Do you ever have those moments where you are like, “Wow… I am really embarrassed that just happened. Thank the universe no one was here to witness this totally humiliating experience. I pray this information never gets out because I don’t think I need to be judged on this complete failure.” Yeah… well I had one of those over the weekend and I am going to share it with you because I don’t know why…
I feel like some context is in order. So I have been a “sober” person now for almost 6 years – which is a really really long time for a person like me who loves not being sober. Then last summer I dabbled in drinking coffee – which soon became the best time of my life because it got me high as fuck. My system was so pure from the absence of outside influences that caffeine was like meth. FUCKIGN AWESOME. But after about 2 months I had to quit. It got too intense, and my afternoon crashes were ugly – like its 5 am and your coke dealer won’t call you back so you tape over all your windows so to never face the sun again kind of ugly.
A year went by, I was coffee-free, and all was good. Then a few weeks ago, I said to myself “Don’t be such an extremist Toni. You can do this. 95% of the adult population does this. You can drink coffee if you want. Just have it 4 days a week… Monday – Thursday, when you have the most work. Then don’t drink any for the next 3 days so you don’t become an addict… or so you don’t dull the high of Monday by getting too used to it…” Good thinking right!!?? Don’t create a dependency in order to still feel the potency of the effects! I should totally be a drug counselor right? “Listen, if you do heroine every day, it will lose its effectiveness – so instead doing it casually every few days for maximum impact.”
What I didn’t anticipate was how hard the days would be without the coffee. Friday through Sunday I would be pushing through in this total state of “blahness” – unable to find my mojo. There was no meaning, no joy, nothing to kick start my morning into a frenzied state of productivity. I was existing, not living. Am I being a dramatic you say? NO I AM FUCKING NOT!!
Now here is the thing about spending the day with a kid… or at least my kid. If I am in a good mental place, I can handle pretty much anything she throws at me. The more self- possessed I am, the better I can manage the complexity of my child’s moods. Although it might sound cliché or corny, taking caring of myself is the number one effort of social activism I can partake in. When I am truly centered and in control of my emotional being, I can handle the chaos of existence with grace. Yet when I am experiencing my own inner turmoil, it is easier for me to do things I later regret.
The times that I handle The Munch with maturity and embody the model of behavior I want her to live up to, then I can feel like I am doing a decent job as a parent. Yet when I am fragile and too easily influenced by The Munch’s emotive state, those are the instances I am not exactly a “good example.”
So this is what happened… We were at her swing set, and Munch wanted me to make her baby doll act frustrated. Part of me was like “yeah I guess I could do that…” but this other part of me was like “entertain yourself by swinging on your swing kid.” Like I said before, I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind from the coffee detox, and sometimes you just want your child to deal with their own life and not have to be their damn clown.
Toni: Munch, why don’t you just swing for a bit and let Mamma stare off into the nothingness contemplating the futility of existence for a bit.
Munch: No Mamma, don’t do that! Make the baby act frustrated!
Toni: Fine…. What should she be frustrated about?
Munch: Just make her act frustrated!!
Toni: Dude, this isn’t “Improv 101!” I need some direction or something to go on. What do you want the baby to be frustrated about???
Munch: MOM JUST MAKE THE BABY ACT FRUSTRATED!!!
Ummm so that is where I got frustrated myself… and threw the baby. NOT AT MUNCH MIND YOU… I just threw the doll high up in the air, and she landed with a thud by Munch’s feet. Now this was a confusing moment for us both. I didn’t hit Munch with the baby because I am a coordinated person who knows how to land a shot if I wanted, but I did fling the baby in Munch’s overall direction. Albeit it was a lob, to throw a baby is a little… ummmm… juvenile.
Munch looked at the baby, then at me, down at the baby again, and once more at me. I was pretty ashamed by my actions, but tried to blow it off to save face.
Toni: Mamma, just threw the baby huh?
Munch: Yeah… good thing it didn’t hit me…
Toni: Yeah… Mamma is pretty silly right??
Munch wasn’t buying it. She then also remembered that I never made the baby frustrated. The culmination caused Munch to be quite angry with me, so she took off her Minnie Mouse shoe, and threw it at my head.
It was a perfect shot. We were both equally surprised because Munch normally doesn’t have the best aim… but this throw would have gotten her into the major leagues.
A number of things were going threw my mind at this point. Number one was, “Holy fuck my kid just threw a Minnie Mouse shoe at my head!!!” Then of course, “well I did just throw a baby… BUT I DIDN’T hit her!!”
I really didn’t know how to react or what to say. I needed a minute to sort all this out, so I kept quiet, got up calmly, and left to go inside. I stood in my kitchen and did what any normal person would do when faced with a dramatic conflict – I started doing the dishes and talking to myself. “Listen Toni, you have to redeem myself as an adult who acts with rationality and not emotional impulse. You are the grown up. You can do this!” After about five minutes The Munch came in looking for me.
Toni: Munch, I am really angry with you for throwing a shoe at my head.
Munch: Well… you should have ducked.
(Although not the apology I was looking for, that is some pretty flawless logic)