Remote Control


I will not buy Halloween candy until October 31st. I will not buy Halloween candy until October 31st. I will not buy Halloween candy until October 31st.

I had to repeat my internal mantra a dozen times today as I repeatedly passed Walmart’s “holiday aisle” because I can never manage to remember everything on my list in an orderly fashion strolling through the rows of goods. I always have to backtrack.

What the stores want us to think is that they will run out of fun-sized fodder if we don’t grab it now while the grabbing is good. But you and I both know that everyone who is buying it now will only eat it all before the 31st, and then have to rush out that afternoon to stock up on even more candy under threat of being TPed by disgruntled trick-or-treaters.

But it tastes so good. So in an act of stoic self control, I bypassed the candy corn, rushed straight home and baked a large batch of chocolate chip cookies. That was lunch. Who’s laughing now, “holiday aisle?”

Another area of rather lax self control is when I get to hold Luke’s hand after preschool. (“Not preschool Mom, just ‘school.'”) Sorry, “school.” You see, his wonderful teacher Miss Staci has a strict rule that parents must escort their children by the hand through the busy parking lot when they come to pick them up. So by preschool law (sorry, school law) Luke has to hold my hand for a whole 30 seconds, three times a week!

I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but what you must understand is that Luke refuses to show his mother any kind of affection. Ever. My hugs are met by desperate struggles to escape. My kisses are dodged like an awkward prom date. He smothers baby Jane with all sorts of snuggles and nuzzles, but when I try to cash in on his lovey dovey mood, I get straight armed, every time.

Part of me longs to roll my eyes, make a big “W” with my fingers and walk away when I get shut down like that, but I can’t. I’m like a nerdy, giddy teenager who can’t take a hint. He’s so dreamy, so adorable, so charming! It’s his swagger that gets me. (Is that why I married his dad?) So I hug him anyways, deaf to all his protests, certain that one day he’ll realize I’m the only mom for him.

So when he holds my hand without any resistance at all for a full 30 seconds, three days a week, it takes all the self control I can muster to act cool. I must not giggle. I must not squeeze his hand. I must not scoop him up in a cuddly embrace and oogle over the construction paper hat he has made in class. Just be cool. Just be cool.

My other area of waning self control is trying to let Jane cry it out in her crib. You know, Ferberize her. I’m such a sucker. I totally caved after a bone chilling 45 minutes of racking sobs last night. (Hers, or mine?) I know it must be done. We got in a bad pattern when Paul went abroad for three weeks. We’d snuggle and nurse all night long, cozy as can be in our California king. But my boyfriend’s back, hey now hey now, and it’s high time she love the safety and sanctuary of her very own crib.

So did it work? Does she love her crib yet?

Not remotely.


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