Goodbye, pop culture

So long, movies.

Mainstream music, you've been auf'ed.

To the latest best-sellers: Try to stay in print for the next 15 years.

You see, that's right about the time I think I'll have the time to watch another movie in its entirety without being interrupted by bedtimes, waffles and baby Orajel. Perhaps when my kids can drive their own cars, I will stop worrying about what they're hearing and absorbing on the radio — from Mumford and Sons to Pitbull — because then, they'll be able to make their own choices. I won't be blamed for allowing them to hear the lyrics to "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)." I won't have a 2-year-old sleeping in the bed next to me, sometimes literally even sitting on my stomach, doing everything in his power to not let me read the one page in my book I strive for every night. Gretchen Rubin, I hope your Happier at Home strategies still make sense in 2023.


It's really not that bad, I know. I don't miss Justin Beiber; I don't even really miss not being able to watch Magic Mike (okay, maybe a little). Fiction and nonfiction can wait. I think what it really is is me, telling myself again that Things Shouldn't Be This Way.

As an example:

  • The kids should have an earlier bedtime. Preferably, the same bedtime. That way I can laze on the couch after they're down, or I can clean the kitchen, or I can read a book.
  • I shouldn't be listening to crappy music anyways. I should be more "with it" in terms of good music and up-and-coming artists. You know, support the little people.
  • I should have better-behaved kids who can play on their own, giving Mommy more time to do all of the above and more, in general.

You see, today involved another hellish trip to the grocery store and Target. I should have known I was pushing it by trying to go to TWO WHOLE STORES in one day, but I figured Hey, it's the four of us. Daddy can help. Wrong. So after a tantrum in the store (little one just really figured out what the word "toys" means) and coming home to a Christmas present unsuccessfully covered up in the garage, the tally came to one meltdown too many. And that, of course, set off the Need To Control. He should be better behaved. I should know the prices better and therefore could have avoided coming here in the first place. I should just tell my husband that shopping together doesn't work, and if he wants to get out of the house so bad, go to Home Depot or let's all pile in the car and go to the library or something (he gets a little — a LOT — stir crazy, very quickly, very easily). Should should should, if only if only if only. I am FULL of excuses.

It was just the other day that I swore off shopping with them ever again, and here I find myself making the same ultimatums. Now it goes like this: I will only go get our special 5-ingredient healthy whole wheat sandwich bread while my 2-year-old is in school, that way he doesn't whine to go to Trader Joe's next door for the bread HE likes. And if I need things from both Target AND the grocery store during the week I'll order from Peapod. The prices may be higher, but then I don't get sucked in to buying him stuff and even getting unexpected items for my husband. They all add up, and I set the budget too tight to allow for that crap.
But ultimatums only work in a perfect world, and that's not mine. I know there will be times when I have to stop at the store because, Ooh, just like today, I forgot laundry detergent and wipes. And if my husband asks me one more time Isn't that cheaper on Amazon? I will lose my mind once and for all. I don't know. Give me a break. Do YOU want to do the shopping?

I make it all far too difficult on myself, clearly. I realize this. I think it's a deep dark mechanism to do more controlling and come out on top. Except I don't. 
I know it's just a life stage. I know all about the Terrible Twos, and I know it will pass. But in the meantime I feel like a failure. BIG word to throw out there while discussing grocery shopping and cinema, I know. It's just that I feel like I was doing so well for November, before today, believe it or not.

We'll see how things wrap up at the end of the week. I'm trying not to freak out, I swear. If you're a new follower now that I'm on Chicago Now, I promise I will continue to reveal more and you'll get why I find this all to be so stressful. Right now I'm just going to be thankful for what I have and say a little prayer to calm my nerves.

Then I'll get up and try to control some more chaos.


Filed under: Chasing peace

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