This Old Mom - Shut Up

Shut Up, Darling Child

Posted: January 5, 2016

OK. I officially just told Grace to shut up.

That’s right. While putting Grace to bed, This Old Mom told her 3.11 year old (I just can’t say ’35 months old’ without feeling like I’m talking about the remaining balance owed on my Prius) daughter to shut up.

Granted, she’s a talker, when I let her get a word in edgewise, that is.
And let me start this by saying I’m really sorry.


Now, as I type this, I’m super sorry.

But in the moment it felt fucking awesome. I mean it felt so completely wrong but with an electrical power surge of awesome.

Like the best sex of your life with someone who disgusts you and you wouldn’t be caught dead in public with.

Now, I’m super contrite and writing this from a serious place of shame. Shame mixed with some Bonterra Organic biodynamic red wine that sounds like grenache but feels like GERD.

Color me clueless for thinking the dark circles under her eyes & her avid interest in watching a handheld movie of someone else play the Umi Zoomi video game (badly, I might add) on Youtube while I realize the English peas I am pouring into a pan of beautifully sauteed veggies are two weeks past their expiry date (I’m fluid in Canadian) — at that moment I decided she was ready for bed because I could barely keep my eyes open after a day spent watching myself do everything I can to avoid filling out my first EVER mortgage application while simmering in my recently dead mom’s pajamas.

We can’t buy the house we’ve lived in, the owner doesn’t want sell to us the only home our daughter’s ever known, and we stand at a precipice- do we buy a home here or someplace near here or do we just get the eff out of LA and if so, live where?

I’m no stranger to change but right now I’m so deep in grief I’ll cut my underpants off before I have to change the sweatpants I currently call home. I don’t want to move. Ever. Anything.

Grace was in a great mood too, that’s the crappy part of telling her to shut her piehole. But she wasn’t going to bed and kept popping up with excuse after excuse- ‘I need to pee’, ‘i need to poop’, i need to itch my ear’, ‘my bottle needs nuking up’, ‘read that story but slower and as if you are a scared pony pig,’ that I just blurted out, calmly and warmly even, like I was Marlo Thomas reading her a story, I uttered a velvety “Shut up.”

To my child. In her face.

It was the purest moment aside from the instant wallop of mom-loss- I was suspended between complete truth and not giving a shit what that meant for anyone else.

Grace did a gasp-stun thing that I truly adore and would copyright if I could, and I balanced on the thrilling edge of wonder- either she would laugh with me or cry because of me.

When she loudly laughed I felt like I’d won big on the nickel slots, then she turned away from me, hugged the pillow and said, “Mom. Saying shut up is not cool.”

I buried my face beside hers and apologized as repeatedly and fervently as a Southern Hail Mary after a pitcher of mint juleps. Then she broke my heart in twain.

“That’s okay.”

She either forgave me or didn’t want to smell my breath anymore. And I felt so ashamed of myself yet fiercely proud of her.

Being good at forgiving will take Grace far in this life.

She’ll get lots of practice with me…

Care to share the worst thing you’ve said or done with your kid? I’d surely love to feel like I’m not the worst mom ever. So, share your shameful parenting moment, if only to feel less like you are the ONLY worst parent out there…. At least until tomorrow, when we all get a whole new day to eff it all up for someone else.

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