Friday, October 05, 2007

A Love/Hate Relationship

Things That Fill Me With Abject Self-Loathing Despite Their Relative Insignificance

1) Ending my lectures five minutes early. Every class I taught this week ended at fifteen minutes past the hour instead of the usual twenty past. No matter how often I tell myself that my students are delighted by the reprieve, I cannot help but see those five empty minutes as embarrassing proof of the gaping cavern that is my brain.

2) Forgetting things. (Case in point: waking up to discover that I forgot to run the dishwasher; hand-washing some juice glasses only to discover that I forgot to buy orange juice when I was at the grocery store.)

3) Undone tasks. Sticky floors, un-filed papers, cupboards devoid of edible food, empty bottles of contact lens solution … my house is cluttered with such evidence of my inadequacy as a human being.

4) Being late – even if only by five minutes.

5) The halo of frizz that has surrounded my head all through this cloudy, drizzly week.

Things That Fill Me With Inordinate Pride and Happiness Despite Their Relative Insignificance

1) Blogging.

2) Bringing Ziploc bags of sliced red and yellow peppers on family outings. Nothing makes me feel more like a supermom than pulling a colourful, healthy snack out of my purse to the joyful cries of my enthusiastic children.

3) Spending one-on-one time with one of my children – even if that means watching TV with Bub or plying the Pie with ice cream. (White chocolate raspberry – for each dainty morsel she managed to secure, I would shovel two or three great gulping spoonfuls into my own mouth, and then there would be much mutual smiling and nodding and exclamations of “Mmmm, yummy.”)

4) Making applesauce.

5) Sparking enthusiastic discussions in my classes, even when these discussions are of limited educational value or relevance to the text at hand. (What are the codes of courtesy operational in our society today and what emotions are they designed to restrain? Twenty minutes of discussion on this topic served to disguise the fact that I had nothing left to say about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight this week and preserved the illusion that my mind is a bottomless well teeming with insights. Right up until 15 minutes past the hour - then all masks were off.)

What trivial things make you love and/or hate yourself?


Chaotic Joy said...

This week on my blogging break I hauled all the peices of "Thomas" train track out of the bottom of Ben's toybox and put together an elaborate configuration. Then I found batteries for Thomas and Percy and bought Emily at the store (because he needed to have a girl train, of course)

He's been playing with it for the last few days, and this one simple thing has made lifted me some from the perpetual parenting self-loathing I have been abiding in lately. It doesn't take much does it?

Janet said...

1) When I notice my children's fingers/toenails are creepily long and, thus, attracting dirt like a glass of orange juice on the deck table gently beckons a herd of wasps. Sometimes it feels like simple grooming is going to be the death of me.

1) Baking a pie from scratch. Some people would say the hassle isn't worth it, but when I pull the aromatic pie from the oven, the crumble topping browned to perfection and smelling like heaven, I feel in in ordinate sense of pride. Plus, then I get to eat it. :)

Janet said...

That should have been "AN inordinate (all one word) sense of pride."

Hate: When I appear illiterate to other bloggers.

Kimberly said...

oh Janet! I hate that too!

Love? Hmmm....this week, it's standing up for myself and refusing to allow a big company to brand me as they will. I WILL be myself, no matter the cost. Plus, making trouble this way reminds me of one of the few delights of highschool: walking that fine line of being a trouble maker who doesn't actually get in trouble.

(The students don't notice. And if they do, they're just happy to get out early. Especially if you're their last class of the day!)

Patois said...

1. When my five-year-old son sees me sitting at the top of the stairs and comes running, huge grin on his face, saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!"
2. When my 10-year-old son or 9-year-old daughter sit and chat in the daughter's room at night when I'm in bed with her. They have very little to do with each other of a non-fighting nature.

1. Feeling I absolutely suck as a mother because the kids constantly bicker, bicker, bicker. And then bicker some more.
2. Your #3.

bubandpie said...

Janet - Oh, how I know those overlong, dirt-filled nails. But they don't make me hate myself. Apparently cleanliness forms no part of my self-image.

b*babbler said...

Hate: the state of my house right now. Absolutely hate.

Love: 1) Blogging. Lifeline to the world right now. 2) That one of my best friends is due to have have first baby in a month.

And you made applesauce? Yummy yummy yum!

slouching mom said...

Love: Getting my car washed. Somehow everything around me seems brighter and more congenial through spotless windows.

Hate: When I fail to put away the laundry for so long that it's time to do the laundry again.

Jess said...

First of all, being only a year and a half removed from college, I can say that it's not just the five minute reprieve that delights the students but the fact that the professor was succinct enough to complete the lecture in the allotted time, and did not bother making up useless filler to get us through the last five minutes of class. There is nothing worse than a professor who feels compelled to keep you until the exact scheduled end of class, even if it means ad libbing pointless information for five minutes at the end.

Now, to answer your question:
Hate: When I give in on the treadmill and go to a walk interval before my full running interval is technically up.
Love: Cooking a naturally healthy dish that my fiance and I both actually like.

Ser said...

I wanted to de-lurk, a few days late. I love your blog. I am a Christian. I have two kids. I love pulling veggies out of my purse and looking like a supermom when my kids eat them. I am a perfectionist control freak who is gradually giving in to the chaos of motherhood.

I didn't actually answer your de-lurking survey questions. Did I say I was a perfectionist? This mommy gig is working wonders.

Hate: When older boy uses his words, much to our great joy, and yells at kids, "I want to bite your flesh!" instead of actually biting, and yet no one at the playground looks at him joyfully.

Love: Leaving the house with mom and two boys dressed in cute outfits and with hair brushed. This happens about once a month.

Magpie said...

Love pulling a pie/tart/quiche out of the oven.

Hate that I'm overweight and out of shape.

andi said...

I'm right there with you on hating forgetting things. I feel like such an idiot sometimes, especially when I forget what I'm trying to say in the middle of a sentence.

Oh, and I love the smell of anything baking. Sadly, I hate the fact that I haven't lost all my baby weight. Do you think they're related?

AnneK said...

Hate: All the junk mail and credit card offers that comes everyday even after I make every effort to stop it.

Inordinate pride: Cleaning out my ceramic smooth cook top so that it shines. 2 years before it would have been my thesis getting published in a reputed air journal. 2 years down the line it would probably be our child pooping or something. Priorities change huh?

-The Shiny Happy Mama- said...

Hate: Ditto on being forgetful! I, too, constantly forget to do mundane little things.

Love: Dinner with old friends. I went out with a college friend last night and had such fun catching up! We hadn't seen each other in 11 years, but reconnected as if no time had passed. Now that she's back here to stay, we plan getting together regularly. Yay!

bubandpie said...

B - I know! Applesauce! I'm such a star.

Jess - Oh, but I totally do the pointless ad-libbing too - it's only when THAT runs out that I let everybody go. ;(

Ser - You are killing me! The comment total is just sitting there at 89, tormenting me with the urge to add just one more comment of my own to put it over the top... (Consider this my shameless plea. Somebody, please deliver me from my own obsessiveness!)

nikki said...

I am the queen of putting the cereal in the refrigerator and the milk back in the cupboard. Also trying to unlock my office's front door with my car key fab. I wish i wasn't so...brainless sometimes.

nomotherearth said...

Hate: When I have so much to say about a post, but the only thing that comes out is "that was really great!". I sound so stoopid.

Love: For a week or so, I've been bringing an apple as an after daycare "treat" for the Boy. He gets so excited AND ACTUALLY EATS IT.

I had a professor who ended her lectures 1.5 hours before the end of class - so don't feel inadequate.

Mad Hatter said...

Hate: how easily I get riled up about things like bad driving or people using the word "deconstruct" to mean analyze; how I respond to my daughter's clinginess.

Love: making soup from scratch with no recipe, making pies (hi, Janet!); that I can still lose myself totally in children's books and movies; that I am the kind of mother my child wants to cling to.

cinnamon said...

That peppers thing is funny because it's totally my measure of a supermom and has been since long before I because a mom (not that i have ever achieved such supermomness myself but I aspire to one day).

Mary Jo Graves said...

1. Reviving my blog Matriarch, after neglecting it for several years.
2. Finding the courage to comment on blogs I admire.
3. Deciding not to hide my bipolar disorder in the blogs I don't write under a pseudonym.
4. Being able to take care of my grandson without imposing my opinions on his parents. Since Vanessa and I have always argued with each other, this is miraculous. And she has convinced me of the wonders of pacifiers.

Long ago, I realized that trivialities like housekeeping could not be allowed to affect my self-esteem. I have always been the friend whose house makes you feel better about yours.

Suz said...

When I'm able to write a sentence that expresses what I want it to say perfectly.

Stupid mistakes. Just little things like leaving my wallet on the counter and not noticing it until I'm in the car and five minutes away from the house.

NotSoSage said...

Ooh, I watched my daughter tuck in to a curried chick pea salad last night and I was filled with such a ridiculously-placed sense of pride. So I totally get it.

Beck said...

Love: Okay, this is SO petty, but last weekend I was at an event with a bar and the bartender refused to sell me a drink because I didn't have ID and he didn't believe I was of age. I was mentally high-fiving myself for the rest of the weekend. I am shallow.

Florinda said...

- Feeling overwhelmed and behind on everything. This is why I have not loved work this year. Some days I'm just treading water.
- Sticky kitchen counters and spotty bathroom mirrors.
- The "oops" of realizing I've just said (or written) the wrong thing, and now someone else is feeling bad.
Oh, and #2 on your list is on mine too.

- Comments on my blog.
- Commenting on other people's blogs :-).
- The satisfaction of a clean house.
- Brownies (no matter who bakes them!)

Kelly said...

Love: Taking my kids to the park makes me feel like a good mother, playing with them and giving them exercise.

Hate: Sometimes a dinner will consist of chicken nuggets and tater tots, and although tasty, makes me feel like a non-planner unconcerned with my children's fat intake.

Jenifer said...

This is fun! My lists would be virtually the same as yours.

I would also add that I hate:

When I lose things. I have never lost anything in my life (to my best recollection anyway) up until this summer. One hoody sweater I loved and the girls football jerseys on our trip to PA this summer, left in a hotel drawer.

Oh how I love having those cut up apples and veggies on hand. I do feel like quite a supermom on those days. I could also add that making anything from scratch is a big one for me!

Lisa b said...

It is like you read my mind.
I just cleared the empty shampoo and soap bottles - three of them- out of my shower and I feel like I accomplished something today.
ditto about actually typing this comment

Am feeling bad about my lack of good snacks.

bubandpie said...

Kelly - Oh, yes. What I hate is when I have no clue what to serve for dinner and so instead of an actual meal there is just an accumulation of random snacks. Fruit/veg - prepackaged applesauce (check!). Bread - leftover crusty bit which has no visible mould but looks suspicious. Meat substitute - cheese slice and Goldfish crackers. Dairy - ah, the organic milk. Appeases my conscience every time.

MJG - I have always been the friend whose house makes you feel better about yours. Isn't that just it? Because what are we trying to achieve in our houses anyway? To make everybody else feel poor/dirty/covetous?

flutter said...


The inability I seem to have to be unafraid. Also? the yarn that has taken over my house.


making red velvet and cream cheese frosting from scratch

Christine said...

hate--my dirty, dirty refrigerator

love--my "family" book filled with phone numbers, restaurant menus, coupons, event tickets, and our family calendar

Alison said...

-When my children say please and thank you without being reminded (since I have reminded them a zillion times before; it makes me feel that I'm doing SOMETHING right)
-Cooking a healthful meal my family enjoys

-Although I love to write and read blogs, spending time doing so makes me feel guilty ("Go play, Mommy's busy")
-Being too tired to spend Adult Time with my husband in the evening
-Dirty and/or cluttered house

Alpha DogMa said...

HATE: that all the light fixtures in my house contain the carcasses of long dead blackflies. BUT to clean them out I need to get the ladder up from the basement. And I'd rather go a bloggin'.

Mary G said...

Love: reading your blog and the comments.
Hate: procrastinating about writing mine and making comments.

I swear I'm going to eliminate spider solitaire from my computer so I can't waste time with that, anyway.

The forgetting things is stress and fatigue. Don't sweat it.

painted maypole said...

think of your brevity as confirmation that you are so smart, you don't need many words to make your point. ;)

I hate that I cannot, for the life of me, keep my counters cleared off for more than 2 hours.

Mimi said...

Gah! I have that angst about ending class early, too.

I am spectacularly proud of myself for closing enough snaps on baby sleepers that they fold properly and keep their shape in dresser drawers. I am A Good and Organized Mother.

I am in the deepest of funks that my kitchen floor is always gross, even five minutes after I mop it. This may be why I mop it so infrequently. Sigh.


when I've ruined a good day off because of being lazy yet fretting the whole time because I'm ruining a good day off

the opposite of what I hate, having a very productive day

Sarcasta-Mom said...

- Being over weight and too tired at the end of my day to exsercise.
- When there are mountains of unfolded laundry that I have to plow through in order to find a complete outfit for myself and the kids.
- When my house is messy and someone sees it, even the pizza delivery guy.
-Waking up at the butt crack of dawn on my day off to the sound of G and K locked in mortal combat.

- When the kids still cuddle me in public, like K at the movies last night.
- When the kids are happy and harmonious
- Making a huge, elaborate dinner with the hubby
-Craking the door bedroom doors open at night, and finding each child asleep, peaceful, whole and healthy

Kathryn said...

Ha-hah! What is it about making applesauce that makes me feel like such a wonderful mom? Maybe the memories of my mom making applesauce in the fall? I just don't know. Such a warm, cozy feeling.

Kyla said...

I'm with you on forgetting things and undone tasks...and my house too can be a constant reminder of that. Being late, especially to something KayTar or BubTar related makes me feel especially awful.

I, too, love stolen time with the kids. Last night BubTar beat me repeatedly at a video game and then KayTar and I played frogs in her room for a great while. It felt like a perfect evening. I also love being prepared for outings. Having a back packed with snacks and drinks and items to be used as distraction in case the need arises, makes me feel good.

And of course, blogging.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Keeping sippy cups and lids in matched sets.
Keeping a stock of fancy watercolor paper for my girls.
Rescuing bargain paperbacks at the used bookstore.
Maintaining unscratched perfection on a dvd.

My crumby floors that need sweeping.
The coffee cups or fast food bags in the car that never seem to make it into the trash can.
Saying the wrong thing.

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

I'm right there with you on the clutter and the halo of frizz. My frizz tends to awaken every day and not just on humid days. Although, that could be because I live in Florida and it's always humid.

Give the college kids a break. End a whole 10 minutes early one day. :)

ewe are here said...

Yep - hate it when I discover I've forgotten to trim finger/toe nails of the wee ones...

Love it that I generally travel fully prepared: always have extra nappies, wipes, bandaids, tshirt for each boy, and snacks. I just keep the stroller packed at all times... and a swim bag as well. Plus, makes it easier for my husband to just grab the appropriate bag and go...

Loganator's Mom said...

Love: Our outings to the lake and playing kick ball or baseball. Hearing my son giggle running the bases or trying to kick the ball before we do.

Hate: That I feel like I can't balance it all.

Lawyer Mama said...

Babe, if your brain is a "gaping cavern," then I've got the Grand Canyon happening in mine!

Hate: When one of my kids has a dirty shirt out in public. (They're boys, so it happens frequently.) I take it as a personal failing.

Love: When I eat a pop tart (which sadly isn't very often) and manage to get just the right combo of crust and filling into every bite. It's an art.

Aliki2006 said...

Love: I so wanted to eat a chocolate bar after dinner the other night and I fought the urge. I really did.

I changed the sheets today. Mmmm....fresh sheets on a weekend--marvelous.

I cut up lots of fruit for breakfast and the kids ate it--well, T. did, mostly, but that made my heart sing.

Hate: I know I will cave in and eat the chocolate tonight because, we'll it's Saturday night and chocolate and red wine go so well together.

Getting snappy at T. for following me everywhere tonight--I couldn't even pee in private. Yet I know that clinginess is ever so precious.

Fussing at the kids briefly for having a pillow fight and rumpling the bed after I made it. Sheesh--why couldn't I lighten up?!

Amy said...

My chocolate truffles.
My handwriting.
When I am able to restrain myself from strangling my MIL when she says things like, "You feed the twins from the same spoon? You kids these days...."

My unfolded laundry and my messy, messy closet.
That I can't manage to keep one single house plant alive.

Emily R said...

I always hated ending class early, too.

Yelling at my kids... that's definitely in the self-loathing category.

Telling Benjamin he may NOT have any more peas until he eats something that is not a fruit or a veggie... that makes me feel like I must have done something right somewhere.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I can relate to the forgetting things....I feel that, at the ripe old age of 34, I am already suffering from CRS (Can't Remember S... well,you get the idea!)

But...the peppers for my kids....yeah, that's not going to happen! I am impressed for you!

Jaelithe said...

The professors who finished lectures early were always my favorites. SO much better than the professors who would ask the whole class to show up five minutes early, and then wind up keeping you five minutes late.

The professors who finished lectures early were the types who left wiggle room in the class plan because they wanted to hear what their students had to say. The ones who kept you five minutes late were the ones who loved the sounds of their own voices echoing in a silent hall.

You are obviously the good type of professor, forgetful or not.

kgirl said...

Hate - walking into anyone's house empty-handed.

Love - my muffin-baking enthusiasm.

bren j. said...

Argh! It's the bottomless pit of papers waiting to be filed in one of the spare rooms...and the fact that of three spare rooms, two are crammed with JUNK!

kittenpie said...

I am totally with you on the five self-loathing ones, except substitute programme for lecture.

My house is a wreck right now and Pumpkinpie's new room is long overdue. I'm thinking she will soon decide we are just stringing her along and there is no room. hate. hate. hate.