Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dumb Old Mom

The Husband has earned the nickname 'Captain Fun' with the kids, and rightfully so. He is the one who will jump up and shout, 'let's go for ice cream!' or let them stay up late, or play Guitar Hero with them when they should be cleaning their rooms. He is Captain Fun, and we love him for it. He's also The Voice, the one they listen to after they've been arguing with me. The one that shouts LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER RIGHT NOW from the living room and, magically, they do.

Henry, who will scream and yell and cry when I try to brush his teeth, will sit there passively, mouth wide open, while the Husband brushes.

It pisses me off.

He had plans to take the girls to the movies this afternoon. All morning, I moped around the house. I haven't left the house in five days. I guess I'll do some laundry. Maybe Henry and I will go to the grocery store. Finally, he looked at me and said, 'Why don't YOU take them to the movie?'

Immediately, Julia yelled 'Nooooooooo! Not Mommy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!'

Because where he is sparkle and glam and jazz hands, I am mashed potatoes and toilet brushes and giant panties. He is awesomeness, I am utility. He is Captain Fun, I am Dumb Old Mom.

I get it. I get that I am here all the time, and take care of all the awful stuff, like homework and baths and cleaning. I get that The Husband retains his novelty by working more than full time. I get that he makes the sacrifice of time away from them, and why shouldn't he be their preference when he's here? I should be thankful that they love him so. And I am.

But that doesn't mean I don't sometimes feel like a whiny baby because I want to be number one! I don't want to be dumb old mom with her rules and practicality and green vegetables.

The Husband has to remind me that there are times when they want only me. When they are sick. Or scared or lonely or tired. When they require tenderness. As Katie gets older, I've noticed a slight shift back to me - dads don't understand what it's like to be a tween girl. When Henry wakes up in the middle of the night and yells MAMA!, I take smug satisfaction in it. When Julia throws her little arm around my neck and squeezes tight and says 'you are the best mom, ever!', I believe her.

Sometimes I need to let them be irresponsible. I need to loosen up and relax and stop worrying about the stupid housework and if everyone's getting to bed on time. I need to take a lesson from Captain Fun, and shake things up a little.

I don't have to be Dumb Old Mom, at least not all the time.


  1. My daughter is the same old way. I feed her, bathe her, drive her to school, take her to the doctor, take pictures of her, make sure she doesn't look like the poor kid in class... but since Daddy shoots guns at her and tackles her and lets her obsessively compulsively touch everything in her room before bedtime she'll scream like a banshee when I try to put her to bed when Daddy's home. Thank the lord I have my son, who looks like he's been hit by a bus when I leave to go to the grocery store. Love this.

  2. My suggestion would be to build or buy a robot(s) to replace your husband or yourself. Then you could program the husband-like robot to be unlikeable and mean, so suddenly you would be the more fun "parent".
    The Robo-Kelly could be programmed to be all fun and cheery while you toil away in the back ground/basement secretly doing the laundry, dishes and acts setter uh, your natural better talents, sort of a Cinder-Kell-a.

  3. If it makes you feel any better, my kids alternate between who they consider the worst cop is in our house. Since we're both here so much there's none of that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" crap to deal with it.

  4. I, too, am Dumb Old Mom. But they puke on him, so it balances out.

  5. The grands all love me more. It's wrong, but I really like that.

  6. Eh. My kids all love their dad more. AND they go to his side of the bed when they get sick in the middle of the night. Can't say as I blame them. More on that another day.... You're doing a great job, and your kids will thank you one day.

  7. Awww that's super frustrating. You should get to be the fun parent sometimes, too!!