I didn't even get a chance to try to help Ook.  I'm glad it was fast, as it usually is with semi vs pit bull action, and I'm glad she didn't suffer.  But now my girls will have to have the Heaven Talk again.  I've lived on this stretch of highway my entire life and I have lost many dogs to its dangers.  Charge it to the game.  The world keeps spinning.  Life will go on.  But I feel for my little girls.  They will feel her loss, she wasn't a fish in a tank in the corner of mama's room and we all know mama hates fish anyways.  She was my viscous bitch.  I'm gonna miss her.  The only one of my girls that I didn't mind sleeping with me.  I loved her.
  This is another reason I don't like pets.  I hate to lose them.  I know that this loss will help teach my kids a valuable lesson about life and death, but sometimes I just want to sheild them from all this.  Last month it was the baby in Auntie's belly that went to Heaven.  This month its Ookla.  I don't want them to think everything around them is fading away like I do.....I'm just sad.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Waiting For a Head Start?

 I had a home visit with Muffin's teachers today.  I'm sitting here listening to them tell me how great she is and what a good mama I am, and all I can think is what a fucking crock.  She isn't even 3 and she is raising herself.  Maybe Nonna is raising her.  Daddy too, but me? No, no, no lady, you got this all wrong....
   I may be her mama, I may be the spokeswoman for Little Miss MuffinCake, but you're giving me too much credit.  Yes I birthed her and nursed her and take her to all her appointments and social events, but I feel like I'm failing my youngest baby.  She walked at 9 months, something it took Nonna 12 to do.  She potty trained with no problems what so ever and minimal accidents that were really my fault due to timing and my own laziness.  I had to threaten, cajole, and outwit Nonna into pooping on the pot.  She talks better than most little kids her age is excelling socially with her little classmates, everyone loves her.
   I love her so much.  She is me.  I am she.  I've never known such an old soul in such a tiny body.  She came out just knowing the ways of the world.  Maybe its because she's the second born and has had so much time around that old Nonna that has her so advanced by my mama standards.  It's just that everything from weaning to sleep schedules to teething to potty training has all been a muffin cake walk compared to the outwit outlast outplay game of motherdom survival I've had to partake in raising Nonna.  
   I used to have to hide from Nonna to get her to go to sleep when we were living with my brother in the little room we shared.  She used to come into my bed when we got our own place, just the two of us and refuse to leave.  Because of all the crazy swing to graveyard turnaround shifts I did when Nonna was littler, she has the night time hours of a college frat.  She'll be the one opening the door for armed robbers because she heard them picking the lock while she was sneaking around my house in the middle of the night looking for shit to get into and something good on TV.  I still have to tell her good night 99 times and yell to make her stay in bed and go to sleep.  Muffin?  She goes down and stays down, no problem.  She unlike her sister, never had to go to a sitter though.  Daddy was home and Muffin was never woken up in the middle of the night to get buckled in a car seat to ride home and get put back to bed.  Just Nonna.
   She was almost 4 before she was done with a cup, and that was only because my best bitch came over and very dramatically "stole" all of Nonna's cups for some new baby.  She still tries to talk me into letting her sleep with one on some nights, and she'll be 6 in July.  Nonna was and is the hardest thing I've ever slammed my head repeatedly into with no avail.  God I love her mean ass.  And she talks to and looks over Muff like she's her mama and not me.  I don't know how many times I've caught myself screaming at the top of my lungs, "DON'T yell at my baby! I'm her damned mama not you little girl!"
   Maybe I have just been doing such a thorough and bang up job raising Nonna to be the self sufficient-free thinking-no shit takin-order barking-never sleeping little road dog she is, that now she knows all there is to know about telling her little sister how to get in where she fits in.  Mama runs a tight ship.  I'm a despot.  I enjoy it.  But my guilt is eating away at me that I am failing my kids.  I try to teach them the shit my mom taught me, I love them with all I got.  But how come their early accomplishments, especially Muffins make me feel so bad.  She's just easier, I guess.  God must've put enough shit for me into Nonna, I had to give her a pass not too long ago.  I decided that its just in her genetic make up to fuck with me, and keep Muffin in line.
   So while her teachers try to pump me up about what a good mom I am and  they tell me how to transition my Muffin to a new school like she's some kind of fragile little cream puff who needs fluffing, I try not to roll my eyes.  I'll tell her when its time, and she'll be ready.  She Miss Muffincake.  She a motherfucking beast.  She don't need no head start, she's got this in the bag.  I'm just hanging on to her little feet to keep her grounded.  Don't grow up without me Mari.