Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Erma and Red Eyes

So, have you ever been so frustrated with a kid that you can feel the horns popping out of your head and the tail growing out of your rear end? Apparently this was happening to me yesterday and I didn't even realize it.

I'd had a difficult day I guess and just didn't want to take anymore. Among other fun incidents, Jeremy spit chewed up carrots all over a friend's white couch when he saw a cookie (which I refused him for spiting the carrots out, consequently spawning a huge temper tantrum) and he wouldn't let go of me because she had a teeny tiny dog that apparently was thinking a Jeremy sandwich with pre-chewed carrots on the side sounded quite yummy.

When we got home later he kept trying to press buttons on the printer (which we really need to put somewhere higher, but have no way of doing it). I got tired of telling him it was a "No-No" and moving him away. I finally yelled, "NO!" and then tried to get his attention on something that needed throwing away. I asked him to put it in the garbage and as he walked over to throw it away my eyes followed him. Megan, apparently enthralled with the action, looked at me and said, "Mom, your eyes are turning red!"

I am sure that my eyes were red from being tired and stress, but a small part of me is willing to be honest and fess up that my eyes probably were glowing red.

I finished At Wit's End by Erma Bombeck this morning. I really don't know why I relate to her so well. She wrote her books when my grandparents were my age, so you'd think they'd be out of date. However, I find myself drawn to her humor and I find comfort in her ability to laugh at herself. The very last chapter she opens with saying why she wrote the book in the first place. I was touched at what she said.

"At first, I began writing for one woman. I visualized her as a moderately young woman, overkidsed and underpatienced with four years of college and chapped hands all year around. None of the popular images seemed to fit her. She never had a moment alone, yet she was lonely most of the time. [Geeze! I'm reading this passage for the 20th time and still getting teary-eyed.] She worried more about toilet training her fourteen-month-old than Premier Chou En-lai [Pro Communism Premier of China in case you don't know your Chinese history--slacker!] And the BOW (Big Outside World) was almost a fable to her. After a while I began to visualize other women as I wrote. . . . To be honest, however, I will have to admit that I wrote the book for the original model--the one who was overkidsed, underpatienced, with four years of college and chapped hands all year around. I knew if I didn't follow Faith's [Faith Baldwin, a writer of the generation before Erma's] advice and laugh a little at myself, then I would surely cry."

I think the only reference in there that doesn't fit me would be the four years of college. I'm crazy and insisted that I get my degree, it just took 7 years of college in a decade's time to do it. And while I'm not worried about Premier Chou, I am more concerned with potty training Jeremy than China's death-wish for us via lead paint or Bin Laden.

I know that I was introduced to Erma's books for a reason. I'd say the reason is just to keep me sane during motherhood, but I know that isn't it. I've connected with her since I was in third grade and first picked up one of her books. An eight year old kid shouldn't connect with Erma the way I did at eight. I think it is because I want to write like her. I want to see the humor in the things that drive me crazy. I pray that there will be humor in them, even if I have to wait 24 hours or longer to see it. I'm so grateful that I was blessed to come across her writings at a young age and that I have been able to read her works over and over since then. I recommend them to any mother. I also recommend to any mother writing down her thoughts, her dreams, ambitions, and the crazy things her kids do. Find the humor in these things. Write them down even when they are still not funny. They will be later. One day.


Kristine said...

oh the joys of being a mom and feeling frustrated with our kids. the other day a lady told me it wasn't the terrible two's it was the terrible teenagers. so i guess the end is no where in sight. Ugh!

I need to go check out some of the books you were talking about.

Leanne said...

I must have red eyes all the time! I can't believe Megan told you that, that's funny! Yeah, it took me 5. love ya Kellie.

p.s. the book is in the mail.

Leanne said...

Can I just tell you how much I miss living close to you guys?! Seriously, I do. I wish we could all live close again...I guess we'll always have Logan! :0)

Jess said...

Come on, now! It's about time for a new post I think.. I even did one today!

Kellie Buckner said...

I know it's time for another one. I can't even use the excuse that I've had no time to even get on the computer because that's all I've been doing lately. I just have been looking at houses in Cleveland and not thinking about blog ideas.

I did consider putting one of the houses that an agent sent to us that is so hideous I thought it might be funny.