True Mom Confessions: Real Moms Get Real
By Romi Lassally
Paperback, 288 pages
List Price: $14
If They Only Knew:
"Sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom"
As a new mother, I succumbed to my young daughter Phoebe's every fashion whim. As a toddler, she was obsessed with a standard pink leotard with a prickly tulle tutu and she insisted on wearing it everywhere. I mean everywhere. But I was so enamored of her independent style that I even helped her accessorize it with a cotton turtleneck so she could move seamlessly from fall to winter when the temperature dropped. Eventually, her beloved ensemble morphed into a series of Spice Girls-inspired outfits — flared leggings and rhinestone-festooned shirts, several riding high above her midriff.
It seemed adorable until it wasn't. And it wasn't when one day I looked up at her and thought, "Oh, my God, my little girl looks like a stripper."
My emotions were a jumble. I had created this "monster." I'd given in to the whining at the store and purchased clingy, glittery items despite my better judgment and fashion sense. I admit it, she wasn't the only one attracted to these "must-have" pieces; at the time I actually thought a pint-sized version of a sexy starlet was cute. But now I'd come to my senses. My daughter's belly was soft and round and to me, irresistible, but it certainly didn't need to be paraded around the playground, swaddled in sparkles and spandex.
Desperate times required desperate measures. Given that there was no way my daughter was going to give up her glitzy uniforms without a fi ght (and also given the fact that I wasn't up to fighting) I brought in an element which would take things out of our hands: red nail polish. I splattered an entire bottle across her favorite items leaving an army of angry red blotches everywhere. When she discovered the stained clothing in her closet, I shared her shock and disbelief and then we had a somber, brief ceremony when they were disposed of in the trash. It wasn't until recently, as we packed up her room to send her off to college, that I came clean about my dirty trick. Thankfully, we both had a good laugh.
As mothers, we become crafty and resourceful, and resort to thoughts and actions we never thought possible. Who knew I could stoop so low as to actively deface my kids' clothing? Not me. But at the time, it seemed like the only option and a clever one at that. As seen in the confessional, we moms are brilliant at conjuring shortcuts (cleaning up that spill with our pant legs) and coping mechanisms (a little vodka in the thermos at a neverending baseball game) to get through our days and to tackle situations in our harried lives for which there are no how- to lists. Sometimes our "creativity" is worthy of sharing. Yet often, it might be worth sharing, but certainly not with anyone we live with or could bump into at the next birthday party.
The confessional offers an alternative — a chance to unload the embarrassing and the shameful, the creative and the crass. In this chapter it's clear that there are some things we can't, won't or shouldn't tell our kids, our partners or our friends. But it's my belief that everything can be shared anonymously in cyberspace, because you never know when one mom's secret might be another mom's solace or even a solution — something that can help her get through a long day or even longer night and, even if only briefly, let her know that she's not alone.
We held a PTA meeting at my house last week. All the moms marveled at my clean home. Thank God they didn't look too closely: I'd put all the dirty dishes in the oven and stuffed the overflowing piles of dirty clothes (and the stinky dog bed) in the hall closet!
Often, when I'm trying to figure out what to do with regard to my little girl, I think of my parents and what they would do. And then I do the exact opposite. Sometimes when I spill something on my kitchen floor, I just "mop" it up with the bottom of my pant leg as I walk by.
Have you ever seen the show 'Weeds'? That's me. We live in suburbia, have a very happy, albeit semidysfunctional little family, I am a fourth-year university student, my husband owns a successful business ... but we happen to sell marijuana out of the little house that my grandmother left us several years ago. We make a lot of money and it's hard to stop. We'd be pretty well off without that income, but with it we have it made.
I went back to work so that I would yell at my coworkers instead of my son.
I joined Weight Watchers just so that I would have a place to go by myself once a week.
I haven't taught my kids how to tell time yet. That way I can say it's bedtime whenever I want.
I got pregnant so I could get a break from working every day.
I lean over my babies' beds at night when they're asleep and whisper, "I promise I'll be a better mommy tomorrow." There are just too many days I wish I'd done better.
Sometimes when I'm holding my beautiful baby in my arms and we're gazing lovingly at each other, I secretly wish that she would fall asleep so that I could check my e- mail.
I eat all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms.
I play Guitar Hero after my kids leave for school because I want to finally beat them with a higher score!
Excerpt of True Mom Confessions was provided by The Berkley Publishing Group/The Penguin Group. Copyright 2009 by Romi Lassally.