The Mom I Want To Be

E is very interested in the spice drawer.

As he holds up a container of cumin, he says: Mama? What’s this?

I reply: It’s cumin sweetie.

E: You’re right!

And he puts it back. And we begin again. With oregano. It’s like a game show. And I am AWESOME at it.

But recently, he’s been taking the tops off. And doing some EXTRA exploration.

So this week I’m making dinner and he’s looking in the spice drawer. I say: Don’t open the tops.

Ten minutes later I smell allspice. EVERYWHERE.

I feel that anger well up inside me. The mess. The exhaustion. The unfinished meal. I don’t want to sweep. I want to YELL: I TOLD YOU NOT TO OPEN THOSE. I want a son who LISTENS. I want a daughter who let’s me PUT HER DOWN SOMETIMES.

I take a breathe.  And in my desperation to be the mom I want to be, I spy my camera. I grab it off the counter. Because through the lens it’s FUNNY. He has three tablespoons of allspice in his SHIRT POCKET. N shows up. And is now covered in allspice too. And I’m glad that she’s joined us. We clean together. We smell fantastic. And we manage to not burn dinner.

Spice Mess

I get to be the mom I want to be. Because I grabbed my camera instead of my anger. Because I knew you would laugh with me. Thank you.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecilyand Pam

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

46 thoughts on “The Mom I Want To Be

    1. Ha! it’s funny because I’m very good at overlooking mess (since I’m a messy person myself). I actually think the hardest thing was that this is the sort of mess that I have to CLEAN UP.

  1. OMGoodness. You are so right. If you consider everything as blog fodder, and possible posts, you can’t help but laugh and thank your gag writers in residence.
    FANTASTIC POST.

    Absolutely precious…and you’ll love it when these little ones become as old as my 15 yr old…….
    .-= Alexandra´s last blog ..LOL =-.

    1. It really helps — makes me realize the positives of blogging on my family (besides the fact that when I’m writing I’m a more well-rounded person)… And I think that I will enjoy them as teenagers too 🙂 Thanks!

  2. I think it’s awesome that you aren’t quick to anger. Sounds like your a G R E A T mom.

    I on the other hand have a short fuse. So it is alot harder for me as a parent.

    Happy Friday!

    1. I used to have a HORRIBLE temper. I learned a lot of coping skills pre-kids (thank goodness), but post-kids I’ve just embraced my limitations. And sometimes that means one of my kids cries in her crib or my son watches too much tv. Because I don’t like who I am when I’m angry. And I do cool down pretty quickly which helps.

    1. Thanks! What an awful post this would’ve been had I said: I yelled at him but then took pictures so we can laugh. I’m glad that the camera made me appreciate the humor in the moment more.

  3. A proud moment and a good lesson for the rest of us. It’s rarely horrible and when it comes to kids there is often something cute and funny about it. When I was little my brother and I made our own “ski resort” with talcum powder (yes, EVERYWHERE) while our mom was napping…she really wasn’t happy about it but I’d like to think that there was alot of humor and cuteness in that situation. Good for you for defusing a potentially explosive moment. I love this post.
    .-= Cecilia´s last blog ..My Identity as a Writer — Blogger =-.

  4. I’ve played that game- it’s not as easy at it looks. Maybe because I don’t cook and have never used a spice.
    Also just realized E probably knows more about spices then me.

  5. That’s just too cute…we’ve all been there even those of us without kids. Though, I must say, that I’m glad of that some days when I read your blog adventures, Alex.

    1. Oh I had those days long before my kids (and my husband) and long after my kids leave (hopefully the husband will stay)… I’m glad my adventures make you appreciate your life too 😀 (are you saying i’m like birth control ?)

  6. Thank goodness for the camera! It has saved me (and my mothering capabilities) many times. I have a lovely assortment of photos from my children being naughty. Pets too! I have a darling photo of cat vomit covering my son’s north face backpack, if you’re interested.
    .-= Mrs.Mayhem´s last blog ..Joy in the Everyday =-.

    1. Oh! How can I resist THAT offer!
      And I’ll trade you for a picture of my son spitting up on my husband’s face — yes I DID get the camera before getting him a towel. And I didn’t even blog then!
      You need to do a naughty cat post — I love my cats but most of my pictures of them are hard copies (I fought the digital camera for TOO LONG)

  7. Good for you – to just breathe and let go, but really sometimes you do just have to. Next time I am going to take a look at life from behind the lens when something happens – it’s kind of like looking at it all from a stranger’s non-mom perspective and just seeing it for what it is, kids exploring, not out to make you mad or destroy your kitchen. So hard to just enjoy life sometimes I feel, isn’t it?
    .-= Aging Mommy´s last blog ..Forget Einstein: Let Me Introduce You To The Theory Of Momativity =-.

    1. Thanks! And that’s exactly on point… E wasn’t TRYING to make my life hard. He was just exploring. In a VERY MESSY WAY. Which seems to be what most explorers do when I think about it.

    1. It would have been a much more interesting post… but I don’t know if they’d let me take pictures in the ER.
      (and i did NOT remember that medical tidbit — must’ve replaced it with the ins and outs of cloth diapers or the PBS stations :D)

  8. Well I feel your pain about the caps on spice jars. We had a problem with that one dinner when the 4 year old was a couple years younger and dumped the entire pepper container in the dish on the table. It was not eatable afterward. It is frustrating and cute at the same time. I have to agree pictures make things better too. 🙂
    .-= killlashandra´s last blog ..The Porch Continues =-.

    1. You CAN!! When you reach your limit (even if it seems WAY SHORTER than everyone else’s), respect it. Walk away. Put the TV on. Count to ten (helps me A LOT). I used to have a temper but I didn’t WANT to have a temper. And if I can keep from yelling, ANYONE can!!

  9. This one was great! I am a single mom doing it all on my own and I am enjoying reading all of your past blogs and you really are giving me great insight on making my fuse a little big longer. I always feel like the worst parent when I get upset over things like this. Granted I have some added stresses that make it short to begin with but I am working on those as well.

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