Earlier this week, Little Man and I had a battle of wills of such epic proportion that I can’t even recount it here. When the time comes to finally tell the tale, I will simply refer you to the book I shall write, sometime in the future, entitled, “The Reasons I Drink; an Introduction to my Children.”

Actually, that’s pretty good. I should remember that title.

Anyhoo, my morning was irrevocably shot. My day was shot. My mood was such that it looked like the rest of my miserable life, until the final drawing of breath, was  beyond recovery and would pass in a gray cloud of joyless gloom, regret and depression. It was grim, people.

Then, unexpectedly, my brother-in-law saved the day. He sent me an email, full of, as he said, thanks and praise. Wowzers. It was beyond nice, even if I choked a bit on the section devoted to my parenting skills.

Poor grown-ups. We are brought up in a world of gold stars, field day ribbons, and student of the month certificates. Then we hit adulthood and all that stops. Except for the rare promotion or lifetime achievement award, you are pretty much left to navigate your daily life without the benefit of external reward. It can be hard slogging on some days. Especially since now you are dealing with stuff that actually matters and impacts other living, breathing human beings…Not, you know, a weekly spelling test devoted to -ch vs -sh.

It is bullchit, that.

I was so grateful to receive that particular email at that exact, particular time. And it occurred to me that I should thank you, too. Thank anyone who has ever left an encouraging comment on this blog. Thank all of you who have endured the frequent, winter-time absences when I huddle under my electric blanket waiting for spring and warmth, rather than post new entries. (Because, really, along about February, nothing is amusing and it seems nothing will be amusing ever, ever again. The end.) Thank you allowing me a space to lick my wounds when the mom-thing has gone horribly, comically awry.

Thank you, in short, for the gold stars.

I should mention, I suppose, that Little Man and I are fine. That we have kissed and made up. That my mood has improved to the point that I can once more envision a glorious future wherein my children do not grow up to be petty criminals and miscreants and where winter does not last forever.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I mean.

In the meantime, I may take a proactive step toward safeguarding my own peace of mind and buy myself the biggest box of gold stars I can dig up. That way even when the home team consensus is that mom is a big, ol’ pain in the butt, I can still give myself kudos for all the things I’ve accomplished that, while small, still matter;

  1. Managed four out of five weekdays without having a drink before work.
  2. Didn’t choke any back-talking kids Homer Simpson style.
  3. Finished a blog post.

See? Gold star worthy. All three.

The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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