Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fact: The Adult Heart is the Size of Two Clenched Fists

Fact: The muscles in the human heart have the strength to shoot blood ten meters into the air.
Fact(ish): I am that mom. The scary one in the movies with the blood streaked face, Mama Bear, the mother who lifts a car to save her child; the car is not a Yugo but more of a 1956 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, and I am not so much a superhero as just a mother trailing a phantom cord out of her vagina and onto the dirt below.

The system of blood vessels - arteries, veins and capillaries - is over 60,000 miles long. Long enough to go around the world more than twice. Long enough to choke on.

I hate playgrounds. The sharp pieces of tanbark that get stuck in my sandals, the chain link pinches and newfangled plastic slides that charge kids full of static electricity. Snap! But most of all I hate the other kids, the mothers. I hate the play. The ground made of recycled tires. I am that mother, the one giving your kid a very slighly dirty look even though I know that is wrong. I cannot help myself. Not because I am necessarily a bad person, but because maybe your kid grabbed the shovel my girl was playing with, or he told her she could not climb the ladder, that the ship was full with four boys, no girls allowed and the curly slide was too steep for her to slide down. At the playground I am on high alert, hot and mean, my chest expanding with excuse me? Because playgrounds bring out the worst in me as a mother with an Immaculate(ish) Heart. The heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood each day, roughly one million barrels of blood during an average lifetime. (Enough to fill more than three super tankers.)

And then there are the play dates. The friends with the kids who pull my daughter's hair, the conversation between two mothers interrupted by share and no and wait your turn. The patchwork of a friendship now pricked with this new dynamic, the two of us sitting on benches as we watch, what we tell our husbands later when we get home. (And no, I'm not talking about your kid. Not You, not Her, not Him. I swear.)
Fact: I am no longer allowed to simply be nice. That is not enough and your child who jumps over the duck at The Muzzy Marsh is taller than the height limit, her shoes made of rubber pink but hard. I do not want to be that mother, this mother, sometimes a mother at all, but I am. I am her mother.

(Ish): Blood is made up of 78% water. The other 22% a mystery.

22 comments:

Janet said...

cute shirt Zoey.

mosey along said...

Oh yes. I remember when my daughter was about your daughter's age being at the playground and hearing another mother say "I am so BURNT on playgrounds". And I'm one of *those* mothers too, although it gets better as they get older and are more able to negotiate their own sharing tiffs.

But there is nothing wrong with being a fierce mama bear.

Susie said...

She is just the prettiest little thing I've ever seen :)

Weitzell4 said...

I am THAT mom too. I thought I was the only one! I hover and defend and give dirty looks, then feel guilty. I just don't GET those kids who are mean to kids they don't know, and even in front of parents. The ones who get in other kids faces, have no sense of personal space or are just plain weird! And it really comes out on the playground doesn't it?

Simply Mel said...

Playgrounds make me vomit...everything about them - the kids, the mothers, the way my hands smell after clutching the rubber tires. I wish she didn't point to it and smile really big each time we drive or walk by because then I feel guilt and give in. I give in too much, but hey, she is really cute and I live for those smiles.

Aunt_B said...

I really need to know where you got that shirt Zoey is wearing...too dang cute.

I am that mom too. I've been known to give a dirty look or 10 to kids and playgrounds give me the heebs. Especially when at first you think the swings are surrounded by bark when in reality it is cigarette butts. Nasty!!

beachbungalow8 said...

i was and sometimes still am that mother. Do you know of the hidden park at 10ave and fulton? in the late 90s I was basically the meanest mom there. For all of your reasons listed.
Now, my 11 year old comes home with stories of mean girls and wanting me to protect her 'call their mom' and I know I can't. I have to let her fight her own battles. This doesn't however keep me from giving those girls icy, icy glares as they walk past my car in the carpool line.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I thought I was the only one! I've even confronted kids that were bullying others, not even mine. My husband thinks I'm nuts, and always tells me not to get involved...but how can I not? I hate bullys.
My son is very sweet kid, and always wants to find a "friend" whenever we go to the playground. I can't tell you how many kids have just ignored him or just flat out pushed him away when he asked if they will play with him. I constantly find myself biting my lip so as not to yell out "it's okay, babe! He's not worth your time anyway", and hope his mom is within earshot.

Yeah, playgrounds suck.

Petunia Face said...

Zoey is also a fairly gentle girl, so it kills me when I see kids push past her, grab things from her or not listen. KILLS ME. I want to arm her with confidence and a little bit of brawn! (Or bitch, I can't quite decide).

And to Aunt B--I think that shirt is from Lucky Kids. I love it because she calls it her Peace shirt. :)

arollerskatingjam said...

Ugh,the Muzzy Marsh. That place is from hell.

amy b.s. said...

i am totally going to be that mother. i already give the little kids dirty looks and i don't even have my own child. and i think that's okay.

Anonymous said...

my husband stayed home with our son for his first two years, and would take him to the park down the street every day, bless his heart. He said that a bigger kid shoved our little guy when he was one year old, and that he immediately was afraid of other kids - which lasted quite a while. broke my heart. Thankfully he's now a tough five year old with no fear on the playground.

Aunt_B said...

I remember this one time I went to the gym and put the kids in the child area. They had this big tube thing that the kids could climb through (kinda like Chuck E Cheese) with a little window in the middle. Well, after I was done I went to get thet kids. I couldn't see them at first and then I looked up and saw their little faces looking at me through the window with tears streaming down their faces because some bratty ass little bastarts were blocking their way to the slide and they couldn't get out. I didn't think it was possible to actually feel your heart brake until I saw those faces. It was all I could do to keep from crying and beating the crap out of the attendants who were not doing their job as well as the parents of these little a-holes.

miss. chief said...

i love the way you wrote this post!

fun read.

thanks for being awesome!! my boyfriend has kids but they're kind of too old for the whole playground every day thing...i did go once with them and was shocked at the short shorts on all the moms ... wtf bad role models

Up Mama's Wall said...

I have twins so I can't really hover. Sometimes they are bullies, sometimes they are bullied. They're three. They're imperfect. We try to do what's right and nice and kind, but that's a tall order. For any age. As long as no one is getting physically hurt I feel like they are learning to negotiate the world. Then again, maybe that's just me justifying the fact that I can't hover.

ModernMommaBlog said...

Me too! Me too! It was raining today, so I took my two little boys to play at the mall. Can't those other moms read? Your taller than 42" kid (those are the mall rules - not mine) is running all over my toddlers. They push, scream, run, grab and knock down. I kept saying to the 12 year olds - loud enough for their moms to hear, 'be careful around the babies.' I mean, it's a toddler play area. I kept shooting dirty looks to the moms of these sweaty pre-teens and they just look away. I don't get it. So if I have to be THAT mom, THAT mom, I can be!

bakingwithplath said...

My mom yelled at a little boy who pushed me on the playground, then she taught me to push back.

It makes you a good mommy. :)

Also, I've said it a million times and I'll say it again...Zoey is fucking PERFECT. Such a beautiful little girl. Seriously.

Thao said...

I love this post, Susannah. You have so much heart--it's awesome that you share some of it with us every day.

Carla Fox said...

This is all preparation for what is to come.....when they hit the teen years/myspace/girlfriends/driving/etc......the playground just gets bigger and meaner! (my "baby" is 15 and I still want to fight his battles...but i don't! I just look away and cringe inside:-[

Patois said...

Looks like there are quite a few(ish) of us. How come I seem to be the only one in my neck of the woods?

krista said...

the heart is really as big as two clenched fists? that's huge. no wonder it hurts so much sometimes.

Petunia Face said...

Krista,
The adult heart is the size of two fists, and a child's heart is the size of one. Pretty cool, huh?
xo,
S