“It’s not what it looks like!”: One parent’s lament

Neve, playing happily on dry land

Neve, playing happily on dry land

There are so many things about parenting that, from the outside, look entirely different from the inside.

Subtle things. Like, one day, I’d herded both girls (because the little one wanted to tag along, of course) into a restaurant’s single restroom, and when, after everyone had washed their hands, Lily pulled multiple paper towels from the dispenser – after I told her she only needed one – I got surly and sharp with her.

“That’s a waste! We need to create as little waste as possible! It’s terrible for the environment! And I asked you to take one! You took FIVE! You don’t need five!”

In this moment, even as I’m saying the words, I hear them through the perspective of a 5 year old (or my calmly blinking spouse, to whom I repeat my grievance moments later), and they sound like the ravings of a crazy person. What is she talking about? Why is Mommy losing her s*** over paper towels?

A pretty reasonable question, really. And I don’t honestly know the answer. I wasn’t more sleep-deprived than usual. I’d had a decent day up until then. But out of nowhere, this ugly anger just poured out of me, and I snapped. What the what? Continue reading

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Dance, Dance Revolution!

The night of Lily’s first-ever dance class, in early September, she was so excited that she spent nearly an hour dancing around our kitchen in her tap shoes, watching herself in the oven’s dark glass.

And since then, she asks me nearly every day, “Do I have dance class today?”

So color me shocked when she came out in the middle of her most recent ballet/tap lesson – dressed in her pink, skirted leotard, and this week’s appointed class “leader” – and asked to go home.

Huh? Did I miss something?

Oh, yes. I had no idea in the moment, but yes. Continue reading